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Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

2018

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Articles 1 - 30 of 643

Full-Text Articles in Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Grammar And Variation: Understanding How Cis-Regulatory Information Is Encoded In Mammalian Genomes, Dana Michele King Dec 2018

Grammar And Variation: Understanding How Cis-Regulatory Information Is Encoded In Mammalian Genomes, Dana Michele King

Arts & Sciences Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Understanding how genotype leads to phenotype is key to understand both the development and dysfunction of complex organisms. In the context of regulating the gene expression patterns that contribute to cell identity and function, the goal of my thesis research is to how changes in genome sequence may impact impact gene expression by determining how sequence features contribute to regulatory potential. To accomplish this goal, I first leveraged the key regulatory role of pluripotency transcription factors (TFs) in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) and tested synthetically generated and genomic identified combinations of binding site for four TFs, OCT4, SOX2, KLF4 ...


Impacts Of Shallow Lake Restoration On Vegetation And Breeding Birds In Iowa, Rachel A. Vanausdall, Stephen J. Dinsmore Dec 2018

Impacts Of Shallow Lake Restoration On Vegetation And Breeding Birds In Iowa, Rachel A. Vanausdall, Stephen J. Dinsmore

Natural Resource Ecology and Management Publications

The Shallow Lakes Restoration Project aims to restore eutrophic shallow lakes throughout the Iowa Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). We compared the vegetation taxa richness and frequency of taxa in three vegetation groups surveyed in 2016 and 2017 across non-restored sites, younger restorations, and older restorations. We also assessed the impact of these groups on numbers of breeding marsh birds. Restored wetlands had between 2.7 (95% CI 2.3, 3.2) and 4.7 (95% CI 3.9, 5.5) more species than non-restored sites among the three vegetation groups. Typha sp. was the most abundant emergent species. Lemna minor ...


Climatic Range Filling Of North American Trees, Benjamin Seliger Dec 2018

Climatic Range Filling Of North American Trees, Benjamin Seliger

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Understanding the degree to which species distributions are controlled by climate is crucial for forecasting biodiversity responses to climate change. Climatic equilibrium, when species are found in all places which are climatically suitable, is a fundamental assumption of species distribution models, but there is evidence in support of climate disequilibria in species ranges. Long-lived, sessile organisms such as trees may be especially vulnerable to being outpaced by climate change, and thus prone to disequilibrium. In this dissertation, I tested the degree to which North American trees are in equilibrium with their potential climatic ranges using the ‘range filling’ metric, which ...


Understory Community Assembly Following Wildfire In Boreal Forests: Shift From Stochasticity To Competitive Exclusion And Environmental Filtering, Bo Liu, Han Y. H. Chen, Jian Yang Dec 2018

Understory Community Assembly Following Wildfire In Boreal Forests: Shift From Stochasticity To Competitive Exclusion And Environmental Filtering, Bo Liu, Han Y. H. Chen, Jian Yang

Forestry and Natural Resources Faculty Publications

Understory vegetation accounts for the majority of plant species diversity and serves as a driver of overstory succession and nutrient cycling in boreal forest ecosystems. However, investigations of the underlying assembly processes of understory vegetation associated with stand development following a wildfire disturbance are rare, particularly in Eurasian boreal forests. In this study, we measured the phylogenetic and functional diversity and trait dispersions of understory communities and tested how these patterns changed with stand age in the Great Xing'an Mountains of Northeastern China. Contrary to our expectation, we found that understory functional traits were phylogenetically convergent. We found that ...


Parental Habituation To Human Disturbance Over Time Reduces Fear Of Humans In Coyote Offspring, Christopher J. Schell, Julie K. Young, Elizabeth V. Lonsdorf, Rachel M. Santymire, Jill M. Mateo Dec 2018

Parental Habituation To Human Disturbance Over Time Reduces Fear Of Humans In Coyote Offspring, Christopher J. Schell, Julie K. Young, Elizabeth V. Lonsdorf, Rachel M. Santymire, Jill M. Mateo

Wildland Resources Faculty Publications

A fundamental tenet of maternal effects assumes that maternal variance over time should have discordant consequences for offspring traits across litters. Yet, seldom are parents observed across multiple reproductive bouts, with few studies consider‐ ing anthropogenic disturbances as an ecological driver of maternal effects. We ob‐ served captive coyote (Canis latrans) pairs over two successive litters to determine whether among‐litter differences in behavior (i.e., risk‐taking) and hormones (i.e., cortisol and testosterone) corresponded with parental plasticity in habituation. Thus, we explicitly test the hypothesis that accumulating experiences of anthropogenic disturbance reduces parental fear across reproductive bouts, which ...


Inferring Processes Of Coevolutionary Diversification In A Community Of Panamanian Strangler Figs And Associated Pollinating Wasps, Jordan D. Satler, Edward Allen Herre, K. Charlotte Jandér, Deren A. R. Eaton, Carlos A. Machado, Tracy A. Heath, John D. Nason Dec 2018

Inferring Processes Of Coevolutionary Diversification In A Community Of Panamanian Strangler Figs And Associated Pollinating Wasps, Jordan D. Satler, Edward Allen Herre, K. Charlotte Jandér, Deren A. R. Eaton, Carlos A. Machado, Tracy A. Heath, John D. Nason

Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology Publications

The fig and pollinator wasp obligate mutualism is diverse (~750 described species), ecologically important, and ancient (~80-90 Ma), providing model systems for generating and testing many questions in evolution and ecology. Once thought to be a prime example of strict one-to-one cospeciation, current thinking suggests that genera of pollinator wasps coevolve with corresponding subsections of figs, but the degree to which cospeciation or other processes contributes to the association at finer scales is unclear. Here we use genome-wide sequence data from a community of Panamanian strangler figs (Ficus subgenus Urostigma, section Americana) and associated fig wasp pollinators (Pegoscapus spp.) to ...


Predicting Combined Effects Of Land Use And Climate Change On River And Stream Salinity, John Olson Dec 2018

Predicting Combined Effects Of Land Use And Climate Change On River And Stream Salinity, John Olson

John Olson

Agricultural, industrial and urban development have all contributed to increased salinity in streams and rivers, but the likely effects of future development and climate change are unknown. I developed two empirical models
to estimate how these combined effects might affect salinity by the end of this century (measured as electrical conductivity, EC). The first model predicts natural background from static (e.g. geology and soils) and dynamic
(i.e. climate and vegetation) environmental factors and explained 78% of the variation in EC. I then compared the estimated background EC with current measurements at 2001 sites chosen probabilistically from all conterminous ...


The Biological Significance And Utility Of Feeding By Dermestes Maculatus, Braymond Adams Dec 2018

The Biological Significance And Utility Of Feeding By Dermestes Maculatus, Braymond Adams

Dissertations & Theses in Natural Resources

With their efficient feeding habits and tolerance to very low moisture and humidity, beetles in the Family Dermestidae are especially adapted to variable environments and habitats. Dermestid cultures have been in use since 1922 in cleaning tissue and flesh from bones, and proven benefit in multiple fields, including zoology, ornithology, and forensics. Dermestid feeding behaviors when coupled with known life stage and insect succession information aids in providing significant entomological evidence. However, the feeding activities of insects, like those of vertebrate scavengers and predators, change remains and may leave artifacts that can be sometimes be difficult to assign to a ...


Relationships Among Biodiversity Dimensions Of Birds In Nebraska, Nadejda Mirochnitchenko Dec 2018

Relationships Among Biodiversity Dimensions Of Birds In Nebraska, Nadejda Mirochnitchenko

Dissertations & Theses in Natural Resources

Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is a multi-dimensional concept that can be decomposed to measure information about taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional variation within communities. Although the dimensions of biodiversity are interrelated, the assumption that measuring one dimension of diversity can inform about patterns in another dimension does not necessarily follow from theory or empirical study. The relationships among biodiversity dimensions is not well understood, nor how differences among dimensions could influence conservation decision making. Using the avian community as a study system, we explored the relationships of breadth metrics from the taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional dimensions among each other and across ...


Red-Bellied Snake (Storeria Occipitomaculata) Copulation In South Dakota, Drew R. Davis Dec 2018

Red-Bellied Snake (Storeria Occipitomaculata) Copulation In South Dakota, Drew R. Davis

The Prairie Naturalist

Storeria occipitomaculata is a small, terrestrial species of snake that occurs across much of eastern North America (Ernst and Barbour 1989, Ernst 2002, Ernst and Ernst 2003). Due to this widespread distribution, S. occipitomaculata faces varied climates that likely result in regional differences in reproductive phenology. Much of what is known about the reproductive ecology of S. occipitomaculata has been documented from the southeastern portion of its range in North America (South Carolina: Semlitsch and Moran 1984, North Carolina: Willson and Dorcas 2004), though Blanchard (1937) studied a population from northern Michigan. The exact reproductive timing in this species has ...


Aquatic Invasions: Causes, Consequences, And Solutions, Corey Ackerson, Melissa Carmichael, Olivia Carpenter, Hannah Crull, Jillian Henrichon, Maeve Mcgowan, Allison Mills, Nicholas Paolini, Everett Pierce, Nicole Scherer, Nicole Volosin, Kady Winsor, Markus Frederich Dec 2018

Aquatic Invasions: Causes, Consequences, And Solutions, Corey Ackerson, Melissa Carmichael, Olivia Carpenter, Hannah Crull, Jillian Henrichon, Maeve Mcgowan, Allison Mills, Nicholas Paolini, Everett Pierce, Nicole Scherer, Nicole Volosin, Kady Winsor, Markus Frederich

Marine Sciences Student Projects

Invasive species represent a global threat to ecosystems, human health, and the economy. A basic knowledge of invasive species biology is crucial to understand current and future impacts and implications. The purpose of this book is to provide a broad background on invasive species, and also details on specific examples through case studies.

The students in the course Aquatic Invasive Species (MAR 442) at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine, have researched and reviewed scientific literature to educate readers about these issues. The class, comprised of twelve junior and senior Marine Science, Marine Affairs, Applied Mathematics, and Environmental ...


River Bank Inducement Influence On A Shallow Groundwater Microbial Community And Its Effects On Aquifer Reactivity, Natalie June Gayner Dec 2018

River Bank Inducement Influence On A Shallow Groundwater Microbial Community And Its Effects On Aquifer Reactivity, Natalie June Gayner

Theses and Dissertations

Placing groundwater wells next to riverbanks to draw in surface water, known as riverbank inducement (RBI), is common and proposed as a promising and sustainable practice for municipal and public water production across the globe. However, these systems require further investigation to determine risks associated with river infiltration especially with rivers containing wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent. Since microbes drive biogeochemical transformations in groundwater and largely affect water quality, it is important to understand how the microbial communities in drinking water wells are affected by river infiltration. This study investigated if, and to what extent, the microbial community in a ...


Review: Canids Of The World: Wolves, Wild Dogs, Foxes, Jackals, Coyotes, And Their Relatives. José R. Castelló., Jonathan (Jon) Way Dec 2018

Review: Canids Of The World: Wolves, Wild Dogs, Foxes, Jackals, Coyotes, And Their Relatives. José R. Castelló., Jonathan (Jon) Way

The Prairie Naturalist

Canids of the World is one of those reads where just when you think that something cannot be beat, this book comes out. What I mean by that is that I have read many works on wolves and other canids, most recently Nate Blakeslee’s American Wolf (Way 2017), and I have enjoyed and been enthralled with many of them. But Canids of the World may take the cake for being the most impressive book available on canids. For a modest price of just under $30.00, you can own a book that has over 600 amazing high-resolution glossy photographs ...


New Breeding Record And Location For Wilson’S Phalarope (Phalaropus Tricolor) In The Nebraska Great Plains, Usa, Madison O. Sutton, Nico Arcilla Dec 2018

New Breeding Record And Location For Wilson’S Phalarope (Phalaropus Tricolor) In The Nebraska Great Plains, Usa, Madison O. Sutton, Nico Arcilla

The Prairie Naturalist

Wilson’s phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor; Scolopacidae) is a migratory shorebird that relies on interior wetlands for foraging and breeding (Colwell and Jehl 1994, van Gils et al. 2018). Its global population status is unclear (Colwell and Jehl 1994, Lesterhuis and Clay 2010), and is variously listed as declining (Morrison et al. 2006, van Gils et al. 2018), increasing (Andres 2009, BirdLife International 2018), and exhibiting a long-term decline but recent stability (Sauer et al. 2011, Andres et al. 2012). Its global population estimate of 1.5 million birds has not been updated for 30 years, since 1988 (Colwell and Jehl ...


Review: North American Ducks, Geese & Swans: Identification Guide. Frank S. Todd., Kevin M. Ringelman Dec 2018

Review: North American Ducks, Geese & Swans: Identification Guide. Frank S. Todd., Kevin M. Ringelman

The Prairie Naturalist

The North American Duck, Geese & Swans: Identification Guide, released in 2018, is the culmination of a lifetime of waterfowl photography by the late Frank Todd. Indeed, this book stands apart from other identification guides as being entirely photo-driven, with minimal introductory material, notations of field marks, or descriptions of the various waterfowl species. It is small enough to be carried in the field (6.5” × 9” × 0.5”), but most readers will find it less useful than a standard bird identification book (Sibley 2014), even for waterfowl. As the title suggests, the Todd guide focuses on North American species, but ...


Metabolic Gas Emissions From Prairie Soil Containing Foraging Termites, Charles E. Konemann, B.M. Kard, Tom A. Royer, Mark E. Payton Dec 2018

Metabolic Gas Emissions From Prairie Soil Containing Foraging Termites, Charles E. Konemann, B.M. Kard, Tom A. Royer, Mark E. Payton

The Prairie Naturalist

Differences in subterranean termite metabolic gas emissions are readily observed in laboratory experiments. However, in natural field ecosystems a primary difficulty in measuring subterranean termite gases is non-homogeneous distribution of foraging termites in soil. Our field experiment was designed to aggregate foragers of the 'eastern subterranean termite', Reticulitermes flavipes Kollar (EST), in one of four flux chamber configurations placed on a tallgrass prairie throughout 2014 and 2015. We used differently configured flux chambers to measure metabolic gas emissions from soil with or without foraging termites on The Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve (TGPP) in north-central Oklahoma. Foraging termitesaggregated in ...


Notes: Two-Headed White-Tailed Deer Fetus, William F. Jensen, Daniel M. Grove, Ryan J. Herigstad, William J. Haase Dec 2018

Notes: Two-Headed White-Tailed Deer Fetus, William F. Jensen, Daniel M. Grove, Ryan J. Herigstad, William J. Haase

The Prairie Naturalist

On 6 April 2018 a female white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus dakotensis) was hit and killed by a vehicle along HWY 1806 in rural Morton County, North Dakota, USA (N46o 38.617; W100o 42.901). Based upon dental eruption and wear (Severinghaus 1949), the female was estimated to be a >4.5 years-of-age. A male fetus with parapagus diprosopus (i.e., shared face) apparently was expelled from the adult female, and a domestic canine (Canis lupus familiaris) carried the fetus to a private residence. The resident contacted the North Dakota Game and Fish Department (NDGFD) to turn in the fetus. On ...


Preparing An Effective Poster Presentation, Christopher N. Jacques Dec 2018

Preparing An Effective Poster Presentation, Christopher N. Jacques

The Prairie Naturalist

Greetings GPNSS members! By the time you read this editorial, many of have been experiencing the fury unleashed by ‘Old Man Winter’ and may find yourself counting the days until warmer spring temperatures return once again to the Great Plains. Until then, just a couple more months of bitter cold temperatures, strong winds, and blowing and drifting snow. But not to worry, winter also provides the cold weather enthusiasts among us a chance to enjoy a range of outdoor recreational opportunities, a chance to reflect on the previous year in review, exciting professional and personal opportunities ushered in by the ...


Review: Behavior Of The Golden Eagle: An Illustrated Ethogram. David H. Ellis (Illustrated By N. John Schmitt)., Jeremy E. Guinn Dec 2018

Review: Behavior Of The Golden Eagle: An Illustrated Ethogram. David H. Ellis (Illustrated By N. John Schmitt)., Jeremy E. Guinn

The Prairie Naturalist

Author David H. Ellis and illustrator N. John Schmitt deliver precisely what is promised in Behavior of the Golden Eagle: An Illustrated Ethogram. This “little volume,” as the author coins it, represents a single source for defining, identifying, and describing behaviors of the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). With the inclusion of Schmitt’s exceptional drawings, the book is a piece of art, as well as the most useful manual describing Golden Eagle behaviors. Nearly four decades earlier, Ellis (1979) authored the very first Golden Eagle ethogram—the set of repeated standard behaviors for a species called action patterns—and in ...


The Prairie Naturalist: The Journal Of The Great Plains Natural Science Society Volume 50 No. 2 Dec 2018

The Prairie Naturalist: The Journal Of The Great Plains Natural Science Society Volume 50 No. 2

The Prairie Naturalist

TABLE OF CONTENTS

43 EDITOR’S NOTE

RESEARCH ARTICLES

46 Metabolic Gas Emissions from Prairie Soil Containing Foraging Termites Charles E. Konemann, B. M. Kard, Tom A. Royer, and Mark. E. Payton

59 Comparison of northern flying and red squirrel phylogenies with focus on the insular United States Alyssa M. Kiesow, and Hugh B. Britten

NOTES

70 Two-Headed White-Tailed Deer Fetus

72 Red-Bellied Snake (Storeria occipitomacilata) Copulation in South Dakota

74 New Breeding Record and Location for Wilson's Phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor) in the Nebraska Great Plains, USA

BOOK REVIEWS

76 Sedges and Rushes of Minnesota: The Complete Guide to ...


Edges And Rushes Of Minnesota: The Completeguidetospeciesidentification. Welby R. Smith; Photography By Richard Haug., Edward S. Dekeyser Dec 2018

Edges And Rushes Of Minnesota: The Completeguidetospeciesidentification. Welby R. Smith; Photography By Richard Haug., Edward S. Dekeyser

The Prairie Naturalist

Even the most seasoned individual with a plant identification background can relate to the difficulty of identifying sedges and rushes to the species level. Historically, one has had to rely on dichotomous keys to identify a sedge or rush species in the field. After hours of frustration, a person ends up collecting the plant and, if lucky, bringing the collection back to a herbarium where it can be compared to known specimens. I have been collecting and identifying sedge and rush species for over 25 years, and author Welby Smith along with photographer Richard Haug have published what I believe ...


Comparison Of Northern Flying And Red Squirrel Phylogenies With Focus On The Insular United States, Alyssa M. Kiesow, Hugh B. Britten Dec 2018

Comparison Of Northern Flying And Red Squirrel Phylogenies With Focus On The Insular United States, Alyssa M. Kiesow, Hugh B. Britten

The Prairie Naturalist

Northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus) and red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) populations are endemic to northern North America, including the Black Hills. The Black Hills populations are considered disjunct from other populations within their range. We examined insular populations to determine whether arboreal squirrels in the Black Hills each represent a unique population. We trapped and collected ear samples from northern flying and red squirrels in the Black Hills and in areas of Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Minnesota, and Wisconsin to infer population phylogenies with special consideration of the Black Hills population. Microsatellite loci and two mtDNA sequences were used for ...


Effect Of Macrograzers (Campostoma Spp. And Faxonius Spp.) On Periphyton In Ozark Streams With Considerations Given To Macrograzer Biomass, Phosphorus, And Season: Mensurative And Manipulative Studies, Kayla R. Sayre Dec 2018

Effect Of Macrograzers (Campostoma Spp. And Faxonius Spp.) On Periphyton In Ozark Streams With Considerations Given To Macrograzer Biomass, Phosphorus, And Season: Mensurative And Manipulative Studies, Kayla R. Sayre

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Nutrient and benthic algal biomass relationships can guide numeric nutrient criteria development in lotic systems. However, herbivorous macrograzers may confound this relationship by reducing the slope of the positive relationship between nutrients and periphyton biomass in streams. I conducted a mensurative field study to determine if stoneroller and crayfish abundance related to algal biomass at varying nutrient concentrations and manipulated macrograzer presence with electrical exclosures in streams to examine macrograzer effects on algal biomass and understand whether these effects on periphyton varied with total phosphorus (TP) or season. Macrograzer density was quantified across a TP gradient (n=15 streams; range ...


Wet Spots As Hotspots: Moisture Responses Of Nitric And Nitrous Oxide Emissions From Poorly Drained Agricultural Soils, S. J. Hall, L. Reyes, W. Huang, P. M. Homyak Dec 2018

Wet Spots As Hotspots: Moisture Responses Of Nitric And Nitrous Oxide Emissions From Poorly Drained Agricultural Soils, S. J. Hall, L. Reyes, W. Huang, P. M. Homyak

Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology Publications

A classic framework for soil nitrogen (N) cycling, the hole in the pipe (HIP) model, posits a trade‐off in emissions of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrous oxide (N2O) as a function of soil moisture. This has been incorporated into ecosystem models but not tested experimentally and remains an important uncertainty for understanding potential hotspots of reactive N emissions: poorly drained agricultural soils that experience episodically high moisture following intensive fertilization. We incubated soils at moisture ranging from 44% to 100% water‐filled pore space (WFPS). Counter to HIP, we did not observe a consistent trade‐off in NO and ...


Along-Shelf Connectivity And Circumpolar Gene Flow In Antarctic Silverfish (Pleuragramma Antarctica), Jilda Alicia Caccavo, Chiara Papetti, Maj Wetjen, Rainer Knust, Julian R. Ashford, Lorenzo Zane Dec 2018

Along-Shelf Connectivity And Circumpolar Gene Flow In Antarctic Silverfish (Pleuragramma Antarctica), Jilda Alicia Caccavo, Chiara Papetti, Maj Wetjen, Rainer Knust, Julian R. Ashford, Lorenzo Zane

OES Faculty Publications

The Antarctic silverfish (Pleuragramma antarctica) is a critically important forage species with a circumpolar distribution and is unique among other notothenioid species for its wholly pelagic life cycle. Previous studies have provided mixed evidence of population structure over regional and circumpolar scales. The aim of the present study was to test the recent population hypothesis for Antarctic silverfish, which emphasizes the interplay between life history and hydrography in shaping connectivity. A total of 1067 individuals were collected over 25 years from different locations on a circumpolar scale. Samples were genotyped at fifteen microsatellites to assess population differentiation and genetic structuring ...


Ncer Assistance Agreement Annual Progress Report For Grant #83582401 - Assessment Of Stormwater Harvesting Via Manage Aquifer Recharge (Mar) To Develop New Water Supplies In The Arid West: The Salt Lake Valley Example, Ryan Dupont, Joan E. Mclean, Richard C. Peralta, Sarah E. Null, Douglas B. Jackson-Smith Nov 2018

Ncer Assistance Agreement Annual Progress Report For Grant #83582401 - Assessment Of Stormwater Harvesting Via Manage Aquifer Recharge (Mar) To Develop New Water Supplies In The Arid West: The Salt Lake Valley Example, Ryan Dupont, Joan E. Mclean, Richard C. Peralta, Sarah E. Null, Douglas B. Jackson-Smith

Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty Publications

The goals of the original proposed project remain the same, that is, to test the hypothesis that Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) for stormwater harvesting is a technically feasible, socially and environmentally acceptable, economically viable, and legally feasible option for developing new water supplies for arid Western urban ecosystems experiencing increasing population, and climate change pressures on existing water resources. The project is being carried out via three distinct but integrated components that include: 1) Monitoring of existing distributed MAR harvesting schemes involving a growing number of demonstration Green Infrastructure (GI) test sites; 2) Integrated stormwater/vadose zone/groundwater/ ecosystem services ...


Increasing Carbon Footprint Of Grain Crop Production In The Us Western Corn Belt, Chaoqun (Crystal) Lu, Zhen Yu, Hanqin Tian, David A. Hennessy, Hongli Feng, Mahdi Al-Kaisi, Yuyu Zhou, Tom Sauer, Raymond Arritt Nov 2018

Increasing Carbon Footprint Of Grain Crop Production In The Us Western Corn Belt, Chaoqun (Crystal) Lu, Zhen Yu, Hanqin Tian, David A. Hennessy, Hongli Feng, Mahdi Al-Kaisi, Yuyu Zhou, Tom Sauer, Raymond Arritt

Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology Publications

Global agriculture is challenged to increase soil carbon sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing products for an increasing population. Growing crop production could be achieved through higher yield per hectare (i.e. intensive farming) or more hectares (extensive farming), which however, have different ecological and environmental consequences. Multiple lines of evidence indicate that expanding cropland for additional production may lead to loss of vegetation and soil carbon, and threaten the survival of wildlife. New concerns about the impacts of extensive farming have been raised for the US Corn Belt, one of the world's most productive regions, as ...


Wild Bees Of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument: Richness, Abundance, And Spatio-Temporal Beta-Diversity, Olivia Messinger Carril, Terry Griswold, James Haefner, Joseph S. Wilson Nov 2018

Wild Bees Of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument: Richness, Abundance, And Spatio-Temporal Beta-Diversity, Olivia Messinger Carril, Terry Griswold, James Haefner, Joseph S. Wilson

All PIRU Publications

Interest in bees has grown dramatically in recent years in light of several studies that have reported widespread declines in bees and other pollinators. Investigating declines in wild bees can be difficult, however, due to the lack of faunal surveys that provide baseline data of bee richness and diversity. Protected lands such as national monuments and national parks can provide unique opportunities to learn about and monitor bee populations dynamics in a natural setting because the opportunity for large-scale changes to the landscape are reduced compared to unprotected lands. Here we report on a 4-year study of bees in Grand ...


Becoming Human: The Darwinian Evolution Of Ai, Alexander Aviles Nov 2018

Becoming Human: The Darwinian Evolution Of Ai, Alexander Aviles

Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference (GURC)

Public fear about the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has created growing interest in understanding the differences from what created humans and machines. This project contrasts the two major models for creating intelligent life, Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and the neural mapping use to construct AI. Beginning by defining the particulars of Darwinian evolution, the paper explains how evolution relies upon interaction between populations and environmental factors. Turning to research in computer science by the likes of Alan Turing and John McCarthy, the paper then explains how artificial neural networks are programmed to work locally to accomplish a set ...


Integrating Towed Underwater Video With Multibeam Acoustics For Mapping Benthic Habitat And Assessing Reef Fish Communities On The West Florida Shelf, Alexander Ross Ilich Nov 2018

Integrating Towed Underwater Video With Multibeam Acoustics For Mapping Benthic Habitat And Assessing Reef Fish Communities On The West Florida Shelf, Alexander Ross Ilich

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Using a towed underwater video camera system, benthic habitats were classified along transects in a popular offshore fishing area on the West Florida Shelf (WFS) known as “The Elbow.” Additionally, high resolution multibeam bathymetry and co-registered backscatter data were collected for the entire study area. Using these data, full coverage geologic and biotic habitat maps were developed using both unsupervised and supervised statistical classification methodologies. The unsupervised methodology used was k-means clustering, and the supervised methodology used a random forest algorithm. The two methods produced broadly similar results; however, the supervised methodology outperformed the unsupervised methodology. The results of the ...