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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Coastal Wetland Dynamics Under Sea-Level Rise And Wetland Restoration In The Northern Gulf Of Mexico Using Bayesian Multilevel Models And A Web Tool, Tyler Hardy Aug 2018

Coastal Wetland Dynamics Under Sea-Level Rise And Wetland Restoration In The Northern Gulf Of Mexico Using Bayesian Multilevel Models And A Web Tool, Tyler Hardy

Master's Theses

There is currently a lack of modeling framework to predict how relative sea-level rise (SLR), combined with restoration activities, affects landscapes of coastal wetlands with uncertainties accounted for at the entire northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM). I developed such a modeling framework – Bayesian multi-level models to study the spatial pattern of wetland loss in the NGOM, driven by relative RSLR, vegetation productivity, tidal range, coastal slope, and wave height – all interacting with river-borne sediment availability, indicated by hydrological regimes. These interactions have not been comprehensively investigated before. I further modified this model to assess the efficacy of restoration projects from ...


Spatial Distribution And Stock-Recruitment Analysis Of The Atlantic Surfclam, Spisula Solidissima, In The Mid-Atlantic Bight And On Georges Bank, Jeremy Timbs Jul 2018

Spatial Distribution And Stock-Recruitment Analysis Of The Atlantic Surfclam, Spisula Solidissima, In The Mid-Atlantic Bight And On Georges Bank, Jeremy Timbs

Master's Theses

Atlantic surfclams, Spisula solidissima, are long-lived bivalve molluscs with dispersive larval stages. Surfclam patchiness throughout the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) has declined from the 1980’s to the present in all assessed regions (Delmarva, New Jersey, Long Island, Southern New England, and Georges Banks). Warming of Mid-Atlantic bottom waters is driving the surfclam stock into new habitat and extirpating the surfclams from nearshore areas. Based on a species distribution function model, the small surfclams appear to inhabit a greater area than the large market-size surfclams across the entire stock. The wider distribution of recent recruits relative to the ...


Combined Effects Of Dissolved Oxygen And Temperature On Aerobic Respiration And Respiratory Recovery Responses Of The Spioniform Polychaete, Streblospio Gynobranchiata, In Relation To Body Size, Alyssa Bennett Dec 2017

Combined Effects Of Dissolved Oxygen And Temperature On Aerobic Respiration And Respiratory Recovery Responses Of The Spioniform Polychaete, Streblospio Gynobranchiata, In Relation To Body Size, Alyssa Bennett

Master's Theses

Elevated surface temperatures exacerbate the threat of hypoxia within coastal ecosystems. These two primary stressors likely interact as they elicit opposing physiological responses from marine organisms. Metabolic depression is typically associated with hypoxia, while metabolic rates increase with temperature. Moreover, physiological effects of combined stressors may not be additive. In light of increasing pressures from hypoxia, elevated ocean temperatures, and other stressors within coastal regions, studies need to examine effects of multiple stressors on physiology of coastal organisms.

Mass-specific aerobic respiration (VO2) was characterized as a proxy for metabolic cost of Streblospio gynobranchiata, at combined levels of dissolved oxygen ...


Effects Of Temperature On Growth And Molting In Blue Crabs (Callinectes Sapidus) And Lesser Blue Crabs (Callinectes Similis), Abigail Ann Kuhn Dec 2017

Effects Of Temperature On Growth And Molting In Blue Crabs (Callinectes Sapidus) And Lesser Blue Crabs (Callinectes Similis), Abigail Ann Kuhn

Master's Theses

Temperature can exert impacts on many processes in ectotherms. With global temperatures rising due to climate change, many ectothermic species may exhibit changes in growth rates and size at maturity, and these changes can have population-level effects. Predicting responses of species to climate change will require not only knowledge of thermal tolerance limits, but also effects of temperature change on growth rates and other life history parameters. For arthropods that exhibit discontinuous growth (i.e., molting), this includes both intermolt period and growth per molt. Previous laboratory and field experiments suggest that temperature affects both intermolt period (IMP) and growth ...


Using Maximum Entropy Species Distribution Modeling For Long-Term Conservation Planning Of Three Federally Listed Bats In North America, Mitchell L. Meyer May 2017

Using Maximum Entropy Species Distribution Modeling For Long-Term Conservation Planning Of Three Federally Listed Bats In North America, Mitchell L. Meyer

Master's Theses

We are currently in a sixth mass extinction event in which the extinction rate is higher than it has ever been. This mass extinction event is caused by human influence on the environment. Biodiversity is worth conserving because of its many uses to humans. Bats are a diverse group of mammals that humans rely on for pest control services. The gray bat, northern long-eared bat, and Indiana bat are on the Threatened and Endangered Species List and are in need of conservation. I built species distribution models using occurrence records, climate data, and Maximum entropy (MaxEnt) modeling technique. I predicted ...


Predicting Suitable Habitat Decline Of Midwestern United States Amphibians And Quantifying The Consequence Of Declines Using Pond-Breeding Salamanders, Brock Struecker Jan 2016

Predicting Suitable Habitat Decline Of Midwestern United States Amphibians And Quantifying The Consequence Of Declines Using Pond-Breeding Salamanders, Brock Struecker

Master's Theses

With current declines of vertebrate taxa meeting or exceeding those of historic mass extinction events, there is a growing need to investigate the main drivers of declines. Amphibians are perhaps at greatest risk of global climate change and land-use changes than most other vertebrate classes and also have significant roles in ecosystem processes – combined, this creates a cause for concern. I designed a study that would investigate the effects of current and predicted climate change and land-use changes on amphibians using species distribution models and a field study to identify the potential consequences of amphibian species declines by investigating the ...


Inferring Herpetofaunal Distributions And Habitat Preferences For Conservation Planning, Lisa M. Prowant May 2014

Inferring Herpetofaunal Distributions And Habitat Preferences For Conservation Planning, Lisa M. Prowant

Master's Theses

Global climate change is a serious threat to global biodiversity (IPCC, 2001). Due to their limited dispersal ability, reptiles and amphibians might be more vulnerable to rapid climate change than are other taxonomic groups (Gibbons et al., 2000). Herpetofauna in south-central Kansas was sampled from May through August in 2012 and 2013. Seven study sites spanning Meade, Clark, Comanche, and Barber counties were sampled. Drift fence and cover-board traps were arranged in transects at each site to capture reptiles and amphibians. Species were also sampled through surveys on all-terrain vehicles and on foot. Two thousand nine hundred and forty five ...


The Effect Of Climate Change On The Distributions Of Invasive Plants And Their Associated Biological Control Agents In North America, Caroline A. Curtis May 2012

The Effect Of Climate Change On The Distributions Of Invasive Plants And Their Associated Biological Control Agents In North America, Caroline A. Curtis

Master's Theses

Climate change has the potential to alter the size, shape, and location of species’ distributions. As a result, the interactions between species are also likely to be impacted as novel species encounter each other and historical community assemblages are broken apart. To quantify the impact of distributional changes as a result of climate change on interacting species, distribution maps were produced for three species of invasive plant and their associated biological control agent at three time periods: current, 2050, and 2080. For each of the future time periods, two distribution maps were created for each species, representing the minimum and ...


Climate Change: Implications For Montane Mammals Of The Great Basin, Georgina Yvette Jacquez May 2010

Climate Change: Implications For Montane Mammals Of The Great Basin, Georgina Yvette Jacquez

Master's Theses

Climate change threatens biodiversity; in particular, species with narrow distributions and specific habitat requirements. The Great Basin provides an excellent model system to evaluate the effects of climate change on species with isolated distributions and specific habitat requirements. I have evaluated the McDonald and Brown (1992) model that examined the effects of climate change on montane mammals of the Great Basin based on its underlying assumptions and model predictions. I have modeled the distributions of twelve montane mammal species found in the Great Basin and identified potential local extinctions by using maximum entropy modeling (Maxent) for two emission scenarios of ...