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Environmental and Forest Biology


Spotlight 2003 Abstract

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A COMPARISON OF VISITORS’ ENVIRONMENTAL ATTITUDES AND PARK AESTHETICS AT THREE FLORIDA KEYS STATE PARKS
Alexis Alloway, Katie L. Johnson, Kimberly Schulz, and Karin Limburg.

DIURNAL VARIATION AND ECOSYSTEM METABOLISM COMPARED FOR THREE AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS IN THE SOUTHEASTERN U.S.
Alexis Alloway, Klara Burg Brewer, Ben Carson, Jen Conrad, Aaron Cushing, Jon de Olden, Sara Hasenstab, Chris Hotaling, Nicole Hotaling, Michael Jadlicky, Katie Johnson, Chris Ray, Les Resseguie, Erin Saul, Myke Steighler, Christian Wissler, Kimberly Schulz, and Karin Limburg.

RELATING LANDSCAPE PROPERTIES AND PROCESSES TO THE STRUCTURE OF MAURITIA SWAMPS ON MARACÁ ISLAND, BRAZIL
Melanie M. Antonik, Kevin S. Godwin, Oscar J. Abelleira, José M. V. Fragoso, and Kirsten Silvius

THE ROLE OF LARGE MAMMAL MYCOPHAGY ON DUNE ECOSYSTEM SUCCESSION
Sara Ashkannejhad and Thomas R. Horton

UNCOVERING THE PAST: POST-GLACIAL VEGETATION AND NUTRIENT DYNAMICS OF A ST. LAWRENCE RIVER NORTHERN PIKE SPAWNING MARSH
Molly Beland and John M. Farrel.9

THE EFFECT OF MAP ACCURACY ON A PREDICTIVE LOGISTIC REGRESSION MODEL
Matthew F. Buff

PREDICTING RARE PLANT HABITAT ON NEW YORK STATE FORESTS USING GIS
Matthew F. Buff, and Donald J. Leopold

EARTHWORMS OF THE SEA: SEA CUCUMBER FEEDING AND SUBTIDAL VEGETATION IN THE FLORIDA KEYS
Jennifer Conrad, Christopher Ray, Karin Limburg, and Kimberly Schulz

STUDY OF INVERTEBRATE AND FISH POPULATION DIVERSITY BETWEEN FOUR DIFFERENT MANGROVE TREE SITES IN THE SOUTHERN FLORIDA KEYS
Aaron Cushing, Myke C. Steighler, Kimberly Schulz, and Karin Limburg

AGRICULTURAL LANDS: FOR THE BIRDS?
Andrew Drake, Scott Hadam, Nicholas Kirby, Bill Shaw, Alex Weir, and John Castello.

THE PERSISTENCE OF A REMNANT MARITIME HOLLY FOREST: SHORT AND LONG-TERM DYNAMICS OF A CRITICALLY IMPERILED PLANT COMMUNITY
Jodi A. Forrester, Donald J. Leopold, H. Brian Underwood, and Mary J. Foley

EVALUATING SUCCESS OF SWEETGRASS ( HIEROCHLOE ODORATA ) GROWTH IN THREE RESTORATATION PLANTINGS
Howard Fung and Robin Kimmerer

A WATERSHED APPROACH TO EVALUATING VUNERABLE WETLAND ECOSYSTEMS: RELATING ANTHROPOGENIC FACTORS & HYDROGEOLOGIC SETTING (HGS) TO MINEROTROPHIC PEATLANDS OF NEW YORK STATE
Kevin S. Godwin, Matthew F. Buff, and Donald J. Leopold

SOLID WASTE AGENCY OF NORTHERN COOK COUNTY VERSUS THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS – IMPLICATIONS FOR NEW YORK STATE WETLANDS
Kevin S. Godwin, Matthew F. Buff, and Sasha D. Hafner

THE BIOGEOGRAPHIC IMPLICATIONS OF THE NEW YORK PUBLIC ROAD NETWORK: USING A GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM (GIS) TO MODEL ROAD EFFECT ZONE
Kevin S. Godwin.

COMPARISON OF INVASIVE PLANT PRESENCE ON ANTHROPOGENICALLY DISTURBED AND UNDISTURBED SIDES OF LAKE KAITAWA, NZ
Jeanne Grace, Lisa Pearce, Erin Bennet, Jessica Demulder, Alex Weir and John Castello

IN VITRO PROPAGATION OF A NEW YORK-STATE PROTECTED FERN: OSMUNDA CINNAMOMEA (OSMUNDACEAE)
Jeanne E. Grace and Danilo D. Fernando

RAINFOREST MICROHABITAT STRATIFICATION AND SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF NOROPS LIZARDS
Wellington Guzman

TRENDS IN SODIUM AND CHLORIDE IN THE MOHAWK RIVER, NEW YORK: THE EFFECT OF FIFTY YEARS OF ROAD SALT APPLICATION.
Sasha. D. Hafner, Kevin. S. Godwin, and Matthew. F. Buff

TRENDS IN MAIZE, RICE, AND WHEAT YIELDS FOR 188 NATIONS OVER THE PAST 40 YEARS: A PREVALENCE OF LINEAR GROWTH
Sasha D. Hafner

EFFECTS OF COARSE WOODY DEBRIS ON CARBON AND NITROGEN CYCLING IN A TEMPERATE FOREST
Sasha D. Hafner and Peter M. Groffman

WHO’S DOING THE CHEWING? ASESSING THE ROLE OF NATIVE HERBIVORES FOR THE CONTROL OF THE AQUATIC INVASIVE PLANT, HYDROCHARIS MORSUS-RANAE
Alison D. Halpern, Donald J. Leopold, Kim E. Schulz, John M. Farrell, and Dylan Parry

MEASURING AND MODELING PHOTOSYNTHESIS ALONG AN ALTITUDINAL GRADIENT IN THE LUQUILLO FOREST, PUERTO RICO
Nancy Harris, Oscar Abelleira, Charles Hall

VERTICAL PATTERNS OF MACROINVERTEBRATE DIVERSITY ON MANGROVE ROOTS
Sara Hasenstab, Erin Saul, Supporting faculty:Kim Schultz, and Karin Limburg

WHAT CONTROLS BIODIVERSITY AND RARITY IN FENS IN THE FALL CREEK WATERSHED, CENTRAL NEW YORK?
J. Hope Hornbeck, Beth Boyer, Matt Buff, Kevin Godwin, Stephen Reynolds, Sara Scanga, Matt Young and Donald Leopold

FACTORS AFFECTING NEARSHORE SEAGRASS COMMUNITY DIVERSITY AND BIOMASS IN THE FLORIDA KEYS
Christopher W. Hotaling, Nicole E.M. Hotaling, Ben Carson, and Klara Burg Brewer. Project conducted under the guidance of Drs. Karin E. Limburg and Kimberly L. Schulz.

THE EFFECTS OF CHANNELIZATION ON FISH DIVERSITY AND ABUNDANCE IN A FLORIDA TIDAL MANGROVE STREAM
Mike Jadlicky, Jon DeOlden, Christian Wissler, Leslie Resseguie, Karin Limburg, and Kimberly Schulz

HOW DO BLANDING’S TURTLES FIT INTO ST. LAWRENCE RIVER AND LAKE ONTARIO WETLAND ECOSYSTEMS?
Heather Jensen and James Gibbs

MODELING STOICHIOMETRY OF SESTON C:P IN LAKES—APPLICATION OF FOOD QUALITY FOR ZOOPLANKTON AND FISH LARVAE
Xinli Ji and Kimberly Schulz

THE EFFECT OF BEAVER POND RECESSION ON THE SIZE DISTRIBUTIONS OF THE GREEN FROG, RANA CLAMITANS
Kimberly Keener, Nancy Karraker, and James Gibbs

PREDICTING VEGETATION CHANGE IN LAKE ONTARIO COASTAL WETLANDS AS A RESULT OF FLUCTUATING WATER DEPTH
Nathan Kelsall, Donald Leopold

DEVELOPMENT OF A TISSUE REGENERATION PROTOCOL FOR WILLOW
Nick Kirby, Shiliang Zhang and Danilo D. Fernando

COMPARISON OF SYMMETRY OF CHRYSEMYS PICTA IN ROADSIDE VS. ISOLATED WETLANDS THROUGHOUT CENTRAL NEW YORK
Angel M. Knox, Dave Steen, and James P. Gibbs

WILLOW SEEDLINGS AND STEM CALLUS EXPRESSING GREEN FLUORESCENT PROTEIN
Jeffrey Lombardo, Shiliang Zhang and Danilo D. Fernando.

PHYLOGENETIC ANALYSIS OF TENUIVIRUS ISOLATES FROM BLACK SPRUCE IN NEW YORK
Som S. Mukherjee and John D. Castello

IDENTIFICATION OF VIRUS ISOLATES DETECTED IN WATER DRAINING FOREST AND PASTURES IN NEW ZEALAND
Som S. Mukherjee and John D. Castello

LICHEN LIFE ON THE BEECH: A COMPARISON OF EPIPHYTIC LICHEN COMMUNITIES ON SILVER AND RED BEECH
Amanda Park, Christy White, Norman Dart, Dr. John Castello, and Dr. Alex Weir

BRYOPHYTES ON THE BEECH: A COMPARISON OF EPIPHYTIC MOSS COMMUNITIES ON SILVER AND RED BEECH
Amanda Park, Christy White, Norman Dart, Dr. John Castello, and Dr. Alex Weir

GENE CONSTRUCTION AND TRANSFORMATION OF AMERICAN CHESTNUT POLLEN GRAINS
Javonna L. Richards and Danilo D. Fernando

AN EVALUATION OF SMALL MAMMAL POPULATIONS AND HABITAT CHANGES AT HUNTINGTON WILDLIFE FOREST
Shannon L. Strusz and Stacy McNulty

USING ZEBRA MUSSELS AS BIOMONITORING TOOLS OF TOXIC CYANOBACTERIAL BLOOMS
Kristy Szprygada, Michael Satchwell, Kimberly Schulz and Gregory Boyer

DISSOLVED IRON CYCLING IN THE SUBTERRANEAN ESTUARY OF A COASTAL BAY: WAQUOIT BAY, MASSACHUSETTS
Jeremy M. Testa, Matt A. Charette, Edward R. Sholkovitz, Matt C. Allen, Adam Rago, and Craig W. Herbold

A SIMULATION MODEL OF SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL FLUCTUATIONS OF DISSOLVED OXYGEN IN FLAX POND, A TEMPERATE SALT MARSH
Jeremy M. Testa and Charles A. S. Hall

Abstracts

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A COMPARISON OF VISITORS’ ENVIRONMENTAL ATTITUDES AND PARK AESTHETICS AT THREE FLORIDA KEYS STATE PARKS
Alexis Alloway ,Faculty of Environmental Studies, Katie L. Johnson ,Kimberly Schulz , and Karin Limburg , Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, Syracuse NY 13210.

Every year, over a million visitors flock to Florida Keys State Parks, bringing with them unique perspectives on the natural environment that ultimately influence park aesthetics. We investigated whether a relationship exists between visitor environmental attitudes and park aesthetics at three State Parks located in the Florida Keys along US Highway Route 1: John Pennekamp at mile marker 102.5 in Key Largo, Long Key 35 miles to its southwest at mile marker 67.5, and Bahia Honda 28 miles further southwest at mile marker 37. At each site, 20 randomly selected tourists were asked a standard set of survey questions, the results of which were analyzed to produce a numeric rating evaluating each visitor’s level of concern for the natural environment on a scale of 1-5. Park aesthetics were assessed by measuring the amount of trash collected in each park within a standard plotted area. Results showed that Bahia Honda visitors had the strongest environmental attitude, and this park had the least amount of trash on its beaches. At the other two state parks, there was no obvious relationship between the environmental attitude of visitors and the amount of trash collected. However, this may be due to the ineffectiveness of using trash to assess park aesthetics, as the amount of trash present is influenced by numerous external factors. Such factors include the number of visitors each park receives, the location of sampling sites in relation to the open ocean, and trash collection efforts by park officials. Our results showed a strong difference between each of the three parks in the environmental attitudes of visitors, but it is not clear whether these attitudes can be correlated to the amount of trash present. Further study of this issue, using an indicator of park aesthetics other than trash, might show a stronger correlation between visitors’ environmental attitudes and park aesthetics.

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DIURNAL VARIATION AND ECOSYSTEM METABOLISM COMPARED FOR THREE AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS IN THE SOUTHEASTERN U.S.
Alexis Alloway , Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Klara Burg Brewer , Ben Carson , Jen Conrad , Aaron Cushing , Jon de Olden , Sara Hasenstab , Chris Hotaling , Nicole Hotaling, Michael Jadlicky , Katie Johnson , Chris Ray , Les Resseguie , Erin Saul , Myke Steighler , Christian Wissler , Kimberly Schulz, and Karin Limburg , Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

We monitored diurnal variation in key parameters (dissolved O 2, temperature, conductivity, and pH) in the Okefenokee Swamp, GA, a tidal creek on Sapelo Island, GA, and Florida Bay at the Keys Marine Laboratory in Florida. Data were collected with a YSI 6600 datalogging sonde set at 10-minute sampling intervals. Ecosystem metabolism was calculated for the Okefenokee and Florida Bay. Both systems were heterotrophic, but the production to respiration ratio (P:R) was 2.4 times lower in the Okefenokee Swamp. The Okefenokee system was highly acidic (mean pH = 3.59) due to the high content of peat. The tidal creek was buffered due to mixing of sea water, and had salinity variations of 6 psu due to tidal exchange. Florida Bay was the most productive system, but was still net heterotrophic due to cool temperatures.

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RELATING LANDSCAPE PROPERTIES AND PROCESSES TO THE STRUCTURE OF MAURITIA SWAMPS ON MARACÁ ISLAND, BRAZIL
Melanie M. Antonik , Kevin S. Godwin , Oscar J. Abelleira , José M. V. Fragoso, and Kirsten Silvius , Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

The goal of this project was to relate the vegetative composition of Mauritia flexuosa swamps ( buritizais) to spatial and temporal landscape processes, thought to constrain the formation and persistence of this unique ecological community. We quantify the relationship between palm species density, diversity and age class structure, and landscape properties (e.g., geology, landform, soils) and processes (e.g., Tayassu pecari (white-lipped peccary) seedling and juvenile predation, long-term precipitation) of ten buritizais on Maracá Island, Brazil. This was accomplished through the collection and creation of digital landscape data, intensive field sampling, and rigorous statistical analyses (e.g., multiple stepwise regression, ANOVA, logistic regression, canonical correspondence analysis). The results of multiple stepwise regression suggest that one landscape property, landform, and one biotic process, peccary density; constrain M. flexuosa seedling and adult density (model R 2= 0.646, F 2, 0.05 =3.57, Pr>F=0.0956). Specifically, basin buritizais with intermediate peccary density have higher M. flexuosa seedling and adult density (F 1, 0.05 = 7.42, Pr>F=0.0416; F 1, 0.05 = 2.60 PR>F=0.168, respectively). Additionally, several local variables, i.e., accumulation of organic matter (r 2=0.99), persistence of surface water (r 2=0.944), and density of subordinate palm species (r 2=0.75), were highly correlated to one or both of these variables. Based on this study, peccary density, within a landscape context, appears to be a significant ecological impact to Mauritia flexuosa swamps. Subsequent research should attempt to identify how temporal and spatial variability in peccary density affect buritizal composition and structure, both within and among buritizais of differing landscapes; and explicitly test the role of white-lipped peccaries in maintaining tropical forest structure. While applied specifically to one ecological community, this research should be applicable to other ecological communities, particularly other isolated wetlands and the species of concern found therein.

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THE ROLE OF LARGE MAMMAL MYCOPHAGY ON DUNE ECOSYSTEM SUCCESSION
Sara Ashkannejhad and Thomas R. Horton ,Faculty of Environmental Forest Biology, SUNY-ESF, Syracuse, NY 13210.

Pinus contorta seedlings are establishing in isolated locations on the Oregon Dunes, south of Florence, Oregon, U.S.A., hundreds of meters from neighboring forest mycorrhizal networks. We examined mycophagy as an alternative inoculum source for the isolated dune seedlings. Small mammals are well-known vectors of mycorrhizal fungi. However, the vast unvegetated spaces on the dunes ecosystem may inhibit much small mammal movement from the forests where the fungi fruit to seedlings in remote areas. We looked instead to large mammals due to their greater mobility in traveling across the dunes. Most deer feces collected contained incredible quantities of spores. In a bioassay, sterile seedlings inoculated with these deer fecal pellets developed mycorrhizae dominated by the fungal genera Suillus and Rhizopogon .We compared the fungal species composition of the deer pellet bioassay with the fungal species composition of isolated seedlings collected on the dunes. The ectomycorrhizal fungal species on the isolated dune seedlings almost mirrored those found in the bioassay seedlings. Our results show that deer vector large, concentrated spore packages that readily inoculate seedlings in a laboratory setting. We suggest their mobility across the dunes and consequent spore packages may aid in the establishment of mycorrhizal seedlings under primary succession.

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UNCOVERING THE PAST: POST-GLACIAL VEGETATION AND NUTRIENT DYNAMICS OF A ST. LAWRENCE RIVER NORTHERN PIKE SPAWNING MARSH
Molly Beland and John M. Farrell , Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

Studies suggest that suitable northern pike spawning habitat, wet sedge meadows, have decreased between 1948 and 1995 in the upper St. Lawrence River coastal wetlands, while the areas unsuitable for spawning (dense cattail areas) have increased. The suspected cause of the shift towards cattail dominance is the altered hydrology caused by the Robert Moses-Saunders hydroelectric dam.

Changes in the vegetation composition of wetlands are considered to be indicators of an environmental disturbance such as climate change, hydrologic disturbance or nutrient fluxes. In this study I will conduct a pollen analysis of a 10-meter peat core to determine changes in vegetation community throughout the past 12,000 years. Pollen contained in the peat strata is an indicator of vegetation present at the site at the time of peat formation. The pollen has been chemically isolated from 100 1-cm sections in the top meter and every 10-cm in the remainder of the core and will be identified to genus and counted. Other analysis performed on the core include determinations of total organic nitrogen, total organic matter, C:N ratios, and 210-Pb and 14-C radioactive dating.

This study is aimed at discovering the responses of vegetation communities to environmental change in St. Lawrence River coastal wetlands.

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THE EFFECT OF MAP ACCURACY ON A PREDICTIVE LOGISTIC REGRESSION MODEL
Matthew F. Buff , Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

The purpose of this research is to examine the potential influence of land-cover map accuracy on a logistic regression, geographic information system (GIS) predictive model. I created a model to predict the occurrence of Thuja occidentalis (northern white-cedar) swamps in Madison County, New York State. Cedar swamps are of particular interest in that they provide habitat for many rare and protected plant species. I sought to assess how error in one of the model variables, i.e., land cover, might significantly influence model results. Using a GIS, I created a stratified random sample of 2,029 points with 187 points placed within four known cedar swamps and the balance throughout the county to represent non-cedar swamp habitat. I populated each point with potential explanatory variables, e.g., land cover, elevation, slope, aspect, and soil texture. I used logistic regression to examine these data and to calculate an equation to predict the probability of occurrence of cedar swamp. I applied the equation in a GIS to compute a probability surface for cedar swamp occurrence throughout the county. In addition to slope, elevation and soil texture, three of sixteen possible land cover classes (deciduous forest, evergreen forest, and woody wetlands) were significant in their ability to help predict the occurrence of cedar swamps. The land cover data used in this model are the United States Geological Survey - National Land Cover Data (NLCD). I examined NLCD per-class, versus overall, map accuracy statistics to determine how they could affect the probability surface. Errors of commission, where pixels are mislabeled as one of the three favorable land cover classes, would cause the model to overestimate the probability of cedar swamp occurrence. Errors of omission, where pixels are mislabeled as unfavorable land cover, would cause the model to underestimate the probability. I calculated the net effect of the NLCD errors to be a reduction in the total predicted area of cedar swamp from 26.97 km 2to 24.62 km 2.Many of the errors that deduct from the overall accuracy of the NLCD data are the result of confusion between classes that do not affect this particular model. Therefore, the potential effects of NLCD errors in this case are less than overall accuracy statistics might suggest.

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PREDICTING RARE PLANT HABITAT ON NEW YORK STATE FORESTS USING GIS
Matthew F. Buff , and Donald J. Leopold , Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

We present a predictive GIS model designed to identify suitable habitat for selected rare plant species in State Forests of New York. The goal of this project is to aid in forest management decisions and facilitate more efficient searches for rare plants in State Forests. The model is based on New York Natural Heritage Program data that identify known locations of rare plant species. GIS data representing approximately 100 environmental variables, e.g. topography, soils, and precipitation, are compiled for known rare plant locations and for a large number of random locations representing non-habitat. Logistic regression is used to determine which variables are important for distinguishing potential rare plant habitat from non-habitat and provides a predictive mathematical model. The model is then applied in a GIS to systematically identify potential habitat. Currently, our modeling efforts have focused on Trollius laxus Salisb. ssp . laxus (spreading globeflower), Jeffersonia diphylla (L.) Pers. (twin-leaf), and Hydrastis canadensis L. (golden-seal). A model has been completed for Trollius .Calibrating and evaluating the model are ongoing and involve comparing model output with known locations not used to build the model as well as historic locations, the geographic limits of Trollius in New York State, and field visits to predicted sites not previously known to contain Trollius .Preliminary results indicate that the model will eliminate over 99% of the state as unsuitable for Trollius and could significantly reduce search time for new locations of this plant. This model also has the potential to identify the relatively permanent landscape and environmental factors responsible for rare plant habitat. As an additional function, these types of models may be useful in discovering the limits of environmental conditions, such as temperature extremes, that control the range of rare plants. This modeling effort is being developed in cooperation with the Division of Lands and Forests of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

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EARTHWORMS OF THE SEA: SEA CUCUMBER FEEDING AND SUBTIDAL VEGETATION IN THE FLORIDA KEYS
Jennifer Conrad ,Christopher Ray , Karin Limburg , and Kimberly Schulz , Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

Holothuria mexicana is a species of sea cucumber found in tropical shallow waters. They are most abundant off the east coast of Central American but are found as far north as the southern coast of Florida. H. mexicana has a unique feeding behavior in which it mounds a pile of sand and deposits its fecal casts next to this mound. We investigated this feeding process and the relationship of surrounding vegetation to abundance of H. mexicana .To study the existence of a relationship between the presence of H. mexicana and vegetation types, we tested two different sites: a beach community at Long Key State Park and a seagrass bed off of Craig Key. In each of these sites, three transects were laid out. For each transect, two 0.25 m 2plots of the different vegetation species and their percent cover (including sand/muck) were recorded. These data showed that the beach site primarily consisted of Halodule beaudettei and sand, whereas the seagrass bed primarily consisted of Thalassia testudinum and sand. Diversity indexes could not be calculated because data were collected in the form of percent cover. However, it is clear from available data that the seagrass bed supports a greater number of plant species. To look for sea cucumbers, a five-minute timed meander was completed on each transect. None were found at the beach site, but many were observed in the seagrass bed, implying a relationship between specific vegetation communities and presence of H. mexicana .Four sea cucumbers were collected from the seagrass bed, weighed, and then placed in separate tanks with seawater and sand. The masses of fecal casts produced by each individual were recorded every twelve hours for 36 hours. The sea cucumbers processed a substantial amount of sediment (average 30g in 36 hours). Our data show no apparent relationship between the mass of individual sea cucumbers and the rate of sediment processing; however, different behavioral feeding modes may be present.

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STUDY OF INVERTEBRATE AND FISH POPULATION DIVERSITY BETWEEN FOUR DIFFERENT MANGROVE TREE SITES IN THE SOUTHERN FLORIDA KEY’S
Aaron Cushing , Myke C. Steighler ,Kimberly Schulz , and Karin Limburg , Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse NY, 13210.

Mangrove trees play an important role by providing habitat for marine invertebrates and fishes in Southern Florida and the Florida Keys. Invertebrates such as sponge, mussel, and crustacean species depend on mangrove prop roots. Larval fish often live among the roots and larger fish were commonly found feeding there. These roots at times can be completely or partially submerged in saline waters, or completely exposed to air. Our goal was to determine if submersion and water flow limit diversity and density of fish and invertebrates found on and among these prop roots. Our null hypothesis was that there are no significant differences in invertebrate densities in open ocean mangrove sites compared to bay side completely submerged mangrove sites not impacted by tidal movements effecting water levels. To test this, we set up two 100 meter transect lines along each root site and used a 0.5 meter quadrat which was placed every twenty meters among the prop roots, in which invertebrates were identified and counted by morpho-species. We then swam along each transect line after the water had cleared to count and identify morpho-species of fish. The Shannon Wiener index (H’) was used as a measure of diversity. The open ocean site was found to have an H’ value of 2.21, whereas the tidal creek site farthest upstream was found to have the lowest value at 1.79. The dry open ocean site, with exposed mangrove roots, was found to have the over all lowest diversity, with an H’ value of 0.19. Thus, diversity was found to decrease as the distance away from the open ocean increased.

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AGRICULTURAL LANDS: FOR THE BIRDS?
Andrew Drake , Scott Hadam , Nicholas Kirby , Bill Shaw , Alex Weir , and John Castello ,Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse NY 13210.

The islands of New Zealand house approximately 43 species of endemic birds, and many of these birds live in native forests. However, about 57 % of New Zealand’s land is used for agricultural purposes, in the form of pasture for production of wool and meat, as well as plantation forests for wood production. Thus, the need to conserve bird and biotic diversity while optimizing the economic gain of plantation forests is of great concern. Here, a literature review of bird biodiversity was conducted with the hypothesis that New Zealand’s plantation forests are more conducive to maintaining bird biodiversity than pasturelands, and that plantation forests may be optimized to promote bird diversity. Optimization of plantation forests is best achieved by planting a wide variety of tree and plant species, and by using varied genetic stocks to increase genetic variability in the stands. Also, it may be desirable to establish plantations adjacent to or within native forest stands, and to use native species preferentially over exotics. Minimizing site preparation is also preferred to avoid nutrient and woody debris disturbance, and stands of various age classes should be used to provide nesting sites for various bird species. In addition, using controlled burns and varied thinning schedules to provide a mixture of canopy closures aids in maintaining understory plant communities, which contribute to overall forest health. Through consideration of current plantation management practices as well adopting those suggested here, it is possible to maintain bird diversity and species richness values in plantation forests to levels comparable to native New Zealand forests.

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THE PERSISTENCE OF A REMNANT MARITIME HOLLY FOREST: SHORT AND LONG-TERM DYNAMICS OF A CRITICALLY IMPERILED PLANT COMMUNITY
Jodi A. Forrester , Donald J. Leopold
Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY-ESF
H. Brian Underwood
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, SUNY-ESF
Mary J. Foley
National Park Service, Northeast Region

We are examining the frequency, intensity and relative influence of natural and anthropogenic disturbances on a rare maritime holly forest remnant located on Fire Island National Seashore, NY. Changes in permanent vegetation plots over the past four decades reveal declining diversity and cover of the herbaceous and shrub layers, though the composition of the canopy species has remained similar. Diameter distributions of the main canopy species indicate that while Ilex opaca ,Sassafras albidum , and Nyssa sylvatica are increasing in size and entering larger size classes, these species are not replacing smaller stems. We are examining the age distributions and radial-increment patterns of canopy and understory species to determine the mode of regeneration for this unique forest type. Age distributions reveal that establishment of the present I. opaca population began in 1790 and recruitment continued until 1970s. Sassafras albidum and Amelanchier canadensis first established in the 1860s and 1900s respectively, but most recruitment occurred in the mid 1900s. Very few individuals have established since the 1970s indicating an overall lack of recruitment within the forest. Periods of release are evident in the tree-rings and coincide with the occurrence of unusually strong hurricanes, indicating such storm events may be important for canopy recruitment. A seed bank experiment was conducted to identify the species present in the seed bank that would germinate in response to the next large disturbance. Samples were collected from 26 locations in March 2002 and placed in the greenhouse 60 days later. The most abundant germinant in the seed bank is Rhus copallina .Amelanchier canadensis and S. albidum germinated in small quantity, while no I. opaca germinants were observed. The samples were placed in cold storage for a 2 nd cold stratification period. Herbivore exclosures were established beneath evergreen, deciduous, and mixed canopy to separate the influence of light and herbivory as mechanisms preventing establishment within the forest. Paired fenced plots and open plots were monitored monthly to record the number and cover of germinants. Early results indicate that both factors are influential, with woody species germinating more frequently in fenced plots beneath a deciduous canopy.

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EVALUATING SUCCESS OF SWEETGRASS ( HIEROCHLOE ODORATA ) GROWTH IN THREE RESTORATATION PLANTINGS
Howard Fung and Robin Kimmerer , Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

Growth of sweetgrass ( Hierochloe odorata (L.) P. Beauv) was analyzed after two years of establishment at two different field locations. Data from this experiment were used to determine how best to yield a healthy and large population of sweetgrass, even if competition was present. These data were collected by analyzing density of sweetgrass in subplots, measuring height of representative plants and calculating coverage of sweetgrass as well as all other plants that were present. The experimental field sites are located at 2 different locations. The first is on a Mohawk territory approximately 50 miles outside of Albany, NY (denoted as Canajoharie). This location had two separate plots, one a large-scale establishment, called Canajoharie large-scale establishment and the other a smaller garden plot called Canajoharie garden. The other field location is the LaFayette Field Experiment station, property of the SUNY College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry, located 3 miles outside of Syracuse. Mean tillers and mean culms per plot were highest at the Syracuse field site. Mean height (cm) was highest at the large-scale cultivation site and lowest at Syracuse. Coverage by sweetgrass was strongly negatively correlated by coverage with other plants at Syracuse and the Canajoharie garden plot but not the Canajoharie 1-acre field site. The major finding of this study was that large-scale establishment of sweetgrass greatly declined from in its presence from its original total density. The two smaller establishment efforts at the Syracuse and Canajoharie garden plots were much more successful, and the population size increased by 121% and 50%, respectively.

Key words: Sweetgrass, competition, tillers, culms, growth rate.

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A WATERSHED APPROACH TO EVALUATING VUNERABLE WETLAND ECOSYSTEMS: RELATING ANTHROPOGENIC FACTORS & HYDROGEOLOGIC SETTING (HGS) TO MINEROTROPHIC PEATLANDS OF NEW YORK STATE
Kevin S. Godwin , Matthew F. Buff , and Donald J. Leopold ,Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

We present our research that addresses the hierarchical linkage between watershed landscape properties and local conditions, i.e., environmental gradients and ecological community composition, of vulnerable fen wetlands. The goal of this research is to develop a GIS-based hydrogeologic setting (HGS) model, capable of predicting and evaluating water chemistry, plant community, and potential mitigation sites based on landscape data. The four project phases of this research are; acquisition/development of landscape data, field collection of hydrochemical and plant community data, quantification of the relationship between landscape and local variables (development of the model), and model calibration/validation. Model development used four hydrochemical sampling events and plant community data, and watershed data of three classes; Chemical (e.g., geology, soils), Physical (e.g., topography, surface water connection, landform), and Biological (e.g., landuse, human demographics) for 25 exemplary fens. Statistical analyses (e.g., multiple stepwise regression, ANOVA, logistic regression) were used to discern correlated properties at all spatial scales, identify landscape properties critical to fen formation and persistence, and relate HGS to the occurrence of fen community type and its characteristic species. The abiotic landscape properties retained in this model, i.e., geology, connection, topographic index (TI) and wetland area were strongly related to local hydrogeologic variables and fen ecological community (R 2=0.646, F=5.18, Pr>0.032, p<0.0001) with the occurrence of specific indicators being related to both biotic and abiotic landscape properties. When validated and refined this HGS model will provide a tool for evaluating fen site condition, predicting ecological response to landscape disturbance, and aiding in wetland restoration/mitigation efforts. While applied specifically to one vulnerable ecological community, this research and model should apply to other ecosystems, particularly other wetland communities’ dependent on specific landscape properties and/or local environmental variables.

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SOLID WASTE AGENCY OF NORTHERN COOK COUNTY VERSUS THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS – IMPLICATIONS FOR NEW YORK STATE WETLANDS
Kevin S. Godwin , Matthew F. Buff , and Sasha D. Hafner , Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

We present research that uses GIS to model the potential impacts of the US Supreme Court decision, Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) versus US Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) on NYS wetlands, not currently protected by state mandate, that are “connected” to “navigable waters” under several adjacency, i.e., proximity to waters of the United States, scenarios. Beneath this general goal are four specific objectives: 1) Create statewide GIS coverages, using the most geographically extensive wetland data available, i.e., New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) jurisdictional wetland maps, and 1:100,000 hydrography (i.e., intermittent and perennial hydrologic features); 2) Quantify the relationship between National Wetland Inventory (NWI) and NYS DEC wetland maps removing wetlands currently protected by state law; 3) Model adjacency of non-protected wetlands at four adjacency scenarios quantifying the area and number of wetlands that fall outside, i.e., “isolated”; those scenarios, and, 5) Investigate the potential impacts of the SWANCC ruling on a unique wetland community type (i.e., fen). Initial results suggest that the current state mandate protects greater than 60 % of wetland area when compared to NWI wetland maps but is biased towards large wetland complexes proximate to permanent hydrologic features. Modeling adjacency of NWI wetlands suggests that to protect 80% of the remaining wetlands would require federal adjacency to be defined as, “all wetlands that occur within 250 meters of a permanent or intermittent hydrologic feature.” Our investigation of the potential impacts of SWANCC to NYS fens points out two critical issues associated with the conservation and protection of wetlands;
1) Current mapping efforts are not comprehensive and often under-represent rare and unusual wetland community types, and 2) The current policy of “no net loss” and “replace in kind” is not feasible in a landscape context. For example, of 78 exemplary fens 66% were not recognized, as wetlands by NYS DEC. Similarly, to protect all of these unique wetlands would require federal adoption of a 1,000-meter adjacency policy. Such a definition would place greater than 50% of NYS land area under federal wetland mandate.

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THE BIOGEOGRAPHIC IMPLICATIONS OF THE NEW YORK PUBLIC ROAD NETWORK: USING A GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM (GIS) TO MODEL ROAD EFFECT ZONE
Kevin S. Godwin ,Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

Roads have been shown to detrimentally affect the landscape in a non-random predictable fashion. These physical and chemical impacts have been deemed the “road effect zone.” Using simple buffering techniques and the general assumption that road effect zone increased with increasing traffic volume a GIS based model was created that estimated the percentage of “road effect zone” and median island area, i.e., unpaved potential habitat bound on all sides by road effect zone, within and among 27 New York Counties oriented along a urban-rural gradient from New York City to the Canadian border. Using Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (i.e., TIGER/Line) files all roads within the study area were categorized as primary, secondary, and local, and differentially weighted by inferred traffic volume. Results suggest that there is a general trend of decreasing road effect zone with increasing distance from metropolitan New York City and secondary patterns of road effect around other metropolitan areas and areas of increased topographic relief (y=-0.0112x 3+ 0.5109x 2–81.982; R 2=0.8734). The average percentage of road effect zone within the study area is 26.97%, with the minimum percentage road effect zone estimated to be 12.97% in Hamilton County and the maximum estimated to be 77.74% in New York County. Conversely, median island area generally increases with decreasing percentage road effect (y=0.0048x 3– 0.0974x 2+3.0516x – 7.6151; R 2=0.5002) with the minimum median island area being 0.48 hectares in Queens County and the maximum being 124.90 hectares in Franklin County. The significance of these observed spatial patterns rests on ecological understanding of the species area relationship, the minimum habitat requirements of specific species, species vagility, the viability of small populations, and the ability of species to adapt to a rapidly changing landscape. This simple GIS model can serve as a template for the spatial analysis of road effect zone as well as promote easily testable hypotheses pertaining to the ecological impacts of roads.

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COMPARISON OF INVASIVE PLANT PRESENCE ON ANTHROPOGENICALLY DISTURBED AND UNDISTURBED SIDES OF LAKE KAITAWA, NZ
Jeanne Grace , Lisa Pearce , Erin Bennet , Jessica Demulder , Alex Weir and John Castello , Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse NY 13210.

Human colonization of previously unoccupied lands has been associated with colonization of invasive species. Alteration of the native habitat may facilitate the existence of some invasive plants. The purpose of this study was to compare the abundance of invasive plants in anthropogenically “modified” and “unmodified” areas surrounding Lake Kaitawa (Te Urwera National Park, New Zealand). The hypothesis is that the percent cover of invasive plants decreases as one moves away from a modified area. The alteration of that land in the modified sites allows for invasive species to become establish. Twenty-nine transect with 1m 2subplots at 5m and 10m were set up radiating from the lake. Percent cover of eleven selected invasive species was estimated in each subplot. Higher percent cover of the selected herbaceous invasive species was found in transects near the area of human modification. This was especially apparent when focusing on mayweed ( Anthemis cotula ), common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ), and buttercup ( Ranunculus acris ). Blackberry ( Rubus fructicosus ), a shrubby invasive, was found in the “modified” and “unmodified” areas. This suggests that the herbaceous species can exist primarily in the modified landscape. These species are generally annual ruderal species that inhabit frequently disturbed sites. Modifications of the land have created an optimal habitat for these species. Blackberry, however, may be a more aggressive invasive since it was found in the pristine area.

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IN VITRO PROPAGATION OF A NEW YORK-STATE PROTECTED FERN: OSMUNDA CINNAMOMEA (OSMUNDACEAE)
Jeanne E. Grace and Danilo D. Fernando ,Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse NY 13210.

There are over 30 species of ferns in New York State that are endangered, threatened or vulnerable. Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern) is considered as an exploitably vulnerable species (Raynal and Leopold , 1999). It is sold in nurseries and found in gardens and landscapings. In the wild, this species is an important part of vegetation at wet sites. This fern is an ideal species to study because spores are readily available and germinate within a week. This study is aimed to develop a protocol for the propagation of cinnamon fern. This technology will help in its mass propagation, as well as in understanding its biology. Growing spores in soil and under non-sterile condition is difficult because the contaminating algae easily dominate the spores. Therefore, it appears that an in vitro technique is an appropriate alternative to pursue. In vitro culture of ferns involves several steps including surface sterilization of spores, germination of spores on a suitable culture medium, growth of gametophytes to sexual maturity, determination of optimal fertilization time, and transplanting of sporophytes. Surface sterilization of cinnamon fern spore was done using 70% ethyl alcohol only, 0.5% sodium hypochlorite only, or a combination of 70% ethyl alcohol and 0.5% sodium hypochlorite. The duration of surface sterilization examined include 10, 20 and 30 sec. Our results show that surface sterilization for 20 sec using only 0.5% sodium hypochlorite prevented contamination and allowed spore germination at a rate similar to that of the non-surface sterilized spores. Results on the percentage germination on media with various pH levels (5, 6, 7 and 8) will be presented. The timing of sexual maturity and success of fertilization will be determined.

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RAINFOREST MICROHABITAT STRATIFICATION AND SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF NOROPS LIZARDS
Wellington Guzman , Student of Environmental & Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

Understanding the factors that influence habitat selection for one species may lead to better ecosystem conservation for many other species. I was interested in the relationship between the habitat-matrix model [1] and the geospatial attributes [2] for anole species. These two relationships may help explain food preference and ultimately habitat preference. I studied various lizards of the Norops genus at La Suerte Biological field station in Limon, Costa Rica during the months of June and July 2002. I analyzed 86 anoles comprising three species: N. humilis, N. limifrons ,N. oxylophus. Observations show lack of competition for food based on substrate and water proximity .There was a positive correlation for all body attributes except Forelimb. Morphological results provide more evidence supporting the habitat-matrix model, and food competition was thus minimized. Further analysis to prepare the geospatial data, with additional topographic data required for the GIS analysis, is in progress.

[1] Pounds, J. Alan , 1988. Ecomorphology, Locomotion, and Microhabitat Structure: Patterns in a Tropical Mainland Anolis Community .Ecological Monographs, Vol. 58 Issue 4, pp 299-320

[2] Hopkins , Paul . 2001 class notes, unpublished. Introduction to GIS .SUNY ESF

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TRENDS IN SODIUM AND CHLORIDE IN THE MOHAWK RIVER, NEW YORK: THE EFFECT OF FIFTY YEARS OF ROAD SALT APPLICATION.
Sasha. D. Hafner, Kevin. S. Godwin, and Matthew. F. Buff Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY. 13210.

Road salt (primarily NaCl) has been widely used to aid in snow and ice removal in the United States since the 1950's, with clear safety benefits. However, anthropogenic loading of NaCl has been shown to detrimentally affect groundwater quality, and native flora and fauna. Here, we quantify the changes in ionic concentration and flux of water draining a central New York State watershed, the Mohawk Watershed, from the 1950s through the 1990s, and attempt to identify sources of the observed changes by quantifying the chemical, physical, and biological landscape properties thought to influence water chemistry. We showed that concentrations of Na +and Cl -have increased from the 1950s through the 1990s (14 to 34 mg L -1 ), while other ions have decreased or remained the same. The total flux of NaCl from the watershed increased from 16 to 46 kg km -2 d-1 over this same time period. The concentration of NaCl in the River water has continued to increase through the 1990s. Road salt application, an estimated addition of 39 kg km -2 d-1 in the 1990s, is the only potential source of so large an increase of the properties we analyzed, and is almost certainly responsible for this increase. Ecological effects of these changes likely occur proximate to the source of road salt. Additionally, the alteration of a natural flux to this degree is a striking example of human activity on a small area drastically influencing elemental fluxes on a larger scale.

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TRENDS IN MAIZE, RICE, AND WHEAT YIELDS FOR 188 NATIONS OVER THE PAST 40 YEARS: A PREVALENCE OF LINEAR GROWTH
Sasha D. Hafner, Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY. 13210.

To prevent or prepare for future food shortages we need to have an understanding of the likely magnitude and distribution of future cereal yields. To this end, predictions of cereal yields have commonly been made, using various assumptions. However, the employed assumptions, that yields tend to follow a given trend over time, have not been extensively tested. This study presents a test of the applicability of two general models to time series of maize ( Zea mays L.), rice ( Oryza sativa L.), and wheat ( Triticum aestivum L.) yields for 188 nations to characterize past trends, to assess the importance of various trends on a global scale, and to determine what factors might be responsible for the presence of slowing yield growth and yield decline. Results showed that linear growth has been the most common trend, occurring in more than half of all nation-crop data sets, and that growth greater than 33.1 kg ha -1 yr -1 (the rate at which global cereal yields must grow to have the current per-capita production in 2050) constituted 20% of the data sets and was the most important trend in terms of global area harvested, production, and population. A trend of slowing growth was present in roughly one-sixth of the data sets, and the nations that this subset comprised made a small contribution to global area harvested, production, and population (less than 10%). Nation-crop data sets that showed growth greater than 33.1 kg ha -1 yr -1 had much greater yields than those that showed slowing yield growth, demonstrating that yield growth is not being limited by general physiological constraints to crop productivity. The results of a logistic regression procedure showed that the relative frequency of slowing growth and yield decline was negatively correlated to per-capita GDP for maize and wheat, and to growth in fertilizer rate for maize. In addition to GDP, latitude was negatively correlated with the relative frequency of yield decline. These results suggest that both economic and biophysical factors have played a role in limiting yield growth.

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EFFECTS OF COARSE WOODY DEBRIS ON CARBON AND NITROGEN CYCLING IN A TEMPERATE FOREST
Sasha. D. Hafner ,Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY. Peter M. Groffman , Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY.

An understanding of the contribution of temperate forests to the global C cycle and the ecological roles of coarse woody debris (CWD) in these forests requires an examination of the impact of CWD on nutrient cycling. CWD may create a flux of carbon (C) and nutrients to the underlying soil, which could influence soil chemistry and microbiology, by acting as a C and energy source. In the current study, we measured the concentration of dissolved organic C (DOC), nitrogen (N), and other solutes in water leaching from the litter layer and from logs in a deciduous lowland forest. We estimated the total flux of each solute by developing a two-dimensional numerical model of water flow through CWD. We looked for differences in soil physics, chemistry, and microbiology beneath CWD, beneath litter, and in plots with litter removed. Leachate from logs at this site contained very high concentrations of DOC (ca. 2 x 10 2), and lower concentrations of N, leading to a substantial flux of C to the soil beneath logs (ca. 0.5-1 x 10 2g C m-1 yr). This flux was much greater than that beneath litter, but lower on an ecosystem level. Concentrations of soil N were lower under CWD than under litter, and the microbial C:N ratio was higher. Denitrification rate was lower under CWD than litter, while respiration was greater under CWD and litter than in the cleared plots. The responses of soil chemistry and microbiology to CWD or litter presence appear to be due in part to the flux of C and N from detritus. Our results suggest that CWD may contribute to soil organic matter formation, thus acting as a C sink, and leaching of C from CWD should be included in C budgets. Both litter and CWD have an impact on soil chemistry and microbiology, and these impacts have numerous implications for nutrient cycling in deciduous forests.

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WHO’S DOING THE CHEWING? ASESSING THE ROLE OF NATIVE HERBIVORES FOR THE CONTROL OF THE AQUATIC INVASIVE PLANT, HYDROCHARIS MORSUS-RANAE
Alison D. Halpern , Donald J. Leopold , Kim E. Schulz , John M. Farrell , and Dylan Parry ,Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY-College of Environmental Science and Forestry , Syracuse, NY. 13210

Hydrocharis morsus-ranae (Hydrocharitaceae), Eurasian frogs-bit, is a free-floating, aquatic invasive plant found primarily in wetlands along the St. Lawrence River and eastern Lake Ontario. A significant decline in native submerged aquatic plants is one documented impact of this invasive plant; however, further studies regarding the impact and ecology of H. morsus-ranae are lacking. Moreover, control protocols have yet to be established. Based on our preliminary studies, we hypothesize that: 1) herbivory by native herbivores, e.g ., the aquatic mite Hydrozetes (Oribatida) and semi-aquatic Pyralid (Lepidoptera) larvae decreases the reproductive output and growth of H. morsus-ranae and 2) abiotic factors influenced by water level, e.g ., nutrient availability and temperature affect the distribution and reproductive output of this invasive plant. To test these hypotheses, we will conduct controlled greenhouse and field experiments as well as a field study to address the following objectives:

  1. To quantify the impact of herbivory upon the reproductive output, growth, and photosynthetic potential of H. morsus-ranae
  2. To determine the optimum number and introduction period of herbivores needed for the maximum effect of herbivory
  3. To compare distribution and densities of native herbivores associated with H. morsus-ranae and native aquatic macrophytes
  4. To determine how abiotic variables dependent upon water level influence the root:shoot ratio and reproductive output of H. morsus-ranae using a regression model and ANOVA

It is imperative to understand the ecology of this invasive plant while its distribution in the United States. We believe that our research will enable scientists and wetland managers to implement effective control and preventative protocols against H. morsus-ranae using both biotic and abiotic factors.

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MEASURING AND MODELING PHOTOSYNTHESIS ALONG AN ALTITUDINAL GRADIENT IN THE LUQUILLO FOREST, PUERTO RICO
Nancy Harris , Oscar Abelleira , and Charles Hall ,Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY-College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

The ecosystem-level response to increasing atmospheric CO 2concentrations has been subject to debate due to our inability to determine if tropical forests act as carbon sources or sinks. This has lead to failure in establishing accurate and reliable global carbon budgets. Understanding changes in CO 2uptake across different environmental gradients within forest ecosystems might help to explain disagreements in the global carbon budget by further characterizing and differentiating total forest ecosystem CO 2assimilation. In order to observe differences in CO 2uptake across gradients of light, temperature, and moisture, surveys of leaf CO 2exchange were conducted along a transect of elevation (sea level to 1050 m) in the Sonadora watershed of the Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF), Puerto Rico, during summer and winter of 2002. Rates of photosynthesis and respiration were measured at different heights in the tree canopy at each site by using a LI-COR 6400 photosynthesis machine. Four representative species were sampled: Dacryodes excelsea ,Prestoea montana ,Cecropia peltata , and Micropholis garcinifolia .Species light curves were generated at each elevation by plotting net photosynthesis versus incident photosynthetically active light radiation (PAR). These relationships were then incorporated into a Fortran program that models annual CO 2assimilation of each species at different elevations using simulated light and temperature values as inputs. Model results indicate that light use efficiency for most tree species measured increases with increasing elevation so that at lower elevations, maximum CO 2assimilation occurs at lower light levels. Net photosynthesis for three of the species modeled was maximized at intermediate elevations within the range (600m). Respiration rates for measured tree species do not appear to be significantly different from each other, but were slightly lower at intermediate elevations. The final portion of the model, which is still under construction, incorporates spatial information from a GIS so that for each cell in the map, assimilation rates per unit leaf area are calculated.

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VERTICAL PATTERNS OF MACROINVERTEBRATE DIVERSITY ON MANGROVE ROOTS
Sara Hasenstab , Erin Saul , (Supporting faculty: ) Kim Schultz ,and Karin Limburg , Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

Mangrove roots support a very diverse aquatic community. Few studies have been conducted on mangrove root fauna, so information is scarce, especially concerning sponges. In the Florida Keys we looked at Red Mangrove ( Rhizophora mangle ) root communities, which are dominated by sponges and tunicates. To see whether the structure of these communities is affected by water depth, we observed randomly chosen roots on the shallow and deep shores of a mangrove canal on Long Key. Two sites on each shore were chosen, and three roots at each site were marked off. Water depth at high and low tide and distance from the substrate of each macro-invertebrate species found were measured in centimeters. Total counts of individuals on each root were recorded, and samples were collected for identification. We investigated the relationship between water depth and species diversity, along with species distribution in relation to distance from average water depth. Diversity was slightly higher on the deep shore, with a Shannon diversity index (H ’) of 2.61 for the deep shore and 2.30 for the shallow shore, and a Simpson’s index (D) of 0.91 (deep) vs. 0.86 (shallow). When those species found on both shores were compared, deep shore individuals had a more variable range than those on the shallow shore. Communities on the deep shore were also characterized by additional deeper-dwelling species. Movement of motile species in response to tides was tested by marking snails and observing them. No movement was seen, but time of year and length of the study may have influenced results. Sample sizes were too small to draw conclusions about motile species. Our results overall suggest that water depth does influence mangrove root community structure. Deeper water may allow for more species to colonize and survive, but it also seems that those additional species may force others to colonize outside of their normal range.

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WHAT CONTROLS BIODIVERSITY AND RARITY IN FENS IN THE FALL CREEK WATERSHED, CENTRAL NEW YORK?
J. Hope Hornbeck, Matt Buff, Kevin Godwin, Stephen Reynolds, Sara Scanga, Matt Young and Donald Leopold
Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology
Beth Boyer
Faculty of Forest and Natural Resource Management
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

The Fall Creek Watershed (FCWS), central New York, has a significant number of rich fens that support a high diversity of plant species. These unique, calcareous wetlands harbor large numbers of rare species, and therefore are important sites for conservation. A series of studies are examining how topography, hydrology, geology, local environmental gradients, dispersal dynamics and disturbance history control species diversity and rarity in these fens. A study of the influence of landscape properties on local environmental gradients in New York fens suggests that rich fens in the FCWS occupy distinct landscape settings that determine local environmental gradients and associated ecological community and indicator species occurrence. The distribution of the rich fen indicator Trollius laxus ssp . laxus , a rare perennial herb confined to rich fens, is being examined via GIS analysis and statistical modeling of topography, geology and climate. This model will identify potential Trollius habitat and quantify environmental variables that drive or limit its distribution. Examination of avian diversity in the FCWS indicates that microtopographic gradients within fens produce a mosaic of structurally diverse habitats and variable water depths that attract a rich avian community. A proposed study will examine correlations between landscape and local-scale environmental variability and its influence on plant diversity within these fen sites. Further, a model of seed dispersal by water among fen sites will examine the role of Trollius metapopulation dynamics in population establishment. The influence of disturbance history on diversity and community succession in FCWS fens is also being examined. The synthesis of these studies will provide ecological insights and conservation strategies for rare species and communities in fragmented landscapes.

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FACTORS AFFECTING NEARSHORE SEAGRASS COMMUNITY DIVERSITY AND BIOMASS IN THE FLORIDA KEYS
Christopher W. Hotaling , Nicole E.M. Hotaling, Ben Carson , and Klara Burg Brewer, Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY-ESF, One Forestry Drive, Syracuse, NY 13210.

Project conducted under the guidance of Drs. Karin E. Limburg and Kimberly L. Schulz

Coastal seagrass communities are often found adjacent to mangrove wetlands and these wetlands can be a source of particulate organic matter (POM), which can provide a nitrogen subsidy to the seagrasses. On the other hand, the presence of mangroves between uplands and marine seagrass beds can act to intercept nitrogen and phosphorus in runoff coming from the land. Seagrass and mangrove communities separately and in combination are important nursery grounds for marine organisms. Therefore, the presence or absence of mangroves adjacent to seagrass beds may affect seagrass productivity and could result in differences in community diversity. We investigated three sites representing a gradient of low to high mangrove presence by measuring macrophyte (plant and algae) biomass, diversity, and species importance, fish diversity, and the species richness of macroinvertebrates, meiofauna, and plankton. Several abiotic measures of nutrient conditions (sediment organic matter content, and total N and total P concentrations in the water) were also examined. Although the level of mangrove influence did not affect soil organic matter content, and neither fish nor macrophyte diversity differed significantly among sites, the macrophyte community was not the same at these three sites. The low-mangrove site was dominated by seagrasses ( Thalassia testudinum and Halodule wrightii ) and algae, while the moderate- and high-mangrove sites were each dominated by a single species of seagrass, T. testudinum and H. halodule , respectively. All three sites appear to be acting as nursery areas since all fish observed were juveniles and the majority of the plankton at each site consisted of nauplii. Further investigation is needed to quantify the degree of mangrove influence on these nearshore seagrass communities and to consider other possible abiotic factors, such as water depth and substrate type, which are known to impact seagrass community distributions.

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THE EFFECTS OF CHANNELIZATION ON FISH DIVERSITY AND ABUNDANCE IN A FLORIDA TIDAL MANGROVE STREAM
Mike Jadlicky , Jon DeOlden , Christian Wissler , Leslie Resseguie ,Karin Limburg ,and Kimberly Schulz , Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

Unnatural channelization of lotic systems may alter the diversity and abundance of fish communities. The goal of this study is to establish differences between disturbed and undisturbed sections of a mangrove stream system. To determine these differences, three random transects at three different sites on Snapper Creek, Long Key, Florida were laid. At each of these transects depth profiles were recorded, along with the visual sightings of fish species and number of individuals. The three sampling sites were different in structure. One site was entirely channelized, while another was an undisturbed section, and the last site contained features of both. As expected, the channelized section of the stream had the lowest diversity and abundance, while the undisturbed section had much higher diversity and abundance. The section of the stream that we sampled that was a mixture of disturbed and undisturbed features had the highest diversity and abundance of fishes of all our sites. This high diversity was likely due to ample cover for juvenile fishes to seek refuge, and there was a large section of open water for larger fish to move through. The effects of channelization are easily seen to have a negative impact on fish communities. Possible effects of disturbance should be considered before action is taken to alter sensitive systems such as mangrove streams.

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HOW DO BLANDING’S TURTLES FIT INTO ST. LAWRENCE RIVER AND LAKE ONTARIO WETLAND ECOSYSTEMS?
Heather Jensen
Masters Candidate
James Gibbs
Major Advisor
Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

The Blanding’s turtle, Emydoidea blandingi , is a semi-aquatic turtle that inhabits shallow, freshwater habitats in the northeastern United States and Canada. Blanding’s turtle populations are declining throughout a majority of their range and are listed as a threatened species in New York. The decline has been attributed to delayed sexual maturation, high rates of nest predation, and habitat loss. Blanding’s turtles often move considerable distances between wetlands and are thus sensitive to habitat fragmentation. This is a potential issue in the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario region where water flow is regulated by the Moses Saunders Dam. This regulation alters the natural hydroperiod, which may result in changes in wetlands, such as habitat homogenization.

This study is aimed at finding common characteristics of Blanding’s habitat. To this end, turtle population and dominant vegetation were surveyed in ten freshwater marshes in the upper St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Temperature sensitive radio transmitters were attached to twelve Blanding’s turtles in three of these wetlands. This information will allow us to better understand the effects of water regulation on the species and perhaps be applied to locate additional Blanding’s populations.

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MODELING STOICHIOMETRY OF SESTON C:P IN LAKES—APPLICATION OF FOOD QUALITY FOR ZOOPLANKTON AND FISH LARVAE
Xinli Ji and Kimberly Schulz , Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

Nutritional quality of seston (as indexed mostly by seston C:P ratio), primarily composed of phytoplankton, has been shown to affect growth and development of zooplankton, which is the important food source for planktivorous fish and some fish larvae. Higher P content of seston will allow better growth and reproduction for zooplankton with high body P content, such as Daphnia, which is the important food for the early stage development of some fish larvae not only in quantity but also in quality. Based on importance of seston food quality and the difficulties in sampling lakes and analyzing seston C:P, we developed a model to predict seston C:P from three limnological parameters which can be assessed easily: light, water temperature, and phosphorus concentration. With this model, we expect to predict seston C:P and display the spatial pattern of seston C:P variation over the scale of the whole lake. This will offer an insight in dynamics structuring zooplankton community and help identify the ‘hotspots’ of both poor and good seston quality in a lake so to suggest fish larvae survival status.

Our preliminary results displayed seston food in Oneida Lake had a slight degradation in quality since 1992 due to better light penetration as a result of zebra mussel filtering, and lower P loading. However the general trend of daphnid population didn’t really drop in density and biomass. This indicated that the food quality haven’t decreased below the threshold for Daphnia . It could also suggest a possible tradeoff between food quality and quantity.

Our Q model needs validation from future field and experimental data. We expect its further application, once validated, in ecological stoichiometry studies, especially on freshwater lake ecosystems, such as, with the aid of spatial modeling tools (e.g. GIS), we can use this model to visualize and display the spatial variation of seston C:P in whole-lake scale, therefore to further predict different food quality zones/levels in a lake.

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THE EFFECT OF BEAVER POND RECESSION ON THE SIZE DISTRIBUTIONS OF THE GREEN FROG, RANA CLAMITANS
Kimberly Keener , Nancy Karraker , and James Gibbs , Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

The decline of amphibian populations and species worldwide in the recent years is a cause for growing concern and awareness in many areas of conservation biology. Therefore, any research that reveals aspects of amphibian populations that could add to the body of information needed to address this problem is critical. In this study, the effect of beaver pond recession on the size distributions of the green frog Rana clamitans was examined. Five receding and five static (not drying) ponds were sampled for frogs and vegetation over a period of four weeks at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s Huntington Forest in Newcomb, NY. A highly significant difference in the sizes of green frogs was found in these two pond types (p<0.00, 95%CI). Larger frogs tended towards ponds that were static while smaller frogs tended towards those were receding. As well, there was a significant difference in the percent vegetation near the shoreline found at static versus receding ponds (p<0.00, 95%CI). Static ponds thus had much greater percent vegetation than the receding ponds. Overall, these results indicate that the degree of beaver pond recession does affect the size distributions of R. clamitans and that percent vegetation cover may be a factor in this. This is important in understanding how amphibians distribute according to habitat type, and thus has great conservation implications. However, future studies might examine if there is a direct relationship between the changes in vegetation found near the shoreline of beaver ponds throughout the year and the changes in amphibian distributions that may occur as a result.

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PREDICTING VEGETATION CHANGE IN LAKE ONTARIO COASTAL WETLANDS AS A RESULT OF FLUCTUATING WATER DEPTH
Nathan Kelsall, Faculty of Environmental Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210. Donald Leopold, Faculty of Environmental Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

Great Lake coastal wetlands historically developed under large lake hydrologic conditions and disturbance at several spatio-temporal scales. Researchers have predicted that reduced water level fluctuations due to management are gradually decreasing wetland structural and species diversity, assuming that coastal wetland species are adapted to dynamic water regimes. The goal of my thesis is to create a spatial model capable of predicting how much plant community change has occurred and could occur due to water level management using vegetation, climatic and hydrologic data. This model is being developed and calibrated using data from South Sandy Pond fen, Oswego County, NY, for which vegetation data were collected during summer 2001. Additionally I have performed a seed bank study, placing soil samples from each plot under moist and inundated conditions to observe what species would germinate under differing moisture regimes. I have also performed a search of the available literature, investigating wetland plant responses to water level fluctuations. During summer 2002 I monitored water levels, relative to the soil surface, at the sample plots established in 2001. Finally, I have digitized aerial photos by cover class for five time periods (1955, 1965, 1974, 1986, and 1995) to empirically quantify vegetation change since implementation of the present management plan in 1972, and to validate results of the vegetation model. Vegetation sampling revealed four vegetation types in the wetland: ericoid, mixed shrub, graminoid, and swamp. Different species emerged from soil samples exposed to different water regimes, with fewer species germinating from inundated samples. The literature search revealed several germination and growth strategies relating to water level. Finally, analysis of the aerial photos revealed a 27% decrease in open ericoid fen and an approximately equal increase in swamp cover, partially validating the initial hypothesis. An initial wetland hydrologic model has been created and validated using 2002 water level data. These data will be used in the creation of the final vegetation model.

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DEVELOPMENT OF A TISSUE REGENERATION PROTOCOL FOR WILLOW
Nick Kirby , Shiliang Zhang and Danilo D. Fernando , Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

This study aims to develop a protocol for the efficient in vitro regeneration of willow through adventitious organogenesis. To induce organogenesis, segments from young stem and hypocotyl were cultured on callus induction medium (WPBM supplemented with 0.1 mg/l 2,4-D, 0.05 mg/l BA, and vitamins). Five genotypes were investigated for their callus producing abilities and Salix eriocephala clone S287 was the most prolific callus producer. The callus was then transferred onto charcoal medium (WPBM and vitamins only) for 1 day. The resulting calli were allowed to develop for 2-6 weeks with a subculture after the second week. They were then transferred onto a shoot induction medium (MS basal medium supplemented with 0.3 mg/l BA and vitamins) where they readily proliferated, turned green and red, and formed nodulate structures. The calli were subcultured on the same medium every 2 weeks. So far, no shoots have formed from calli derived from young stem. However, in calli derived from hypocotyls, multiple shoots started to develop. The shoots containing small pieces of callus tissue were individually separated and were transferred onto root induction medium (MS basal medium supplemented with 0.1 mg/l kinetin). Within a week, adventitious roots developed from the calli and most basal node of young stems. Rooted shoots have also been successfully grown in soil with very high rate of survival. Although the protocol presented here require further optimization, these results already show that callus from hypocotyl explants are amenable to shoot formation and therefore, available to be used for genetic transformation experiments.

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COMPARISON OF SYMMETRY OF CHRYSEMYS PICTA IN ROADSIDE VS. ISOLATED WETLANDS THROUGHOUT CENTRAL NEW YORK
Angel M. Knox , Dave Steen , and James P. Gibbs , Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

The degree of symmetry of an individual has been directly related to the quality of that individual’s habitat during growth and development. The purpose of this study was to compare fluctuating asymmetry of Chrysemys picta between roadside wetlands and wetlands isolated from roads. We trapped turtles in both wetland types, took digital photographs of each individual’s carapace, and performed morphometric analyses of eight different shell characteristics, using the program tpsDig. We then assigned an index of symmetry to each shell characteristic using the following equation: FA = (Right-Left/Right+Left). T-tests comparing the means of these indices resulted in no significant difference in fluctuating asymmetry between roadside and isolated wetland turtle populations. This suggests that roads do not have a significantly adverse effect on the symmetry of aquatic turtles during growth and development within roadside wetlands.

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WILLOW SEEDLINGS AND STEM CALLUS EXPRESSING GREEN FLUORESCENT PROTEIN
Jeffrey Lombardo , Shiliang Zhang and Danilo D. Fernando ,Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

Genetically engineering willow for the purpose of obtaining useful traits is dependent on a transformation protocol that is compatible with an in vitro regeneration system. While a protocol for the regeneration of whole plants from callus derived from young stems and seedlings is being developed, we decided to initiate a complimentary work on the development of a transformation protocol using callus from the two explants. Therefore, the objective of this project is to determine the effects of various factors (type of explant, length of sonication, and condition of co-cultivation) on percentage transformation using seedlings of Salix eriocephala clone 9931 and stem callus from Salix discolor clone S365. We used the green fluorescent protein in optimizing our protocol because it involves a non-destructive assay and allows early identification of transgenics following co-cultivation with Agrobacterium .Calli and seedlings were co-cultivated with Agrobacterium tumefaciens (containing pBIN m-gfp5-ER), which were initially sonicated for 0, 1, 3 and 5 min. During co-cultivation, one set was incubated under dark condition and the other set under light condition. After 2-day co-cultivation in liquid culture, the samples were transferred on a solid co-cultivation medium for 1-2 days. The samples were examined under fluorescence microscopy using a filter cube specific for the green fluorescent protein. Our results show that using either stem callus or seedlings, the highest percentage transformation was achieved under 5 min sonication followed by dark incubation during co-cultivation. The development of gene transfer technique in willow will provide a new tool for the exploration at the molecular level of basic developmental processes important for woody plants such as flowering and wood formation.

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PHYLOGENETIC ANALYSIS OF TENUIVIRUS ISOLATES FROM BLACK SPRUCE IN NEW YORK
Som S. Mukherjee and John D. Castello. Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

Tenuiviruses are a small family of negative-sense ss-RNA viruses putatively classified within the order Bunyaviridae, which, interestingly, contains several families of vertebrate-infecting viruses. Morphologically, tenuiviruses appear as thin, flexuous rods under the electron microscope and are important infectious agents of graminaceous crops in the tropical regions of the world. In the United States, tenuiviruses have been reported in corn in Florida, and in black spruce in New York. Molecular characterization followed by phylogenetic analysis of the black spruce tenuiviruses (BSV), suggested that there were two distinct isolates designated BSV-OF and BSV-SYR, the former closely related to the Maize Stripe Virus and the latter distinct from any other known tenuivirus. In the current study, other black spruce trees in the Adirondack Mountains were tested for BSV using RT-PCR. Tenuiviruses were detected in three more trees, of 33 trees tested. The isolates were designated BSV-3, BSV-7, and BSV-8 respectively. Total cellular RNA was extracted from infected needles and tested by RT-PCR for the presence of tenuivirus RNA. The viral RNA was reverse transcribed and sequenced, which yielded a 399 bp product for each isolate for alignment and phylogenetic studies. Phylogenetic trees obtained by using the parsimony analysis method, using Uukuniemi Virus as the outgroup, revealed the presence of three distinct groups of BSV isolates among the five isolates obtained and aligned to one another using ClustalW and PAUP. All five isolates were more closely related to Maize Stripe Virus than they were to any other known tenuivirus. BSV-SYR was the most distinct isolate, followed by BSV-3 and BSV-8, which were closely related to each other forming the second group of isoates. BSV-OF and BSV-7 were the most closely related isolates to Maize Stripe Virus and constituted the third distinct group of isolates. These findings raise several interesting questions about the introduction, transmission and epidemiology of the BSV, and comprehensive molecular and serological tests are required to fully characterize the BSV isolates.

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IDENTIFICATION OF VIRUS ISOLATES DETECTED IN WATER DRAINING FOREST AND PASTURES IN NEW ZEALAND
Som S. Mukherjee and John D. Castello . Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

Viruses infect forest trees and grasses without producing obvious symptoms. Plant viruses also have been isolated from soil, water, clouds, fog, and glacial ice. In a study undertaken in New Zealand to isolate plant viruses from rivers and streams draining forest and pasture lands, and utilize them as potential gene vectors for forest tree improvement; eight isolates of infectious plant viruses were obtained from three sites sampled in the North Island. Identification and characterization of those isolates was undertaken. A host range was conducted for each. Six distinct isolates representing the Tobamovirus and Tombusvirus families were isolated following repeated single-lesion transfers to isolate the viruses into pure culture. RT-PCR amplified products were sequenced for four of the six isolates. The isolates were identified as 1. Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV-NZ), 2. Tomato Mosaic Virus (ToMV-NZ), 3. Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus (TBSV-NZ), 4. an unidentified Tombusvirus, 5. an unidentified Tobamovirus, and 6. an unknown isometric particle resembling a Tombusvirus. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that TMV-NZ is most closely related to a series of TMV lethal mutant strains (GenBank TMO 509081-83), ToMV-NZ was most similar to a ToMV-Queensland isolate (GenBank AF 332868), while TBSV-NZ had maximum sequence similarity to a TBSV-Cherry strain (GenBank M21958). Further molecular and serological studies are being conducted for complete characterization of all isolates.

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LICHEN LIFE ON THE BEECH: A COMPARISON OF EPIPHYTIC LICHEN COMMUNITIES ON SILVER AND RED BEECH
Amanda Park , Christy White , Norman Dart , Dr. John Castello , and Dr. Alex Weir , Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

Lichens contribute to the species diversity and biomass of forests around the world and play vital roles in ecosystem function by cycling nutrients (Hofstede et al, 2001).

We investigated two species of southern beech in Te Urewera National Park, New Zealand and hypothesized from personal observation that Nothofagus fusca, red beech, has a greater diversity lichens than Nothofagus menziesii, silver beech. We also hypothesized that the lichen communities on red and silver beech were not similar, and that lichens demonstrated habitat selectiveness based on morphology. N. fusca , and N. menziesii were sampled in pairs, recording percent cover and morphospecies of lichens, as well as general landscape data. Shannon-Wiener diversity indices were 2.03 for silver beech and 1.10 for red beech, and a percent community similarity was calculated to be 33.27%. Using a two-tailed t-test, it was determined that crustose lichens show habitat selectiveness for red beech, and foliose and fruticose lichens are habitat selective on silver beech. These calculations support our initial hypotheses that there is greater lichen diversity on silver beech than red beech, and that the lichen community composition and types of lichens on these trees are different.

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BRYOPHYTES ON THE BEECH: A COMPARISON OF EPIPHYTIC MOSS COMMUNITIES ON SILVER AND RED BEECH
Amanda Park , Christy White , Norman Dart , Dr. John Castello , and Dr. Alex Weir , Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

New Zealand trees house many species of epiphytic organisms, including a wide variety of bryophytes. We observed a difference in moss diversity and community composition on two species of southern beech in Te Urewera National Forest in New Zealand. From these observations, we hypothesized that Nothofagus menziesii , silver beech, has a more diverse moss community than Nothofagus fusca, red beech. We also hypothesized that these communities are different, in terms of the number moss morphospecies, the percent cover, and frequency of occurrence. N. fusca , and N. menziesii were sampled in pairs, recording percent cover and morphospecies of mosses, as well as general landscape data. Shannon-Wiener diversity indices were 2.153 for silver beech and 1.714 for red beech, and a percent community similarity was calculated to be 53.807 %. Our hypothesis that moss diversity on silver beech is greater than on red beech was supported, but it is unclear if the percent similarity was low enough to describe these moss communities as dissimilar.

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GENE CONSTRUCTION AND TRANSFORMATION OF AMERICAN CHESTNUT POLLEN GRAINS
Javonna L. Richards and Danilo D. Fernando ,Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

A biolistic approach to genetically transform American chestnut ( Castanea dentata ) pollen is currently under investigation. The present goal of this research is to optimize parameters for transgene introduction, including germination time prior to bombardment, target distance, and pressure. These parameters will be adjusted as necessary to increase the rates of transformed pollen generated by the procedure. Male catkins collected prior to pollen shed in early summer were used as a source of pollen grains. The male catkins were used immediately as a pollen source or stored at -20 &Mac176;C for later use. The medium used for pollen germination and bombardment was modified Brewbaker and Kwack. Germination rates of untreated fresh pollen were as high as 84% and germination rates of untreated stored pollen were up to 20%. The Helios gene gun (Bio Rad) particle delivery system was used to bombard germinating pollen grains. The pollen grains were shot with .6 ?m gold particles coated with plasmid DNA containing green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a reporter gene. Pressure levels tested range from 100 to 400 psi, and the target distance tested was approximately 2.5 cm. Following bombardment, pollen grains were incubated in the dark at 27 &Mac176;C and examined between 6 and 24 h later using a fluorescence microscope. Due to the presence of GFP, transformed pollen grains exhibit a glowing green under blue light. Preliminary data has revealed low levels of transformation at 100, 200, and 250 psi. Construction of a gene containing GFP and OXALATE OXIDASE is underway, to be used in future experiments with the optimized gene gun procedure. OXALATE OXIDASE may enhance the resistance of American chestnut to the chestnut blight fungus, Cryphonectria parasitica , by breaking down oxalic acid produced by the fungus and enhancing lignin production in chestnut stems. Successfully transformed pollen will be isolated and used to artificially pollinate female flowers in order to produce transgenic seeds


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AN EVALUATION OF SMALL MAMMAL POPULATIONS AND HABITAT CHANGES AT HUNTINGTON WILDLIFE FOREST
Shannon L. Strusz , and Stacy McNulty , Faculty of Environmental Forest Biology, Adirondack Ecological Center, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

Habitat change in relation to small mammal abundance is often overlooked and not well understood. Natural and human induced activities can directly decrease habitat quality and usage by small mammals (McGee et al. 1999, Southern 1979), which could pose a threat to the integrity and diversity of a forested ecosystem. Small mammals have important ecological roles in terms of diversity, nutrient cycling, energy flow, biotic structure, and forest regeneration, as well as economic importance to agriculture and forestry (Gosz et al. 1978, Kowalski 1976, McGee et al. 1999, Southern 1979). The purpose of this study was to investigate habitat changes with small mammal changes through time, and relate specific habitat characteristics to small mammal abundances. My data suggests that many aspects of habitat, such as coarse woody debris (CWD), percentage of canopy cover, and average diameter at breast height (DBH) of tree species, may have relationships with the short-tailed shrew ( Blarina brevicauda ), woodland jumping mouse ( Napaeozapus insignis ), deer mouse and white-footed mouse (Peromyscus spp.), and eastern chipmunk ( Tamias striatus ) over time and/or during the year 2002. The cyclical or random fluctuations of small mammal species abundances (calculated CPUE) over time were not directly justified with changes in habitat; however, the data obtained do show visually noteworthy relationships between certain habitat characteristics to small mammal abundances.

References

Gosz, J. R., R. T. Holmes, G. E. Likens, and F. Herbert Bormann. 1978. The flow of Energy in a forested ecosystem. Scientific American. 238 (3): 92-102.

Kowalski, K. 1976. Mammals: an outline of theriology. PWN-Polish Scientific Publishing, Warsaw, Poland.

McGee, G. G., D. J. Leopold , and R. D. Nyland. 1999. Structural characteristics of old-growth, maturing, and partially cut northern hardwood forests. EcologicalApplications. 9 (4): 1316-1329.

Southern, H. N. 1979. The stability and instability of small mammal populations. Pp.103-134 in D. M. Stoddart, ed .: Ecology of small mammals. John Wiley and Sons, New York, New York, USA.

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USING ZEBRA MUSSELS AS BIOMONITORING TOOLS OF TOXIC CYANOBACTERIAL BLOOMS
Kristy Szprygada
Faculty of Environmental Forest Biology

Michael Satchwell
Faculty of Chemistry

Kimberly Schulz
Faculty of Environmental Forest Biology

Gregory Boyer
Faculty of Chemistry

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

Since their introduction into the United States, zebra mussels ( Dreissena polymorpha ) have been regarded as a nuisance species with no ecological value. We have investigated using zebra mussels to monitor toxic cyanobacterial blooms in New York State. This research project incorporates laboratory experiments with correlated field verification. Zebra mussels from Oneida Lake were fed Chlorella vulgaris , a non-toxic common green alga, and Microcystis aeruginosa , a toxic blue-green alga, at varying concentrations in laboratory feeding experiments. Mussels were sacrificed throughout the experiments and their tissues were analyzed for toxin concentration. These values were then compared to toxin concentrations in the algal stock culture and feeding tank water to determine toxin accumulation by the mussel. Oneida and Onondaga Lakes were sampled weekly from May to October 2002 and Lake Champlain in August 2002 (field verification component). Zebra mussels were periodically collected from Oneida Lake and Lake Champlain and the tissues were analyzed for toxin accumulation and then compared to raw water toxin concentrations to verify our laboratory experiments. All toxin concentration analyses were performed using the PPIA method. We expect our results will support the use of zebra mussels as biomonitoring tools of toxic algal blooms.

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DISSOLVED IRON CYCLING IN THE SUBTERRANEAN ESTUARY OF A COASTAL BAY: WAQUOIT BAY, MASSACHUSETTS
Jeremy M. Testa
Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, New York, 13210
Matt A. Charette, Edward R. Sholkovitz, Matt C. Allen, Adam Rago, and Craig W. Herbold
Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, 02534.

Recent studies suggest that submarine groundwater discharge may be an important pathway for delivering dissolved chemicals to estuaries and the coastal ocean. However, little is known about the behavior of such chemicals in the subterranean estuary–the mixing zone between groundwater and seawater. To better understand chemical processes in this mixing zone, we have mapped the distribution and concentration of dissolved iron in the subterranean estuary of Waquoit Bay. Vertical profiles of dissolved ferrous iron, dissolved oxygen, total dissolved phosphate, and salinity were obtained using drive-point piezometers from depths of up to 8 meters below the mean tide level. A plume of terrestrially derived ferrous iron was identified in hypoxic (O 2< 1 mg/L) groundwater entering the bay. This plume appears to oxidize when interacting with shallow groundwater (3 < O 2< 6 mg/L) at the seepage face, as dissolved ferrous iron concentrations decrease from 20 ?M to below the detection limit (< 0.1 µM). This zone of oxidation occurs in salt-free groundwater, which fails to support a previous study that suggested iron oxidation occurs while mixing with oxygenated saline porewater.

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A SIMULATION MODEL OF SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL FLUCTUATIONS OF DISSOLVED OXYGEN IN FLAX POND, A TEMPERATE SALT MARSH
Jeremy M. Testa and Charles A. S. Hall ,Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210.

We have constructed a simulation model in FORTRAN 90 that simulates diel and seasonal fluctuations of dissolved oxygen in the waters of Flax Pond, a salt marsh on the northern shore of Long Island Sound. The model couples the photosynthetic and/or respiratory processes of several biotic components of Flax Pond with the delivery of dissolved oxygen to the marsh from Long Island Sound via flood and ebb tides. This model provides an alternative to previously used dissolved oxygen models, as it predicts dissolved oxygen values over short intervals of both space and time. Spatial analyses (performed using IDRISI software, Release 2) indicate that dissolved oxygen concentrations may vary over short distances (6 meters) in Flax Pond. Dissolved oxygen concentrations also appear to be highest in January and February, where respiration is at a seasonal low.


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