Matching Items (8)

136301-Thumbnail Image.png

Handling the Heat: Plasticity of an Arthropod Pest in Response to the Urban Heat Island

Description

In recent years, ecologists have begun to study the effects of urbanization on species diversity. While urban areas generally suffer decreased biodiversity, some species, termed “urban exploiters”, not only live in the city but depend on urban resources to thrive.

In recent years, ecologists have begun to study the effects of urbanization on species diversity. While urban areas generally suffer decreased biodiversity, some species, termed “urban exploiters”, not only live in the city but depend on urban resources to thrive. It is hypothesized that urban exploiters may succeed in part due to phenotypic plasticity, in which organisms rapidly adjust their physiology or behavior to adapt to novel environmental contexts. In the city, it may be adaptive to display thermal plasticity, as the urban heat island effect caused by concrete and asphalt infrastructure prevents cooling at night. In this study, we observed the decorated cricket Gryllodes sigillatus, an invasive urban exploiter found in metropolitan Phoenix, in two separate experiments. We hypothesized that heat tolerance and activity are both plastic traits in this species. In Experiment 1, we predicted that knock-down time, a measure of heat tolerance, would be negatively affected by acclimation to a laboratory environment. Our results suggest that heat tolerance is affected by recent thermal regimes and that laboratory acclimation decreases knock-down time. In Experiment 2, we predicted that activity would increase with temperature until a point of extreme heat, at which point activity would decline. Statistical analysis for the second experiment reveals that activity decreases at 33°C, a natural urban extreme. This suggests either that 33°C is a thermal limit to physiology or that G. sigillatus is able to alter its behavior to exploit local thermal heterogeneity.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2015-05

136800-Thumbnail Image.png

A Study of yard-scale climate effects in Phoenix, Arizona

Description

In this project, I investigated the ecosystem services, or lack thereof, that landscape designs created in terms of microclimate modification at 11 residential homes throughout the Phoenix Metro Area. I also created an article for the homeowners who participated, explaining

In this project, I investigated the ecosystem services, or lack thereof, that landscape designs created in terms of microclimate modification at 11 residential homes throughout the Phoenix Metro Area. I also created an article for the homeowners who participated, explaining what I did and how they could apply my research. My research question was how a person can achieve a comfortable outdoor climate in their yard without over-using scarce water resources. I hypothesized that there would be a negative correlation between the maximum air temperature and the percent shade in each yard, regardless of the percent grass. I analyzed the data I collected using the program, R, and discovered that my hypothesis was supported for the month of July. These results are in line with previous studies on the subject and can help homeowners make informed decisions about the effects their landscaping choices might have.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014-05

137104-Thumbnail Image.png

Community Development, Sustainability, and Food Access; A Case Study of Community Gardens in Phoenix, Arizona

Description

This honors thesis examines community gardens from throughout Phoenix, Arizona. It shows that community gardens have the potential to both support and hinder sustainability efforts, encourage community development, and increase food access. By measuring the temperature at various community gardens

This honors thesis examines community gardens from throughout Phoenix, Arizona. It shows that community gardens have the potential to both support and hinder sustainability efforts, encourage community development, and increase food access. By measuring the temperature at various community gardens throughout Phoenix, AZ, community gardens were shown to minimize local effects of the urban heat island. Because they use water to survive and Phoenix, AZ is in a desert, this contributes to a depleting water supply. Interviews of gardeners from community gardens throughout Phoenix depicted that community gardens can provide sites for community development as well as promoting food access.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2014-05

137189-Thumbnail Image.png

Developing Anthropogenic Heating Profiles for Urban Areas across the United States

Description

Urban areas produce an urban heat island (UHI), which is manifest as warmer temperatures compared to the surrounding and less developed areas. While it is understood that UHI's are warmer than their surrounding areas, attributing the amount of heat added

Urban areas produce an urban heat island (UHI), which is manifest as warmer temperatures compared to the surrounding and less developed areas. While it is understood that UHI's are warmer than their surrounding areas, attributing the amount of heat added by the urban area is not easily determined. Current generation modeling systems require diurnal anthropogenic heating profiles. Development of diurnal cycle profiles of anthropogenic heating will help the modeling community as there is currently no database for anthropogenic heating profiles for cities across the United States. With more accurate anthropogenic heating profiles, climate models will be better able to show how humans directly impact the urban climate. This research attempts to create anthropogenic heating profiles for 61 cities in the United States. The method used climate, electricity, natural gas, and transportation data to develop anthropogenic heating profiles for each state. To develop anthropogenic heating profiles, profiles are developed for buildings, transportation, and human metabolism using the most recently available data. Since utilities are reluctant to release data, the building energy profile is developed using statewide electricity by creating a linear regression between the climate and electricity usage. A similar method is used to determine the contribution of natural gas consumption. These profiles are developed for each month of the year, so annual changes in anthropogenic heating can be seen. These profiles can then be put into climate models to enable more accurate urban climate modeling.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2014-05

136530-Thumbnail Image.png

Quantifying the trade-off between landscape vegetation height, surface temperature, and water consumption in single-family residential houses for a desert city.

Description

In light of climate change and urban sustainability concerns, researchers have been studying how residential landscape vegetation affect household water consumption and heat mitigation. Previous studies have analyzed the correlations among residential landscape practices, household water consumption, and urban heating

In light of climate change and urban sustainability concerns, researchers have been studying how residential landscape vegetation affect household water consumption and heat mitigation. Previous studies have analyzed the correlations among residential landscape practices, household water consumption, and urban heating at aggregate spatial scales to understand complex landscape decision tradeoffs in an urban environment. This research builds upon those studies by using parcel-level variables to explore the implications of vegetation quantity and height on water consumption and summertime surface temperatures in a set of single-family residential homes in Tempe, Arizona. QuickBird and LiDAR vegetation imagery (0.600646m/pixel), MASTER temperature data (approximately 7m/pixel), and household water billing data were analyzed. Findings provide new insights into the distinct variable, vegetation height, thereby contributing to past landscape studies at the parcel-level. We hypothesized that vegetation of different heights significantly impact water demand and summer daytime and nighttime surface temperatures among residential homes. More specifically, we investigated two hypotheses: 1) vegetation greater than 1.5 m in height will decrease daytime surface temperature more than grass coverage, and 2) grass cover will increase household water consumption more than other vegetation classes, particularly vegetation height. Bivariate and stepwise linear regressions were run to determine the predictive capacity of vegetation on surface temperature and on water consumption. Trees of 1.5m-10m height and trees of 5m-10m height lowered daytime surface temperatures. Nighttime surface temperatures were increased by trees of 5m-10m height and decreased by grass. Houses that experienced higher daytime surface temperatures consumed less water than houses with lower daytime surface temperatures, but water consumption was not directly related to vegetation cover or height. Implications of this study support the practical application of tree canopy (vegetation of 5m-10m height) to mitigate extreme surface temperatures. The trade-offs between water and vegetation classes are not yet clear because vegetation classes cannot singularly predict household water consumption.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015-05

133771-Thumbnail Image.png

The Effects of Extreme Urban Heat on Behavioral Syndromes of Juvenile Black Widow Spiders, Latrodectus hesperus

Description

Urbanization rapidly alters the environment, leading to a decrease in biodiversity in urban areas. A challenge associated with urbanized areas is the increased heat caused by the urban heat island effect. Heat may have an important impact on arthropods particularly

Urbanization rapidly alters the environment, leading to a decrease in biodiversity in urban areas. A challenge associated with urbanized areas is the increased heat caused by the urban heat island effect. Heat may have an important impact on arthropods particularly due to their status as ectotherms. Animal behavior reveals how individuals interact with their environment. A behavioral syndrome describes consistent individual differences in behaviors that are correlated across different behavioral contexts or situations. Understanding the Western Black Widow's behavioral responses to the urban heat island effect has important implications for the control of a pest species. In this study, the relationship between rising urban temperatures and voracity, web-building, and cannibalism behaviors of juvenile Western Black Widows was examined. Spiders raised in the urban temperature treatment were predicted to have more aggressive behavioral syndromes, characterized by shorter latencies to forage, greater web-building activity, and shorter latencies to cannibalize as compared to spiders raised in rural or intermediate temperature treatments. A correlation between the latency to attack the first fly and second fly was found, however there were no other correlations evidencing a behavioral syndrome. Temperature was found to affect foraging, web-building, and cannibalism behaviors where spiders in urban areas demonstrated increased activity in all behavioral contexts. The possession of behavioral plasticity rather than a behavioral syndrome is likely what allows Black Widows to be successful urban pests.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

134749-Thumbnail Image.png

Urban Heat Island Mitigation Strategies: Phoenix

Description

The growing urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon is having detrimental effects on urban populations and the environment, and therefore, must be addressed. The purpose of this research is to investigate possible strategies that could be utilized to reduce the effects

The growing urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon is having detrimental effects on urban populations and the environment, and therefore, must be addressed. The purpose of this research is to investigate possible strategies that could be utilized to reduce the effects of the urban heat island for the city of Phoenix. Current strategies, case studies, and the ENVI-Met modeling software were used to finalize conclusions and suggestions to further progress Phoenix's goals in combating its urban heat island. Results from the studies found that there is much potential in reducing daytime and evening temperatures through improving infrastructure by means of increased vegetation in the forms of green roofs and walls, reducing anthropogenic heat release, improving artificial surface coverage, and implementing lasting policies for further development. Results from the ENVI-met microclimate program shows areas for further research in urban heat island mitigation strategies.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2016-12

134978-Thumbnail Image.png

The Future of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area: An Analysis of the Socioeconomic Implications of Desert, Green, or Expanded Cities

Description

As inhabitants of a desert, a sustainable water source has always been and will continue to be a crucial component in developing the cities Arizonans call home. Phoenix and the surrounding municipalities make up a large metropolitan area that continues

As inhabitants of a desert, a sustainable water source has always been and will continue to be a crucial component in developing the cities Arizonans call home. Phoenix and the surrounding municipalities make up a large metropolitan area that continues to grow in spatial size and population. However, as climate change becomes more of an evident challenge, Arizona is forced to plan and make decisions regarding its ability to safely and efficiently maintain its livelihood and/or growth. With the effects of climate change in mind, Arizona will need to continue to innovatively and proactively address issues of water management and the effects of urban heat island (UHI). The objective of this thesis was to study the socioeconomic impacts of four extreme scenarios of the future Phoenix metropolitan area. Each of the scenarios showcased a different hypothetical extreme and uniquely impacted factors related to water management and UHI. The four scenarios were a green city, desert city, expanded city into desert land, and expanded city into agricultural land. These four scenarios were designed to emphasize different aspects of the urban water-energy-population nexus, as the future of the Phoenix metropolitan area is dynamic. Primarily, the Green City and Desert City served as contrasting viewpoints on UHI and water sustainability. The Expanded Cities showed the influence of population growth and land use on water sustainability. The socioeconomic impacts of the four scenarios were then analyzed. The quantitative data of the report was completed using the online user interface of WaterSim 5.0 (a program created by the Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC) at Arizona State University). The different scenarios were modeled in the program by adjusting various demand and supply oriented factors. The qualitative portion as well as additional quantitative data was acquired through an extensive literature review. It was found that changing land use has direct water use implications; agricultural land overtaken for municipal uses can sustain a population for longer. Though, removing agricultural lands has both social and economic implications, and can actually cause the elimination of an emergency source. Moreover, it was found that outdoor water use and reclaimed wastewater can impact water sustainability. Practices that decrease outdoor water use and increase wastewater reclamation are currently occurring; however, these practices could be augmented. Both practices require changes in the publics' opinions on water use, nevertheless, the technology and policy exists and can be intensified to become more water sustainable. While the scenarios studied were hypothetical cases of the future of the Phoenix metropolitan area, they identified important circumscribing measures and practices that influence the Valley's water resources.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2016-12