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Ecology Of Estuarine Birds: Differences In Desensitization Of Year-Round And Transient Species, Sarah Thomas 2021 Coastal Carolina University

Ecology Of Estuarine Birds: Differences In Desensitization Of Year-Round And Transient Species, Sarah Thomas

Honors Theses

Huntington Beach State Park in Murrells Inlet, SC, USA is considered a “hotspot” for birds, according to the eBird database (eBird, 2020). The park is also visited by approximately 300,000 people, annually (Hobdy, 2019). The causeway at the park is an area of high human and wildlife activity. Here, the differences in desensitization, or lack thereof, of year-round and transient bird species to the stimuli of vehicles and humans were determined. Multiple surveys of the birds at Huntington Beach State Park were conducted from 22nd September, 2019 to 13th June, 2020. Desensitization was quantified by use of a range ...


Greater Sage-Grouse And Community Responses To Strategies To Mitigate Environmental Resistance In An Anthropogenic Altered Sagebrush Landscape, Justin R. Small 2021 Utah State University

Greater Sage-Grouse And Community Responses To Strategies To Mitigate Environmental Resistance In An Anthropogenic Altered Sagebrush Landscape, Justin R. Small

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystems are diverse habitats found throughout western North America. Anthropogenic disturbances has resulted in the loss of over half of the sagebrush ecosystems impacting sagebrush obligate species such as sage-grouse (Centrocercus spp.). Federal, state, and private land managers have implemented landscape scale mechanical pinyon (Pinus spp.) and juniper (Juniperus spp.; conifer) removal projects in an effort to restore functioning sagebrush communities to benefit sage-grouse. However, few studies have investigated the potential for using large-scale conifer treatments to mitigate factors impeding sage-grouse seasonal movements and space-use in anthropogenic altered landscapes.

To address this management need, I analyzed pre- ...


Interactive Effects Of Soil And Browsing On Big Sagebrush: Implications For Restoration Success, Kyle Nehring 2021 Utah State University

Interactive Effects Of Soil And Browsing On Big Sagebrush: Implications For Restoration Success, Kyle Nehring

All Graduate Plan B and other Reports

Heterogeneity in landscape conditions (e.g., soil types) precludes a “one size fits all” management strategy across large landscapes. New management approaches that explicitly account for heterogeneous landscapes (and the variable conditions therein) will be required to maintain habitat quality. In particular, we require an improved mechanistic understanding of how the outcomes of conservation and restoration actions are contingent upon a) contextual abiotic factors (e.g., moisture availability mediated by soils and precipitation) and b) their interactions with biotic factors (e.g., browsing wildlife).

We propose to answer fundamental questions about how big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), the foundational species for ...


Effect Of A Near-Zero Magnetic Field On Development And Flight Of Oriental Armyworm (Mythimna Separata), Meng-meng Yan, Lei Zhang, Yun-xia Cheng, Thomas W. Sappington, Wei-dong Pan, Xing-fu Jiang 2021 Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Effect Of A Near-Zero Magnetic Field On Development And Flight Of Oriental Armyworm (Mythimna Separata), Meng-Meng Yan, Lei Zhang, Yun-Xia Cheng, Thomas W. Sappington, Wei-Dong Pan, Xing-Fu Jiang

Entomology Publications

The geomagnetic field affects all living organisms on the Earth. In this study we investigated the developmental and behavioral effects of rearing Mythimna separata in a near-zero magnetic field (<500 nT) compared to the local geomagnetic field (approximately 50 µT). The near-zero magnetic field produced by a Helmholtz coil system significantly lengthened larval and pupal development durations, increased male longevity, and reduced pupal weight, female reproduction, and the relative expression level of the vitellogenin (Vg) gene in newly emerged females. Moreover, the near-zero magnetic field had a considerable negative effect on the mating ratio of M. separata adults. In addition, the moths in the near-zero magnetic field displayed less flight activity late in the night than those in the Earth's normal geomagnetic field, indicating that the flight rhythm of M. separata may be affected by the near-zero magnetic field. Reduction in magnetic field intensity may have negative effects on the development and flight of oriental armyworm, with consequent additional effects on its migration.


Patterns Of Post-Fire Aspen Seedling Establishment, Growth, And Mortality In The Western United States, Mark Regier Kreider 2021 Utah State University

Patterns Of Post-Fire Aspen Seedling Establishment, Growth, And Mortality In The Western United States, Mark Regier Kreider

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Sexual seedling establishment in aspen is increasingly recognized as an important natural regeneration pathway for the species in the western U.S. However, information on seedling abundance as well as factors influencing aspen sexual regeneration is limited and frequently anecdotal, due to historical assumptions of seedling rarity as well as difficulty identifying sexual seedlings from asexual aspen sucker regeneration. This thesis contributes to the field of aspen seedling ecology in three major ways. Chapter 1 utilizes historical aspen seedling occurrences in the western U.S. and a systematic field survey of 2018 fire footprints to explore patterns and test assumptions ...


Bighorn Sheep Demographics Following Pneumonia Die-Off Events, Kylie Sinclair 2021 Utah State University

Bighorn Sheep Demographics Following Pneumonia Die-Off Events, Kylie Sinclair

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Bighorn sheep populations across the Intermountain West are subject to disease pressure from the respiratory bacteria Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae. Although the effects of M. ovipneumoniae-associated disease die-offs are well documented, less is known about the factors driving long-term differences in post-die-off population responses. While many herds experience years to decades in which recruitment is less than 20 lambs per 100 ewes, some herds’ lamb survival rates are able to rebound rapidly following die-off events. The reason why these herds recover quickly while others do not is currently unknown. Here, we assess the roles environmental, demographic, and pathogen-associated factors could play ...


Sublethal Effects Of Red Imported Fire Ant Envenomation On Hatchlings Of North American Oviparous Snakes, Hannah Warner, Meredith Swartwout 2021 University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Sublethal Effects Of Red Imported Fire Ant Envenomation On Hatchlings Of North American Oviparous Snakes, Hannah Warner, Meredith Swartwout

Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Honors Theses

Invasive species cause major ecological and economic damage. The Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA; Solenopsis invicta) has successfully invaded much of the southeastern United States and has caused both widespread economic damage and is suspected to be the driver of enigmatic declines of several oviparous snake species. This study aimed to determine the sublethal effects of RIFA on hatchlings of six species of oviparous snakes (Coluber constrictor, Lampropeltis calligaster, L. holbrooki, Opheodrys aestivus, Pantherophis emoryi, and P. obsoletus) by exposing hatchlings to envenomation by RIFA and then measuring two performance metrics: righting response and swimming speed. We found a slight ...


Mechanisms Of Overyielding And Coexistence In Diverse Tallgrass Prairie Communities, Leslie E. Forero 2021 Utah State University

Mechanisms Of Overyielding And Coexistence In Diverse Tallgrass Prairie Communities, Leslie E. Forero

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Plants compete for the same basic nutrient and water resources. According to the competitive exclusion principle, when a substantial overlap in resource pools exists, the best competitor for resources should drive all other species to extinction. The ability for plants to coexist in violation of the competitive exclusion principle is the “biodiversity paradox”. Coexistence is actually beneficial for plants: as species diversity increases, you typically see increases in plant biomass production (known as the biodiversity-productivity relationship). The mechanisms behind coexistence and the biodiversity-productivity relationship remain an ecological mystery. One hypothesis is that plants obtain water and nutrients from different places ...


Range-Wide Migratory Connectivity Of Painted Buntings, Andrew J. Sharp 2021 Utah State University

Range-Wide Migratory Connectivity Of Painted Buntings, Andrew J. Sharp

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The Painted Bunting (Passerina cirus) is a small (~16g), short/medium-distance migratory songbird that is listed as a species of conservation concern by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Painted Buntings breed in two distinct populations, one eastern population and one interior population, separated by a 500 km gap that stretches from Mississippi to Georgia. I analyzed tracking data from 112 Painted Buntings from 11 different breeding sites to explore how individuals from different breeding sites differ in wintering location (chapter 2) and migratory timing (chapter 3). Additionally, I examined differences in migratory behavior between male and females in the ...


The Fate And Cycling Of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, And Trace Heavy Metals In Beaver-Altered Headwater Streams, Desneiges S. Murray 2021 Utah State University

The Fate And Cycling Of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, And Trace Heavy Metals In Beaver-Altered Headwater Streams, Desneiges S. Murray

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Human land-use can increase the amount of non-point source (NPS) pollution in a stream, negatively affecting ecosystem health and beneficial services provided by an ecosystem. Unfortunately, NPS pollution remains high in many waterbodies. Beaver dams may be a passive, cost-effective strategy for removing NPS pollution in headwater streams because beaver dams slow stream flow and collect sediments. Impounded sediments can change how nutrients and pollutants are cycled in a stream through multiple pathways. In the first part of our study, we investigated whether beaver activity can reduce nitrogen, phosphorous and heavy metals from otherwise traveling downstream. Results suggest beaver ponds ...


Trends In Us Crop Yields & Water Use, Britta L. Schumacher 2021 Utah State University

Trends In Us Crop Yields & Water Use, Britta L. Schumacher

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Over half the land in the US is dedicated to agriculture, with the vast majority of all cropland cultivated in corn, wheat, or soybean. Despite continuing advances in agricultural technologies, and consistent yield growth over the twentieth century, research suggests that environmental change is already impacting agricultural yield and future changes are sure to exacerbate challenges to agricultural production. It follows that the future of US agriculture depends on the evolution of the changing climate, the relationship between crop yields and the environment, on-farm management and adaptations, the ecosystems that support agriculture, the political and economic incentives that shape what ...


Monitoring Populations And Movement Of Bobcats (Lynx Rufus) On The Eastern Slope Of The Sierra Nevada Mountains Of California, Michael Brown 2021 Utah State University

Monitoring Populations And Movement Of Bobcats (Lynx Rufus) On The Eastern Slope Of The Sierra Nevada Mountains Of California, Michael Brown

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Monitoring the spatial ecology and population densities of carnivores is critical for effective management and conservation of these populations and the ecosystems in which they exist. However, effective monitoring of carnivore populations through estimates of space use, habitat selection and densities can be difficult due to their relatively low densities and wide ranging, elusive behaviors. Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are medium sized, top-level predators which are widely distributed across North America. Quantifying space use, habitat selection and developing effective population monitoring strategies for this species will have important implications for wildlife management.

My first objective was to use telemetry data to ...


The Effect Of Changing Substrate On Arctic Aquatic Invertebrates Abundance, Tom Dolman 2021 University of Maine at Farmington

The Effect Of Changing Substrate On Arctic Aquatic Invertebrates Abundance, Tom Dolman

Michael D. Wilson Symposium

Climate change is directly affecting tundra ecosystems in northern regions, and warming temperatures have caused discontinuous permafrost and thawing sediments across the region. This project investigates how increasing erosion and the foraging patterns of migratory snow geese may degrade habitat for aquatic invertebrates in the upper Mast River, located in Wapusk National Park, Manitoba, Canada. In the past two decades, many of the important species of aquatic invertebrates have shown declines. Declining invertebrate populations are predicted to affect aquatic ecosystems and decrease the resources available to shorebirds and waterfowl, which breed and migrate through this area.


Zebrafish (Danio Rerio) Hoxb6: An Exploration Into The Divergence Of Genomic Dna Sequence And Gene Expression Across Teleost Fishes Post-Genome Duplication, Amber Lynn Rittgers, Pierre Le Pabic, Adam Davis 2021 University of Georgia

Zebrafish (Danio Rerio) Hoxb6: An Exploration Into The Divergence Of Genomic Dna Sequence And Gene Expression Across Teleost Fishes Post-Genome Duplication, Amber Lynn Rittgers, Pierre Le Pabic, Adam Davis

Georgia Journal of Science

Hoxb6 is an evolutionarily conserved developmental regulatory gene that functions, in part, to pattern several organs and organ systems within the embryonic trunk during vertebrate embryogenesis. The cis-regulatory circuitry mediating trunk expression in mouse (Mus musculus) may be conserved across gnathostome vertebrates, as several other species show similar trunk expression patterns, including chicken (Gallus gallus), dogfish shark (Scyliorhinus canicula), and several teleost fishes. A whole genome duplication event that occurred in the lineage leading to teleost fishes has generated at least two Hoxb6 genes, hoxb6a and b6b. Two teleost fishes of the superorder Acanthopterygii, Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) and ...


The Phoenix, Fernanda Perez-Alvarez 2021 College of the Holy Cross

The Phoenix, Fernanda Perez-Alvarez

Montserrat Annual Writing Prize

This article uses a mythical creature, the phoenix, to examine and illustrate the biological principles for generation of an adult body plan from a single cell. Using the study of developmental biology, it explores the cellular and molecular biology that underpins the massive complexity of creating an adult body plan. It also explores the similarities and differences between different embryos, and how nature and evolution have shaped the biology of those embryos to create different body plans.


Correlation Between Abundance Of Fossils In Harvester Ant Nest And Proximity Of Fossil Sites, Hayeong Woo 2021 Southern Adventist University

Correlation Between Abundance Of Fossils In Harvester Ant Nest And Proximity Of Fossil Sites, Hayeong Woo

Campus Research Day

Harvester ants have an interesting behavior of bone collecting. Therefore, harvester ant nests that are positioned around the fossil sites contain various fossil fragments. If there is a statistically significant correlation between the abundance of fossil fragments and the distance of the ant nests from the main fossil sites, ant nests can potentially be used to predict the proximity of the main fossil sites.


Kleptoparasitic Hawk-Dove Games, Isabella H. Evans-Riester, Chasity T. Kay, Karina L. Ortiz-Suarez, Jan Rychtář, Dewey Taylor 2021 Virginia Commonwealth University

Kleptoparasitic Hawk-Dove Games, Isabella H. Evans-Riester, Chasity T. Kay, Karina L. Ortiz-Suarez, Jan Rychtář, Dewey Taylor

Spora: A Journal of Biomathematics

The Hawk-Dove game is a classical game-theoretical model of potentially aggressive animal conflicts. In this paper, we apply game theory to a population of foraging animals that may engage in stealing food from one another. We assume that the population is composed of two types of individuals, Hawks and Doves. Hawks try to escalate encounters into aggressive contests while Doves engage in non-aggressive displays between themselves or concede to aggressive Hawks. The fitness of each type depends upon various natural parameters, such as food density, the mean handling time of a food item, as well as the mean times of ...


Adaptive Plasticity Of Coloration In Response To Environmental Change, Karissa Coffield 2021 Murray State University

Adaptive Plasticity Of Coloration In Response To Environmental Change, Karissa Coffield

Scholars Week

When rapid environmental changes occur, different selective forces can create phenotypic trade-offs in which a trait can provide fitness benefits or costs under different environmental conditions. Amphibians are particularly vulnerable to environmental change, and previous research has revealed that some species will plastically respond to variation in temperature and ultra-violet radiation (UVR) by altering their coloration. Divergent selection on coloration may change with elevation and climate induced shifts in temperature because high temperatures are likely to result in lighter color morphs but as elevation increases, UVR exposure increases leading to the prediction that darker color morphs will be more common ...


Using Modeling To Investigate Factors Driving Avian Diversity In Urban Ecosystems, Clay Bliznick 2021 Murray State University

Using Modeling To Investigate Factors Driving Avian Diversity In Urban Ecosystems, Clay Bliznick

Scholars Week

Anthropogenic influences have altered global landscapes considerably throughout the past two centuries, resulting in the decline of natural land cover types. Conversely, land cover types such as cropland and urban areas that are derived from human activities have experienced vast expansion. This landscape transition has serious implications for ecosystem services. To mitigate the loss of these services, it is necessary to maintain ecological integrity within these anthropogenically-influenced systems. Being able to support high biodiversity is an indicator of well-functioning ecosystems, thus quantifying biodiversity and assessing its contributing factors can be useful for developing management strategies in artificial environments. Our objective ...


S Is For Sandhill: A Crane Alphabet, Paul A. Johnsgard 2021 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

S Is For Sandhill: A Crane Alphabet, Paul A. Johnsgard

Zea E-Books

This is a book of cranes, from A to Z, written and illustrated by the world’s foremost authority on the 15 species of these wonderful and ancient birds. It is a book for all ages, and for all who love and marvel at the beauty, order, and variety of the natural world.

Cranes exhibit complex behavior, pair-bonding, and fascinating social interactions. They migrate huge distances, crossing continents, oceans, and mountains between their nesting and wintering areas. Seven of the world’s 15 crane species are listed as “vulnerable,” three as “endangered,” one as “critically endangered,” and only three as ...


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