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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Spatial And Temporal Comparisons Of Gopher Rockfish (Sebastes Carnatus) Life History And Condition In South Central California, Natasha Leigh Meyers-Cherry Dec 2014

Spatial And Temporal Comparisons Of Gopher Rockfish (Sebastes Carnatus) Life History And Condition In South Central California, Natasha Leigh Meyers-Cherry

Master's Theses and Project Reports

Recent studies have shown environmental factors influence life history traits in fishes. Understanding intraspecific variability of life history characteristics and condition is necessary to determine local fisheries management strategies. Gopher rockfish, Sebastes carnatus, comprise 50% of the estimated shallow nearshore recreational rockfish catch in California, yet insufficient local data exist regarding life history traits and condition of this species. Our study locally defines growth parameters (maximum size and age), size (age) at reproductive maturity, and condition (hepatosomatic indices) for gopher rockfish in south central California. The growth parameter values of gopher rockfish from our study are similar to previously published ...


Estimating Migration Rates Between Populations Of Zostera Marina In The San Francisco Bay, Elizabeth S. Gutierrez Sep 2014

Estimating Migration Rates Between Populations Of Zostera Marina In The San Francisco Bay, Elizabeth S. Gutierrez

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Eelgrass (Zostera marina) is a highly clonal marine angiosperm that can also reproduce sexually through flowering and seed formation. In a previous study, Fst values from six microsatellite loci suggested that a perennial San Francisco Bay subpopulation at Point Molate (Richmond, California) was able to recover from a drastic 2006 die-off through seed recruitment from neighboring eelgrass subpopulations, changing its reproductive strategy from clonal to sexual. Although Fst measures continue to be widely used in population genetics, the assumptions under which they operate are not always appropriate given certain circumstances, such small population sizes and/or asymmetrical migration rates. Our ...


Mother Convict Cichlids Inflict More Bites Upon An Intruder In Hot Temperatures, Jesse L. Heckendorf Aug 2014

Mother Convict Cichlids Inflict More Bites Upon An Intruder In Hot Temperatures, Jesse L. Heckendorf

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Convict cichlids (Archocentrus nigrofasciatus) have developed to be extremely good parents by protecting their brood. Parental care leads to aggressive biting, chasing, and gill flaring to intimidate known predators. In this experiment, we show that environmental factors, such as the changing of temperature in this case, affect a female convict cichlid’s aggression toward caring for her offspring when an intruder is introduced. Females attack more in warmer water.


Jellyfish Throwdown: Invasive Versus Native, Brooke Bemowski, Trisha Huynh, Lindsay J. Sullivan, Wim Kimmerer Aug 2014

Jellyfish Throwdown: Invasive Versus Native, Brooke Bemowski, Trisha Huynh, Lindsay J. Sullivan, Wim Kimmerer

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

The San Francisco Bay Estuary is home to many species of marine and wildlife that create a delicate ecological balance. Invasive jellyfish introduced to the bay though cargo shipping are believed to be competing with the endangered delta smelt for the same food source of copepods. Samples of zooplankton were taken from high and low salinity zones in the San Francisco Bay over three years in months June through February to correlate with the peak of the jellyfish lifecycle. The preserved samples are looked through and jellyfish are removed and recorded. The species of jellyfish is determined using features such ...


Salinity Distribution Of Microplankton In The San Francisco Estuary, Carrie Ann Sharitt, Lindsay Sullivan, Wim Kimmerer Aug 2014

Salinity Distribution Of Microplankton In The San Francisco Estuary, Carrie Ann Sharitt, Lindsay Sullivan, Wim Kimmerer

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Microplankton are a diverse group of planktonic organisms ranging from 0.02 to 0.2 millimeters. Since the group is defined solely by size, it spans numerous taxonomic groups, including both heterotrophs and autotrophs. Microplankton are abundant in all aquatic ecosystems and are important prey for many organisms, including bivalves, crustaceans, and fish. The San Francisco Bay is truly an estuary as saltwater enters the estuary under the Golden Gate Bridge and freshwater flows in from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers. Thus, there is a gradient of salinity from freshwater (0) in the rivers to saltwater by the Golden ...


The Path To The Sea: Leatherback Hatchling Orientation At Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge, Christina Macmillan, Kelly Stewart Aug 2014

The Path To The Sea: Leatherback Hatchling Orientation At Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge, Christina Macmillan, Kelly Stewart

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Once sea turtle hatchlings emerge from their nest, they must find their way to the ocean by using cues such as a bright horizon and the slope of the beach. While moving toward the water, hatchlings often must navigate past predators and through vegetation, sticks, footprints in the sand, and other dangers such as ghost crab holes. Sometimes hatchlings become confused (or disoriented) and turn in circles to find the right route to the water. Sea turtle hatchlings also may become disoriented as a result of human impacts such as town lights or trash. The purpose of our experiment was ...


Xrf Analyses Of Prehanford Orchards, Komal Rana Aug 2014

Xrf Analyses Of Prehanford Orchards, Komal Rana

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Subsequent to 1943, the use of Lead Arsenic was banned from the Orchards standing on the Hanford site. This use of Lead Arsenate pesticide was popular among the orchard owners and was dispersed over the site in a myriad of ways. The presence of the traces of lead and arsenic are found today, more than half a century later. Using a portable X-ray florescence analyzer (XRF), the values of lead and arsenic are evaluated while determining the efficiency of the equipment itself. Samples from different decision sites were collected, with lead arsenic values in the low, high and medium range ...


Light Pollution Research Through Citizen Science, John Kanemoto Aug 2014

Light Pollution Research Through Citizen Science, John Kanemoto

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Light pollution (LP) can disrupt and/or degrade the health of all living things, as well as, their environments. The goal of my research at the NOAO was to check the accuracy of the citizen science LP reporting systems entitled: Globe at Night (GaN), Dark Sky Meter (DSM), and Loss of the Night (LoN). On the GaN webpage, the darkness of the night sky (DotNS) is reported by selecting a magnitude chart. Each magnitude chart has a different density/number of stars around a specific constellation. The greater number of stars implies a darker night sky. Within the DSM iPhone ...


Examining The Impacts Of State Route 101 On Wildlife Using Road Kill Surveys And Remote Cameras, Sara Ann Snyder Aug 2014

Examining The Impacts Of State Route 101 On Wildlife Using Road Kill Surveys And Remote Cameras, Sara Ann Snyder

Master's Theses and Project Reports

Roads can negatively impact the survival of wildlife populations through additional mortality from road kill and population fragmentation caused by road avoidance behaviors. The 11.9 mile section of State Route 101 between the towns of San Luis Obispo and Atascadero, CA, USA, cross a mountain lion movement corridor and an area important to maintaining ecological connectivity between protected lands in the Los Padres National Forest to the north and south.

I examined the spatial patterns and landscape and roadway factors associated with road kill occurrence for six taxa; large mammals, mesocarnivores, squirrels, rabbits, birds and raptors. Between 1 May ...


Behavioral And Hormonal Flexibility Across Light Environments In Guppies (Poecilia Reticulata), Julia C. Walz Aug 2014

Behavioral And Hormonal Flexibility Across Light Environments In Guppies (Poecilia Reticulata), Julia C. Walz

Master's Theses and Project Reports

Behavior may be dramatically influenced by changing environments, and differences in light intensity environments may have important behavioral consequences. One approach to understanding changes in behavior is by studying behavioral syndromes, suites of correlated behaviors reflecting between individual consistencies in behavior expressed within a behavioral situation (e.g., correlations between antipredator behaviors in different habitats), or across behavioral contexts (e.g., correlations among feeding, antipredator, or mating behavior) (Sih et al. 2004a). Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) provide a great model system to study behavior. Guppies are small, freshwater tropical fish that inhabit still pools in swift-flowing streams, and the backwaters of ...


Investigating Meter Scale Topographic Variation As A Factor Of Monterey Pine (Pinus Radiata) Growing Conditions At Kenneth Norris Rancho Marino Reserve, Cambria, Ca, William J. Meyst Jun 2014

Investigating Meter Scale Topographic Variation As A Factor Of Monterey Pine (Pinus Radiata) Growing Conditions At Kenneth Norris Rancho Marino Reserve, Cambria, Ca, William J. Meyst

Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences

Endemic Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) is limited to three locations in California due to its unique ecological requirements. This project was conducted to investigate spatial growth patterns ofMonterey pine over complex ground surfaces. The coastal hills of Rancho Marino Reserve, Cambria, were surveyed using four 150-m transects to quantify and record ground surface features and growing conditions ofMonterey pine. Changes in elevation of each transect were measured using an Abney level. Linear ground surfaces were found at 86% (344 of 400) of survey nodes. Convex ground surfaces were found at 10.5% of survey nodes (42 of 400). Of the ...


Monarch Butterfly (Danaus Plexippus) Tree Preference And Intersite Movement At California Overwintering Sites, Jessica Lynn Griffiths Jun 2014

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus Plexippus) Tree Preference And Intersite Movement At California Overwintering Sites, Jessica Lynn Griffiths

Master's Theses and Project Reports

Managing Monarch butterfly overwintering groves: making room among the eucalyptus

Proper management and conservation of the coastal California overwintering sites used by western Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus L.) is critical for continued use of these sites by monarchs. Many management efforts are currently concentrating on eucalyptus-only sites because of the prevailing notion that monarchs prefer eucalyptus over native tree species. Yet, whether a preference exists or not has never been tested. Herein, we test the “eucalyptus preference” hypothesis with data from five overwintering sites comprised of blue gum eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) and at least one other native tree species from ...


Photosynthetic Thermal Tolerance And Recovery To Short Duration Temperature Stress In Desert And Montane Plants: A Comparative Study, David William Gallagher Jun 2014

Photosynthetic Thermal Tolerance And Recovery To Short Duration Temperature Stress In Desert And Montane Plants: A Comparative Study, David William Gallagher

Master's Theses and Project Reports

  • Climate change models predict an increase in frequency and amplitude of extreme weather events, including heat waves. To better predict how the composition and distribution of plant assemblages might respond to these changes in temperature, it is important to understand how species currently respond to these extremes. Photosynthetic thermal tolerance (T25)and photosynthetic recovery (RT25) were quantified in 27 species. We also studied the relationships between T25, RT25 and leaf mass per area (LMA). Leaf temperature was also monitored in the field.
  • Leaves used in this study were collected from two distinct environments representing desert and ...


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 ...