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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Harmful Algal Blooms: Dominance In Lakes And Risk For Cyanotoxin Exposure In Food Crops, Austin D. Bartos Aug 2020

Harmful Algal Blooms: Dominance In Lakes And Risk For Cyanotoxin Exposure In Food Crops, Austin D. Bartos

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Climate change and human activities are promoting the dominance of a photosynthetic family of aquatic bacteria, cyanobacteria. Blooms of cyanobacteria are not only a visual nuisance but can produce a variety of cyanotoxins than can harm the liver, skin, and nervous system of animals and humans. We analyzed lakes in the contiguous United States and found that between 2007 and 2012, the number of lakes that produced measurable quantities of cyanotoxins increased from 33% to 45%. Nitrogen and phosphorus pollution were the main drivers of cyanobacteria blooms and toxin production between these years. Many of these lakes and reservoirs are ...


Characterizing The Range Shifts Of Two Peromyscus Species In Maine, Molly Bennett May 2020

Characterizing The Range Shifts Of Two Peromyscus Species In Maine, Molly Bennett

Honors College

In a changing climate, two species of mice in Maine (Peromyscus maniculatus and Peromyscus leucopus) are currently undergoing range shifts. The objective of my thesis is to determine the historical and current range of each species within the state of Maine. I used two approaches. I assembled ear biopsies collected this summer in Acadia National Park and throughout the state by the Gardner and Levesque labs to genotype the mice as either P. maniculatus or P. leucopus. Additionally, I summarized research that denotes where the two species were historically present around the state. These species are functionally impossible to tell ...


Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Analysis Of Mangrove Ecosystems Using Gis, Kayla Caldwell Apr 2020

Sea Level Rise Vulnerability Analysis Of Mangrove Ecosystems Using Gis, Kayla Caldwell

HCNSO Student Theses and Dissertations

Climate change is accelerating beyond what is natural due to excessive emissions from human activities. The sea level has been rising for many years and is currently at a rate of 3.6 mm/yr. Mangroves are known to only keep pace with a sea level rate of less than 1.2 mm/yr. Mangroves are particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels if they are not able to keep pace through vertical sediment accretion or inland migration. To test the vulnerability of the south Florida mangrove ecosystems to sea level rise, this study analyzed changes in the mangrove forest coverage ...


How Climate Impacts The Composition Of Wolf-Killed Elk In Northern Yellowstone National Park, Christopher C. Wilmers, Matthew C. Metz, Daniel R. Stahler, Michel T. Kohl, Chris Geremia, Douglas W. Smith Mar 2020

How Climate Impacts The Composition Of Wolf-Killed Elk In Northern Yellowstone National Park, Christopher C. Wilmers, Matthew C. Metz, Daniel R. Stahler, Michel T. Kohl, Chris Geremia, Douglas W. Smith

Ecology Center Publications

  1. While the functional response of predators is commonly measured, recent work has revealed that the age and sex composition of prey killed is often a better predictor of prey population dynamics because the reproductive value of adult females is usually higher than that of males or juveniles.
  2. Climate is often an important mediating factor in determining the composition of predator kills, but we currently lack a mechanistic understanding of how the multiple facets of climate interact with prey abundance and demography to influence the composition of predator kills.
  3. Over 20 winters, we monitored 17 wolf packs in Yellowstone National Park ...


Local Adaptation Constrains Drought Tolerance In A Tropical Foundation Tree, Kasey E. Barton, Casey Jones, Kyle F. Edwards, Aaron B. Shiels, Tiffany Knight Jan 2020

Local Adaptation Constrains Drought Tolerance In A Tropical Foundation Tree, Kasey E. Barton, Casey Jones, Kyle F. Edwards, Aaron B. Shiels, Tiffany Knight

USDA National Wildlife Research Center - Staff Publications

  1. Plant species with broad climatic ranges might be more vulnerable to climate change than previously appreciated due to intraspecific variation in climatic stress tolerance. In tropical forests, drought is increasingly frequent and severe, causing widespread declines and altering community dynamics. Yet, little is known about whether foundation tropical trees vary in drought tolerance throughout their distributions, and how intraspecific variation in drought tolerance might contribute to their vulnerability to climate changE.
  2. We tested for local adaptation in seedling emergence and establishment with a full-factorial reciprocal transplant experiment including 27 populations and 109,350 seeds along a 3,500 mm precipitation ...


Sharp‐Tailed Grouse In The Nebraska Sandhills Select Residual Cover Patches For Nest Sites, William L. Vodehnal, Gregory L. Schenbeck, Daniel W, Uresk Jan 2020

Sharp‐Tailed Grouse In The Nebraska Sandhills Select Residual Cover Patches For Nest Sites, William L. Vodehnal, Gregory L. Schenbeck, Daniel W, Uresk

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission -- Staff Research Publications

We evaluated selection and availability of residual cover (dead standing herbage) by sharptailed grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus) at time of nest‐site selection in an intact and annually grazed grassland. We used radiotelemetry in 1988–1990 to locate 147 nests in the sandhills of Nebraska, USA, and classified 121 as initial nests and 26 as renests. We used visual obstruction readings (VOR) to measure the height and density of residual cover at nests and 373 landscape‐scale transects around leks (trap sites). We excluded 77 nests from vegetation analysis because green herbage or early livestock grazing compromised residual cover measurements. Most ...


A Troop, A Raft, A Bed, Hanna Jane Guendel Jan 2020

A Troop, A Raft, A Bed, Hanna Jane Guendel

Senior Projects Spring 2020

A Troop, a Raft, a Bed tells the interwoven fictional stories of three major animals (the mountain gorilla, the Adélie penguin, and the American eel) and four transitional animals (the white stork, the humpback whale, the common octopus, and the great white shark). The stories are told from the animals' perspectives, and are written with language that considers each animal's unique intelligence, mind, and behavior. These stories seek to communicate how animals around the world may be experiencing the various effects of climate change and global warming.


Effects Of Multiple Stressors: Hydroperiod, Introduced Bullfrogs, And Food Limitation On Northern Red-Legged Frogs (Rana Aurora), Lindsey L. Gordon Jan 2020

Effects Of Multiple Stressors: Hydroperiod, Introduced Bullfrogs, And Food Limitation On Northern Red-Legged Frogs (Rana Aurora), Lindsey L. Gordon

HSU theses and projects

As human activities reach every corner of the globe, climate change, invasive species, habitat destruction, and other stressors causing species’ declines no longer act alone. Climate change has the potential to exacerbate (or mitigate) other stressors (e.g. invasive species or pathogens) affecting amphibian populations. I assessed the combined effects of increased pond drying rates (potential impact of climate change), invasive bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) presence, and food availability on northern red-legged frog (Rana aurora) survival and body size after metamorphosis by rearing tadpoles under incrementally shortened hydroperiods with and without the presence of invasive bullfrog tadpoles in low and high ...


Assessing The Hierarchy Of Long-Term Environmental Controls On Diatom Communities Of Yellowstone National Park Using Lacustrine Sediment Records, Victoria Chraibi, Sherilyn C. Fritz Jan 2020

Assessing The Hierarchy Of Long-Term Environmental Controls On Diatom Communities Of Yellowstone National Park Using Lacustrine Sediment Records, Victoria Chraibi, Sherilyn C. Fritz

Papers in the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

An ecosystem’s ability to maintain structure and function following disturbance, defined as resilience, is influenced by a hierarchy of environmental controls, including climate, surface cover, and ecological relationships that shape biological community composition and productivity. This study examined lacustrine sediment records of naturally fishless lakes in Yellowstone National Park to reconstruct the response of aquatic communities to climate and trophic cascades from fish stocking. Sediment records of diatom algae did not exhibit a distinct response to fish stocking in terms of assemblage or algal productivity. Instead, 3 of 4 lakes underwent a shift to dominance by benthic diatom species ...


Gulf Coast Marine Laboratories Past, Present And Future, Donald F. Boesch Jan 2020

Gulf Coast Marine Laboratories Past, Present And Future, Donald F. Boesch

Gulf and Caribbean Research

I spent my nearly 50—year career in marine science working at marine laboratories, most of that as a chief executive officer. So, it is appropriate that my reflections are about marine laboratories, rather than my own science. After relating my career course, I turn my attention to the history and development of marine laboratories along the U.S. coast of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). Surprisingly, the region’s first laboratory was actually constructed in 1903 at Cameron, LA, but operated less than a decade before closing. It was not until after World War II that the university—affiliated ...


Landscape Scale: Inter- And Intraspecific Variation In Plant Interactions Along A Stress Gradient In The Sheep Range Of Nevada, Jordan Dowell Dec 2019

Landscape Scale: Inter- And Intraspecific Variation In Plant Interactions Along A Stress Gradient In The Sheep Range Of Nevada, Jordan Dowell

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

Impending threats to shrubland ecosystems, posed by climate change, necessitate niche modeling efforts to project vegetation range shifts. However, efforts often remain unguided by individual-scale interspecific plant interactions. The stress gradient hypothesis posits that facilitation should increase in areas of high abiotic stress, only if the individuals are able to ameliorate the surrounding area via functional traits. The Sheep Range of Nevada was used to assess the role of functional traits as predictors of plant association. Larrea tridentata, Coleogyne ramosissima, and Artemisia nova were selected as shrubs with variable life history strategies and ranges in order to identify general patterns ...


Future Climate Change Will Have A Positive Effect On Populus Davidiana In China, Jie Li, Guan Liu, Qi Lu, Yanru Zhang, Guoqing Li, Sheng Du Dec 2019

Future Climate Change Will Have A Positive Effect On Populus Davidiana In China, Jie Li, Guan Liu, Qi Lu, Yanru Zhang, Guoqing Li, Sheng Du

Aspen Bibliography

Since climate change significantly affects global biodiversity, a reasonable assessment of the vulnerability of species in response to climate change is crucial for conservation. Most existing methods estimate the impact of climate change on the vulnerability of species by projecting the change of a species’ distribution range. This single-component evaluation ignores the impact of other components on vulnerability. In this study, Populus davidiana (David’s aspen), a tree species widely used in afforestation projects, was selected as the research subject under four future climate change scenarios (representative concentration pathway (RCP)2.6, RCP4.5, RCP6.0, and RCP8.5). Exposure ...


Watching Grass Grow: How Soil Moisture Affects Vesicular-Arbuscular Mycorrhizae And Growth In Little Bluestem, Laura M. Jones Dec 2019

Watching Grass Grow: How Soil Moisture Affects Vesicular-Arbuscular Mycorrhizae And Growth In Little Bluestem, Laura M. Jones

Honors Scholar Theses

Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae (VAM) are an ancient mutualism in which soil-dwelling fungi enhance plant absorption of phosphorus and nitrogen in exchange for photosynthates. VAM are sensitive to changes in soil moisture and nutrient content, fluctuating between mutualism and parasitism depending on conditions of drought stress and nutrient deficiency. Understanding how VAM respond to precipitation changes is crucial for both conservation and agricultural purposes. To test how soil moisture changes the effects of VAM colonization and growth in little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), a common prairie grass, I planted 300 seeds in a greenhouse in sterilized soil and soil inoculated with VAM fungi ...


Changes In The Diet And Body Size Of A Small Herbivorous Mammal (Hispid Cotton Rat, Sigmodon Hispidus) Following The Late Pleistocene Megafauna Extinction, Catalina P. Tomé, Emma A. Elliott Smith, S. Kathleen Lyons, Seth D. Newsome, Felisa A. Smith Dec 2019

Changes In The Diet And Body Size Of A Small Herbivorous Mammal (Hispid Cotton Rat, Sigmodon Hispidus) Following The Late Pleistocene Megafauna Extinction, Catalina P. Tomé, Emma A. Elliott Smith, S. Kathleen Lyons, Seth D. Newsome, Felisa A. Smith

Faculty Publications in the Biological Sciences

The catastrophic loss of large-bodied mammals during the terminal Pleistocene likely led to cascading effects within communities. While the extinction of the top consumers probably expanded the resources available to survivors of all body sizes, little work has focused on the responses of the smallest mammals. Here, we use a detailed fossil record from the southwestern United States to examine the response of the hispid cotton rat Sigmodon hispidus to biodiversity loss and climatic change over the late Quaternary. In particular, we focus on changes in diet and body size. We characterize diet through carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen ...


The Effects Of Seasonal Variations, El Niño-Southern Oscillation, And Climate Change On The Tuna-Dolphin Association, Caitlynn Birch, Michael D. Scott, Zhi-Yong Yin, Lisa T. Ballance Nov 2019

The Effects Of Seasonal Variations, El Niño-Southern Oscillation, And Climate Change On The Tuna-Dolphin Association, Caitlynn Birch, Michael D. Scott, Zhi-Yong Yin, Lisa T. Ballance

Theses

Tuna and dolphins swim together in the waters of the eastern tropical Pacific, and this association has long benefitted tuna fishermen and intrigued scientists. Although the tuna-dolphin association is often referred to as a “mystery,” much is known about the association. Yellowfin tuna are primarily caught with spotted dolphins and, to a lesser extent, spinner dolphins; historically the spotted dolphin has borne the brunt of the bycatch mortality. The tuna-dolphin association is thought to be a product of the distinct oceanography of the ETP: a shallow mixed layer, a thick oxygen minimum zone, and warm surface waters. As the mixed ...


Epidemic Spruce Beetle Outbreak Changes Drivers Of Engelmann Spruce Regeneration, Jessika M. Pettit, Julia I. Burton, R. Justin Derose, James N. Long, Steve L. Voelker Nov 2019

Epidemic Spruce Beetle Outbreak Changes Drivers Of Engelmann Spruce Regeneration, Jessika M. Pettit, Julia I. Burton, R. Justin Derose, James N. Long, Steve L. Voelker

Ecology Center Publications

Climate‐mediated disturbances outside the range of historical variability can have severe consequences on vital, post‐disturbance regeneration processes. High‐elevation forests of the Rocky Mountains that are dominated by Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) and subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) are expected to be sensitive to climate change. Additionally, these forests have experienced recent epidemic spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) outbreaks that have often resulted in >95% mortality of overstory Engelmann spruce. Therefore, the future distribution of Engelmann spruce forests depends largely on natural regeneration processes. We examined Engelmann spruce seedlings across gradients in soil moisture and stand structural conditions 20 yr ...


Importance Of Tree-And Species-Level Interactions With Wildfire, Climate, And Soils In Interior Alaska: Implications For Forest Change Under A Warming Climate, Adrianna C. Foster, Amanda H. Armstrong, Jacquelyn K. Shuman, Herman H. Shugart, Brendan M. Rogers, Michelle C. Mack, Scott J. Goetz, K. Jon Ranson Oct 2019

Importance Of Tree-And Species-Level Interactions With Wildfire, Climate, And Soils In Interior Alaska: Implications For Forest Change Under A Warming Climate, Adrianna C. Foster, Amanda H. Armstrong, Jacquelyn K. Shuman, Herman H. Shugart, Brendan M. Rogers, Michelle C. Mack, Scott J. Goetz, K. Jon Ranson

Aspen Bibliography

The boreal zone of Alaska is dominated by interactions between disturbances, vegetation, and soils. These interactions are likely to change in the future through increasing permafrost thaw, more frequent and intense wildfires, and vegetation change from drought and competition. We utilize an individual tree-based vegetation model, the University of Virginia Forest Model Enhanced (UVAFME), to estimate current and future forest conditions across sites within interior Alaska. We updated UVAFME for application within interior Alaska, including improved simulation of permafrost dynamics, litter decay, nutrient dynamics, fire mortality, and postfire regrowth. Following these updates, UVAFME output on species-specific biomass and stem density ...


The Stability Of Temperate Lakes Under The Changing Climate, Aleksey Paltsev Sep 2019

The Stability Of Temperate Lakes Under The Changing Climate, Aleksey Paltsev

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

There is a collective prediction among ecologists that climate change will enhance phytoplankton biomass in temperate lakes. Yet there is noteworthy variation in the structure and regulating functions of lakes to make this statement challengeable and, perhaps, inaccurate. To generate a common understanding on the trophic transition of lakes, I examined the interactive effects of climate change and landscape properties on phytoplankton biomass in 12,644 lakes located in relatively intact forested landscapes. Chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration was used as a proxy for phytoplankton biomass. Chl-a concentration was obtained via analyzing Landsat satellite imagery data over a 28-year period (1984-2011) and ...


Marine Invertebrates: Communities At Risk, Jennifer A. Mather Aug 2019

Marine Invertebrates: Communities At Risk, Jennifer A. Mather

Jennifer Mather, PhD

Our definition of the word ‘animal’ centers on vertebrates, yet 99% of the animals on the planet are invertebrates, about which we know little. In addition, although the Census of Marine Life (COML.org) has recently conducted an extensive audit of marine ecosystems, we still do not understand much about the animals of the seas. Surveys of the best-known ecosystems, in which invertebrate populations often play a key role, show that the invertebrate populations are affected by human impact. Coral animals are the foundation of coral reef systems, which are estimated to contain 30% of the species in the ocean ...


The Missing Angle: Ecosystem Consequences Of Phenological Mismatch, Karen H. Beard, Katharine C. Kelsey, A. Joshua Leffler, Jeffrey M. Welker Aug 2019

The Missing Angle: Ecosystem Consequences Of Phenological Mismatch, Karen H. Beard, Katharine C. Kelsey, A. Joshua Leffler, Jeffrey M. Welker

Ecology Center Publications

Climate change leads to unequal shifts in the phenology of interacting species, such as consumers and their resources, leading to potential phenological mismatches. While studies have investigated how phenological mismatch affects wild populations, we still lack studies and a framework for investigating how phenological mismatch affects ecosystems, particularly nutrient cycling.


Quantifying Impacts Of Climate Change On Species Interactions While Fostering Undergraduate Research Experiences Using The Monarch (Danaus Plexippus)- Milkweed (Asclepias Sp.) System, Matthew J. Faldyn Aug 2019

Quantifying Impacts Of Climate Change On Species Interactions While Fostering Undergraduate Research Experiences Using The Monarch (Danaus Plexippus)- Milkweed (Asclepias Sp.) System, Matthew J. Faldyn

LSU Doctoral Dissertations

Species interactions, specifically plant-insect interactions, are ubiquitous worldwide. Climate change will alter species interactions by affecting abiotic conditions, affecting species phenologies, interaction strengths, and physiological development. However, climate change impacts are often studied using individual species, with limited consideration quantifying the direct and indirect impacts of climate change species interactions. Using lab, field, and greenhouse experiments, I investigated how climate change will directly and indirectly affect species interactions while also fostering undergraduate research experiences using the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)- milkweed (Asclepias sp.) system.

In North America, a widely planted, invasive milkweed species, Asclepias curassavica, negatively impacts monarch butterflies. I ...


Diffuse Light And Wetting Differentially Affect Tropical Tree Leaf Photosynthesis, Z. Carter Berry, Gregory R. Goldsmith Aug 2019

Diffuse Light And Wetting Differentially Affect Tropical Tree Leaf Photosynthesis, Z. Carter Berry, Gregory R. Goldsmith

Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Sciences Faculty Articles and Research

‐Most ecosystems experience frequent cloud cover resulting in light that is predominantly diffuse rather than direct. Moreover, these cloudy conditions are often accompanied by rain that results in wet leaf surfaces. Despite this, our understanding of photosynthesis is built upon measurements made on dry leaves experiencing direct light.

‐Using a modified gas exchange setup, we measured the effects of diffuse light and leaf wetting on photosynthesis in canopy species from a tropical montane cloud forest.

‐We demonstrate significant variation in species‐level response to light quality independent of light intensity. Some species demonstrated 100% higher rates of photosynthesis in diffuse ...


The Association Between Dietary Niche Variation In Rodents And Climate Change Across The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, Hannah K. Vermeer Aug 2019

The Association Between Dietary Niche Variation In Rodents And Climate Change Across The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, Hannah K. Vermeer

Masters Theses

Mammalian teeth play a crucial role in food acquisition and breakdown and are therefore closely tied to dietary niche. This study reconstructed the diet of early Paleogene paramyid rodents across the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) climatic event in an effort to understand the role of climate in mammalian dietary niche change. Dietary niches were quantified using three dental topographic measures: Dirichlet normal energy, relief index, and orientation patch count rotated. A Kruskal-Wallis test was conducted over eight time periods to determine if each of the dental topographic measures (i.e., diet) varied over time. Regression analysis of these measures with ...


The Vulnerability Of Littoral Structures Under Multiyear Drought Conditions, Jenna M. Keeton Aug 2019

The Vulnerability Of Littoral Structures Under Multiyear Drought Conditions, Jenna M. Keeton

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Climate change is associated with altered environmental conditions and shifting mosaics of suitable habitats for organisms. Climate change in the form of drought can shift important lake shoreline habitats downslope, altering the lakes chemistry and habitat availability. Additionally, negative biological consequences can occur after a loss of submerged habitat along shorelines, hereafter littoral habitat. The objective of this study is to evaluate whether littoral habitat is lost (cobble, coarse woody habitat (fallen trees; CWH), and aquatic vegetation) under drought conditions across the United States. I used the National Lakes Assessment physical habitat data collected in summer 2012, when 75% of ...


Guidelines For Aspen Restoration In Utah With Applicability To The Intermountain West, Stanley G. Kitchen, Patrick N. Behrens, Sherel K. Goodrich, Ashley Green, John Guyon, Mary O'Brien, David Tart Jul 2019

Guidelines For Aspen Restoration In Utah With Applicability To The Intermountain West, Stanley G. Kitchen, Patrick N. Behrens, Sherel K. Goodrich, Ashley Green, John Guyon, Mary O'Brien, David Tart

Aspen Bibliography

As highly productive and biologically diverse communities, healthy quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides; hereafter aspen) forests provide a wide range of ecosystem services across western North America. Western aspen decline during the last century has been attributed to several causes and their interactions, including altered fire regimes, drought, excessive use by domestic and wild ungulates, and conifer encroachment. Today’s managers need science-based guidance to develop and implement strategies and practices to restore structure, processes, and resilience to the full range of aspen functional types across multiple spatial scales. In these guidelines, we detail a process for making step-by-step decisions about ...


Drought And Freezing Vulnerability Of The Isolated Hybrid Aspen Populus X Smithii Relative To Its Parental Species, P. Tremuloides And P. Grandidentata, Nicholas J. Deacon, Jake J. Grossman, Jeannine Cavender-Bares Jun 2019

Drought And Freezing Vulnerability Of The Isolated Hybrid Aspen Populus X Smithii Relative To Its Parental Species, P. Tremuloides And P. Grandidentata, Nicholas J. Deacon, Jake J. Grossman, Jeannine Cavender-Bares

Aspen Bibliography

Aim

We assessed the vulnerability of an isolated, relictual Pleistocene hybrid aspen population of conservation interest (Populus x. smithii ) and the nearest populations of its parent species (Populus grandidentata and Populus tremuloides ) to springtime post‐bud break freezing and growing season drought stress. Response to these stressors in the three taxa was compared in terms of avoidance and tolerance.

Location

North American Midwest; USA.

Methods

Unique genets from the hybrid Niobrara River population and from the two parental populations were propagated in a common garden from rhizome cuttings. We tracked their phenology before and after bud break and measured their ...


Assessing The Mechanisms And Implications Of Altered Carbon Cycling In Arctic And Boreal Lakes, Rachel Fowler May 2019

Assessing The Mechanisms And Implications Of Altered Carbon Cycling In Arctic And Boreal Lakes, Rachel Fowler

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is an important component of lake ecology, as it contributes to light attenuation and carbon cycling. In recent years, DOC declined in a suite of lakes in Greenland. I performed experiments to test potential mechanisms of DOC loss. The tested mechanisms did not reduce DOC concentration, but DOC composition was affected. I also paired water quality data with meteorological observations to evaluate effects of climate drivers on lake variables. The lake variables were temporally coherent and associated with patterns of mean annual precipitation.

In the northeastern U.S., recovery from acidification and climate change have contributed ...


Living On The Edge: Thermophysiology Of The Southern Flying Squirrel At Its Northern Range Margin, Vanessa R. Hensley May 2019

Living On The Edge: Thermophysiology Of The Southern Flying Squirrel At Its Northern Range Margin, Vanessa R. Hensley

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Climate change has the potential to upset entire ecological systems, making predictive models of the utmost importance. The incorporation of physiological parameters into predictive models not only bolsters their accuracy but also provides a mechanistic explanation for ecological changes already observed and those yet to come. North American flying squirrels, for example, have already experienced dramatic range shifts northward over recent decades, with climate change being the suspected driver. While other studies have focused on warming winter temperatures, I explored the hypothesis that rising summer temperatures were driving the observed range shifts. Unable to find a reliable population of the ...


Biogeographical Implications Of Climate Change For An Alpine Mammal, The American Pika, Marie Louise Westover May 2019

Biogeographical Implications Of Climate Change For An Alpine Mammal, The American Pika, Marie Louise Westover

Biology ETDs

Anthropogenic climate change has already impacted a majority of species globally. The aim of this dissertation is to understand how climate and climate change influences animal ecology and evolution across space and time, using the American pika (Ochotona. princeps) as a model system. I investigate how pika body size, diet, and occupancy are influenced by different aspects of climate over space and time. Body size in O. princeps populations best correlates to precipitation and vegetation, rather than temperature. Our findings suggest that pika body size may be more related to vegetation and food availability than the direct effects of temperature ...


Biogeography Of Endemic Dragonflies Of The Ozark-Ouachita Interior Highlands, Wade Alexander Boys May 2019

Biogeography Of Endemic Dragonflies Of The Ozark-Ouachita Interior Highlands, Wade Alexander Boys

Theses and Dissertations

A common pattern across many taxonomic groups is that relatively few species are widespread while the majority are restricted in their geographic ranges. Such species distributions are used to inform conservation status, which poses unique challenges for rare or cryptic species. Further, priority status is often designated within geopolitical boundaries, which may include only a portion of a species range. This, coupled with lack of distributional data, has resulted in species being designated as apparently rare throughout some portions of their range, which may not accurately reflect their overall conservation need. The Interior Highlands region of the central United States ...