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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...
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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...
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Sediment accumulation in playa wetlands, such as those in the Rainwater Basin in south-central Nebraska, reduces the hydrologic functionality and alters the vegetative composition of the wetlands reducing their ability to provide forage and resting habitat for migratory birds. Most Rainwater Basin wetlands have intense agricultural production occuring within their watersheds that accelerate sediment accumulation within the wetland. This sediment accumulation reduced the abilty of the wetland to hold water which, in turn, allows invasive and upland plants to proliferate with the wetland footprint. Planting upland grassland buffers around wetlands reduces the sediment load entering the wetland reducing the need...
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Genetic, demographic, and environmental processes affect natural populations synergistically, and understanding their interplay is crucial for the conservation of biodiversity. Stream fishes in metapopulations are particularly sensitive to habitat fragmentation because persistence depends on dispersal and colonization of new habitat but dispersal is constrained to stream networks. Great Plains streams are increasingly fragmented by water diversion and climate change, threatening connectivity of fish populations in this ecosystem. We used seven microsatellite loci to describe population and landscape genetic patterns across 614 individuals from 12 remaining populations of Arkansas darter ( Etheostoma cragini) in...
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These data represent 1 sq. mile Hexagons and are derived from the Western Governors Association Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool. The hexagons have been attributed with summary values from the datasets described above. Field names correspond to the number datasets above as follows: {1:’wetland_deds’, 2:’wetland_ceds’, 3:’cropland_ceds’, 4:’lasp_grsp_casp_suit’, 5:’lasp_grsp_suit’, 6:’riparian_suit’, 7:’mean_sat_thick_ft’, 8:’tillage_suit’, 9:’wind_suit’, 10:’ann_aq_deplet_ft’, 11:’wetland_deds_2040’, 12:’wetland_ceds_2040’, 13:’lbgrasslands_2017’, 14:’lbgrasslands_2022’, 15:’lbgrasslands_2027’, 16:’mean_sat_thick_2050_ft’, 17:’tillage_suit_2050’}. Zonal statistic attribution methods are as follows: {1:’SUM’, 2:’SUM’,...
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The tillage suitability product is a per-crop, per-pixel (30 square-meters) model representation of the predicted probability (0.00-1.00) that an area can support commodity crop development for a suite of crop types commonly grown in the LCD landscape. The values for each grid cell are interpreted as a probability, with any value greater-than 0.50 suggesting an area should be suitable for crop development based on observations of 2.5 million farmed areas around the LCD geography. To demonstrate composite suitability (“tillage”) for all crops, we added the individual probabilities for our modeled from cover classes (cereals, corn, cotton, and beans), which represents the overall proportion of votes for “crop” vs....
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These data represent areas defined as large block grasslands according to a model developed by PLJV (McLachlan 2008). The model is based on literature derived Lesser Prairie-Chicken habitat preferences and considers habitat composition within a 2,000 ha area. Any pixel with more than 58% grass, less than 36% cropland, less than 2% woodland/ shrubland, less than 5 % secondary roads, and no 4 lane roads within a 2,000 ha surrounding area is counted as a large block grassland pixel.
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Biodiversity in stream networks is threatened globally by interactions between habitat fragmentation and altered hydrologic regimes. In the Great Plains of North America, stream networks are fragmented by 19,000 anthropogenic barriers, and flow regimes are altered by surface water retention and groundwater extraction. We documented the distribution of anthropogenic barriers and dry stream segments in five basins covering the central Great Plains to assess effects of broad-scale environmental change on stream fish community structure and distribution of reproductive guilds. We used an information-theoretic approach to rank competing models in which fragmentation, discharge magnitude, and percentage of time streams had...
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Genetic, demographic, and environmental processes affect natural populations synergistically, and understanding their interplay is crucial for the conservation of biodiversity. Stream fishes in metapopulations are particularly sensitive to habitat fragmentation because persistence depends on dispersal and colonization of new habitat but dispersal is constrained to stream networks. Great Plains streams are increasingly fragmented by water diversion and climate change, threatening connectivity of fish populations in this ecosystem. We used seven microsatellite loci to describe population and landscape genetic patterns across 614 individuals from 12 remaining populations of Arkansas darter ( Etheostoma cragini) in...
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The aquifer saturated thickness product is a per-pixel (250 square-meters) model representation of the combined fluid and soil matrix volume of water available in a given area, represented in units of linear feet. The prediction of available water is made using a network of over 9,300 monitoring wells located throughout the High Plains aquifer region. These wells are part of an annually updated long-term water-level monitoring study being conducted by United States Geological Survey hydrologists and other partners (https://ne.water.usgs.gov/ogw/hpwlms/). We used the source well depth-to-water data, as well as information on the base elevation of the aquifer (USGS Report : ofr98-393), surface elevation (NED-DEM),...
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Habitat hotspots were mapped for migratory birds ‘guilds’ across the LCD region using species presence/absence data collected from citizen-science datasets and modelled habitat conditions from the LANDFIRE program (Rollins, 2009). For presence/absence data, we used the eBird Reference Dataset (ERD, accessed October 1st, 2016; summarized in Sullivan et al., 2009) to model guild-level response to prevailing vegetation structure (e.g., percent-cover grass, tree, shrub, vegetation height), topography, and water availability for priority migratory bird species outlined in the Rio Mora NWR Land Protection Plan. We parsed eBird species “checklists” for species observed within a ~ 500 kilometer radius of the Rio Mora NWR....
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The influence of recent climate change on the world’s biota has manifested broadly, resulting in latitudinal range shifts, advancing dates of arrival of migrants and onset of breeding, and altered community relationships. Climate change elevates conservation concerns worldwide because it will likely exacerbate a broad range of identified threats to animal populations. In the past few decades, grassland birds have declined faster than other North American avifauna, largely due to habitat threats such as the intensification of agriculture. We examine the effects of local climatic variations on the breeding performance of a bird endemic to the shortgrass prairie, the Lark Bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys) and discuss...
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Playa wetlands on the west-central Great Plains of North America are vulnerable to sediment infilling from upland agriculture, putting at risk several important ecosystem services as well as essential habitats and food resources of diverse wetland-dependent biota. Climate predictions for this semi-arid area indicate reduced precipitation which may alter rates of erosion, runoff, and sedimentation of playas. We forecasted erosion rates, sediment depths, and resultant playa wetland depths across the west-central Great Plains and examined the relative roles of land use context and projected changes in precipitation in the sedimentation process. We estimated erosion with the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE)...
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These data represent a potential future condition of large block grasslands if CRP lands expire and the land-use reverts back to cropland. Data layers for 2022 and 2027 were calculated by reclassing CRP lands scheduled to expire prior to these years to cropland and recalculating the large block grasslands layer as described above.
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To estimate wetland DEDs available in the future (2040) we used data from Bartuszevige et al. 2016 which estimates changes in playa functionality as a result of sedimentation, potential wind development, and tillage. Playas estimated to be impacted by these drivers were eliminated from the wetland landcover map and the process of calculating duck energy days described above was repeated.
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These data represent the long term average (27 year) amount of duck energy days available in wetlands. Data were produced as part of the PLJV waterfowl implementation plan. We used data from recently completed studies investigating food resource availability in a variety of wetland types in the PLJV. Beheny (2017) completed a study of food energy availability in five different wetland types in northeastern Colorado. Clark (2016) investigated food resource availability in stock ponds in BCR 19 in Texas. For the wetland DED values reported in both studies, we assumed these values were appropriate for use across the whole Joint Venture region. We used Landsat 5 data to determine wetness frequency over 27 years (1985-2012)...
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We developed multi-scale habitat suitability models for black-tailed prairie dogs (BTPD) in the southwestern Great Plains, corresponding to the western region of the Great Plains LCC. We used long-term (10-yr), high-resolution datasets on BTPD colony boundary locations collected at 7 study areas distributed across the region to develop resource selection functions based on colony locations and expansion patterns. Models are based on (1) soil maps and associated Ecological Sites (NRCS SSURGO database), (2) a topographic wetness index based upon water runoff and solar insolation patterns (TWIsi) that tests a priori hypotheses for topographic controls on BTPD, and (3) broad climatic gradients in temperature and mean...
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We flew aerial line transect surveys between March 30 and May 3, 2012, to estimate the abundance of lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) and lesser prairie-chicken leks in four habitat regions in the Great Plains U.S. Estimates were supplemented with data from surveys conducted by Texas Tech University in two regions in the Texas Panhandle and surveys conducted by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation in Oklahoma. We also estimated the number of mixed species leks which contained both lesser and greater prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) and the number of hybrid lesser-greater prairie-chickens. The study area for 2012 included four regions containing the 2011 estimated occupied lesser...
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Collections of fishes used for data analyses in the project:Historic and Current Habitat Use by Arkansas River Shiner in the South Canadian River in Central Oklahoma as Affected by River Flow: Predictions for Habitat Under Future Climate Scenarios”. Edie Marsh-Matthews and William J. Matthews. Funded and published by the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative.Collections were all made by seines of a variety of sizes and mesh widths (details for collections are in the appropriate section of the report). Fishes collected were either identified in the field and released or preserved in the field and returned to the laboratory for identification. Habitat data were recorded for each site at different spatial...


map background search result map search result map Dataset: Results of the 2012 Range-wide Survey of Lesser Prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) Modeling sediment accumulation in North American playa wetlands in response to climate change, 1940–2100 Interacting Effects of Discharge and Channel Morphology on Transport of Semibuoyant Fish Eggs in Large, Altered River Systems Analysis Data: Conservation status, genetics, and population vulnerability of Arkansas darter (Etheostoma cragini) in Colorado Species Data Collections: Minnow species collections for the South Canadian River in Central Oklahoma RUSLE2 Soil Erosion Model for the Rainwater Basin Region of Nebraska LiDAR Derived Watershed Boundaries for Rainwater Basin Wetlands Publication: Fragmentation and dewatering transform Great Plains stream fish communities Publication: Fragmentation and drying ratchet down Great Plains stream fish diversity Model GeoTiffs: Black-tailed Prairie Dog Habitat Suitability Modeling for the Southern Great Plains: Cross-scale Analysis of Soils, Topography and Climate Publication: Water availability strongly impacts population genetic patterns of an imperiled Great Plains endemic fish Weather effects on avian breeding performance and implications of climate change Future Tillage Suitability 2050 Conservation Parcels Scored - Rio Mora Crucial Habitat Assessment Future Wetland dud BCR 18 in 2040 Future Large Block Grasslands in 2027 Aquifer Saturation Thickness 2013 Large Block Grasslands 2017 Bird Habitat Suitability Lark and Grasshopper Wetland dud BCR 18 RUSLE2 Soil Erosion Model for the Rainwater Basin Region of Nebraska LiDAR Derived Watershed Boundaries for Rainwater Basin Wetlands Publication: Water availability strongly impacts population genetic patterns of an imperiled Great Plains endemic fish Analysis Data: Conservation status, genetics, and population vulnerability of Arkansas darter (Etheostoma cragini) in Colorado Interacting Effects of Discharge and Channel Morphology on Transport of Semibuoyant Fish Eggs in Large, Altered River Systems Species Data Collections: Minnow species collections for the South Canadian River in Central Oklahoma Future Tillage Suitability 2050 Future Wetland dud BCR 18 in 2040 Future Large Block Grasslands in 2027 Aquifer Saturation Thickness 2013 Large Block Grasslands 2017 Bird Habitat Suitability Lark and Grasshopper Wetland dud BCR 18 Conservation Parcels Scored - Rio Mora Crucial Habitat Assessment Dataset: Results of the 2012 Range-wide Survey of Lesser Prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) Modeling sediment accumulation in North American playa wetlands in response to climate change, 1940–2100 Publication: Fragmentation and dewatering transform Great Plains stream fish communities Publication: Fragmentation and drying ratchet down Great Plains stream fish diversity Model GeoTiffs: Black-tailed Prairie Dog Habitat Suitability Modeling for the Southern Great Plains: Cross-scale Analysis of Soils, Topography and Climate Weather effects on avian breeding performance and implications of climate change