20 Works

Embedding Sustainability in Higher Education Course Content: An Industry and Education Perspective

Lloyd Scott & Sushismita Bhattacharjee
ABSTRACT Large amount of environmental resources are utilized towards the construction, renovation, operation and maintenance of buildings. Though buildings enhance the standard of living, it accounts for a large portion of non- renewable energy depletion, greenhouse gas emissions, raw materials use, waste generation, and freshwater consumption. Sustainable design and construction practices can substantially reduce or eliminate negative environmental impacts through high-performance design, construction, and operations practices. With most of the top design and construction firms...

Bottom-up when it is not top-down: Predators and plants control biomass of grassland arthropods

Ellen Welti, Rebecca Prather, Nate Sanders, Kirsten De Beurs & Michael Kaspari
1) We investigate where bottom-up and top-down control regulates ecological communities as a mechanism linking ecological gradients to the geography of consumer abundance and biomass. We use standardized surveys of 54 North American grasslands to test alternate hypotheses predicting 100-fold shifts in the biomass of four common grassland arthropod taxa—Auchenorrhyncha, sucking herbivores, Acrididae, chewing herbivores, Tettigoniidae, omnivores, and Araneae, predators. 2) Bottom-up models predict that consumer biomass tracks plant quantity (e.g. productivity and standing biomass)...

The seventh macronutrient: how sodium shortfall ramifies through populations, food webs, and ecosystems

Michael Kaspari
Of the 25 elements required to build most organisms, sodium has a unique set of characteristics that ramify through terrestrial ecology. In plants, sodium is found in low concentrations and has little metabolic function; in plant consumers, particularly animals, sodium is essential to running costly Na-K ATPases. Here I synthesize a diverse literature from physiology, agronomy, and ecology, toward identifying sodium’s place as the “7th macronutrient”, one whose shortfall targets two trophic levels—herbivores and detritivores....

Data from: Drought mildly reduces plant dominance in a temperate prairie ecosystem across years

Karen Castillioni, Kevin Wilcox, Lifen Jiang, Chang Gyo Jung, Yiqi Luo & Lara Souza
1. Shifts in dominance and species reordering can occur in response to global change. However, it is not clear how altered precipitation and disturbance regimes interact to affect species composition and dominance. 2. We explored community-level diversity and compositional similarity responses, both across and within years, to a manipulated precipitation gradient and annual clipping in a mixed-grass prairie in Oklahoma, USA. We imposed seven precipitation treatments (five water exclusion levels [-20%, -40%, -60%, -80%, and...

Data from: Salty, mild, and low plant biomass grasslands increase top-heaviness of invertebrate trophic pyramids

Ellen Welti, Lucie Kuczynski, Katharine Markse, Nathan Sanders, Kirsten De Beurs & Michael Kaspari
Aim Multiple hypotheses predict how gradients of nutrient availability, plant biomass, and temperature shape trophic pyramids. We aim to disentangle the simultaneous influence of those different factors and their indirect effects on trophic structure and individual trophic levels. Location United States Time period 2017 Major taxa studied Invertebrates Methods To examine differences in trophic pyramid shape and abundance within trophic levels across ecological gradients, we used a structural equation modeling approach to analyze 54 standardized...

Divergence, gene flow, and speciation in eight lineages of trans-Beringian birds

Kevin Winker, Jessica McLaughlin, Travis Glenn & Brant Faircloth
Determining how genetic diversity is structured between populations that span the divergence continuum from populations to biological species is key to understanding the generation and maintenance of biodiversity. We investigated genetic divergence and gene flow in eight lineages of birds with a trans-Beringian distribution, where Asian and North American populations have likely been split and reunited through multiple Pleistocene glacial cycles. Our study transects the speciation process, including eight pairwise comparisons in three orders (ducks,...

To Teach or Not to Teach in Title 1 Schools

Qian Wang & Laura Lewis
This study aims to explore preservice teachers’ motivations to teach at Title I schools as well as whether their motivations differ based on how far they are in their teacher education program. A total of 128 preservice teachers from two groups with different numbers of field experiences were surveyed. Preservice teachers cited extrinsic, altruistic, intrinsic, and past learning experiences as main reasons motivated them wanting to teach at Title I schools upon graduation. Their motivations...

Gross primary production responses to warming, elevated CO2 , and irrigation: quantifying the drivers of ecosystem physiology in a semiarid grassland

Elise Pendall, Edmund M. Ryan, Kiona Ogle, Drew Peltier, David G. Williams, Anthony P. Walker, Martin G. De Kauwe, Belinda E. Medlyn, William Parton, Shinichi Asao, Bertrand Guenet, Anna B. Harper, Xingjie Lu, Kristina A. Luus, Sönke Zaehle, Shijie Shu, Christian Werner & Jianyang Xia
Determining whether the terrestrial biosphere will be a source or sink of carbon (C) under a future climate of elevated CO2 (eCO2) and warming requires accurate quantification of gross primary production (GPP), the largest flux of C in the global C cycle. We evaluated 6 years (2007–2012) of flux‐derived GPP data from the Prairie Heating and CO2 Enrichment (PHACE) experiment, situated in a grassland in Wyoming, USA. The GPP data were used to calibrate a...

Hotspots of species loss do not vary across future climate scenarios in a drought-prone river basin

Thomas Neeson, Ken Gill & Rachel Fovargue
Aim: Climate change is expected to alter the distributions of species around the world, but estimates of species’ outcomes vary widely among competing climate scenarios. Where should conservation resources be directed to maximize expected conservation benefits given future climate uncertainty? Here, we explore this question by quantifying variation in fish species’ distributions across future climate scenarios. Location: Red River basin, south-central United States. Methods: We modeled historical and future stream fish distributions using a suite...

Locomotion and paleoclimate explain the re-evolution of quadrupedal body form in Brachymeles lizards

Philip Bergmann, , Elyse Freitas, Duncan Irschick, Gunter Wagner & Cameron Siler
Evolutionary reversals, including re-evolution of lost structures, are commonly found in phylogenetic studies. However, we lack an understanding of how these reversals happen mechanistically. A snake-like body form has evolved many times in vertebrates, and occasionally, a quadrupedal form has re-evolved, including in Brachymeles lizards. We use body form and locomotion data for species ranging from snake-like to quadrupedal to address how a quadrupedal form could re-evolve. We show that large, quadrupedal species are faster...

Quantitative genetics of phosphorus content in the freshwater herbivore, Daphnia pulicaria

Ryan Sherman, Rachel Hartnett, Emily Kiehnau, Lawrence Weider & Punidan Jeyasingh
1. Phosphorus (P) is essential for growth of all organisms, and P content is correlated with growth in most taxa. Although P content was initially considered to be a trait fixed at the species level, there is growing evidence for considerable intraspecific variation. Selection on such variation can thus alter the rates at which P fluxes through food webs. 2. Nevertheless, prior work describing the sources and extent of intraspecific variation in P content were...

Archaeological mitogenomes illuminate the historical ecology of sea otters (Enhydra lutris) and the viability of reintroduction

Hannah Wellman, Rita Austin, Nihan Dagtas, Madonna Moss, Torben Rick & Courtney Hofman
Genetic analyses are an important contribution to wildlife reintroductions, particularly in the modern context of extirpations and ecological destruction. To address the complex historical ecology of the sea otter (Enhydra lutris) and its failed 1970s reintroduction to coastal Oregon, we compared mitochondrial genomes of pre-extirpation Oregon sea otters to extant and historical populations across the range. We sequenced the first complete ancient mitogenomes from archaeological Oregon sea otter dentine and historical sea otter dental calculus....

Micronutrients enhance macronutrient effects in a meta-analysis of grassland arthropod abundance

Rebecca Prather, Karen Castillioni, Michael Kaspari, Lara Souza, Chelse Prather, Ryan Reihart & Ellen Welti
Aim: Ongoing alterations to Earth’s biogeochemical cycles (e.g. via fertilization, burning of fossil fuels, and pollution) are expected to impact plants, plant consumers, and all subsequent trophic levels. While fertilization experiments often reveal arthropod nutrient limitation by nitrogen and phosphorus via effects on plant nutrient density and biomass, these macronutrients are only two of many nutrients important to arthropod fitness. Micronutrients are key to osmoregulation and enzyme function and can interact synergistically with macronutrients to...

Data from: Dispersal barriers and opportunities drive multiple levels of phylogeographic concordance in the Southern Alps of New Zealand

Katharine Marske, Andrea Thomaz & L Lacey Knowles
Phylogeographic concordance, or the sharing of phylogeographic patterns among co-distributed species, suggests similar responses to topography or climatic history. While the orientation and timing of breaks between lineages are routinely compared, spatial dynamics within regions occupied by individual lineages provide a second opportunity for comparing responses to past events. In environments with complex topography and glacial history, such as New Zealand’s South Island, geographically nested comparisons can identify the processes leading to phylogeographic concordance between...

High genomic diversity in the bank vole at the northern apex of a range expansion: the role of multiple colonizations and end-glacial refugia

Silvia Marková, Michaela Horníková, Hayley Lanier, Heikki Henttonen, Jeremy Searle, Lawrence Weider & Petr Kotlík
The history of repeated northern glacial cycling and southern climatic stability has long dominated explanations for how genetic diversity is distributed within temperate species in Eurasia and North America. However, growing evidence indicates the importance of cryptic refugia for northern colonization dynamics. An excellent geographic region to assess this is Fennoscandia, where recolonization at the end of the last glaciation was restricted to specific routes and temporal windows. We used genomic data to analyze genetic...

Parachute geckos free fall into synonymy: Gekko phylogeny, and a new subgeneric classification, inferred from thousands of ultraconserved elements

Perry Wood, Xianguang Guo, Scott Travers, Yong-Chao Su, Karen Olson, Aaron Bauer, Lee Grismer, Cameron Siler, Robert Moyle, Michael Andersen & Rafe Brown
Recent phylogenetic studies of gekkonid lizards have revealed unexpected, widespread paraphyly and polyphyly among genera, unclear generic boundaries, and a tendency towards the nesting of taxa exhibiting specialized, apomorphic morphologies within geographically widespread “generalist” clades. This is especially true in Australasia, where monophyly of Gekko proper has been questioned with respect to phenotypically ornate flap-legged geckos of the genus Luperosaurus, the Philippine false geckos of the genus Pseudogekko, and even the elaborately “derived” parachute geckos...

South Central Climate Projections Evaluation Project (C-PrEP)

Adrienne Wootten
Global climate models (GCMs) are numerically complex, computationally intensive, physics-based research tools used to simulate our planet’s inter-connected climate system. In addition to improving the scientific understanding of how the large-scale climate system works, GCM simulations of past and future climate conditions can be useful in applied research contexts. When seeking to apply information from global-scale climate projections to address local- and regional-scale climate questions, GCM-generated datasets often undergo statistical post-processing generally known as statistical...

7,000 years of turnover: historical contingency and human niche construction shape the Caribbean’s Anthropocene biota

Melissa Kemp, Alexis Mychajliw, Jenna Wadman & Amy Goldberg
The human-mediated movement of species across biogeographic boundaries—whether intentional or accidental—is dramatically reshaping the modern world. Conservation biologists are grappling with the present-day effects of these introductions, but humans have in fact been reshaping ecosystems and translocating species for millennia. Acknowledging the effects of human-mediated species introductions through time is important for understanding present-day biodiversity loss, ecosystem functioning, and management needs. Here, we present the first database of terrestrial vertebrate species introductions spanning the entire...

Data From: Conservation planning in an uncertain climate: identifying projects that remain valuable and feasible across future scenarios

Sean Wineland, Rachel Fovargue Fovargue, Ken Gill, Shabnam Rezapour & Thomas Neeson
Conservation actors face the challenge of allocating limited resources despite uncertainty about future climate. A key goal is to minimize the potential for negative outcomes under future scenarios. Thus, we address a global conservation challenge: how to allocate conservation investments given high uncertainty about future climate conditions. To that end, we present a method for identifying projects that remain valuable and feasible across climate scenarios and apply our framework to freshwater biodiversity conservation in the...

A re-evaluation of management units based on gene flow of a rare waterbird in the Americas

Golya Shahrokhi, David Rodriguez, Samantha Collins, Gina Kent, Ken Meyer, Eduardo Palacios & M. Clay Green
The maintenance of gene flow in species that have experienced population contractions and are geographically fragmented is important to the maintenance of genetic variation and evolutionary potential; thus, gene flow is also important to conservation and management of these species. For example, the Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) has recovered after severe population reductions during the 19th and 20th centuries, but population numbers remain below historic levels. In this study, we characterized gene flow among management...

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