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Big Spring spinedace (Lepidomeda mollispinis pratensis) is a cyprinid whose entire population occurs within a section of Meadow Valley Wash, Nevada. Other spinedace species have suffered population and range declines (one species is extinct). Managers, concerned about the vulnerability of Big Spring spinedace, have considered habitat restoration actions or translocation, but they have lacked data on distribution or habitat use. Our study occurred in an 8.2-km section of Meadow Valley Wash, including about 7.2 km in Condor Canyon and 0.8 km upstream of the canyon. Big Spring spinedace were present upstream of the currently listed critical habitat, including in the tributary Kill Wash. We found no Big Spring spinedace...
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We evaluated the thermal regime and relative abundance of native and nonnative fish and invertebrates within Kelly Warm Spring and Savage Ditch, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Water temperatures within the system remained relatively warm year-round with mean temperatures >20 °C near the spring source and >5 °C approximately 2 km downstream of the source. A total of 7 nonnative species were collected: Convict/Zebra Cichlid (Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum), Green Swordtail (Xiphophorus hellerii), Tadpole Madtom (Noturus gyrinus), Guppy (Poecilia reticulata), Goldfish (Carassius auratus), red-rimmed melania snail (Melanoides tuberculata), and American bullfrog tadpoles (Lithobates catesbeianus). Nonnative fish (Zebra...
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Caching of animal remains is common among carnivorous species of all sizes, yet the effects of caching on larger prey are unstudied. We conducted a summer field experiment designed to test the effects of simulated mountain lion (Puma concolor) caching on mass loss, relative temperature, and odor dissemination of 9 prey-like carcasses. We deployed all but one of the carcasses in pairs, with one of each pair exposed and the other shaded and shallowly buried (cached). Caching substantially reduced wastage during dry and hot (drought) but not wet and cool (monsoon) periods, and it also reduced temperature and discernable odor to some degree during both seasons. These results are consistent with the hypotheses that caching...
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Kelp forest communities are highly variable over space and time. Despite this complexity it has been suggested that kelp forest communities can be classified into one of 2 states: kelp dominated or sea urchin dominated. It has been further hypothesized that these represent “alternate stable states” because a site can remain in either of these states for decades before some perturbation causes a rapid shift to the other state. Our research group has maintained a subtidal community monitoring program for 38 years at San Nicolas Island consisting of twice-annual scuba-based surveys at 6 sites distributed within 4 regions around the island. Three types of perturbations are thought to be relevant to subtidal community...
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The Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus) is a shorebird species endemic to the dry, terrestrial ecosystems of the Great Plains and southwestern United States. Breeding Bird Survey data suggest that Mountain Plover populations have declined by >60% in the last 30 years. A better understanding of the population dynamics of the Mountain Plover is important in determining future management goals for this species. However, this effort is hampered by the inability to determine the sex of Mountain Plovers accurately under field conditions. In an effort to develop a simple method for sexing plovers in the hand, we measured external morphometric characteristics from 190 museum specimens of adult Mountain Plovers in alternate...
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Twenty-eight sites along the Wasatch Front, north central Utah, representing the range ot urban land use intensity for wadeable streams of the area, were sampled in September 2000. Fish communities were assessed by single-pass electrofishing, and physical habitat and water-quality characteristics were measured. On average, nonnative species comprised 54% of species richness and 53% of relative abundance, although only Salmo trutta and Pimephales promelas were very abundant at any 1 site. Salmo trutta and Catostomus platyrhynchus, a native species, were the most widely distributed and abundant species captured. Analysis of fish communities using nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) revealed a community gradient...
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Disturbance in riparian areas of semiarid ecosystems involves complex interactions of pulsed hydrologic flows, herbivory, fire, climatic effects, and anthropogenic influences. We resampled riparian vegetation within ten 10-m × 100-m plots that were initially sampled in 1992 in 4 watersheds of the Snake Range, east central Nevada. Our finding of significantly lower coverage of grasses, forbs, and shrubs within plots in 2001 compared with 1992 was not consistent with the management decision to remove livestock grazing from the watersheds in 1999. Change over time in cover of life-forms or bare ground was not predicted by scat counts within plots in 2001. Cover results were also not well explained by variability between...
Plant macrofossils from packrat middens in two southeastern Utah caves outline development of modern plant zonation from the late Wisconsin. Allen Canyon Cave (2195 m) and Fishmouth Cave (1585 m) are located along a continuous gradient of outcropping Navajo Sandstone that extends from the Abajo Mountains south to the San Juan River. By holding the site constant, changes in the floral composition for a plot of less than one hectare can be observed, even if sporadically, over tens of millennia. At Allen Canyon Cave, Engelmann spruce-alpine fir forest was replaced by the present vegetation consisting of pinyon-juniper woodland on exposed ridgetops and cliffside stands of Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, and aspen. Xerophytic...
Five alcoves (rock shelters) in the Forty-Mile Canyon—Willow Gulch area of the Escalante River Basin in southeastern Utah yielded rich deposits of late Quaternary macrobotanical remains. The deposits were sampled and the contents identified in order to construct a chronology of vegetational change. Fourteen radiocarbon dates indicate that the fossils were deposited between 12,690 and 7510 yr B.P. (years before present). Ninety-one plant taxa were identified, 62 to species. Six species were common to all alcoves: Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii), box-elder (Acer negundo), prickly pear (Opuntia subgenus Platyopuntia), skunkbush (Rhus aromatica var. trilobata), serviceberry (Amelanchier utahensis), and Indian ricegrass...
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Forests of the southern Rocky Mountains are punctuated by persistent meadows called parks that are dominated by grasses and forbs. In an attempt to elucidate the maintenance of subalpine parks in the Gunnison Basin, Colorado, soil texture and tree morphology differences along 60-m transects spanning the forest-park ecotone were studied in 6 representative parks. Seedling survivorship, percent seed germination, and soil moisture available to plants were also studied along one of the transects in Willow Park. Soil analyses revealed 40% more silt and significantly less sand and clay in all 6 parks (P < 0.001), which supports the traditional hypotheses that edaphic factors are involved in restricting establishment of...
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Resource specialists at Dinosaur National Monument utilize both planned and unplanned wildland ignitions in big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)--dominated plant communities to restore successional processes, maintain vegetation vigor, and promote diversified landscapes. Short- and long-term effects of prescribed burning on small mammal populations are not well understood. The objectives of this study were to (1) compare small mammal species richness, similarity, and diversity between paired burned and unburned treatment plots, and (2) assess long-term trends of small mammal community responses to burning. Five paired burned/unburned sites having similar vegetation, soils, elevation, and annual precipitation were...
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Despite their trophic importance and potential importance as bioindicators of stream condition, benthic algae have not been well studied in California. In particular there are few studies from small streams in the Sierra Nevada. The objective of this study was to determine the standing crop of chlorophyll-a and benthic algal species assemblages present in the small 1st- and 2nd-order streams of the Kings River Experimental Watersheds (KREW, watersheds of Bull, Providence, Duff, and Teakettle Creeks) and determine the associations of these measures with stream habitat. We collected samples of benthic algae from rock substrata in September 2002 (7 sites) and 2005 (the same 7 sites plus 5 additional sites). Habitat...
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Sage-grouse (Centrocercus spp.) were abundant in all of Utah's 29 counties at the time of European settlement wherever sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) occurred. Greater Sage-Grouse (G. urophasianus) inhabited areas north and west of the Colorado River, and Gunnison Sage-Grouse (G. minimus) occupied suitable habitat south and east of the Colorado River. The largest Greater Sage-Grouse populations in Utah are currently restricted to suitable habitats in Box Elder, Garfield, Rich, Uintah, and Wayne Counties. A remnant breeding population of Gunnison Sage-Grouse occurs in eastern San Juan County. We stratified Greater Sage-Grouse populations (1971-2000) by counties where the 1996 to 2000 moving average for estimated spring...
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First paragraph of introduction: On 20 July 2004 a single Asian tapeworm (Bothriocephalus acheilognathi) was collected from the intestine of a roundtail chub (Gila robusta) in the Yampa River in Dinosaur National Monument in northwestern Colorado. This fish (274 mm TL) was collected at river mile 24 and dissected in the field. A single tapeworm was removed from the intestine and preserved in ethanol. The tapeworm was later identified in the laboratory as B. acheilognathi by its characteristic arrow-shaped scolex (Poole et al. 1984). This is the 1st recorded incidence of Asian tapeworm infecting fish in the Yampa River drainage. Published in Western North American Naturalist, volume 65, issue 3, on pages 403 - 404,...
Discovery of distinct mid-elevational bands of blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima Torr.) shrublands on desert mountain slopes in the Mojave Desert caused an investigation of the relationships between environmental factors and Coleogyne distribution. Environmental factors were quantitatively examined to determine which were significant predictors of Coleogyne density at upper-elevational limits (ecotones) in the Spring Mountains of southern Nevada. Path analysis revealed significant, direct causal effects of air temperature, soil moisture, soil depth, and percent litter cover on the distribution of Coleogyne. Specifically, air temperature was a significant positive predictor, while soil moisture, soil depth, and percent...
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We compared vegetation structure used by 14 bird species during the 1998 and 1999 breeding seasons to determine what habitat features best accounted for habitat division and community organization in Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma) woodlands of southwestern Wyoming. Habitat use was quantified by measuring 24 habitat variables in 461 bird-centered quadrats, each 0.04 ha in size. Using discriminant function analysis, we differentiated between habitat used by 14 bird species along 3 habitat dimensions: (1) variation in shrub cover, overstory juniper cover, mature tree density, understory height, and decadent tree density; (2) a gradient composed of elevation and forb cover; and (3) variation in grass cover, tree...
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Interspecies interactions can affect how species are distributed, put constraints on habitat expansion, and reduce the fundamental niche of the affected species. Using logistic regression, we analyzed and compared 174 Tamias palmeri and 94 Tamias panamintinus within an isolated mountain range of the Basin and Range Province of southern Nevada. Tamias panamintinus was more likely to use pinyon/ponderosa/fir mixed forests than pinyon alone, compared to random sites. In the presence of T palmeri, however, interaction analyses indicated T. panamintinus was less likely to occupy the mixed forests and more likely near large rocks on southern aspects. This specie s-by-habitat interaction data suggest that T. palmeri excludes...
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We demonstrate new multi-phase, multi-scale approaches for sampling and modeling native and exotic plant species to predict the spread of invasive species and aid in control efforts. Our test site is a 54,000-ha portion of Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA. This work is based on previous research wherein we developed vegetation sampling techniques to identify hot spots of diversity, important rare habitats, and locations of invasive plant species. Here we demonstrate statistical modeling tools to rapidly assess current patterns of native and exotic plant species to determine which habitats are most vulnerable to invasion by exotic species. We use stepwise multiple regression and modified residual kriging...
Blackbursh (Coleogyne ramosissima Torr.) is a dominant desert shrub in a distinct mid-elevations vegetation belt between creosote bush-bursage (Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa) shrubland below and big sagebrush-pinyon pine- Utah juniper (Artemisia tridentata-Pinus monophylla-Juniperus osteosperma) woodland above in the Mojave Desert. Seed germination patterns of blackbrush seeds collected from 2 elevations (1200 and 1550 m) in 5 mountain ranges within the blackbrush shrublands were investigated. Morphological features of blackbrush seeds, including weight, length, and width, were not significantly different (P > 0.05) among elevations and mountain ranges in the Mojave Desert. Germination of blackbrush seeds was...
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Much of western North America is dominated by dense, monotypic, late seral stands of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.). These stands often have depauperate understories with limited species richness, diversity, and herbaceous cover. The National Park Service at Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado, is using both strategic and natural prescribed fire in Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis Beetle and Young) communi- ties to foster intra-community (α-scale) and landscape diversity. This study analyzed an accumulated foliar cover data set between paired burn and control areas on 6 different sites during the last 20 years. Across the monitoring period, mean total vegetation cover of...


map background search result map search result map Changes in the distribution and status of sage-grouse in Utah Vegetation response to prescribed fire in Dinosaur National Monument Fire effects on small mammal communities in Dinosaur National Monument Persistence of subalpine forest--meadow ecotones in the Gunnison Basin, Colorado Collection of Asian tapeworm ( Bothriocephalus acheilognathi ) from the Yampa River, Colorado Distribution and movement of Big Spring spinedace (<i>Lepidomeda mollispinis pratensis</i>) in Condor Canyon, Meadow Valley Wash, Nevada Habitat interaction between two species of chipmunk in the Basin and Range Province of Nevada Distribution and movement of Big Spring spinedace (<i>Lepidomeda mollispinis pratensis</i>) in Condor Canyon, Meadow Valley Wash, Nevada Vegetation response to prescribed fire in Dinosaur National Monument Fire effects on small mammal communities in Dinosaur National Monument Collection of Asian tapeworm ( Bothriocephalus acheilognathi ) from the Yampa River, Colorado Habitat interaction between two species of chipmunk in the Basin and Range Province of Nevada Persistence of subalpine forest--meadow ecotones in the Gunnison Basin, Colorado Changes in the distribution and status of sage-grouse in Utah