391 Works

Structure and distribution of chalky deposits in the Pacific oyster using x-ray computed tomography (CT)

Roxanne Banker & Dawn Sumner
Oysters are unusual among bivalves in that they possess chambers, often filled with soft, chalky calcite, that are irregularly scattered throughout the shell. Because the function of these so-called chalky deposits is still unclear, evaluating the growth and distribution of chalk is important for elucidating the ecological function of this unique shell trait. Specimens of the Pacific oyster Magallana gigas, an oyster well known for chalk expression, were grown in Bodega Harbor, Bodega Bay, CA....

Genetic structure in a cnidarian symbiont is correlated with geographic location, environment, and host species

Brendan Cornwell & Luis Hernández
Corals and cnidarians form symbioses with dinoflagellates across a wide range of habitats from the tropics to temperate zones. Notably, these partnerships create the foundation of coral reef ecosystems and are at risk of breaking down due to climate change. This symbiosis couples the fitness of the partners, where adaptations in one species can benefit the holobiont. However, the scales over which each partner can match their current - and future - environment are largely...

Data for project: A quantitative investigation into the impact of partially automated vehicles on vehicle miles travelled in California

Scott Hardman
We investigate travel changes in partially automated electric vehicles. Partial automation can control vehicle speed and steering using sensors that monitor the external environment. We use survey results from survey responses including 940 users of partial automation, including 628 who have Tesla Autopilot and 312 with systems from other automakers. Autopilot users report using automation more than users of other partial automation systems. Autopilot has the largest impact on travel, notably 36% of Autopilot users...

Data from: The utility of climatic water balance for ecological inference depends on vegetation physiology assumptions

Derek Young, Sean Jeronimo, Derek Churchill, Van Kane & Andrew Latimer
This repository contains the data and code supporting the analyses in the corresponding paper in Global Ecology and Biogeography (GEB). The abstract of the paper is as follows: Background: In modeling and explaining spatial vegetation patterns, ecologists have increasingly favored the use of climatic water balance variables, including actual evapotranspiration (AET) and climatic water deficit (CWD), for representing the hydrologic and energetic environment experienced by plants. Much of the interest in these variables lies in...

Data from: Evolved phenological cueing strategies show variable responses to climate change

Collin B. Edwards & Louie H. Yang
Several studies have documented a global pattern of phenological advancement that is consistent with ongoing climate change. However, the magnitude of these phenological shifts is highly variable across taxa and locations. This variability of phenological responses has been difficult to explain mechanistically. To examine how the evolution of multi-trait cueing strategies could produce variable responses to climate change, we constructed a model in which organisms evolve strategies that integrate multiple environmental cues to inform anticipatory...

The effects of sunlight and slope on the lichen community of the Sweeney Granite Mountains reserve

Kha Cung, , & Samantha Spiegel
Lichen communities are essential to their ecosystems as they provide a means of nitrogen fixation, suitable growing conditions, and resources to other organisms across diverse environments. Their community structure can be impacted by changes in abiotic factors such as temperature, pollution, precipitation, and sunlight. It is widely assumed that lichen prefer to grow on the northern faces of their substrates because it is believed they experience less desiccation and UV radiation from sunlight exposure. This...

Effects of volatile compounds in California bay trees (Umbellularia californica) on vegetation growth and insect herbivory

Ashley Adornato, Hannah Gerber, Sarah Haas & Jennifer Perez
Secondary metabolites are volatile compounds produced by plants that can be used as defense mechanisms for reducing stressors such as herbivory and competition. Leaves, roots, and stems of California bay trees (Umbellularia californica) get their notable aroma from secondary metabolites called monoterpenes, which are allelopathic constituents in many other plants, such as eucalyptus. In this study, we investigated the potential allelopathic and anti-herbivory effects of California bay trees by examining their understory composition, germination rates...

Bird community interactions at water sources at Hastings Natural History Reservation

Christina Cen, Killian Fay, Joselyne Jaramillo & Jason Ku
In seasonally dry areas, artificial water sources become a gathering place for a variety of avian species, leading to interactions between birds whose niches otherwise do not overlap. To maximize water use while reducing negative costs associated with conflict and predation, birds adopt anti-predation behaviors and engage in differing levels of tolerant and conflict interactions. In order to better understand how birds interact and behave at artificial water resources, we examined whether species and flock...

Factors affecting woodrat abundance over 70 years

Wolfgang Abad, Jose Morales-Doo, Carly Pomeroy & Adrienne Ung
Woodrats are ecosystem engineers that can increase biodiversity by physically changing the environment. In doing so, they alter landscapes and increase the number of microhabitats for other organisms. In order to better understand woodrats’ role in their ecosystem, we surveyed big-eared woodrat (Neotoma macrotis) houses in Hastings Natural History Reservation located in Monterey County, California. For each house, we determined its usability and measured its size. We found a 26 percent increase in population density...

Acorn woodpeckers (Melanerpes formicivorus) exhibit more predator avoidance behavior post-fire

Emily Drake, , Youssef Hanna & Johnson Ku
Climate change has increased the frequency of wildfires globally. This increase in wildfires causes many animals to adjust their behaviors in order to cope with the more regular disturbances occurring in their habitats. It is often thought that birds are less affected by disturbances such as fire because of their ability to easily relocate by flying, but species with high levels of territoriality, such as acorn woodpeckers (Melanerpes formicivorus), may be more greatly affected by...

Population structure of Drosophila suzukii and signals of multiple invasions in the continental United States

Joanna Chiu
Drosophila suzukii, or spotted-wing drosophila, is now an established pest in many parts of the world, causing significant damage to numerous fruit crop industries. Native to East Asia, D. suzukii infestations started in the United States a decade ago, occupying a wide range of climates. To better understand invasion ecology of this pest, knowledge of past migration events, population structure, and genetic diversity is needed. In this study, we sequenced whole genomes of 237 individual...

California Drinking Water Source Assessment Program – UC Davis Information Center for the Environment

Leah Walker & Paul Collins
The California Drinking Water Source Assessment Program (DWSAP) was developed by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to provide information to communities that wish to develop local programs to protect their sources of drinking water. ICE was contracted with CDPH in 1999 to provide a wide range of technical services in support of this program, including the development of a statewide, standardized protocol to GPS all drinking water sources and treatment facilities in the...

Population and community-level impacts of increased fire frequency in serpentine chaparral

Miranda Martin, Casey Pfahler, Francesca Shackleford & Emily Wapman
Wildfires are natural processes that revitalize the native biodiversity of many habitats by clearing landscapes and creating sunlight rich areas with low competition. This process occurs in the serpentine chaparral of California, which is home to a variety of fire obligate seeders, including whiteleaf manzanita (Arctostaphylos viscida) and MacNab cypress (Cupressus macnabiana), as well as fire facultative seeders such as chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum). In our study, we surveyed serpentine chaparral habitats in sites with different...

Pictures of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) experiments on testing paper

Shuting Liao, Li-Yu Liu, Ting-An Chen, Kuang-Yu Chen & Fushing Hsieh
Our computational developments and analyses on experimental images are designed to evaluate the effectiveness of chemical spraying via unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Our evaluations are in accord with the two perspectives of color-complexity: color variety within a color system and color distributional geometry on an image. First, by working within RGB and HSV color systems, we develop a new color-identification algorithm relying on highly associative relations among three color-coordinates to lead us to exhaustively identify...

Project factors and conservation outcome data for SeaDoc Society-funded research projects

Monica LeFlore, Peter Sebastian, Joseph K. Gaydos & David Bunn
This dataset reflects project factors and conservation success of 20 years of research funded by the academically-based marine conservation group the Sea Doc Society (UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine). These data were compiled through interviews with Principal investigators and co-investigators, and SeaDoc Society's records.

Habitat preference and species interactions of the desert woodrat (Neotoma lepida) in the Mojave Desert

Becca Cosmero, Emily Fieberling, Katherine Marlin, Ricardo Ruiz, & Lara Volski
Ecosystem engineers often have cascading impacts on the ecosystems in which they occur. Understanding the factors that contribute to their habitat selection can provide valuable information on how ecosystems function. Our study investigates the habitat distribution of desert woodrats (Neotoma lepida) in the Eastern Mojave Desert. We show that there is a difference in desert woodrat abundance among habitats, and found that specific aspects of these environments are associated with woodrats. These aspects include grass...

Alpine wet meadows: soil properties’ effect on plant diversity

Madeline Castro, Fidel Machado-Perez & Rebecca Raven
Alpine ecosystems are a harsh environment with little nutrients and the abiotic effect that the soil has on the plant community is relatively unknown. The focus of this study is to illuminate the role that soils play in the plant diversity of alpine wet meadows. In doing so we investigated the function of clay and root content, organic matter, pH and soil moisture in determining plant diversity in three meadows in the White Mountains, California....

Formica ant and Cinara aphid mutualisms on limber pines (Pinus flexilis)

Charles Chen, Lori Liu &
Ant-aphid mutualisms play important ecological roles in many ecosystems. While Formica ants are well studied model organisms, pine-specialist Cinara aphids remain understudied. Moreover, there is little research on ant-aphid mutualism in subalpine ecosystems. We investigated multiple species of Formica ants and their mutualistic interactions with Cinara aphids on the limber pine Pinus flexilis in a subalpine ecosystem. Cinara apini colonies were found tended to by silver, black, and red Formica ants, and they occupy older...

An ancient forest on the move: Range shifts in bristlecone pines

Angela Delos Santos, Katherine Pratt, Grace Rosburg-Francot, Linnea Schaefer & George Sidarous
Recent changes in global climate are causing many species to shift their ranges towards higher elevations. The rate at which species can shift their ranges may determine whether or not they will be able to persist in light of such rapid environmental change. In this study, we examined the effect of elevation on recruitment, mortality, and intraspecific competition in Great Basin bristlecone pines (Pinus longaeva, BC), a long-lived subalpine species whose upper limit is often...

Plant morphology and behavior of Simmondsia chinensis in the Colorado Desert

Sarah Eskander, Kayla M. Kettmann, Jeramy Ott & Sarah Payne
At the edges of its range in the Colorado Desert, jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) has been known to exhibit local morphological adaptations not found elsewhere in its distribution. In this study, we expand upon jojoba’s known sexually dimorphic adaptations and examine its behavioral adaptations to a xeric environment. Specifically, we investigate how jojoba avoids intense solar radiation through leaf orientation. We found that jojoba does not exhibit paraheliotropic leaf tracking but instead orients its leaves to...

Seed preference in a desert harvester ant, Messor pergandei

Tonia Brito-Bersi, Emily Dawes, Richard Martinez & Alexander McDonald
Optimal foraging theory states that foragers maximize their energy intake by minimizing the energy expended to collect their food. The harvester ant, Messor pergandei, provides a model system to study foraging energy expenditure due to their dependable group foraging behavior. Exploring seed preference could give us further insight into how their harvesting affects the surrounding vegetation and ecosystem as a whole. Choice trials were conducted on M. pergandei using three native seeds and one non-native...

Competition between exotic honey bees (Apis mellifera) and native pollinators on late-blooming desert scrub

Janelle M. Osteen, Alexis M. Necarsulmer, Jessica J. Fan Brown & Nhung H. Nguyen
Pollinators are essential to worldwide biodiversity. This study focuses on pollinator communities on Isocoma acradenia, a late blooming shrub in the Colorado desert. We hypothesize that late in the flowering season, exotic honey bees and native pollinators experience increased competition for floral resources. We surveyed pollinator species richness, abundance, and competitive interactions. Our results reveal that honey bee presence does not have effects, competitive or otherwise, on native pollinators. Continuing to research exotic and native...

Perspective piece: Comparison of eastern and western North American monarch butterflies

Micah Freedman
Monarch butterflies are a species of conservation priority due to declining overwintering populations in both eastern and western North America. Declines in western overwintering monarchs—more than 99.9% since monitoring began—are especially acute. However, the degree to which western monarchs are a distinct biological entity is uncertain. In this review, we focus on phenotypic and genetic differentiation between eastern and western monarchs, with the goal of informing researchers and policy-makers who are interested in monarch conservation....

Rice-recombinant butyrylcholinesterase (rrBChE) production dataset

Shuting Liao, Kantharakorn Macharoen, Karen McDonald, Somen Nandi & Debashis Paul
We propose a method for analyzing the variability in smooth, possibly nonlinear, functionals associated with a set of product production trajectories measured under different experimental conditions. The key challenge is to make meaningful inference on these parameters across different experimental conditions when only a limited number of measurements in time are collected for each treatment, and when there are only a few, or no, replicates available. For this purpose we adopt a modeling approach by...

Map script with examples from: Taxonomic revision of the Temnothorax salvini clade (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), with a key to the clades of New World Temnothorax

Matthew Prebus
Temnothorax is a large myrmicine ant genus with a range spanning the northern hemisphere, including the northern half of the Neotropics. Many of the Neotropical species were originally placed in the now defunct genus Macromischa. Recent molecular work has revealed that distinct lineages of Neotropical Temnothorax have arrived by evolutionary convergence at a morphological syndrome with characteristics that were used to diagnose the former genus Macromischa. One such lineage is the salvini clade, which in...

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