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Conservation section. (Senior Division 2002).

Ashley, D. C. Department of Biology, Missouri Western State College. SPHINGID BIODIVERSITY AT FIVE NORTHWEST MISSOURI PRAIRIES. Field studies in 2001 focused on the biodiversity of hawkmoths found at five locations in northwest Missouri. These studies were conducted in conjunction with studies on the natural history of a prairie orchid (Platanthera praeclara) occurring at three of the prairies. Insects were collected at Helton Prairie Natural History Area (Harrison Co.), Tarkio Prairie Natural History Area (Atchison Co.), Little Tark Prairie Natural History Area (Holt Co.), Pawnee Prairie Natural History Area (Harrison Co.) and Dunn Ranch (Harrison Co.). Moths were collected from light traps (black-light bucket traps) deployed between June 11 and June 15 and again deployed on August 25 and August 26. Three traps were placed on each prairie and specimens were collected for two successive nights at each prairie. Fourteen species of sphingid moths were collected during the course of this study. Individuals speci mens collected in any trap night ranged from 0 to 26. The most common hawkmoth encountered during the study was Ceratomia hageni. The hawkmoth diversity was greatest at Helton Prairie and lowest at Pawnee Prairie. This study was funded in part by the MDC Natural History Small Grants.

Ashley, D. C. Department of Biology, Missouri Western State College. POTENTIAL POLLINATORS OF A STATE-ENDANGERED PRAIRIE ORCHID. Little is known about the pollination biology of the White Fringed Prairie Orchid (Platanthera praeclara) at its three current locations in Missouri. During the 2001 flowering period, I completed approximately 30 hours of field observation on plants at Tarkio Prairie Natural History Area (Atchison Co.) and Little Tark Prairie Natural History Area (Holt Co.). I observed twelve visitation events at flowering orchids by moths of the family Sphingidae. I was able to collect five of these moth specimens. Two individuals of Manduca sexta and one individual each of Manduca quinquemaculata, Paratraea plebeja and Sphinx eremitis were collected. The specimen of P. plebeja was the only moth collected to have orchid pollinia on its body. I was unable to collect 7 of the hawkmoth visitors. Three of these visitors were probably species of Manduca. The other four appeared more similar to species o f Sphinx, although identification is not possible without the specimens. This study was funded in part by the MDC Natural History Small Grants Program.

Dean, K. L. Department of Biology, Central Missouri State University. PHYSIOLOGICAL CONDITION, DIETARY AVAILABILITY AND CHOICE FOR NEOTROPICAL WOODLAND MIGRANTS AT RIPARIAN STOPOVER SITES IN SOUTHEASTERN SOUTH DAKOTA. The physiological condition and selection of forage items by Neotropical woodland migrants at inland stopover sites is poorly understood. Seasonal variations in forage items do occur, and the ability to track this variation may enhance individual survival, and reproductive potential. I monitored seasonal variation in physiological condition, arthropod availability, and dietary choice for fat and lean migrants.

Seasonal comparisons in physiological condition were made using two measures: average fat score and energetic condition index (ECI=folded wing chord/mass). Individuals were categorized as fat, or lean, based on average fat scores. Lean individuals were exceedingly rare during spring migration (19.2% of population) but comprised a much greater proportion (38.0%) during fall migration. Eight species exhibited significantly higher spring than fall fat scores however no species was observed with higher fall fat scores. Eight species possessed greater spring ECI values and two species (Gray Catbird and Warbling Vireo) exhibited a significantly greater fall ECI.

Fall arthropod abundance was higher than spring (5.4 arthropods/0.5m branch and 2.7 arthropods/0.5m branch respectively) with spring availability remaining below fall levels until the third week of May. Neither lean nor fat migrants used arthropods in proportion to their occurrence. No significant overlap in diet between physiological groups was observed in either season and lean birds had higher dietary diversities during both seasons. Both physiological groups ingested fruit, however fat birds ate proportionally more fruit. This may be related to alterations in gut size resulting from differential fasting periods.

Elliott, W.R. Natural History Division, Missouri Department of Conservation. THE CONSERVATION OF MISSOURI CAVE BATS. The decline of Indiana bats, Myotis sodalis, and Gray bats, M. grisescens, often is linked to human disturbance of their cave roosts. Significant bat conservation work began in Missouri in the 1970s with bat studies and the rejection of the proposed Meramec dam, which would have inundated many caves. State and federal agencies have since monitored bat colonies, documenting drastic declines in both species and then the partial recovery of M. griscescens. Early cave gates were sometimes flimsy or unsuitable. Modem, air-flow, bat-friendly gates are stronger and come in different styles, which will be illustrated. There is a link between archaeological looting of caves and bat disturbances. Two looted caves that were gated in 2001 had prompt increases in their Gray bat populations. Proper management requires following a decision guide before a cave is selected for gating. Only a small percentage of caves need to be gated to protect bats and other resources, but the number is increasing because of increasing pressure on caves. Examination of historical weather data and three years of temperature data logs in seven caves and one mine have indicated a possible warming trend in Indiana bat hibernacula. The mean annual temperature has not changed much, but extreme winter lows are warmer than 20 years ago. Some species require a cold-air-trap cave that naculum is now Pilot Knob Mine, which is below 8[degrees]C throughout the year and is secure from intruders.

Goins, R. C. McCabe and C. D. Chevalier. Department of Biology, Missouri Western State College. USING GPS AND GIS TO ESTABLISH PERMANENT BIODIVERSITY SURVEY/MONITORING GRIDS AND CONSTRUCT UPDATEABLE VEGETATION MAPS: AN EXAMPLE OF USING GEOSPACIAL TECHNOLOGY AS A NON-TRADITIONAL LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION IN NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION. Two 60 by 80 meter grids were established and mapped using GPS units (Trimble Navigation Ltd.) with Real-time Differential GPS technology (Omnistar USA Inc.) in the Biological Study Area on campus at Missouri Western State College. One grid was established next to Oto Creek in established undisturbed riparian forest. The other was located upland in a portion of the study area that had been pasture in the past and is in successional re-establishment of forest. We recorded the location, using Real-time Differential GPS, species, and DBH of all trees of DBH> 15 cm. The grid dataset and tree map dataset were then exported to a GIS program (ArcView 8.2) for s pecial analysis and production of a vegetation map. These datasets now make it possible to monitor long-term dynamics in tree species biodiversity and spatial distribution along a north-south gradient from adjacent to Oto Creek to the northern upland secondary successional areas on the Biological Study Area. In the future, we plan to extend these datasets to encompass the entire Biological Study Area on Campus. These monitoring/survey grid systems and the vegetation maps we can produce will provide educational opportunities for a broad range of students at MWSC from non-major biology to those specializing in conservation biology and other areas of organismal biology.

Heth, Robert K. Department of Biology, Missouri Southern State College. EFFECT OF TENKILLER RESERVOIR TAIL-WATER FLOW REGIME ON BENTHIC INVERTEBRATES. Hypolimnetic release from reservoirs can have severe effects on downstream biota. This study investigated effects of enhanced flow to mitigate low dissolved oxygen levels below an eastern Oklahoma reservoir. Benthic invertebrates were sampled at reference site above dam and two below sites both before flow was enhanced (1996-98) and post enhancement (2000). Fifty-five taxa were collected at reference site, predominantly mayflies (19 species). Twenty-seven and twenty-eight taxa were collected at two tailwater sites. Shannon-Weaver diversity at reference site averaged 2.16 (SE +/- 0.10) and at two tailwater sites 1.18 (SE [+ or -] 0.03) and 1.15 (SE [+ or -] 0.05). Jaccard Community Similarity between reference and tailwater communities was low (31% and 24%). Tailwater communities were dominated by small oligochaetes, chironomids, snails, and crustaceans (Lirceus and Caecidotea spp). Tailwater sites were notable for loss of sensitive insect taxa, especially among mayflies and stoneflies. Biotic index values at all sites were significantly different (p < .000 1). Effect of flow enhancement on biotic index values was marginally significant (p<.048), however flow by site interaction was highly significant (p < .0002). Changes in primary production, flow regime, and temperature patterns are hypothesized to provide as great an impact as does dissolved oxygen on tailwater benthic communities.

Marquardt, S. R., and C.A. Schmidt. Department of Biology, Central Missouri State University. CORRELATES OF URBANIZATION AND USE OF URBAN HABITAT BY BATS. Urban development often results in a reduction of natural areas, an increase in the number of artificial light sources, an increase in human population density that results in more manmade structures, and expansion in total area as well as changes in the general shape of the city. It is important to determine how urbanization and human activity impact bat communities because bats are sensitive indicators of ecosystem health. The goal of this study is to examine the relationship between urbanization factors and bat activity within urban areas. Seven cities in Missouri were chosen as sampling locations based on population size and general shape. A total of eight monitoring sites (outer zone: sites 14; inner zone: sites 5-8) were selected in a circular pattern within each city. Using broad-band ultrasound detectors two research teams recorded the number of bat passes observed at each site. The total number of bat passes and the number of passes in each sampling zone was regressed agalnst six urbanization factors. Of the factors considered in this study, the strongest associations were between the number of passes in the outer zone and both percentage of agricultural land (positive association) and percentage of forested land (negative association). These associations suggest that even though streetlights may provide concentrations of prey species, bats still use forested areas extensively to forage. Under this scenario, as agricultural land replaces suitable forest habitat, bats would shift some of their foraging activity to the clusters of insects attracted to the city lights.

Nold, L., J. Casey, B. Porrier and J. Rushin. Department of Biology, Missouri Western State College. FOREST REGENERATION AFTER UNEVEN-AGED MANAGEMENT AND CLEAR CUT HARVESTS AT THE BLUFFWOODS CONSERVATION AREA IN BUCHANAN COUNTY, MISSOURI. This study utilizes a Missouri Ozark Forest Ecosystem Project sampling method along a single 3,500 foot transect to compare trees over one inch DBH and seedlings under one inch DBH before and after the following treatments: uneven-aged management (9 sampling points), clear cut (8) and no treatment (19) harvest methods. All 36 sampling points along the transect were originally determined and the entire transect was surveyed under pre-harvest conditions during the growing season of 1998. Post harvest surveys were conducted in 2001. Pre-harvest (1998) importance values showed the transect to have a section of 3 sampling points in old growth forest dominated by red oaks, ironwoods, sugar maples and hackberry with red elm and ash showing the greatest seedling densities. Pre-harve st importance values showed the remaining 33 sampling points on the transect to be successional forest dominated by sugar maples, red elm, hackberry, chestnut oak and basswood with red elm, staph tree, paw paw, hackberry and ash showing the greatest seedling densities. Although importance values showed that the dominant trees in the no treatment (control) section of the transect to be essentially unchanged from pre-harvest (1998) to post harvest (2001) surveys, there were some small but noticeable shifts in seedling distribution along this successional section of the transect. Based on importance values, the uneven-aged management section of the transect showed little change in dominant species from the original successional forest but there were some noticeable shifts in both seedling distribution and seedling densities. Significant changes were observed in both dominant species and seedling densities in the clear cut section from pre-harvest (1998) to post harvest (2001). Especially in 2001, non-canopy tree species such as red elm, ironwood, rough-leaved dogwood and paw paw were dominant in the clear cut section. Seedling densities and overall seedling diversity were much greater after the harvest in the clear cut section of the transect. Red elm, ash, hackberry, chestnut oak and Ohio buckeye showed the greatest seedling densities after clear cut harvest but red oaks and sugar maple seedling were also found on this section. A total of 21 tree species were sampled during this study. Support by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
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Author:Chevalier, Cary D.
Publication:Transactions of the Missouri Academy of Science
Geographic Code:1U4MO
Date:Jan 1, 2002
Words:2071
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