Environmental Science & Technology Research Works

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 21
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    Very small collars: an evaluation of telemetry location estimators for small mammals
    (Springer Nature, 2022-09-28) Hummell, Grace F.; Li, Andrew Y.; Mullinax, Jennifer M.
    Fine-scale tracking of animals such as Peromyscus spp. is still done with micro-very high frequency collars due to the animal’s small size and habitat usage. In most cases, tracking micro-very high frequency collars requires manual telemetry, yet throughout the literature, there is little reporting of individual telemetry methods or error reporting for small mammal spatial analyses. Unfortunately, there is even less documentation and consensus on the best programs used to calculate fine-scale animal locations from compass azimuths. In this study, we present a strategy for collecting fine-scale spatial data on Peromyscus spp. as a model species for micro-very high frequency collars and assess multiple programmatic options and issues when calculating telemetry locations. Mice were trapped from April to October 2018–2019 with Sherman traps in Howard County, Maryland, USA. Collars were placed on 61 mice, of which 31 were included in the analyses. We compared the two most cited location estimator programs in the literature, location of a signal software and Locate III, as well as the Sigloc package in program R. To assess the programmatic estimates of coordinates at a fine scale and examine programmatic impacts on different analyses, we created and compared minimum convex polygon and kernel density estimator home ranges from locations produced by each program. We found that 95% minimum convex polygon home range size significantly differed across all programs. However, we found more similarities in estimates across calculations of core home ranges. Kernel density estimator home ranges had similar patterns as the minimum convex polygon home ranges with significant differences in home range size for 95% and 50% contours. These differences likely resulted from different inclusion requirements of bearings for each program. This study highlights how different location estimator programs could change the results of a small mammal study and emphasizes the need to calculate telemetry error and meticulously document the specific inputs and settings of the location estimator.
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    Field data from experiment testing organic amendments in restored wetlands
    (2021) Scott, Brian; Yarwood, Stephanie; Baldwin, Andrew
    1. Water levels data loggers repository.xlsx – raw data from Hobo U20L pressure sensor data loggers. Calculations converting raw readings (in PSI or kPa) to relative water elevations are included - based on measured well depth. 2. Field data_repository.xlsx – Contains all raw data other than atmospheric gas and data logger data. Calculated parameters (e.g. bulk density and Simpson Index) are included with in-cell formulas. 3. Field Data_Gas_Analysis_Repository.xlsx – Measured gas concentrations. All instruments and software used to create the data are recorded in the manuscript.
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    Patterns of deer ked (Diptera: Hippoboscidae) and tick (Ixodida: Ixodidae) infestation on white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in the eastern United States
    (Springer Nature, 2022-01-20) Poh, Karen C.; Evans, Jesse R.; Skvarla, Michael J.; Kent, Cody M.; Olafson, Pia U.; Hickling, Graham J.; Mullinax, Jennifer M.; Machtinger, Erika T.
    White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) host numerous ectoparasitic species in the eastern USA, most notably various species of ticks and two species of deer keds. Several pathogens transmitted by ticks to humans and other animal hosts have also been found in deer keds. Little is known about the acquisition and potential for transmission of these pathogens by deer keds; however, tick-deer ked co-feeding transmission is one possible scenario. On-host localization of ticks and deer keds on white-tailed deer was evaluated across several geographical regions of the eastern US to define tick-deer ked spatial relationships on host deer, which may impact the vector-borne disease ecology of these ectoparasites. Ticks and deer keds were collected from hunter-harvested white-tailed deer from six states in the eastern US. Each deer was divided into three body sections, and each section was checked for 4 person-minutes. Differences in ectoparasite counts across body sections and/or states were evaluated using a Bayesian generalized mixed model. A total of 168 white-tailed deer were inspected for ticks and deer keds across the study sites. Ticks (n = 1636) were collected from all surveyed states, with Ixodes scapularis (n = 1427) being the predominant species. Counts of I. scapularis from the head and front sections were greater than from the rear section. Neotropical deer keds (Lipoptena mazamae) from Alabama and Tennessee (n = 247) were more often found on the rear body section. European deer keds from Pennsylvania (all Lipoptena cervi, n = 314) were found on all body sections of deer. The distributions of ticks and deer keds on white-tailed deer were significantly different from each other, providing the first evidence of possible on-host niche partitioning of ticks and two geographically distinct deer ked species (L. cervi in the northeast and L. mazamae in the southeast). These differences in spatial distributions may have implications for acquisition and/or transmission of vector-borne pathogens and therefore warrant further study over a wider geographic range and longer time frame.
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    Loss of Coastal Wetlands in Lake Burullus, Egypt: A GIS and Remote-Sensing Study
    (MDPI, 2022-04-21) Keshta, Amr E.; Riter, J. C. Alexis; Shaltout, Kamal H.; Baldwin, Andrew H.; Kearney, Michael; El-Din, Ahmed Sharaf; Eid, Ebrahem M.
    Lake Burullus is the second largest lake at the northern edge of the Nile Delta, Egypt, and has been recognized as an internationally significant wetland that provides a habitat for migrating birds, fish, herpetofauna, and mammals. However, the lake is experiencing severe human impacts including drainage and conversion to agricultural lands and fish farms. The primary goal of this study was to use multispectral, moderate-spatial-resolution (30 m2) Landsat satellite imagery to assess marsh loss in Lake Burullus, Egypt, in the last 35 years (1985–2020). Iterative Self-Organizing Data Analyses (ISODATA) unsupervised techniques were applied to the Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager–Thermal Infrared Sensor (OLI–TIRS) satellite images for classification of the Lake Burullus area into four main land-use classes: water, marsh, unvegetated land surfaces (roads, paths, sand sheets and dunes), and agricultural lands and fish farms. The overall classification accuracy was estimated to be 96% and the Kappa index was 0.95. Our results indicated that there is a substantial loss (44.8% loss) in the marsh aerial coverage between 1985 and 2020. The drainage and conversion of wetlands into agricultural lands and/or fish farms is concentrated primarily in the western and southern part of the lake where the surface area of the agricultural lands and/or fish farms doubled (103.2% increase) between 2000 and 2020. We recommend that land-use-policy makers and environmental government agencies raise public awareness among the local communities of Lake Burullus of the economic and environmental consequences of the alarming loss of marshland, which will likely have adverse effects on water quality and cause a reduction in the invaluable wetland-ecosystem services.
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    Transpiration rates of red maple (Acer rubrum L.) differ between management contexts in urban forests of Maryland, USA
    (Springer Nature, 2021-11-18) Ponte, Sarah; Sonti, Nancy F.; Phillips, Tuana H.; Pavao-Zuckerman, Mitchell A.
    The hydrological functioning of urban trees can reduce stormwater runoff, mitigate the risk of flood, and improve water quality in developed areas. Tree canopies intercept rainfall and return water to the atmosphere through transpiration, while roots increase infiltration and storage in the soil. Despite this, the amount of stormwater that trees remove through these functions in urban settings is not well characterized, limiting the use of urban forests as practical stormwater management strategies. To address this gap, we use ecohydrological approaches to assess the transpiration rates of urban trees in different management settings. Our research questions are: Do transpiration rates of trees of the same species vary among different management contexts? Do relationships between environmental drivers and transpiration change among management contexts? These management settings included single trees over turfgrass and a cluster of trees over turfgrass in Montgomery County, MD, and closed canopy forest with a leaf litter layer in Baltimore, MD. We used sap flux sensors installed in 18 mature red maple (Acer rubrum L.) trees to characterize transpiration rates during the growing season. We also measured soil volumetric water content, air temperature, relative humidity, and precipitation at each site. In agreement with our initial hypothesis, we found that single trees had nearly three times the daily sum of sap flux density (JS) of closed canopy trees. When averaged over the entire measurement period, JS was approximately 260, 195, and 91 g H2O cm−2 day−1 for single trees, cluster trees and closed canopy trees, respectively. Additionally, single trees were more responsive to VPD than closed canopy and cluster trees. These results provide a better understanding of the influence of management context on urban tree transpiration and can help to identify targets to better manage urban forest settings to reduce urban stormwater runoff.