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 Degree Discipline: Environmental Science
Evaluation of the Chlorophyll/Fluorescence Sensor of the YSI Multiprobe: Comparison to an Acetone Extraction Procedure

Evaluation of the Chlorophyll/Fluorescence Sensor of the YSI Multiprobe: Comparison to an Acetone Extraction Procedure

Date: May 2001
Creator: Lambert, Patricia
Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the suitability of the YSI model 6600 Environmental Monitoring System (multiprobe) for long term deployment at a site in Lewisville Lake, Texas. Specifically, agreement between a laboratory extraction procedure and the multiprobe chlorophyll/fluorescence readings was examined. Preliminary studies involved determining the best method for disrupting algal cells prior to analysis and examining the precision and linearity of the acetone extraction procedure. Cell disruption by mortar and pestle grinding was preferable to bath sonication. Comparison of the chlorophyll/fluorescence readings from the multiprobe and the extraction procedure indicated that they were significantly correlated but temperature dependent.
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Evaluation of the Developmental Effects and Bioaccumulation Potential of Triclosan and Triclocarban Using the South African Clawed Frog, Xenopus Laevis

Evaluation of the Developmental Effects and Bioaccumulation Potential of Triclosan and Triclocarban Using the South African Clawed Frog, Xenopus Laevis

Date: December 2010
Creator: King, Marie Kumsher
Description: Triclosan (TCS) and triclocarban (TCC) are antimicrobials found in U.S. surface waters. This dissertation assessed the effects of TCS and TCC on early development and investigated their potential to bioaccumulate using Xenopus laevis as a model. The effects of TCS on metamorphosis were also investigated. For 0-week tadpoles, LC50 values for TCS and TCC were 0.87 mg/L and 4.22 mg/L, respectively, and both compounds caused a significant stunting of growth. For 4-week tadpoles, the LC50 values for TCS and TCC were 0.22 mg/L and 0.066 mg/L; and for 8-week tadpoles, the LC50 values were 0.46 mg/L and 0.13 mg/L. Both compounds accumulated in Xenopus. For TCS, wet weight bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) for 0-, 4- and 8-week old tadpoles were 23.6x, 1350x and 143x, respectively. Lipid weight BAFs were 83.5x, 19792x and 8548x. For TCC, wet weight BAFs for 0-, 4- and 8-week old tadpoles were 23.4x, 1156x and 1310x. Lipid weight BAFs were 101x, 8639x and 20942x. For the time-to-metamorphosis study, TCS showed an increase in weight and snout-vent length in all treatments. Exposed tadpoles metamorphosed approximately 10 days sooner than control tadpoles. For the hind limb study, although there was no difference in weight, snout-vent length, or hind limb ...
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Evaluation of the Economic, Social, and Biological Feasibility of Bioconverting Food Wastes with the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens)

Evaluation of the Economic, Social, and Biological Feasibility of Bioconverting Food Wastes with the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens)

Date: August 2004
Creator: Barry, Tami
Description: Food waste in the waste stream is becoming an important aspect of integrated waste management systems. Current efforts are composting and animal feeding. However, these food waste disposal practices rely on slow thermodynamic processes of composting or finding farmers with domestic animals capable of consuming the food wastes. Bioconversion, a potential alternative, is a waste management practice that converts food waste to insect larval biomass and organic residue. This project uses a native and common non-pest insect in Texas, the black soldier fly, which processes large quantities of food wastes, as well as animal wastes and sewage in its larval stage. The goal of this research is to facilitate the identification and development of the practical parameters of bioconversion methods at a large cafeteria. Three major factors were selected to evaluate the practicality of a bioconversion system: (1) the biological constraints on the species; (2) the economic costs and benefits for the local community; (3) the perception of and interaction between the public and management agencies with respect to the bioconversion process. Results indicate that bioconversion is feasible on all levels. Larvae tolerate and consume food waste as well as used cooking grease, reducing the overall waste volume by 30-70% ...
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Geology as a Georegional Influence on Quercus Fagaceae Distribution in Denton and Coke Counties of Central and North Central Texas and Choctaw County of Southeastern Oklahoma, Using GIS as an Analytical Tool.

Geology as a Georegional Influence on Quercus Fagaceae Distribution in Denton and Coke Counties of Central and North Central Texas and Choctaw County of Southeastern Oklahoma, Using GIS as an Analytical Tool.

Date: December 2007
Creator: Maxey, George F.
Description: This study elucidates the underlying relationships for the distribution of oak landcover on bedrock and soil orders in two counties in Texas and one in Oklahoma. ESRI's ArcGis and ArcMap was used to create surface maps for Denton and Coke Counties, Texas and Choctaw County, Oklahoma. Attribute tables generated in GIS were exported into a spreadsheet software program and frequency tables were created for every formation and soil order in the tri-county research area. The results were both a visual and numeric distribution of oaks in the transition area between the eastern hardwood forests and the Great Plains. Oak distributions are changing on this transition area of the South Central Plains. The sandy Woodbine and Antlers formations traditionally associated with the largest oak distribution are carrying oak coverage of approximately 31-32% in Choctaw and Denton Counties. The calcareous Blackland and Grand Prairies are traditionally associated with treeless grasslands, but are now carrying oak and other tree landcover up to 18.9%. Human intervention, including the establishment of artificial, political and social boundaries, urbanization, farming and fire control have altered the natural distribution of oaks and other landcover of this unique georegion.
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A geospatial tool for assessing potential wildland fire risk in central Texas.

A geospatial tool for assessing potential wildland fire risk in central Texas.

Date: August 2005
Creator: Hunter, Bruce Allan
Description: Wildland fires in the United States are not always confined to wilderness areas. The growth of population centers and housing developments in wilderness areas has blurred the boundaries between rural and urban. This merger of human development and natural landscape is known in the wildland fire community as the wildland urban interface or WUI, and it is within this interface that many wildland fires increasingly occur. As wildland fire intrusions in the WUI increase so too does the need for tools to assess potential impact to valuable assets contained within the interface. This study presents a methodology that combines real-time weather data, a wildland fire behavior model, satellite remote sensing and geospatial data in a geographic information system to assess potential risk to human developments and natural resources within the Austin metropolitan area and surrounding ten counties of central, Texas. The methodology uses readily available digital databases and satellite images within Texas, in combination with an industry standard fire behavior model to assist emergency and natural resource managers assess potential impacts from wildland fire. Results of the study will promote prevention of WUI fire disasters, facilitate watershed and habitat protection, and help direct efforts in post wildland fire mitigation and ...
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Green Improvements: A Consumer's Guide to Environmentally and Economically Responsible Home Repairs and Improvements for the North Central Texas Region

Green Improvements: A Consumer's Guide to Environmentally and Economically Responsible Home Repairs and Improvements for the North Central Texas Region

Date: August 2004
Creator: Dickason, Deborah
Description: The Consumer's Guide is designed to help consumers by providing guidelines for the purchase of specific energy-efficient household appliances- water heaters, air conditioning and heating systems, windows, dishwashers, refrigerators, clothes washers, and dryers. This serves two major purposes: to decrease the environmental impact of those products and to save consumers money over the lifetime of the products. The seven major appliances covered in this work are things that consumers tend to purchase quickly when their older models wear out and with little research into their energy and/or water efficiency. The guide begins with a general introduction and an explanation of the need for energy conservation. Explanations of how they work, purchasing tips, installation tips, maintenance tips, tips for additional energy efficiency, and case studies are given for each appliance. Printable pamphlets are included at the end.
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Habitat Fragmentation by Land-Use Change: One-Horned Rhinoceros in Nepal and Red-Cockaded Woodpecker in Texas

Habitat Fragmentation by Land-Use Change: One-Horned Rhinoceros in Nepal and Red-Cockaded Woodpecker in Texas

Date: December 2010
Creator: Thapa, Vivek
Description: This research focuses on the spatial analysis of the habitat of two vulnerable species, the one-horn rhinoceros in the grasslands of southern Nepal, and the red-cockaded woodpecker in the Piney woods of southeast Texas, in the USA. A study sites relevant for biodiversity conservation was selected in each country: Chitwan National Park in Nepal, and areas near the Big Thicket National Preserve in Texas. Land-use differs in the two study areas: the first is still undergoing agrarian development while the second is in a technological phase and undergoing urbanization processes. Satellite remote sensing images were used to derive land-cover maps by supervised classification. These maps were then processed by Geographic Information Systems methods to apply habitat models based on basic resources (food and cover) and obtain habitat suitability maps. Several landscape metrics were computed to quantify the habitat characteristics especially the composition and configuration of suitable habitat patches. Sensitivity analyses were performed as the nominal values of some of the model parameters were arbitrary. Development potential probability models were used to hypothesize changes in land-use of the second study site. Various scenarios were employed to examine the impact of development on the habitat of red-cockaded woodpecker. The method derived in ...
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Hepatotoxicity of Mercury to Fish

Hepatotoxicity of Mercury to Fish

Date: August 2010
Creator: Barst, Benjamin Daniel
Description: Tissue samples from spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus) and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) were collected from Caddo Lake. Gar and bass livers were subjected to histological investigation and color analysis. Liver color (as abs at 400 nm) was significantly correlated with total mercury in the liver (r2 = 0.57, p = 0.02) and muscle (r2 = 0.58, p = 0.01) of gar. Evidence of liver damage as lipofuscin and discoloration was found in both species but only correlated with liver mercury concentration in spotted gar. Inorganic mercury was the predominant form in gar livers. In order to determine the role of mercury speciation in fish liver damage, a laboratory feeding study was employed. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) were fed either a control (0.12 ± 0.002 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), inorganic mercury (5.03 ± 0.309 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), or methylmercury (4.11 ± 0.146 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt) diet. After 78 days of feeding, total mercury was highest in the carcass of zebrafish fed methylmercury (12.49 ± 0.369 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), intermediate in those fed inorganic mercury (1.09 ± 0.117 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), and lowest in fish fed the control diet (0.48 ± 0.038 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt). Total mercury was ...
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The impact of climate and flooding on tree ring growth of Fraxinus pennsylvanica in north-central Texas.

The impact of climate and flooding on tree ring growth of Fraxinus pennsylvanica in north-central Texas.

Date: December 2009
Creator: Komperod, Mari
Description: Tree cores of Fraxinus pennsylvanica were used in a dendrochronological analysis investigating the species' responses to climate and flooding. The objective was to develop a model that incorporates the effects of precipitation, temperature, and flooding on radial growth in this species in north-central Texas. The trees exhibited strong climatic signals. The study clearly shows that all three factors have significant impacts on tree ring growth both prior to and during growth; however, the nature and extent of these impacts are highly dependent on what time of year they occur. The large temporal variations in growth responses emphasize the importance of considering the timing of environmental events when studying tree growth responses.
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The impact of invertebrates to four aquatic macrophytes: Potamogeton nodosus, P. illinoensis, Vallisneria americana  and Nymphaea mexicana.

The impact of invertebrates to four aquatic macrophytes: Potamogeton nodosus, P. illinoensis, Vallisneria americana and Nymphaea mexicana.

Date: August 2008
Creator: Nachtrieb, Julie Graham
Description: This research investigated the impact of invertebrates to four species of native aquatic macrophytes: V. americana, P. nodosus, P. illinoensis, and N. mexicana. Two treatments were utilized on each plant species, an insecticide treatment to remove most invertebrates and a non-treated control. Ten herbivore taxa were collected during the duration of the study including; Synclita, Paraponyx, Donacia, Rhopalosiphum, and Hydrellia. Macrophyte biomass differences between treatments were not measured for V. americana or N. mexicana. The biomasses of P. nodosus and P. illinoensis in non-treated areas were reduced by 40% and 63% respectively. This indicated that herbivory, once thought to be insignificant to aquatic macrophytes, can cause substantial reductions in biomass.
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