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Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Mixing It Up: The Impact Of Episodic Introgression On The Evolution Of High-Latitude Mesocarnivores, Jocelyn P. Colella Jul 2022

Mixing It Up: The Impact Of Episodic Introgression On The Evolution Of High-Latitude Mesocarnivores, Jocelyn P. Colella

Biology ETDs

At high latitudes, climatic oscillations have triggered repeated episodes of organismal divergence by geographically isolating populations. For terrestrial species, extended isolation in glacial refugia – ice-free regions that enable terrestrial species persistence through glacial maxima – is hypothesized to stimulate allopatric divergence. Alternatively, upon glacial recession, divergent populations expanded from independent glacial refugia and often contacted other diverging populations. In the absence of reproductive isolating mechanisms, this biogeographic process may trigger hybridization and ultimately, gene flow between divergent taxa. My dissertation research aims to understand how these episodic periods of isolation and contact have impacted the evolution of high latitude species. To ...


Microplastics In The Big Apple: A Look Into Plastic Pollution Of New York City Waters, Taina Colon May 2021

Microplastics In The Big Apple: A Look Into Plastic Pollution Of New York City Waters, Taina Colon

Student Theses 2015-Present

This paper addresses the issue of the presence of microplastics in NYC waters and how existing policy, in combination with a lack of research, fails to acknowledge the risk and harm of this type of pollution. Additionally, it presents the Bronx River as an example of a specific body of water in New York City and employs the following disciplines to analyze microplastic pollution. Chapter 1 uses ecological research to define microplastic pollution and discuss how this type of pollution is a problem far more vast and complicated than it is widely considered to be. Chapter 2 delves into environmental ...


Ecology Of Estuarine Birds: Differences In Desensitization Of Year-Round And Transient Species, Sarah Thomas May 2021

Ecology Of Estuarine Birds: Differences In Desensitization Of Year-Round And Transient Species, Sarah Thomas

Honors Theses

Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet, SC, USA is considered a “hotspot” for birds, according to the eBird database (eBird, 2020). The park is also visited by approximately 300,000 people, annually (Hobdy, 2019). The causeway at the park is an area of high human and wildlife activity. Here, the differences in desensitization, or lack thereof, of year-round and transient bird species to the stimuli of vehicles and humans were determined. Multiple surveys of the birds at Huntington Beach State Park were conducted from 22nd September, 2019 to 13th June, 2020. Desensitization was quantified by use of a range ...


Detection Of Neonicotinoids In Northern Leopard Frog (Rana Pipiens) Brains, Peyton G. Keller May 2021

Detection Of Neonicotinoids In Northern Leopard Frog (Rana Pipiens) Brains, Peyton G. Keller

Honors Thesis

Neonicotinoids are widespread and commonly used to fight agricultural pests. Unfortunately, these neurotoxic insecticides commonly reach nearby wetlands due to tile drainage systems and agricultural runoff. Non-target organisms, such as amphibians, use wetlands as habitat and are likely exposed to elevated neonicotinoid levels. We collected Northern leopard frogs and water samples from control and tile wetlands to compare imidacloprid brain concentrations and subsequent changes in brain morphology. Additionally, a lab-based experiment was conducted to further analyze the ability of imidacloprid and its metabolite, imidacloprid-olefin, to cross the blood-brain barrier. Tile wetlands had higher aquatic imidacloprid concentrations. Subsequently, amphibians collected from ...


Effect Of Prenatal Ambient Temperature On The Performance Physiological Parameters, And Oxidative Metabolism Of Japanese Quail (Coturnix Coturnix Japonica) Layers Exposed To Heat Stress During Growth, Thaís Pacheco Santana, Eliane Gasparino, Angélica De Souza Khatlab, Claudson Oliveira Brito, Leandro Teixeira Barbosa, Susan J. Lamont, Ana Paula Del Vesco May 2021

Effect Of Prenatal Ambient Temperature On The Performance Physiological Parameters, And Oxidative Metabolism Of Japanese Quail (Coturnix Coturnix Japonica) Layers Exposed To Heat Stress During Growth, Thaís Pacheco Santana, Eliane Gasparino, Angélica De Souza Khatlab, Claudson Oliveira Brito, Leandro Teixeira Barbosa, Susan J. Lamont, Ana Paula Del Vesco

Animal Science Publications

A strategy to mitigate the negative effects of stress on animals is to enhance their ability to beneficially respond to stressful conditions. This study aimed to assess whether prenatal ambient temperature influences the response of Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) chicks to environmental challenges during growth. The experiment was conducted in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement: two temperature conditions for the mothers (thermoneutral and heat stress by continuous exposure to 32 °C) and two offspring ambient temperature conditions (thermoneutral and heat stress by intermittent exposure to 34 °C for 6 h/day from 15 to 35 days of age). Heat ...


Big Five Personality Traits And Political Orientation: An Inquiry Into Political Beliefs, Ian E. Phillips May 2021

Big Five Personality Traits And Political Orientation: An Inquiry Into Political Beliefs, Ian E. Phillips

The Downtown Review

Personality research centered on the Big Five personality traits has heavily impacted our understanding in regards to what forces orient a person on a political spectrum. Examining how personality differences interact with political orientation, this research seeks to provide information on what makes someone either more or less likely to be liberal or conservative based on their temperament. In this paper, previous personality research is synthesized into one discussion, centered on what the effects of each trait are and how they impact political orientation, the heritability of personality, and what implications there are for such research in the realm of ...


Terrestrial Soldier Crab (Coenobita Clypeatus, Fabricius 1787) And Cerion Spp. (Röding 1798) Shell Relationship On San Salvador Island, Bahamas, Harley Hunt May 2021

Terrestrial Soldier Crab (Coenobita Clypeatus, Fabricius 1787) And Cerion Spp. (Röding 1798) Shell Relationship On San Salvador Island, Bahamas, Harley Hunt

Biology Theses

The Caribbean terrestrial soldier crab, Coenobita clypeatus(Fabricius 1787), coexist and utilize the shells of numerous species of land and marine gastropods. Soldier crabs rely on gastropod shells for protection as the crabs have a soft abdomen, leaving them vulnerable for predation and desiccation, threatening their survival. This creates a strong pressure to obtain well-fitting shells that provide adequate protection against water loss. Cerion of Röding (1798) shells are one of the most commonly used shells among living colonies of C. clypeatuson San Salvador Island. This study is interested in the frequency of shell use by C. clypeatus crabs ...


A Year In Syntropy: Exploring Syntropic Agriculture, Ajah Eills May 2021

A Year In Syntropy: Exploring Syntropic Agriculture, Ajah Eills

College Honors Program

Syntropic agriculture is a form of sustainable agriculture that originated in Brazil around 25 years ago. Although it has since spread throughout Brazil and Australia, there has yet to be a comprehensive study of the driving scientific principles behind syntropy. For my thesis, I conducted literature research and interviews with farmers, with the goal of describing the ecological principles on which syntropy is based, including its primary goal to improve soil health. Much of my thesis contrasted syntropic agriculture with conventional agriculture as practiced in the United States today, but I also explored the differences between syntropic agriculture and other ...


Predator-Prey Interactions Between Escherichia Coli Strains And Caenorhabditis Elegans At Various Temperatures And Resource Levels, Elizabeth Haynes Whitaker May 2021

Predator-Prey Interactions Between Escherichia Coli Strains And Caenorhabditis Elegans At Various Temperatures And Resource Levels, Elizabeth Haynes Whitaker

Honors Theses

Predation is an important component of both evolutionary and ecological interactions across nature. The predator-prey relationship can be altered by differential species’ responses to changes in abiotic factors. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of temperature, resource levels, and their potential interactions using two strains of Escherichia coli prey and a Caenorhabditis elegans predator. It is concluded that an interaction exists between temperature and resource level on this predator-prey relationship however further testing must be done to confirm results due to contamination in the results.


Sublethal Effects Of Red Imported Fire Ant Envenomation On Hatchlings Of North American Oviparous Snakes, Hannah Warner, Meredith Swartwout May 2021

Sublethal Effects Of Red Imported Fire Ant Envenomation On Hatchlings Of North American Oviparous Snakes, Hannah Warner, Meredith Swartwout

Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Honors Theses

Invasive species cause major ecological and economic damage. The Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA; Solenopsis invicta) has successfully invaded much of the southeastern United States and has caused both widespread economic damage and is suspected to be the driver of enigmatic declines of several oviparous snake species. This study aimed to determine the sublethal effects of RIFA on hatchlings of six species of oviparous snakes (Coluber constrictor, Lampropeltis calligaster, L. holbrooki, Opheodrys aestivus, Pantherophis emoryi, and P. obsoletus) by exposing hatchlings to envenomation by RIFA and then measuring two performance metrics: righting response and swimming speed. We found a slight ...


Not All Pollinator Gardens Are Created Equally: Determining Factors Pertinent To Improving Pollinator Garden Effectiveness, Travis Watson May 2021

Not All Pollinator Gardens Are Created Equally: Determining Factors Pertinent To Improving Pollinator Garden Effectiveness, Travis Watson

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Increasing evidence documenting the decline of insect populations, resulting from increasing human disturbances has resulted in efforts to establish pollinator gardens to provide additional resources for insect populations. However, our understanding of biotic and abiotic garden characteristics important for attracting and sustaining pollinator diversity is limited. Here, we evaluated 17 pollinator gardens to evaluate the effect of five biotic and three abiotic garden characteristics on pollinator species richness, abundance, and proportional representation of four pollinator functional groups. Plant species richness positively influenced pollinator richness and negatively influenced flower visitation. Bombus proportional abundance responded to several variables (distance to vegetation, plant ...


Trends In Us Crop Yields & Water Use, Britta L. Schumacher May 2021

Trends In Us Crop Yields & Water Use, Britta L. Schumacher

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Over half the land in the US is dedicated to agriculture, with the vast majority of all cropland cultivated in corn, wheat, or soybean. Despite continuing advances in agricultural technologies, and consistent yield growth over the twentieth century, research suggests that environmental change is already impacting agricultural yield and future changes are sure to exacerbate challenges to agricultural production. It follows that the future of US agriculture depends on the evolution of the changing climate, the relationship between crop yields and the environment, on-farm management and adaptations, the ecosystems that support agriculture, the political and economic incentives that shape what ...


Effects Of Respiratory Perturbations On Aging And Healthspan In Daphnia Magna, Millicent Nkiruka Ekwudo May 2021

Effects Of Respiratory Perturbations On Aging And Healthspan In Daphnia Magna, Millicent Nkiruka Ekwudo

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Aging is a degenerative process characterized by a decline in physiological functions and cellular activities. Environmental and pharmacological interventions affecting longevity pathways have been extensively studied in model organisms. This study investigated the effect of chronic mild intermittent hypoxia (4 mg O2/L) or mild mitochondrial uncoupling with three doses of 0 (control), 0.1, 1, and 5 μM of 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP), on life history and gene expression in four clones of Daphnia magna. Interestingly, clones from intermittent ponds displayed better tolerance to hypoxia and DNP. Although neither treatments extended longevity, hypoxia increased fecundity and body size, and decreased ...


Competitive Interactions Among Co-Infecting Symbionts In A Model Animal-Associated Microbiome, Justin L. Pritchett May 2021

Competitive Interactions Among Co-Infecting Symbionts In A Model Animal-Associated Microbiome, Justin L. Pritchett

Chancellor’s Honors Program Projects

No abstract provided.


Effect Of A Near-Zero Magnetic Field On Development And Flight Of Oriental Armyworm (Mythimna Separata), Meng-Meng Yan, Lei Zhang, Yun-Xia Cheng, Thomas W. Sappington, Wei-Dong Pan, Xing-Fu Jiang May 2021

Effect Of A Near-Zero Magnetic Field On Development And Flight Of Oriental Armyworm (Mythimna Separata), Meng-Meng Yan, Lei Zhang, Yun-Xia Cheng, Thomas W. Sappington, Wei-Dong Pan, Xing-Fu Jiang

Entomology Publications

The geomagnetic field affects all living organisms on the Earth. In this study we investigated the developmental and behavioral effects of rearing Mythimna separata in a near-zero magnetic field (<500 nT) compared to the local geomagnetic field (approximately 50 µT). The near-zero magnetic field produced by a Helmholtz coil system significantly lengthened larval and pupal development durations, increased male longevity, and reduced pupal weight, female reproduction, and the relative expression level of the vitellogenin (Vg) gene in newly emerged females. Moreover, the near-zero magnetic field had a considerable negative effect on the mating ratio of M. separata adults. In addition, the moths in the near-zero magnetic field displayed less flight activity late in the night than those in the Earth's normal geomagnetic field, indicating that the flight rhythm of M. separata may be affected by the near-zero magnetic field. Reduction in magnetic field intensity may have negative effects on the development and flight of oriental armyworm, with consequent additional effects on its migration.


Troglofauna Of Van Buren And White County: A Survey Of Four Caves In The Mideastern Cumberland Plateau, Gavin Page May 2021

Troglofauna Of Van Buren And White County: A Survey Of Four Caves In The Mideastern Cumberland Plateau, Gavin Page

Honors Theses

The Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee has the highest cave-obligate biodiversity in North America. Cave-obligate species are entirely restricted to subterranean habitat and demonstrate unique troglomorphy. These species are categorized as troglobionts. However, because of their isolated occurrences, theses species are vulnerable to a variety of disturbances. This issue is furthered in the fact that only approximately 7% of the caves in this region have been surveyed. Of these caves that have been surveyed, only a small portion were professional entomological surveys, while almost no cave has ever been extensively repeat sampled. This study involved newly sampling one cave and repeat ...


Monitoring Populations And Movement Of Bobcats (Lynx Rufus) On The Eastern Slope Of The Sierra Nevada Mountains Of California, Michael Brown May 2021

Monitoring Populations And Movement Of Bobcats (Lynx Rufus) On The Eastern Slope Of The Sierra Nevada Mountains Of California, Michael Brown

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Monitoring the spatial ecology and population densities of carnivores is critical for effective management and conservation of these populations and the ecosystems in which they exist. However, effective monitoring of carnivore populations through estimates of space use, habitat selection and densities can be difficult due to their relatively low densities and wide ranging, elusive behaviors. Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are medium sized, top-level predators which are widely distributed across North America. Quantifying space use, habitat selection and developing effective population monitoring strategies for this species will have important implications for wildlife management.

My first objective was to use telemetry data to ...


Short- And Long-Term Mechanisms For Increasing Inputs Of Phosphorus In Mountain Waterbodies Of Northeastern Utah, Usa, Jessica Scholz May 2021

Short- And Long-Term Mechanisms For Increasing Inputs Of Phosphorus In Mountain Waterbodies Of Northeastern Utah, Usa, Jessica Scholz

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient that allows life in water to flourish, but changes in phosphorus supplies are not well understood in remote watersheds. In mountain environments, remote watersheds contain critical high-quality water supplies and unique ecosystems, but excess phosphorus can diminish water quality by producing unfavorable aquatic species. Therefore, observed trends of increasing phosphorus concentrations in remote lakes and rivers in the US over the last two decades are a significant concern. Using the Uinta Mountains as a case study, we evaluated three different direct and indirect pathways for phosphorus increases in remote mountain watersheds that may explain observed ...


Responses Of Pacific Fishers To Habitat Changes As A Result Of Forestry Practices In Southwestern Oregon, Tessa R. Smith May 2021

Responses Of Pacific Fishers To Habitat Changes As A Result Of Forestry Practices In Southwestern Oregon, Tessa R. Smith

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The fisher (Pekania pennanti) is a medium-sized carnivore found in mature forest stands across much of the northern United States. Although historically abundant in the west, fisher populations declined rapidly after fur trapping, extensive logging, and urban development reduced their numbers. Currently, biologists are concerned about the effects timber harvest practices have on fisher tolerance and adaptability when faced with changes to high-quality habitat stands. Tree removal and thinning of understory vegetation are frequently used to alleviate the spread of wildfires in previously dense forest stands with a potential for large-scale habitat loss; yet, a deficit of large trees and ...


The Effects Of Urbanization On Insect Morphology: A Meta-Analysis, Evann L. Bailey May 2021

The Effects Of Urbanization On Insect Morphology: A Meta-Analysis, Evann L. Bailey

Honors Theses

Urbanization has been shown to create a rapid change in the environment as you move from rural areas to urban areas. It can create a multitude of effects on the environment. Some examples include, land disturbance, pollution, increasing temperatures and a disturbance in vegetation and biodiversity. Insects are useful organisms that provide maintenance and upkeep for ecosystem functioning. The rapid development of urbanization and how it is changing the environment may impact insect morphology. Measuring morphological change in organisms have been used successfully as indicators of environmental and ecological disturbance. Changes that take place in an insect’s morphology may ...


An Experiment To Test For Rapid Evolution In An Introduced Ectomycorrhizal Symbiosis, Valerie Rewa May 2021

An Experiment To Test For Rapid Evolution In An Introduced Ectomycorrhizal Symbiosis, Valerie Rewa

Honors Theses

The rapid evolution of introduced ectomycorrhizal-plant partnerships is an under- explored topic that may have immense impacts on ecosystems around the world. This experiment sought to identify and quantify this evolution and its impacts on both fungal colonization as well as plant growth. I used a laboratory experiment to analyze these factors in native and exotic genotypes of Suillus cothurnatus and Pinus species. Much of the data was not able to be collected, but that which was did not support the presence of rapid evolution in the mutualistic partnership. Pine species was seen to have a significant effect on plant ...


Range-Wide Migratory Connectivity Of Painted Buntings, Andrew J. Sharp May 2021

Range-Wide Migratory Connectivity Of Painted Buntings, Andrew J. Sharp

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The Painted Bunting (Passerina cirus) is a small (~16g), short/medium-distance migratory songbird that is listed as a species of conservation concern by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Painted Buntings breed in two distinct populations, one eastern population and one interior population, separated by a 500 km gap that stretches from Mississippi to Georgia. I analyzed tracking data from 112 Painted Buntings from 11 different breeding sites to explore how individuals from different breeding sites differ in wintering location (chapter 2) and migratory timing (chapter 3). Additionally, I examined differences in migratory behavior between male and females in the ...


Patterns Of Post-Fire Aspen Seedling Establishment, Growth, And Mortality In The Western United States, Mark Regier Kreider May 2021

Patterns Of Post-Fire Aspen Seedling Establishment, Growth, And Mortality In The Western United States, Mark Regier Kreider

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Sexual seedling establishment in aspen is increasingly recognized as an important natural regeneration pathway for the species in the western U.S. However, information on seedling abundance as well as factors influencing aspen sexual regeneration is limited and frequently anecdotal, due to historical assumptions of seedling rarity as well as difficulty identifying sexual seedlings from asexual aspen sucker regeneration. This thesis contributes to the field of aspen seedling ecology in three major ways. Chapter 1 utilizes historical aspen seedling occurrences in the western U.S. and a systematic field survey of 2018 fire footprints to explore patterns and test assumptions ...


The Fate And Cycling Of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, And Trace Heavy Metals In Beaver-Altered Headwater Streams, Desneiges S. Murray May 2021

The Fate And Cycling Of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, And Trace Heavy Metals In Beaver-Altered Headwater Streams, Desneiges S. Murray

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Human land-use can increase the amount of non-point source (NPS) pollution in a stream, negatively affecting ecosystem health and beneficial services provided by an ecosystem. Unfortunately, NPS pollution remains high in many waterbodies. Beaver dams may be a passive, cost-effective strategy for removing NPS pollution in headwater streams because beaver dams slow stream flow and collect sediments. Impounded sediments can change how nutrients and pollutants are cycled in a stream through multiple pathways. In the first part of our study, we investigated whether beaver activity can reduce nitrogen, phosphorous and heavy metals from otherwise traveling downstream. Results suggest beaver ponds ...


Interactive Effects Of Soil And Browsing On Big Sagebrush: Implications For Restoration Success, Kyle Nehring May 2021

Interactive Effects Of Soil And Browsing On Big Sagebrush: Implications For Restoration Success, Kyle Nehring

All Graduate Plan B and other Reports

Heterogeneity in landscape conditions (e.g., soil types) precludes a “one size fits all” management strategy across large landscapes. New management approaches that explicitly account for heterogeneous landscapes (and the variable conditions therein) will be required to maintain habitat quality. In particular, we require an improved mechanistic understanding of how the outcomes of conservation and restoration actions are contingent upon a) contextual abiotic factors (e.g., moisture availability mediated by soils and precipitation) and b) their interactions with biotic factors (e.g., browsing wildlife).

We propose to answer fundamental questions about how big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), the foundational species for ...


Taphonomy Of Late Jurassic (Tithonian) Morrison Formation Apatosaurus Sp. Vertebrae Found Associated With Teeth From Allosaurus Sp. And Ceratosaurus Sp., And Body Size Extrapolation From The Associated Theropod Teeth., Greg C. Agyan May 2021

Taphonomy Of Late Jurassic (Tithonian) Morrison Formation Apatosaurus Sp. Vertebrae Found Associated With Teeth From Allosaurus Sp. And Ceratosaurus Sp., And Body Size Extrapolation From The Associated Theropod Teeth., Greg C. Agyan

All Graduate Plan B and other Reports

An Apatosaurus sp. locality from Dinosaur National Monument designated DNM-15 was excavated in 1985, and associated with two Allosaurus teeth and one Ceratosaurus tooth that were near one of the caudal vertebrae. The Ceratosaurus tooth was buried between an overlying rib and that same caudal vertebra. The caudal vertebrae of the DNM-15 Apatosaurus were intact and articulated, but the anterior skeleton was mostly absent, with a row of articulated sacral vertebrae in close association with a femur. Two other Allosaurus teeth were reported near the preserved ilium of the Apatosaurus, but they could not be located in the collections.

Field ...


Resistance Of The Freshwater Microbiome To A Combination Of Pesticides, Gabriel Hooper May 2021

Resistance Of The Freshwater Microbiome To A Combination Of Pesticides, Gabriel Hooper

Senior Honors Theses

Pesticides are used prevalently throughout the United States and can negatively affect non-target organisms. Rain run-off can move multiple pesticides into freshwater ecosystems and bring them in contact with non-target organisms that have variable tolerances to pollution. This study seeks to improve our understanding of how an acute exposure to a combination of pesticides may restructure microbial communities by examining the microbiome before and after a 48-hour exposure to 2000 ppb of herbicides (glyphosate, atrazine, and 2,4-D). Pesticide exposure did not significantly alter the alpha or beta diversity of the sample types, which demonstrates the ability of freshwater microbiomes ...


Particle Tracking Reveals Pelagic Red Crabs As Indicators Of Climate-Driven Range Expansion In The California Current, Elizabeth Saraf May 2021

Particle Tracking Reveals Pelagic Red Crabs As Indicators Of Climate-Driven Range Expansion In The California Current, Elizabeth Saraf

Senior Honors Projects

Since their first recorded occurrence in 1859, Pelagic Red Crabs (PRC; Pleuroncodes planipes) have experienced increased frequency of episodic mass stranding events in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. PRC’s are transported over 1,000 km northward of their central domain from the coast of central Baja California, Mexico. They have been reported by the thousands on the beaches of central and southern California. Their presence influences the surrounding ecosystem and commercial fisheries because they are nutritional prey items and large predators change their diet to incorporate PRC’s when they are available. Seasonal coastal currents and the California Undercurrent transport ...


An Eulerian Perspective On Spring Migration In Mule Deer, Tatum Del Bosco May 2021

An Eulerian Perspective On Spring Migration In Mule Deer, Tatum Del Bosco

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Many herbivores travel between low-elevation winter ranges and high-elevation summer sites. These seasonal movements allow them to avoid deep snow cover, ensure access to favorable habitat, and maximize food intake throughout the year. During the spring season, plants at lower elevations green up earlier at lower elevations than at higher elevations. It has been shown that individual animals will track this vegetation growth during their spring migration, which allows them to maximize forage intake coming out of the nutrient scarce winter. This phenomena has previously been studied by monitoring individual movement trajectories, but it is unknown how this pattern scales ...


Mechanisms Of Overyielding And Coexistence In Diverse Tallgrass Prairie Communities, Leslie E. Forero May 2021

Mechanisms Of Overyielding And Coexistence In Diverse Tallgrass Prairie Communities, Leslie E. Forero

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Plants compete for the same basic nutrient and water resources. According to the competitive exclusion principle, when a substantial overlap in resource pools exists, the best competitor for resources should drive all other species to extinction. The ability for plants to coexist in violation of the competitive exclusion principle is the “biodiversity paradox”. Coexistence is actually beneficial for plants: as species diversity increases, you typically see increases in plant biomass production (known as the biodiversity-productivity relationship). The mechanisms behind coexistence and the biodiversity-productivity relationship remain an ecological mystery. One hypothesis is that plants obtain water and nutrients from different places ...