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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

The North American River Otter (Lontra Canadensis) On The Department Of Energy's Savannah River Site, Emily B. Mccallen Jan 2017

The North American River Otter (Lontra Canadensis) On The Department Of Energy's Savannah River Site, Emily B. Mccallen

Masters Theses

The Department of Energy's (DOE) Savannah River Site (SRS) faces a legacy of radionuclide and metal contamination from industrial processes that occurred within the site. The risks posed to ecosystems on the site from contaminants are quantified using the ecological risk assessment process, which often uses the health of a particular species as an ecological endpoint. Northern river otters (Lontra canadensis) are appropriate receptors for studying the effects of long-term, low-level contamination because they are long-lived, higher trophic level organisms likely to accumulate high levels of pollutants. However, little information about river otters on the SRS is known; in ...


Assessment Of The Efficacy Of The Hose-Bridge As A Road-Crossing Structure For Dekay's Brownsnake (Storeria Dekayi), Sarah Elizabeth Manka Jan 2016

Assessment Of The Efficacy Of The Hose-Bridge As A Road-Crossing Structure For Dekay's Brownsnake (Storeria Dekayi), Sarah Elizabeth Manka

Masters Theses

Various structures have been integrated into roadways to ensure the road does not impede wildlife movements between adjacent habitats. Where traffic volume is low, the costs of installing and maintaining such structures is typically prohibitive. I tested the efficacy of a hose-bridge deployed temporarily on a State Park road in Illinois that allowed the passage of cars over it and small wildlife species to cross through it. I predicted that, during the 4.5 -week period of peak migratory movement, road-based mortality of Dekay's Brownsnakes (Storeria dekayi) would be less at the site having the hose-bridge, when compared to ...


Quantifying Bat Detection Survey Methods And Activity Patterns, Tara C. Hohoff Jan 2016

Quantifying Bat Detection Survey Methods And Activity Patterns, Tara C. Hohoff

Masters Theses

Bats have an astonishing diversity and provide vital ecosystem services in an array of different niches. In North America, most species of bats are insectivores and tend to be frequently overlooked for their important ecosystem role providing insect control. As bat populations have declined in recent years, farmers, land managers, conservationists, and bat enthusiasts have wondered what we can do to protect our local bat populations. As a first step, we need to develop methods that more effectively survey for rare species of bats. By performing inefficient surveys, we are doing a disservice to our funding agencies providing misinformation that ...


Trophic Interactions In A Semiaquatic Snake Community: Insights Into The Structure Of A Floodplain Food Web, Cynthia M. Carter Jan 2015

Trophic Interactions In A Semiaquatic Snake Community: Insights Into The Structure Of A Floodplain Food Web, Cynthia M. Carter

Masters Theses

Food webs provide a useful conceptual framework for evaluating the relationships that exist within ecological systems. Characterizing the interactions within these webs can improve our understanding of how communities are structured and what mechanisms stabilize them. Untangling these interactions can be an intractable problem in complex systems and insights gained from conventional methods are often accompanied by inherent sources of bias. This study used stable isotope analysis, an alternative to traditional methods, to investigate the roles and relative contributions of consumers at the top of a food web to community structure and stability. I compared the niche parameters of five ...


Aspects Of The Trophic Ecology Of An Invertivorous Snake Community, Meagan Amanda Thomas Jan 2014

Aspects Of The Trophic Ecology Of An Invertivorous Snake Community, Meagan Amanda Thomas

Masters Theses

Understanding the significance of trophic links has been of interest to ecologists for decades, likely because food web studies have the potential to reveal a considerable amount of information in the fields of ecosystem and community ecology. Despite the intrinsic benefits that come from elucidating food web structures, doing so is often problematic because of the complex and dynamic nature of ecological communities. The dietary ecology of small-bodied invertivorous snakes remains relatively understudied compared to other snake species. Many of these species are abundant throughout their range, making them ideal organisms for studying community-level questions. I employed a combination of ...


Colony Composition And Demographics Of Beavers In Illinois, Stanley T. Mctaggart Jan 2002

Colony Composition And Demographics Of Beavers In Illinois, Stanley T. Mctaggart

Masters Theses

Beavers (Castor canadensis) have been extensively studied throughout North America, but little research has been conducted on this species in Illinois and the Midwest. Beavers exhibit wide variations in colony composition and demographics over their broad geographic range, so regional research is important for sound management. The objectives of this study were to investigate the: (1) typical composition of beaver colonies in Illinois; (2) reproductive potential of female beavers in Illinois; (3) sex-age composition of beaver populations in Illinois; and (4) efficacy of night-vision surveys versus removal trapping for estimating colony size. This study was conducted during the 1999-00 and ...


Aging Coyotes Using Dental Characteristics, Michelle Maher Jan 2002

Aging Coyotes Using Dental Characteristics, Michelle Maher

Masters Theses

The accepted methods of age determination in the coyote (Canis latrans) are either highly subjective and unquantifiable or expensive and require the extraction of the canine tooth. Since neither of these methods are ideal, their limitations have impeded research on this species. Therefore, it was my objective to (1) develop and test the accuracy and precision of a descriptive key based on tooth wear patterns on the lower canine tooth, (2) develop and test the reliability of multiple regression models for aging coyotes using measurements from extracted teeth, and (3) suggest criteria for improving the consistency of results using these ...


The Effect Of Predator Chemical Cues And Conspecific Alarm Signals Upon Behavior In Early And Late Developmental Stages Of American Toad (Bufo Americanus) Tadpoles, Carol Lynette Johnson Jan 2000

The Effect Of Predator Chemical Cues And Conspecific Alarm Signals Upon Behavior In Early And Late Developmental Stages Of American Toad (Bufo Americanus) Tadpoles, Carol Lynette Johnson

Masters Theses

The chemosensory capability and subsequent habitat choice of larval American toad (Bufo americanus) tadpoles were quantified using choice of refuge with both early and late developmental stages. Treatments were performed with two tadpole densities to ascertain the effect of social aggregations upon behavior. Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) and predaceous diving beetle larvae (Dytiscus sp.) predators were used to condition water. Conspecific tadpoles as well as Southern leopard frog (Rana sphenocephala) tadpoles were used to prepare treatment extracts.

Tadpole density (n=10 and n=20) had no significant effect upon the percentage of tadpoles seeking cover in any treatment. The percentage of ...


A Comparison Of Predation Rates On Real And Artificial Nests Of Grassland Birds, William B. Davison Jan 1998

A Comparison Of Predation Rates On Real And Artificial Nests Of Grassland Birds, William B. Davison

Masters Theses

I compared rates of predation between real and artificial nests of grassland birds in order to test the impact of nest type, nest position, and egg size on predation rates. I distributed wicker avicultural baskets and realistic grass nests baited with a clay egg and either northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) or house sparrow (Passer domesticus) eggs in four Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grasslands in east-central Illinois. Nest success averaged 86.5% for 12 days of exposure for artificial nests. For real nests, nest success was markedly lower; averaging 39% over the entire nesting cycle and 59% during approximately 12 days ...


Heartworm And Lungworms In Illinois' Canids And Their Possible Effect On Coyote Condition And Reproduction, David G. Gregory Jan 1998

Heartworm And Lungworms In Illinois' Canids And Their Possible Effect On Coyote Condition And Reproduction, David G. Gregory

Masters Theses

This study focuses on the prevalence of heartworm and lungworms in Illinois' canid species, and the effect that they may have on condition (body weight, kidney fat, marrow fat) and reproduction (placental scars) on coyote populations. A total of 1,150 coyotes (Canis latrans), 2,269 domestic dogs, 47 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), and 2 gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) were examined. Prevalence of heartworms (Dirofilaria immitis) averaged 17.8% in coyotes, 3.0% in domestic dogs, 2.0% in red foxes, and 0% in gray foxes. Domestic dogs not receiving any type of prophylactic treatment had a higher prevalence (12 ...


Comparisons Of Genetic Variance And Physiological Responses In Two Populations Of Western Mosquitofish, Gambusia Affinis, Brett Egger Jan 1997

Comparisons Of Genetic Variance And Physiological Responses In Two Populations Of Western Mosquitofish, Gambusia Affinis, Brett Egger

Masters Theses

The study was conducted to determine the effects of lowered genetic variance in the Western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) on the physiological parameters of critical thermal maximum and minimum pH. Mosquitofish were obtained from two small central Illinois ponds, Lost Pond and Shadow Pond, by seines and dip nets. Once caught, fish were returned to the laboratory and acclimated for a minimum of five days at a temperature of 27°C and a pH of 8.25. At the beginning of each experimental run, fish were subjected to the physiological experiments for determination of critical thermal maximum and minimum pH, and ...


Transfer Of Immunity Against Hymenolepis Diminuta Parasites In Mice, Jerome F. Atta-Fynn Jan 1997

Transfer Of Immunity Against Hymenolepis Diminuta Parasites In Mice, Jerome F. Atta-Fynn

Masters Theses

The potential transfer of resistance against the rat tapeworm, Hymenolepis diminuta, from adult BALB/c mice to their young, was tested by comparing the worm burdens of 24 experimentally infected pups from previously infected females to 14 experimentally infected pups from uninfected females. The mean number of worms recovered, mean weight of recovered worms and frequency of mice pups with eggs of the parasite in their feces were significantly lower in infected pups from infected mothers than in infected pups from uninfected mothers. The lower worm burden observed in the infected pups from infected mothers suggested that the resistance to ...


Roost Site Selection Of The Red Bat (Lasiurus Borealis), Kenneth J. Mager Jan 1997

Roost Site Selection Of The Red Bat (Lasiurus Borealis), Kenneth J. Mager

Masters Theses

I monitored the roosting activity and evaluated roost site selection of red bats (Lasiurus borealis) at study sites in Coles County during the summer of 1996. Red bats were mist-netted and radio transmitters were affixed to 12 individuals. A total of 105 transmitter-days were recorded with 75 roost locations identified. The roost types consisted of eight different species of trees, prairie grass, and residential structures but the vast majority of roosts (92%) were in large, deciduous trees. The height of the roosts ranged from 0.5 to 21.4 m, but 54.7% were between 5-10 m. Movement between consecutive ...


The Effects Of Habitat Fragmentation And Factors Influencing Nest Box Use On The Southern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys Volans) In Southern Illinois, Catherine J. Woodworth Jan 1997

The Effects Of Habitat Fragmentation And Factors Influencing Nest Box Use On The Southern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys Volans) In Southern Illinois, Catherine J. Woodworth

Masters Theses

I studied the effects of habitat :fragmentation on the southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans) in 30 forest fragments in southern Illinois. The fragments ranged in size from 6 ha to 5264 ha, and had varying degrees of isolation. I placed 10 nest boxes in each habitat fragment and checked them monthly. I captured southern flying squirrels in 24 of the 30 fragments, and found evidence of squirrels (i.e., nests and feeding stations) in 4 additional fragments. Thus, only 2 fragments did not show any evidence of squirrel use suggesting that the southern flying squirrel may not be particularly sensitive ...


Ecology And Community Relationships Of The River Cooter, Pseudemys Concinna In A Southern Illinois Backwater, Michael J. Dreslik Jan 1996

Ecology And Community Relationships Of The River Cooter, Pseudemys Concinna In A Southern Illinois Backwater, Michael J. Dreslik

Masters Theses

In Illinois the River cooter, Pseudemys concinna, is an enigmatic endangered species. Even throughout its range, ecological studies on the River cooter are rare. During 1994 and 1995 I quantified the: growth rates and trends, population size and structure and dietary habits of a population from floodplain lake in Gallatin county, Illinois. Population estimation (Schnabel method) predicted 136 individuals at a density of 4.6 turtles/ha with a biomass of 3.6 Kg/ha. The sex ratio is slightly male biased (1:1.14). From back-calculated growth data, the von Bertalanffy growth model (Fabens' method) estimates males with a ...


Parental Investment In The Red-Eared Slider Turtle, Trachemys Scripta, Michael D. Marlen Jan 1996

Parental Investment In The Red-Eared Slider Turtle, Trachemys Scripta, Michael D. Marlen

Masters Theses

This study was conducted to determine egg and hatchling components of the red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta). In addition, energy components transferred from egg to hatchling were used to determine the level of parental investment in embryogenesis and hatchling care. Eggs of the red-eared slider, collected from central Illinois ponds, were obtained by inducing gravid females to lay by an injection of oxytocin. Egg and hatchling lipids were extracted with petroleum ether while egg and hatchling protein content was determined using the micro-Kjeldahl procedure. Eggs averaged 70.7% water by mass, and dry mass of whole eggs and egg yolks averaged ...


Predator Deterrence In The Central Newt, Notophthalmus Viridescens Louisianensis (Wolterstorff) With Notes On Salamander Antipredator Strategies, Malcolm Mccallum Jan 1994

Predator Deterrence In The Central Newt, Notophthalmus Viridescens Louisianensis (Wolterstorff) With Notes On Salamander Antipredator Strategies, Malcolm Mccallum

Masters Theses

The effectiveness of the skin secretions of Notophthalmus viridescens as a predator deterrent has been well documented. Still, there have been documented cases of predation on this salamander. This study investigates the ability of a variety of herptiles to feed on N. viridescens louisianensis.

In the first experiment, plethodonts and efts were fed on alternate weeks to snakes. Latency of response, anatomical location of predator attack, and behaviors displayed by predators and prey were recorded during each trial.

In the second experiment, tongue flick frequency by T. sirtalis to the essence of live N. viridescens louisianensis, Eurycea cirigerra, thawed larval ...


Phylogenetic Relationships Within The Batagur Complex (Testudines: Emydidae: Batagurinae), Jean M. Capler Jan 1993

Phylogenetic Relationships Within The Batagur Complex (Testudines: Emydidae: Batagurinae), Jean M. Capler

Masters Theses

Relationships between 10 species of the batagurine genera Batagur, Callagur, Kachuga, Hardella, and Morenia are discussed based on a cladistic analysis of 35 morphological characters. Ocadia sinensis (Emydidae: Batagurinae) was used as the outgroup species. Four cladograms were produced with a length of 59.0 steps and a 0.75 consistency index. In contrast with previous studies, Hardella and Morenia do not appear as a monophyletic clade. Instead, Hardella is included with the remaining ingroup taxa (exclusive of Morenia) based on five synapomorphies. The present genus Kachuga was determined to be paraphyletic, having excluded the present genera Batagur and Callagur ...


Ecology Of The State Endangered Yellow Mud Turtle, Kinosternon Flavescens In Henry Co., Illinois, Michael W. Tuma Jan 1993

Ecology Of The State Endangered Yellow Mud Turtle, Kinosternon Flavescens In Henry Co., Illinois, Michael W. Tuma

Masters Theses

Illinois populations of the state endangered yellow mud turtle (Kinosternon flavescens) persist in scattered locations on sand prairies. The largest population occurs on a remnant sand prairie of the former Green River Marsh in Henry Co. A study was conducted during 1992 to determine important criteria for preserve design. These criteria included extent of turtle movements within the site and habitat use. Turtles were captured by aquatic hoop traps, drift fence, and by hand from May 11 to August 31. A total of 16 adults, four juveniles, and eight hatchlings were captured. Population size was estimated at 44.80 adults ...


Biotic, Abiotic, And Behavioral Patterns Associated With The Nocturnal Movements Of Shrews, Patrick T. Sullivan Jan 1993

Biotic, Abiotic, And Behavioral Patterns Associated With The Nocturnal Movements Of Shrews, Patrick T. Sullivan

Masters Theses

Thirteen trails left by shrews coated with fluorescent powder were examined for microhabitat documentation. Thirteen data parameters were collected from each trail, two of which differed significantly between Blarina brevicauda and Sorex longirostris. The small soricid Sorex longirostris was captured in areas with higher grass content, and lower wooded content, than the larger Blarina brevicauda. The difference in microhabitat use may be a key mechanism in reducing competition between these two species.


A Herpetofaunal Survey Of The Braidwood Dunes And Savanna Nature Preserve, Daniel J. O'Connell Jan 1992

A Herpetofaunal Survey Of The Braidwood Dunes And Savanna Nature Preserve, Daniel J. O'Connell

Masters Theses

A herpetofaunal survey was conducted on two sand prairie areas in Will Co., IL.; The Braidwood Dunes and Savanna Nature Preserve (BD+S), and Sandridge Savanna. Drift fences with pitfall traps, herpetological attractor panels, aquatic hoop traps, and manual collecting were used to sample the two preserves. A species list was compiled, and the habitat preferences and relative abundance of each species present were determined. The species list was compared with the species lists of other Illinois sand areas and the Nebraska sandhills. Guilds represented by the herpetofaunae of each area were also compared.

Seventeen species were recorded at BD ...


Diet Content And Overlap Of Six Species Of Turtle Among The Wabash River, Lori Pierce Jan 1992

Diet Content And Overlap Of Six Species Of Turtle Among The Wabash River, Lori Pierce

Masters Theses

A community of six species of turtles from the Wabash River and its backwaters was studied to determine diet composition of each species and amount of dietary overlap among species. Species studied included: Trionyx muticus, Trionyx spiniferus, and Graptemys ouachitensis in the river; Trachemys scripta and Chrysemys picta in both the river and backwaters; and Chelydra serpentina in the backwaters only.

Trionyx muticus, T. spiniferus, and G. ouachitensis all belong to a guild that specializes on aquatic insects. The highest diet overlap (69.6%) was between the two softshells, T. muticus and T. spiniferus. Coexistence is possible because T. spiniferus ...


A Comparison Of Three Populations Of The Plains Pocket Gophers, Geomys Bursarius Illinoensis, In Illinois, Frank P. Wray Jan 1989

A Comparison Of Three Populations Of The Plains Pocket Gophers, Geomys Bursarius Illinoensis, In Illinois, Frank P. Wray

Masters Theses

Morphometric and karyotypic analyses were performed on three Illinois populations of the Plains Pocket Gopher, Geomys bursarius illinoensis, to determine if any differences were present among the populations. Gophers were collected in three localities: 1) Iroquois and Kankakee Counties (IKC); McLean County (MC); and St. Clair and Madison counties (SMC). All three populations had the same kind and number of chromosomes (2n=72, FN=70). External measurements did not differ significantly among the three populations. Multivariate analysis of variance of the cranial characters showed that a significant (P<.05) difference existed in both males, F(78,1825)=1.65, and females, F(78,1961)=1.63, between the three regions. Duncan's multiple range tests of some cranial measurements showed a clinal increase going from east to west.


Cranial Variations And Skull Suture Obliterations As Related To Age In The Coyote (Canis Latrans), Kurt Daine Jan 1989

Cranial Variations And Skull Suture Obliterations As Related To Age In The Coyote (Canis Latrans), Kurt Daine

Masters Theses

Three criteria, skull size, development of the postorbital process, and cranial suture obliteration were examined to evaluate their effectiveness as possible age indicators in the coyote (Canis latrans). Two collections of coyote skulls were evaluated. The first was 130 skulls of known age, from Utah, which were used to compare the above characteristics to the age of the animal. The second was 151 Illinois Department of Conservation (DOC) skulls of unknown age, which were used in conjunction with the known age skulls to evaluate differences in skull size and observer and inter-observer subjectivity in the classification of suture obliterations.

Cranial ...


Effects Of Methylxanthines On Newborn Rat Respiration, Craig Gatto Jan 1989

Effects Of Methylxanthines On Newborn Rat Respiration, Craig Gatto

Masters Theses

Methylxanthines (MX), such as theophylline, are commonly used in the treatment of recurrent apnea due to their stimulant effects on the respiratory center. Structure-activity studies have demonstrated that substitution of alkyl groups on the 3-position of the xanthine nucleus results in increased bronchodilator potency, while substitution on the 1-position is important for adenosine antagonism and CNS stimulation. Three different alkylxanthines were studied to determine the structural requirements for respiratory stimulation. Respiratory rates and volumes were determined in 4- to 7-day-old rats using a volume displacement body plethysmograph. Measurements were made before and at 5 minute intervals after subcutaneous (s.c ...


Invertebrates Associated With The Pincushion Moss (Leucobryum Glaucum) And Underlying Soil, Timothy R. Leffler Jan 1988

Invertebrates Associated With The Pincushion Moss (Leucobryum Glaucum) And Underlying Soil, Timothy R. Leffler

Masters Theses

A faunal study of soil invertebrates collected from pincushion moss (Leucobryum glaucum) and underlying soil in a mixed deciduous forest of Charleston, Illinois, was performed because it was discovered that moss habitats have been largely overlooked by investigators.

The results from this study suggest that moss habitats provide a buffer area from the external physical environment, provide protection from predators, a place for oviposition and may be used as a food source. Twenty-seven orders of invertebrates were collected (66,023 individuals). Acarina (57.9%) and Collembola (37.9%) made up the majority of the invertebrate population. Three abiotic factors (temperature ...


Ecology And Interspecific Relationships Of The Painted Turtle, (Chrysemys Picta) In A Marsh-Fen Ecosystem, Eric S. Mcgee Jan 1988

Ecology And Interspecific Relationships Of The Painted Turtle, (Chrysemys Picta) In A Marsh-Fen Ecosystem, Eric S. Mcgee

Masters Theses

An ecological study of the painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) was conducted at the Fox River site in Chain O' Lakes State Park in northeastern Illinois from March to September in 1987. Findings were compared to two studies in 1986 concerning the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) and Blandings turtle (Emydoidea blandingi) also present in the area. Population densities and composition were evaluated to determine the degree of interspecific competition.

Two hundred-forty five turtles were captured in 1986 and 1987. Painted turtles comprised 75 percent of the chelonian population, while Blandings turtles and snapping turtles made up 15 and 10 percent ...


The Effects Of Xanthine And Adenosine Analogs On Rat Pup Diaphragmatic Contractility, Liam C. Farrell Jan 1987

The Effects Of Xanthine And Adenosine Analogs On Rat Pup Diaphragmatic Contractility, Liam C. Farrell

Masters Theses

Methylxanthines are commonly used in the treatment of respiratory disorders such as asthma, apnea of prematurity and Cheyne-Stokes respiration. Recently, certain methylxanthines have been found to potentiate the contraction of the diaphragm and increase contraction strength of the fatigued diaphragm. The mechanism of action of the methylxanthines is unknown. Three theories have been proposed but each has its supportive and negative points. One theory is that methylxanthines inhibit cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase (PDE) which facilitates contraction by increasing cyclic AMP levels in the cell. Another theory is that methylxanthines antagonize adenosine, thus blocking the adenosine-induced inhibition of contraction. The third theory ...


Ectoparasites Of Geomys Bursarius Illinoensis, Rick L. Miller Jan 1986

Ectoparasites Of Geomys Bursarius Illinoensis, Rick L. Miller

Masters Theses

This study was conducted to determine what ectoparasitic organisms are found on the pairie pocket gophers, Geomys burasrius, occurring in an isolated population in northeastern Illinois. The study area was a five hectare grassland community composed predominately of sandy soil, located in northeastern Iriquois Co., two miles north and three miles east of Beaverville, IL.

A total of 19 pocket gophers were captured from October 2 to November 17, 1983. Blood was collected and smears were made in the field. Hosts were examined for ectoparasites in the laboratory. Six hundred and nine ectoparasitic organisms were isolated representing a mean of ...


The Hold-Release Mechanism In The Family Crotalidae, Ronald K. Easter Jan 1986

The Hold-Release Mechanism In The Family Crotalidae, Ronald K. Easter

Masters Theses

Strike/release vs. strike/hold feeding behavior was observed for 5 Crotalus atrox and 5 Agkistrodon piscivorous. Two sizes of warm blooded prey were offered to the rattlesnakes on alternate weeks. Cottonmouths were offered, alternately, fish or mice of equal size. Although data varied among individual subjects, cottonmouths offered fish demonstrated the strike/hold behavior significantly more often than the strike/release behavior; cottonmouths offered mice struck and released significantly more often than they struck and held. It is concluded that the strike/hold strategy in sreponse to fish is adventageous because the danger of holding such prey is minimal ...