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Ecology

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Bat Species Diversity And Habitat Use Assessment With Focus On Endangered Indiana Bats In The Wright State University Woods, Megan R. Rude Jan 2019

Bat Species Diversity And Habitat Use Assessment With Focus On Endangered Indiana Bats In The Wright State University Woods, Megan R. Rude

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The goals of my thesis are to: 1) identify species of bats in Wright State University’s (WSU) campus woods via acoustic surveys to compare to detections from previous years (Chapter 1) (2) analyze occupancy and detection probabilities of Indiana bats in different areas throughout the woods (Chapter 1), and 3) create an acoustical approach to analyze habitat use through bat social calls (Chapter 2). In Chapter 1, I conducted stationary acoustic surveys in the Wright State University woods in hydric (riparian), edge, and old growth habitats to record bat vocalizations. The WSU woods have a diverse bat community as ...


Nutrient Flux From Aquatic To Terrestrial Invertebrate Communities Across A Lakeside Ecotone, Hosanna B. Loreaux Jan 2019

Nutrient Flux From Aquatic To Terrestrial Invertebrate Communities Across A Lakeside Ecotone, Hosanna B. Loreaux

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In this study, I examined how the spatiotemporal distribution of spider webs and diet changed in a lake riparian zone with increasing distance from an aquatic resource. I surveyed twenty, one-hundred meter transects along the perimeters of Sanford and Escanaba lakes (Wisconsin). Overall, spider web abundance was highest near the lakes and decreased moving into the adjacent forest. Horizontal orb webs, vertical orb webs, and mesh webs showed strong negative relationships with distance from the lakes. Aquatic insects composed an average 36-64% of spider diet for all spider families throughout the riparian zone, suggesting that some spider families are selecting ...


Effects Of Coral Reef Habitat Complexity On The Community Composition And Trophic Structure Of Marine Fish Assemblages In Indonesia’S Wakatobi Marine National Park, Kuyer Josiah Fazekas Jr. Jan 2019

Effects Of Coral Reef Habitat Complexity On The Community Composition And Trophic Structure Of Marine Fish Assemblages In Indonesia’S Wakatobi Marine National Park, Kuyer Josiah Fazekas Jr.

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The coral reefs within Indonesia’s Wakatobi Marine National Park support a high diversity of reef-building hard corals and associated marine fish. Climate change threatens to dramatically affect coral reef ecosystems by altering the interactions between reef fish and the specific microhabitats they depend on for survival. To examine the spatially varied effects of habitat complexity on the community composition and trophic structure of marine fish assemblages, I analyzed fish community and habitat complexity data across reef zones. Habitat complexity metrics were: structural complexity, the percentage of hard coral (HC) cover, HC genera richness, HC genera diversity (Shannon index), and ...


Comparing Created And Natural Depressional Wetlands Through Trophic Analysis Of Macroinvertebrates, Shante N. Eisele Jan 2018

Comparing Created And Natural Depressional Wetlands Through Trophic Analysis Of Macroinvertebrates, Shante N. Eisele

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Macroinvertebrates are important contributors to wetland ecosystems due to their role in decomposition, nutrient cycling, and as a food resource for other organisms. Several studies have analyzed the macroinvertebrate communities in created wetlands, but few have evaluated them in the context of trophic structure in both created and natural wetlands. The objective of this study is to better understand benthic macroinvertebrate community composition and trophic structure in created and natural wetlands. My central hypotheses were that macroinvertebrate communities in created wetlands would have (1) differing composition and (2) less complex trophic structure with shorter food-chain length compared to natural wetlands ...


Lonicera Maackii Alters Decay Dynamics Of Coarse Woody Debris, Michaela J. Woods Jan 2018

Lonicera Maackii Alters Decay Dynamics Of Coarse Woody Debris, Michaela J. Woods

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Since industrialization, anthropogenic carbon emissions have led to excess atmospheric carbon dioxide that may alter the stability of ecosystem processes. Microorganisms are essential in mitigating excess carbon and play a notable role in the breakdown of organic material. This process, decomposition, is essential in forested ecosystems where microorganisms can recycle nutrients and store carbon in soil organic matter or release it through respiration. Fungi participate in decomposition through the release of enzymes responsible for carrying out the chemical reactions that break down plant material. Species introductions have the potential to alter decomposition dynamics. In the Midwestern US, the invasive shrub ...


The Missing Metric: An Evaluation Of Microorganism Importance In Wetland Assessments, Aaron John Onufrak Jan 2018

The Missing Metric: An Evaluation Of Microorganism Importance In Wetland Assessments, Aaron John Onufrak

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In the contiguous US, an estimated 50% of original wetland areas have been lost since the late 1700s. In growing recognition of the importance of preserving wetland ecosystem function, federal and state agencies have developed proxy-based functional-assessment procedures to manage and preserve remaining wetland areas. Ohio uses the Ohio Rapid Assessment Method (ORAM) to score wetland quality based on six metrics: wetland size, buffer width and surrounding land use, hydrology, habitat alteration and development, special wetland communities, and vegetation. Currently, the ORAM, and many other wetland scoring systems, do not consider microorganisms when determining wetland quality. This is particularly notable ...


Monitoring Ohio Bat Communities And Populations Using Mobile Acoustics, Molly C. Simonis Jan 2018

Monitoring Ohio Bat Communities And Populations Using Mobile Acoustics, Molly C. Simonis

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The goal of my thesis is to: 1) provide baseline information of where Ohio bats are foraging in Wright State University's (WSU) campus woods in relation to forest age and habitat (Chapter 1), 2) determine potential roost availability for local bats (Chapter 1), and 3) examine changes in state-wide species composition following the introduction of White-nose Syndrome (WNS; Chapter 2). In Chapter 1, I created walking bat acoustic routes and used generalized linear models to determine what forest ages and habitats had the greatest bat activity in the WSU campus woods. I conducted habitat transects throughout all forest ages ...


Survey Of A Neotropical Anuran Assemblage (Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, Peru), Eric Woebbe Jan 2017

Survey Of A Neotropical Anuran Assemblage (Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, Peru), Eric Woebbe

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The Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve of Peru is one of the largest protected areas of the Amazon rainforest, yet it has hosted only a few studies of frogs and toads (anurans). The primary goals of my study are: 1) To conduct an inventory of the local anuran species, 2) to quantify richness among habitats, 3) to compare differences in beta diversity across a river versus a continuous landscape, and 4) to compare difference in body size between nocturnal and diurnal individuals. After eight weeks of daytime and nighttime surveys during the dry season, a total of 601 individuals were identified across ...


Determinants Of Host Use In Tachinid Parasitoids (Diptera: Tachinidae) Of Stink Bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) In Southwest Ohio, Matthew W. Duncan Jan 2017

Determinants Of Host Use In Tachinid Parasitoids (Diptera: Tachinidae) Of Stink Bugs (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) In Southwest Ohio, Matthew W. Duncan

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Tachinid parasitoids in the subfamily Phasiinae are important natural enemies of heteropteran bugs. Host location by these flies occurs via antennal reception to the pheromones of their hosts; however little is known regarding the mechanisms which underlie host selection. Halyomorpha halys, the invasive brown marmorated stink bug, represents a potential novel host species in North America. This study was conducted to determine the suitability of H. halys as a host for phasiine species, and to assess cues used in host selection by the species Gymnoclytia occidua. Field attraction to pentatomid pheromones by both phasiines and pentatomids in Southwest Ohio were ...


Likely Successors Of Ash Species In Response To The Emerald Ash Borer In Ohio Forests, Brian Michael Good Jan 2013

Likely Successors Of Ash Species In Response To The Emerald Ash Borer In Ohio Forests, Brian Michael Good

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Invasive species have the capability to alter landscapes and change the composition of a forest in a very short time. The recent invasive pest, Agrilus planipennis, emerald ash borer, was unintentionally introduced to the United States via ship route to Michigan. The pest attacks and kills all five native ash species in Ohio. This study focused on an area in west central Ohio not yet affected by the borer. Ash centered plots were used to record all species and sizes (diameter at breast height) within a 5m radius of a central ash tree. Plots ranged in topography and all five ...


Soil Moisture, Fire, And Tree Community Structure, William Patrick White Jan 2011

Soil Moisture, Fire, And Tree Community Structure, William Patrick White

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My study was conducted to understand tree community structure and how soil moisture and fire frequency influence them. Eighteen plots were placed in the Edge of Appalachia Nature Preserve of unglaciated southern Ohio: nine within a prescribed burn site and nine control sites outside the burn. Sites were stratified in triplicate across GIS-derived integrated soil moisture index (IMI) classes. Burning was done in 1996. Overstory species dbh and sapling species were sampled 1997, 2001, and 2008. Overstory stems were located in 2009 using range finders. Stem locations were loaded into GIS using novel techniques to quantify individual stem IMI values ...


Ecological Speciation In A Multi-Trophic Complex: Gall Midges, Goldenrods, And Parasitoids, Brenda L. Wells Jan 2010

Ecological Speciation In A Multi-Trophic Complex: Gall Midges, Goldenrods, And Parasitoids, Brenda L. Wells

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The importance of ecological interactions in the origin and maintenance of species diversity remains unclear. The current study assesses how ecological interactions shape the process of evolutionary diversification using a gall midge-host plant system in Ohio involving the gall midge, Asteromyia carbonifera (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), and its goldenrod (Solidago) host-plants. A. carbonifera form four morphologically distinctive gall morphs and differ genetically. I studied phenology, host-plant specialization, and parasitism at three field sites in Southwestern Ohio. Phenology was assessed for twelve weeks while host-plant distribution and pressure from parasitoids were measured by monthly plot and rearing gall collections. Relative gall frequencies and ...