Conclusions:The Sprague's pipit tends to occupy native grassland habitats containing very little or no woody vegetation, with non-native areas populated to a significantly lower extentThresholds/Learnings:
Conclusions:Owls avoided agricultural lands (due to prey availability), used grass-forb areas for foraging, and avoided croplands and grazed pasture. 95% of all movements occurred within 600 meters of the nest burrows.Thresholds/Learnings:At a minimum, a 600m radius should be maintained around burrowing owl nests in order to ensure the survival of burrowing owls
Conclusions:Wetland extent, proximity of wetlands to the sampling station, and the position of a wetland in a watershed (downstream wetlands have greater influence on water quality) influence water quality.Thresholds/Learnings:
Conclusions:Variability in buffer width across a landscape has important effects on landscape discharge. A variable- width buffer retains less material than a uniform-width buffer of equivalent average width.Thresholds/Learnings:
Statistical Analysis of Drinking Water Treatment Plant Costs, Source Water Quality, and Land Cover Characteristics
Conclusions:Study found statistically significant relationships among source water quality, percent land cover, and drinking water treatment cost. Increased percent agriculture and urban cover were significantly related to decreased water quality, while decreased forest land cover was significantly related to decreased water quality. High percent land cover by non-forest vegetation was significantly related to low treatment cost.Thresholds/Learnings:
Synopsis: This article outlines how wetlands can significantly reduce flooding in the Upper Mississippi watershed. The authors first provide a historical context by estimating the original and lost wetland storage capacities of the Upper Mississippi and Missouri River Basins. Historically, about 10% of the basin would have been classified as wetland in 1780. By 1980, wetland acreage had been reduced to only 4% of the basin, representing about 26 million acres of wetlands eliminated since 1780. The area of wetland restoration required to reduce the risk of future flooding adequately was estimated based on the total amount of excess floodwater beyond bank-full discharge that passed through the City of St. Louis during...
Synopsis: This study evaluates whether previous observations of a higher percentage of parasitism and parasitoid diversity in a complex agricultural landscape, relative to a simple landscape, represent a general phenomenon. Rates of parasitism and parasitoid diversity of the armyworm (Pseudaletia unipuncta) were assessed in three replicate (Onondaga, Ingham, and Benton) regions in southern Michigan. Within each region, a simple landscape (primarily cropland) and a complex landscape (cropland intermixed with mid and late successional noncrop habitats) were identified through analysis of aerial photographs. In each landscape, three maize fields were selected, and second to fourth instar P. unipuncta were released...
Synopsis: Prior to European settlement, the Northern Mixed-grass Prairie was a mosaic of wetland, grassland and grass-shrub habitats, with riparian and floodplain forests along major drainages. Even today, the physiographic area can be characterized as being one of the largest still relatively intact grassland landscapes that persist in North America. It is the continent’s most important production area for waterfowl and is the heart of the breeding range for some of North America’s rarest species of grassland birds. A comparison of relative abundance estimates among physiographic areas sampled by the North American Breeding Bird Survey indicates that more than 40% of the world’s population of Baird’s Sparrows,...
Synopsis: The purpose of this model is to indicate potential habitat for olive-backed pocket mice (Perohnathus fasciatus) within the Milk River Basin. As this is a landscape level model with course variaqbles, it may not be directly applicable to other areas for site-specific analysis. Conclusions: Olive-backed pocket mice require high proportions of grassland habitat and low proportions of shrub cover. Sites with low densities of shrubs are preferred because they provide cover from large and aerial predators, such as owls. A threshold of below 40% shrub coverage represents ideal shrub cover proportions.
Conclusions:Report synthesizes scientific, planning, and policy-related aspects on the importance of land conservation in areas producing water for potable uses, including watersheds and aquifers. One critical finding indicated that if there is more forest cover in a watershed, water treatment costs are lower.Thresholds/Learnings:For every 10% increase in forest cover in the source area, treatment and chemical costs decreased by about 20%, up to about 60% forest cover. Treatment costs level off when forest cover is between 70-100%.
Conclusions:This report sets out guidelines intended to provide BCEAG member jurisdictions with a coordinated approach to recommendations regarding the management of human use activities within wildlife corridors and habitat patches in the Bow Valley of Alberta. The guidelines provide an advisory framework for decision making related to wildlife management as well as recommendations for mitigating the negative effects of human activity on wildlife in the region.Thresholds/Learnings:Male and female cougars avoided areas of high human use and where human use levels exceeded 250-500 users per month.
Conclusions:Landscapes dominated by woody vegetation had significantly more patches, smaller patches and patch core areas, more total edge, and higher patch diversity than landscapes dominated by anthropogenic cover types. Results indicate that expanding juniper is exacerbating the fragmentation process initiated by previous human activityThresholds/Learnings:
Conclusions: In fragmented watersheds, macrohabitat attributes measured at the patch scale were far more effective in predicting trout translocation success than measurements taken at the landscape scale Thresholds/Learnings: As a course filter indicator of cutthroat trout translocation success, the study found that translocations have a greater than 50% chance of fruitful establishment in watersheds >14.7km2 in area. Synopsis: This study aimed to identify stream-scale and basin-scale macrohabitat attributes limiting successful translocation and persistence of native cutthroat trout populations in fragmented landscapes along the Rio Grande. The study developed models of habitat attributes measured at two scales...
Synopsis: This study analyzed the effects of vegetation change on hydrological fluctuations in the Columbia River basin over the last century using two land cover scenarios. The first scenario was a reconstruction of historical land cover vegetation, c. 1900. The second scenario was more recent land cover as estimated from remote sensing data for 1990. The results show that, hydrologically, the most important vegetation-related change has been a general tendency towards decreased vegetation maturity in the forested areas of the basin. This general trend represents a balance between the effects of logging and fire suppression. In those areas where forest maturity has been reduced as a result of logging, wintertime...
Assessing the influence of resource co-variates at multiple spatial scales: an application to forest-dwelling caribou faced with intensive human activity.
Synopsis: Using multi-scale seasonal models, this study explored how broad scale landscape context and local resource heterogeneity influenced local resource selection among threatened forest-dwelling woodland caribou in southern Quebec. Caribou consistently avoided roads, however researchers identified thresholds in road proximity effects. The threshold distance at which caribou avoid roads is 1.25 km for active roads and 0.75 km from derelict roads. Open lichen woodlands were an important cover type for caribou during winter and spring, whereas deciduous forests, wetlands, and even young disturbed stands became important during calving and summer. Landscape cover type and amount explained more variation in habitat...
Synopsis: In an attempt to better characterize the influence of human settlement patterns on wolf distribution, this paper examined how radio-collared gray wolves responded to different road types and human presence at the boundaries of Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in south-central Alaska. Wolves tended to avoid oilfield access roads that were open to the public, but were attracted to gated pipeline access roads and secondary gravel roads with limited human use. The low use access and secondary roads likely provided an easy travel corridor for wolves. Prior to intensive trapping and hunting from 1978-1979, wolves demonstrated little territorial adjustment in response to a heavily used highway. However, only after...
Conclusions:Wetlands and riparian zones should be strategically placed in watersheds to optimize nitrogen removal, as, for example, in tile-drained farmlands prone to high concentrations of nitrateThresholds/Learnings:Restoring 10 million hectares of riparian zones and wetlands, representing 3.4% of the Mississippi River basin, would reduce nitrogen in the Mississippi River Basin and its tributaries by an average of 40%
Conclusions:Report presents draft outcomes, indicators, and targets for the Red Deer River Basin in three topic areas: wetlands, riparian areas, and land use. Targets established were based on a detailed literature review, combined with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) queries of existing conditions.Thresholds/Learnings:Specific thresholds for the region include: wetland cover should comprise >7.5% of the watershed; peatland cover should comprise > 6.0% in the upper headwaters; 82% of all riparian areas (variable width) in the watershed should have perennial vegetation cover; 97% of all riparian areas (variable width) in the Upper Headwaters should have perennial vegetation cover
Effects of paved roads on birds: a literature review and recommendations for the Yellowstone to Yukon Ecoregion
This report is synthesizes and summarizes major findings from literature relating to the direct and indirect ecological impacts of paved highways on birds. It represents a meta-analysis of contributing factors of road mortality, effects of roadway lighting, traffic noise, traffic volume, and roadway contaminants on bird populations, which may help guide conservation efforts within the Yellowstone to Yukon ecoregion. Traffic volume and noise are believed to be the most important factors affecting breeding bird population densities near roads. The number of affected species increases with traffic volume but the relationship appears to reach threshold at an average daily traffic volume of 30,000 vehicles a day. In...
Conclusions:Wetlands were found to work best, in terms of providing ecosystem services, as spatially distributed systems. Wetland value was also found to be highly depended on its hydrogeomorphic position in the landscape relative to other landscape features and human settlements. Wetlands should comprise 3-7% of temperate watersheds for flood control and improved water qualityThresholds/Learnings:Wetlands should comprise 3-7% of temperate watersheds for flood control and improved water quality