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2019

Climate change

Theses/Dissertations

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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Linkage Of Climate Diagnostics In Predictions For Crop Production: Cold Impacts In Taiwan And Thailand, Parichart Promchote Aug 2019

Linkage Of Climate Diagnostics In Predictions For Crop Production: Cold Impacts In Taiwan And Thailand, Parichart Promchote

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This research presents three case studies of low temperature anomalies that occurred during the winter–spring seasons and their influence on extreme events and crop production. We investigate causes and effects of each climate event and developed prediction methods for crops based on the climate diagnostic information. The first study diagnosed the driven environmental-factors, including climate pattern, climate change, soils moisture, and sea level height, associated with the 2011 great flood in Thailand and resulting total crop loss. The second study investigated climate circulation and indices that contributed to wet-and-cold (WC) events leading to significant crop damage in Taiwan. We ...


The Vulnerability Of Littoral Structures Under Multiyear Drought Conditions, Jenna M. Keeton Aug 2019

The Vulnerability Of Littoral Structures Under Multiyear Drought Conditions, Jenna M. Keeton

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Climate change is associated with altered environmental conditions and shifting mosaics of suitable habitats for organisms. Climate change in the form of drought can shift important lake shoreline habitats downslope, altering the lakes chemistry and habitat availability. Additionally, negative biological consequences can occur after a loss of submerged habitat along shorelines, hereafter littoral habitat. The objective of this study is to evaluate whether littoral habitat is lost (cobble, coarse woody habitat (fallen trees; CWH), and aquatic vegetation) under drought conditions across the United States. I used the National Lakes Assessment physical habitat data collected in summer 2012, when 75% of ...


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 ...


A Revised Land Ethic: Sustainable And Spiritual Agriculture, Environmental Studies, Brooke Maitlan Parrett May 2019

A Revised Land Ethic: Sustainable And Spiritual Agriculture, Environmental Studies, Brooke Maitlan Parrett

Student Theses 2015-Present

This paper proposes a return to the land and reconnection of spiritual practices through ethical teachings. Such a land ethic would involve answering the woes of industrial agriculture and providing a framework for farmers, consumers, and policymakers based on sustainable and spiritual considerations of the land. I analyze the loss of spiritual literacy and traditional ecological knowledge in the United States and discuss the spiritual history of agriculture in order to analyze contemporary religious perspectives on farming and agricultural ethics and thereby develop my own recommendations. The land ethic I propose combines sustainability and spirituality to develop intrinsic respect for ...


Assessing The Mechanisms And Implications Of Altered Carbon Cycling In Arctic And Boreal Lakes, Rachel Fowler May 2019

Assessing The Mechanisms And Implications Of Altered Carbon Cycling In Arctic And Boreal Lakes, Rachel Fowler

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is an important component of lake ecology, as it contributes to light attenuation and carbon cycling. In recent years, DOC declined in a suite of lakes in Greenland. I performed experiments to test potential mechanisms of DOC loss. The tested mechanisms did not reduce DOC concentration, but DOC composition was affected. I also paired water quality data with meteorological observations to evaluate effects of climate drivers on lake variables. The lake variables were temporally coherent and associated with patterns of mean annual precipitation.

In the northeastern U.S., recovery from acidification and climate change have contributed ...


Blacklegged Tick (Ixodes Scapularis) Distribution In Maine, Usa, As Related To Climate Change, White-Tailed Deer, And The Landscape, Susan P. Elias May 2019

Blacklegged Tick (Ixodes Scapularis) Distribution In Maine, Usa, As Related To Climate Change, White-Tailed Deer, And The Landscape, Susan P. Elias

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterial spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted through the bite of an infected blacklegged (deer) tick (Ixodes scapularis). Geographic invasion of I. scapularis in North America has been attributed to causes including 20th century reforestation and suburbanization, burgeoning populations of the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) which is the primary reproductive host of I. scapularis, tick-associated non-native plant invasions, and climate change. Maine, USA, is a high Lyme disease incidence state, with a history of increasing I. scapularis abundance and northward range expansion. This thesis addresses the question: “To what extent has the range expansion ...


Living On The Edge: Thermophysiology Of The Southern Flying Squirrel At Its Northern Range Margin, Vanessa R. Hensley May 2019

Living On The Edge: Thermophysiology Of The Southern Flying Squirrel At Its Northern Range Margin, Vanessa R. Hensley

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Climate change has the potential to upset entire ecological systems, making predictive models of the utmost importance. The incorporation of physiological parameters into predictive models not only bolsters their accuracy but also provides a mechanistic explanation for ecological changes already observed and those yet to come. North American flying squirrels, for example, have already experienced dramatic range shifts northward over recent decades, with climate change being the suspected driver. While other studies have focused on warming winter temperatures, I explored the hypothesis that rising summer temperatures were driving the observed range shifts. Unable to find a reliable population of the ...


Biogeography Of Endemic Dragonflies Of The Ozark-Ouachita Interior Highlands, Wade Alexander Boys May 2019

Biogeography Of Endemic Dragonflies Of The Ozark-Ouachita Interior Highlands, Wade Alexander Boys

Theses and Dissertations

A common pattern across many taxonomic groups is that relatively few species are widespread while the majority are restricted in their geographic ranges. Such species distributions are used to inform conservation status, which poses unique challenges for rare or cryptic species. Further, priority status is often designated within geopolitical boundaries, which may include only a portion of a species range. This, coupled with lack of distributional data, has resulted in species being designated as apparently rare throughout some portions of their range, which may not accurately reflect their overall conservation need. The Interior Highlands region of the central United States ...


Ecological And Economic Implications Of Increased Storm Frequency And Severity For Boreal Lakes, Kathryn Warner May 2019

Ecological And Economic Implications Of Increased Storm Frequency And Severity For Boreal Lakes, Kathryn Warner

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

In boreal regions, increased precipitation events have been linked to increased concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), however less is known about the extent and implications of these events on lakes. We assessed the effects of precipitation events on six drinking water lakes in Maine, USA to better understand how DOC concentration and quality change in response to precipitation events. Our results revealed three types of responses: (1) an initial spike in DOC concentrations and quality metrics; (2) a sustained increase in DOC concentrations and quality metrics and; (3) no change during all sampling periods. Lake residence time was a ...


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 ...


How To Combat Post-Natural Disaster Related Environmental Gentrification And Environmental Inequality Accelerated By Climate Change, Marielle Christie Mar 2019

How To Combat Post-Natural Disaster Related Environmental Gentrification And Environmental Inequality Accelerated By Climate Change, Marielle Christie

Honors Theses

This thesis aims to illustrate the concept of natural disaster-induced environmental gentrification. There is a heightened vulnerability to unmitigated forced displacement by socioeconomically disadvantaged residents following a natural disaster. Environmental gentrification is a variant of green gentrification. Green gentrification occurs when providing green amenities to a city increases local property values and attracts wealthier residents to a previously polluted or disenfranchised neighborhood, which displaces the low-income residents. Similarly, environmental gentrification is a process that occurs after a natural disaster and rapidly accelerates the process of traditional urban gentrification or green gentrification. As a result, environmental gentrification magnifies and facilitates further ...


Changing Oceanic Conditions On The Foraging Patterns Of Cassin’S Auklets, Ptychoramphus Aleuticuschanging Oceanic Conditions On The Foraging Patterns Of Cassin’S Auklets, Ptychoramphus Aleuticus, Clare Flynn Jan 2019

Changing Oceanic Conditions On The Foraging Patterns Of Cassin’S Auklets, Ptychoramphus Aleuticuschanging Oceanic Conditions On The Foraging Patterns Of Cassin’S Auklets, Ptychoramphus Aleuticus, Clare Flynn

Pomona Senior Theses

Cassin’s auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) reproductive success has been monitored on Southeast Farallon Island (SEFI) for the past 45 years. Their productivity has varied with oceanic conditions. The purpose of this study is to connect how oceanic conditions affect Cassin’s auklet foraging behaviors. The California Current System (CCS) can normally maintain high plankton productivity, and thus high seabird productivity, because of coastal upwelling. I hypothesized that lower upwelling and/or higher sea surface temperatures (SSTs) lead Cassin’s auklets to spend more time on intensive foraging behaviors such as flying and diving, and have less time to spend resting ...


Reexamining The Utility Of Existing Climate Adaptation Frameworks Through Application On A Northern Forest, Alexander Rice Jan 2019

Reexamining The Utility Of Existing Climate Adaptation Frameworks Through Application On A Northern Forest, Alexander Rice

Dissertations, Master's Theses and Master's Reports

A review of the literature reveals the strengths and limitations of various climate adaptation frameworks and illuminates a general path by which a type of adaptation can be achieved. A number of useful frameworks exist but the number of independent case studies demonstrating the adaptation process in a detailed manner is much more limited. Additionally, components of the various adaptation processes can often seem vague and concepts such as adaptability ill-defined. For land managers approaching climate adaptation independently can be difficult, particularly in the areas of goal creation and vulnerability assessment. Within frameworks where user-defined adaptation goals dictate whether or ...


Ecological Considerations And Application Of Urban Tree Selection In Massachusetts, Ashley Mcelhinney Jan 2019

Ecological Considerations And Application Of Urban Tree Selection In Massachusetts, Ashley Mcelhinney

Masters Theses

Trees provide countless environmental, economic, and societal benefits to the urban environment, and may become increasingly important to maintaining environmental quality and human well-being in the face of increasing urbanization and climate change. However, trees in these urban areas are rapidly diminishing across the United States. Much of this loss can be prevented with proper planning and management, focused on selecting tree species that are both well-suited to the area’s growing conditions and able to survive the many stress factors in an urban setting. Choosing which tree species to plant in Massachusetts is especially challenging considering the lack of ...


Abiotic And Biotic Drivers Of Plant Range Shifts In The Alpine, Clifton Powell Bueno De Mesquita Jan 2019

Abiotic And Biotic Drivers Of Plant Range Shifts In The Alpine, Clifton Powell Bueno De Mesquita

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Over the course of Earth’s biological history, organisms have many times had to shift their geographic distributions in order to track changing abiotic conditions suitable for their growth, survival, and reproduction. Now more than ever, in the new geologic epoch of the Anthropocene, organisms will have to rapidly shift their ranges to adapt to climate change and other anthropogenic disturbances. The rearrangement of organisms can be facilitated or inhibited by biotic interactions between organisms. Here I examine plant range shifts in an alpine ecosystem in response to climate warming and earlier snowmelt, as well as the role of biotic ...


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 ...


Thermal And Low Oxygen Tolerance Of A Southern Population Of Striped Bass (Morone Saxatilis), Daniel A. Lleras Jan 2019

Thermal And Low Oxygen Tolerance Of A Southern Population Of Striped Bass (Morone Saxatilis), Daniel A. Lleras

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Climate change projections estimate a 2-3°C increase in water temperatures by the end of the century. The amount of habitat with suitable temperature and oxygen concentration for aquatic organisms will also be reduced. Striped bass (Morone saxatilis) inhabiting the rivers in Southeastern Georgia make an interesting study system as they do not participate in summer coastal migrations typical of their northern conspecifics. Instead, fish in this southern population remain in freshwater environments that experience warming and decreases in dissolved oxygen. The present study aims to determine the thermal and low oxygen tolerance of juvenile striped bass collected from southeast ...


Shade Trees Preserve Avian Insectivore Biodiversity On Coffee Farms In A Warming Climate, Sarah L. Schooler Jan 2019

Shade Trees Preserve Avian Insectivore Biodiversity On Coffee Farms In A Warming Climate, Sarah L. Schooler

Theses and projects

Coffee is an important export in many developing countries, with a global annual trade value of $100 billion. Climate change is projected to drastically reduce the area where coffee is able to be grown. Shade trees may mitigate the effects of climate change through temperature regulation for coffee growth, temperature regulation for pest control, and increase in pest-eating bird diversity. The impact of shade on bird diversity and microclimate on coffee farms has been studied extensively in the Neotropics, but there is a dearth of research in the Paleotropics. I examined the local effects of shade on bird presence and ...