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 Department: Department of Biology
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Spatially Explicit Modeling of West Nile Virus Risk Using Environmental Data

Spatially Explicit Modeling of West Nile Virus Risk Using Environmental Data

Date: December 2015
Creator: Kala, Abhishek K.
Description: West Nile virus (WNV) is an emerging infectious disease that has widespread implications for public health practitioners across the world. Within a few years of its arrival in the United States the virus had spread across the North American continent. This research focuses on the development of a spatially explicit GIS-based predictive epidemiological model based on suitable environmental factors. We examined eleven commonly mapped environmental factors using both ordinary least squares regression (OLS) and geographically weighted regression (GWR). The GWR model was utilized to ascertain the impact of environmental factors on WNV risk patterns without the confounding effects of spatial non-stationarity that exist between place and health. It identifies the important underlying environmental factors related to suitable mosquito habitat conditions to make meaningful and spatially explicit predictions. Our model represents a multi-criteria decision analysis approach to create disease risk maps under data sparse situations. The best fitting model with an adjusted R2 of 0.71 revealed a strong association between WNV infection risk and a subset of environmental risk factors including road density, stream density, and land surface temperature. This research also postulates that understanding the underlying place characteristics and population composition for the occurrence of WNV infection is important for ...
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Impact of a Genetically Engineered Probiotic Therapy and Igf-1 Genomics in the Pahenu2 Mouse Model of Pku

Impact of a Genetically Engineered Probiotic Therapy and Igf-1 Genomics in the Pahenu2 Mouse Model of Pku

Date: December 2015
Creator: Durrer, Katherine Elaine
Description: Absence of functional phenylalanine hydroxylase results in phenylketonuria (PKU). Viable treatments remain few, expensive and secondary conditions such as osteopenia occur in most PKU patients. Objective 1: Given the recently described roles of gut microbes to aid host digestion, an orally administered genetically engineered probiotic as the delivery vehicle for enzyme replacement therapy was created. The engineered probiotic, pHENOMMenal, produced phenylalanine ammonia lyase with significant production of trans-cinnamate (phenylalanine cleavage product) in vitro and resulted in a reduction of 515 μM in blood phenylalanine when fed to PKU animals for 14 days (from 2307µM ± 264µM to 1792µM ± 261µM, n = 6, P < 0.05). The control probiotic produced no change in blood phenylalanine. Thus, pHENOMMenal treatment in PKU mice demonstrated engineered microbes could compensate for a metabolic deficiency of the host. Objective 2: Evaluate the PAHenu2 mouse model of PKU for a genetic discrepancy causing ocular enlargement and delayed development observed only after the PAHenu2 mutation was crossed to the C57BL/6J mouse. When compared to healthy littermates, ELISA indicated a consistent but insignificant decrease in plasma IGF-1 and an increase in ocular IGF-1 in PKU animals. SNP screening demonstrated a differential inheritance of IGF-1 alleles in healthy and ...
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Genetic Analysis of Medicago Truncatula Plants with a Defective Mtire Gene

Genetic Analysis of Medicago Truncatula Plants with a Defective Mtire Gene

Date: August 2015
Creator: Alexis, Naudin
Description: Leguminous plants are able to fix nitrogen by establishing a symbiotic relationship with soil dwelling bacteria, called rhizobia. The model plant Medicago truncatula forms a partnership with Sinorhizobium meliloti whereby the plant gains bioavailable nitrogen and in exchange the bacteria gains carbohydrates. This process occurs within nodules, which are structures produced on the roots of the plants within which nitrogen is fixed. M. truncatula incomplete root elongation (MtIRE) was localized to the infection zone, which is zone II of indeterminate nodules. It was shown to encode a signaling kinase so it was anticipated to play a role in nodulation. Mutants of MtIRE in the R108 background, mutagenized with the Tnt1 retrotransposon, were obtained from reverse screen, and were assessed to determine if a disrupted MtIRE gene was the cause of nitrogen fixation defective nodules. Mutant line NF1320, having a mutant phenotype, showed typical Mendelian segregation of 3:1 when backcrossed to R108. Experimental results show that MtIRE gene is not the cause of the mutant phenotype, but was linked to the causative locus. MtIRE co-segregated with the mutant phenotype 83%. Southern blot and the first version of the M. truncatula genome (version 3.5) reported a single MtIRE gene and this was ...
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Effects of Macrophyte Functional Diversity on Taxonomic and Functional Diversity and Stability of Tropical Floodplain Fish Assemblages

Effects of Macrophyte Functional Diversity on Taxonomic and Functional Diversity and Stability of Tropical Floodplain Fish Assemblages

Date: August 2015
Creator: Treviño, Jessica Marie
Description: Multiple dimensions of biodiversity within and across producer and consumer guilds in the food web affect an ecosystem’s functionality and stability. Tropical and subtropical aquatic ecosystems, which are extremely diverse, have received much less attention than terrestrial ecosystems in regards to the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning. We conducted a field experiment that tested for effects of macrophyte functional diversity on diversity and stability of associated fish assemblages in floodplain lakes of the Upper Paraná River floodplain, Brazil. Three levels of macrophyte functional diversity were maintained through time in five floodplain lakes and response variables included various components of fish taxonomic and functional diversity and stability. Components of functional diversity of fish assemblages were quantified using a suite of ecomorphological traits that relate to foraging and habitat use. Response variables primarily distinguished macrophyte treatments from the control. Macrophyte treatments had, on average, double the number of species and total abundance than the control treatment, but only limited effects on stability. The high diversity treatment was essentially nested within the low diversity for assemblage structure and had similar or even slightly lower levels of species richness and abundance in most cases. Gymnotiformes and young-of-year were diverse and relatively abundant in ...
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Investigating the Ability of Pseudomonas aeruginosa pyrE Mutants to Grow and Produce Virulence Factors

Investigating the Ability of Pseudomonas aeruginosa pyrE Mutants to Grow and Produce Virulence Factors

Date: December 2014
Creator: Niazy, Abdurahman
Description: Pseudomonas aeruginosa are medically important bacteria that are notorious for causing nosocomial infections. To gain more knowledge into understanding how this organism operates, it was decided to explore the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway. Pyrimidine synthesis, being one half of the DNA structure, makes it a very important pathway to the organism’s survivability. With previous studies being done on various genes in the pathway, pyrE has not been studied to the fullest extent. To study the function of pyrE, a site directed mutagenesis was done to completely knock out pyrE, which encodes the protein orotate phosphoribosyl transferase that is responsible for converting orotate into orotate monophosphate (OMP). A mutation in this step leads to accumulation and secretion of orotate into the medium. Analyzing virulence factors produced by the mutant and comparing to the wild type, some intriguing features of the mutant were discovered. One of the findings was the over expression of virulence factors pyoverdin and pyocyanin. Pyocyanin over expression, based on the results of this study, is due to the accumulation of orotate while over production of pyoverdin is due to the accumulation of dihydroorotate. The other virulence factors studied were motility assays, exoproducts, and growth analysis. All virulence factor production ...
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The Impact of Developmental Stress on Cardiovascular Physiology of Two Archosaur Species: American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and Domestic Chicken (Gallus gallus)

The Impact of Developmental Stress on Cardiovascular Physiology of Two Archosaur Species: American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and Domestic Chicken (Gallus gallus)

Date: December 2014
Creator: Tate, Kevin B.
Description: Crocodilians and birds comprise sister taxa of archosaurs, the development of these vertebrates occurs within an egg case that leaves developing embryos susceptible to fluctuations in the nesting environment. Studies suggest that sub-optimal conditions alter morphological growth and cardiovascular physiology. Regulation of the cardiovascular system is immature in the subjects studied, and embryos may rely on humoral rather than neural control of the cardiovascular system. The primary focus of this dissertation was to assess regulatory mechanisms responsible for maintenance of arterial pressure and heart rate. Dehydration stress had marked effects on embryo growth, and altered baseline cardiovascular parameters, while leaving the response to humoral regulator, angiotensin II (Ang II), unaffected. However, dehydrated alligator embryos developed cholinergic tone on heart rate. Hypoxic incubated chicken embryos were reduced in embryo mass, and altered response to humoral regulatory components Ang I and adenosine in addition identifying a novel regulatory component of the cardiovascular response to acute hypoxia. Collectively, these studies add to the existing knowledge of cardiovascular physiology in embryonic archosaurs and suggest that some components of cardiovascular regulation are plastic following developmental stress.
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Microflora in Prepared Foods Dispensed from Eating Establishments in Dallas, Texas

Microflora in Prepared Foods Dispensed from Eating Establishments in Dallas, Texas

Date: August 1948
Creator: Phillips, Margaret
Description: A bacteriological study was made of a number of prepared foods that were bought ready-to-eat, for home consumption, from several food establishments in Dallas, Texas. The purpose of this study was to show whether these foods could be a potential source of food poisoning; whether there are any particular foods that should have greater care than others in order to protect their quality; and whether the bacteriological contamination could have been prevented by strict observance of the city regulations for handling foods.
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A Study of Selected Factors Influencing Science Majors Toward Science Careers

A Study of Selected Factors Influencing Science Majors Toward Science Careers

Date: August 1957
Creator: Bragg, Louis Hairston
Description: "The purpose of this study is to gather information concerning some factors which may have operated to influence science majors in North Texas State College toward science careers."--4.
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The Effects of Common Electrolytes on Growth and Development of Selected Species of Aquatic Actinomycetes

The Effects of Common Electrolytes on Growth and Development of Selected Species of Aquatic Actinomycetes

Date: August 1959
Creator: Sissom, Stanley L.
Description: The role that aquatic actinomycetes play, in the production of tastes and odors in water supplies has been investigated since 1948. The ability of these organisms to produce by-products in lakes and streams, which renders the water unpalatable, is of considerable public health importance. It is desirable that the waterworks industry has as much information as possible concerning the factors that contribute to the growth of these organisms. Since it appears that the aquatic actinomycetes may be isolated from most fresh-water sources, the problem of diversified environments and nutritional requirements offers an excellent field of investigation. The fresh-waters of the world contain variable quantities of electrolytes that may determine in part the biological activity of these organisms. The unsolved questions in this instance are concerned with the electrolytes present and their quantitative effects on the growth and development of these forms.
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A Study of a Selected Group of Science Related Characteristics of Non-Science Majors

A Study of a Selected Group of Science Related Characteristics of Non-Science Majors

Date: August 1957
Creator: Bearden, Bennie Paul
Description: The purpose of this study is to gather information related to the characteristics of two groups of undergraduate non-science majors; namely, those students who once considered science as a career and subsequently changed to a non-science major and those who have never considered a career in science. It is frequently observed that children in the elementary school have an intense interest in science. One of the principal concerns of this study is how and for what reasons has the interest in science changed between elementary school and college? It is also the purpose of this study to gather information related to the attitudes of these college students toward the science courses they have had in high school and toward their science teachers. In attempting to arrive at an answer, the group who once considered a science career and those who have never considered an occupational choice in a field of science will be compared in the following areas: 1. General information such as sex, age, size of high school attended, rank within their graduating classes, college classification and military experiences. 2. Occupations and hobbies of parents. 3. Experiences which may influence attitudes toward science such as elementary school science, high ...
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Bacteriological Studies of the Campus Drinking Fountains of North Texas State Teachers College Denton, Texas

Bacteriological Studies of the Campus Drinking Fountains of North Texas State Teachers College Denton, Texas

Date: August 1941
Creator: McCoy, Eloise
Description: "In order to gain an adequate idea of the sanitary condition of the drinking fountains on the North Texas State Teachers College campus, it was found necessary to approach these bacteriological studies from a seasonal point of view."--1.
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A Vegetative Key to the Grasses of Erath County, Texas

A Vegetative Key to the Grasses of Erath County, Texas

Date: August 1951
Creator: Robinson, Inez Evans
Description: "The orientation of this study began with a collection of the grasses of Erath County during their flowering periods. Collections were made in the Spring and Fall of 1950 and 1951 to obtain both vernal and autumnal grasses. Identifications were made from the grass floras previously mentioned and checked against specimens in the herbarium of North Texas State College for verification. In addition, the list was checked by W.A. Turney, Conservationist, United States Department of Agriculture of Dublin, Texas. Finally, the list was compared with that prepared by W.M. Cory for the plant areas of which Erath County is a part. On the basis of the above identifications, a critical study of the vegetative characteristics was made and a key based on these features prepared. The width of the blad and characteristics of the ligule, roots, culms, and sheaths were used to distinguish each of the eighty-six specimens found in the collection area. A drawing was made of the longitudinal section of the juncture of the blade and the sheath of each grass. This diagnostic section includes the collar, ligule, a part of the blade and sheath, and auricles, if present."-- leaf 5.
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An Investigation of Naturally Occurring Tastes and Odors from Fresh Waters

An Investigation of Naturally Occurring Tastes and Odors from Fresh Waters

Date: May 1955
Creator: Pipes, Wesley O'Feral, Jr.
Description: The Problem of the cause and control of tastes and odors in water supplies has been the subject of a great many investigations during the last half-century; however, many questions in this field remain to be answered. Theories relating to the cause of tastes and odors occurring in water are still rather numerous and, at present, only a few of them are compatible. Although several procedures have been employed for the eradication of tastes and odors from water supplies, none of them are completely successful.
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Herpetology of the Amistad Reservoir Area, Val Verde County, Texas

Herpetology of the Amistad Reservoir Area, Val Verde County, Texas

Date: January 1969
Creator: Devine, Michael C.
Description: The Amistad Reservoir in southern Val Verde County, Texas will impound a considerable amount of surface water in a semi-arid region in which natural surface water is scarce. Construction of the dam began in 1963 and the reservoir began to fill in the summer of 1968. This large impoundment could have a considerable ecological impact on the area. The purpose of this research was to study the ecological distribution and zoogeographic affinities of the herpetofauna and to establish an ecological baseline against which any future changes could be measured.
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The Population Dynamics and Trophic Relationships of Seven Species of Fish in a Small Southwestern Pond, with Special Attention Toward Young-of-the-Year Fish

The Population Dynamics and Trophic Relationships of Seven Species of Fish in a Small Southwestern Pond, with Special Attention Toward Young-of-the-Year Fish

Date: August 1975
Creator: Jones, Fredrick V.
Description: Production rates of seven species of fish, along with food-web interactions, were determined for one year in a pond. Production of fish in the pond amounted to 208.9 q/m2/yr. Over 95% of the production occurred in the summer, with Y of Y fish contributing 83.8%. There were two food-web interactions observed in Y of Y fishes: crappie vs. bass and bullhead vs. sunfish. When Y of Y fish shifted to benthic diets in the spring, the small biomass of benthos available could not sustain the larger biomass of fish. Competition for the available food resulted in decreased production rates for the fish community.
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Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylase and Sixteen Alpha Hydroxylase in Cultured Human Lymphocytes

Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylase and Sixteen Alpha Hydroxylase in Cultured Human Lymphocytes

Date: December 1975
Creator: Coomes, Marguerite L.
Description: Cultured human lymphocytes may be assayed for aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase (AHH) in whole cell preparations. The optimum assay conditions are pH 8.5, and 1.5 mM Mg++. The reaction is linear with time and cell number, and is inhibited by CO. Estradiol may inhibit induction of AHH by 3-methylcholanthrene, but is a poor competitor for the enzyme. A Caucasian population was assayed for AHH activity. The distribution was lognormal; no difference was found in cultured cells from males and females or smokers and nonsmokers. Cells from relatives of lung cancer patients showed higher activity. An American Indian population showed no difference from the Caucasian population in enzyme level. No linkage was found between AHH and 16a-hydroxylase.
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Induction of 16α Hydroxylase in Human Cultured Lymphocytes

Induction of 16α Hydroxylase in Human Cultured Lymphocytes

Date: December 1975
Creator: Muijsson, Ingrid E.
Description: A method is presented for 160hydroxylase (SAH) induction in cultured human lymphocytes. SAH, a microsomal-associated enzyme, effects the oxidative conversion of 17pestradiol to estriol, which competes for cytoplasmic binding sites. 17,-estradiol and estrone are known mammary carcinogens, while estriol and its epimers have been suggested to have anticarcinogenic properties. To substantiate genetic variations of hydroxylase activity, an analysis of estrogen-induced cultured human lymphocytes was conducted to evaluate the frequency distribution of low, intermediate, and high SAH activity. Frequency analysis indicated that the control population distribution of SAH activity does not corroborate a proposed trimodal expansion of human SAH activity. A log normal distribution of SAH activity does exist, which suggests a polygenic mode of genetic control. SAH activity in a population of breast cancer patients and relatives of breast cancer patients showed no statistical difference from the SAH activity in the control population.
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Differences in Protein Constituents of Some Azotobacter Species

Differences in Protein Constituents of Some Azotobacter Species

Date: August 1975
Creator: Hsu, Li-Chu Yao
Description: This study used polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis to study the acid-phenol soluble proteins of five strains (A. vinelandii 12837, A. vinelandii 0, A. chroococcum 8004, A. macrocytogenes 8702, A. tumefaciens) of bacteria grown on Burk's nitrogen-free media, Trypticase Soy Broth, and 0.3% butanol medium. The results showed that the protein patterns can be used for the identification and possibly the taxonomic classification of the Azotobacter. The change of phenotype of the bacteria in different media followed the change of protein quantity and quality. There was no absolute similarity between any two of the species studied and this suggests a genetically heterogenous group of organisms while the amount of common proteins suggests close genetic relationships. Further studies are necessary to confirm the status of A. tumefaciens.
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Pharmacological, Temperature, and Electrogram Studies on the Posterior Lymph Heart of the Bullfrog

Pharmacological, Temperature, and Electrogram Studies on the Posterior Lymph Heart of the Bullfrog

Date: May 1975
Creator: Oberndorfer, Carol E.
Description: In view of the discrepancies and conflicts produced by previous studies on amphibian lymph hearts, a study was initiated to reinvestigate the pharmacological, temperature, and electrical aspects of lymph heart physiology. Bullfrogs were chosen as the experimental animal, All lymph heart responses to experimentation were physiographically recorded as myograms and electrograms. The results are in agreement with previous studies on some aspects and in conflict on others. From the results obtained, lymph heart muscle appears to possess both skeletal and cardiac muscle properties as evidenced by drug responses and reactions to temperature. The precise components of the electrogram remain unclear. It is suggested that further investigation should be made to better determine the true nature of lymph hearts.
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Primary Productivity and Community Metabolism in a Small North Central Texas Pond Ecosystem

Primary Productivity and Community Metabolism in a Small North Central Texas Pond Ecosystem

Date: August 1975
Creator: Kelly, Martin H.
Description: Rates of primary production and community metabolism were monitored over a one year period using the diurnal oxygen method. Certain physico-chemical parameters were also measured, and autotrophic standing crops were estimated. An in-depth study was made of the phytoplankton community and various diversity indicies were calculated. Simple correlations were run between all parameters measured (biotic and abiotic), and their inter-relationships examined. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to develop equations predictive of production and community metabolism. Bluegreen algae were the dominant phytoplankters with blooms occurring in late summer and fall. Yearly mean production was approximately 21 kcal per meter square per day with a mean photosynthetic efficiency of 1.2 per cent. Of the various parameters measured turbidity and water temperature were most important in determining rates of primary production.
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A Study of Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylase in Cultured Human Lymphocytes

A Study of Aryl Hydrocarbon Hydroxylase in Cultured Human Lymphocytes

Date: August 1976
Creator: Guyden, Jerry C.
Description: Aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase activity was studied in cultured human lymphocytes using 3-methylcholanthrene, 1,2- benzanthracene, and 4'-bromoflavone as inducers. The substrates used to run the 60 minute assay were benzo(α)pyrene and diphenyloxazole. At the optimum bromoflavone concentration for induction of aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase, the induced enzymatic activity compared favorably with that of aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase induced by 3MC in a 96 hour lymphocyte culture using BP as the assay substrate. The whole cell human lymphocyte system was found to have as much or more activity in 20 ml vials using Joklik's-Modified Minimum Essential Medium at a pH optimum of 7.5 with no co-factor added as did the Roswell Park assay system. The whole cell assay showed that levels of aryl hydrocarbonhydroxylase inducibility in lumphocytes from smokers and non-smokers varied without regard to the subjects' smoking habits. The assay system also indicated that intact lymphocytes generate a similar group of benzo(α)pyrene metabolites as that produced by a hepatic microsomal preparation from C57B1/6J mice.
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The Effects of Hypothermia on the Release of Cardiac Enzymes

The Effects of Hypothermia on the Release of Cardiac Enzymes

Date: August 1977
Creator: Strawn, William B.
Description: The myocardium is known to release CPK, LDH1 , and GOT in response to ischemia as a result of myocardial infarction. This study was designed to induce the release of cardiac enzymes without adversely effecting the myocardium by perfusion hypothermia, thereby suggesting that these enzymes are not as specific in the diagnosis of myocardial infarction as once thought. Hypothermia was by in vivo perfusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery. Enzyme activity was measured from sera samples spectrophotometrically and electrophoretically. Significant CPK and LDH1 increases were observed in animals perfused between 25 and 19 C. These results indicate that, while heart function remained unchanged, an alteration occurred in the membrane integrity of the myocardial cells.
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The Life History and Ecology of the Mayfly Neochoroterpes mexicanus Allen (Ephemeroptera: Leptophebiidae)

The Life History and Ecology of the Mayfly Neochoroterpes mexicanus Allen (Ephemeroptera: Leptophebiidae)

Date: August 1974
Creator: McClure, Richard G.
Description: The life history and ecology of Neochoroterpes mexicanus was studied from data collected September, 1971, to August, 1972, and January to December, 1973, in the Brazos River, Texas. Nymphal development, instar analysis, voltinism, standing crops, and production estimates were determined from the quantitative samples taken in 1971 and 1972. Aspects of the life history and food habits of 230 specimens were arrived at from qualitative samples and light box captures in 1973. Laboratory investigation in 1973 helped in establishing instar analysis, egg incubation and description, and first instar descriptions. Neochoroterpes mexicanus appeared to have three generations per year with brood overlap in the summer and fall. It displayed 16 and 19 instars for overwintering and combined summer generations respectively.
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Population Studies of Ulmus Crassifolia in Flood-Plain Forests of Denton County, Texas

Population Studies of Ulmus Crassifolia in Flood-Plain Forests of Denton County, Texas

Date: August 1974
Creator: Koch, Linda S.
Description: The problem with which this investigation was concerned was the comparison of cedar elm populations in different stands along creeks in Denton County, Texas, and the relationship of certain population parameters to various substrates present at stand sites, Parameters investigated eluded average basal area, basal-area density, transect-segment density, intertree distance, lateral distance, frequency, diameter breast-high, diameter breast-high size-class distribution, and immature-tree density. Variations among populations of Ulmus crassifolia Nutt were noted and analyzed in terms of soil particle size and existing community conditions.
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