Environmental Science & Ecology. (Abstracts-2003 Annual Meetings).
To determine detailed population demographics and metapopulation characteristics, ninety frogs of two common species (Rana clamitans and R. pipiens) on the Grand Valley State University Allendale Campus were captured, sampled for field data, toe-clipped for skelerochronology and mtDNA samples, and released unharmed during summer, 2002. The field data have been entered into a data base that has been used to generate GIS views of frog distribution on the campus. mtDNA (12S and cytochrome b genes) has been amplified, purified, and sequenced from 72 toe-tip samples using custom primers. The 12S gene evolves slower than cytochrome b so cladistic analysis of the gene sequences are used to infer relatedness between individual frogs as well as relatedness between populations in different ponds. These studies are of importance because they will allow us to better understand the impacts of recent road work and site development on the genetics of these vulnerable wetland species.
Demographic Population Structure of Two Frog Species Common to the Grand Valley State University Allendale Campus. Karel Rogers, Rachel Norris, Stephen Burton, Erin Davis, Katie Smith, Jessica Demeuse, and Mark Thogerson, Grand Valley State University, Biology Department, Allendale, MI 49401-9403
A key measure of the viability of amphibian populations is population demographics. Because resting tines (RLs) form each winter in the bones of temperate frogs, RLs are a reliable indicator of age if resorbtion of inner rings is controlled for. Using this method, the age of Rana clamitans and R. pipiens collected on the Grand Valley State University Allendale campus during Summer 2002 has been determined by using the second phalange of the fourth right hind toe of each frog. Histological sections of the phalanges were prepared, stained, and RLs were photographed and measured. Because samples were not collected in proportion to numbers of individuals available, the resulting data is not indicative of relative abundance of all size classes, but it does provide a history of years in which successful mating and recruitment to adult populations occurred. These data are valuable in determining recruitment success to adult populations in areas where intensive building, parking lot, and road development pressure is currently occurring.
Distribution, Preliminary Habitat Associations, and Relative Abundances of Two Frog Species Common to the Grand Valley State University Allendale Campus. Stephen Burton, Katie Smith, Karel Rogers, and Jessica Demeuse, Grand Valley State University, Biology Department, Allendale, MI 49401-9403
Widespread reports of declines in amphibian populations have raised concern that we are facing the potential of losing many of our amphibian species forever. Numerous human impacts have been identified as potential causes of these declines. Unfortunately, long-term studies of amphibian populations are rarely undertaken to separate natural population fluctuations from any human-caused declines. The overall objective of this study was to establish a long-term research project to examine amphibian populations on Grand Valley State University's Allendale Campus. We are reporting some of the work from our first summer of data collection focusing on Rana pipiens (Northern Leopard Frog) and R. clamitans (Green Frog). Between mid-May and mid-July 2002, we sampled 19 wetlands where we captured and released 35 R. pipiens and 67 R. clamitans. From 90 of these individuals we collected weight, sex, and snout vent length, and clipped a toe. In this presentation, we will describe distribution, possible habitat associations, relative population abundance, and population structure of these two species on the Allendale campus.
Does Balsam Fir Understory Provide Quality Habitat for Black-Throated Blue Warblers? Laura J. Kearns, University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment, Dana Building, 430 E. University, Ann Arbor, MI 48104; firstname.lastname@example.org
The Black-throated blue warbler (BTBW) Dendroica caerulescens, a shrub-nesting Neotropical migrant, requires a dense forest understory that can be harmfully altered by the browsing of white-tailed deer, Odocileus virginiana. In the hardwood forests of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, BTBWs are abundant where balsam fir, Abies balsamea, densities are high in the understory despite deer browse. Holmes et al. (1996) found that older BTBWs had higher reproductive success, so if dense fir provides quality habitat, then there should be higher proportions of older birds in addition to higher abundances of BTBWs. To test this hypothesis, I sampled the abundance and ages (second year [SY] vs. after second year [ASY]) of male BTBWs in 16 (36 ha) plots varying in fir density in hardwood stands throughout the Hiawatha National Forest, Mackinac County. Plot-level regression analyses showed that significantly higher numbers of BTBWs were found on sites with higher densities of fir (p<.001), but age was not significantly correla ted with the density of fir (p=.374). This suggests that despite a higher abundance of BTBWs, areas of high fir density may not be of the highest quality. Further analyses at a finer spatial scale can provide more information regarding this relationship for forest managers.
Aboveground Biomass Accumulation in a Tropical Wet Forest Following Catastrophic Hurricane Disturbance. Joseph Mascaro, Ivette Perfecto, and Oton Barros, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1115
Hurricanes impact aboveground biomass by (1) instantaneously converting live canopy biomass to dead material at the forest floor, and (2) creating a large-scale canopy gap encouraging the regeneration of secondary forest. We quantified aboveground biomass accumulation following the landfall of Hurricane Joan on the coast of Nicaragua in October 1988. We established permanent plots four months after the hurricane and continue to annually measure individual tree diameters. We correlated diameter measurements to aboveground biomass values using a published allometric regression equation for tropical wet forests. Results suggest a standing aboveground biomass value of approximately 331 ([+ or -] 15) Mg [ha.sup.-1] in two control plots several kilometers out of the hurricane's path. Aboveground biomass accumulation in plots affected by the hurricane was slow (5.37 [+ or -] 1.59Mg [ha.sub.-1] [yr.sup.-1]) relative to previous studies of regeneration following hurricanes and other natural and anthropogenic disturban ces. Although these biomass fluxes are currently dwarfed by changes in land use, there is growing concern that climactic forcing may alter the frequency and intensity of hurricanes, suggesting important implications for the global carbon budget.
Northwest Riverine-Floodplain Connectivity and Restoration: Does the Model Work in Michigan Rivers? Eric. B. Snyder, Grand Valley State University, Biology Department, Allendale, MI 49401-9403, Jack A. Stanford, University of Montana, Flathead Lake Biological Station, Polson, MT 59860, and Jake L. Chaffin, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Biology Department, Blacksburg, VA 24061
Research conducted on the Yakima River (5th order tributary of the Columbia located in central Washington, USA), suggests that river restoration is best accomplished by two major processes: (1) reconnecting the active floodplain with the river (>60% of the historic floodplain has been disconnected by human activities), and (2) establishing a more natural, or normative flow regime. In this context, "normative' refers to a flow regime that sustains all life history stages of critical species, such as, but not limited to salmon (salmon runs have declined by 95%). Our research documents (1) existing subsurface biophysical connectivity between the main channel and the floodplain, (2) the bioproductivity of the river and off-channel habitat (algal pigment concentration and macroinvertebrate and fish distribution), and (3) physical habitat complexity (measured via multispectral imagery). Significant biophysical and chemical interaction exists between the floodplain and river, particularly in reaches that are physica lly complex. We propose that reestablishment of normative conditions will increase the abundance of decimated indicator species, such as the salmon. This suggests a new direction for research to determine if these patterns in biophysical connectivity exist in Michigan river systems, and can be used to guide restoration.
Michigan Beech Bark Disease Monitoring and Impact Analysis System. Erin M. Thompson and John A. Witter, University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment; home address: 436 5. First Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48103
The Michigan Beech Bark Disease Monitoring and Impact Analysis System has been established during the summers of 2001 and 2002 to monitor the condition and change of overstory vegetation in Michigan's northern hardwood forests in response to beech bark disease and other disturbances. Beech bark disease is an exotic disease complex involving the exotic beech scale (Cryptococcus fagi Baer) and at least two species of Neonectria fungi, which affects the American beech tree (Fagus grandifolia). The two types of plot designs used to monitor this change in overstory vegetation are distributed throughout the eastern Upper Peninsula and western Lower Peninsula. In extensive plots, crowns, damage, and disease indicators are recorded for 30 beech trees located along transect lines. Basal area and descriptive information (such as slope and aspect) are also collected for each plot. The intensive plot system, a subset of the extensive plot system, consists of five circular FIA-style subplots with measurements made on all tree species. Tree cores for age determination and soil samples for texture analysis are also collected. Analyses of 2001 data indicate that tree vigor worsens and percent crown dieback, foliage transparency, and amount of dead beech basal area increase significantly with beech scale infestation.
The Effects of a Prescribed Burn as a Control Method of the Invasive Plant Elaeagnus umbellata. Kathy Winnett-Murray, K. Greg Murray, Angela Bunker, Anne Hilbrecht, James Grosse, and Spencer Bacon, Hope College, Biology Department, Holland, MI 49423
Elaeagnus umbellata (Autumn Olive) is a highly invasive plant for which the effectiveness of different management methods is still in question. We investigated whether or not a prescribed burn at the Outdoor Discovery Center of Holland, Michigan, allowed for a period in which native species can be restored to their natural habitat or whether burning may assist the spread of Autumn Olive. Autumn Olive plants initially had significantly higher growth rates in unburned than in burned plots, but there was no effect of habitat on the growth of transplanted seedlings. Burned areas showed a significantly higher amount of resprouting of Autumn Olive, but also resulted in a higher percent coverage by native vegetation, at least during the growing season following the burn. Higher photosynthetic rates were associated with light intensities characteristic of burned and unburned plots as compared with light intensities of woodland. Germination rates of seeds were affected by the kind of animal ingesting Autumn Olive frui ts. Seeds recovered from the soil seed bank were usually damaged, indicating poor survivorship of dispersed seeds. Measures of stem growth rates from fall plants that resprouted following the burn indicate that any differences in growth rates were extremely brief, and that "lateral" resprouting from burned stems may equal or exceed this year's stem growth on unburned plants.
Digital Image Analysis and GIS Techniques for Vegetation Mapping in Pointe Mouillee State Game Area. Marco Capodivacca, Dushmantha Jayawickreme, and Eugene Jaworski, Eastern Michigan University, Department of Geography and Geology, Ypsilanti, MI 48197, and Ric Lopez, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Vegetation communities within Pointe Mouillee State Game Area, located in the coastal wetlands of Lake Erie, were mapped using IKONOS imagery acquired in July 2001, along with RSI's ENVI 3.5 image processing software and ESRI ArcView 8 software. The State Game Area is a coastal wetland managed to promote outdoor activities and to provide habitats for migratory waterfowl and aquatic life. In order to set parameters for final hybrid unsupervised and supervised classifications of the wetland area, we applied several image analysis techniques. During summer 2002, four field investigations were conducted for ground truthing and classification accuracy assessment. Masking techniques and classified images were then used to develop a baseline vegetation map of the Pointe Mouillee wetland. Our mapping results reveal the recent encroachment of Phragmites australis, an invasive wetland plant species, as well as the presence of the exotic species Lythrum salicaria and dense stands of Typha. The present study and ongoing projects in Pointe Mouillee State Game Area are designed to provide game managers with useful information for selecting effective strategies that may help control invasive wetland plant species and improve the overall quality and diversity of the living communities within the coastal wetlands of the Great Lakes.
Recent Spread of the Invasive Plant, Phragmites australis, in Michigan's St. Clair River Delta. Eugene Jaworski, Marco Capodivacca, and Dushmantha J ayawickreme, Eastern Michigan University, Department of Geography and Geology, Ypsilanti, MI 48197, and Ric Lopez, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The recent spread of giant reed cane (Phragmites australis) in the Sr. Clair River Delta has been studied using Landsat image analysis, aerial photograph interpretation, and field investigations. Prior to the recent decline of the water levels of the Great Lakes, which began in 1997, giant reed cane was limited in distribution to strips on artificial terms and along liked roads, as well as in patches on wetland fill or in areas of disturbance. However, since 1997, as lake levels dropped nearly one meter, emergent marsh communities have expanded into previous open water areas, and Phragmites australis has begun to displace cattail (Typha) and other emergents. Dense monotypic communities of giant reed cane, which range from 2 to 3 meters in height, are now present in the Sr. Clair River delta. Giant reed cane is very tolerant of soil conditions and begins to dominate the marsh and wet meadow communities when water levels are at or somewhat below the ground surface. Landsat TM imagery, with its 30 m pixel, appea rs satisfactory for mapping the general werland vegetation types, including giant reed cane, whereas higher resolution imagery or aerial photography is needed for separating areas of mixed plant communities or areas of limited extent.
How Do Commonly Used Home Range Estimation Techniques Compare? Joseph J. Jacquot, Grand Valley State University, Biology Department, Allendale, MI 49401
Assessing the amount of space utilized by animals is a commonly posed question in ecological and behavioral studies. Often it is forgotten that the end product is an estimate of home range size, not an actual home range size. To complicate matters, a number of estimation techniques are available, each with its own set of assumptions, weaknesses, and strengths. The most commonly used methods of home range estimation currently include minimum convex polygon, kernel method, harmonic mean, range length, and probability ellipses. The goal of this project was to compare the various home range estimators using a large radio telemetry data set collected on meadow voles, Microrus pennsylvanicus. Specifically, I wanted to determine how estimates from different home range estimators compared to one another and to determine if there were consistent patterns among the estimators. In addition, I wished to determine if the choice of home range estimator affected the statistical significance of several basic comparisons poss ible with this data set, such as well-documented differences between female and male ranges and seasonal changes in home range size.
A Test of Ethological Isolation among Entomophilous Fungal Species Sharing Common Insect Visitors. Thomas L. Bultman, Hope College, Biology Department, Holland, MI 49423; Adrian Leuchtmann, Ceobotanisches Institut ETH, Zurich, Switzerland; and Thomas Peck, Truman State University, Biology Department, Kirksville, MO 63501
Epichloe species are self incompatible fungi that need to be fertilized by spermatia of opposite mating type. Female flies of the genus Botanophila act as vectors of spermatia by ingesting and defecating spermatia onto the fungal stroma after oviposition. Larvae feed and develop on the stromata and thus maintain a symbiotic relationship with Epichloe fungi. Sole dependence on fertilized stromata as a food source should promote specialization of flies to single compatible host species. Observations made in experimental field plots and ascospore progeny analysis indicated prevalence of specific matings between stromata of the same host suggesting that flies are species specific in their visitation behavior. However genetic analyses of spermatia contained in the feces of individual flies did not strongly support this hypothesis. Rather Botanophila flies appear to visit hosts that are available and defecate spermatia from a mixture of fungal species. Nonetheless, flies tend to carry spermatia of one numerically d ominant species, with other species being much less frequent. Differences in competitiveness of spermatia from different species deposited on the same stroma may favor intraspecific matings.
Behavior of Captive Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) at John Ball Zoo, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jodee Hunt, Nicola Cadena, and Jessica Gleffe, Grand Valley State University, Biology Department, Allendale, MI 49401
Captive chimpanzees present challenges because they quickly exhibit stereotypic "cage" behaviors when their behavioral requirements are not met. In 2001, John Ball Zoo acquired six chimpanzees, including two adult males and a juvenile female. We monitored their behavior in their indoor winter quarters from January--April, 2002, and in their outdoor summer quarters from May-October, 2002. Using instantaneous scan sampling, we recorded the location (including physical structure used) and behavior (e.g., locomotive, play, ingestive) of each individual every five minutes. During summer, 2002, we also recorded the social context of behavior. During the winter, chimps occupied the back, elevated section of their quarters much more often than any other location or structure (79.2% of observations). Otherwise, they used elevated, stable structures such as hammocks (15.4%) more often than mobile structures (e.g., ropes) or the ground (4.1%). During the summer, behaviors were more strongly affected by diurnal patterns, weather, abundance of zoo visitors, and enrichment such as placement of treats. Social behavior varied according to the reproductive status of adult females as well as the age and gender of social partner (e.g., the juvenile female played frequently, and her approaches were tolerated by most adults under most circumstances).
Using a Habitat-Based Model to Predict the Effects of Dam Removal on Sea Lamprey, Petromyzon marinus, Populations in Great Lakes Tributaries. Elise F. Zipkin, Emily D. Silverman, and Edward S. Rutherford, University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources & the Environment, Dana Building, 430 E. University, Ann Arbor, MI 49109-1115
The sea lamprey is an invasive fish species in the Great Lakes that parasitizes other lake fish. Their larval form inhabits surrounding streams. Because of dams, however, sea lamprey populations have been excluded from numerous tributaries. Growing interest in stream restoration and dam removal requires consideration of the consequent effects on sea lamprey populations. The ability to predict which streams are susceptible to invasion and the subsequent increased contribution to lakewide sea lamprey populations is necessary in order to evaluate the effects of dam removal prior to management action. In this study, we constructed a stage-based matrix population model to simulate the potential establishment and growth of sea lamprey populations in streams that currently have dams. The model focuses on the larval phase of the sea lamprey life cycle and estimates the annual number of parasitic-phase sea lamprey that could emerge from a given stream. The significant physical and biological variables that influence s ea lamprey survival and growth, such as spawning run characteristics, substrate quality, and temperature, are incorporated into the model. With this model, we can demonstrate how the overall quantity and quality of available habitat is related to a stream's susceptibility to invasion and its potential contribution to the overall number of parasitic-phase sea lampreys.
American Beech Regeneration in Michigan: Interactions of Beech Bark Disease and Management. Holly A. Petrillo and John A. Witter, University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment; home address: 3900 West Liberty, Ann Arbor, Ml 48103
Distribution and origin of American beech (Fagus grandifolia) regeneration is being studied as part of the Michigan Beech Bark Disease Monitoring and Impact Analysis System. This monitoring system was set up in 2001-2002 to monitor the condition and change of beech stands impacted by beech bark disease (BBD) and other disturbances. The system currently consists of 161 extensive plots (less detailed) and 40 intensive plots (more detailed subset of extensive plots) distributed throughout the western Lower Peninsula and the eastern Upper Peninsula. Regeneration data is collected in all of the intensive plots plus 21 additional plots that have been mechanically thinned within the last 15 years. Within each regeneration plot, all trees >90cm in height and <12.5cm DBH are measured by species and tallied by height class. Presence or absence of beech 0-45 cm and 46-90 cm in height is recorded for each regeneration plot and overall beech seedling density is determined. Origin (seed or sprout) is determined for 60 beec h stems within each stand. We found beech regeneration generally increases from southern to northern Michigan, and a significant majority is of seed origin. Preliminary data shows no effect of BBD on beech regeneration.
Geomorphology of the University of Michigan's Nichols Arboretum, Washtenaw County, Michigan. Alan J. Tepley, University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment, Ann Arbor MI 48109
The Nichols Arboretum of the University of Michigan is located along the Huron River in the east-central part of Ann Arbor. Although it is only 50 ha in size, the Arboretum encompasses many characteristic glacial landforms of southeastern Michigan. With such a complex landscape in a relatively small area, the Arboretum provides an excellent opportunity to educate people about glacial landforms, their topographic shape and characteristic parent material, and their influence on natural processes and vegetation. However, a detailed understanding of the Arboretum landforms and their formation is lacking. To identify and map the physiographic systems and landforms of the Arboretum and interpret their formation, physiographic and soil data were collected and analyzed in relation to maps and literature about the geology and soil of southeast Michigan and the retreat of the Wisconsinan Glacier. The Arboretum contains three physiographic systems: moraine, ice-contact terrain, and outwash plain. Each physiographic syst em is composed of three landforms: nine landforms in all. The complex landscape of the Arboretum was formed by processes including deposition of bedload material by the glacier, deposition of sediment by glacial meltwater, melting of stagnant ice, inundation by water of Glacial Lake Maumee, and flooding by the Huron River.
Plankton in the Lower Grand River at Lowell, Michigan, 2001-2002. O. M. Ross, 10561 36th S.E., Lowell, MI 49331
The Grand River drains a very large fraction of southern Michigan, emptying into Lake Michigan and touching as far east as Washtenaw County. Even with considerable thaws, 2001-2002 was very nearly a record snow season at Grand Rapids. From bridges above and below the confluence of the Flat River, thirty-four plankton drags were performed from October to June. The samples were examined by Palmer Cell. There was no real difference above or below the Flat over the months, with no one genus represented to the effective exclusion of the others. Seasonal shifts in the plankton did not exist. Of bacillariophyres, the most numerous pennates were Navicula, almost all small, but Asterionella formosa was well represented. The most numerous centric were Melosira varians chains. The diatoms outnumbered all other phytoplankton by possibly two orders of magnitude, and, in other algae, Coelastrum microporum was ubiquitous, while several species of Pediastrum appeared. Chlorophytes were very rare, and the whole cyanophyres we re nearly all Lyngbya spp. or Microcystis spp. with very few specimens. Zooplankton were not numerous, almost all Rotifera, and by preponderance genus Keratella.
A Review of Home Range Analysis Using Radio Tracking Data in Mammalian Studies. Karl Makinen and Joseph Jacquot, Grand Valley State University, Biology Department, Allendale, MI 49401
Obtaining accurate home range estimates using radio telemetry data involves many steps, including assessing the accuracy of radio fixes, determining the time period of data collection, considering the independence of locational data for statistical analysis, as well as determining the number of fixes needed to obtain a "good" home range estimate. The goal of this project was to review recent literature to determine whether mammalian researchers are considering these factors in their studies. We found that few authors assessed the accuracy of their radio fixes, determined the number of fixes needed to obtain an asymptotic home range estimate, or considered auto-correlation of their data set. Most authors reported the time period over which their study occurred. Generally, it was not clear how many individuals collected telemetry data and inter-observer reliability was typically ignored. Home range sizes were most commonly estimated using minimum convex polygon, adaptive kernel method, and harmonic mean techniq ues, but a variety of other methods were used as well. Few studies calculated core areas of use by their study animals. In light of these results, we concluded that many mammalian researchers could improve the level of detail of their studies.
Purple Loosestrife and the Efforts to Control it through Biological and Herbicidal Methods. Man Ellen O'Brien-Maltby, Madonna University, College of Science and Mathematics; home address: 4093 Cagney Lane, Howell, Ml 48843
The purple loose-strife flower, Lythrum salicaria, is not indigenous to North America and has presented itself as a problem in the wetlands due to its overgrowth. It cannot be eliminated because it has no natural enemies that co-occur in the wetland ecosystems. It has the ability to grow and reproduce faster than any co-occurring plant that is indigenous to the wetlands. Because of this capability, it is restricting the growth of populations that are co-occurring in these areas. The need to eliminate or control is bound by the possibilities of introducing its own natural enemies (species found in Europe) without harming the existing ecosystems where the plant is found. It is quite possible that it can be eradicated or controlled by this method. Although bringing in a natural enemy is nor a new method of controlling an ecosystem, it will be the first time that it is done on such a grand scale including mass reproduction of the enemy itself. Once introduced, the species of beetles and weevils are known to attac k the root system and the leaf system, which will start the plant on a cycle of declining during the colder months and rejuvenating during the warmer growing seasons.
Rural Land Use Policy and Corporate Agriculture. April Joy LaCroix, Alma College, Political Science Department; home address: 305 Newberry, 614 West Superior Street, Alma, MI 48801
Land use in Michigan, the United States, and the entire world is an issue continually saturated with controversy. The development of concentrate animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in the United States poses a serious threat to the wellbeing of the environment and its inhabitants. In addition, the use of antibiotics for nontherapeutic purposes in the CAFOs is the greatest hazard from this new emergence. Do Michigan and the United States really need CAFOs? Why are CAFO owners migrating in mass numbers from the European Union to begin operating here? Small family farms are being forced our of business due to this large-scale agribusiness, and this trend has detrimental effects on international farmers as well. This paper examines these alarming trends from global, national, and statewide perspectives, conveys how the externalized costs of CAFOs are unsustainable, and will expose the myth that corporate agriculture is a necessity.
Go Green. Albert Plaush, Saginaw Valley State University, Chemistry Department, University Center, MI 48710
The code word for future technological developments in industrial commodities, foodstuffs, medicine, and healthcare products is now "Green," as in product development and production directly with and from species found in the plant and animal kingdoms. The track record of industrial applications for biotechnology in food, medicine; and other materials, including Green chemistry and politics, is examined in light of present achievements, global governance and acceptance, control, and possible unaddressed problems looming on the horizon in the future.
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