Authors' Affiliations

Rebecca Steele, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Darrell Moore, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Blaine Schubert, Department of Geosciences, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Rebecca Wilson, Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Graduate Studies, Quillen College of Medicine, Johnson City, TN. Clinton Elmore, Department of Geosciences, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN. Thomas C. Jones, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN.

Location

Ballroom

Start Date

4-12-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

4-12-2019 2:30 PM

Poster Number

7

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

Biological Sciences

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Thomas Jones

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Graduate Student-Master’s

Project's Category

Biological Adaptation, Circadian Rhythms, Ecology

Abstract Text

Circadian clocks are endogenous time keeping mechanisms that are ubiquitous among animals. They enable coordination of many essential biological and metabolic processes in relation to the 24 hour light cycle on earth. However, there are many habitats on earth that are not subject to this light cycle. This study aims to look at the potential genetic drift of the circadian rhythm of a subterranean spider, Meta ovalis, as well as gathering general natural history information on this under-studied spider. This study will fill general gaps in knowledge of this spider and its habitat, highlight the importance of studying organisms within a subterranean environment, and place importance on cave conservation and acquiring knowledge of these specialized, and sensitive species. This study integrates circadian and foraging theory to evaluate species as circadian specialists and generalists based on how narrowly or widely their activity is spread over the 24 h cycle. We suggest that M. ovalis benefits from a generalist strategy, showing small bursts of focused activity widely dispersed across the 24 h cycle, allowing it to capture prey opportunistically whenever it is available. Live spiders were collected from area caves, monitored in an environment controlled for light and temperature, and returned to their cave of origin. The activity of each spider was analyzed for differences in circadian activity among and between populations to determine if there is a significant drift of the circadian strategy between isolated populations of Meta ovalis. We expect to see a different circadian strategy implemented between populations due to drift from the spiders being isolated from other populations.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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Apr 12th, 9:00 AM Apr 12th, 2:30 PM

Chronoecology of the Cave Dwelling Orb-Weaver Spider, Meta ovalis (Araneae: Tetragnathidae)

Ballroom

Circadian clocks are endogenous time keeping mechanisms that are ubiquitous among animals. They enable coordination of many essential biological and metabolic processes in relation to the 24 hour light cycle on earth. However, there are many habitats on earth that are not subject to this light cycle. This study aims to look at the potential genetic drift of the circadian rhythm of a subterranean spider, Meta ovalis, as well as gathering general natural history information on this under-studied spider. This study will fill general gaps in knowledge of this spider and its habitat, highlight the importance of studying organisms within a subterranean environment, and place importance on cave conservation and acquiring knowledge of these specialized, and sensitive species. This study integrates circadian and foraging theory to evaluate species as circadian specialists and generalists based on how narrowly or widely their activity is spread over the 24 h cycle. We suggest that M. ovalis benefits from a generalist strategy, showing small bursts of focused activity widely dispersed across the 24 h cycle, allowing it to capture prey opportunistically whenever it is available. Live spiders were collected from area caves, monitored in an environment controlled for light and temperature, and returned to their cave of origin. The activity of each spider was analyzed for differences in circadian activity among and between populations to determine if there is a significant drift of the circadian strategy between isolated populations of Meta ovalis. We expect to see a different circadian strategy implemented between populations due to drift from the spiders being isolated from other populations.