Stream bed material and sediment transport as indicator for benthic

(1) Stream bed material as indicator for benthic macroinvertebrate abundance
Nourredine Abdoulmoumine
Stream hydrodynamics and morphology could provide insight on stream
ecological health. This project investigated relationship of benthic macro
invertebrates and bed material on Onondaga Creek in Syracuse, New York.
Attempts were made to determine correlation between stream bed material
composition and benthic macro invertebrate spatial distribution in stream rural
gradient. Five sites have been sampled for stream bed substrates composition
and benthic macro-invertebrates population during June to August 2005. Stream
was sampled using Wolman Pebble Count for bed material and kick sampling for
invertebrate assessment. After identification of invertebrates down to family, sites
with predominance of different categories of substrates were checked for
abundance of invertebrate families.
(2) Sawmill wood procurement in the Northern Forest:
Economies of scale and forestland parcelization
Nate Anderson, Dr. Rene Germain, Dr. Eddie Bevilacqua
Parcelization of non-industrial private forestland (NIPF), or the division of single
forest ownerships into multiple ownerships of smaller size, has the potential to
negatively impact the profitability of the forest products industry in the Northeast
by reducing economies of scale for forest management and wood procurement
operations. Such impacts may be especially significant for Northeastern
sawmills, which rely on local woodsheds dominated by NIPF for the majority of
their roundwood requirements.
Using mail surveys coupled with GIS analysis, this research is evaluating the
impact of forestland ownership patterns on the ability of sawmills to compete for
stumpage and procure logs in the Northern Forest. We are linking the results of
a mail survey with the analysis of forest ownership within the woodsheds of
respondent mills. The survey includes mills in seven States and three Provinces,
and characterizes wood procurement operations with regards to location and
area of woodshed, sources of roundwood, the average volume of stumpage
purchases, trucking distances, and the minimum parcel size necessary to
manage a property for sawlogs. GIS analysis is used to characterize the
distribution of ownership classes and extent of parcelization within each
This study marks the first time that researchers have attempted to quantify the
relationship between parcelization and wood procurement operations. Only after
the dynamics of this relationship are quantified and described, can sawmills and
resource planners hope to effectively formulate a strategy to predict and mitigate
the effects of changing ownership and the parcelization of forestland.
(3) Use of historical documents to explore the fire history of
Quinault tribal land in Washington
Kimberly Babcock, Daniela Shebitz, Dr. Robin Kimmerer
Plants significant to the Quinault Indian tribe of the Olympic Peninsula, WA are
often associated with burned landscapes, which are uncommon in this temperate
rainforest biome. The natural fire cycle of the area has been calculated to be
over 13,000 years, so any fire is almost certainly anthropogenic in origin.
Although many other tribes of the Pacific Northwest are known to have
conducted regular burnings to maintain open tracts of land, it had not yet been
documented in the Quinault tribe. This study was designed to determine if
Quinaults used fire as a management tool on their land. This was accomplished
by conducting a thorough search of historical documents, letters, and
ethnological descriptions in the University of Washington Archives and the
Jefferson County Historical Society Research Center in June 2005. Information
was also gathered from interviews with Quinault tribal members. Although some
references were found to prairies within Quinault territory and the use of fire
adapted plants, there was no direct evidence in archival documents that the
Quinaults used regular burning as a means of maintaining open tracts of land.
The results were then shared with the Quinault tribe for ecological restoration
(4) Evidence of fire history on potential beargrass restoration
sites on Quinault tribal land in Washington
Kimberly Babcock, Daniela Shebitz, Dr. Robin Kimmerer
Plants significant to the Quinault Indian tribe of the Olympic Peninsula, WA are
often associated with burned landscapes. One such plant is Xerophyllum tenax,
beargrass, which is used for basketry and only flowers under open canopy
conditions. The Quinaults have targeted a clear-cut site for beargrass
restoration, but it was not known if this site had been traditionally managed with
regular burns. This study was designed to gather dendrochronological evidence
to determine the fire history of this potential beargrass restoration site. Eighteen
stump slabs were taken from the clear-cut area and increment cores were
collected from all sixteen living trees located in a small bog that was left
unharvested. The stump slabs were chosen to best represent the species
composition, size classes, and varying locations on the site. Both the slabs and
cores were sanded and tree establishment dates were determined
microscopically. The cores were analyzed using the CDendro computer program
to look for patterns in establishment and growth indicating regular burning cycles.
Preliminary soil cores were taken at three locations, but no visible charcoal was
found in the soil profile. Two fire scars were found on a single stump slab, but
otherwise there was no evidence to suggest the land was regularly burned. The
results were then shared with the Quinault tribe to evaluate the potential
beargrass restoration site.
(5) Effects of timber harvest on Dicamtodon tenebrosis larvae in
streams of Northern coastal California
Michael Best and Lowell Diller
Amphibians have been shown to represent some value as indicators of
environmental health, and may play a role in environmental impact analysis.
Timber harvest is a dominant enterprise along the Northern reaches of Coastal
California and the focus of this study is to assess its impacts on adjacent streams
by comparing the relative abundance of giant Pacific salamander larvae within
clearcuts and uncuts (set asides). Data were collected between May 24 th and
July 8th, 2005 among Western Del Norte, Humboldt, and Trinity counties along
the Northern coast of California within 1500 km2 timberlands privately owned by
Green Diamond Resources Company. The study consisted of three paired
samples within clearcuts and adjacent set asides. Streams were paired based
on geographic proximity: each pair occurred within the same sub-basin drainage
and were similar in geology, weather patterns, and elevation. Each stream in the
design was sampled for a 300m reach based on well established sampling sites
of a long term, tailed frog monitoring protocol. Thirty random samples were
collected within each reach to include the abundance of Dicamptodon tenebrosis
larvae, the SVL (snout-vent-length) of at least 30 specimens captured, and
habitat variables such as temperature, flow, stream dimensions. These data
revealed significant differences in relative abundance of Dite larvae among two of
the three quasi-pairs. The third proved to be statistically insignificant. Timber
harvest does impact the giant Pacific salamander, if not directly then simply due
to the great disturbance to habitat. Apparent disturbance included: increased
siltation (turbidity), increased erosion of banks, and a general decrease in
substrate material size; i.e. gravel where there once was cobble, which may
decrease the overall suitability of the habitat for stream amphibians.
(6) Model efficiency for determining water movement through
the Solvay wastebeds in Syracuse, NY
Dan Brown, Dr. Douglas Daley
Conventional landfill cover systems primarily depend on slope to shed surface
water and are often not efficient in minimizing deep percolation in the long term.
Byproducts from the Solvay process in NY were stored in large wastebeds in the
vicinity of Onondaga Lake and wastebed leachate transports chlorides into
nearby surface waters. The Simultaneous Heat and Water (SHAW) model was
selected to model an alternative evapotranspirative cover on Solvay Wastebed
13 in Syracuse, NY. Simulations are being carried out for the Syracuse site and
a sensitivity analysis for the SHAW model is being analyzed to assess total
system performance for predicting and understanding evapotranspirative (ET)
(7) Designing decentralized small-scale bioenergy systems
based on short rotation coppice for rural poverty alleviation
Thomas Buchholz, Dr. Timothy Volk
Access to modern energy is crucial for the attainment of the Millennium
Development Goals of poverty reduction and environmental sustainability. In
East Africa, increasing environmental degradation and modern energy supply are
major obstacles to sustainable rural development. Small-scale bioenergy
systems can supply clean, reliable, renewable, and affordable energy to rural
communities while at the same time creating new job opportunities and having
beneficial impacts on natural resources, especially when supplied with biomass
from locally produced Short Rotation Coppice (SRC). Bioenergy systems are
complex because their three components feedstock supply, conversion
technology and energy allocation are influenced by environmental, economic and
social factors. Assessing these factors and their interdependency is essential to
determine the potential success of a project and its contribution to sustainable
development as failure of one component can lead to failure of the entire system.
The complex array of interactions in bioenergy systems can be addressed by
applying a systems approach using a standardized decision process or Decision
Support Tool (DST). DSTs enable transparent and informed decisions even
when limited information is available and many participants with different
expertise and interests are involved to consider all relevant criteria. This paper
introduces an approach to develop a DST assessing sustainability of small-scale
bioenergy systems designed for rural communities.
Keywords: bio-energy management, developing countries, decision support tools
(8) Influence of Forest Floor Moss Cover on Mycorrhizal
Abundance in Douglas-fir Forests of the Central-Western
Oregon Cascades
Jed Cappellazzi, Bruce Caldwell, Dr. Thomas Horton, Dr. Robin Kimmerer,
Dr. Greg McGee
While mycorrhizal associations have never been observed in bryophytes
(mosses), forest floor moss cover may influence mycorrhizal fungal communities
on tracheophyte roots. An in situ study conducted near the HJ Andrews
Experimental Forest (LTER) in Blue River, Oregon, will examine whether forest
floor moss cover influences the abundance of mycorrhizae. Additionally it will
assess the effects of moss-mat removal on soil phenolics, carbohydrates, and
phosphatase activities. In 2005, five stands with 16, 1.5 m 2 plots were
established. Tests comparing the 80 plots in terms of plant species cover, soil
chemistry/moisture, moss height/weight, and the relative cover of moss species
were performed. The current analysis compares individual plots based on
similarities in physical and biological characteristics to determine those that are
most analogous; mycorrhizal root abundances will then be compared between
those analogous plots. Subsequently, the 15 cm soil cores taken from each plot
in year 0 (Summer 2005) will be compared to those taken in year 1 (Summer
2006) to test the hypothesis that moss cover increases mycorrhizal abundance
on tracheophyte roots. The in situ study will be supplemented by an in vitro
study of Douglas-fir ectomycorrhizal status in similar greenhouse treatments.
Data analyses are ongoing and mycorrhizal results will be reported elsewhere
after all data have been collected. If a significant relationship exists between
moss cover and mycorrhizal abundance, this data may serve as the framework
for future research.
(9) The Effects of Parcelization on Private Forestland in the
Catskill and Delaware Watersheds
Jennifer Caron, Nate Anderson, Dr. Rene Germain
Parcelization occurs when large landholdings are divided into smaller parcels
under different ownerships. It is among the biggest issues facing the nation's
non-industrial private forestland (NIPF); national trends indicate that NIPF parcel
sizes continue to decline. Forestland parcelization directly affects the potential for
forest management by reducing the size of the management unit. Smaller parcel
sizes create declining economies of scale for forest managers and timber
harvesters, threatening the viability of the forested working landscape and in turn
the wood supply. In addition, anecdotal evidence suggests that landowners
customarily exploit their timber assets prior to subdividing, leaving behind
wooded, but high- graded parcels with reduced potential for sustained yield
The objective of this study was to determine a difference in forest stocking and
quality between parcelized and non-parcelized NIPF. The study was conducted
on 138 NIPF properties distributed across the Catskill and Delaware watersheds
in New York State. Half of the sample had been parcelized since 1984, while the
balance had remained intact. A forest inventory was completed on all parcels.
The data collected included, per acre estimates of basal area, stems and volume
as well as relative density and distribution of acceptable/unacceptable growing
Preliminary results indicate there is no meaningful difference between parcelized
and non-parcelized ownerships in the context of basal area per acre (110 sqft),
volume per acre (5 mbf) and the ratio of acceptable to unacceptable growing
stock by basal area (60:40).
(10) Enriching Regional Science Education Through Public
Joshua Conway, Dr. Andy Saunders
D. Andrew Saunders teaches approximately 200 students each year how to
develop educational materials for diverse community audiences. Within the
Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology, all the interpretation courses in the
undergraduate major of Natural History and Interpretation require numerous
service learning and outreach projects tailored for various community audiences.
Saunders is best known for developing and advocating an interpretive process
that engages students in the methods of science through the guided exploration
of conservation themes and nature in the local environment. Over the years, his
students have crafted more than 25 self-guiding trail booklets for regional towns,
reserves and agencies, developed conservation education and science
education school modules for local schools, contributed programs for The
Centers for Nature Education and Beaver Lake Nature Center, and participated
in the Eco-Expo at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo. Each semester his graduate
students in Environmental Interpretation offer teacher workshops that aim to
connect local nature to science classrooms. Most recently Saunders’ interpretive
program has produced a series of short television segments about local nature
that have aired on various television stations.
(11) Relationship between leaf characteristics and epiphyll
cover in the Daintree Tropical Rainforest, Australia
Theresa Clark, Environmental Studies Program, Cazenovia College, Cazenovia,
NY 13035 [email protected]
Daintree National Park, a tropical rainforest in Queensland, Australia, hosts
organisms known as epiphylls, a unique group of bryophytes and lichens that
grow on the leaves of plants. The purpose of this study was to explore potential
correlations between characteristics of leaf shape and epiphyll cover. I found a
slight positive relationship between average leaf lateral vein angle and epiphyll
cover and a slightly negative relationship between leaf surface area and epiphyll
(12) Fish, Periphyton and What They Tell Us About the
Condition of Onondaga Creek
Virginia Collins, Catherine Landis, Y Muzimi, Cheryl Whritenour, C. Willson,
E Menvielle, Dr. Karin Limburg
We tested the Mid-Atlantic States’ Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI; Daniels et al.
2002) and an Autotrophic Index (AI) across the rural-to-urban gradient of
Onondaga Creek. Fish and periphyton were sampled, and physical parameters
were measured. These data were used to assess the “health” of the stream. The
mixed forest/ agricultural site had the highest IBI score, and an urban site the
highest AI score. IBI scores showed a strong, negative relationship with water
temperature, and strong positive relationship with indices of urbanization (e.g.,
total suspended solids, and periphyton ash-free dry weights). We conclude that
the fish IBI is a robust indicator of stream condition for Onondaga Creek
watershed, although IBI scores in small, headwater streams appear to be ranked
low regardless of condition.
(13) Determining appropriate sampling intensity for tree-ring
studies based on intra- and inter-tree variation in ring-width
correlations for Pinus resinosa and Picea abies
Nan Davis, Dr. Eddie Bevilacqua
When studying growth patterns in trees, the standard sampling procedure for
dendrochronologists is to collect two radii from each tree being studied. There is
no available research explaining this protocol. To investigate whether two radii
accurately reflect year-to-year variation in growth within and between trees, ring-
widths of six radii were measured on cross-sectional disks from red pine (Pinus
resinosa) and Norway spruce (Picea abies). One disk, collected at stump height,
from of each 10 trees of each species was used. Ring-width measurements from
each radius were made using the CooReaderTM imaging program, and crossdated and standardized using CDendroTM. Repeated random samples of 1, 2, 3,
4, 5, and 6 radii were selected from each disk, the equivalent of taking that many
cores per tree. Inter-tree correlations and the average chronology for each tree
were calculated. The variations in intra-tree correlations within a species were
then compared. The mean and variance of the intra- and inter-tree correlations
for each sample size were determined.
(14) Canker size in transgenic poplar trees containing an antimicrobial pesticide
Jennifer Deuel, Dr. Charles Maynard, Dr. William Powell
Poplar trees are susceptible to many fungal agents which can cause devastating
stem cankers. In this study, 100 hybrids of Poplus deltoides x Poplus nigra were
planted in an orchard. Each tree was inoculated with the fungus, Spetoria musiva
in two locations and agar as a control in another two locations. Roughly half of
the trees were transgenic and the other half, non-transgenic. The trees were
harvested after three to four months following inoculation and then stored in a
cold room. The cankers were measured at the two experimental sites and two
control sites inoculation on each tree. The resulting data were statistically
analyzed to determine if there was a difference in canker size between the
transgenic and non-transgenic trees. It was concluded that the cankers on the
transgenic tree were very close in size to the control inoculations. The cankers
on the non-transgenic trees were generally much larger.
(15) Correlations between Water Level and Tree Growth in the
Fens of Eastern Lake Ontario
Rocco Anthony Devito
The effect of water level changes on Tsuga canadensis in medium fen
communities near Lake Ontario was measured using tree ring core analysis. The
three study sites, South Sandy Pond, North pond, and Deer Creek were located
in Oswego County, New York. Cores were taken from Tsuga canadensis in
stands that were surrounded by northern hardwood forests. The cores were
mounted and annual ring widths were measured using a microscope and
analyzed with a computer program. Annual ring widths were compared to the
historical water levels of Lake Ontario (Oswego monitoring station). The points
of highest and lowest water level were identified and the core measurements for
the ten years on either side of these years were analyzed. It was found that
neither extreme hydrological condition affected North Pond most likely due to its
distance from Lake Ontario. Along Deer Creek it appears that only the high
water had an affect on growth. Furthermore the trees nearest the creek had the
largest decrease in growth.
(16) Jellyfish
Deb Diehl
Some fish swim next to and in Scyphozoan jellyfish without being harmed by the
nematocysts, giving rise to their ability to be symbiotic with the jellyfish. While at
Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, I studied the interactions of the fish
and jellyfish by observing them in captivity. In general, the fish follows the jellyfish
anywhere during the afternoon, but during the morning and night the fish swims
alone. Perhaps the fish uses the jellyfish for protection against its predators.
Alternatively, the fish could be eating food that is produced by the host jellyfish
because when the jellyfish dies the fish dies too. In either case, this could be a
commensalistic relationship with the fish benefiting. However, if the fish presence
attracts food for the jellyfish, then this could be a mutualistic relationship.
(17) Bird-nest Ferns and Buttresses
Amanda Dillon, Scott Maron
The Bird-Nest fern (Asplenium australasicum) is a type of epiphytic basket fern
that is found growing on trees throughout tropical and subtropical Australia. In
the Daintree region of northern Australia, we focused on the relationship between
trees with buttress roots and the fern. Assuming the buttresses give the tree
structural support, we tested the hypothesis that bird-nest ferns would be more
likely to be found on trees with buttress roots. There were more ferns on trees
with buttress roots (χ² = 15.6, p < .001). Bird-nest ferns were also larger on trees
with buttresses (p = 0.092). Taller and wider trees had more basket ferns (r =
0.34 and r = 0.24 respectively) of larger size ( r = 0.47 and r = 0.66 respectively).
Bird-nest ferns were also found to be larger on lateral and crotch locations on the
tree as opposed to the trunk (p = 0.00005).
(18) Crimson Rosellas
Amanda Dillon, Scott Maron, Angela Tringali, Debbie Visco
We studied the problem-solving behavior of the crimson rosella (Platycercus
elegans), a parrot found in Lamington National Park in Queensland, Australia.
We expected that flock size would influence the time it took the birds to solve
problems. To observe these abilities, we conducted four different tests around
their main feeding area: Lid, String and Tube, Cassette, and Sting-pull. We did
not find any statistically significant correlations between flock size and time of
test completion. However, excluding the Cassette test, which was difficult and
only solved once, there was a trend of a decreasing time to completion as the
number of trials increased. We presume that the rosellas may have been
learning individually or from watching one another from one trail to the next.
(19) Development and Maintenance of Diversity in Lake Ontario
Coastal Wetlands
Matt Distler, Dr. Donald Leopold
Coastal wetlands of New York support many rare and state-protected plants,
animals, and plant communities. Previous research on coastal wetland
communities suggests that inter-annual water level fluctuations may be critical for
maintaining their diversity over time and that water level regulation of Lake
Ontario may jeopardize these communities. Neither the long-term stability of
these communities nor the importance of complex disturbance regimes in their
development is well characterized, however. Plant macrofossils from peat cores
taken from two coastal Lake Ontario wetlands were analyzed, showing that these
wetlands have been subject to periodic fires and breaching of sand dunes that
otherwise separate them from Lake Ontario. Diverse shrub and sedge-dominated
fen communities persist for long periods once established, but certain
disturbances or changes in soil chemistry or hydrologic conditions in these
wetlands may lead to long-term changes in plant community composition.
Macrofossil evidence suggests that dune barrier blowouts are sometimes
associated with conversions from one type of community to another. Aerial
photographic analysis reveals rapid changes in wetland composition over the last
50 years, as cover of hybrid cattail (Typha x glauca) expanded concurrently with
regulation of Lake Ontario water levels. Along with radiocarbon dating to
determine the chronology of wetland development, further work is planned to
compare the disturbance regimes and development of coastal fens to nearby
inland fens, which are not affected by recent Lake Ontario regulation or the long
term effects of isostatic rebound.
(20) The US/ Brazil consortia: project for eastside open space
Cheryl Doble, Suzanne Greinert, Marianna Pavlick
The Project for Eastside Community Open Space is a three-year outreach project
conducted as part of the FIPSE funded US/ Brazil Consortia student exchange
involving landscape architecture students at ESF and architecture students from
two Brazilian universities. Students, and faculty work hand-in-hand with Eastside
Neighbors in Partnership (ENIP) and eastside residents to explore the multifaceted topic of “Sustainable Urban Design and Community-Based Resource
The eastside neighborhood faces challenges associated with urban
neighborhoods in many northeastern US cities. It is a remnant neighborhood,
formerly populated by a multi-ethnic middle class that left the city to settle in
suburban communities that ring the city. Parts of the neighborhood have been
razed for the construction and parking lots and areas were cleared during the
selective demolition of abandoned houses. The current population is primarily
African American, with many families and individuals living below the poverty
line. Home ownership rates are low and residential vacancy rates are high.
Drug and gang-related crimes have been on the rise over the past 15 years.
The objectives of the project were to:
 develop a working partnership with ENIP and community members,
 develop outreach strategies, workshop activities, and methods to engage
 develop design approaches to identified action projects
 build broad community support to implement projects.
Accomplishments include:
2003 – Developed of an urban neighborhood open space system, including front
yard improvement strategies, reclamation of vacant land, creation of a
community market and community garden facility, and re-creation of public
housing projects.
2004 - Refined landscape and architectural design plans for open space projects,
at Lexington Park and the Eastside Commons and initiation of “the Healing
Project” to address the violence and community wide loss experienced in the
2004 – Formed broad community partnerships and strategies to implement a
neighborhood market and gardens and steward proposed improvements at
Lexington Park.
(21) Comparing vegetation patterns along hiking trails at Clark
Reservation State Park
Raina Dominguez, Dr. Donald Leopold
Hiking trails concentrate human activities in forests, which can greatly stress
plant and animal habitats via trampling, aided dispersal of invasive species,
nutrient additions, canopy gaps and other forms of disturbance. Plant species
composition is typically altered near trail edges. Improved trail management will
likely result from an understanding of how native and invasive plant species
respond to recreational trails, and how these species affect adjacent, nontrampled habitat. Trail attributes and site characteristics of four trails at Clark
Reservation State Park in central New York were measured from June through
July 2005. Vascular plant species percent cover and plant species diversity were
compared between plots at trail edges and into the forest interior. The gradient
of vascular plant species composition from trail edges to adjacent undisturbed
plots was compared with the assumption that increased disturbance experienced
by trail edges would increase plant species diversity. However, data trends
indicate higher diversity values at interior, undisturbed plots. Patterns of plant
species abundance in relation to hiking trails are important for park management
and conservation. Understanding small scale interactions along trails can aide in
protecting native species integrity within state parks.
(22) A unique opportunity for quantifying chemical changes in
an Adirondack soil over 15 years
Matthew Domser, Gretchen Miles, Charles Driscoll, Patrick McHale, David
Lyons, Joyce Green Dr. Myron Mitchell
The Huntington Wildlife Forest (HWF) in the central Adirondack Mountains of
New York State has been the site of various biogeochemical studies. The soils
at HWF are characterized as haplorthod spodosols, the forest is dominated by
northern hardwoods (Acer sacharum, Fagus grandifolia). Soil was removed in
1990 from the Bh horizon and homogenized. Soils were placed into soil bags
and installed beneath the Oa horizon in three treatment plots; reference, and low
and high ammonium sulfate (NH4)2SO4. In 1990, chemical analyzes were
performed on the homogenized soil to measure sulfate, inorganic nitrogen and
carbon and base cations (Mg2+, Na+, Ca2+, K+, Al+), before the bags were buried.
Soil constituents were measured at 0.22 g S kg-1, 47.7 g C kg-1, 1.7 g N kg-1 and
the pH was determined to be 4.3. From 1991 to 1993 chemical manipulations to
plots were conducted at several sites including the HWF, as part of the
Adirondack Manipulation and Modeling Project (AMMP). Soil bags were left in
place for 15 years and removed in late 2005. Soils will be analyzed from each of
3 treatments under the same analysis protocols as in 1990. Comparisons will be
made between soil chemical constituents from 1990 and 2005. This study
presents a unique opportunity to examine soil chemical transformations over an
extended period of time. The findings from this study will contribute to current
understandings of forest soil processes.
(23) Combining Multispectral Imagery with Ecological
Descriptors to Locate Eastern Hemlock in the Catskill Mountain
Region, New York
Jarrod Doucette
The expanding threat of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid infestation has generated
interest in locating Eastern Hemlock. The goal of this study was to improve on
traditional presence/absence models by developing methodology for predicting
hemlock abundance. A modified decision tree program (Cubist) was employed
to generate predictive models through the automatic generation of a knowledge
base from both remotely sensed imagery and environmental data. Available
imagery consisted of three seasons of Landsat ETM+, while basic (slope, aspect,
curvature) and specific (heat and wetness indices) ecological descriptors were
extracted from a digital elevation model. Percentage of hemlock basal area was
calculated for 350 forest plots in the Catskill Mountain Region. Four models were
generated using increasing amounts of the imagery and ecological descriptors.
Mean absolute error ranged from a high of 11.5% (Leaf-Off imagery) down to
10.6% (All imagery and environmental measures). Models were affected by the
presence of non-hemlock conifers; underpredicting in Hemlock/Deciduous plots,
and overpredicting in mixed Coniferous/Deciduous plots.
(24) Linking ecosystem restoration theory to practice at a 600
hectare superfund subsite in Solvay, NY
Tony Eallonardo, Dr. Donald Leopold
The Solvay waste beds are approximately 20 meters in depth by 600 hectares.
They are primarily calcium carbonate industrial refuse deposited from 1881 to
1986. These wastes had a pH of 11 to 12 and conductivity of approximately 40
dS m-1 when deposited. Within 20 years of deposition the waste weathers
sufficiently to allow predominately non-native vegetation to colonize much of the
site. Our objectives were to vegetate barren seepage areas, increase forested
area and its plant diversity, and increase wetland species diversity. In 2005 we
initiated two experiments to determine what factors are limiting the survival and
growth of planted and naturally occurring species on the site: (1) we observed
vegetation dynamics following tilling and fencing; and, (2) on an upland to
wetland gradient, we planted and observed the performance of approximately
7000 woody and herbaceous plants of 59 species. Survivorship after the first
summer was greater than 70% for 21 of the 38 upland species planted. Rhus
glabra and Prunus pensylvanica showed the greatest height growth. Wetland
plants adapted to saline environments performed better than those adapted to
alkaline environments, with Spartina alterniflora and S. patens performing best.
Herbivory and competition with grasses and non-native legumes limited the
establishment of woody species, however seed availability may have also been
limiting. Soil chloride concentration was positively correlated with woody species
mortality but chloride effects on mortality and growth varied across species.
Future work includes investigating species specific responses to soil chloride,
and vegetation establishment strategies for barren seepage areas.
(25) Applying Physical Measurements of Hyporheic Exchange
to Understand Geochemical Variability of Hyporheic Waters
Rosemary Fanelli, Laura Lautz
Groundwater/surface water interactions in the hyporheic zone create a
chemically unique area where varied dissolved oxygen concentrations cause
redox zones to develop. The development of these zones can be enhanced by
in-stream features, such as steps or small dams. Because this subsurface
biogeochemical cycling can significantly impact stream water chemistry, it is
important to identify how in-stream features induce hyporheic exchange and
influence the chemistry of streambed waters.
Here we use geochemical analysis of hyporheic water to assess spatially
variable redox conditions generated induced by the presence of a dam in a
Wyoming stream. We compare geochemical indices of oxia/anoxia to physical
estimates of exchange, such as daily temperature variability and hydraulic
gradient. A 5-m by 15-m reach, which includes a 1.5-m. high log dam, was
instrumented with 36 in-stream mini-piezometers. At each piezometer, we
measured hydraulic gradient, collected a water sample and measured streambed
temperatures in the morning and evening.
Results show both nitrate generation and sulfate reduction occurring in the
hyporheic zone. Zones with sulfate reduction also show iron and manganese
reduction, which are chemical indicators of anoxia. These anoxic zones show
low daily temperature variability, indicating low connectivity with the stream. At
other sites, however, high daily temperature variability (up to 5oC) signifies higher
connection with the stream. Geochemical analyses at these sites show high
nitrate and low manganese and iron concentrations, indicators of oxic conditions.
The presence of the small dam creates areas in the hyporheic zone that have
variable rates of groundwater/surface water exchange, characterized by daily
temperature variability and geochemistry of the interstitial water
(26) Can target toxin producing genes and microcystin toxins
be detected in gluteraldehyde preserved samples of Microcystis
Justin Fischedick, Dr. Gregory Boyer
Microcystis aeruginosa is a cyanobacterial species in which certain strains are
capable of producing a class of hepatotoxic peptides called microcystins.
Microcystins are produced via a non-ribosomal-synthetase. Whole cell PCR
methods can be employed to detect the genes responsible for production of
microcystins. Various analytical techniques such as HPLC, MALDI-TOF mass
spectrometry, and PPIA can be utilized to detect the toxin itself in environmental
samples. Gluteraldehyde is a common preservative used in the preservation of
cyanobacterial samples and it would be useful to researchers if methods could
be employed that allow analysis of specific cyanobacterial colonies in preserved
samples. Therefore, in this experiment the effects of various concentrations of
gluteraldehyde will be tested on a culture of M. aeruginosa known to contain both
toxin producing genes and produce microcystins. Whole cell PCR was utilized to
determine how long toxin producing genes are detectable in gluteraldehyde.
HPLC was utilized to determine how long microcystin toxins can be detected in
gluteraldehyde preserved samples.
(27) Changes in phytoplankton biomass and composition in the
central basin of Lake Erie using fatty acid analysis
Sarah Fitzpatrick, Christopher Tarolli, Dr. Mark Teece
Fatty acid analysis was used to indicate changes in the total biomass of
phytoplankton, as well as to indicate temporal shifts in phytoplankton species in
Lake Erie. Seston samples were collected aboard the R/V Lake Guardian during
the summer of 2005 from the central basin, and analyzed to determine changes
in concentrations of total fatty acids and of particular acids that have been noted
to indicate individual species of algae. Total fatty acid content in the epilimnion
was the largest in May and then decreased significantly in June, indicating a
decrease in phytoplankton productivity. Biomass in the metalimnion and
hypolimnion actually increased during this time period, which is likely due to
sinking phytoplankton as thermal stratification became prevalent. Total fatty
acids increased in July and remained relatively consistent for the remainder of
the summer in the epilimnion.
Shifts in the relative abundances of algal biomarker fatty acids were used to
determine temporal shifts in algal species. The fatty acids 16:17 and EPA
indicated that diatoms were dominant in May in the epilimnion and then sank into
the lower layers of the water column by June. Thereafter, dinoflagellates
became more prevalent in June, indicated by the large relative abundance of the
fatty acid 18:19, but decreased in July and August as cyanobacteria and
chlorophytes become dominant, indicated by a low abundance of
polyunsaturated fatty acids. In September, phytoplankton biomass was again
dominated by diatoms. These changes in fatty acid composition and algal
biomass indicate that dietary material available to zooplankton changes
considerably over the season, therefore affecting essential fatty acids accessible
to the entire food web.
(28) Science trails: connecting classrooms to nature
Stephen Fox, Emily Debolt, Dr. D. Andrew Saunders
The Science Trail concept, an original derivative of the Stalking Science
workshops, gives students of all ages an alternative to the tedium of traditional
teaching by inviting them to walk in the shoes of conservation and wildlife
scientists. Established stops along the way engage students in the process of
science to investigate the contemporary issues from climate change to habitat
fragmentation. By collecting data and processing their numbers, students can
compare their studies with ongoing and published research. Teachers from
disciplines other than science, e.g. art, history, and literature, may easily adapt
their class exercises to take advantage of trail features as well.
Students are not the only benefactors of this novel approach. Other trail users
such as parents and the visiting public have an opportunity to observe firsthand
the dynamic approaches community teachers are adopting in their classrooms.
Illustrated self-guiding trail booklets reveal Science Trail tasks and concepts for
all audiences. Science Trails produce other benefits, for example by providing
nature reserve managers the means if they choose to revitalize existing nature
trail themes and to renew their connections with patrons and donors.
Science Trails are currently being completed at Corcoran High School in
Syracuse, NY; Baltimore Woods Nature Center in Marcellus, NY; and Beaver
Lake Nature Center in Baldwinsville, NY. One is already completed at the
Adirondack Park Agency Visitor Interpretive Center in Newcomb, NY. Teacher
workshops to educate teachers on Science Trails and natural history are also
planned. It is our hope that once completed, these trails will engage students in
the process of science and persuade more students to pursue future science
professions, and will increase student contact with nature and natural history.
(29) Understanding the relationships between natural
resources, economic growth, and social well being
Carol Franco, Dr. Valerie Luzadis
Sustainable development is the goal of most countries of the world; but it may not
be achieved without further understanding of the critical relationships between
natural resources, economic growth, and social well-being. This is because
economic growth-based policies have already been implemented worldwide to
increase social well being. But uncertainty exists regarding the extent to which
well being has actually been improved. In part, clearer understanding of this
much debated issue has been impeded by ignorance regarding the
measurement of well being. Different measures have been proposed, but no
agreement has been achieved. Today, the most used measure of well being is
the Human Development Index (HDI), even though it ignores the role of natural
resources and of satisfaction with life, i.e. subjective well being or happiness.
Through a nation-wide and empirically-based study in the Dominican Republic, I
will test the following hypotheses:
H01: The well being of the Dominican people, as measured through the HDI, did
not change because of economic growth-oriented policies. I will test this
hypothesis by comparing HDI indexes before and after the year 1982.
H02: The inclusion of measures of natural resources into the HDI produces
measures no different than those produced by the HDI alone. I will test this
hypothesis firstly by adding to measures of natural resources (or their
degradation) as a category to the HDI, and secondly by comparing these
results with the measure of HDI alone.
H03: The inclusion of measures of subjective well being into the HDI produces
measures identical to those produced by the HDI alone. I will test this
hypothesis by first developing a questionnaire to measure subjective well
being of the Dominican people based on the latest theories of societal welfare
(beyond Walrasian economics), and by using it to collect data. I will then add
the subjective well being measure as a category to the HDI, and will compare
the obtained results with the HDI alone.
H04: The inclusion of measures of natural resources and subjective well being
into the HDI produces measures identical to those produced by the HDI alone.
To test this hypothesis, I will first develop a composite index that incorporates
measures of natural resources and of subjective well being into the HDI, and
then compare it to the HDI alone. This will be dependent on, and greatly
facilitated by, the results of the previous two hypotheses.
The main results of this study are going to be: (i) improved understanding of the
effects of economic growth-based policies on social well being, as measured by
the HDI; (ii) improved understanding of the effects of incorporating measures of
natural resources and of subjective well being into the HDI to assess social well
being; and (iii) the development of a comprehensive measure of well being for
the Dominican people. All these results will contribute to potential shifts in
current natural resource management trends and international development
(30) Connecting the dots: Syracuse’s energy use and GHG
Peter King, Nate Gagnon, Trang Tron, Frank Moses, Imran Khalid, Allan
Drew, Dr. Richard Smardon
Cities across the United States are investigating ways to reduce their
contributions to global climate change. In this project we quantified the energy
consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollutants
of the City of Syracuse. We used the Clean Air and Climate Protection (CACP)
model developed for the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives
(ICLEI) and the Urban Forest Effects model (UFORE) developed for the US
Forest Service. Our analysis of the city’s residential, commercial, industrial,
transportation, and waste sectors reveals a reduction in energy use over the last
five years. However, this may be due to emigration rather than energy
(31) Life in Oakwood Cemetery: A study of gliding bacteria
(Myxobacteriaceae) on the bark of living trees
Lauren Goldmann, Dr. Alexander Weir
Currently placed in the order Myxococcales, myxobacteria, is the common name
for a beautiful and complex group of bacteria that were first believed to be fungi.
The mycologist Roland Thaxter was the first person to correctly recognize these
organisms as bacteria in 1892. Coveted for their novel secondary metabolites,
and sophisticated social systems, they are characterized as gliding bacteria
related to the purple sulfate reducers, and found in every climatic zone where
decaying organic material is abundant. This project investigates the ecological
pattern of distribution of myxobacteria on 17 different tree species along a pH
gradient with the effects of bark characteristics considered. Using a moist
chamber approach, fifteen postage-sized pieces of bark were sampled from each
tree, five times, from July 1st 2005 to December 19th 2005. The moist chambers
were checked and myxobacteria species recorded every two days for three
weeks. Thirteen different species within five genera were recorded. Six of these
remain unidentified. A clear correlation between tree bark pH and myxobacteria
abundance and diversity with an optimal pH range of approximately 5.25 – 6.40
was observed. Individuals were found on tree bark with a pH as low as 4.70 and
as high as 6.61. No significant host specificity with tree species was discovered,
however only Melittangium lichenicola, Melittangium stipitata and Corallococcus
were found at low pH values. Melittangium was found throughout the 4.70 6.61pH range on 70% of the tree species and accounted for 34% of all
individuals sampled, making it the most abundant and ecologically versatile
genus. As a sub-project, vertical stratification of the myxobacteria community
was investigated in a single tree species, Thuja occidentalis. The effects of the
boundary layer at different heights and bark substrates, on organisms of varying
scales, from mosses, lichens and myxomycetes to myxobacteria are discussed.
(32) The US/ Brazil consortia: project for eastside open space
Suzanne Greinert, Marianna Pavlick
The Project for Eastside Community Open Space is a three-year outreach project
conducted as part of the FIPSE funded US/ Brazil Consortia student exchange
involving landscape architecture students at ESF and architecture students from
two Brazilian universities. Students, and faculty work hand-in-hand with Eastside
Neighbors in Partnership (ENIP) and eastside residents to explore the multifaceted topic of “Sustainable Urban Design and Community-Based Resource
The eastside neighborhood faces challenges associated with urban
neighborhoods in many northeastern US cities. It is a remnant neighborhood,
formerly populated by a multi-ethnic middle class that left the city to settle in
suburban communities that ring the city. Parts of the neighborhood have been
razed for the construction and parking lots and areas were cleared during the
selective demolition of abandoned houses. The current population is primarily
African American, with many families and individuals living below the poverty
line. Home ownership rates are low and residential vacancy rates are high.
Drug and gang-related crimes have been on the rise over the past 15 years.
The objectives of the project were to:
 develop a working partnership with ENIP and community members,
 develop outreach strategies, workshop activities, and methods to engage
 develop design approaches to identified action projects
 build broad community support to implement projects.
Accomplishments include:
2003 – Developed of an urban neighborhood open space system, including front
yard improvement strategies, reclamation of vacant land, creation of a
community market and community garden facility, and re-creation of public
housing projects.
2004 - Refined landscape and architectural design plans for open space projects,
at Lexington Park and the Eastside Commons and initiation of “the Healing
Project” to address the violence and community wide loss experienced in the
2004 – Formed broad community partnerships and strategies to implement a
neighborhood market and gardens and steward proposed improvements at
Lexington Park.
(33) Taking Account of Regional Climate Change Projections in
Great Lakes Policy Deliberations with Long-Term Implications?
A Pilot Study and Research Program
Maria Aileen Leah G. Guzman, Harry Lambright, Hank Mullins, Steve
Brechin, Dr. Jack Manno
The Great Lakes of North America hold nearly one fifth of the fresh surface water
on the earth. Their management is shared by two countries, eight states, two
provinces, and scores of indigenous tribes and first nations and local
jurisdictions. Several large-scale multi-jurisdictional policy initiatives are presently
making resource management decisions that will affect the lakes long into the
future. Our research asks whether and how projected ecosystem impacts of
climate change are taken into account in these policy deliberations.
(34) Efficiency of the Philippine Economy
Maria Aileen Leah G. Guzman, Dr. Charles Hall
The Philippines has one of the lowest Gross Domestic Production (GDP) among
all the members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). The
dwindling share of exportation from raw materials and other agricultural products
and the increasing cost of importation of industrial goods affected the GDP. The
world oil crisis in the 70’s magnified the negative effect on the economy. The
country’s economic recovery in the 80s was hampered by the instability of the
Philippine Government brought about by numerous coup attempts. A similar
political instability still exists today. A specific exacerbating factor of the country’s
poor economic performance was the energy crisis experienced in late 80s &
early 90s. This caused industrial firms to leave the country and set-up factories in
other countries as production cost increased due to high electricity prices. Thus,
one of the Philippine Government’s recent strategies to improve the plight of
Filipinos and hasten economic development in the Philippines is to provide
stable, sustainable and cheap energy to everyone. These goals are inscribed in
the Philippine Medium Term Plan and Philippine Energy Plan (PEP). PEP serves
as the country’s blueprint for the advancement of the energy sector and is seen
as a vital component of any economic development plan for developing countries
such as the Philippines. I attempt to analyze the importance and implications of
the Philippine Energy Plan to the country’s economy by scrutinizing the
Philippine Energy Plan. I specifically look at the plan’s economic and energy
efficiency by using a biophysical approach and a modified costs and benefits
(35) A Methane Cycle on Titan?
Adam Effler, Marilyn Markwie, Sowmya Venkatsubramania, Dr. James
With a diameter of 5150 km and a mass of 1.35e23 kg, Titan is Saturn’s largest
satellite. On Jan. 14, 2005, The European Space Agency’s Huygens probe
landed on the surface of Titan, completing a one-way, 4 billion km journey.
Imagery from the parachute-assisted descent through the methane-dominated
Titan atmosphere indicated river-like channels and possible lake surfaces,
suggesting a methane cycle similar to Earth’s hydrologic cycle. We are using the
ambient conditions on Titan (surface temperature, gravity, atmospheric
temperature lapse rates, channel sizes) and properties of methane (viscosity,
vapor pressure) to determine the possibility of a methane cycle on Titan.
(36) Radioactive Degradation of Cellulose
Chris Haverlock
In the early months of 2006, a small team of researchers from SUNY ESF and
many other affiliates are initiating a project that grapples with the problem of
breaking down the crystalline structure of cellulose. Ionizing radiation, consisting
of electron beams and x-rays, is being used to degrade crystalline regions of
cellulose in order to make the biomass useable for widespread economic use.
The main goal of this project deals with replacing petroleum fuel sources with
cellulosics, which is a renewable environmentally-friendly fuel source. This will
improve the environment and bring down the cost of oil per barrel.
As stated in the proposal, roughly one-third of transportation fuel requirements in
the United States can be met simply with cellulose and cellulose-based
materials. The radiation process being developed at SUNY ESF will make
cellulose more available for large scale economic use by being sufficiently lower
in operating cost when compared to current cellulose conversion technologies.
Another positive side to this process is that it can handle just about any type of
cellulose-bearing material. Regional feedstocks can be used which only serves
to further lower the conversion cost by eliminating shipping. Eliminating shipping
will also boost the local business economy. The project will require $450,000
over the course of three years which is relatively cheap when compared to many
other similar research projects currently in progress. In short, there is so much to
gain with virtually nothing to lose. With so much potential, this is a perfect
opportunity to alleviate the world’s dependence on petroleum-based polymers
and ultimately change the way energy is viewed forever, ushering in a new era of
conservation and environmental awareness.
(37) Physical Symbolism of Power, Neighborhood
Revitalization, and Historic Disempowerment in the Urban
Environment: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Meghan Hazer, Dr. Kishi Animashaun, Dr. Emmanuel Carter, Dr. Myrna Hall
In some American cities a pattern of historical disinvestment can be found, which
has been based on systems of historic disempowerment of different groups of
people. This paper investigates the story of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with
regards to racial residential segregation, the consequential urban neighborhoods
in decline, and some of the efforts being made today to revitalize these areas
and offer real opportunities to the current residents. In order to address this
issue, I first researched methods of segregation and the economic
disempowerment created by the policies of the Home Owners Loan Corporation
(HOLC). I also researched the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative (NTI),
which is the city’s current program for neighborhood revitalization. I then visited
neighborhoods in North Philadelphia, one of the most drastically segregated
areas of the city in order to interview people about their opinions on the recent
changes in the city and to what degree they personally felt their individual
opinions mattered. With all of this taken into consideration, I draw some
conclusions based on expressions of social, political, and economic power as
expressed in the landscape in the context of a documented history of
disempowerment and today’s efforts to empower residents through neighborhood
(38) Effects of ammonium nitrate and dolomitic lime additions
on understory vegetation growth and nutrient content in the
Catskill Mountains, NY
Laura A. Heath, Anthony S. Eallonardo Jr. and Dr. Donald Leopold
The northeastern United States has been exposed to elevated levels of nitrogen
through acidic deposition for over a century causing significant changes in the
nutrient status of forests, including nitrogen saturation, increased levels of
aluminum availability and base cation losses. The purpose of this study is to
analyze nutrient limitations in the Catskill Mountains of New York, an area heavily
affected by nitrogen deposition, to determine which nutrients are limiting growth
of the understory vegetation. Permanent plots were treated with one of four
treatments in 2003 (control, 25 kg N ha-1 yr-1 ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3), 9 tons
ha-1 dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2) or dolomite plus ammonium nitrate) and changes in
cover, density, biomass and nutrient content of understory plants were assessed
yearly. Two years after treatment application, there was no significant difference
in total understory biomass between treatments. Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
showed a significantly higher relative growth rate increase in the dolomite plus
ammonium nitrate treatment and had higher leaf Ca:Al and Mg:Al compared to
the control. The increase in Acer saccharum relative growth rate was positively
correlated to concentrations of calcium, magnesium and pH in the Oe horizon.
Erythronium americanum (trout-lily) showed no difference in relative growth rates
between treatments but exhibited a five-fold increase in root aluminum
concentrations on the nitrogen treatment relative to the control. However, there
was no difference in aluminum concentrations of Erythronium americanum
leaves between treatments. These results show that understory responses to
dolomite and ammonium nitrate are species-specific. Acer saccharum growth
increased as a result of factors associate with dolomite additions while
Erythronium americanum showed no growth response but a potential
physiological adaptation to persisting in high nitrogen and aluminum
(39) Microcystin Production in Lake Ontario
Amber Hotto, Mike Satchwell, Dr. Greg Boyer
Outbreaks of toxic cyanobacteria have been increasing on the Great Lakes.
Cyanobacteria in these toxic blooms can produce a family of hepatotoxic
peptides, called microcystins. There are two hypotheses surrounding the origin of
microcystin production in Lake Ontario: (1) it originates offshore and is circulated
throughout the lake via water currents and (2) it is created in eutrophic
embayments and is transported to the main lake. To investigate the existence
and origin of microcystin production in Lake Ontario, samples were collected in
embayments along the southern and eastern shores and from open water.
Molecular analysis by PCR revealed the potential for microcystin production,
which was then compared to actual microcystin production determined via the
biochemical protein phosphatase inhibition assay (PPIA). This information was
then used to evaluate the relative contribution of embayments vs. offshore
regions to microcystin production in Lake Ontario
(40) Supersaturation of dissolved nitrogen gas in the
hypolimnion in Onondaga Lake
Craig Allen Hurteau
Temporal and vertical patterns of nitrogen gas (N2) were documented for the
hypolimnion of eutrophic Onondaga Lake, New York for the June to October
interval of 10 years (1996-2005) in order to assess changes brought about by
increased nitrification at a contributing wastewater treatment facility. It was
hypothesized that increased loading of nitrate to the lake would promote N2
production through denitrification in the lake’s sediments. Concentrations of N 2
were routinely over-saturated with respect to the atmosphere and saturation
values >100% were common. Percent saturation values increased from an
average of 88.5% in 1996 and 1997 to 135.9% from 1998 to 2005. This increase
was consistent with nitrification related upgrades at the wastewater facility in
1998. More substantial upgrades made in 2004 resulted in year-round
nitrification at the facility and a 2-fold increase in nitrate concentrations in the lake
at spring turnover. This change was not reflected in higher N2 concentrations
during 2004 and 2005. Seasonal changes in N2 concentrations were qualitatively
consistent with the timing of the denitrification process, but vertical distributions
were highly variable and inconclusive with respect to identifying the sediments as
a predominant source. Over-saturation of N2 with respect to the atmosphere is of
concern in aquatic systems as it can cause gas bubble disease in fish. The
implications of these findings for fish and other aquatic organisms are
preliminarily discussed.
(41) Conservation NGOs- friend or foe? The World Wildlife
Fund- an exploration of indigenous issues in Brazil
Ana Jamboric
In December 2004, The World Watch Institute published Mac Chapin’s very
controversial article titled “A Challenge to Conservationists”. The article accused
large non-government organizations (NGO’s) of dominating the world’s
conservation agenda through rapid growth, neglecting indigenous people, and
entertaining projects and accepting funding in conflict with their conservation
mission. This study explores these allegations focusing on The World Wildlife
Fund-US and World Wildlife Fund-Brazil in terms of the indigenous movements
and its interactions with The World Wildlife Fund (WWF). In particular focusing
on the question of the existence of interaction with indigenous groups, the effects
of growth and structure of WWF on collaboration with indigenous groups, and the
effects of WWF’s partnerships with and acceptance of funding from corporation
on indigenous interaction. The original research in the study consists of
qualitative and quantitative data: eight interviews, WWF annual reports, books,
documents, and other archival data. According to the findings, WWF has
experienced almost exponential growth since its appeal—growing by a factor of
twelve since 1984. WWF has attempted to work with indigenous groups in the
past, however does not anymore. WWF has extensively in the past, and still does
to a lesser extent, work closely with corporations in funding, board involvement,
projects and partnerships—including resource extractive corporations. There is
evidence that WWF has in the past entertained projects of conflicting interest
with its mission and the goals of indigenous groups and there is evidence that
they are moving away from such projects.
(42)Transformation of American Elm with a plant defensin gene
from Norway Spruce for increased resistance to Dutch Elm
Nicholas Kaczmar
Nicholas Kaczmar, Armand Seguin, Charles Maynard, and William Powell.
Dutch Elm Disease (DED), caused by the fungal pathogen Ophiostoma novoulmi, has pushed the American elm to the brink of extinction. Efforts to combat
DED have recently focused on the development of disease-tolerant trees.
Genetic transformation offers an attractive alternative to breeding because it
offers the potential to transfer specific traits into selected genotypes without
affecting their desirable genetic background. PgD1, a defensin gene isolated
from Picea glauca, has shown to inhibit growth of several fungal pathogens.
Vascular and constitutive expression of PgD1 in American elm is being
attempted with hopes of increasing tolerance to DED.
(43) Development of a flow through fluorometric system for the
detection of phycocyanin in the lower Great Lakes
Elizabeth Konopko, Dr. Gregory Boyer
Cyanobacterial blooms have become common place on the Great Lakes. These
blooms vary in both their spatial and temporal distribution. Monitoring for these
blooms requires care in selecting the appropriate monitoring sites. A single site
may not give a good representation of these blooms for the entire lake. To
measure patchiness of these blooms, we have developed a flow-through system
that uses the fluorescence of their chlorophyll and their accessory pigment,
phycocyanin. This fluorescence system was coupled with a 6600 series YSI
sonde, which measured temperature, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen,
pH and chlorophyll every minute. In 2004, this system was placed aboard the
CCGS Limnos and used to survey both Lake Ontario and Lake Erie at 200 m
intervals over a five day period. The results for phycocyanin in Lake Ontario and
Lake Erie are presented here.
(44) Testing the Effects of Soil Microbes on Nutrient Uptake in
Red Pine (Pinus resinosa) Planted in Solvay Waste Soils.
Kali Lader, Tony Eallonardo, D. Muska, Dr. Tom Horton, Dr. Donald
Most plants depend on soil microbes to access nutrients and to help ease
the affects of harsh conditions. In this study we were interested in looking
at the affect soil microbes have on nutrient acquisition and biomass
accumulation in pine seedlings grown in Calcium-carbonate waste.
This bioassay was conducted in a two by two factorial design; seedlings
were planted in both sterile and non-sterilized soils from each of two
different aged calcium chloride waste beds. There are a total of five
replications per treatment based on the five different collections sites
within each of the two beds. Above ground biomass will be weighed and
the phosphorous content will be analyzed using ICP.
Based on observations during harvesting seedlings associated with
mycorrhizal fungi has less flagging on their needles but often appeared to
have less biomass. Statistical comparisons of biomass and Phosphorous
levels are on going will be reported in the poster.
If these soil microbes are shown to aid the seedlings in phosphorous
acquisition then this implies that plant restoration efforts should include
mycorrhizal inoculation to increase survival rate.
(45) Computational study of the reaction between Acetylperoxy
and Hydroperoxy radicals.
Alyson Lanciki, Dr. Theodore Dibble
The reaction between the acetylperoxy radical (CH3C(O)OO·) and the
hydroperoxy radical (HOO·) has been shown to be a major source of organic
acid deposition in the atmosphere. There are two main reaction pathways which
contribute to the acid buildup. Pathway 1 yields peracetic acid and an oxygen
molecule, while pathway 2 yields acetic acid and ozone. Pathways 1 and 2 occur
in a ratio of about 3 to 1. All molecules in this experiment are built with
Gaussian98, a modeling program that is also used to determine the transition
states and intermediates. The program also helps determine activation energies
to show kinetically how each set of products is reached. A similar study was done
using a different method in the Gaussian program. A comparison between the
Density Functional Theory (B3LYP) used in this experiment and the CBS-QB3
method used in the most recent research can gauge which is a more accurate
method for this type of reaction. The study of a different, yet related reaction
between (HOO·) and (CH(O)CH2OO·) will determine whether the position of the
carbonyl in a radical chain affects the number of main reaction pathways. This
information can be used for longer radicals containing carbonyls.
(46) Japanese Knotweed Management along Rt. 28N, Blue
Mountain Lake, New York
Erik Lema, Dr. Christopher Nowak
Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb. & Zucc.) poses a significant
threat to the native biodiversity of Adirondack Park. Knotweed is currently in an
early stage of invasion, making successful control possible. In spring of 2004, a
study involving the New York State Department of Transportation, The Nature
Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter, Arborchem Chemicals, and the State
University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, was
initiated to develop management techniques for populations along roadside
rights-of-way in the hamlet of Blue Mountain Lake. The methods evaluated were
cut-stump (glyphosate) and foliar (glyphosate, imazapyr, metsulfuron) herbicide
applications. One year after application, knotweed cover was similar in both
methods of herbicide treatment (2-3% cover) and significantly less than the
untreated control plots (80% cover). Stem density was significantly reduced in
the foliar plots (7,000 stems ha-1), but not different between the cut-stump and
control plots (54,000 stems ha-1 and 47,000 stems ha-1, respectively). For foliar
treatment only, both stem density and % cover were comparatively less in
isolated populations than those connected to a larger, untreated population
(0.96%, 5,900 stems ha-1 isolated versus 3.57%, 12,000 stems ha-1 connected).
Light was also determined to be an interacting factor in treatment effects on stem
density, with higher densities occurring in shaded areas (13,000 stems ha -1 full
shade versus 2,000 stems ha-1 full sun). Monitoring of the affected areas will
continue in the summer of 2006 to determine long-term treatment effects.
(47) Examining policy change and development in the
Coevolutionary framework: Wetlands policy of the U. S. and S.
Sukhyun Park, Dr. Valerie Luzadis
The purpose of this study is to examine whether a punctuated equilibrium in
policy process is related to a coevolutionary process between our society and
ecosystem. In order to do this, I used wetlands policy in the U. S. and S. Korea
as case studies.
In this study, coevolution refers to an ongoing positive feedback between
components of an evolving system. We are accustomed to negative feedback
systems which keep systems in equilibrium. The mechanical models of the
Newtonian world view, including those of neoclassical economics, must have
negative feedback so that when a change occurs the models find a new
equilibrium. Models of policy studies are also generally based on the twin
principles of incrementalism and negative feedback – self-correcting systems,
which maintain a dynamic equilibrium. However, the nonincremental nature of
the allocation of problems in political systems and economics has been ignored.
The coevolutionary approach has rarely dealt with evidence. This study is thus a
preliminary scientific research to operationalize the concept of coevolution in
social science. I started this research with the following questions: How to track
down the relationships among the components of a coevolutionary framework?
Would a nonincremental institutional change contribute to the coevolutionary
process? Were there any nonincremental changes in wetlands policy, wetlands
ecosystem, and values of wetlands? Is this dramatic change really a break point
toward a new stage or back to the equilibrium? To perform this study, I collected
congressional hearings and documents, interviewed, and surveyed.
Both the US and Korea have had a short period of a radical change in the
wetlands policy formation in the 1970s and the 1990s respectively. Based on the
interim analysis, however, the punctuated equilibrium of wetlands policy would
not be a break point of dynamic equilibrium.
(48) Methodological considerations for capturing seed species
richness at centimeter and meter scales from peat cores at
South Sandy Pond, NY
Aaron Marcus, Matthew Distler, Dr. Donald Leopold
The paleoecological technique of macrofossil analysis lacks standardization
regarding peat sample size and number of cores collected. Species variation at
centimeter and meter scales may be important in choosing sample number and
volume. This study investigated the number of peat cores and the sample volume
that would sufficiently represent the species richness of a diverse wetland habitat
for macrofossil analysis. Additionally, this research evaluated whether seed
species richness varied at the centimeter or meter scales. Eight cores were
collected along a 35m transect through the open Chamaedaphne/Carex
community of South Sandy Pond. Six cumulative volumes were assessed from
each core (1cm3, 3cm3, 5cm3, 10cm3, 15cm3, and 20cm3) at 2 to 4 cm depth.
Species richness of 20cm3 cores varied from 4 to 7, while the total richness
among all cores was 15. Carex chordorrhiza, C. lasiocarpa and Vaccinium
macrocarpon were common aboveground, but poorly represented in the peat,
demonstrating the limitations of macrofossil analysis in describing plant
community richness. Accumulation curves show that seed species richness is not
saturated after sampling 20cm3 of peat. A sample that accurately represents
richness would need to be larger than this. Using two cores increased the
species richness for the same volume sampled, and more strongly when the
cores were further apart. Using multiple cores may help capture species richness
associated with complex fen microtopography. More study is needed to see if
seed species accumulation trends are similar at other sites and depths.
(49) Using percent crown cover as a thinning guide may suffice
for over-stocked, pole size brown ash (Fraxinus nigra Marsh.)
stands in Caribou, Maine.
Timothy McAbee, Dr. Michael R. Bridgen, Dr. Ralph D. Nyland
Seeking to better understand the ecological and silvicultural characteristics of
brown ash and the tools for managing it (i.e. stocking guides) is important to the
cultural preservation and economic well-being of northeastern native people and
other craftsmen. Concern for the species’ conservation is a result of its reduced
abundance, as has been noticed by the individuals who use brown ash logs for
producing splints and baskets. This study tested the application of a brown ash
stocking guide developed for the Lake States by Erdmann et al. (1987) on overstocked, pole-size brown ash stands in Caribou, Maine using a distance
independent, individual tree growth model. Simulation of the plots thinned to 50,
75 and 100% crown cover, as opposed to the control plot (no cutting), showed
consistently increasing volume production rates and diameter growth for brown
ash over the 20-year period simulated. A percent crown cover of about 170 may
represent a maximum degree of crowding. Currently, the Erdmann et al. (1987)
guide is the only brown ash stocking guide and may be the best alternative for
regulating stand density deliberately and effectively.
(50) Innovative management structures for onsite wastewater
Robert P. McAfee Dr. Sharon Moran , Dr. Robert Malmsheimer
Improperly functioning onsite wastewater treatment systems are causing both
ground and surface water contamination in many communities. Studies have
shown that onsite wastewater treatment is an appropriate method of treatment if
combined with a management program. Yet despite current problems, national
and state level water regulations largely focus on point sources, excluding nonpoint source onsite wastewater problems. Despite a lack of national and state
level action, some local communities have developed and implemented
innovative management structures for the purposes of addressing these
concerns. To showcase various management structures, case studies were
conducted. These case studies embody a range of management styles
representing various levels of local governance: sub-division, town, county, and
watershed. Common themes that appeared during case study research include
the role of crisis situations and alternative technology, the influence of wealth,
organizations and issue framing, and the interconnectedness of wastewater
(51) Soil drainage class effects longevity and species
composition of trees
Scott Means
Forested or plantation trees are affected by a host of biotic and abiotic
components. Biotic factors are like macro and microorganisms in the soil,
species of trees in the over story, and whether they are deciduous or coniferous.
Abiotic factors include the amount of rainfall and what season it is received,
aspect, climate and temperature. The most dynamic aspect is soil drainage
class or depth to water.
This research demonstrates how a change in soil drainage class, from a stand of
trees to another stand of trees, can hinder the ability of trees to put on wood,
grow and outpace competing trees. A digital elevation map (DEM) of the
Northern Heiberg Forest was used as first step, depicting the cover species and
relating the species to
appropriate stands of trees. This image along with on the ground
observations from forest measurements helped to determine tree cover types.
Next the stand boundaries were digitized from a hand drawn schematic and
drawn onto the DEM. Finally a USDA soil map from Cortland County compiled in
1961, was scanned over the DEM and synchronized by a process called rubber
sheeting, a process matching up physiographic features with digital accuracy. On
analysis of the field and map data, it was confirmed that soil drainage has a role
in species composition. Red Pine, best suited to well drained soil, was planted
for a dated experiment in a poorly dr ained Chippewa soil, in stand #8, white ash
best in semi-poorly to poorly drained soils, was now out competing the Red Pine.
(52) Willows Irrigated with Different Concentrations of Solvay
Jaconette Mirck, Dr. Timothy Volk
A pot-based experiment was conducted to determine the effect of different
concentrations of Solvay stormwater, based on chloride concentrations (0-230
mmol l-1), on the growth of three shrub-willow varieties. The three varieties used
were: Salix miyabeana (SX64), S. purpurea (9882-34) and S. sachalinensis x S.
miyabeana (9870-40). Initially the plants were grown for six weeks, during which
the willows were irrigated with tap water. An initial harvest was carried out to
determine a benchmark for plant size, leaf length, leaf area and above and below
ground biomass. During a ten-week treatment the shrub-willows were irrigated
using five different dilutions of Solvay stormwater and a control (tap water). High
concentrations of Solvay stormwater had a significant effect on growth, stomatal
conductance and photosynthesis of the shrub-willows after 10 weeks of
(53) Autohydrolysis of Sugar Maple Wood
Ashutosh Mittal, G.M. Scott, Dr. Thomas E. Amidon
The aim of this work is to study the kinetics of hemicellulose hydrolysis during
hydrothermal pretreatment of sugar maple wood. Yields of residual xylan, xylooligomers, xylose, glucose, lignin, and the degraded products of sugars, i.e.,
furfural and HMF (5-hydroxymethyl furfural) were determined. A kinetic model is
developed for hemicellulose hydrolysis based on first-order kinetics with
Arrhenius-type temperature dependence. The model is validated with
experimental data obtained in the autohydrolysis of sugar maple wood carried
out under various pretreatment conditions of 145-185˚C, reaction times 0-8 h,
liquor to solid ratio 20 g/g, in a batch reactor. It was also found that the
hydrothermal treatments caused negligible degradation of both cellulose and
(54) Nitrate, Soil Calcium, and Litter Quality: Where to Start?"
for the Spotlight on Student Research and Outreach
Blair Page, Dr. Myron Mitchell
We recently identified two nearly adjacent catchments in the central Adirondacks
that varied significantly in stream calcium (Ca2+) and nitrate (NO3-) export. After
an initial evaluation of the vegetation and stream chemistry, we developed a
conceptual model to describe relationships among soil Ca, litter quality, and N
mineralization. To evaluate this model, we added nine additional sites selected
throughout the Central Adirondacks. Among these 11 sites, we identified a
calcium gradient in the forest floor (Oe/Oa horizons) and in the upper 10 cm of the
mineral soil.
Our data indicate that field-extracted NO3- within the forest floor is positively
correlated with forest floor Ca2+. This relationship was strongest towards the end
of the growing season (Sept.) as compared to earlier sampling in May and June
when there is generally a greater demand for NO3-. As expected, calcium
concentrations were highly correlated with pH, making a separate interpretation
of these two variables difficult.
When values over the three collection periods were averaged, the relative basal
area of American basswood (Tilia americana) was the most significant predictor
of forest floor NO3-. The relative basal area of basswood and forest floor Ca 2+
were also significantly related. Given the substantial influence of basswood on
nitrogen cycling in these sites and its apparent demand for Ca2+, continued
depletion of base cations associated with acidic deposition could dramatically
alter nitrogen cycling through changes in species composition and an associated
reduction in litter quality.
(55) Assessing Arbuscular Mycorrhizae and Soil
Characteristics in Natural and Restored Wetlands of Central New
Erin Page, Dr. Thomas Horton, Dr. Richard Smardon, Dr. Russell Briggs
The science behind wetland restoration and compensatory mitigation is still very
new. Because nutrient availability to native plants is important in restoration, the
purpose of this study is to look at wetland restoration from a below ground
perspective. By assessing below ground biotic properties in remnant and
restored wetlands in central New York, we hope to understand if there is a
quantifiable difference in mycorrhizal colonization among plant species present at
study sites. Percent mycorrhizal colonization was quantified from plant samples
in each plot. There are many wetland plants that have not been described as
mycorrhizal, although it is estimated that 80% of land plants have mycorrhizal
symbioses. The study revealed twenty plants colonized by mycorrhizal fungi that
to our knowledge have not been reported as mycorrhizal. Previous research has
shown that mycorrhizal colonization is highest in the growing season. Therefore,
we estimate that summer samples will reveal a higher colonization rate of
mycorrhizal fungi.
(56) Understanding the Impact of Forest Cover on Water
Quality in the Catskill-Delaware Watersheds
Prajjwal Panday, Dr. Charles Hall, Dr. Myrna Hall
Water quality is basically a function of land use, defined broadly. Understanding
land use and land cover (LULC) change dynamics can contribute important
information to understanding and predicting water quality and quantity, especially
when linked to a land use change projection model. To understand this
relationship better in the Catskill-Delaware system, the water supply for New
York City, we used the following data: the New York City Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP) 1987-2003 water quality monitoring data set,
1987, 1991, and 2002 satellite-derived land use, road density, and soil factors,
average concentrations of total phosphorous, soluble reactive phosphorous,
ammonia, nitrate plus nitrite, total nitrogen, and total suspended solids (TP, SRP,
NO3NO2, TKN, NH4, and TSS)
This relatively large DEP database from 75 sampling sites allowed the
comparison of streams of different degrees of deforestation. When we plotted
the data as a time series of individual measurements for each sampling station,
there were no readily apparent trends and we found this data inadequate for our
long-term LULC/water quality analysis. This was true for two reasons: (1) many
species had not been sampled over the entire period of time; (2) the majority of
sampling had been done under relatively uninteresting low flows rather than
during relatively more important run-off events.
We were able to get around this problem by normalizing the flows to the
maximum flow observed. Then we found (1) no relation between percent of
maximum discharge and concentration, and (2) that any decrease in forest cover
is reflected in an increase in total inorganic nitrogen and total dissolved
phosphorous. This was true for all subcatchments in each major basin
(Cannonsville, Schoharie, Ashokan, Rondout, Neversink, and Pepacton). There
appears to be no threshold at which forest cover does not impact water quality
positively. . A diminution of only 1-2% forest cover per sub-basin (regardless of
size) resulted in higher TDP and NO3NO2 concentrations and we consistently
found an inverse relationship between % forest cover and the 2001-2003 TDP
(ug/L) average and NO3NO2 (u/g/L) average across watersheds. The results for
sediments are more ambiguous but broadly similar
Keywords: Water Quality, Land Use, Forest Cover, New York City Watersheds
(57) Examining the Dynamics of Environmental Policy Change
in the Coevolutionary Framework
Seohyun Park , Dr. Valerie Luzadis
The purpose of this study is to examine whether a punctuated equilibrium in
policy process is related to a coevolutionary process between our society and
ecosystem. In order to do this, I used wetlands policy in the U. S. and S. Korea
as case studies.
In this study, coevolution refers to an ongoing positive feedback between
components of an evolving system. We are accustomed to negative feedback
systems which keep systems in equilibrium. The mechanical models of the
Newtonian world view, including those of neoclassical economics, must have
negative feedback so that when a change occurs the models find a new
equilibrium. Models of policy studies are also generally based on the twin
principles of incrementalism and negative feedback – self-correcting systems,
which maintain a dynamic equilibrium. However, the nonincremental nature of
the allocation of problems in political systems and economics has been ignored.
The coevolutionary approach has rarely dealt with evidence. This study is thus a
preliminary scientific research to operationalize the concept of coevolution in
social science. I started this research with the following questions: How to track
down the relationships among the components of a coevolutionary framework?
Would a nonincremental institutional change contribute to the coevolutionary
process? Were there any nonincremental changes in wetlands policy, wetlands
ecosystem, and values of wetlands? Is this dramatic change really a break point
toward a new stage or back to the equilibrium? To perform this study, I collected
congressional hearings and documents, interviewed, and surveyed.
Both the US and Korea have had a short period of a radical change in the
wetlands policy formation in the 1970s and the 1990s respectively. Based on the
interim analysis, however, the punctuated equilibrium of wetlands policy would
not be a break point of dynamic equilibrium.
(58) From Take-Out Culture to Dioxin Risks: Who Should Take
Seohyun Park and Dr. Brenda Nordenstam
Dioxins are unintentional products generated from chlorine-containing materials
(e.g. Styrofoam, plastic vinyl products). Dioxin risks are closely related to our
material and convenience oriented life style, for example, using disposable
plastic materials in take-out restaurants and wasteful consumption behavior.
Individual dioxin body burden is also associated with smoking and dietary
behavior since cigarettes and fatty-foods contain certain amounts of dioxins. In
Korea, the generation of plastic waste has increased significantly since the
introduction of the _take-out_ culture, which began around 1998. In response,
Korean society has developed a different approach to dioxin risk management in
comparison to the United States, where public policy is more likely to
overestimate dioxin cancer risks, engage in site-centered and regulatory-oriented
risk management, and generate expensive social costs. This research examines
what people know about dioxin generation and associated risks in Korea, and
which members of society they believe should take responsibility for dioxin risk
reduction. The study utilized a survey research methods design, consisting of a
written questionnaire administered to 334 respondents. Respondents showed a
high rate of risk reduction responses, including the use of voluntary behaviors,
such as the adoption of reusable mugs in take-out coffee shops. The results
indicate that respondents are highly aware of dioxin risks (94.7%), and have a
high level of knowledge about the relationship between the _take-out_ culture,
dioxin travel pathways, and exposure risk. A majority of the respondents (75.3%)
answered that -all members of society- should take responsibility for reduction of
dioxin risks.
(59) Flow-through systems for the detection of cyanobacteria
Margaret Pavlac, Dr. Gregory Boyer
Monitoring for harmful cyanobacterial blooms is important for protecting drinking
and recreational waters. However, monitoring techniques can be time intensive.
In a simplified method, we are looking at using chlorophyll fluorescence as an
alternative monitoring tool. This study evaluates the ability of four different
fluorometers (Hydrolab, Turner Designs 10AU, Turner Designs Algaewatch, and
Turner Designs Cyanowatch) to measure chlorophyll in a flowing system. The
effects of flow rate and varying chlorophyll concentrations were measured using
natural algae. Information from these studies is essential in determining the
optimal method for using fluorescence to monitor cyanobacteria in buoy or hutbased systems.
(60) Total synthesis of Spiculoic Acid A
Atahualpa Pinto, Christopher Boddy
Spiculoic Acid A is a natural product recently isolated from the marine sponge
Plakortis angulospiculatus, with shown promise as an anticancer agent in vitro.
The molecule consists of a peculiar fused bicyclic framework and belongs to the
polyketide class of metabolites whose biosynthesis is known to resemble that of
fatty acids. Its biosynthesis likely involves the formation of a linear tetraene
polyketide followed by a Diels-Alder type reaction to form the bicyclic structure.
One of two possible isomeric linear structures, differing only in electronic
character, is thought to give rise to Spiculoic Acid A. To examine their viability as
biosynthetic precursors, their total synthesis is being carried out. Our strategy
involves the convergent synthesis of the putative linear chains, for which two
fragments are at present being elaborated from commercially available transcinnamaldehyde and 2,5-dihydrofuran. The outcome of our studies will give
insight on the conserved nature and predictability of the Polyketide Synthase
(61) Modeling soil erosion in Skaneateles Lake Watershed:
Application of Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) in
Soni Pradhanang, Dr. Lee Herrington, Dr. Russell Briggs
Skaneateles Lake is the primary source of drinking water for the Syracuse
metropolitan area. Continued maintenance of water quality is essential as this
water supply is one of a limited number of lakes and reservoirs in New York that
are not filtered before distribution to users. Soil erosion, a serious environmental
problem, reduces soil productivity and impairs water quality. Soil erosion models
facilitate quantitative assessment of the impacts of a variety of potential
interventions for minimizing sediment and nutrient loads to surface waters. These
models require input data describing terrain, soil type, cropping system and
conservation practices. We are using Geographic Information System (GIS) in
combination with the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) to model
soil erosion in the Skaneateles Lake watershed in Upstate New York. RUSLE,
an empirical model, is widely used to predict the average annual rate of soil
erosion. The input data for five major factors of RUSLE are obtained from digital
elevation models (DEMs), land cover maps, and soil maps within a GIS
environment. Ultimately, we intend to quantify the reduction in sediment and
nutrient loads that can be attained using agricultural best management practices.
(62) Clustering in mixtures of rigid and flexible polymers
Darya Prokhorova, Dr. Avik Chatterjee
We investigate mixtures of flexible and rigid polymers using a computational
model. Our study focuses on thermal interactions between rigid particles
dispersed among flexible macromolecules. A close relationship is found between
the critical concentrations of the rigid particles and their effective second virial
(63) Diversity and distribution pattern of bryophytes and
vascular plants in two rich fens of the Fall Creek Watershed, NY
Stephen Reynolds, Jennifer Gillrich, Dr. Robin Kimmerer, Dr. Donald
Rich fens, minerotrophic peatlands with circumneutral to alkaline pH, support
diverse bryophyte and vascular plant communities due to the interaction of
numerous biotic and abiotic factors at multiple spatial and temporal scales.
These unique wetlands are of high conservation priority, yet they lack
comprehensive legal protection. Bryophyte and vascular plant diversity and
distribution were described in two rich fens, Jacob’s Fen and the Route 90
Peatland Complex, in the Fall Creek Watershed, NY. Vascular plant cover was
surveyed in 1m2 plots and bryophyte cover was sampled within 47cm2 nested
subplots (n=256). Microtopographic heterogeneity, substrate composition, and
water depth were quantified at each plot. Water samples were taken from a
series of adjacent groundwater wells and surface pits and analyzed for major
cation concentrations, pH, and specific conductivity. Ordination techniques were
used to explore vascular and nonvascular community associations, while
correlations between plant composition and environmental factors were
examined using regression analysis. Conservationists rarely have the resources
required to comprehensively examine bryophytes, a taxonomically difficult group.
Therefore, these results may provide an efficient method to evaluate rich fen
bryophyte communities using vascular plant composition and environmental data
as indicators.
(64) Influence of Species Composition on Groundwater Solute
Concentrations in a Coastal Medium Fen
Chuck Schirmer, Dr. Donald Leopold
Wetlands are important ecosystems for the storage, transformation and uptake of
nutrients. Excesses in nutrient loading and availability have been shown to affect
species composition and plant community structure. Nitrogen has received
considerable attention in relation to its effects on plant communities and water
quality. Wetland plant communities dominated by nitrogen-fixing species may
locally influence groundwater chemistry, thereby impacting nitrogen dynamics on
the landscape and possibly water quality of adjacent surface waters.
Few studies exist investigating the effects of N-fixing species on groundwater in
medium fens, which harbor a large number of plant species including some plant
species of concern for conservation. In order to quantify differences in local
groundwater chemistry among communities dominated by two N-fixing species
(Alnus incana ssp. rugosa and Myrica gale) and communities absent of N-fixing
species, groundwater samples were collected and their chemistry analyzed
throughout two growing seasons. The study was conducted at South Sandy Fen,
a medium fen adjacent to the southeastern portion of Lake Ontario, New York.
In June of 2004, wells were installed at two depths (30 and 80 cm) at six
locations within the fen (n = 12). Each pair of wells, replicated twice, were placed
approximately 30 cm apart in the three distinct plant community assemblages
(Alnus, Myrica, and graminoid-dominated). Wells were sampled at monthly
intervals from July 2004 to December 2004. Sampling resumed in June 2005
and continues at present. Nitrate was significantly different among species,
whereas ammonium was not. Nitrate and ammonium were not significantly
different between well depths. There was no significant interaction between plant
community type and well depth. These results indicate that N-fixing species
locally influence nitrogen inputs to groundwater in medium fen communities.
(65) Assessing BMP Effectiveness on the Skaneateles Lake
Christian Schmidt, Dr. Chuck Kroll
The purpose of the study is to implement field level monitoring of the site specific
BMPs in order to quantify changes in nutrient concentrations loads between the
time of no implementation and post-implementation of the BMP and to assess
the effectiveness of the implementation. The first field season will be used to
build baseline data on several of the study sites in order to compare them to the
observations post-implementation. This project will examine the water quality
variables of total dissolved P (TDP), dissolved reactive P (DRP), nitrate-N,
ammonium-N, and sediment. In addition, on one farm where sampling will be
direct from a perennial stream, bacteria counts will be examined. The results of
this study should be to evaluate the effectiveness of BMPs as a proactive
measure to preserve the water quality of Skaneateles Lake. That the
concentration of nutrient loading may be found to be significantly decreased
through implementation of farm specific BMPs.
(66) Chemotaxonomic analysis of the genus Euphorbia
Timothy Schroeder
Euphorbia is a large and complex genus of flowering plants comprising about
1600 species worldwide. A defining characteristic of the genus is the latex
formed by the aerial portions of the plant. There is a large amount of chemical
diversity found among the latexes of different Euphorbia species. Our research
deals with whether the members of the genus Euphorbia can be taxonomically
classified by chemical analysis of the triterpenoids produced in the latex. We
have selected twenty-five species representing different geographic areas and
varying morphological characteristics for analysis. The latex is collected and
then separated using chromatographic methods. The latex fractions are then
analyzed using 600 MHz NMR. A library of NMR spectra of triterpenoids was
created for comparison to the spectra of our analyzed samples.
(67) An integrated approach to brownfield site characterization
of Hunt’s Point, Bronx, NY through the use of GIS and Sanborn
Fire Insurance maps
Megan Scott, Suzanne Greiner, Gregory Liberman, Dr. Douglas Daley, Dr.
Preston Gilbert
A brownfield is defined as a potentially hazardous contaminated or polluted
parcel of land.1 These stigmatized properties are unattractive to potential
investors, which induces people to purchase pristine land instead. This reduces
greenspace in a given community. Through the use of Sanborn Fire Insurance
maps, these sites can be characterized more easily, contributing to the process
of remediation. Sanborn maps show property uses for a given year. Examining
past uses of properties during different increments allows the researcher to
identify possible contaminants and possible methods of remediation.
(68) Randomized controlled trial presentations at SAEM 2005:A
downward trend?
Ariel Shippee, William D Grant
Objectives: To determine if previously reported rising trends in the proportion of
RCTs presented at national emergency medicine meetings has continued.
Methods: Published abstracts for the 2005 Society of Academic Emergency
Medicine annual meeting as found in the May 2005 Official Journal of the Society
for Academic Emergency Medicine Vol. 12, No. 5, Suppl. 1 were reviewed and
classified by presentation type, study design, and population studied. A
structured data extraction process was employed. Interrater reliability was
measured. A Medline search was conducted to identify additional relevant
reference studies.
Results: A total of 497 of 502 abstracts at the 2005 annual SAEM meeting were
included for analysis with 9% found to be randomized controlled trials. Results
were compared to a study by Singer et al.4 evaluating the trends in study designs
of abstracts presented at academic emergency medicine meetings.
Conclusions: The proportion of abstracts describing RCTs at the 2005 SAEM
meeting was significantly lower than reported by Singer et al.4 as presented in
1997, but not significantly lower than their analysis of presentations made in
1989. Several explanations for the differences can be postulated.
(69) Relating habitat structure, thermal quality and massasauga
habitat use in Central New York: implications for management
Kevin Shoemaker, Kevin Johnson, Dr. James Gibbs
The eastern massasauga rattlesnake is a state-listed endangered subspecies
known from just two locations in New York State. Anecdotal information
suggests that the massasauga population at Cicero Swamp Wildlife Management
Area (CSWMA) near Syracuse, NY is declining. Although the decline of
massasaugas at Cicero Swamp and elsewhere is likely the result of insufficient
or unsuitable habitat, we currently lack the information necessary to determine
which habitat element(s) may limit this subspecies. Previous researchers have
speculated that gravid female massasaugas at CSWMA may be limited by the
availability of open-canopy gestation sites, and that active vegetation removal
would therefore reduce the extirpation risk for this population. To assess this
theory, we distributed operative temperature models within the primary
massasauga habitat at CSWMA (determined from previous research) and
calculated multiple metrics of thermal quality for each model location. We then
used a set of microhabitat variables recorded at each model location to build a
predictive model of thermal quality. Finally, we used information from a previous
study at CSWMA to assess the degree to which the habitat choice of gravid
massasaugas could be explained by variation in thermal quality, as estimated
from our model. Preliminary analysis suggests that microhabitat structure was
able to explain some of the variability in thermal quality at CSWMA, but that
estimated thermal quality had a negligible ability to discriminate between gravid
massasauga locations and random locations. Our results suggest that gravid
female massasaugas are responding to (and possibly limited by) habitat
elements other than thermal quality. Management actions designed to improve
thermal quality at CSWMA may be unwarranted at this time.
(70) Bridging the energy gap: Blueback herring (Alosa
aestivalis) feeding during their spawning run in the
Hudson and Mohawk Rivers
Paul Simonin, Leonard Machut, Dr. Karin Limburg
The historic range of the anadromous blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis) extends
from Florida to Nova Scotia, including the Hudson River in New York. Since the
mid 1900’s, this species has been observed moving farther upstream through the
Erie Canal and Mohawk River system. Mainly planktivorous, blueback herring
were thought to cease feeding and rely on lipid reserves during their spring
spawning run. Adult blueback herring were collected during the 1999, 2002, and
2004 spawning runs from sites on the Hudson (N = 18 fish) and Mohawk (N = 78
fish) Rivers, and gut contents were analyzed. A total of 34 fish were found to
contain food material. Of the Mohawk River samples, 41% contained food items,
while 11% of Hudson River fish contained food. Prey items found in 1999 were
predominantly zooplankton, while in 2002 and 2004 benthic macroinvertebrates
were consumed in large quantities as well, and included Baetidae, Ephemeridae,
and Chironomidae. It is likely that blueback herring in this system are now facing
increased energy requirements as they migrate farther upstream during
spawning runs. This previously undocumented feeding behavior appears to be
providing blueback herring the energy subsidy needed to maintain fitness over
their expanded migratory range.
(71) The Saturated Permeability of Composite Pulp Fiber and
Filler Mats
Ramesh Singh
The Permeability of the pulp is the physical parameter that characterizes the
degree of resistance to water-flow through pulp fibers. Permeability predicts
sheet performance in the press-section of papermaking, which can be used for
design of modern press-sections. A number of researchers have used Darcy’s
law to calculate the wet permeability of pulp-pad, which is then used to calculate
the specific surface of pulp-pad and specific volume of the swollen wet fiber.
Among the different permeability models that correlate the permeability of porous
medium with parameter of its pore structure (specific surface area and specific
volume), the Kozeny -Carman approach was found to be particularly popular in
the permeability study of pulp pad.
The current research is aimed at understanding the influence of Albacar and
Albafil PCC (precipitated calcium carbonate) fillers on the permeability of different
softwood and hardwood pulps using Kozeny-Carman equation.
Albacar is Scalenohedral shaped mineral fillers with an average particle size of
2.0 micron and specific surface area of 7.4 m2/g. Albafil is Prismatic shaped
mineral fillers with an average particle size of 0.8 micron and specific surface
area of 9.77 m2/g.
We are developing a model to explain the change in specific surface area with
PCC filler loading, which accounts for the factors like charge on the fiber and
fillers particles as well as shape and size of the filler particles. Pulmac setup was
used to perform permeability experiments on the pulp pads.
(72) Three Dimensional (3D) Model of Fiber Network of Paper
Sharad Singh
A theoretical fiber network model of paper is proposed. The 2D version of the
model has been implemented and 3D model is in development stage.
The fibre length distribution is obtained from the results of Kajani testing. The
orientation of fiber is random; number of fiber depends on the grammage of
paper under investigation. The resulting fiber network gives pore area ,
perimeter, pore size distribution and hence hydraulic radius data of paper
structure with a particular grammage .
The 3D model under development will incorporate essential features needed to
describe paper structure. Bending and consolidation of fiber will be modeled. The
statistical properties of fiber network, transport of fluid through the network will be
studied. The results will be compared with experimental data.
(73) Recommended Urban Forest Mixtures to Optimize Selected
Environmental Benefits
John Domm, Eric Ripley, Janet Tordesillas, Richard Greene, Dr. Allan Drew,
Dr Richard Smardon
Past research has shown that urban forests can have beneficial effects on
greenhouse gas concentrations. Urban forests reduce greenhouse gases via
respiratory processes and reduce energy usage through shade and windshield.
The objective of this study was to determine an optimal urban forest mix for
reduction of carbon dioxide and reduction of ozone forming volatile organic
compound (VOC) emissions, specifically isoprene and monoterpenes. A further
goal was to demonstrate how proper urban forest planning can reduce energy
usage resulting in a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from power
generation. In order to reach these objectives, we analyzed data taken from a
USDA Forest Service UFORE study of Syracuse along with urban forest
management practices to determine an optimal forest mix. To demonstrate
potential energy savings, we referenced a study done on the Greater Toronto
Area. Using species already found in Syracuse, we found that different mixes of
trees can improve carbon sequestration while minimizing isoprene and
monoterpene emissions. In addition, a forest mix optimized for both functions,
while taking into account urban forest management recommendations, can
significantly reduce isoprene and monoterpene emissions with only a slight
reduction in carbon sequestration as compared to current conditions. Finally,
proper urban forest planning can lead to a significant reduction in greenhouse
gas emissions due to reductions in energy use.
(74) Effects of microcystins, a cyanobacterial toxin, on
burrowing mayfly (Hexagenia) suvival and hatching
Juliette Smith, Dr. Greg Boyer, Dr. Kim Schulz
Burrowing mayflies, genus Hexagenia, were virtually eliminated from the major
water bodies of North America in the early 1950’s, paralleling an increase in
eutrophication and sediment pollution. The burrowing mayflies have begun
recolonization in isolated areas of Lake Erie and major river systems, but remain
absent in former habitats such as Oneida Lake, New York. To investigate toxic
cyanobacteria blooms as a cause for mayfly eradication, unexplained absence,
or patchy distribution, larvae and fertile eggs were tested for survival and
hatching success in the presence of cyanobacteria extract, and purified
microcystin-LR, a common cyanobacterial hepatotoxin. Large nymphs (> 17
mm), collected from the western basin of Lake Erie, appeared tolerant of purified
microcystin-LR at all doses administered (0.001 – 10.0 g mL-1), showing no
mortality over 7 days of constant exposure. Small, newly-hatched nymphs (< 1
mm) showed 100% mortality at the two highest concentrations, 10.0 g mL-1 and
20.0 g mL-1, after 120h and 96h exposure, respectively. Mayfly eggs showed a
trend for decrease in total hatching percentage at the highest microcystin-LR
dose (0.1 g mL-1) and hatching was significantly delayed by one day. Lower
microcystin-LR concentrations (0.001 g mL-1, 0.01 g mL-1) and toxic
cyanobacteria extract (5 x 106 cells mL-1) did not appear to have a negative effect
on hatching success. These results suggest that high concentrations of
microcystin-LR have a detrimental effect on the survival of new mayfly hatchlings
and egg hatching success, therefore, having possible negative implications on
recruitment and establishment. Large nymphs, however, survived high
concentrations of the dissolved toxin, (3 orders of magnitude higher than natural
Lake Erie concentrations) indicating a higher tolerance than other aquatic
invertebrates, including mosquito larvae, Daphnia, and copepods.
(75) Effects of zooplankton fatty acid content on
interpretation of stable carbon isotope food web
diagrams of lake ecosystems
Peter Smyntek
Stable isotopes, particularly 13C and 15N, are increasingly utilized to investigate
aquatic food web structure, follow the flow of primary production through higher
trophic levels, and model the diets of planktivorous fish. A diverse variety of
zooplankton can compose the trophic links between phytoplankton and fish.
There have been many reports of zooplankton with much lower stable carbon
13C) than both their presumed food sources and predators, and
these differences can greatly confound the interpretation of stable isotope food
web diagrams and dietary mixing models. One possible explanation for this
phenomenon is that some zooplankton store large quantities of fatty acids, which
13C values relative to other biochemical constituents such
have more
as proteins. This hypothesis was tested by collecting a range of zooplankton
species from nine lakes of diverse sizes and productivities including Lakes Erie,
Michigan, Ontario, and Champlain as well as several English lakes, and
13C values before and after extracting
Ex-Non) of up to 5‰
13C values of pre- versus post-extracted zooplankton samples were
observed, and the fatty acid content of two types of zooplankton, calanoid and
Ex-Non. Mass balance
correction models for fatty acid content using atomic C/N ratios were tested and
13C values, thereby clarifying
the relationships between zooplankton with their food sources or predators.
These correction models should be employed for calanoid and cyclopoid
copepods with atomic C/N ratios of 5.5 or higher.
(76) The effect of vegetation type on bird call volume
Deb Visco
The vegetation of a forest is denser than that of a field. This physical structure
causes noise volumes to decrease as they travel. To compensate for this factor, I
predicted that bird calls would be louder in a forest habitat than in a field. I
estimated the amplitude (volume) of bird calls in forest versus field habitats. I
measured decibel levels of bird calls in both habitats and calculated my distance
from each bird. I found that after controlling for distance, the mean decibel level
of bird songs in the forest was significantly greater than the mean decibel level in
the fields.
(77) Radial growth responses of host and non-host tree species
to hemlock woolly adelgid infestation in Connecticut
Kelly Walton, David Orwig, Dr. Eddie Bevilacqua
Hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), Adelges tsugae, is an invasive insect from Japan
that has slowly spread across the eastern United States since it entered Virginia
in 1950. HWA is a little understood pest that is causing a gradual decline of
eastern hemlock, Tsuga canadensis, and Carolina hemlock, T. caroliniana, on
the east coast. To increase our understanding of forest dynamics following longterm HWA infestation, seven eastern hemlock stands in south-central
Connecticut were visited. At each site increment cores of hemlock and
hardwood trees were collected to look for radial growth trends in response to
continued HWA infestations. In the lab, increment cores were sanded and
annual ring-widths measured. For each core, the observed growth trend prior to
infestation was fitted to a mathematical model and extended into the postinfestation period using the EXTRAP software program. Ring width indices
(RWI), based on the ratio of observed to expected growth, were calculated for
the post-infestation period, with a RWI value of 1 represented expected growth.
A one sample t-test was used to determine whether post-infestation growth was
significantly different from expected growth. Between fifty-six and one hundred
percent of the trees at each site showed a statistical difference in RWI, with
hardwood ring widths increasing and hemlock ring widths decreasing due to
HWA. Results showed that hemlock had decreased growth during and following
HWA infestation, while the hardwood species present in the understory before
HWA infestation are taking advantage of the canopy gaps and showing a positive
growth response.
(78) Characterization of a guard-cell-associated (CGA7)
enhancer trap line of Arabidopsis thaliana
Laura Wayne, William Moskal, Dr. Lawrence Smart
Guard cells play an important role in regulating water-use efficiency by
maintaining the balance between carbon dioxide intake and water loss. Our
objective was to identify enhancer trap tagged Arabidopsis thaliana lines
displaying reporter gene expression patterns associated with guard cell
development or function. Seven-thousand two-hundred enhancer trap tagged
lines of A. thaliana were screened for β-glucuronidase (GUS) activity in
cotyledons, leaves, and flowers. Seven lines were found to exhibit guard-cellassociated (GCA) patterns of expression. One line in particular (gca7) was
isolated from a mixed seed pool, and the staining pattern was further
characterized. Staining of GUS was shown in gca7 specifically in the guard cells
of mature and young leaves, as well as light staining in the mesophyll, epidermis,
vascular bundle, hydathodes, stigma of inflorescence, and around areas of
senescence. A PCR-based genome walking method is currently being used to
amplify the DNA sequences flanking the T-DNA insertion in gca7. The
identification and characterization of the guard-cell-associated gene tagged in
gca7 will aid in the understanding of stomatal physiology.
(79) The macroinvertebrate communities of two headwater
streams in forests of different composition.
James Willacker, Betsy Colburn, Bill Sobczak, Dr. Neil Ringler
Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) is a common riparian species in the
eastern United States that is being replaced across its range by deciduous
species as a result of the invasion of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, an exotic forest
pathogen. The conversion of forests from hemlock to deciduous species may
have serious implications for headwater streams flowing through these forests.
In this study I examined the macroinvertebrate communities of two headwater
streams in central Massachusetts with differing hemlock influences.
Macroinvertebrates were sampled from four riffle and four soft-bottomed habitats
in each stream using a ½ m2 quadrat and kicknets. Samples were live picked in
the field and sorted by genus and functional feeding group. Total taxa richness
and taxa unique to the stream were greater in the deciduous than in the hemlock
stream. The deciduous stream had a higher number of individuals per sample,
and a statistically higher mean taxa richness. Differences in the distribution of
functional feeding groups between streams were found; the hemlock stream had
a greater percentage of collectors, while the hardwood stream had a greater
percentage of shredders. These findings suggest that there are differences in
the macroinvertebrate communities of hemlock and deciduous streams, and that
the loss of hemlock stands could significantly change the functioning of stream
(80) Soil-landscape influences on nitrogen cycling in cropland
and riparian buffers
Eric Young, Dr. Russell Briggs
Nitrogen (N) applied in excess of crop uptake can result in significant nitrate
(NO3-) leaching and poses ecological and human health risks. We restored
riparian buffers at two agricultural sites in Onondaga County by increasing widths
of existing grass buffers, and establishing willow (Salix discolor) riparian buffer
strips along stream reaches in 2003. Soil solution and shallow ground water were
sampled in cropland, the restored buffers, and established forested buffers.
Cropland ground water NO3- was highest for corn on outwash soils, whereas
imperfectly drained alluvial soils under corn had lower NO3-. Soil solution NO3- at
50 cm and dissolved oxygen (DO) explained 64% of average cropland ground
water NO3- variability. Average NO3- attenuation based on Darcian NO3- fluxes
among cropland and buffers varied widely (- 470 to 100%), with poorly drained
riparian soils maintaining significantly lower NO3-. Forested buffers were
distinguished by poorly to very poorly drained soils, low DO concentrations,
elevated NH4+, and the highest soil organic matter contents. Study average
buffer ground water DO and water table depth explained 84% of riparian buffer
NO3- variability, though predictive ability at low NO3- concentrations was weak.
Chloride patterns indicated that significant dilution occurred in only two of sixteen
buffers, suggesting the importance of denitrification losses. Soil series and
drainage class significantly influenced N transport from cropland soils through
simultaneous impacts on leaching and denitrification, while also influencing NO 3removal in buffers by constraining water table depths, denitrification, and the
potential for plant uptake. Results also highlight the need for accurate
representation of cropland-riparian soil series variability in modeling NO3transport.
(81) SUNY-ESF international education and service learning at
the Archbold Center in Dominica, W.I.
Megan Scott, Mary Gifford, Dr. Donald Stewart, Dr. Allen Drew
Tropical Ecology, a 3-credit hour spring semester course offered to
undergraduate and graduate students, is taught on the SUNY-ESF campus and
at the Archbold Tropical Research & Education Center on the Caribbean island
of Dominica over students’ spring break. The focal point of the course are
student organized individual research projects conducted at the rain forest field
station. Sixteen students prepare research outlines on ecological topics in
advance of the 10-day field trip, then undertake their studies in residence under
the guidance of the two course instructors. Trips around the island include visits
to tropical dry forest, montane and lowland rain forest, littoral and elfin forests as
well as marine coral reefs. A $2100 course fee covers travel costs, room and
board and travel while in Dominica. Upon return to Syracuse, students analyze
field data and make oral presentations.
In January, 2005, as a service learning project, the SUNY-ESF student chapter
of Engineers Without Borders installed a micro-hydro system for streamwater
generation of electricity at the Archbold Center. The venture was a service
learning project done in conjunction with students from the University of Vermont
and the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics. The turbine generator has the
capacity to supply 30 percent of the electrical energy needs of the Archbold
Center, a demonstration of sustainable energy technology to island residents and
an improvement over diesel generated power.
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