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Theses/Dissertations

2013

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Ecology

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Winter Waterbird Ecology On The Great Salt Lake, Utah, And Interactions With Commercial Harvest Of Brine Shrimp Cysts, Anthony J. Roberts Dec 2013

Winter Waterbird Ecology On The Great Salt Lake, Utah, And Interactions With Commercial Harvest Of Brine Shrimp Cysts, Anthony J. Roberts

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Interactions among commercial fisheries and birds have been studied in open ocean ecosystems and at aquaculture facilities. On the Great Salt Lake (GSL), Utah, USA, a commercial harvest of brine shrimp (Artemia franciscana) eggs (i.e. cysts) occurs annually during fall and winter. Coinciding with commercial harvest is the use of the GSL by millions of waterbirds which has the potential to result in conflict among industry and birds. The objectives of my research were to examine fall and winter ecology of birds using the GSL and interactions with the brine shrimp cyst harvest. I examined the influence of temperature ...


Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat Selection And Use Patterns In Response To Vegetation Management Practices In Northwestern Utah, Stephanie E. Graham May 2013

Greater Sage-Grouse Habitat Selection And Use Patterns In Response To Vegetation Management Practices In Northwestern Utah, Stephanie E. Graham

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; sage-grouse) currently occupy an estimated 56% of the potential range-wide pre-European settlement habitat. Population declines have been largely attributed to direct habitat loss and fragmentation related to anthropogenic activities that promote wildfires and the subsequent spread of invasive plants. Vegetation manipulations, including the seeding of plant species, such as forage kochia (Bassia prostrata), have been identified as potential strategies to mitigate the risk of wildfire and enhance sage-grouse habitat in areas at risk to wildfires. I evaluated the composition changes that occurred in a lower elevation sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) plant community within the Grouse Creek Watershed ...


Ecology Of Coyotes On The Valles Caldera National Preserve, New Mexico: Implications For Elk Calf Recruitment, Suzanne J. Gifford May 2013

Ecology Of Coyotes On The Valles Caldera National Preserve, New Mexico: Implications For Elk Calf Recruitment, Suzanne J. Gifford

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Valles Caldera National Preserve (VCNP) managers were concerned about low elk recruitment observed at the same time as an apparent increase in sightings of coyotes and observations of coyote predation on elk calves. The goal of this study was to describe coyotes’ ecological interactions with elk, particularly coyote diet and movements on the Valle Grande, a large grassland meadow in the southeastern portion of the VCNP.

We examined coyote diet by quantifying undigested remains of food items in coyote scats (feces). The most frequent taxa were rodents (montane voles and pocket gophers), elk (adult and calf), insects (grasshoppers and beetles ...


Roads And The Reproductive Ecology Of Hesperidanthus Suffrutescens, An Endangered Shrub, Matthew B. Lewis May 2013

Roads And The Reproductive Ecology Of Hesperidanthus Suffrutescens, An Endangered Shrub, Matthew B. Lewis

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

I investigated the pollination ecology ofHesperidanthus suffrutescens, an endangered Utah shrub, as well as the effects that road dust and local plant density may have on successful reproduction. The breeding system study included four pollination treatments to determine the degree of self-compatibility. Flower visitors were collected and probable pollinators were identified. To determine the effects of road dust on reproduction, I measured dust deposition, plant size, and reproduction in plots of increasing distance from an unpaved road. I also measured dust effects on pollination success and stomatal conductance. I determined the number of individuals per plot and the relative isolation ...