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Stream fragmentation alters the structure of aquatic communities on a global scale, generally through loss of native species. Among riverscapes in the Great Plains of North America, stream fragmentation and hydrologic alteration (flow regulation and dewatering) are implicated in the decline of native fish diversity. This study documents the spatio–temporal distribution of fish reproductive guilds in the fragmented Arkansas and Ninnescah rivers of south-central Kansas using retrospective analyses involving 63 years of fish community data. Pelagic-spawning fishes declined throughout the study area during 1950–2013, including Arkansas River shiner (Notropis girardi) last reported in 1983, plains minnow (Hybognathus...
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Habitat fragmentation and flow regulation are significant factors related to the decline and extinction of freshwater biota. Pelagic-broadcast spawning cyprinids require moving water and some length of unfragmented stream to complete their life cycle. However, it is unknown how discharge and habitat features interact at multiple spatial scales to alter the transport of semi-buoyant fish eggs. Our objective was to assess the relationship between downstream drift of semi-buoyant egg surrogates (gellan beads) and discharge and habitat complexity. We quantified transport time of a known quantity of beads using 2–3 sampling devices at each of seven locations on the North Canadian and Canadian rivers. Transport time...
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We used the United States National Grid to develop a sampling grid for monitoring programs in the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative, delineated by Bird Conservation Regions 18 and 19. Landscape Conservation Cooperatives are science based partnerships with the goal to inform and guide conservation at regional landscape levels. Developing a standardized sampling grid for a LCC is a new endeavor and is designed to reduce program costs, avoid repetition in sampling, and increase efficiency in monitoring programs. This is possible because the grid’s nationwide coverage, uniform starting point, and scalability allow researchers to expand their monitoring programs from a small, local level to a regional or...
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Within the time frame of the longevity of tree species, climate change will change faster than the ability of natural tree migration. Migration lags may result in reduced productivity and reduced diversity in forests under current management and climate change. We evaluated the efficacy of planting climate-suitable tree species (CSP), those tree species with current or historic distributions immediately south of a focal landscape, to maintain or increase aboveground biomass, productivity, and species and functional diversity. We modeled forest change with the LANDIS-II forest simulation model for 100 years (2000–2100) at a 2-ha cell resolution and five-year time steps within two landscapes in the Great Lakes region...
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Full life-cycle vulnerability assessments are identifying the effects of climate change on nongame migratory birds that are of conservation concern and breed in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes region. Full life-cycle analyses are critical, as current efforts likely underestimate the vulnerability of migratory land birds due to a focus on assessing only one component of the annual cycle. The approach provides a framework for integrating exposure to climate changes, sensitivity to these changes, and the potential for adaptation in both winter and summer seasons, and accounts for carry-over effects from one season to another. The results of this work will inform regional management by highlighting both local and...
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Watersheds draining the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) of Alaska are dominated by permafrostand snowmelt runoff that create abundant surface storage in the form of lakes, wetlands, and beaded streams. These surface water elements compose complex drainage networks that affect aquatic ecosystem connectivity and hydrologic behavior. The 4676 km2 Fishand Creek drainage basin is composed of three watersheds that represent a gradient of theACP landscape with varying extents of eolian, lacustrine, and fluvial landforms. In each watershed, we analyzed 2.5-m-resolution aerial photography, a 5-m digital elevationmodel, and river gauging and climate records to better understand ACP watershed structureand processes. We show that...
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Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) have a life-history strategy specifically adapted to the extreme climate of the North. These fish migrate to spawning grounds just after breakup in the spring, then migrate to feeding sites in early summer, and finally in the fall migrate back to their overwintering sites. The Kuparuk River is a perennial stream originating in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range on the North Slope of Alaska. Sections of the Kuparuk are periodically intermittent in that, during low flows in the system, these channel reaches appear dry. The flow varies between surface and subsurface in this permafrost-dominated environment, with subsurface flow being limited to the unfrozen thaw bulb around...
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The Yukon North Slope is an arctic “hot spot” of climate change-induced effects with profound significance for the Inuvialuit and the larger region. In 1984, the Inuvialuit entered into a land claim agreement – the Inuvialuit Final Agreement (IFA) – with the governments of Canada, Yukon and Northwest Territories. A co-management body formed to make a plan, which was developed in 2003 but never ratified and is now considered out-of-date. Round River Conservation Studies is assisting WMAC(NS) in the collection, development and synthesis of spatial data, models and analyses of cultural and ecological values of the YNS.The project is a collaboration among the NWB LCC, Round River Conservation Studies, and the Arctic...
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Biodiversity in stream networks is threatened globally by interactions between habitat fragmentation and altered hydrologic regimes. In the Great Plains of North America, stream networks are fragmented by 19,000 anthropogenic barriers, and flow regimes are altered by surface water retention and groundwater extraction. We documented the distribution of anthropogenic barriers and dry stream segments in five basins covering the central Great Plains to assess effects of broad-scale environmental change on stream fish community structure and distribution of reproductive guilds. We used an information-theoretic approach to rank competing models in which fragmentation, discharge magnitude, and percentage of time streams had...
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Genetic, demographic, and environmental processes affect natural populations synergistically, and understanding their interplay is crucial for the conservation of biodiversity. Stream fishes in metapopulations are particularly sensitive to habitat fragmentation because persistence depends on dispersal and colonization of new habitat but dispersal is constrained to stream networks. Great Plains streams are increasingly fragmented by water diversion and climate change, threatening connectivity of fish populations in this ecosystem. We used seven microsatellite loci to describe population and landscape genetic patterns across 614 individuals from 12 remaining populations of Arkansas darter ( Etheostoma cragini) in...
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There is a great deal of interest in whether and how Alaska’s precipitation is changing but little agreement in the existing peer-reviewed literature. To provide insight on this question, we have selected three commonly used 0.5° resolution gridded precipitation products that have long-term monthly data coverage (Climatic Research Unit TS3.10.1, Global Precipitation Climatology Centre Full Data Reanalysis version 5, and University of Delaware version 2.01) and evaluated their homogeneity and trends with multiple methods over two periods, 1950–2008 and 1980–2008. All three data sets displayed common broadscale features of Alaska’s precipitation climatology, but there were substantial differences between them in terms...
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Floods, spatially complex water flows, and organism movements all generate important fluxes of aquatic-derived materials into terrestrial habitats, counteracting the gravity-driven downhill transport of matter from terrestrial-to-aquatic ecosystems. The magnitude of these aquatic subsidies isoften smaller than terrestrial subsidies to aquatic ecosystems but higher in nutritional quality, energy density, and nutrient concentration. The lateral extent of biological aquatic subsidies is typically small, extending only a few meters into riparian habitat; however, terrestrial consumers often aggregate on shorelines to capitalize on these high-quality resources. Although the ecological effects of aquatic subsidies remain...
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How local geomorphic and hydrologic features mediate the sensitivity of stream thermal regimes to variation in climatic conditions remains a critical uncertainty in understanding aquatic ecosystem responses to climate change. We used stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen to estimate contributions of snow and rainfall to 80 boreal streams and show that differences in snow contribution are controlled by watershed topography. Time series analysis of stream thermal regimes revealed that streams in rain-dominated, low-elevation watersheds were 5–8 times more sensitive to variation in summer air temperature compared to streams draining steeper topography whose flows were dominated by snowmelt. This effect was more pronounced...
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Climate change vulnerability assessments are commonly used to identify species or populations at risk from global climate change, but few translate impact assessments to climate change adaptation actions. Furthermore, most climate change adaptation efforts emphasize where to implement management actions, whereas timing remains largely overlooked. The rate of modern climate change introduces urgency in evaluating whether delaying conservation actions compromises their efficacy for reaching important conservation targets. We evaluated the importance of multiple climate change adaptation strategies including timing of actions on preventing extinctions for a threatened climate-sensitive species, the Eastern Massasauga...
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Within the time frame of the longevity of tree species, climate change will change faster than the ability of natural tree migration. Migration lags may result in reduced productivity and reduced diversity in forests under current management and climate change. We evaluated the efficacy of planting climate-suitable tree species (CSP), those tree species with current or historic distributions immediately south of a focal landscape, to maintain or increase aboveground biomass, productivity, and species and functional diversity. We modeled forest change with the LANDIS-II forest simulation model for 100 years (2000–2100) at a 2-ha cell resolution and five-year time steps within two landscapes in the Great Lakes region...
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Playa wetlands on the west-central Great Plains of North America are vulnerable to sediment infilling from upland agriculture, putting at risk several important ecosystem services as well as essential habitats and food resources of diverse wetland-dependent biota. Climate predictions for this semi-arid area indicate reduced precipitation which may alter rates of erosion, runoff, and sedimentation of playas. We forecasted erosion rates, sediment depths, and resultant playa wetland depths across the west-central Great Plains and examined the relative roles of land use context and projected changes in precipitation in the sedimentation process. We estimated erosion with the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE)...
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The influence of recent climate change on the world’s biota has manifested broadly, resulting in latitudinal range shifts, advancing dates of arrival of migrants and onset of breeding, and altered community relationships. Climate change elevates conservation concerns worldwide because it will likely exacerbate a broad range of identified threats to animal populations. In the past few decades, grassland birds have declined faster than other North American avifauna, largely due to habitat threats such as the intensification of agriculture. We examine the effects of local climatic variations on the breeding performance of a bird endemic to the shortgrass prairie, the Lark Bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys) and discuss...
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In this first worldwide synthesis of in situ and satellite-derived lake data, we find that lakesummer surface water temperatures rose rapidly (global mean = 0.34°C decade1) between 1985 and2009. Our analyses show that surface water warming rates are dependent on combinations of climate andlocal characteristics, rather than just lake location, leading to the counterintuitive result that regionalconsistency in lake warming is the exception, rather than the rule. The most rapidly warming lakes are widelygeographically distributed, and their warming is associated with interactions among different climatic factors—from seasonally ice-covered lakes in areas where temperature and solar radiation are increasing whilecloud...
The tundra biome is the dominant terrestrial ecosystem of the circumpolar north, and its fate in a rapidly changing climate is of high scientific and socioeconomic concern. One of those concerns is that the majority of caribou herds throughout the circumpolar north are declining, perhaps as a result of climate change. The principal objective of this research is to reveal the connections between soil nutrient cycling, forage quality and caribou habitat selection. This framework is underpinned by the concept that tundra ecosystem productivity is ultimately driven by the thermodynamics of the system induced by climate.
Categories: Data, Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: ALPINE/TUNDRA, ALPINE/TUNDRA, CARBON, CARBON, CARBON CYCLE/CARBON BUDGET MODELS, All tags...
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Interactions and feedbacks between abundant surface waters and permafrost fundamentally shapelowland Arctic landscapes. Sublake permafrost is maintained when the maximum ice thickness (MIT) exceedslake depth and mean annual bed temperatures (MABTs) remain below freezing. However, decliningMIT since the1970s is likely causing talik development below shallow lakes. Here we show high-temperature sensitivity towinter ice growth at the water-sediment interface of shallow lakes based on year-round lake sensor data.Empirical model experiments suggest that shallow (1m depth) lakes have warmed substantially over the last30years (2.4°C), withMABT above freezing5 of the last 7years.This is incomparison to slower ratesofwarming...


map background search result map search result map Modeling sediment accumulation in North American playa wetlands in response to climate change, 1940–2100 Interacting Effects of Discharge and Channel Morphology on Transport of Semibuoyant Fish Eggs in Large, Altered River Systems Publication: A blind spot in climate change Publication: Measuring and managing resistance and resilience under climate change in northern Great Lake forests Publication: Climate change effects on northern Great Lake (USA) forests: A case for preserving diversity Linking North Slope of Alaska climate, hydrology, and fish migration Threshold sensitivity of shallow Arctic lakes and sublake permafrost to changing winter climate Reconciling precipitation trends in Alaska: 2. Gridded data analyses Rapid and highly variable warming of lake surface waters around the globe Watershed geomorphology and snowmelt control stream thermal sensitivity to air temperature Subsidies of Aquatic Resources in Terrestrial Ecosystems Publication: Fragmentation and dewatering transform Great Plains stream fish communities Publication: Fragmentation and drying ratchet down Great Plains stream fish diversity Publication: Water availability strongly impacts population genetic patterns of an imperiled Great Plains endemic fish Drainage Network Structure and Hydrologic Behavior of Three Lake-Rich Watersheds on the Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska Weather effects on avian breeding performance and implications of climate change Final Report: Integrated monitoring within BCR’s: Creating a wildlife monitoring grid for the GPLCC Yukon North Slope Wildlife Management Plan Publication: Delaying conservation actions matters for species vulnerable to climate change Linking North Slope of Alaska climate, hydrology, and fish migration Threshold sensitivity of shallow Arctic lakes and sublake permafrost to changing winter climate Drainage Network Structure and Hydrologic Behavior of Three Lake-Rich Watersheds on the Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska Rapid and highly variable warming of lake surface waters around the globe Watershed geomorphology and snowmelt control stream thermal sensitivity to air temperature Subsidies of Aquatic Resources in Terrestrial Ecosystems Publication: Water availability strongly impacts population genetic patterns of an imperiled Great Plains endemic fish Interacting Effects of Discharge and Channel Morphology on Transport of Semibuoyant Fish Eggs in Large, Altered River Systems Yukon North Slope Wildlife Management Plan Modeling sediment accumulation in North American playa wetlands in response to climate change, 1940–2100 Publication: Fragmentation and dewatering transform Great Plains stream fish communities Publication: Fragmentation and drying ratchet down Great Plains stream fish diversity Weather effects on avian breeding performance and implications of climate change Final Report: Integrated monitoring within BCR’s: Creating a wildlife monitoring grid for the GPLCC Publication: Measuring and managing resistance and resilience under climate change in northern Great Lake forests Publication: Climate change effects on northern Great Lake (USA) forests: A case for preserving diversity Publication: A blind spot in climate change Publication: Delaying conservation actions matters for species vulnerable to climate change Reconciling precipitation trends in Alaska: 2. Gridded data analyses