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2000 Spotlight on Graduate and Undergraduate Research at ESF
Environmental and Forest Biology Abstracts

 

Contents

THE DISTRIBUTION OF MOLTING OLDSQUAW (CLANGULA HYEMALIS) FLOCKS AT FLAXMAN ISLAND, ALASKA, IN RESPONSE TO TIME OF DAY, WIND AND WEATHER. Kimberly Annis, Elizabeth Labunski and Dr. Guy Baldassarre.

CHEMOTAXONOMIC STUDIES OF EUPHORBIA SPECIES FROM SOUTH AFRICA AND THE CANARY ISLANDS.  Patrick Bowen and Jose-L. Giner

THE EFFECTS OF DROUGHT STRESS ON THE ACCUMULATION OF EPICUTICULAR WAXES ON LEAF TISSUE OF NICOTIANA GLAUCA. Kimberly D. Cameron, Mark A. Teece, and Lawrence B. Smart.

HYDROCHEMIC, HYDROCHEMICAL, AND ISOTOPIC EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF THE TRANSMISSIVITY FEEDBACK HYPOTHESIS WITHIN THE ARCHER CREEK CATCHMENT OF THE ADIRONDACK MOUNTAINS. Sheila F. Christopher and Myron J. Mitchell

MINERAL NUTRITION EFFECTS ON GROWTH AND SURVIVAL OF TWO HYBRID POPLAR TRANSGENIC CLONES. Marc Daly, Sharon Bickel, Haiying Liang, William Powell, and Charles Maynard.

EFFECTS OF MANAGEMENT, FIRE, AND DISTURBANCE ON KARNER BLUE BUTTERFLY LARVAL HOSTPLANT AND ADULT NECTAR PLANTS. Steven Fuller, Frank Hudson, Peter Smallidge, Donald Leopold, and Neil Gifford.

SUMMER AUTUMN INTRODUCTION OF SUBYEARLING ATLANTIC SALMON, BASED ON WATER DEPTH AND WATER VELOCITY, IN GROUT BROOK, NEW YORK. Bradford Nelson1 and Thomas Hennigan1 and James Johnson2, 1DeRuyter Central School, 711 Railroad Street, DeRuyter, NY, U.S.A. 13052, 2Tunison Laboratory of Aquatic Science, National Biological Service, 3075 Gracie Road, Cortland, NY, U.S.A. 13045

A DIRECT COMPARISION OF VERNAL N & P UPTAKE BY HERBACEOUS PLANTS AND SOIL MICROBES. Jack Tessier and Dudley Raynal, Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, 350 Illick Hall, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

PHYTOPLANKTON PHOTOSYNTHESIS IN THE EASTERN BASIN OF LAKE ERIE, 1999. Stacy Vega and Myron J. Mitchell, Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, 209 Illick Hall, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

EFFECTS OF TEMPERATURE, SALINITY AND BODY SIZE ON THE ROUTINE METABOLISM OF SPOTTED SEATROUT (CYNOSCION NEBULOSUS) LARVAE. Mark J. Wuenschel, Robert G. Werner, Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210, and Donald E. Hoss, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, Southeast Fisheries Science Center Beaufort Laboratory, Beaufort, NC 28516


Abstracts

THE DISTRIBUTION OF MOLTING OLDSQUAW (CLANGULA HYEMALIS) FLOCKS AT FLAXMAN ISLAND, ALASKA, IN RESPONSE TO TIME OF DAY, WIND AND WEATHER. Kimberly Annis, Elizabeth Labunski and Dr. Guy Baldassarre, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse NY13210

The Oldsquaw (Clangula hyemalis), or Long-tailed duck, is the most widely distributed and numerous of all high arctic waterfowl. Tens of thousands of Oldsquaw assemble in the Beaufort Sea to undergo an annual wing molt and use the shallow lagoons for protection during resting and feeding periods. The USGS is using Oldsquaw as an indicator species to create a protocol for monitoring Beaufort Sea waterfowl. It will determine the potential effects of industrial development on high arctic waterfowl. Our study will establish the distribution of molting Oldsquaw flocks at Flaxman Island in response to time of day, wind and weather. It will indicate where flocks are located so successful USGS captures can take place. Surveys were completed with small watercrafts during 27 July to 13 August 1999 within six 4-hour time-periods. The data indicates that the locations of molting Oldsquaw flocks are highly dependent on shoreline aspect, time of day and wind speed. Oldsquaw occupied protected southeastern-facing coves during early and late evening hours. During periods of high winds, Oldsquaw were found in these coves independent of the time of day. A variety of weather conditions (fog and rain) created a series of variables that presented some difficulties in obtaining definitive data on Oldsquaw site selection, but these protected coves are optimal areas for the USGS to establish capture sites.

 

CHEMOTAXONOMIC STUDIES OF EUPHORBIA SPECIES FROM SOUTH AFRICA AND THE CANARY ISLANDS. Patrick Bowen, Dept of Environmental & Forest Biology, and Jose-L. Giner, Dept of Chemistry SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry

The genus Euphorbia is widely distributed in the arid zones of the southern hemisphere. These plants produce latex, a defensive milky secretion that is rich in various triterpenoid and 4a-methyl steroid compounds. The triterpenoid and 4a-methyl steroid components of the latex of euphorbias from southern Africa and the Canary Islands were analyzed with the intent of discerning taxonomic differences among species widely separated in space. Individual compounds were isolated using a regimen of extraction, thin layer chromatography (TLC), and high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) and identified using proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR). Relatedness among the plants was determined based upon the presence and relative proportions of various triterpenoid and 4a-methyl steroid compounds.

 

THE EFFECTS OF DROUGHT STRESS ON THE ACCUMULATION OF EPICUTICULAR WAXES ON LEAF TISSUE OF NICOTIANA GLAUCA. Kimberly D. Cameron1, Mark A. Teece2, and Lawrence B. Smart1. 1Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology; 2Faculty of Chemistry, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210

Nicotiana glauca plants that have been subjected to periodic drying in a growth chamber display a glaucous appearance on the leaf surface suggesting that one way N. glauca plants respond to drought stress is by increasing cuticular wax deposition. In this work we have used low kV scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to observe the epicuticular wax on the adaxial surface of leaves. Plants that have been periodically dried exhibit an increase in wax load over time, over both epidermal cells and guard cells. We have also extracted the methylene chloride soluble surface lipids from the adaxial and abaxial surfaces of N. glauca leaves and used GC and GC-MS to identify and quantify components of the wax. We have identified C28-C31 alkanes as well as C24, C26, and C28 alcohols. Of all the alkanes extracted, triacontane (C31 alkane) was found in the highest proportion. To determine the effects of drought stress on the accumulation of specific components in the cuticular waxes we have also analyzed the epicuticular wax from plants that have been periodically dried. Here we present a comparison of wax extracted from plants that have been well watered vs. plants that have been subjected to periodical drying. This work was supported by the McIntire-Stennis program of the U.S.D.A.

HYDROCHEMIC, HYDROCHEMICAL, AND ISOTOPIC EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF THE TRANSMISSIVITY FEEDBACK HYPOTHESIS WITHIN THE ARCHER CREEK CATCHMENT OF THE ADIRONDACK MOUNTAINS. Sheila F. Christopher and Myron J. Mitchell, Graduate Program in Environmental Science/Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, 209 Illick Hall, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY

Researchers have used a variety of tracer-based and/or hydrometric studies to try to elucidate sources and flow pathways of water within a variety of catchments. Combined hydrometric and tracer-based approaches are critical for properly characterizing the sources and flowpaths of water in catchments. While hydrometric data define the timing of the hydrological response, hydrochemical data can elucidate flow pathways and isotopic hydrograph separation can help determine water sources. The transmissivity feedback has been hypothesized as the dominant stormflow generation mechanism at many catchments containing soils derived from glacial till. My ongoing research is testing the transmissivity feedback hypothesis at the Archer Creek Catchment (containing glacial till derived soils) in the Huntington Forest of the Adirondack Mountains. Hydrometric, hydrochemical, and isotopic characteristics are being evaluated among various landscape types including wetland, hillslope hollow, and upland positions. Precipitation resulting from the remnants of hurricane Floyd reached the Adirondack Mountains on September 16, 1999. At this time, we collected data indicating a rapid increase in discharge during the storm and marked changes in stream water chemistry. Preliminary results from the analysis of this storm will be presented and discussed in relationship to transmissivity feedback hypothesis.

 

MINERAL NUTRITION EFFECTS ON GROWTH AND SURVIVAL OF TWO HYBRID POPLAR TRANSGENIC CLONES. Marc Daly, Sharon Bickel, Haiying Liang, William Powell, and Charles Maynard. Faculties of Forestry and Environmental & Forest Biology, 217 Marshall Hall, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

The recent use of poplar for biomass production has been hindered by the presence of the Septoria musiva fungal pathogen. Poplar clones were transformed using Agrobacterium, micro-propagated in-vitro, and transferred to the greenhouse. The purpose of this project is to produce a cutting orchard of transformed hybrid poplar clones (Populus x euramericana) that have shown resistance to the fungal pathogen. In order to maximize production within the cutting orchard, a test in 5 concentration ratios of Hoagland's nutrient solution (0x, 0.25x, 0.5x, 1.0x, and 2x) was conducted with two clones. From these, 4-inch hardwood cuttings were made and potted in a 1 : 1 perlite and vermiculite mix. The cuttings were then rooted in greenhouse conditions for one month. A total of 50 Ogy OA 2 hybrid cuttings, 10 per treatment, and 25 Ogy pCA 1 hybrid cuttings, 5 per treatment, were used in the experiment. The Ogy OA 2 responded with maximum shoot growth at the 0.5x concentration of Hoagland's solution with an average shoot length of 7.78 cm. The same clone exhibited stunted growth at both the 0x and 2x concentrations. The Ogy pCA 1 hybrid clone displayed maximum shoot length (4.40 cm) at the 1.0x concentration of Hoagland's solution. Again, retarded growth was found within the 0x and 2x concentrations. These results suggest that further testing between the 0.5x and 1.0x concentrations of Hoagland's solution are necessary in order to maximize the cutting orchard production for all clones.

 

EFFECTS OF MANAGEMENT, FIRE, AND DISTURBANCE ON KARNER BLUE BUTTERFLY LARVAL HOSTPLANT AND ADULT NECTAR PLANTS. Steven Fuller, Frank Hudson, Peter Smallidge, Donald Leopold, and Neil Gifford, Environmental and Forest Biology Department, S.U.N.Y College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 350 Illick Hall, Syracuse, NY 13210

In the absence of wild fires or management, existing blue lupine (Lupinus perennis L.) patches and occupant Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis Nabokov) populations are declining. Remnant patches are restricted to isolated urban preserves and industrially managed lands. Restoration of Karner blue habitat will require intensive management for blue lupine and nectar plants. To test the relative efficacy of currently employed vegetation management practices (fire, herbicidal, and mechanical), we conducted replicated experimental manipulations on 29 patches of blue lupine widely interspersed on powerline rights-of-way (PROW) and preserves. Sites manipulated with scheduled treatments were monitored and compared to sites repeatedly scarified by intensive management and human activity (construction, land-clearing, all-terrain vehicles). Results for the first five years of this eight-year study suggest a negative response of blue lupine to low intensity fires; a positive response of blue lupine to some industrial management practices; and robust growth on sites with histories of scarifying disturbance.

 

SUMMER AUTUMN INTRODUCTION OF SUBYEARLING ATLANTIC SALMON, BASED ON WATER DEPTH AND WATER VELOCITY, IN GROUT BROOK, NEW YORK. Bradford Nelson1 and Thomas Hennigan1 and James Johnson2, 1DeRuyter Central School, 711 Railroad Street, DeRuyter, NY, U.S.A. 13052, 2Tunison Laboratory of Aquatic Science, National Biological Service, 3075 Gracie Road, Cortland, NY, U.S.A. 13045

The Summer-autumn introduction of Atlantic salmon, Salmo Salar L., into Grout Brook was examined in hopes of discovering the preferred water velocity, preferred water depth, and whether or not Atlantic salmon could co-exist with native rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus Mykiss W.. The water depths, water velocities, and captured fish were recorded over a 200m stretch of Grout Brook in Grout Mill, New York. Prior to the Atlantic salmon stocking, shocking was done to find out where the counts of rainbow trout were the highest in July of 1999. It was found that the rainbow trout were more highly concentrated in areas with depth of 0.1-0.24 meters of water and a water velocity of >=0.5 m/s and 0.1-0.14 m/s. After introducing Atlantic salmon in August 1999, the rainbow trout were dramatically affected in the depth range of 0.15-0.19 meters. This depth held the largest number of Atlantic salmon in the stream and rainbow trout had been pushed out of this depth range and pushed in to the range of 0.1-0.14 meters. This depth range held the most competition between the two species. Some rainbow trout were also pushed into much slower water. Concentrations of rainbow trout in the range of 0.05-0.09 m/s water went up dramatically. Atlantic salmon were found to be distributed mostly in the extremities of the water velocities and in areas of depth ranging from 0.1-0.19 meters. It appears that Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout can co-exist assuming the water velocities and water depths are available.

 

A DIRECT COMPARISION OF VERNAL N & P UPTAKE BY HERBACEOUS PLANTS AND SOIL MICROBES. Jack Tessier and Dudley Raynal, Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, 350 Illick Hall, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210

A pulse of nutrient loss occurs in northern hardwood ecosystems in association with snowmelt. Spring ephemeral herbs are capable of significant nutrient uptake at this time and may serve as a 'vernal dam'. Early spring alpine herbs and soil microbes may also be important to this nutrient retention. We sampled the herbaceous understory and soil microbes in a second growth northern hardwood forest from the end of snowmelt until canopy leaf out to document nitrogen and phosphorus pool sizes of the two biota in an effort to quantify nutrient uptake during spring. Despite a pattern of increased nitrogen and phosphorus pool sizes in the herbs there were no significant increases of nitrogen or phosphorus in either the herb layer or the soil microbes. There was a significant decline in phosphorus content of the herb layer through spring. This decline may be a result of an on-setting drought and resultant root die-back. The non-significant pattern of nutrient pool size increase in the herb layer may indicate that the herbs were increasing in content earlier in the season than our sampling could document. Future work will examine uptake patterns of herbs and soil microbes prior to complete snow melt.

 

PHYTOPLANKTON PHOTOSYNTHESIS IN THE EASTERN BASIN OF LAKE ERIE, 1999. Stacy Vega and Myron J. Mitchell, Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, 209 Illick Hall, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

Lake Erie is currently undergoing major changes that could have a significant impact on production and trophic structure. In the mid-1970's, eutrophication was reversed by an international agreement calling for the reduction of phosphorus loading. More recently, the introduction of zebra and quagga mussels (Dreissena polymorpha, Dreissena bugensis) has had a dramatic impact. High densities of dreissenids have resulted in a system-wide increase in water clarity, allowing deeper penetration of light. Observations from the Cornell Biological Field Station on Oneida Lake, New York have shown an increase in phytoplankton photosynthesis per unit chlorophyll to compensate for decreased overall phytoplankton biomass. For our current research, water samples were taken from the mixed layer of the water column at an offshore (35 m depth) and a nearshore (10 m depth) site in the eastern basin of Lake Erie seven times from May to October 1999. A modified version of a technique developed by Lewis and Smith [1] was used to estimate phytoplankton production. The estimated values were then compared between the two sites and over the course of the season. Phytoplankton photosynthesis at both sites increased over the course of the summer, as was expected. The offshore site had higher areal integrated and volumetric phytoplankton photosynthesis than the nearshore on each sampling date, and higher seasonal areal phytoplankton photosynthesis (offshore produced 151.1 g C/m2 and nearshore produced 86.6 g C/m2 between May 1 and October 31, 1999).

1. Lewis, M.R. and J.C. Smith. 1983. A small volume, short-incubation-time method for measurement of photosynthesis as a function of incident irradiance. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 13:99-102.

 

EFFECTS OF TEMPERATURE, SALINITY AND BODY SIZE ON THE ROUTINE METABOLISM OF SPOTTED SEATROUT (CYNOSCION NEBULOSUS) LARVAE. Mark J. Wuenschel, Robert G. Werner, Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210, and Donald E. Hoss, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, Southeast Fisheries Science Center Beaufort Laboratory, Beaufort, NC 28516

Routine oxygen consumption rates of individual larval spotted seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus) were measured over a range of temperatures (24, 28, 30 and 32 C) and salinities (5, 10, 20, 35 and 45 ). Larvae (4.5-39.5 mm SL) encompassed several orders of magnitude in dry body mass, allowing estimation of the allometric scaling relationship. A bi-phasic pattern in the mass scaling of metabolic rate was observed. The oxygen consumption rate (ml O2/larva/hr) scaled isometrically with body mass (slope = 0.997) for larvae up until a size of 5.7mm TL, and then scaled allometrically (slope = 0.797) thereafter. The inflection in the mass-metabolism relationship coincided with the formation of the hypural plate and a change in swimming modes. The influence of temperature and salinity on routine oxygen consumption was analyzed for each phase using ANOVA with larval dry weight as a covariate. The effect of temperature was found to be significant during both phases of growth. Salinity did not have a significant effect on the routine metabolic rate. A significant interaction between temperature and salinity was evident, however, at 30 and 32 C during the second phase of growth. Response surfaces describing the influence of environmental factors on the routine metabolism of larval spotted seatrout were developed, providing a bioenergetic basis for modeling the environmental constraints on the spatial and temporal growth of this species. Ontogenetic changes in the mass scaling of metabolic rate are discussed in relation to the change in hydrodynamics experienced by larvae.

 

 



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