ENVIRONMENTAL AND EARTH SCIENCE POSTER ABSTRACTS.
As urbanization increases, the abundance of invasive ants that thrive in disturbed habitats increases. Invasive ants, such as Solenopsis invicta, can reduce the abundance of native ants and disrupt arthropod communities. Using the abundance of carrion beetles in the Silphidae as our measure, we sought to determine the impact of invasive ants across an urban-rural gradient. We chose a total of twelve sites along this gradient and used pitfall traps baited with chicken to capture both the silphid beetles and ants. We found that as the proportion of native ants at a site increased the abundance of silphids increased, however as the proportion of invasive ants captured as a site increased, the abundance of silphids decreased. As with native ants, invasive ants may have a particularly negative effect on silphid abundance because of their superior competitive abilities.
A NOVEL TESTING METHOD FOR MANGANESE CONCENTRATION IN DRINKING WATER. ANNA HOLMES, EMANUEL WADDELL AND BERNHARD VOGLER, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA IN HUNTSVILLE.
Manganese (Mn) is a trace metallomic requirement in biological systems that can wreak havoc when hyperaccumulated, manifesting in neurologically degenerative pathologies. One mode of biological entry is through water contaminated by natural and industrial sources. Removal of manganese oxides are achievable in water treatment facilities, however Mn(II) ion in solution eludes conventional entrapment. Approved Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) testing methods for the detection of manganese in water are toxic and difficult to perform outside of advanced analytical laboratories, requiring water processing facilities to outsource costly tests. The colorimetric method for quantifying manganese concentration in water, the persulfate method, has a "low detection limit" of 0.210 mg/L, - an order of magnitude out of range of the "maximum allowable limit" set for pharmaceutical or bottled drinking water (0.01 mg/L and 0.05 mg/L respectively) established as a global standard. As yet no limit has been established for tap water. To address the need for a safer and compliant testing method, a multistep synthesis was conducted with the reagents characterized by proton nuclear magnetic resonance (Hydrogen-1 NMR) and confirmed as an oxime producing a colorimetric response within the compliance range. The reagent has been stabilized in ammoniacal buffer solution that can easily be used by local water processing facilities to detect manganese by simple spectrophotometric methods. Current efforts are being conducted to determine any possible metal contaminants that may cross react with the testing method and to determine what processes need to be included in a protocol to eliminate interference.
RADIAL GROWTH RESPONSE OF CONIFEROUS AND DECIDUOUS TREES TO LATE GROWING-SEASON FROSTS IN MICHIGAN. ABIGAIL COLEY AND DR. KETIA SHUMAKER, UNIVERSITY OF WEST ALABAMA. DR. CAROLYN COPENHEAVER, VIRGINIA TECH.
Extreme climatic events, such as late frost, may have a greater impact on long-term tree growth than previously realized. We tested whether late frost reduced tree-ring growth in coniferous and deciduous trees. To observe differences in tree-ring width during frost and non-frost years, we used superposed epoch analysis and a t-test to analyze tree-ring data from three coniferous (eastern hemlock, white pine, and red pine) and three deciduous (red maple, red oak, and bigtooth aspen) trees. The frost years had significantly narrower ring widths than non-frost years (t = -4.261, P = 0.004). There was no evidence that deciduous trees had a greater reduction in tree-ring width than coniferous trees during frost years. Therefore, late frosts reduce growth in both coniferous and deciduous trees.