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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

The Association Between Dietary Niche Variation In Rodents And Climate Change Across The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, Hannah K. Vermeer Aug 2019

The Association Between Dietary Niche Variation In Rodents And Climate Change Across The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, Hannah K. Vermeer

Masters Theses

Mammalian teeth play a crucial role in food acquisition and breakdown and are therefore closely tied to dietary niche. This study reconstructed the diet of early Paleogene paramyid rodents across the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) climatic event in an effort to understand the role of climate in mammalian dietary niche change. Dietary niches were quantified using three dental topographic measures: Dirichlet normal energy, relief index, and orientation patch count rotated. A Kruskal-Wallis test was conducted over eight time periods to determine if each of the dental topographic measures (i.e., diet) varied over time. Regression analysis of these measures with ...


Thermal Quality Explains Shift In Habitat Association From Forest To Clearings For Terrestrial-Breeding Frogs Along An Elevation Gradient In Colombia, Zachary Lange Jul 2019

Thermal Quality Explains Shift In Habitat Association From Forest To Clearings For Terrestrial-Breeding Frogs Along An Elevation Gradient In Colombia, Zachary Lange

Masters Theses

Tropical ectotherms are considered particularly sensitive to changes in the thermal environment from climate change and habitat alteration. Understanding how such species’ thermal physiology relates to their habitat associations in thermally heterogeneous landscapes may help us predict responses and develop sound conservation strategies for the future. We conducted a mark-recapture study of three terrestrial breeding anuran species (Pristimantis medemi, P. savagei, P. frater) in adjacent forest and anthropogenic clearings at field sites spread across seven elevations (415-1350 m asl) in the Colombian Andes. We also performed thermal preference and critical thermal maximum assays in the lab to investigate the relationship ...


Dietary Plasticity In A Specialist Predator, The Gyrfalcon (Falco Rusticolus): New Insights Into Diet During Brood Rearing, Bryce W. Robinson, Travis L. Booms, Marc J. Bechard, David L. Anderson Jun 2019

Dietary Plasticity In A Specialist Predator, The Gyrfalcon (Falco Rusticolus): New Insights Into Diet During Brood Rearing, Bryce W. Robinson, Travis L. Booms, Marc J. Bechard, David L. Anderson

Biology Faculty Publications and Presentations

Climate and landscape change are expected to affect species’ distributions and interactions, with potentially harmful consequences for specialist predators. Availability of optimal prey can affect reproductive success in raptors, especially in the Arctic, where dramatic differences in prey availability occur both within and between years. However, behavioral responses of dietary specialist, resident predators such as Gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus) to changes in prey availability remain poorly understood. To improve understanding of how climate-driven changes in prey availability may affect diet of avian predators in the Arctic, we characterized Gyrfalcon diet on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska, in 2014 and 2015 from images ...


Characterization Of Psychromonas Aquimarina, A New Model Organism For Climate Change, Carrie Carpenter Apr 2019

Characterization Of Psychromonas Aquimarina, A New Model Organism For Climate Change, Carrie Carpenter

Experiential Learning Projects

The current increase of average global temperature puts 25 to 35 percent of plant and animal species at an increased risk of extinction (Climate Change, 2018). Changing any environmental factor, such as increasing growth temperature, can significantly impact any organisms’ ability to survive. Because of the diversity of organisms on the planet, it is not feasible to study how each individually might adapt, but rather it is more efficient to study select organisms. This research focuses on a psychrophilic bacterium, Psychromonas aquimarina, which can survive in colder regions where most bacteria would not. This bacterium was chosen because climate change ...


Changes In Spring Arrival Times: Climate Change And The Phenology Of Spring Bird Migration, Aaron Svedlow Apr 2019

Changes In Spring Arrival Times: Climate Change And The Phenology Of Spring Bird Migration, Aaron Svedlow

Student Scholarship

Climate change and weather affect the phenology of bird migration; however, specific climatological factors associated with these observed effects have only recently been described. The relationship between local, regional, and global climate patterns and avian migration are increasingly important to understand due to the widespread, and potentially negative, implications (such as reduced fecundity) of rapid human induced climate change on bird populations. Migratory birds are under selective pressure to arrive at breeding areas at the optimal time to set up nesting territories and exploit seasonally abundant food resources, and because climate change has the potential to occur more rapidly than ...


Effects Of Increased Precipitation On The Life History Of Spring- And Autumn-Germinated Plants Of The Cold Desert Annual Erodium Oxyrhynchum (Geraniaceae), Yanfeng Chen, Xiang Shi, Lingwei Zhang, Jerry M. Baskin, Carol C. Baskin, Huiliang Liu, Daoyuan Zhang Apr 2019

Effects Of Increased Precipitation On The Life History Of Spring- And Autumn-Germinated Plants Of The Cold Desert Annual Erodium Oxyrhynchum (Geraniaceae), Yanfeng Chen, Xiang Shi, Lingwei Zhang, Jerry M. Baskin, Carol C. Baskin, Huiliang Liu, Daoyuan Zhang

Biology Faculty Publications

Future increased precipitation in cold desert ecosystems may impact annual/ephemeral plant species that germinate in both spring and autumn. Our primary aim was to compare the life history characteristics of plants from spring-germinating (SG) and autumn-germinating (AG) seeds of Erodium oxyrhynchum. Plants in field plots with simulated increases in precipitation of 0, 30 and 50 % in spring and summer were monitored to determine seedling survival, phenology, plant size, seed production and biomass accumulation and allocation. Germination characteristics were determined in the laboratory for seeds produced by plants in all increased precipitation treatments. Increased precipitation in spring significantly improved survival ...


The Living Archive In The Anthropocene, Nora Almeida, Jen Hoyer Apr 2019

The Living Archive In The Anthropocene, Nora Almeida, Jen Hoyer

Publications and Research

This paper presents the concept of the living archive as a system which reflects how social behavior and cultural production are part of the Anthropocene. The authors explore how dominant narratives of both the Anthropocene and the archive work to consolidate power and maintain cultural and disciplinary divisions. The authors refute conceptions of the Anthropocene as a purely biophysical phenomenon that is alienated from cultural practice and of the archive as a comprehensive and nostalgic space. They then introduce the living archive as an alternative representational, creative, and reactive space and illustrate how the living archive can intervene in ecological ...


Creative Citizen Science Illuminates Complex Ecological Responses To Climate Change, Abraham J. Miller-Rushing, Amanda S. Gallinat, Richard B. Primack Jan 2019

Creative Citizen Science Illuminates Complex Ecological Responses To Climate Change, Abraham J. Miller-Rushing, Amanda S. Gallinat, Richard B. Primack

Biology Faculty Publications

Climate change is causing the timing of key behaviors (i.e., phenology) to shift differently across trophic levels and among some interacting organisms (e.g., plants and pollinators, predators and prey), suggesting that interactions among species are being disrupted (1, 2). Studying the phenology of interactions, however, is difficult, which has limited researchers’ ability to zero in on changes in specific interactions or on the consequences of mismatches. In PNAS, Hassall et al. (3) use a combination of citizen science techniques to investigate the effects of climate change on dozens of specific interactions. They focus on a Batesian mimicry complex ...


Dispersal As A Buffer Against Zooplankton Community Change In Response To Fluctuating Salinity Levels On The Great Plains, Mercedes Huynh Jan 2019

Dispersal As A Buffer Against Zooplankton Community Change In Response To Fluctuating Salinity Levels On The Great Plains, Mercedes Huynh

Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive)

The North American Great Plains is home to thousands of closed-basin lakes that are sensitive to changes in hydrology. Climate change models predict increased aridity in this region over the coming century, which is expected to lead to higher salinity levels in many freshwater lakes. Increases in salinity levels may impact zooplankton communities, as laboratory experiments show that many freshwater species have a low tolerance for elevated salinity levels, and field data demonstrate that salinity is the primary factor structuring aquatic communities on the Great Plains. Changes to zooplankton communities could lead to a trophic cascade based on their important ...


Influence Of Climate Change And Prescribed Fire On Habitat Suitability And Abundance Of The High-Elevation Endemic Cow Knob Salamander (Plethodon Punctatus), Carl David Jacobsen Jan 2019

Influence Of Climate Change And Prescribed Fire On Habitat Suitability And Abundance Of The High-Elevation Endemic Cow Knob Salamander (Plethodon Punctatus), Carl David Jacobsen

Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports

Amphibians are facing global declines due to climate change, loss and degradation of habitat, invasive species, and disease. The Appalachian region of the eastern USA is a global biodiversity hotspot for salamanders, which are considered keystone species that influence nutrient dynamics in terrestrial and aquatic food webs. There are high rates of salamander endemism in the Appalachian region, with many species restricted to isolated, high elevation areas. The Cow Knob Salamander (Plethodon punctatus) is one such species. It is only found at elevations >675 m (most populations are above 900 m) on Shenandoah Mountain, North Mountain, and Nathaniel Mountain in ...