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We summarize the results of a recent interagency assessment of land carbon dynamics in Alaska, in which carbon dynamics were estimated for all major terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems for the historical period (1950–2009) and a projection period (2010–2099). Between 1950 and 2009, upland and wetland (i.e., terrestrial) ecosystems of the state gained 0.4 Tg C/yr (0.1% of net primary production, NPP), resulting in a cumulative greenhouse gas radiative forcing of 1.68 × 10−3 W/m2. The change in carbon storage is spatially variable with the region of the Northwest Boreal Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) losing carbon because of fire disturbance. The combined carbon transport via various pathways through inland...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Implementation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) has resulted in the restoration of >2 million ha of wetland and grassland habitats in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Restoration of habitats through these programs provides diverse ecosystem services to society, but few investigators have evaluated the environmental benefits achieved by these programs. We describe changes in wetland processes, functions, and ecosystem services that occur when wetlands and adjacent uplands on agricultural lands are restored through Farm Bill conservation programs. At the scale of wetland catchments, projects have had positive impacts on water storage,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is a fungal pathogen that is receiving attention around the world for its role in amphibian declines. Study of its occurrence patterns is hampered by false negatives: the failure to detect the pathogen when it is present. Occupancy models are a useful but currently underutilized tool for analyzing detection data when the probability of detecting a species is <1. We use occupancy models to evaluate hypotheses concerning the occurrence and prevalence of B. dendrobatidis and discuss how this application differs from a conventional occupancy approach. We found that the probability of detecting the pathogen, conditional on presence of the pathogen in the anuran population, was related to...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Disruption to migration is a growing problem for conservation and restoration of animal populations. Anthropogenic barriers along migration paths can delay or prolong migrations, which may result in a mismatch with migration-timing adaptations. To understand the interaction of dams (as barriers along a migration path), seasonally changing environmental conditions, timing of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) downstream migration, and ultimate migration success, we used 10 years of river temperature and discharge data as a template upon which we simulated downstream movement of salmon. Atlantic salmon is a cool-water species whose downstream migrating smolts must complete migration before river temperatures become too...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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We assessed DNA repair and resistance to solar radiation in eggs of members of the western spotted frog complex (Rana pretiosa and R. luteiventris), species whose populations are suffering severe range reductions and declines. Specifically, we measured the activity of photoreactivating enzyme (photolyase) in oocytes of spotted frogs. In some species, photoreactivation is the most important mechanism for repair of UV-damaged DNA. Using field experiments, we also compared the hatching success of spotted frog embryos at natural oviposition sites at three elevations, where some embryos were subjected to ambient levels of UV-B radiation and others were shielded from UV-B radiation. Compared with other amphibians, photolyase...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Subsidized predators may affect prey abundance, distribution, and demography. Common Ravens (Corvus corax) are anthropogenically subsidized throughout their range and, in the Mojave Desert, have increased in number dramatically over the last 3-4 decades. Human-provided food resources are thought to be important drivers of raven population growth, but human developments add other features as well, such as nesting platforms. From 1996 to 2000, we examined the nesting ecology of ravens in the Mojave Desert, relative to anthropogenic development. Ravens nested disproportionately near point sources of food and water subsidies (such as towns, landfills, and ponds) but not near roads (sources of road-killed carrion), even...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Every winter, government agencies feed ???6000 metric tons (6 ?? 106 kg) of hay to elk in the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) to limit transmission of Brucella abortus, the causative agent of brucellosis, from elk to cattle. Supplemental feeding, however, is likely to increase the transmission of brucellosis in elk, and may be affected by climatic factors, such as snowpack. We assessed these possibilities using snowpack and feeding data from 1952 to 2006 and disease testing data from 1993 to 2006. Brucellosis seroprevalence was strongly correlated with the timing of the feeding season. Longer feeding seasons were associated with higher seroprevalence, but elk population size and density had only minor...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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As part of the Episodic Response Project (ERP), we intensively monitored discharge and stream chemistry of 13 streams located in the Northern Appalachian region of Pennsylvania and in the Catskill and Adirondack Mountains of New York from fall 1988 to spring 1990. The ERP clearly documented the occurrence of acidic episodes with minimum episodic pH ??? 5 and inorganic monomeric Al (Alim) concentrations >150 ??g/L in at least two study streams in each region. Several streams consistently experienced episodes with maximum Alim concentrations >350 ??g/L. Acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) depressions resulted from complex interactions of multiple ions. Base cation decreases often made the most important contributions...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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In restoration ecology, reference sites serve as models for areas to be restored and can provide a standard of comparison for restoration project outcomes. When reference sites are located a relatively long distance from associated restoration projects, differences in climate, disturbance history, and biogeography can increase beta diversity and may decrease the relevance of reference sites. Variation in factors at the scale of individual reference sites such as patch size, microclimate, barriers to dispersal, or soil chemistry can result in reference site species composition that is a nested subset of the regional species pool. In the western United States, restoration of riparian areas, particularly those occupied...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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A three-trophic-level interaction among American Black Oystercatchers (Haematopus bachmani), limpets (Lottia spp.), and erect fleshy algae in rocky intertidal communities of central and southern California was documented via manipulative and 'natural' experiments. Removal of the territorial limpet (Lottia gigantea) initially caused large increases in the percent cover of erect fleshy algae, followed by a more gradual increase in density of small limpets (Lottia spp.) and a decline in algal cover. Algal cover increased following the removal of small limpets at the sites from which L. gigantea had been removed earlier, thus demonstrating that the large and small limpets had similar inhibitory effects on plant populations....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Reliable information on historical and current population dynamics is central to understanding patterns of growth and decline in animal populations. We developed a maximum likelihood-based analysis to estimate spatial and temporal trends in age/sex-specific survival rates for the threatened southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis), using annual population censuses and the age structure of salvaged carcass collections. We evaluated a wide range of possible spatial and temporal effects and used model averaging to incorporate model uncertainty into the resulting estimates of key vital rates and their variances. We compared these results to current demographic parameters estimated in a telemetry-based study conducted...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Plant communities along tropical coastlines are often affected by natural and human disturbances, but little is known about factors influencing recovery. We focused on mangrove forests, which are among the most threatened ecosystems globally, to examine how facilitation by herbaceous vegetation might improve forest restoration after disturbance. We specifically investigated whether recovery of mangrove forests in harsh environments is accelerated by nurse plants and whether the beneficial effects are species-specific. Quantification of standardized effects allowed comparisons across performance parameters and over time for: (1) net effect of each herbaceous species on mangrove survival and growth, (2) effects of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Only a small portion of any landscape can be sampled for vascular plant diversity because of constraints of cost (salaries, travel time between sites, etc.). Often, the investigator decides to reduce the cost of creating a vegetation map by increasing the minimum mapping unit (MMU), and/or by reducing the number of vegetation classes to be considered. Questions arise about what information is sacrificed when map resolution is decreased. We compared plant diversity patterns from vegetation maps made with 100-ha, 50-ha, 2-ha, and 0.02-ha MMUs in a 754-ha study area in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, United States, using four 0.025-ha and 21 0.1-ha multiscale vegetation plots. We developed and tested species-log(area)...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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We used a biogeochemistry model, the Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM), to study the net methane (CH4) fluxes between Alaskan ecosystems and the atmosphere. We estimated that the current net emissions of CH4 (emissions minus consumption) from Alaskan soils are ???3 Tg CH 4/yr. Wet tundra ecosystems are responsible for 75% of the region's net emissions, while dry tundra and upland boreal forests are responsible for 50% and 45% of total consumption over the region, respectively. In response to climate change over the 21st century, our simulations indicated that CH 4 emissions from wet soils would be enhanced more than consumption by dry soils of tundra and boreal forests. As a consequence, we projected that net CH4...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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Managers need to predict how animals will respond to habitat redistributions caused by climate change. Our objective was to model the effects of sea level rise on total eelgrass (Zostera marina) habitat area and on the amount of that area that is accessible to Brant geese (Branta bernicla), specialist grazers of eelgrass. Digital elevation models were developed for seven estuaries from Alaska, Washington, California (USA), and Mexico. Scenarios of future total eelgrass area were derived from combinations of estuarine specific sediment and tectonic rates (i.e., bottom change rate) with three rates of eustatic sea level rise (ESLR). Percentages of total eelgrass areas that were accessible to foraging Brant were determined...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
We investigated experimental warming and simulated grazing (clipping) effects on rangeland quality, as indicated by vegetation production and nutritive quality, in winter-grazed meadows and summer-grazed shrublands on the Tibetan Plateau, a rangeland system experiencing climatic and pastoral land use changes. Warming decreased total aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) by 40 g.m?�.yr?� at the meadow habitats and decreased palatable ANPP (total ANPP minus non-palatable forb ANPP) by 10 g.m?�.yr?� at both habitats. The decreased production of the medicinal forb Gentiana straminea and the increased production of the non-palatable forb Stellera chamaejasme with warming also reduced rangeland quality. At the shrubland...
Mountain streams provide important habitats for many species, but their faunas are especially vulnerable to climate change because of ectothermic physiologies and movements that are constrained to linear networks that are easily fragmented. Effectively conserving biodiversity in these systems requires accurate downscaling of climatic trends to local habitat conditions, but downscaling is difficult in complex terrains given diverse microclimates and mediation of stream heat budgets by local conditions. We compiled a stream temperature database (n = 780) for a 2500-km river network in central Idaho to assess possible trends in summer temperatures and thermal habitat for two native salmonid species from 1993 to 2006....
In the northern Colorado Front Range, fire suppression during the 20th century is believed to have created a high hazard of catastrophic fire in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests. Since the early 1990s, resource managers have increased the use of prescribed fires to re-create fire regimes and forest structures similar to those of the pre-Euro-American settlement period in order both to reduce fire hazard and to improve forest health. To improve understanding of historical fire regimes, we conducted a study of fire history along an elevational gradient from \sim1830 to 2800 m in ponderosa pine forests in the northern Front Range. Fire-scar dates were determined from 525 partial cross sections from living and...
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Elk browsing and conifer species mixing with aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) present current challenges to aspen forest management in the western United States. We evaluated the effects of conifers and elk browsing on quaking aspen stands in and near Rocky Mountain National Park using tree rings to reconstruct patterns of aspen establishment, growth, and mortality over the past 120 years. High conifer encroachment and elk browse were both associated with decreased aspen recruitment, with mean recruitment dropping over 30% from pure aspen to mixed stands and over 50% from low-browse to high-browse stands. Maximum aspen recruitment was lower in mixed stands than in pure stands with the same tree basal area. High...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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The reintroduction of threatened and endangered species is now a common method for reestablishing populations. Typically, a fundamental objective of reintroduction is to establish a self-sustaining population. Estimation of demographic parameters in reintroduced populations is critical, as these estimates serve multiple purposes. First, they support evaluation of progress toward the fundamental objective via construction of population viability analyses (PVAs) to predict metrics such as probability of persistence. Second, PVAs can be expanded to support evaluation of management actions, via management modeling. Third, the estimates themselves can support evaluation of the demographic performance of the reintroduced...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications


map background search result map search result map Predicted eelgrass response to sea level rise and its availability to foraging Black Brant in Pacific coast estuaries Demography of a reintroduced population: moving toward management models for an endangered species, the whooping crane Demography of a reintroduced population: moving toward management models for an endangered species, the whooping crane Predicted eelgrass response to sea level rise and its availability to foraging Black Brant in Pacific coast estuaries