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One of the basic goals of ecosystem assessment efforts is to describe the impacts of key drivers of change that place the sustained delivery of ecosystem services at risk. Some of these risk factors, such as urban growth and energy extraction, themselves provide important services, and trade-offs must be considered when they compromise other ecosystem benefits. Working towards sustainable landscapes by addressing these trade-offs is one of the great challenges in natural resource management and conservation practice. Here we summarize findings concerning key risk factors from assessment efforts in the Appalachian region.
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Full life-cycle vulnerability assessments are identifying the effects of climate change on nongame migratory birds that are of conservation concern and breed in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes region. Full life-cycle analyses are critical, as current efforts likely underestimate the vulnerability of migratory land birds due to a focus on assessing only one component of the annual cycle. The approach provides a framework for integrating exposure to climate changes, sensitivity to these changes, and the potential for adaptation in both winter and summer seasons, and accounts for carry-over effects from one season to another. The results of this work will inform regional management by highlighting both local and...
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Within the time frame of the longevity of tree species, climate change will change faster than the ability of natural tree migration. Migration lags may result in reduced productivity and reduced diversity in forests under current management and climate change. We evaluated the efficacy of planting climate-suitable tree species (CSP), those tree species with current or historic distributions immediately south of a focal landscape, to maintain or increase aboveground biomass, productivity, and species and functional diversity. We modeled forest change with the LANDIS-II forest simulation model for 100 years (2000–2100) at a 2-ha cell resolution and five-year time steps within two landscapes in the Great Lakes region...
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Phase 1 & 2 (2010, 2012): This project developed a sampling design and monitoring protocol for wintering shorebirds in the Central Valley and in the San Francisco Bay Estuary and develop an LCC-specific online shorebird monitoring portal publicly available at the California Avian Data Center. The three objectives in Phase II of this project are: 1) Complete the shorebird monitoring plan for the CA LCC by developing a sampling design and monitoring protocol for wintering shorebirds in coastal southern California and northern Mexico. 2) Develop models to evaluate the influence of habitat factors from multiple spatial scales on shorebird use of San Francisco Bay and managed wetlands in the Sacramento Valley, as a model...
Categories: Data, Project; Types: Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service; Tags: 2010, 2011, 2013, Academics & scientific researchers, Academics & scientific researchers, All tags...
Case Study: Integrated Scenarios and Outreach for Habitat Threat Assessments on California RangelandsWe developed six scenarios organized around our management question: How can we maintain viable ranchlands and their ecosystem services in light of future integrated threats? The scenarios represent alternative futures of climate/land use/hydrological change for the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition (Rangeland Coalition) focus area (the foothills around the Central Valley and most of the southern Inner Coast Range) based on (a) consistent storylines of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES)5 and (b) downscaled global climate models (GCMs) that represent...
Abstract: As the climate changes, human land use may impede species from tracking areas with suitable climates. Maintaining connectivity between areas of different temperatures could allow organisms to move along temperature gradients and allow species to continue to occupy the same temperature space as the climate warms. We used a coarse-filter approach to identify broad corridors for movement between areas where human influence is low while simultaneously routing the corridors along present-day spatial gradients of temperature. We modified a cost–distance algorithm to model these corridors and tested the model with data on current land-use and climate patterns in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The...
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Much remains unknown about the genetic status and population connectivity of high-elevation and high-latitude freshwater invertebrates, which often persist near snow and ice masses that are disappearing due to climate change. Here we report on the conservation genetics of the meltwater stonefly Lednia tumana (Ricker) of Montana, USA, a cold-water obligate species. We sequenced 1530 bp of mtDNA from 116 L. tumana individuals representing “historic” (>10 yr old) and 2010 populations. The dominant haplotype was common in both time periods, while the second-most-common haplotype was found only in historic samples, having been lost in the interim. The 2010 populations also showed reduced gene and nucleotide diversity...
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Abstract Unpaved forest roads remain a pervasive disturbance on public lands and mitigating sediment from road networks remains a priority for management agencies. Restoring roaded landscapes is becoming increasingly important for many native coldwater fishes that disproportionately rely on public lands for persistence. However, effectively targeting restoration opportunities requires a comprehensive understanding of the effects of roads across different ecosystems. Here, we combine a review and a field study to evaluate the status of knowledge supporting the conceptual framework linking unpaved forest roads with streambed sediment. Through our review, we specifically focused on those studies linking measures of...
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Habitat fragmentation and flow regulation are significant factors related to the decline and extinction of freshwater biota. Pelagic-broadcast spawning cyprinids require moving water and some length of unfragmented stream to complete their life cycle. However, it is unknown how discharge and habitat features interact at multiple spatial scales to alter the transport of semi-buoyant fish eggs. Our objective was to assess the relationship between downstream drift of semi-buoyant egg surrogates (gellan beads) and discharge and habitat complexity. We quantified transport time of a known quantity of beads using 2–3 sampling devices at each of seven locations on the North Canadian and Canadian rivers. Transport time was...
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Stream fragmentation alters the structure of aquatic communities on a global scale, generally through loss of native species. Among riverscapes in the Great Plains of North America, stream fragmentation and hydrologic alteration (flow regulation and dewatering) are implicated in the decline of native fish diversity. This study documents the spatio–temporal distribution of fish reproductive guilds in the fragmented Arkansas and Ninnescah rivers of south-central Kansas using retrospective analyses involving 63 years of fish community data. Pelagic-spawning fishes declined throughout the study area during 1950–2013, including Arkansas River shiner (Notropis girardi) last reported in 1983, plains minnow (Hybognathus...
Categories: Data, Publication; Types: Citation, Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service; Tags: CATFISHES/MINNOWS, Colorado, Colorado, FISH, Federal resource managers, All tags...
Melanism (dark coloration) is a condition resulting from a greater than normal expres-sion of the eumelanin pigments in the plumage (Gill 1990). The dark coloration can be advantageous to raptors by increasing the feathers’ resistance to bacterial degradation (Goldstein et al. 2004). conversely, abnormally dark pigmentation can reduce success in pairing by disguising key species-identification cues (García 2003) and decrease lifetime reproductive success by increasing mortality (krüger and lindström 2001). Polymorphism in color, of which melanism is one example, occurs in at least 3.5% of avian species worldwide and in 22% of raptors of the family Accipitridae (harriers, hawks, eagles, kites, and Old World vultures;...
Determining species occurrence in ecosystems of high conservation concern is especially important for recommending habitat management techniques and identifying suitable restoration sites. We investigated (1) how stand- and landscape-scale attributes affect occupancy of priority bird species associated with longleaf pine (Pinus palutris) ecosystems, (2) if these priority birds can be used as indicator species for desired open pine forest structure, and (3) if these indicator species are positively correlated with greater avian richness. We compared priority bird occupancy among 12 stand types (habitat types) throughout the historic range of longleaf pine in Mississippi. We found stands resembling the historic longleaf...
Climate change continues to be one of the most challenging threats to global biodiversity and species persistence. In response, conservation design researchers and applied practitioners have recently begun to call for the identification of critical areas of stable climatic and environmental conditions that may preserve the platform of current climate dynamics, and promote the adaptation and dispersal of diverse taxa across the landscape. Due to their historically buffered and resilient features, climate refugia are considered valuable conservation targets that may function as robust bastions for climatically-sensitive endemic species. In this thesis research, I have worked to define the potential stability of refugia...
Publication from the NALCC co-funded project Identifying Important Migratory Landbird Stopover Sites in the Northeast. With many of the world’s migratory bird populations in alarming decline, broad‐scale assessments of responses to migratory hazards may prove crucial to successful conservation efforts. Most birds migrate at night through increasingly light‐polluted skies. Bright light sources can attract airborne migrants and lead to collisions with structures, but might also influence selection of migratory stopover habitat and thereby acquisition of food resources. We demonstrate, using multi‐year weather radar measurements of nocturnal migrants across the northeastern U.S., that autumnal migrant stopover density...
The spread and impacts of exotic species are unambiguous, global threats to many ecosystems. A prominent example is the suite of annual grasses in the Bromus genus (Bromus hereafter) that originate from Europe and Eurasia but have invaded or are invading large areas of the Western USA. This book brings a diverse, multidisciplinary group of authors together to synthesize current knowledge, research needs, and management implications for Bromus. Exotic plant invasions are multifaceted problems, and understanding and managing them requires the biological, ecological, sociological, and economic perspectives that are integrated in this book. Knowing how well information from one geographic or environmental setting can...
Strong evidence on climate change underscores the need for actions to reduce the impacts of sea-level rise. Global mean sea level may rise 0.18–0.48 m by mid-century1, 2 and 0.5–1.4 m by the end of the century2. Besides marine inundation, it is largely unrecognized that low-lying coastal areas may also be vulnerable to groundwater inundation, which is localized coastal-plain flooding due to a rise of the groundwater table with sea level. Measurements of the coastal groundwater elevation and tidal influence in urban Honolulu, Hawaii, allow estimates of the mean water table, which was used to assess vulnerability to groundwater inundation from sea-level rise. We find that 0.6 m of potential sea-level rise causes substantial...
The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model has been configured as a regional climate model for the Hawaii region (HRCM) to assess the uncertainties associated with the pseudo–global warming (PGW) downscaling method using different warming increments from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) model experiments. Results from 15-km downscaling experiments using warming increments from 10 individual CMIP5 models for the two warming scenarios representative concentration pathway 4.5 (RCP4.5) and 8.5 (RCP8.5) are compared with experiments using multimodel mean warming increments. The results show that changes in 2-m temperatures, 10-m wind speed, rainfall, water vapor path, and trade wind...
Although climate change is predicted to place mountain-top and other narrowly endemic species at severe risk of extinction, the ecological processes involved in such extinctions are still poorly resolved. In addition, much of this biodiversity loss will likely go unobserved, and therefore largely unappreciated. The Haleakalā silversword is restricted to a single volcano summit in Hawai‘i, but is a highly charismatic giant rosette plant that is viewed by 1–2 million visitors annually. We link detailed local climate data to a lengthy demographic record, and combine both with a population-wide assessment of recent plant mortality and recruitment, to show that after decades of strong recovery following successful management,...
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Our project focuses on understanding patterns and causes of recent population declines in the Haleakala silversword that are associated with decreasing precipitation, increasing temperature, and related climate changes in Hawaii’s high-elevation ecosystems. The Haleakala silversword is an ideal taxon with which to assess impacts from climate change. It forms the foundation of a diverse alpine community and likely reflects wider ecological changes; it is already exhibiting patterns of mortality consistent with an upslope shifting distribution; and its high visibility and symbolic status make it unmatched in educational potential. Building on extensive research infrastructure, we propose to collect the demographic...


map background search result map search result map A Monitoring Protocol to Assess Wintering Shorebird Population Trends Understanding how climate change is affecting Hawaii's high-elevation ecosystems: an assessment of the long-term viability of Haleakala silverswords and associated biological communities Interacting Effects of Discharge and Channel Morphology on Transport of Semibuoyant Fish Eggs in Large, Altered River Systems Loss of Genetic Diversity and Increased Subdivision in an Endemic Alpine Stonefly Threatened by Climate Change Linkages between unpaved forest roads and streambed sediment: why context matters in directing road restoration Publication: A blind spot in climate change Publication: Measuring and managing resistance and resilience under climate change in northern Great Lake forests Publication: Fragmentation and drying ratchet down Great Plains stream fish diversity Vegetation dynamics related to climate and  land use in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands Linkages between unpaved forest roads and streambed sediment: why context matters in directing road restoration Vegetation dynamics related to climate and  land use in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands Loss of Genetic Diversity and Increased Subdivision in an Endemic Alpine Stonefly Threatened by Climate Change A Monitoring Protocol to Assess Wintering Shorebird Population Trends Interacting Effects of Discharge and Channel Morphology on Transport of Semibuoyant Fish Eggs in Large, Altered River Systems Publication: Fragmentation and drying ratchet down Great Plains stream fish diversity Publication: Measuring and managing resistance and resilience under climate change in northern Great Lake forests Publication: A blind spot in climate change