School of Sciences - Scholarly Articles
Short‐term responses of freshwater mussels to floods in a southwestern U.S.A. river estimated using mark–recapture samplingFloods can directly affect riverine organisms by displacing them, and population‐level responses to floods can vary depending on flood magnitude and organism mobility. Benthic organisms can resist displacement until substrates become unstable, whereas mobile organisms are generally more resilient. Freshwater mussels are benthic organisms with low mobility, and there is limited research on their population‐level responses to floods. This study provides novel insights to population‐level responses of mussels to large floods (>500 m3/s). Population dynamics (i.e. abundance, survival, and site fidelity) and sampling efficiency (i.e. detection probability) were estimated in a robust design framework for four freshwater mussel species (Cyclonaias petrina, Cyclonaias pustulosa, Amblema plicata, and Tritogonia verrucosa) from 2017 to 2019 at two sites (upper and lower sites) within riffle habitats in the Colorado River, Texas, U.S.A. Individuals of each species were affixed with shellfish tags, with C. petrina and C. pustulosa individuals also being affixed with passive integrated transponder tags. Changes in population dynamics related to the flood event at each site were directly tested. During sampling, a major flood occurred at each of the two study sites; the floods differed in magnitude but were in the 99th percentile of historical flows at their respective gages. There were site‐ and species‐specific differences in estimated abundances, survival, and site fidelity during periods with the floods. Estimated abundances of C. petrina, C. pustulosa, and T. verrucosa were reduced 40–78% by the lesser flood magnitude (1,283 m3/s) at the upper site. Estimated abundances of C. petrina, C. pustulosa, and A. plicata were reduced 93–95% by the greater flood magnitude (4,332 m3/s) at the lower site. There was a reduction in survival of C. petrina at the upper site, while initially high survival at the lower site was reduced during the interval with the flood for all species. Finally, there was a reduction in site fidelity of C. pustulosa at the lower site. Floods reduced the abundance of all species within riffle habitats at the two sites. Large floods, therefore, affect population dynamics of mussels, but the fate of the displaced mussels is unknown, and with limited inference, reach‐scale effects are unknown. This study adds to the growing body of knowledge about responses of aquatic organisms to large floods, although quantification of recolonisation and fate of displaced mussels are needed to fully understand long‐term effects of large floods on mussel communities.
A classification scheme for identifying snowstorms affecting central New York StateThe Great Lakes region experiences anomalously high seasonal snowfall totals relative to similar latitudes. Although lake‐effect snowstorms are common in this region, snowfall occurs from a variety of storm types. This study examines snowstorms in a subsection of the Lake Ontario basin to develop a classification scheme to categorize the different types of snowstorms affecting the region. From 1985 to 2015, there were 11 different snowstorm types to affect the study area. The classification system was used to assess the frequency of, and snowfall produced by the different storm types within the eastern Great Lakes region. From the classification, snowstorms were categorized as either non‐direct cyclonic storms (NDCS) or direct cyclonic storms (DCS). Lake‐effect snowstorms, a type of NDCS, were the most frequent storm (35.1% of all storms) and accounted for approximately 39.4% of the snowfall. Most lake‐effect storms (37.7%) produced moderate snowfall totals (10.2–25.3 cm), yet heavy snowfall storms (≥25.4 cm) contributed significantly (ρ ≤ .05) more to seasonal snowfall totals than lighter snowfall storms. Direct cyclonic clippers forming over high latitudes of northwestern Canada, were the most frequent DCS in Central New York (11.3% of all storms), with nearly three quarters of the storms originating over Alberta. These storms only contributed 9.2% of the seasonal snowfall in the study area, compared to 12.7% from direct cyclonic Nor'easters forming near the east coast of North America. Although Nor'easters occur less frequently than clippers, when they do occur, they tend to produce heavy widespread snowfall across the region. The classification system proposed can be modified to accommodate snow basins across the globe. Classifying snowstorms will help determine the seasonal snowfall contribution from different storms and aid in future climate predictions, as individual snowstorm types may respond differently to a warming global climate.
Designing High Structure Courses to Promote Student EngagementWhile there are many strategies for increasing the inclusiveness of anatomy and physiology courses, increasing course structure is a strategy that can not only close achievement gaps for first generation and underrepresented minority students, but also increase performance for all students. High structure courses are characterized by clear learning goals, regular in-class exercises that promote student participation, and frequent out-of-class assignments that promote practice and preparation. In this article we describe ways to increase the structure of your course design and the learning environment in both face-to-face and online courses.