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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Coarse Root Biomass And Architecture: Applications Of Ground Penetrating Radar, John Claude Bain Oct 2016

Coarse Root Biomass And Architecture: Applications Of Ground Penetrating Radar, John Claude Bain

Biological Sciences Theses & Dissertations

The effectiveness of ground penetrating radar (GPR) to identify and quantify coarse roots was tested in a mixed-oak forest in Southeastern Virginia using experimental pits and locally excavated root segments. GPR was found to be highly dependent on low soil moisture levels as it is unable to differentiate root structures if they possess similar moisture content as their surrounding soil. Likewise, GPR was unable to identify simulated dead roots. This does not alter the effectiveness of GPR to measure living coarse root biomass, but does present the potential for underestimation of carbon storage in coarse root structures, as a dead ...


Damsels In Distress: A Preliminary Assessment Of Pomacentridae Extinction Risk, Allison Roberts Feb 2016

Damsels In Distress: A Preliminary Assessment Of Pomacentridae Extinction Risk, Allison Roberts

Undergraduate Research Symposium

The family Pomacentridae is among the most diverse of the perciformes, boasting 400 different species of damselfish. These fish are found in coral reefs of varying depths around the world, most of which risk great damage due to climate change. In addition, many species are key components of the ornamental aquarium trade. Considering these threats, the importance of examining the state of Pomacentridae is paramount in examining the health of our oceans. Using IUCN Red List methods, preliminary data suggests some species of damselfish are at elevated risk of extinction.


Marine Infectious Disease Dynamics And Outbreak Thresholds: Contact Transmission, Pandemic Infection, And The Potential Role Of Filter Feeders, Gorka Bidegain, Eric N. Powell, John M. Klinck, Tal Ben-Horin, Eileen E. Hofmann Jan 2016

Marine Infectious Disease Dynamics And Outbreak Thresholds: Contact Transmission, Pandemic Infection, And The Potential Role Of Filter Feeders, Gorka Bidegain, Eric N. Powell, John M. Klinck, Tal Ben-Horin, Eileen E. Hofmann

CCPO Publications

Disease-causing organisms can have significant impacts on marine species and communities. However, the dynamics that underlie the emergence of disease outbreaks in marine ecosystems still lack the equivalent level of description, conceptual understanding, and modeling context routinely present in the terrestrial systems. Here, we propose a theoretical basis for modeling the transmission of marine infectious diseases (MIDs) developed from simple models of the spread of infectious disease. The models represent the dynamics of a variety of host-pathogen systems including those unique to marine systems where transmission of disease is by contact with waterborne pathogens both directly and through filter-feeding processes ...


Understanding The Structure And Functioning Of Polar Pelagic Ecosystems To Predict The Impacts Of Change, E. E. Murphy, R. D. Cavanagh, K. F. Drinkwater, S. M. Grant, J. J. Heymans, E. E. Hofmann, G. L. Hunt Jr., N. M. Johnston Jan 2016

Understanding The Structure And Functioning Of Polar Pelagic Ecosystems To Predict The Impacts Of Change, E. E. Murphy, R. D. Cavanagh, K. F. Drinkwater, S. M. Grant, J. J. Heymans, E. E. Hofmann, G. L. Hunt Jr., N. M. Johnston

CCPO Publications

The determinants of the structure, functioning and resilience of pelagic ecosystems across most of the polar regions are not well known. Improved understanding is essential for assessing the value of biodiversity and predicting the effects of change (including in biodiversity) on these ecosystems and the services they maintain. Here we focus on the trophic interactions that underpin ecosystem structure, developing comparative analyses of how polar pelagic food webs vary in relation to the environment. We highlight that there is not a singular, generic Arctic or Antarctic pelagic food web, and, although there are characteristic pathways of energy flow dominated by ...


A Genetically Distinct Hybrid Zone Occurs For Two Globally Invasive Mosquito Fish Species With Striking Phenotypic Resemblance, Rebecca J. Wilk, Lisa Horth Jan 2016

A Genetically Distinct Hybrid Zone Occurs For Two Globally Invasive Mosquito Fish Species With Striking Phenotypic Resemblance, Rebecca J. Wilk, Lisa Horth

Biological Sciences Faculty Publications

Hybrid zones allow for the investigation of incipient speciation and related evolutionary processes of selection, gene flow, and migration. Interspecific dynamics, like competition, can impact the size, shape, and directional movement of species in hybrid zones. Hybrid zones contribute to a paradox for the biological species concept because interbreeding between species occurs while parental forms remain distinct. A longā€standing zone of intergradation or introgression exists for eastern and western mosquito fish (Gambusia holbrooki and G. affinis) around Mobile Bay, AL. The region has been studied episodically, over decades, making it perfect for addressing temporal dynamics and for providing a ...


Tick-, Mosquito-, And Rodent-Bourne Parasite Sampling Designs For The National Ecological Observatory Network, Yuri Springer, David Hoekman, Pieter T.J. Johnson, Paul A. Duffy, Rebecca A. Hufft, Holly D. Gaff Jan 2016

Tick-, Mosquito-, And Rodent-Bourne Parasite Sampling Designs For The National Ecological Observatory Network, Yuri Springer, David Hoekman, Pieter T.J. Johnson, Paul A. Duffy, Rebecca A. Hufft, Holly D. Gaff

Biological Sciences Faculty Publications

Parasites and pathogens are increasingly recognized as significant drivers of ecological and evolutionary change in natural ecosystems. Concurrently, transmission of infectious agents among human, livestock, and wildlife populations represents a growing threat to veterinary and human health. In light of these trends and the scarcity of long-term time series data on infection rates among vectors and reservoirs, the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) will collect measurements and samples of a suite of tick-, mosquito-, and rodent-borne parasites through a continental-scale surveillance program. Here, we describe the sampling designs for these efforts, highlighting sampling priorities, field and analytical methods, and the ...