watch videos on butterflies or observe butterflies and come up with a physiologically (thermoregulation, water balance, locomotion, energetics, etc) based question that could be experimentally tested using the butterflies. then write-up a short (limit of 350 words, not including references) mock grant proposal addressing their question, its significance, what is known, and how they plan to test their hypothesis. This proposal should include in-text citations of peer-reviewed articles that address the background information on the topic. Exemplary grant proposals (not on butterflies or necessarily physiology) are attached to illustrate how these types of proposals should be;P.S The proposed experiment can have a wide range of focus (observational, behavioral, ecological, etc.) as long as it has, and addresses, physiological underpinnings.;Attachments Preview;Example proposal 1.doc Download Attachment;Differences in Sperm Characteristics and Fertilization Success Across Populations;of the American Horseshoe Crab, Limulus polyphemus;The game model theory of sperm competition predicts that males who experience;high levels of sperm competition should invest more resources in sperm development and;expenditure1. Recent studies have supported this idea, showing both that species in which;sperm competition is common generally have larger testes relative to body mass than;species with little sperm competition,2 and that, within a population, males who;experience more sperm competition than competing males (which often occurs in species;with alternative reproductive tactics) show sperm characteristic adaptations that improve;fertilization success, specifically sperm length and concentration density. 3,4 No study;however, has compared sperm characteristics and fertilization success between isolated;populations of the same species where levels of sperm competition differ. I propose to;conduct such a study with the American Horseshoe Crab, Limulus polyphemus.;Horseshoe crabs are the ideal subject for this experiment because males and;females spawn in the external medium. Since any male can join a spawning pair, external;fertilization limits the ability of the female to choose preferentially one males sperm;over anothers, therefore, sperm allocation and sperm characteristics are important factors;in determining male fertilization success. Limulus polyphemus range from the coast of;Maine to the Yucatan Peninsula with groups of populations that are genetically distinct.5;Due to differences in climate and thus breeding season length, the operational sex ratio;(OSR) amongst the horseshoe crab populations varies6 with colder climates leading to a;higher male biased OSR. Because sperm characteristics are largely heritable and because;any differences in sperm will affect a males fertilization success rate, I hypothesize that;horseshoe crabs from northern populations will have faster and more densely;concentrated sperm than males from Florida, which in turn will have faster and more;dense sperm than males from the Yucatan.;I will conduct the experiment in two phases. Through electro-stimulus7, 2ml of;sperm will be collected from 40 male horseshoe crabs in both the Yucatan Peninsula and;Delaware Bay (which has the highest male biased OSR6) along with a tissue sample. The;collected seminal fluid will be mixed with a cryoprotectant solution of diluted chicken;egg yolk, 0.4 M sucrose, 10mM sodium bicarbonate, and 2mM pentoxyfylline, frozen;and sent to Zoology Department at the University of Florida. Upon thawing in a heated;bath, the number the spermatozoa per ml seminal fluid and the average length of the;spermatozoa will be measured using a hemacytometer.;Additionally, the sperm samples will be randomly paired so that each sample;from one site is matched with a sample from the other site. I will mix 0.5ml of each;sample with its pair and dilute the solution with 9ml of seawater.7 This solution will then;be squirted over an unfertilized egg collected at Seahorse Key, Fl. After the egg develops;a paternity analysis using microsatellites will be conducted.;The findings of this study will be an integral part of a larger study examining;sperm characteristics and sperm allocation in horseshoe crabs.;Literature Cited;Ball, M.A. & Parker, G.A. (1996) Sperm Competition Games: External Fertilization and;Adaptive Infertility. Journal of Theoretical Biology. 180 (2), 141 - 150;2;Byrne, P.G. et al. (2002) Sperm competition selects for increased testes mass in Australian frogs.;Jour. Evol. Biol. 15, 347 - 355;3;Neff, B.D. et al (2003) Sperm investment and alternative mating tactics in bluegill sunfish;(Lepomis macrochirus). Behav. Ecol. 14, 634 - 641;4;Burness, G. et al. (2004) Sperm swimming speed and energetics vary with sperm competition risk;in bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus). Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 56, 65 - 70;5;King, T.L. et al.(2005) Regional differentiation and sex-biased dispersal among populations of the;horseshoe crab Limulus polyphemus. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 134 (2), 441;465;6;Brockmann, H.J. & Smith, M.D. In Revision Reproductive Competition and Sexual Selection in;Horseshoe Crabs. In: Biology and Conservation of Horseshoe Crabs, eds. J. Tanacredi, M.L.;Botton, & D. Smith. Springer Publishers.;7;Brockmann, H.J. et al. (2000) Paternity in horseshoe crabs when spawning in multi-male groups.;Animal Behaviour. 60, 837-849.;1;View Full Attachment;Example proposal 3.doc Download Attachment;Mapping Variation in Stable Isotope Composition of the American Alligator: Need;For Sample Site Validation;The use of stable isotope analysis in animal ecology has become increasingly;popular, following the discovery of the relationship between an organisms isotopic;signature and that of their diet. Stable isotopes (mainly Carbon and Nitrogen) can be;used in ecological studies under two main observations: (1) an animals isotopic signature;resembles that of its diet 2, 3, 4 and (2) the isotopic signature of an animal does not;perfectly match that of its diet5. The first being used to determine the underlying source;of production and the later used to determine placement within food web of interest 1, 6.;Basically, the isotopic signature of an animals tissue is that of its diet plus or minus a;small amount (deemed the isotopic discrimination factor) 6. In general the isotopic;discrimination factor of an animals tissue is within a normal range of values, on average;3-4 per trophic transfer for 15N and 1 per trophic transfer for 14C 1, 6. These average;values are not always accurate for all species, especially for ectothermic organisms such;as sea turtles and alligators 7. In order to determine these values, detailed growth studies;should be performed on species on a tissue specific basis. In the case of the American;alligator no such studies exist which characterize isotopic values for any tissue type.;As a result this will be the first step in obtaining these important values for ecological;research.;The first step is to quantify any isotopic variation in the particular tissue of;interest through the replicated sampling of that tissue across the body plan of the;organism. This will validate sampling locations and provide a working map of variation;across the body plan of the target organism.;I am proposing to sample and analyze keratinized scute tissue from the skin of;two adult alligators, then quantify isotopic changes across the body plan. I have obtained;two hides from a private source and will not need to collect samples from any live;individuals. Sampling will consist of removing small sections of tissue using a biopsy;punch, taken in lateral and longitudinal series across body areas of interest (i.e. tail;ventral-dorsal surfaces, and extremities). In addition, at each sampling location;representative sub-samples will be collected from an entire scute and measured for;changes in the thickness across the individual scute. Scute tissue is formed in layers over;time and may be able to provide a graded time series of dietary information, this method;has been used in sea turtle research and is of particular interest for use on alligators 7, 8.;Once samples h
watch videos on butterflies or observe butterflies and come up with a physiologically
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