Thresholds in avian communities at multiple scales: Relationships between birds, forests, habitats, and landscapes in the Ray Roberts greenbelt, Denton

Thresholds in avian communities at multiple scales: Relationships between birds, forests, habitats, and landscapes in the Ray Roberts greenbelt, Denton

Date: December 2000
Creator: Barry, Dwight
Description: Environmental management agencies make efforts to reduce pollution loading in streams and rivers by promoting vegetated buffer zones between human activity and water. Most of these efforts do not mesh water quality-based buffer zone width requirements with conservation and wildlife values, specifically, the use of these riparian forest corridors for wildlife dispersal between habitats in highly fragmented landscapes. Forest interior birds are of the most concern to management in riparian forests due to their population declines across much of their breeding range. This dissertation investigates the role that landscape-level and habitat-level factors play on the presence of breeding birds in riparian forests, particularly the landscape and habitat factors that are influenced by human-caused fragmentation. This study describes research at the Ray Roberts Greenbelt, Denton, Texas, that explores the relationships between the landscape and forest habitats of the Greenbelt with its breeding bird community. The major findings of this study are that bird communities in the corridor forests are associated with a greater array of factors than are bird communities in patches, suggesting that the birds of patch forests are somewhat insulated from landscape-scale effects. Also, habitat values can be maintained in corridors, but there does not seem to be a ...
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Spatial analysis of Atrazine in the Elm Fork Watershed

Spatial analysis of Atrazine in the Elm Fork Watershed

Date: May 2000
Creator: Ochandio, Mario Roberto
Description: This study assessed the water quality of the Elm Fork Watershed with regards to the herbicide Atrazine. Atrazine is a potential environmental endocrine disruptor and carcinogen. Overall, concentrations were lower than the four-quarter drinking water average of 3 µg/Lthe Maximum Contaminant Level set by the USEPA. However, three creek stations had four-quarter average concentrations greater than 3 µg/L, and virtually all samples exceeded the 0.1 µg/L standard set in Europe [1,2]. Statistically significant differences in concentrations were detected between the 27 sampling stations and areas of high concentrations were identified. However correlations between Atrazine concentrations and land-use and precipitation were not statistically significant. Further analysis with more detailed data should be conducted before any relationships are discarded.
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Integration of field-based analysis of plant community dynamics with quantitative analysis of landscape change in the Ray Roberts Lake area, 1987—1997

Integration of field-based analysis of plant community dynamics with quantitative analysis of landscape change in the Ray Roberts Lake area, 1987—1997

Date: May 2000
Creator: McDonough, Theresa J.
Description: This study focused on the effectiveness of integrating traditional plant community analyses with landscape ecological analyses based on remotely sensed data. A temporal analysis of plant community diversity was conducted for major plant communities of the Ray Roberts Lake area using transect monitoring data collected between 1987 and 1997. Landscape analyses were performed with FRAGSTATS*ARC using classified SPOT satellite imagery for 1987 and 1997. Although the methodology developed in this work was exploratory, it was found that characterizing the dynamics of major plant communities in the study area produced a more effective and insightful analysis of Ray Roberts Lake area landscape dynamics.
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Integrating GIS with Benthic Metrics: Calibrating a Biotic Index to Effectively Discriminate Stream Impacts in Urban Areas of the Blackland Prairie Eco-Region

Integrating GIS with Benthic Metrics: Calibrating a Biotic Index to Effectively Discriminate Stream Impacts in Urban Areas of the Blackland Prairie Eco-Region

Date: December 2003
Creator: Earnest, Steven F. P.
Description: Rapid Bioassessment Protocols integrate a suite of community, population, and functional metrics, determined from the collection of benthic macroinvertebrates or fish, into a single assessment. This study was conducted in Dallas County Texas, an area located in the blackland prairie eco-region that is semi-arid and densely populated. The objectives of this research were to identify reference streams and propose a set of metrics that are best able to discriminate between differences in community structure due to natural variability from those caused by changes in water quality due to watershed impacts. Using geographic information systems, a total of nine watersheds, each representing a different mix of land uses, were chosen for evaluation. A total of 30 metrics commonly used in RBP protocols were calculated. Efficacy of these metrics to distinguish change was determined using several statistical techniques. Ten metrics were used to classify study area watersheds according to stream quality. Many trends, such as taxa presence along habitat quality gradients, were observed. These gradients coincided with expected responses of stream communities to landscape and habitat variables.
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Characterizing the Municipal Solid Waste Stream in Denton, Texas

Characterizing the Municipal Solid Waste Stream in Denton, Texas

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Date: August 2000
Creator: Brady, Patricia D.
Description: Forty-two commercially collected dumpsters from Denton’s Municipal Solid Waste Stream were emptied, sorted and weighed to characterize the material types and make preliminary recycling policy recommendations. The general composition of Denton’s solid waste stream was not significantly different from the composition of the nation’s solid waste stream. Fifty-eight percent of the observed waste stream was recyclable. Paper made up the largest portion of recyclable materials and the "grocery" source category had more paper than any of the other five categories. Based on these findings, an incrementally aggressive approach is recommended to reduce certain types of wastes observed in the waste stream. This would include a Pay-As-You-Throw Program followed by an Intermediate Processing Center that can be converted to a Materials Recovery Facility.
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Comparison of GPS Point Selection Methods for GIS Area Measurement of Small Jurisdictional Wetlands

Comparison of GPS Point Selection Methods for GIS Area Measurement of Small Jurisdictional Wetlands

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Date: August 2001
Creator: Shelton, Michael
Description: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) regulates fill of jurisdictional waters of the United States including wetlands. Recent USACE regulations set a threshold of impacts to wetlands at one-half acre. Impact area can be determined by Global Positioning System (GPS) measurement of wetland boundary and Geographic Information System (GIS) calculation of impact area. GPS point selection methods include (1) equal time interval, (2) transect and (3) intuition. Four two-acre shapes were measured with each GPS method and brought into GIS for area calculation. Analysis of variance and Root Mean Square Error analyses determine that the transect method is an inferior point selection method in terms of accuracy and efficiency.
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Rail Transit and Its Influence on Land Use: A Dallas Case Study

Rail Transit and Its Influence on Land Use: A Dallas Case Study

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Date: August 2001
Creator: Farrow, Melissa A.
Description: Mass transit investments continue to be utilized in many cities as means of dealing with various transportation issues. In Dallas Texas, light rail transit was developed with the hopes of encouraging compact and orderly growth. This research uses the DART system as a case study in examining transportation/land use relationships in Dallas. As such, this thesis reviews past research that examined transit systems impacts on urban areas, analyzes historical changes in land use pattern development around the existing twenty stations of the DART light rail starter system, and summarizes the progression of land use trends in the transit corridor as they relate to DART impacts. Results of this study suggest that DART's light rail system has been an effective tool used in achieving the transportation and land use goals for the region. Finally, recommendations are presented with respect to what can be expected for future light rail development in Dallas.
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Macroinvertebrate Community Structure as an Indicator of Watershed Health in the Upper Trinity River Basin, North Central Texas

Macroinvertebrate Community Structure as an Indicator of Watershed Health in the Upper Trinity River Basin, North Central Texas

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Date: May 2000
Creator: Stephenson, Jaynie M.
Description: This study describes macroinvertebrate community structure and assesses its potential in detecting point and non-point sources of disturbance associated with rural and urban areas in the Upper Trinity River Basin. Geospatial techniques were used to quantify landuse within the watershed in a GIS. At rural sites near the headwaters of the Trinity River, collector-gathering burrowers that are adapted to minimal flow comprised the majority of taxa. Destinies of taxa compositions at downstream sites increased and shifted toward psammophilic and rheophilic invertebrates, including primarily collector-filtering clingers, that are characteristic of shifting sand habitats in large prairie rivers. Benthic community structure generally benefited from point source impacts including wastewater treatment plant effluents that maintained higher flow. Community indices were negatively associated with forest landuse and positively associated with urban landuse. Partial CCA determined that flow and landuse contributed equally to species dispersions. Comparisons with historical biomonitoring studies in upper Trinity River Basin indicate improved watershed health.
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Use of Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing Technologies to Describe Mosquito Population Dynamics in the Ray Roberts Greenbelt, Denton County, Texas

Use of Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing Technologies to Describe Mosquito Population Dynamics in the Ray Roberts Greenbelt, Denton County, Texas

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Bolling, Bethany G.
Description: A population survey was conducted from April through September 2002 on mosquito species occurring on the Ray Roberts Greenbelt, a riparian corridor used for public recreation on the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, in Denton County, Texas. ArcGIS software was used to set up a stratified random sampling design based on habitat parameters. Multivariate analyses of sampling data and climatic variables were used to describe spatial and temporal patterns of mosquito species. A total of 33 species were collected during this study belonging to the following genera: Aedes, Anopheles, Coquillettidia, Culex, Mansonia, Ochlerotatus, Orthopodomyia, Psorophora, Toxorhynchites, and Uranotaenia. Seasonal distributions of the dominant species revealed population fluctuations. Aedes vexans was the primary species collected in April and May, occurring in low numbers throughout the rest of the sampling period. Psorophora columbiae reached its highest population density in June, with a smaller peak occurring in late July. Present from May through the end of September, Culex erraticus was the most abundant species collected with major peaks in mid-June and the end of July. Abundance of Culex salinarius followed the same general trend as that for Cx. erraticus, but with smaller numbers. The specimens were tested for a variety of arboviruses ...
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Water Quality Mapping on Lake Texoma USA

Water Quality Mapping on Lake Texoma USA

Date: December 2002
Creator: Mabe, Jeffrey A.
Description: The primary objective of this study was to develop and evaluate a system capable of rapid, continuous collection of water quality and locational data on Lake Texoma. Secondary objectives included developing monthly distribution maps for chlorophyll-a, turbidity, and specific conductivity in Lake Texoma and investigating the spatial and temporal relationships between these common water quality indicators. A modified YSI multiprobe was used to develop a system capable of surveying the lake within 4 days with samples at 330 to 400 meter intervals. Data generated with this system compared favorably with previous studies of Lake Texoma. Two sets of raster format maps were developed for the monthly distributions of chlorophyll-a, turbidity, and specific conductivity across the lake. Spatial and temporal relationships generally took the form of decreasing gradients running from the lake arms towards the Main Lake Zone in the case of chlorophyll-a and turbidity. Or, in the case of specific conductivity, a decreasing gradient from the Red River arm to the Washita River arm. All three water quality indicators were strongly influenced by river discharge levels.
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