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Integrating Environmental Dna, Traditional Fisheries Techniques, And Species Distribution Modeling To Assess Bridle Shiner Status In Maine, Lara S. Katz 2023 University of Maine

Integrating Environmental Dna, Traditional Fisheries Techniques, And Species Distribution Modeling To Assess Bridle Shiner Status In Maine, Lara S. Katz

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The bridle shiner (Notropis bifrenatus) is a small minnow species native to the eastern United States and southeastern Canada. The species is declining dramatically throughout most of its native range and has legal protection or concern status in thirteen states and two Canadian provinces. In Maine, the bridle shiner is listed as a Species of Special Concern and considered a Species of Greatest Conservation Need, partially because we lack a basic understanding of their status and distribution within the state. Bridle shiners have historically been found in southern and western Maine in densely vegetated, shallow habitats along the …


Evaluation Of Native Plant Communities On Nebraska Game And Parks Commission State Parks, Robert F. Steinauer 2023 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Evaluation Of Native Plant Communities On Nebraska Game And Parks Commission State Parks, Robert F. Steinauer

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission: White Papers, Conference Presentations, and Manuscripts

This report evaluates the Native Plant Communities on Nebraska Game and Parks Commission State Parks East Region, also known as Region 3, which includes much of northeast and extreme eastern Nebraska, including portions of the lower Niobrara, Elkhorn and Platte Rivers and nearly the entire east border formed by the Missouri River. Fifteen state-listed threatened and endangered species have been recorded within the boundaries of Region 3 within the last twenty years. Several of these occupy habitats within major river channels.

Surveyed areas which contained habitat for legally protected species include Dead Timber State Recreation Area, Indian Cave State Park, …


Drivers Of Variability In Blue Carbon Stocks And Burial Rates Across European Estuarine Habitats, Inés Mazarrasa, Joao M. Neto, Tjeerd J. Bouma, Tim Grandjean, Jordi Garcia-Orellana, Pere Masqué, María Recio, Óscar Serrano, Araceli Puente, José A. Juanes 2023 Edith Cowan University

Drivers Of Variability In Blue Carbon Stocks And Burial Rates Across European Estuarine Habitats, Inés Mazarrasa, Joao M. Neto, Tjeerd J. Bouma, Tim Grandjean, Jordi Garcia-Orellana, Pere Masqué, María Recio, Óscar Serrano, Araceli Puente, José A. Juanes

Research outputs 2022 to 2026

The implementation of climate change mitigation strategies based on the conservation and restoration of Blue Carbon ecosystems requires a deep understanding of the magnitude and variability in organic carbon (Corg) storage across and within these ecosystems. This study explored the variability in soil Corg stocks and burial rates across and within intertidal estuarine habitats of the Atlantic European coast and its relation to biotic and abiotic drivers. A total of 136 soil cores were collected across saltmarshes located at different tidal zones (high marsh, N = 45; low marsh, N = 30), seagrass meadows (N = 17) and tidal flats …


The Devil You Know And The Devil You Don’T: Current Status And Challenges Of Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication In The United States, Daniel J. O'Brien, Tyler C. Thacker, Liliana C.M. Salvador, Anthony G. Duffiney, Suelee Robbe‑Austerman, Mark S. Camacho, Jason E. Lombard, Mitchell V. Palmer 2023 Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The Devil You Know And The Devil You Don’T: Current Status And Challenges Of Bovine Tuberculosis Eradication In The United States, Daniel J. O'Brien, Tyler C. Thacker, Liliana C.M. Salvador, Anthony G. Duffiney, Suelee Robbe‑Austerman, Mark S. Camacho, Jason E. Lombard, Mitchell V. Palmer

USDA Wildlife Services: Staff Publications

Having entered into its second century, the eradication program for bovine tuberculosis (bTB, caused by Mycobacterium bovis) in the United States of America occupies a position both enviable and daunting. Excepting four counties in Michigan comprising only 6109 km2 (0.06% of US land area) classified as Modified Accredited, as of April 2022 the entire country was considered Accredited Free of bTB by the US Department of Agriculture for cattle and bison. On the surface, the now well-described circumstances of endemic bTB in Michigan, where white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) serve as a free-ranging wildlife maintenance host, may appear to be …


Potential Role Of Seaweeds In Climate Change Mitigation, Finnley W.R. Ross, Philip W. Boyd, Karen Filbee-Dexter, Kenta Watanabe, Alejandra Ortega, Dorte Krause-Jensen, Catherine Lovelock, Calvyn F.A. Sondak, Lennart T. Bach, Carlos M. Duarte, Oscar Serrano, John Beardall, Patrick Tarbuck, Peter I. Macreadie 2023 Edith Cowan University

Potential Role Of Seaweeds In Climate Change Mitigation, Finnley W.R. Ross, Philip W. Boyd, Karen Filbee-Dexter, Kenta Watanabe, Alejandra Ortega, Dorte Krause-Jensen, Catherine Lovelock, Calvyn F.A. Sondak, Lennart T. Bach, Carlos M. Duarte, Oscar Serrano, John Beardall, Patrick Tarbuck, Peter I. Macreadie

Research outputs 2022 to 2026

Seaweed (macroalgae) has attracted attention globally given its potential for climate change mitigation. A topical and contentious question is: Can seaweeds' contribution to climate change mitigation be enhanced at globally meaningful scales? Here, we provide an overview of the pressing research needs surrounding the potential role of seaweed in climate change mitigation and current scientific consensus via eight key research challenges. There are four categories where seaweed has been suggested to be used for climate change mitigation: 1) protecting and restoring wild seaweed forests with potential climate change mitigation co-benefits; 2) expanding sustainable nearshore seaweed aquaculture with potential climate change …


Functional Connectivity Varies Across Scales In A Fragmented Landscape, Kate I. T. Bird, Daniel R. Uden, Craig R. Allen 2023 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Functional Connectivity Varies Across Scales In A Fragmented Landscape, Kate I. T. Bird, Daniel R. Uden, Craig R. Allen

School of Natural Resources: Faculty Publications

Species of different sizes interact with the landscape differently because ecological structure varies with scale, as do species movement capabilities and habitat requirements. As such, landscape connectivity is dependent upon the scale at which an animal interacts with its environment. Analyses of landscape connectivity must incorporate ecologically relevant scales to address scale-specific differences. Many evaluations of landscape connectivity utilize incrementally increasing buffer distances or other arbitrary spatial delineations as scales of analysis. Instead, we used a mammalian body mass discontinuity analysis to objectively identify scales in the Central Platte River Valley (CPRV) of Nebraska, U.S.A. We implemented a graph-theoretic network …


A Four-Pronged Approach To Addressing A Wild Pig Invasion In A Bottomland And Upland Forested Landscape, Tyler Scott Evans 2023 Mississippi State University

A Four-Pronged Approach To Addressing A Wild Pig Invasion In A Bottomland And Upland Forested Landscape, Tyler Scott Evans

Theses and Dissertations

Among exotic species that are capable of invading, establishing, and reaching pest status, few pose the range of impacts to biotic (e.g., competition with native species, predation, herbivory, introduction of other exotics) and abiotic (e.g., soil, hydrology) ecosystem components that can be attributed to the wild pig (Sus scrofa). Despite the presence of wild pigs throughout the southeastern United States for centuries, new invasions continue to occur in previously uninhabited and often under-investigated landscapes, including bottomland and upland forests. The recent invasion of the Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge (hereafter, NNWR) in east-central Mississippi represents an …


Investigating The Role Of Plant Traits And Interactions In Emergent Wetland Nutrient Removal, Andrew Ryan Sample 2023 Mississippi State University

Investigating The Role Of Plant Traits And Interactions In Emergent Wetland Nutrient Removal, Andrew Ryan Sample

Theses and Dissertations

Increasing wetland restoration in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley has been identified as a method to reduce nutrient loading in the Gulf of Mexico. Wetlands have historically been used to treat water through processes facilitated by wetland plants, and relatively few species and plant traits have been identified as important in carrying out these processes. This study focuses on some of those species and traits and aims to identify species differences and plant traits that may be important for wetland nutrient mitigation. Chapter I provides background information on nutrient pollution, wetland biogeochemical mechanisms for nutrient sequestration, and the focal species …


Optimizing Edge-Of-Field Water Quality Monitoring Methods To Determine The Effects Of Best Management Practices On Nutrient And Sediment Runoff, Mark Hill 2023 Mississippi State University

Optimizing Edge-Of-Field Water Quality Monitoring Methods To Determine The Effects Of Best Management Practices On Nutrient And Sediment Runoff, Mark Hill

Theses and Dissertations

This study investigates the impact on water quality of combined agricultural best management practices cover crop and minimum tillage, alongside an examination of techniques used to collect those samples. Edge-of-field (EOF) water quality samples were collected from 11 working farms during a two-year paired field experiment. Results showed significant reductions in nutrient concentrations, increased discharge, and mixed findings regarding nutrient mass transport post-treatment. A suite of EOF collection techniques were compared using in-situ automated water sampling systems sampling the same runoff events. Sampling protocols influenced nutrient concentrations in composite samples, but unexpected variance in velocity sensors affected measured discharge, making …


Can Gulf Ribbed Mussels Enhance Coastal Restoration Projects In A Future With Climate Change?, Skylar Liner 2023 Louisiana State University

Can Gulf Ribbed Mussels Enhance Coastal Restoration Projects In A Future With Climate Change?, Skylar Liner

LSU Master's Theses

Living shorelines present one restoration approach using biotic elements (via ecosystem engineers) to stabilize shorelines and increase valuable habitat. Gulf ribbed mussels (Geukensia granosissima) are important ecosystem engineers within brackish and salt marshes in the northern Gulf of Mexico, and can increase nutrient availability, enhance marsh vegetation production, and potentially improve shoreline stability. It is unknown whether mussels will maintain these functions as future climate change predicts increases in temperature and water level, which may exceed the mussel’s tolerance. A field survey conducted during the summer of 2022 identified the daily maximum temperature at the marsh surface, where mussels naturally …


Understanding The Factors Affecting Nebraskan Farmers’ And Landowners' Decision To Adopt Precision Agricultural Technologies And Programs, Corrin C. Winter 2023 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Understanding The Factors Affecting Nebraskan Farmers’ And Landowners' Decision To Adopt Precision Agricultural Technologies And Programs, Corrin C. Winter

School of Natural Resources: Dissertations, Theses, and Student Research

Advisors: Andrew Little, Christopher Chizinski

To gain insights into the challenges faced by Nebraska farmers and landowners when adopting precision agriculture technologies, I analyzed data collected from a 2022 survey involving 7,503 participants, consisting of producers and farmland owners from across the state of Nebraska. The primary objective was to provide valuable insights for agencies seeking to improve their precision agriculture and conservation outreach efforts for the benefit of conservation and Nebraskan farmers and landowners. This study aimed to understand key factors influencing adoption behaviors by evaluating the constraints to precision agriculture adoption, assessing the impact of producer and landowner …


Communication In The Science-Policy Interface: Evidence From A Boundary Organization In Nebraska, Usa, Sechindra Vallury, Brian C. Chaffin, Samantha L. Hamlin, Craig R. Allen 2023 University of Georgia

Communication In The Science-Policy Interface: Evidence From A Boundary Organization In Nebraska, Usa, Sechindra Vallury, Brian C. Chaffin, Samantha L. Hamlin, Craig R. Allen

School of Natural Resources: Faculty Publications

Boundary organizations have a crucial function in environmental governance by facilitating the processes through which scientists and decision-makers generate, exchange, evaluate, and utilize knowledge to identify societal problems, propose potential solutions, and make decisions on appropriate courses of action. This support for evidence-informed decision making is essential in addressing environmental challenges effectively. Despite the growing popularity of boundary organizations, there remains a significant challenge in designing information dissemination platforms to bridge the communication divide between scientific experts and non-experts. To address this gap, we used natural language processing tools to analyze the communication strategies of a specific boundary organization — …


Early Career Aquatic Scientists Forge New Connections At Eco-Das Xv, Olivia J. Graham, Alia Al-Haj, Eleanor C. Arrington, Emily R. Arsenault, Carolina C. Barbosa, Kadir Bice, Evie Brahmstedt, S. River D. Bryant, Xun Cai, Stacy Calhoun-Grosch, Joshua Culpepper, Katherine Dale, Derek J. Detweiler, Katlin D. Doughty, Kyle A. Emery, Kara Gadeken, Laura Griffiths, Atefeh Hosseini, Catriona Jones, Hadis Miraly, Alexander W. Mott, Karla Münzner, Igor Ogashawara, Carly R. Olson, Joseph S. Rabaey, Walter A. Rich, Phoenix A. Rogers, Meredith Evans Seeley, Lorena Selak, Qipei Shangguan, Kelsey J. Solomon, Xinyu Sun, Spencer J. Tassone, Audrey Thellman, John Tracey, Jilian Xiong, Tianfei Xue 2023 Cornell University

Early Career Aquatic Scientists Forge New Connections At Eco-Das Xv, Olivia J. Graham, Alia Al-Haj, Eleanor C. Arrington, Emily R. Arsenault, Carolina C. Barbosa, Kadir Bice, Evie Brahmstedt, S. River D. Bryant, Xun Cai, Stacy Calhoun-Grosch, Joshua Culpepper, Katherine Dale, Derek J. Detweiler, Katlin D. Doughty, Kyle A. Emery, Kara Gadeken, Laura Griffiths, Atefeh Hosseini, Catriona Jones, Hadis Miraly, Alexander W. Mott, Karla Münzner, Igor Ogashawara, Carly R. Olson, Joseph S. Rabaey, Walter A. Rich, Phoenix A. Rogers, Meredith Evans Seeley, Lorena Selak, Qipei Shangguan, Kelsey J. Solomon, Xinyu Sun, Spencer J. Tassone, Audrey Thellman, John Tracey, Jilian Xiong, Tianfei Xue

School of Natural Resources: Faculty Publications

A sense of kuleana (personal responsibility) in caring for the land and sea. An appreciation for laulima (many hands cooperating). An understanding of aloha ’āina (love of the land). The University of Hawai’i at Manoa hosted the 2023 Ecological Dissertations in Aquatic Sciences (Eco-DAS) program, which fostered each of these intentions by bringing together a team of early career aquatic ecologists for a week of networking and collaborative, interdisciplinary project development (Fig. 1).


Leveraging Eco-Evolutionary Models For Gene Drive Risk Assessment, Matthew A. Combs, Andrew J. Golnar, Justin M. Overcash, Alun L. Lloyd, Keith R. Hayes, David A. O'Brochta, Kim M. Pepin 2023 NWRC, Fort Collins, CO

Leveraging Eco-Evolutionary Models For Gene Drive Risk Assessment, Matthew A. Combs, Andrew J. Golnar, Justin M. Overcash, Alun L. Lloyd, Keith R. Hayes, David A. O'Brochta, Kim M. Pepin

USDA Wildlife Services: Staff Publications

Engineered gene drives create potential for both widespread benefits and irreversible harms to ecosystems. CRISPR-based systems of allelic conversion have rapidly accelerated gene drive research across diverse taxa, putting field trials and their necessary risk assessments on the horizon. Dynamic processbased models provide flexible quantitative platforms to predict gene drive outcomes in the context of system-specific ecological and evolutionary features. Here, we synthesize gene drive dynamic modeling studies to highlight research trends, knowledge gaps, and emergent principles, organized around their genetic, demographic, spatial, environmental, and implementation features. We identify the phenomena that most significantly influence model predictions, discuss limitations of …


Geospatial Wildfire Risk Prediction Using Deep Learning, Abner Alberto Benavides 2023 California State University - San Bernardino

Geospatial Wildfire Risk Prediction Using Deep Learning, Abner Alberto Benavides

Electronic Theses, Projects, and Dissertations

This report introduces a thorough analysis of wildfire prediction using satellite imagery by applying deep learning techniques. To find wildfire-prone geographical data, we use U-Net, a convolutional neural network known for its effectiveness in biomedical image segmentation. The input to the model is the Sentinel-2 multispectral images to supply a complete view of the terrain features.

We evaluated the wildfire risk prediction model’s performance using several metrics. The model showed high accuracy, with a weighted average F1 score of 0.91 and an AUC-ROC score of 0.972. These results suggest that the model is exceptionally good at predicting the location of …


Informing Management Strategy For The Relict Leopard Frog (Rana Onca): Insights Into Breeding Biology And An Attempt To Improve Augmentation Success Through Pre-Exposure And Clearance Of An Emerging Amphibian Pathogen, Rebeca Rivera 2023 University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Informing Management Strategy For The Relict Leopard Frog (Rana Onca): Insights Into Breeding Biology And An Attempt To Improve Augmentation Success Through Pre-Exposure And Clearance Of An Emerging Amphibian Pathogen, Rebeca Rivera

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

The Relict Leopard Frog, Rana onca, is a species of conservation concern that suffered a decline sometime during the 20th century. Even after two decades of intensive management, the species currently only occupies 20 spring sites in southern Nevada and northwestern Arizona. The causes for the historical decline are mostly speculative, but relate to habitat loss, introduced predators, and emergent disease. Since 2001, R. onca has been under an intensive conservationprogram managed by a multiagency conservation team. There are several objectives specified in the program including the need to investigate the biology of the species and incorporate findings into management …


Light Alters Leaf Breakdown Rates And Metabolic Activity In Anthropogenically Impacted Nebraska Streams, William Reilly Farrell 2023 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Light Alters Leaf Breakdown Rates And Metabolic Activity In Anthropogenically Impacted Nebraska Streams, William Reilly Farrell

School of Natural Resources: Dissertations, Theses, and Student Research

Algal growth influences carbon breakdown rates in aquatic ecosystems; however, the magnitude and direction of these effects differ based on ecosystem context. To explore algal priming effects on decomposition in anthropogenically impacted ecosystems, I conducted light manipulation experiments in three streams, each surrounded by different land uses (i.e., predominantly urban, row crop, or concentrated animal feeding operation) across Nebraska. I measured leaf breakdown rates, metabolic activity, fungal and algal biomass, and leaf percent carbon (C) and phosphorus (P) to assess the effect of light differences. These streams were impacted by sedimentation and turbidity over the course of the leaf incubation. …


Pronghorn Survival And Resource Selection In Western Nebraska's Agriculturally Dominated Landscape, Katie Piecora 2023 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Pronghorn Survival And Resource Selection In Western Nebraska's Agriculturally Dominated Landscape, Katie Piecora

School of Natural Resources: Dissertations, Theses, and Student Research

Nebraska’s pronghorn population has been stable over the last decade, yet their presence on the landscape remains a contentious subject amongst private landowners. Conversion of grassland for crop production and increased anthropogenic activity has drastically altered pronghorn behavior throughout their current range, however basic ecology and resource use by pronghorn in Nebraska remains poorly understood. Establishing baseline population metrics and seasonal patterns of resource use for this population at the eastern periphery of the species range is critical to guide management actions. We deployed GPS collars on 110 adult pronghorn to quantify survival, mortality risk, and seasonal resource selection in …


Critical Factors And Individual Decision Making In Earthquake And Tsunami Preparedness Among Coastal Communities Inoregon U.S.A., Shelley Olds 2023 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Critical Factors And Individual Decision Making In Earthquake And Tsunami Preparedness Among Coastal Communities Inoregon U.S.A., Shelley Olds

School of Natural Resources: Dissertations, Theses, and Student Research

Earthquakes and tsunamis are natural hazards that cause considerable loss of life, destruction of property and infrastructure, and economic damage. Preparedness is critical in regions of significant earthquake and tsunami risk. A key challenge for organizations that manage hazard preparedness and response is mobilizing earthquake preparedness among individuals and families. This dissertation provides an examination of individual earthquake and tsunami preparedness from both a global and regional perspective. It comprises two publications that explore various aspects of disaster preparedness.

Chapter One provides an overview of global seismic and tsunami hazards, along with potential impacts, and addresses the challenges in promoting …


Annotation Of Non-Model Species’ Genomes, Taiya Jarva 2023 The University of Southern Mississippi

Annotation Of Non-Model Species’ Genomes, Taiya Jarva

Master's Theses

The innovations in high throughput sequencing technologies in recent decades has allowed unprecedented examination and characterization of the genetic make-up of both model and non-model species, which has led to a surge in the use of genomics in fields which were previously considered unfeasible. These advances have greatly expanded the realm of possibilities in the fields of ecology and conservation. It is now possible to the identification of large cohorts of genetic markers, including single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and larger structural variants, as well as signatures of selection and local adaptation. Markers can be used to identify species, define population …


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