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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

A Comparative Agroecosystems Analysis Of Soil Water And Root Dynamics Under Six Different Vegetative Cover Types , Greg William Shepherd Jan 2006

A Comparative Agroecosystems Analysis Of Soil Water And Root Dynamics Under Six Different Vegetative Cover Types , Greg William Shepherd

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Anthropogenic activities have impacted land management in the Midwest by transforming perennial grasslands and savannas into annual croplands. Agriculturalists presently have a considerable impact on the ecological balance of expansive amounts of land. This study investigates soil water and root dynamics under six different annual and perennial vegetative cover types. Measurement of growing season surface soil moisture showed no significant differences between annual compared to perennial sites. Depth of water uptake determination indicated that buckbrush and oak acquired moisture from deeper depths (5-10 cm to groundwater) than corn and soybean (5-10 to 10-20 cm). Depth of water uptake for sedge ...


Forest Dynamics In Mesic Northern Hardwoods Following Windthrow And Salvage Logging , Katharyn Dianne Derr Jan 2006

Forest Dynamics In Mesic Northern Hardwoods Following Windthrow And Salvage Logging , Katharyn Dianne Derr

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Post-disturbance, or salvage, logging is a highly debated topic within natural resource science and management as its effects on forest recovery are not well understood. We examine a 25-year forest response to a 1977 severe wind disturbance on the Flambeau River State Forest in Wisconsin, USA, some of which was salvage logged. Our results show salvage logging affects the rate of vegetation recovery, microtopography, and soil composition within this mixed broad-leaved deciduous and conifer forest. Although salvaged and unsalvaged areas are similar in tree species composition, tree biomass is higher and forest microtopography is more pronounced within the unsalvaged area ...


The Importance Of Host Fish In Long Range Transport Of Unionids In Large Rivers , Daelyn Adele Woolnough Jan 2006

The Importance Of Host Fish In Long Range Transport Of Unionids In Large Rivers , Daelyn Adele Woolnough

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Freshwater mussels (Family: Unionidae) are the most imperiled faunal group in North America, yet little is known about factors that influence their distribution in rivers and lakes---especially over large geographic areas. They have a unique life cycle that includes an obligate parasite stage on fish. Throughout their life spans, long range or upstream transport is principally accomplished during the parasitic stage. This brief parasitic phase has lasting effects on adult mussel ecology---particularly in influencing their distribution. The movement of host fish occurs on large scales (e.g., >100m) and both their distribution and abundance likely contribute to the spatial patterns ...


Behaviorally-Induced Periodic Cooling Of Avian Embryos , Christopher Robin Olson Jan 2006

Behaviorally-Induced Periodic Cooling Of Avian Embryos , Christopher Robin Olson

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

For many bird embryos, periodic cooling occurs when the incubating adult leaves the nest to forage, but the effects of periodic cooling on embryo growth, yolk use and metabolism are poorly known. To address this question I conducted incubation experiments on eggs of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata ) that were frequently cooled and then rewarmed or were allowed to develop at a constant temperature. After 12 days of incubation, embryo mass and yolk reserves were less in eggs that experienced periodic cooling, compared to controls incubated constantly at 37.5°C. Embryos that regularly cooled to 20°C had higher mass-specific ...


Weedy Setaria Species-Group Seed Heteroblasty Blueprints Seedling Recruitment , Kari Ann Jovaag Jan 2006

Weedy Setaria Species-Group Seed Heteroblasty Blueprints Seedling Recruitment , Kari Ann Jovaag

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

The relationship between weedy Setaria seed dormancy and subsequent behaviors in the soil culminating in seedling recruitment is elucidated. Weedy Setaria seed dormancy capacity heterogeneity (heteroblasty) at the time of dispersal was characterized for 45 locally adapted Setaria populations, as influenced by parental genotype (species, time of embryogenesis) and environment (year, location). Taken together, the 45 responses represented Setaria's "seed dormancy phenotype space". The fate of heteroblastic seed entering the soil post-abscission was studied in four of the populations. When dispersed, heteroblastic Setaria seeds introduced into the soil form long-lived pools with varying cycles of dormancy, germination and death ...


Anuran Community Structure And Wetland Occupancy Along An Urban-Rural Gradient In Central Iowa, Usa , Finn Cooper Pillsbury Jan 2006

Anuran Community Structure And Wetland Occupancy Along An Urban-Rural Gradient In Central Iowa, Usa , Finn Cooper Pillsbury

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Urbanization has been cited as an important factor in worldwide amphibian declines. Although recent work has illustrated the influence of broad-scale ecological patterns and processes on amphibian populations, little is known about the relative importance of wetland habitat and landscape context on the distribution, abundance, and diversity of anurans in urban landscapes. We therefore examined patterns of anuran community structure and wetland occupancy along an urban-rural gradient in central Iowa, USA. Landscape fragmentation had the strongest influence on anuran community structure, influencing most the abundance of species that use upland habitats outside the breeding season. Urban habitat loss and fragmentation ...


Diversity And Efficacy Of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal (Am) Fungi Isolated From Soils Of Soybean Fields , Zahra Ifnou Troeh Jan 2006

Diversity And Efficacy Of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal (Am) Fungi Isolated From Soils Of Soybean Fields , Zahra Ifnou Troeh

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

A field survey evaluated the population composition of AM fungal species in Clarion (a well drained fine-loamy, mixed, mesic Typic Hapludoll) and Webster (a poorly drained fine-loamy, mixed, mesic Typic Endoaquoll) soils of four Iowa soybean (Glycine max, L.) fields. Spores from six species of Glomus and from the genera Acaulospora, Gigaspora , and Paragomus were found in the original field soils. G. claroideum, G. etunicatum, G. mosseae, G. viscosum, and Paraglomus occultum-like spores were prevalent in both Clarion and Webster soils of all four fields. Minor species included G. geosporum and G. intraradices. Trap cultures led to detection of several ...


Multitrophic Interactions In Wetlands Infested By An Invasive Species Lythrum Salicaria L., Bethzayda Matos Carrion Jan 2005

Multitrophic Interactions In Wetlands Infested By An Invasive Species Lythrum Salicaria L., Bethzayda Matos Carrion

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation examined insect-plant, predator-prey, and predator-predator interactions as they relate to the invasive plant species Lythrum salicaria L. The first study determined the suitability of two L. salicaria herbivores, Myzus lythri and Galerucella calmariensis for the preimaginal development and survival and influence on adult weight of three predatory species commonly found in L. salicaria infested wetlands, Chrysoperla carnea, Coleomegilla maculata, and Harmonia axyridis. Myzus lythri is suitable prey for preimaginal survival of the three predatory species. Galerucella calmariensis larvae are highly suitable for development and survival of second instar to adult C. carnea and less suitable for H. axyridis ...


Cell Envelope Constituents Of Pseudomonas Putida Contributing To Growth And Survival In Low-Water-Content Habitats , Martinus Franciscus Maria Van De Mortel Jan 2005

Cell Envelope Constituents Of Pseudomonas Putida Contributing To Growth And Survival In Low-Water-Content Habitats , Martinus Franciscus Maria Van De Mortel

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

The ability of bacteria to respond to the ever changing environmental conditions they encounter requires the utilization of a broad range of colonization and survival strategies. One of the most important and probably least understood factors determining bacterial activity in terrestrial habitats is water availability. The goal of this dissertation research was to identify traits that contribute to maintaining a functional cell envelope when cells are dehydrated, which will help us to assess the scope of physiological changes necessary for growth in low-water-content habitats. The primary objective was to identify genes that are specifically regulated by dehydration (matric stress), and ...


Desiccation And Nitrous Oxide Storage Effects On The Recalcitrant Seeds Of Quercus Alba And Q Macrocarpa , Valasia Iakovoglou Jan 2005

Desiccation And Nitrous Oxide Storage Effects On The Recalcitrant Seeds Of Quercus Alba And Q Macrocarpa , Valasia Iakovoglou

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Sensitivity to desiccation of recalcitrant seeds of the Leucobalanus subgenus of Quercus poses limitations to successful storage and regeneration efforts. My three studies evaluated different aspects of these problems. The first study investigated the effect of parent tree and seed size on seedling performance and morphology over the first three months of growth for Quercus alba and Quercus macrocarpa. The second study evaluated the effect of nitrous oxide (N2O) on seed storage as measured by seed, seedling, and starch thermal variables. Seeds from both species were placed in containers with one of three treatments: air, 80/20% and 98/2 ...


Ecophysiology And Population Genetics Of Frangula Caroliniana (Walt) Gray (Rhamnaceae) , J. Ryan Stewart Jan 2005

Ecophysiology And Population Genetics Of Frangula Caroliniana (Walt) Gray (Rhamnaceae) , J. Ryan Stewart

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Frangula caroliniana (Walt.) Gray (or Rhamnus caroliniana Walt.) (Carolina buckthorn) is a woody species distributed throughout the southeastern United States. Due to its ornamental characteristics and the various soil conditions in which it grows, there is interest in promoting the species as a nursery crop within and beyond its native range. Concerns about the invasive potential of F. caroliniana need to be alleviated before it is promoted in horticultural commerce. These concerns are based on the aggressive spread of related species introduced to North America, including Rhamnus cathartica L. (common buckthorn). Thus, I sought to assess the landscape fitness of ...


Confounding Factors And Tertiary-Phase Control By A Surfactive Agent On Smectite Sorption Of Atrazine , Mark Albert Chappell Jan 2004

Confounding Factors And Tertiary-Phase Control By A Surfactive Agent On Smectite Sorption Of Atrazine , Mark Albert Chappell

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Atrazine is a widely used commercial pesticide applied to soil for the control broadleaf weeds in agriculture. Frequent detection of atrazine in surface and subsurface waters and the potential for adverse effects on toxicity to aquatic and terrestrial life have generated numerous investigations into the mechanisms governing atrazine sorption by soils. This dissertation seeks to add to that body of knowledge by elucidating basic mechanisms and processes that influence sorption of atrazine on clays in the presence and absence of surfactants commonly used in commercial formulations. Sorption studies showed that air-dried (AD), resuspended K+-saturated PC (KPC) exhibited a significantly ...


Soil And Runoff Phosphorus As Affected By Fertilizer And Manure Application , Brett Lee Allen Jan 2004

Soil And Runoff Phosphorus As Affected By Fertilizer And Manure Application , Brett Lee Allen

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Fertilizer or manure applications are increasing soil P in agricultural fields. This study assessed the impact of P application on soil P fractions and P loss with surface runoff based on P rate field trials and both indoor and field rainfall simulations. Bray P, Mehlich-3 (M3) P, Olsen P, total P (TPS) and soil P saturation (Psat) estimated by M3 or oxalate extractable P, Fe, and Al molar ratios increased with cumulative P application (0 to 1098 kg P ha-1 after 4 to 23 yr) at plots from 11 trials. Soil test P, TPS, and Psat were linearly correlated. Routine ...


Land Preservation Decisions: Theoretical And Empirical Analysis , Shikha Marwah Jan 2004

Land Preservation Decisions: Theoretical And Empirical Analysis , Shikha Marwah

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

There is a great concern that human actions are leading to increased rates of extinction of species. Ecologists have pointed out that the most important threat to wildlife comes from habitat alteration. The rapidly increasing human population and the resulting pressing demand for food and living space are pushing highly diverse natural areas into agriculture and other alternative uses. Recognizing this, the Federal agencies and private organizations, such as the Nature Conservancy, are becoming increasingly engaged in programs for conservation of species, where habitat restoration is an important component. However, this conservation is costly and there is uncertainty in the ...


Corridors And Some Ecological And Evolutionary Consequences Of Connectivity , John Lee Orrock Ii Jan 2004

Corridors And Some Ecological And Evolutionary Consequences Of Connectivity , John Lee Orrock Ii

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

By connecting disjunct patches, corridors may offset the effects of fragmentation by promoting gene flow and population persistence. However, the ultimate effect of corridors on a focal species may hinge upon two considerations: how corridors may affect ecological interactions that impinge upon that species, and how corridors might affect the fixation of novel alleles that ultimately determine fitness and persistence. Using an experimental landscape, I show that corridor-mediated changes in patch shape change seed predation in connected and unconnected patches, and shift the behavior, abundance, and distribution of seed predators. Rodent seed predators removed more seeds in connected patches, arthropod ...


The Conservation Landscape: Trees And Nature On The Great Plains , Joel Jason Orth Jan 2004

The Conservation Landscape: Trees And Nature On The Great Plains , Joel Jason Orth

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

In the past two centuries Americans have transformed the Great Plains. Farmers, politicians, scientists, and the state constructed and reconstructed the Plains to support their visions of a sustainable society. They transformed the region into a social and ecological space inextricably linked to the beliefs, agendas, and polices that have reshaped it. The new landscape blurred the social and the natural making these categories impossible to separate. The greatest task soil conservation on the Great Plains faces today is recognizing the hybrid space for what it is: a socially-constructed landscape, a conservation landscape.;This thesis traces the development of a ...


Riparian Land-Use Impacts On Stream And Gully Bank Soil And Phosphorus Losses With An Emphasis On Grazing Practices , George Nick Zaimes Jan 2004

Riparian Land-Use Impacts On Stream And Gully Bank Soil And Phosphorus Losses With An Emphasis On Grazing Practices , George Nick Zaimes

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

The tall-grass prairies, wetlands and forests that dominated the Iowa landscape have been replaced by annual row-crops and grass pastures that occupy more than 90% of the landscape today. Because of these changes, water reaches streams and gullies much faster and has led to incised streams and an extensive growth of gully networks. Stream and gully banks are major contributors of non-point source sediment and phosphorus. Reducing these pollutants is a priority to maintaining healthy streams. The objective of this study was to compare stream and gully bank soil and phosphorus losses under different land-use practices in three Iowa regions ...


Education And Water Conservation In Tucson, Arizona: Towards An Educational Model For Saudi Arabia , Mohammad Sh Al-Shayaa Jan 2004

Education And Water Conservation In Tucson, Arizona: Towards An Educational Model For Saudi Arabia , Mohammad Sh Al-Shayaa

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Saudi Arabia and Tucson, Arizona are both surrounded by desert and rely on groundwater. Both places also suffer from similar types of water shortage problems. The average water usage, in gallons per person per day, in Tucson is 160. In contrast, in Saudi Arabia this figure is 260. Respectively, these factors encouraged the researcher to investigate the educational roles in Tucson. The findings and experience gleaned from Tucson will be used in Saudi Arabia where the researcher is planning to pursue his career.;Information circulated to the Tucson public about water conservation demonstrates effectiveness in addressing issues related to water ...


Remote Sensing Of Moisture And Nutrient Stress In Turfgrass Systems , Jason Keith Kruse Jan 2004

Remote Sensing Of Moisture And Nutrient Stress In Turfgrass Systems , Jason Keith Kruse

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Management of irrigation and fertility on a golf course or other large turfgrass area requires a significant amount of time scouting for and identifying problem areas to maintain optimum turfgrass quality. The objectives of these studies were to evaluate the relationship between remotely sensed reflectance data collected from a turfgrass canopy and the associated phosphorus and nitrogen content of turfgrass tissue, and to determine the relationship between reflectance data and soil moisture content as determined by time domain reflectometry (TDR). Phosphorus deficiency symptoms decreased and biomass production increased at P rates above 1.0 g m-2 with a single application ...


Population Genetic Studies Of The Tsetse Fly, Glossina Pallidipes (Diptera: Glossinidae) , Johnson Ouma Odera Jan 2004

Population Genetic Studies Of The Tsetse Fly, Glossina Pallidipes (Diptera: Glossinidae) , Johnson Ouma Odera

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Tsetse flies transmit trypanosome species that cause sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in livestock. In the absence of a vaccine against trypanosome parasites and given the high cost of treatment, vector control remains the most effective method for reducing the incidence of trypanosomiasis. In anticipation of area-wide control of G. pallidipes by using genetic methods, a thorough understanding of its breeding structure is required.;Capture release-recapture data show that G. pallidipes has a high capacity for dispersal, but genetic data indicate surprisingly high differentiation among populations. Studying local patterns of genetic variation and examining how such variation changes temporally ...


Insuring Uncertainty In Value-Added Agriculture: Ethanol, Nicholas David Paulson Jan 2004

Insuring Uncertainty In Value-Added Agriculture: Ethanol, Nicholas David Paulson

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

A wide variety of insurance products are currently available for agricultural producers to insure against yield or price risks in the markets for the raw commodities they produce. Value-added enterprises, such as ethanol production, have become increasingly popular among farmers over the last decade; however, insurance against declines in the value-added portion of their crops is not yet available. This paper outlines the development of an insurance product aimed at corn producers who are members of an ethanol production cooperative. The product mimics the gross margin level of a typical ethanol production facility, and has the potential to provide producers ...


The Economic Potential Of Switchgrass As A Viable Biofuel Alternative, Jennifer E. Reutzel Jan 2004

The Economic Potential Of Switchgrass As A Viable Biofuel Alternative, Jennifer E. Reutzel

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

To be commercially viable as a bioenergy feedstock, switchgrass must be cost-competitive. Switchgrass production and delivery costs are calculated for the Chariton Valley Switchgrass Biomass Project located in the Chariton Valley, Iowa. Sensitivity analyses are performed to determine which variables have the greatest impact on cost. Switchgrass production costs would require higher than expected market prices, and therefore various incentive payment options are considered. The incentive payments attempt to encapsulate the positive environmental attributes from the production of switchgrass as well as using switchgrass as a clean energy coal substitute. A modified CRP payment, carbon payment, and green tag payment ...


Evaluation Of Prairie Grasses For Reducing The Environmental Impact Of Herbicide Contamination , Jason B. Belden Jan 2003

Evaluation Of Prairie Grasses For Reducing The Environmental Impact Of Herbicide Contamination , Jason B. Belden

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

The primary goal of this dissertation was to evaluate the use of prairie grasses for reducing the environmental impact of herbicides. Studies included: use of prairie grasses as a phytoremediation tool for contaminated soil; comparison of grass species for use in vegetative buffer strips; fate of 14C-pendimethalin in vegetated and unvegetated soil; and environmental hazards of pendimethalin contaminated soil.;Throughout this dissertation, evidence was presented that prairie grasses can increase the dissipation rate of herbicides. In one study, 78% less metolachlor and 39% less pendimethalin remaining in vegetated treatments as compared to unvegetated treatments. In a separate study, the presence ...


A Biophysical And Socio-Economic Examination Of The Use Of Shelterbelts For Swine Odor Mitigation , John Charles Tyndall Jan 2003

A Biophysical And Socio-Economic Examination Of The Use Of Shelterbelts For Swine Odor Mitigation , John Charles Tyndall

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

The use of shelterbelts (trees and shrubs) arranged in strategic designs near and within swine facilities potentially can play a significant incremental role in bio-physically mitigating odor in a socio-economically responsible way thereby reducing social conflict from odor nuisance. Shelterbelts of modest heights (i.e. 20--30 ft) may be ideal for plume interception, disruption, and dilution. Based on available evidence, there are five primary ways that shelterbelts can mitigate livestock odors: (1) Physical interception and capture of odor laden dust by trees/shrubs; (2) Dilution of gas concentrations of odor into the lower atmosphere; (3) Ground deposition of odor laden ...


Spatial And Temporal Scales Of Distribution And Demography In Breeding Songbirds: Implications Of Habitat Fragmentation And Restoration , Robert J. Fletcher Jr. Jan 2003

Spatial And Temporal Scales Of Distribution And Demography In Breeding Songbirds: Implications Of Habitat Fragmentation And Restoration , Robert J. Fletcher Jr.

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Tallgrass prairie has declined throughout the midwestern United States during the past two centuries, and migratory birds breeding in these habitats have also experienced precipitous population declines. One conservation strategy used to mitigate the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation is habitat restoration. I studied how both habitat fragmentation and restoration affect songbird populations breeding in grassland and wetland habitats in northern Iowa, 1999--2002. Most grassland birds tended to be less abundant near edges, yet birds avoided woodland edges more so than other types of edges. Edge avoidance could not be explained by changes in habitat structure. For Bobolinks (Dolichonyx ...


Studies Of Solute Transport Through Fractured Till In Iowa , Martin Frederick Helmke Jan 2003

Studies Of Solute Transport Through Fractured Till In Iowa , Martin Frederick Helmke

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Fractures may provide pathways for agricultural chemicals to reach aquifers through till units that have traditionally been considered effective barriers to contaminant transport. Till units were studied at three sites in Iowa that represented three landform regions, till ages from 12.5 to >730 ka, and depths from 1 to 27.5 m. Fractures were present at all study locations and at all depths, including one site where fractures intersected an aquifer at 30 m depth. Laboratory experiments using eight large (0.40 to 0.45 m in length and 0.43 m in diameter), undisturbed columns of till showed ...


The Fate Of Phosphorus And Molybdenum After Biosolids, Swine Manure And Triple Superphosphate Were Applied To A Soil , Jorge David Hernandez Jan 2003

The Fate Of Phosphorus And Molybdenum After Biosolids, Swine Manure And Triple Superphosphate Were Applied To A Soil , Jorge David Hernandez

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

The possible effects of the application of swine manure and biosolids to high phosphorus (P) test soils has been widely debated due to the potential increase in P pollution. The application of these materials to soils might result in changes in water, soil, and crop quality. Increasing P in an already high soil P test (STP) soil may result in changing P dynamics in agro-ecosystems and enhancing P movement away from sorption sites. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of swine manure (SM), biosolid (BS) and triple superphosphate (TSP) applications on the soil P content in ...


Corn Rootworms (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) In Space And Time , Yong-Lak Park Jan 2003

Corn Rootworms (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) In Space And Time , Yong-Lak Park

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Spatial dispersion is a main characteristic of insect populations. Dispersion pattern provides useful information for developing effective sampling and scouting programs because it affects sampling accuracy, efficiency, and precision. Insect dispersion, however, is dynamic in space and time and largely dependent upon interactions among insect, plant and environmental factors. This study investigated the spatial and temporal dynamics of corn rootworm dispersion at different spatial scales by using the global positioning system, the geographic information system, and geoStatistics and Probability; Egg dispersion pattern was random or uniform in 8-ha cornfields, but could be aggregated at a smaller scale. Larval dispersion pattern ...


Genetic And Environmental Effects On Rooting Ability Of Dormant Unrooted Hybrid Poplar Cuttings , Ronald S. Zalesny Jr. Jan 2003

Genetic And Environmental Effects On Rooting Ability Of Dormant Unrooted Hybrid Poplar Cuttings , Ronald S. Zalesny Jr.

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Genotypes with enhanced rooting ability are crucial for deployment of intensively cultured Populus plantations. Rooting of dormant, unrooted cuttings is the first biological prerequisite to stand establishment. The primary objective was evaluating three developmental systems affected by site conditions: lateral and adventitious root ontogenies, root/shoot growth rates, and temperature dependent physiologies. The study tested rooting ability of 21 clones from five taxonomic backgrounds ((Populus deltoides x Populus trichocarpa) x P. deltoides 'BC1'; P. deltoides 'D'; P. deltoides x Populus maximowiczii 'DM'; P. deltoides x Populus nigra 'DN'; P. nigra x P. maximowiczii 'NM') at Ames, Iowa; Waseca, Minnesota; and ...


Factors Affecting Symbolic And Use Adoption Of Local Foods For Consumers In Black Hawk County, Iowa, Erin M. Tegtmeier Jan 2003

Factors Affecting Symbolic And Use Adoption Of Local Foods For Consumers In Black Hawk County, Iowa, Erin M. Tegtmeier

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

A local food system may be an alternative to the increasingly globalized and concentrated food market and a means to augment the availability of fresh foods, create economically viable options for farmers and enhance the health of local ecosystems. Consumers are a vital component of these systems. Insight into the decision-making process surrounding the purchase of local foods can aid in efforts to build thriving local food systems. Studies on consumer attitudes show that, in general, consumers are aware and supportive of local foods. Abstract or civic factors, such as concern for the environment or food safety, are often identified ...