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Theses and Dissertations

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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Characterization Of Microtubule Organizing Centers In The Genus Protostelium, Including Evolutionary Implications, Ethan Taylor Ozment May 2019

Characterization Of Microtubule Organizing Centers In The Genus Protostelium, Including Evolutionary Implications, Ethan Taylor Ozment

Theses and Dissertations

Microtubule organizing centers (MTOCs) are cellular regions of microtubule nucleation. The best known MTOCs are those associated with the centrosome, but several non-centrosomal MTOCs are known in eukaryotes, especially in land plants. MTOCs are poorly characterized across the breadth of amoebozoan diversity, but are well-known in certain amoebozoan lineages, including the genus of protosteloid slime molds Protostelium. The structure of the MTOC is known for two non-ciliated species, P. nocturnum and P. mycophaga, as well as P. aurantium, which can reversibly become ciliated under appropriate conditions. P. nocturnum and P. mycophaga have acentriolar centrosomal MTOCs while P. aurantium has a ...


Feedforward And Feedback Signals In The Olfactory System, Srimoy Chakraborty May 2019

Feedforward And Feedback Signals In The Olfactory System, Srimoy Chakraborty

Theses and Dissertations

The conglomeration of myriad activities in neural systems often results in prominent oscillations. The primary goal of the research presented in this thesis was to study effects of sensory stimulus on the olfactory system of rats, focusing on the olfactory bulb (OB) and the anterior piriform cortex (aPC). Extracellular electrophysiological measurements revealed distinct frequency bands of oscillations in OB and aPC. However, how these oscillatory fluctuations help the animal to process sensory input is not clearly understood. Here we show high frequency oscillations in olfactory bulb carry feedforward signals to anterior piriform cortex whereas feedback from the aPC is predominantly ...


Electrophysiological Correlates Of Visual Object Category Formation In A Prototype-Distortion Task, Stephanie Marie Long May 2019

Electrophysiological Correlates Of Visual Object Category Formation In A Prototype-Distortion Task, Stephanie Marie Long

Theses and Dissertations

In perceptual learning studies, participants engage in extensive training in the discrimination of visual stimuli in order to modulate perceptual performance. Much of the literature in perceptual learning has looked at the induction of the reorganization of low-level representations in V1. However, much remains to be understood about the mechanisms behind how the adult brain (an expert in visual object categorization) extracts high-level visual objects from the environment and categorically represents them in the cortical visual hierarchy. Here, I used event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate the neural mechanisms involved in object representation formation during a hybrid visual search and prototype ...


Reducing The Risk: Psychological And Technological Approaches For Improving Handwashing Practices In The Foodservice Industry, Jeffrey Allan Clark May 2019

Reducing The Risk: Psychological And Technological Approaches For Improving Handwashing Practices In The Foodservice Industry, Jeffrey Allan Clark

Theses and Dissertations

As Americans are spending greater portions of their dollar on food consumed outside the home, the foodservice industry plays more of an integral part of daily existence compared to previous generations. Given the numerous annual foodborne illness outbreaks that threaten human lives while undermining confidence in the food supply, food safety is a pertinent issue for industry stakeholders, government regulators, and consumers. Food worker handwashing reduces the risk of foodborne illness transmission, yet compliance with this simple behavior is a complex problem. This dissertation addresses, predominantly, the issue of sub-optimal handwashing practices through applying psychology and technology, including wearable computers ...


Phylogenomics And Geometric Morphometrics Define Species Flocks Of Snowtrout (Teleostei: Schizothorax) In The Central Himalayas, Binod Regmi May 2019

Phylogenomics And Geometric Morphometrics Define Species Flocks Of Snowtrout (Teleostei: Schizothorax) In The Central Himalayas, Binod Regmi

Theses and Dissertations

Schizothorax (Snowtrout) is a genus of medium-sized minnows (Cypriniformes) inhabiting glacier-fed streams, rivers, and lakes in the Himalayas. There are more than 30 species of Schizothorax across the region. The speciation and diversity of the Snowtrout in the vast hinterlands of the Himalayan Region has not been fully explored. Three species in Lake Rara, Western Nepal are considered a species flock, comprising endemic ecotypes that are morphologically differentiated and reproductively isolated.

My dissertation research examined the diversity of Schizothorax in the Central Himalayan region and evolutionary relationships among species distributed in the Tibet, Central and Southeast Asia. Chapter I describes ...


Spatial Reorganization Of Histone-Like Nucleoid Structuring Proteins Caused By Silver Nanoparticles, Meaad Alqahtany May 2019

Spatial Reorganization Of Histone-Like Nucleoid Structuring Proteins Caused By Silver Nanoparticles, Meaad Alqahtany

Theses and Dissertations

Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and ions (Ag+) can be the new generation of antibiotics due to their antimicrobial effects against bacteria and other microbes. Many studies have shown that AgNPs and suppress the growth of bacteria and damage the cell walls of the microbes; therefore, treating bacterial cells with AgNPs may be a promising method to terminate multi-resistant bacteria. In this work, the effect of AgNPs with two different surface coatings on the spatial reorganization of histone-like nucleoid structuring (H-NS) proteins in Escherichia coli bacteria was investigated using quantitative super-resolution fluorescence microscopy to understand the toxicity and antimicrobial mechanism of AgNPs ...


Implications Of Rice Cultivar Selection To Optimize Returns From Crop Insurance, David Ethan Branscum May 2019

Implications Of Rice Cultivar Selection To Optimize Returns From Crop Insurance, David Ethan Branscum

Theses and Dissertations

Rice production differs from most other field crops by distinct differences in yields across cultivars and rice producers being paid for yield after post-harvest milling. Using eleven years (2003-2013) of Arkansas harvest data from performance trials in six different locations, hybrids have 19% higher paddy yields and head rice yield rate 1.7% lower than conventional cultivars. Given the 2014 Farm Bill’s emphasis on crop insurance as a risk management tool for producers, these variations in yield among cultivars have significant implications for rice producers. Comparing national level, crop insurance data on corn, soybeans and rice indicates rice producers ...


A Silicon Germanium Cmos Linear Voltage Regulator For Wireless Agricultural Applications, Aminta Naidili Castillo Robles May 2019

A Silicon Germanium Cmos Linear Voltage Regulator For Wireless Agricultural Applications, Aminta Naidili Castillo Robles

Theses and Dissertations

This thesis presents the design, simulation and test results of a silicon germanium (SiGe) complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) linear regulator. The objective of the circuit is to power other analog devices regardless of the load current and input voltage changes. The application of this regulator is to be part of a project developing a miniaturized semiconductor platform that can be inserted into stems of crops in order to measure data inside the plant and then send it wirelessly to the user. The linear regulator was designed on a BiCMOS SiGe 0.13µm which is a GlobalFoundries process. It has been tested ...


Hormone Signaling, Gene Expression, And Mitochondrial Hormone Receptor Expression In Avian Muscle (Cells), Kentu Rushadd Lassiter May 2019

Hormone Signaling, Gene Expression, And Mitochondrial Hormone Receptor Expression In Avian Muscle (Cells), Kentu Rushadd Lassiter

Theses and Dissertations

Mitochondria are vital to the proper growth and function of muscle cells since they’re responsible for the majority of ATP production used for cellular energy. Previous studies have investigated how differences in mitochondrial function affects feed efficiency (FE) in broilers phenotyped for High and Low FE. Low FE broilers have been shown to have increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), thus contributing to higher levels of oxidative stress and damage seen in these birds. Global gene and protein expression studies conducted on breast muscle of the High FE and Low FE phenotypes have suggested that differences in mitochondrial ...


Daily To Seasonal Moisture Signals Present In Sub-Annual Tree-Ring Data, Ian Howard May 2019

Daily To Seasonal Moisture Signals Present In Sub-Annual Tree-Ring Data, Ian Howard

Theses and Dissertations

In recent decades, there has been an increase in the development of sub-annual earlywood (EW) and latewood (LW) width tree-ring chronologies that have been used to make long-term inferences about discrete seasonal moisture variability for different regions of North America. This doctoral research developed a new network of EW, LW, and adjusted latewood (LWa) tree-ring chronologies from the western Great Plains. These chronologies were used to reconstruct 300+ years of spring and summer moisture variability over the northern and southern Plains. The reconstructions document new information about the long-term seasonal climate history of the Great Plains, including the unusual nature ...


Comprehensive Poultry Supply Chain Model With Vertical And Horizontal Linkages: Implication Of Domestic And International Shocks, Hakan Unveren May 2019

Comprehensive Poultry Supply Chain Model With Vertical And Horizontal Linkages: Implication Of Domestic And International Shocks, Hakan Unveren

Theses and Dissertations

According to USDA FAS, in 2017, the US was the largest broiler-producing country with 18.696 million metric tons and the second largest exporter of broiler products with 3.075 million metric tons (Brazil is the largest exporter with 3.847 million metric tons). Thus, around 83% of US production is consumed domestically. According to USITC, chickens are the most important protein source in the US, and Americans consume more chicken per capita than any other country. However, while the broiler industry is a key segment of US agriculture, it is underserved by large-scale supply-chain and trade models.

In this ...


A Hidden Markov Factor Analysis Framework For Seizure Detection In Epilepsy Patients, Mahboubeh Madadi May 2019

A Hidden Markov Factor Analysis Framework For Seizure Detection In Epilepsy Patients, Mahboubeh Madadi

Theses and Dissertations

Approximately 1% of the world population suffers from epilepsy. Continuous long-term electroencephalographic (EEG) monitoring is the gold-standard for recording epileptic seizures and assisting in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with epilepsy. Detection of seizure from the recorded EEG is a laborious, time consuming and expensive task. In this study, we propose an automated seizure detection framework to assist electroencephalographers and physicians with identification of seizures in recorded EEG signals. In addition, an automated seizure detection algorithm can be used for treatment through automatic intervention during the seizure activity and on time triggering of the injection of a radiotracer to ...


Interactions Between The Protein Industry And Blogs: An Analysis Of Content And Perceptions, Kylie Hackworth May 2019

Interactions Between The Protein Industry And Blogs: An Analysis Of Content And Perceptions, Kylie Hackworth

Theses and Dissertations

This thesis contains two articles that describe and characterize the use of the social media platform of blogging in the context of the animal agriculture and protein industry. The first article used content analysis to analyze blog posts and look for themes throughout the posts. This study included 37 posts from ten authors and resulted in four recurrent themes. The major themes were environment, consumption of protein, alternative protein source, and alternative dieting. The tones regarding these themes were both negative and positive toward the protein industry.

The second article used hand-coding to look for themes and similarities concerning flow ...


Evaluation Of Herd Size Management Strategies, Colson A. Tester May 2019

Evaluation Of Herd Size Management Strategies, Colson A. Tester

Theses and Dissertations

This thesis is comprised of two studies examining the effects of price signal based herd size management strategies on profitability of cow-calf operations. Herd size management strategies were evaluated across the previous two cattle cycles, 1990-2014, using a fixed land resource and included a variety of production scenarios. These scenarios varied in terms of stocking rates, fertilizer applications rates, and calving season. Each scenario was also analyzed both with and without weather effects on forage production. Weather effects were simulated using a production index derived from satellite imagery across the observed 25-year period. Three herd size management strategies: i) constant ...


Validity And Reliability Of A 5-Minute Web-Camera Based Eye Tracking Test To Assess Visual Memory And Cognition, Emily Bates May 2019

Validity And Reliability Of A 5-Minute Web-Camera Based Eye Tracking Test To Assess Visual Memory And Cognition, Emily Bates

Theses and Dissertations

There are approximately 5.7 million Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Early detection of cognitive impairment allows for earlier treatment, potentially slowing or halting cognitive decline. A 30-min web-camera eye tracking assessment (30-min VPC) has been validated as a tool to predict AD risk. However, a shorter version would allow for greater scalability and improve user experience. The purpose of this study was to: 1) determine the validity of the 5-minute web-camera based VPC test with the 30-min test, 2) determine the test-retest reliability of the 5-min test, 3) compare the 5-minute test scores of cognitively intact ...


Comparison Of Physical Intensity Between Interactive Video Game Cycling And Conventional Stationary Cycling In Adolescents With High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, Tariq Mohammed Alsoqairan May 2019

Comparison Of Physical Intensity Between Interactive Video Game Cycling And Conventional Stationary Cycling In Adolescents With High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, Tariq Mohammed Alsoqairan

Theses and Dissertations

Background: Obesity has become a serious health concern in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Researchers have indicated that sedentary behaviors, especially technological activities, such as video games and other forms of screen-based activities is the main barrier to participate in physical activities. Active video games have demonstrated the efficacy in increasing physical activity and reducing body weight in children and adolescents with disabilities.

Purpose: The purpose of the study was to examine the exercise intensity and enjoyment level of interactive video game cycling (IVGC) in comparison with conventional stationary cycling (CSC) during matched number of sessions utilizing the same ...


Evaluation Of Crop Tolerance And Weed Control In Corn And Grain Sorghum With Atrazine Replacements, Jacob Thomas Richburg May 2019

Evaluation Of Crop Tolerance And Weed Control In Corn And Grain Sorghum With Atrazine Replacements, Jacob Thomas Richburg

Theses and Dissertations

Atrazine is a foundational herbicide for weed control in both corn (Zea mays L.) and grain sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] production. However, studies have shown that while atrazine may be an effective herbicide for preemergence and postemergence control of weeds, it also has risks. The low Koc of atrazine as well as its extensive use over the past 50 years have led it to become the most common groundwater contaminant near agricultural soils. Given these findings, atrazine has faced severe scrutiny while under consideration for reregistration. In the event that atrazine is not reregistered, corn and grain sorghum producers ...


Amphibian And Reptile Community Responses To Forest And Riparian Disturbance, Jacquelyn Christine Guzy May 2019

Amphibian And Reptile Community Responses To Forest And Riparian Disturbance, Jacquelyn Christine Guzy

Theses and Dissertations

Riparian zones are transitional, semi-terrestrial areas regularly influenced by freshwater. These areas serve as dispersal corridors for many animal and plant species and ultimately function as important reservoirs of biodiversity in altered landscapes. While much of the riparian habitat in the United States has been affected by anthropogenic activities, management actions may mitigate potentially negative influences of these activities. For example, Streamside Management Zones (i.e., riparian buffers; SMZs) are commonly implemented within managed forests to protect water quality, but may also provide habitat for riparian-associated wildlife. Yet, little research has rigorously addressed the value of SMZs for wildlife, particularly ...


Cool And Warm Season Climate Signals In Tree Rings From North America, Max Carl Arne Torbenson May 2019

Cool And Warm Season Climate Signals In Tree Rings From North America, Max Carl Arne Torbenson

Theses and Dissertations

Earlywood (EW) and latewood (LW) ring-width chronologies have become an increasingly important proxy in paleoclimate reconstructions. These subannual variables can provide estimates of past hydroclimate variability for seasonal windows that total ring-widths cannot resolve. The strength of the relationship between EW and LW series may influence what type of paleoclimate information is embedded within the tree-ring series. High correlations (> 0.70) between EW and LW are recorded for much of the continent but the magnitude of correlation varies greatly across space and species boundaries. Using four LW chronologies from shortleaf pine, the North American conifer species displaying the lowest EW-LW ...


Molecular Mechanisms Mediating Morphogenesis Of The Basal Epithelial Tissue Fold During Midbrain-Hindbrain Boundary Formation In Zebrafish, Mike Roger Visetsouk May 2019

Molecular Mechanisms Mediating Morphogenesis Of The Basal Epithelial Tissue Fold During Midbrain-Hindbrain Boundary Formation In Zebrafish, Mike Roger Visetsouk

Theses and Dissertations

ABSTRACT

MOLECULAR MECHANISMS MEDIATING MORPHOGENESIS OF THE BASAL EPITHELIAL TISSUE FOLD DURING MIDBRAIN-HINDBRAIN BOUNDARY FORMATION IN ZEBRAFISH

by

Mike Roger Visetsouk

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2019

Under the Supervision of Jennifer H. Gutzman, PhD

The formation of a fully functional organism requires the morphogenesis of cell and tissue structures during development. It is important to understand the mechanisms that mediate morphogenesis, since cell and tissue structures are crucial to physiological function. Here, we studied basal epithelial tissue folding as a model to determine the mechanisms of morphogenesis. We investigated a highly conserved basal tissue fold known as the midbrain-hindbrain boundary ...


Incorporation, Morphology, And Extinction Of Framework-Building Metazoans In Early Cambrian Reef Ecosystems From The Western Usa And Mongolia And Their Effects On Reef Diversity, David Russell Cordie May 2019

Incorporation, Morphology, And Extinction Of Framework-Building Metazoans In Early Cambrian Reef Ecosystems From The Western Usa And Mongolia And Their Effects On Reef Diversity, David Russell Cordie

Theses and Dissertations

The early Cambrian represents an important transition in the evolution of life, perhaps most vividly exemplified by reef ecosystems as they changed from microbial-supported to metazoan-supported framework reefs. Microbial reefs were initially composed of Renalcis- and Epiphyton-group calcifying microbes. Subsequent reefs began to incorporate archaeocyathan sponges within this framework. This represents a shift in the source of carbonate production, which can be quantified using thin section point counts. In archaeocyathan reefs from the western USA, carbonate contribution from metazoan framework builders increased from zero to 29.7%. Similar reefs from Mongolia increased from zero to 5.0%. Increases in Laurentian ...


Quantitative Evaluation Of Geared Manual Wheelchair Mobility In Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury: An Integrative Approach, Omid Jahanian May 2019

Quantitative Evaluation Of Geared Manual Wheelchair Mobility In Individuals With Spinal Cord Injury: An Integrative Approach, Omid Jahanian

Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this dissertation is to quantify the effects of using geared wheelchair wheels on upper extremity biomechanics and energy expenditure during functional mobility tasks in individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). The effects of using geared wheels on hand-rim biomechanics, glenohumeral joint dynamics, and shoulder muscle activity were investigated during manual wheelchair propulsion over tiled and carpeted level-floors and up a ramp in low gear (1.5:1) and standard gear (1:1) conditions. The results for the hand-rim biomechanics indicated that regardless of the terrain, using the geared wheels in the low gear condition significantly decreased the ...


Characterizing Water Quality And Hydrologic Properties Of Urban Streams In Central Virginia, Rikki Lucas Jan 2019

Characterizing Water Quality And Hydrologic Properties Of Urban Streams In Central Virginia, Rikki Lucas

Theses and Dissertations

The objective of this study was to characterize water quality and hydrologic properties of urban streams in the Richmond metropolitan area. Water quality data were analyzed for six urban sites and two non-urban sites. Geomorphological surveys and conservative tracer studies were performed at four urban sites and one non-urban site to describe intra- and inter- site variability in transient storage, channel geomorphology, and related hydrologic parameters. Urban sites showed elevated concentrations of nitrogen and more variable TSS concentrations relative to reference sites. Urban channels were deeply incised with unstable banks and low sinuosity. Little Westham Creek exhibited the greatest transient ...


Translational Insights Into The Genetic Etiology Of Mental Health Disorders: Examining Risk Factor Models, Neuroimaging, And Current Dissemination Practices, Jessica L. Bourdon Jan 2019

Translational Insights Into The Genetic Etiology Of Mental Health Disorders: Examining Risk Factor Models, Neuroimaging, And Current Dissemination Practices, Jessica L. Bourdon

Theses and Dissertations

Psychiatric genetics is a basic science field that has potential for practical application and effective translation. To date, translational frameworks utilized by this field have been linear (e.g., sequential) in nature, focusing on molecular genetic information. It is proposed that non-linear (e.g., socio-ecological) frameworks are a better way to immediately translate non-molecular genetic information. This dissertation explored the translation of psychiatric genetic information in two ways. First, a survey was sent to academic stakeholders to assess the state of the science regarding the translation of genetic information to the clinical care of mental health disorders. Findings from this ...


The Role Of Irf1 In The Brain And In Adaptive Responses Of Astrocytes, Andrew Hoskins Jan 2019

The Role Of Irf1 In The Brain And In Adaptive Responses Of Astrocytes, Andrew Hoskins

Theses and Dissertations

In neurodegenerative diseases, the CNS becomes inflamed through activation of pathways, including the NF-B pathway. Some of the therapies for those diseases target neuroinflammatory pathways. Here, we explore the mechanisms for the upregulation of a subset of genes following a restimulation of the NF-B pathway. We discover that this upregulation occurs independent of IRF1 expression and type 1 interferon signaling. A knockdown of IRF1 using siRNA and an inhibition of JAK proteins using inhibitor AG490 both had no effect on priming. A secreted factor was found to upregulate the expression of both this subset of genes and genes encoding pro-inflammatory ...


Evaluating Predixcan’S Ability To Predict Differential Expression Between Alcoholics And Non-Alcoholics, John E. Drake Jr Jan 2019

Evaluating Predixcan’S Ability To Predict Differential Expression Between Alcoholics And Non-Alcoholics, John E. Drake Jr

Theses and Dissertations

PrediXcan is a recent software for the imputation of gene expression from genotype data alone. Using an overlapping set of transcriptome datasets from postmortem brain tissues of donors with alcohol use disorder and neurotypical controls, which were generated by two different platforms (e.g., Arraystar and Affymetrix), and an additional unrelated transcriptome dataset from lung tissue, we sought to evaluate PrediXcan’s ability to impute gene expression and identify differentially expressed genes. From the Arraystar platform, 1.3% of matched genes between the measured and imputed expression had a Pearson correlation ≥ 0.5. Our attempt to replicate this finding using ...


The Role Of Sphingosine Kinase 2 In Alcoholic Liver Disease, Eric K. Kwong Jan 2019

The Role Of Sphingosine Kinase 2 In Alcoholic Liver Disease, Eric K. Kwong

Theses and Dissertations

Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is one of the most common liver diseases worldwide characterized by the accumulation of lipids within the liver, inflammation and the possibility of progressing to cirrhosis and liver failure. More importantly, there are currently no effective treatments for ALD and liver transplantation remains the only therapeutic option for end-stage liver disease. Previous studies have shown that ALD is a result of a combination of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, lipid metabolism dysregulation and inflammation. It has been previously reported that alcohol disrupts gut microbiota homeostasis and causes increased endotoxins that contribute to the pathology of ALD. However ...


Effect Of Manipulation Of Notch Signaling Pathway On Neural Stem Cell Proliferation In The Hippocampus Following Traumatic Brain Injury, Seung L. Kim Jan 2019

Effect Of Manipulation Of Notch Signaling Pathway On Neural Stem Cell Proliferation In The Hippocampus Following Traumatic Brain Injury, Seung L. Kim

Theses and Dissertations

Effect of Manipulation of Notch Signaling Pathway on Neural Stem Cell Proliferation in the Hippocampus Following Traumatic Brain Injury

By Seung L. Kim A thesis statement submitted for degree requirement in Mater of Science Virginia Commonwealth University, 2019 Advisor: Dong Sun, MD. PhD. Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology

The Notch signaling pathway is known as a core signaling system in maintaining neural stem cells (NSCs) in embryonic development and adulthood including cell proliferation, maturation, and cell fate decision. Proliferation of NSCs persists throughout lifespan in neurogenic niches and is often upregulated following neurological insults including traumatic brain injury (TBI). Therefore, NSCs ...


The Role Of Kras In Mechanosensing In Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Krista M. Powell Jan 2019

The Role Of Kras In Mechanosensing In Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Krista M. Powell

Theses and Dissertations

Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer related death worldwide, with more than 1.6 million fatalities each year. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for 80-85% of all lung cancers, with KRAS being one of the most prevalent oncogenic driver mutations. Therapeutic approaches for KRAS-mutated NSCLC have been extensively explored due to the US National Cancer Institute RAS Initiative, but methods of directly targeting KRAS or downstream effectors, such as MEK, still have poor results. Previous reports have shown that KRAS-mutated NSCLC activate distinct receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) depending on the epithelial or mesenchymal state. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition ...


Facilitative And Competitive Tradeoffs Between Morella Cerifera Seedlings And Coastal Grasses, Michael N. Sinclair Jan 2019

Facilitative And Competitive Tradeoffs Between Morella Cerifera Seedlings And Coastal Grasses, Michael N. Sinclair

Theses and Dissertations

Morella cerifera is a rapidly expanding native shrub on the Virginia barrier islands which displaces other native coastal species and may interrupt normal sediment dynamics. Barrier islands are considered stressful environments with low nutrients, high solar load, and frequent drought and salt exposure; facilitation often dominates in stressful environments according to the Stress Gradient Hypothesis. The objective of this project was to understand the importance of species interactions with grasses on the growth and physiology of M. cerifera at the seedling life stage through both field and lab experiments. Grasses provided ~1.3°C insulation to shrubs during winter freeze ...