ItemThreats to Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) Habitat in Ohio(2004-06) Lewis, Timothy L.; Ullmer, Joseph M.; Mazza, Jennifer L.Spotted turtles (Clemmys guttata) primarily occupy permanent wetlands. Populations of these turtles have declined, mainly as a result of predation, collection, and habitat loss (Ohio has lost more wetlands than any other state, with the exception of California). This study involved the identification and qualitative analysis of known (recent and past) spotted turtle habitats in Ohio. We checked for presence of invasive plant species, which consisted of honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.), buckthorn (Rhamnus spp.), and cattails (Typha spp.), as well as local and regional habitat fragmentation in these areas. We noted if sites had been developed or otherwise changed, which would result in the local extirpation of the turtles. We visited 48 of 50 previously identified Ohio C. guttata habitats, of which 8 had been developed and were no longer habitable. Of the remaining sites, 57% had significant invasive species, 64% were regionally fragmented, and 51% showed signs of intrasite fragmentation. Only 5% (2 sites) showed no site-specific threats. Thus, most Ohio habitats were marginal for spotted turtle populations. Isolation also threatens turtle populations. These sites are widely separated from each other within three main regions in the state, in southwestern Ohio by approximately 20 km, 5.0 km in northwestern Ohio, and 30 km in northeastern Ohio. Given the current population isolation, presence of invasive species, fragmentation, and the increase in development of habitats, we conclude that spotted turtle habitats are at risk in Ohio, and that populations in the state will continue the decline noted in previous research. ItemDiet Composition of Coyotes in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio(2004-06) Cepek, Jonathan D.The diet and food habits of coyotes (Canis latrans) in Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) were examined by analyzing 50 scat samples collected during coyote population surveys between February 1998–March 1999. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park, a 13,770-hectare public-use park surrounded by residential communities, is located between Cleveland and Akron, OH. The park had over 3 million visitors in 1999, and is suffering from the pressures of increased urbanization in surrounding areas. Coyotes were first documented in the CVNP during the 1980s, and since then public interactions with coyotes have increased. The coyote is the top predator in the CVNP, yet little is known about its diet in this area. Meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) was the predominant food item found in 28% of scats collected. Eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) occurred in 20% of scats. Raccoon (Procyon lotor) was found in 18% of scats. Also identified were beetle (Coleoptera), muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus), grasshopper (Caelifera), woodpecker (Picoides sp.), seeds (Panicum sp.), and nuts (Fagus grandifolia) in coyote diet. It is important to note that though white-tailed deer occurred frequently in coyote diet, further investigation indicates that they are mainly scavenged as carrion. ItemOhio Winter Precipitation and Stream Flow Associations to Pacific Atmospheric and Oceanic Teleconnection Patterns(2004-06) Rogers, Jeffrey C.; Coleman, Jill S. M.The relationship between the Pacific/North American (PNA) atmospheric circulation teleconnection, equatorial Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs), and Ohio winter (DJF) precipitation and stream flow is described using data for 84 statewide climate stations and 29 rivers. Maximum correlations between the PNA index (PNAI) and station precipitation reach r = -0.7 in southwestern Ohio (n = 53) and are as high as r = +0.6 (n = 104) using a proxy North Pacific index (NPI) comprised of sea level pressures. The Ohio winter precipitation and streamflow relationship with the PNAI and NPI is strongest in southern and southwestern Ohio, generally decreasing to non-significance over northern Ohio, and particularly the northeastern snow belt. In contrast, Niño 3.4 equatorial Pacific correlations reach r = 0.5 when SSTs precede winter by one month. Wettest (driest) Ohio winters occur during relatively zonal (meridional) flow, representing PNAI negative (positive) modes when north Pacific sea level pressure is anomalously high (low). Wet winters are characterized by a 500 hPa trough across the central US east of the Rockies, with surface cyclones and associated frontal activity traversing Ohio after originating in areas such as Colorado and the western Gulf of Mexico. When the meridional flow of the PNA positive mode occurs, Ohio winters are consistently drier than normal and stream flow is typically about 50% of the PNA wet winters. Much higher variability occurs during PNA negative mode winters; precipitation and stream flow are occasionally below normal, but more typically above normal with some extraordinarily wet winters. ItemEstimation of Nutrient Limitation of Bacterial Activity in Temperate Alkaline Fen Sediments from Cedar Bog(2004-06) Gsell, Timothy C.; Ventullo, Roy M.Cedar Bog Nature Preserve, located near Urbana, OH, encompasses several wetland types including an alkaline fen. In this fen, groundwater emerges in quicksand-like discharge zones consisting of porous Ca/Mg carbonates mixed with organic detritus. This study evaluates seasonal changes in the heterotrophic sediment microbial communities, their response to nutrient amendment, and in the groundwater chemistry from a fen discharge zone at Cedar Bog. The hypothesis that the microbial community in this fen upwelling is nutrient limited throughout the year, particularly by C and P, was tested. The activity of the heterotrophic bacterial community in the sediment compartment was measured. A series of single factor experiments were conducted to study organic and inorganic nutrient regulation of these communities and to determine what nutrients, if any, were limiting. Activities were based on 3H-thymidine incorporation into DNA by control and nutrient amended sediment slurries and verified with 14C-leucine incorporation into protein. Bacterial cell abundance was determined using Acridine Orange direct counts. Samples amended with carbon showed significant increases in activity in three of four seasons tested. Bog extract also stimulated activity above that of the control for the winter microcosm. The site bacterial activity also appears to be limited by inorganic nitrogen and possibly phosphorus in summer. ItemEfficacy of a Laser Device for Hazing Canada Geese from Urban Areas of Northeast Ohio(2004-06) Sherman, David E.; Barras, Amy E.Complaints about Canada geese in Ohio have increased nearly 400% in the past decade, with 732 recorded in 2001. Harassment techniques such as pyrotechnics and mylar flagging have been used to reduce goose conflicts but are frequently ineffective, and initial experiments indicated that laser harassment may disperse Canada geese. We evaluated whether lasers could cause geese to abandon urban sites, the duration of site abandonment, and dispersal distance of harassed geese. One hundred ninety geese were banded and collared in June 2001 at 6 sites in northeast Ohio. Radio transmitters were attached to 40 collars. We conducted nocturnal laser harassment of geese in four 5-day periods from July 2001 through January 2002 at 3 treatment sites. No harassment occurred at 3 control sites. One-day surveys of collared geese were conducted 2 weeks prior to the 5-day hazing period, during the hazing period, and 2 weeks post-hazing. Geese were located through radio telemetry using air- and ground-based receivers during all 3 time periods. Laser harassment caused geese to leave the site after a mean of 4.6 (SE = 0.8) minutes of treatment. Over the 5-day treatment period, the mean number of geese observed at night decreased from 92 to 14; however, we found no differences between numbers of geese observed 2 weeks prior to initial harassment and those observed post-harassment. Telemetry indicated that geese moved <2.0 km from all but one banding site. Laser harassment was more effective in reducing goose numbers at night rather than reducing numbers during the day. Site characteristics such as ambient lighting, human disturbance, and size of pond appeared to be the primary factors determining the laser’s effectiveness.