Matching Items (9)

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Seed Beetle Abundance and Diversity in Urban and Rural Sites

Description

The spread of urbanization leads to habitat fragmentation and deterioration and changes the composition of ecosystems for species all over the world. Different groups of organisms are impacted differently, and insects have experienced loss in diversity and abundance due to

The spread of urbanization leads to habitat fragmentation and deterioration and changes the composition of ecosystems for species all over the world. Different groups of organisms are impacted differently, and insects have experienced loss in diversity and abundance due to changing environmental factors. Here, I collected seed beetles across 12 urban and rural sites in Phoenix, Arizona, to analyze the effects of urbanization and habitat variation on beetle diversity and abundance. I found that urbanization, host tree origin, and environmental factors such as tree diversity and density had no impact on overall beetle diversity and abundance. Beetles were found to have higher density on hosts with a higher density of pods. In assessing individual beetle species, some beetles exhibited higher density in rural sites with native trees, and some were found more commonly on nonnative tree species. The observed differences in beetle density demonstrate the range of effects urbanization and environmental features can have on insect species. By studying ecosystem interactions alongside changing environments, we can better predict the role urbanization and human development can have on different organisms.

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2018-05

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Floral UV Pattern and Abundance Effects on Pollinator Foraging Behavior

Description

Honey bees are vital to human society due to their pollination services but are currently under threat due to various factors. In order to avoid drastic declines in bee populations, it is important to fully understand factors that contribute to

Honey bees are vital to human society due to their pollination services but are currently under threat due to various factors. In order to avoid drastic declines in bee populations, it is important to fully understand factors that contribute to pollinator health and efficiency. The focus of this experiment were UV markings, commonly referred to as nectar guides. While various studies have found nectar guides to influence pollinator activity, relatively few experiments have been conducted to see how UV patterns and/or UV coverage of nectar guides affects bee foraging, which is what our experiment attempted to explore. Our hypothesis was that UV coverage has a positive impact on bee foraging activity, but that full UV coverage would lower foraging activity, we also hypothesized that UV pattern would also influence foraging activity and that pollinators will prefer circular patterns. In our experiment we created artificial nectar dispensing flowers with differing UV markings and placed them out in a natural environment and recorded pollinator visitation. We then utilized a two-way ANOVA to determine if there was a statistical correlation between UV abundance and/or UV pattern on pollinator activity. Our results revealed no statistical correlation for either UV coverage (p = .389) nor UV pattern (p = .437) to pollinator activity. While no statistical correlation was found, graphical analysis of the mean between different UV groups revealed a noticeable flower preference was seen for flowers with at least some level of UV compared to no UV and a slight increase in activity for circular patterns compared to radial patterns. This suggests that perhaps UV abundance and pattern plays a minor role in pollinator activity but nothing that is statistically significant. We suggest further follow up research to improve and refine our methods and utilize a greater range of patterns and abundance size with a larger sample size to better understand the role UV pattern and UV coverage has on pollinator foraging activity.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Persistence of Pollen on Clothing Evidence

Description

Traditionally, forensic palynology, a branch of forensic botany, has been utilized during the investigation of crimes to link a suspect or victim to a particular place. This is done by identifying pollen and spores collected from objects, clothing, and/or bodies

Traditionally, forensic palynology, a branch of forensic botany, has been utilized during the investigation of crimes to link a suspect or victim to a particular place. This is done by identifying pollen and spores collected from objects, clothing, and/or bodies and comparing the identification to the plants documented at the scene of a crime. Pollen and spores both, as a form of trace evidence, can be identifiable through analysis of their morphology and have been documented to be resistant to destruction. It is also documented that criminals are willing to tamper with evidence to hinder criminal investigations, in the hopes of preventing or delaying their identification. Determining whether pollen evidence can be recovered from clothing evidence that has been tampered with would be a boon to forensic palynology, and the field of forensic botany as a whole. Two relatively common methods of tampering with clothing evidence include washing the clothing and destroying it by burning. With this in mind, this study was designed to determine whether pollen evidence can persist through the washing and/or the burning of clothing evidence by criminals attempting to obstruct justice and remain on the streets. Based upon previous documentation and experimentation, it was expected that any pollen or spores collected on clothing would persist through burning and continue to be identifiable. It was also expected that washing would remove a majority of pollen or spores present, if not all of them, and prevent linking the owner of the clothes to a particular crime scene. While this research would benefit from continued experimentation over a longer period of time, it shows that pollen evidence could be recovered from evidence that has been tampered with and identified as is usually done in a forensic palynological analysis. The form of tampering resulting in the highest chances of recovering palynological evidence utilized in this study was demonstrated to be burning, as washing resulted in no observation of pollen.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Wild bee foraging abundance on native sunflower Helianthus annuus L. versus Helianthus cultivar sunflowers in an urban habitat

Description

Through the months September-November of 2017 a study was conducted to determine if bees prefer the sunflower, Helianthus annuus, native to Arizona, or a cultivar Helianthus sunflower in an urban environment. The study was executed in a small, controlled urban

Through the months September-November of 2017 a study was conducted to determine if bees prefer the sunflower, Helianthus annuus, native to Arizona, or a cultivar Helianthus sunflower in an urban environment. The study was executed in a small, controlled urban environment on Arizona State University West campus. Seven identified bee species and forty-nine specimens were collected, of the forty-nine specimens, two bees were reported on the Helianthus cultivar supporting native floral host preferences of native species. Variables such as nectar, pollen, floral color, and floral height were not measured, however, when the floral host genus was maintained wild bees visited the native Helianthus host significantly more yielding a supportive two-tailed p-value of 2.97x10-5. Three trends were identified in correlation with the experiment: 1) Bees foraged on native Helianthus annuus over the Helianthus cultivar, 2) Generalist species were more abundant than specialists on the Helianthus annuus, 3) Honey bees (Apis mellifera) were the most abundant species present. While not considered a trend, low floral diversity and abundance may explain the low diversity of bee species observed on the Helianthus. Floral host and pollinator desynchronization may also have affected bee diversity and abundance. Analysis of bee abundance and diversity support that wild bees may prefer native floral hosts over cultivar floral hosts when the floral genus, temperature, and time was controlled for in an urban environment.

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2018-12

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Foraging Behavior in Native and Non-Native Bee Species at the Desert Botanical Garden

Description

One can argue that bees are the most unique insects in the animal kingdom due to their invaluable services they provide on a global level. Their importance goes beyond their capability of pollination; it is shown in their environmental impact

One can argue that bees are the most unique insects in the animal kingdom due to their invaluable services they provide on a global level. Their importance goes beyond their capability of pollination; it is shown in their environmental impact and maintenance of the world's food supply. It is evident that the bee population is experiencing a serious and rapid decline that has resulted in changes to ecosystems in the past couple of decades. In order to resolve these issues, further research must be conducted to understand what humans can do to benefit their species' longevity. It is necessary for knowledge regarding bees, specifically their foraging behavior, to improve so humans can understand their essentiality to not only them, but the world. The focus of this study is to address any differences in foraging behavior between Apis mellifera, the honey bee, and native bee species. Other questions were answered including: do native and non-native bees have floral host preferences? Do native and non-native bees visit a variety of floral hosts? Experimental procedures were conducted to address these questions, which involved netting bees at differing times in four varying garden locations at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona. Then, the preparation of bee pollen and plant pollen slides along with bee mounting was performed. After the completion of data analysis, it was discovered that the preliminary data showed different foraging behavior between native and non-native bee species. Further studies are pertinent in obtaining statistically significant data due to an insufficient sample proportion. This is crucial in understanding the true differences in behaviors between both bee species.

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2018-12

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SEM-EDX Analysis of Gunshot Residue on Pig Cranial Bone Following Decomposition and Maceration

Description

Distinguishing between projectile and blunt force or sharp force trauma can be complicated by processes that result in fragmentation or loss of skeletal features. Postmortem processes that obscure skeletal features may result in the inability to properly determine the mechanism

Distinguishing between projectile and blunt force or sharp force trauma can be complicated by processes that result in fragmentation or loss of skeletal features. Postmortem processes that obscure skeletal features may result in the inability to properly determine the mechanism of trauma using morphology alone. The presence of gunshot residue (GSR) is indicative of a gunshot event and can be used to differentiate between etiologies of skeletal trauma. Primer GSR is composed of barium (Ba), antimony (Sb), and lead (Pb), which are vaporized during the firearm discharge and can be deposited in small quantities on surfaces within proximity of a gunshot event. Scanning Electron Microscopes with Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (SEM-EDX) have been used in the past to detect GSR on a variety of surfaces including bone. The purpose of this study is to determine the ability to detect GSR on bone tissue using SEM-EDX following warm-water maceration or decomposition.

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2019-05

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Variance in bee species richness: seasonal, spatial, and temporal differences

Description

Bee communities form the keystone of many ecosystems through their pollination services. They are dynamic and often subject to significant changes due to several different factors such as climate, urban development, and other anthropogenic disturbances. As a result, the world

Bee communities form the keystone of many ecosystems through their pollination services. They are dynamic and often subject to significant changes due to several different factors such as climate, urban development, and other anthropogenic disturbances. As a result, the world has been experiencing a decline in bee diversity and abundance, which can have detrimental effects in the ecosystems they inhabit. One of the largest factors that impacts bees in today's world is the rapid urbanization of our planet, and it impacts the bee community in mixed ways. Not very much is understood about the bee communities that exist in urban habitats, but as urbanization is inevitably going to continue, knowledge on bee communities will need to strengthen. This study aims to determine the levels of variance in bee communities, considering multiple variables that bee communities can differ in. The following three questions are posed: do bee communities that are spatially separated differ significantly? Do bee communities that are separated by seasons differ significantly? Do bee communities that are separated temporally (by year, interannually) differ significantly? The procedure to conduct this experiment consists of netting and trapping bees at two sites at various times using the same methods. The data is then statistically analyzed for differences in abundance, richness, diversity, and species composition. After performing the various statistical analyses, it has been discovered that bee communities that are spatially separated, seasonally separated, or interannually separated do not differ significantly when it comes to abundance and richness. Spatially separated bee communities and interannually separated bee communities show a moderate level of dissimilarity in their species composition, while seasonally separated bee communities show a greater level of dissimilarity in species composition. Finally, seasonally separated bee communities demonstrate the greatest disparity of bee diversity, while interannually separated bee communities show the least disparity of bee diversity. This study was conducted over the time span of two years, and while the levels of variance of an urban area between these variables were determined, further variance studies of greater length or larger areas should be conducted to increase the currently limited knowledge of bee communities in urban areas. Additional studies on precipitation amounts and their effects on bee communities should be conducted, and studies from other regions should be taken into consideration while attempting to understand what is likely the most environmentally significant group of insects.

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Date Created
2017-05

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Investigation of Parameters that Affect Capsaicin Stability During Culinary Techniques

Description

Capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin account for 90% of capsaicinoids when it comes to the pungency of peppers. Capsaicin stability was investigated through a cooking and storage parameter where three different tests were done; cooking duration, cooking temperature, and storage stability. The

Capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin account for 90% of capsaicinoids when it comes to the pungency of peppers. Capsaicin stability was investigated through a cooking and storage parameter where three different tests were done; cooking duration, cooking temperature, and storage stability. The concentration of capsaicinoids was quantified through gas chromatography-mass spectrometry where those values were then used to determine the total Scoville heat units (SHU). Furthermore, half-life was determined by finding the decay rate during cooking and storage. Results showed that there was an increase in degradation of capsaicinoids concentration when peppers were cooked for a long period of time. Degradation rate increases with increasing temperatures as would be expected by the Arrhenius equation. Hence, if a maximum pungency is wanted, it is best to cook the least time as possible or add the peppers towards the end of the culinary technique. This would help by cooking the peppers for a short period of time while not being exposed to the high temperature long enough before significant degradation occurs. Lastly, the storage stability results interpreted that a maximum potency of the peppers can be retained in a freezer or refrigerator opposed to an open room temperature environment or exposure from the sun. Furthermore, the stability of peppers has a long shelf life with even that the worse storage condition's half-life value was 113.5 months (9.5 years). Thus, peppers do not need to be bought frequently because its potency will last for several years.

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Date Created
2017-12

Literature Review of Mobility and Psychological Attitude to Assess the Possible Need for Mobility Apparatus in Pediatric Wards

Description

The importance of mobility and psychological attitude during hospitalization and how they correlate with recovery is highlighted in this paper through a review of the research literature on both topics. The literature review revealed that increased mobility and positive psychological

The importance of mobility and psychological attitude during hospitalization and how they correlate with recovery is highlighted in this paper through a review of the research literature on both topics. The literature review revealed that increased mobility and positive psychological cognitive state are correlated positively with increased recovery among hospitalized individuals. The research findings have led to the development of child mobility apparatuses called "Lily Pads" being constructed and donated to pediatric hospitals with the intention of helping increase patient mobility and positivity in pediatric wards of hospitals. A history of the lily pads and their potentially positive impact is presented as well as a brief description of the construction process, should readers like to build and donate these apparatuses to their local hospital. It is concluded that further empirical research on the use and effects of lily pads in pediatric wards and the possible correlation with pediatric recovery is needed in order to qualitatively and quantitatively assess the apparatuses' effectiveness.

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2017-12