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Identification of suitable habitats, where invasive species can establish, is an important step towards controlling their spread. Accurate identification is difficult for new or slow invaders because unoccupied habitats may be suitable, given enough time for dispersal, while occupied habitats may prove to be unsuitable for establishment.To identify the suitable habitat of a recent invader, I used an explicit dynamics occupancy modelling framework to evaluate habitat covariates related to successful and failed establishments of American bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) within the Yellowstone River floodplain of Montana, USA from 2012-2016.During this five-year period, bullfrogs failed to establish at most sites...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Applied Ecology
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1. Trends of animal populations are of great interest in ecology but cannot be directly observed owing to imperfect detection. Binomial mixture models use replicated counts to estimate abundance, corrected for detection, in demographically closed populations. Here, we extend these models to open populations and illustrate them using sand lizard Lacerta agilis counts from the national Dutch reptile monitoring scheme. 2. Our model requires replicated counts from multiple sites in each of several periods, within which population closure is assumed. Counts are described by a hierarchical generalized linear model, where the state model deals with spatio-temporal patterns in true abundance and the observation model with...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Applied Ecology
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Soil compaction, removal of the top layer of soil, and alteration of drainage channel density caused significant changes in perennial plant cover, density, and relative species composition. Long-lived species, predominantly Larrea tridentata, were dominant in all control areas but percentage cover and density were greatly reduced in areas where substrate alterations were significant. Pioneer species such as Ambrosia dumosa and Hymenoclea salsola had percentage cover values similar to or greater than controls in most areas where substrate alterations were significant, and these species were dominant in the majority of disturbed areas. -from Authors
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Applied Ecology
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1. Identifying the resources that limit growth of animal populations is essential for effective conservation; however, resource limitation is difficult to quantify. Recent advances in geographical information systems (GIS) and resource modelling can be combined with demographic modelling to yield insights into resource limitation. 2. Using long-term data on a population of black bears Ursus americanus, we evaluated competing hypotheses about whether availability of hard mast (acorns and nuts) or soft mast (fleshy fruits) limited bears in the southern Appalachians, USA, during 1981-2002. The effects of clearcutting on habitat quality were also evaluated. Annual survival, recruitment and population growth rate were...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Applied Ecology
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For most ecologists, detection probability (p) is a nuisance variable that must be modelled to estimate the state variable of interest (i.e. survival, abundance, or occupancy). However, in the realm of invasive species control, the rate of detection and removal is the rate-limiting step for management of this pervasive environmental problem. For strategic planning of an eradication (removal of every individual), one must identify the least likely individual to be removed, and determine the probability of removing it. To evaluate visual searching as a control tool for populations of the invasive brown treesnake Boiga irregularis, we designed a mark-recapture study to evaluate detection probability as a function of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Applied Ecology
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1. Anthropogenic stress on natural systems, particularly the fragmentation of landscapes and the extirpation of predators from food webs, has intensified the need to regulate abundance of wildlife populations with management. Controlling population growth using fertility control has been considered for almost four decades, but nearly all research has focused on understanding effects of fertility control agents on individual animals. Questions about the efficacy of fertility control as a way to control populations remain largely unanswered. 2. Collateral consequences of contraception can produce unexpected changes in birth rates, survival, immigration and emigration that may reduce the effectiveness of regulating...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Applied Ecology
Summary 1. Compared to bioclimatic variables, remote sensing predictors are rarely used for predictive species modelling. When used, the predictors represent typically habitat classifications or filters rather than gradual spectral, surface or biophysical properties. Consequently, the full potential of remotely sensed predictors for modelling the spatial distribution of species remains unexplored. Here we analysed the partial contributions of remotely sensed and climatic predictor sets to explain and predict the distribution of 19 tree species in Utah. We also tested how these partial contributions were related to characteristics such as successional types or species traits. 2. We developed two spatial predictor...
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(1) Breeding red-winged blackbirds were used as a model to study the effects of a single application of an organophosphate insecticide, fenthion, on reproduction of altricial songbirds..... (2) The insecticide had no significant effect on frequency of nest abandonment, clutch size, hatching success, or fledgling success..... (3) Growth rates of young nestlings were lower in nests on one of two treated areas, but overall growth rates of survivors were not significantly different from controls in nests on nearby unsprayed areas....(4) The insecticide had no measured effect on male spatial organization....(5) Measures of abundance of the principal nestling food item, noctuid larvae, showed that one application of the...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Applied Ecology
1. Desertification negatively impacts a large proportion of the global human population and > 30% of the terrestrial land surface. Better methods are needed to detect areas that are at risk of desertification and to ameliorate desertified areas. Biological soil crusts are an important soil lichen-moss-microbial community that can be used toward these goals, as (i) bioindicators of desertification damage and (ii) promoters of soil stability and fertility. 2. We identified environmental factors that correlate with soil crust occurrence on the landscape and might be manipulated to assist recovery of soil crusts in degraded areas. We conducted three studies on the Colorado Plateau, USA, to investigate the hypotheses...
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1.Parasites and pathogens of wildlife can threaten biodiversity, infect humans and domestic animals, and cause significant economic losses, providing incentives to manage wildlife diseases. Recent insights from disease ecology have helped transform our understanding of infectious disease dynamics and yielded new strategies to better manage wildlife diseases. Simultaneously, wildlife disease management (WDM) presents opportunities for large-scale empirical tests of disease ecology theory in diverse natural systems. 2.To assess whether the potential complementarity between WDM and disease ecology theory has been realized, we evaluate the extent to which specific concepts in disease ecology theory have been explicitly...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Applied Ecology
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1. Acoustic surveys have become a common survey method for bats and other vocal taxa. Previous work shows that bat echolocation may be misidentified, but common analytic methods, such as occupancy models, assume that misidentifications do not occur. Unless rare, such misidentifications could lead to incorrect inferences with significant management implications. 2. We fit a false-positive occupancy model to data from paired bat detector and mist-net surveys to estimate probability of presence when survey data may include false positives. We compared estimated occupancy and detection rates to those obtained from a standard occupancy model. We also derived a formula to estimate the probability that bats were present...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Applied Ecology
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Conservation decision-makers face a trade-off between spending limited funds on direct management action, or gaining new information in an attempt to improve management performance in the future. Value-of-information analysis can help to resolve this trade-off by evaluating how much management performance could improve if new information was gained. Value-of-information analysis has been used extensively in other disciplines, but there are only a few examples where it has informed conservation planning, none of which have used it to evaluate the financial value of gaining new information. We address this gap by applying value-of-information analysis to the management of a declining koala Phascolarctos cinereuspopulation....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Applied Ecology
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1. Tamarisk species (Tamarix ramosissima Ledeb., T. chinensis Lour., T. gallica L. and hybrids) have invaded riparian areas throughout western North America, resulting in expansive control efforts. Tamarisk is a relatively recent addition to North American plant communities, and competitive and successional processes are still developing. Box elder (Acer negundo L. var. interius (Britt.) Sarg.) is a native competitor found in canyons throughout western North America. We investigated the establishment chronology, competition and comparative shade tolerances of tamarisk and box elder to determine the superior competitor and to predict successional trajectories in mixed stands. 2. Competition was studied through neighbourhood...
1. Conservationists routinely use species distribution models to plan conservation, restoration and development actions, while ecologists use them to infer process from pattern. These models tend to work well for common or easily observable species, but are of limited utility for rare and cryptic species. This may be because honest accounting of known observation bias and spatial autocorrelation are rarely included, thereby limiting statistical inference of resulting distribution maps. 2. We specified and implemented a spatially explicit Bayesian hierarchical model for a cryptic mammal species (pygmy rabbit Brachylagus idahoensis). Our approach used two levels of indirect sign that are naturally hierarchical (burrows...
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1. Understanding the effects of disease is critical to determining appropriate management responses, but estimating those effects in wildlife species is challenging. We used bovine tuberculosis (BTB) in the African buffalo Syncerus caffer population of Kruger National Park, South Africa, as a case study to highlight the issues associated with estimating chronic disease effects in a long-lived host. 2. We used known and radiocollared buffalo, aerial census data, and a natural gradient in pathogen prevalence to investigate if: (i) at the individual level, BTB infection reduces reproduction; (ii) BTB infection increases vulnerability to predation; and (iii) at the population level, increased BTB prevalence causes reduced...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Applied Ecology
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The conservation of many wildlife species requires understanding the demographic effects of climate change, including interactions between climate change and harvest, which can provide cultural, nutritional or economic value to humans.We present a demographic model that is based on the polar bear Ursus maritimus life cycle and includes density-dependent relationships linking vital rates to environmental carrying capacity (K). Using this model, we develop a state-dependent management framework to calculate a harvest level that (i) maintains a population above its maximum net productivity level (MNPL; the population size that produces the greatest net increment in abundance) relative to a changing K, and (ii) has...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Applied Ecology
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1. In response to a purported 'bird-strike problem' at J.F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, we examined short (5 cm) and long (45 cm) grass heights as gull deterrents, in a randomized-block experiment. 2. Vegetative cover, numbers of adult insects and of larval beetles (suspected on-airport food of the gulls) were sampled in the six-block, 36-plot study area, as well as gut contents of adult and downy young gulls in the immediately adjacent colony in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. 3. We found that (i) Oriental beetle larvae were the most numerous and concentrated in one experimental block; (ii) beetle larvae numbers were uncorrelated with grass height; (iii) adult beetles were also uncorrelated...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Applied Ecology
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Seed dispersal by birds is central to the passive restoration of many tree communities. Reintroduction of extinct seed dispersers can therefore restore degraded forests and woodlands. To test this, we constructed a spatially explicit simulation model, parameterized with field data, to consider the effect of different seed dispersal scenarios on the extent of oak populations. We applied the model to two islands in California's Channel Islands National Park (USA), one of which has lost a key seed disperser.We used an ensemble modelling approach to simulate island scrub oak (Quercus pacifica) demography. The model was developed and trained to recreate known population changes over a 20-year period on 250-km2 Santa...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Applied Ecology
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1.In spite of growing reliance on translocations in wildlife conservation, translocation efficacy remains inconsistent. One factor that can contribute to failed translocations is releasing animals into poor quality or otherwise inadequate habitat. 2.Here we used a targeted approach to test the relationship of habitat features to post-translocation dispersal and survival of juvenile Mojave desert tortoises Gopherus agassizii. 3.We selected three habitat characteristics—rodent burrows, substrate texture (prevalence and size of rocks), and washes (ephemeral river beds)–that are tied to desert tortoise ecology. At the point of release, we documented rodent burrow abundance, substrate texture, and wash presence and analysed...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Applied Ecology
(1) Over the 8-year period 1980-87, moderate grazing did not affect the population dynamics of the perennial shrubs Atriplex vesicaria, Maireana astrotricha and Maireana pyramidata. Density of A. vesicaria declined on both grazed and ungrazed transects, but that of Maireana spp. remained almost constant. (2) Turnover rates of A. vesicaria were quite high for both grazed and ungrazed populations, but were extremely low for Maireana spp. (3) Shrub size was the only population parameter significantly affected by grazing. Heights and diameters for both grazed and ungrazed populations declined during dry periods, but this decline was greater for grazed shrubs. After rain, however, grazed shrubs quickly returned to sizes...


map background search result map search result map Canopy shade and the successional replacement of tamarisk by native box elder Canopy shade and the successional replacement of tamarisk by native box elder