A Proposed Method of Abstract Preparation Research Paper

Question Description

Write an abstract of a reasearch paper (DO NOT COPY ANY SENTENCE FROM THE REASEARCH PAPER!)

A Proposed Method of Abstract Preparation

Abstracts written in this format tend to run from 150 to 250 words rarely going beyond 250 words. Remember, the more you write the more he has to edit and the better chance you have to do something wrong.

Your abstract must begin with a citation for the article you are writing on. This citation must follow the format laid out in the journal Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management. Miller will edit the citation just as hard as the text. Be sure to follow the format precisely (Every comma and period in its place).


  • 1)This sentence should catch the reader. It should be a statement of fact that lays the primary foundation as to why the paper was written.
  • 2)This sentence must back up the first sentence as well as lead into the third. Sometimes you can combine sentences one and two and achieve a better flow.
  • 3)State the hypothesis. If there are multiple hypotheses this may take more then one sentence.
  • 4)From here the sentence numbers can very depending on the extent of the study. This sentence should begin to explain field/laboratory methods. Do not go into great depth here. If the reader wants more they can read the article. Just give the basic information and move on. This may take more then one sentence. If statistical analysis is of great importance to the article you may want to place a sentence stating what tools were used.
  • 5)Now you are ready to give the results. Try to avoid bullets. Make sure that this part flows. This can be difficult because you may not fully understand the results.
  • 6)The ending of the abstract should be an answer to the hypothesis. Remember, rarely is anything ever proven. Use wording like; “This study suggests……………”.

Cope, W.G., Bartsch, M.R., Rada, R.G., Balogh, S.J., Rupprecht, J.E., Young, R.D., Johnson, D.K., 1999. Bioassessment of mercury, cadmium, polychlorinated biphenyls, and pesticides in the upper Mississippi River with zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha). Environmental Science and Technology 33, 4385-4390.

The Upper Mississippi River has been contaminated with high levels of mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) by point and nonpoint sources resulting in elevated contaminant levels in fish and macroinvertebrates. This study investigated the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) as a sentinel species and assessed the bioavailability of Hg, Cd, and PCBs in the Mississippi River. Zebra mussels were collected on artificial substrates from 19 locks and dams from Minneapolis, MN to Muscatine, IA. Elevated levels of Hg, Cd, and PCBs were found in zebra muscle tissues after a 143-day exposure. Mercury levels ranged from 2.6 to 6.1 ng/g wet weight and cadmium from 76 to 213 ng/g wet weight. The composition of PCB congeners was similar throughout the river. This study suggests that zebras muscles are a sentinel species in the Mississippi River and may be important in trophic transfer of contaminants due to their increasing importance as a food source for certain fish and waterfowl.

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See discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319853536 Reciprocal pilfering in a seed-caching rodent community: implications for species coexistence Article in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology · October 2017 DOI: 10.1007/s00265-017-2375-4 CITATIONS READS 5 89 3 authors, including: Jacob Dittel Ramón Perea University of North Alabama Universidad Politécnica de Madrid 10 PUBLICATIONS 36 CITATIONS 61 PUBLICATIONS 724 CITATIONS SEE PROFILE SEE PROFILE Some of the authors of this publication are also working on these related projects: Human impact on forest vegetation in the Sierra de Guadarrama and Cabañeros National Parks (Ref. 1148/2014) View project Millennium Ecosystem Assessment of Spain View project All content following this page was uploaded by Jacob Dittel on 17 November 2017. The user has requested enhancement of the downloaded file. Behav Ecol Sociobiol (2017) 71:147 DOI 10.1007/s00265-017-2375-4 ORIGINAL ARTICLE Reciprocal pilfering in a seed-caching rodent community: implications for species coexistence Jacob W. Dittel 1 & Ramón Perea 2 & Stephen B. Vander Wall 3 Received: 6 June 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 7 September 2017 # Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017 Abstract Cache pilfering rates have been reported to be unsustainably high in many seed-caching rodent communities, but the dynamics of pilfering is largely unknown at the community level. In this study, we examined rates of seed-cache pilfering in a species-rich community of granivorous rodents in pair-wise trials. We compared the ability of each species to pilfer from conspecifics as well as heterospecifics to determine if pilfering is symmetrical or asymmetrical in the community. During the study, pilfering was more or less symmetrical among three scatter-hoarding species of rodents, averaging 28% (SD = 26%) of caches pilfered in 24 h, while the lone larderhoarding species was unable to pilfer and experienced cache loss at the rate of 16 ± 14% of caches in 24 h to the other species. Pilfering was reciprocal among the scatter-hoarding species among conspecifics and heterospecifics despite differences in caching behavior (cache depth, size, and location). These finding support the hypothesis of reciprocal pilfering and are consistent with theories of the coexistence of ecologically similar species by lessening the effects of competition among species at the resource level and demonstrate that species with a pilfering disadvantage may need to exhibit Communicated by N. Clayton different caching behaviors (e.g., larder-hoarding) to prevent competitive exclusion. Significance statement Many rodents scatter-hoard seeds to survive periods when other food is scarce. Because these caches are usually undefended, individuals may experience significant theft of seeds. We reasoned that individuals that scatter-hoard seeds extensively are likely to have many of their caches pilfered, and that to counteract this loss, they should also be very effective pilferers of other animal’s caches. Conversely, animals that seldom scatter-hoard seeds are likely to be poor pilferers. This suggests that the ability to pilfer is part of the adaptive strategy of scatter-hoarding animals and that the more they scatterhoard, the more they pilfer. Individuals that are unable to replace lost caches may not survive periods of food scarcity. There should be intense competition for stored seeds within communities of scatter-hoarding rodents, and this competition is manifested not only at the time of seed harvest but also as pilferage of cached seeds. In such communities, we expect pilferage to be reciprocal, or nearly equal among scatterhoarding species, and thereby contribute to coexistence. Keywords Community ecology . Granivory . Larder-hoarding . Rodents . Scatter-hoarding . Seed-caching * Jacob W. Dittel Jacob.dittel@oregonstate.edu Introduction 1 Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA 2 Department of Natural Systems and Resources, ETSI Montes, Forestal y del Medio Natural, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain 3 Department of Biology and the Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology, University of Nevada, Reno, NV 89557, USA Animals store food to use in the future during times of food scarcity (Vander Wall 1990). In many cases, survival strongly depends on the size and condition of their stored food reserves (Smith 1968; Koenig and Mumme 1987; Kuhn and Vander Wall 2008). The greatest threat to stored food reserves is pilferage by both interspecific and intraspecific competitors. 147 Behav Ecol Sociobiol (2017) 71:147 Page 2 of 8 Rates of caches lost to pilfering are high (>5%/day) in many rodent species (Vander Wall and Jenkins 2003), which are rates that cannot be sustained for long without loss of a critical share of the food reserve. Some animals appear to compensate for these losses by pilfering themselves to replace the food that was lost. However, the degree to which all species in a community are able to pilfer and replace lost caches is unknown. There are often several sympatric species in any given community of rodents in southwest North America. These animals have broadly overlapping diets of seeds, and all of these species store seeds. One seed-caching behavior, scatterhoarding, is the creation of many small, undefended caches, often distributed throughout a home range. In contrast, larderhoarding is the creation of one to several large caches usually in the home burrow. Both types of caches can be pilfered, but pilfering is more common for scatter-hoarders (Vander Wall and Jenkins 2003; Steele et al. 2011; Jansen et al. 2012; Zhang et al. 2013), because larder hoarders defend their larders. High rates of pilferage are not sustainable if an individual cannot replace the lost seeds by pilfering from others. Asymmetrical rates of pilferage among species could have several important consequences. The most important is that asymmetrical pilferage rates could lead to extirpation/extinction of the species unable to reciprocate via competitive exclusion. However, because there are so many overlapping ecologically similar species, there must be some sort of behavior that can mitigate the effects of pilfering. These behaviors could include differences in foraging (Yunger et al. 2002) and hoarding behaviors (Price et al. 2000; Leaver and Daly 2001). Extensive work has been conducted investigating resource use Btrade-offs^ that would allow for coexistence (Price 1978; Brown 1988; Longland and Price 1991; Vander Wall 1993; Thayer and Vander Wall 2005), but no study to date has provided sufficient evidence to adequately explain coexistence of rodent communities (Leaver and Daly 2001; Price and Mittler 2006). This suggests that interspecific pilfering could play an important role in competitive relationships in granivore communities. On the east slope of the Sierra Nevada, there exists a rich community of granivorous rodents that compete for temporally limited food sources, most importantly the seeds of Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi), antelope bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata), greenleaf manzanita (Arctostaphylos patula), and Sierra bush chinquapin (Castanopsis sempervirens). Rodents in these communities exhibit a range of scatter-hoarding behaviors from intense scatter-hoarders such as chipmunks (Tamias spp.) and intermediate scatter-hoarders such as deer mice (Peromyscus spp.) to infrequent scatter-hoarders such as golden-mantled ground squirrels (Callospermophilus lateralis). Despite the differences in intensity, these rodents overlap broadly in the locations they choose to scatter-hoard seeds (e.g., microsites and substrates; Briggs et al. 2009). In the fall, scatter-hoarded seeds are transferred to burrow larders, which are essential for winter survival (Kuhn and Vander Wall 2008, 2009). Previous work tested the ability of species to pilfer from one another in pairwise trials (e.g., yellow-pine chipmunks and deer mice (Vander Wall 2000) and yellow-pine chipmunks and Steller’s jays, Cyanocitta stelleri (Thayer and Vander Wall 2005)). Yellow-pine chipmunks and deer mice were able to pilfer effectively from each other, whereas golden-mantled ground squirrels and Steller’s jays are unable to pilfer caches (Vander Wall 2000; Thayer and Vander Wall 2005; Vander Wall et al. 2009). However, no study to date has investigated pilfering at the community level and to what extent pilfering is associated with scatter-hoarding behavior. Additionally, it is not known to what extent members of the granivore community can compensate for seeds lost by pilfering from other species. In this paper, we investigate the rate of cache pilfering in a community of ecologically similar rodents in western Nevada. Based on previous work (Vander Wall 2000; Vander Wall et al. 2009), we predict that pilfering is not equal across rodent species and that a rodent’s ability to pilfer will be correlated with how extensively it scatter-hoards seeds. Species that primarily scatter-hoard seeds should be effective pilferers, whereas species that seldom scatter-hoard (i.e., species that primarily larder-hoard) should be poor pilferers. Poor pilfering may be a result of behavioral constraints (spending time defending larders), physiological constraints (inability to detect olfactory cues), or both. Additionally, we predict that species that are good pilferers should be able to pilfer from other species that are good pilferers at nearly equal rates. If pilfering is not nearly equal among scatter-hoarding species, then those species must differ in some scatter-hoarding attribute (e.g., cache depth, cache size, microhabitat), or the best pilfering species would have a competitive advantage and be able to exclude less effective pilfering species. Methods Study area and species We conducted this study in the Whittell Forest and Wildlife Area, University of Nevada Reno, in Little Valley, Washoe County, Nevada (39° 14′ 49″ N, 119° 52′ 38″ W) during the spring, summer, and fall months of 2009 and 2012–2015. Little Valley is located in the Carson Range of the eastern Sierra Nevada (elevation 1975 m) approximately 30 km south of Reno, NV, and 5 km northeast of Lake Tahoe. Little Valley has a semi-arid climate. Approximately 50% of the annual precipitation (87.5 cm) falls as snow during the winter months, and the remaining precipitation primarily falls during late spring and early fall thunderstorms. Vegetation at the site is dominated by Jeffrey Pine (P. jeffreyi) on well-drained slopes and stands of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) in the valley Behav Ecol Sociobiol (2017) 71:147 bottom. The understory is predominantly antelope bitterbrush and greenleaf manzanita on decomposed granite soils. We studied four species of seed-caching rodents: yellowpine chipmunk (Tamias amoenus), long-eared chipmunk (Tamias quadrimaculatus), golden-mantled ground squirrel, and deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus). These four species comprise the seed-caching rodent community in the Whittell Forest. The two species of chipmunks are avid scatter-hoarders, deer mice scatter-hoard frequently but also build larders, and golden-mantled ground squirrels store most seeds in larders inside their nest burrow and scatter-hoard seeds sparingly (Vander Wall 2000; Vander Wall et al. 2009). Experimental design Rodent foraging trials were conducted in one of four 10 × 10m rodent-proof enclosures (see Vander Wall 2000). Vegetation and soil inside the enclosures matched the vegetation and soils of Little Valley. Inside each enclosure, we buried a 20-l plastic bucket placing the top even with the ground surface. The inside of the bucket was divided into three levels by wooden partitions. The upper level connected to the ground surface by PVC pipe ≈50 cm long. The PVC pipe was 34-mm inside diameter for chipmunk species and deer mice and 50-mm inside diameter for ground squirrels. These nest buckets provided refuge for subjects and were readily accepted by most individuals. Each enclosure had a container with water and a wooden feeder box that allowed rodent access to experimental seeds but excluded birds. We conducted 66 pilfering trials, 20 trials with yellow-pine chipmunks, 20 trials with long-eared chipmunks, 20 trials with deer mice, and 6 trials with golden-mantled ground squirrels. Each trial consisted of two phases: (1) caching and (2) search for caches by a naïve forager (i.e., pilfering). We captured subjects near the enclosures using Sherman live traps, weighed, sexed, and marked all subjects with a serially numbered ear tag. No individual was used more than once during trials. Only adult rodents were used for trials. Pregnant or lactating females were not used. During caching trials, we placed a subject in the enclosure for 24 h with 150 radioactively labeled Jeffrey pine seeds in the feeder box. We labeled seeds with Fe-59 so we could find cached and eaten seeds in the enclosure after the trial. After labeling, we used a metal spoon to handle seeds to avoid contaminating them with human odors. After 24 h, we removed the rodent from the enclosure and released it at its capture location. Twenty-four hours was enough time to allow most rodents to acclimate to the enclosure and cache the seeds. However, some deer mouse individuals did not remove sufficient seeds (>50%) from the feeder box in 24 h so we allowed them an additional 24 h to cache. At the end of phase 1, we removed all remaining seeds in the feeder box, as well as any seeds we found in the nest bucket. We used a Geiger counter to search the enclosure for seed caches and hulls of Page 3 of 8 147 consumed seeds. We excavated caches and recorded cache size and depth. We recorded the Cartesian coordinate of each cache along with substrate and the distance from the nearest shrub edge. After all seeds were excavated, we replaced all caches at the same locations and depths, with the number of seeds found in caches. Care was taken to ensure that there were no visible indications (at least to the researchers) of seed excavation by grooming the site. Seed hulls were removed from the enclosure and properly disposed of. Phase 2 began with the introduction of a naïve subject from one of the four study species of rodent, and allowed it to forage inside the enclosure for caches made during phase 1. The order of species used was random. When a naïve individual was captured, we placed the subject inside the nest bucket in the enclosure and allowed it to forage and pilfer caches for 24 h. The only pine seeds available to naïve individuals were those in caches, and the only other food sources available were Bnatural^ foods (e.g., arthropods and seeds of forbs), and 10 sunflower seeds. We placed individual sunflower seeds at specific, widely spaced sites within the enclosure and recorded their removal by subjects to verify that subjects were foraging. It was not possible to record data blind for either phase 1 or phase 2 because our study involved focal animals in the field. The rodents used for this study can more readily detect seeds when the soil is moist (Vander Wall 2000), so we conducted phase 2 trials only after rain events (whenever possible) or we artificially wetted the enclosure using ~350 L of water. After 24 h, we removed the naïve individual from the enclosure and released it at the location where it was captured. We then checked the caches to determine if pilfering had occurred. If any caches had been removed, the entire enclosure was searched for new caches made by the naïve individual and for seed hulls. We recorded the proportion of caches pilfered, as well as the number of seeds pilfered for each phase 2 trial. We replaced all pilfered caches and removed any new caches or seed hulls from the enclosure. Pilfered caches were replaced with fresh seeds (i.e., not exposed to moisture or elements). This process was repeated four times for each species of rodent. After the four phase 2 trials, all seed caches and seed hulls were removed from the enclosure, and phase 1 was repeated with a different rodent species. Because golden-mantled ground squirrels are such infrequent scatter-hoarder, we were unable to get any individuals to create enough caches to use in trials. Therefore, we replicated ground squirrel caches within the enclosures using data from this study and Vander Wall et al. (2009), conducted inside the same enclosures, for all trials where ground squirrels were the scatter-hoarder. Data analysis We analyzed hoarding behavior differences among the two chipmunks species and deer mice using ANOVA and Tukey’s post hoc analysis (α = 0.05) for cache size, depth, 147 Page 4 of 8 and distance from shrub edge. We used chi-squared (χ2) tests to determine whether rodent species differed in their use of bare soil versus light leaf litter as substrates. Because the ground squirrel caches used in this study were a compilation of caches made by golden-mantled ground squirrels in other studies, they were not included in these analyses. We analyzed cache pilfering data using ANOVA and Tukey’s post hoc tests (α = 0.05) to test for differences, if any, among species ability to pilfer and frequency from which they are pilfered. Mean proportion of caches pilfered and mean number of seeds pilfered were dependent variables. We created a simple Bpilfering effectiveness^ (PE) metric to compare the pilfering ability of species. This metric is the ratio of the number of seeds gained via pilfering versus the number of seeds lost via pilfering (n seeds gained/n seeds lost). Numbers greater than 1 indicate that a species has an advantage over interspecific competitors, a value near 1 would indicate that a species has neither an advantage nor disadvantage relative to interspecific competitors, and a value of less than 1 would suggest that a species is at a disadvantage relative to an interspecific competitor. All data analysis and figure creation were performed in program R (R Development Core Team 2017). Results Behav Ecol Sociobiol (2017) 71:147 (SD = 24%), and deer mice pilfered 25% (SD = 19%) of available caches (Fig. 1). However, there was no significant difference between their ability to pilfer caches (F2,57 = 1.09, p = 0.34). Golden-mantled ground squirrels did not pilfer in this study during six trials (consistent with other results; Vander Wall et al. 2009) so we performed no additional phase 2 trials with ground squirrels. Because ground squirrels were unable to pilfer any caches, we did not include them in statistical analysis of cache gain by pilfering but we did include them in analyses of cache loss. Additionally, there was no difference in how many caches a species lost due to pilfering (F3,57 = 1.539, p = 0.214; Fig. 1b). Yellow-pine chipmunks lost 35% (SD = 28%), long-eared chipmunks lost 32% (SD = 26%), deer mice lost 34% (SD = 28%), and golden-mantled ground squirrels lost 16% (SD = 14%) of their caches in 24 h within the enclosures. A two-way ANOVA of pilfering ability and caches lost shows no difference in the total number (mean = 29%, SD = 23%) of caches pilfered or loss among species (F11,48 = 1.09, p = 0.39). However, if the pilfering ability of deer mice is examined separately, they pilfer from ground squirrels significantly less than from chipmunks and other deer mice (F3,16 = 6.066, p = 0.006). There is no difference between the ability of yellow-pine chipmunks (F3,16 = 0.26, p = 0.85) or long-eared chipmunks (F3,16 = 0.86, p = 0.48) to pilfer from conspecifics or other species. Caching behavior Pilfering of seeds The two species of chipmunks and the deer mouse differ in cache size (F 2,336 = 21.74, p < 0.001), cache depth (F2,336 = 85.74, p < 0.001), and distance to shrub edge (F2,336 = 19.03, p < 0.001). Long-eared chipmunks had larger cache si …
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