Presentation Title

Behavioral Analysis of Thermoregulatory Factors in Habitat Selection of Neotoma bryanti

Faculty Mentor

Dr. James Malcolm

Start Date

18-11-2017 10:00 AM

End Date

18-11-2017 11:00 AM

Location

BSC-Ursa Minor 41

Session

Poster 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Neotoma bryanti, the desert woodrat, occurs in the Santa Ana Wash located between Highland and Redlands in Southern California. Most individuals build large nests made of surrounding sticks (middens) under Juniper Trees (Juniperus californica). This species of Juniper is dioecious with male and female reproductive structures on separate plants. In this study we looked at habit selection focusing on tree selection and its effect on thermoregulation with the use of temperature loggers, radio telemetry (radio collars), Arc GIS data collection, and game traps. Our data demonstrates N. bryanti is equally likely to build nests under male Juniper trees as female trees (despite the edible berries produced by the female trees). This species prefers to nest under larger diameter trees rather than smaller trees where the branches lie along the ground rather than being directed upwards. A disproportionate number of nests are located on the south side of Juniper trees. We looked at temperature in nests with particular reference to the upper lethal temperature of about 41.4 oC (which is often exceeded in the ambient temperature). The temperature loggers revealed that the interior of the nests on average are approximately 6 oC lower than the ambient temperature demonstrating there is significant temperature buffering.

Summary of research results to be presented

Neotoma bryanti was found to be equally as likely to build nests within female vs male juniper trees (despite the edible berries produced by the female trees). The nests were found to provide significant temperature buffering which provide protection from upper lethal ambient temperatures commonly found in this particular desert biome. A disproportionate amount of nests were located on the south side of Juniper Trees indicating there may be a compass orientation component connected to successful thermoregulation. N. bryanti prefers to nest in Juniper trees with a diameter greater than 9 meters with branches that lie towards the ground rather than being directed upwards.

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Nov 18th, 10:00 AM Nov 18th, 11:00 AM

Behavioral Analysis of Thermoregulatory Factors in Habitat Selection of Neotoma bryanti

BSC-Ursa Minor 41

Neotoma bryanti, the desert woodrat, occurs in the Santa Ana Wash located between Highland and Redlands in Southern California. Most individuals build large nests made of surrounding sticks (middens) under Juniper Trees (Juniperus californica). This species of Juniper is dioecious with male and female reproductive structures on separate plants. In this study we looked at habit selection focusing on tree selection and its effect on thermoregulation with the use of temperature loggers, radio telemetry (radio collars), Arc GIS data collection, and game traps. Our data demonstrates N. bryanti is equally likely to build nests under male Juniper trees as female trees (despite the edible berries produced by the female trees). This species prefers to nest under larger diameter trees rather than smaller trees where the branches lie along the ground rather than being directed upwards. A disproportionate number of nests are located on the south side of Juniper trees. We looked at temperature in nests with particular reference to the upper lethal temperature of about 41.4 oC (which is often exceeded in the ambient temperature). The temperature loggers revealed that the interior of the nests on average are approximately 6 oC lower than the ambient temperature demonstrating there is significant temperature buffering.