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Articles 1 - 12 of 12

Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Spatial And Temporal Heterogeneity Of Microbial Life In Artificial Landscapes, Roopkamal Kaur, Aditi Sengupta, Peter A. Troch Sep 2017

Spatial And Temporal Heterogeneity Of Microbial Life In Artificial Landscapes, Roopkamal Kaur, Aditi Sengupta, Peter A. Troch

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

The Landscape Evolution Observatory (LEO) project at Biosphere 2 consists of three replicated artificial landscapes which are sealed within a climate-controlled glass house. LEO is composed of basaltic soil material with low organic matter, nutrients, and microbes. The landscapes are built to resemble zero-order basins and enables researchers to observe hydrological, biological, and geochemical evolution of landscapes in a controlled environment. This study is focused on capturing microbial community dynamics in LEO soil, pre- and post-controlled rainfall episodes. Soil samples were collected from six different positions and at five depths in each of the three slopes followed by DNA extraction ...


Impacts Of Fog Drip On Survivorship And Growth Of Native Herb And Shrub Seedlings On Santa Rosa Island, Julianne Bradbury, Ken Niessen, Kathryn Mceachern Sep 2016

Impacts Of Fog Drip On Survivorship And Growth Of Native Herb And Shrub Seedlings On Santa Rosa Island, Julianne Bradbury, Ken Niessen, Kathryn Mceachern

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Overgrazing on Santa Rosa Island led to loss of topsoil in ridgeline groves of endemic island oaks (Quercus tomentella). Restoration specialists attempting to mitigate the impacts of wind and water erosion must determine efficient methods of reestablishing native vegetation. Planting pillows, burlap sacks filled with planting mix and attached to the bedrock substrate, may nurture seedlings long enough for their roots to penetrate the underlying sandstone. Since the island’s ridgeline habitat is often inaccessible during the rainy season, restoration efforts are largely confined to the dry summer months, during which condensed fog is an important source of moisture for ...


Effects Of Soil Erosion Barriers On Percent Cover And Sediment Size, Michael Perez Aug 2016

Effects Of Soil Erosion Barriers On Percent Cover And Sediment Size, Michael Perez

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Ranching began on Santa Rosa Island in the 1840’s, introducing nonnative megafauna that put selective grazing pressures on endemic species. Dense groves of island oak (Q. tomentella) are aid in sediment deposition and retention. A current restoration effort, involved installing soil erosion barriers, known as wattles, to prevent sediment from being lost upslope and recruit plant growth whose root systems could further stabilize the slope. This experiment was designed to compare percent cover of vegetation growth in areas with and without soil erosion barriers. This was done using the line intercept method (n=42) on three meter transects, measuring ...


Radiocarbon Isotopic Classification Of Deep Tropical Forest Soils, Brooke Butler, Karis J. Mcfarlane, Jennifer Pett-Ridge, Katherine A. Heckman Aug 2015

Radiocarbon Isotopic Classification Of Deep Tropical Forest Soils, Brooke Butler, Karis J. Mcfarlane, Jennifer Pett-Ridge, Katherine A. Heckman

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Tropical forest soils have an important role in global carbon (C) stocks. Small changes in the cycling of C could drastically affect atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations and active cycling of carbon in a forest community. Currently, little is understood of how tropical forest soils will respond to the increasing global temperatures. To examine the effects of warming/ drought on losses of older versus younger soil C pools, we implemented radiocarbon (14C) isotopic characterization of various soil plot samples and depths from the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico. 14C was measured using Accelerated Mass Spectrometry (AMS) from catalytically condensed carbon ...


Sediment Loss Of Santa Rosa Island Slopes: An Erosional Study, Michael Perez Aug 2015

Sediment Loss Of Santa Rosa Island Slopes: An Erosional Study, Michael Perez

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Ranching began on Santa Rosa Island in the 1840’s, consequently introducing nonnative megafauna that put novel selective grazing pressures on endemic plant species. Their movement patterns also altered sediment integrity as the land was denuded of any stabilizing vegetation. Dense groves of island oak (Q. tomentella) are known to aid in sediment deposition and retention. The groves also function to collect water during periods of intense fog that are common to the island. This experiment sought to quantify the volume of sediment that has been lost on a south facing slope in the middle of the island that contains ...


The Pioneer Of Santa Rosa Island, Andrea Martinez, Michael Perez, Kathryn Mceachern, Sarah Chaney, Ken Niessen Jul 2015

The Pioneer Of Santa Rosa Island, Andrea Martinez, Michael Perez, Kathryn Mceachern, Sarah Chaney, Ken Niessen

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Santa Rosa Island which is part of the Channel Islands in California has a ranching history that goes as far back as the year 1843. While rich in history, the island is no longer “rich” in native plant populations due to the sheep, cattle and other livestock that once occupied the island. As a result of these grazers that the ranchers livelihood depended on, a great disturbance in the native plant population took place. It is up to plants such as Baccharis pilularis, commonly known as Coyote brush, to assist these endangered and threatened plants to once again flourish on ...


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 ...


Jellyfish Identification And Quantification In The San Francisco Estuary, Amalia Borson, Lindsay L. Sullivan, Wim Kimmerer Aug 2013

Jellyfish Identification And Quantification In The San Francisco Estuary, Amalia Borson, Lindsay L. Sullivan, Wim Kimmerer

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

As potential predators and competitors of plankton-eating fish, jellyfish have the potential to negatively impact fish populations. Jellyfish were collected weekly with plankton tows from the RombergTiburonCenterpier in Tiburon, CA. Since some jellyfish were too small to identify, one tow was collected and preserved to record abundances, and a second tow was collected to rear jellyfish until distinguishing characteristics were visible enough for identification. Jellyfish in the preserved tows were then identified, measured, and counted, and their abundance (number m-3) was calculated. Jellyfish from the second tows were reared in plastic buckets that were lightly bubbled using aquarium pumps ...


Feeding Ecology Of Delta Smelt During A Seasonal Pulse Of Turbidity, William A. Hilton, Aaron Johnson, Wim Kimmerer Aug 2013

Feeding Ecology Of Delta Smelt During A Seasonal Pulse Of Turbidity, William A. Hilton, Aaron Johnson, Wim Kimmerer

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

The delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) is a small, pelagic fish endemic to the San Francisco Estuary (SFE) and protected under federal and state endangered species acts. This study examines the diet of adult delta smelt during their spawning migration in the winters of 2010 and 2012. Delta smelt and their zooplankton prey were sampled concurrently during a seasonal pulse of turbidity at sites along their migratory route from the low salinity zone in Suisun Bay to the fresher waters of the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta. Gut contents were identified to the lowest possible taxon and counted, along with zooplankton from ...


Using Stable Isotope Analysis Of Zooplankton To Document Trophic And Biogeochemical Changes In The San Francisco Estuary, Steven C. Westbrook, Julien Moderan Jan 2013

Using Stable Isotope Analysis Of Zooplankton To Document Trophic And Biogeochemical Changes In The San Francisco Estuary, Steven C. Westbrook, Julien Moderan

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Zooplankton represent a vital link between phytoplankton and fish, like the endangered Delta Smelt. Human interferences (nitrates from waste water, flow alteration, invasive species introduction…) have altered the structure of the San Francisco Estuary (SFE) ecosystem. We use stable isotope analysis to improve our knowledge of the planktonic food web in the SFE and gain insights into its evolution over the past decades. We use the ratios of certain isotopes (Nitrogen, Carbon, Sulfur, etc.) in different species of zooplankton to tell us what it is feeding on as well as the trophic level it feeds in. My research focused on ...


Testing The Salinity Tolerance Levels Of Similar Invasive Species Found In The San Francisco Bay, Julia M. Smith, C. Sarah Cohen, Elizabeth Sheets Aug 2012

Testing The Salinity Tolerance Levels Of Similar Invasive Species Found In The San Francisco Bay, Julia M. Smith, C. Sarah Cohen, Elizabeth Sheets

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Testing the salinity tolerance levels of similar invasive species found in the San Francisco Bay

Julia Smith1,2, Elizabeth Sheets2, and C. Sarah Cohen2

1Department of Teacher Education, California State University, Sacramento 2Department of Biology and Romberg Tiburon Center, San Francisco State University

Three non-indigenous colonial ascidian species, Botrylloides violaceus, Botrylloides diegensis, and Botryllus schlosseri, have become well established in San Francisco Bay. Two species, B. violaceous and B. schlosseri, are globally distributed, and understanding the salinity ranges and tolerances of these successful invaders in their introduced habitats is important for predicting their spread. We ...


Developing Monitoring Methods For Leptasterias Spp. As Sentinel Species In Detecting Local Environmental Changes, Zachary Sturbaum, Kathryn Nuessly, Riley J. Smith, C. Sarah Cohen Aug 2012

Developing Monitoring Methods For Leptasterias Spp. As Sentinel Species In Detecting Local Environmental Changes, Zachary Sturbaum, Kathryn Nuessly, Riley J. Smith, C. Sarah Cohen

STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Presentations

Leptasterias spp., a six-rayed sea star, is found in rocky intertidal habitats ranging from Alaska to central California. Leptasterias spp. can be monitored on a broad scale throughout their range by a variety of means using timed counts and random plot censusing in order to detect both large-scale and local-level changes in the environment due to climate change, land-based human activity, or other environmental events. Leptasterias brood their young externally until the embryos grow into fully developed juveniles. These juveniles disperse by crawling away, limiting their dispersal potential. This localized dispersal provides an opportunity to use Leptasterias spp. as sentinel ...