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The Gulf of Maine has recently experienced its warmest 5-year period (2015–2020) in the instrumental record. This warming was associated with a decline in the signature subarctic zooplankton species, Calanus finmarchicus. The temperature changes have also led to impacts on commercial species such as Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and American lobster (Homarus americanus) and protected species including Atlantic puffins (Fratercula arctica) and northern right whales (Eubalaena glacialis). The recent period also saw a decline in Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) recruitment and an increase in novel harmful algal species, although these have not been attributed to the recent warming. Here, we use an ensemble of numerical...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract: A significant number of historically existing wetlands that naturally stored rainwater and attenuated flood peaks have now been drained and employed as new farming areas. Beyond the water quality and flow problem, this has resulted in loss of natural habitats of diverse ecological species. Restoring wetlands have hence been proposed as a potential conservation strategy to help attenuate many of these problems. In this study a spatial, multi-objective optimization study of new potential wetlands was carried out to achieve biodiversity improvements in addition to flood reduction benefits and water quality improvements. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used to simulate flow and water quality,...
Abstract (from ESA): Estimating population size and resource selection functions (RSFs) are common approaches in applied ecology for addressing wildlife conservation and management objectives. Traditionally such approaches have been undertaken separately with different sources of data. Spatial capture–recapture (SCR) provides a hierarchical framework for jointly estimating density and multi‐scale resource selection, and data integration techniques provide opportunities for improving inferences from SCR models. Despite the added benefits, there have been few applications of SCR‐RSF integration, potentially due to complexities of specifying and fitting such models. Here, we extend a previous integrated SCR‐RSF model...
This report provides an overview of the state of the science for climate impacts and adaptation options across the NEAFWA region and for Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need (RSGCN) and associated habitats.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from ESA Journals): Climate change is a well-documented driver and threat multiplier of infectious disease in wildlife populations. However, wildlife disease management and climate-change adaptation have largely operated in isolation. To improve conservation outcomes, we consider the role of climate adaptation in initiating or exacerbating the transmission and spread of wildlife disease and the deleterious effects thereof, as illustrated through several case studies. We offer insights into best practices for disease-smart adaptation, including a checklist of key factors for assessing disease risks early in the climate adaptation process. By assessing risk, incorporating uncertainty, planning for change,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Nature Climate Change): Many varieties of short-duration extreme weather pose a threat to global crop production, food security and farmer livelihoods1,2,3,4. Hourly exposure to extreme heat has been identified as detrimental to crop yields1,5; however, the influence of hourly rainfall intensity and extremes on yields remains unknown4,6,7. Here, we show that while maize and soy yields in the United States are severely damaged by the rarest hourly rainfall extremes (≥50 mm hr−1), they benefit from heavy rainfall up to 20 mm hr−1, roughly the heaviest downpour of the year on average. We also find that yields decrease in response to drizzle (0.1–1 mm hr−1), revealing a complex pattern of yield sensitivity...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from PLOS ONE): Adequate diversity and abundance of native seed for large-scale grassland restorations often require commercially produced seed from distant sources. However, as sourcing distance increases, the likelihood of inadvertent introduction of multiple novel, non-native weed species as seed contaminants also increases. We created a model to determine an “optimal maximum distance” that would maximize availability of native prairie seed from commercial sources while minimizing the risk of novel invasive weeds via contamination. The model focused on the central portion of the Level II temperate prairie ecoregion in the Midwest US. The median optimal maximum distance from which to source seed was...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Biological Invasions): Effective natural resource management and policy is contingent on information generated by research. Conversely, the applicability of research depends on whether it is responsive to the needs and constraints of resource managers and policy makers. However, many scientific fields including invasion ecology suffer from a disconnect between research and practice. Despite strong socio-political imperatives, evidenced by extensive funding dedicated to addressing invasive species, the pairing of invasion ecology with stakeholder needs to support effective management and policy is lacking. As a potential solution, we propose translational invasion ecology (TIE). As an extension of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
With global efforts to restore grassland ecosystems, researchers and land management practitioners are working to reconstruct habitat that will persist and withstand stresses associated with climate change. Part of these efforts involve movement of plant material potentially adapted to future climate conditions from native habitat or seed production locations to a new restoration site. Restoration practice often follows this plant-centered, top-down approach. However, we suggest that restoration of belowground interactions, namely between plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi or rhizobia, is important for restoring resilient grasslands. In this synthesis we highlight these interactions and offer insight into how...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Ecosphere): Spruce–fir (Picea–Abies) forests of the North American Acadian Forest Region are at risk of disappearing from the northeastern United States and Canada due to climate change. Species distribution models (SDMs) have been used to predict changes in this critical transitional ecosystem in the past, but none have addressed how seasonal patterns of temperature and precipitation interact to influence tree species abundance. Inferences have also been limited by contemporary inventory data that could not fully characterize species ranges because they either, (1) only sampled species occurrence after large-scale human disturbance and settlement, or (2) did not span critical geopolitical boundaries...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
This Interagency Agreement brings together researchers from the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, and their partners to examine the impacts of climate change on fish, wildlife, and habitats in the northeastern U.S., focused especially on northern and montane species. As climate change causes substantial effects in the northeastern U.S. region, species and ecosystems there are responding. Agency staff are seeking to maintain populations and enable climate adaptation, but these actions require predictions of how species will respond both to climate change and management action. This research uses the paradigms of translational ecology and knowledge coproduction to bring together scientists and resource...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Wiley): The brown-headed nuthatch (Sitta pusilla) was likely extirpated from Missouri in the early 1900s as a result of habitat loss through extensive logging. Conservation partners including the Missouri Department of Conservation, United States Forest Service, University of Missouri, and others, relocated 102 brown-headed nuthatches from Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas to Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri in 2020 and 2021 to establish a local population. We tracked 50 individuals for 24 ± 11 (median ± SD) days after release using radio telemetry and monitored movements in relation to sex and whether a bird was captured alone or as part of a group. We examined 25-day survival using a spatial...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Winter drawdown (WD) is a common lake management tool for multiple purposes such as flood control, aquatic vegetation reduction, and lake infrastructure maintenance. To minimize adverse impacts to a lake’s ecosystem, regulatory agencies may provide managers with general guidelines for drawdown and refill timing, drawdown magnitude, and outflow limitations. However, there is significant uncertainty associated with the potential to meet management targets due to variability in lake characteristics and hydrometeorology of each lake’s basin, making the use of modeling tools a necessity. In this context, we developed a hydrological modeling framework for lake water level drawdown management (HMF-Lake) and evaluated it...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from CanadianSciencePub): Sustaining the structure, function, and services provided by forest ecosystems in the face of changing climate and disturbance regimes represents a grand challenge for forest managers and policy makers. To address this challenge, a range of adaptation approaches have been proposed centered on conferring ecosystem resilience and adaptive capacity; however, considerable uncertainty exists regarding how to translate these broad and often theoretical adaptation frameworks to on-the-ground practice. Complicating this issue has been movement away, in some cases, from other recent advances in forest management, namely ecological silviculture strategies that often focus on restoration....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Ecological Society of America): Successful management of natural resources requires local action that adapts to larger‐scale environmental changes in order to maintain populations within the safe operating space (SOS) of acceptable conditions. Here, we identify the boundaries of the SOS for a managed freshwater fishery in the first empirical test of the SOS concept applied to management of harvested resources. Walleye (Sander vitreus) are popular sport fish with declining populations in many North American lakes, and understanding the causes of and responding to these changes is a high priority for fisheries management. We evaluated the role of changing water clarity and temperature in the decline...
Abstract (from Ecological Society of America): Population dynamics are often correlated in space and time due to correlations in environmental drivers as well as synchrony induced by individual dispersal. Many statistical analyses of populations ignore potential autocorrelations and assume that survey methods (distance and time between samples) eliminate these correlations, allowing samples to be treated independently. If these assumptions are incorrect, results and therefore inference may be biased and uncertainty underestimated. We developed a novel statistical method to account for spatiotemporal correlations within dendritic stream networks, while accounting for imperfect detection in the surveys. Through simulations,...
Abstract: Wetland restoration mitigates effects of agricultural development on water quality, flooding, and habitat loss. Multi-objective optimization for wetland locations and sizes has not included objective functions for water quality, hydrology, and habitat in unison, limiting analysis of trade-offs among these ecosystem services. This study establishes two methods to improve the accuracy of simulating wetland restoration with an optimization-simulation framework for analysis of trade-offs: identification of wetland type and constraining wetland and drainage area configurations to potential field-scale wetlands in the study area. Determination of a wetland habitat type used characteristics of the Hydrogeomorphic...
Abstract (from SpringerLink): The resilience of socio-ecological systems to sea level rise, storms and flooding can be enhanced when coastal habitats are used as natural infrastructure. Grey infrastructure has long been used for coastal flood protection but can lead to unintended negative impacts. Natural infrastructure often provides similar services as well as added benefits that support short- and long-term biological, cultural, social, and economic goals. While natural infrastructure is becoming more widespread in practice, it often represents a relatively small fraction within portfolios of coastal risk-reducing strategies compared to more traditional grey infrastructure. This study provides a comprehensive...
Abstract (from AcademicOUP): The introduced emerald ash borer (EAB) represents the costliest invasive forest insect in US history, causing significant mortality of ash species across much of eastern North America as well as in Colorado and Oregon. Few surviving overstory ash trees exist in areas first invaded by EAB, such as the Lake States region; however, forests with healthy, mature ash remain in recently invaded regions, such as the northeastern United States. Given the importance of ash to cultural lifeways of Indigenous peoples and the ecology and economies of working forest lands, there is growing interest in applying protection measures to maintain ash in forested settings. We further develop our call for...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Marine and Coastal Fisheries): The timing of biological events in plants and animals, such as migration and reproduction, is shifting due to climate change. Anadromous fishes are particularly susceptible to these shifts as they are subject to strong seasonal cycles when transitioning between marine and freshwater habitats to spawn. We used linear models to determine the extent of phenological shifts in adult Alewife Alosa pseudoharengus as they migrated from ocean to freshwater environments during spring to spawn at 12 sites along the northeastern USA. We also evaluated broadscale oceanic and atmospheric drivers that trigger their movements from offshore to inland habitats, including sea surface temperature,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation