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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Riparian Bird-Habitat Association Models: A Framework For Informing Management And Developing Restoration Guidelines In Utah, Hillary M. White May 2011

Riparian Bird-Habitat Association Models: A Framework For Informing Management And Developing Restoration Guidelines In Utah, Hillary M. White

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Approximately 75% of the avian species in Utah use riparian habitats at some time during their life cycles and at least 80% of this habitat in Utah has been lost or altered since settlement; currently 0.6% of land cover in Utah is considered riparian. In 1992, with the support of Utah Partner's in Flight, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources began a statewide neotropical migratory bird (NTMB) and habitat monitoring program to assess the status of bird populations at 31 sites. Additional sites (up to 52) were added in later years; bird and habitat assessments at 37 riparian ...


The Transfer Of Agricultural Water To Municipal And Industrial Usages, Dallin Paul Stephens May 2011

The Transfer Of Agricultural Water To Municipal And Industrial Usages, Dallin Paul Stephens

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The water that is available for beneficial use in Utah is quickly approaching full appropriation; water that has been claimed is nearing the amount that is available for use. The Division of Water Resources of the State of Utah has organized a three-part plan to "Plan, Conserve, Develop and Protect Utah's Water Resources." One of these three elements has a focus to "provide comprehensive water planning." Such planning is best achieved when current and accurate data on the uses of the state's water are available.

The primary purpose of this thesis was to provide an evaluation, from data ...


Ecology And Conservation Of Cougars In The Eastern Great Basin: Effects Of Urbanization, Habitat Fragmentation, And Exploitation, David C. Stoner May 2011

Ecology And Conservation Of Cougars In The Eastern Great Basin: Effects Of Urbanization, Habitat Fragmentation, And Exploitation, David C. Stoner

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This research was designed to investigate cougar response to urbanization, habitat fragmentation, and exploitation from behavioral, demographic, and landscape perspectives. The source-sink model has been proposed as an alternative framework for the management of exploited cougar populations. I addressed the basic question of whether cougars conform behaviorally to the predictions of the source-sink model, and consequently, the applied question of whether the model could be used for the conservation of this species. To achieve this I evaluated three scale-specific questions using radio-telemetry and hunter-harvest data collected from 1996-2010. At the subpopulation scale, I tested the hypothesis that cougars are wildland ...


Habitat Characteristics And Occupancy Rates Of Lewis's Woodpecker In Aspen, Amy M. Vande Voort May 2011

Habitat Characteristics And Occupancy Rates Of Lewis's Woodpecker In Aspen, Amy M. Vande Voort

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Lewis‘ woodpeckers (Melanerpes lewis) are generally associated with open ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), open riparian, and burned pine habitats in the West; however, this species has recently been found to nest in aspen (Populus tremuloides) stands in Utah. This study describes the habitat characteristics of Lewis‘ woodpecker nest sites in aspen and investigates how well aspen stand characteristics predict Lewis‘ woodpecker occupancy. I surveyed for Lewis‘ woodpeckers at previously occupied nesting locations in aspen and took habitat measurements at nest sites. In addition, nest-centered Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA)-type plots provided stand-level habitat characteristics. I used logistic regression to ...


Application Of Habitat And Occupancy Modeling To A Wood Duck Next Box Program, Jason D. Carlisle May 2011

Application Of Habitat And Occupancy Modeling To A Wood Duck Next Box Program, Jason D. Carlisle

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Programs to augment wood duck (Aix sponsa) nesting habitat by providing artificial nest boxes are commonly implemented. In northern Utah, where such programs are relatively new, I proposed a method to identify sites suitable for deployment of next boxes through a combination of habitat and occupancy modeling using site-specific, biotic, and abiotic, data collected from 105 next boxes over one nesting season in Cache County, Utah. An inductive habitat model was first developed which identified possibly suitable habitat (8.74% of county) based on proximity to hydrologic features. Next, based on comparing competing single-species, single-season, occupancy models using a modified ...


Variable Palatability Of Quaking Aspen For Large Ungulate Herbivores, Patrice Alexa Nielson Aug 2010

Variable Palatability Of Quaking Aspen For Large Ungulate Herbivores, Patrice Alexa Nielson

Theses and Dissertations

Aspen is a key resource in the Rocky Mountain Region for wildlife forage and habitat, lumber products, scenery, and plays important roles in fire ecology and hydrological processes. There is evidence of aspen decline over much of the Intermountain West for approximately 100 years. In Dixie and Fishlake National Forests, UT, aspen distribution has decreased by nearly half. Causes of this decline are not well understood, although wildlife browsing by ungulates has been implicated as playing a major role. The objective of this research was to examine what soil or plant factors might be involved in wildlife browse choice in ...


Investigation Of Potential Trapping Bias In Malaise Traps Due To Mesh Gauge, In Two Habitats, David Jensen Betts Jul 2010

Investigation Of Potential Trapping Bias In Malaise Traps Due To Mesh Gauge, In Two Habitats, David Jensen Betts

Theses and Dissertations

Malaise traps are a common tool for collecting insects used by many researchers. Although there have been variations in the models and materials used for Malaise traps, the potential for sampling bias due to mesh gague has been explored inadequately. This study compared coarse and fine mesh Townes model Malaise traps in two habitats on the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The two habitats next to the Lick Wash trailhead were defined by dominant vegetation type – sagebrush and grasses or Piñon-Juniper. We collected from three sites per habitat type, over three consecutive days in June in both 2006 and 2007. A ...


Greater Sage-Grouse Response To Sagebrush Reduction Treatments In Rich County, Utah, Roger Blair Stringham May 2010

Greater Sage-Grouse Response To Sagebrush Reduction Treatments In Rich County, Utah, Roger Blair Stringham

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Management of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the west has changed over the last several decades in response to environmental and anthropogenic causes. Many land and wildlife management agencies have begun manipulating sagebrush with herbicides, machinery, and fire. The intent of these manipulations (treatments) is to reduce sagebrush canopy cover and increase the density of grass and forb species, thus providing higher quality sage-grouse brood-rearing habitat. However, monitoring of sage-grouse response to such manipulations has often been lacking or non-existent. The objective of our study was to determine the response of sage-grouse to sagebrush reduction treatments that have occurred recently ...


The Influence Of Landscape And Weather On Foraging By Olfactory Meso-Predators In Utah, Rebekah E. Dritz May 2010

The Influence Of Landscape And Weather On Foraging By Olfactory Meso-Predators In Utah, Rebekah E. Dritz

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Predation by olfactory meso-predators has a large impact on avian nest success, particularly for ground-nesting waterfowl. Olfactory predators rely on odors to locate their prey. Weather conditions (e.g. wind speed, humidity, and temperature), vegetation, and landscape features affect the dissipation rate of odors and could affect the foraging efficiency of olfactory predators. I conducted 2 studies to determine if weather and landscape impact predator foraging ability and behavior: a predator survey study and an artificial nest study. The objective of the predator survey was to investigate how landscape and weather conditions interact to influence the distribution of olfactory meso-predators ...


A Multi-Scale Evaluation Of Pygmy Rabbit Space Use In A Managed Landscape, Tammy L. Wilson May 2010

A Multi-Scale Evaluation Of Pygmy Rabbit Space Use In A Managed Landscape, Tammy L. Wilson

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Habitat selection has long been viewed as a multi-scale process. Observed species responses to resource gradients are influenced by variation at the scale of the individual, population, metapopulation, and geographic range. Understanding how species interact with habitat at multiple levels presents a complete picture of an organism and is necessary for conservation of endangered species. The main goal of this dissertation is to evaluate distribution, relative abundance, and habitat selection of a rare species, the pygmy rabbit Brachylagus idahoensis, at multiple scales in order to improve management and conservation for this species.

At the broadest scale, pygmy rabbit occurrence and ...


Diet Reconstruction Of Wild Rio-Grande Turkey Of Central Utah Using Stable Isotope Analysis, Benjamin D. Stearns Mar 2010

Diet Reconstruction Of Wild Rio-Grande Turkey Of Central Utah Using Stable Isotope Analysis, Benjamin D. Stearns

Theses and Dissertations

The wild turkey is endemic to North America and has played a role in human cultures past and present. However, with the turkey's elusive behavior some aspects of its ecology are challenging to understand. Diet is one of these difficult aspects to study. The purpose of this study was to determine the diet selection of wild turkeys in central Utah using non invasive stable isotope technology. We hypothesize that turkey diet is highly specific, that consumption of specific plant species correlates with the needs of the individual turkey, and that stable isotope analysis will reveal patterns in annual dietary ...


Metabolic Effect Of Three Protein Levels In The Nutrition Of Alpacas (Lama Pacus) In The Experimental Station Of Brigham Young University, Rolando Freddy Uruña Tito Jan 2009

Metabolic Effect Of Three Protein Levels In The Nutrition Of Alpacas (Lama Pacus) In The Experimental Station Of Brigham Young University, Rolando Freddy Uruña Tito

Theses and Dissertations

This study had the principal objective of evaluating the metabolic effect of three protein levels in the nutrition of Alpacas (Lama pacus) in the experimental stations of Brigham Young University, located in the city of Provo, Utah, U.S.A at an altitude of 13696 m.a.s.l., and geographically located at 40°12’ north latitude, and 111°43’ west longitude. The climatic characteristics of the state of Utah, particularly in the city of Provo, during the current season registered the following: 4°C of minimum average temperature, 11.4°C of an average mean temperature, and 19°C ...


Factors Influencing Epiphytic Lichen Communities In Aspen-Associated Forests Of The Bear River Range, Idaho And Utah, Paul C. Rogers May 2007

Factors Influencing Epiphytic Lichen Communities In Aspen-Associated Forests Of The Bear River Range, Idaho And Utah, Paul C. Rogers

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

In western North America, quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) is the most common hardwood in montane landscapes. Fire suppression, grazing, wildlife management practices, and climate patterns of the past century are some of the threats to aspen coverage in this region. Researchers are concerned that aspen-dependent species may be losing habitat, thereby threatening their long-term local and regional viability. Though lichens have a rich history as air pollution indicators, I believe that they may also be useful as a metric of community diversity associated with habitat change. To date, few studies have specifically examined the status of aspen's epiphytic ...


Forage Adaptability Trials For Forage And Seed Production In Bolivia; Effect Of 5 Herbicides On 7 Native Utah Forbs, Joshua C. Voss Dec 2006

Forage Adaptability Trials For Forage And Seed Production In Bolivia; Effect Of 5 Herbicides On 7 Native Utah Forbs, Joshua C. Voss

Theses and Dissertations

The harsh environmental and poor economic conditions of the Bolivian Altiplano require intervention to assist many of those that live there to become economically self-sufficient. We attempted to find introduced dry season reserve forage grasses that could produce enough biomass to be useful as feed for livestock, and that could also produce enough seed to distribute to farmers. While some of the grasses produced reasonable amounts of biomass, none produced seed in quantities that would be even close to being economically viable. The most likely cause of this is that the timing of resources that the grasses need to flower ...


Type 2 Diabetes And The Risk Of Osteoporotic Hip Fracture In Utah Men And Women, Megan Bunch May 2006

Type 2 Diabetes And The Risk Of Osteoporotic Hip Fracture In Utah Men And Women, Megan Bunch

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Prior studies have unequivocally established a consistent association between osteoporotic hip fracture risk and type 2 diabetes mellitus. One reason this association still remains unclear is primarily due to the limited amount of research conducted in this area. The Utah Study of Nutrition and Bone Health (USNBH) is a case-control study conducted in Utah during the period of 1997-2001 to determine risk factors for osteoporotic hip fracture. All study participants (n = 2590) were determined from Utah residents 50-90 years of age. Cases were determined from 18 Utah hospitals during 1997-2001. Age and gender-matched controls were randomly selected from the Utah ...


Milk Intake In Early And Late Adulthood And Risk Of Osteoporotic Hip Fractures In Utah, Melanie Jean Slavens May 2006

Milk Intake In Early And Late Adulthood And Risk Of Osteoporotic Hip Fractures In Utah, Melanie Jean Slavens

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The relationship between milk intake and risk of osteoporotic fractures is uncertain. Associations between milk intake and milk avoidance in relation to osteoporotic hip fracture were examined in the Utah Study of Nutrition and Bone Health (USNBH), a statewide case-control study. Cases were ascertained at Utah hospitals treating 98 percent of hip fractures during 1997-2001 and included 1188 men and women aged 50-89 years. Age- and gender-matched controls were randomly selected from Utah driver's license and Medicare databases (N= 1324). In-person interviews were conducted and participants reported frequency of milk intake per week at age 18 and during pregnancy ...


Smoking, Anemia, And Risk Of Oral Clefts In Utah, Melinda Michelle Moss May 2006

Smoking, Anemia, And Risk Of Oral Clefts In Utah, Melinda Michelle Moss

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Cigarette smoke contains sufficient carbon monoxide to induce maternal and fetal hypoxia. Hypoxia is a known teratogen, and consequently maternal smoking has been the focus of many studies on adverse birth outcomes, including cleft lip and palate. Current literature of epidemiological studies on smoking and clefts suggests a modest but statistically significant increase in risk of clefting associated with maternal smoking. A biological condition that may also contribute to hypoxia is anemia. Data from the Utah Child and Family Health Study was used to assess the effects of hypoxia-inducing conditions, maternal smoking, anemia, and their interaction, on the risk of ...


Alternative Futures For The Bear River Watershed, Richard E. Toth May 2005

Alternative Futures For The Bear River Watershed, Richard E. Toth

All Graduate Plan B and other Reports

The Bear River Watershed (BRW) is located in northeastern Utah, southeastern Idaho, and southwestern Wyoming. Over the three states the watershed encompasses an area of 7,500 square miles (4,800,000 acres). The Bear River 's headwaters begin at close to 13,000 feet in the High Uintas Wilderness Area of northeastern Utah. The course of the river follows a horseshoe pattern flowing north through Wyoming, Utah, and Idaho before bending south at Soda Springs. The river then meanders through the Gem and Cache Valleys before reaching its delta at the Great Salt Lake at an elevation of 4 ...


Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions In Utah: An Analysis Of Wildlife Road Mortality Hotspots, Economic Impacts And Implications For Mitigation And Management, Christine A. Kassar May 2005

Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions In Utah: An Analysis Of Wildlife Road Mortality Hotspots, Economic Impacts And Implications For Mitigation And Management, Christine A. Kassar

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

In the US, the roaded landscape has had serious ecological effects. We studied wildlife-vehicle collisions occurring on the 248 state routes in Utah from 1992 to 2002. We tracked trends and patterns in deer-vehicle collisions, evaluated all routes for frequency of deer kills, and identified "hotspots" ( segments of road with high concentrations of collisions per mile). We found pronounced patterns: e.g., 61.15% of all collisions occurred on only 10 routes. We studied the effects of posted speed limit and annual average daily traffic flow and found that no relationship existed between traffic volume and/or posted speed limit ...


Cougar Exploitation Levels In Utah: Implications For Demographic Structure, Metapopulation Dynamics, And Population Recover, David C. Stoner May 2004

Cougar Exploitation Levels In Utah: Implications For Demographic Structure, Metapopulation Dynamics, And Population Recover, David C. Stoner

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Presently, eleven western states and two Canadian provinces utilize sport hunting as the primary mechanism for managing cougar (Puma concolor) populations. However, the impacts of sustained harvest on population dynamics and demographic structure arc not well understood. Additionally, the lack of cost-effective enumeration techniques and strongly conflicting societal values complicate effective management of this species. Given these concerns, the primary goals of this study were (I) to determine the effects of sustained harvest on cougar populations, and (2) estimate the level and extent of cougar harvest statewide.

I monitored cougar populations on Monroe Mountain in south-central Utah, and in the ...


Alternative Future Growth Scenarios For Conserving Open Space Along Utah's Wasatch Front: A Case Study For The Mountain Land Association Of Governments, Richard E. Toth May 2004

Alternative Future Growth Scenarios For Conserving Open Space Along Utah's Wasatch Front: A Case Study For The Mountain Land Association Of Governments, Richard E. Toth

All Graduate Plan B and other Reports

Over the past 20 years, rapid suburban and second-home development along Utah's Wasatch Front has threatened to irreversibly alter the region 's character and quality of life. This rapid development has raised concern among federal, state, county and community leaders with respect to the protection of surface and subsurface water; public health, safety and welfare; public services and infrastructure, and open space. The major areas being developed include the valley edges and bottom lands, riparian zones, agricultural lands and bench areas. Since most of these areas are under private ownership, they are highly vulnerable to an array of development ...


An Ecological/Life History Comparison Of Two Whitefish Species In Bear Lake, Utah/Idaho, Brett W. Thompson May 2003

An Ecological/Life History Comparison Of Two Whitefish Species In Bear Lake, Utah/Idaho, Brett W. Thompson

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Ecological traits of the endemic Bear Lake whitefish Prosoopium abyssicola and the Bonneville whitefish prosopium silonotus were investigated. Spatial distributions indicated distinctive differences in depth contour preference. Catch per unit effort data indicated that Bonneville whitefish prefer shallow depths and warmer water temperatures, whereas Bear Lake whitefish prefer deep, cold water.

Diet differences between the two species were large. Differences in both age distribution and growth rate patterns were also observed. The Bonneville whitefish population was predominantly composed of juvenile age classes. Very large adults reached ages of 12-14 years. Bear Lake whitefish exhibited a different population structure with few ...


Assessing The Effects Of Myxobolus Cerebralis And Other Environmental Factors On The Dynamics, Abundance, And Distribution Of Trout Populations In The Logan River, Utah, Ernesto A. De La Hoz Franco May 2003

Assessing The Effects Of Myxobolus Cerebralis And Other Environmental Factors On The Dynamics, Abundance, And Distribution Of Trout Populations In The Logan River, Utah, Ernesto A. De La Hoz Franco

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The presence of nonnative trout and the recent introduction of Myxobolus cerebralis in the Logan River drainage pose a threat to the native Bonneville cutthroat trout population (Oncorhynchus clarki Utah). The variability in the response of susceptible trout populations to M. cerebralis, causing agent of whirling disease, suggests that environmental factors may influence the effects of the parasite in infected environments. I investigated the relationship between temperature, discharge, substrate size, nutrient concentration (nitrogen and phosphorus), periphyton (chlorophyll a), and the relative abundance of Tubifex tubifex to the distribution, and prevalence of M. cerebralis in wild salmonid populations and sentinel fish ...


The Influence Of Predator Exclosures And Livestock Grazing On Duck Production At Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Utah, Benjamin C. West May 2002

The Influence Of Predator Exclosures And Livestock Grazing On Duck Production At Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Utah, Benjamin C. West

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Nest predation is a major factor impacting duck production and recruitment on breeding areas in North America. I surveyed waterfowl managers employed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. state wildlife agencies to determine their beliefs about nest predation and its management. Over 64% of respondents believed that rates of nest success on their management units averaged <30% between 1996-2000. Managers believed habitat management and direct predator control were the most effective techniques to reduce nest predation. The construction of predator exclosures around nesting habitat also has been recommended to reduce nest predation. Between 1999-2001, I evaluated the effectiveness of 4 predator exclosures to enhance duck nest success at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Utah. During this period, rates of nest success in the exclosures were slightly higher than that within control plots, but still <15%. Although published guidelines commonly recommended predator fences ≤ 117 cm in height, I observed red foxes jump the 114-cm-high fences. Additional research is needed to identify effective predator fence designs.

Wildlife managers have argued that periodic disturbance of vegetation should be a component of management on waterfowl breeding areas. Although many techniques are available to manipulate vegetation, grazing by domestic livestock has been controversial. Some researchers have reported that ...


Effects Of Myxobolus Cerebralis On The Population Dynamics Of Kokanee In Porcupine Reservoir, Utah, Arthur E. Butts May 2002

Effects Of Myxobolus Cerebralis On The Population Dynamics Of Kokanee In Porcupine Reservoir, Utah, Arthur E. Butts

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This study tracked the chronology and severity of Myxobolus cerebralis infection and related it to survival of age-0 kokanee to determine whether M. cerebralis represented a significant agent of morality in the population. Environmental conditions and losses to predation were identified and linked to age-0 kokanee survival to identify other sources of mortality in the population. We attempted to track survival of age-0 kokanee from the outmigration into the reservoir until the end of the first growing season in September of each year. The number of age-0 kokanee that entered the reservoir was calculated by obtaining estimates of total egg ...


Economic Impact Of Snowmobiling In Utah, Ikuko Fujisaki May 2001

Economic Impact Of Snowmobiling In Utah, Ikuko Fujisaki

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to estimate statewide and local economic impact resulting from snowmobiling activities in Utah to gain a better understanding of preferences and opinions of Utah snowmobilers. The results will provide valuable information for snowmobiling management.

The survey instrument was designed to describe trip behavior, snowmobiling-related trip and annual expenditures, level of satisfaction with Utah snowmobiling opportunities, and demographics. A telephone survey was conducted with randomly selected households with registered snowmobiles during the period from April to June 2000. A 54.5% response rate yielded 373 usable completed questionnaires for data analysis.

For economic impact analysis ...


Morphometric Evaluation Of The Whitefish Complex In Bear Lake, Utah/Idaho, Alan Ward May 2001

Morphometric Evaluation Of The Whitefish Complex In Bear Lake, Utah/Idaho, Alan Ward

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Whitefish populations around the world have long been difficult to categorize taxonomically. The whitefish of Bear Lake, Utah/Idaho are no exception. There are three recognized species of Prosopium that are endemic to the lake. Two of these species, Prosopium spilonotus and Prosopium abyssicota, have previously been indistinguishable outside of spawning times. Previous studies have proposed additional taxa within P. spi/onotus to further complicate the identification among these taxa.

Morphological characteristics were quantified on wild whitefish from Bear Lake, as well as from progeny reared in the laboratory from the wild adult fish. The purported taxa were separated in ...


Limitations On Canada Goose Production At Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge, Utah, Dorie S. Stolley May 1998

Limitations On Canada Goose Production At Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge, Utah, Dorie S. Stolley

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Canada geese (Branta canadensis) recently have become management problems in some areas due to overpopulation At Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). managers are concerned with the opposite situation Despite attempts to boost production, only 18 to 34 goslings of the western Canada goose (B. c. moffitti) were produced per year, from 1989 to 1993. I studied the breeding population from March to July in 1996 and 1997. Results suggest that production is limited in 3 ways: low gosling survival. low nesting success for ground nests, and low number of breeding pairs Gosling survival to fledging was 25% in 1996 ...


Modeling Soil Loss To Determine Water Erosion Risk At Camp Williams National Guard Base, Utah, Kevin P. Bartsch May 1998

Modeling Soil Loss To Determine Water Erosion Risk At Camp Williams National Guard Base, Utah, Kevin P. Bartsch

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Soil erosion was assessed at Camp Williams National Guard Base by creating an erosion risk classification map and comparing the erosion impact of disturbance regimes on different hillslopes. Soil erosion does not appear to be a problem for most of Camp Williams.

The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation was applied using GIS to create a soil erosion risk map for the entire Camp Williams facility. The map indicated where problem areas occurred and showed relative erosion risk, but its lack of quantitative accuracy should be noted. Areas of concern included landscapes with little or no protective vegetation such as roads ...


Litter Decomposition And Nutrient Release Patterns In A Subalpine Forest In Northern Utah, Amber Denton Johnson May 1997

Litter Decomposition And Nutrient Release Patterns In A Subalpine Forest In Northern Utah, Amber Denton Johnson

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

In the arid subalpine zone of the intermountain west it is common to see patchy forests interspersed with open meadows containing scattered clusters of trees referred to as tree islands. These tree islands are often composed of subalpine fir [Abies lasiocarpa (Hook) Nutt.] and Englemann spruce [Picea englemannii (Parry)]. In desert ecosystems, where lack of water is the most important factor limiting growth and nutrient dynamics, it is not unusual to see individual plants (especially in the shrub community) creating "islands of fertility", in which the plants collect nutrients by pumping them from deeper in the soil profile and redepositing ...