Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Life Sciences Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 23 of 23

Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Ecological Considerations And Application Of Urban Tree Selection In Massachusetts, Ashley Mcelhinney Jan 2019

Ecological Considerations And Application Of Urban Tree Selection In Massachusetts, Ashley Mcelhinney

Masters Theses

Trees provide countless environmental, economic, and societal benefits to the urban environment, and may become increasingly important to maintaining environmental quality and human well-being in the face of increasing urbanization and climate change. However, trees in these urban areas are rapidly diminishing across the United States. Much of this loss can be prevented with proper planning and management, focused on selecting tree species that are both well-suited to the area’s growing conditions and able to survive the many stress factors in an urban setting. Choosing which tree species to plant in Massachusetts is especially challenging considering the lack of ...


The Effects Of Anthropogenic Stress On Nitrogen-Cycling Microbial Communities In Temperate And Tropical Soils, George S. Hamaoui Jr. Jan 2017

The Effects Of Anthropogenic Stress On Nitrogen-Cycling Microbial Communities In Temperate And Tropical Soils, George S. Hamaoui Jr.

Doctoral Dissertations

In this dissertation several research studies are discussed that characterize the effects of anthropogenic, or human-induced, stress on both ammonia-oxidizing and total bacterial soil microbial communities. The disturbances of land-use change in tropical, South American rainforests and artificial warming and nitrogen (N) fertilization in temperate, North American forests were investigated as these disturbances represent past and current disturbances caused by human landscape alteration and climate change. Initially, the response of soil ammonia-oxidizing microbial communities to land-use change from primary rainforest to pasture and, finally, back to secondary forest was determined. Next, these analyses of land-use change effects were expanded to ...


Methods For Incorporating Ecological Impacts With Climate Uncertainty To Support Robust Flood Management Decision-Making, Caitlin M. Spence Jan 2017

Methods For Incorporating Ecological Impacts With Climate Uncertainty To Support Robust Flood Management Decision-Making, Caitlin M. Spence

Doctoral Dissertations

Modern and historic flood risk management involves accommodating multiple sources of sources of uncertainty and potential impacts across a broad range of interrelated sectors. Sources of uncertainty that affect planning include internal climate variability, anthropogenic changes such as land use and system performance expectations, and more recently changes in climatology that affect the resources supporting the system. Flood management systems potentially impact human settlements within and beyond the systems’ scope of planning, local weather patterns, and associated ecological systems. Federal guidelines across nations have called for greater consideration of uncertainty and impacts of water resources planning projects, but methods for ...


Ecological And Management Implications Of Climate Change Induced Shifts In The Phenology Of Alewife (Alosa Pseudoharengus), Sam Stettiner, Michelle Staudinger, Adrian Jordaan, John Sheppard Jan 2016

Ecological And Management Implications Of Climate Change Induced Shifts In The Phenology Of Alewife (Alosa Pseudoharengus), Sam Stettiner, Michelle Staudinger, Adrian Jordaan, John Sheppard

Student Showcase

Climate change is causing species to shift their phenology, or the timing of recurring life events such as migration and reproduction, in variable and complex ways. This can potentially result in mismatches or asynchronies in food and habitat resources that negatively impact individual fitness, population dynamics, and ecosystem function. This project seeks to improve our understanding of shifts in the timing of seasonal migration and spawning of adult anadromous alewife, Alosa psuedoherengus in seven natal stream systems within the state of Massachusetts: Acushnet, Agawam, Herring, Jones, Nemasket, Stoney Brook, and Town Brook Rivers. Initial analyses examined if and how the ...


Distribution Locations Of Invasive Species (Out Of The Weeds? Reduced Plant Invasion Risk With Climate Change In The Continental United States), Bethany Bradley, Jenica Allen Jan 2016

Distribution Locations Of Invasive Species (Out Of The Weeds? Reduced Plant Invasion Risk With Climate Change In The Continental United States), Bethany Bradley, Jenica Allen

Environmental Conservation Datasets

The comma-delimited data file includes the species code (see Supplemental Online Table S2 for full species names), latitude, and longitude in decimal degrees (WGS84) for the occurence points used in model fitting. Some data use agreements prohibit the publication of coordinate data and those points have been removed.


Modeling Historical And Future Range Of Variability Scenarios In The Yuba River Watershed, Tahoe National Forest, California, Maritza Mallek Jan 2016

Modeling Historical And Future Range Of Variability Scenarios In The Yuba River Watershed, Tahoe National Forest, California, Maritza Mallek

Masters Theses

In California's northern Sierra Nevada mountains, the fire-dependent processes of forest ecosystems have been interrupted and altered by human land use and fire suppression. U.S. Forest Service policy directs land managers to plan for a future that includes multiple use and the restoration of resilient ecosystems. Planning decisions are to be informed by an analysis of the range of variability of ecological processes at multiple scales. Current climate trends in the northern Sierra are of increasing temperatures, increased precipitation, and earlier snowmelt, as well as changes to the frequency and duration of drought. These climate changes have and ...


Enhancement Of The Role Of Spatial Planning In Climate Change Adaptation By Long Term Modelling Of Land Use Change In Hungary, Krisztián Schneller, Erzsébet Vajdovich Visy, Vilja Vaszócsik Jan 2016

Enhancement Of The Role Of Spatial Planning In Climate Change Adaptation By Long Term Modelling Of Land Use Change In Hungary, Krisztián Schneller, Erzsébet Vajdovich Visy, Vilja Vaszócsik

Proceedings of the Fábos Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning

The purposeful formation of land use significantly contributes to the moderation of the adverse impact of climate change. Since spatial planning plays a fundamental role in the formation of land use, therefore it is essential to integrate climate adaptation goals into the planning process (Biesbroek, G.R. et al., 2009). Spatial plans primarily assist the achievement of adaptation purposes by the delimitation and protection (primarily against urban sprawl) of areas (as zones, such as ecological corridors) which are important in adaptation and risk prevention. In Hungary at present the spatial planning system already contribute to the above mentioned objectives, but ...


Sustainable Urban Planning And Climate Change Scenarios: An Investigation Of Staten Island's Urban Planning, Melissa Wagner, Lauren E. Gentile, Joanna Merson, Elizabeth Wentz Jan 2016

Sustainable Urban Planning And Climate Change Scenarios: An Investigation Of Staten Island's Urban Planning, Melissa Wagner, Lauren E. Gentile, Joanna Merson, Elizabeth Wentz

Proceedings of the Fábos Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning

Recent events like Hurricane Sandy, which struck Staten Island, NY on October 29, 2012, serve as a costly reminder of how unsustainable designs and mounting social pressures can contribute to extensive structural damage and subsequent financial cost, from storm surge inundation and coastal flooding. It is unlikely that Hurricane Sandy was a one-time event but rather a warning of what can occur over the next century without proper mitigation strategies. Based on climate change projections, such extreme events are expected to become more frequent and intense due to warmer sea surface temperatures and rising sea levels (Emmanual, 2005; Kirtman et ...


Plant Distribution Data Show Broader Climatic Limits Than Expert-Based Climatic Tolerance Estimates, Caroline A. Curtis, Bethany A. Bradley Jan 2016

Plant Distribution Data Show Broader Climatic Limits Than Expert-Based Climatic Tolerance Estimates, Caroline A. Curtis, Bethany A. Bradley

Environmental Conservation Faculty Publication Series

Background

Although increasingly sophisticated environmental measures are being applied to species distributions models, the focus remains on using climatic data to provide estimates of habitat suitability. Climatic tolerance estimates based on expert knowledge are available for a wide range of plants via the USDA PLANTS database. We aim to test how climatic tolerance inferred from plant distribution records relates to tolerance estimated by experts. Further, we use this information to identify circumstances when species distributions are more likely to approximate climatic tolerance.

Methods

We compiled expert knowledge estimates of minimum and maximum precipitation and minimum temperature tolerance for over 1800 ...


Long-Term Forest Soil Warming Alters Microbial Communities In Temperate Forest Soils, Kristen Deangelis, Grace Pold, Begüm D. Topçuoğlu, Linda T.A. Van Diepen, Rebecca M. Varney, Jeffrey L. Blanchard, Jerry Melillo, Serita D. Frey Jan 2015

Long-Term Forest Soil Warming Alters Microbial Communities In Temperate Forest Soils, Kristen Deangelis, Grace Pold, Begüm D. Topçuoğlu, Linda T.A. Van Diepen, Rebecca M. Varney, Jeffrey L. Blanchard, Jerry Melillo, Serita D. Frey

Microbiology Department Faculty Publication Series

Soil microbes are major drivers of soil carbon cycling, yet we lack an understanding of how climate warming will affect microbial communities. Three ongoing field studies at the Harvard Forest Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) site (Petersham, MA) have warmed soils 5°C above ambient temperatures for 5, 8, and 20 years. We used this chronosequence to test the hypothesis that soil microbial communities have changed in response to chronic warming. Bacterial community composition was studied using Illumina sequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene, and bacterial and fungal abundance were assessed using quantitative PCR. Only the 20-year warmed site exhibited ...


Syllabus: Sustainable Living: Solutions For The 21st Century, Lena Fletcher Jan 2015

Syllabus: Sustainable Living: Solutions For The 21st Century, Lena Fletcher

Sustainability Education Resources

In this innovative interdisciplinary course you will work with your peers to research and understand how sustainability in different contexts presents solutions to many problems facing modern society. You will work in teams to investigate, evaluate, communicate, and reflect on the multifaceted challenges associated with natural resource use, food systems, energy, transportation, waste, the built environment, water quality, and climate change. You will also research case studies, debate controversies, assess political and cultural contexts, investigate technological advances, and identify gaps in scientific knowledge. Using these resources, you and your peers will be tasked with developing your own sustainable solutions for ...


Syllabus: Sustainable Living: Solutions For The 21st Century, Laurie Simmons Jan 2015

Syllabus: Sustainable Living: Solutions For The 21st Century, Laurie Simmons

Sustainability Education Resources

Your generation has been handed an opportunity: the opportunity to change the story of our culture from one of blind consumption to one of conscious ecological living. As individuals, as a society and as a species, we are facing challenges related to sustainability including economic stability, social justice, resource depletion and waste management, biodiversity preservation, climate adaptation and food and agricultural resilience. In this interdisciplinary course you will learn how to seize this opportunity by working with your peers to research and understand how sustainability in different contexts presents solutions to many of these challenges facing modern society. “Sustainable Living ...


Two Decades Of Warming Increases Diversity Of A Potentially Lignolytic Bacterial Community, Grace Pold, Jerry M. Melillo, Kristen Deangelis Jan 2015

Two Decades Of Warming Increases Diversity Of A Potentially Lignolytic Bacterial Community, Grace Pold, Jerry M. Melillo, Kristen Deangelis

Microbiology Department Faculty Publication Series

As Earth's climate warms, the massive stores of carbon found in soil are predicted to become depleted, and leave behind a smaller carbon pool that is less accessible to microbes. At a long-term forest soil-warming experiment in central Massachusetts, soil respiration and bacterial diversity have increased, while fungal biomass and microbially-accessible soil carbon have decreased. Here, we evaluate how warming has affected the microbial community's capability to degrade chemically-complex soil carbon using lignin-amended BioSep beads. We profiled the bacterial and fungal communities using PCR-based methods and completed extracellular enzyme assays as a proxy for potential community function. We ...


Integrated Modeling Of Land Use And Climate Change Impacts On Multiscale Ecosystems Of Central African Watersheds, Simon Nampindo Sep 2014

Integrated Modeling Of Land Use And Climate Change Impacts On Multiscale Ecosystems Of Central African Watersheds, Simon Nampindo

Doctoral Dissertations

Assessment and management of ecosystem services demands diverse knowledge of the system components. Land use change occurring mainly through deforestation, expansion of agriculture and unregulated extraction of natural resources are the greatest challenges of the Congo basin and yet is central to supporting over 100 million people. This study undertook to implement an integrated modeling of multiscale ecosystems of central African watersheds and model the impact of anthropogenic factors on elephant population in Greater Virunga landscape. The study was conducted at varied scales, regional, landscape, and community. Regional study included watershed analysis and hydrological assessment using remotely sensed data implemented ...


Landscape Predictors Of Current And Future Distribution Of Mountain Gorillas (Gorilla Beringei Beringei) In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda, Dennis Babaasa Sep 2014

Landscape Predictors Of Current And Future Distribution Of Mountain Gorillas (Gorilla Beringei Beringei) In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda, Dennis Babaasa

Doctoral Dissertations

Context: The impacts of ecological, anthropogenic and future climate change on the distribution of wild mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) are of ongoing concern. Knowing the factors that determine gorilla habitat suitability now and in future is essential for conservation planning. The mountain gorilla is recognized by IUCN Red Data Book as critically endangered and a great tourist attraction. However, the factors that impact on their spatial use of Bwindi are poorly understood.

Aims: I aimed at determining the major factors that determine gorilla distribution, predict the wild gorilla habitat suitability and establish the vulnerability index of the gorillas to ...


Ecology And Conservation Of The Montane Forest Avian Community In Northeastern North America, William V. Deluca Feb 2013

Ecology And Conservation Of The Montane Forest Avian Community In Northeastern North America, William V. Deluca

Open Access Dissertations

Montane forests provide habitat for unique assemblages of flora and fauna that contribute significantly to a region’s biodiversity. Previous work indicates that montane forest ecosystems are exceedingly vulnerable to a host of anthropogenic stressors including climate change, atmospheric deposition, and recreation, to name a few. Montane forests and other high elevation ecosystems are considered to be among the first and most severely impacted by climate change. It is therefore, imperative to evaluate anthropogenic impacts on montane ecosystems and maintain reliable monitoring methods that are capable of tracking potential shifts in the distribution of species dependent on these systems. I ...


Assessment Matrix Based Evaluation Of Ecosystem Services In Relation To Land Use Change Scenarios, Gergő Gábor Nagy, Veronika Magyar, Sándor Jombach, László Kollányi, Balázs Duray Jan 2013

Assessment Matrix Based Evaluation Of Ecosystem Services In Relation To Land Use Change Scenarios, Gergő Gábor Nagy, Veronika Magyar, Sándor Jombach, László Kollányi, Balázs Duray

Proceedings of the Fábos Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning

The ecosystem services are natural assets and services, which are used by humans directly or indirectly over their respective lifetimes (MEA, 2005). Several authors and organizations describe these goods of nature in different ways. Some authors use ecological concepts as the basis for categorization (Norberg, 1999), others concentrate on different human needs (Wallace, 2007), however the most common categories are based on some functional distinction (MEA, 2005; de Groot, 2006; Hein et al., 2006). Authors representing this latter group usually mention the following classification: provisioning, regulating, supporting and cultural services. The provisioning services like water, wood or timber are used ...


Effects Of Detention For Flooding Mitigation Under Climate Change Scenarios— Implication For Landscape Planning In The Charles River Watershed, Massachusetts, Usa, Chingwen Cheng, Elizabeth A. Brabec, Yi-Chen E. Yang, Robert L. Ryan Jan 2013

Effects Of Detention For Flooding Mitigation Under Climate Change Scenarios— Implication For Landscape Planning In The Charles River Watershed, Massachusetts, Usa, Chingwen Cheng, Elizabeth A. Brabec, Yi-Chen E. Yang, Robert L. Ryan

Proceedings of the Fábos Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning

Climate change has posed increased risks to environmental hazards (e.g., flooding, droughts, hurricanes) in addition to new challenges under climate change impacts (e.g., early snow melt, sea level rises, heat waves). Floods are omnipresent in almost every city in the United States and account for the most economic losses than any other single geophysical hazard (White and Haas 1975). Previous climate change studies have suggested promising trends of increasing temperature and changing precipitation patterns as well as increased intensity and duration of storm events that are likely to result in more flooding events in the Northeast region. Flooding ...


Temperature Effects On Growth And Stress Physiology Of Brook Trout: Implications For Climate Change Impacts On An Iconic Cold-Water Fish, Joseph G. Chadwick Jr Jan 2012

Temperature Effects On Growth And Stress Physiology Of Brook Trout: Implications For Climate Change Impacts On An Iconic Cold-Water Fish, Joseph G. Chadwick Jr

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

Despite the threat of climate change, the physiological mechanisms by which temperature drives the distribution of species are unclear. Here we used chronic temperature exposures to determine that the upper limit for positive growth in the eastern brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) is 23.4 °C. Additionally, brook trout exposed to daily temperature oscillations of 8 °C, around a mean of 21 °C, exhibited growth rates that were 43 and 35% lower by length and weight respectively, than in constant 21 °C controls. Limitations in growth were associated with increases in indicators of the physiological stress response. Individuals exposed to 22 ...


Evaluating The Influence Of Disturbance And Climate On Red Spruce (Picea Rubens Sarg.) Community Dynamics At Its Southern Range Margin, Relena R. Ribbons Jan 2011

Evaluating The Influence Of Disturbance And Climate On Red Spruce (Picea Rubens Sarg.) Community Dynamics At Its Southern Range Margin, Relena R. Ribbons

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

Picea rubens(red spruce) populations experienced a synchronous rangewide decline in growth and vigor starting in the 1960’s, which was likely caused by climate change or environmental disturbances (e.g., acid deposition); However, it is yet unknown if populations continue to decline or have recovered. In the context of global warming, red spruce is a species of concern because it is at its southern continuous range margin in Massachusetts. This study uses tree-ring data coupled with population data from permanent plots to quantify the status of red spruce in Massachusetts. Tree cores were extracted from red spruce and used ...


Greenways In Strategies Of Mitigation And Adaption To Climate Change: Case Study Of State Of Maryland, Usa, David Myers Jan 2010

Greenways In Strategies Of Mitigation And Adaption To Climate Change: Case Study Of State Of Maryland, Usa, David Myers

Proceedings of the Fábos Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning

This paper, using the State of Maryland, USA as a case study, draws connections between greenway contributions to the Greenprint Program in MD and the rapidly expanding work on the use of green infrastructure to address climate change. It focuses on recent initiatives that could support the role of greenways in mitigating and adapting to climate change. Maryland established the Climate Change Commission in April 2007 by executive order to develop a plan for reducing the state’s vulnerability to sea level rise and other impacts of climate change. The Maryland Climate Change Commission's Climate Action Plan documented fortytwo ...


Blueprints For Green Communities: Climate Change Visioning And Participatory Landscape Planning For Resilient Low-Carbon Communities, David N. Flanders, Stephen R.J. Sheppard, Ellen Pond, Sarah Burch, Alison Shaw, Stewart Cohen Jan 2010

Blueprints For Green Communities: Climate Change Visioning And Participatory Landscape Planning For Resilient Low-Carbon Communities, David N. Flanders, Stephen R.J. Sheppard, Ellen Pond, Sarah Burch, Alison Shaw, Stewart Cohen

Proceedings of the Fábos Conference on Landscape and Greenway Planning

Emerging 3D visualization tools and future visioning methods offer new ways to make climate change impacts and potential responses explicit, and accelerate holistic solutions. Previous research at UBC’s Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP) and elsewhere confirms that 4D visioning processes using landscape visualizations of recognizable places under alternative future conditions can improve community engagement and awareness on complex environmental and planning issues (Tress and Tress, 2002; Sheppard and Meitner, 2005; Schroth, 2007). This paper examines a visioning process (Sheppard, 2008) that applies visualization and other landscape planning methods to explore high and low-carbon futures of the affluent, sub-urban ...


Piping Plover (Charadrius Melodius) Conservation On The Barrier Islands Of New York: Habitat Quality And Implications In A Changing Climate, Jennifer Ruth Seavey Sep 2009

Piping Plover (Charadrius Melodius) Conservation On The Barrier Islands Of New York: Habitat Quality And Implications In A Changing Climate, Jennifer Ruth Seavey

Open Access Dissertations

Habitat loss is the leading cause of species extinction. Protecting and managing habitat quality is vital to an organism's persistence, and essential to endangered species recovery. We conducted an investigation of habitat quality and potential impacts from climate change to piping plovers (Charadrius melodius) breeding on the barrier island ecosystem of New York, during 2003-2005. Our first step in this analysis was to examined the relationship between two common measures of habitat quality: density and productivity (Chapter 1). We used both central and limiting tendency data analysis to find that density significantly limited productivity across many spatial scales, especially ...