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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 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 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 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
Our ability to effectively manage wildlife in North America is founded in an understanding of how our actions and the environment influence wildlife populations. Current practices use population monitoring data from the past to determine key ecological relationships and make predictions about future population status. In most cases, including the regulation of waterfowl hunting in North America, these forecasts assume that the environmental conditions observed in the past will remain the same in the future. However, climate change is influencing wildlife populations in many dynamic and uncertain ways, leading to a situation in which our observations of the past are poor predictors of the future. If we continue to...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from arXiv): This paper introduces a novel framework for combining scientific knowledge of physics-based models with neural networks to advance scientific discovery. This framework, termed as physics-guided neural network (PGNN), leverages the output of physics-based model simulations along with observational features to generate predictions using a neural network architecture. Further, this paper presents a novel framework for using physics-based loss functions in the learning objective of neural networks, to ensure that the model predictions not only show lower errors on the training set but are also scientifically consistent with the known physics on the unlabeled set. We illustrate the effectiveness...
Aim Preventing the spread of range-shifting invasive species is a top priority for mitigating the impacts of climate change. Invasive plants become abundant and cause negative impacts in only a fraction of their introduced ranges, yet projections of invasion risk are almost exclusively derived from models built using all non-native occurrences and neglect abundance information. Location Eastern USA. Methods We compiled abundance records for 144 invasive plant species from five major growth forms. We fit over 600 species distribution models based on occurrences of abundant plant populations, thus projecting which areas in the eastern United States (U.S.) will be most susceptible to invasion under current and +2°C...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Aim Spatiotemporal variation in resource availability is a strong driver of animal distributions. In the northern hardwood and boreal forests of the northeastern United States, tree mast events provide resource pulses that drive the population dynamics of small mammals, including the American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), a primary songbird nest predator. This study sought to determine whether mast availability ameliorates their abiotic limits, enabling red squirrel elevational distributions to temporarily expand and negatively impact high-elevation songbirds. Location Northeastern United States. Methods We used two independent datasets to evaluate our hypotheses. First, we fit a dynamic occupancy model...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
The Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area (BOHA) is at high risk to the impacts of sea-level rise (SLR) and erosion from coastal storms. In June 2021, the National Trust for Historic Preservation listed the islands as one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places due to climate change. BOHA partners have been working to find climate adaptive solutions to protect and sustain critical ecological and cultural resources on the islands. A range of coastal adaptation efforts are currently under consideration including increased shoreline armoring and nature-based adaptation solutions. Any action taken in the coastal zone will require an assessment of environmental and ecological communities that could potentially...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from arXiv): This paper proposes a physics-guided recurrent neural network model (PGRNN) that combines RNNs and physics-based models to leverage their complementary strengths and improve the modeling of physical processes. Specifically, we show that a PGRNN can improve prediction accuracy over that of physical models, while generating outputs consistent with physical laws, and achieving good generalizability. Standard RNNs, even when producing superior prediction accuracy, often produce physically inconsistent results and lack generalizability. We further enhance this approach by using a pre-training method that leverages the simulated data from a physics-based model to address the scarcity of observed...
Abstract: Land use changes from natural ecosystems to industrial agriculture have impacted water quality and wildlife populations in the Mississippi River basin. Government programs providing technical assistance and monetary incentives have not resulted in adequate adoption rates of conservation practices. While there has been a plethora of research examining the factors associated with conservation adoption, significantly less is understood about the relative importance of these factors. Using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) with agricultural producers in three Midwestern watersheds, we assess the relative importance of environmental and production decision criteria when making decisions to adopt conservation...
Abstract (from Springer): Biases in invasion science have led to a taxonomic focus on plants, particularly a subset of well-studied plants, and a geographic focus on invasions in Europe and North America. While broader, country-level geographic biases are well known, it is unclear whether these biases extend to a finer scale. This study assessed whether research sites for ten well-studied invasive plants in the U.S. are geographically biased relative to each species’ known invaded range. We compared the distribution, climate, specific geographic variables related to land type (public or private), proximity to roads and universities, and state noxious weed status of research sites reported in 735 scientific articles...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences): Human-induced abiotic global environmental changes (GECs) and the spread of nonnative invasive species are rapidly altering ecosystems. Understanding the relative and interactive effects of invasion and GECs is critical for informing ecosystem adaptation and management, but this information has not been synthesized. We conducted a meta-analysis to investigate effects of invasions, GECs, and their combined influences on native ecosystems. We found 458 cases from 95 published studies that reported individual and combined effects of invasions and a GEC stressor, which was most commonly warming, drought, or nitrogen addition. We calculated standardized...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from MDPI): Water resource managers require accurate estimates of the 7-day, 10-year low flow (7Q10) of streams for many reasons, including protecting aquatic species, designing wastewater treatment plants, and calculating municipal water availability. StreamStats, a publicly available web application developed by the United States Geologic Survey that is commonly used by resource managers for estimating the 7Q10 in states where it is available, utilizes state-by-state, locally calibrated regression equations for estimation. This paper expands StreamStats’ methodology and improves 7Q10 estimation by developing a more regionally applicable and generalized methodology for 7Q10 estimation. In addition to...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Fisheries Oceanography): The timing of recurring biological and seasonal environmental events is changing on a global scale relative to temperature and other climate drivers. This study considers the Gulf of Maine ecosystem, a region of high social and ecological importance in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean and synthesizes current knowledge of (a) key seasonal processes, patterns, and events; (b) direct evidence for shifts in timing; (c) implications of phenological responses for linked ecological‐human systems; and (d) potential phenology‐focused adaptation strategies and actions. Twenty studies demonstrated shifts in timing of regional marine organisms and seasonal environmental events. The most common...
Abstract (from ESAJournals): Historical horticultural plant sales influence native and nonnative species assemblages in contemporary ecosystems. Over half of nonnative, invasive plants naturalized in the United States were introduced as ornamentals, and the spatial and temporal patterns of early introduction undoubtedly influence current invasion ecology. While thousands of digitized nursery catalogs documenting these introductions are publicly available, they have not been standardized in a single database. To fill this gap, we obtained the names of all plant taxa (species, subspecies, and varieties) present in the Biodiversity Heritage Library's (BHL) Seed and Nursery Catalog Collection. We then searched the BHL...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
The real-world application of climate change adaptation practices in terrestrial wildlife conservation has been slowed by a lack of practical guidance for wildlife managers. Although there is a rapidly growing body of literature on the topic of climate change adaptation and wildlife management, the literature is weighted towards a narrow range of adaptation actions and administrative or policy recommendations that are typically beyond the decision space and influence of wildlife professionals. We developed a menu of tiered adaptation actions for terrestrial wildlife management to translate broad concepts into actionable approaches to help managers respond to climate change risks and meet desired management goals....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Black ash (Fraxinus nigra) forests, which cover over 1.2 million hectares in the Great Lakes Region, are threatened by emerald ash borer (EAB; Agrilus planipennis), which is eliminating native populations of ash throughout the region. Understanding the contribution of black ash wetlands to local and regional species richness is critical in forming effective conservation policies and informing management plans for these imperiled habitats. We measured breeding bird and anuran communities in black ash wetlands and compared them to nearby non-black ash habitats for each taxa: aspen-dominated upland forest for birds and emergent wetlands for anurans. Our results showed black ash wetlands support unique communities of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation