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The objective of this study was to collect and identify the plant taxa at the 26 hectare Mettler's Woods during the 2010-2012 growing seasons. We identified 105 species, in 65 genera, and in 47 families. The largest families in the flora were the Poaceae (nine species), and the Cyperaceae (eight species). Carex was the largest genus in the flora with eight species. No rare taxa were observed at the study site. Non-native Microstegium vimineum now dominates the herbaceous understory. Additionally, the death of older trees has created gaps in the forest that has favored nonnative taxa such as Celastrus orbiculatus, Lonicera japonica, and Rosa multiflora.
Peatlands are characterized by accumulation of organic matter primarily in response to soil anoxia and soil saturation. In the Cavalier Wildlife Management Area (CWMA) of southeastern Virginia, weirs were installed within ditches in an effort to restore peatlands. The purpose of this research was to determine the water levels that restore soil respiration functions and encourage carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration. Core microcosms of two soil types (histosol and ultisol) were collected and established in the laboratory with differing water level treatments with simulated depth to water table. Incubations continued for 1 month and CO2 emission rates of the soil cores were measured twice per week using a portable photosynthesis instrument. Results from a mixed linear model and Tukey post-hoc tests demonstrated water level treatments were inversely correlated to CO2 emissions regardless of soil type and that the ultisol soil type exhibited lower percent volumetric water content and higher CO2 emissions overall. This suggests that higher water tables suppress CO2 emissions and can increase carbon sequestration, and that natural resource managers should evaluate soil types when establishing restoration and carbon sequestration goals, as soil types have differing responses to hydrologic restoration.
The use of land in the Stekoa Creek watershed could impact its greater drainage basin, the Chattooga River watershed, Georgia, USA. Leaf litter packs were used to collect invertebrates in Stekoa Creek and in the Chattooga both above and below its confluence with Stekoa Creek. Macroinvertebrate community characteristics can be indicators of the health of the environment that is inhabited. Macroinvertebrates were identified and communities were analyzed to determine similarity, richness, and diversity. Land cover data were analyzed using Geographical Information System to understand land use and subsequent invertebrate community assemblages of the Stekoa and Chattooga watersheds. While no differences were found in invertebrate assemblages, there was a higher amount of urbanized land in the Stekoa watershed. These results suggest that while there are some landscape level differences between watersheds, a response in the invertebrate community was not detected.
An increase in pharmaceutical dumping and water treatment plants' inability to filter all contaminants negatively impact fish populations. Goldfish, Carassius auratus, exhibit spatial learning, but the effects of caffeine and sertraline on spatial learning have not been explored in this species. The objective was to determine whether the levels of caffeine and sertraline found in nature affect spatial learning in goldfish. Research was conducted with a control group of 15 goldfish under no drug influence, an experimental group of 15 goldfish under the influence of 8.5 µg/L of caffeine, and an experimental group of 15 goldfish under the influence of 164 ng/L of sertraline. Each goldfish was tested in an X-shaped maze with the correct choice (arm) colored green as a visual cue. The time and number of incorrect choices were recorded for 10 separate trials per fish. A Repeated Measures Anova was used to analyze the time required to choose the correct arm and number of incorrect choices. A Paired Samples t-test was used to determine whether the initial versus final times and the initial versus final number of incorrect choices were different. A Repeated Measures Anova was used to determine whether the direction the goldfish was assigned affected its time and incorrect choices. The control group exhibited spatial learning, the caffeine group did not exhibit spatial learning, and the sertraline group exhibited only signs of spatial learning (decrease in time to choose the correct arm, but not a decrease in number of correct choices). Inadequate screening of water through treatment plants that empty into streams could negatively impact learning in fish.
The demand for alternative medicine is increasing as more bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. Apis mellifera is a honeybee that feeds on nectar from a variety of plants, some of which have antibacterial properties. The objective of this study was to identify antibacterial honeys native to the northeastern USA. Six honey varietals were examined: black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), buckwheat (Polygonum convolvulus), basswood (Tilia americana), blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium), orange blossom (Citrus seninsis), and goldenrod (Solidago altissima). Well diffusion and zones of inhibition were used to examine the antibacterial properties of these varietals against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Three out of six honey varietals significantly inhibited bacterial growth. Basswood honey exhibited the greatest antibacterial effect on E. coli and S. aureus, inhibiting growth at 1% and 2% w/v, resulting in zones of inhibition of 30.3 ± 2.0 mm and 12.7 ± 0.6 mm, respectively. Six volatile compounds were identified using GC-MS. Four compounds were identified within blueberry honey (dodecane, methyl [4-(propan-2-yl)phenyl] carbonate, butan-2-yl heptanoate, and disalicylide), two were identified in goldenrod honey (ethyl 4-ethoxybenzoate and 9-methylphenanthrene), and one was identified in basswood honey (ethyl 4-ethoxybenzoate). Basswood, orange blossom, and goldenrod were as inhibitory or more inhibitory than the commonly used antibiotic tetracycline, which would suggest that these honey varietals should be further explored as a potential topical antibiotic.