• Seasonal changes in behavioural and thermoregulatory responses to hypoxia in the Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus) /

      Levesque, Danielle L.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2008-06-15)
      Mammalian heterotherms, such as hibemators, are known to be more tolerant of low oxygen tensions than their homeothermic counterparts. It has been suggested that this relative hypoxia tolerance is related to their ability to deal with dramatic changes in body temperature during entry to and arousal from torpor. However, hibemators demonstrate dramatic seasonality in both daily heterothermy and overall torpor expression. It was of interest to test if seasonal comparisons of normothermic individuals within a single species with the capacity to hibernate produce changes in the response to hypoxia that would reflect a seasonal change in tolerance to low oxygen. In particular, the species studied, the Eastern chipmunk {Tamias striatus), is known to enter into torpor exclusively in the winter. To test for seasonal differences in the metabolic and thermoregulatory responses to hypoxia, flow-through respirometry was used to compare metabolic rate, minimum thermal conductance, body temperature, and a thermal gradient used to assess selected ambient temperature in response to hypoxia in both summer and winter acclimated animals. Although the animals periodically expressed torpor throughout the winter, no differences between season in resting metabolic rate, body temperature or minimum thermal conductance were observed in normoxia. The metabolic trials indicated that chipmunks are less responsive to hypoxia in the winter than they are in the summer. Although body temperature dropped in response to hypoxia in both seasons, the decrease was less in the winter, and there was no corresponding decrease in metabolic rate. Providing the animals with a choice of ambient temperatures in hypoxia resulted in a blunting of the drop in body temperature in both seasons, suggesting that the reported fall in body temperature set point in hypoxia is not fully manifested in the behavioural pathways responsible for thermoregulation in chipmunks. Instead, body temperature in hypoxia appears to be highly dependent on ambient temperature and oxygen concentration. The results of this study suggest that the season in which the responses to hypoxia are measured is important, especially in a heterotherm where seasonality can affect the degree to 1 which the animal is tolerant of hypoxia. Winter-acclimated chipmunks appear more capable of defending metabolic heat production in hypoxia, a response consistent with the increased thermogenic capacity observed in animals that must periodically enter and arouse from torpor during hibernation.
    • Seasonal variation in hatching pattern and chick survival in the ring-billed gull Larus delawarensis

      Killoran, Michael R.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1993-07-09)
      The general objective of my study was to monitor proximate causes and seasonal patterns of hatching asynchrony and chick survival in the Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis). Two different plots were set up at a Ring-billed Gull colony near Port Colborne, Ontario in the summer of 1992. One group was from 'peak' nesting pairs (clutches initiated between 15 April and 1 May); a second group was from 'late' nesting pairs (clutches initiated between 9 .. 22 May). Despite equal intra-clutch egg laying intervals between the peak and late periods, intra-clutch hatching intervals lengthened as the season progressed (ie. hatching became more asynchronous). Clutches from both periods were monitored for nocturnal attendance and brood patch development of parents was monitored during the egg laying period. Late nesters were characterized by an absence of nocturnal desertion, substantial brood patch defeatheration at clutch initiation and a reduction in the number of chicks fledged per pair. Chick survival to 25 days (taken as fledging) reflected patterns of chick mass at brood completion and five days post-brood completion, in peak clutches. In late clutches, survival was poor for all chicks and, was partially independent of hatching order, due in part to stochastic events such as Herring Gull predation and adverse weather. In both the peak and late periods, last-hatched C-chicks realized the poorest survival to fledging among brood mates. An artificial hatching pattern (manipulated synchrony) and an artificial hatching order were created, in three-chick broods, through a series of egg exchanges. In peak and late clutches manipulated to hatch synchronously (s; 24 h): C-chick survival to fledging did not differ from the survival of A- and B-chicks, in the peak period. In the late period, the survival of C-chicks was significantly lower than that of A-chicks. In peak clutches manipulated such that chicks from last-laid eggs (C-chicks) hatched 24 h - 48 h ahead of the A- and B- chicks, C-chick survival was greater than in controls. Within those broods, C-chicks survived better on average than both A- and B- chicks.
    • Seasonal variation in the reproductive biology of the ring -billed gull (Larus delawarensis)

      Chardine, John W.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1978-07-09)
      The reproductive biology of the Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) was studied on Gull Island, Presqu'ile Provincial Park, Ontario, in 1976 and 1977. Early started clutches (comprising the majority of clutches on Gull Island) in 1977 produced more chicks per nest (2.20 ± 0.09) than late started clutches (0.86 ± 0.13) as a result of reductions in mean clutch size, hatching success and fledging success with date of clutch initiation. Seasonal changes in mean clutch size, hatching success and fledging success also resulted in early clutches, initiated at the peak of clutch starts, producing more chicks per nest (2.34 ± 0.11) than either pre-peak (2.13 ± 0.20) or post-peak (1.82 ± 0.29) clutches. Possible reasons for these trends, including the observed predominance of immature plumaged, breeding gulls in late started areas, are discussed. Clutches were deserted at night for varying lengths of time from at least 15 April until 10 May, 1977. It is suggested that this nocturnal desertion behaviour resulted in the enhancement of inter- and intra-clutch hatching synchrony in early started areas and further, that this may in part explain the existence of the behaviour in terms of its adaptive significance.
    • Sediment genotoxicity and its relationship to the frequency of chironomid labial plate deformities

      Lan, Que.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1988-07-09)
      Sediment samples were taken from seven locations in the WeIland River in December 1986 and April 1987. The DMSO extracts of these sediment samples showed a significant (p<O.Ol) · genotoxic effect for one location situated dir ectly below a polyvinyl chloride plant's discharge pipe (station D-l) . It was concluded that genotoxic contaminants were associated with the sediments from this l ocation. Analysis of sediment samples from the nearby station D-2 resulted in a significant (p <0 . 05) positive genotoxic response in December but not in April. Chironomids (midge larvae) taken from each of seven study locations were analyzed for the frequency of chironomid labial plate deformities (over 1000 individual specimens were observed) . The samples from station D-l showed the highest frequency of chironomid labial plate deformities (10 . 9% ± 3.2%), while samples from the upstream control (station A) displayed t,he lowest frequency of deformities (3.8% ± 1.3%). All samples were coded to avoid unconscious biases . The results of the genotoxicity study indicated that station D-l in the WeIland River was contaminated with genotoxic materials. The genotoxic materials may have induced the observed increased frequency in chironomid labial plate deformities . Samples from stations C and D-l, located in a downstream portion of the river bounded by an industrialized area were slightly toxic according to -the alkaline phosphatase inhib_ii~ion component of the 50S chromotest analyses. The toxicity of these samples was only evident once they had been activated by the 59 (liver extract) mixture.
    • Selected aspects of common tern reproductive biology

      Courtney, Peter Allan.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1977-07-09)
      Several factors influencing reproductive success were investigated at a Common Tern colony at Port Colborne, Ontario in 1976. In general three egg clutches hatched better than two egg clutches and early started clutches hatched eggs and fledged chicks better than late clutches; the fledging success of two and three egg clutches was similar. Early clutches took longer to hatch and hatched more synchronously than did late clutches. While hatching success differed with nesting substrate used fledging success' did not* No relationship was found between either incubation attentiveness and reproductive success or between incubation attentiveness and clutch size* At no time did food availability appear to be a factor limiting the successful upbringing of two chick broods. While fCf chicks (i.e. chicks hatching from the last laid eggs of three egg clutches) generally survived and grew poorly relative to their brood mates they grew best when they originated from clutches that hatched relatively asynchronously.
    • Selected aspects of the breeding biology of two Lake Erie herring gull colonies

      Haymes, Gerrard Thomas.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1977-07-09)
      Aspects of the breeding biology of two Lake Erie Herri ng Gull colonies were studied in 1975 and 1976. In 1976 the incubation attention given 2-egg and 3-egg clutches initiated early and late in the season was measured. Brood size at one colony was artificially increased or decreased by addition of chicks shortly after hatching. Hatching success was not consistently re~ated to clutch size but early nesters were more successful than late nes'ters. Differences in hatching success between 2-egg and 3-egg clutches were a function of the time of clutch initiation with the clutch size having the greater proportion of its nests initiated early in the season being more successful. The incubation attentiveness of parents of 2-egg and 3-ev,g , and early and late clutches was similar. Most nests were incubated greater than 95% of the time although t heir hatching success was similar ' to those incubated less than 75% of the time. Fledging success, chick growth and weight at fledging were similar among broods of one, two and three chicks and artificially increased broods of four and five chicks. Fledging success was highest for o.e chick broods reduced from two and three chick broods.
    • Selecting cover crop species for vineyards of the Niagara region

      Ben kalifa, mohamed lahbib; Department of Biological Sciences
      Organic viticulture challenges growers to think and act sustainably when managing variables such as weeds, pests, and overall crop production. Ongoing climate change is adding to this challenge with projected increases in extreme weather events such as heavy rainfall and drought. Cover crops can be considered as an ecosystem-based adaptation measure when chosen carefully. They can help growers mitigate effects of climate change as well as increase vineyards biodiversity. Despite their common use, local knowledge of which species work best in what conditions is lacking. Furthermore, species are seldom tested for response to drought and flood conditions in both controlled and operational settings. The first objective of this project was to evaluate the responses of nine different cover crop species to simulated drought and flood conditions under greenhouse-controlled conditions. Of the nine species, Pennisetum glaucum (pearl millet) and Melilotus officinalis (yellow clover) were the only two species to withstand both extreme conditions without being significantly affected. Trifolium alexandrinum (berseem clover), Vicia villosa (hairy vetch), and Trifolium incarnatum (crimson clover) produced higher biomass in saturated condition, while Festuca rubra (red fescue), and Thinopyrum intermedium (pubescent wheatgrass) survived the drought without visual clear symptoms except for puny plants. The second objective was to screen 13 cover crop species in two vineyards under operational settings, where weed pressure, local weather and management may influence species establishment. After the two screening years, Pennisetum glaucum, Trifolium incarnatum, Trifolium repens, Trifolium pratense, Vicia villosa, and Medicago sativa showed promising results in terms of establishment despite facing weather challenges.
    • Sensitivities of Ontario isolates of Venturia inaequalis to metiram /

      Homeyer, Cheryl A.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2003-07-14)
      The effects of metiram (Polyram 80 DF) on the growth of Venturia inaequalis, cause of apple scab, and the degradation of metiram were examined in culture media. Samples of V. inaequalis conidia were collected from nine orchards in 1998 and six orchards in 1999 and tested for sensitivity. Samples were plated on water agar amended with metiram or mancozeb. Mean EC50 values (effective concentration of fungicide required to inhibit germination of half the conidia) for each population were calculated. The mean EC50 values for metiram ranged from 0.26 - 1.20 ^ig metiram a.i./ml, with differences (Student Newman Keul's Test (SNK), a=0.05) between populations. EC50 values for mancozeb ranged from 0.06 - 0.58 which were also different (SNK, a=0.05). Five of these populations were examined for mycelial growth sensitivity to metiram by testing 30 monoconidial isolates from each population on metiram amended potato dextrose agar. Mean EC50 values for populations were calculated and ranged from 3.44-5.94 |ig metiram/ml, and showed differences (Friedman Test, a=0.05). As the EC50 values obtained are far less than the concentrations applied in the field, results indicate that Ontario populations of V. inaequalis are still sensitive to metiram and mancozeb. The stability of metiram in PDA at 22°C was studied over a 10-day period. The initial concentration of metiram decreased by approximately 50% within the first day, and continued to decline slowly, to approximately 20% of the initial concentration. The factors possibly affecting initial metiram degradation, including agar, heat, and the use of glass or polystyrene Petri dish composition were examined. The effects from the polystyrene in the Petri dish composition were negligible, however more studies must be done to examine metiram degradation during the first 24 hours of preparation.
    • Sex chromosome translocation and speciation : a Drosophila genetic model

      Espinet, Susan Andrea.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1979-07-09)
      Although exceptions may be readily identified, two generalizations concerning genetic differences among species may be drawn from the available allozyme and chromosome data. First, structural gene differences among species vary widely. In many cases, species pairs do not differ more than intraspecific populations. This suggests that either very few or no gene substitutions are required to produce barriers to reproduction (Avise 1976). Second, chromosome form and/or number differs among even closely related species (White 1963; 1978; Fredga 1977; Wright 1970). Many of the observed chromosomal differences involve translocational rearrangements; these produce severe fitness depression in heterozygotes and were, thus, long considered unlikely candidates for the fixation required of genetic changes leading to speciation (Wright 1977). Nonetheless, the fact that species differences are frequently translocational argues convincingly for their fixation despite prejudices to the contrary. Haldane's rule states that in the F of interspecific crosses, the heterogametic sex is absent or sterile in the preponderance of cases (Haldane 1932). This rule definitely applies in the genus Dr°sophila (Ehrman 1962). Sex chromosome translocations do not impose a fitness depression as severe as that imposed by autosomal translocations, and X-Y translocations may account for Haldane's rule (Haldane 1932). Consequently a study of the fit ness parameters of an X·yL and a yS chromosome in Drosophila melanogaster populations was initiated by Tracey (1972). Preliminary results suggested that x.yL//YSmales enjoyed a mating advantage with X·yL//X·yL females, that this advantage was frequency dependent, that the translocation produced sexual isolation and that interactions between the yL, yS and a yellow marker contributed to the observed isolation (Tracey and Espinet 1976; Espinet and Tracey 1976). Encouraged by the results of these prelimimary studies, further experiments were performed to clarify the genetic nature of the observed sexual isolation, S the reality of the y frequency dependent fitness .and the behavioural changes, if any, produced by the translocation. The results of this work are reported herein. Although the marker genes used in earlier studies, sparkling poliert an d yellow have both been found to affect activity,but only yellow effects asymmetric sexual isolation. In addition yellow effects isolation through an interaction with the T(X-y) chromosomes, yS also effects isolation, and translocational strains are isolated from those of normal karyotype in the absence of marker gene differences. When yS chromosomes are in competition with y chromosomes on an X.yL background, yS males are at a distinct advantage only when their frequency is less than 97%. The sex chromosome translocation alters the normal courtship pattern by the incorporation of circling between vibration and licking in the male repertoire. Finally a model of speciation base on the fixation of this sex chromosome translocation in a geographically isolated gene pool is proposed.
    • Sexual behavior and factors affecting female reproduction in house and field crickets

      Sakaluk, Scott Kitchener; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1980-07-09)
      The objective of this investigation was to clarify the adaptive significance of female sexual behaviours in the house cricket, Acheta domesticus, and the Texas field cricket, Gryllus integer. Experiments were focussed primarily on: nutritional factors affecting female reproductive success; the ontogeny of female sexual behaviours; female mating frequency and progeny production; and the pattern of sperm competition. Reproduction of singly mated female A. domesticus assigned to 3 nutritional regimes was compared . Females fed a vitamin and protein-enriched mouse chow, cannibalistic females, and starved females produced on the average, 513 , 200 and 68 offspring, respectively. Cannibals probably could not obtain the same amounts of essential nutrients as females fed mouse chow. Reabsorption of oocytes was likely the major factor contributing to the decreased reproduction of starved females. In addition, female !. domesticus fed mouse chow, but allowed constant access to males produced 11 times as many offspring than did females fed corn meal. Females fed corn meal probably could not absorb or synthesize enough dietary lipids, thus resulting in poor ovariole growth. Female !. domesticus first mate at an average adult age of 7 days, closely corresponding to when they first exhibit positive phonotaxis. Females mate repeatedly and often consume the externally attached spermatophore. In ~. domesticus, females allowed constant access to males produced significantly more offspring than did single maters. Similarly, doubly mated G. integer females produced more offspring than did single maters. This difference resulted largely from the failure of many single maters to reproduce. Remating by female crickets partly functions in offsetting the possibility of a failed initial mating. Nymph production increased significantly with the time the spermatophore was attached in singly mated ~. domesticus. Spermatophore consumption by the female was not affected by male guarding behaviour, and the interval between mating and eating of the spermatophore may often be shorter than the time required for maximum insemination. Some degree of sperm depletion in singly mated !. domesticus and G. integer may have occurred. The patterns of daily offspring production of singly and multiplymated females suggests that a factor provided by a male during mating stimulates female oviposition and/or egg production. Female crickets also might acquire nutrition from spermatophore consumption, a benefit that is augmented by female multiple mating. The electrophoretic examination of various allozymes in ~. integer did not permit determination of a pattern of sperm competition. However, the possibility of last male sperm predominance is related to male guarding behaviour.
    • Sexual selections in the northern fall field cricket, Gryllus pennsylvanicus: a manipulation of the adult sex ratio

      Souroukis, Konstantine.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1992-07-09)
      The operational sex ratio has long been considered an important constraint on the structure of mating systems. The effects of an experimentally manipulated sex ratio on mating behavior and selection were investigated in a polygynous species, Gryllus pennsylvanicus, where the potential exists for spatial/temporal fluctuations in sex ratio of field populations. Four different sex ratios (males: females, 5:0, 5:2, 5:5, 5:10) were investigated. Observations were conducted in late summer over two field seasons, from 2400 h , to 1000 h EST. Several male characters thought to be associated with male reproduc.tive success were studied: calling duration, searching distance, weight, fighting behavior, courtship frequency, and mating success. Variance in male mating success was used as the indicator for the opportunity for sexual selection. Total selection was estimated as the univariate regression coefficient between relative fitness and the character of interest, while direct selection was estimated as standardized partial regression coefficients generated from a multiple regression of relative fitness on each character. The opportunity for sexual selection was highest at 5:2 and lowest at 5:10. The frequency of fighting behavior was highest at 5:2 and 5:5. Fighting ability (% wins) was determined to be an important correlate of male body weight. Direct selection for increased male body weight was detected at 5:2, while total selection for body weight was seen at 5:5. Selection on male body weight was not detected at 5: 10. Calling duration decreased as sex ratio became more female-biased. Total and direct selection were detected for increased calling at 5:2, only total selection for calling was seen at 5:5, whereas direct selection against calling was detected at 5: 10. Searching distance also decreased as sex ratio became more female-biased, however no form of selection was detected for searching at any of the sex ratios. Data are discussed in terms of sexual selection on male reproductive tactics, the mating system and maintenance of genetic variation in male reproductive behavior.
    • Significance of DNA base excision repair in the maintenance of mitochondrial function in Saccharomyces cerevisiae /

      Fang, Fang.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2008-06-15)
      Mitochondria have an important role in cell metabolism, being the major site of ATP production via oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). Accumulation of mtDNA mutations have been linked to the development of respiratory dysfunction, apoptosis, and aging. Base excision repair (BER) is the major and the only certain repair pathway existing in mitochondria that is in responsible for removing and repairing various base modifications as well as abasic sites (AP sites). In this research, Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae) BER gene knockout strains, including 3 single DNA glycosylase gene knockout strains and Ap endonuclease (Apn 1 p) knockout strain were used to examine the importance of this DNA repair pathway to the maintenance of respiratory function. Here, I show that individual DNA glycosylases are nonessential in maintenance of normal function in yeast mitochondria, corroborating with previous research in mammalian experimental models. The yeast strain lacking Apn 1 p activity exhibits respiratory deficits, including inefficient and significantly low intracellular ATP level, which maybe due to partial uncoupling of OXPHOS. Growth of this yeast strain on respiratory medium is inhibited, but no evidence was found for increased ROS level in Apn 1 p mitochondria. This strain also shows an increased cell size, and this observation combined with an uncoupled OXPHOS may indicate a premature aging in the Apnlp knockout strain, but more evidence is needed to support this hypothesis. However, the BER is necessary for maintenance of mitochondrial function in respiring S.cerevisiae.
    • The significance of volatile antifungal metabolites produced by trichomerma harzianum biotype Th4, in green-mould disease of commercial mushroom crops /

      Krupke, Oliver A.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2001-07-14)
      The aggressive mushroom competitor, Trichoderma harzianum biotype Th4, produces volatile antifungal secondary metabolites both in culture and during the disease cycle in compost. Th4 cultures produced one such compound only when cultured in the presence of Agaricus bisporus mycelium or liquid medium made from compost colonised with A. bisporus. This compound has TLC and UVabsorption and characteristics indicating that it belongs to a class of pyrone antibiotics characterised from other T. harzianum biotypes. UV absorption spectra indicated this compound was not 6-pentyl-2H-pyran-one (6PAP), the volatile antifungal metabolite widely described in Th1. Furthermore, this compound was not produced by Th1 under any culture conditions. Mycelial growth of A. bisporus, Botrytis cinerea and Sclerotium cepivorum was inhibited in the presence of this compound through volatility , diffusion and direct application. This indicates that Th4 produces novel, volatile, antifungal metabolites in the presence of A. bisporus that are likely involved in green mould disease of mushroom crops.
    • Size regulation of double and half embryos in the mice musculus

      Lewis, Nancy Elizabeth.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1981-07-09)
      Genetic chimeras made by aggregating early mouse embryos have many uses in developmental biology and have also provided insights into embryonic growth regulation. There is an indication that the embryo can regulate for an increase in size because although aggregation chimeras are twice as big as normal embryos when made, they are born of normal size. Upward regula..... tion of size reduced embryos is also possible. Half embryos made by the isolation or destruction of one of the blastomeres of a 2-cell embryo are also born of normal size. Little is known about the timing or the mechanism of this size regulation. In this study, the timing of size regulation in double and half embryos was clearly established by comparison of cell numbers derived from serial reconstruction of light microscope sections of control and experimental embryos. It was shown that size regulation in double embryos occurred around 6dl6h and in half embryos by 7dOh. Size regulation occurred in all tissues at the same time indicating a single control mechanism for the entire embryo. More detailed examination of the growth of double embryos revealed that size regulation occurred by alteration in cell cycle length~ No excessive cell death was found in double embryos compared to the controls and continuous labelling with [3H] thymidine showed no large non-dividing cell population in double embryos. However, a comparison of the mitotic index of double and control embryos after colcemid treatment, revealed a large difference between the two around 5dl6h to 6d16h. During this period, control embryos underwent a proliferative burst not shown by the double embryos. The mechanism for cell cycle control is not clear; it may be intrinsic to the embryo or determined by the uterine environment. Evidence was found suggesting that differentiation in the postimplantation embryo was cell number dependent. The timing of differentiative events was examined in half, double and control embryos. Proamnion formation, which occurs prior to size regulation, occurs at the same cell number but at different times in the three groups of embryos. However mesoderm which appears after size regulation was seen at the same time in all grollps of embryos.
    • Sleepers and Creepers, Colony Polymorphisms in Metarhizium robertsii

      Angelone, Steven; Department of Biological Sciences
      In this thesis I attempt to identify, describe, and explain the vast colony polymorphism differences observed in Metarhizium robertsii from a physical and genetic standpoint. These descriptions provide a framework to explain the colony polymorphisms seen in M. robertsii. This work is based on the observation of three distinct phenotypes: a highly conidiating phenotype (Sleeper), a primarily hyphal phenotype (Creeper) and an intermediary (Mixed) phenotype that represents the middle range between the Sleeper and Creeper phenotypes. Based on our findings, Sleepers typically have a higher fungal mass recovered from plant rhizospheres compared to Creepers and Mixed phenotypes. Creepers and Mixed strategy phenotypes are almost undifferentiable when grown on minimal nutrient medium whereas the Mixed and Sleepers tend to look very similar when grown on nutrient rich media. I concluded that the three phenotypes cannot be differentiated using artificial media. However, it was possible to differentiate between the Sleeper, Creeper and Mixed by infecting Great Wax Moth larvae (Galleria mellonella) with conidial suspension of M. robertsii. Key genes in the conidiation pathway, such as the methyltransferase MrDIM-2, may be relevant for differentiation between the Sleeper and Creeper/Mixed phenotypes. Expression levels of the Sleeper phenotype were found to be significantly lower than the Mixed or Creeper phenotypes.. The results have shown that MrDIM-2 expression influences either a Sleeper phenotype or a Mixed/Creeper phenotype presentation.
    • Some ecological effects of beaver upon the watersheds in the Porcupine Hills, Alberta /

      Sverre, S. F. S.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1972-06-15)
      This ecological investigation of the beaver (Castor canadensis canadensis Kuhl) was part of the Eastern Slopes (Alberta) Watershed Research program conducted during the summers of 1968 . 1969 . 1970. and 1971 . A soil particle size analysis indicated that soil heavy with clay was used by the beaver for construction purposes in the Porcupine Hills . Examples were given of the beaver controlling erosion with the construction of dams . and also causing erosion to occur . However . in general . the beaver slow down soil erosion and decrease the loss of soil from this region. The beaver utilized measureable amounts of herbaceous vegetation . However, the utilization of herbs by the beaver requires further investigation. A system of ex~sures and enclosures of herbaceous vegetation plots was used to study the utilization of sedges , grasses , and forbs . The beaver indicated stronger species preference for willow as compared to aspen . The size preference for willow was in the 1.0 to 10.0 centimeters basal diameter classes , while the beaver utilization of aspen indicated a preference for the largest trees with basal diameter greater than 20.0 centimeters. Willow was the most important plant in the low lying areas with regard to distribution, abundance and to produce sustained yield. The beaver used this plant for food and construction throughout the study area. The distribution of aspen was limited. and this species did not appear to produce more than one crop in the lifetime of a beaver colony. Nine out of 15 woody plant types were sampled by the beaver in this region. A plot-intercept transect technique was used for systematic vegetation sampling of the woody vegetation in six intensively studied watersheds. The beaver population of the Porcupine Hills region of SW-Alberta is believed to depend upon the chinooks. During the 1971 ground census, a total of 60 active beaver colonies were tallied on the 930 square kilometers large study area. The beaver of the region were not found to store large food caches during fall and winter, however, they are believed to collect feed periodically throughout the winter months. It was observed that the severe winter in 1968-69, reduced by 27 per cent the number of active beaver colonies within the study area. The Porcupine Hills region had 0.07 beaver colony per square kilometer in 1971, a low density of beaver colonies due to the rough topography of the area. However, the importance of the beaver ponds was somewhat clarified as they provide increased moisture, which lessens the fire damage, and store water for wildlife and cattle in the area. Meteorological data was collected by the author in collaboration with the Department of Transport.
    • Some ecological factors affecting the input and population level of total and faecal coliforms and salmonella in Twelve Mile Creek, Lake Ontario and sewage waters near St. Catharines, Ontario

      Roth, James Milton.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1975-10-02)
      Some Ecological Factors Affecting the Input and Population Levels of Total and Faecal Coliforms and Salmonella in Twelve Mile Creek, Lake Ontario and Sewage Waters Near St. Catharines, Ontario. Supervisor: Dr. M. Helder. The present study was undertaken to investigate the role of some ecological factors on sewage-Dorne bacteria in waters near St. Catharines, Ontario. Total and faecal coliform levels and the presence of Salmonella were monitored for a period of a year along with determination of temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solids, nitrate N, total phosphate P and ammonium N. Bacteriological tests for coliform analysis were done according to APHA Standard Methods by the membrane filtration technique. The grab sampling technique was employed for all sampling. Four sample sites were chosen in the Port Dalhousie beach area to determine what bacteriological or physical relationship the sites had to each other. The sample sites chosen were the sewage inflow to and the effluent from the St. Catharines (Port Dalhousie) Pollution Control Plant, Twelve Mile Creek below the sewage outfall and Lake Ontario at the Lakeside Park beach. The sewage outfall was located in Twelve Mile Creek, approximately 80 meters from the creek junction with the beach and piers on Lake Ontario. Twelve Mile Creek normally carried a large volume of water from the WeIland Canal which was diverted through the DeCew Generating Station located on the Niagara Escarpment. An additional sample site, which was thought to be free of industrial wastes, was chosen at Twenty Mile Creek, also in the Niagara Region of Ontarioo 3 There were marked variations in bacterial numbers at each site and between each site, but trends to lower_numbers were noted from the sewage inflow to Lake Ontario. Better correlations were noted between total and faecal coliform population levels and total phosphate P and ammonium N in Twenty Mile Creek. Other correlations were observed for other sample stations, however, these results also appeared to be random in nature. Salmonella isolations occurred more frequently during the winter and spring months when water temperatures were minimal at all sample stations except the sewage inflow. The frequency of Salmonella isolations appeared to be related to increased levels of total and faecal coli forms in the sewage effluent. However, no clear relationships were established in the other sample stations. Due to the presence of Salmonella and high levels of total and faecal coliform indicator organisms, the sanitary quality of Lake Ontario and Twelve Mile Creek at the sample sites seemed to be impaired over the major portion of the study period.
    • Sperm utilization patterns in Gryllus integer (orthoptera: gryllidae

      Backus, Vickie Lynn.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1984-07-09)
      Sperm competition is the competition for fertilizations between ejaculates, within a female, following multiple mating. There are four sperm utilization or precedence patterns: first male precedence, where the first male to mate fertilizes most of the eggs laid by a female; last male precedence, where the last male to mate fertilizes most of the eggs laid by a female; "all-or-none" pattern, where sperm from either male fertilizes all the eggs laid by a female but which male's sperm that is used is random; or sperm mixing, where sperm from each male is used equally in fertilizing eggs laid by a female. Intermediate utilization patterns are also possible. Sperm competition occurs in a wide variety of insect species as well as other animals. This study was undertaken to study sperm competition in the field cricket, Gryllus integer. Four experiments were conducted: a radiation and sterilization experiment, a diapause experiment, and 2 competition experiments. It was found that 7,000 rad of gamma radiation sterilized adult ~ integer males. There was no diapause in the laboratory in ~ integer eggs. In the first competition experiment, three groups of females were used: females mated with a normal male, then with a second normal male (NN group); females mated with a normal male, and then with a sterile male (NR group); and females mated with a sterile male, and then with a normal male (RN group). The results obtained from this experiment showed that the mean proportion of eggs hatched was significantly different between 3 groups of females, with the proportion hatched much greater in the NN group than in either the NR or RN groups. The pattern for the proportion of eggs hatched following a double mating most closely resembled a pattern expected if sperm mixing is occurring. Results obtained in the replicate competition experiment showed that the mean proportion of eggs hatched for the females in the NR group was significantly lower than the proportion hatched in the other two groups. This also supports a model of sperm mixing as a precedence pattern. Values calculated following Boorman and Parker (1976), for the proportion of eggs fertilized by the second male to mate following a double mating, were 0.57 in competition experiment 1 and 0.62 in the replicate. These values indicate that sperm mixing occurs in~ integer.
    • Starvation Induces Expression of the Plant-Adhesin Gene, Mad2, of the Entomopathogenic Fungus Metarhizium robertsii.

      Barelli, Larissa; Department of Biological Sciences (2013-02-12)
      Metarhizium robertsii is an entomopathogenic fungus that is additionally plant rhizosphere competent. Two adhesin-encoding gens, Mad1 and Mad2, are involved in insect pathogenesis or plant root colonization, respectively. This study examined differential expression of the Mad genes for M robertsii grown on a variety of insectand plant-related substrates. Mad1 was up regulated in response to insect cuticles and up regulation of Mad2 resulted from root exudates, tomato stems and non-preferred carbohydrates. A time course analysis that compared water, minimal media, and nutrient rich broth revealed Mad2 gene expression increased as nutrient availability decreased. The regulation of Mad2 compared to known stress-related genes (Hsp30, Hsp70 and ssgA) under various stresses (nutrient, pH, osmotic, oxidative, temperature) revealed Mad2 to be generally up regulated by nutrient starvation only. Examination of the Mad2 promoter region revealed two copies of a stress-response element (S TRE) known to be regulated under the general stress response pathway.
    • Structural and functional investigation of the human a-tocopherol transfer protein (a-TTP) /

      Panagabko, Candace Lee.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2003-05-21)