Impacts of Anthropogenic Noise on Litter Chemistry and Decomposition Processes in a Semi-Arid Ecosystem
Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)
Type of Culminating Activity
Master of Science in Biology
Marie-Anne de Graaff, Ph.D.
Jesse R. Barber, Ph.D.
Jennifer Forbey, Ph.D.
Chronic anthropogenic noise in ecosystems can change avian/arthropod/plant interactions, but it is unclear how changes in herbivory pressure affects functional traits of plants. We asked how anthropogenic noise, mediated through changes in arthropod abundance, altered timing of leaf senesce, chemical composition (i.e. C/N ratios, total phenolics) and decomposition rates of leaf litter in Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata spp. wyo.). Additionally, we asked if changes in arthropod abundance altered secondary metabolites (i.e. monoterpenes) in foliage. We broadcasted recorded gas compressor station noise (24hrs/day) from April through October 2015 in a sagebrush steppe ecosystem of Idaho, USA. We quantified quantity, chemical composition (i.e. C/N ratios, total phenolics) and decomposition rates of leaf litter and changes to monoterpene concentrations. We found that: (1) changes to top down forces resulting from noise treatments did not impact the leaf abscission rates, the chemical composition of leaf litter or litter decomposition and (2) time of year significantly affected quantity, chemical composition (i.e. C/N ratios and phenolic concentrations) and decomposition of leaf litter. Our research indicates that increases in anthropogenic noise over one growing season does not impact litter chemistry or decomposition processes. Future research should evaluate whether prolonged noise-induced changes in herbivory lead to changes in litter chemistry and decomposition.
Martinez, Peggy, "Impacts of Anthropogenic Noise on Litter Chemistry and Decomposition Processes in a Semi-Arid Ecosystem" (2017). Boise State University Theses and Dissertations. 1350.