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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Spatial And Temporal Variation In Mangrove Distribution (1950-2014) In Tampa, Florida Usa, Carolyn Cheatham Rhodes Jun 2017

Spatial And Temporal Variation In Mangrove Distribution (1950-2014) In Tampa, Florida Usa, Carolyn Cheatham Rhodes

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

I carried out an observational study of historic high resolution aerial imagery spanning six decades (1950-2014) to identify recent and historic spatial extent of mangrove forests, within the municipal boundaries of the City of Tampa, Florida USA. My objectives were to map mangrove distribution and spatial extent and any change or patterns of change discernable. I observed variable patterns of change and rates of expansion varied between sites spatially as well as within sites between time intervals. I found notable changes in mangrove extent in the Tampa from historic and modern aerial imagery for the ~64-year period between 1950 and ...


Rethinking Adaptive Capacity: A Study Of Midwestern U.S. Corn Farmers, Syed Maaz Gardezi Jan 2017

Rethinking Adaptive Capacity: A Study Of Midwestern U.S. Corn Farmers, Syed Maaz Gardezi

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Global climate change is one of the most significant challenges facing agriculture and society in the 21st century. In the Midwest, the projected trend toward more extreme rainfall has meant that farm-level responses are needed to maintain or increase crop yield and reduce soil erosion. On a local level, farmers are at the forefront of responding to environmental change. Thus, it is critical to understand their ability to take suitable actions for reducing risks and transforming agriculture to a more resilient system. Adaptive capacity is a term that is often used to describe farmers’ ability to access financial and technical ...


Climate Change Drives Outbreaks Of Emerging Infectious Disease And Phenological Shifts, Jeremy Cohen Nov 2016

Climate Change Drives Outbreaks Of Emerging Infectious Disease And Phenological Shifts, Jeremy Cohen

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Climate change is expected to impact species by altering infectious disease outcomes, modifying community composition, and causing species to shift their phenology, body sizes and range distributions. However, the outcomes of these impacts are often controversial; for example, scientists have debated whether climate change will exacerbate emerging infectious disease and which species are at greatest risk to advance their phenology. There reason for these controversies may be that climate change is impacting diverse processes across a wide range of ecological scales, as the interplay between fine-scale processes and broad-scale dynamics can often cause unpredictable changes to the biosphere. Therefore, it ...


Monitoring And Mitigation Of Elevated Co2 Impacts Using Microalgae, Terry-Rene Wiesner Brown Jul 2016

Monitoring And Mitigation Of Elevated Co2 Impacts Using Microalgae, Terry-Rene Wiesner Brown

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Climate change is arguably the greatest environmental and economic challenge of our time. There are considerable documented and projected impacts to both human and natural systems as a result of climate change. These impacts include changes in temperature, sea level, precipitation patterns, and biogeography of ecologically and economically relevant species, including pathogens. One of the main drivers of climate change is elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas. Since pre-industrial times, atmospheric CO2 levels have increased from approximately 280 ppm to over 400 ppm, as a result of fossil fuel combustion, cement production and land ...


Agricultural Labor In Midwestern United States Specialty Cropping Systems, Anna Liora Johnson Jan 2016

Agricultural Labor In Midwestern United States Specialty Cropping Systems, Anna Liora Johnson

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Midwest specialty crop production is highly dependent on its workers, many of whom are immigrants. Growers are contending with changes in the composition and size of the farm worker labor force due in part to shifts in immigration patterns. They are also facing changes in weather patterns due to climate change. This research addresses how growers can manage the labor needs of their operations through these shifts. First, a vulnerability framework is applied to interviews with Michigan specialty crop growers on their experiences with variability of labor and weather in their specialty crop systems. This study finds that growers are ...


Pathogen Removal In Natural Wastewater Treatment And Resource Recovery Systems: Solutions For Small Cities In An Urbanizing World, Matthew Eric Verbyla Nov 2015

Pathogen Removal In Natural Wastewater Treatment And Resource Recovery Systems: Solutions For Small Cities In An Urbanizing World, Matthew Eric Verbyla

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Sanitation, renewable energy, and food security are among the most pressing global development needs of the century, especially for small cities with rapid population growth. Currently, 53% of the world’s population either lacks access to improved sanitation or discharges fecal waste to the environment without treatment. Furthermore, 80% of food consumed in developing regions is produced by 500 million small farms, and while many of them are still rain-fed, irrigated agriculture is increasing. The post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, recently adopted by the United Nations, include targets to address the water-energy-food nexus. Wastewater reuse in agriculture can be an important ...


Climate-Smart Agriculture In Midwest Cropping Systems: Evaluating The Benefits And Tradeoffs Of Cover Crops, Andrea Diane Basche Jan 2015

Climate-Smart Agriculture In Midwest Cropping Systems: Evaluating The Benefits And Tradeoffs Of Cover Crops, Andrea Diane Basche

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Climate-smart agriculture is a framework to develop and implement agricultural systems that facilitate reduced greenhouse gas emissions and increase resilience and productivity in the context of a changing climate. Winter cover crops are known to decrease soil erosion, increase soil carbon, improve water retention and have been hypothesized to reduce nitrous oxide emissions. Therefore they offer the potential to buffer projected climate change impacts for Midwestern agriculture, including increased rainfall variability. The overall objective of this dissertation research was to evaluate the mitigation and adaptation potential of cover crops in determining their efficacy as a climate-smart agricultural practice. In a ...


Here Be Dragons: Functional Analyses Of Thermal Adaptation And Biogeography Of Reptiles In A Changing World, Rory S. Telemeco Jan 2014

Here Be Dragons: Functional Analyses Of Thermal Adaptation And Biogeography Of Reptiles In A Changing World, Rory S. Telemeco

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Environments around the world are changing rapidly and a major challenge for modern biologists is to understand how these changes affect organisms, communities, and ecosystems. Ideally, we would like to predict which taxa/populations are likely to remain stable, increase, or decline in response to predicted environmental perturbations. This information will allow us to create informed management plans and will provide insight into the ecological and evolutionary processes that shape biodiversity. For my Ph.D. dissertation, I examined factors that mediate the responses of reptile populations to rapid changes in the thermal environment, explored the ability of these factors to ...


Ecological Interactions Influencing Avicennia Germinans Propagule Dispersal And Seedling Establishment At Mangrove-Saltmarsh Boundaries, Jennifer Mcclain Peterson Jan 2013

Ecological Interactions Influencing Avicennia Germinans Propagule Dispersal And Seedling Establishment At Mangrove-Saltmarsh Boundaries, Jennifer Mcclain Peterson

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Mangroves and saltmarshes are ecologically important coastal ecosystems; unfortunately, these low-lying coastal ecosystems are vulnerable to global climate change. As sea-levels rise, mangroves are expected to shift their distribution landward towards higher elevation sites that are occupied by other plants, including saltmarsh taxa. Therefore, mangrove recruits at the leading edge of expansion may interact with diverse assemblages of saltmarsh plants, and these interactions could influence the success of mangrove encroachment into higher tidal-elevation areas. The purpose of the research presented here was to investigate empirically the ecological interactions that may influence the recruitment of the black mangrove, Avicennia germinans, into ...


Evaluating Habitat Vulnerability And Sustainability Of Urban Seagrass Resources To Sea Level Rise, Cynthia A. Meyer Jan 2013

Evaluating Habitat Vulnerability And Sustainability Of Urban Seagrass Resources To Sea Level Rise, Cynthia A. Meyer

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The seagrass resource provides essential ecosystem functions for many marine species. This research evaluated the vulnerability and sustainability of the seagrass resource in an urbanized area to the effects of sea level rise. The assessment required analysis of information regarding the biogeography of the seagrass resource, and developing a method to model the spatial extent of the suitable habitat for seagrass, and applying the model to predict the implications of simulated sea level rise scenarios on the seagrass resource.

Examining the biogeography of the seagrass resource required the development of a seagrass monitoring and assessment field survey and a comprehensive ...


Phylogeography Of Eastern Leatherwood (Dirca Palustris L.) Resolved By Chloroplast Sequencing And Microsatellite Genotyping, Bryan James Peterson Jan 2013

Phylogeography Of Eastern Leatherwood (Dirca Palustris L.) Resolved By Chloroplast Sequencing And Microsatellite Genotyping, Bryan James Peterson

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The broad distribution of eastern leatherwood (Dirca palustris L.), from Florida to Canada, contrasted with its patchy restriction to rich, mesic forests and the paucity of vectors for dispersal of its seeds, represents a classic example of Reid's paradox of plant migration. It long has been presumed that temperate forest species of eastern North America persisted in southern glacial refugia near the Gulf Coast, after which many dispersed nearly 2000 km to contemporary northern range limits. The rates of migration necessary to account for present distributions exceed those suggested by contemporary observations of seed dispersal. I used ecological niche ...