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The vascular plant species at Corson's Woods, comprising 8.1 hectares, in Staten Island, New York, were sampled at monthly intervals from May 2008 to October 2011. The flora consists of 159 species in 124 genera and 57 families. The Poaceae, 10 taxa, was the largest family in the flora. Quercus, the largest genus, was represented by 5 taxa. Thirty four taxa, 21% of the flora, are not native to the region. Eight vascular plant species, rare in New York City, were identified including log fern, Dryopteris celsa, a species not observed on Staten Island since 1907. The woods are dominated by yellow poplar, Liriodendron tulipifera, sugar maple, Acer saccharum and sweet gum, Liquidambar styraciflua.
When the head does not move, rapid movements of the eyes called saccades are used to redirect the line of sight. Saccades are defined by a series of metrical and kinematic (evolution of a movement as a function of time) relationships. For example, the amplitude of a saccade made from one visual target to another is roughly 90% of the distance between the initial fixation point (T0) and the peripheral target (T1). However, this stereotypical relationship between saccade amplitude and initial retinal error (|T1-Initial Eye Position|) may be altered, either increased or decreased, by surreptitiously displacing a visual target during an ongoing saccade. This form of saccadic adaptation has been described in both humans and monkeys. We investigated the effects of a contextual cue (target color) on the magnitude of human saccadic adaptation using an eye tracker to measure our subjects' eye position. Our results indicate that target color cannot be used by the eye movement control system to elicit differential changes in motor output regardless of whether the color cues are randomly intermixed or presented sequentially.
Understanding interspecific and intraspecific aggression is important for wildlife management and sustainability of populations. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether there is a difference in number of occurrences of interspecific aggression between American coots (Fulica americana) and mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) and intraspecific aggression among American coots in the Ballona wetland habitat of Southern California. Trends in literature describe coots as highly aggressive toward other coots year-round and toward other bird species during the breeding season. Because we conducted observations outside the breeding season, we hypothesized that more instances of intraspecific aggression would be observed. We found a significant difference between the number of occurrences of interspecific and intraspecific aggression based on four behaviors specific for American coots: charging, paired display, splattering, and churning. There were more instances of intraspecific aggressive encounters than interspecific aggressive encounters, which indicate the interacting species at Ballona are not competing for resources and their respective niches may not overlap.