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USGS - science for a changing world

Kevin D. Lafferty

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The nearshore benthic habitat of the Santa Barbara coast and Channel Islands supports a diversity of marine life that are commercially, recreationally, and intrinsically valuable. Some of these resources are known to be endangered including a variety of rockfish and the White Abalone. State and National agencies have been mandated to preserve and enhance these resources and require detailed habitat characterization in order to do so. This project will characterize and map the benthic habitat in areas that have been selected because they have been set aside as National Sanctuaries or State Preserves, or are areas of ongoing or planned fish population studies. Various management strategies are being developed to protect...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Open-File Report
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Epidemiological theory suggests that pathogens will not cause host extinctions because agents of disease should fade out when the host population is driven below a threshold density. Nevertheless, infectious diseases have threatened species with extinction on local scales by maintaining high incidence and the ability to spread efficiently even as host populations decline. Intertidal black abalone (Haliotis cracherodii), but not other abalone species, went extinct locally throughout much of southern California following the emergence of a Rickettsiales-like pathogen in the mid-1980s. The rickettsial disease, a condition known as withering syndrome (WS), and associated mortality occur at elevated water temperatures....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecology
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In order to better understand the nature of disturbances to wintering snowy plovers, I observed snowy plovers and activities that might disturb them at a beach near Devereux Slough in Santa Barbara, California, USA. Disturbance (activity that caused plovers to move or fly) to wintering populations of threatened western snowy plovers was 16 times higher at a public beach than at protected beaches. Wintering plovers reacted to disturbance at half the distance (∼40 m) as has been reported for breeding snowy plovers (∼80 m). Humans, dogs, crows and other birds were the main sources of disturbance on the public beach, and each snowy plover was disturbed, on average, once every 27 weekend min and once every 43 weekday...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
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Members of the Society, President Conn, colleagues, friends, and particularly students, the Ward Medal recipient, from Clarke Read onward, traditionally recounts how their career was shaped. A decade ago, in a crumbling Kona hotel, the ASP's own tattooed lady, Janine Caira, opened her Ward Medal address with: “To all future Ward Medalists, many of whom I trust are sitting in the audience out there today, I say: savor the moment! You have no idea how much easier it is to be sitting out there where you are than standing up here where I am” (Caira 1998). I certainly didn't imagine that Janine was delivering her advice to me and it is presumptuous to imagine my story is a template for shaping a career. As the title...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Parasitology
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The encounter/compatibility paradigm of host specificity provides three qualitative pathways to the success or failure of a potential host-parasite interaction. It is usually impossible to distinguish between two of these (encounter and compatibility filters closed versus encounter filter open and compatibility filter closed) because unsuccessful infection attempts are difficult to observe in nature. We were able to open the encounter filter under experimental laboratory conditions. Our analytical system used the rhizocephalan barnacle, Sacculina carcini, a parasitic castrator of the European green crab, Carcinus maenas, and Pachygrapsus marmoratus, a native European crab that occurs with C. maenas but is not parasitized...
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