Diverse microbial communities live in the gut regions of animals. The precise ecological and evolutionary circumstances that govern relationships between hosts and their gut communities is unclear. In this study, we hypothesize that host feeding strategy shapes the microbial communities within the gut systems of insects. We collected five insect species from the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge that exhibited herbivorous, detritovorous and carnivorous diets.
The management of the Pacific sardine is currently based on an environmental parameter, the surface temperature measured at the Scripps Pier. In the past sardine recruitment and Pier temperature were related. However, once current data on recruitment are included in the analysis no significant relationship between Pier temperature and recruitment are evident. We observed that Pier temperature and temperature in the primary sardine habitat have diverged over the last decades. Thus we explored relationships between temperature in the Southern California Bight and sardine recruitment.
Spatial patterns of structures (e.g., nests and burrows) in animal populations can provide insight into underlying ecological processes. Banner-tailed kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spectabilis) and harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex rugosus) are the largest and most dominant granivores found in rodent and ant communities of the northern Chihuahuan Desert. Both species build conspicuous, above-ground structures and are highly territorial.
We are beginning new studies of phenology at the Andrews Forest to better understand influences of existing complex climatic gradients on timing of springtime life history events for multiple trophic levels. Phenological events are highly sensitive to temperature and climatic variations and are some of the most responsive indicators to climate change. By studying timing of events at multiple sites in a very heterogeneous climatic landscape, we expect to learn much about plant, insect and bird responses to current abiotic variability (i.e.
Regional, Historical, and Environmental Variation in A. petiolata occurrence in Western Massachusetts
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) is an herbaceous biennial herb that has been present in the New England landscape for over a century. We investigated the ecological and historical factors affecting A. petiolata's invasion pattern across the New England landscape, including forest community structure, geophysical attributes, and habitat fragmentation. One-hundred-and-seventy-five 25× 100 m roadside, forested plots across two ecoregions were visited in the summers of 2006 and 2007. A. petiolata presence and cover, dominant canopy species, slope, and soil moisture were recorded.
Social Drivers of Residential Lawncare in the Plum Island Ecosystem (PIE) LTER Site: Preliminary Results from a Household Mail Survey
Human alterations of the earth's surface are widely recognized as one of the planet's most significant cumulative global environmental changes. Increasing population and per capita income suggest that this trend will continue in coming decades. In countries such as the US this process manifests principally as suburbanization.
PPBio provides a sound basis for standardised biodiversity assessment and monitoring. IT allows the integration of research activities for a wide range of taxa and provides a database that is accessible to managers and stakeholders. PPBio methodology can be integrated into wetland, marine, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems with grids established in Brazil, Australia and Nepal, and proposed in Malaysia.
Long-Term Trends in Spatial Partitioning of Biodiversity: Considerations of Disturbance and Recovery
Patterns of biodiversity at large spatial scales (i.e., γ diversity) can be driven by either within-community (α) or among-community (β) components. The degree to which α or β components contribute to γ diversity may depend on the amount of environmental variation that exists in the spatial extents studied. However, few studies have assessed both spatial configuration and temporal changes in biodiversity, especially in systems that frequently experience large-scale disturbance.
The Niwot Ridge (NWT) LTER site was one of the five original LTER sites established in 1980. The LTER program is based at the University of Colorado-Boulder and is administered through the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) and in cooperation with the Mountain Research Station, with special use permits from the US Forest Service.