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The Rainwater Basin (RWB) wetland complex in south-central Nebraska provides crucial stopover habitat for over 7 million waterfowl and 500,000 shorebirds every spring. However, only 10% of the original RWB wetlands remain, resulting in less available habitat for wetland-dependent birds. Conservation efforts are being employed to alleviate the loss of RWB wetlands. To aid conservation efforts, we created a vegetation map of all historical RWB wetlands based on 2004 imagery. The shapefile maps the 2004 vegetation communities for all historic wetlands in the Rainwater Basin region of Nebraska, USA. Vegetation communities include cropped areas that rarely pond water, cropped areas that often pond water, bare soil...
Abstract (from Fisheries Management and Ecology): Decision-makers in inland fisheries management must balance ecologically and socially palatable objectives for ecosystem services within financial or physical constraints. Climate change has transformed the potential range of ecosystem services available. The Resist-Accept-Direct (RAD) framework offers a foundation for responding to climate-induced ecosystem modification; however, ecosystem trajectories and current practices must be understood to improve future decisions. Using Wisconsin's diverse inland fisheries as a case study, management strategies for recreational and subsistence fisheries in response to climate change were reviewed within the RAD framework....
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Abstract (from Fisheries Management and Ecology): Lake ecosystems are shifting due to many drivers including climate change and landscape-scale habitat disturbance, diminishing their potential to support some fisheries. Walleye Sander vitreus (Mitchill) populations, which support recreational and tribal fisheries across North America, have declined in some lakes. Climate change, harvest, invasive species and concurrent increases in warm-water fishes (e.g. Centrarchidae) may have contributed to declines. To test the utility of an intensive management action to resist walleye loss, an experimental removal of ~285,000 centrarchids from a 33-ha lake over 4 years was conducted while monitoring the fish community response....
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Abstract (from Ecological Informatics): Compiling disparate datasets into publicly available composite databases helps natural resource communities explore ecological trends and effectively manage across spatiotemporal scales. Though some studies have reported on the database construction phase, fewer have evaluated the data acquisition and distribution process. To facilitate future data sharing collaborations, Louisiana State University surveyed data providers and requestors to understand the characteristics of effective data requests and sharing. Data providers were largely U.S. natural resource agency personnel, and they reported that unclear data requests, privacy issues, and rigid timelines and formats were...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and total alkalinity (TA) are fundamental components of carbonate systems that control pH and buffering capacity of a water body. Three coastal marshes with contrasting salinities in Barataria Basin, Louisiana, USA, were sampled five times between December 2018 and October 2019 to understand seasonal changes in porewater carbonate chemistry and its impact on surrounding water bodies. Porewater DIC and TA increased with depth irrespective of marsh type and ranged from 4.47 to 31.61 mmol/kg and from 1.78 to 28.56 mmol/kg, respectively. The salt marsh had higher porewater DIC and TA compared to the lower salinity intermediate and brackish marshes, probably due to sulfate reduction in...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
The resilience of serotinous obligate-seeding plants to fire may be compromised if increasing fire frequency curtails time available for canopy seed bank accumulation (i.e., immaturity risk), but how various drivers affect seed availability at the time of fire is poorly understood. Using field data from California closed-cone pine (Pinus attenuata and P. muricata) stands, we assess two critical demographic processes during the inter-fire period—reproductive capacity and mortality. At tree- and stand-levels, we test how these processes are affected by stand age and are mediated by biotic and abiotic factors. We found that stand age was the key driver of reproductive capacity; older stands had a greater proportion...
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Smartphone apps have enhanced the potential for monitoring of invasive alien species (IAS) through citizen science. They now have the capacity to massively increase the volume and spatiotemporal coverage of IAS occurrence data accrued in centralised databases. While more reporting apps are developed each year, innovation across diverse functionalities and data management in this field are occurring separately and simultaneously amongst numerous research groups with little attention to trends, priorities and opportunities for improvement. This creates the risk of duplication of effort and missed opportunities for implementing new and existing functionalities that would directly benefit IAS research and management....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Tree die-off, driven by extreme drought and exacerbated by a warming climate, is occurring rapidly across every wooded continent—threatening carbon sinks and other ecosystem services provided by forests and woodlands. Forecasting the spatial patterns of tree die-off in response to drought is a priority for the management and conservation of forested ecosystems under projected future hotter and drier climates. Several thresholds derived from drought-metrics have been proposed to predict mortality of Pinus edulis, a model tree species in many studies of drought-induced tree die-off. To improve future capacity to forecast tree mortality, we used a severe drought as a natural experiment. We compared the ability of existing...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
The combination of continuing anthropogenic impact on ecosystems across the globe and the observation of catastrophic shifts in some systems has generated substantial interest in understanding and predicting ecological tipping points. The recent establishment and full operation of NEON has created an opportunity for researchers to access extensive datasets monitoring the composition and functioning of a wide range of ecosystems. These data may be uniquely effective for studying regime shifts and tipping points in ecological systems because of their long time horizon, spatial extent, and most importantly the coordinated monitoring of many biotic and abiotic components of focal ecosystems. The variety of these data...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
By amassing a database of climate adaptation strategies and looking at overall resiliency outcomes or short-term measures of success, such as spatiotemporal increases in population size or biodiversity, a meta-analysis can better connect the science-to-policy interface and present as a decision-support tool. By synthesizing results from a case-scenario meta-analysis and investigating if these strategies involve components of the National Wildlife Federation’s Climate Smart Conservation Cycle, we can provide a framework for effective conservation strategy by explaining how conservation practitioners are using it and if they have deemed it successful. The objective of this project is to compile adaptation case-studies...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
First Section (from Fisheries Management and Ecology): Climate change poses major challenges for managing aquatic ecosystems. Managers must consider conditions that increasingly fall outside historical norms. This means that abiotic conditions may exceed the range tolerated by familiar species and lead to their decrease or replacement by species better suited to the new environment. In short, former ways of managing aquatic resources may no longer be applicable (Schuurman et al., 2021; Thompson et al., 2021). Fisheries managers have three options for dealing with climate change (Rahel, 2022). First, they can attempt to resist either abiotic changes (e.g., plant trees to reduce stream warming) or biotic changes (e.g.,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Many areas are experiencing increasing stream temperatures due to climate change, and some are experiencing reduced summer stream flows and water availability. Because dam building and pond formation by beaver can increase water storage, stream cooling, and riparian ecosystem resilience, beaver have been proposed as a potential climate adaption tool. Despite the large number of studies that have evaluated how beaver activity may affect hydrology and water temperature, few experimental studies have quantified these outcomes following beaver relocation. We evaluated changes in temperature and water storage following the relocation of 69 beaver into 13 headwater stream reaches of the Skykomish River watershed within...
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The Milk and St. Mary Rivers are international waterways straddling the United States and Canada and traversing four Tribal Nations before draining into the Missouri and South Saskatchewan Rivers respectively. Management of water resources in the region is challenged by the complexity of stakeholder interests, the limitations of existing management infrastructure, and by a limited characterization of the long-term streamflow and hydroclimatic variability across the area. We used existing records of natural streamflow to investigate the relationships between seasonal climate variability and differences in the timing and volume of flow from the headwaters to the prairie tributaries. Then, using a network of tree-ring...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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This shapefile maps the 2012 vegetation communities for all historic wetlands in the Rainwater Basin region of Nebraska, USA. Vegetation communities include cropped areas that rarely pond water, cropped areas that often pond water, bare soil or mudflat, standing water, moist soil species, wetmeadow species, grasses, reed canarygrass, river bulrush, cattail, and woody species. Communities are based on training data from 2012 field vegetation surveys of over 12,000 points. This map is an update of a RWB vegetation map created in 2004. These data were processed by Ele Nugent, Roger Grosse, and Andy Bishop with the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture (RWBJV), with help from RWBJV Geographic Information Systems Laboratory...
Abstract (from Fisheries Managmenet and Ecology): Large-scale modelling and prediction provide insight into general influences of climate change on inland recreational fisheries; however, small-scale dynamics and local expertise will be key in developing explicit goals for managing recreational fisheries as the climate changes. The resist-accept-direct (RAD) framework encompasses the entire decision space managers consider when addressing climate influences in their local system, but to decide whether to resist, accept or direct, managers need tools to understand how specific waterbodies will be influenced by climate change. Here, a decision-support tool was developed and applied to the walleye recreational fishery...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Sea-level rise (SLR) and obstructions to sediment delivery pose challenges to the persistence of estuarine habitats and the ecosystem services they provide. Restoration actions and sediment management strategies may help mitigate such challenges by encouraging the vertical accretion of sediment in and horizontal migration of tidal forests and marshes. We used a process-based soil accretion model (Coastal Wetland Equilibrium Model) combined with a habitat classification model (MOSAICS) to estimate the effects of SLR, suspended sediment, and inland habitat migration on estuarine habitats, soil carbon accumulation, and economic value of climate change mitigation of carbon accumulation (social cost of carbon dioxide)...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Accurate predictions of ecological restoration outcomes are needed across the increasingly large landscapes requiring treatment following disturbances. However, observational studies often fail to account for nonrandom treatment application, which can result in invalid inference. Examining a spatiotemporally extensive management treatment involving post-fire seeding of declining sagebrush shrubs across semiarid areas of the western USA over two decades, we quantify drivers and consequences of selection biases in restoration using remotely sensed data. From following more than 1,500 wildfires, we find treatments were disproportionately applied in more stressful, degraded ecological conditions. Failure to incorporate...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
This "In Brief" article describes the use of scenario planning to facilitate climate change adaptation in the National Park Service. It summarizes best practices and innovations for using climate change scenario planning, with an emphasis on management outcomes and manager perspectives. The scenario planning approach and management outcomes highlighted in this article are the culmination of more than a decade of collaboration between the USGS and the National Park Service.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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The Rainwater Basin wetland complex (RWB) provides critical spring migration habitat for millions of waterfowl annually. As the region was settled, the abundant wetlands were drained for agricultural purposes. The ephemeral nature of these wetlands and lack of contemporary data prompted the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture to acquire aerial photography on an annual basis. Imagery was collected during peak waterfowl migration in the spring of 2004 and annually from 2006 to 2015. These years characterize a wide range of high plains climactic variability, ranging from drought to flooding. Analyses of these data have provided new insight into the distribution, function, and habitat provided by RWB wetlands. These...


map background search result map search result map Rainwater Basin Wetland Complex Vegetation Map 2012 Rainwater Basin Wetland Complex Vegetation Map 2012 Rainwater Basin Wetland Complex Annual Habitat Survey Document and Survey Areas 2004-2015 Rainwater Basin Wetland Complex Annual Habitat Survey Document and Survey Areas 2004-2015 Rainwater Basin Wetland Complex Vegetation Map 2012 Rainwater Basin Wetland Complex Vegetation Map 2012