TPERS 2018 Details

Presenter Abstracts:

Nate Pollesch, Network analytics for Adverse Outcome Pathways

ABSTRACT: Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs) organize toxicological knowledge from the molecular level up to the population level, providing evidence-based causal linkages at each step. The AOPWiki serves as a repository of AOPs. With the international adoption of the AOP framework, the AOPwiki is growing and new knowledge is emerging from unforeseen linkages among AOPs. This presentation will show recently developed network analysis techniques for sorting and prioritizing AOP knowledge derived from the AOPWiki network

Bryan Matthias, Status and trends of the Lake Superior Ecosystem

ABSTRACT: Lake Superior is unique among the Laurentian Great Lakes in that it has ecological communities dominated by native species in both nearshore and offshore areas. However, the Lake Superior ecosystem is undergoing significant changes to both nearshore and offshore food webs, including prey fish population declines. These changes are likely affecting ecosystem functions, trophic dynamics, and fishery yields. The objective of this study was to use EcoPath with EcoSim to explore how the declines in the prey fish populations influence Lake Superior ecosystem dynamics. The secondary objective was to assess potential ecosystem-level effects of changing Sea Lamprey management strategies, specifically, 1) if we double or 2) if we halve the Sea Lamprey exploitation rate. We focus on the population-level responses of the native piscivores, Lean and Siscowet Lake Trout Salvelinus namaycush namaycush and S. n. siscowet, along with the major prey fish Coregonus spp., Osmerus mordax, Cottus spp., Myoxocephalus thompsonii.

Dustin Haines, There Will Be Grass: Unexpected trait shifts in grasses used on oilfield reclamation sites

ABSTRACT:With oilfield development in the Great Plains under rapid expansion, there is an increasing need to restore disturbed areas and decommissioned sites. Plant cultivars that can deal with these harsh conditions are used extensively in oilfield reclamations, but it is unknown if natural selection will make these plants maladapted to the restoration environments. We asked the following question: what traits are favored in oil reclamation sites compared to the propagation gardens where the restoration seed was produced, and are these traits correlated with soil chemistry? We used slender wheatgrass (Elymus trachycaulus) seeds collected at four oilfield reclamation sites in North Dakota one year post-seeding, and seed from the original propagation garden. We weighed seeds, then planted and monitored their growth over 4 months, during which we recorded germination, growth rates, heights, flowering, and mortality. We also determined if these traits were correlated with soil chemistry. Seed sources differed significantly in seed mass, germination, height, and flowering. Seed mass also significantly influenced all response variables, with the response to mass varying among seed sources for some variables. Most response variables were also significantly correlated with soil chemistry. Our findings indicate that plants are responding differently to varying conditions among sites, but the degree to which they are related to environmental effects versus natural selection is unknown. Slender wheatgrass displays the capacity to respond to environmental changes in one growing season, with potential long-term impacts on the traits of future generations of plants produced from the initial seeding.