Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Life Sciences Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 26 of 26

Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Mapping The Spatial Movements, Behaviors, And Interactions Of Captive Orangutans Using Terrestrial Laser Scanning And Gis, Zachary Joseph Smith Apr 2014

Mapping The Spatial Movements, Behaviors, And Interactions Of Captive Orangutans Using Terrestrial Laser Scanning And Gis, Zachary Joseph Smith

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Five captive Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) were observed in order to better understand their spatial selection, behavior, and interaction with their environment and each other. A newly introduced adult male's interactions with a female group containing two adults, one adolescent, and one juvenile, was documented. Visual observations were performed to document individual behaviors, along with any interactions with silvery langur monkeys, public crowd levels, temperature, and enrichment props. Methods included 15 observation periods, 0.5-3 hours in length each, during which behaviors were verbally and visually confirmed using a HD video camera. Spatial locations of each individual were recorded ...


Agriculture, Environmental Restoration And Ecosystem Services: Assessing The Costs Of Water Storage On Agricultural Lands In South Florida, Kayla Ouellette Mar 2014

Agriculture, Environmental Restoration And Ecosystem Services: Assessing The Costs Of Water Storage On Agricultural Lands In South Florida, Kayla Ouellette

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

A large part of the environmental restoration required by the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan calls for more water-storage on lands south of Lake Okeechobee in order to restore the natural water flows of the Everglades watershed. The Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) can be used for increased water storage in order to relieve coastal estuaries of excess water in the rainy season. This water storage can deliver additional ecosystem services of soil retention and reduced CO2 emissions that could compensate farmers for the cost of water storage by increasing long term farm profitability. The goals of this study were 1) to ...


Agricultural Technologies For Marginal Farming Systems In Asia: Adoption And Diffusion Of Salt In The Philippines And Sri In India, Roshani Malla Jan 2014

Agricultural Technologies For Marginal Farming Systems In Asia: Adoption And Diffusion Of Salt In The Philippines And Sri In India, Roshani Malla

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Information on technology adoption and diffusion in a given society is important for research, extension, and development efforts that benefit the marginal farmers. This research reviews literature focused on the adoption of two agricultural technologies/practices; SALT in the Philippines and SRI in India to examine the roles of various stakeholders in the process. The identification of the roles of the major stakeholders in technology adoption and diffusion is important for identifying and alleviating the constraints affecting diffusion of innovation. The study uses the innovation system approach to analyse the role of stakeholders in the process. It especially focuses on ...


Perceptions Of Secondary School Agriculture Teachers Regarding Biomass Production Education In Iowa, Guang Han Jan 2014

Perceptions Of Secondary School Agriculture Teachers Regarding Biomass Production Education In Iowa, Guang Han

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

With the boom of biorenewable energy, biomass production has become an important segment in agriculture industry (Iowa Energy Center, 2013). A higher workforce will be needed for this burgeoning biomass energy industry (Iowa Workforce Development, n. d.). Instructional topics in agricultural education should take the form of

problems and questions faced by the agriculture industry itself (Phipps, Osborne, Dyer, & Ball, 2008). This study sought to assess the perceptions of secondary agriculture teachers regarding biomass production education in Iowa. Results of this study indicated that teachers held strongly to moderately positive perceptions toward biomass production and moderately positive perceptions toward teaching ...


Native Mice In A Novel Ecosystem: Morphology, Behavior, And Sociology Predict The Role Of Prairie Deer Mice In Agriculture, John Watson Doudna Jan 2014

Native Mice In A Novel Ecosystem: Morphology, Behavior, And Sociology Predict The Role Of Prairie Deer Mice In Agriculture, John Watson Doudna

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Corn-soybean agriculture, the annual rotation of corn planted as a monoculture and then soybean planted as a monoculture, in the Midwestern US represents a novel ecosystem to native species that utilize the habitat. In order to successfully colonize this habitat, native species have had to adapt or maintain pre-adaptations to the novel ecosystem. The prairie deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus bairdii) is a model organism for studying the adaptations of species to corn-soybean agriculture. They also provide a potentially economically valuable ecosystem service of weed seed predation. Thus, studying the adaptations and behaviors of this species are of critical importance. This ...


Soil Ozonation As A Sustainable Alternative To Methyl Bromide Fumigation And Synthetic Pesticides, Nahed Msayleb Jan 2014

Soil Ozonation As A Sustainable Alternative To Methyl Bromide Fumigation And Synthetic Pesticides, Nahed Msayleb

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

ABSTRACT

The goal of this dissertation was to investigate the potentials of ozone as a sustainable alternative to the soil fumigant methyl bromide and to synthetic pesticides. Three pathogens were selected for this research, given their economic importance, and the spectrum variety that they represent: Phytoparasitic nematodes, important pests that cause severe crop yield losses; Phytophthora sojae, a predominant soybean pathogen that causes root and stem rot, and pre- and post-emergence damping-off of soybean; and Fusarium oxysporum, which causes Fusarium wilt, an economically important disease in hydroponic systems.

Soil samples that were naturally infested with nematodes were treated with different ...


Classical Gully Spatial Identification And Slope Stability Modeling Using High-Resolution Elevation And Data Mining Technique, Laurimar Gonçalves Vendrusculo Jan 2014

Classical Gully Spatial Identification And Slope Stability Modeling Using High-Resolution Elevation And Data Mining Technique, Laurimar Gonçalves Vendrusculo

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

It is widely known that soil erosion is an issue of concern in soil and water quality, affecting agriculture and natural resources. Thus, scientific efforts must take into consideration the high-resolution elevation dataset in order to implement a precision conservation approach effectively. New advances such as LiDAR products have provided a basic source of information to enable researchers to identify small erosional landscape features. To fill this gap, this study developed a methodology based on data mining of hydrologic and topographic attributes associated with concentrated flow path identification to distinguish classic gully side walls and bed areas. At 0.91 ...


Integral Agriculture: Taking Seriously The Mindset Of The Farmer, The Interiority Of The Beings On The Farm, And A Metaphysics That Connects Them, Travis E. B. Cox Jan 2014

Integral Agriculture: Taking Seriously The Mindset Of The Farmer, The Interiority Of The Beings On The Farm, And A Metaphysics That Connects Them, Travis E. B. Cox

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

With the steady increase in the market share of organic food over the last 30 years, some farmers have switched from "conventional" to "sustainable" agricultural practices in order to capitalize on those new markets. Are the practices the only things that need to change?

Building off of Warwick Fox's conception of "transpersonal ecology," transpersonal agroecology (TPAE) is the name given to a proposed alternative mindset of the farmer derived from various alternative agricultural theorists of the last 100 years. These writers oppose the scientism and economism that typify industrial agriculture, subscribe to the notion that experiences of "identification" between ...


People In Ecosystems/Watershed Integration: Visualizing Ecosystem Services Tradeoffs In Agricultural Landscapes, Carrie Michelle Chennault Jan 2014

People In Ecosystems/Watershed Integration: Visualizing Ecosystem Services Tradeoffs In Agricultural Landscapes, Carrie Michelle Chennault

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Educational modeling in agricultural and environmental sciences provides access to the scientific knowledge needed to address local and global challenges that affect human wellbeing. Ecosystem services tradeoffs frameworks can enhance wellbeing by facilitating agricultural landscape design to produce multiple ecosystem services while maintaining farmer profitability and mitigating risk to farmers. At present, few broadly accessible tools evaluate how changes to land management affect the types and levels of ecosystem services delivered to humans. I developed a tool, People in Ecosystems/Watershed Integration version 2 (PE/WI or PE/WI v2), to fill this gap and foster multidimensional and integrative land ...


Utilization Of Durian Biomass For Biorenewable Applications, Ahmad Safuan Bin Bujang Jan 2014

Utilization Of Durian Biomass For Biorenewable Applications, Ahmad Safuan Bin Bujang

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The utilization of tropical fruit biomass as feedstock for biorenewable resources is an attractive proposition due to its abundance and potential to reduce reliance on conventional sources as well as the overall economic gain to all stakeholders. This study aims to pave the way towards successful and viable utilization of this feedstock by exploring and examining key physical and chemical traits of durian biomass, a major tropical fruit crop in Malaysia.

The study was divided into three main parts: identification of durian biomass moisture test method, characterization of physical and chemical properties of durian biomass for thermochemical conversion, and composting ...


The Effects Of Heat Stress On Energetic Metabolism And Insulin Homeostasis, María Victoria Sanz Fernández Jan 2014

The Effects Of Heat Stress On Energetic Metabolism And Insulin Homeostasis, María Victoria Sanz Fernández

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Heat stress (HS) is a major environmental hazard for human health and animal agriculture. Changes in metabolism and specifically altered insulin action appear to be critical for the adaptation and ultimately survival to a severe heat load. However, our knowledge of the physiological and metabolic consequences of HS is woefully insufficient. Understanding the biology of HS is critical in order to develop treatment protocols and mitigation strategies against its deleterious effects on both humans and livestock. Interestingly, HS elicits a metabolic profile that somewhat resembles models of endotoxemia/sepsis. Moreover, HS negatively affects intestinal health and the subsequent increase in ...


Perceptions Of Zoo Visitors About The Suitability Of Geochelone Elegans As A Pet Based On Exhibit Design, Shannon Marie Mckinney Jan 2014

Perceptions Of Zoo Visitors About The Suitability Of Geochelone Elegans As A Pet Based On Exhibit Design, Shannon Marie Mckinney

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Globally, the pet trade plays an active role in society even though many of the species involved are not always ideal pets. Zoos and other institutes may inadvertently contribute to the problem by housing animals in exhibits which may mislead the public about an animal's suitability as a pet. The primary goal of this research is to test whether visitor perceptions of the suitability of Geochelone elegans (Indian star tortoise) as a pet were affected by exhibit design. G. elegans was displayed in two different exhibits; a naturalistic exhibit design and a tank design. After setting up the contrasting ...


Assessing Population Status And Identifying Key Habitat Requirements For Parnassius Butterflies In Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, Kimberly Elizabeth Szcodronski Jan 2014

Assessing Population Status And Identifying Key Habitat Requirements For Parnassius Butterflies In Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, Kimberly Elizabeth Szcodronski

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Identifying specific vegetation characteristics that influence the presence of butterfly species is essential for determining how habitat and phenology changes may affect these populations in the future. Two montane meadow butterfly species, Parnassius clodius and Parnassius smintheus, were investigated to identify patterns of occupancy relating to habitat variables in montane meadows of Grand Teton National Park and Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming, United States. A series of presence-absence surveys were conducted in 41 mesic to xeric meadow sites during the Parnassius flight season (June - July 2013) to estimate occupancy and detection probabilities of both species. According to the null constant parameter ...


Lead In Species Of Greatest Conservation Need: Free-Flying Bald Eagles As Indicators, Billy Reiter-Marolf Jan 2014

Lead In Species Of Greatest Conservation Need: Free-Flying Bald Eagles As Indicators, Billy Reiter-Marolf

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

In Iowa, Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) have increased from one nest in 1977 to more than 220 nests in 2012. However, many aspects of their breeding biology, behavior, and the factors that influence their survival and reproduction have yet to be studied. Recently, there has been a growing concern about whether lead ammunition is linked to lead exposure in Bald Eagles. Raptor rehabilitators throughout the U.S. continue to report cases of lead exposure in Bald Eagles and other raptors and have also noticed temporal correlations between the incidence of lead exposure and the timing of upland and big game ...


Toward A Collaborative Model Of Surface Water Management: Lessons From The Boone River Watershed Nutrient Management Initiative, Stephanie Enloe Jan 2014

Toward A Collaborative Model Of Surface Water Management: Lessons From The Boone River Watershed Nutrient Management Initiative, Stephanie Enloe

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Though productive, Iowa agriculture contributes substantially to nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment pollution in local surface waters and the Gulf of Mexico. In response to local and national concern over surface water quality, in 2013 the State of Iowa approved the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and is working to engage Iowa farmers to protect water resources. The Boone River watershed (BRW) initiative in central Iowa was recently designated a demonstration site for the reduction strategy, as diverse public, private, and non-profit partners have been involved in the BRW for over a decade. To inform management decisions in the BRW and other ...


Use Of Remote Sensing To Quantify Forest Response Following A Wildfire In Northeast Minnesota, Rayma Anne Cooley Jan 2014

Use Of Remote Sensing To Quantify Forest Response Following A Wildfire In Northeast Minnesota, Rayma Anne Cooley

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Wildfire is a natural disturbance common to many forested ecosystems of North America. In the fall of 2011, a lightning-ignited wildfire, the Pagami Creek Fire (PCF), burned over 38,000 hectares of forest in northeast Minnesota, most of which occurred in the protected Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).

Satellite remote sensing data has been used within the upper Midwest to detect and quantify forest vegetation extent, composition, and associated structure. However, very few studies have quantified the composition and structure of early seral forest regeneration.

We were interested in two objectives:

1) Use a combination of remote sensing imagery ...


Amphibian Stress, Survival, And Habitat Quality In Restored Agricultural Wetlands In Central Iowa, Rebecca Ann Reeves Jan 2014

Amphibian Stress, Survival, And Habitat Quality In Restored Agricultural Wetlands In Central Iowa, Rebecca Ann Reeves

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Amphibians are declining throughout the United States and worldwide due to habitat loss, emergent diseases, and chemical contaminants in the environment. Iowa is a heavily modified landscape where 90% of the historic wetland area has been converted to row crop agriculture. In Iowa, the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) strategically restores wetlands to reduce nitrogen loads in tile drainage effluent. This project examined the quality of amphibian habitat provided by these restored wetlands by comparing amphibian species richness, estimated monthly survival probabilities of adult leopard frogs (Lithobates pipiens), and developmental stress levels in leopard frogs to a suite of environmental ...


Grazing Management Effects On Environmental Quality Of Riparian And Upland Grassland Ecosystems, Justin Bisinger Jan 2014

Grazing Management Effects On Environmental Quality Of Riparian And Upland Grassland Ecosystems, Justin Bisinger

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Grazing cattle in grasslands can impact many ecosystems services including the movement of sediment and nutrients to water bodies, biodiversity, and wildlife habitat. In riparian grassland ecosystems congregation of cattle in or near streams may increase the sediment, nutrient, and pathogen loading of surface water resources, however the impact of cattle on water bodies may be limited through pasture characteristics or management practices that reduce congregation of cattle in or near streams. The first study in this thesis was designed to determine the effects of pasture size, stream access, and off-stream water on the presence of cattle near pasture streams ...


Assessing Monitoring And Modeling Approaches To Improve Water Quality In The Hickory Grove Lake, Rohith Gali Jan 2014

Assessing Monitoring And Modeling Approaches To Improve Water Quality In The Hickory Grove Lake, Rohith Gali

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Surface water quality regulated by agricultural pollution remains to be an important environmental concern around the world. Major contaminants from agriculture systems such as bacteria, sediment, and nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) continue to affect the designated use of a waterbody. As per the Clean Water Act legislation, water quality impairments must be addressed through the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) approach. The TMDL program is a comprehensive and watershed-scale approach involving contaminant source identification and quantification, and conservation practice recommendation to reduce contaminant transport. The overall goal of this study was to improve the TMDL development process in achieving water ...


The Effect Of Process Variables On Pyrolysis In A Freefall Reactor, Preston Gable Jan 2014

The Effect Of Process Variables On Pyrolysis In A Freefall Reactor, Preston Gable

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The focus of this work is to test variables of fast pyrolysis conditions in a free fall reactor in order to better understand their impact on pyrolysis products, specifically optimization of bio-oil yields. In the first study, a design of experiments was performed and products were analyzed to evaluate the effects of temperature, sweep gas flow rates, and particle heating time, on bio-oil yields. This study proved particle heating time to be a very important variable effecting bio-oil yields, and that a heating time of greater than the traditionally assumed two seconds must be achieved in order to optimize yields ...


A Carbon Assessment Of Iowa State University's Land, Catherine Rosson Delong Jan 2014

A Carbon Assessment Of Iowa State University's Land, Catherine Rosson Delong

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

In 1862, Iowa State University was the first college to become a land-grant university. Today, their mission has expanded beyond the Iowa farmer to the global farmer and more broadly the agricultural world. As part of this global perspective, Iowa State University has chosen to be the first US university to evaluate itself in an environmental context through a carbon assessment of its soils. The carbon content of Iowa State's 6,392 hectares was evaluated to an 18 and 100 cm depth using two databases. The carbon flux of Iowa State University's land, given a change in management ...


Fumonisin B1 Toxicity In Swine: A Comparative Analysis Of Genetically Engineered Bt Corn And Non-Bt Corn By Using Quantitative Dietary Exposure Assessment Modeling And Ecotoxicological Investigations On Earthworms, James Edward Delgado Jan 2014

Fumonisin B1 Toxicity In Swine: A Comparative Analysis Of Genetically Engineered Bt Corn And Non-Bt Corn By Using Quantitative Dietary Exposure Assessment Modeling And Ecotoxicological Investigations On Earthworms, James Edward Delgado

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Fumonisin B1 (FB1) is a ubiquitous mycotoxin produced by Fusarium verticilliodes and F. proliferatum, and is a common biological contaminant of corn (Zea mays L) and other grains. Currently the acute effects from FB1 exposures are well-documented and managed in the swine industry; however, practices to limit prolonged low-dose exposures to FB1 have been less fully considered and may negatively impact production efficiency. For decades research involving Fusarium and its associated mycotoxins has focused on human, animal and plant health. As result there is limited knowledge of ecological mycotoxicology, with the least understanding pertaining to invertebrate ecotoxicological hazard potential.

Two ...


Organic Agriculture Development Strategies In Tunisia And Uganda: Lessons For African Organics, Jelili Adegboyega Adebiyi Jan 2014

Organic Agriculture Development Strategies In Tunisia And Uganda: Lessons For African Organics, Jelili Adegboyega Adebiyi

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The core objective of this thesis was to draw lessons from the factors of success that underlie the development of Tunisian and Ugandan organic sectors to advance recommendations that can help spur the development of African organics. The study drew on secondary data obtained from an array of sources, supplemented with clarifying information obtained through phone discussions and email exchanges with organic stakeholders in the two countries. The study framed broad and specific questions aimed at identifying and explaining the roles played by different stakeholders, governmental and non-governmental, in fostering the development of the organic sectors in the two countries ...


Taking Back The Commons: Motivating Factors For The Local Control Of Gmos, Lydia Rae Levinson Jan 2014

Taking Back The Commons: Motivating Factors For The Local Control Of Gmos, Lydia Rae Levinson

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Issues of food policy, agricultural policy, and environmental policy all converge in the discussion of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Presently, there is no established consensus as to the safety of GMO foods or the long-term effects that genetically engineered crops might have on human and environmental health. While state initiatives to label GMOs have recently received much media attention, these efforts have been largely defeated by fierce industry opposition. Yet in communities across the country, citizens are working collectively to reframe the issue of GMO policy and resist the corporatization of agriculture by advocating for local land use regulations that ...


Utilizing Novel Grasslands For The Conservation And Restoration Of Butterflies And Other Pollinators In Agricultural Ecosystems, John Thomas Delaney Jan 2014

Utilizing Novel Grasslands For The Conservation And Restoration Of Butterflies And Other Pollinators In Agricultural Ecosystems, John Thomas Delaney

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Biodiversity is declining globally and one of the primary drivers is agricultural intensification. Conservation and restoration of biodiversity in agricultural ecosystems is going to rely on the enhancement of uncultivated land such as grasslands. The majority of grasslands within agricultural ecosystems have been degraded and now consist of a mix of native and exotic plant species. These altered grasslands have been categorized as novel grasslands because they are composed of plant species from around the globe that have little history of evolutionary interaction. Further research is needed to understand the utility of these novel grasslands for the conservation and restoration ...


Pesticide Retention By Buffer Strips Receiving Simulated Runoff Containing Different Sized Sediment, Kapil Arora Jan 2014

Pesticide Retention By Buffer Strips Receiving Simulated Runoff Containing Different Sized Sediment, Kapil Arora

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Infiltration water and sediment mass retained are the two key processes for pesticide mass retention by buffer strips from agricultural runoff, based on the review of 106 published articles. Estimates, based on average published data for runoff volume and sediment mass retention, show that the average pesticide retention is 46, 51, and 70 % for the three sorption classes (Koc<100, 1001000, respectively). Source area to buffer area ratios ranging between 10:1 to 50:1 are more practical and effective under field applications of buffer strips. Buffer strips have an upper area where larger particles settle and a lower area where runoff containing fine particles passes through. Rainfall-runoff experiments were conducted on 1.0 m wide x 5.6 m long switchgrass buffer strips to measure pesticide mass transport through buffer strips receiving runoff containing different sized sediment under steady-state rainfall intensity of 6.35 cm/h. Twenty four strips were used to provide three replications each of the sediment type treatments of fine sand, fine aggregates, clay-sized particles, and no sediment; and two treatments of flow convergence represented by source area to buffer area ratios of 10:1 and 30:1. Atrazine, chlorpyrifos, and linuron were used in the experiments at the label recommended rates using field formulations. When receiving runoff mixed with fine sand, buffer strips retained 73% and 53% atrazine, 87% and 80% chlorpyrifos, and 81% and 54% linuron for the two area ratios of 10:1 and 30:1 respectively. The corresponding numbers, when receiving runoff mixed with fine aggregates, were 72% and 54% atrazine, 87% and 71% chlorpyrifos, and 76% and 58% linuron respectively for the two area ratios. Switchgrass buffer strips retained, on average, 70.1% and 49.2% atrazine, 83.0% and 57.6% chlorpyrifos, and 71.2% and 50.4% linuron, respectively for the two area ratios of 10:1 and 30:1 when receiving simulated runoff containing clay-sized particles. Linuron data presented in these experiments is an estimate and readers are cautioned when interpreting linuron data. Results were significantly different for atrazine when the two area ratios were compared for all three sediment types. Results for chlorpyrifos and linuron were not significantly different between the two area ratios indicating the strips performed equally well under both flow conditions in case of sediment type fine sand and fine aggregates. In case of clay-sized particles, results for atrazine and linuron were significantly different for the two area ratios indicating flow convergence can impact atrazine and linuron retention by buffer strips. In case of fine sand, outflow from the buffer strips showed some re-entrainment of sediment from previously deposited sediment, buffer strip soil, or erosion at the exit point, which needs to be further investigated. Infiltration and sediment retention were the key processes for pesticide retention in case of fine aggregates, whereas infiltration alone was the key process in case of fine sand and clay-sized particles. VFSMOD-W, embedded with the empirical linear-additive pesticide mass retention model was used to predict atrazine, chlorpyrifos and linuron retention by the switchgrass buffer strips studied in the experiments. Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ksat) of the switchgrass soil was the key parameter in calibrating the model to the experimental conditions, indicating type of buffer strip vegetation and timing of calibration data collection are important factors. Predicted pesticide mass retention results indicate that the performance of buffer strips receiving runoff from farm fields containing large proportions of fine sand or clay-sized particles needs to be further investigated.