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The neurotoxic amino acid, domoic acid (DA), is naturally produced by marine phytoplankton and presents a significant threat to the health of marine mammals, seabirds and humans via transfer of the toxin through the foodweb. In humans, acute exposure causes a neurotoxic illness known as amnesic shellfish poisoning characterized by seizures, memory loss, coma and death. Regular monitoring for high DA levels in edible shellfish tissues has been effective in protecting human consumers from acute DA exposure. However, chronic low-level DA exposure remains a concern, particularly in coastal and tribal communities that subsistence harvest shellfish known to contain low levels of the toxin. Domoic acid exposure via consumption...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Simple models of plant response to warming climates predict vegetation moving to cooler and/or wetter locations: in mountainous regions shifting upslope. However, species-specific responses to climate change are likely to be much more complex. We re-examined a recently reported vegetation shift in the Santa Rosa Mountains, California, to better understand the mechanisms behind the reported shift of a plant distribution upslope. We focused on five elevational zones near the center of the gradient that captured many of the reported shifts and which are dominated by fire-prone chaparral. Using growth rings, we determined that a major assumption of the previous work was wrong: past fire histories differed among elevations....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Climate change and catastrophic events have contributed to rice shortages in several regions due to decreased water availability and soil salinization. Although not adapted to salt or drought stress, two commercial rice varieties achieved tolerance to these stresses by colonizing them with Class 2 fungal endophytes isolated from plants growing across moisture and salinity gradients. Plant growth and development, water usage, ROS sensitivity and osmolytes were measured with and without stress under controlled conditions. The endophytes conferred salt, drought and cold tolerance to growth chamber and greenhouse grown plants. Endophytes reduced water consumption by 20–30% and increased growth rate, reproductive yield,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal disease of deer, elk, and moose transmitted through direct, animal-to-animal contact, and indirectly, via environmental contamination. Considerable attention has been paid to modeling direct transmission, but despite the fact that CWD prions can remain infectious in the environment for years, relatively little information exists about the potential effects of indirect transmission on CWD dynamics. In the present study, we use simulation models to demonstrate how indirect transmission and the duration of environmental prion persistence may affect epidemics of CWD and populations of North American deer. Existing data from Colorado, Wyoming, and Wisconsin's CWD epidemics were...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Information about wolf (Canis lupus) movements anywhere near the northern extreme of the species' range in the High Arctic (>75°N latitude) are lacking. There, wolves prey primarily on muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) and must survive 4 months of 24 hr/day winter darkness and temperatures reaching -53 C. The extent to which wolves remain active and prey on muskoxen during the dark period are unknown, for the closest area where information is available about winter wolf movements is >2,250 km south. We studied a pack of ≥20 wolves on Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada (80°N latitude) from July 2009 through mid-April 2010 by collaring a lead wolf with a Global Positioning System (GPS)/Argos radio collar. The collar recorded...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Background: Recent reviews suggest that the warming and acidification of ocean surface waters predicated by most accepted climate projections will lead to mass mortality and declining calcification rates of reef-building corals. This study investigates the use of modeling techniques to quantitatively examine rates of coral cover change due to these effects. Methodology/Principal Findings: Broad-scale probabilities of change in shallow-water scleractinian coral cover in the Hawaiian Archipelago for years 2000-2099 A.D. were calculated assuming a single middle-of-the-road greenhouse gas emissions scenario. These projections were based on ensemble calculations of a growth and mortality model that used sea surface temperature...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
The three subspecies of Spotted Owl (Northern, Strix occidentalis caurina; California, S. o. occidentalis; and Mexican, S. o. lucida) are all threatened by habitat loss and range expansion of the Barred Owl (S. varia). An unaddressed threat is whether Barred Owls could be a source of novel strains of disease such as avian malaria (Plasmodium spp.) or other blood parasites potentially harmful for Spotted Owls. Although Barred Owls commonly harbor Plasmodium infections, these parasites have not been documented in the Spotted Owl. We screened 111 Spotted Owls, 44 Barred Owls, and 387 owls of nine other species for haemosporidian parasites (Leucocytozoon, Plasmodium, and Haemoproteus spp.). California Spotted Owls had...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation, Journal Citation; Tags: PLoS One
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Coral disease is a global problem. Diseases are typically named or described based on macroscopic changes, but broad signs of coral distress such as tissue loss or discoloration are unlikely to be specific to a particular pathogen. For example, there appear to be multiple diseases that manifest the rapid tissue loss that characterizes ‘white plague.’ PhyloChip™ G3 microarrays were used to compare the bacterial community composition of both healthy and white plague-like diseased corals. Samples of lobed star coral (Orbicella annularis, formerly of the genus Montastraea [1]) were collected from two geographically distinct areas, Dry Tortugas National Park and Virgin Islands National Park, to determine if there were...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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As bighead carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis and silver carp H. molitrix (the bigheaded carps) are poised to enter the Laurentian Great Lakes and potentially damage the region’s economically important fishery, information on developmental rates and behaviors of carps is critical to assessing their ability to establish sustainable populations within the Great Lakes basin. In laboratory experiments, the embryonic and larval developmental rates, size, and behaviors of bigheaded carp were tracked at two temperature treatments, one “cold” and one “warm”. Developmental rates were computed using previously described stages of development and the cumulative thermal unit method. Both species have similar thermal requirements,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Camera traps are valuable sampling tools commonly used to inventory and monitor wildlife communities but are challenged to reliably sample small animals. We introduce a novel active camera trap system enabling the reliable and efficient use of wildlife cameras for sampling small animals, particularly reptiles, amphibians, small mammals and large invertebrates. It surpasses the detection ability of commonly used passive infrared (PIR) cameras for this application and eliminates problems such as high rates of false triggers and high variability in detection rates among cameras and study locations. Our system, which employs a HALT trigger, is capable of coupling to digital PIR cameras and is designed for detecting...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Ecological systems may occur in alternative states that differ in ecological structures, functions and processes. Resilience is the measure of disturbance an ecological system can absorb before changing states. However, how the intrinsic structures and processes of systems that characterize their states affects their resilience remains unclear. We analyzed time series of phytoplankton communities at three sites in a floodplain in central Spain to assess the dominant frequencies or “temporal scales” in community dynamics and compared the patterns between a wet and a dry alternative state. The identified frequencies and cross-scale structures are expected to arise from positive feedbacks that are thought to reinforce...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Overabundant populations of ungulates have caused environmental degradation and loss of biological diversity in ecosystems throughout the world. Culling or regulated harvest is often used to control overabundant species. These methods are difficult to implement in national parks, other types of conservation reserves, or in residential areas where public hunting may be forbidden by policy. As a result, fertility control has been recommended as a non-lethal alternative for regulating ungulate populations. We evaluate this alternative using white-tailed deer in national parks in the vicinity of Washington, D.C., USA as a model system. Managers seek to reduce densities of white-tailed deer from the current average (50...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Long-term, interdisciplinary studies of relations between climate and ecological conditions on wetland-upland landscapes have been lacking, especially studies integrated across scales meaningful for adaptive resource management. We collected data in situ at individual wetlands, and via satellite for surrounding 4-km2 landscape blocks, to assess relations between annual weather dynamics, snow duration, phenology, wetland surface-water availability, amphibian presence and calling activity, greenness, and evapotranspiration in four U.S. conservation areas from 2008 to 2012. Amid recent decades of relatively warm growing seasons, 2012 and 2010 were the first and second warmest seasons, respectively, dating back to 1895....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Understanding species-habitat relationships is vital to successful conservation, but the tools used to communicate species-habitat relationships are often poorly suited to the information needs of conservation practitioners. Here we present a novel method for translating a statistical species-habitat model, a regression analysis relating ring-necked pheasant abundance to landcover, into an interactive online tool. The Pheasant Habitat Simulator combines the analytical power of the R programming environment with the user-friendly Shiny web interface to create an online platform in which wildlife professionals can explore the effects of variation in local landcover on relative pheasant habitat suitability within spatial...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Density-dependent (DD) and density-independent (DI) habitat selection is strongly linked to a species’ evolutionary history. Determining the relative importance of each is necessary because declining populations are not always the result of altered DI mechanisms but can often be the result of DD via a reduced carrying capacity. We developed spatially and temporally explicit models throughout the Chena River, Alaska to predict important DI mechanisms that influence Chinook salmon spawning success. We used resource-selection functions to predict suitable spawning habitat based on geomorphic characteristics, a semi-distributed water-and-energy balance hydrologic model to generate stream flow metrics, and modeled stream...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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A number of researchers have attempted to estimate salmonid smolt survival during outmigration through an estuary. However, it is currently unclear how the design of such studies influences the accuracy and precision of survival estimates. In this simulation study we consider four patterns of smolt survival probability in the estuary, and test the performance of several different sampling strategies for estimating estuarine survival assuming perfect detection. The four survival probability patterns each incorporate a systematic component (constant, linearly increasing, increasing and then decreasing, and two pulses) and a random component to reflect daily fluctuations in survival probability. Generally, spreading...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Most pathogen detection tests are imperfect, with a sensitivity < 100%, thereby resulting in the potential for a false negative, where a pathogen is present but not detected. False negatives in a sample inflate the number of non-detections, negatively biasing estimates of pathogen prevalence. Histological examination of tissues as a diagnostic test can be advantageous as multiple pathogens can be examined and providing important information on associated pathological changes to the host. However, it is usually less sensitive than molecular or microbiological tests for specific pathogens. Our study objectives were to 1) develop a hierarchical occupancy model to examine pathogen prevalence in spring Chinook salmonOncorhynchus...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Grassland bird habitat has declined substantially in the United States. Remaining grasslands are increasingly fragmented, mostly privately owned, and vary greatly in terms of habitat quality and protection status. A coordinated strategic response for grassland bird conservation is difficult, largely due to the scope and complexity of the problem, further compounded by biological, sociological, and economic uncertainties. We describe the results from a collaborative Structured Decision Making (SDM) workshop focused on linking social and economic drivers of landscape change to grassland bird population outcomes. We identified and evaluated alternative strategies for grassland bird conservation using a series of rapid...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Studying habitat overlap between sympatric species is one of the best ways to identify interspecies relationships and to direct conservation efforts so that multiple species can benefit. However, studies exploring interspecies relationships are very limited in Nepal, making it difficult for the government of Nepal and conservation partners to manage wildlife in their habitats, especially in Himalayan protected areas. In this study, we identified habitat overlap between Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) and red panda (Ailurus fulgens) as well as important habitat types for both species in the Makalu Barun National Park, Nepal using Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling. GPS points of species occurrence were collected...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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Climate change is driving rapid changes in environmental conditions and affecting population and species’ persistence across spatial and temporal scales. Integrating climate change assessments into biological resource management, such as conserving endangered species, is a substantial challenge, partly due to a mismatch between global climate forecasts and local or regional conservation planning. Here, we demonstrate how outputs of global climate change models can be downscaled to the watershed scale, and then coupled with ecophysiological metrics to assess climate change effects on organisms of conservation concern. We employed models to estimate future water temperatures (2010–2099) under several climate change...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE


map background search result map search result map A plant distribution shift: temperature, drought or past disturbance? Comparing bacterial community composition between healthy and white plague-like disease states in <i>Orbicella annularis</i> using PhyloChip™ G3 microarrays A plant distribution shift: temperature, drought or past disturbance? Comparing bacterial community composition between healthy and white plague-like disease states in <i>Orbicella annularis</i> using PhyloChip™ G3 microarrays