Rauchfuss, Julia (Cunningham Memorial library, Terre Haute, Indiana State University, 2004-12)
      Spiral grain, the alignment of wood fibers (trachejds) to the longitudinal axis of h·ees, is thought to be an indicator of old age and is a phenomenon that has been only stndied with destrnctive sampling methods (cutting down trees). In this study, the usefulness of non-fatal sampling methods and existing methods to quantify spiral grain patterns in Jiving and dead deciduous trees are examined, particularly in white oaks (Qi1ercus alba). 111e overall goal is to detem1ine if spiral grain growth is a reasonable indicator of h·ee age. Methods that were tested included the use of a 12 mm increment borer (non-fatal sampling method) and Brazier's method ( 1965) of analyzing grain angles along just one diagonal to get a representative grain angle for the whole circumference at a certain height on a tree. The 12 mm increment borer did not produce consistent results in this study; therefore, . destructive sampling is necessary to study spiral grain in white oaks. Brazier's method (1965) should not be used in white oaks and should not be applied universally to all tree species. Samples from living and dead trees vary in severity and direction of spiral grain. The climatic factors that are roost limiting to tree growth do not influence spiral grain growth in white oaks in this stand. Severe spiral grain does in general seem to be an indicator of age in white oaks, although most trees have severe left spiral grain and not right spiral grain. However, a tree without severe spiral grain is not necessarily young. To judge the severity of spiral grain, grain angles have to be examined in the outermost layer of the wood and not in the bark.
    • Classification of Urban features using Airborne Hyperspectral Data

      Babu, Bharath Ganesh (2010-05-11)
      Accurate mapping and modeling of urban environments are critical for their efficient and successful management. Superior understanding of complex urban environments is made possible by using modern geospatial technologies. This research focuses on thematic classification of urban land use and land cover (LULC) using 248 bands of 2.0 meter resolution hyperspectral data acquired from an airborne imaging spectrometer (AISA+) on 24th July 2006 in and near Terre Haute, Indiana. Three distinct study areas including two commercial classes, two residential classes, and two urban parks/recreational classes were selected for classification and analysis. Four commonly used classification methods – maximum likelihood (ML), extraction and classification of homogeneous objects (ECHO), spectral angle mapper (SAM), and iterative self organizing data analysis (ISODATA) - were applied to each data set. Accuracy assessment was conducted and overall accuracies were compared between the twenty four resulting thematic maps. With the exception of SAM and ISODATA in a complex commercial area, all methods employed classified the designated urban features with more than 80% accuracy. The thematic classification from ECHO showed the best agreement with ground reference samples. The residential area with relatively homogeneous composition was classified consistently with highest accuracy by all four of the classification methods used. The average accuracy amongst the classifiers was 93.60% for this area. When individually observed, the complex recreational area (Deming Park) was classified with the highest accuracy by ECHO, with an accuracy of 96.80% and 96.10% Kappa. The average accuracy amongst all the classifiers was 92.07%. The commercial area with relatively high complexity was classified with the least accuracy by all classifiers. The lowest accuracy was achieved by SAM at 63.90% with 59.20% Kappa. This was also the lowest accuracy in the entire analysis. This study demonstrates the potential for using the visible and near infrared (VNIR) bands from AISA+ hyperspectral data in urban LULC classification. Based on their performance, the need for further research using ECHO and SAM is underscored. The importance incorporating imaging spectrometer data in high resolution urban feature mapping is emphasized.
    • Physiological Responses to Temperature in the Lizard, Sceloporus Undulatus

      Ehrenberger, Joseph C. (2010-07-20)
      Temperature affects all organisms differently. Physiological processes, such as metabolism, interact with temperature to determine a minimal rate of energy loss. Physiological limits, such as heat and cold tolerances, likely constrain the activity and survival of organisms. Ultimately, these physiological processes and limits determine a species‘ geographical distribution. Through experiments, I sought to understand specifically how temperature affects the physiology of the lizard Sceloporus undulatus. This species is a model organism to answer such questions, as it is geographically widespread species and well-described phylogenetically. In the first experiment, I compared standard metabolic rates of lizards from three locales and interpreted these rates in the context of the metabolic theory of ecology—a set of models that describes the effects of body mass and body temperature on metabolic rate. My findings indicate that metabolic rate increases with body size, but that the exact nature of this relationship depends on temperature; this result contrasts a major assumption of the metabolic theory of ecology, which stresses the need to evaluate this theory through by examining intraspecific variation. In my second experiment, I measured the preferred body temperatures and critical thermal limits of S. undulatus. Existing theory indicates that physiological traits associated with temperature may be evolutionary static or labile. By measuring these traits from seven populations, which cover the majority of this species‘ range, I have provided one of the most comprehensive comparisons of thermal physiology in a single biological species. My results are consistent with the static view of thermal physiology, suggesting that thermal physiology has not adapted to local conditions in this species.
    • Sexual Selection and Plumage in the Polymorphic White-throated Sparrow

      Rathbun, Nathan (2010-07-20)
      Feather coloration has been known to be connected with sexual selection for many years. It also provides an opportunity to study evolution, focusing on sexual selection and natural selection. Plumage is affected by both of these forces and the equilibrium is where these forces balance. The white-throated sparrow gives us a unique opportunity to observe the effects of the different strengths of these forces within a species. First, I established that there were differences in plumage characteristics between the morphs and sexes. White males had the brightest white and darkest black feathers. White females and tan males were the next brightest, with tan females having the dullest white and lightest black head stripes. Using plumage characteristics I was able to predict the morph/sex class of the bird significantly more than by chance. With the exact differences between each morph/sex class now known, I looked at the relationship between fitness and plumage. White males with higher overall contrast (brighter white, darker black) were more successful than duller white males. This was attributed to the males displaying their quality to females. Duller tan males however, were more successful than brighter tan males. With duller plumage, they may reduce predation on their nest while they are feeding their offspring. The differences in reproductive strategy changed the relative strength of natural and sexual selection between the morphs. Observing this interaction in this system will let us judge the relative strength of these forces in other systems.
    • Impact of Forest Management Techniques on Bats with a Focus on the Endangered Indiana Myotis (Myotis Sodalis)

      Sheets, Jeremy J (2010-07-20)
      Understanding how forest management practices impact bats is important for maintaining a diverse bat community; rare species, especially the federally endangered Indiana myotis (Myotis sodalis) need special consideration. Bats play an important role in the environment because they prey on insects, especially pest species, and conservation of viable foraging and roosting habitats is critical. Positive and negative aspects of the implementation of forest management techniques are discussed for each bat species. Bats were sampled using mist nets at four locations in Morgan-Monroe and five locations in Yellowwood State Forests twice during each summer 2006-2008. Netting locations were adjacent to or in forest stands scheduled for experimental manipulations following conclusion of netting in 2008. This effort produced 342 bats. These data provide a baseline to understand how bats are affected by long-term forest manipulations. An acoustical survey was conducted in summer 2007 to determine forest habitats where bat species occur. Anabat II bat detectors in four habitat types,--interior forest, canopy gap, forest edge, and corridors--produced calls from 7 species, a total of 3113 calls (842 corridor, 681 forest edge, 1075 canopy gap, and 515 forest interior) during 337 sample nights. Occupancy of each habitat by each species was determined; canopy gaps were occupied most, followed by forest edge, corridors, and interior forest. These data are used to predict the response of bats to forest manipulations.
    • Extracellular Matrix Proteins: Implications for Angiogenesis

      Williams, Kent Edward (2010-07-20)
      The extracellular matrix (ECM) is an essential requirement for maintaining permanent shape and rigidity in multicellular organisms. The ECM serves two main functions: scaffolding and signaling. Insoluble collagen and soluble proteoglycans, glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), and glycoproteins allow for water retention and flexibility. The signaling role of the ECM is essential for a multitude of events including vascular development and angiogenesis. Via interactions with vascular endothelial cells, proteins of the ECM can induce or repress angiogenesis.
    • Pollinator Deception and Plant Reproductive Success in Jack-In-The-Pulpit

      Pettit, Joseph L. (2010-07-20)
      I conducted a study of the deceptive pollination system of Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisama triphyllum, Araceae) in forests of west-central Indiana. I focused on (a) determining the identities and abundances of insect visitors to spathes, (b) evaluating the success of female spathes in setting fruit, (c) determining the relative importance of pollinator visitation and plant size for fruit number, and (d) investigating the function of the female spathe’s lack of an exit hole, which has been hypothesized to improve pollination success. I found that (a) Jack-in-the-pulpit receives visits from both flies and thrips. Counts of fly corpses from spathes showed the most prevalent families to be Mycetophilidae and Sciaridae with other nematoceran families and a few brachyceran families present as well. Visitation by thrips, determined by visual inspection of spathes, was low, involving only 30% of plants. (b) Fifty-seven percent of female plants set fruit, with much variation among sites. (c) Mushroom flies, especially the families Mycetophilidae and Sciaridae, were found to be the primary pollinators of Jack-in-thepulpit based on pollen loads, visit rates, and an exclusion experiment. Pollination by thrips, though possible, probably had only a minor effect. (d) An experiment that created an exit hole in female spathes yielded no support for the hypothesis that lack of an exit hole (the natural condition) improves fruit set.
    • Glacial/Interglacial Export Production in the Subantarctic South Pacific

      Adamic, Jessica (2010-07-22)
      Atmospheric CO2 varied considerably in the past; however, the mechanisms that drive this variability are poorly understood. CO2 is linked to marine primary productivity through the biological carbon pump (BCP), leading to hypotheses that past increases in BCP efficiency in areas such as the Southern Ocean may have contributed to glacial CO2 drawdown (Sarmiento & Toggweiler, 1984). Productivity has varied considerably in the past, but the extent, timing, and impacts remain poorly understood. The Subantarctic South Pacific is an area of the ocean that is crucial to the understanding of both glacial climate and paleo-export productivity. Unfortunately, few studies have investigated the central South Pacific because it is so remote. The sediment core MV0502-04JC was recovered from the Subantarctic South Pacific in February-March 2005 at 50°S. The results of this study will be compared with data from ODP Leg 189, Site 1171, also in the Subantarctic South Pacific. Data from these cores will be used to evaluate glacial/interglacial paleo-export production and terrigenous provenance using bulk sediment geochemical proxies, including detailed P geochemistry, P, Ba, and metal elemental ratios, and Baxs. The results of this research suggest each site has variable terrigenous provenance that may have relatively different Fe content. Export production at MV0502-4JC is invariant down core; however, Site 1171 does exhibit glacial/interglacial variations in export production.
    • Transgenic Manipulation in Zebra Fish by Combination of Cre-loxP Recombinant System, Tol2 Transposon System, and RNAi Technique

      Bai, Yang (2010-09-21)
      The overall goal of this research is to make precisely controlled transgene constructs to target genes in zebrafish and facilitate their functional studies. Many of the previous transgenic techniques (e.g. morpholino) can only produce transient gene expression or inhibition, which is not good for long-term studies. Also, transgenes that randomly integrate into the chromosomes are typically difficult to control and are poorly regulated. Thus, it would be of great benefit to develop a reversibly controlled transgenic tool to help study gene function. Here, we propose to combine three distinct techniques to generate a stable transgenic tool to facilitate gene functional study in zebrafish, including Cre-loxP recombinant system, Tol2 transposon system, and RNAi technique. The first objective is to combine both Cre-loxP and Tol2 systems to make a convertible and movable transgene construct for insertional inactivation assays in zebrafish. The generated transheterozygous rfp/gfp fragments can be translocated to other loci in the fish genome upon the introduction of Tol2 transposase, which may result in insertional mutations and/or new patterns of interest. The second objective is to make a precisely controlled shRNA transgene construct to inhibit the gfp and/or fli1 expression in zebrafish. Once the target gene is silenced, the zebrafish should show reduced green fluorescence, or some altered phenotypes (in the case of an endogenous blood cell specific target) that can be easily observed. The results showed that we successfully established a stable homozygous pBa/RFP/loxP2/GFP/SBIR transgenic zebrafish line. The conversion from rfp to gfp expression was performed efficiently by heatshock-activated Cre recombinase in vivo. And the subsequent germline transmission of the converted gfp expression was observed in heatshocked pTol-EF1α-RFP-loxP2-GFP transgenic fish outcrosses. The newly generated red/green transheterozygous fish from the cross of non-converted red fish and converted green fish are ready for further insertional mutation assay using Tol2 transgenic fish (Fuji70) or Tol2 mRNA. The construction of the shRNA plasmid was completed and the F0 microinjected zebrafish showed mosaic rfp expression in a few blood vessel cells as well as muscle cells, which indicated the potential success of fli1 driven shGFP transcription in vivo. Future goals include an examination of the efficiency of shGFP anti-gfp expression in pTol-Fli1-EGFP transgenic fish, and Cre recombinase mediated shGFP deletion and target gene expression recovery in vivo.
    • Neural Network Classification of Hyperspectral Imagery for Urban Environments: a Case Study

      Lulla, Vijay (2010-09-22)
      Urban environments are complex because many different artificial and natural objects occur in close proximity. Being able to understand the processes and workings of these environments requires the ability to observe and record data with high spatial and spectral resolution. Hyperspectral sensors have been gaining popularity for this task as they are becoming more affordable. In this research, a commonly used maximum likelihood (ML) classifier and artificial neural network (ANN) classifier have been compared for classifying urban land use and land cover (LULC) using AISA+ hyperspectral data. Further, the best set of bands were identified for classification of urban areas for use in ANN classification. Optimum bands based on a spectral separability measure were used with a neural network classifier to compare its performance with maximum likelihood classifier. It was found that both the classifiers had an overall classification accuracy of more than 80% and the neural network classifier with optimum band selection performed better in all of the study sites.
    • Cloning and Characterization of SAS1738, a Hypothetical Exported Protein from Community-Associated Strain of Staphylococcus Aureus

      Vijaya Kumar, Deepak Kumar (2010-09-22)
      Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a group of S. aureus strains that has acquired resistance to a class of beta lactam antibiotics and is the major cause of hospital associated infections. Their discovery goes back to 1960 when the first cases were identified. Recently community associated MRSA infections have emerged and are caused by strains that are independent of those from the hospital environment, related only because they carry some of the same antibiotic resistance genes. Community associated infections (CA) are more severe, producing pus filled lesions that are painful and capable of invasion of deep tissues. Virulence factors comprised of exported proteins are associated with the invasiveness of CA strains. Most of these proteins are hypothetical in nature with unknown function. The aim of this study is to identify and characterize potential virulence factor proteins that may be involved in the infection pathway of CA-MRSA. This study focuses on a unique gene that encodes an exported protein, SAS1738, found on the chromosome of the CA strain MSSA476. The protein SAS1738 was chosen because it is unique to CA strains and has homology to some proteins identified in other S. aureus strains known for their virulence and host immune evasion. The goal of this work is to characterize SAS1738 and to determine its role in the infection pathway of the organism. The gene of interest has been successfully cloned, expressed, and tested for toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans, a nematode. The toxicity tests showed that SAS1738 is inhibitory to the growth and development of C. elegans. The actual mode of action of this protein in C. elegans is yet to be established. However, location of SAS1738 using a GFP fusion showed that the highest concentration of the fusion protein was in the gut of the worms. The purified protein when tested in a killing assay against C. elegans, resulted in the death of the worms at an average time point of 8 min after treatment. Microbiological assay results showed that the purified SAS1738 possessed antibacterial activity towards Micrococcus luteus and Proteus vulgaris. This suggests that SAS1738 may play a dual role of antagonizing the commensal flora of the human skin such as Micrococcus luteus and also induce a toxic effect on the human cells as suggested by its toxic effect on C. elegans. Determination of the role of this protein in the infection cycle of CA-MRSA will lead to a better understanding of the pathogenicity of the organism and possible development of new treatment strategies.
    • A Little Bat and a Big City: Nocturnal Behavior of the Tricolored Bat (Perimyotis subflavus) Near Indianapolis Airport

      Helms, Jared Scot (2011-03-15)
      I captured 16 Perimyotis subflavus on property owned by the Indianapolis International Airport, of those 16 animals I obtained roosting data on all 16 and foraging data on 11 individuals. The goal of this project was to see if a short broad winged bat’s foraging and roosting habits were affected by the fragmentation of habitat due to rapid urbanization. Using radio telemetry to find roosts and to create multi-azimuth triangulation I was able to create data points and place them onto a habitat map inside ArcGIS software. Sampling the size of woodlots available to the bats I was able to see that the bats only roosted in larger woodlots on the property. Using Euclidian distance analysis I was able to compare the distance of data points both with roosting and foraging from habitat classes to see that this species roosts in woodlots next to old fields and maintained habitats, does not roost in woodlots near commercial areas, and prefers foraging in forests, agricultural fields, maintained habitats, and old fields.
    • Olfactory Mate Choice and Potential Chemical Signals of the White-Throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)

      Sebastian, Peter (2011-03-15)
      Chemical odor signals are well documented in mammals, and yet almost nothing is known about the use of chemical odor signals in birds due to the traditional view that birds have a no sense or a poor sense of smell. Recent studies have revealed the traditional view to be unfounded, but more work is necessary to 1) expand our knowledge of avian olfaction in passerine species and 2) determine whether birds utilize chemical signals. The aim of this thesis was to 1) test for olfactory-based choice in a passerine species, and examine the chemical composition of preen oil for potential chemical signals. Results suggest that the polymorphic white-throated sparrow does choose between odors from their own bedding and odors from fresh bedding based on their unique disassortative mating, with tan males and white females choosing fresh bedding over their own and white males and tan females choosing their own bedding over fresh bedding. Additionally, a study on captive white-throated sparrows found that multiple preen oil volatile compounds were seasonally elevated during the breeding season, and thus indicate the possibility of these compounds acting as chemical signals. In wild populations, preen oil composition varied by morph-sex classes as well as by year sampled, and some compounds may even change throughout the course of the breeding season. Comparisons between wild populations and captive birds indicate that captive conditions may also alter preen oil composition.
    • Environmental Conditions of Green Valley Lake

      Bellamy, Jennifer (2011-03-16)
      Green Valley Lake, western Indiana, has experienced periodic inputs of acid mine drainage (AMD) from the abandoned Green Valley Coal Mine. The lake serves as a state fishing area, and AMD inputs may affect the aquatic ecosystem and human health. The purpose of this research is to determine to what extent the sediments in Green Valley Lake are acting as sinks for metals and if they may impact water quality. Water and bottom sediment samples were taken throughout the lake to evaluate spatial variability of contamination and to determine how the metal concentrations compared to Post Archean Average Shale (PAAS) background values and sediment quality guidelines (SQGs) values. Three cores were taken from the Northwest portion of the lake, where AMD enters via surface flow to evaluate temporal changes in contamination. Results indicate that water quality at Green Valley is acceptable, pH is slightly acidic (pH=6.4) near the locations of AMD input and increases to the east (pH=8.30). The northwest portion of Green Valley Lake is an eutrophic lake, based on its nutrient levels and Secchi disk measurements. Organic matter content, based on LOI, is higher in the older portion of the lake (7-33 wt %) due to the influence of vegetation surrounding the lake. Bottom sediment at Green Valley Lake are acting as a sink for metals and nutrients. Ni and Cd concentrations are above the sediment quality guidelines severe effect level, while Zn and Pb were above the probable effect level. Metals over the severe and probably effect levels should continue to be monitored in the sediments at Green Valley Lake to ensure that organisms are not being impacted.
    • The Status of Crawfish Frogs (lithobates areolatus) in Indiana, and a Tool to Assess Populations

      Engbrecht, Nathan J. (2011-03-16)
      The conservation status of Crawfish Frogs (Lithobates areolatus) in Indiana has changed over the past several decades. Once described as being locally plentiful, declines led to the listing of Crawfish Frogs as a State Endangered Species in 1988. Several records for this species in Indiana are > 50 yrs old and have gone unconfirmed for several decades. However, recent surveys have confirmed the continued presence of Crawfish Frogs in parts of southern Indiana, redefining the perceived range of this species in the state. In an effort to increase survey efficiency in this species, I used automated recording systems and manual call survey techniques to examine the chorusing phenologies of Crawfish Frogs at two sites along the northern extent of their range. Detection probabilities were determined as they related to season and environmental variables and survey duration. I also examined the effect that distance from wetland and position (ground level vs. approximate human ear level) had on call detection in automated recording systems. Correlations between call rates (calls/min) and numbers of male Crawfish Frogs present were used to calculate population estimates at 10 uncensused sites. Detection probabilities were highest when the frogs were breeding and when air temperatures were ≥ 13° C. Initial detection of Crawfish Frogs most frequently occurred during the first five min of sampling. Calls on automated recording units lost resolution as distance from wetland increased, and calls recorded at all distances at human ear level were measurably louder (in decibels) except at the wetland edge. Population estimates at uncensused sites ranged from a low of four to a high of 48. Using call rates and numbers of male frogs present in wetlands, I present a “rapid assessment” tool that can be used to quickly calculate on-site estimates of Crawfish Frogs in field studies.
    • Studies of Bee Diversity in Indiana: The Influence of Collection Methods on Species Captures, and a State Checklist Based on Museum Collection

      Jean, Robert P. (2011-03-29)
      Bees are among the most important of pollinators, but little is known about their status. I expand the knowledge of the bees of the Midwest by updating the bees of Indiana, the first update in over fifty years, by adding two local bee species inventories, in the black oak savannas of northeastern Indiana and another reconstructed based on museum specimens, and by comparing two methods for sampling bees. Bees from six families, 52 genera, and 416 species are represented in Indiana, an addition of over 200 species from precious lists. Species ranged from common to rare with a median abundance of 22 specimens. Distributions, life histories, flight decade, but several species have not been collected in the last 20-50 years. These are mainly rare or were last collected in an area or on a host flower species which has not been sampled recently. Four bumble bee species appear to be declining and another is likely extirpated. Bees are commonly sampled either by netting at flowers or by bowl trapping. The bases of these techniques were explored while inventorying black oak savannas. Netting at flowers collected more species at any given site, but using both methods gave the best picture of species richness. Both techniques collected all common species and differed mainly in the rare species collected. Smaller bees were significantly more likely to be captured in bowls, especially within the families Halictidae and Apidae. Bowls were also more likely to catch more bees when fewer flower resources were available for bees. These studies represent a significant addition to knowledge of bee distribution and abundance in the Midwest.
    • Comparisons of Distributions and Isotopic Geochemistry of Benthic Foraminifera from Seep and Non-seep Environments, Offshore of Costa Rica

      Burkett, Ashley M. (2011-06-17)
      Vertical distribution patterns and stable isotopic geochemistry of benthic foraminifera labeled with CellTracker Green and stained with Rose Bengal were compared at sites of active methane seepage and adjacent non-seep habitats off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Sediment cores of bacterial mats from Costa Rica revealed vertical distribution patterns more similar to those seen previously in clam beds, suggesting increased levels of bioturbation compared to nonseep sites. Similar taxa were found at both seep and non-seep sites including: Chilostomella oolina, Uvigerina peregrina and hispida, Cibicides mckannai, and Cassidulina braziliensis. Within active methane seep habitats, elevated substrate such as carbonate rocks, and vestimentiferan tubeworms were examined for living foraminifera. Vestimentiferan tubeworms had highly variable numbers of attached epibenthic foraminifera, dominated by Cibicides wuellerstorfi and Carpenteria monticularis. Stable carbon isotopic comparisons between epibenthic foraminiferal species of Cibicides wuellerstorfi and the vestimentiferan tubeworms on which they reside revealed 10‰ to 30‰ differences between the foraminiferal carbonate and substrate, suggesting that the geochemical signatures of elevated epibenthics were not significantly influenced by the geochemical signature of the substrate on which they reside. This study finds no apparent methane influence on the foraminiferal calcite of elevated epibenthic foraminifera from the three active seep sites studied (Mound 11, Mound 12, and Jaco Scar). This may be because the elevated epibenthics were not exposed to seep-influenced fluids by inhabiting raised substrates. This study also provides a quantitative analysis of coiling directions in elevated epibenthic species at seeps, which has never previously been reported. Statistical analysis revealed that there were no significant differences in isotopic composition between sinstral (left)and dextral (right) coiling Cibicides wuellerstorfi. The results of this study suggest that coiling direction of elevated epibenthic oraminifera, such as Cibicides wuellerstorfi and Carpenteriamonticularis, is a result of biologic factors rather than environmental influences.
    • The Locational Determinants of Internet Usage in Asia and Nepal

      Chand, Smriti (2011-06-17)
      This study examines the relationship between internet development and various socio- economic factors that are assumed to affect internet infrastructure development decision. The data collected for 35 Asian countries is secondary data collected from various sources. This study tests six hypotheses about the impact of various socio-economic factors and economic freedom indicators on Internet Penetration Rate (IPR) and Internet Service Providers (ISP). The findings show that the IPR can be statistically explained by one independent variable: GDP (Gross Domestic Product). The study models also include Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), literacy rate, fertility rate, the percentage of urban population, the country's status as a former European Colony, Business Freedom, Freedom from Corruption, and Property Rights.
    • Breeding Migrations, Survivorship, and Obligate Crayfish Burrow Use by Adult Crawfish Frogs (Lithobates Areolatus)

      Heemeyer, Jennifer L (2011-07-19)
      Movements are risky behaviors to animals, and amphibians are no exception. Being unable to cover long distances quickly, amphibians may find migrations challenging, yet many if not most species exhibit cyclic annual migrations. Crawfish Frogs (Lithobates areolatus), are a relatively understudied species of North American amphibian listed as endangered in Indiana and Iowa, and considered a species of conservation concern throughout much of their range. To better understand the biology of this species, and in particular, to assess the role that movements play in affecting survivorship, I radio tracked 48 Crawfish Frog adults, in 2009 and 2010. My study encompassed a total of 7,898 telemetered-frog days; single frogs were tracked for up to 606 days. These data demonstrate two behaviors previously undocumented in this species: 1) migration distances that averaged nearly ½ km, and for one frog was > 1,187 m; and 2) fidelity to upland burrows excavated by crayfish. Together, these findings indicate that Crawfish Frogs have a remarkable ability to home to distant upland burrow sites. Burrow fidelity in Crawfish Frogs involves, in part, frogs following similar migration routes to and from breeding wetlands. Burrow fidelity also occurs after ranging movements, and often involves individual frogs following the same circuit across years. Further, I demonstrate that movements are risky for Crawfish Frogs (about 12 times riskier than burrow dwelling), and therefore have survival consequences. My data also suggest that adult Crawfish Frogs are likely not dispersing to colonize new sites; instead, it seems more likely that juveniles represent the dispersing stage. To ensure the least impact to Crawfish Frog populations several conservation measures should be taken. First, core habitat and buffers should be established that exclude or limit roads for at least a 1.1-km radius around breeding wetlands. Secondly, burrow destruction should be minimized by limiting new cultivation and other ground disturbance within the core habitat and buffer. Thirdly, prescribed burns should be avoided from mid-March to mid-May, when frogs are out of their burrows migrating to and from wetlands.
    • Adult Survivorship and Juvenile Recruitment in Populations of Crawfish Frogs (Lithobates Areolatus), with Additional Consideration of the Population Sizes of Associated Pond Breeding Species

      Kinney, Vanessa C. (2011-07-19)
      Crawfish Frog populations have declined significantly in both the northeastern and southwestern portions of their range, and are listed as state endangered in both Iowa and Indiana. They are animals with a secretive nature, and comparatively little is know about their basic life history and natural history. To address this gap, and to obtain the information necessary to manage for this species in areas of decline, I studied the breeding biology of two Crawfish Frog populations during 2009 and 2010. Using data collected from drift fence and pitfall trap arrays around breeding wetlands, I estimated breeding population sizes, operational sex ratios, breeding adult size ranges, egg and larval survivorship, juvenile recruitment, and adult within-season and between-year survivorship. I also documented the timing of breeding and metamorphosis, spatial patterns of immigration and emigration from breeding sites by adults and recently metamorphosed juveniles, and the diversity and abundance of associated pond breeding species. Crawfish Frog sex ratios were approximately 1:1 (M:F), with male-biased operational sex ratios. Adult sizes were comparatively larger than those reported in other areas of their range, as were sizes of newly metamorphosed juveniles. Breeding occurred from March through May during both years, and metamorphosis occurred from June through August. The number of eggs deposited per wetland ranged from 45,000 to 189,000. Thirteen associated amphibian species (18,109 individuals) and 14 reptile species (435 individuals) were captured at the breeding wetlands. Crawfish Frog survivorship estimates suggest that mortality is high during the larval stage and relatively low during the egg, juvenile and adult stages. Thus, the adult population is likely regulated by larval survivorship. To help manage for declining populations, captive rearing of larvae could be used to help offset the high mortality experienced during the larval stage and be used to help restore and/or repatriate populations at suitable sites.