• 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Novel Phytol-Derived Immunostimulants (PHIS-01) for Enhancement of Vaccine Efficacy: A Comparative Study

      Youssef, Aachoui (2011-09-16)
      Adjuvants are used widely in vaccine formulations. However for humans, choices are very limited. Since they are selected empirically, it is not expected that any two adjuvants would influence immune mechanisms the same way. However they all influence host microenvironment, antigen presentation, and retention of immunological memory. This study focuses on new terpenoid adjuvants based on phytol derivatives. We previously observed that phytol and one of its derivatives PHIS-01 (a phytol-based immunostimulant, phytanol) are excellent adjuvants. To gain an understanding of the structural features important for adjuvanticity, we further studied compounds derived from a diterpene Phytol. We designed two new phytol derivatives, PHIS-02 and PHIS-03 (aminated and mannosylated compounds respectively). In this study we investigated their relative safety and efficacy compared to PHIS- 01 (phytanol) and other commonly used adjuvants that include alum, Freunds’ adjuvants and SIS (extra-cellular matrix). In addition, we examined how changes at the polar terminus affect adjuvanticity of PHIS-01, PHIS-02, PHIS-03 in term of host microenvironment and safety profile. Using these adjuvants as emulsions with different soluble protein antigens, ovalbumin and a hapten-protein conjugate phthalate-KLH, we evaluated in both autoimmune resistant and susceptible murine models. The following immunological parameters were studied: 1) effects on antibody responses in terms of titers, specificities and isotypic profiles; 2) effects on T-helper cells, cytokines, and chemokines milieu; 3) involvements of apoptotic and/or necrotic activity and inflammasome pathways as their primary modes of action. Our results indicate that: 1)modified phytol-derived adjuvants significantly augment antibody response of isotypes IgG1 and IgG2a, promote effective T cell proliferation and exhibit no adverse autoimmune anti-DNA response in either autoimmune or non autoimmune mice. 2) Phytol derivatives function by activation of antigen-presenting cells involving apoptotic/necrotic effects on target cells. 3) Phytol derivatives improve vaccine immunogenicity by promoting regulated and nonpathogenic inflammatory changes in the immediate microenvironments, as characterized by mobilization of chemo tactic factors (MCP-1, KC, MIP-1, LIX, lymphotactin, eotaxin), growth factors (MCSF, GCSF, GM-CSF), and cytokines that mobilize innate and adaptive immunity and lead to T helper polarization and a magnified antibody response 4) PHIS -01, compared to PHIS-03 and alum , is a better activator of genes in the inflammasome pathways. In conclusion, our findings also clearly highlight the importance of bonds and functional moieties in shaping the adjuvanticity of phytol derivatives. Hydrogenation of phytol generates PHIS-01 which is a very safe and superior adjuvant in terms of the quality and magnitude of the overall immune response evoked. However, modification of its polar terminus of PHIS-01 with a hydrophilic mannose moiety (PHIS-03) profoundly changes the cytokine/chemokine milieu and favors T-helper type 2 rather than the T-helper type1 induced by PHIS-01.
    • Impacts of Different Forest Tree-Harvest Methods on Diets and Populations of Insectivorous Forest Bats

      Caylor, Megan K (2011-09-19)
      The Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE) in central Indiana presents an excellent opportunity to study species reactions to different forestry practices: clearcutting, shelter wood cutting, and single tree selections. This project focuses on the differences in the populations and diets of the various insectivorous bat species in the HEE management units. Bats studied were Myotis septentrionalis, Lasiurus borealis, Eptesicus fuscus, Perimyotis subflavus, Myotis sodalis, Myotis lucifugus, and Lasionycteris noctivagans. Since insectivorous bats do not simply eat whatever is available, and I hypothesize that the diets of these bats will not change despite their changing environment and changing populations. To test these ideas, guano was collected between years 2006-2010 and ANABAT calls were recorded between years 2007-2010. I analyzed 440 guano samples, and the invertebrate parts were identified visually to the lowest taxonomic level within a reasonable amount of time; this is most often to family, but always order for the Lepidopterans. The data were compared within each species: before and after treatment, across treatment types, between males and females, and across different months. There was no significant change between bat diets before and after treatments, and each species maintained a specific diet across the years. These results reinforce previous conclusions that bats select among available foods and do not simply eat whatever is available. I also analyzed 5346 call minutes using ANABAT bat detectors. There were significant changes in Myotis sodalis, Lasiurus borealis, and Perimyotis subflavus call minutes. This supports the hypothesis that the diets still remain constant despite the changes in the species populations.
    • Bat Species Diversity at an Urban-Rural Interface: Dominance by One Species in an Urban Area

      Damm, Jason Philip (2012-01-13)
      The growth of urban areas is known to affect different species of wildlife in varying ways. Many organisms have exhibited declines in abundance due to habitat loss, while overall species diversity decreases. Bats can serve as reliable indicators of habitat quality and level of anthropogenic disturbance. To investigate urbanization impacts on a Midwestern bat community, I analyzed nine years of mist-net captures from a study area on the edge of Indianapolis, Indiana, where the percentage of urbanized ground cover ranged from zero to 26%, within 1.3-km of a net site. I used Pearson correlation statistics to examine the effect of urban ground cover on each species’ abundance, and the Shannon-Wiener Diversity Index was used to quantify species diversity at the study area. To test the effect of urbanization on diversity, linear mixed models were constructed using percentage of urban ground cover and year. A total of 10 species were captured over nine years, seven of them annually. The big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus) was the dominant species at all urbanized sites and at five of six rural sites. Most species were more common at rural sites than at urbanized sites. Urbanization was significantly and negatively related to bat species diversity, although one species, the northern myotis (Myotis septentrionalis), showed a significant positive correlation with urban ground cover. Two bat species, the eastern pipistrelle (Perimyotis subflavus) and the little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus) both displayed significant negative correlations with the percentage of urban ground cover. The Indiana myotis (Myotis sodalis) had a marginal negative correlation, but not significant.
    • Effects of Ectoparasites and Reproductive Class on Roost-Switching and Foraging Behavior of Indiana Bats (Myotis sodalis)

      2012-01-19
      Ectoparasites of bats have been known to cause harm to their hosts and to affect roost-switching. Little research exists on effects ectoparasites may have on roosting and foraging behavior of the federally endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis). From 2008 through 2010, I collected ectoparasite data and documented roost-switching and foraging behavior of Indiana bats on habitat restoration lands owned by the Indianapolis International Airport (IND) in central Indiana. I tested for differences in roosting and foraging behavior between bats with varying ectoparasite loads, and for differences in ectoparasite load, roost-switching frequency, and foraging behavior between different reproductive classes of Indiana bats. I used the volume of ectoparasites of each Indiana bat when analyzing data. I found a significant difference in roost-switching frequency and ectoparasite volume between reproductive classes. Neither reproductive class nor ectoparasite load significantly affected any aspect of foraging behavior. Indiana bats in this study apparently maintained moderate loads of ectoparasites which may not affect foraging and roosting, but the insignificant results found in this study may have been due to a small sample size. The significant difference in roost-switching between reproductive classes likely demonstrates variation in bat thermoregulation. Lactating females and pregnant females have a higher need for group thermoregulation and switch roosts less frequently than post-lactating females and volant juveniles. Because ectoparasites have been found to increase in maternity colonies, volant juveniles and post-lactating females may disperse from the main colony roost and switch roosts more often to avoid higher intensities of ectoparasites.
    • Insect Abundance and Variability in an Urban-Rural Landscape and Comparison to Foraging Habitat Selection of Bats

      Oehler, Nicole M. (2012-01-19)
      I conducted a study of the relationship between prey availability and foraging habitat selection of Indiana bats (Myotis sodalis), big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus), eastern red bats (Lasiurus borealis) and evening bats (Nycticeius humeralis) in an urban-rural landscape matrix of southwestern Indianapolis. Insects were collected from nine different habitat types found within the range of these species. Insect data were collected from 2006 to 2008 using sticky traps placed in each habitat type. Habitat types were ranked by importance to each bat species (based on previous studies) and then compared to the average number of prey insects captured per habitat sticky trap. Only the average number of insects captured per habitat sticky trap that were big brown bat and eastern red bat prey varied significantly between all nine habitat types. The average number of prey insects captured per habitat sticky trap that were Indiana bat, big brown bat, eastern red bat and evening bat prey were strongly significantly different between sampling dates within seasons. The average number of prey insects captured per habitat sticky trap that were big brown bat and evening bat prey varied significantly between sampling dates between seasons. The average number of prey insects per habitat type did not correlate significantly with habitat selection by any of the four bat species.
    • Foraging behavior and seasonal movements of the eastern red bat(Lasiurus Borealis)in Central Indiana.

      Everson, Brianne.L (2012-04-13)
      Twenty-four female Eastern red bats(Lasiurus borealis) were captured and tracked to foraging areas near the Indianapolis International Airport during the summers of 2003 and 2004 with full foraging data obtained on 13. A series of multi-azimuth(3-7) triangulations was used to estimate the location of each bat throughout the night.Euclidean distance analysis was used to examine habitat sue by L.borealis.These bats had smaller home ranges than previously noted as well as smaller homes ranges than other species at this location.They foraged over woodlands,newly planted tree fields,open water,park and pasture lands more than predicted by randomly generated points. They avoided highly urban areas such as commercial lands,gravel pits and transportation corridors more than predicted by randomly generated points.Four female L.borealis were tracked leaving the study site between 15 July and 15 August in 2003 and 2004.Simultaneously,signals were lost on four additional radio-tagged bats.Long-term capture rates of adult L.borealis were examined during 3 netting periods(15 May-15 June,15 June-15 July and 15 July-15 August) from 1998-1999,2002-2004.Nearly twice as many adult L.borealis were captured in the third round of netting compared to the previous two rounnds.Based on a comparison of bats radio-tracked leaving the study area with typical home rage sizes of L.borealis at this site, an increase in lost radio tags,and an increase in capture rates of adult female L.borealis during late summer,it appears that L.borealis begins migrating through the study area in late July.Telemetry data indicate their movement through central Indiana is from east tp west,instead of north to south as idicated in large-scale analyses.