Stewarding Rhode Island’s Natural Heritage
Friday, March 3, 2006
Rhodes On-the-Pawtuxet, Cranston, RI

DRAGONFLY ASSEMBLAGES EMERGING FROM SMALL WETLANDS ALONG AN URBANIZATION GRADIENT: A PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS
Maria Aliberti
Department of Plant Sciences and Entomology, Univ. of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881
mali5900@postoffice.uri.edu

Dragonfly nymphs are conspicuous and ecologically important in freshwater ponds, and are commonly used in conservation planning. I analyzed samples of exuviae-the nymphal exoskeleton that is shed upon emergence-from 21 freshwater ponds in 2004 and 2005 to predict assemblages of dragonfly species based on local environmental conditions. The palustrine wetlands ranged from highly anthropogenic sites in greater Providence, to small, natural ponds in rural RI. Exuviae were identified to species in the laboratory. I evaluated land-use in surrounding wetland buffers, fish presence, water quality measurements and wetland size and distance from the coast to assess the landscape and environmental factors that affect dragonfly species distributions and species richness (diversity) at these small wetlands. Preliminary analyses indicate that dragonfly species composition was related to chloride concentration in the water (a measurement pertaining to ‘urbanization’) and surrounding vertical structure at the wetlands. [oral presentation]

METHODS AND APPLICATIONS OF SHALLOW WATER MULTIBEAM BATHYMETRIC SURVEYS
Jonathan D. Alvarez and Jon C. Boothroyd
Department of Geosciences and RI Geological Survey,
University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881
jonathand.alvarez@gmail.com

We conducted bathymetric surveys in Providence River, Brushneck Cove, Warwick Cove and the entrance of Greenwich Bay to determine the limiting factors of shallow water surveys and produce bathymetric maps of pertinent areas for use by the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) for Special Area Management Plans (SAMP) overseeing dredging operations. Conventional bathymetric surveys have relied on single beam sonar surveys, which resulted in bathymetric maps that are now considered limiting in their ability to represent important benthic geologic habitats and strategic management of dredging operations. During onboard data collection and processing in the lab, it was shown that limitations existed that bounded the extent of the survey sites. Statistical analysis of the data produced an average limiting depth of 1.3 m (± 0.5 m, depending on water clarity) for the multibeam surveys. These observations provide evidence that data collected in waters <1.3 m was considered of no use to the survey and planning was necessary to survey during astronomical high tides. Observations made during the processing of the bathymetric data also concluded that collection of tidal measurements remain of paramount importance for multibeam bathymetric surveys. Shallow water applications of multibeam bathymetry work in depths >1.3 m and provide accurate and insightful surveys. Deeper water surveys benefit from the use of a multibeam bathymetric system in its ability to cover large swaths of the seafloor with full coverage. [poster presentation]

THE RHODE ISLAND ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING COLLABORATIVE: MEASURING OUR CONSERVATION ACHIEVEMENTS
Peter V. August
University of Rhode Island Coastal Institute and Department of Natural Resources Science, Coastal Institute, Bay Campus, Narragansett, RI 02882
pete@edc.uri.edu

The Rhode Island Environmental Monitoring Collaborative (RIEMC) was established by state law in 2004 to develop a comprehensive monitoring framework for Narragansett Bay, our coastal ecosystems, and inland watersheds. The RIEMC has focused on developing monitoring programs for water (fresh and marine) quality, habitats, biota, ecosystem condition, and land use change. The Collaborative consists of all state agencies involved in environmental management and a number of NGO’s, federal agencies, and academic partners. The RIEMC reports to the RI Bays, Rivers, and Watersheds Coordination Team, which in turn reports to the Governor and General Assembly. The overarching goals of the RIEMC are to ensure there are no gaps in our monitoring programs, data are shared freely and expeditiously within the environmental community, and that monitoring activities occur as a cooperative and collaborative enterprise in RI. In this presentation I will review the architecture of the RIEMC and describe its activities that bear on the assessment of RI’s fauna, flora, and ecological communities. I will report on the successes the RIEMC has achieved and challenges it faces. [oral presentation]

NEKTON USAGE AND SUBSIDENCE OF A TIDALLY RESTRICTED NEW ENGLAND SALT MARSH
Marci Cole1, Wenley Ferguson1, and Kenny Raposa2
1 Save The Bay, 100 Save The Bay Drive, Providence, RI 02905 2 Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, 55 South Reserve Dr., Prudence Island, RI 02872
mcole@savebay.org

Gooseneck Cove Marsh is a 63-acre salt marsh in Newport, RI. In 1996, Save The Bay identified the Cove as a restoration site based upon a salt marsh assessment conducted by volunteers. Tidal flow into of the Cove has been limited by three major tidal restrictions for at least 65 years. The goal of this restoration project is to increase acreage of salt marsh and to increase nekton usage of the marsh habitat. A major result of this limited tidal flow has been the conversion of 15 acres of vegetated marsh to open water due to extensive subsidence of the marsh surface. Existing marsh areas are currently subsiding, at a high rate. As a result, habitat quality for nekton usage is poor. We installed surface elevation tables (SETs) to monitor changes in salt marsh elevation. We monitored the pre-restoration condition of salt marsh vegetation. Finally, we used a throw trap method to assess nekton usage of the marsh. We found a direct correlation between fish density and diversity and habitat quality. We predict that marsh restoration will improve habitat quality by allowing sediments to accrete, salt marsh plants to reestablish, and nekton usage to increase. [poster presentation]

HORACE FRANCIS CARPENTER’S THE SHELL-BEARING MOLLUSCA OF RHODE ISLAND
James (Jay) R. Cordeiro
NatureServe, 11 Avenue de Lafayette, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02111
jay_cordeiro@natureserve.org

Studies of Rhode Island mollusks are limited. The only comprehensive guide to the state’s molluscan fauna, The Shell-bearing Mollusca of Rhode Island, was produced over 100 years ago by Horace Francis Carpenter, who was a chemist, mineralogist, and amateur naturalist. Carpenter’s contribution to Rhode Island molluscan fauna has long been overlooked as a resource for the state’s biodiversity. Carpenter’s shell collection continues to be the best collection of Rhode Island mollusk specimens ever assembled. His natural history library (250 volumes) and shell (4000 species) and mineral (1200 varieties) collections (75,000 specimens combined) were donated to the Roger Williams Park Museum of Natural History. Carpenter published extensively on Rhode Island mollusks in the 1870s, initially in an ongoing newspaper series in The [Central Falls] Weekly Visitor, and again in Random Notes on Natural History, continued in The Conchologists’ Exchange, which later became The Nautilus. In total, he listed 222 mollusk species from Rhode Island. A.A. Gould listed 275 species from Massachusetts in 1841. Carpenter formally described three mollusk species during his lifetime: all Rhode Island freshwater mollusks. A fourth marine snail species was never described although Carpenter intended to name it in honor of his wife, Jennie. Carpenter was an active naturalist trading regularly with noted conchologists of his time and bicycling daily to the museum to deposit specimens. He died in 1937, at age 94, in Cranston, shortly after the passing of his wife. [oral presentation]

PRIORITIZING AND INTEGRATING WETLAND FUNCTION IN PLANNING FOR WETLAND RESTORATION AT FORT GREENE, NARRAGANSETT, RHODE ISLAND
Christopher Detwiller, University of Vermont Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, Ecological Planning Program, 81 Carrigan Drive, Burlington, VT 05405 christopher.detwiller@uvm.edu

Fort Nathaniel Greene, owned by the United States Army Reserve, is a 104-acre parcel dominated by forested wetland and scrub-shrub swamp. Previously farmland, the site was developed as a coastal defense battery in 1941, altering the hydrology of the property. Following the war the Fort saw minimal use and became revegetated as it is today. The property is special in that it represents a sizeable “natural” area surrounded by development. This project is a collaboration between the U.S. Army Reserve and the University of Vermont to develop a natural resource management plan for the property, focusing on wetland restoration and invasive species management. How to conduct restoration relies on determining potential benefits and losses of the five major wetland functions: flood abatement, water quality improvement, wildlife habitat, fish habitat, and heritage. The landscape at Fort Greene has had over 60 years to adapt to the anthropogenic influences brought upon it. Altering an existing wetland to enhance one value may result in the loss of another value. Restoration would also likely disturb soils, benefiting already abundant invasive species. These wetland functions have been assessed and prioritized to design a wetland restoration plan that provides the greatest overall benefit to Fort Greene and the surrounding landscape. [poster presentation]

FROM RHODE ISLAND TO CHRISTMAS ISLAND: GLOBAL PATTERNS OF RARITY, ENDEMISM, AND INTACT ASSEMBLAGES AMONG TERRESTRIAL VERTEBRATES
Eric Dinerstein1, John Morrison1, Taylor Ricketts1, Wes Wettengel1, John Lamoreux2,
Meghan McKnight3, David Olson1, and Hank Shugart2
1World Wildlife Fund, 1250 24th St. NW, Washington, DC 20037
2 Dept of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, 291 Charlottesville, VA 22904
3Curriculum in Ecology, Miller Hall, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599
eric.dinerstein@wwfus.org

Slowing rates of global biodiversity loss requires preventing extinctions. We identified centers of imminent extinction where highly threatened species are confined to single sites. Within five globally assessed taxa (mammals, birds, selected reptiles, amphibians, and conifers), we found 794 such species occurring in 595 sites, only one-third of which are protected. We also examined range restriction among 26,000 species in the four vertebrate taxa. Our results show that prioritization of global conservation efforts on high-endemism ecoregions is warranted because this approach captures significantly more total species (including non-endemics) than expected by chance. We also determined range restriction for the above taxa at the family and genus level, which represent a greater degree of evolutionary uniqueness than do species. Using the same database (www.worldwildlife.org/wildfinder), we found that five vertebrate families (1% of total) and 345 genera (7%) are range restricted (i.e., limited to one ecoregion). Birds have the most range restricted genera (115), followed by reptiles (99), amphibians (76), and mammals (55). Those ecoregions highest in endemic families and genera are concentrated in relict Gondwanaland forests. Another valuable metric is conserving intact large mammal assemblages. We present a new set of data locating such assemblages and take a saber-toothed swipe at the recent proposal to re-wild North America with exotic megafauna. [oral presentation]

ASSESSMENT AND RESTORATION OF A REGIONALLY SIGNIFICANT RARE PLANT COMMUNITY AT BEAVERTAIL STATE PARK, JAMESTOWN, RI
Suzanne Enser1 and Richard W. Enser2
1Department of Natural Resources Science University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881
2Rhode Island Natural Heritage Program, 235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908
svetromile@yahoo.com

New England Boneset (Eupatorium novae-angliae) is endemic to the coastal plain region of southeastern Massachusetts and southern Rhode Island, where it is known from 16 populations, 10 in Massachusetts and 6 in Rhode Island. Fifteen of these populations occur on the shores of kettle-hole coastal plain ponds. The exception to this typical habitat pattern is a population at Beavertail State Park, which is found in a wet, boggy meadow. This site was historically maintained in an open, grassland condition. However, since 1979 much of the area has succeeded to shrubland and only a few small remnants of the original open community remain. During the past two field seasons, in cooperation with the Rhode Island Natural Heritage Program, I conducted a study at Beavertail State Park to describe the natural community and the rare plant populations it supports. Additionally, due to the relatively recent increase of the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) population on Conanicut Island, an assessment of the impact of deer browsing on plant composition and vigor was undertaken using fenced exclosures. The results of this study will serve as a basis for managing this unique natural community. [oral presentation]

THE AMERICAN CHESTNUT FOUNDATION: RESTORATION OF A KEY SPECIES DECIMATED BY IMPORTED DISEASE
Yvonne Federowicz
Massachusetts Chapter of The American Chestnut Foundation
36 Hawthorne Street, North Providence, RI 02904
yvonne_federowicz@brown.edu

American chestnut (Castanea dentata) was one of the most important trees of upland eastern forests until the early 1900s, providing a large, consistent food source for wildlife and humans and quick-growing, rot-resistant lumber. Beginning in 1904, an imported fungus decimated virtually all four billion adult American chestnuts within a few decades. The American Chestnut Foundation is working to create a population of American-Chinese hybrids that will be more than 90% pure American, blight-resistant, yet retaining the American growth characteristics that enabled this tree to dominate areas of the eastern forests, and adapted to local conditions through incorporation of local “mother trees” into the population’s gene pool. Volunteers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts have been involved in this multi-state effort for several years, and mother trees located by volunteers in our area (including Lincoln and Glocester, summer 2005) are producing hybrid offspring and raising them in local volunteer-run orchards. Ongoing issues include locating and incorporating mother trees that provide a good selection of local habitat types and genetic diversity, defining those habitat and genetic types, and utilizing volunteered land of these types. Additionally, growing chestnut trees in orchard settings is a relatively new undertaking, keeping our orchard managers experimenting and learning. [poster presentation]

WHITE-TAILED DEER IN RHODE ISLAND: CURRENT POPULATION TRENDS AND THEIR IMPACT ON FOREST HEALTH
Lori Gibson
RIDEM Division of Fish and Wildlife, Box 218, West Kingston, RI 02892
lori.gibson@dem.ri.gov

White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) have a deleterious impact on ornamental shrubs in urban areas. However, their effect on the structure and health of Rhode Island’s forests can be far more damaging. Deer consume an average of four to nine pounds of herbaceous plants daily. Over browsing of seedlings threatens forest regeneration and diversity. Invasive plants thrive in the absence of a forest understory, which displace native and rare plants. In addition, the elimination of the understory reduces habitat for other wildlife species. The value of the forest for both wildlife species and timber enterprises is affected as less preferred vegetation becomes dominant. A more daunting challenge is that the deer continue to consume forest regeneration efforts, unless seedlings are protected. The majority of Rhode Island’s forests are privately owned parcels under ten acres. Private landowners, land trusts and conservation agencies need to develop policies to manage forest resources in various age classes, control invasive species, and allow adequate regulated deer hunting. In addition, over abundant deer herds increase human health risks from tick borne diseases and auto strikes. [oral presentation]

POPULATION BIOLOGY OF THE AMERICAN BURYING BEETLE (NICROPHORUS AMERICANUS) ON BLOCK ISLAND, RI
Christopher J. Raithel1, Howard S. Ginsberg2, and Ming Lee Prospero3
1RI DEM, Division of Fish and Wildlife, PO Box 218, West Kingston, RI 02892 2USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Coastal Field Station, Woodward Hall-PLS, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881 3Department of Natural Resources Science, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881
christopher.raithel@dem.ri.gov

The endangered American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) persists in only one population in the eastern United States, on Block Island, and scattered populations from Oklahoma to South Dakota, near the western limit of its original range. We monitored the Block Island population from 1991 to 2003 and assessed beetle activity patterns using mark-recapture estimates from pitfall trap data. The population was stable from 1991-1994, but has increased since 1994 when we started to provide carrion each year for beetle production. Therefore, carrion abundance apparently limits beetle numbers. Beetle captures increased with increasing temperature and dew point, but declined with increasing wind speed. Short distance movements were independent of wind direction, while longer flights were more frequently downwind. Numerous beetles flew hundreds of meters, but most recaptures were in traps near the release point. These behaviors probably had counterbalancing effects on population estimates. [oral presentation]

EFFECTIVE CONSERVATION PLANNING FOR SOCIAL AND ECOLOGICAL VALUES: A CASE STUDY OF THE MOOSUP RIVER WATERSHED
Amy Lerner
The Center for Environmental Studies, Brown University, Box 1943, Providence, RI 02912
amy_lerner@brown.edu

The Borderlands region of western Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut has been targeted by The Nature Conservancy and the Rhode Island Economic Policy Council as a threatened landscape because of the potential for development and sprawl in this rural, largely forested area. This project uses the Moosup Watershed as a case study, in order to assess how various ecological and human values can be incorporated into a conservation plan. This is a sub-basin of the Thames Watershed and is on the Rhode Island and Connecticut border. By using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a series of models were developed that incorporate ecological and human-use values in order to prioritize important areas of the watershed for conservation based on ecologically pristine areas and also those that are important to local towns. These models will then be used to develop a scoring system of parcel prioritization and they will be compared to each other to assess which lands overlap and where gaps occur. This research hopes to develop a scoring system at the parcel level that can assist private conservation organizations, land trusts, town planners, and state planning agencies to determine where the most valuable lands are in need of protection in this culturally and ecologically valuable region. [poster presentation]

LILY LEAF BEETLE RESISTANCE BETWEEN LILY HYBRIDS
Caitlyn MacGlaflin, Lisa Tewksbury, and Richard Casagrande
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881
cmac8227@postoffice.uri.edu

The lily leaf beetle (Lilioceris lili), an invasive beetle native to Eurasia, was first discovered in Massachusetts in 1992 and is now distributed throughout New England. The adult and larvae feed exclusively on lilies and are serious pests of both native and cultivated lilies. This experiment was designed to compare the resistance of ‘Black Beauty’ hybrid to the control hybrid ‘Oriental Pink’ against the lily leaf beetle. A resistant lily would allow growers to biologically control the lily leaf beetle without using insecticides. Hybrid resistance was measured by performing a no-choice experiment to evaluate oviposition, larval survival, and adult emergence of the lily leaf beetle. These data were analyzed using a 2-sample t-test assuming equal variances. We found no significant difference between oviposition, number of first instars, and number of adults. However, there was a significant difference in the number of eggs surviving to fourth instars between hybrids. This evidence suggests that ‘Black Beauty’ resistance may be useful in the biological control of the lily leaf beetle. [poster presentation]

SURVEYS OF WINTERING WATERFOWL IN NARRAGANSETT BAY: RECENT DATA AND TRENDS
Rick A. McKinney1, Suzanne H. Paton2, and Jason Osenkowski3
1US EPA, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects
Laboratory, Atlantic Ecology Division, 27 Tarzwell Drive, Narragansett, RI 02882
2USFWS, Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Charlestown, RI 02892
3RI DEM, Division of Fish and Wildlife, West Kingston, RI 02881
mckinney.rick@epa.gov

Twenty-three species of waterfowl can be found wintering in Narragansett Bay, including sea ducks and the rare harlequin duck (Histrionicus histrionicus). Several long-term survey programs, varying in geographic scope and resolution, are currently in place to monitor winter waterfowl populations. Biologists from RI DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife conduct an aerial survey of the Bay and south shore in early January to compliment ongoing East Coast regional surveys. The Narragansett Bay Winter Waterfowl Survey, sponsored by the US Environmental Protection Agency, is a yearly land-based survey by scientists and volunteers from several state and federal organizations at 72 sites along the Bay shoreline. Biologists from the US Fish and Wildlife Service regularly survey waterfowl populations at Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge, an important East Coast wintering site. We propose that these three monitoring programs, differing in scale and the resolution of data they generate, are complimentary and considered together can provide important information on yearly changes in waterfowl abundance. We analyze data from past surveys conducted under each program and report trends in waterfowl abundances at local sites and across all of Narragansett Bay. [poster presentation]

URBAN COASTAL GREENWAYS: A NEW APPROACH TOWARD COASTAL BUFFERS IN RHODE ISLAND
Sunshine Menezes1, Jennifer McCann1, and Grover Fugate2.
1RI Sea Grant, URI Coastal Resources Center, Box 200, South Ferry Rd., Narragansett, RI 02882
2RI Coastal Resources Management Council, 4808 Tower Hill Rd, Wakefield, RI 02879
sunshine@crc.uri.edu

The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) has utilized coastal vegetative buffers as a management tool for over two decades. Vegetative buffers provide many functions, including wildlife habitat, removal of pollutants and sediments from stormwater runoff, and erosion and flood control. While the broad utility of buffers is apparent, it has been difficult to implement the current CRMC buffer regulations within the urbanized setting of upper Narragansett Bay. The difficulties arise from the great expense associated with developing urban sites that are often constrained by utility easements and/or contamination. Under the auspices of a revised Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) for the urban region of the upper Bay (the Metro Bay SAMP), the CRMC has developed a new coastal buffer policy for the Metro Bay, specifically designed to offer the increased flexibility that urban landscapes demand. The new policy has been drafted in consultation with a broad spectrum of SAMP partners, including state agencies, municipalities, scientists, and environmental and business groups. This new approach, the Urban Coastal Greenway Policy, includes a series of basic requirements for vegetation of the development site, stormwater management, and sustainable landscaping. The Policy also varies specific requirements based upon where the development will occur within the Metro Bay region. As a result, more highly urbanized areas will have reduced Greenway widths, while parcels within areas containing high quality habitats will have maximum Greenway width requirements. An additional priority within the Urban Coastal Greenway Policy is the inclusion of public access along and to the shoreline. The CRMC is currently working on a final draft of the policy and will hold a public workshop to initiate the formal public comment period. Ultimately, the CRMC hopes that the Urban Coastal Greenway program will lead to a green corridor along the urban shoreline of the Metro Bay region that will integrate economic development with water quality protection, habitat protection and restoration, and public access. [poster presentation]

ROAD CROSSINGS AS POTENTIAL BARRIERS TO FISH AND WILDLIFE MOVEMENT: THE RIVER AND STREAM CONTINUITY PROJECT
Michael Merrill1, Chris Modesette1, Andrew Lipsky1, Lawson Cary2,
Denise Poyer3, and Scott Jackson4
1USDA-NRCS, 60 Quaker Lane, Suite 46, Warwick, RI 02886 2Trout Unlimited-Narragansett Chapter, 20 Osceola Avenue, Coventry, RI 02816 3Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association, 203b Arcadia Road, Hope Valley, RI 02832 4Univ. of Massachusetts, Dept. of Natural Resources
Conservation, 301A Holdsworth Natural Resources Center, Box 34210, Amherst, MA 01003
michael.merrill@ri.usda.gov

As long linear ecosystems, rivers and streams are particularly vulnerable to fragmentation. A number of human activities can disrupt the continuity of river and stream ecosystems. The most familiar anthropogenic barriers are dams, with approximately 500 dams in Rhode Island. However, there is growing concern about the role of road crossings – and especially culverts – in altering habitats and disrupting habitat continuity. Based on a GIS analysis conducted by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), we estimate that there are over 4,300 road and railroad crossings affecting streams in Rhode Island. A partnership has begun in Rhode Island using information, assessment approaches and standards already developed through a similar project in Massachusetts. Trout Unlimited (TU) and the Wood Pawcatuck Watershed Association (WPWA) volunteers have begun to survey the bridges and culverts in the Upper Wood River. They are testing the volunteer assessment forms and are locating potential restoration projects. We hope to establish a protocol and expand with more partners to assess the remainder of the state. There is great potential for re-connecting many miles of river and stream corridors in Rhode Island. This would not only benefit migratory fish species (e.g., salmon, river herring, shad, etc.), but also resident freshwater fish and wildlife populations (e.g., trout and freshwater mussels, crayfish, etc.). [poster presentation]

PATTERN AND DISTRIBUTIONS OF NON-NATIVE SPECIES IN RHODE ISLAND
Laura A. Meyerson1, Erik Endrulat2, and Lisa Gould2
1 Dept. of Natural Resources Science, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881
2Rhode Island Natural History Survey, Kingston, RI 02881
laura_meyerson@uri.edu

The Rhode Island Natural History Survey has compiled a data base on the distribution of non-native species in Rhode Island townships. Data records reach as far back as the late 1800s, but with the exception of the last 20 years, the vast majority of these records during this time period are for plants. Data sources include vouchered samples from herbaria and natural history museum collections, but more recently have incorporated observational records from a variety of sources (including the on-going work of the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England [IPANE]) that may or may not have been verified. Although the data sets are incomplete, important information can be gained through a spatial and taxonomic analysis of these data. The number of introductions to Rhode Island has clearly increased over time, but the intensity of collection by township and by taxonomic group is highly variable. Plants compose most of the non-native species records in the data base, but other taxa are likely under recognized and there are a significant number of records for cryptogenic species (i.e., of unknown origin). This work presents an initial effort to quantify the patterns of and distributions of non-native species across Rhode Island and to identify the gaps in knowledge and data gathering the need to be addressed. [oral presentation]

THE NARRAGANSETT BAY COYOTE STUDY
Numi Mitchell1, Rachelle Neiheiser1, Lynn Malone2, and Ralph Pratt3
1The Conservation Agency, 67 Howland Avenue, Jamestown, RI 02835
2World Views, 53 Riverside Drive, Barrington, RI 02806
3West Greenwich Animal Hospital, 14 Victory Highway, West Greenwich, RI 02817
numi@theconservationagency.org

The Narragansett Bay Coyote Study is the first ecological study of coyotes in Rhode Island. We used GPS radio collars and GIS to investigate coyote densities and resource use on two islands in Narragansett Bay, Conanicut and Aquidneck Islands, which were both recently colonized by coyotes. We monitored movement ecology of 10 coyotes from 10 different packs. Radio collars transmit GPS positions hourly for one year and will eventually drop off. In addition, we involved 12 local schools and three after-school programs in this real-time scientific exploration project. We developed 12 lesson plans, which are parts of each school’s math and science curriculum for grades 1-12. We also held teacher training workshops on using GIS, which was supported by a grant from ESRI that enabled us to give participants ArcView 9.1 and allows students to examine the coyote data available online. The lesson plans help students investigate coyote habitat and resource use, question existing paradigms, develop hypotheses, and use the data and software to support their arguments. Students present projects in class, and we publish exceptional reports online. Resource use patterns are already apparent in preliminary data. Results should provide insights into the coexistence between humans and coyotes and further develop management strategies. Find us: www.theconservationagency.org/coyote.htm [oral presentation]

ESTABLISHMENT OF DEMONSTRATION SITES TO EDUCATE LANDOWNERS AND RESOURCE PROFESSIONALS ABOUT INVASIVE PLANT CONTROL MEASURES
Roger Monthey and Tom Rawinski
USDA Forest Service, State & Private Forestry, 271 Mast Rd, Durham, NH 03824
rmonthey@fs.fed.us

The USDA Forest Service State & Private Forestry (working with State Forestry agencies, woodland owner organizations including the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine or SWOAM, UAP Timberland, Lucas Tree Experts, non-profits such as National Wild Turkey Federation, and other Federal partners) has established two invasive plant control demonstration areas in Maine and Vermont in 2005. Funding was accomplished both by a Federal grant to the State of Vermont, and in Maine through voluntary contributions of time and equipment from the National Wild Turkey Federation, UAP Timberland, Lucas Tree Experts, and SWOAM. Monitoring plots were established at each site and different control treatments were applied using chemical and mechanical methods. Chemical treatments included foliage spray, cut stump treatments, brush saw with “Sprout-Less” TM herbicide application technology, and basal stem spray applications using a variety of herbicides at varying concentrations. Mechanical treatments included removal of invasive shrubs with loppers, chain saws, and brush saws. Workshops were conducted at Hollis, Maine in August, 2005 and in Brattleboro, Vermont in September 2005. Establishment of invasive plant control demonstration sites can be extremely effective tools in educating landowners and resource professionals about the identification and ecology of these species and possible control methods. [oral presentation]

IMPACTS OF SEALS ON FISH POPULATIONS IN NARRAGANSETT BAY, RHODE ISLAND, USA
Heather Nicotri and Paul Webb
Roger Williams University, One Old Ferry Road, Bristol, RI 02809
softballbabe8483@yahoo.com

Seal populations in New England waters have increased 5-fold since the MMPA took effect in 1972. While seal populations have been expanding, the commercial landings for several fish species in Narragansett Bay, RI, have declined significantly. Winter flounder landings in particular, have declined from over 8 million lbs/year in the early 1980′s, to about 1.3 million lbs/year during the late 1990′s. Suggested among the possible reasons for this decline is an increase in predation by expanding seal populations. We used bioenergetic models to estimate the potential impact on this fishery by seals. With a maximum population of approximately 1000 seals, each consuming 6% of its body mass per day, we calculated that seals would take 88,155-244,875 kg of prey per season (193,941-538,725 lbs/season). This take represents 0.15-0.4% of the total commercial annual landings for all fish species, suggesting minimal impacts on overall fish stocks. If seals were eating winter flounder exclusively, seal predation would be equivalent to 14-41% of the take, however an exclusively flounder diet is highly unlikely, as in other nearby areas flounder makes up only 7-15% of a seal’s diet. We conclude that seals would play only a minor role in the observed decline in fish stocks. [poster presentation]

NOCTURNAL BEHAVIOR OF THE HARBOUR SEAL (PHOCA VITULINA) FROM PRUDENCE ISLAND, RHODE ISLAND
Amy Norris and Paul Webb
Roger Williams University, RWS Box 7026, 1 Old Ferry Rd, Bristol, RI 02809
anorris790@hawks.rwu.edu

Little is known about the nocturnal behavior of seals in Narragansett Bay. During the months of February, March, and April, 2004, a haul-out site was observed on Prudence Island, RI, for harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) behavior, with emphasis on nocturnal activity. Results showed an average of 22 seals hauled out during the day, with an average of 16 per night, but the difference was not significant. The relationship between temperature and seal numbers was weak (r2=0.06), yet a slight trend revealed that seal numbers dropped as temperature increased. Wind speed had little effect (r2=0.02). Visual scanning behavior was divided into constant and semi-constant scanners, with a ratio of 2-4 scanner seals in groups of 10-40, and individual scanners in groups of less than 7, for both day and night observations. [poster presentation]

SUBBOTTOM MAPPING OF GREENWICH BAY, RHODE ISLAND
Bryan A. Oakley and Jon C. Boothroyd
Department of Geosciences and RI Geological Survey, URI, Kingston, RI 02881
bryan_oakley@hotmail.com

High-resolution (2-16 kHz) seismic reflection profiling, a method of imaging the subsurface using acoustic energy (sound waves), was used to map the subbottom environments in Greenwich Bay (GB), Rhode Island during the summers of 2004 and 2005. Approximately 30 km of tracklines were run in and around GB. Depth of penetration ranged from <10 m on the sandy depositional platform, up to 40 m in the deeper central basin where the fine-grained sediments allow for better penetration of the seismic signal. A majority of the subbottom of GB is dominated by stratified sediments deposited during the retreat of the Laurentide ice sheet during the late Wisconsinan deglaciation. These sediments were deposited in a variety of proglacial depositional environments including delta plain/delta slope, lacustrine fan, and glacial lakefloor. In areas where the seismic signal penetrated deep enough, the stratified material shown to be underlain by a strong, parabolic reflector, which the seismic signal cannot penetrate. This ‘acoustic basement’ may represent bedrock, till or coarse-grained proximal fan deposits. Greenwich Bay is an extremely productive arm of Narragansett Bay that supports a variety of shellfish and other aquatic wildlife vital to the state’s shellfish industry and the overall ecological health of Narragansett Bay. This work is being undertaken to: 1) better understand the depositional systems during deglaciation of Narragansett Bay and the subsequent sea level rise, and 2) include the Bay floor geology into a forthcoming Quaternary Map of Rhode Island developed by the Rhode Island Geological Survey. [poster presentation]

HABITAT RESTORATION AND MANAGEMENT OF GRASSLANDS: USING COWS AND MOWING TO CONTROL INVASIVE SHRUBS
Scott Ruhren
Audubon Society of Rhode Island, 12 Sanderson Road, Smithfield, RI 02917
sruhren@asri.org

Restoring vanishing native grassland habitats requires manipulation of succession, nurturing native species, and controlling invasive species. At the Ethel Newman Wildlife Sanctuary in Glocester and Smithfield, autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) was starting to dominate old fields. In a multiple-year project, we are removing autumn olive to restore the structure and function of the target community at this refuge. In subsequent years, mowing – after the new generation of birds has fledged and most nectar sources have dried up for butterflies – will help to perpetuate the grasslands. As implemented on other Audubon refuges, mowing depletes woody plants of their stored resources and increases organic matter and nutrient cycling in fields. Mowing, in concert with a small herd of cows on several tracts of the sanctuary, should reduce colonization of woody invasive species. Ultimately this mixed management strategy could encourage grassland-dependent animals. Birds and grassland vegetation are censused each year. Our goal is to preserve the natural diversity, while enhancing the enjoyment of the people that come to enjoy the refuge. Well-planned stewardship, collaboration with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and a willingness to work carefully with grazing animals should increase restoration success and decrease the impact of autumn olive. [oral presentation]

SMALL DAM EFFECTS ON LOW ORDER STREAMS IN THE PAWCATUCK WATERSHED
Saul Saila, Denise Poyer, Danielle Aube, and Andrea Guillot
Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association, 203B Arcadia Road, Hope Valley, RI 02832
denise.poyer@wpwa.org

Almost all of the low order streams in the Pawcatuck Watershed contain one or more significant obstructions in the form of small dams and culverts. The dams, most of which are obsolete, were likely built for agrarian purposes, sometimes over a century ago. In the summer of 2004, the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed Association did several studies on four streams to determine what, if any, influence these small dams had on stream ecology. The studies included measurements of fish passage parameters, aquatic benthic macroinvertebrate communities above and below the dams and their reservoirs, and temperature changes over the course of the stream. Data from these studies indicate: 1) brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) are weak swimmers and incapable of surmounting even small dams at most water velocities; 2) macroinvertebrate communities are adversely impacted in the reservoir area behind dams, however, they appear to recover fairly rapidly below dams, providing habitat quality remains high; and 3) temperatures in the reservoir and below the dams can be as high as 5o C warmer, taking up to 5 miles to recover. [poster presentation]

DEVELOPING STEWARDS FOR THE FUTURE: STUDENT PROJECTS INVOLVING REFLECTION ON THE NATURAL WORLD
Lynn Sironen and Lynn Wolslegel
North Kingstown High School, Science Dept.,150 Fairway Drive, North Kingstown, RI 02852
lynn_sironen@nksd.net

The students in today’s classrooms will become the stewards of tomorrow’s natural heritage. Helping young adults to develop an awareness and appreciation of the natural world and its processes through science writing is an important step toward preserving our environment. Students in the Advanced Placement Environmental Science course present to the instructor a narrative photographic essay on an ecological issue of their choice. Students in the Advanced Placement and Honors Biology courses conduct sustained observations and create bound journals with pages which incorporate data collection, graphing, illustration and field notes and scientific nomenclature. Both assignments foster a union of natural science and the arts, and develop writing skills in the content area. Examples of student work will be on display. [poster presentation]

FRUIT QUALITY AND CONSUMPTION BY SONGBIRDS DURING AUTUMN MIGRATION
Susan B. Smith1, Jeffrey M. Backer1, Kathleen H. McPherson1, Barbara J. Pierce1,2,
David W. Podlesak1,3, and Scott R. McWilliams1
1Department of Natural Resources Science, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881
2Department of Biology, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT 06825
3Department of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112
sbsmith@mail.uri.edu

Understanding the nutritional requirements of songbirds and the nutritional composition of commonly consumed fruits is required for effective conservation and management of important stopover sites used by migrating birds in southern New England. During autumn migration, we measured the nutrient composition and energy density of nine common fruits on Block Island, RI, and we conducted a field experiment to estimate consumption rates of three of these fruits by birds. Most common fruits on Block Island contained primarily carbohydrates and little fat or protein, although three contained more fat. Consumption by birds of high-fat high-energy Viburnum dentatum fruit and high-carbohydrate low-energy Phytolacca americana fruit was greater than consumption of Aronia melanocarpa, a high-carbohydrate low-energy fruit. Given our estimates of energy and protein requirements of songbirds, migratory birds on Block Island must eat 1-5 times their body mass in fruit wet weight each day to satisfy their energy requirements, and they cannot satisfy their protein requirements by eating only certain high-energy fruits. Because many migratory birds must utilize a range of fruits to meet their dietary needs, conservation and management plans for migratory stopover sites such as Block Island should conserve or develop habitat that contains a variety of preferred fruit-bearing shrubs. [oral presentation]

COMMENTS ON THE WIDELY USED, BUT FREQUENTLY MISUNDERSTOOD LOG-NORMAL DISTRIBUTION
Gerhard Sonder
671 Shermantown Road, Saunderstown, RI 02874
gerhard.sonder@cox.net

My intent is to clarify the nature of the widely used log-normal distribution, which is is often misinterpreted and misunderstood. In most instances the investigator(s) stop after plotting the logarithms of the variable against normal standard deviations and proceed to interpret this plot as if it were the distribution of the actual variable. I show step-by-step the nature and behavior of the log-normal distribution, using actual sample data. I present graphs that demonstrate the wide range of shapes of the log-normal distribution, and explain its frequent applicability to data in various disciplines. Methods to calculate confidence intervals for the parameters of this distribution are also presented; such intervals are almost universally missing in published material, thus completely hiding the effects of sample size. [poster presentation]

PRESERVING 20th CENTURY ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY: THE RHODE ISLAND BRANCH OF THE NEW ENGLAND ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY INITIATIVE
Ninian Stein
Brown University, Department of Anthropology Box 1921, Providence, RI 02912
ninian@brown.edu

Many of those who worked on environmental causes in Rhode Island in the early to mid-20th century are retiring, often recycling their files and leaving little documentation of their work and experiences behind. Losing this knowledge places future generations at a disadvantage, as understanding past attempts is key to designing successful new environmental initiatives. This oral presentation discusses how the Rhode Island branch of the New England Environmental History Initiative (NEEHI) is seeking to ensure that memories, documents and historical data relating to the rise of environmental concerns in the state are saved for future generations. NEEHI members are working with archives across the state to locate appropriate repositories for those with records to donate, locating documents before they are lost and collecting oral histories of key Rhode Islanders who worked for environmental change. Many members of the Rhode Island Natural History Survey have saved plants, animals and entire ecosystems across the state. Do you have old records or stories to share or are you a recent activist interested in learning about the history of environmental action in Rhode Island? Come find out more about NEEHI-Rhode Island and how you can get involved. [oral presentation]

LOSS OF NATIVE AMERICAN BEACHGRASS TO INVASIVE JAPANESE BLACK PINE AT NINIGRET CONSERVATION AREA, CHARLESTOWN, RHODE ISLAND
Michael Tarasevich
Department of Geosciences, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881
eastbeachdune@hotmail.com

The Ninigret Conservation Area, a 3.5-mile stretch of barrier beach, is located at East Beach in Charlestown, Rhode Island. Based on my aerial photo interpretation, the barrier beach was formerly dominated by American beachgrass (Ammophila breviligulata), a native species, before it was acquired by the State of Rhode Island by eminent domain in the late 1960′s, as part of the Green Acres Program. Between 1972 and 1978, several thousand Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergiana) seedlings were planted on the back barrier of the Ninigret Conservation Area. My analysis of aerial photos of East Beach beginning in 1939 to the present indicates that American beachgrass was the dominant vegetation type prior to the planting of the Japanese Black Pine trees. The aerial photos also indicate that the pine trees are spreading over large tracks of the back barrier beach and out competing native grasses. Many of the trees on the barrier are between 18-30 feet tall. The understory in areas dominated by black pines is covered with a blanket of pine needles up to several inches thick, which destroyed the native flora. I surveyed the barrier beach and found several thousand pine seedlings that could not be detected from aerial photos. If immediate action is not taken to limit the spread of these seedlings, American beachgrass may be extirpated from the Ninigret Conservation Area. [poster presentation]

USE OF BENTHIC INFAUNA TO CHARACTERIZE ZOSTERA MARINA TRANSPLANT BED MATURITY
Susan Tuxbury1, Michelle Denault1, Ralph Riccio1, Wendy Norden2, Stan Cobb3
1Save The Bay, 434 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908
2DOC Marine Conservation Unit, 53 Boulcott St., Wellington, New Zealand
3Department of Biological Sciences, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881
stuxbury@savebay.org

Eelgrass (Zostera marina) is widely recognized as an important habitat for shallow water ecosystems. Narragansett Bay has shown a dramatic decline in eelgrass populations since the 1930′s. Progressive habitat restoration methods have sought to replenish eelgrass beds through transplanting. During the 2002 field season, Save The Bay, Inc. conducted three large-scale transplants using the TERFTM (Transplant Eelgrass Remotely with Frames) method (Short et al. 2002). The three transplant sites were barren, unvegetated, sand flats that sustained natural healthy beds at one time. Benthic faunal communities of transplant beds, natural beds, and unvegetated areas were analyzed to compare richness, diversity, and abundance. Three years of samples taken during the 2002 through 2004 field seasons were compared to determine if the transplant sites are approaching a state of maturity similar to natural beds. [poster presentation]

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ANTHROPOGENIC NITROGEN INPUTS TO NARRAGANSETT BAY
Matthew A. Vadeboncoeur, Donald E. Pryor, and Steven P. Hamburg
Center for Environmental Studies, Brown University, Box 1943, Providence, RI 02912
matthew_vadeboncoeur@brown.edu

Over the past two centuries, the nitrogen cycle in the Narragansett Bay watershed has been substantially altered by a large and growing human population. However, the sources of anthropogenic N have not been constant over time. Agriculture, once the dominant land use within the watershed, has given way to reforestation and later to suburbanization. Wastewater treatment has concentrated inputs of human waste-derived N. Fossil fuel use has led to high levels of atmospheric deposition. We examine population trends, land use history, changes in agricultural practices, and technological innovations within a spatially explicit framework in order to better understand the changes in nitrogen inputs to the bay over time. The spatial distribution of N sources within the watershed has changed dramatically over last century. Direct inputs to the lower bay may be lower today than in the past. For example, we estimate that livestock waste N production on Aquidneck Island in 1885 was 50% greater than the island’s current human waste N production. On the other hand, direct inputs to the upper bay have increased as the human population has grown, sewer systems have been installed, and impervious surface cover has increased. [poster presentation]

EFFECTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL HETEROGENEITY ON THE DISTRIBUTION OF CHAETOPSIS FLIES, POTENTIAL BIOLOGICAL CONTROL AGENTS AGAINST SPARTINA GRASSES
David Viola, Lisa Tewksbury, and Richard Casagrande
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881
dviola@myrealbox.com

The picture-winged flies Chaetopsis aenea and C. apicalis are potential biological control agents against invasive Spartina grasses in Pacific coast intertidal areas. Previous work identified considerable variation in densities of larvae within and among sites. The present study sampled stems of Spartina along a marsh elevation gradient at three Rhode Island salt marshes. Analyses were conducted to elucidate patterns in Chaetopsis densities and marsh characteristics. Stem characteristics and salinities vary across sites likely due to the influence of geologic and geopgraphic setting. Within-site variation is largely attributable to marsh zonation, and Chaetopsis densities reflect this, although the direction of response is not consistent across all sites. Studies of ecologically similar species implicate plant quality as a strong influence on insect densities. Because changes in plant quality are mediated by the physical environment, marsh topology at the local scale may thus determine how environmental factors combine to act upon insect populations. [poster presentation]

THE PLANT CONSERVATION VOLUNTEER CORPS – RARE PLANT MONITORING AND MANAGEMENT
Anne Wagner and Ailene Kane
Plant Conservation Volunteer Program, New England Wild Flower Society,
180 Hemenway Road, Framingham, MA 01701
annebwagner@cox.net

The Plant Conservation Volunteer (PCV) Corps is a component of the New England Plant Conservation Program (NEPCoP), which is a voluntary alliance of organizations and individuals committed to the protection of the native flora of our region and administered by New England Wild Flower Society (NEWFS). PCVs conduct rare plant monitoring to gain a current assessment of the status of rare species in New England. All data collected by PCVs is submitted to state natural heritage programs. In Rhode Island, PCVs are actively monitoring 255 rare plants sites. Through their monitoring, PCVs have found invasive species and succession are the primary threat to Rhode Island’s rare plant populations. In fact, of the 255 populations being monitored, 72 (28%) have been identified as needing some kind of management in order to maintain the required habitat for the rare species. Volunteers will be involved in conducting much of this management in the future. [poster presentation]

WHO CARES ABOUT BROOK TROUT? WHO WILL PROTECT THE COLD WATER STREAMS THEY REQUIRE?
Harold Ward, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Studies
Brown University, Box 1943, Providence, RI 02912
harold_ward@brown.edu

The health of the aquatic ecosystems in our freshwater streams depends on adequate stream flow profiles. Because these systems evolved before human alteration of flows, the ideal flow profiles are higher in the winter and spring and lower in summer and early fall. Merely protecting a minimum summer flow is not sufficient to protect the ecosystem. Pumping groundwater from wells will reduce stream flow and excessive pumping can increase stream temperatures and reduce flows below critical levels. Currently, with few exceptions, the only limit on what can be pumped from an existing well in Rhode Island is what the pump in that well can provide. There are no stream flow standards and the only limits on new wells derive from wetland protection legislation. Development in the central and southern regions of the state will depend in whole or in part on groundwater. Some streams (the Hunt, the Chipuxet and the Mink) are already stressed, and increased withdrawals are planned from each. Withdrawals from wells in these subbasins double during the summer, largely from the outdoor use of water, just at the time that streamflows are at their lowest and stream temperatures are at their highest. There is an urgent need in Rhode Island to develop stream flow standards, to reduce summer peak consumption, to increase the efficiency of water use, and to put an effective water allocation policy in place. [oral presentation]

GRASSLAND RESTORATION AT THE NATURE CONSERVANCY’S FRANCIS C. CARTER MEMORIAL PRESERVE: A COOPERATIVE EFFORT OF TNC, RINHS, AND NRCS
Cheryl Wiitala, Julie Lundgren, and Kevin Ruddock
The Nature Conservancy, 159 Waterman St., Providence, RI 02906
cwiitala@tnc.org

The Francis C. Carter Memorial Preserve in Charlestown, RI is currently one of three known breeding sites in the state for the grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), a once common, but now regionally rare bird species. Grassland birds have declined dramatically since the turn of the century due to changing agricultural practices and land use. In 2002, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) began restoring a 35 acre abandoned field/shrubland to grassland, primarily to improve conditions for grasshopper sparrows. Numerous other species of birds, Lepidoptera, and native plants will also benefit from the regime. To prevent the existing old field from reverting to forest, invading pitch pine and other shrubs were removed. TNC contracted with RINHS to conduct inventories on vegetation, breeding birds, and small mammals. In addition, a two-year inventory of Lepidoptera was completed by Mark Mello. Annual monitoring of grasshopper sparrows has been conducted since 2003 by the RINHS. These inventories serve as baseline data for TNC to monitor the effect of management. With the award of a WHIP grant from NRCS, TNC will continue grassland management with additional control and removal of woody species and non-native invasive plants, mowing, and development of a transition zone bordering the grassland. [poster presentation]

INSECT INFESTATION IN NATIVE AND EXOTIC PHRAGMITES AUSTRALIS
Jason Winiarski1, Lisa Tewksbury1, Richard Casagrande1, and Adam Lambert2
1Department of Plant Sciences, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881
2Department of Biology, Providence College, Providence, RI 02918
jwiniarski@mail.uri.edu

An invasive European genotype of Phragmites australis is rapidly spreading across the United States, especially along the East Coast. This aggressive exotic genotype is displacing native wetland plants and is also believed to have caused the local extinction of native genotypes of Phragmites. Twenty-six exotic insect herbivores have been accidentally introduced along with the exotic P. australis. We hypothesized that these insects prefer to feed on the native genotype of P. australis rather than the introduced genotype, therefore playing a role in the decline of native populations. We conducted insect surveys for three of the introduced herbivores and two native insects. Surveys were performed in native and exotic stands of P. australis at test sites in Wells, Maine, and Block Island, RI from June to September, 2005. We determined that insect infestation was significantly different between native and exotic populations of P. australis and varied between the Maine and Rhode Island sites. Differences between native and exotic genotypes of P. australis may be attributed to plant architecture, defenses and nutritional quality. Both life history characteristics and environmental factors also need to be studied to elucidate the determinants of biogeographical distribution of insect herbivores in native and exotic P. australis. [poster presentation]