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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Crossing Corridors: Wildlife Use Of Jumpouts And Undercrossings Along A Highway With Wildlife Exclusion Fencing, Alex J. Jensen Aug 2018

Crossing Corridors: Wildlife Use Of Jumpouts And Undercrossings Along A Highway With Wildlife Exclusion Fencing, Alex J. Jensen

Master's Theses and Project Reports

Roads pose two central problems for wildlife: wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVCs) and habitat fragmentation. Wildlife exclusion fencing can reduce WVCs but can exacerbate fragmentation. In Chapter 1, I summarize the relevant studies addressing these two problems, with a focus on large mammals in North America. Chapters 2 and 3 summarize field assessments of technologies to reduce WVCs and maintain connectivity, specifically jumpout ramps and underpasses, along Highway 101 near San Luis Obispo, CA. In a fenced highway, some animals inevitably breach the fence and become trapped, which increases the risk of a wildlife-vehicle collision. Earthen escape ramps, or “jumpouts”, can allow ...


Influences Of Anthropogenic Noise On Flight Initiation Distance, Foraging Behavior, And Feeder Community Structure Of Wild Birds, Alissa R. Petrelli Dec 2017

Influences Of Anthropogenic Noise On Flight Initiation Distance, Foraging Behavior, And Feeder Community Structure Of Wild Birds, Alissa R. Petrelli

Master's Theses and Project Reports

Throughout the world, birds represent the primary type of wildlife that people experience on a daily basis. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that alterations to the acoustic environment can negatively affect birds as well as humans in a variety of ways, and altered acoustics from noise pollution has the potential to influence human interactions with wild birds. In this thesis, I investigated how anthropogenic noise impacts daily behavior as well as community structure of wild birds. In the first component of this thesis, I assessed the distance at which a bird initiates flight or escape behavior (i.e ...


The Population Genetics Of Morro Bay Eelgrass (Zostera Marina), Julia Gardner Harencar Jun 2017

The Population Genetics Of Morro Bay Eelgrass (Zostera Marina), Julia Gardner Harencar

Master's Theses and Project Reports

Seagrass populations are in decline worldwide. Zostera marina (eelgrass), one of California’s native seagrasses, is no exception to this trend. In the last 8 years, Morro Bay, California has lost 95% of its eelgrass. Eelgrass is an ecosystem engineer, providing important ecosystem services such as sediment stabilization, nutrient cycling, and nursery habitats for fish. The failure of recent restoration efforts necessitates a better understanding of the causes of eelgrass decline in this estuary. Previous research on eelgrass in California has demonstrated a link between population genetic diversity and eelgrass bed health, ecosystem functioning, and resilience to disturbance and extreme ...


An Assessment Of Potential False Positive E.Coli Pyroprints In The Cplop Database, Skyler A. Gordon Feb 2017

An Assessment Of Potential False Positive E.Coli Pyroprints In The Cplop Database, Skyler A. Gordon

Master's Theses and Project Reports

The genetic information found in each species of organism is unique, and can be used as a tool to differentiate at the molecular level. This has caused rapid genotyping methods to become the cornerstone of a new area of research dependent on reading the genome as a form of identification. One of these specific identification methods, known as pyroprinting, relies on the small variation of DNA sequences within the same species to develop a unique, reproducible fingerprint. By simultaneously pyrosequencing multiple polymorphic loci within the ribosomal operons known as the intergenic transcribed spacers, a reproducible output is obtained, known as ...


Evaluating The Myth Of Allelopathy In California Blue Gum Plantations, Kristen Marie Nelson Jun 2016

Evaluating The Myth Of Allelopathy In California Blue Gum Plantations, Kristen Marie Nelson

Master's Theses and Project Reports

It is widely accepted that allelopathy is not only significant, but more or less singular, in the inhibition of understory vegetation in California Eucalyptus globulus (blue gum) plantations. However, there is no published documentation of allelopathy by blue gums against California native species. Here, we present evidence that germination and early seedling growth of five California native species are not inhibited by chemical extracts of blue gum foliage, either at naturally-occurring or artificially concentrated levels. In the greenhouse, seeds were germinated in field-collected soil from mature blue gum plantations and the adjacent native, coastal scrub communities. In petri plates, seeds ...


Effects Of Supplemental Hydration On Physiology And Behavior Of Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes (Crotalus Oreganus Oreganus), Griffin D. Capehart Oct 2015

Effects Of Supplemental Hydration On Physiology And Behavior Of Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes (Crotalus Oreganus Oreganus), Griffin D. Capehart

Master's Theses and Project Reports

Hydration is a critical element for many physiological processes in vertebrates, such as protein production, innate immunity, and behavioral processes such as daily activity and thermoregulation. Few studies have directly assessed the effect of hydration on these animals in nature. While it seems intuitive that drought is stressful to animals, studies examining drought are typically observational and fail to assess how the hydration state of these animals influences their physiology and behavior. We tested for an effect of hydration on several physiological and behavioral parameters in Northern Pacific rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus oreganus) by experimentally manipulating hydration levels in the field ...


The Ecological Effects Of Cattle Grazing On Reptiles And Small Mammals In A San Joaquin Valley Grassland, Michael William Tom Feb 2014

The Ecological Effects Of Cattle Grazing On Reptiles And Small Mammals In A San Joaquin Valley Grassland, Michael William Tom

Master's Theses and Project Reports

Livestock grazing is a common and extensive land use practice in the United States occurring in a wide range of habitat types. As such, livestock grazing has the potential to alter ecosystem structure, function and community composition. The primary component (Chapter 1) of this thesis examined the effects of cattle grazing in a San Joaquin Valley grassland on two target taxa: reptiles and small mammals. The study took place on the Chimineas Unit of the Carrizo Ecological Reserve, San Luis Obispo County, California during Fall 2009 and Spring 2010. These taxa were sampled on matched pairs of two grazed and ...


Seasonal Food Habits Of Burrowing Owls (Athene Cunicularia) In Human-Altered Landscapes, Carie Marie Wingert Jun 2012

Seasonal Food Habits Of Burrowing Owls (Athene Cunicularia) In Human-Altered Landscapes, Carie Marie Wingert

Master's Theses and Project Reports

In 2004, I initiated a year-long study to investigate the food habits of burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia). Burrowing owls have been found in a variety of human-altered landscapes; however, little is known about burrowing owl food habits in urban landscapes. Burrowing owl food habits during the non-breeding season are also largely undocumented, despite increasing concern over the survival of overwintering burrowing owls. Differences in prey consumption between reproductive and non-reproductive owls during the breeding season have not yet been examined. I collected pellets over a 12 month period at four study sites affected by different levels of human alteration in ...


American Pika (Ochotona Princeps): Persistence And Activity Patterns In A Changing Climate, Cody P. Massing May 2012

American Pika (Ochotona Princeps): Persistence And Activity Patterns In A Changing Climate, Cody P. Massing

Master's Theses and Project Reports

An increasing amount of evidence suggests that as temperatures increase, montane animals are moving upward in elevation (IPCC 2007, Parmesan and Yohe 2003). As suitable habitats rise in elevation and then disappear altogether, these animals could be pushed to extinction. The American pika, Ochotona princeps, is a montane mammal that lives in western North America, usually at elevations above 1500 m (Smith and Weston 1990). Recent evidence suggests that pika population numbers are dropping in response to rising temperatures (Beever et al. 2010). The pika is a small herbivorous lagomorph, a relative of hares and rabbits. Its habitat is tightly ...


Classifying And Mapping Diversity In A Species-Poor System: The Mangrove Meta-Community Of Laguna Chacahua National Park, Oaxaca, Mexico, Elizabeth Kay Weisgerber Sep 2011

Classifying And Mapping Diversity In A Species-Poor System: The Mangrove Meta-Community Of Laguna Chacahua National Park, Oaxaca, Mexico, Elizabeth Kay Weisgerber

Master's Theses and Project Reports

ABSTRACT

Classifying and Mapping Diversity in a Species-Poor System: the mangrove meta-community of Laguna Chacahua National Park, Oaxaca, Mexico

by

Elizabeth Kay Weisgerber

Both field transects and imagery grid plots were analyzed with the goal of creating a community classification map for the mangrove forest of Parque Nacional Lagunas de Chacahua. In total, data was collected in 49 sites throughout the park, recording measures such as DBH, basal area, estimated dominance, frequency, cover and relative dominance. Field locations were marked and georeferenced with a GPS and grid plots overlaid on satellite imagery of the park were generated via a random ...


Hydrologic Alteration And Sedimentation In The Upper Henry’S Fork Watershed, Amelie Jeanne Charnaux Jun 2011

Hydrologic Alteration And Sedimentation In The Upper Henry’S Fork Watershed, Amelie Jeanne Charnaux

Master's Theses and Project Reports

Abstract

Hydrologic Alteration and Sedimentation in the Upper Henry’s Fork Watershed

Amelie Jeanne Charnaux

The Henry’s Fork of the Snake River is venerated by the global recreational community as one of the finest trout fishing streams on the planet. Furthermore, this remarkable waterway flows within the bounds of one of the most important ecological corridors in the equally world-renowned Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. While the recreational and biological features of this corner of Idaho may capture the interest of the broader public, the waterway is equally significant to the livelihoods of local interests, such as the ranching and farming ...


Harmful Algal Bloom (Hab) Communities And Co-Occurring Species In Relation To Near Shore Ocean Dynamics In San Luis Bay, California, Samuel Christopher Rankin Jun 2011

Harmful Algal Bloom (Hab) Communities And Co-Occurring Species In Relation To Near Shore Ocean Dynamics In San Luis Bay, California, Samuel Christopher Rankin

Master's Theses and Project Reports

The occurrence of phytoplankton taxa, with special focus on harmful algal bloom (HAB) taxa, was monitored for one year off the central coast of California to examine both their co-occurrence and physical and chemical variables influencing their temporal patterns. Bi-weekly samples were taken from October 6, 2008 to October 5, 2009 in San Luis Obispo Bay, CA. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) of weekly samples indicated that 46.1% of the variability in species abundance was explained by the variables in the model, higher than previous reports. Cluster analysis divided phytoplankton communities into HAB and non-HAB groups of species, while shared ...


The Presence Of Micropterus Salmoides (Largemouth Bass) Influences The Populations Of Rana Draytonii (California Red-Legged Frog) And Pseudacris Regilla (Pacific Treefrog) In Two Ponds In Santa Barbara County, California, Kenneth Lee Gilliland Feb 2010

The Presence Of Micropterus Salmoides (Largemouth Bass) Influences The Populations Of Rana Draytonii (California Red-Legged Frog) And Pseudacris Regilla (Pacific Treefrog) In Two Ponds In Santa Barbara County, California, Kenneth Lee Gilliland

Master's Theses and Project Reports

Alien fish have been implicated in the decline of Rana draytonii (California red-legged frog) and Pseudacris regilla (Pacific treefrog) populations. Micropterus salmoides (largemouth bass) is a common sport fish that has been introduced into the sympatric range of these two anuran species; however, no studies have investigated the individual influence that this alien fish has on these two species. I conducted M. salmoides control or eradication experiments during a four year study in two ponds within the Transverse Mountain Range of Santa Barbara County, California. Changes in the densities of all life stages of R. draytonii and P. regilla were ...


Arroyo Toad (Anaxyrus Californicus) Life History, Population Status, Population Threats, And Habitat Assessment Of Conditions At Fort Hunter Liggett, Monterey County, California, Jacquelyn Petrasich Hancock Dec 2009

Arroyo Toad (Anaxyrus Californicus) Life History, Population Status, Population Threats, And Habitat Assessment Of Conditions At Fort Hunter Liggett, Monterey County, California, Jacquelyn Petrasich Hancock

Master's Theses and Project Reports

The arroyo toad (Anaxyrus californicus) is a federally endangered species found on Fort Hunter Liggett, Monterey County, California. The species was discovered in 1996 and was determined to occupy 26.7 km of the San Antonio River from approximately 2.4 km northwest of the San Antonio Mission de Padua, to the river delta above the San Antonio Reservoir. The construction of the San Antonio Reservoir dam in 1963 isolated this northern population of arroyo toads. Through time, the Fort Hunter Liggett landscape has changed drastically. The land was heavily grazed by cattle until 1991, which considerably reduced vegetation in ...


Spatial, Seasonal, And Size-Dependent Variation In The Diet Of Sacramento Pikeminnow In The Main Stem Of Chorro Creek, Central Coast California, Brian G. Dugas Jun 2009

Spatial, Seasonal, And Size-Dependent Variation In The Diet Of Sacramento Pikeminnow In The Main Stem Of Chorro Creek, Central Coast California, Brian G. Dugas

Master's Theses and Project Reports

This study examined the diet composition of ninety-nine Sacramento pikeminnow (150-410 mm [5.9-16 in] fork length [FL]) collected from the upper and lower main stem of Chorro Creek, Morro Bay Watershed, California in 2006. The goal of this study was to characterize the spatial and seasonal variability in the diet of Sacramento pikeminnow within Chorro Creek and to determine what proportion of the diet is represented by rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and their anadromous form (steelhead). Prey was identified in 88% of the samples collected in the early season and 84% of the samples collected in the late season ...