Natural Resources & the Environment - Monographs, Papers and Research

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
  • Item
    Data from: Liming and spring salamander abundance
    Edwards, Elise M.; Mosher, Brittany A.; Pauley, Thomas; Welch, Shane; Waldron, Jayme L. (2023)
    Environmental acidification is affecting ecosystems around the globe, and as a result, managers are using limestone applications to mitigate the effects of acid rain and acid mine drainage. Limestone applications attempt to reverse acidification by increasing stream pH, however, studies assessing how liming affects species have shown mixed results. We examined the effects of liming on Gyrinophilus porphyriticus (the spring salamander) abundance. From June 10th to September 1st, 2013, we used multiple methods (i.e., leaf litterbags, visual encounter surveys, and area constrained flip and search methods) to sample spring salamanders within 11 different streams in the Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia. Using N-mixture models, which allow for estimation of abundance from count data and account for imperfect detection probabilities, we examined the effects of direct application liming (DAL) on spring salamander abundance and found that DAL and lime frequency had unexpected associations with spring salamander abundance. We found that a higher lime frequency resulted in lower spring salamander abundance, presumably due to the subsequent loss of spring salamander primary habitat when the hyporheic zone is filled. These results have and will continue to inform managers to the possible negative effects of high frequency liming on salamander communities and other stream organisms as well as inform adjustments that can be made to mitigate these impacts as a result of lime management.
  • Item
    Asian Jumping Worms: A Homeowner's Guide
    Bezrutczyk, Abigail; Bowe, Audrey; Brown-Lima, Carrie; Dávalos, Andrea; Dobson, Annise; Herrick, Bradley; McCay, Timothy; Wickings, Kyle (2021)
    Earthworms might be a friendly sight in gardens or your favorite tool for catching fish, but most earthworms in the northeast U.S. are non-native. Jumping worms, a group of species originally from Asia, are invasive species that alter soil qualities and make it inhospitable for some plants and animals. They do this by consuming the upper organic layer of soil, which leaches nutrients and erodes the ground. This makes it hard for many plants (including garden plants) to grow and threatens even the most well-tended lawns. What’s worse– humans spread worms without realizing it, carrying jumping worm egg cases (cocoons) in soil, mulch, potted plants, landscaping equipment, and even the treads of shoes and tires. This guide was developed by the Jumping Worm Outreach, Research & Management (JWORM) working group to help homeowners identify and prevent the spread of jumping worms.
  • Item
    Data from: Are bivalves susceptible to domestication selection? Using starvation tolerance to test for potential trait changes in eastern oyster larvae
    McFarland, Katherine; Plough, Louis V.; Nguyen, Michelle; Hare, Matthew (2020-06)
    This dataset supports the following research: "Conservation efforts are increasingly being challenged by a rapidly changing environment, and for some aquatic species the use of captive rearing or selective breeding is an attractive option. However, captivity itself can impose unintended artificial selection known as domestication selection (adaptation to culture conditions). For most marine species, it is not known to what degree domestication selection affects traits related to fitness in the wild. To test for domestication selection in a marine bivalve, we focused on a fitness-related trait (larval starvation resistance) that could be altered under artificial selection. Using larvae produced from a wild population of Crassostrea virginica and a selectively bred, disease-resistant line we measured growth and survival during starvation versus standard algal diet (control) conditions. Larvae from both lineages showed a remarkable resilience to food limitation, possibly mediated by an ability to uptake and utilize dissolved organic matter for somatic maintenance. Water chemistry analysis showed dissolved organic carbon in filtered tank water to be at concentrations similar to natural river water. We observed that survival in larvae produced from the aquaculture line was significantly lower compared to larvae produced from wild broodstock (8 ± 3% and 21 ± 2%, respectively) near the end of a 10-day period with no food (phytoplankton). All larval cohorts had arrested growth during the starvation period and took at least two days to recover once food was reintroduced before resuming growth. Phenotypic differences between the wild and aquaculture lines suggest potential differences in the capacity to sustain extended food limitation, but this work requires replication with multiple selection lines and wild populations to make more general inferences about domestication selection. With this contribution we explore the potential for domestication selection in bivalves, discuss the physiological and fitness implications of reduced starvation tolerance, and aim to inspire further research on the topic."
  • Item
    Data from: Restoring oysters to urban estuaries: redefining habitat quality for eastern oyster performance near New York City
    McFarland, Katherine; Hare, Matthew P (2018-09-27)
    Restoring and conserving coastal resilience faces increasing challenges under current climate change predictions. Oyster restoration, in particular, faces threats from alterations in precipitation, warming water temperatures, and urbanization of coastlines that dramatically change salinity patterns, foster the proliferation and spread disease, and disrupt habitat connectivity, respectively. New York City (NYC) coastal waters, once home to a booming oyster fishery for eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica), are now nearly devoid of live oyster reefs. Oyster restoration in urban estuaries is motivated by the synergistic ecosystem benefits this native keystone species can deliver. Recent surveys have documented substantial remnant populations of adult oysters in the upper low salinity zone of the Hudson/Raritan Estuary (HRE) near Tarrytown, NY. This study assessed fitness-related performance across the HRE salinity gradient to evaluate habitat suitability on an estuarine scale. Oysters were hatchery-produced from wild, moderate-salinity broodstock, then outplanted for measurement of growth, survival, reproduction and disease prevalence over two years. Survival as generally higher in the lower salinity river sites and in the higher salinity Jamaica Bay sites relative to mesohaline NYC harbor sites. Growth rate was highest in Jamaica Bay and had high variation among other sites. Surprisingly, the highest proportion of individuals with sex-differentiated gametes and the highest average gonad maturation index as found at a low salinity site. Consistent with the advanced gametogenesis measured in experimental animals at low salinity, annual wild recruitment was documented near the low salinity remnant population in each of five monitored years. These results suggest that the remnant HRE oyster population is a robust, self-sustaining population that can be leveraged to support restoration of subpopulations in other parts of the estuary, but further research is required to determine if the mesohaline and near-ocean reaches of the HRE can support the full oyster life cycle.
  • Item
    Warming Waters: Implications for Invasive Species in the Northeast
    Price Tack, Jennifer; Simmons, Wade; Bowe, Audrey; Brown-Lima, Carrie (2018-06-30)
    Climate change is warming northeastern water bodies and changing the environmental conditions that structure aquatic communities, presenting new challenges for the management and conservation of these ecosystems. The altered physical, chemical, and biological conditions resulting from warming waters may benefi t or harm native species while providing new opportunities for non-native species to establish or expand. Here, we summarize how increasing water temperatures may in fluence aquatic invasives and synthesize the growing body of scientifi c evidence on this topic. Managers should consider these changes when drafting management plans, creating species watch lists, and planning strategically for the future.
  • Item
    Craig isotopic discrimination data
    Craig, Elizabeth (PLOS ONE, 2015)
    The diet-tissue discrimination factor is the amount by which a consumer’s tissue varies isotopically from its diet, and is therefore a key element in models that use stable isotopes to estimate diet composition. In this study we measured discrimination factors in blood (whole blood, red blood cells and plasma), liver, muscle and feathers of Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) for stable isotope ratios of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur.
  • Item
    Variations in sediment sources and yields in the Finger Lakes and Catskills regions of New York
    Nagle, Gregory N.; Fahey, Timothy J.; Ritchie, Jerry C.; Woodbury, Peter B. (John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 2007)
    The proportional contributions of stream bank and surface sources to fine sediment loads in watersheds in New York State were quantified with uncertainty analysis. Eroding streamside glacial drift, including glaciolacustrine deposits, were examined to help explain variations in the proportional contributions made by bank erosion. Sediment sources were quantified by comparing concentrations of the bomb-derived radionuclide 137Cs in fluvial sediment with sediment from potential source areas such as agricultural soils, forest soils and stream banks. To compare sediment sources in streams containing abundant deposits of fine-grained glacial drift with watersheds that lacked moderate or extensive streamside deposits, samples were taken from 15 watersheds in the region. The mean contribution of bank erosion to sediment loads in the six streams with glaciolacustrine deposits was 60% (range 46?76%). The proportional contribution of bank erosion was also important in one stream lacking glaciolacustrine deposits (57%) but was less important in the remainder, with contributions ranging from 0 to 46%. Data from this study on the varying contributions of bank erosion and data from past studies of sediment yield in 15 watersheds of New York State suggest that eroding streamside glacial deposits dominate sediment yield in many watersheds. In other watersheds, past impacts to streams, such as channelization, have also resulted in high levels of bank erosion.
  • Item
    Composting in the Classroom: Scientific Inquiry for High School Students
    Trautmann, Nancy M.; Krasny, Marianne E. (Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1998)