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Sample records for habitat size brushtail

  1. Drought sensitivity predicts habitat size sensitivity in an aquatic ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Amundrud, Sarah L; Srivastava, Diane S

    2015-07-01

    Species and trophic richness often increase with habitat size. Although many ecological processes have been evoked to explain both patterns, the environmental stress associated with small habitats has rarely been considered. We propose that larger habitats may be species rich simply because their environmental conditions are within the fundamental niche of more species; larger habitats may also have more trophic levels if traits of predators render them vulnerable to environmental stress. We test this hypothesis using the aquatic insect larvae in water-filled bromeliads. In bromeliads, the probability of desiccation is greatest in small plants. For the 10 most common bromeliad insect taxa, we ask whether differences in drought tolerance and regional abundances between taxa predict community and trophic composition over a gradient of bromeliad size. First, we used bromeliad survey data to calculate the mean habitat size of occurrence of each taxon. Comparing the observed mean habitat size of occurrence to that expected from random species assembly based on differences in their regional abundances allowed us to obtain habitat size sensitivity indices (as Z scores) for the various insect taxa. Second, we obtained drought sensitivity indices by subjecting individual insects to drought and measuring the effects on relative growth rates in a mesocosm experiment. We found that drought sensitivity strongly, predicts habitat size sensitivity in bromeliad insects. However, an increase in trophic richness with habitat size could not be explained by an increased sensitivity of predators to drought, but rather by sampling effects, as predators were rare compared to lower trophic levels. This finding suggests that physiological tolerance to environmental stress can be relevant in explaining the universal increase in species with habitat size. PMID:26378317

  2. Habitat size, recruitment, and longevity as factors limiting population size in stage-structured species.

    PubMed

    Halpern, Benjamin S; Gaines, Steven D; Warner, Robert R

    2005-01-01

    Surprisingly little research has evaluated how habitat size may limit the population size of species that use different habitats at different stages of their lives. Here we develop simple discrete-time models to describe the population dynamics of species that use separate juvenile and adult habitats. Analytic solutions, model simulations, and elasticity and sensitivity analyses show that adult abundance is only limited by the size of the juvenile habitat when both adult habitat size and recruitment are much larger than juvenile habitat size. Juvenile habitat plays a marginally greater role in limiting population size for species with closed populations, where recruitment is proportional to adult abundance, versus open populations. Because adult populations often accumulate pulses of juveniles, adult habitat size can strongly limit population size over a broad range of parameter values, an effect that increases as the longevity of a species increases. Limited empirical research from a range of taxa supports these model predictions, although few studies were designed to actually test the limiting role of juvenile versus adult habitat. Future research must carefully evaluate whether and how processes at the juvenile stage affect adult abundance, and conservation efforts may be able to use this model to evaluate the cost-effectiveness, vis-a-vis increasing adult abundance, of time and money allocated to protecting juvenile habitats. PMID:15729641

  3. Room to Live: the sizing of Lunar and Martian Habitats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McGregor, Walter L.

    2006-01-01

    In order for man to return to space or extra terrestrial bodies for long duration missions it is important that adequate habitat volume be defined early to avoid costly delays and redesign. To properly define a habitat volume two major factors need to be considered. The first factor is the free or open space. This is the space that allows the crew room to move about the habitat. This space will vary based on crew size and length of the mission. The second major factor is the stowage space required for equipment and supplies. This includes both fixed volumes and consumables. Fixed volumes include items such as tools, communication equipment, Advanced Life Support (ALS) equipment, and support equipment. Consumables include items like filters, food, water and oxygen. This space is also dependent on crew size and mission length. A review of past missions into alien environments, such as deep sea habitats as well as space based habitats will be used to validate the assumption made in this paper. Once these key factors are defined trades must be run to optimize the overall volume of a habitat. This includes trades of disposable vs. reusable for items such as clothing, dishes, and water. Another factor to consider is the availability of in situ resources to aid in the construction of the habitat structure as well as re-supply of consumable items. A review of past missions into alien environments, such as deep sea habitats as well as space based habitats will be used to validate the assumption made in this paper. The result is a habitat sizing tool to provide a first order estimate of habitat volumes for extended mission to the surface of the moon and Mars.

  4. Predicting Summer Site Occupancy for an Invasive Species, the Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), in an Urban Environment

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Amy L.; Dickinson, Katharine J. M.; Robertson, Bruce C.; van Heezik, Yolanda

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species are often favoured in fragmented, highly-modified, human-dominated landscapes such as urban areas. Because successful invasive urban adapters can occupy habitat that is quite different from that in their original range, effective management programmes for invasive species in urban areas require an understanding of distribution, habitat and resource requirements at a local scale that is tailored to the fine-scale heterogeneity typical of urban landscapes. The common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is one of New Zealand’s most destructive invasive pest species. As brushtail possums traditionally occupy forest habitat, control in New Zealand has focussed on rural and forest habitats, and forest fragments in cities. However, as successful urban adapters, possums may be occupying a wider range of habitats. Here we use site occupancy methods to determine the distribution of brushtail possums across five distinguishable urban habitat types during summer, which is when possums have the greatest impacts on breeding birds. We collected data on possum presence/absence and habitat characteristics, including possible sources of supplementary food (fruit trees, vegetable gardens, compost heaps), and the availability of forest fragments from 150 survey locations. Predictive distribution models constructed using the programme PRESENCE revealed that while occupancy rates were highest in forest fragments, possums were still present across a large proportion of residential habitat with occupancy decreasing as housing density increased and green cover decreased. The presence of supplementary food sources was important in predicting possum occupancy, which may reflect the high nutritional value of these food types. Additionally, occupancy decreased as the proportion of forest fragment decreased, indicating the importance of forest fragments in determining possum distribution. Control operations to protect native birds from possum predation in cities should include well-vegetated residential areas; these modified habitats not only support possums but provide a source for reinvasion of fragments. PMID:23469277

  5. Habitat destruction and metacommunity size in pen shell communities.

    PubMed

    Munguia, Pablo; Miller, Thomas E

    2008-11-01

    1. In spatially structured communities, habitat destruction can have two effects: first, a main effect that occurs because of the loss of habitat area within a larger region, and a secondary effect due to changes in the spatial arrangement of local communities. Changes to the spatial arrangement can, in turn, affect the migration and extinction rates within local communities. 2. Our study involved the experimental destruction of entire local communities within larger regions in natural marine microcosms. Large and small arrays of dead pen shells were created in a shallow bay in north Florida, and the colonization by both encrusting and motile species on this empty substrate were followed through time. After most species had become established, half of the large arrays were perturbed to create small arrays by removal of half the shells, simulating habitat destruction. 3. After 48 days of further community development, comparisons of the large arrays, reduced arrays and original small arrays suggested that the mechanisms by which habitat destruction affects diversity could depend upon the size of the region affected and the natural history of the species being studied. 4. Habitat destruction reduced the diversity of motile species to a level lower than that found in the undisturbed small arrays, suggesting that the species that assembled in the original large metacommunities negatively influenced the species that occurred ultimately in the converted small arrays. 5. With sessile species, habitat destruction created richness levels that were intermediate to those of small and large arrays. The initial predestruction richness appears to have had a positive effect; because sessile species cannot disperse as adults, they may not respond to significant shifts in metacommunity size later in succession. Initial metacommunity size may be important for allowing individuals to select appropriate habitats before they settle. PMID:18637972

  6. Gastrointestinal transit in the common brushtail possum measured by gamma scintigraphy.

    PubMed

    McDowell, A; Nicoll, J J; McLeod, B J; Tucker, I G; Davies, N M

    2005-09-30

    This paper reports an example of the application of pharmaceutical technology to wildlife management, specifically the design of an oral delivery system for the common brushtail possum in New Zealand. Designing an oral delivery system requires a knowledge of the time taken for particulates to reach target sites within the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). The transit time for fluid and indigestible particles of two different size ranges was determined in the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). Technetium-labelled (99mTc) anion exchange resin particles (75-125 or 500-700 microm diameter) or solution (99mTc-labelled diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid, 99mTc-DTPA) was administered orally. At predetermined times after dosing (3, 6, 12, 24 or 32 h), the distribution of radioactivity throughout excised gastrointestinal tracts was determined by gamma scintigraphy. The transit profile was similar for the three formulations investigated. Unlike other closely related hindgut fermenting marsupials, there was no evidence to support the presence of a colonic separating mechanism in the common brushtail possum. Gastrointestinal transit was independent of body mass, gender and time of day that the dose is given. To target the hindgut for oral delivery of protein and peptide biocontrol agents, the formulation would need to protect the bioactive for approximately 12 h prior to release. PMID:16112826

  7. Habitat-related microgeographic variation of worker size and colony size in the ant Cataglyphis cursor.

    PubMed

    Clémencet, Johanna; Doums, Claudie

    2007-05-01

    In social insects, colony size is a crucial life-history trait thought to have major implications for the evolution of social complexity, especially in relation to worker size polymorphism. Yet, little is known about how ecological factors can affect and constrain colony. Here, we explored the pattern of colony-size and worker-size variation in the Mediterranean ant Cataglyphis cursor, in relation to the type of habitats colonized (seaside vs. vineyard). The high level of the water table in the seaside habitat could constrain the depth of C. cursor underground nests and directly constrain its colony size. If worker size increases with colony size, as observed in other ant species, larger colony size and larger workers should be found in the vineyard populations. By comparing worker size among 16 populations, we verified that workers were significantly larger in the vineyard populations. We further determined that the morphological similarities detected among populations from the same habitat type were not due to geographic or genetic proximity. In two populations from each habitat type, the depth of nests was positively correlated with colony size and colony size with worker size. Using a type II regression approach, we further showed that the difference between the two populations in the depth of nest was sufficient to explain the difference in colony size, and similarly, variation in colony size was sufficient to explain variation in worker size. Our results suggest that a single proximate ecological factor could lead to significant variation in major life-history parameters. PMID:17245588

  8. Flower Size Variation in Rosmarinus officinalis: Individuals, Populations and Habitats

    PubMed Central

    HERRERA, JAVIER

    2004-01-01

    • Background and Aims Flowers are relatively invariant organs within species, but quantitative variation often exists among conspecifics. These variations represent the raw material that natural selection can magnify, eventually resulting in morphological divergence and diversification. This paper investigates floral variability in Rosmarinus officinalis, a Mediterranean shrub. • Methods Nine populations were selected in three major southern Spanish habitats (coast, lowland and mountains) along an elevation gradient. Flower samples from randomly chosen plants were collected from each population, and a total of 641 flowers from 237 shrubs were weighed while still fresh to the nearest 0·1 mg. Leaves from the same plants were also measured. Variations among habitats, sites and plants were explored with general linear model ANOVA. Leaf–flower covariation was also investigated. • Key Results Most (58 %) mass in flowers was accounted for by the corolla, whose linear dimensions correlated directly with flower mass. Averaged over plants, the mass of a flower varied between 12 mg and 38 mg. Habitat, site (within habitat) and shrub identity had significant effects on mass variance. Flowers from the coast were the smallest (17 mg) and those from the mountains the largest (25 mg on average). A pattern of continuously increasing flower size with elevation emerged which was largely uncoupled from the geographical pattern of leaf size variation. • Conclusions As regards flower size, a great potential to local differentiation exists in Rosmarinus. Observed divergences accord with a regime of large-bodied pollinator selection in the mountains, but also with resource–cost hypotheses on floral evolution that postulate that reduced corollas are advantageous under prevailingly stressful conditions. PMID:15585545

  9. Wolves adapt territory size, not pack size to local habitat quality.

    PubMed

    Kittle, Andrew M; Anderson, Morgan; Avgar, Tal; Baker, James A; Brown, Glen S; Hagens, Jevon; Iwachewski, Ed; Moffatt, Scott; Mosser, Anna; Patterson, Brent R; Reid, Douglas E B; Rodgers, Arthur R; Shuter, Jen; Street, Garrett M; Thompson, Ian D; Vander Vennen, Lucas M; Fryxell, John M

    2015-09-01

    1. Although local variation in territorial predator density is often correlated with habitat quality, the causal mechanism underlying this frequently observed association is poorly understood and could stem from facultative adjustment in either group size or territory size. 2. To test between these alternative hypotheses, we used a novel statistical framework to construct a winter population-level utilization distribution for wolves (Canis lupus) in northern Ontario, which we then linked to a suite of environmental variables to determine factors influencing wolf space use. Next, we compared habitat quality metrics emerging from this analysis as well as an independent measure of prey abundance, with pack size and territory size to investigate which hypothesis was most supported by the data. 3. We show that wolf space use patterns were concentrated near deciduous, mixed deciduous/coniferous and disturbed forest stands favoured by moose (Alces alces), the predominant prey species in the diet of wolves in northern Ontario, and in proximity to linear corridors, including shorelines and road networks remaining from commercial forestry activities. 4. We then demonstrate that landscape metrics of wolf habitat quality - projected wolf use, probability of moose occupancy and proportion of preferred land cover classes - were inversely related to territory size but unrelated to pack size. 5. These results suggest that wolves in boreal ecosystems alter territory size, but not pack size, in response to local variation in habitat quality. This could be an adaptive strategy to balance trade-offs between territorial defence costs and energetic gains due to resource acquisition. That pack size was not responsive to habitat quality suggests that variation in group size is influenced by other factors such as intraspecific competition between wolf packs. PMID:25757794

  10. Dominant predators mediate the impact of habitat size on trophic structure in bromeliad invertebrate communities.

    PubMed

    Petermann, Jana S; Farjalla, Vinicius F; Jocque, Merlijn; Kratina, Pavel; MacDonald, A Andrew M; Marino, Nicholas A C; De Omena, Paula M; Piccoli, Gustavo C O; Richardson, Barbara A; Richardson, Michael J; Romero, Gustavo Q; Videla, Martin; Srivastava, Diane S

    2015-02-01

    Local habitat size has been shown to influence colonization and extinction processes of species in patchy environments. However, species differ in body size, mobility, and trophic level, and may not respond in the same way to habitat size. Thus far, we have a limited understanding of how habitat size influences the structure of multitrophic communities and to what extent the effects may be generalizable over a broad geographic range. Here, we used water-filled bromeliads of different sizes as a natural model system to examine the effects of habitat size on the trophic structure of their inhabiting invertebrate communities. We collected composition and biomass data from 651 bromeliad communities from eight sites across Central and South America differing in environmental conditions, species pools, and the presence of large-bodied odonate predators. We found that trophic structure in the communities changed dramatically with changes in habitat (bromeliad) size. Detritivore : resource ratios showed a consistent negative relationship with habitat size across sites. In contrast, changes in predator: detritivore (prey) ratios depended on the presence of odonates as dominant predators in the regional pool. At sites without odonates, predator: detritivore biomass ratios decreased with increasing habitat size. At sites with odonates, we found odonates to be more frequently present in large than in small bromeliads, and predator: detritivore biomass ratios increased with increasing habitat size to the point where some trophic pyramids became inverted. Our results show that the distribution of biomass amongst food-web levels depends strongly on habitat size, largely irrespective of geographic differences in environmental conditions or detritivore species compositions. However, the presence of large-bodied predators in the regional species pool may fundamentally alter this relationship between habitat size and trophic structure. We conclude that taking into account the response and multitrophic effects of dominant, mobile species may be critical when predicting changes in community structure along a habitat-size gradient. PMID:26240864

  11. Home range size of willow tits: a response to winter habitat loss.

    PubMed

    Siffczyk, Claudia; Brotons, Lluís; Kangas, Katja; Orell, Markku

    2003-08-01

    We examined the behavioral response to habitat loss and fragmentation of willow tits (Parus montanus) in winter in a mosaic forest landscape in northern Finland. We studied habitat preference, flock size and home range size of 16 flocks, half of which had their territories in forests fragmented by forestry and half in continuous forest. We predicted that birds would respond to habitat loss by enlarging their home range and/or diminishing group size. In addition, to compensate for fragmentation effects, willow tits might be expected to include more optimal habitat into their territories. Flocks included on average 3.9 birds and occupied territories of 12.6 ha. Willow tits avoided open areas (clear cuts and young sapling stands) and preferred mature forests and older sapling stands or pine bogs equally. Birds responded to habitat loss by enlarging their home ranges but not by reducing the group size. Large territories included a smaller proportion of mature forests, but the proportion of sapling and pine bog habitat did not change. Birds on territories that included a large proportion of open habitat localized their activity on several distinct habitat patches that were distributed over a wide area. We conclude that willow tits adjust territory use to compensate for the inclusion of unsuitable habitat within home ranges, and older sapling areas and pine bogs serve as surrogates for mature forests. However, birds did not enlarge the proportion of forest habitat in their territories with increasing habitat loss. Thus, our data do not suggest a strong effect of fragmentation, but imply that forestry practices reduce suitable wintering habitat and carrying capacity in the area. Thus winter habitat loss may explain the observed population decline of willow tits in Finland during recent decades. PMID:12845515

  12. Habitat patch size and mating system as determinants of social group size in coral-dwelling fishes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, V. J.; Munday, P. L.; Jones, G. P.

    2007-03-01

    It is thought that the size and dispersion of habitat patches can determine the size and composition of animal social groups, however, this has rarely been tested. The relationship between group size, the mating system, and habitat patch size in six species of coral-dwelling gobies was examined. For all species, there was a positive correlation between coral colony size and social group size, however the strength of this relationship varied among species. Paragobiodon xanthosomus exhibited the strongest relationship and a manipulative field experiment confirmed that coral colony size limited group size in this species. For other species including Paragobiodon melanosomus and Eviota bifasciata, either a highly conservative mating system ( P. melanosomus), or increased mobility ( E. bifasciata) appeared to disrupt the relationship between habitat patch size and group size. There was no consistent relationship between the mating system exhibited and group size among the species investigated. These results demonstrate that habitat patch size, mobility, and mating systems can interact in complex ways to structure group size even among closely related species.

  13. Effect of Group-Selection Opening Size on Breeding Bird Habitat Use in a Bottomland Forest

    SciTech Connect

    Moorman, C.E.; D.C. Guynn, Jr.

    2001-12-01

    Research on the effects of creating group-selection openings of various sizes on breeding birds habitat use in a bottomland hardwood forest of the Upper Coastal Plain of South Carolina. Creation of 0.5-ha group selection openings in southern bottomland forests should provide breeding habitat for some field-edge species in gaps and habitat for forest-interior species and canopy-dwelling forest-edge species between gaps provided that enough mature forest is made available.

  14. VARIATION IN JUVENILE COHO SALMON END-OF-SUMMER SIZE: HIERARACHICAL ANALYSIS OF HABITAT EFFECTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The size of coho salmon juveniles entering the winter has been shown to influence overwinter survival, and hence may be a useful indicator of linkages between summer habitat conditions and subsequent smolt production. We are investigating habitat-specific demographics of juvenile...

  15. Habitat-specific clutch size and cost of incubation in eiders reconsidered.

    PubMed

    Ost, Markus; Wickman, Mikael; Matulionis, Edward; Steele, Benjamin

    2008-11-01

    The energetic incubation constraint hypothesis (EICH) for clutch size states that birds breeding in poor habitat may free up resources for future reproduction by laying a smaller clutch. The eider (Somateria mollissima) is considered a candidate for supporting this hypothesis. Clutch size is smaller in exposed nests, presumably because of faster heat loss and higher incubation cost, and, hence, smaller optimal clutch size. However, an alternative explanation is partial predation: the first egg(s) are left unattended and vulnerable to predation, which may disproportionately affect exposed nests, so clutch size may be underestimated. We experimentally investigated whether predation on first-laid eggs in eiders depends on nest cover. We then re-evaluated how nesting habitat affects clutch size and incubation costs based on long-term data, accounting for confounding effects between habitat and individual quality. We also experimentally assessed adult survival costs of nesting in sheltered nests. The risk of egg predation in experimental nests decreased with cover. Confounding between individual and habitat quality is unlikely, as clutch size was also smaller in open nests within individuals, and early and late breeders had similar nest cover characteristics. A trade-off between clutch and female safety may explain nest cover variation, as the risk of female capture by us, mimicking predation on adults, increased with nest cover. Nest habitat had no effect on female hatching weight or weight loss, while lower temperature during incubation had an unanticipated positive relationship with hatching weight. There were no indications of elevated costs of incubating larger clutches, while clutch size and colony size were positively correlated, a pattern not predicted by the 'energetic incubation constraint' hypothesis. Differential partial clutch predation thus offers the more parsimonious explanation for clutch size variation among habitats in eiders, highlighting the need for caution when analysing fecundity and associated life-history parameters when habitat-specific rates of clutch predation occur. PMID:18795336

  16. Habitat traits and species interactions differentially affect abundance and body size in pond-breeding amphibians.

    PubMed

    Ousterhout, Brittany H; Anderson, Thomas L; Drake, Dana L; Peterman, William E; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2015-07-01

    In recent studies, habitat traits have emerged as stronger predictors of species occupancy, abundance, richness and diversity than competition. However, in many cases, it remains unclear whether habitat also mediates processes more subtle than competitive exclusion, such as growth, or whether intra- and interspecific interactions among individuals of different species may be better predictors of size. To test whether habitat traits are a stronger predictor of abundance and body size than intra- and interspecific interactions, we measured the density and body size of three species of larval salamanders in 192 ponds across a landscape. We found that the density of larvae was best predicted by models that included habitat features, while models incorporating interactions among individuals of different species best explained the body size of larvae. Additionally, we found a positive relationship between focal species density and congener density, while focal species body size was negatively related to congener density. We posit that salamander larvae may not experience competitive exclusion and thus reduced densities, but instead compensate for increased competition behaviourally (e.g. reduced foraging), resulting in decreased growth. The discrepancy between larval density and body size, a strong predictor of fitness in this system, also highlights a potential shortcoming in using density or abundance as a metric of habitat quality or population health. PMID:25643605

  17. Habitat area and climate stability determine geographical variation in plant species range sizes

    PubMed Central

    Morueta-Holme, Naia; Enquist, Brian J; McGill, Brian J; Boyle, Brad; Jørgensen, Peter M; Ott, Jeffrey E; Peet, Robert K; Šímová, Irena; Sloat, Lindsey L; Thiers, Barbara; Violle, Cyrille; Wiser, Susan K; Dolins, Steven; Donoghue, John C; Kraft, Nathan J B; Regetz, Jim; Schildhauer, Mark; Spencer, Nick; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2013-01-01

    Despite being a fundamental aspect of biodiversity, little is known about what controls species range sizes. This is especially the case for hyperdiverse organisms such as plants. We use the largest botanical data set assembled to date to quantify geographical variation in range size for ? 85 000 plant species across the New World. We assess prominent hypothesised range-size controls, finding that plant range sizes are codetermined by habitat area and long- and short-term climate stability. Strong short- and long-term climate instability in large parts of North America, including past glaciations, are associated with broad-ranged species. In contrast, small habitat areas and a stable climate characterise areas with high concentrations of small-ranged species in the Andes, Central America and the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest region. The joint roles of area and climate stability strengthen concerns over the potential effects of future climate change and habitat loss on biodiversity. PMID:24119177

  18. Habitat area and climate stability determine geographical variation in plant species range sizes.

    PubMed

    Morueta-Holme, Naia; Enquist, Brian J; McGill, Brian J; Boyle, Brad; Jørgensen, Peter M; Ott, Jeffrey E; Peet, Robert K; Símová, Irena; Sloat, Lindsey L; Thiers, Barbara; Violle, Cyrille; Wiser, Susan K; Dolins, Steven; Donoghue, John C; Kraft, Nathan J B; Regetz, Jim; Schildhauer, Mark; Spencer, Nick; Svenning, Jens-Christian

    2013-12-01

    Despite being a fundamental aspect of biodiversity, little is known about what controls species range sizes. This is especially the case for hyperdiverse organisms such as plants. We use the largest botanical data set assembled to date to quantify geographical variation in range size for ~ 85 000 plant species across the New World. We assess prominent hypothesised range-size controls, finding that plant range sizes are codetermined by habitat area and long- and short-term climate stability. Strong short- and long-term climate instability in large parts of North America, including past glaciations, are associated with broad-ranged species. In contrast, small habitat areas and a stable climate characterise areas with high concentrations of small-ranged species in the Andes, Central America and the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest region. The joint roles of area and climate stability strengthen concerns over the potential effects of future climate change and habitat loss on biodiversity. PMID:24119177

  19. Relationship between channel morphology and foraging habitat for stream salmonids: Effects of body size

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cienciala, P.; Hassan, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    Channel morphology and dynamics strongly influence fish populations in running waters by defining habitat template for movement, spawning, incubation, and foraging. In this research we adopted a modeling approach to investigate how body size controls the relationship between salmonid fish and their foraging habitat in streams. Body size is a fundamental ecological parameter which affects resource acquisition, locomotory costs, metabolic rates, and competitive abilities. We focus on two specific questions. First, we examined how distinct types of channel morphology and associated flow fields shape specific growth potential for different body size classes of trout. Second, we modeled these fish-habitat relationships in a size-structured population in the presence of intraspecific competition. In the latter scenario, fish may not be able to occupy energetically optimal foraging habitat and the predicted specific growth potential may differ from the intrinsic habitat quality. To address the research questions, we linked a 2D hydrodynamic model with a bioenergetic foraging model for drift-feeding trout. Net energy intake, simulated for four study reaches with different channel morphology, was converted into maps of specific growth rate potential. We extended this model by including a component that enabled us to estimate territory size for fish of a given body size and account for the effects of competition on spatial distribution of fish. The predictions that emerge from our simulations highlight that fish body size is an important factor that determines the relationship between channel morphology and the quality of foraging habitat. The results also indicate that distinct types of channel morphology may give rise to different energetic conditions for different body size classes of drift-feeding salmonids.

  20. Habitat degradation and fishing effects on the size structure of coral reef fish communities.

    PubMed

    Wilson, S K; Fisher, R; Pratchett, M S; Graham, N A J; Dulvy, N K; Turner, R A; Cakacaka, A; Polunin, N V C

    2010-03-01

    Overfishing and habitat degradation through climate change pose the greatest threats to sustainability of marine resources on coral reefs. We examined how changes in fishing pressure and benthic habitat composition influenced the size spectra of island-scale reef fish communities in Lau, Fiji. Between 2000 and 2006 fishing pressure declined in the Lau Islands due to declining human populations and reduced demand for fresh fish. At the same time, coral cover declined and fine-scale architectural complexity eroded due to coral bleaching and outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci. We examined the size distribution of reef fish communities using size spectra analysis, the linearized relationship between abundance and body size class. Spatial variation in fishing pressure accounted for 31% of the variation in the slope of the size spectra in 2000, higher fishing pressure being associated with a steeper slope, which is indicative of fewer large-bodied fish and/or more small-bodied fish. Conversely, in 2006 spatial variation in habitat explained 53% of the variation in the size spectra slopes, and the relationship with fishing pressure was much weaker (approximately 12% of variation) than in 2000. Reduced cover of corals and lower structural complexity was associated with less steep size spectra slopes, primarily due to reduced abundance of fish < 20 cm. Habitat degradation will compound effects of fishing on coral reefs as increased fishing reduces large-bodied target species, while habitat loss results in fewer small-bodied juveniles and prey that replenish stocks and provide dietary resources for predatory target species. Effective management of reef resources therefore depends on both reducing fishing pressure and maintaining processes that encourage rapid recovery of coral habitat. PMID:20405798

  1. Influence of habitat quality, population size, patch size, and connectivity on patch-occupancy dynamics of the middle spotted woodpecker.

    PubMed

    Robles, Hugo; Ciudad, Carlos

    2012-04-01

    Despite extensive research on the effects of habitat fragmentation, the ecological mechanisms underlying colonization and extinction processes are poorly known, but knowledge of these mechanisms is essential to understanding the distribution and persistence of populations in fragmented habitats. We examined these mechanisms through multiseason occupancy models that elucidated patch-occupancy dynamics of Middle Spotted Woodpeckers (Dendrocopos medius) in northwestern Spain. The number of occupied patches was relatively stable from 2000 to 2010 (15-24% of 101 patches occupied every year) because extinction was balanced by recolonization. Larger and higher quality patches (i.e., higher density of oaks >37 cm dbh [diameter at breast height]) were more likely to be occupied. Habitat quality (i.e., density of large oaks) explained more variation in patch colonization and extinction than did patch size and connectivity, which were both weakly associated with probabilities of turnover. Patches of higher quality were more likely to be colonized than patches of lower quality. Populations in high-quality patches were less likely to become extinct. In addition, extinction in a patch was strongly associated with local population size but not with patch size, which means the latter may not be a good surrogate of population size in assessments of extinction probability. Our results suggest that habitat quality may be a primary driver of patch-occupancy dynamics and may increase the accuracy of models of population survival. We encourage comparisons of competing models that assess occupancy, colonization, and extinction probabilities in a single analytical framework (e.g., dynamic occupancy models) so as to shed light on the association of habitat quality and patch geometry with colonization and extinction processes in different settings and species. PMID:22268847

  2. Polymorphic mountain whitefish (Prosopium williamsoni) in a coastal riverscape: size class assemblages, distribution, and habitat associations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Starr, James C.; Torgersen, Christian

    2015-01-01

    We compared the assemblage structure, spatial distributions, and habitat associations of mountain whitefish (Prosopium williamsoni) morphotypes and size classes. We hypothesised that morphotypes would have different spatial distributions and would be associated with different habitat features based on feeding behaviour and diet. Spatially continuous sampling was conducted over a broad extent (29 km) in the Calawah River, WA (USA). Whitefish were enumerated via snorkelling in three size classes: small (10–29 cm), medium (30–49 cm), and large (≥50 cm). We identified morphotypes based on head and snout morphology: a pinocchio form that had an elongated snout and a normal form with a blunted snout. Large size classes of both morphotypes were distributed downstream of small and medium size classes, and normal whitefish were distributed downstream of pinocchio whitefish. Ordination of whitefish assemblages with nonmetric multidimensional scaling revealed that normal whitefish size classes were associated with higher gradient and depth, whereas pinocchio whitefish size classes were positively associated with pool area, distance upstream, and depth. Reach-scale generalised additive models indicated that normal whitefish relative density was associated with larger substrate size in downstream reaches (R2 = 0.64), and pinocchio whitefish were associated with greater stream depth in the reaches farther upstream (R2 = 0.87). These results suggest broad-scale spatial segregation (1–10 km), particularly between larger and more phenotypically extreme individuals. These results provide the first perspective on spatial distributions and habitat relationships of polymorphic mountain whitefish.

  3. Size of age-0 crappies (Pomoxis spp.) relative to reservoir habitats and water levels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kaczka, Levi J.; Miranda, Leandro E.

    2014-01-01

    Variable year-class strength is common in crappie Pomoxis spp. populations in many reservoirs, yet the mechanisms behind this variability are poorly understood. Size-dependent mortality of age-0 fishes has long been recognized in the population ecology literature; however, investigations about the effects of environmental factors on age-0 crappie size are lacking. The objective of this study was to determine if differences existed in total length of age-0 crappies between embayment and floodplain habitats in reservoirs, while accounting for potential confounding effects of water level and crappie species. To this end, we examined size of age-0 crappies in four flood-control reservoirs in northwest Mississippi over 4years. Age-0 crappies inhabiting uplake floodplain habitats grew to a larger size than fish in downlake embayments, but this trend depended on species, length of time a reservoir was dewatered in the months preceding spawning, and reservoir water level in the months following spawning. The results from our study indicate that water-level management may focus not only on allowing access to quality nursery habitat, but that alternating water levels on a multiyear schedule could increase the quality of degraded littoral habitats.

  4. DIATOM SPECIES RICHNESS IN STREAMS OF THE EASTERN US: STREAM SIZE AND HABITAT EFFECTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    We analyzed the relationship between benthic diatom assemblages, stream size, and habitat characteristics in 445 first through seventh order streams in the Mid-Atlantic (n=230), South Atlantic (n=61), Ohio (n=140), and Tennessee (n=14) hydrologic regions. Diatom samples were col...

  5. How big and how close? Habitat patch size and spacing to conserve a threatened species

    EPA Science Inventory

    We present results of a spatially-explicit, individual-based stochastic dispersal model (HexSim) to evaluate effects of size and spacing of patches of habitat of Northern Spotted Owls (NSO; Strix occidentalis caurina) in Pacific Northwest, USA, to help advise USDI Fish and Wildli...

  6. Fish movement and habitat use depends on water body size and shape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woolnough, D.A.; Downing, J.A.; Newton, T.J.

    2009-01-01

    Home ranges are central to understanding habitat diversity, effects of fragmentation and conservation. The distance that an organism moves yields information on life history, genetics and interactions with other organisms. Present theory suggests that home range is set by body size of individuals. Here, we analyse estimates of home ranges in lakes and rivers to show that body size of fish and water body size and shape influence home range size. Using 71 studies including 66 fish species on five continents, we show that home range estimates increased with increasing water body size across water body shapes. This contrasts with past studies concluding that body size sets home range. We show that water body size was a consistently significant predictor of home range. In conjunction, body size and water body size can provide improved estimates of home range than just body size alone. As habitat patches are decreasing in size worldwide, our findings have implications for ecology, conservation and genetics of populations in fragmented ecosystems. ?? 2008 Blackwell Munksgaard.

  7. Male Kirtland's Warblers' patch-level response to landscape structure during periods of varying population size and habitat amounts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Donner, D.M.; Ribic, C.A.; Probst, J.R.

    2009-01-01

    Forest planners must evaluate how spatiotemporal changes in habitat amount and configuration across the landscape as a result of timber management will affect species' persistence. However, there are few long-term programs available for evaluation. We investigated the response of male Kirtland's Warbler (Dendroica kirtlandii) to 26 years of changing patch and landscape structure during a large, 26-year forestry-habitat restoration program within the warbler's primary breeding range. We found that the average density of male Kirtland's Warblers was related to a different combination of patch and landscape attributes depending on the species' regional population level and habitat amounts on the landscape (early succession jack pine (Pinus banksiana) forests; 15-42% habitat cover). Specifically, patch age and habitat regeneration type were important at low male population and total habitat amounts, while patch age and distance to an occupied patch were important at relatively high population and habitat amounts. Patch age and size were more important at increasing population levels and an intermediate amount of habitat. The importance of patch age to average male density during all periods reflects the temporal buildup and decline of male numbers as habitat suitability within the patch changed with succession. Habitat selection (i.e., preference for wildfire-regenerated habitat) and availability may explain the importance of habitat type and patch size during lower population and habitat levels. The relationship between male density and distance when there was the most habitat on the landscape and the male population was large and still increasing may be explained by the widening spatial dispersion of the increasing male population at the regional scale. Because creating or preserving habitat is not a random process, management efforts would benefit from more investigations of managed population responses to changes in spatial structure that occur through habitat gain rather than habitat loss to further our empirical understanding of general principles of the fragmentation process and habitat cover threshold effects within dynamic landscapes.

  8. Habitat selection by breeding waterbirds at ponds with size-structured fish populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kloskowski, Janusz; Nieoczym, Marek; Polak, Marcin; Pitucha, Piotr

    2010-07-01

    Fish may significantly affect habitat use by birds, either as their prey or as competitors. Fish communities are often distinctly size-structured, but the consequences for waterbird assemblages remain poorly understood. We examined the effects of size structure of common carp ( Cyprinus carpio) cohorts together with other biotic and abiotic pond characteristics on the distribution of breeding waterbirds in a seminatural system of monocultured ponds, where three fish age classes were separately stocked. Fish age corresponded to a distinct fish size gradient. Fish age and total biomass, macroinvertebrate and amphibian abundance, and emergent vegetation best explained the differences in bird density between ponds. Abundance of animal prey other than fish (aquatic macroinvertebrates and larval amphibians) decreased with increasing carp age in the ponds. Densities of ducks and smaller grebes were strongly negatively associated with fish age/size gradient. The largest of the grebes, the piscivorous great crested grebe ( Podiceps cristatus), was the only species that preferred ponds with medium-sized fish and was positively associated with total fish biomass. Habitat selection by bitterns and most rallids was instead strongly influenced by the relative amount of emergent vegetation cover in the ponds. Our results show that fish size structure may be an important cue for breeding habitat choice and a factor affording an opportunity for niche diversification in avian communities.

  9. Population size, habitat fragmentation, and the nature of adaptive variation in a stream fish.

    PubMed

    Fraser, Dylan J; Debes, Paul V; Bernatchez, Louis; Hutchings, Jeffrey A

    2014-09-01

    Whether and how habitat fragmentation and population size jointly affect adaptive genetic variation and adaptive population differentiation are largely unexplored. Owing to pronounced genetic drift, small, fragmented populations are thought to exhibit reduced adaptive genetic variation relative to large populations. Yet fragmentation is known to increase variability within and among habitats as population size decreases. Such variability might instead favour the maintenance of adaptive polymorphisms and/or generate more variability in adaptive differentiation at smaller population size. We investigated these alternative hypotheses by analysing coding-gene, single-nucleotide polymorphisms associated with different biological functions in fragmented brook trout populations of variable sizes. Putative adaptive differentiation was greater between small and large populations or among small populations than among large populations. These trends were stronger for genetic population size measures than demographic ones and were present despite pronounced drift in small populations. Our results suggest that fragmentation affects natural selection and that the changes elicited in the adaptive genetic composition and differentiation of fragmented populations vary with population size. By generating more variable evolutionary responses, the alteration of selective pressures during habitat fragmentation may affect future population persistence independently of, and perhaps long before, the effects of demographic and genetic stochasticity are manifest. PMID:25056619

  10. Patterns in estuarine macrofauna body size distributions: The role of habitat and disturbance impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dolbeth, Marina; Raffaelli, Dave; Pardal, Miguel Ângelo

    2014-01-01

    Schwinghamer's (1981) habitat architecture hypothesis for body mass spectra in marine sediments predicts a single macrofauna mode in response to the bulk nature of the sediment. This proposition was examined for intertidal macrofauna from a well-studied estuarine system, using kernel density estimation to define modality and the locations of peaks and troughs. Three sedimentary environments and habitats were examined along a disturbance gradient related to eutrophication. Our results indicate that bimodality is likely to occur within the macrofauna size range, which weakens the habitat architecture model and casts doubts on the mechanisms behind other modes in benthic size spectra. The location of the modes and intervening trough were not conservative and not apparently related to sediment grain size or habitat structure, but somewhat dependent on the presence of particular species: the presence or absence of large numbers of individuals of Hydrobia ulvae and larger-bodied taxa such as Scrobicularia plana and Hediste diversicolor. Alternative competing hypotheses are explored for the observed results, including Warwick's (1984) phylogenetic explanation, but taking into consideration both species composition and disturbance impact, it seems most likely Holling's (1992) textural discontinuity hypothesis, as a measure of resilience, could be a plausible explanation.

  11. Sexual size dimorphism in anurans: roles of mating system and habitat types

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is widespread and variable among animals. Sexual selection, fecundity selection and ecological divergence between males and females are the major evolutionary forces of SSD. However, the influences of mating system and habitat types on SSD have received little attention. Here, using phylogenetic comparative methods, we at first examine the hypotheses to that mating system (intensity of sexual selection) and habitat types affect significantly variation in SSD in anurans (39 species and 18 genera). Results Our data set encompass 39 species with female-biased SSD. We provide evidence that the effects of mating system and habitat types on SSD were non-significant across species, also when the analyses were phylogenetically corrected. Conclusions Contrast to the hypotheses, our findings suggest that mating system and habitat types do not play an important role in shaping macro-evolutionary patterns of SSD in anurans. Mating system and habitat types cannot explain the variation in SSD when correcting for phylogenetic effects. PMID:24199676

  12. Patch size and distance: modelling habitat structure from the perspective of clonal growth

    PubMed Central

    Oborny, Beáta; Hubai, Andras G.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims This study considers the spatial structure of patchy habitats from the perspective of plants that forage for resources by clonal growth. Modelling is used in order to compare two basic strategies, which differ in the response of the plant to a patch boundary. The ‘avoiding plant’ (A) never grows out of a good (resource-rich) patch into a bad (resource-poor) region, because the parent ramet withdraws its subsidy from the offspring. The ‘entering plant’ (E) always crosses the boundary, as the offspring is subsidized at the expense of the parent. In addition to these two extreme scenarios, an intermediate mixed strategy (M) will also be tested. The model is used to compare the efficiency of foraging in various habitats in which the proportion of resource-rich areas (p) is varied. Methods A stochastic cellular automata (CA) model is developed in which habitat space is represented by a honeycomb lattice. Each cell within the lattice can accommodate a single ramet, and colonization can occur from a parent ramet's cell into six neighbouring cells. The CA consists of two layers: the population layer and the habitat. In the population layer, a cell can be empty or occupied by a ramet; in the habitat layer, a cell can be good (resource-rich) or bad (resource-poor). The habitat layer is constant; the population layer changes over time, according to the birth and death of ramets. Key Results Strategies M and E are primarily limited by patch distance, whereas A is more sensitive to patch size. At a critical threshold of the proportion of resource-rich areas, p = 0·5, the mean patch size increases abruptly. Below the threshold, E is more efficient than A, whilst above the threshold the opposite is true. The mixed strategy (M) is more efficient than either of the pure strategies across a broad range of p values. Conclusions The model predicts more species/genotypes with the ‘entering’ strategy, E, in habitats where resource-rich patches are scattered, and more plants with the ‘avoiding’ strategy, A, in habitats where the connectivity of resource-rich patches is high. The results suggest that the degree of physiological integration between a parent and an offspring ramet is important even across a very short distance because it can strongly influence the efficiency of foraging. PMID:24942002

  13. Landscape selection by piping plovers has implications for measuring habitat and population size

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anteau, Michael J.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Wiltermuth, Mark T.; Sherfy, Mark H.

    2014-01-01

    How breeding birds distribute in relation to landscape-scale habitat features has important implications for conservation because those features may constrain habitat suitability. Furthermore, knowledge of these associations can help build models to improve area-wide demographic estimates or to develop a sampling stratification for research and monitoring. This is particularly important for rare species that have uneven distributions across vast areas, such as the federally listed piping plover (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plover). We examined how remotely-sensed landscape features influenced the distribution of breeding plover pairs among 2-km shoreline segments during 2006–2009 at Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota, USA. We found strong associations between remotely-sensed landscape features and plover abundance and distribution (R2 = 0.65). Plovers were nearly absent from segments with bluffs (>25 m elevation increase within 250 m of shoreline). Relative plover density (pairs/ha) was markedly greater on islands (4.84 ± 1.22 SE) than on mainlands (0.85 ± 0.17 SE). Pair numbers increased with abundance of nesting habitat (unvegetated-flat areas ?^=0.28±0.08SE ). On islands, pair numbers also increased with the relative proportion of the total area that was habitat ( ?^=3.27±0.46SE ). Our model could be adapted to estimate the breeding population of plovers or to make predictions that provide a basis for stratification and design of future surveys. Knowledge of landscape features, such as bluffs, that exclude use by birds refines habitat suitability and facilitates more accurate estimates of habitat and population abundance, by decreasing the size of the sampling universe. Furthermore, techniques demonstrated here are applicable to other vast areas where birds breed in sparse or uneven densities.

  14. Effect of Habitat Size, Quality, and Isolation on Functional Groups of Beetles in Hollow Oaks.

    PubMed

    Pilskog, Hanne Eik; Birkemoe, Tone; Framstad, Erik; Sverdrup-Thygeson, Anne

    2016-01-01

    One of the largest threats to biodiversity is land use change and habitat loss. Hollow oaks (Quercus spp. L.) are well-defined patches that are hotspots for biodiversity and red-listed species, but they are often rare and fragmented in the landscape. We investigated the effect of patch size, habitat quality, and isolation on functional groups and red-listed saproxylic beetles in hollow oaks (n = 40) in Norway. The groups were defined by host tree association, trophic grouping, and red-listed status. Habitat quality, represented by tree form was most important in explaining species richness for most groups. Patch size, represented by circumference and amount of dead branches, was most important in explaining abundance. Isolation, that is single oaks compared with oaks in groups, had a negative effect on the abundance of beetles feeding both on wood and fungi (xylomycethopagous), as well as on species associated with broadleaved trees (oak semi-specialists), but did not affect species richness. This indicates that at this scale and in this landscape, isolated oaks are as species rich and valuable for conservation as other oaks, although some functional groups may be more vulnerable to isolation than others. The red-listed species only responded to patch size, indicating that oaks with large circumference and many dead branches are especially important for red-listed species and for conservation. PMID:26945089

  15. Effect of Habitat Size, Quality, and Isolation on Functional Groups of Beetles in Hollow Oaks

    PubMed Central

    Pilskog, Hanne Eik; Birkemoe, Tone; Framstad, Erik; Sverdrup-Thygeson, Anne

    2016-01-01

    One of the largest threats to biodiversity is land use change and habitat loss. Hollow oaks (Quercus spp. L.) are well-defined patches that are hotspots for biodiversity and red-listed species, but they are often rare and fragmented in the landscape. We investigated the effect of patch size, habitat quality, and isolation on functional groups and red-listed saproxylic beetles in hollow oaks (n = 40) in Norway. The groups were defined by host tree association, trophic grouping, and red-listed status. Habitat quality, represented by tree form was most important in explaining species richness for most groups. Patch size, represented by circumference and amount of dead branches, was most important in explaining abundance. Isolation, that is single oaks compared with oaks in groups, had a negative effect on the abundance of beetles feeding both on wood and fungi (xylomycethopagous), as well as on species associated with broadleaved trees (oak semi-specialists), but did not affect species richness. This indicates that at this scale and in this landscape, isolated oaks are as species rich and valuable for conservation as other oaks, although some functional groups may be more vulnerable to isolation than others. The red-listed species only responded to patch size, indicating that oaks with large circumference and many dead branches are especially important for red-listed species and for conservation. PMID:26945089

  16. Habitat structure and body size distributions: cross-ecosystem comparison for taxa with determinate and indeterminate growth

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nash, Kirsty L.; Allen, Craig R.; Barichievy, Chris; Nystrom, Magnus; Sundstrom, Shana M.; Graham, Nicholas A.J.

    2014-01-01

    Habitat structure across multiple spatial and temporal scales has been proposed as a key driver of body size distributions for associated communities. Thus, understanding the relationship between habitat and body size is fundamental to developing predictions regarding the influence of habitat change on animal communities. Much of the work assessing the relationship between habitat structure and body size distributions has focused on terrestrial taxa with determinate growth, and has primarily analysed discontinuities (gaps) in the distribution of species mean sizes (species size relationships or SSRs). The suitability of this approach for taxa with indeterminate growth has yet to be determined. We provide a cross-ecosystem comparison of bird (determinate growth) and fish (indeterminate growth) body mass distributions using four independent data sets. We evaluate three size distribution indices: SSRs, species size–density relationships (SSDRs) and individual size–density relationships (ISDRs), and two types of analysis: looking for either discontinuities or abundance patterns and multi-modality in the distributions. To assess the respective suitability of these three indices and two analytical approaches for understanding habitat–size relationships in different ecosystems, we compare their ability to differentiate bird or fish communities found within contrasting habitat conditions. All three indices of body size distribution are useful for examining the relationship between cross-scale patterns of habitat structure and size for species with determinate growth, such as birds. In contrast, for species with indeterminate growth such as fish, the relationship between habitat structure and body size may be masked when using mean summary metrics, and thus individual-level data (ISDRs) are more useful. Furthermore, ISDRs, which have traditionally been used to study aquatic systems, present a potentially useful common currency for comparing body size distributions across terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

  17. Relationships of habitat patch size to predator community and survival of duck nests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sovada, M.A.; Zicus, M.C.; Greenwood, R.J.; Rave, D.P.; Newton, W.E.; Woodward, R.O.; Beiser, J.A.

    2000-01-01

    We studied duck nest success and predator community composition in relation to size of discrete patches of nesting cover in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of the United States in 1993-95. We focused on nests in uplands that were seeded to perennial grasses and forbs and enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. We estimated daily survival rates (DSRs) of upland duck nests and indices of activity for red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), coyotes (Canis latrans), American badgers (Taxidea taxus), striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis), and Franklin's ground squirrels (Spermophilus franklinii), and related these variables to habitat patch size. The effect of patch size (small vs. large) on estimated annual mean DSR was dependent on date of nest initiation (early vs. late) and year. Examination of within-year comparisons for early and late nests suggested that DSR was generally greater in larger habitat patches. Activity indices for the 5 mammalian nest predators were influenced differently by year, location, and patch size. Activity indices of the red fox were greatest in small patches. Coyote indices were the most inconsistent, demonstrating a year X location X patch size interaction. Activity indices of the striped skunk and American badger varied only among years. Franklin's ground squirrel indices were affected by study area location, with higher indices in the southeast than the northwest. Red fox activity was weakly correlated with that of the striped skunk and coyote. Although a positive relationship between habitat patch size and nest success probably exists, we believe the experiment to fully test this hypothesis will continue to be elusive.

  18. Spatial variation in density and size structure indicate habitat selection throughout life stages of two Southwestern Atlantic snappers.

    PubMed

    Aschenbrenner, Alexandre; Hackradt, Carlos Werner; Ferreira, Beatrice Padovani

    2016-02-01

    The early life history of Lutjanus alexandrei and Lutjanus jocu in Southwestern Atlantic is still largely unknown. Habitat use of different life stages (i.e. size categories and densities) of the Brazilian snapper (L. alexandrei) and dog snapper (L. jocu) was examined in a tropical portion of NE coast of Brazil. Visual surveys were conducted in different shallow habitats (mangroves and reefs). Both snapper species showed higher densities in early life stages in mangrove habitat, with a clear increase in fish size from mangrove to adjacent reefs. Post-settler individuals were exclusively found in mangroves for both species. Juveniles of L. alexandrei were also registered only in mangroves, while sub-adult individuals were associated with both mangrove and reef habitats. Mature individuals of L. alexandrei were only observed in reef habitats. Juvenile and sub-adult individuals of the dog snapper were both associated with mangrove and reef habitats, with high densities registered in mangroves. Mature individuals of L. jocu were not registered in the study area. This pattern suggests preference for mangrove habitat in early life stages for both species. Ontogenetic movement between habitats was also recorded. This pattern denotes habitat selection across different life cycle of both species. Such information highlights the importance of directing management and conservation efforts to these habitats to secure the continuity of contribution to adult populations. PMID:26599976

  19. The phylogenetic structure of plant-pollinator networks increases with habitat size and isolation.

    PubMed

    Aizen, Marcelo A; Gleiser, Gabriela; Sabatino, Malena; Gilarranz, Luis J; Bascompte, Jordi; Verdú, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Similarity among species in traits related to ecological interactions is frequently associated with common ancestry. Thus, closely related species usually interact with ecologically similar partners, which can be reinforced by diverse co-evolutionary processes. The effect of habitat fragmentation on the phylogenetic signal in interspecific interactions and correspondence between plant and animal phylogenies is, however, unknown. Here, we address to what extent phylogenetic signal and co-phylogenetic congruence of plant-animal interactions depend on habitat size and isolation by analysing the phylogenetic structure of 12 pollination webs from isolated Pampean hills. Phylogenetic signal in interspecific interactions differed among webs, being stronger for flower-visiting insects than plants. Phylogenetic signal and overall co-phylogenetic congruence increased independently with hill size and isolation. We propose that habitat fragmentation would erode the phylogenetic structure of interaction webs. A decrease in phylogenetic signal and co-phylogenetic correspondence in plant-pollinator interactions could be associated with less reliable mutualism and erratic co-evolutionary change. PMID:26493295

  20. VARIATION IN JUVENILE COHO SALMON END-OF-SUMMER SIZE AND ABUNDANCE: HIERARCHICAL ANALYSIS OF HABITAT EFFECTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The size of coho salmon juveniles entering the winter has been shown to influence overwinter survival, and hence may be a useful indicator of linkages between summer habitat conditions and subsequent smolt production. We are investigating habitat-specific demographics of juvenile...

  1. Asian elephants in China: estimating population size and evaluating habitat suitability.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Li; Dong, Lu; Lin, Liu; Feng, Limin; Yan, Fan; Wang, Lanxin; Guo, Xianming; Luo, Aidong

    2015-01-01

    We monitored the last remaining Asian elephant populations in China over the past decade. Using DNA tools and repeat genotyping, we estimated the population sizes from 654 dung samples collected from various areas. Combined with morphological individual identifications from over 6,300 elephant photographs taken in the wild, we estimated that the total Asian elephant population size in China is between 221 and 245. Population genetic structure and diversity were examined using a 556-bp fragment of mitochondrial DNA, and 24 unique haplotypes were detected from DNA analysis of 178 individuals. A phylogenetic analysis revealed two highly divergent clades of Asian elephants, ? and ?, present in Chinese populations. Four populations (Mengla, Shangyong, Mengyang, and Pu'Er) carried mtDNA from the ? clade, and only one population (Nangunhe) carried mtDNA belonging to the ? clade. Moreover, high genetic divergence was observed between the Nangunhe population and the other four populations; however, genetic diversity among the five populations was low, possibly due to limited gene flow because of habitat fragmentation. The expansion of rubber plantations, crop cultivation, and villages along rivers and roads had caused extensive degradation of natural forest in these areas. This had resulted in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and had formed artificial barriers that inhibited elephant migration. Using Geographic Information System, Global Positioning System, and Remote Sensing technology, we found that the area occupied by rubber plantations, tea farms, and urban settlements had dramatically increased over the past 40 years, resulting in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and forming artificial barriers that inhibit elephant migration. The restoration of ecological corridors to facilitate gene exchange among isolated elephant populations and the establishment of cross-boundary protected areas between China and Laos to secure their natural habitats are critical for the survival of Asian elephants in this region. PMID:25992617

  2. Asian Elephants in China: Estimating Population Size and Evaluating Habitat Suitability

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Li; Dong, Lu; Lin, Liu; Feng, Limin; Yan, Fan; Wang, Lanxin; Guo, Xianming; Luo, Aidong

    2015-01-01

    We monitored the last remaining Asian elephant populations in China over the past decade. Using DNA tools and repeat genotyping, we estimated the population sizes from 654 dung samples collected from various areas. Combined with morphological individual identifications from over 6,300 elephant photographs taken in the wild, we estimated that the total Asian elephant population size in China is between 221 and 245. Population genetic structure and diversity were examined using a 556-bp fragment of mitochondrial DNA, and 24 unique haplotypes were detected from DNA analysis of 178 individuals. A phylogenetic analysis revealed two highly divergent clades of Asian elephants, ? and ?, present in Chinese populations. Four populations (Mengla, Shangyong, Mengyang, and Pu’Er) carried mtDNA from the ? clade, and only one population (Nangunhe) carried mtDNA belonging to the ? clade. Moreover, high genetic divergence was observed between the Nangunhe population and the other four populations; however, genetic diversity among the five populations was low, possibly due to limited gene flow because of habitat fragmentation. The expansion of rubber plantations, crop cultivation, and villages along rivers and roads had caused extensive degradation of natural forest in these areas. This had resulted in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and had formed artificial barriers that inhibited elephant migration. Using Geographic Information System, Global Positioning System, and Remote Sensing technology, we found that the area occupied by rubber plantations, tea farms, and urban settlements had dramatically increased over the past 40 years, resulting in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and forming artificial barriers that inhibit elephant migration. The restoration of ecological corridors to facilitate gene exchange among isolated elephant populations and the establishment of cross-boundary protected areas between China and Laos to secure their natural habitats are critical for the survival of Asian elephants in this region. PMID:25992617

  3. Tawny frogmouths and brushtail possums as sentinels for Angiostrongylus cantonensis, the rat lungworm.

    PubMed

    Ma, Gemma; Dennis, Michelle; Rose, Karrie; Spratt, David; Spielman, Derek

    2013-02-18

    The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of angiostrongylosis in tawny frogmouths (Podargus strigoides) and brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) with signs of neurological disease, and to describe the clinicopathological features of angiostrongylosis in both species. Tawny frogmouths and brushtail possums with signs of neurological disease were sampled from the Sydney metropolitan area between October 1998 and June 2010. Samples from 100 tawny frogmouths and 31 brushtail possums from the Australian Registry of Wildlife Health (ARWH), the Wildlife Assistance and Information Foundation (WAIF) and Wildlife Health and Conservation Centre (WHCC), University of Sydney were examined. Histological examinations of the brain, spinal cord and other available tissues were used to characterize the disease responsible for each animal's clinical signs. Of the 100 tawny frogmouths with neurological disease examined, angiostrongylosis was considered responsible in 80 (80%), traumatic injury in 17 (17%), protozoal infection in 3 (3%) and other diseases in 2 (2%) and the cause of clinical signs was unknown in 10 (10%). Eleven tawny frogmouths presenting with neurological signs associated with head trauma had concurrent angiostrongylosis. Of the 31 brushtail possums, Wobbly Possum Syndrome (WPS) was diagnosed in 21 (68%), angiostrongylosis in 4 (13%) and other diseases in the remaining 6 (19%). Angiostrongylosis was overrepresented in hand reared juvenile possums. Cases of angiostrongylosis in tawny frogmouths followed a strong seasonal pattern peaking through late summer and autumn. The results confirm that Angiostrongylus cantonensis is endemic in Sydney, Australia and that tawny frogmouths could be important sentinels for this zoonotic parasite. PMID:23218219

  4. Size matters at deep-sea hydrothermal vents: different diversity and habitat fidelity patterns of meio- and macrofauna

    PubMed Central

    Gollner, Sabine; Govenar, Breea; Fisher, Charles R.; Bright, Monika

    2015-01-01

    Species with markedly different sizes interact when sharing the same habitat. Unravelling mechanisms that control diversity thus requires consideration of a range of size classes. We compared patterns of diversity and community structure for meio- and macrofaunal communities sampled along a gradient of environmental stress at deep-sea hydrothermal vents on the East Pacific Rise (9° 50? N) and neighboring basalt habitats. Both meio- and macrofaunal species richnesses were lowest in the high-stress vent habitat, but macrofaunal richness was highest among intermediate-stress vent habitats. Meiofaunal species richness was negatively correlated with stress, and highest on the basalt. In these deep-sea basalt habitats surrounding hydrothermal vents, meiofaunal species richness was consistently higher than that of macrofauna. Consideration of the physiological capabilities and life history traits of different-sized animals suggests that different patterns of diversity may be caused by different capabilities to deal with environmental stress in the 2 size classes. In contrast to meiofauna, adaptations of macrofauna may have evolved to allow them to maintain their physiological homeostasis in a variety of hydrothermal vent habitats and exploit this food-rich deep-sea environment in high abundances. The habitat fidelity patterns also differed: macrofaunal species occurred primarily at vents and were generally restricted to this habitat, but meiofaunal species were distributed more evenly across proximate and distant basalt habitats and were thus not restricted to vent habitats. Over evolutionary time scales these contrasting patterns are likely driven by distinct reproduction strategies and food demands inherent to fauna of different sizes. PMID:26166922

  5. Design and Parametric Sizing of Deep Space Habitats Supporting NASA'S Human Space Flight Architecture Team

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toups, Larry; Simon, Matthew; Smitherman, David; Spexarth, Gary

    2012-01-01

    NASA's Human Space Flight Architecture Team (HAT) is a multi-disciplinary, cross-agency study team that conducts strategic analysis of integrated development approaches for human and robotic space exploration architectures. During each analysis cycle, HAT iterates and refines the definition of design reference missions (DRMs), which inform the definition of a set of integrated capabilities required to explore multiple destinations. An important capability identified in this capability-driven approach is habitation, which is necessary for crewmembers to live and work effectively during long duration transits to and operations at exploration destinations beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO). This capability is captured by an element referred to as the Deep Space Habitat (DSH), which provides all equipment and resources for the functions required to support crew safety, health, and work including: life support, food preparation, waste management, sleep quarters, and housekeeping.The purpose of this paper is to describe the design of the DSH capable of supporting crew during exploration missions. First, the paper describes the functionality required in a DSH to support the HAT defined exploration missions, the parameters affecting its design, and the assumptions used in the sizing of the habitat. Then, the process used for arriving at parametric sizing estimates to support additional HAT analyses is detailed. Finally, results from the HAT Cycle C DSH sizing are presented followed by a brief description of the remaining design trades and technological advancements necessary to enable the exploration habitation capability.

  6. Preferred habitat and effective population size drive landscape genetic patterns in an endangered species

    PubMed Central

    Weckworth, Byron V.; Musiani, Marco; DeCesare, Nicholas J.; McDevitt, Allan D.; Hebblewhite, Mark; Mariani, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    Landscape genetics provides a framework for pinpointing environmental features that determine the important exchange of migrants among populations. These studies usually test the significance of environmental variables on gene flow, yet ignore one fundamental driver of genetic variation in small populations, effective population size, Ne. We combined both approaches in evaluating genetic connectivity of a threatened ungulate, woodland caribou. We used least-cost paths to calculate matrices of resistance distance for landscape variables (preferred habitat, anthropogenic features and predation risk) and population-pairwise harmonic means of Ne, and correlated them with genetic distances, FST and Dc. Results showed that spatial configuration of preferred habitat and Ne were the two best predictors of genetic relationships. Additionally, controlling for the effect of Ne increased the strength of correlations of environmental variables with genetic distance, highlighting the significant underlying effect of Ne in modulating genetic drift and perceived spatial connectivity. We therefore have provided empirical support to emphasize preventing increased habitat loss and promoting population growth to ensure metapopulation viability. PMID:24004939

  7. Preferred habitat and effective population size drive landscape genetic patterns in an endangered species.

    PubMed

    Weckworth, Byron V; Musiani, Marco; Decesare, Nicholas J; McDevitt, Allan D; Hebblewhite, Mark; Mariani, Stefano

    2013-10-22

    Landscape genetics provides a framework for pinpointing environmental features that determine the important exchange of migrants among populations. These studies usually test the significance of environmental variables on gene flow, yet ignore one fundamental driver of genetic variation in small populations, effective population size, N(e). W(e) combined both approaches in evaluating genetic connectivity of a threatened ungulate, woodland caribou. We used least-cost paths to calculate matrices of resistance distance for landscape variables (preferred habitat, anthropogenic features and predation risk) and population-pairwise harmonic means of N(e), and correlated them with genetic distances, FST and D(c). Results showed that spatial configuration of preferred habitat and Ne were the two best predictors of genetic relationships. Additionally, controlling for the effect of Ne increased the strength of correlations of environmental variables with genetic distance, highlighting the significant underlying effect of Ne in modulating genetic drift and perceived spatial connectivity. We therefore have provided empirical support to emphasize preventing increased habitat loss and promoting population growth to ensure metapopulation viability. PMID:24004939

  8. Relationship between body size and habitat complexity preference in age-0 and -1 year winter flounder Pseudopleuronectes americanus.

    PubMed

    Pappal, A L; Rountree, R A; MacDonald, D G

    2012-07-01

    The interaction between body size, habitat complexity and interstice width on habitat preference of age-0 and -1 year Pseudopleuronectes americanus was examined using continuous remote video observation. The habitat choices of juvenile P. americanus were recorded over a 6 h period in tanks with four treatments: bare sand, sand with low complexity cobble, sand with intermediate complexity cobble and sand with high complexity cobble. Both age-0 and -1 year fish preferred cobble to bare sand. Within cobble treatments, age-0 year fish preferred intermediate complexity cobble, with a 1.59 ratio of interstitial space to body width. The largest age-1 year fish (123-130 mm standard length, L(S) ) preferred low complexity cobble. While a significant preference was not detected, medium age-1 year fish (83-88 mm L(S) ) tended to select low complexity cobble, whereas small age-1 year fish (73-82 mm L(S) ) tended to select low and intermediate cobble, with an interstitial space to body width ratio of 1.05. For medium and large age-1 year fish, there was an increased selection of low complexity cobble, corresponding to larger interstitial space to body size ratios. This study indicates that juvenile P. americanus prefer complex habitat to unstructured habitat and that this preference is mediated by a relationship between fish body size and the size of structure interstices. These results contribute to the growing body of knowledge of complex habitat selection and drivers of habitat choice in flatfishes. PMID:22747815

  9. Compensatory immigration depends on adjacent population size and habitat quality but not on landscape connectivity.

    PubMed

    Turgeon, Katrine; Kramer, Donald L

    2012-11-01

    1. Populations experiencing localized mortality can recover in the short term by net movement of individuals from adjacent areas, a process called compensatory immigration or spillover. Little is known about the factors influencing the magnitude of compensatory immigration or its impact on source populations. Such information is important for understanding metapopulation dynamics, the use of protected areas for conservation, management of exploited populations and pest control. 2. Using two small, territorial damselfish species (Stegastes diencaeus and S. adustus) in their naturally fragmented habitat, we quantified compensatory immigration in response to localized mortality, assessed its impact on adjacent source populations and examined the importance of potential immigrants, habitat quality and landscape connectivity as limiting factors. On seven experimental sites, we repeatedly removed 15% of the initial population size until none remained and immigration ceased. 3. Immigrants replaced 16-72% of original residents in S. diencaeus and 0-69% in S. adustus. The proportion of the source population that immigrated into depleted areas varied from 9% to 61% in S. diencaeus and from 3% to 21% in S. adustus. In S. diencaeus, compensatory immigration was strongly affected by habitat quality, to a lesser extent by the abundance of potential immigrants and not by landscape connectivity. In S. adustus, immigration was strongly affected by the density of potential migrants and not by habitat quality and landscape connectivity. On two control sites, immigration in the absence of creation of vacancies was extremely rare. 4. Immigration occurred in response to localized mortality and was therefore compensatory. It was highly variable, sometimes producing substantial impacts on both depleted and source populations. The magnitude of compensatory immigration was influenced primarily by the availability of immigrants and by the potential improvement in territory quality that they could achieve by immigrating and not by their ability to reach the depleted area. PMID:22548493

  10. Distribution, habitat, size, and color pattern of Cnemidophorus lemniscatus (Sauria: Teiidae) on Cayo Cochino Pequeño, Honduras

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Montgomery, Chad E.; Reed, Robert N.; Shaw, Hayley J.; Boback, Scott M.; Walker, James M.

    2007-01-01

    Cayo Cochino Pequeño is a 0.64-km2 Caribbean island in the Cayos Cochinos archipelago, Department of Islas de la Bahía, Honduras. One published report noted the presence of the rainbow whiptail (Cnemidophorus lemniscatus) on Cayo Cochino Pequeño, but nothing is known about the biology of this insular population. During a part of the dry season in July and August 2004, we used drift fences, pitfall traps, and separate observational transects to elucidate the distribution and habitat use of C. lemniscatus on the island. The only population of this species was located in a narrow coastal zone (width to 60?m and length to 450?m) on the southern half of the eastern windward side of the island. We analyzed the percentage of the canopy cover and the percentage of 4 ground coverage types along 2 transects 200?m long in this area to understand the basis of the suitability of the habitat for C. lemniscatus. Descriptively, the area harboring this species on Cayo Cochino Pequeño consisted of the remnants of a coconut palm grove with low-lying herbaceous vegetation and grasses, in which a mosaic of small, open areas of sandy soil and coral fragments, with or without accumulations of debris, were the foci of lizard activities. Also observed in this habitat were 2 individuals of the brown racer (Dryadophis melanolomus), an actively foraging snake and likely predator on C. lemniscatus. Data obtained on rainbow whiptails captured in pitfall traps and subsequently released were used to determine the size and color patterns of hatchlings and adult males and females.

  11. Movements, home-range size and habitat selection of mallards during autumn migration.

    PubMed

    Bengtsson, Daniel; Avril, Alexis; Gunnarsson, Gunnar; Elmberg, Johan; Söderquist, Pär; Norevik, Gabriel; Tolf, Conny; Safi, Kamran; Fiedler, Wolfgang; Wikelski, Martin; Olsen, Björn; Waldenström, Jonas

    2014-01-01

    The mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) is a focal species in game management, epidemiology and ornithology, but comparably little research has focused on the ecology of the migration seasons. We studied habitat use, time-budgets, home-range sizes, habitat selection, and movements based on spatial data collected with GPS devices attached to wild mallards trapped at an autumn stopover site in the Northwest European flyway. Sixteen individuals (13 males, 3 females) were followed for 15-38 days in October to December 2010. Forty-nine percent (SD?=?8.4%) of the ducks' total time, and 85% of the day-time (SD?=?28.3%), was spent at sheltered reefs and bays on the coast. Two ducks used ponds, rather than coast, as day-roosts instead. Mallards spent most of the night (76% of total time, SD?=?15.8%) on wetlands, mainly on alvar steppe, or in various flooded areas (e.g. coastal meadows). Crop fields with maize were also selectively utilized. Movements between roosting and foraging areas mainly took place at dawn and dusk, and the home-ranges observed in our study are among the largest ever documented for mallards (mean ?=?6,859 ha; SD?=?5,872 ha). This study provides insights into relatively unknown aspects of mallard ecology. The fact that autumn-staging migratory mallards have a well-developed diel activity pattern tightly linked to the use of specific habitats has implications for wetland management, hunting and conservation, as well as for the epidemiology of diseases shared between wildlife and domestic animals. PMID:24971887

  12. Movements, Home-Range Size and Habitat Selection of Mallards during Autumn Migration

    PubMed Central

    Bengtsson, Daniel; Avril, Alexis; Gunnarsson, Gunnar; Elmberg, Johan; Söderquist, Pär; Norevik, Gabriel; Tolf, Conny; Safi, Kamran; Fiedler, Wolfgang; Wikelski, Martin; Olsen, Björn; Waldenström, Jonas

    2014-01-01

    The mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) is a focal species in game management, epidemiology and ornithology, but comparably little research has focused on the ecology of the migration seasons. We studied habitat use, time-budgets, home-range sizes, habitat selection, and movements based on spatial data collected with GPS devices attached to wild mallards trapped at an autumn stopover site in the Northwest European flyway. Sixteen individuals (13 males, 3 females) were followed for 15–38 days in October to December 2010. Forty-nine percent (SD = 8.4%) of the ducks' total time, and 85% of the day-time (SD = 28.3%), was spent at sheltered reefs and bays on the coast. Two ducks used ponds, rather than coast, as day-roosts instead. Mallards spent most of the night (76% of total time, SD = 15.8%) on wetlands, mainly on alvar steppe, or in various flooded areas (e.g. coastal meadows). Crop fields with maize were also selectively utilized. Movements between roosting and foraging areas mainly took place at dawn and dusk, and the home-ranges observed in our study are among the largest ever documented for mallards (mean  = 6,859 ha; SD = 5,872 ha). This study provides insights into relatively unknown aspects of mallard ecology. The fact that autumn-staging migratory mallards have a well-developed diel activity pattern tightly linked to the use of specific habitats has implications for wetland management, hunting and conservation, as well as for the epidemiology of diseases shared between wildlife and domestic animals. PMID:24971887

  13. Habitat association, size, stomach contents, and reproductive condition of Puerto Rican boas (Epicrates inornatus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiley, J.W.

    2003-01-01

    The Puerto Rican boa occurs in a variety of habitats, including wet montane forest, lowland wet forest, mangrove forest, wet limestone karst, and offshore cays, and from sea level to 480 m. Mean SVL of 49 encountered boas (live and road-killed) was 136.9 ?? 35.1 (range = 38.8-205 cm), with a mean mass of 952.1 ?? 349.0 g (n = 47; range = 140-1662 g). Prey in digestive tracts (n = 29) included remains of black rats, house mice, three species of anoles, bats, common ground-doves, domestic fowl chicks, and invertebrates. Females were in reproductive condition in late April through mid-August and had an average brood size of 21.8 ?? 6.0 (n = 9, range = 13-30 ).

  14. Behavior-Based Assessment of the Auditory Abilities of Brushtail Possums

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Osugi, Mizuho; Foster T. Mary; Temple, William; Poling, Alan

    2011-01-01

    Brushtail possums ("Trichosurus vulpecula") were trained to press a right lever when a tone was presented (a tone-on trial) and a left lever when a tone was not presented (a tone-off trial) to gain access to food. During training the tone was set at 80 dB(A), with a frequency of 0.88 kH for 3 possums and of 4 kH for the other 2. Once accuracy was…

  15. Effects of Spatial Subsidies and Habitat Structure on the Foraging Ecology and Size of Geckos

    PubMed Central

    McCauley, Douglas J.; Hathaway, Stacie A.; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Fisher, Robert N.

    2012-01-01

    While it is well established that ecosystem subsidies—the addition of energy, nutrients, or materials across ecosystem boundaries—can affect consumer abundance, there is less information available on how subsidy levels may affect consumer diet, body condition, trophic position, and resource partitioning among consumer species. There is also little information on whether changes in vegetation structure commonly associated with spatial variation in subsidies may play an important role in driving consumer responses to subsidies. To address these knowledge gaps, we studied changes in abundance, diet, trophic position, size, and body condition of two congeneric gecko species (Lepidodactylus spp.) that coexist in palm dominated and native (hereafter dicot dominated) forests across the Central Pacific. These forests differ strongly both in the amount of marine subsidies that they receive from seabird guano and carcasses, and in the physical structure of the habitat. Contrary to other studies, we found that subsidy level had no impact on the abundance of either gecko species; it also did not have any apparent effects on resource partitioning between species. However, it did affect body size, dietary composition, and trophic position of both species. Geckos in subsidized, dicot forests were larger, had higher body condition and more diverse diets, and occupied a much higher trophic position than geckos found in palm dominated, low subsidy level forests. Both direct variation in subsidy levels and associated changes in habitat structure appear to play a role in driving these responses. These results suggest that variation in subsidy levels may drive important behavioral responses in predators, even when their numerical response is limited. Strong changes in trophic position of consumers also suggest that subsidies may drive increasingly complex food webs, with longer overall food chain length. PMID:22899995

  16. Effects of spatial subsidies and habitat structure on the foraging ecology and size of geckos

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Briggs, Amy A.; Young, Hillary S.; McCauley, Douglas J.; Hathaway, Stacie A.; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Fisher, Robert N.

    2012-01-01

    While it is well established that ecosystem subsidies—the addition of energy, nutrients, or materials across ecosystem boundaries—can affect consumer abundance, there is less information available on how subsidy levels may affect consumer diet, body condition, trophic position, and resource partitioning among consumer species. There is also little information on whether changes in vegetation structure commonly associated with spatial variation in subsidies may play an important role in driving consumer responses to subsidies. To address these knowledge gaps, we studied changes in abundance, diet, trophic position, size, and body condition of two congeneric gecko species (Lepidodactylus spp.) that coexist in palm dominated and native (hereafter dicot dominated) forests across the Central Pacific. These forests differ trongly both in the amount of marine subsidies that they receive from seabird guano and carcasses, and in the physical structure of the habitat. Contrary to other studies, we found that subsidy level had no impact on the abundance of either gecko species; it also did not have any apparent effects on resource partitioning between species. However, it did affect body size, dietary composition, and trophic position of both species. Geckos in subsidized, dicot forests were larger, had higher body condition and more diverse diets, and occupied a much higher trophic position than geckos found in palm dominated, low subsidy level forests. Both direct variation in subsidy levels and associated changes in habitat structure appear to play a role in driving these responses. These results suggest that variation in subsidy levels may drive important behavioral responses in predators, even when their numerical response is limited. Strong changes in trophic position of consumers also suggest that subsidies may drive increasingly complex food webs, with longer overall food chain length.

  17. Trypanosomes in a declining species of threatened Australian marsupial, the brush-tailed bettong Bettongia penicillata (Marsupialia: Potoroidae).

    PubMed

    Smith, A; Clark, P; Averis, S; Lymbery, A J; Wayne, A F; Morris, K D; Thompson, R C A

    2008-09-01

    The brush-tailed bettong (Bettongia penicillata), or woylie, is a medium-sized macropod marsupial that has undergone a rapid and substantial decline throughout its home range in the Upper Warren region of Western Australia over a period of approximately 5 years. As part of an investigation into possible causes of the decline a morphologically distinct Trypanosoma sp. was discovered by light microscopy in the declining population but was absent in a stable population within the Karakamia Wildlife Sanctuary. Further investigations employing molecular methods targeting variations in the 18s rRNA gene determined that the trypanosome was novel and was also present within the Karakamia population albeit at a much lower overall prevalence and individual parasitaemia levels. Phylogenetic analysis suggests the novel Trypanosoma sp. to be closely related to other trypanosomes isolated from native Australian wildlife species. Although it appears unlikely that the parasite is solely responsible for the decline in woylie population size, it may (singularly or in conjunction with other infectious agents) predispose woylies to increased mortality. PMID:18752704

  18. Size Structure of Marine Soft-Bottom Macrobenthic Communities across Natural Habitat Gradients: Implications for Productivity and Ecosystem Function

    PubMed Central

    Macdonald, Tara A.; Burd, Brenda J.; van Roodselaar, Albert

    2012-01-01

    Size distributions of biotic assemblages are important modifiers of productivity and function in marine sediments. We investigated the distribution of proportional organic biomass among logarithmic size classes (2?6J to 216J) in the soft-bottom macrofaunal communities of the Strait of Georgia, Salish Sea on the west coast of Canada. The study examines how size structure is influenced by 3 fundamental habitat descriptors: depth, sediment percent fines, and organic flux (modified by quality). These habitat variables are uncorrelated in this hydrographically diverse area, thus we examine their effects in combination and separately. Cluster analyses and cumulative biomass size spectra reveal clear and significant responses to each separate habitat variable. When combined, habitat factors result in three distinct assemblages: (1) communities with a high proportion of biomass in small organisms, typical of shallow areas (<10 m) with coarse sediments (<10% fines) and low accumulation of organic material (<3.0 gC/m2/yr/?15N); (2) communities with high proportion of biomass in the largest organisms found in the Strait, typical of deep, fine sediments with high modified organic flux (>3 g C/m2/yr/?15N) from the Fraser River; and (3) communities with biomass dominated by moderately large organisms, but lacking the smallest and largest size classes, typical of deep, fine sediments experiencing low modified organic flux (<3.0 gC/m2/yr/?15N). The remaining assemblages had intermediate habitat types and size structures. Sediment percent fines and flux appear to elicit threshold responses in size structure, whereas depth has the most linear influence on community size structure. The ecological implications of size structure in the Strait of Georgia relative to environmental conditions, secondary production and sediment bioturbation are discussed. PMID:22911694

  19. Behavioral response of the coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum) to habitat fragment size and isolation in an urban landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mitrovich, Milan J.; Diffendorfer, Jay E.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2009-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation is a significant threat to biodiversity worldwide. Habitat loss and the isolation of habitat fragments disrupt biological communities, accelerate the extinction of populations, and often lead to the alteration of behavioral patterns typical of individuals in large, contiguous natural areas. We used radio-telemetry to study the space-use behavior of the Coachwhip, a larger-bodied, wide-ranging snake species threatened by habitat fragmentation, in fragmented and contiguous areas of coastal southern California. We tracked 24 individuals at three sites over two years. Movement patterns of Coachwhips changed in habitat fragments. As area available to the snakes was reduced, individuals faced increased crowding, had smaller home-range sizes, tolerated greater home-range overlap, and showed more concentrated movement activity and convoluted movement pathways. The behavioral response shown by Coachwhips suggests, on a regional level, area-effects alone cannot explain observed extinctions on habitat fragments but, instead, suggests changes in habitat configuration are more likely to explain the decline of this species. Ultimately, if "edge-exposure" is a common cause of decline, then isolated fragments, appropriately buffered to reduce emigration and edge effects, may support viable populations of fragmentation-sensitive species.

  20. Heat Loss May Explain Bill Size Differences between Birds Occupying Different Habitats

    PubMed Central

    Greenberg, Russell; Cadena, Viviana; Danner, Raymond M.; Tattersall, Glenn

    2012-01-01

    Background Research on variation in bill morphology has focused on the role of diet. Bills have other functions, however, including a role in heat and water balance. The role of the bill in heat loss may be particularly important in birds where water is limiting. Song sparrows localized in coastal dunes and salt marsh edge (Melospiza melodia atlantica) are similar in size to, but have bills with a 17% greater surface area than, those that live in mesic habitats (M. m. melodia), a pattern shared with other coastal sparrows. We tested the hypotheses that sparrows can use their bills to dissipate “dry” heat, and that heat loss from the bill is higher in M. m. atlantica than M. m. melodia, which would indicate a role of heat loss and water conservation in selection for bill size. Methodology/Principal Findings Bill, tarsus, and body surface temperatures were measured using thermal imaging of sparrows exposed to temperatures from 15–37°C and combined with surface area and physical modeling to estimate the contribution of each body part to total heat loss. Song sparrow bills averaged 5–10°C hotter than ambient. The bill of M. m atlantica dissipated up to 33% more heat and 38% greater proportion of total heat than that of M. m. melodia. This could potentially reduce water loss requirements by approximately 7.7%. Conclusions/Significance This >30% higher heat loss in the bill of M. m. atlantica is independent of evaporative water loss and thus could play an important role in the water balance of sparrows occupying the hot and exposed dune/salt marsh environments during the summer. Heat loss capacity and water conservation could play an important role in the selection for bill size differences between bird populations and should be considered along with trophic adaptations when studying variation in bill size. PMID:22848413

  1. Habitat-mediated size selection in endangered Atlantic salmon fry: selectional restoration assessment

    PubMed Central

    Bailey, Michael M; Kinnison, Michael T

    2010-01-01

    Preservation of adaptive variation is a top priority of many species restoration programs, but most restoration activities are conducted without direct knowledge of selection that might foster or impair adaptation and restoration goals. In this study, we quantified geographic variation in selection on fry size of endangered Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) during the 6-week period immediately following stocking in the wild. We also used a model selection approach to assess whether habitat variables influence patterns of such selection. We found evidence for significant size-selection in five out of six selection trials. Interestingly, the strength and pattern of selection varied extensively among sites, and model selection suggested that this variation in phenotypic selection was related to geographic variation in the presence of large woody debris and the slope of the stream gradient. The strong selection differentials we observed should be a concern for endangered salmon restoration, whether they reflect natural processes and an opportunity to maintain adaptation, or an indicator of the potentially deleterious phenotypic consequences of hatchery practices. PMID:25567930

  2. Millimeter-sized marine plastics: a new pelagic habitat for microorganisms and invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Reisser, Julia; Shaw, Jeremy; Hallegraeff, Gustaaf; Proietti, Maira; Barnes, David K A; Thums, Michele; Wilcox, Chris; Hardesty, Britta Denise; Pattiaratchi, Charitha

    2014-01-01

    Millimeter-sized plastics are abundant in most marine surface waters, and known to carry fouling organisms that potentially play key roles in the fate and ecological impacts of plastic pollution. In this study we used scanning electron microscopy to characterize biodiversity of organisms on the surface of 68 small floating plastics (length range = 1.7-24.3 mm, median = 3.2 mm) from Australia-wide coastal and oceanic, tropical to temperate sample collections. Diatoms were the most diverse group of plastic colonizers, represented by 14 genera. We also recorded 'epiplastic' coccolithophores (7 genera), bryozoans, barnacles (Lepas spp.), a dinoflagellate (Ceratium), an isopod (Asellota), a marine worm, marine insect eggs (Halobates sp.), as well as rounded, elongated, and spiral cells putatively identified as bacteria, cyanobacteria, and fungi. Furthermore, we observed a variety of plastic surface microtextures, including pits and grooves conforming to the shape of microorganisms, suggesting that biota may play an important role in plastic degradation. This study highlights how anthropogenic millimeter-sized polymers have created a new pelagic habitat for microorganisms and invertebrates. The ecological ramifications of this phenomenon for marine organism dispersal, ocean productivity, and biotransfer of plastic-associated pollutants, remains to be elucidated. PMID:24941218

  3. Millimeter-Sized Marine Plastics: A New Pelagic Habitat for Microorganisms and Invertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Reisser, Julia; Shaw, Jeremy; Hallegraeff, Gustaaf; Proietti, Maira; Barnes, David K. A.; Thums, Michele; Wilcox, Chris; Hardesty, Britta Denise; Pattiaratchi, Charitha

    2014-01-01

    Millimeter-sized plastics are abundant in most marine surface waters, and known to carry fouling organisms that potentially play key roles in the fate and ecological impacts of plastic pollution. In this study we used scanning electron microscopy to characterize biodiversity of organisms on the surface of 68 small floating plastics (length range = 1.7–24.3 mm, median = 3.2 mm) from Australia-wide coastal and oceanic, tropical to temperate sample collections. Diatoms were the most diverse group of plastic colonizers, represented by 14 genera. We also recorded ‘epiplastic’ coccolithophores (7 genera), bryozoans, barnacles (Lepas spp.), a dinoflagellate (Ceratium), an isopod (Asellota), a marine worm, marine insect eggs (Halobates sp.), as well as rounded, elongated, and spiral cells putatively identified as bacteria, cyanobacteria, and fungi. Furthermore, we observed a variety of plastic surface microtextures, including pits and grooves conforming to the shape of microorganisms, suggesting that biota may play an important role in plastic degradation. This study highlights how anthropogenic millimeter-sized polymers have created a new pelagic habitat for microorganisms and invertebrates. The ecological ramifications of this phenomenon for marine organism dispersal, ocean productivity, and biotransfer of plastic-associated pollutants, remains to be elucidated. PMID:24941218

  4. Habitat disturbance and hydrological parameters determine the body size and reproductive strategy of alluvial ground beetles

    PubMed Central

    Gerisch, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Environmental variability is the main driver for the variation of biological characteristics (life-history traits) of species. Therefore, life-history traits are particularly suited to identify mechanistic linkages between environmental variability and species occurrence and can help in explaining ecological patterns. For ground beetles, few studies directly related species traits to environmental variables. This study aims to analyse how life-history traits of alluvial ground beetles are controlled by environmental factors. I expected that the occurrence of species and the occurrence of specific traits are closely related to hydrological and disturbance parameters. Furthermore I expected most of the trait-variation to be explained by a combination of environmental variables, rather than by their isolated effects. Ground beetles were sampled in the year 2005 in floodplain grassland along the Elbe River in Germany. I used redundancy analysis to quantify the effects of hydrological, sediment, and disturbance related parameters on both species occurrence and species traits. I applied variation partitioning to analyse which environmental compartments explain most of the trait variation. Species occurrence and trait variation were both mainly controlled by hydrological and flood disturbance parameters. I could clearly identify reproductive traits and body size as key traits for floodplain ground beetles to cope with the environmental variability. Furthermore, combinations of hydrological, habitat disturbance, habitat type, and species diversity parameters, rather than their isolated effects, explained large parts of ground beetle trait variation. Thus, a main conclusion of this study is that ground beetle occurrence is mainly determined by complex, multi-scale interactions between environmental variability and their life-history traits. PMID:21738421

  5. Patterns in the abundance and size-distribution of syngnathid fishes among habitats in a seagrass-dominated marine environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kendrick, A. J.; Hyndes, G. A.

    2003-07-01

    Syngnathid fishes were sampled using a 1 m wide beam trawl during the day and night in each season from summer 1996/1997 to summer 1997/1998 in five habitat types in an approximately 90 km 2 area located on the lower west coast of Australia. The seagrasses Amphibolis griffithii, Posidonia sinuosa and Posidonia coriacea and shallow unvegetated sand were all in depths of 4-9 m, while deep habitat, which comprised mainly bare sand with isolated patches of the seagrasses Heterozostera tasmanica and Halophila ovalis, occurred at depths of 12-16 m. While A. griffithii and P. sinuosa each formed dense monospecific meadows, P. coriacea occurred in sparse clumps surrounded by areas of bare sand and patches of H. tasmanica. While catches of spotted pipefish Stigmatopora argus occurred mainly in P. sinuosa and P. coriacea, individuals of this species that exceeded ca. 55 mm in snout-vent length were far more abundant in the former habitat whereas smaller fish occurred mostly in the latter. Densities of S. argus were similar in P. sinuosa and P. coriacea, but differed between seasons, and a season/habitat interaction was present. In contrast, wide-bodied pipefish Stigmatopora nigra were collected mainly in P. coriacea and deep habitat and, although the densities were greater in P. coriacea than in deep habitat, the size-distributions of this species in these habitats were similar. Notably, S. nigra was never collected in P. sinuosa. Although less abundant than the above pipefish, the long-snouted pipefish Vanacampus poecilolaemus was collected almost exclusively in P. sinuosa. Few syngnathids were collected from shallow unvegetated sand or from A. griffithii, which differed markedly in plant structure from both Posidonia species. It is suggested that these syngnathid species occupy habitats that best enable them to remain inconspicuous to predators. Both S. argus and S. nigra have green or brown colouration and mimic strap-like seagrass leaves which they grasp with prehensile tails, whereas V. poecilolaemus, which is dark coloured and lacks a prehensile tail, most likely lies among the rich detrital material that accumulates beneath the dense P. sinuosa canopy. The movement of larger-sized S. argus from the narrow-leaved P. coriacea to the relatively broad-leaved P. sinuosa may enable the adults of this species to be better camouflaged than if they had remained in the former habitat. As they grow to only approximately half the size of S. argus, S. nigra of all sizes could remain concealed in narrow-leaved seagrasses like P. coriacea and H. tasmanica. The presence of more S. nigra in P. coriacea compared with deep habitat probably reflected the greater expanse of seagrass canopy available in the former habitat, while the inability of either Stigmatopora species to mimic the short leaves of A. griffithii could help to explain their scarcity in this seagrass. The almost total absence of S. nigra and small S. argus from P. sinuosa could be due to their inability to grasp the relatively broad leaves of this seagrass or the presence in this habitat of predators that selectively predate these smaller pipefish. That very few small-sized S. argus were present in P. coriacea during winter 1997, despite the fact that males of both Stigmatopora species carried broods of young in all seasons, suggests that the reproductive output of this species and/or the survival of recruits varied during the study period.

  6. Hierarchical behaviour, habitat use and species size differences shape evolutionary outcomes of hybridization in a coral reef fish.

    PubMed

    Gainsford, A; van Herwerden, L; Jones, G P

    2015-01-01

    Hybridization is an important evolutionary process, with ecological and behavioural factors influencing gene exchange between hybrids and parent species. Patterns of hybridization in anemonefishes may result from living in highly specialized habitats and breeding status regulated by size-based hierarchal social groups. Here, morphological, ecological and genetic analyses in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea, examine the hybrid status of Amphiprion leucokranos, a nominal species and presumed hybrid between Amphiprion sandaracinos and Amphiprion chrysopterus. We test the hypothesis that habitat use and relative size differences of the parent species and hybrids determine the patterns of gene exchange. There is strong evidence that A. leucokranos is a hybrid of smaller A. sandaracinos and larger A. chrysopterus, where A. chrysopterus is exclusively the mother to each hybrid, based on mtDNA cytochrome b and multiple nDNA microsatellite loci. Overlap in habitat, depth and host anemone use was found, with hybrids intermediate to parents and cohabitation in over 25% of anemones sampled. Hybrids, intermediate in body size, colour and pattern, were classified 55% of the time as morphologically first-generation hybrids relative to parents, whereas 45% of hybrids were more A. sandaracinos-like, suggesting backcrossing. Unidirectional introgression of A. chrysopterus mtDNA into A. sandaracinos via hybrid backcrosses was found, with larger female hybrids and small male A. sandaracinos mating. Potential nDNA introgression was also evident through distinct intermediate hybrid genotypes penetrating both parent species. Findings support the hypothesis that anemonefish hierarchical behaviour, habitat use and species-specific size differences determine how hybrids form and the evolutionary consequences of hybridization. PMID:25414094

  7. Release and bioactivity of PACA nanoparticles containing D-Lys?-GnRH for brushtail possum fertility control.

    PubMed

    Kafka, Alexandra P; McLeod, Bernie J; Rades, Thomas; McDowell, Arlene

    2011-02-10

    Poly(ethylcyanoacrylate) (PECA) nanoparticles containing the chemical sterilitant D-Lys?-GnRH were prepared by an in situ interfacial polymerization technique. Their potential as a peroral delivery system for biocontrol of the brushtail possum, a major pest species in New Zealand, was evaluated. Peptide release from resulting particles was studied in vitro in artificial gastric juice (AGJ), simulated intestinal fluids (SIF) and brushtail possum plasma. The nanoparticles released a small fraction of bioactive over 6h in AGJ and SIF (<5%), while staying intact and retaining fractions of intact D-Lys?-GnRH. In contrast, 60% of D-Lys?-GnRH was released after 1h in possum plasma. The nanoparticles were also administered in vivo into the caecum of brushtail possums. A significant biological response, measured as an increase in plasma luteinizing hormone (LH), was evident 10 min after administration. This demonstrates not only that PECA nanoparticles were able to facilitate the uptake of D-Lys?-GnRH from the caecum into systemic circulation but also that sufficient bioactive peptide reached the pituitary to exert a significant LH response following GnRH receptor mediated endocytosis. Hence, it can be concluded that PECA nanoparticles comprise a promising formulation strategy for the peroral delivery of the chemical sterilitant D-Lys?-GnRH to the brushtail possum in New Zealand. PMID:21047541

  8. Concurrent habitat and life history influences on effective/census population size ratios in stream-dwelling trout

    PubMed Central

    Belmar-Lucero, Sebastian; Wood, Jacquelyn L A; Scott, Sherylyne; Harbicht, Andrew B; Hutchings, Jeffrey A; Fraser, Dylan J

    2012-01-01

    Lower effective sizes (Ne) than census sizes (N) are routinely documented in natural populations, but knowledge of how multiple factors interact to lower Ne/N ratios is often limited. We show how combined habitat and life-history influences drive a 2.4- to 6.1-fold difference in Ne/N ratios between two pristine brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) populations occupying streams separated by only 750 m. Local habitat features, particularly drainage area and stream depth, govern trout biomass produced in each stream. They also generate higher trout densities in the shallower stream by favoring smaller body size and earlier age-at-maturity. The combination of higher densities and reduced breeding site availability in the shallower stream likely leads to more competition among breeding trout, which results in greater variance in individual reproductive success and a greater reduction in Ne relative to N. A similar disparity between juvenile or adult densities and breeding habitat availability is reported for other species and hence may also result in divergent Ne/N ratios elsewhere. These divergent Ne/N ratios between adjacent populations are also an instructive reminder for species conservation programs that genetic and demographic parameters may differ dramatically within species. PMID:22822435

  9. Hierarchical distance-sampling models to estimate population size and habitat-specific abundance of an island endemic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sillett, Scott T.; Chandler, Richard B.; Royle, J. Andrew; Kéry, Marc; Morrison, Scott A.

    2012-01-01

    Population size and habitat-specific abundance estimates are essential for conservation management. A major impediment to obtaining such estimates is that few statistical models are able to simultaneously account for both spatial variation in abundance and heterogeneity in detection probability, and still be amenable to large-scale applications. The hierarchical distance-sampling model of J. A. Royle, D. K. Dawson, and S. Bates provides a practical solution. Here, we extend this model to estimate habitat-specific abundance and rangewide population size of a bird species of management concern, the Island Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma insularis), which occurs solely on Santa Cruz Island, California, USA. We surveyed 307 randomly selected, 300 m diameter, point locations throughout the 250-km2 island during October 2008 and April 2009. Population size was estimated to be 2267 (95% CI 1613-3007) and 1705 (1212-2369) during the fall and spring respectively, considerably lower than a previously published but statistically problematic estimate of 12 500. This large discrepancy emphasizes the importance of proper survey design and analysis for obtaining reliable information for management decisions. Jays were most abundant in low-elevation chaparral habitat; the detection function depended primarily on the percent cover of chaparral and forest within count circles. Vegetation change on the island has been dramatic in recent decades, due to release from herbivory following the eradication of feral sheep (Ovis aries) from the majority of the island in the mid-1980s. We applied best-fit fall and spring models of habitat-specific jay abundance to a vegetation map from 1985, and estimated the population size of A. insularis was 1400-1500 at that time. The 20-30% increase in the jay population suggests that the species has benefited from the recovery of native vegetation since sheep removal. Nevertheless, this jay's tiny range and small population size make it vulnerable to natural disasters and to habitat alteration related to climate change. Our results demonstrate that hierarchical distance-sampling models hold promise for estimating population size and spatial density variation at large scales. Our statistical methods have been incorporated into the R package unmarked to facilitate their use by animal ecologists, and we provide annotated code in the Supplement.

  10. Hierarchical distance-sampling models to estimate population size and habitat-specific abundance of an island endemic.

    PubMed

    Sillett, T Scott; Chandler, Richard B; Royle, J Andrew; Kery, Marc; Morrison, Scott A

    2012-10-01

    Population size and habitat-specific abundance estimates are essential for conservation management. A major impediment to obtaining such estimates is that few statistical models are able to simultaneously account for both spatial variation in abundance and heterogeneity in detection probability, and still be amenable to large-scale applications. The hierarchical distance-sampling model of J. A. Royle, D. K. Dawson, and S. Bates provides a practical solution. Here, we extend this model to estimate habitat-specific abundance and rangewide population size of a bird species of management concern, the Island Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma insularis), which occurs solely on Santa Cruz Island, California, USA. We surveyed 307 randomly selected, 300 m diameter, point locations throughout the 250-km2 island during October 2008 and April 2009. Population size was estimated to be 2267 (95% CI 1613-3007) and 1705 (1212-2369) during the fall and spring respectively, considerably lower than a previously published but statistically problematic estimate of 12 500. This large discrepancy emphasizes the importance of proper survey design and analysis for obtaining reliable information for management decisions. Jays were most abundant in low-elevation chaparral habitat; the detection function depended primarily on the percent cover of chaparral and forest within count circles. Vegetation change on the island has been dramatic in recent decades, due to release from herbivory following the eradication of feral sheep (Ovis aries) from the majority of the island in the mid-1980s. We applied best-fit fall and spring models of habitat-specific jay abundance to a vegetation map from 1985, and estimated the population size of A. insularis was 1400-1500 at that time. The 20-30% increase in the jay population suggests that the species has benefited from the recovery of native vegetation since sheep removal. Nevertheless, this jay's tiny range and small population size make it vulnerable to natural disasters and to habitat alteration related to climate change. Our results demonstrate that hierarchical distance-sampling models hold promise for estimating population size and spatial density variation at large scales. Our statistical methods have been incorporated into the R package unmarked to facilitate their use by animal ecologists, and we provide annotated code in the Supplement. PMID:23210315

  11. Habitat Size Optimization of the O'Neill - Glaser Economic Model for Space Solar Satellite Production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curreri, Peter A.; Detweiler, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Creating large space habitats by launching all materials from Earth is prohibitively expensive. Using space resources and space based labor to build space solar power satellites can yield extraordinary profits after a few decades. The economic viability of this program depends on the use of space resources and space labor. To maximize the return on the investment, the early use of high density bolo habitats is required. Other shapes do not allow for the small initial scale required for a quick population increase in space. This study found that 5 Man Year, or 384 person bolo high density habitats will be the most economically feasible for a program started at year 2010 and will cause a profit by year 24 of the program, put over 45,000 people into space, and create a large system of space infrastructure for the further exploration and development of space.

  12. Does size matter? An investigation of habitat use across a carnivore assemblage in the Serengeti, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Durant, Sarah M; Craft, Meggan E; Foley, Charles; Hampson, Katie; Lobora, Alex L; Msuha, Maurus; Eblate, Ernest; Bukombe, John; McHetto, John; Pettorelli, Nathalie

    2010-09-01

    1. This study utilizes a unique data set covering over 19 000 georeferenced records of species presence collected between 1993 and 2008, to explore the distribution and habitat selectivity of an assemblage of 26 carnivore species in the Serengeti-Ngorongoro landscape in northern Tanzania. 2. Two species, the large-spotted genet and the bushy-tailed mongoose, were documented for the first time within this landscape. Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA) was used to examine habitat selectivity for 18 of the 26 carnivore species for which there is sufficient data. Eleven ecogeographical variables (EGVs), such as altitude and habitat type, were used for these analyses. 3. The ENFA demonstrated that species differed in their habitat selectivity, and supported the limited ecological information already available for these species, such as the golden jackals' preference for grassland and the leopards' preference for river valleys. 4. Two aggregate scores, marginality and tolerance, are generated by the ENFA, and describe each species' habitat selectivity in relation to the suite of EGVs. These scores were used to test the hypothesis that smaller species are expected to be more selective than larger species [Science, 1989, 243, 1145]. Two predictions were tested: Marginality should decrease with body mass; and tolerance should increase with body mass. Our study provided no evidence for either prediction. 5. Our results not only support previous analyses of carnivore diet breadth, but also represent a novel approach to the investigation of habitat selection across species assemblages. Our method provides a powerful tool to explore similar questions in other systems and for other taxa. PMID:20646121

  13. SHALLOW HABITATS IN TWO RHODE ISLAND SYSTEMS: II. PATTERNS OF SIZE, STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONAL GROUPS

    EPA Science Inventory

    We are examining habitats in small estuarine coves that may be important for the development of ecological indicators of integrity. We sampled nekton in Coggeshall Cove (shallow estuarine cove) in summer 1999 and 2000 and Ninigret Pond (coastal lagoon) in summer 2000. Coggeshall ...

  14. The consequences of introducing non-indigenous species: two case studies, the grey squirrel in Europe and the brushtail possum in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Lawton, C; Cown, P; Bertolino, S; Lurz, P W W; Peters, A R

    2010-08-01

    Two examples of the introduction of non-indigenous invasive species are reviewed: the grey squirrel in Europe (United Kingdom, Ireland and Italy) and the brushtail possum in New Zealand. Both have become very successful in their respective non-native habitats since their introductions in the mid-to-late 19th Century. Both species impact extensively on native biodiversity, environmental sustainability, forestry, and agriculture through a range of direct and indirect mechanisms. Management is currently mainly by lethal control, namely poisoning, trapping and shooting. Such methods of control are, however, increasingly contentious for both species, and alternative, non-lethal methods of population control, e.g. fertility control, are being developed. The case studies highlight many of the issues in invasive animal control; for example, prevention being better than control, lack of good understanding of impacts and the success of control measures on reducing impacts, interactive impacts on native biodiversity and ecosystems, the telling influence of public opinion on management options and, lastly, the need to better inform and educate the public. PMID:20919583

  15. Selection based on the size of the black tie of the great tit may be reversed in urban habitats.

    PubMed

    Senar, Juan Carlos; Conroy, Michael J; Quesada, Javier; Mateos-Gonzalez, Fernando

    2014-07-01

    A standard approach to model how selection shapes phenotypic traits is the analysis of capture-recapture data relating trait variation to survival. Divergent selection, however, has never been analyzed by the capture-recapture approach. Most reported examples of differences between urban and nonurban animals reflect behavioral plasticity rather than divergent selection. The aim of this paper was to use a capture-recapture approach to test the hypothesis that divergent selection can also drive local adaptation in urban habitats. We focused on the size of the black breast stripe (i.e., tie width) of the great tit (Parus major), a sexual ornament used in mate choice. Urban great tits display smaller tie sizes than forest birds. Because tie size is mostly genetically determined, it could potentially respond to selection. We analyzed capture/recapture data of male great tits in Barcelona city (N = 171) and in a nearby (7 km) forest (N = 324) from 1992 to 2008 using MARK. When modelling recapture rate, we found it to be strongly influenced by tie width, so that both for urban and forest habitats, birds with smaller ties were more trap-shy and more cautious than their larger tied counterparts. When modelling survival, we found that survival prospects in forest great tits increased the larger their tie width (i.e., directional positive selection), but the reverse was found for urban birds, with individuals displaying smaller ties showing higher survival (i.e., directional negative selection). As melanin-based tie size seems to be related to personality, and both are heritable, results may be explained by cautious personalities being favored in urban environments. More importantly, our results show that divergent selection can be an important mechanism in local adaptation to urban habitats and that capture-recapture is a powerful tool to test it. PMID:25077014

  16. Selection based on the size of the black tie of the great tit may be reversed in urban habitats

    PubMed Central

    Senar, Juan Carlos; Conroy, Michael J; Quesada, Javier; Mateos-Gonzalez, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    A standard approach to model how selection shapes phenotypic traits is the analysis of capture–recapture data relating trait variation to survival. Divergent selection, however, has never been analyzed by the capture–recapture approach. Most reported examples of differences between urban and nonurban animals reflect behavioral plasticity rather than divergent selection. The aim of this paper was to use a capture–recapture approach to test the hypothesis that divergent selection can also drive local adaptation in urban habitats. We focused on the size of the black breast stripe (i.e., tie width) of the great tit (Parus major), a sexual ornament used in mate choice. Urban great tits display smaller tie sizes than forest birds. Because tie size is mostly genetically determined, it could potentially respond to selection. We analyzed capture/recapture data of male great tits in Barcelona city (N = 171) and in a nearby (7 km) forest (N = 324) from 1992 to 2008 using MARK. When modelling recapture rate, we found it to be strongly influenced by tie width, so that both for urban and forest habitats, birds with smaller ties were more trap-shy and more cautious than their larger tied counterparts. When modelling survival, we found that survival prospects in forest great tits increased the larger their tie width (i.e., directional positive selection), but the reverse was found for urban birds, with individuals displaying smaller ties showing higher survival (i.e., directional negative selection). As melanin-based tie size seems to be related to personality, and both are heritable, results may be explained by cautious personalities being favored in urban environments. More importantly, our results show that divergent selection can be an important mechanism in local adaptation to urban habitats and that capture–recapture is a powerful tool to test it. PMID:25077014

  17. Endogenous Type D Retrovirus in a Marsupial, the Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

    PubMed Central

    Baillie, Gregory J.; Wilkins, Richard J.

    2001-01-01

    We have sequenced and characterized an endogenous type D retrovirus, which we have named TvERV(D), from the genome of an Australian marsupial, the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). Intact TvERV(D) gag, pro, pol, and env open reading frames were detected in the possum genome. TvERV(D) was classified as a type D retrovirus, most closely related to those of Old World monkeys, New World monkeys, and mice, based on phylogenetic analyses and genetic organization. Approximately 30 TvERV(D) proviruses are present in the genomes of possums, as detected by Southern hybridization. However, variability in fragment patterns between possums was observed and suggests recent (or ongoing) retrotranspositional activity. PMID:11160757

  18. Morphology of the lingual papillae in the brush-tailed rat kangaroo.

    PubMed

    Emura, Shoichi; Okumura, Toshihiko; Chen, Huayue

    2014-01-01

    We examined the dorsal lingual surface of an adult brush-tailed rat kangaroo (Bettongia penicillata) by scanning electron microscopy. The filiform and fungiform papillae on the lingual apex and body consisted of a main papilla and secondary papillae. The connective tissue core of the filiform papillae on the lingual apex was cylindrical in shape with a crushed top. The connective tissue core of the filiform papillae on the lingual body had one large and several small processes. The fungiform papillae were round in shape. The connective tissue core of the fungiform papillae had several depressions on its top. The surface of the vallate papillae was rough and the papillae were surrounded by a groove and a pad. Several long conical papillae derived from the posterolateral margin of the tongue where foliate papillae have been shown to be distributed in many other animal species. The long conical papillae were very similar to those of the koala and opossum. PMID:24815106

  19. Habitat suitability of the Atlantic bluefin tuna by size class: An ecological niche approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Druon, Jean-Noël; Fromentin, Jean-Marc; Hanke, Alex R.; Arrizabalaga, Haritz; Damalas, Dimitrios; Tičina, Vjekoslav; Quílez-Badia, Gemma; Ramirez, Karina; Arregui, Igor; Tserpes, George; Reglero, Patricia; Deflorio, Michele; Oray, Isik; Saadet Karakulak, F.; Megalofonou, Persefoni; Ceyhan, Tevfik; Grubišić, Leon; MacKenzie, Brian R.; Lamkin, John; Afonso, Pedro; Addis, Piero

    2016-03-01

    An ecological niche modelling (ENM) approach was used to predict the potential feeding and spawning habitats of small (5-25 kg, only feeding) and large (>25 kg) Atlantic bluefin tuna (ABFT), Thunnus thynnus, in the Mediterranean Sea, the North Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. The ENM was built bridging knowledge on ecological traits of ABFT (e.g. temperature tolerance, mobility, feeding and spawning strategy) with patterns of selected environmental variables (chlorophyll-a fronts and concentration, sea surface current and temperature, sea surface height anomaly) that were identified using an extensive set of precisely geo-located presence data. The results highlight a wider temperature tolerance for larger fish allowing them to feed in the northern - high chlorophyll levels - latitudes up to the Norwegian Sea in the eastern Atlantic and to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in the western basin. Permanent suitable feeding habitat for small ABFT was predicted to be mostly located in temperate latitudes in the North Atlantic and in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as in subtropical waters off north-west Africa, while summer potential habitat in the Gulf of Mexico was found to be unsuitable for both small and large ABFTs. Potential spawning grounds were found to occur in the Gulf of Mexico from March-April in the south-east to April-May in the north, while favourable conditions evolve in the Mediterranean Sea from mid-May in the eastern to mid-July in the western basin. Other secondary potential spawning grounds not supported by observations were predicted in the Azores area and off Morocco to Senegal during July and August when extrapolating the model settings from the Gulf of Mexico into the North Atlantic. The presence of large ABFT off Florida and the Bahamas in spring was not explained by the model as is, however the environmental variables other than the sea surface height anomaly appeared to be favourable for spawning in part of this area. Defining key spatial and temporal habitats should further help in building spatially-explicit stock assessment models, thus improving the spatial management of bluefin tuna fisheries.

  20. Marine reserves reduce risk of climate-driven phase shift by reinstating size- and habitat-specific trophic interactions.

    PubMed

    Ling, S D; Johnson, C R

    2012-06-01

    Spatial closures in the marine environment are widely accepted as effective conservation and fisheries management tools. Given increasing human-derived stressors acting on marine ecosystems, the need for such effective action is urgently clear. Here we explore mechanisms underlying the utility of marine reserves to reinstate trophic dynamics and to increase resilience of kelp beds against climate-driven phase shift to sea urchin barrens on the rapidly warming Tasmanian east coast. Tethering and tagging experiments were used to examine size- and shelter-specific survival of the range-extending sea urchin Centrostephanus rodgersii (Diadematidae) translocated to reefs inside and outside no-take Tasmanian marine reserves. Results show that survival rates of C. rodgersii exposed on flat reef substratum by tethering were approximately seven times (small urchins 10.1 times; large urchins 6.1 times) lower on protected reef within marine reserve boundaries (high abundance of large predatory-capable lobsters) compared to fished reef (large predatory lobsters absent). When able to seek crevice shelter, tag-resighting models estimated that mortality rates of C. rodgersii were lower overall but remained 3.3 times (small urchins 2.1 times; large urchins 6.4 times) higher in the presence of large lobsters inside marine reserves, with higher survival of small urchins owing to greater access to crevices relative to large urchins. Indeed, shelter was 6.3 times and 3.1 times more important to survival of small and large urchins, respectively, on reserved relative to fished reef. Experimental results corroborate with surveys throughout the range extension region, showing greater occurrence of overgrazing on high-relief rocky habitats where shelter for C. rodgersii is readily available. This shows that ecosystem impacts mediated by range extension of such habitat-modifying organisms will be heterogeneous in space, and that marine systems with a more natural complement of large and thus functional predators, as achievable within no-take reserves, will minimize local risk of phase shifts by reinstating size and habitat-specific predator-prey dynamics eroded by fishing. Importantly, our findings also highlight the crucial need to account for the influence of size dynamics and habitat complexity on rates of key predator-prey interactions when managing expectations of ecosystem-level responses within marine reserve boundaries. PMID:22827131

  1. Intercohort size structure dynamics of fire salamander larvae in ephemeral habitats: a mesocosm experiment.

    PubMed

    Sadeh, Asaf; Polevikov, Antonina; Mangel, Marc; Blaustein, Leon

    2015-10-01

    The size structure of a larval population facilitates interaction asymmetries that, in turn, influence the dynamics of size-structure. In species that exhibit conspicuous aggressive interactions, the competitive effects of the smaller individuals may be overlooked. We manipulated initial size differences between two larval cohorts and young-cohort density of Salamandra infraimmaculata in mesocosms to determine: (1) whether young individuals function primarily as prey or as competitors of older and larger individuals; (2) the resulting dynamics of size variation; and (3) recruitment to the postmetamorph population. Intercohort size differences generally remained constant over time at low young-cohort densities, but reduced over time at high densities due to retardation of the old-cohort growth rate. This suggests a competitive advantage to the young cohort that outweighs the interference advantage of older cohorts previously documented in this species. The increase in mortality from desiccation due to high young-cohort density was an order of magnitude greater in the old cohort than in the young-cohort, further indicating size-dependent vulnerability to competition. However, the conditions least favorable to most of the old-cohort larvae (large size difference and high young-cohort density) promoted cannibalism. Among cannibals, mortality and time to metamorphosis decreased and sizes at metamorphosis increased substantially. Thus, a balance between the competitive advantage to young cohorts, and the interference and cannibalism advantage to old cohorts shapes larval size-structure dynamics. Larval densities and individual expression of cannibalism can shift this balance in opposite directions and alter relative recruitment rates from different cohorts. PMID:26080758

  2. Interacting Watershed Size and Landcover Influences on Habitat and Biota of Lake Superior Coastal Wetlands

    EPA Science Inventory

    Coastal wetlands are important contributors to the productivity and biodiversity of large lakes and important mediators of the lake - watershed connection. This study explores how strength of connection to the watershed (represented by watershed size and wetland morphological ty...

  3. Demographic population model for American shad: will access to additional habitat upstream of dams increase population sizes?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harris, Julianne E.; Hightower, Joseph E.

    2012-01-01

    American shad Alosa sapidissima are in decline in their native range, and modeling possible management scenarios could help guide their restoration. We developed a density-dependent, deterministic, stage-based matrix model to predict the population-level results of transporting American shad to suitable spawning habitat upstream of dams on the Roanoke River, North Carolina and Virginia. We used data on sonic-tagged adult American shad and oxytetracycline-marked American shad fry both above and below dams on the Roanoke River with information from other systems to estimate a starting population size and vital rates. We modeled the adult female population over 30 years under plausible scenarios of adult transport, effective fecundity (egg production), and survival of adults (i.e., to return to spawn the next year) and juveniles (from spawned egg to age 1). We also evaluated the potential effects of increased survival for adults and juveniles. The adult female population size in the Roanoke River was estimated to be 5,224. With no transport, the model predicted a slow population increase over the next 30 years. Predicted population increases were highest when survival was improved during the first year of life. Transport was predicted to benefit the population only if high rates of effective fecundity and juvenile survival could be achieved. Currently, transported adults and young are less likely to successfully out-migrate than individuals below the dams, and the estimated adult population size is much smaller than either of two assumed values of carrying capacity for the lower river; therefore, transport is not predicted to help restore the stock under present conditions. Research on survival rates, density-dependent processes, and the impacts of structures to increase out-migration success would improve evaluation of the potential benefits of access to additional spawning habitat for American shad.

  4. Habitat complexity and fish size affect the detection of Indo-Pacific lionfish on invaded coral reefs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, S. J.; Tamburello, N.; Miller, S. E.; Akins, J. L.; Côté, I. M.

    2013-06-01

    A standard approach to improving the accuracy of reef fish population estimates derived from underwater visual censuses (UVCs) is the application of species-specific correction factors, which assumes that a species' detectability is constant under all conditions. To test this assumption, we quantified detection rates for invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish ( Pterois volitans and P. miles), which are now a primary threat to coral reef conservation throughout the Caribbean. Estimates of lionfish population density and distribution, which are essential for managing the invasion, are currently obtained through standard UVCs. Using two conventional UVC methods, the belt transect and stationary visual census (SVC), we assessed how lionfish detection rates vary with lionfish body size and habitat complexity (measured as rugosity) on invaded continuous and patch reefs off Cape Eleuthera, the Bahamas. Belt transect and SVC surveys performed equally poorly, with both methods failing to detect the presence of lionfish in >50 % of surveys where thorough, lionfish-focussed searches yielded one or more individuals. Conventional methods underestimated lionfish biomass by ~200 %. Crucially, detection rate varied significantly with both lionfish size and reef rugosity, indicating that the application of a single correction factor across habitats and stages of invasion is unlikely to accurately characterize local populations. Applying variable correction factors that account for site-specific lionfish size and rugosity to conventional survey data increased estimates of lionfish biomass, but these remained significantly lower than actual biomass. To increase the accuracy and reliability of estimates of lionfish density and distribution, monitoring programs should use detailed area searches rather than standard visual survey methods. Our study highlights the importance of accounting for sources of spatial and temporal variation in detection to increase the accuracy of survey data from coral reef systems.

  5. Effect of crab size and habitat type on the locomotory activity of juvenile shore crabs, Carcinus maenas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Almeida, Maria João; Flores, Augusto A. V.; Queiroga, Henrique

    2008-12-01

    Post-settlement processes are a major focus in the study of the dynamics of marine populations and communities. Post-settlement movement of juveniles is an important, but often ignored, process which affects local predator-prey and competitive interactions. We used benthic suction sampling and pitfall traps to examine density and locomotory activity of Carcinus maenas juveniles in different intertidal habitat types in the Rio Mira Estuary, Portugal, to better understand intra-specific interactions in a system where density-dependent processes are known to regulate population dynamics. As expected, significantly higher densities of juvenile shore crabs were found from bare mud compared to densely vegetated habitats. At the time of sampling, small and intermediate stages together outnumbered by far the larger juveniles. Conversely, larger crabs were much more frequent than smaller ones in traps. A locomotory index (LI), i.e. the ratio between crab catch in pitfall traps and their density within their moving range, is proposed as a measure of movement. LI analyses indicated that: (1) movement is an order of magnitude higher in large than small juveniles and much higher in sparse than dense vegetation cover; (2) activity of small juveniles is mostly crepuscular, regardless of vegetation cover; and (3) movement of large juveniles is very limited in dense Zostera patches, but very high in sparsely vegetated areas, during the day and night. These results suggest that small juveniles are relatively protected under dense vegetation cover due to lower mobility of larger crabs, and provide evidence of temporal segregation of activity windows between juvenile crabs of different sizes, which may be a key mechanism to reduce cannibalism and therefore increase the carrying capacity of nursery habitats.

  6. Cost-Effective Large-Scale Occupancy–Abundance Monitoring of Invasive Brushtail Possums (Trichosurus Vulpecula) on New Zealand’s Public Conservation Land

    PubMed Central

    Gormley, Andrew M.; Forsyth, David M.; Wright, Elaine F.; Lyall, John; Elliott, Mike; Martini, Mark; Kappers, Benno; Perry, Mike; McKay, Meredith

    2015-01-01

    There is interest in large-scale and unbiased monitoring of biodiversity status and trend, but there are few published examples of such monitoring being implemented. The New Zealand Department of Conservation is implementing a monitoring program that involves sampling selected biota at the vertices of an 8-km grid superimposed over the 8.6 million hectares of public conservation land that it manages. The introduced brushtail possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula) is a major threat to some biota and is one taxon that they wish to monitor and report on. A pilot study revealed that the traditional method of monitoring possums using leg-hold traps set for two nights, termed the Trap Catch Index, was a constraint on the cost and logistical feasibility of the monitoring program. A phased implementation of the monitoring program was therefore conducted to collect data for evaluating the trade-off between possum occupancy–abundance estimates and the costs of sampling for one night rather than two nights. Reducing trapping effort from two nights to one night along four trap-lines reduced the estimated costs of monitoring by 5.8% due to savings in labour, food and allowances; it had a negligible effect on estimated national possum occupancy but resulted in slightly higher and less precise estimates of relative possum abundance. Monitoring possums for one night rather than two nights would provide an annual saving of NZ$72,400, with 271 fewer field days required for sampling. Possums occupied 60% (95% credible interval; 53–68) of sampling locations on New Zealand’s public conservation land, with a mean relative abundance (Trap Catch Index) of 2.7% (2.0–3.5). Possum occupancy and abundance were higher in forest than in non-forest habitats. Our case study illustrates the need to evaluate relationships between sampling design, cost, and occupancy–abundance estimates when designing and implementing large-scale occupancy–abundance monitoring programs. PMID:26029890

  7. Assessing Movements of Brushtail Possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) in Relation to Depopulated Buffer Zones for the Management of Wildlife Tuberculosis in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Byrom, Andrea E; Anderson, Dean P; Coleman, Morgan; Thomson, Caroline; Cross, Martin L; Pech, Roger P

    2015-01-01

    In New Zealand, managing the threat of bovine tuberculosis (TB) to livestock includes population reduction of potentially infectious wildlife, primarily the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). Population control is often targeted on forested buffer zones adjacent to farmland, in order to limit movements of possums across the buffer and reduce the risk of disease transmission to livestock. To assess the effectiveness of buffers in protecting livestock we analysed GPS telemetry data from possums located in untreated forest adjacent to buffers, and used these data to characterise patterns of movement that could lead to possums reaching farmland during the season when most dispersal occurs. Analyses of movement data showed that the direction of dispersal by sub-adult and adult possums and the extent of long exploratory movements were not biased toward forest buffers, even though these provided vacant habitat as suitable for possums as untreated forest. Instead, dispersal and exploratory movements were uncommon even for sub-adult possums and such events typically lasted <10 days. Dispersing possums settled predominantly in river valleys. A simulation model was developed for the 3-6-month dispersal season; it demonstrated a probability of <0.001 that an infected possum, originating from a low-density population with low disease prevalence in untreated forest, would move across 3 km of recently controlled forest buffer to reach farmland. Our results indicate short-term reduction in the risk of TB transmission from possums to livestock in New Zealand by the use of depopulated buffer zones, while acknowledging that the threat of disease spread from untreated forest is likely to increase over time as possum population density and, potentially, TB prevalence among those possums, increase in the buffer zone. PMID:26689918

  8. Assessing Movements of Brushtail Possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) in Relation to Depopulated Buffer Zones for the Management of Wildlife Tuberculosis in New Zealand

    PubMed Central

    Byrom, Andrea E.; Anderson, Dean P.; Coleman, Morgan; Thomson, Caroline; Cross, Martin L.; Pech, Roger P.

    2015-01-01

    In New Zealand, managing the threat of bovine tuberculosis (TB) to livestock includes population reduction of potentially infectious wildlife, primarily the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). Population control is often targeted on forested buffer zones adjacent to farmland, in order to limit movements of possums across the buffer and reduce the risk of disease transmission to livestock. To assess the effectiveness of buffers in protecting livestock we analysed GPS telemetry data from possums located in untreated forest adjacent to buffers, and used these data to characterise patterns of movement that could lead to possums reaching farmland during the season when most dispersal occurs. Analyses of movement data showed that the direction of dispersal by sub-adult and adult possums and the extent of long exploratory movements were not biased toward forest buffers, even though these provided vacant habitat as suitable for possums as untreated forest. Instead, dispersal and exploratory movements were uncommon even for sub-adult possums and such events typically lasted <10 days. Dispersing possums settled predominantly in river valleys. A simulation model was developed for the 3-6-month dispersal season; it demonstrated a probability of <0.001 that an infected possum, originating from a low-density population with low disease prevalence in untreated forest, would move across 3 km of recently controlled forest buffer to reach farmland. Our results indicate short-term reduction in the risk of TB transmission from possums to livestock in New Zealand by the use of depopulated buffer zones, while acknowledging that the threat of disease spread from untreated forest is likely to increase over time as possum population density and, potentially, TB prevalence among those possums, increase in the buffer zone. PMID:26689918

  9. High variability in the MHC class II DA beta chain of the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula).

    PubMed

    Holland, Olivia J; Cowan, Phil E; Gleeson, Dianne M; Chamley, Larry W

    2008-12-01

    The diversity of class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) loci was investigated in the brushtail possum, an important marsupial pest species in New Zealand. Immunocontraception, a form of fertility control that generates an autoimmune response, is being developed as a population control method for the possum. Because the immune response is partly under genetic control, an understanding of immunogenetics in possum will be crucial to the development of immunocontraceptive vaccines. MHC molecules are critical in the vertebrate immune response. Class II MHC molecules bind and present exogenously derived peptides to T lymphocytes and may be important in the presentation of immunocontraceptives. We used polymerase chain reaction primers designed to amplify the peptide binding region of possum class II MHC genes to isolate sequences from 49 animals. We have previously described 19 novel alleles from the DAB locus in the possum (Holland et al., Immunogenetics 60:449-460, 2008). Here, we report on another 11 novel alleles isolated from possum DAB, making this the most diverse marsupial locus described so far. This high level of diversity indicates that DAB is an important MHC locus in the possum and will need to be taken into account in the design of immunocontraceptive vaccines. PMID:18758765

  10. Detection, Isolation, and Characterization of Helicobacter Species from the Gastrointestinal Tract of the Brushtail Possum?

    PubMed Central

    Coldham, Thosaporn; Rose, Kerrie; O'rourke, Jani; Neilan, Brett A.; Dalton, Helen; Lee, Adrian; Mitchell, Hazel

    2011-01-01

    The presence of Helicobacter species in Australian marsupials was examined systematically using microscopy, culture, and PCR in different regions of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and in the liver of brushtail possums (BTPs) (Trichosurus vulpecula), a common Australian marsupial that feeds on eucalyptus leaves. The spatial distribution of Helicobacter species in the GIT sections also was examined microscopically in silver-stained sections and by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) using a Helicobacter genus-specific probe. Helicobacter species were found colonizing the lower bowel of all BTPs studied. Good agreement was observed between the detection of Helicobacter species using culture and PCR, which was supported by the microscopic examination of silver-stained sections and FISH. The lower bowel of BTPs were colonized by one to three morphologically different (a comma-shaped species with no apparent flagella, a fusiform-shaped species entwined with periplasmic fibers and a bipolar sheathed flagella, and an S-shaped species with bipolar sheathed flagella) and potentially novel Helicobacter species, as well as in one case with a potentially novel Campylobacter species, which was a tightly coiled rod with bipolar unsheathed flagella. The isolation and characterization of these Helicobacter species in BTPs provides important information regarding the specific natural niche of these bacteria and their corelationship within their host, and it increases our understanding of the ecology of Helicobacter species. PMID:21216901

  11. Creating new evolutionary pathways through bioinvasion: the population genetics of brushtail possums in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Sarre, Stephen D; Aitken, Nicola; Adamack, Aaron T; MacDonald, Anna J; Gruber, Bernd; Cowan, Phil

    2014-07-01

    Rapid increases in global trade and human movement have created novel mixtures of organisms bringing with them the potential to rapidly accelerate the evolution of new forms. The common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), introduced into New Zealand from Australia in the 19th century, is one such species having been sourced from multiple populations in its native range. Here, we combine microsatellite DNA- and GIS-based spatial data to show that T. vulpecula originating from at least two different Australian locations exhibit a population structure that is commensurate with their introduction history and which cannot be explained by landscape features alone. Most importantly, we identify a hybrid zone between the two subspecies which appears to function as a barrier to dispersal. When combined with previous genetic, morphological and captive studies, our data suggest that assortative mating between the two subspecies may operate at a behavioural or species recognition level rather than through fertilization, genetic incompatibility or developmental inhibition. Nevertheless, hybridization between the two subspecies of possum clearly occurs, creating the opportunity for novel genetic combinations that would not occur in their natural ranges and which is especially likely given that multiple contact zones occur in New Zealand. This discovery has implications for wildlife management in New Zealand because multiple contact zones are likely to influence the dispersal patterns of possums and because differential susceptibility to baiting with sodium fluoroacetate between possums of different origins may promote novel genetic forms. PMID:24943509

  12. Endoparasites of brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) from the South Island, New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Stankiewicz, M; Cowan, P E; Heath, D D

    1997-12-01

    As part of a study to assess whether endoparasites could assist in the biological control of brushtail possums in New Zealand, we investigated the composition and distribution of possum endoparasites in the South Island. Possums were collected near five of the original release areas in the South Island : Banks Peninsula, Hokitika, Nelson, Dunedin and Invercargill. Among the nematodes, those most frequently encountered were Trichostrongylus spp., which were present in possums from all five study areas. Trichostrongylus species from possums in the Invercargill area comprised 4.5% T. colubriformis, 0.9% T. vitrinus and 11.3% T. retortaeformis. Paraustrostnmgylus trichosuri and Parastrongyloides trichosuri were found only in the Invercargill area, where they infected 1.4% and 14% of possums respectively. The cestode Bertiella trichosuri was present in possums from all locations except Dunedin. The protozoan Eimeria spp. occurred in all areas. These are the first records of Parastrongyloides trichosuri, Paraustrostrongylus trichosuri, T. vitrinus, T. retortaeformis and Eimeria spp. in South Island possums. The prevalence of endoparasites and the intensity of infection was very low compared to the lower North Island of New Zealand. Endoparasites at the existing levels in the South Island probably have very little effect on possum populations. PMID:16032002

  13. The effect of fire on habitat selection of mammalian herbivores: the role of body size and vegetation characteristics.

    PubMed

    Eby, Stephanie L; Anderson, T Michael; Mayemba, Emilian P; Ritchie, Mark E

    2014-09-01

    Given the role of fire in shaping ecosystems, especially grasslands and savannas, it is important to understand its broader impact on these systems. Post-fire stimulation of plant nutrients is thought to benefit grazing mammals and explain their preference for burned areas. However, fire also reduces vegetation height and increases visibility, thereby potentially reducing predation risk. Consequently, fire may be more beneficial to smaller herbivores, with higher nutritional needs and greater risks of predation. We tested the impacts of burning on different sized herbivores' habitat preference in Serengeti National Park, as mediated by burning's effects on vegetation height, live : dead biomass ratio and leaf nutrients. Burning caused a less than 4 month increase in leaf nitrogen (N), and leaf non-N nutrients [copper (Cu), potassium (K), and magnesium (Mg)] and a decrease in vegetation height and live : dead biomass. During this period, total herbivore counts were higher on burned areas. Generally, smaller herbivores preferred burned areas more strongly than larger herbivores. Unfortunately, it was not possible to determine the vegetation characteristics that explained burned area preference for each of the herbivore species observed. However, total herbivore abundance and impala (Aepyceros melampus) preference for burned areas was due to the increases in non-N nutrients caused by burning. These findings suggest that burned area attractiveness to herbivores is mainly driven by changes to forage quality and not potential decreases in predation risk caused by reductions in vegetation height. PMID:24697568

  14. Angiotensin receptors in an Australian marsupial, the brushtail possum Trichosurus vulpecula

    SciTech Connect

    Sernia, C.; Lello, P.; Thomas, W.G. )

    1990-01-01

    In this study, the binding properties of angiotensin receptors were examined in the liver, adrenal, brain, and vascular tissue of the brushtail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula. With 125I-Ile5-angiotensin II as the radioligand, the binding affinity (Ka) and receptor number (R0) were estimated for the liver (Ka = 3.60 +/- 0.31 liters/nmol; R0 = 23.8 +/- 1.30 pmol/g tissue; n = 8) and adrenal (Ka = 1.68 +/- 0.29 liters/nmol; R0 = 1.67 +/- 0.23 pmol/g tissue; n = 8). Specific binding was not found in any of seven areas of the possum brain (n = 6), whereas the expected binding was present in similar areas of the rat brain. Using angiotensin III or the antagonist Sar1-Ala8-angiotensin II as radioligands or changing the composition of the incubation buffer did not alter the outcome. Moreover, the intracerebroventricular injection of 1 and 5 nmol of angiotensin II did not elicit an increase in blood pressure which could be attributed to brain angiotensin II (AII) receptors. Ligand affinities of the adrenal and liver receptors were found to be in the following decreasing order: Val5-AII greater than Ile5-AII = Ile5-AIII greater than Sar1-Ala8-AII greater than Sar1-Gly8-AII greater than Sar1-Leu8-AII greater than Ile5-AI greater than hexapeptide greater than Phe3-Tyr8-AII. The cardiovascular AII receptor was investigated by generating dose-response curves of the pressor activity of Ile5-AII and six AII analogs infused intravenously. It was concluded that liver, adrenal, and vascular AII receptors in the marsupial possum have characteristics similar to those in eutherian mammals. However, the failure to find brain AII receptors raises the possibility that those functions mediated by such receptors in the eutherian brain are absent in the possum and perhaps other marsupials.

  15. Cloning of a marsupial kappa-casein cDNA from the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula).

    PubMed

    Stasiuk, S X; Summers, E L; Demmer, J

    2000-01-01

    The main role of kappa-casein in milk is to stabilize the formation of casein micelles. Although marsupial milk contains casein micelles, kappa-casein had not been identified in any species. In these experiments, the first marsupial kappa-casein has been prepared as enriched casein fractions and the cDNA cloned from the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). Possum kappa-casein is a 158 amino acid peptide that shares low amino acid sequence identity (20-30%) with that of eutherian kappa-caseins. In the gut of suckling young, casein micelles clot when kappa-casein is cleaved by chymosin at a specific site. Eutherian kappa-casein sequences are classified according to the sequence of the chymosin cleavage site: Phe-Met, Phe-Ile or Phe-Leu. Possum kappa-casein appears to form a separate class, with a putative chymosin cleavage site of Phe-Ala, which is different from that found in eutherian mammals. Other features of kappa-caseins, such as the location of the N-terminal cysteine, solubility in the presence of calcium, and the O-glycosylation sites on threonine residues in the C-terminus of the molecule, are conserved in the possum sequence. The kappa-casein gene was expressed throughout lactation in the mammary gland, and although mRNA levels of kappa-, alpha- and beta-casein varied between animals there appeared to be a correlation in the expression of these genes within an individual animal. This suggests that a common transcription regulatory region may be controlling expression of all three genes in the possum. PMID:11302432

  16. Similarity of Body Size in Queens of the Wood ant Formica aquilonia from Optimal and Sub-Optimal Habitats Indicates a Strong Heritable Component

    PubMed Central

    Haatanen, Marja-Katariina; Sorvari, Jouni

    2013-01-01

    Body size in animals is affected by both genes and the environment (e.g., the amount of food resources). In ants, body size is related to several traits in an individual's physiology and life history. For example, a large queen may increase offspring production, thus increasing her overall fitness. In this study, whether sub-optimal environmental conditions affect the body size of queens of the red wood ant, Formica aquilonia Yarrow (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The sizes (head width in mm) of virgin queens, i.e., gynes, originating from forest interiors (resource rich) and from commercial forest clear-cuts (resource poor) were measured. No differences in the body size of the queens from the two habitats were found. In addition, the within-nest variation in queen size was similar between habitat types. The results indicate that the body size variation of F. aquilonia queens is not sensitive to environmental variation, unlike F. aquilonia workers. The lack of environmental variation in queen size in F. aquilonia may be due to a strong selection in the past to monomorphic size in this obligately polygynous (multi-queened) species. PMID:24735372

  17. Do free-ranging Common brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) play a role in the transmission of Toxoplasma gondii within a zoo environment?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To investigate the possible role of Common brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) in the transmission of Toxoplasma gondii within a zoo environment, a serological survey of a free-ranging population resident within Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia was undertaken using the modified agglutination tes...

  18. Diversity of Cryptosporidium in brush-tailed rock-wallabies (Petrogale penicillata) managed within a species recovery programme

    PubMed Central

    Vermeulen, Elke T.; Ashworth, Deborah L.; Eldridge, Mark D.B.; Power, Michelle L.

    2015-01-01

    Host–parasite relationships are likely to be impacted by conservation management practices, potentially increasing the susceptibility of wildlife to emerging disease. Cryptosporidium, a parasitic protozoan genus comprising host-adapted and host-specific species, was used as an indicator of parasite movement between populations of a threatened marsupial, the brush-tailed rock-wallaby (Petrogale penicillata). PCR screening of faecal samples (n = 324) from seven wallaby populations across New South Wales, identified Cryptosporidium in 7.1% of samples. The sampled populations were characterised as captive, supplemented and wild populations. No significant difference was found in Cryptosporidium detection between each of the three population categories. The positive samples, detected using 18S rRNA screening, were amplified using the actin and gp60 loci. Multi-locus sequence analysis revealed the presence of Cryptosporidium fayeri, a marsupial-specific species, and C. meleagridis, which has a broad host range, in samples from the three population categories. Cryptosporidium meleagridis has not been previously reported in marsupials and hence the pathogenicity of this species to brush-tailed rock-wallabies is unknown. Based on these findings, we recommend further study into Cryptosporidium in animals undergoing conservation management, as well as surveying wild animals in release areas, to further understand the diversity and epidemiology of this parasite in threatened wildlife. PMID:25834789

  19. Diversity of Cryptosporidium in brush-tailed rock-wallabies (Petrogale penicillata) managed within a species recovery programme.

    PubMed

    Vermeulen, Elke T; Ashworth, Deborah L; Eldridge, Mark D B; Power, Michelle L

    2015-08-01

    Host-parasite relationships are likely to be impacted by conservation management practices, potentially increasing the susceptibility of wildlife to emerging disease. Cryptosporidium, a parasitic protozoan genus comprising host-adapted and host-specific species, was used as an indicator of parasite movement between populations of a threatened marsupial, the brush-tailed rock-wallaby (Petrogale penicillata). PCR screening of faecal samples (n?=?324) from seven wallaby populations across New South Wales, identified Cryptosporidium in 7.1% of samples. The sampled populations were characterised as captive, supplemented and wild populations. No significant difference was found in Cryptosporidium detection between each of the three population categories. The positive samples, detected using 18S rRNA screening, were amplified using the actin and gp60 loci. Multi-locus sequence analysis revealed the presence of Cryptosporidium fayeri, a marsupial-specific species, and C.?meleagridis, which has a broad host range, in samples from the three population categories. Cryptosporidium meleagridis has not been previously reported in marsupials and hence the pathogenicity of this species to brush-tailed rock-wallabies is unknown. Based on these findings, we recommend further study into Cryptosporidium in animals undergoing conservation management, as well as surveying wild animals in release areas, to further understand the diversity and epidemiology of this parasite in threatened wildlife. PMID:25834789

  20. Evaluations of duck habitat and estimation of duck population sizes with a remote-sensing-based system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cowardin, Lewis M.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Arnold, Phillip M.

    1995-01-01

    During 1987-90, we used high-altitude photography, aerial videography, counts, and models to estimate sizes of breeding populations of dabbling ducks (Anatinae) and duck production and to identify duck habitat on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service land and easements and on private land in the prairie pothole region of the United States. The study area contained about 3.1 million wetland basins (28,490 km2). Wetland area (ha per km2) was highest on service-owned land; wetland-basin density was greatest on service easements. Temporary and seasonal wetlands were underrepresented and lakes were overrepresented on service-owned land. Seventy-eight percent of all basins were less than 0.41 ha. Cropland dominated private land. Pond density decreased from 4.4/km2 in 1987 to 3.4/km2 in 1990 and pond area, from 7.2 ha/km2 to 2.7 ha/km2. The density of the blue-winged teal was greatest (3.4 pairs/km2) and was followed in magnitude by those of the mallard (2.1 pairs/km2), the gadwall (1.8 pairs/km2), the northern pintail (0.8 pairs/km2), and the redhead (0.8 pairs/km2). Duck density was consistently highest on service-owned land. The decline of breeding-population sizes in 1987-90 closely corresponded to losses of pond numbers and pond area. The density of breeding pairs per pond was inversely related to pond density, suggesting that breeding ducks tended to concentrate on the remaining ponds as drought intensified. The production of recruits followed the same pattern as breeding-population sizes. We estimated that 2.5% of the ducklings hatched on service-owned land, which was 1.3% of the study area; 19.6% hatched on service easements, which were 14.2% of the study area; and 77.9% hatched on private land, which was 84.6% of the study area. Various sources of bias and sampling error and improvements to the system are discussed.

  1. Comparing simulated wildfire effects to jam distribution and habitat quality in an intermediate-sized stream 10 years after a high intensity fire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davidson, S. L.; Eaton, B. C.

    2013-12-01

    Large wood governs channel morphology and determines the quality and distribution of aquatic habitat in many forested river networks. This is particularly true in streams that contain both key pieces large enough to form morphologically effective jams, as well as smaller mobile wood. In these streams, jams create spawning habitat by retaining sediment, increase rearing and over-wintering habitat by forming pools, and force avulsions which create side channels. To explore the effects of wildfire-induced increases in wood loading on channel morphology and aquatic habitat we have applied the stochastic reach-scale channel simulator (RSCS) to a case study of Fishtrap Creek, an intermediate-sized stream in the interior of British Columbia which experienced a high intensity fire in 2003. As predicted by model simulations, high quality spawning, rearing, and over-wintering habitats, as well as multi-thread channels, are found exclusively in association with wood, while plane-bed morphologies dominate where wood is absent. However, valley confinement and glacial legacy exert an important control on the magnitude of the impacts of the fire-derived wood; where the stream is confined, wood is suspended and morphologically ineffective, while un-confined segments contain high effective wood loads, multi-thread channels, and abundant aquatic habitat. These findings suggest that the morphologic effects of wood are highly dependent on valley geometry, which is in turn dictated by glacial legacy throughout much of North America, and that the impacts of valley confinement on the effectiveness of introduced wood must be considered in future model iterations. Plane bed morphology typical of reaches without large wood present Complex forced pool-riffle morphology typical of reaches with high wood loading

  2. Comparisons between the influences of habitat, body size and season on the dietary composition of the sparid Acanthopagrus latus in a large marine embayment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Platell, M. E.; Ang, H. P.; Hesp, S. A.; Potter, I. C.

    2007-05-01

    Seasonal samples from Shark Bay on the west coast of Australia were used to determine (1) the habitats occupied by the juveniles and adults of Acanthopagrus latus in this large subtropical marine embayment and (2) the extent to which the dietary composition of this sparid is influenced by habitat type, body length and season. Sampling was undertaken in two habitat types in which A. latus was known to be abundant, namely mangrove ( Avicennia marina) creeks and nearby rocky areas, the latter comprising sandstone boulders and/or limestone reefs. The mean total length ±95% CLs of A. latus was far lower in mangrove creeks, 126 ± 6.1 mm, than in rocky areas, 313 ± 4.7 mm. As A. latus attains maturity at ca. 245 mm, the juveniles of this species typically occupy mangrove areas and then, with increasing body size, move to nearshore rocky areas, where they become adults. The species composition of the food ingested by juvenile A. latus in mangrove creeks differed markedly from that of large juveniles and adults in rocky areas. Based on analyses of data for both habitat types combined, this difference was far greater than that between size classes and season, which was negligible. There were indications, however, that, overall within each habitat, the dietary composition did change seasonally, although not with body size. Acanthopagrus latus fed predominantly on mangrove material, sesarmid crabs and small gastropods in mangrove habitats, and mainly on Brachidontes ustulatus in rocky areas, where this mytilid bivalve is very abundant. The mangrove material, which contributed nearly 40% of its overall dietary volume in mangrove creeks, consisted mainly of lateral root primordia. This apparently unique food source for a teleost is presumably ingested through subsurface nipping, which would be facilitated by the mouth and dentitional characteristics of sparids. The almost total lack of correspondence in the dietary compositions of fish in the length class that was well represented in both mangrove and rocky areas illustrates the extent to which this sparid is capable of opportunistic feeding behaviour.

  3. Habitat assessment ability of bumble-bees implies frequency-dependent selection on floral rewards and display size

    PubMed Central

    Biernaskie, Jay M; Gegear, Robert J

    2007-01-01

    Foraging pollinators could visit hundreds of flowers in succession on mass-flowering plants, yet they often visit only a small number—potentially saving the plant from much self-pollination among its own flowers (geitonogamy). This study tests the hypothesis that bumble-bee (Bombus impatiens) residence on a particular plant depends on an assessment of that plant's reward value relative to the overall quality experienced in the habitat. In a controlled environment, naive bees were given experience in a particular habitat (all plants having equal nectar quality or number of rewarding flowers), and we tested whether they learn about and adaptively exploit a new habitat type. Bees' residence on a plant (number of flowers probed per visit) was eventually invariant to a doubling of absolute nectar quality and increased only slightly with a doubling of absolute flower number in the habitat. These results help to explain why pollinators are quick to leave highly rewarding plants and suggest that the fitness of rewarding plant traits will often be frequency dependent. One implication is that geitonogamy may be a less significant constraint on the evolution of rewarding traits than generally supposed. PMID:17711839

  4. Exploring the Impact of Habitat Size on Phylogeographic Patterning in the Overberg Velvet Worm Peripatopsis overbergiensis (Onychophora: Peripatopsidae).

    PubMed

    Myburgh, Angus Macgregor; Daniels, Savel R

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary relationships in the velvet worm species, Peripatopsis overbergiensis, were examined in 3 forest areas in the Overberg region of South Africa to explore the impact of historical habitat fragmentation on the population genetic structure of the species. We collected 84 P. overbergiensis specimens from Grootvadersbosch, Koppie Alleen, and Marloth Nature Reserves and sequenced all these specimens for the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) locus, whereas a subset of 13 specimens were also sequenced for the 18S rRNA locus. Phylogenetic analyses of the 20 unique COI haplotypes revealed 4 genetically distinct clades, a result that is corroborated by the haplotype network. A hierarchical analysis of genetic variation was performed on the COI haplotype data within the 2 large forested areas, Grootvadersbosch and Marloth Nature Reserves, and across all 3 of the sample localities. These results revealed low haplotypic and nucleotide diversity within the largest Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve forest and high haplotypic and nucleotide diversity within the fragmented Marloth Nature Reserve forest, whereas Koppie Alleen had the lowest haplotypic and nucleotide diversity. Across all 3 main localities statistically significant F ST values were found, together with the absence of shared haplotypes indicating the absence of maternal gene flow. Divergence time estimations based on the 20 COI haplotypes calculated in BEAST suggest a Pleistocene/Holocene divergence between the 4 clades as a result of habitat fragmentation and the aridification of the region. Our results indicate that conservation efforts should also prioritize linked, smaller fragmented habitats together with continuous habitats to maximize the genetic diversity of saproxylic fauna. PMID:25838152

  5. The ontogenetic scaling of bite force and head size in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta): implications for durophagy in neritic, benthic habitats.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Christopher D; Guzman, Alejandra; Narazaki, Tomoko; Sato, Katsufumi; Kane, Emily A; Sterba-Boatwright, Blair D

    2012-12-01

    Ontogenetic studies of vertebrate feeding performance can help address questions relevant to foraging ecology. Feeding morphology and performance can either limit access to food resources or open up new trophic niches in both aquatic and terrestrial systems. Loggerhead sea turtles are long-lived vertebrates with complex life histories that are marked by an ontogenetic shift from an oceanic habitat to a coastal neritic habitat, and a transition from soft oceanic prey to hard, benthic prey. Although considered durophagous and strong biters, bite performance has not been measured in loggerheads, nor has the ontogeny of bite performance been characterized. In the present study, we collected measurements of bite force in loggerhead turtles from hatchlings to adults. When subadults reach the body size at which the ontogenetic shift occurs, their crushing capability is great enough for them to consume numerous species of hard benthic prey of small sizes. As loggerheads mature and bite performance increases, larger and harder benthic prey become accessible. Loggerhead bite performance eventually surpasses the crushing capability of other durophagous carnivores, thereby potentially reducing competition for hard benthic prey. The increasing bite performance and accompanying changes in morphology of the head and jaws are likely an effective mechanism for resource partitioning and decreasing trophic competition. Simultaneous measurements of body and head size and the use of non-linear reduced major axis regression show that bite force increases with significant positive allometry relative to body size (straight carapace length, straight carapace width and mass) and head size (head width, height and length). Simple correlation showed that all recorded morphometrics were good predictors of measured bite performance, but an AICc-based weighted regression showed that body size (straight carapace width followed by straight carapace length and mass, respectively) were more likely predictors of bite force than head size morphometrics (head width and head length). PMID:22899532

  6. Chemical characterization of milk oligosaccharides of the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula).

    PubMed

    Urashima, Tadasu; Fujita, Saori; Fukuda, Kenji; Nakamura, Tadashi; Saito, Tadao; Cowan, Phil; Messer, Michael

    2014-07-01

    Structural characterizations of marsupial milk oligosaccharides have been performed in only three species: the tammar wallaby, the red kangaroo and the koala. To clarify the homology and heterogeneity of milk oligosaccharides among marsupials, 21 oligosaccharides of the milk carbohydrate fraction of the common brushtail possum were characterized in this study. Neutral and acidic oligosaccharides were separated from the carbohydrate fraction of mid-lactation milk and characterized by (1)H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. The structures of the 7 neutral oligosaccharides were Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc (3'-galactosyllactose), Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc (3", 3'-digalactosyllactose), Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc, Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc, Gal(β1-3)[Gal(β1-4)GlcNAc(β1-6)]Gal(β1-4)Glc (lacto-N-novopentaose I), Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-3)[Gal(β1-4)GlcNAc(β1-6)]Gal(β1-4)Glc (galactosyl lacto-N-novopentaose I), Gal(β1-3)[Gal(β1-4)GlcNAc(β1-6)]Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc (galactosyl lacto-N-novopentaose II). The structures of the 14 acidic oligosaccharides detected were Neu5Ac(α2-3)Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc (sialyl 3'-galactosyllactose), Gal(β1-3)(O-3-sulfate)[Gal(β1-4)GlcNAc(β1-6)]Gal(β1-4)Glc (lacto-N-novopentaose I sulfate a) Gal(β1-3)[Gal(β1-4)(O-3-sulfate)GlcNAc(β1-6)]Gal(β1-4)Glc (lacto-N-novopentaose I sulfate b), Neu5Ac(α2-3)Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc, Neu5Ac(α2-3)Gal(β1-3)[Gal(β1-4)GlcNAc(β1-6)]Gal(β1-4)Glc (sialyl lacto-N-novopentaose a), Gal(β1-3)(-3-O-sulfate)Gal(β1-3)[Gal(β1-4)GlcNAc(β1-6)]Gal(β1-4)Glc, Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-3)[Gal(β1-4)(-3-O-sulfate)GlcNAc(β1-6)]Gal(β1-4)Glc, Gal(β1-3)[Neu5Ac(α2-6)Gal(β1-4)GlcNAc(β1-6)]Gal(β1-4)Glc (sialyl lacto-N-novopentaose b), Neu5Ac(α2-3)Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc, Gal(β1-3)(-3-O-sulphate)Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-4)Glc, Neu5Ac(α2-3)Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-3)[Gal(β1-4)GlcNAc(β1-6)]Gal(β1-4)Glc, Gal(β1-3)(-3-O-sulphate)Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-3)[Gal(β1-4)GlcNAc(β1-6)]Gal(β1-4)Glc, Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-3)[Gal(β1-4)(-3-O-sulphate)GlcNAc(β1-6)]Gal(β1-4)Glc and Gal(β1-3)Gal(β1-3)[Neu5Ac(α2-6)Gal(β1-4)GlcNAc(β1-6)]Gal(β1-4)Glc (galactosyl sialyl lacto-N-novopentaose b). No fucosyl oligosaccharides were detected. Galactosyl lacto-N-novopentaose II, lacto-N-novopentaose I sulfate a, lacto-N-novopentaose I sulfate b and galactosyl sialyl lacto-N-novopentaose b are novel oligosaccharides. The results are compared with those of previous studies on marsupial milk oligosaccharides. PMID:24906475

  7. The Effect of Small-Size Habitat Disturbances on Population Density and Time to Extinction of the Prairie Vole

    SciTech Connect

    Kostova, T; Carlsen, T

    2004-12-13

    We present a study, based on simulations with SERDYCA, a spatially-explicit individual-based model of rodent dynamics, on the relation between population persistence and the presence of numerous isolated disturbances in the habitat. We are specifically interested in the effect of disturbances that do not fragment the environment on population persistence. Our results suggest that the presence of disturbances in the absence of fragmentation can actually increase the average time to extinction of the modeled population. The presence of disturbances decreases population density but can increase the chance for mating in monogamous species and consequently, the ratio of juveniles in the population. It thus provides a better chance for the population to restore itself after a severe period with critically low population density. We call this the ''disturbance-forced localization effect''.

  8. Identification and evaluation of an infertility-associated ZP3 epitope from the marsupial brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula).

    PubMed

    Cui, Xianlan; Duckworth, Janine A; Molinia, Frank C; Cowan, Phil E

    2010-02-10

    Immunologically based fertility control vaccines against zona pellucida (ZP) proteins are being developed in New Zealand for biocontrol of the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), an introduced Australian marsupial pest. We have shown that immunization of female possums with recombinant possum ZP3 protein (rZP3) reduced fertility by 79%. To enhance the specificity of possum immunocontraceptive vaccines, B-cell epitopes on possum ZP3 protein were mapped using sera of female possums immunized with possum rZP3 and subjected to a fertility trial. The amino acid sequence of the full-length possum ZP3 protein was used to synthesize a complete set of 83 (12-mer) biotinylated peptides each with an overlap of five amino acids with the neighboring peptides. The peptides were used in a modified enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to identify continuous epitopes recognized by antibodies in the sera of possums immunized with possum rZP3. Sixteen epitopes were identified on the possum ZP3 protein. Comparison of the ELISA binding patterns of these peptides to antibodies in the individual sera with the fertility status of rZP3-immunized possums identified only one epitope (amino acids 156-172) to be associated with infertility. However, female possums immunized with this epitope showed no significant reduction in fertility. The possible reasons for the failure of this potential infertility epitope are discussed. PMID:19969120

  9. Evaluation of multiple-point measurement of sphincter of Oddi motility in the Australian brush-tailed possum.

    PubMed

    Craig, A G; Omari, T I; Saccone, G T; Toouli, J; Dent, J

    2000-10-01

    Manometric assembly diameter is a major limitation on the number of perfused manometric recording points for recordings from the sphincter of Oddi (SO). We evaluated novel polyimide manometric assemblies whereby four recording channels were incorporated in an overall assembly diameter of 0.8 mm. Over the very low range of perfusion rates tested (0.005-0.04 ml/min), the assemblies had pressure offsets attributable to water perfusion from 2 to 23 mmHg and pressure rise rates from 20 to 163 mmHg/s. In six anesthetized Australian brush-tailed possums, manometric recordings from the SO showed a significant reduction in the recorded peak amplitude of pressure waves with perfusion rates below 0.02 ml/min. The pressure profile of the sphincter was found to be asymmetric, and phasic wave propagation patterns were complex (antegrade 35.6%, "mixed" 64.4%). In conclusion, accurate multipoint SO manometry in the possum can be performed with micromanometric assemblies at very low perfusion rates to give a more complete understanding of SO mechanics. These methods are also potentially applicable to perfusion manometry in other small laboratory animals such as mice. PMID:11005772

  10. Enhancing absorption of fluorescein and LHRH across hindgut epithelia in a marsupial, the common brushtail possum Trichosurus vulpecula.

    TOXLINE Toxicology Bibliographic Information

    Wen JY; McLeod BJ; Tucker IG; Davies NM; Ledger R; Butt AG

    2007-09-01

    We have identified differences in transport properties of intestinal epithelia in the marsupial brushtail possum, compared to eutherian mammals. To determine whether differences in its permeability to hydrophilic compounds also occur, the absorption of sodium fluorescein and luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) was assessed in vitro and the ability of chemical enhancers and a metabolic inhibitor to promote their absorption investigated. The apparent permeability of colonic and caecal tissues to fluorescein and LHRH and transepithelial resistance (Rt) in the absence or presence of ethylenediamine tetra-acetic acid (EDTA), sodium deoxycholic acid (SDA), dithiothreitol (DTT), polyacrylic acids (PAA), or the inhibitor bacitracin were determined. The effects of SDA and/or DTT on adherent mucus and the release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were also assessed. In the absence of treatment, both tissues had comparable amounts of adherent mucus, Rt and low permeabilities to fluorescein and LHRH. All chemical enhancers increased fluorescein permeability, but SDA at concentrations >0.5 mM also induced LDH release. DTT alone and in combination with SDA reduced the amount of adherent mucus. Bacitracin inhibited LHRH metabolism and increased LHRH permeability. These data indicate that the possum hindgut epithelium represents a significant barrier to the uptake of hydrophilic compounds, similar to that in eutherians.

  11. Bill size and dimorphism in tidal-marsh sparrows: island-like processes in a continental habitat.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Russell; Olsen, Brian

    2010-08-01

    Conditions favoring population divergence in trophic features, such as the low levels of species richness and interspecific competition found on islands, can be similar to conditions that increase their sexual dimorphism or overall variance. Male emberizid sparrows of tidal marshes have undergone parallel evolution of large bills. We tested for parallel increases between dimorphism and overall variation in bill size by comparing three groups totaling 30 sparrow subspecies: tidal-marsh sparrows, nontidal relatives of tidal-marsh taxa, and representative sparrow taxa. Bill size (and not other features) showed the following patterns in tidal-marsh sparrows compared to nontidal relatives or sparrows at large: (1) an increase; (2) a greater increase in males than females; (3) an increase in sexual dimorphism; and (4) greater variation in females. A high degree of sexual dimorphism in bill size is consistent with the hypothesis that low levels of interspecific and high levels of intraspecific competition select for intraspecific niche divergence. Alternatively, increased sexual selection in tidal-marsh sparrows, vis-a-vis high densities and hence increased male-male competition, may account for the differentially large increase in bill size in males. Relaxed natural selection due to high ecosystem productivity and low interspecific competition may explain why, in tidal-marsh sparrows, female bills have diverged less than males and show higher levels of variability at larger sizes. Both the niche divergence and sexual selection hypotheses depend upon processes, particularly increases in population density, that are similar to those often reported for island passerines. However, the low species diversity and increased intraspecific competition of salt marsh faunas is probably a result of abiotic constraints on colonization (tides and salinity) rather than the isolating distances of island biotas. Thus, both a shift in bill size and increases in its dimorphism and variability may be favored by high productivity and abiotic constraints. PMID:20836464

  12. The relationship of metals, bifenthrin, physical habitat metrics, grain size, total organic carbon, dissolved oxygen and conductivity to Hyalella sp. abundance in urban California streams.

    PubMed

    Hall, Lenwood W; Anderson, Ronald D

    2013-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to determine the relationship between Hyalella sp. abundance in four urban California streams and the following parameters: (1) 8 bulk metals (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Hg, Ni, and Zn) and their associated sediment Threshold Effect Levels (TELs); (2) bifenthrin sediment concentrations; (3) 10 habitat metrics and total score; (4) grain size (% sand, silt and clay); (5) Total Organic Carbon (TOC); (6) dissolved oxygen; and (7) conductivity. California stream data used for this study were collected from Kirker Creek (2006 and 2007), Pleasant Grove Creek (2006, 2007 and 2008), Salinas streams (2009 and 2010) and Arcade Creek (2009 and 2010). Hyalella abundance in the four California streams generally declined when metals concentrations were elevated beyond the TELs. There was also a statistically significant negative relationship between Hyalella abundance and % silt for these 4 California streams as Hyalella were generally not present in silt areas. No statistically significant relationships were reported between Hyalella abundance and metals concentrations, bifenthrin concentrations, habitat metrics, % sand, % clay, TOC, dissolved oxygen and conductivity. The results from this study highlight the complexity of assessing which factors are responsible for determining the abundance of amphipods, such as Hyalella sp., in the natural environment. PMID:23379940

  13. Ontogenetic modulation of branch size, shape, and biomechanics produces diversity across habitats in the Bursera simaruba clade of tropical trees.

    PubMed

    Rosell, Julieta A; Olson, Mark E; Aguirre-Hernández, Rebeca; Sánchez-Sesma, Francisco J

    2012-01-01

    Organismal size and shape inseparably interact with tissue biomechanical properties. It is therefore essential to understand how size, shape, and biomechanics interact in ontogeny to produce morphological diversity. We estimated within species branch length-diameter allometries and reconstructed the rates of ontogenetic change along the stem in mechanical properties across the simaruba clade in the tropical tree genus Bursera, measuring 376 segments from 97 branches in nine species in neotropical dry to rain forest. In general, species with stiffer materials had longer, thinner branches, which became stiffer more quickly in ontogeny than their counterparts with more flexible materials. We found a trend from short stature and flexible tissues to tall statures and stiff tissues across an environmental gradient of increasing water availability, likely reflecting a water storage-mechanical support tradeoff. Ontogenetic variation in size, shape, and mechanics results in diversity of habits, for example, rapid length extension, sluggish diameter expansion, and flexible tissues results in a liana, as in Bursera instabilis. Even species of similar habit exhibited notable changes in tissue mechanical properties with increasing size, illustrating the inseparable relationship between organismal proportions and their tissue mechanics in the ontogeny and evolution of morphological diversity. PMID:22947317

  14. The ploys of sex: relationships among the mode of reproduction, body size and habitats of coral-reef brittlestars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hendler, Gordon; Littman, Barbara S.

    1986-08-01

    Observations were made of 33 species of brittlestars (3980 specimens) from specific substrata collected in four zones on the Belize Barrier Reef, Caribbean Sea. The body size of most species of brittlestars with planktonic larvae differs significantly among different substrata. Generally, individuals from the calcareous alga Halimeda opuntia are smallest, those found in corals ( Porites porites, Madracis mirabilis, and Agaricia tenuifolia) are larger, and those from coral rubble are the largest. This suggests that brittlestars with planktonic larvae move to new microhabitats as they grow. In contrast, most brooding and fissiparous species are relatively small and their size-distributions are similar among all substrata. Halimeda harbours denser concentrations of brittlestars and more small and juvenile individuals than the other substrata. Juveniles of the brooding and fissiparous species are most common in Halimeda on the Back Reef whereas juveniles developing from planktonic larvae are most common in Halimeda patches in deeper water. Fissiparity and brooding may be means for individuals (genomes) of small, apomictic species to reach large size (and correspondingly high fecundities) in patchy microhabitats that select for small body sizes. Small brittlestar species and juveniles are most numerous in the microhabitats called refuge-substrata, such as Halimeda, which may repel predators and reduce environmental stress. Whether young brittlestars are concentrated in refuge-substrata through settlement behavior, migration, or differential survival remains unknown. Experiments revealed that coral polyps kill small brittlestars, perhaps accounting for the rarity of small and juvenile brittlestars in coral substrata.

  15. Patch occupancy by stone martens Martes foina in fragmented landscapes of central Spain: the role of fragment size, isolation and habitat structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Virgós, Emilio; García, Francisco J.

    2002-08-01

    We studied the response to forest fragmentation of a generalist carnivore, the stone marten Martes foina, in highly fragmented landscapes of central Spain. Five different areas ( n = 178 fragments) in central Spain were surveyed. This paper analyses the relationship between fragment use by martens (measured through scat presence) and a series of variables related to the size, isolation and vegetation structure of each fragment by means of stepwise logistic regression. Size and isolation have an important effect on stone marten presence in fragments. Our results were similar to those found for other marten species in landscapes with coarse-grain fragmentation, but they contrast with other studies conducted in landscapes with fine-grain fragmentation. These data suggested that in highly fragmented landscapes, size and isolation factors resulting from forest fragmentation were responsible for determining marten responses, irrespective of their habitat generalism. Management policies for the stone marten in highly fragmented scenarios require the maintenance of large forests near continuous forest tracts in mountains or riparian woodlands.

  16. Adaptive divergence in body size overrides the effects of plasticity across natural habitats in the brown trout

    PubMed Central

    Rogell, Björn; Dannewitz, Johan; Palm, Stefan; Dahl, Jonas; Petersson, Erik; Laurila, Anssi

    2013-01-01

    The evolution of life-history traits is characterized by trade-offs between different selection pressures, as well as plasticity across environmental conditions. Yet, studies on local adaptation are often performed under artificial conditions, leaving two issues unexplored: (i) how consistent are laboratory inferred local adaptations under natural conditions and (ii) how much phenotypic variation is attributed to phenotypic plasticity and to adaptive evolution, respectively, across environmental conditions? We reared fish from six locally adapted (domesticated and wild) populations of anadromous brown trout (Salmo trutta) in one semi-natural and three natural streams and recorded a key life-history trait (body size at the end of first growth season). We found that population-specific reaction norms were close to parallel across different streams and QST was similar – and larger than FST – within all streams, indicating a consistency of local adaptation in body size across natural environments. The amount of variation explained by population origin exceeded the variation across stream environments, indicating that genetic effects derived from adaptive processes have a stronger effect on phenotypic variation than plasticity induced by environmental conditions. These results suggest that plasticity does not “swamp” the phenotypic variation, and that selection may thus be efficient in generating genetic change. PMID:23919140

  17. Bacterial ghosts as a delivery system for zona pellucida-2 fertility control vaccines for brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula).

    PubMed

    Walcher, Petra; Cui, Xianlan; Arrow, Jane A; Scobie, Susie; Molinia, Frank C; Cowan, Phil E; Lubitz, Werner; Duckworth, Janine A

    2008-12-01

    The introduced brushtail possum is a serious pest in New Zealand and there is much interest in the development of an immunocontraceptive vaccine for population control. Immunisation of female possums against recombinant possum zona pellucida protein-2 (ZP2) is known to reduce embryo production by 72-75% but successful development of fertility control will depend on a delivery system that is effective for field use. Bacterial ghost vaccine technology is a promising system to formulate a non-living vaccine for bait or aerosol delivery. The N-terminal (amino acid residues 41-316, ZP2N) and C-terminal (amino acid residues 308-636, ZP2C) regions of possum ZP2 were fused to maltose-binding protein and expressed in the periplasmic space of Escherichia coli NM522 bacterial ghosts. Female possums (n=20 per treatment group) were immunised with 20mg of either plain ghosts, ZP2N ghosts, or ZP2C ghosts in phosphate-buffered saline applied to the nostrils and eyes (nasal/conjunctival mucosa) at weeks 0, 2 and 4. Effects of immunisation on fertility were assessed following superovulation and artificial insemination. Both constructs evoked humoral (antibody) and cell-mediated immune responses in possums and significantly fewer eggs were fertilised in females immunised against ZP2C ghosts. Results in this study indicate that bacterial ghosts containing possum ZP antigens can reduce possum fertility when delivered by mucosal immunisation and offer a promising delivery system for fertility control of wild possum populations. PMID:18948157

  18. Urban agricultural land use and characterization of mosquito larval habitats in a medium-sized town of Côte d'Ivoire.

    PubMed

    Matthys, Barbara; N'Goran, Eliézer K; Koné, Moussa; Koudou, Benjamin G; Vounatsou, Penelope; Cissé, Guéladio; Tschannen, Andres B; Tanner, Marcel; Utzinger, Jürg

    2006-12-01

    Urban agriculture is common across Africa and contributes to the livelihoods of urban dwellers. Some crop systems create suitable mosquito breeding sites and thus might affect malaria transmission. The purpose of this study was to identify, map, and characterize potential mosquito breeding sites in agricultural land use zones in a medium-sized town of western Côte d'Ivoire and to assess risk factors for productive Anopheles breeding sites. Two surveys were carried out; one toward the end of the rainy season and the second one during the dry season. In all identified potential mosquito breeding sites, two experienced entomologists searched for the presence of Anopheles larvae and pupae with a standardized technique. Totals of 369 and 589 sites were found in the rainy and dry seasons, respectively, mainly in vegetable gardens and irrigated rice fields. Anopheles larvae were present in 50.7% and 42.4% of the sites investigated during the rainy and dry seasons, respectively. Typical Anopheles larval habitats were characterized by the presence of algae, the absence of floating vegetation, and the co-occurrence of Culex larvae. The highest Anopheles larval productivity was observed in rice paddies, agricultural trenches between vegetable patches, and irrigation wells. An indirect link could be established between the occurrence of productive Anopheles breeding sites and agricultural land use through specific man-made habitats, in particular agricultural trenches, irrigation wells, and rice paddies. Our findings have important bearings for the epidemiology and control of urban malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. PMID:17249350

  19. QUANTIFYING STRUCTURAL PHYSICAL HABITAT ATTRIBUTES USING LIDAR AND HYPERSPECTRAL IMAGERY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Structural physical habitat attributes include indices of stream size, channel gradient, substrate size, habitat complexity and cover, riparian vegetation cover and structure, anthropogenic disturbances and channel-riparian interaction. These habitat attributes will vary dependen...

  20. Partitioning of Habitat and Prey by Abundant and Similar-sized Species of the Triglidae and Pempherididae (Teleostei) in coastal waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Platell, M. E.; Potter, I. C.

    1999-02-01

    The aim of this study was to determine whether certain co-occurring and abundant species of the teleost families Triglidae and Pempherididae are segregated spatially and/or by diet, and are thus less likely to be susceptible to competition for resources. Nocturnal otter trawling in shallow (5-15 m) and deeper (20-35 m) waters in four regions along ˜200 km of the south-western Australian coastline collected large numbers of a wide size range of the triglids Lepidotrigla modestaand Lepidotrigla papilioand the pempheridids Pempheris klunzingeriand Parapriacanthus elongatus. Although these four species frequently co-occurred at several sites, each species attained its highest density at different sites, thereby representing a partial segregation of these species by habitat. This even occurred with the congeneric triglid species, with L. modestabeing most abundant in the four deep, offshore sites, while L. papiliowas most numerous at three sites which varied in depth and distance from shore. Although triglids and pempheridids both consumed substantial amounts of amphipods and mysids, only the members of the latter family ingested a large amount of errant polychaetes. The latter difference is assumed to reflect the fact that, in comparison with triglids, pempheridids can swim faster, have a mouth adapted for feeding upwards in the water column and feed at night when errant polychaetes emerge from the substratum. Although the dietary compositions of L. modestaand L. papiliodid not differ significantly when analyses were based on dietary data for all sites, they did differ significantly when analyses were restricted to dietary data obtained when both species were abundant and co-occurred. The likelihood of competition for food is thus reduced in the latter circumstances. In comparison with P. klunzingeri, P. elongatusconsumed a relatively larger volume of amphipods and a relatively smaller volume of mysids, which are more mobile, implying that P. elongatusfeeds to a greater extent on rather than above the substratum surface. The diets of all species underwent ontogenetic changes, which were particularly marked in P. klunzingeriwhere an increase in body size was accompanied by a reduced consumption of mysids and an increased ingestion of errant polychaetes and amphipods. The fact that L. modesta, L. papilio, P. klunzingeriand P. elongatusare partially segregated by habitat and feed on suites of prey which differ in composition, allied with an interfamilial difference in the time of feeding, would reduce the likelihood of competition for resources amongst these four species, when they co-occur and are abundant. Furthermore, ontogenetic changes in diet would reduce the potential for intraspecific competition for food.

  1. Detroit River habitat inventory

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Manny, Bruce A.

    2003-01-01

    This inventory complements a previous survey of habitat in Ontario waters of the Detroit River (OMNR,1993). It is a starting point for balanced and sustained use of the river for natural resource conservation and economic development. The objectives of the inventory were to: (1) locate candidate sites for protection and restoration of fish and wildlife habitat in Michigan waters of the Detroit River; (2) describe the ownership and size of each site, as well as its potential for habitat protection and restoration; and (3) subjectively assess the extent to which existing habitat along the river is productive of fish and wildlife and protected from land uses that have degraded or destroyed such habitat.

  2. Reduced spillover transmission of Mycobacterium bovis to feral pigs (Sus scofa) following population control of brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula).

    PubMed

    Nugent, G; Whitford, J; Yockney, I J; Cross, M L

    2012-06-01

    In New Zealand, bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is present in domestic cattle and deer herds primarily as the result of on-going disease transmission from the primary wildlife host, the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). However, bTB is also present in other introduced free-ranging mammalian species. Between 1996 and 2007, we conducted a series of studies to determine whether poison control of possum populations would have any effect on the prevalence of Mycobacterium bovis infection in sympatric feral pigs (Sus scrofa). We compared trends in the prevalence of bTB infection in feral pigs in six study areas: possum numbers were reduced in three areas, but not in the other three, effectively providing a thrice-replicated before-after-control-intervention design. Before possum control, the overall prevalence of culture-confirmed M. bovis infection in feral pigs was 16.7-94.4%, depending on area. Infection prevalence varied little between genders but did vary with age, increasing during the first 2-3 years of life but then declining in older pigs. In the areas in which possum control was applied, M. bovis prevalence in feral pigs fell to near zero within 2-3 years, provided control was applied successfully at the whole-landscape scale. In contrast, prevalence changed much less or not at all in the areas with no possum control. We conclude that feral pigs in New Zealand acquire M. bovis infection mainly by inter-species transmission from possums, but then rarely pass the disease on to other pigs and are end hosts. This is in contrast to the purported role of pigs as bTB maintenance hosts in other countries, and we suggest the difference in host status may reflect differences in the relative importance of the oral route of infection in different environments. Despite harbouring M. bovis infection for a number of years, pigs in New Zealand do not sustain bTB independently, but are good sentinels for disease prevalence in possum populations. PMID:21849098

  3. Reduced spillover transmission of Mycobacterium bovis to feral pigs (Sus scofa) following population control of brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula).

    TOXLINE Toxicology Bibliographic Information

    Nugent G; Whitford J; Yockney IJ; Cross ML

    2012-06-01

    In New Zealand, bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is present in domestic cattle and deer herds primarily as the result of on-going disease transmission from the primary wildlife host, the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). However, bTB is also present in other introduced free-ranging mammalian species. Between 1996 and 2007, we conducted a series of studies to determine whether poison control of possum populations would have any effect on the prevalence of Mycobacterium bovis infection in sympatric feral pigs (Sus scrofa). We compared trends in the prevalence of bTB infection in feral pigs in six study areas: possum numbers were reduced in three areas, but not in the other three, effectively providing a thrice-replicated before-after-control-intervention design. Before possum control, the overall prevalence of culture-confirmed M. bovis infection in feral pigs was 16.7-94.4%, depending on area. Infection prevalence varied little between genders but did vary with age, increasing during the first 2-3 years of life but then declining in older pigs. In the areas in which possum control was applied, M. bovis prevalence in feral pigs fell to near zero within 2-3 years, provided control was applied successfully at the whole-landscape scale. In contrast, prevalence changed much less or not at all in the areas with no possum control. We conclude that feral pigs in New Zealand acquire M. bovis infection mainly by inter-species transmission from possums, but then rarely pass the disease on to other pigs and are end hosts. This is in contrast to the purported role of pigs as bTB maintenance hosts in other countries, and we suggest the difference in host status may reflect differences in the relative importance of the oral route of infection in different environments. Despite harbouring M. bovis infection for a number of years, pigs in New Zealand do not sustain bTB independently, but are good sentinels for disease prevalence in possum populations.

  4. In vitro hepatic microsomal metabolism of meloxicam in koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus), brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula), ringtail possums (Pseudocheirus peregrinus), rats (Rattus norvegicus) and dogs (Canis lupus familiaris).

    PubMed

    Kimble, B; Li, K M; Valtchev, P; Higgins, D P; Krockenberger, M B; Govendir, M

    2014-04-01

    Quantitative and qualitative aspects of in vitro metabolism of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug meloxicam, mediated via hepatic microsomes of specialized foliage (Eucalyptus) eating marsupials (koalas and ringtail possums), a generalized foliage eating marsupial (brushtail possum), rats, and dogs, are described. Using a substrate depletion method, intrinsic hepatic clearance (in vitro Clint) was determined. Significantly, rates of oxidative transformation of meloxicam, likely mediated via cytochromes P450 (CYP), were higher in marsupials compared to rats or dogs. The rank order of apparent in vitro Clint was brushtail possums (n=3) (mean: 394μL/min/mg protein), >koalas (n=6) (50), >ringtail possums (n=2) (36) (with no significant difference between koalas and ringtail possums), >pooled rats (3.2)>pooled dogs (in which the rate of depletion, as calculated by the ratio of the substrate remaining was <20% and too slow to determine). During the depletion of meloxicam, at a first-order rate constant, 5-hydroxymethyl metabolite (M1) was identified in the brushtail possums and the rat as the major metabolite. However, multiple hydroxyl metabolites were observed in the koala (M1, M2, and M3) and the ringtail possum (M1 and M3) indicating that these specialized foliage-eating marsupials have diverse oxidation capacity to metabolize meloxicam. Using a well-stirred model, the apparent in vitro Clint of meloxicam for koalas and the rat was further scaled to compare with published in vivo Cl. The closest in vivo Cl prediction from in vitro data of koalas was demonstrated with scaled hepatic Cl(total) (average fold error=1.9) excluding unbound fractions in the blood and microsome values; whereas for rats, the in-vitro scaled hepatic Cl fu(blood, mic), corrected with unbound fractions in the blood and microsome values, provided the best prediction (fold error=1.86). This study indicates that eutherians such as rats or dogs serve as inadequate models for dosage extrapolation of this drug to marsupials due to differences in hepatic turnover rate. Furthermore, as in vivo Cl is one of the pharmacokinetic indexes for determining therapeutic drug dosages, this study demonstrates the utility of in vitro to in vivo scaling as an alternative prediction method of drug Cl in koalas. PMID:24345479

  5. The stoichiometry and antenna size of the two photosystems in marine green algae, Bryopsis maxima and Ulva pertusa, in relation to the light environment of their natural habitat.

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, Jun-Ya; Suzuki, Takahisa; Maruta, Emiko; Kamimura, Yasumaro

    2005-06-01

    The stoichiometry and antenna sizes of the two photosystems in two marine green algae, Bryopsis maxima and Ulva pertusa, were investigated to examine whether the photosynthetic apparatus of the algae can be related to the light environment of their natural habitat. Bryopsis maxima and Ulva pertusa had chlorophyll (Chl) a/b ratios of 1.5 and 1.8, respectively, indicating large levels of Chl b, which absorbs blue-green light, relative to Chl a. The level of photosystem (PS) II was equivalent to that of PS I in Bryopsis maxima but lower than that of PS I in Ulva pertusa. Analysis of Q(A) photoreduction and P-700 photo-oxidation with green light revealed that >50% of PS II centres are non-functional in electron transport. Thus, the ratio of the functional PS II to PS I is only 0.46 in Bryopsis maxima and 0.35 in Ulva pertusa. Light-response curves of electron transport also provided evidence that PS I had a larger light-harvesting capacity than did the functional PS II. Thus, there was a large imbalance in the light absorption between the two photosystems, with PS I showing a larger total light-harvesting capacity than PS II. Furthermore, as judged from the measurements of low temperature fluorescence spectra, the light energy absorbed by Chl b was efficiently transferred to PS I in both algae. Based on the above results, it is hypothesized that marine green algae require a higher ATP:NADPH ratio than do terrestrial plants to grow and survive under a coastal environment. PMID:15797939

  6. Comparison of sediment grain size characteristics on nourished and un-nourished estuarine beaches and impacts on horseshoe crab habitat, Delaware Bay, New Jersey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jackson, N.L.; Smith, D.R.; Nordstrom, K.F.

    2005-01-01

    This study was undertaken to determine whether nourished and un-nourished estuarine beaches have conspicuous differences in sediment size and sorting that could affect their value as habitat for horseshoe crabs. Comparisons are made of beach profiles and sediment samples gathered at 0.15 m and 0.30 m depths on the backshore, at spring tide elevation, neap tide elevation, and the lower foreshore on 5 un-nourished and 3 nourished beaches in Delaware Bay, where tidal range is <2.0 m. The backshore is at least 0.5 m higher on the recently nourished beaches than on a nearby un-nourished beach reworked by storm waves. Nourishing these beaches to elevations higher than natural overwash heights will restrict natural evolution of the upper beach. Sediments at spring tide elevation on un-nourished sites average 0.72 mm in diameter at 0.15 m depth and 0.67 mm at 0.30 m depth.The similarity in size implies a relatively deep active layer in the zone of maximum cut and fill associated with cyclic profile change during low frequency, high magnitude storms. Sedimentary changes at neap tide elevation may be influenced more by depth of activation by waves than by cycles of deposition and erosion. Sediment at 0.15 m depth at spring and neap locations on the foreshore of nourished beaches is finer (0.51 mm) and better sorted (0.82 phi) than at 0.30 m depth (0.91 mm, 1.38 phi), implying that waves have not reworked the deeper sediments. Differences in sediment characteristics at depth may persist on eroding nourished beaches, where unreworked fill is close to the surface. Sediment texture influences horseshoe crab egg viability and development. Lower rates of water movement through the foreshore and greater thickness of the capillary fringe on nourished sites suggests that greater moisture retention will occur where horseshoe crabs bury eggs and may provide more favorable conditions for egg development, but the depth of these conditions will not be great on a recently nourished beach. ?? 2005 Gebru??der Borntraeger.

  7. To what extent are the dietary compositions of three abundant, co-occurring labrid species different and related to latitude, habitat, body size and season?

    PubMed

    Lek, E; Fairclough, D V; Platell, M E; Clarke, K R; Tweedley, J R; Potter, I C

    2011-06-01

    This study demonstrated that the dietary composition of each of three abundant reef-associated labrid species in temperate Western Australia differed significantly with latitude and changed with increasing body size and almost invariably differed among those species when they co-occurred. These results were derived from comparisons and multivariate analyses of volumetric dietary data, obtained from the foregut contents of Coris auricularis, Notolabrus parilus and Ophthalmolepis lineolatus from the Jurien Bay Marine Park (JBMP) and waters off Perth, 250 km to the south. Latitudinal differences in the dietary compositions of each species in exposed reefs typically reflected greater contributions by large crustaceans, bivalve molluscs, echinoids and annelids to the diets in the waters off Perth than in the JBMP, whereas the reverse was true for gastropods and small crustaceans. The diet of each species exhibited similar, but not identical, quantitative changes with increasing body size, with the contributions of small crustaceans declining and those of large crustaceans and echinoids increasing, while that of gastropods underwent little change. Within the JBMP, the dietary compositions of both C. auricularis and N. parilus were similar in exposed and sheltered reefs and the same was true for N. parilus in the sheltered reefs and interspersed areas of seagrass. The latter similarity demonstrated that, in both of those divergent habitat types, N. parilus feeds on prey associated with either the sand or the macrophytes that cover and lie between the reefs. Although the main dietary components of each species were the same, i.e. gastropods, small crustaceans (mainly amphipods and isopods), large crustaceans (particularly penaeids and brachyuran crabs) and echinoids, their contributions varied among those species, which accounts for the significant interspecific differences in diet. Coris auricularis had the most distinct diet, due mainly to an ingestion of greater volumes of small crustaceans, e.g. amphipods and isopods, and lesser volumes of large crustaceans, e.g. brachyuran crabs, which was associated with a relatively narrower mouth and smaller teeth and the absence of prominent canines at the rear of the jaw. The above intra and interspecific differences in dietary composition would reduce, on the south-west coast of Australia, the potential for competition for food among and within these three abundant labrids, each of which belongs to different genera within the Julidine clade. PMID:21651541

  8. Habitat automation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swab, Rodney E.

    1992-01-01

    A habitat, on either the surface of the Moon or Mars, will be designed and built with the proven technologies of that day. These technologies will be mature and readily available to the habitat designer. We believe an acceleration of the normal pace of automation would allow a habitat to be safer and more easily maintained than would be the case otherwise. This document examines the operation of a habitat and describes elements of that operation which may benefit from an increased use of automation. Research topics within the automation realm are then defined and discussed with respect to the role they can have in the design of the habitat. Problems associated with the integration of advanced technologies into real-world projects at NASA are also addressed.

  9. Combining Site Occupancy, Breeding Population Sizes and Reproductive Success to Calculate Time-Averaged Reproductive Output of Different Habitat Types: An Application to Tricolored Blackbirds

    PubMed Central

    Holyoak, Marcel; Meese, Robert J.; Graves, Emily E.

    2014-01-01

    In metapopulations in which habitat patches vary in quality and occupancy it can be complicated to calculate the net time-averaged contribution to reproduction of particular populations. Surprisingly, few indices have been proposed for this purpose. We combined occupancy, abundance, frequency of occurrence, and reproductive success to determine the net value of different sites through time and applied this method to a bird of conservation concern. The Tricolored Blackbird (Agelaius tricolor) has experienced large population declines, is the most colonial songbird in North America, is largely confined to California, and breeds itinerantly in multiple habitat types. It has had chronically low reproductive success in recent years. Although young produced per nest have previously been compared across habitats, no study has simultaneously considered site occupancy and reproductive success. Combining occupancy, abundance, frequency of occurrence, reproductive success and nest failure rate we found that that large colonies in grain fields fail frequently because of nest destruction due to harvest prior to fledging. Consequently, net time-averaged reproductive output is low compared to colonies in non-native Himalayan blackberry or thistles, and native stinging nettles. Cattail marshes have intermediate reproductive output, but their reproductive output might be improved by active management. Harvest of grain-field colonies necessitates either promoting delay of harvest or creating alternative, more secure nesting habitats. Stinging nettle and marsh colonies offer the main potential sources for restoration or native habitat creation. From 2005–2011 breeding site occupancy declined 3x faster than new breeding colonies were formed, indicating a rapid decline in occupancy. Total abundance showed a similar decline. Causes of variation in the value for reproduction of nesting substrates and factors behind continuing population declines merit urgent investigation. The method we employ should be useful in other metapopulation studies for calculating time-averaged reproductive output for different sites. PMID:24817307

  10. Influence of fine-scale habitat structure on nest-site occupancy, laying date and clutch size in Blue Tits Cyanistes caeruleus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amininasab, Seyed Mehdi; Vedder, Oscar; Schut, Elske; de Jong, Berber; Magrath, Michael J. L.; Korsten, Peter; Komdeur, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Most birds have specific habitat requirements for breeding. The vegetation structure surrounding nest-sites is an important component of habitat quality, and can have large effects on avian breeding performance. We studied 13 years of Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus population data to determine whether characteristics of vegetation structure predict site occupancy, laying date and number of eggs laid. Measurements of vegetation structure included the density of English Oak Quercus robur, European Beech Fagus sylvatica, and other deciduous, coniferous and non-coniferous evergreen trees, within a 20-m radius of nest-boxes used for breeding. Trees were further sub-divided into specific classes of trunk circumferences to determine the densities for different maturity levels. Based on Principal Component Analysis (PCA), we reduced the total number of 17 measured vegetation variables to 7 main categories, which we used for further analyses. We found that the occupancy rate of sites and the number of eggs laid correlated positively with the proportion of deciduous trees and negatively with the density of coniferous trees. Laying of the first egg was advanced with a greater proportion of deciduous trees. Among deciduous trees, the English Oak appeared to be most important, as a higher density of more mature English Oak trees was associated with more frequent nest-box occupancy, a larger number of eggs laid, and an earlier laying start. Furthermore, laying started earlier and more eggs were laid in nest-boxes with higher occupancy rates. Together, these findings highlight the role of deciduous trees, particularly more mature English Oak, as important predictors of high-quality preferred habitat. These results aid in defining habitat quality and will facilitate future studies on the importance of environmental quality for breeding performance.

  11. Significance of sulfhydryl compounds in the manifestation of fluoroacetate toxicity to the rat, brush-tailed possum, woylie and western grey kangaroo.

    PubMed

    Mead, R J; Moulden, D L; Twigg, L E

    1985-01-01

    Levels of citrate in kidneys and livers of rats with normal glutathione levels increased 6.8 and 1.7-fold respectively 2 h after dosing with 1.5 mg of compound 1080 (= 95% sodium fluoroacetate) per kilogram body weight. In animals with liver glutathione levels 15% of normal, increases in plasma and liver citrate levels after dosing with fluoroacetate were significantly greater than those of control animals. Cysteamine and N-acetylcysteine, like glutathione, partially protected aconitate hydratase from fluorocitrate inhibition in rat liver preparations but were unable to replace glutathione as a substrate for the defluorination of fluoroacetate in vitro. N-Acetylcysteine did not diminish plasma citrate levels of glutathione-deficient rats dosed with fluoroacetate, while cysteamine inhibited the rate of in vivo defluorination in glutathione-deficient brush-tailed possums. It is suggested that non-physiological sulfhydryl compounds are ineffective antidotes to fluoroacetate intoxication in vivo. The in vivo defluorination patterns of four mammal species with differing sensitivities to fluoroacetate did not indicate a direct relationship between tolerance and rate of defluorination and it is also suggested that a high level of activity of the glutathione-S-transferase responsible for the defluorination of fluoroacetate is not the major mechanism for circumventing fluoroacetate toxicity in resistant mammals. PMID:4051904

  12. Significance of sulfhydryl compounds in the manifestation of fluoroacetate toxicity to the rat, brush-tailed possum, woylie and western grey kangaroo.

    TOXLINE Toxicology Bibliographic Information

    Mead RJ; Moulden DL; Twigg LE

    1985-01-01

    Levels of citrate in kidneys and livers of rats with normal glutathione levels increased 6.8 and 1.7-fold respectively 2 h after dosing with 1.5 mg of compound 1080 (= 95% sodium fluoroacetate) per kilogram body weight. In animals with liver glutathione levels 15% of normal, increases in plasma and liver citrate levels after dosing with fluoroacetate were significantly greater than those of control animals. Cysteamine and N-acetylcysteine, like glutathione, partially protected aconitate hydratase from fluorocitrate inhibition in rat liver preparations but were unable to replace glutathione as a substrate for the defluorination of fluoroacetate in vitro. N-Acetylcysteine did not diminish plasma citrate levels of glutathione-deficient rats dosed with fluoroacetate, while cysteamine inhibited the rate of in vivo defluorination in glutathione-deficient brush-tailed possums. It is suggested that non-physiological sulfhydryl compounds are ineffective antidotes to fluoroacetate intoxication in vivo. The in vivo defluorination patterns of four mammal species with differing sensitivities to fluoroacetate did not indicate a direct relationship between tolerance and rate of defluorination and it is also suggested that a high level of activity of the glutathione-S-transferase responsible for the defluorination of fluoroacetate is not the major mechanism for circumventing fluoroacetate toxicity in resistant mammals.

  13. Characterization of flow and mixing regimes within the ileum of the brushtail possum using residence time distribution analysis with simultaneous spatio-temporal mapping

    PubMed Central

    Janssen, P W M; Lentle, R G; Asvarujanon, P; Chambers, P; Stafford, K J; Hemar, Y

    2007-01-01

    We studied the flow and mixing regimes in isolated segments of the terminal ileum of brushtail possums during spontaneous circumferential and longitudinal contractions under conditions that allowed backflow and compared them with those of inactive segments. Residence time distributions (RTDs) were determined by perfusion with two probes of different rheological properties to which an inert dye marker was added. Ileal segment volume and oscillatory flow during the period of RTD determination were derived from spatiotemporal maps. High viscosity guar gum solution generated RTDs characteristic of laminar flow in inactive ileal segments which confirmed that no slip was occurring at the mucosal layer. In active segments, motility and consequent oscillatory flow imparted significant additional axial dispersion to the flow patterns of both probes. Mixing occurred episodically during periods when intestinal volume was reduced and onflow was augmented by peristalsis, which may prevent the establishment of steady state conditions. Marker concentration rose more steeply when active ileal segments were being perfused with a probe of similar viscosity to normal digesta than with low viscosity Earle's/Hepes solution, each being subject to similar levels of oscillatory flow. This indicated that a coarser mixing regime prevailed and that absorption of nutrients from viscous digesta would rely to a greater degree on molecular diffusion. PMID:17495038

  14. Male-Biased Predation and Its Effect on Paternity Skew and Life History in a Population of Common Brushtail Possums (Trichosurus vulpecula)

    PubMed Central

    DeGabriel, Jane L.; Moore, Ben D.; Foley, William J.; Johnson, Christopher N.

    2014-01-01

    Differences in predation risk may exert strong selective pressures on life history strategies of populations. We investigated the potential for predation to shape male mating strategies in an arboreal folivore, the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula Kerr). We predicted that possums in a tropical population exposed to high natural levels of predation would grow faster and reproduce earlier compared to those in temperate populations with lower predation. We trapped a population of possums in eucalypt woodland in northern Australia each month to measure life history traits and used microsatellites to genotype all individuals and assign paternity to all offspring. We observed very high levels of male-biased predation, with almost 60% of marked male possums being eaten by pythons, presumably as a result of their greater mobility due to mate-searching. Male reproductive success was also highly skewed, with younger, larger males fathering significantly more offspring. This result contrasts with previous studies of temperate populations experiencing low levels of predation, where older males were larger and the most reproductively successful. Our results suggest that in populations exposed to high levels of predation, male possums invest in increased growth earlier in life, in order to maximise their mating potential. This strategy is feasible because predation limits competition from older males and means that delaying reproduction carries a risk of failing to reproduce at all. Our results show that life histories are variable traits that can match regional predation environments in mammal species with widespread distributions. PMID:25372294

  15. WILDLIFE HABITAT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Habitat change statistics were used to estimate the effects of alternative future scenarios for agriculture on non-fish vertebrate diversity in Iowa farmlands. Study areas were two watersheds in central Iowa of about 50 and 90 square kilometers, respectively. Future scenarios w...

  16. Habitat Demonstration Unit (HDU) Vertical Cylinder Habitat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howe, Alan; Kennedy, Kriss J.; Gill, Tracy R.; Tri, Terry O.; Toups, Larry; Howard, Robert I.; Spexarth, Gary R.; Cavanaugh, Stephen; Langford, William M.; Dorsey, John T.

    2014-01-01

    NASA's Constellation Architecture Team defined an outpost scenario optimized for intensive mobility that uses small, highly mobile pressurized rovers supported by portable habitat modules that can be carried between locations of interest on the lunar surface. A compact vertical cylinder characterizes the habitat concept, where the large diameter maximizes usable flat floor area optimized for a gravity environment and allows for efficient internal layout. The module was sized to fit into payload fairings for the Constellation Ares V launch vehicle, and optimized for surface transport carried by the All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer (ATHLETE) mobility system. Launch and other loads are carried through the barrel to a top and bottom truss that interfaces with a structural support unit (SSU). The SSU contains self-leveling feet and docking interfaces for Tri-ATHLETE grasping and heavy lift. A pressurized module needed to be created that was appropriate for the lunar environment, could be easily relocated to new locations, and could be docked together in multiples for expanding pressurized volume in a lunar outpost. It was determined that horizontally oriented pressure vessels did not optimize floor area, which takes advantage of the gravity vector for full use. Hybrid hard-inflatable habitats added an unproven degree of complexity that may eventually be worked out. Other versions of vertically oriented pressure vessels were either too big, bulky, or did not optimize floor area. The purpose of the HDU vertical habitat module is to provide pressurized units that can be docked together in a modular way for lunar outpost pressurized volume expansion, and allow for other vehicles, rovers, and modules to be attached to the outpost to allow for IVA (intra-vehicular activity) transfer between them. The module is a vertically oriented cylinder with a large radius to allow for maximal floor area and use of volume. The modular, 5- m-diameter HDU vertical habitat module consists of a 2-m-high barrel with 0.6-mhigh end domes forming the 56-cubicmeter pressure vessel, and a 19-squaremeter floor area. The module has up to four docking ports located orthogonally from each other around the perimeter, and up to one docking port each on the top or bottom end domes. In addition, the module has mounting trusses top and bottom for equipment, and to allow docking with the ATHLETE mobility system. Novel or unique features of the HDU vertical habitat module include the nodelike function with multiple pressure hatches for docking with other versions of itself and other modules and vehicles; the capacity to be carried by an ATHLETE mobility system; and the ability to attach inflatable 'attic' domes to the top for additional pressurized volume.

  17. Habitat Design Optimization and Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    SanSoucie, Michael P.; Hull, Patrick V.; Tinker, Michael L.

    2006-01-01

    Long-duration surface missions to the Moon and Mars will require habitats for the astronauts. The materials chosen for the habitat walls play a direct role in the protection against the harsh environments found on the surface. Choosing the best materials, their configuration, and the amount required is extremely difficult due to the immense size of the design region. Advanced optimization techniques are necessary for habitat wall design. Standard optimization techniques are not suitable for problems with such large search spaces; therefore, a habitat design optimization tool utilizing genetic algorithms has been developed. Genetic algorithms use a "survival of the fittest" philosophy, where the most fit individuals are more likely to survive and reproduce. This habitat design optimization tool is a multi-objective formulation of structural analysis, heat loss, radiation protection, and meteoroid protection. This paper presents the research and development of this tool.

  18. Considerations of a habitat design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elrod, Molly

    1995-01-01

    Habitats are the cost effective way to house people on the Moon for more than a couple of days. NASA, universities, and private industry have designed habitats to house astronauts for their lunar tour of duty. Designs range from 'campsites' to permanent 'cities' for human development of the Moon. Considering the high cost per round of equipment delivered to the Moon, each pound is questioned and minimized. Beyond the changing, mission-dependent requirements, such as duration, crew size, reusability, mission objectives, many general requirements are semi-constant for the lunar habitat design. Launch vehicle payload envelope, environment, operations, degree of commonality/optimization, radiation protection and support systems (thermal, environmental control, data handling, communications, power structures) affect the habitat design. Habitat design requirements with an emphasis on the semi-constant elements are explored in this paper.

  19. Lunar base habitat designs: Characterizing the environment, and selecting habitat designs for future trade-offs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ganapathi, Gani B.; Ferrall, Joseph; Seshan, P. K.

    1993-01-01

    A survey of distinct conceptual lunar habitat designs covering the pre- and post-Apollo era is presented. The impact of the significant lunar environmental challenges such as temperature, atmosphere, radiation, soil properties, meteorites, and seismic activity on the habitat design parameters are outlined. Over twenty habitat designs were identified and classified according to mission type, crew size; total duration of stay, modularity, environmental protection measures, and emplacement. Simple selection criteria of (1) post-Apollo design, (2) uniqueness of the habitat design, (3) level of thoroughness in design layout, (4) habitat dimensions are provided, and (5) materials of construction for the habitat shell are specified, are used to select five habitats for future trade studies. Habitat emplacement scenarios are created to examine the possible impact of emplacement of the habitat in different locations, such as lunar poles vs. equatorial, above ground vs. below ground, etc.

  20. Epidemiology and control of Mycobacterium bovis infection in brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula), the primary wildlife host of bovine tuberculosis in New Zealand

    PubMed Central

    Nugent, G; Buddle, BM; Knowles, G

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The introduced Australian brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is a maintenance host for bovine tuberculosis (TB) in New Zealand and plays a central role in the TB problem in this country. The TB-possum problem emerged in the late 1960s, and intensive lethal control of possums is now used to reduce densities to low levels over 8 million ha of the country. This review summarises what is currently known about the pathogenesis and epidemiology of TB in possums, and how the disease responds to possum control. TB in possums is a highly lethal disease, with most possums likely to die within 6 months of becoming infected. The mechanisms of transmission between possums remain unclear, but appear to require some form of close contact or proximity. At large geographic scales, TB prevalence in possum populations is usually low (1–5%), but local prevalence can sometimes reach 60%. Intensive, systematic and uniform population control has been highly effective in breaking the TB cycle in possum populations, and where that control has been sustained for many years the prevalence of TB is now zero or near zero. Although some uncertainties remain, local eradication of TB from possums appears to be straightforward, given that TB managers now have the ability to reduce possum numbers to near zero levels and to maintain them at those levels for extended periods where required. We conclude that, although far from complete, the current understanding of TB-possum epidemiology, and the current management strategies and tactics, are sufficient to achieve local, regional, and even national disease eradication from possums in New Zealand. PMID:25290902

  1. Temporal and spatial dynamics of trypanosomes infecting the brush-tailed bettong (Bettongia penicillata): a cautionary note of disease-induced population decline

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The brush-tailed bettong or woylie (Bettongia penicillata) is on the brink of extinction. Its numbers have declined by 90% since 1999, with their current distribution occupying less than 1% of their former Australian range. Woylies are known to be infected with three different trypanosomes (Trypanosoma vegrandis, Trypanosoma copemani and Trypanosoma sp. H25) and two different strains of T. copemani that vary in virulence. However, the role that these haemoparasites have played during the recent decline of their host is unclear and is part of ongoing investigation. Methods Woylies were sampled from five locations in southern Western Australia, including two neighbouring indigenous populations, two enclosed (fenced) populations and a captive colony. PCR was used to individually identify the three different trypanosomes from blood and tissues of the host, and to investigate the temporal and spatial dynamics of trypanosome infections. Results The spatial pattern of trypanosome infection varied among the five study sites, with a greater proportion of woylies from the Perup indigenous population being infected with T. copemani than from the neighbouring Kingston indigenous population. For an established infection, T. copemani detection was temporally inconsistent. The more virulent strain of T. copemani appeared to regress at a faster rate than the less virulent strain, with the infection possibly transitioning from the acute to chronic phase. Interspecific competition may also exist between T. copemani and T. vegrandis, where an existing T. vegrandis infection may moderate the sequential establishment of the more virulent T. copemani. Conclusion In this study, we provide a possible temporal connection implicating T. copemani as the disease agent linked with the recent decline of the Kingston indigenous woylie population within the Upper Warren region of Western Australia. The chronic association of trypanosomes with the internal organs of its host may be potentially pathogenic and adversely affect their long term fitness and coordination, making the woylie more susceptible to predation. PMID:24708757

  2. Epidemiology and control of Mycobacterium bovis infection in brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula), the primary wildlife host of bovine tuberculosis in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Nugent, G; Buddle, B M; Knowles, G

    2015-06-01

    The introduced Australian brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is a maintenance host for bovine tuberculosis (TB) in New Zealand and plays a central role in the TB problem in this country. The TB-possum problem emerged in the late 1960s, and intensive lethal control of possums is now used to reduce densities to low levels over 8 million ha of the country. This review summarises what is currently known about the pathogenesis and epidemiology of TB in possums, and how the disease responds to possum control. TB in possums is a highly lethal disease, with most possums likely to die within 6 months of becoming infected. The mechanisms of transmission between possums remain unclear, but appear to require some form of close contact or proximity. At large geographic scales, TB prevalence in possum populations is usually low (1-5%), but local prevalence can sometimes reach 60%. Intensive, systematic and uniform population control has been highly effective in breaking the TB cycle in possum populations, and where that control has been sustained for many years the prevalence of TB is now zero or near zero. Although some uncertainties remain, local eradication of TB from possums appears to be straightforward, given that TB managers now have the ability to reduce possum numbers to near zero levels and to maintain them at those levels for extended periods where required. We conclude that, although far from complete, the current understanding of TB-possum epidemiology, and the current management strategies and tactics, are sufficient to achieve local, regional, and even national disease eradication from possums in New Zealand. PMID:25290902

  3. Secretagogues stimulate electrogenic HCO3- secretion in the ileum of the brushtail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula: evidence for the role of a Na+/HCO3- cotransporter.

    PubMed

    Bartolo, Ray C; Harfoot, Natalie; Gill, Mike; McLeod, Bernie J; Butt, A Grant

    2009-08-01

    Fluid secretion is essential for intestinal function and, in eutherian mammals, is driven by electrogenic Cl(-) transport, which is dependent upon a bumetanide-sensitive, basolateral Na(+)/K(+)/2 Cl(-) cotransporter, NKCC1. However, ileal secretion in the brushtail possum, a marsupial, involves a fundamentally different process, since NKCC1 expression is low in this tissue and the secretagogue-induced short circuit current (I(sc)) is insensitive to bumetanide. In view of these differences we have investigated the basis of the secretory response of the possum ileum. In the Ussing chamber the secretory I(sc) is independent of Cl(-) but dependent upon Na(+) and serosal HCO(3)(-)/CO(2), suggesting that secretagogues stimulate electrogenic HCO(3)(-) secretion. In agreement with this, serosal DIDS (4,4'-diisothiocyano-stilbene-2,2'-disulfonate; 1 mmol l(-1)) inhibited the secretory response. However, acetazolamide (1 mmol l(-1)) and serosal amiloride (1 mmol l(-1)) had little effect, indicating that HCO(3)(-) secretion is driven by HCO(3)(-) transport from the serosal solution into the cell, rather than hydration of CO(2) by carbonic anhydrase. Consistent with this the pancreatic variant of the electrogenic Na(+)/HCO(3)(-) cotransporter (pNBC) is highly expressed in the ileal epithelium and is located in the basolateral membrane of the epithelial cells, predominantly in the mid region of the villi, with lower levels of expression in the crypts and no expression in the villous tips. We conclude that the secretory response of the possum ileum involves electrogenic HCO(3)(-) secretion driven by a basolateral pNBC and that the ileal HCO(3)(-) secretion is associated with a specialised function of the possum ileum, most probably related to hindgut fermentation. PMID:19648410

  4. Mars habitat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    The College of Engineering & Architecture at Prairie View A&M University has been participating in the NASA/USRA Advanced Design Program since 1986. The interdisciplinary nature of the program allowed the involvement of students and faculty throughout the College of Engineering & Architecture for the last five years. The research goal for the 1990-1991 year is to design a human habitat on Mars that can be used as a permanent base for 20 crew members. The research is being conducted by undergraduate students from the Department of Architecture.

  5. Biodiversity in urban habitat patches.

    PubMed

    Angold, P G; Sadler, J P; Hill, M O; Pullin, A; Rushton, S; Austin, K; Small, E; Wood, B; Wadsworth, R; Sanderson, R; Thompson, K

    2006-05-01

    We examined the biodiversity of urban habitats in Birmingham (England) using a combination of field surveys of plants and carabid beetles, genetic studies of four species of butterflies, modelling the anthropochorous nature of the floral communities and spatially explicit modelling of selected mammal species. The aim of the project was to: (i) understand the ecological characteristics of the biota of cities model, (ii) examine the effects of habitat fragment size and connectivity upon the ecological diversity and individual species distributions, (iii) predict biodiversity in cities, and (iv) analyse the extent to which the flora and fauna utilise the 'urban greenways' both as wildlife corridors and as habitats in their own right. The results suggest that cities provide habitats for rich and diverse range of plants and animals, which occur sometimes in unlikely recombinant communities. The studies on carabids and butterflies illustrated the relative importance of habitat quality on individual sites as opposed to site location within the conurbation. This suggests that dispersal for most of our urban species is not a limiting factor in population persistence, although elements of the woodland carabid fauna did appear to have some geographical structuring. Theoretical models suggested that dormice and water voles may depend on linear habitats for dispersal. The models also indicated that other groups, such as small and medium sized mammals, may use corridors, although field-based research did not provide any evidence to suggest that plants or invertebrates use urban greenways for dispersal. This finding indicates the importance of identifying a target species or group of species for urban greenways intended as dispersal routeways rather than as habitat in their own right. Their importance for most groups is rather that greenways provide a chain of different habitats permeating the urban environment. We suggest that planners can have a positive impact on urban biodiversity by slowing the pace of redevelopment and by not hurrying to tidy up and redevelop brownfield sites. PMID:16297440

  6. The Habitat Connection.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naturescope, 1987

    1987-01-01

    Consists of activities which address the causes of habitat destruction and the effects of habitat loss on animals and plants. Identifies habitat loss as the major reason for the endangerment and extinction of plant and animal species. (ML)

  7. REVIEW: Can habitat selection predict abundance?

    PubMed

    Boyce, Mark S; Johnson, Chris J; Merrill, Evelyn H; Nielsen, Scott E; Solberg, Erling J; van Moorter, Bram

    2016-01-01

    Habitats have substantial influence on the distribution and abundance of animals. Animals' selective movement yields their habitat use. Animals generally are more abundant in habitats that are selected most strongly. Models of habitat selection can be used to distribute animals on the landscape or their distribution can be modelled based on data of habitat use, occupancy, intensity of use or counts of animals. When the population is at carrying capacity or in an ideal-free distribution, habitat selection and related metrics of habitat use can be used to estimate abundance. If the population is not at equilibrium, models have the flexibility to incorporate density into models of habitat selection; but abundance might be influenced by factors influencing fitness that are not directly related to habitat thereby compromising the use of habitat-based models for predicting population size. Scale and domain of the sampling frame, both in time and space, are crucial considerations limiting application of these models. Ultimately, identifying reliable models for predicting abundance from habitat data requires an understanding of the mechanisms underlying population regulation and limitation. PMID:25786026

  8. Quantifying the Direct Transfer Costs of Common Brushtail Possum Dispersal using Least-Cost Modelling: A Combined Cost-Surface and Accumulated-Cost Dispersal Kernel Approach

    PubMed Central

    Etherington, Thomas R.; Perry, George L. W.; Cowan, Phil E.; Clout, Mick N.

    2014-01-01

    Dispersal costs need to be quantified from empirical data and incorporated into dispersal models to improve our understanding of the dispersal process. We are interested in quantifying how landscape features affect the immediately incurred direct costs associated with the transfer of an organism from one location to another. We propose that least-cost modelling is one method that can be used to quantify direct transfer costs. By representing the landscape as a cost-surface, which describes the costs associated with traversing different landscape features, least-cost modelling is often applied to measure connectivity between locations in accumulated-cost units that are a combination of both the distance travelled and the costs traversed. However, we take an additional step by defining an accumulated-cost dispersal kernel, which describes the probability of dispersal in accumulated-cost units. This novel combination of cost-surface and accumulated-cost dispersal kernel enables the transfer stage of dispersal to incorporate the effects of landscape features by modifying the direction of dispersal based on the cost-surface and the distance of dispersal based on the accumulated-cost dispersal kernel. We apply this approach to the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) within the North Island of New Zealand, demonstrating how commonly collected empirical dispersal data can be used to calibrate a cost-surface and associated accumulated-cost dispersal kernel. Our results indicate that considerable improvements could be made to the modelling of the transfer stage of possum dispersal by using a cost-surface and associated accumulated-cost dispersal kernel instead of a more traditional straight-line distance based dispersal kernel. We envisage a variety of ways in which the information from this novel combination of a cost-surface and accumulated-cost dispersal kernel could be gainfully incorporated into existing dispersal models. This would enable more realistic modelling of the direct transfer costs associated with the dispersal process, without requiring existing dispersal models to be abandoned. PMID:24505467

  9. Influence of contact heterogeneity on TB reproduction ratio R0 in a free-living brushtail possum Trichosurus vulpecula population.

    PubMed

    Porphyre, Thibaud; Stevenson, Mark; Jackson, Ron; McKenzie, Joanna

    2008-01-01

    Social network analyses were used to investigate contact patterns in a free-living possum Trichosurus vulpecula population and to estimate the influence of contact on R(0) for bovine tuberculosis (TB). Using data collected during a five-year capture-mark-recapture study of a free-living possum population, observed estimates of R(0) were computed and compared with R(0) computed from random networks of similar size that approximated a random mixing process. All networks displayed a heterogeneous pattern of contact with the average number of contacts per possum ranging from 20 to 26 per year. The networks consistently showed small-world and single-scale features. The mean estimates of R(0) for TB using the observed contact networks were 1.78, 1.53, 1.53, 1.51, and 1.52 times greater than the corresponding random networks (P <0.05). We estimate that TB would spread if an average of between 1.94 and 1.97 infective contacts occurred per year per infected possum, which is approximately half of that expected from a random network. These results have implications for the management of TB in New Zealand where the possum is the principal wildlife reservoir host of Mycobacterium bovis, the causal agent of bovine TB. This study argues the relevance of refining epidemiological models used to inform disease management policy to account for contact heterogeneity. PMID:18275805

  10. Quantifying Structural Physical Habitat Attributes Using Lidar and Hyperspectral Imagery (1)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Structural physical habitat attributes include indices of stream size, channel gradient, substrate size, habitat complexity, and riparian vegetation cover and structure. The Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) is designed to assess the status and trends of eco...

  11. Quantifying structural physical habitat attributes using LIDAR and hyperspectral imagery - PRK

    EPA Science Inventory

    Structural physical habitat attributes include indices of stream size, channel gradient, substrate size, habitat complexity, and riparian vegetation cover and structure. The Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) is designed to assess the status and trends of ecol...

  12. QUANTIFYING STREAM STRUCTURAL PHYSICAL HABITAT ATTRIBUTES USING LIDAR AND HYPERSPECTRAL IMAGERY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Structural physical habitat attributes include indices of stream size, channel gradient, substrate size, habitat complexity and cover, riparian vegetation cover and structure, anthropogenic disturbances and channel-riparian interaction.

  13. Fuzzy modelling of Atlantic salmon physical habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    St-Hilaire, André; Mocq, Julien; Cunjak, Richard

    2015-04-01

    Fish habitat models typically attempt to quantify the amount of available river habitat for a given fish species for various flow and hydraulic conditions. To achieve this, information on the preferred range of values of key physical habitat variables (e.g. water level, velocity, substrate diameter) for the targeted fishs pecies need to be modelled. In this context, we developed several habitat suitability indices sets for three Atlantic salmon life stages (young-of-the-year (YOY), parr, spawning adults) with the help of fuzzy logic modeling. Using the knowledge of twenty-seven experts, from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, we defined fuzzy sets of four variables (depth, substrate size, velocity and Habitat Suitability Index, or HSI) and associated fuzzy rules. When applied to the Romaine River (Canada), median curves of standardized Weighted Usable Area (WUA) were calculated and a confidence interval was obtained by bootstrap resampling. Despite the large range of WUA covered by the expert WUA curves, confidence intervals were relatively narrow: an average width of 0.095 (on a scale of 0 to 1) for spawning habitat, 0.155 for parr rearing habitat and 0.160 for YOY rearing habitat. When considering an environmental flow value corresponding to 90% of the maximum reached by WUA curve, results seem acceptable for the Romaine River. Generally, this proposed fuzzy logic method seems suitable to model habitat availability for the three life stages, while also providing an estimate of uncertainty in salmon preferences.

  14. MODELING PHYSICAL HABITAT PARAMETERS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Salmonid populations can be affected by alterations in stream physical habitat. Fish productivity is determined by the stream's physical habitat structure ( channel form, substrate distribution, riparian vegetation), water quality, flow regime and inputs from the watershed (sedim...

  15. Predictive Seagrass Habitat Model

    EPA Science Inventory

    Restoration of ecosystem services provided by seagrass habitats in estuaries requires a firm understanding of the modes of action of multiple interacting stressors including nutrients, climate change, coastal land-use change, and habitat modification. We explored the application...

  16. HABITAT ASSESSMENT METHODS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This chapter summarizes and evaluated the habitat assessment protocols of five agencies, USEPA/EMAP/SW, USGS/NAWQA, USEPA/RBP, Ohio EPA, and MDNR/MBSS. It begins with a description of the origin of the habitat indices most widely used by these agencies. Then the habitat assessmen...

  17. Biodiversity: Habitat Suitability

    EPA Science Inventory

    Habitat suitability quantifies the relationship between species and habitat, and is evaluated according to the species’ fitness (i.e. proportion of birth rate to death rate). Even though it might maximize evolutionary success, species are not always in habitat that optimizes fit...

  18. Biodiversity: Habitat Suitability

    EPA Science Inventory

    Habitat suitability quantifies the relationship between species and habitat, and is evaluated according to the species’ fitness (i.e. proportion of birth rate to death rate). Even though it might maximize evolutionary success, species are not always in habitat that optimizes fit...

  19. Urban Areas. Habitat Pac.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fish and Wildlife Service (Dept. of Interior), Washington, DC.

    The materials in this educational packet are designed for use with students in grades 4 through 7. They consist of an overview, teaching guides and student data sheets for three activities, and a poster. The overview discusses the city as an ecosystem, changing urban habitats, urban wildlife habitats, values of wildlife, habitat management, and…

  20. Surface Habitat Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kennedy, Kriss J.

    2009-01-01

    The Surface Habitat Systems (SHS) Focused Investment Group (FIG) is part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC) effort to provide a focused direction and funding to the various projects that are working on human surface habitat designs and technologies for the planetary exploration missions. The overall SHS-FIG effort focuses on directing and guiding those projects that: 1) develop and demonstrate new surface habitat system concepts, innovations, and technologies to support human exploration missions, 2) improve environmental systems that interact with human habitats, 3) handle and emplace human surface habitats, and 4) focus on supporting humans living and working in habitats on planetary surfaces. The activity areas of the SHS FIG described herein are focused on the surface habitat project near-term objectives as described in this document. The SHS-FIG effort focuses on mitigating surface habitat risks (as identified by the Lunar Surface Systems Project Office (LSSPO) Surface Habitat Element Team; and concentrates on developing surface habitat technologies as identified in the FY08 gap analysis. The surface habitat gap assessment will be updated annually as the surface architecture and surface habitat definition continues to mature. These technologies are mapped to the SHS-FIG Strategic Development Roadmap. The Roadmap will bring to light the areas where additional innovative efforts are needed to support the development of habitat concepts and designs and the development of new technologies to support of the LSSPO Habitation Element development plan. Three specific areas of development that address Lunar Architecture Team (LAT)-2 and Constellation Architecture Team (CxAT) Lunar habitat design issues or risks will be focused on by the SHS-FIG. The SHS-FIG will establish four areas of development that will help the projects prepare in their planning for surface habitat systems development. Those development areas are the 1) surface habitat concept definition, 2) inflatable surface habitat development, and 3) autonomous habitat operations, and 4) cross-cutting / systems engineering. In subsequent years, the SHS-FIG will solicit a call for innovations and technologies that will support the development of these four development areas. The other development areas will be assessed yearly and identified on the SHS-FIG s Strategic Development Roadmap. Initial investment projects that are funded by the Constellation Program Office (CxPO), LSSPO, or the Exploration Technology Development Projects (ETDP) will also be included on the Roadmap. For example, in one or two years from now, the autonomous habitat operations and testbed would collaborations with the Integrated Systems Health Management (ISHM) and Automation for Operations ETDP projects, which will give the surface habitat projects an integrated habitat autonomy testbed to test software and systems. The SHS-FIG scope is to provide focused direction for multiple innovations, technologies and subsystems that are needed to support humans at a remote planetary surface habitat during the concept development, design definition, and integration phases of that project. Subsystems include: habitability, lightweight structures, power management, communications, autonomy, deployment, outfitting, life support, wireless connectivity, lighting, thermal and more.

  1. Habitat Specialization in Tropical Continental Shelf Demersal Fish Assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Fitzpatrick, Ben M.; Harvey, Euan S.; Heyward, Andrew J.; Twiggs, Emily J.; Colquhoun, Jamie

    2012-01-01

    The implications of shallow water impacts such as fishing and climate change on fish assemblages are generally considered in isolation from the distribution and abundance of these fish assemblages in adjacent deeper waters. We investigate the abundance and length of demersal fish assemblages across a section of tropical continental shelf at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia, to identify fish and fish habitat relationships across steep gradients in depth and in different benthic habitat types. The assemblage composition of demersal fish were assessed from baited remote underwater stereo-video samples (n?=?304) collected from 16 depth and habitat combinations. Samples were collected across a depth range poorly represented in the literature from the fringing reef lagoon (1–10 m depth), down the fore reef slope to the reef base (10–30 m depth) then across the adjacent continental shelf (30–110 m depth). Multivariate analyses showed that there were distinctive fish assemblages and different sized fish were associated with each habitat/depth category. Species richness, MaxN and diversity declined with depth, while average length and trophic level increased. The assemblage structure, diversity, size and trophic structure of demersal fishes changes from shallow inshore habitats to deeper water habitats. More habitat specialists (unique species per habitat/depth category) were associated with the reef slope and reef base than other habitats, but offshore sponge-dominated habitats and inshore coral-dominated reef also supported unique species. This suggests that marine protected areas in shallow coral-dominated reef habitats may not adequately protect those species whose depth distribution extends beyond shallow habitats, or other significant elements of demersal fish biodiversity. The ontogenetic habitat partitioning which is characteristic of many species, suggests that to maintain entire species life histories it is necessary to protect corridors of connected habitats through which fish can migrate. PMID:22761852

  2. The Habitat Project

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hein, Annamae J.

    2011-01-01

    The Habitat Project is a multiday, differentiated, interdisciplinary environmental science lesson that incorporates skill-building and motivational strategies to internalize ecosystem vocabulary. Middle school students research an animal, display its physical characteristics on a poster, build a three-dimensional habitat and present their work…

  3. The Habitat Project

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hein, Annamae J.

    2011-01-01

    The Habitat Project is a multiday, differentiated, interdisciplinary environmental science lesson that incorporates skill-building and motivational strategies to internalize ecosystem vocabulary. Middle school students research an animal, display its physical characteristics on a poster, build a three-dimensional habitat and present their work…

  4. Schoolyard Habitat Project Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mason, Rich

    This project aims to provide basic steps for students to restore and create wildlife habitats on school grounds. Four chapters are included in this guide, and each chapter is divided into teacher and student sections. Chapter 1 provides necessary information for starting a habitat project. Chapters 2, 3, and 4 discuss the details for the Forest…

  5. Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Handbook.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neilson, Edward L., Jr.; Benson, Delwin E.

    The National 4-H Wildlife Invitational is a competitive event to teach youth about the fundamentals of wildlife management. Youth learn that management for wildlife means management of wildlife habitat and providing for the needs of wildlife. This handbook provides information about wildlife habitat management concepts in both urban and rural…

  6. Habitat-based polymorphism is common in stream fishes.

    PubMed

    Senay, Caroline; Boisclair, Daniel; Peres-Neto, Pedro R

    2015-01-01

    Morphological differences (size and shape) across habitats are common in lake fish where differences relate to two dominant contrasting habitats: the pelagic and littoral habitat. Repeated occurrence of littoral and pelagic morphs across multiple populations of several lake fish species has been considered as important evidence that polymorphism is adaptive in these systems. It has been suggested that these habitat-based polymorphic differences are due to the temporal stability of the differences between littoral and pelagic habitats. Although streams are spatially heterogeneous, they are also more temporally dynamic than lakes and it is still an open question whether streams provide the environmental conditions that promote habitat-based polymorphism. We tested whether fish from riffle, run and pool habitats, respectively, differed consistently in their morphology. Our test compared patterns of morphological variation (size and shape) in 10 fish species from the three stream habitat types in 36 separate streams distributed across three watersheds. For most species, body size and shape (after controlling for body size) differed across riffle, run and pool habitats. Unlike many lake species, the nature of these differences was not consistent across species, possibly because these species use these habitat types in different ways. Our results suggest that habitat-based polymorphism is an important feature also in stream fishes despite the fact that streams are temporally variable in contrast to lake systems. Future research is required to assess whether the patterns of habitat-based polymorphism encountered in streams have a genetic basis or they are simply the result of within generation phenotypic plasticity. PMID:25041645

  7. Habitat Loss, Not Fragmentation, Drives Occurrence Patterns of Canada Lynx at the Southern Range Periphery

    PubMed Central

    Hornseth, Megan L.; Walpole, Aaron A.; Walton, Lyle R.; Bowman, Jeff; Ray, Justina C.; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Murray, Dennis L.

    2014-01-01

    Peripheral populations often experience more extreme environmental conditions than those in the centre of a species' range. Such extreme conditions include habitat loss, defined as a reduction in the amount of suitable habitat, as well as habitat fragmentation, which involves the breaking apart of habitat independent of habitat loss. The ‘threshold hypothesis’ predicts that organisms will be more affected by habitat fragmentation when the amount of habitat on the landscape is scarce (i.e., less than 30%) than when habitat is abundant, implying that habitat fragmentation may compound habitat loss through changes in patch size and configuration. Alternatively, the ‘flexibility hypothesis’ predicts that individuals may respond to increased habitat disturbance by altering their selection patterns and thereby reducing sensitivity to habitat loss and fragmentation. While the range of Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) has contracted during recent decades, the relative importance of habitat loss and habitat fragmentation on this phenomenon is poorly understood. We used a habitat suitability model for lynx to identify suitable land cover in Ontario, and contrasted occupancy patterns across landscapes differing in cover, to test the ‘threshold hypothesis’ and ‘flexibility hypothesis’. When suitable land cover was widely available, lynx avoided areas with less than 30% habitat and were unaffected by habitat fragmentation. However, on landscapes with minimal suitable land cover, lynx occurrence was not related to either habitat loss or habitat fragmentation, indicating support for the ‘flexibility hypothesis’. We conclude that lynx are broadly affected by habitat loss, and not specifically by habitat fragmentation, although occurrence patterns are flexible and dependent on landscape condition. We suggest that lynx may alter their habitat selection patterns depending on local conditions, thereby reducing their sensitivity to anthropogenically-driven habitat alteration. PMID:25401737

  8. Habitat loss, not fragmentation, drives occurrence patterns of Canada lynx at the southern range periphery.

    PubMed

    Hornseth, Megan L; Walpole, Aaron A; Walton, Lyle R; Bowman, Jeff; Ray, Justina C; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Murray, Dennis L

    2014-01-01

    Peripheral populations often experience more extreme environmental conditions than those in the centre of a species' range. Such extreme conditions include habitat loss, defined as a reduction in the amount of suitable habitat, as well as habitat fragmentation, which involves the breaking apart of habitat independent of habitat loss. The 'threshold hypothesis' predicts that organisms will be more affected by habitat fragmentation when the amount of habitat on the landscape is scarce (i.e., less than 30%) than when habitat is abundant, implying that habitat fragmentation may compound habitat loss through changes in patch size and configuration. Alternatively, the 'flexibility hypothesis' predicts that individuals may respond to increased habitat disturbance by altering their selection patterns and thereby reducing sensitivity to habitat loss and fragmentation. While the range of Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) has contracted during recent decades, the relative importance of habitat loss and habitat fragmentation on this phenomenon is poorly understood. We used a habitat suitability model for lynx to identify suitable land cover in Ontario, and contrasted occupancy patterns across landscapes differing in cover, to test the 'threshold hypothesis' and 'flexibility hypothesis'. When suitable land cover was widely available, lynx avoided areas with less than 30% habitat and were unaffected by habitat fragmentation. However, on landscapes with minimal suitable land cover, lynx occurrence was not related to either habitat loss or habitat fragmentation, indicating support for the 'flexibility hypothesis'. We conclude that lynx are broadly affected by habitat loss, and not specifically by habitat fragmentation, although occurrence patterns are flexible and dependent on landscape condition. We suggest that lynx may alter their habitat selection patterns depending on local conditions, thereby reducing their sensitivity to anthropogenically-driven habitat alteration. PMID:25401737

  9. PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINATION OF SEDIMENT PARTICLE SIZE (GRAIN SIZE)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Sediment quality and sediment remediation projects have become a high priority for USEPA. Sediment particle size determinations are used in environmental assessments for habitat characterization, chemical normalization, and partitioning potential of chemicals. The accepted met...

  10. Testing Geomorphic Controls on Salmonid Spawning Habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pfeiffer, A.; Finnegan, N. J.

    2014-12-01

    The physical architecture of a landscape, as recorded in topography, is a major factor driving the spatial distribution of river habitat within a catchment. For this reason, predictive geomorphic models for fluvial characteristics, particularly grain size, have been suggested as possible contributors to salmonid habitat identification efforts. However, to our knowledge, no work has been done to both implement geomorphic predictions of reach-scale grain size and then test those predictions with salmonid habitat use data. We present a physically-based, empirically calibrated approach to predicting grain size distributions from high resolution LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging)-derived topographic data. This approach builds on previous efforts in that it predicts the full grain size distribution, rather than just median grain size, and incorporates an empirically calibrated shear stress partitioning factor. We use the predicted grain size distributions to calculate the fraction of the bed area movable by salmon of a given size, which we then compare to 7 years of steelhead trout and coho salmon spawning survey data for a 77 km2 watershed along the central California Coast. We find that grain size explains the paucity of spawning in the upper reaches of the drainage, but does not explain variation within the mainstem. In order to explain the residuals in spawning within the mainstem, we turn to the spacing of riffle bedforms. Field surveys of riffle spacing explain 64% of the variation in spawning in these reaches, suggesting that spawning is ultimately limited by the availability of riffles. Because riffle spacing varies systematically with channel width, we show that predicting riffle spacing is feasible with LiDAR data. Taken together, these findings highlight both the value and limitations of a grain-size focused approach to habitat prediction, and suggest that such approaches should be used in concert with predictions of channel bed morphology.

  11. Anopheline Larval Habitats Seasonality and Species Distribution: A Prerequisite for Effective Targeted Larval Habitats Control Programmes

    PubMed Central

    Kweka, Eliningaya J.; Zhou, Guofa; Munga, Stephen; Lee, Ming-Chieh; Atieli, Harrysone E.; Nyindo, Mramba; Githeko, Andrew K.; Yan, Guiyun

    2012-01-01

    Background Larval control is of paramount importance in the reduction of malaria vector abundance and subsequent disease transmission reduction. Understanding larval habitat succession and its ecology in different land use managements and cropping systems can give an insight for effective larval source management practices. This study investigated larval habitat succession and ecological parameters which influence larval abundance in malaria epidemic prone areas of western Kenya. Methods and Findings A total of 51 aquatic habitats positive for anopheline larvae were surveyed and visited once a week for a period of 85 weeks in succession. Habitats were selected and identified. Mosquito larval species, physico-chemical parameters, habitat size, grass cover, crop cycle and distance to nearest house were recorded. Polymerase chain reaction revealed that An. gambiae s.l was the most dominant vector species comprised of An.gambiae s.s (77.60%) and An.arabiensis (18.34%), the remaining 4.06% had no amplification by polymerase chain reaction. Physico-chemical parameters and habitat size significantly influenced abundance of An. gambiae s.s (P?=?0.024) and An. arabiensis (P?=?0.002) larvae. Further, larval species abundance was influenced by crop cycle (P?0.001), grass cover (P?0.001), while distance to nearest houses significantly influenced the abundance of mosquito species larvae (r?=?0.920;P?0.001). The number of predator species influenced mosquito larval abundance in different habitat types. Crop weeding significantly influenced with the abundance of An.gambiae s.l (P?0.001) when preceded with fertilizer application. Significantly higher anopheline larval abundance was recorded in habitats in pasture compared to farmland (P?=?0.002). When habitat stability and habitat types were considered, hoof print were the most productive followed by disused goldmines. Conclusion These findings suggest that implementation of effective larval control programme should be targeted with larval habitats succession information when larval habitats are fewer and manageable. Crop cycles and distance from habitats to household should be considered as effective information in planning larval control. PMID:23272215

  12. Lunar Habitat Optimization Using Genetic Algorithms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    SanScoucie, M. P.; Hull, P. V.; Tinker, M. L.; Dozier, G. V.

    2007-01-01

    Long-duration surface missions to the Moon and Mars will require bases to accommodate habitats for the astronauts. Transporting the materials and equipment required to build the necessary habitats is costly and difficult. The materials chosen for the habitat walls play a direct role in protection against each of the mentioned hazards. Choosing the best materials, their configuration, and the amount required is extremely difficult due to the immense size of the design region. Clearly, an optimization method is warranted for habitat wall design. Standard optimization techniques are not suitable for problems with such large search spaces; therefore, a habitat wall design tool utilizing genetic algorithms (GAs) has been developed. GAs use a "survival of the fittest" philosophy where the most fit individuals are more likely to survive and reproduce. This habitat design optimization tool is a multiobjective formulation of up-mass, heat loss, structural analysis, meteoroid impact protection, and radiation protection. This Technical Publication presents the research and development of this tool as well as a technique for finding the optimal GA search parameters.

  13. Sensitivity analysis of physiological factors in space habitat design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Billingham, J.

    1982-01-01

    The costs incurred by design conservatism in space habitat design are discussed from a structural standpoint, and areas of physiological research into less than earth-normal conditions that offer the greatest potential decrease in habitat construction and operating costs are studied. The established range of human tolerance limits is defined for those physiological conditions which directly affect habitat structural design. These entire ranges or portions thereof are set as habitat design constraints as a function of habitat population and degree of ecological closure. Calculations are performed to determine the structural weight and cost associated with each discrete population size and its selected environmental conditions, on the basis of habitable volume equivalence for four basic habitat configurations: sphere, cylinder with hemispherical ends, torus, and crystal palace.

  14. Electrogenic Cl(-) secretion does not occur in the ileum of the Australian common brushtail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula, due to low levels of expression of the NaK2Cl cotransporter, NKCC1.

    PubMed

    Bartolo, Ray C; Harfoot, Natalie; Gill, Mike; Demmers, Kristy; McLeod, Bernie; Butt, A Grant

    2009-11-01

    The colon of the brushtail possum does not have an electrogenic secretory response. Given the functional significance of electrogenic Cl(-) secretion in the intestine of eutherian mammals, we have investigated the secretory response in the small intestine of this marsupial. In the Ussing chamber cAMP-dependent secretagogues stimulated a sustained increase in ileal short-circuit current (Isc), whereas Ca(2+)-dependent secretagogues induced a transient increase. Both the responses were inhibited by mucosal addition of the anion channel blocker 5-nitro-2-(3-phenylpropylamino) benzoic acid (100 mciromol l(-1)), consistent with an anion secretory response. However, the responses were not inhibited by serosal bumetanide (10 mciromol l(-1)) and were independent of bath Cl(-), indicating that the stimulated ileal Isc does not involve electrogenic Cl(-) secretion driven by the NaK2Cl cotransporter, NKCC1. Consistent with this, there were low levels of NKCC1 expression in the ileal epithelium. In particular, NKCC1 expression in the ileal crypt cells was comparable to that of the villous cells. This differs from eutherian mammals where high levels of NKCC1 expression in the ileal crypt cells are associated with their role in Cl(-) secretion. The cAMP- and Ca(2+)-dependent secretory responses were inhibited by the removal of HCO(3) (-) suggesting that these responses were due to electrogenic HCO(3) (-) secretion. We conclude that the ileum of the possum does not secrete Cl(-) due to low levels of NKCC1 expression. It does however appear to secrete HCO(3) (-). These results are further significant examples of differences in the transport function of the possum intestinal epithelium compared with eutherian mammals. PMID:19565248

  15. Specialization in habitat use by coral reef damselfishes and their susceptibility to habitat loss

    PubMed Central

    Pratchett, Morgan S; Coker, Darren J; Jones, Geoffrey P; Munday, Philip L

    2012-01-01

    While it is generally assumed that specialist species are more vulnerable to disturbance compared with generalist counterparts, this has rarely been tested in coastal marine ecosystems, which are increasingly subject to a wide range of natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Habitat specialists are expected to be more vulnerable to habitat loss because habitat availability exerts a greater limitation on population size, but it is also possible that specialist species may escape effects of disturbance if they use habitats that are generally resilient to disturbance. This study quantified specificity in use of different coral species by six coral-dwelling damselfishes (Chromis viridis, C. atripectoralis, Dascyllus aruanus, D. reticulatus, Pomacentrus moluccensis, and P. amboinensis) and related habitat specialization to proportional declines in their abundance following habitat degradation caused by outbreaks of the coral eating starfish, Acanthaster planci. The coral species preferred by most coral-dwelling damselfishes (e.g., Pocillopora damicornis) were frequently consumed by coral eating crown-of-thorns starfish, such that highly specialized damselfishes were disproportionately affected by coral depletion, despite using a narrower range of different coral species. Vulnerability of damselfishes to this disturbance was strongly correlated with both their reliance on corals and their degree of habitat specialization. Ongoing disturbances to coral reef ecosystems are expected, therefore, to lead to fundamental shifts in the community structure of fish communities where generalists are favored over highly specialist species. PMID:23139876

  16. Specialization in habitat use by coral reef damselfishes and their susceptibility to habitat loss.

    PubMed

    Pratchett, Morgan S; Coker, Darren J; Jones, Geoffrey P; Munday, Philip L

    2012-09-01

    While it is generally assumed that specialist species are more vulnerable to disturbance compared with generalist counterparts, this has rarely been tested in coastal marine ecosystems, which are increasingly subject to a wide range of natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Habitat specialists are expected to be more vulnerable to habitat loss because habitat availability exerts a greater limitation on population size, but it is also possible that specialist species may escape effects of disturbance if they use habitats that are generally resilient to disturbance. This study quantified specificity in use of different coral species by six coral-dwelling damselfishes (Chromis viridis, C. atripectoralis, Dascyllus aruanus, D. reticulatus, Pomacentrus moluccensis, and P. amboinensis) and related habitat specialization to proportional declines in their abundance following habitat degradation caused by outbreaks of the coral eating starfish, Acanthaster planci. The coral species preferred by most coral-dwelling damselfishes (e.g., Pocillopora damicornis) were frequently consumed by coral eating crown-of-thorns starfish, such that highly specialized damselfishes were disproportionately affected by coral depletion, despite using a narrower range of different coral species. Vulnerability of damselfishes to this disturbance was strongly correlated with both their reliance on corals and their degree of habitat specialization. Ongoing disturbances to coral reef ecosystems are expected, therefore, to lead to fundamental shifts in the community structure of fish communities where generalists are favored over highly specialist species. PMID:23139876

  17. Lugworm ( Abarenicola affinis) in seagrass and unvegetated habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goerlitz, Stefan; Berkenbusch, Katrin; Probert, P. Keith

    2015-06-01

    In Otago, southern New Zealand, the lugworm Abarenicola affinis resides in neighbouring tidal inlets with and without seagrass ( Zostera muelleri). A comparison of abundance, body size and biomass of A. affinis between seagrass habitat (Papanui Inlet) and unvegetated habitat (Hoopers Inlet) showed little seasonal variation of these parameters in each habitat and relatively similar abundances between both habitats. In contrast, lugworm biomass was considerably lower in the seagrass habitat due to the lack of large individuals compared with unvegetated habitat. In the seagrass habitat, there was a significant negative influence of Z. muelleri below-ground biomass on abundance and biomass of A. affinis, indicating that seagrass affected lugworm burrowing and/or feeding processes. In contrast to the unvegetated habitat, where lugworms spread relatively evenly across the intertidal area, lugworms were mostly restricted to the upper intertidal zone in the seagrass habitat. The findings suggest that the extensive seagrass bed in the mid and low intertidal zones of Papanui Inlet limited lugworm distribution in an otherwise suitable habitat. Whereas small lugworms colonised seagrass areas, the largest individuals occurred only in unvegetated sediment and seemed to be more hampered by the presence of seagrass than smaller individuals. The findings highlight negative feedback between antagonistic ecosystem engineers, with the potential of seagrass physical structures (autogenic engineering) to impact negatively on lugworm activity (allogenic engineering).

  18. Global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity of mammalian carnivore habitat

    PubMed Central

    Crooks, Kevin R.; Burdett, Christopher L.; Theobald, David M.; Rondinini, Carlo; Boitani, Luigi

    2011-01-01

    Although mammalian carnivores are vulnerable to habitat fragmentation and require landscape connectivity, their global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity have not been examined. We use recently developed high-resolution habitat suitability models to conduct comparative analyses and to identify global hotspots of fragmentation and connectivity for the world's terrestrial carnivores. Species with less fragmentation (i.e. more interior high-quality habitat) had larger geographical ranges, a greater proportion of habitat within their range, greater habitat connectivity and a lower risk of extinction. Species with higher connectivity (i.e. less habitat isolation) also had a greater proportion of high-quality habitat, but had smaller, not larger, ranges, probably reflecting shorter distances between habitat patches for species with restricted distributions; such species were also more threatened, as would be expected given the negative relationship between range size and extinction risk. Fragmentation and connectivity did not differ among Carnivora families, and body mass was associated with connectivity but not fragmentation. On average, only 54.3 per cent of a species' geographical range comprised high-quality habitat, and more troubling, only 5.2 per cent of the range comprised such habitat within protected areas. Identification of global hotspots of fragmentation and connectivity will help guide strategic priorities for carnivore conservation. PMID:21844043

  19. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Fallfish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Trial, Joan G.; Wade, Charles S.; Stanley, Jon G.; Nelson, Patrick C.

    1983-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop riverine and lacustrine habitat models for fallfish (Semotilis corporalis), a freshwater species. The models are scaled to produce an index of habitat suitability between 0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1 (optimally suitable habitat) for freshwater, marine and estuarine areas of the continental United States. Habitat suitability indexes (HSI's) are designed for use with the habitat evaluation procedures developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Also included are discussions of Suitability Index (SI) curves as used in the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM) and SI curves available for an IFIM analysis of Fallfish habitat.

  20. Modeling habitat suitability for Greater Rheas based on satellite image texture.

    PubMed

    Bellis, Laura M; Pidgeon, Anna M; Radeloff, Volker C; St-Louis, Véronique; Navarro, Joaquín L; Martella, Mónica B

    2008-12-01

    Many wild species are affected by human activities occurring at broad spatial scales. For instance, in South America, habitat loss threatens Greater Rhea (Rhea americana) populations, making it important to model and map their habitat to better target conservation efforts. Spatially explicit habitat modeling is a powerful approach to understand and predict species occurrence and abundance. One problem with this approach is that commonly used land cover classifications do not capture the variability within a given land cover class that might constitute important habitat attribute information. Texture measures derived from remote sensing images quantify the variability in habitat features among and within habitat types; hence they are potentially a powerful tool to assess species-habitat relationships. Our goal was to explore the utility of texture measures for habitat modeling and to develop a habitat suitability map for Greater Rheas at the home range level in grasslands of Argentina. Greater Rhea group size obtained from aerial surveys was regressed against distance to roads, houses, and water, and land cover class abundance (dicotyledons, crops, grassland, forest, and bare soil), normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and selected first- and second-order texture measures derived from Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) imagery. Among univariate models, Rhea group size was most strongly positively correlated with texture variables derived from near infrared reflectance measurement (TM band 4). The best multiple regression models explained 78% of the variability in Greater Rhea group size. Our results suggest that texture variables captured habitat heterogeneity that the conventional land cover classification did not detect. We used Greater Rhea group size as an indicator of habitat suitability; we categorized model output into different habitat quality classes. Only 16% of the study area represented high-quality habitat for Greater Rheas (group size > or =15). Our results stress the potential of image texture to capture within-habitat variability in habitat assessments, and the necessity to preserve the remaining natural habitat for Greater Rheas. PMID:19263890

  1. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Pronghorn

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, Arthur W.; Cook, John G.; Armbruster, Michael J.

    1984-01-01

    This is one of a series of publications that provide information on the habitat requirements of selected fish and wildlife species. Literature describing the relationship between habitat variables related to life requisites and habitat suitability for the pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) are synthesized. These data are subsequently used to develop Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models. The HSI models are designed to provide information that can be used in impact assessment and habitat management.

  2. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Bullfrog

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graves, Brent M.; Anderson, Stanley H.

    1987-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  3. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Bobcat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyle, Katherine A.; Fendley, Timothy T.

    1987-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the bobcat (Felis rufus). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  4. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Osprey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vana-Miller, Sandra L.

    1987-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the osprey (Pandion haliaetus). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  5. The distribution of groundwater habitats in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornu, Jean-François; Eme, David; Malard, Florian

    2013-08-01

    Globalization and planetary environmental changes have stimulated the inventory of groundwater resources and biodiversity at continental and global scales but there has been no concurrent attempt to map the distribution of groundwater habitats even at continental scale. A vector version of the areal information contained in the international hydrogeological map of Europe (IHME) was produced, and thematic indicators for assessing its accuracy were established. Then, groundwater flow type, permeability and pore size were extracted from the vector IHME to define and map the distribution of 13 habitat types. The habitat map was used to test for latitudinal variations in habitat diversity (HD) and whether these variations might in part account for the latitudinal gradient of regional species richness. The HD of river catchments decreased significantly with increasing latitude after correcting for the effect of catchment area. HD decreased by half the amount of deviance attributed to latitude in a regression model of regional species richness, although the explanatory power of HD was probably limited by the coarse resolution of biogeographical regions. The groundwater habitat map of Europe represents a major step for the understanding, assessment and conservation of groundwater biodiversity and for incorporating ecological perspectives in groundwater management policy.

  6. Habitat goes green

    SciTech Connect

    Kriescher, P.; Smith, M.

    1999-12-01

    A Denver family enjoys the financial and personal benefits of owning an affordable, energy-efficient home. On Earth Day, April 22, 1997, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver witnessed the realization of a dream. As Luis and Estella Valadez and their four children cut the ribbon on their 1,100 square foot (102 m{sup 2}) northwest Denver home, it signified the completion of the Denver Habitat affiliate's first ``Green'' home. Building this dream involved developing a plan to build affordable Habitat homes that also embodied a sense of stewardship of the Earth's environment. The affiliate also wanted to use this effort to achieve the additional goal of reducing the homeowner's utility and maintenance bills.

  7. Contact patterns as a risk factor for bovine tuberculosis infection in a free-living adult brushtail possum Trichosurus vulpecula population.

    PubMed

    Porphyre, T; McKenzie, J; Stevenson, M A

    2011-07-01

    The aim of this study was to identify risk factors for bovine tuberculosis (TB) in a free-roaming, capture-mark-recapture monitored possum Trichosurus vulpecula population in a 22-ha study site at Castlepoint, New Zealand from 1 April 1989 to 31 March 1994. A matched case-control design was used to evaluate the influence of sex, habitat and contact opportunities on TB risk. Cases comprised possums identified as TB-positive throughout the study period. Controls were selected from the group of possums that were captured and showed no clinical signs of TB throughout the study period. Measures derived from a social network analysis of possum capture locations such as degree, clustering coefficient (CC) and betweenness were used to represent potential contact opportunities among possums. Network analysis measures recorded for individual possums in the 12-month period before a diagnosis of TB were evaluated in a conditional logistic regression model. We found no evidence of an association between case status and the total number of possums with which there was potential contact (degree) (P=0.5). The odds of cases being exposed to unit increases in the number of TB-positive contacts was 2.50 (95% CI 1.24-5.05; P<0.01) times that of controls. This effect was conditional on the total number of potential contacts made, with a negative interaction with increasing degree. These findings indicate that potential contact with TB-positive possums increases the odds of disease whereas potential contact with large numbers of possums does not. This suggests that multiple contacts with TB-positive possum(s) are necessary for transmission of TB and this is more likely to occur in networks that are smaller. We challenge the hypothesis that contact with large numbers of individuals increases the probability of becoming TB infected and argue that individual contact behaviour is a determinant of the creation of TB foci within free-living possum populations. PMID:21550126

  8. Comparative habitat use in a juniper woodland bird community

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pavlacky, D.C., Jr.; Anderson, S.H.

    2004-01-01

    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 height, seedling/sapling cover, and bare ground/rock cover. Of 14 species considered, 9 exhibited substantial habitat partitioning: Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura), Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea), Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides), Plumbeous Vireo (Vireo plumbeus), Green-tailed Towhee (Pipilo chlorurus), Brewer's Sparrow (Spizella breweri), Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis), and Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii). Our results indicate juniper bird communities of southwestern Wyoming are organized along a 3-dimensional habitat gradient composed of woodland maturity, elevation, and juniper recruitment. Because juniper birds partition habitat along successional and altitudinal gradients, indiscriminate woodland clearing as well as continued fire suppression will alter species composition. Restoration efforts should ensure that all successional stages of juniper woodland are present on the landscape.

  9. Determinants of Habitat Selection by Hatchling Australian Freshwater Crocodiles

    PubMed Central

    Somaweera, Ruchira; Webb, Jonathan K.; Shine, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Animals almost always use habitats non-randomly, but the costs and benefits of using specific habitat types remain unknown for many types of organisms. In a large lake in northwestern Australia (Lake Argyle), most hatchling (<12-month-old) freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni) are found in floating vegetation mats or grassy banks rather than the more widely available open banks. Mean body sizes of young crocodiles did not differ among the three habitat types. We tested four potential explanations for non-random habitat selection: proximity to nesting sites, thermal conditions, food availability, and exposure to predation. The three alternative habitat types did not differ in proximity to nesting sites, or in thermal conditions. Habitats with higher food availability harboured more hatchlings, and feeding rates (obtained by stomach-flushing of recently-captured crocodiles) were highest in such areas. Predation risk may also differ among habitats: we were twice as likely to capture a crocodile after seeing it in open-bank sites than in the other two habitat types. Thus, habitat selection of hatchling crocodiles in this system may be driven both by prey availability and by predation risk. PMID:22163308

  10. Seasonal variation in habitat use by marsh fishes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jordan, F.; Babbitt, K. J.; McIvor, C. C.

    1998-01-01

    We used I-m2 throw traps to examine habitat use by smallsized fishes within a mosaic of wet prairies and sloughs in the headwaters of the St. Johns River, Florida between August 1992 and November 1995. Estimates of total fish density and biomass varied temporally, but did not differ significantly between habitats. Patterns of habitat use, however, differed among the five numerically dominant species. Bluefin killifish, mosquitofish, and golden topminnows were more abundant in sloughs than in wet prairies. In contrast, Everglades pygmy sunfish were more abundant in wet prairies than in sloughs. Finally, the abundance of least killifish did not differ between habitats. Fish densities were positively correlated with plant biomass (i. e., habitat complexity) and negatively correlated with water depth (i. e., hydrology). Species richness and composition were similar among habitats. However, consistent differences in the relative abundance of numerically dominant species between habitats indicated some degree of habitat-specific assemblage structure. Most species were concentrated into deeper sloughs during drying events. This assemblage of small-sized fishes appears to respond relatively rapidly to changes in habitat structure and hydrologic conditions. We therefore recommend that resource managers consider using fishes as indicator taxa to evaluate the efficacy of ongoing restoration and management efforts in wetland systems.

  11. Habitat assessment for giant pandas in the Qinling Mountain region of China

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Feng, Tian-Tian; Van Manen, Frank T.; Zhao, Na-Xun; Li, Ming; Wei, Fu-Wen

    2009-01-01

    Because habitat loss and fragmentation threaten giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), habitat protection and restoration are important conservation measures for this endangered species. However, distribution and value of potential habitat to giant pandas on a regional scale are not fully known. Therefore, we identified and ranked giant panda habitat in Foping Nature Reserve, Guanyinshan Nature Reserve, and adjacent areas in the Qinling Mountains of China. We used Mahalanobis distance and 11 digital habitat layers to develop a multivariate habitat signature associated with 247 surveyed giant panda locations, which we then applied to the study region. We identified approximately 128 km2 of giant panda habitat in Foping Nature Reserve (43.6% of the reserve) and 49 km2 in Guanyinshan Nature Reserve (33.6% of the reserve). We defined core habitat areas by incorporating a minimum patch-size criterion (5.5 km2) based on home-range size. Percentage of core habitat area was higher in Foping Nature Reserve (41.8% of the reserve) than Guanyinshan Nature Reserve (26.3% of the reserve). Within the larger analysis region, Foping Nature Reserve contained 32.7% of all core habitat areas we identified, indicating regional importance of the reserve. We observed a negative relationship between distribution of core areas and presence of roads and small villages. Protection of giant panda habitat at lower elevations and improvement of habitat linkages among core habitat areas are important in a regional approach to giant panda conservation.

  12. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Beaver

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, Arthur W.

    1982-01-01

    Habitat preferences of the beaver (Castor canadensis) are described in this publication, which is one of a series of Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models. Habitat use information is presented in a synthesis of the literature on the species-habitat requirements of the beaver, followed by the development of the HSI model. The model is designed to provide information for use in impact assessment and habitat management activities, and should be used in conjunction with habitat evaluation procedures previously developed by the Fish and Wildlife Service. This revised model updates the original publication dated September 1982.

  13. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Marten

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, Arthur W.

    1982-01-01

    Habitat preferences and species characteristics of the pine marten (Martes americana) are described in this publication. It is one of a series of Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models and was developed through an analysis of available scientific data on the species-habitat requirements of the pine marten. Habitat use information is presented in a review of the literature, followed by the development of a HSI model. The model is presented in three formats: graphic, word and mathematical. Suitability index graphs quantify the species-habitat relationship. These data are then synthesized into a model which is designed to provide information for use in impact assessment and habitat management activities.

  14. Habitat Suitability Information: Blacknose Dace

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Trial, Joan G.; Stanley, Jon G.; Batcheller, Mary; Gebhart, Gary; Maughan, O. Eugene; Nelson, Patrick C.

    1983-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop riverine and lacustrine habitat models for Blacknose dace, a freshwater species. The models are scaled to produce an index of habitat suitability between 0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1 (optimally suitable habitat) for freshwater, marine, and estuarine areas of the continental United States. Habitat suitability indexes (HSI's) are designed for use with the habitat evaluation procedures developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Also included are discussions of Suitability Index (SI) curves as used in the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM) and SI curves available for an IFIM analysis of Blacknose dace.

  15. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Veery

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sousa, Patrick J.

    1982-01-01

    Habitat preferences and species characteristics of the veery (Catharus fuscesens) are described in this publication. It is one of a series of Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models and was developed through an analysis of available scientific data on the habitat requirements of the veery. Habitat use information is presented in a review of the literature, followed by the development of an HSI model. The model is presented in three formats: graphic; word; and mathematical. Suitability index graphs quantify the species-habitat relationship. These data are synthesized into a model designed to provide information for use in impact assessment and habitat management.

  16. Modeling sensitive elasmobranch habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pennino, M. Grazia; Muñoz, Facundo; Conesa, David; López-Quílez, Antonio; Bellido, José Marí; a

    2013-10-01

    Basic information on the distribution and habitat preferences of ecologically important species is essential for their management and protection. In the Mediterranean Sea there is increasing concern over elasmobranch species because their biological (ecological) characteristics make them highly vulnerable to fishing pressure. Their removal could affect the structure and function of marine ecosystems, inducing changes in trophic interactions at the community level due to the selective elimination of predators or prey species, competitors and species replacement. In this study Bayesian hierarchical spatial models are used to map the sensitive habitats of the three most caught elasmobranch species (Galeus melastomus, Scyliorhinus canicula, Etmopterus spinax) in the western Mediterranean Sea, based on fishery-dependent bottom trawl data. Results show that habitats associated with hard substrata and sandy beds, mainly in deep waters and with a high seabed gradient, have a greater probability registering the presence of the studied species than those associated with muddy shallow waters. Temperature and chlorophyll-? concentration show a negative relationship with S. canicula occurrence. Our results identify some of the sensitive habitats for elasmobranchs in the western Mediterranean Sea (GSA06 South), providing essential and easy-to-use interpretation tools, such as predictive distribution maps, with the final aim of improving management and conservation of these vulnerable species.

  17. Inflatable Habitat Structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kennedy, Kriss J.

    1993-01-01

    Report describes proposed inflatable habitat structure used during exploration of Moon or Mars. Provides living and working space for 12 crewmembers and includes horizontal cylindrical skin 8 m in diameter and 45 m long. Skin encloses floors and arch frame, supported by exostructure on foundations.

  18. Kootenai River Habitat Restoration

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    Constructed channel features and changes in the Phase 1A side channel restoration area of the Kootenai River near Bonners Ferry, Idaho. The Kootenai Tribe of Idaho is managing a large-scale, ecosystem-based river habitat restoration effort that will be implemented over a period of 10 to 15 years acr...

  19. MAINE MARINE WORM HABITAT

    EPA Science Inventory

    WORM provides a generalized representation at 1:24,000 scale of commercially harvested marine worm habitat in Maine, based on Maine Department of Marine Resources data from 1970's. Original maps were created by MDMR and published by USF&WS as part of the ""&quo...

  20. Earth is a Marine Habitat. Habitat Conservation Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (DOC), Rockville, MD.

    This brochure is intended to educate the public about the need to conserve and preserve the earth's environment (man's habitat). It contains an introduction to the ocean world and threats to coastal habitat. Photos and narrative revolve around the theme "Earth is a Marine Habitat." Sections include: "The Web of Life,""Oceans and the United…

  1. Managing harvest and habitat as integrated components

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Osnas, Erik; Runge, Michael C.; Mattsson, Brady J.; Austin, Jane E.; Boomer, G. S.; Clark, R. G.; Devers, P.; Eadie, J. M.; Lonsdorf, E. V.; Tavernia, Brian

    2014-01-01

    In 2007, several important initiatives in the North American waterfowl management community called for an integrated approach to habitat and harvest management. The essence of the call for integration is that harvest and habitat management affect the same resources, yet exist as separate endeavours with very different regulatory contexts. A common modelling framework could help these management streams to better understand their mutual effects. Particularly, how does successful habitat management increase harvest potential? Also, how do regional habitat programmes and large-scale harvest strategies affect continental population sizes (a metric used to express habitat goals)? In the ensuing five years, several projects took on different aspects of these challenges. While all of these projects are still on-going, and are not yet sufficiently developed to produce guidance for management decisions, they have been influential in expanding the dialogue and producing some important emerging lessons. The first lesson has been that one of the more difficult aspects of integration is not the integration across decision contexts, but the integration across spatial and temporal scales. Habitat management occurs at local and regional scales. Harvest management decisions are made at a continental scale. How do these actions, taken at different scales, combine to influence waterfowl population dynamics at all scales? The second lesson has been that consideration of the interface of habitat and harvest management can generate important insights into the objectives underlying the decision context. Often the objectives are very complex and trade-off against one another. The third lesson follows from the second – if an understanding of the fundamental objectives is paramount, there is no escaping the need for a better understanding of human dimensions, specifically the desires of hunters and nonhunters and the role they play in conservation. In the end, the compelling question is how to better understand, guide and justify decisions about conservation investments in waterfowl management. Future efforts to integrate harvest and habitat management will include completion of the species-specific case-studies, initiation of policy discussions around how to integrate the decision contexts and governing institutions, and possible consideration of a new level of integration – integration of harvest and habitats management decisions across waterfowl stocks.

  2. Urban habitat complexity affects species richness but not environmental filtering of morphologically-diverse ants.

    PubMed

    Ossola, Alessandro; Nash, Michael A; Christie, Fiona J; Hahs, Amy K; Livesley, Stephen J

    2015-01-01

    Habitat complexity is a major determinant of structure and diversity of ant assemblages. Following the size-grain hypothesis, smaller ant species are likely to be advantaged in more complex habitats compared to larger species. Habitat complexity can act as an environmental filter based on species size and morphological traits, therefore affecting the overall structure and diversity of ant assemblages. In natural and semi-natural ecosystems, habitat complexity is principally regulated by ecological successions or disturbance such as fire and grazing. Urban ecosystems provide an opportunity to test relationships between habitat, ant assemblage structure and ant traits using novel combinations of habitat complexity generated and sustained by human management. We sampled ant assemblages in low-complexity and high-complexity parks, and high-complexity woodland remnants, hypothesizing that (i) ant abundance and species richness would be higher in high-complexity urban habitats, (ii) ant assemblages would differ between low- and high-complexity habitats and (iii) ants living in high-complexity habitats would be smaller than those living in low-complexity habitats. Contrary to our hypothesis, ant species richness was higher in low-complexity habitats compared to high-complexity habitats. Overall, ant assemblages were significantly different among the habitat complexity types investigated, although ant size and morphology remained the same. Habitat complexity appears to affect the structure of ant assemblages in urban ecosystems as previously observed in natural and semi-natural ecosystems. However, the habitat complexity filter does not seem to be linked to ant morphological traits related to body size. PMID:26528416

  3. Urban habitat complexity affects species richness but not environmental filtering of morphologically-diverse ants

    PubMed Central

    Nash, Michael A.; Christie, Fiona J.; Hahs, Amy K.; Livesley, Stephen J.

    2015-01-01

    Habitat complexity is a major determinant of structure and diversity of ant assemblages. Following the size-grain hypothesis, smaller ant species are likely to be advantaged in more complex habitats compared to larger species. Habitat complexity can act as an environmental filter based on species size and morphological traits, therefore affecting the overall structure and diversity of ant assemblages. In natural and semi-natural ecosystems, habitat complexity is principally regulated by ecological successions or disturbance such as fire and grazing. Urban ecosystems provide an opportunity to test relationships between habitat, ant assemblage structure and ant traits using novel combinations of habitat complexity generated and sustained by human management. We sampled ant assemblages in low-complexity and high-complexity parks, and high-complexity woodland remnants, hypothesizing that (i) ant abundance and species richness would be higher in high-complexity urban habitats, (ii) ant assemblages would differ between low- and high-complexity habitats and (iii) ants living in high-complexity habitats would be smaller than those living in low-complexity habitats. Contrary to our hypothesis, ant species richness was higher in low-complexity habitats compared to high-complexity habitats. Overall, ant assemblages were significantly different among the habitat complexity types investigated, although ant size and morphology remained the same. Habitat complexity appears to affect the structure of ant assemblages in urban ecosystems as previously observed in natural and semi-natural ecosystems. However, the habitat complexity filter does not seem to be linked to ant morphological traits related to body size. PMID:26528416

  4. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Bluegill

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stuber, Robert J.; Gebhart, Glen; Maughan, O. Eugene

    1982-01-01

    A literature review encompassing habitat and species characteristics of the bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) is followed by a discussion of the relationship of habitat variables and life requisites of this species. These data re then incorporated into Habitat Suitability Index models for the bluegill. This is one in a series of publications describing habitat requirements of selected fish and wildlife species. Numerous literature sources have been consulted in an effort to consolidate scientific data on species habitat relationships. These data have subsequently been synthesized into Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models. the models are based on suitability indices formulated for variables found to affect the life cycle and survival of the species. The models are designed to be modified to evaluate specific habitat alterations using the HSI model building techniques presented in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Habitat Evaluation Procedures.

  5. Morphological polymorphism of Trypanosoma copemani and description of the genetically diverse T. vegrandis sp. nov. from the critically endangered Australian potoroid, the brush-tailed bettong (Bettongia penicillata (Gray, 1837))

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The trypanosome diversity of the Brush-tailed Bettong (Bettongia penicillata), known locally as the woylie, has been further investigated. At a species level, woylies are critically endangered and have declined by 90% since 1999. The predation of individuals made more vulnerable by disease is thought to be the primary cause of this decline, but remains to be proven. Methods Woylies were sampled from three locations in southern Western Australia. Blood samples were collected and analysed using fluorescence in situ hybridization, conventional staining techniques and microscopy. Molecular techniques were also used to confirm morphological observations. Results The trypanosomes in the blood of woylies were grouped into three morphologically distinct trypomastigote forms, encompassing two separate species. The larger of the two species, Trypanosoma copemani exhibited polymorphic trypomastigote forms, with morphological phenotypes being distinguishable, primarily by the distance between the kinetoplast and nucleus. The second trypanosome species was only 20% of the length of T. copemani and is believed to be one of the smallest recorded trypanosome species from mammals. No morphological polymorphism was identified for this genetically diverse second species. We described the trypomastigote morphology of this new, smaller species from the peripheral blood of the woylie and proposed the name T. vegrandis sp. nov. Temporal results indicate that during T. copemani Phenotype 1 infections, the blood forms remain numerous and are continuously detectable by molecular methodology. In contrast, the trypomastigote forms of T. copemani Phenotype 2 appear to decrease in prevalence in the blood to below molecular detectable levels. Conclusions Here we report for the first time on the morphological diversity of trypanosomes infecting the woylie and provide the first visual evidence of a mixed infection of both T. vegrandis sp. nov and T. copemani. We also provide supporting evidence that over time, the intracellular T. copemani Phenotype 2 may become localised in the tissues of woylies as the infection progresses from the active acute to chronic phase. As evidence grows, further research will be necessary to investigate whether the morphologically diverse trypanosomes of woylies have impacted on the health of their hosts during recent population declines. PMID:23622560

  6. Habitat filtering across tree life stages in tropical forest communities

    PubMed Central

    Baldeck, C. A.; Harms, K. E.; Yavitt, J. B.; John, R.; Turner, B. L.; Valencia, R.; Navarrete, H.; Bunyavejchewin, S.; Kiratiprayoon, S.; Yaacob, A.; Supardi, M. N. N.; Davies, S. J.; Hubbell, S. P.; Chuyong, G. B.; Kenfack, D.; Thomas, D. W.; Dalling, J. W.

    2013-01-01

    Tropical tree communities are shaped by local-scale habitat heterogeneity in the form of topographic and edaphic variation, but the life-history stage at which habitat associations develop remains poorly understood. This is due, in part, to the fact that previous studies have not accounted for the widely disparate sample sizes (number of stems) that result when trees are divided into size classes. We demonstrate that the observed habitat structuring of a community is directly related to the number of individuals in the community. We then compare the relative importance of habitat heterogeneity to tree community structure for saplings, juveniles and adult trees within seven large (24–50 ha) tropical forest dynamics plots while controlling for sample size. Changes in habitat structuring through tree life stages were small and inconsistent among life stages and study sites. Where found, these differences were an order of magnitude smaller than the findings of previous studies that did not control for sample size. Moreover, community structure and composition were very similar among tree sub-communities of different life stages. We conclude that the structure of these tropical tree communities is established by the time trees are large enough to be included in the census (1 cm diameter at breast height), which indicates that habitat filtering occurs during earlier life stages. PMID:23843384

  7. A Habitat-Forming Experience.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trust, Jerry

    1991-01-01

    Describes the four major phases of a science project to create a school-site native plant habitat: (1) planning the habitat area; (2) constructing the habitat; (3) writing the related curriculum; and (4) providing inservice programs to other interested science teachers. (MDH)

  8. Habitat use and preferences of breeding female wood ducks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hartke, K.M.; Hepp, G.R.

    2004-01-01

    Female wood ducks (Aix sponsa) feed primarily on plant foods in the prelaying period and switch to a diet of mostly invertebrates during egg production. If nutrient acquisition is habitat-specific, then selection and use of habitats may differ between these reproductive stages. A better understanding of these processes is needed to assist future habitat conservation and management efforts. In January-May 1999 and 2000, we monitored movements and habitat use of radiomarked females (n = 47) during the prelaying and egg-production periods of first nests. Home-range size averaged 367 ha and did not vary with reproductive period, year, or female age. Habitat use did not differ between periods of prelaying and egg production; consequently, data were combined. Habitat use varied between years, female age, and periods of nest initiation (i.e., early vs. late). Use of beaver ponds (BP), temporary wetlands (TW), managed impoundments (MI), and lake habitats (LK) declined in 2000 compared to 1999, possibly due to reduced precipitation. Nest initiation date was independent of female age. Adult females used BP more than yearlings, and early-nesting females used BP and MI more than late-nesting females. Females selected habitats nonrandomly when habitat composition of the study area was compared to that of home ranges (second-order selection). Lake-influenced wetlands (LI) and MI were ranked highest in preference. Home-range size was inversely related to percentage of the home range comprised of MI and LI, supporting the idea that MI and LI were high-quality habitats. However, we found no relationship between nest initiation date (an important index to reproductive performance) and the combined area of MI and LI in home ranges. Habitai selection did not differ from random when habitat composition of home ranges was compared to that of radio locations (third-order selection). Although MI and LI were preferred, high-quality habitats, our results suggest that breeding female wood ducks can satisfy requirements for egg production using a variety of wetland habitats. We suggest that providing a diversity of habitat types will increase the probability of meeting needs of breeding females throughout the breeding season, especially in areas where wetland conditions frequently change.

  9. Measuring acoustic habitats

    PubMed Central

    Merchant, Nathan D; Fristrup, Kurt M; Johnson, Mark P; Tyack, Peter L; Witt, Matthew J; Blondel, Philippe; Parks, Susan E

    2015-01-01

    1. Many organisms depend on sound for communication, predator/prey detection and navigation. The acoustic environment can therefore play an important role in ecosystem dynamics and evolution. A growing number of studies are documenting acoustic habitats and their influences on animal development, behaviour, physiology and spatial ecology, which has led to increasing demand for passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) expertise in the life sciences. However, as yet, there has been no synthesis of data processing methods for acoustic habitat monitoring, which presents an unnecessary obstacle to would-be PAM analysts. 2. Here, we review the signal processing techniques needed to produce calibrated measurements of terrestrial and aquatic acoustic habitats. We include a supplemental tutorial and template computer codes in matlab and r, which give detailed guidance on how to produce calibrated spectrograms and statistical analyses of sound levels. Key metrics and terminology for the characterisation of biotic, abiotic and anthropogenic sound are covered, and their application to relevant monitoring scenarios is illustrated through example data sets. To inform study design and hardware selection, we also include an up-to-date overview of terrestrial and aquatic PAM instruments. 3. Monitoring of acoustic habitats at large spatiotemporal scales is becoming possible through recent advances in PAM technology. This will enhance our understanding of the role of sound in the spatial ecology of acoustically sensitive species and inform spatial planning to mitigate the rising influence of anthropogenic noise in these ecosystems. As we demonstrate in this work, progress in these areas will depend upon the application of consistent and appropriate PAM methodologies. PMID:25954500

  10. Integral habitat transport system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elliott, Bill; Frazer, Scott; Higgs, Joey; Huff, Jason; Milam, Tigree

    1994-01-01

    In the 1993 Fall quarter, the ME 4182 design class was sponsored to study various scenarios that needed to be studied for Martian travel. The class was sponsored by NASA and there were several different design projects. The design that group three chose was an integral transport system for a Martian habitat. An integral transport system means the design had to be one that was attached to the habitat. There were several criteria that the design had to meet. Group three performed an in depth study of the Martian environment and looked at several different design ideas. The concept group three developed involved the use of kinematic linkages and the use of Martian gravity to move the habitat. The various design concepts, the criteria matrices and all other aspects that helped group three develop their design can be found in their 1993 ME 4182 design report. Now it is Winter quarter 1994 and group three is faced with another problem. The problem is building a working prototype of their Fall design. The limitations this quarter were the parts. The group had to make the prototype work with existing manufactured parts or make the parts themselves in a machine shop. The prototype was scaled down roughly about twelve times smaller than the original design. The following report describes the actions taken by group three to build a working model.

  11. Coastal Vertebrate Exposure to Predicted Habitat Changes Due to Sea Level Rise.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Elizabeth A; Nibbelink, Nathan P; Alexander, Clark R; Barrett, Kyle; Mengak, Lara F; Guy, Rachel K; Moore, Clinton T; Cooper, Robert J

    2015-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) may degrade habitat for coastal vertebrates in the Southeastern United States, but it is unclear which groups or species will be most exposed to habitat changes. We assessed 28 coastal Georgia vertebrate species for their exposure to potential habitat changes due to SLR using output from the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model and information on the species' fundamental niches. We assessed forecasted habitat change up to the year 2100 using three structural habitat metrics: total area, patch size, and habitat permanence. Almost all of the species (n = 24) experienced negative habitat changes due to SLR as measured by at least one of the metrics. Salt marsh and ocean beach habitats experienced the most change (out of 16 categorical land cover types) across the three metrics and species that used salt marsh extensively (rails and marsh sparrows) were ranked highest for exposure to habitat changes. Species that nested on ocean beaches (Diamondback Terrapins, shorebirds, and terns) were also ranked highly, but their use of other foraging habitats reduced their overall exposure. Future studies on potential effects of SLR on vertebrates in southeastern coastal ecosystems should focus on the relative importance of different habitat types to these species' foraging and nesting requirements. Our straightforward prioritization approach is applicable to other coastal systems and can provide insight to managers on which species to focus resources, what components of their habitats need to be protected, and which locations in the study area will provide habitat refuges in the face of SLR. PMID:26163199

  12. Coastal vertebrate exposure to predicted habitat changes due to sea level rise

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hunter, Elizabeth A.; Nibbelink, Nathan P.; Alexander, Clark R.; Barrett, Kyle; Mengak, Lara F.; Guy, Rachel; Moore, Clinton; Cooper, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) may degrade habitat for coastal vertebrates in the Southeastern United States, but it is unclear which groups or species will be most exposed to habitat changes. We assessed 28 coastal Georgia vertebrate species for their exposure to potential habitat changes due to SLR using output from the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model and information on the species’ fundamental niches. We assessed forecasted habitat change up to the year 2100 using three structural habitat metrics: total area, patch size, and habitat permanence. Almost all of the species (n = 24) experienced negative habitat changes due to SLR as measured by at least one of the metrics. Salt marsh and ocean beach habitats experienced the most change (out of 16 categorical land cover types) across the three metrics and species that used salt marsh extensively (rails and marsh sparrows) were ranked highest for exposure to habitat changes. Species that nested on ocean beaches (Diamondback Terrapins, shorebirds, and terns) were also ranked highly, but their use of other foraging habitats reduced their overall exposure. Future studies on potential effects of SLR on vertebrates in southeastern coastal ecosystems should focus on the relative importance of different habitat types to these species’ foraging and nesting requirements. Our straightforward prioritization approach is applicable to other coastal systems and can provide insight to managers on which species to focus resources, what components of their habitats need to be protected, and which locations in the study area will provide habitat refuges in the face of SLR.

  13. Coastal Vertebrate Exposure to Predicted Habitat Changes Due to Sea Level Rise

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunter, Elizabeth A.; Nibbelink, Nathan P.; Alexander, Clark R.; Barrett, Kyle; Mengak, Lara F.; Guy, Rachel K.; Moore, Clinton T.; Cooper, Robert J.

    2015-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) may degrade habitat for coastal vertebrates in the Southeastern United States, but it is unclear which groups or species will be most exposed to habitat changes. We assessed 28 coastal Georgia vertebrate species for their exposure to potential habitat changes due to SLR using output from the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model and information on the species' fundamental niches. We assessed forecasted habitat change up to the year 2100 using three structural habitat metrics: total area, patch size, and habitat permanence. Almost all of the species ( n = 24) experienced negative habitat changes due to SLR as measured by at least one of the metrics. Salt marsh and ocean beach habitats experienced the most change (out of 16 categorical land cover types) across the three metrics and species that used salt marsh extensively (rails and marsh sparrows) were ranked highest for exposure to habitat changes. Species that nested on ocean beaches (Diamondback Terrapins, shorebirds, and terns) were also ranked highly, but their use of other foraging habitats reduced their overall exposure. Future studies on potential effects of SLR on vertebrates in southeastern coastal ecosystems should focus on the relative importance of different habitat types to these species' foraging and nesting requirements. Our straightforward prioritization approach is applicable to other coastal systems and can provide insight to managers on which species to focus resources, what components of their habitats need to be protected, and which locations in the study area will provide habitat refuges in the face of SLR.

  14. Concepts for a Shroud or Propellant Tank Derived Deep Space Habitat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howard, Robert L.

    2012-01-01

    Long duration human spaceflight missions beyond Low Earth Orbit will require much larger spacecraft than capsules such as the Russian Soyuz or American Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. A concept spacecraft under development is the Deep Space Habitat, with volumes approaching that of space stations such as Skylab, Mir, and the International Space Station. This paper explores several concepts for Deep Space Habitats constructed from a launch vehicle shroud or propellant tank. It also recommends future research using mockups and prototypes to validate the size and crew station capabilities of such a habitat. Keywords: Exploration, space station, lunar outpost, NEA, habitat, long duration, deep space habitat, shroud, propellant tank.

  15. Defining habitat covariates in camera-trap based occupancy studies

    PubMed Central

    Niedballa, Jürgen; Sollmann, Rahel; Mohamed, Azlan bin; Bender, Johannes; Wilting, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    In species-habitat association studies, both the type and spatial scale of habitat covariates need to match the ecology of the focal species. We assessed the potential of high-resolution satellite imagery for generating habitat covariates using camera-trapping data from Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, within an occupancy framework. We tested the predictive power of covariates generated from satellite imagery at different resolutions and extents (focal patch sizes, 10–500 m around sample points) on estimates of occupancy patterns of six small to medium sized mammal species/species groups. High-resolution land cover information had considerably more model support for small, patchily distributed habitat features, whereas it had no advantage for large, homogeneous habitat features. A comparison of different focal patch sizes including remote sensing data and an in-situ measure showed that patches with a 50-m radius had most support for the target species. Thus, high-resolution satellite imagery proved to be particularly useful in heterogeneous landscapes, and can be used as a surrogate for certain in-situ measures, reducing field effort in logistically challenging environments. Additionally, remote sensed data provide more flexibility in defining appropriate spatial scales, which we show to impact estimates of wildlife-habitat associations. PMID:26596779

  16. Defining habitat covariates in camera-trap based occupancy studies.

    PubMed

    Niedballa, Jürgen; Sollmann, Rahel; Mohamed, Azlan Bin; Bender, Johannes; Wilting, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    In species-habitat association studies, both the type and spatial scale of habitat covariates need to match the ecology of the focal species. We assessed the potential of high-resolution satellite imagery for generating habitat covariates using camera-trapping data from Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, within an occupancy framework. We tested the predictive power of covariates generated from satellite imagery at different resolutions and extents (focal patch sizes, 10-500?m around sample points) on estimates of occupancy patterns of six small to medium sized mammal species/species groups. High-resolution land cover information had considerably more model support for small, patchily distributed habitat features, whereas it had no advantage for large, homogeneous habitat features. A comparison of different focal patch sizes including remote sensing data and an in-situ measure showed that patches with a 50-m radius had most support for the target species. Thus, high-resolution satellite imagery proved to be particularly useful in heterogeneous landscapes, and can be used as a surrogate for certain in-situ measures, reducing field effort in logistically challenging environments. Additionally, remote sensed data provide more flexibility in defining appropriate spatial scales, which we show to impact estimates of wildlife-habitat associations. PMID:26596779

  17. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Brewer's Sparrow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Short, Henry L.

    1984-01-01

    This document is part of the Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model series, which provides habitat information useful for impact assessment and habitat management for the Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri). Several types of habitat information are provided. A Habitat Use Information Section can be used to drive quantitative relationships between key environmental variables and habitat suitability. The HSI Model Section documents a habitat model and information pertinent to its application. The model synthesizes the habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application and is scaled to produce an index value between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat).

  18. Defining dynamic pelagic habitats in oceanic waters off eastern Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobday, A. J.; Young, J. W.; Moeseneder, C.; Dambacher, J. M.

    2011-03-01

    Although many species in the pelagic ocean are widespread, they are not randomly distributed. These species may have associations with particular water masses or habitats, but to best understand patterns in the ocean, these habitats must be identified. Previous efforts have produced static or seasonal climatologies, which still represent smearing over habitats. The Eastern Tuna and Billfish Longline Fishery (ETBF) targets a range of high trophic level species in oceanic waters off eastern Australia. In this study, dynamic ocean habitats in the region were identified for each month based on cluster analysis of five oceanographic variables averaged at a monthly time scale and a spatial scale of 0.5° for the period 1995-2006. A total of seven persistent habitats were identified off eastern Australia with intra and interannual variation in size and location, indicating the importance of spatial and temporal variation in the dynamics of the region. The degree to which these dynamic habitats were distinguished was tested using (i) stable isotope analysis of top fish predators caught in the region and (ii) estimates of variation in estimated abundance generated from catch data from the fishery. More precise estimates (measured as lower total CV) of isotopic values from swordfish ( Xiphias gladius), yellowfin tuna ( Thunnus albacares) and albacore ( Thunnus alalunga) were obtained for 4 of 6 isotope comparisons using the dynamic habitat groupings, which indicate that stratifying by pelagic habitat improved precision. Dynamic habitats produced more precise abundance estimates for 7 of 8 large pelagic species examined, with an average reduction in total CV of 19% compared to when abundance was estimated based on static habitat stratification. These findings could be used to guide development of effective monitoring strategies that can distinguish patterns due to environmental variation, and in the longer term, climate change.

  19. Habitat heterogeneity reflected in mesophotic reef sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weinstein, D. K.; Klaus, J. S.; Smith, T. B.

    2015-11-01

    Modern reef sediments reflect the physical and chemical characteristics of the environment as well as the local reef fauna. Analysis of sedimentary reef facies can thus provide a powerful tool in interpreting ancient reef deposits. However, few studies have attempted to differentiate sedimentary facies in mesophotic coral ecosystems, low light habitats defined as residing 30-150 m below sea level. The low-angle shelf mesophotic coral ecosystem south of the northern U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) consists of reefs with different structural characteristics ideal for studying the relationship between habitat variability and sedimentary facies. Textural, compositional, and geochemical analyses of surface sediments were used to identify mesophotic reef subfacies associated with distinct benthic communities and structural habitats. Sediment grain composition and bulk geochemistry were found to broadly record the distribution and abundance of coral and macroalgae communities, foundational mesophotic reef benthic organisms. Overall, sediment composition was found to be a good indicator of specific reef environments in low-angle mesophotic reef habitats. Sedimentological analyses indicate that hydrodynamic forces do not transport a significant amount of allochthonous sediment or potentially harmful terrigenous material to USVI mesophotic reefs. Episodic, maximum current velocities prevented deposition of most silt-size grains and smaller, but biological processes were found to have a greater influence on subfacies partitioning than hydrodynamic processes. Results provide a new analog for studies of ancient mesophotic coral ecosystem geological history and document the relationship between mesophotic reef subfacies, structural complexity, and habitat heterogeneity. They also demonstrate how mesophotic reefs along the same shelf system do not always share similar sedimentary characteristics and thus record a diverse set of ecological and environmental conditions.

  20. Vacant habitats in the Universe.

    PubMed

    Cockell, Charles S

    2011-02-01

    The search for life on other planets usually makes the assumption that where there is a habitat, it will contain life. On the present-day Earth, uninhabited habitats (or vacant habitats) are rare, but might occur, for example, in subsurface oils or impact craters that have been thermally sterilized in the past. Beyond Earth, vacant habitats might similarly exist on inhabited planets or on uninhabited planets, for example on a habitable planet where life never originated. The hypothesis that vacant habitats are abundant in the Universe is testable by studying other planets. In this review, I discuss how the study of vacant habitats might ultimately inform an understanding of how life has influenced geochemical conditions on Earth. PMID:21146249

  1. A meta-analysis of lesser prairie-chicken nesting and brood-rearing habitats: implications for habitat management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hagen, Christian A.; Grisham, Blake A.; Boal, Clint W.; Haukos, David A.

    2013-01-01

    The distribution and range of lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has been reduced by >90% since European settlement of the Great Plains of North America. Currently, lesser prairie-chickens occupy 3 general vegetation communities: sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia), sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii), and mixed-grass prairies juxtaposed with Conservation Reserve Program grasslands. As a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act, there is a need for a synthesis that characterizes habitat structure rangewide. Thus, we conducted a meta-analysis of vegetation characteristics at nest sites and brood habitats to determine whether there was an overall effect (Hedges' d) of habitat selection and to estimate average (95% CI) habitat characteristics at use sites. We estimated effect sizes (di) from the difference between use (nests and brood sites) and random sampling sites for each study (n = 14), and derived an overall effect size (d++). There was a general effect for habitat selection as evidenced by low levels of variation in effect sizes across studies and regions. There was a small to medium effect (d++) = 0.20-0.82) of selection for greater vertical structure (visual obstruction) by nesting females in both vegetation communities, and selection against bare ground (d++ = 0.20-0.58). Females with broods exhibited less selectivity for habitat components except for vertical structure. The variation of d++ was greater during nesting than brooding periods, signifying a seasonal shift in habitat use, and perhaps a greater range of tolerance for brood-rearing habitat. The overall estimates of vegetation cover were consistent with those provided in management guidelines for the species.

  2. Lakeland Habitat for Humanity

    SciTech Connect

    Gilbride, Theresa L.

    2009-03-30

    This is a case study of the Lakeland, FLorida, Habitat for Humanity affiliate, which has partnered with DOE's Building America program to homes that achieve energy savings of 30% or more over the Building America baseline home (a home built to the 1993 Model Energy Code). The article includes a description of the energy-efficiency features used. The Lakeland affiliate built several of its homes with ducts in conditioned space, which minimizes heat losses and gains. They also used high-efficiency SEER 14 air conditioners; radiant barriers in the roof to keep attics cooler; above-code high-performance dual-pane vinyl-framed low-emissivity windows; a passive fresh air duct to the air handler; and duct blaster and blower door testing of every home to ensure the home's air tightness. This case study was also prepared as a flier titled "High Performance Builder Spotlight: Lakeland Habitat for Humanity, Lakeland, Florida,: which was cleared as PNNL-SA-59068 and distributed at the International Builders’ Show Feb 13-16, 2008, in Orlando, Florida.

  3. Body mass explains characteristic scales of habitat selection in terrestrial mammals

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, Jason T; Anholt, Brad; Volpe, John P

    2011-01-01

    Niche theory in its various forms is based on those environmental factors that permit species persistence, but less work has focused on defining the extent, or size, of a species’ environment: the area that explains a species’ presence at a point in space. We proposed that this habitat extent is identifiable from a characteristic scale of habitat selection, the spatial scale at which habitat best explains species’ occurrence. We hypothesized that this scale is predicted by body size. We tested this hypothesis on 12 sympatric terrestrial mammal species in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. For each species, habitat models varied across the 20 spatial scales tested. For six species, we found a characteristic scale; this scale was explained by species’ body mass in a quadratic relationship. Habitat measured at large scales best-predicted habitat selection in both large and small species, and small scales predict habitat extent in medium-sized species. The relationship between body size and habitat selection scale implies evolutionary adaptation to landscape heterogeneity as the driver of scale-dependent habitat selection. PMID:22393519

  4. Landscape characteristics of fragmented shrubsteppe habitats and breeding passerine birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knick, Steven T.; Rotenberry, J.T.

    1995-01-01

    We examined the influence of local and landscape-level attributes of fragmented habitats in shrubsteppe habitats on the breeding distributions of Sage (Amphispiza belli) and Brewer's (Spizella breweri) Sparrows, Sage Thrashers (Oreoscoptes montanus), Horned Larks (Eremophila alpestris), and Western Meadowlarks (Sturnella neglecta) in the Snake River Plains of southwestern Idaho. We developed habitat (resource) selection models for each species by combining bird counts conducted from 1991 through 1933 with local vegetation characteristics and landscape attributes derived from satellite imagery. Site selection by shrubsteppe species (Sage and Brewer's Sparrows, and Sage Thrashers) depended on local vegetation cover and landscape features, such as the patch size of shrub habitats or the spatial similarity of sites. Marginal sites for these species (with species present in one of three years) were intermediate between unoccupied (never present) and occupied sites along environmental gradients characterized by increasing size of shrub habitat patches and total shrub cover and by decreasing disturbance. Horned Larks and Western Meadowlarks, typical grassland species, were not sensitive to landscape features, and their occupancy depended on the amount of grassland or shrub cover. In contrast to shrubsteppe species, sites that varied by occupancy rates of Western Meadowlarks did not significantly differ in vegetation or landscape components. Our results demonstrate that fragmentation of shrubsteppe significantly influenced the presence of shrub-obligate species. Because of restoration difficulties, the disturbance of semiarid shrubsteppe may cause irreversible loss of habitat and significant long-term consequences for the conservation of shrub-obligate birds.

  5. Habitat specialization and adaptive phenotypic divergence of anuran populations.

    PubMed

    Van Buskirk, J; Arioli, M

    2005-05-01

    We tested for adaptive population structure in the frog Rana temporaria by rearing tadpoles from 23 populations in a common garden experiment, with and without larval dragonfly predators. The goal was to compare tadpole phenotypes with the habitats of their source ponds. The choice of traits and habitat variables was guided by prior information about phenotypic function. There were large differences among populations in life history, behaviour, morphological shape, and the predator-induced plasticities in most of these. Body size and behaviour were correlated with predation risk in the source pond, in agreement with adaptive population divergence. Tadpoles from large sunny ponds were morphologically distinct from those inhabiting small woodland ponds, although here an adaptive explanation was unclear. There was no evidence that plasticity evolves in populations exposed to more variable environments. Much among-population variation in phenotype and plasticity was not associated with habitat, perhaps reflecting rapid changes in wetland habitats. PMID:15842489

  6. NASA Habitat Demonstration Unit (HDU) Deep Space Habitat Analog

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howe, A. Scott; Kennedy, Kriss J.; Gill, Tracy

    2013-01-01

    The NASA Habitat Demonstration Unit (HDU) vertical cylinder habitat was established as a exploration habitat testbed platform for integration and testing of a variety of technologies and subsystems that will be required in a human-occupied planetary surface outpost or Deep Space Habitat (DSH). The HDU functioned as a medium-fidelity habitat prototype from 2010-2012 and allowed teams from all over NASA to collaborate on field analog missions, mission operations tests, and system integration tests to help shake out equipment and provide feedback for technology development cycles and crew training. This paper documents the final 2012 configuration of the HDU, and discusses some of the testing that took place. Though much of the higher-fidelity functionality has 'graduated' into other NASA programs, as of this writing the HDU, renamed Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA), will continue to be available as a volumetric and operational mockup for NASA Human Research Program (HRP) research from 2013 onward.

  7. World HABITAT Day message.

    PubMed

    Ramachandran, A

    1990-01-01

    The Executive Director of the UN Centre for Human Settlements (HABITAT) discusses the 1989 World HABITAT Day message--Shelter, Health, and the Family. Women and children spend most of their time in their homes and neighborhoods. The environment and the way they live in that environment determine their health status and well being. Healthy housing encompasses protection against rain, heat, cold, and disease. Yet more than 25% of the world's population have inadequate housing which is responsible for various communicable and chronic diseases, injuries, and psychological stresses. For example, overcrowding leads to respiratory infection. Inferior building materials and designs foster the harboring and breeding of disease vectors and destruction by natural disasters. Limited access to potable water and sanitation facilities and poor personal hygiene cause death, disabilities, and blemishes to millions of people as well as fosters food contamination. 10,000 people die each day from injuries or conditions directly related to inadequate shelter and related services. The urban poor tend to be at the point where industrialization meets underdevelopment because they live in marginal areas often near refuse dumps, swamps, and areas subject to landslides, earthquake, or flooding. Social and psychological problems also emerge from such an environment which further undermine the underpinnings of a secure and pleasant family life. Few activities designed to improve shelter consider the health of the occupants, however. Education about the link between housing and health among the poor at the household and community levels may empower them to alleviate the health hazards. The Executive Director requests the international community, governments, their agencies, nongovernmental organizations, builders, planners, and policymakers to consider the link between housing and health when making policy and decisions. PMID:2326215

  8. Clay Animals and Their Habitats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adamson, Kay

    2010-01-01

    Creating clay animals and their habitats with second-grade students has long been one of the author's favorite classroom activities. Students love working with clay and they also enjoy drawing animal homes. In this article, the author describes how the students created a diorama instead of drawing their clay animal's habitat. This gave students…

  9. Food technology in space habitats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Karel, M.

    1979-01-01

    The research required to develop a system that will provide for acceptable, nutritious, and safe diets for man during extended space missions is discussed. The development of a food technology system for space habitats capable of converting raw materials produced in the space habitats into acceptable food is examined.

  10. A Wildlife Habitat Improvement Plan.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogers, S. Elaine

    The document presents an overview of Stony Acres, a "sanctuary" for wildlife as well as a place for recreation enjoyment and education undertakings. A review of the history of wildlife habitat management at Stony Acres and the need for continued and improved wildlife habitat management for the property are discussed in Chapter I. Chapter II…

  11. Clay Animals and Their Habitats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adamson, Kay

    2010-01-01

    Creating clay animals and their habitats with second-grade students has long been one of the author's favorite classroom activities. Students love working with clay and they also enjoy drawing animal homes. In this article, the author describes how the students created a diorama instead of drawing their clay animal's habitat. This gave students…

  12. A Wildlife Habitat Improvement Plan.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogers, S. Elaine

    The document presents an overview of Stony Acres, a "sanctuary" for wildlife as well as a place for recreation enjoyment and education undertakings. A review of the history of wildlife habitat management at Stony Acres and the need for continued and improved wildlife habitat management for the property are discussed in Chapter I. Chapter II…

  13. Modeling Habitat Split: Landscape and Life History Traits Determine Amphibian Extinction Thresholds

    PubMed Central

    Fonseca, Carlos Roberto; Coutinho, Renato M.; Azevedo, Franciane; Berbert, Juliana M.; Corso, Gilberto; Kraenkel, Roberto A.

    2013-01-01

    Habitat split is a major force behind the worldwide decline of amphibian populations, causing community change in richness and species composition. In fragmented landscapes, natural remnants, the terrestrial habitat of the adults, are frequently separated from streams, the aquatic habitat of the larvae. An important question is how this landscape configuration affects population levels and if it can drive species to extinction locally. Here, we put forward the first theoretical model on habitat split which is particularly concerned on how split distance – the distance between the two required habitats – affects population size and persistence in isolated fragments. Our diffusive model shows that habitat split alone is able to generate extinction thresholds. Fragments occurring between the aquatic habitat and a given critical split distance are expected to hold viable populations, while fragments located farther away are expected to be unoccupied. Species with higher reproductive success and higher diffusion rate of post-metamorphic youngs are expected to have farther critical split distances. Furthermore, the model indicates that negative effects of habitat split are poorly compensated by positive effects of fragment size. The habitat split model improves our understanding about spatially structured populations and has relevant implications for landscape design for conservation. It puts on a firm theoretical basis the relation between habitat split and the decline of amphibian populations. PMID:23818967

  14. Modeling habitat split: landscape and life history traits determine amphibian extinction thresholds.

    PubMed

    Fonseca, Carlos Roberto; Coutinho, Renato M; Azevedo, Franciane; Berbert, Juliana M; Corso, Gilberto; Kraenkel, Roberto A

    2013-01-01

    Habitat split is a major force behind the worldwide decline of amphibian populations, causing community change in richness and species composition. In fragmented landscapes, natural remnants, the terrestrial habitat of the adults, are frequently separated from streams, the aquatic habitat of the larvae. An important question is how this landscape configuration affects population levels and if it can drive species to extinction locally. Here, we put forward the first theoretical model on habitat split which is particularly concerned on how split distance - the distance between the two required habitats - affects population size and persistence in isolated fragments. Our diffusive model shows that habitat split alone is able to generate extinction thresholds. Fragments occurring between the aquatic habitat and a given critical split distance are expected to hold viable populations, while fragments located farther away are expected to be unoccupied. Species with higher reproductive success and higher diffusion rate of post-metamorphic youngs are expected to have farther critical split distances. Furthermore, the model indicates that negative effects of habitat split are poorly compensated by positive effects of fragment size. The habitat split model improves our understanding about spatially structured populations and has relevant implications for landscape design for conservation. It puts on a firm theoretical basis the relation between habitat split and the decline of amphibian populations. PMID:23818967

  15. Desert tortoise use of burned habitat in the Eastern Mojave desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Drake, Karla K.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Defalco, Lesley; Scoles, Sara; Modlin, Andrew T.; Medica, Philip A.

    2015-01-01

    Wildfires burned 24,254 ha of critical habitat designated for the recovery of the threatened Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) in southern Nevada during 2005. The proliferation of non-native annual grasses has increased wildfire frequency and extent in recent decades and continues to accelerate the conversion of tortoise habitat across the Mojave Desert. Immediate changes to vegetation are expected to reduce quality of critical habitat, yet whether tortoises will use burned and recovering habitat differently from intact unburned habitat is unknown. We compared movement patterns, home-range size, behavior, microhabitat use, reproduction, and survival for adult desert tortoises located in, and adjacent to, burned habitat to understand how tortoises respond to recovering burned habitat. Approximately 45% of home ranges in the post-fire environment contained burned habitat, and numerous observations (n = 12,223) corroborated tortoise use of both habitat types (52% unburned, 48% burned). Tortoises moved progressively deeper into burned habitat during the first 5 years following the fire, frequently foraging in burned habitats that had abundant annual plants, and returning to adjacent unburned habitat for cover provided by intact perennial vegetation. However, by years 6 and 7, the live cover of the short-lived herbaceous perennial desert globemallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) that typically re-colonizes burned areas declined, resulting in a contraction of tortoise movements from the burned areas. Health and egg production were similar between burned and unburned areas indicating that tortoises were able to acquire necessary resources using both areas. This study documents that adult Mojave desert tortoises continue to use habitat burned once by wildfire. Thus, continued management of this burned habitat may contribute toward the recovery of the species in the face of many sources of habitat loss. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  16. How mechanisms of habitat preference evolve and promote divergence with gene flow.

    PubMed

    Berner, D; Thibert-Plante, X

    2015-09-01

    Habitat preference may promote adaptive divergence and speciation, yet the conditions under which this is likely are insufficiently explored. We use individual-based simulations to study the evolution and consequence of habitat preference during divergence with gene flow, considering four different underlying genetically based behavioural mechanisms: natal habitat imprinting, phenotype-dependent, competition-dependent and direct genetic habitat preference. We find that the evolution of habitat preference generally requires initially high dispersal, is facilitated by asymmetry in population sizes between habitats, and is hindered by an increasing number of underlying genetic loci. Moreover, the probability of habitat preference to emerge and promote divergence differs greatly among the underlying mechanisms. Natal habitat imprinting evolves most easily and can allow full divergence in parameter ranges where no divergence is possible in the absence of habitat preference. The reason is that imprinting represents a one-allele mechanism of assortative mating linking dispersal behaviour very effectively to local selection. At the other extreme, direct genetic habitat preference, a two-allele mechanism, evolves under restricted conditions only, and even then facilitates divergence weakly. Overall, our results indicate that habitat preference can be a strong reproductive barrier promoting divergence with gene flow, but that this is highly contingent on the underlying preference mechanism. PMID:26119841

  17. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Baird's Sparrow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sousa, Patrick J.; McDonal, W. Neil

    1983-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a habitat model for Baird's sparrow. The model is scaled to produce an index of suitability between 0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1 (optimally suitable habitat) for Baird's sparrow habitat in the Northern Great Plains. Habitat suitability indices are designed for use with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  18. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Downy Woodpecker

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schroeder, Richard L.

    1983-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information was used to develop a habitat model for the downy woodpecker (Picoides eubescens). The model is scaled to produce an index of habitat suitability between 0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1 (optimally suitable habitat) for areas of the continental United States. Habitat suitability indexes are designed for use with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  19. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Pileated Woodpecker

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schroeder, Richard L.

    1983-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information was used to develop a habitat model for the pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus). The model is scaled to produce an index of habitat suitability between 0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1 (optimally suitable habitat) for areas of the continental United States. Habitat suitability indexes are designed for use.with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  20. ADEQUACY OF VISUALLY CLASSIFIED PARTICLE COUNT STATISTICS FROM REGIONAL STREAM HABITAT SURVEYS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Streamlined sampling procedures must be used to achieve a sufficient sample size with limited resources in studies undertaken to evaluate habitat status and potential management-related habitat degradation at a regional scale. At the same time, these sampling procedures must achi...

  1. Describing Willow Flycatcher habitats: scale perspectives and gender differences

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sedgwick, James A.; Knopf, Fritz L.

    1992-01-01

    We compared habitat characteristics of nest sites (female-selected sites) and song perch sites (male-selected sites) with those of sites unused by Willow Flycatchers (Empidonax traillii) at three different scales of vegetation measurement: (1) microplot (central willow [Salix spp.] bush and four adjacent bushes); (2) mesoplot (0.07 ha); and, (3) macroplot (flycatcher territory size). Willow Flycatchers exhibited vegetation preferences at all three scales. Nest sites were distinguished by high willow density and low variability in willow patch size and bush height. Song perch sites were characterized by large central shrubs, low central shrub vigor, and high variability in shrub size. Unused sites were characterized by greater distances between willows and willow patches, less willow coverage, and a smaller riparian zone width than either nest or song perch sites. At all scales, nest sites were situated farther from unused sites in multivariate habitat space than were song perch sites, suggesting (1) a correspondence among scales in their ability to describe Willow Flycatcher habitat, and (2) females are more discriminating in habitat selection than males. Microhabitat differences between male-selected (song perch) and female-selected (nest) sites were evident at the two smaller scales; at the finest scale, the segregation in habitat space between male-selected and female-selected sites was greater than that between male-selected and unused sites. Differences between song perch and nest sites were not apparent at the scale of flycatcher territory size, possibly due to inclusion of (1) both nest and song perch sites, (2) defended, but unused habitat, and/or (3) habitat outside of the territory, in larger scale analyses. The differences between nest and song perch sites at the finer scales reflect their different functions (e.g., nest concealment and microclimatic requirements vs. advertising and territorial defense, respectively), and suggest that the exclusive use of either nest or song perch sites in vegetation analyses can result in misleading, or at least incomplete, descriptions of a species' habitat. Habitat interpretations for Willow Flycatchers (and perhaps for many passerines) are a function of the gender-specific behavior of the birds observed and the scale of vegetation measurement.

  2. Habitats and taphonomy of Europa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipps, Jere H.; Rieboldt, Sarah

    2005-10-01

    Jupiter's moon Europa possesses an icy shell kilometers thick that may overlie a briny ocean. The inferred presence of water, tidal and volcanic energy, and nutrients suggests that Europa is potentially inhabited by some kind of life; indeed Europa is a primary target in the search for life in the Solar System although no evidence yet exists for any kind of life. The thickness of the icy crust would impose limits on life, but at least 15 broad kinds of habitats seem possible for Europa. They include several on the sea floor, at least 3 in the water column, and many in the ice itself. All of these habitats are in, or could be transported to, the icy shell where they could be exposed by geologic activity or impacts so they might be explored from the surface or orbit by future planetary missions. Taphonomic processes that transport, preserve, and expose habitats include buoyant ice removing bottom habitats and sediment to the underside of the ice, water currents depositing components of water column habitats on the ice bottom, cryovolcanoes depositing water on the surface, tidal pumping bringing water column and ice habitats to the near-surface ice, and subice freezing and diapiric action incorporating water column and bottom ice habitats into the lower parts of the icy shell. The preserved habitats could be exposed at or near the surface of Europa chiefly in newly-formed ice, tilted or rotated ice blocks, ridge debris, surface deposits, fault scarps, the sides of domes and pits, and impact craters and ejecta. Future exploration of Europa for life must consider careful targeting of sites where habitats are most likely preserved or exist close to the surface.

  3. Creating an energy efficient habitat

    SciTech Connect

    Wigington, L.

    1997-07-01

    Habitat for Humanity is working to provide housing that is priced within reach of low-income buyers, is safe and durable, and has reasonable energy and maintenance costs. But it takes care and patience to ensure that these and other considerations do not slip through the cracks. Topics covered in this article include the following: house plans maximize performance per dollar; new construction or rehab?; new approaches including water and sewer costs, tight/not too tight; affordable vs. efficient; a role for the residential energy profession; Habitat`s environmental initiative. 2 tabs.

  4. Avian habitat relationships in pinyon-juniper woodland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sedgwick, James A.

    1987-01-01

    Habitat relationships of breeding birds were examined in northwestern Colorado in pinyon-juniper (Pinus edulis-Juniperus osteosperma) woodland and in openings where most overstory trees had been knocked down by anchor chaining. Vegetation characteristics and physical habitat features were measured in 233 0.04-ha circular plots around singing males of 13 species of birds from 15 May to 15 July 1980. Thirteen-group discriminant function analysis ordinated bird species along three habitat dimensions described by (1) canopy height; (2) slope, shrub size, and shrub species diversity; and (3) percentage canopy cover, large tree density, distance from a habitat edge, litter cover, and green cover. Woodland, open-area, and intermediate edge species were clearly segregated along the first discriminant axis, and species' associations with shrubs, inclination, ground cover, and edges were revealed by the ordinations along the second and third discriminant axes. Two-group discriminant analyses comparing occupied and available plots identified additional and more specific habitat associations. For example, Hermit Thrushes (Catharus guttatus) were associated with mature forested habitats and forest interiors, Virginia's Warblers (Vermivora virginiae) favored steep, oak-covered draws, Rock Wrens (Salpinctes obsoletus) selected areas where percentage log cover and small tree density were high, and Dusky Flycatchers (Empidonax oberholseri) preferred shrubby slopes with scattered large trees near woodland edges.

  5. Habitat Design Considerations for Implementing Solar Particle Event Radiation Protection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simon, Mathew A.; Clowdsley, Martha S.; Walker, Steven A.

    2013-01-01

    Radiation protection is an important habitat design consideration for human exploration missions beyond Low Earth Orbit. Fortunately, radiation shelter concepts can effectively reduce astronaut exposure for the relatively low proton energies of solar particle events, enabling moderate duration missions of several months before astronaut exposure (galactic cosmic ray and solar particle event) approaches radiation exposure limits. In order to minimize habitat mass for increasingly challenging missions, design of radiation shelters must minimize dedicated, single-purpose shielding mass by leveraging the design and placement of habitat subsystems, accommodations, and consumables. NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems RadWorks Storm Shelter Team has recently designed and performed radiation analysis on several low dedicated mass shelter concepts for a year-long mission. This paper describes habitat design considerations identified during the study's radiation analysis. These considerations include placement of the shelter within a habitat for improved protection, integration of human factors guidance for sizing shelters, identification of potential opportunities for habitat subsystems to compromise on individual subsystem performances for overall vehicle mass reductions, and pre-configuration of shelter components for reduced deployment times.

  6. Habitat structure alters top-down control in litter communities.

    PubMed

    Kalinkat, Gregor; Brose, Ulrich; Rall, Björn Christian

    2013-07-01

    The question whether top-down or bottom-up forces dominate trophic relationships, energy flow, and abundances within food webs has fuelled much ecological research with particular focus on soil litter ecosystems. Because litter simultaneously provides habitat structure and a basal resource, disentangling direct trophic and indirect non-trophic effects on different trophic levels remains challenging. Here, we focussed on short-term per capita interaction strengths of generalist predators (centipedes) on their microbi-detritivore prey (springtails) and addressed how the habitat structuring effects of the leaf litter modifies this interaction. We performed a series of laboratory functional response experiments where four levels of habitat structure were constructed by adding different amounts of leaf litter to the experimental arenas. We found that increased leaf litter reduced the consumption rate of the predator. We interpreted this as a dilution effect of the augmented habitat size provided by the increasing leaf litter surface available to the species. Dilution of the prey population decreased encounter rates, whereas the capture success was not affected. Interestingly, our results imply that top-down control by centipedes decreased with increasing resource supply for the microbi-detritivore prey (i.e. the leaf litter that simultaneously provides habitat structure). Therefore, effective top-down control of predators on microbi-detritvore populations seems unlikely in litter-rich ecosystems due to the non-trophic, habitat-structuring effect of the basal litter resource. PMID:23188055

  7. Habitat complexity: coral structural loss leads to fisheries declines.

    PubMed

    Graham, Nicholas A J

    2014-05-01

    Direct human impacts and global climate change are altering the composition and structure of coral reef habitats. These changes are simplifying size-abundance relationships of reef fish communities, reducing productivity through the system and ultimately threatening fisheries yields. PMID:24801184

  8. SALT MARSH HABITAT FROM A FISH EYE VIEW: A TEST OF THE DIMENSIONLESS INDEX OF HABITAT COMPLEXITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Salt marshes are considered important foraging and predator refuge areas for fish, but these functions are rarely measured. The goal of this study was to examine the relationship between the structural complexity of the habitat and fish size in marshes subjected to different wat...

  9. Habitat classification modeling with incomplete data: pushing the habitat envelope.

    PubMed

    Zarnetske, Phoebe L; Edwards, Thomas C; Moisen, Gretchen G

    2007-09-01

    Habitat classification models (HCMs) are invaluable tools for species conservation, land-use planning, reserve design, and metapopulation assessments, particularly at broad spatial scales. However, species occurrence data are often lacking and typically limited to presence points at broad scales. This lack of absence data precludes the use of many statistical techniques for HCMs. One option is to generate pseudo-absence points so that the many available statistical modeling tools can bb used. Traditional techniques generate pseudo-absence points at random across broadly defined species ranges, often failing to include biological knowledge concerning the species-habitat relationship. We incorporated biological knowledge of the species-habitat relationship into pseudo-absence points by creating habitat envelopes that constrain the region from which points were randomly selected. We define a habitat envelope as an ecological representation of a species, or species feature's (e.g., nest) observed distribution (i.e., realized niche) based on a single attribute, or the spatial intersection of multiple attributes. We created HCMs for Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis atricapillus) nest habitat during the breeding season across Utah forests with extant nest presence points and ecologically based pseudo-absence points using logistic regression. Predictor variables were derived from 30-m USDA Landfire and 250-m Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) map products. These habitat-envelope-based models were then compared to null envelope models which use traditional practices for generating pseudo-absences. Models were assessed for fit and predictive capability using metrics such as kappa, threshold-independent receiver operating characteristic (ROC) plots, adjusted deviance (D(adj)2), and cross-validation, and were also assessed for ecological relevance. For all cases, habitat envelope-based models outperformed null envelope models and were more ecologically relevant, suggesting that incorporating biological knowledge into pseudo-absence point generation is a powerful tool for species habitat assessments. Furthermore, given some a priori knowledge of the species-habitat relationship, ecologically based pseudo-absence points can be applied to any species, ecosystem, data resolution, and spatial extent. PMID:17913135

  10. The ecology of urban habitats

    SciTech Connect

    Gilbert, O.L.

    1989-01-01

    This book provides an overview of the structure and function of urban ecosystems as well as a summary of existing information on specific urban habitats. The introduction and first four chapters of the book review characteristics of urban flora and fauna, urban climate and air pollution, soils and vegetation dynamics. The remaining 11 chapters cover the ecology and management of specific urban habitat types, with case studies included.

  11. Habitat-specific demography: evidence for source-sink population structure in a mammal, the pika.

    PubMed

    Kreuzer, M P; Huntly, N J

    2003-02-01

    Theory suggests that populations may persist in sink habitats that cannot support replacement-level birth rates. Although it is commonly believed that organisms that can actively select habitat should rarely occur in sinks, the frequency of use of sinks in free-ranging species is not well-documented. We found that a population of American pikas ( Ochotona princeps, Lagomorpha) inhabiting distinct alpine habitats (meadow and snowbed) in Wyoming, USA, had habitat-specific demographic rates that produced a source-sink population structure. Population size increased in both habitats in summer and declined in both habitats in winter, with populations in snowbeds increasing more during summer and decreasing more over winter. Birth rates were consistently higher in meadows and populations in meadows had a consistently higher finite rate of increase (lambda, from life tables) than did those in snowbeds, for which lambda was far below that needed for replacement. Patterns of immigration, population structure, and temporal variation in population size were as expected if meadows were functional sources and snowbeds functional sinks. Patterns of snowmelt differed between habitats, predicted the critical difference in birth rates between habitats, and are a likely primary cause of the differences in habitat-specific birth rates that we observed. This study provides a clear example of source-sink population structure for a mammal. PMID:12647141

  12. Population and habitat dynamics of the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) in a heterogeneous forest

    SciTech Connect

    Ormiston, B.G.

    1984-07-01

    Movements and demography of white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) were determined by live-trapping and radiotelemetry in contiguous upland and lowland forest habitat to assess the extent of variation in local habitat distribution due to season, age, and sex factors. Mice were marked and recaptured monthly in 1980 and 1981 from April through December on a continuous 20 ha trapping grid, thus yielding 1486 captures of 397 individuals. Locations and activity of 43 mice were determined by radiotracking. Various measures of habitat suitability, including adult density, sex ratio, reproduction, persistence, home range size, and immigration, indicated a seasonal cycle of habitat suitability. Upland habitat appeared better for overwintering, and lowland habitat was superior relative to the upland from June through October. Tendencies for breeding females to be restricted to lowland, and for lowland males to display greater mean body weights and smaller home range sizes than upland males, were attributed to greater food availability in the lowland over this period. Individual P. leucopus use local habitats opportunistically, but variations in habitat distribution between the age- and sex-classes of the population noted during the breeding season suggest that local habitats provide a spatial framework for behavioral population regulation in P. leucopus. 49 references, 5 figures, 10 tables.

  13. Geopressured habitat: A literature review

    SciTech Connect

    Negus-de Wys, Jane

    1992-09-01

    A literature review of the geopressured-geothermal habitat is summarized. Findings are presented and discussed with respect to the principal topics: Casual agents are both geological and geochemical; they include disequilibrium compaction of sediments, clay diagenesis, aquathermal pressuring, hydrocarbon generation, and lateral tectonic compression. The overall physical and chemical characteristics of the habitats are dictated by varying combinations of sedimentation rates, alteration mineralogy, permeability, porosity and pressure, temperature, fluid content and chemistry, and hydrodynamic flow. Habitat pressure seals are considered in terms of their formation processes, geologic characteristics, and physical behavior, including pressure release and reservoir pressure recharge on a geologic time scale. World-wide occurrence of geopressured-geothermal habitats is noted. The main thrust of this topic concerns the U.S.A. and Canada; in addition, reference is made to occurrences in China and indications from deep-sea vents, as well as the contribution of paleo-overpressure to habitat initiation and maintenance. Identification and assessment of the habitat is addressed in relation to use of hydrogeologic, geophysical, geochemical, and geothermic techniques, as well as well-logging and drill-stem-test data. Conclusions concerning the adequacy of the current state of knowledge and its applicability to resource exploration and development are set forth, together with recommendations for the thrust of future work.

  14. Asotin Creek Instream Habitat Alteration Projects: 1998 Habitat Evaluation Surveys.

    SciTech Connect

    Bumgarner, Joseph D.

    1999-03-01

    The Asotin Creek Model Watershed Master Plan was completed 1994. The plan was developed by a landowner steering committee for the Asotin County Conservation District (ACCD), with technical support from the various Federal, State and local entities. Actions identified within the plan to improve the Asotin Creek ecosystem fall into four main categories, (1) Stream and Riparian, (2) Forestland, (3) Rangeland, and (4) Cropland. Specific actions to be carried out within the stream and in the riparian area to improve fish habitat were, (a) create more pools, (b) increase the amount of large organic debris (LOD), (c) increase the riparian buffer zone through tree planting, and (d) increase fencing to limit livestock access; additionally, the actions are intended to stabilize the river channel, reduce sediment input, and protect private property. Fish species of main concern in Asotin Creek are summer steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss), spring chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), and bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus). Spring chinook in Asotin Creek are considered extinct (Bumgarner et al. 1998); bull trout and summer steelhead are below historical levels and are currently as ''threatened'' under the ESA. In 1998, 16 instream habitat projects were planned by ACCD along with local landowners. The ACCD identified the need for a more detailed analysis of these instream projects to fully evaluate their effectiveness at improving fish habitat. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's (WDFW) Snake River Lab (SRL) was contracted by the ACCD to take pre-construction measurements of the existing habitat (pools, LOD, width, depth, etc.) within each identified site, and to eventually evaluate fish use within these sites. All pre-construction habitat measurements were completed between 6 and 14 July, 1998. 1998 was the first year that this sort of evaluation has occurred. Post construction measurements of habitat structures installed in 1998, and fish usage evaluation, will be conducted in 1999. As such, this report is confined to 1998 habitat data summaries for each site, with no analytical evaluation.

  15. Impact of China's May 12 earthquake on Giant Panda habitat in Wenchuan County

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Weihua; Dong, Rencai; Wang, Xuezhi; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Li, Zhiqi; Xiao, Yi; Zhang, Jindong

    2009-05-01

    The Minshan and Qionglai mountains, the major distribution range of the Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), was struck by the Wenchuan earthquake. In this study, we evaluated the impact of the earthquake and subsequent geo-disasters on the Giant Panda and its habitat using Wenchuan county (where the epicenter was located) as a case study. Habitat characteristics before and after the earthquake were analyzed based on TM images taken pre and post-earthquake and previous research in this region. Results showed that about 252.0 km2 of panda habitat was lost in Wenchuan County after the earthquake, which accounted for 13.9% of the total habitat in this county. Regions with high earthquake intensity, low elevation, steep slope, and near river had a higher proportion of habitat loss than in other regions. In addition to habitat loss, the earthquake and its resulting geo-disasters also caused habitat fragmentation. After the earthquake, the number of habitat patches increased by a factor of 2 and mean patch size was only 28.3% of pre-earthquake conditions. Habitat restoration and corridor reparation along Road 303 are necessary for facilitating panda's migration between isolated patches. It is necessary to take some measures including relocation of residents and earthquake compensation to decrease the impact of reconstruction on the Giant Panda and its habitat.

  16. Simulated effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on a solitary, mustellid predator

    SciTech Connect

    Jager, Yetta; Carr, Eric A; Efroymson, Rebecca Ann

    2005-01-01

    Brine spills associated with petroleum extraction can reduce the amount of suitable habitat and increase habitat fragmentation for many terrestrial animals. We conducted a simulation study to quantify the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on a solitary mammal predator. To provide focus, we adopted biological attributes of the American badger (Taxidea taxus) and environmental attributes of the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Oklahoma. We simulated badger activities on landscapes with different degrees of habitat loss and fragmentation using a spatially explicit and individual-based population model. Both habitat loss and fragmentation increased the incidence of habitat-related mortality and decreased the proportion of eligible females that mated, which decreased final population sizes and the likelihood of persistence. Parameter exploration suggested that steep, threshold-like, responses to habitat loss occurred when animals included high-risk habitat in their territories. Badger populations showed a steeper decline with increasing habitat loss on landscapes fragmented by spills than on less fragmented landscapes. Habitat fragmentation made it difficult for badgers to form high-quality territories, and exposed individuals to higher risk while seeking to establish a territory. Our simulations also suggest that an inability to find mates (an Allee effect) becomes increasingly important for landscapes that support a sparse distribution of territories. Thus, the presence of unmated females with territories may foreshadow population decline in solitary species that do not normally tolerate marginal adults.

  17. SHORELINE, LAKE, AND ESTUARY SCALE HABITAT RESEARCH

    EPA Science Inventory

    Habitat alteration is well recognized as a major cause of loss of living aquatic resources. Many fish and wildlife species depend on several habitats (or on habitat landscapes) in their life histories and migratory patterns. This NHEERL habitat research will develop stressor-re...

  18. Habitat use of American eel (Anguilla rostrata) in a tributary of the Hudson River, New York

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, James H.; Nack, Christopher C.

    2013-01-01

    American eel Anguilla rostrata populations are declining over much of their native range. Since American eels spend extended periods in freshwater, understanding their habitat requirements while freshwater residents is important for the management and conservation of this species. As there is little information on American eel habitat use in streams, the ontogenetic, diel, and seasonal habitat use as well as habitat selectivity of three size groups (i.e. ?199 mm total length, 200–399 mm, ?400 mm) of eel were examined in a tributary of the Hudson River. American eels in Hannacroix Creek exhibited ontogenetic, diel, and seasonal variation in habitat use as well as habitat selection. During both summer and autumn all sizes of American eels used larger substrate and more cover during the day. American eels ?199 mm exhibited the strongest habitat selection, whereas eels 200–399 mm exhibited the least. During the autumn all sizes of American eels occupied slower depositional areas where deciduous leaf litter accumulated and provided cover. This may have important implications for in-stream and riparian habitat management of lotic systems used by American eel.

  19. Distribution of black-tailed jackrabbit habitat determined by GIS in southwestern Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knick, Steven T.; Dyer, D.L.

    1997-01-01

    We developed a multivariate description of black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) habitat associations from Geographical Information Systems (GIS) signatures surrounding known jackrabbit locations in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA), in southwestern Idaho. Habitat associations were determined for characteristics within a 1-km radius (approx home range size) of jackrabbits sighted on night spotlight surveys conducted from 1987 through 1995. Predictive habitat variables were number of shrub, agriculture, and hydrography cells, mean and standard deviation of shrub patch size, habitat richness, and a measure of spatial heterogeneity. In winter, jackrabbits used smaller and less variable sizes of shrub patches and areas of higher spatial heterogeneity when compared to summer observations (P 0.05), differed significantly between high and low population phase. We used the Mahalanobis distance statistic to rank all 50-m cells in a 440,000-ha region relative to the multivariate mean habitat vector. On verification surveys to test predicted models, we sighted jackrabbits in areas ranked close to the mean habitat vector. Areas burned by large-scale fires between 1980 and 1992 or in an area repeatedly burned by military training activities had greater Mahalanobis distances from the mean habitat vector than unburned areas and were less likely to contain habitats used by jackrabbits.

  20. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Bigmouth Buffalo

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Edwards, Elizabeth A.

    1983-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop riverine and lacustrine habitat models for Bigmouth buffalo (Ictiobus cyprinellus), a freshwater fish. The models are scaled to produce an indices of habitat suitability between 0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1 (optimally suitable habitat) for freshwater areas of the continental United States. Other habitat suitability models found in the literature are also included. Habitat suitability indices (HSI's) are designed for use with the habitat evaluation procedures developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  1. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Black Brant

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schroeder, Richard L.

    1984-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a habitat suitability index model for wintering habitat of the black brant (Branta bernicla nigracans). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application and is scaled to produce an index value between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). Habitat suitability index (HSI) models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  2. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Common Shiner

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Trial, Joan G.; Wade, Charles S.; Stanley, Jon G.; Nelson, Patrick C.

    1983-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop riverine and lacustrine habitat models for common shiner (Notropis cornutus). The models are scaled to produce an index of habitat suitability between 0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1 (optimally suitable habitat) for the northeastern range of the common shiner in North America. Habitat suitability indexes (HSI's) are designed for use with the habitat evaluation procedures developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Also included are discussions of Suitability Index (SI) curves as used in the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM) and SI curves available for an IFIM analysis of smallmouth bass habitat.

  3. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Eastern Brown Pelican

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hingtgen, Terrence M.; Mulholland, Rosemarie; Zale, Alexander V.

    1985-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a habitat model for the eastern brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis carolinensis). The model is scaled to produce an index of habitat suitability between 0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1.0 (optimal habitat) for coastal areas within the eastern brown pelican's breeding range. Habitat suitability indices are designed for use with the Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Guidelines for application of the eastern brown pelican habitat model and techniques for measuring model variables are described.

  4. Habitat-Associations of Turban Snails on Intertidal and Subtidal Rocky Reefs

    PubMed Central

    Smoothey, Amy F.

    2013-01-01

    Patchiness of habitat has important influences on distributions and abundances of organisms. Given the increasing threat of loss and alteration of habitats due to pressures associated with humans, there is a need for ecologists to understand species' requirements for habitat and to predict changes to taxa under various future environmental conditions. This study tested hypotheses about the generality of patterns described for one species of marine intertidal turban snail for a different, yet closely-related species in subtidal habitats along the coast of New South Wales, Australia. These two closely-related species live in similar habitats, yet under quite different conditions, which provided an opportunity to investigate how similar types of habitats influence patterns of distribution, abundance and size-structure in intertidal versus subtidal environments. For each species, there were similar associations between biogenically structured habitat and densities. The intertidal species, Turbo undulates, were more abundant, with greater proportions of small individuals in habitats formed by the canopy-forming alga, Hormosira banksii, the solitary ascidian, Pyura stolonifera or the turfing red alga, Corallina officinalis compared to simple habitat (bare rock). Similarly, more Turbo torquatus were found in biogenically structured subtidal habitat, i.e. canopy-forming algae, Ecklonia radiata, mixed algal communities (‘fringe’), or turfing red algae (Corallina officinalis and Amphiroa aniceps) than where habitat is simple (barrens). Small T. torquatus were more abundant in areas of turf and ‘fringe’, while large snails were more abundant in areas of kelp and barrens. These patterns were found at each location sampled (i.e. eight intertidal and two subtidal rocky reefs) and at all times of sampling, across each environment. This study highlighted the consistent influence of biogenically structured habitats on the distribution, abundance and size-structure of intertidal and subtidal turban snails and forms a basis for increasing the understanding of the potential underlying processes causing such patterns. PMID:23675409

  5. Risk of local extinction of Odonata freshwater habitat generalists and specialists.

    PubMed

    Suhonen, Jukka; Korkeamäki, Esa; Salmela, Jukka; Kuitunen, Markku

    2014-06-01

    Understanding the risk of a local extinction in a single population relative to the habitat requirements of a species is important in both theoretical and applied ecology. Local extinction risk depends on several factors, such as habitat requirements, range size of species, and habitat quality. We studied the local extinctions among 31 dragonfly and damselfly species from 1930 to 1975 and from 1995 to 2003 in Central Finland. We tested whether habitat specialists had a higher local extinction rate than generalist species. Approximately 30% of the local dragonfly and damselfly populations were extirpated during the 2 study periods. The size of the geographical range of the species was negatively related to extinction rate of the local populations. In contrast to our prediction, the specialist species had lower local extinction rates than the generalist species, probably because generalist species occurred in both low- and high-quality habitat. Our results are consistent with source-sink theory. PMID:24405332

  6. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Gray Partridge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, Arthur W.

    1984-01-01

    This report is part of the Habitat Suitability Index model series which provides habitat information useful for impact assessment and habitat management. The Habitat Use Information section is largely constrained to those data that can be used to derive quantitative relationships between key environmental variables and habitat suitability. The habitat use information provides the foundation for the HSI model that follows. In addition, this same information may be useful in the development of other models more appropriate to specific assessment or evaluation needs for the gray partridge (Perdix perdix). The HSI model section documents a habitat model and information pertinent to its application. The model synthesizes the habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application and is scaled to produce an index value between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1.0 (optimum habitat).

  7. Toward an identification of resources influencing habitat use in a multi-specific context.

    PubMed

    Richard, Emmanuelle; Said, Sonia; Hamann, Jean-Luc; Gaillard, Jean-Michel

    2011-01-01

    Interactions between animal behaviour and the environment are both shaping observed habitat use. Despite the importance of inter-specific interactions on the habitat use performed by individuals, most previous analyses have focused on case studies of single species. By focusing on two sympatric populations of large herbivores with contrasting body size, we went one step beyond by studying variation in home range size and identifying the factors involved in such variation, to define how habitat features such as resource heterogeneity, resource quality, and openness created by hurricane or forest managers, and constraints may influence habitat use at the individual level. We found a large variability among individual's home range size in both species, particularly in summer. Season appeared as the most important factor accounting for observed variation in home range size. Regarding habitat features, we found that (i) the proportion of area damaged by the hurricane was the only habitat component that inversely influenced roe deer home range size, (ii) this habitat type also influenced both diurnal and nocturnal red deer home range sizes, (iii) home range size of red deer during the day was inversely influenced by the biomass of their preferred plants, as were both diurnal and nocturnal core areas of the red deer home range, and (iv) we do not find any effect of resource heterogeneity on home range size in any case. Our results suggest that a particular habitat type (i.e. areas damaged by hurricane) can be used by individuals of sympatric species because it brings both protected and dietary resources. Thus, it is necessary to maintain the openness of these areas and to keep animal density quite low as observed in these hunted populations to limit competition between these sympatric populations of herbivores. PMID:22216164

  8. Toward an Identification of Resources Influencing Habitat Use in a Multi-Specific Context

    PubMed Central

    Richard, Emmanuelle; Said, Sonia; Hamann, Jean-Luc; Gaillard, Jean-Michel

    2011-01-01

    Interactions between animal behaviour and the environment are both shaping observed habitat use. Despite the importance of inter-specific interactions on the habitat use performed by individuals, most previous analyses have focused on case studies of single species. By focusing on two sympatric populations of large herbivores with contrasting body size, we went one step beyond by studying variation in home range size and identifying the factors involved in such variation, to define how habitat features such as resource heterogeneity, resource quality, and openness created by hurricane or forest managers, and constraints may influence habitat use at the individual level. We found a large variability among individual's home range size in both species, particularly in summer. Season appeared as the most important factor accounting for observed variation in home range size. Regarding habitat features, we found that (i) the proportion of area damaged by the hurricane was the only habitat component that inversely influenced roe deer home range size, (ii) this habitat type also influenced both diurnal and nocturnal red deer home range sizes, (iii) home range size of red deer during the day was inversely influenced by the biomass of their preferred plants, as were both diurnal and nocturnal core areas of the red deer home range, and (iv) we do not find any effect of resource heterogeneity on home range size in any case. Our results suggest that a particular habitat type (i.e. areas damaged by hurricane) can be used by individuals of sympatric species because it brings both protected and dietary resources. Thus, it is necessary to maintain the openness of these areas and to keep animal density quite low as observed in these hunted populations to limit competition between these sympatric populations of herbivores. PMID:22216164

  9. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Brown Thrasher

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cade, Brian S.

    1986-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  10. Habitat Suitability Index Models: American Coot

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, Arthur W.

    1985-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the American coot (Fulica americana). The model consolidates habitat use information in to a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  11. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Eastern Meadowlark

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schroeder, Richard L.; Sousa, Patrick J.

    1982-01-01

    Habitat preferences of the eastern meadowlark (Sturnella magna) are described in this publication, which is one of a series of Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models. Habitat use information is presented in a synthesis of the literature on the species-habitat requirements of the eastern meadowlark, followed by the development of the HSI model. The model is presented in three formats: graphic, word, and mathematical, and is designed to provide information for use in impact assessment and habitat management activities.

  12. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Belted Kingfisher

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prose, Bart L.

    1985-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the belted kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  13. Habitat Suitability Index Models: American Woodcock (Wintering)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cade, Brian S.

    1985-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the American woodcock. The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is sclaed to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimally suitable habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  14. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Common Carp

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Edwards, Elizabeth A.; Twomey, Katie

    1982-01-01

    This is one of a series of publications that provide information on the habitat requirements of selected fish and wildlife species. Literature describing the relationship between habitat variables related to life requisites and habitat suitability for the Common carp (Cyprinus carpio) are synthesized. These data are subsequently used to develop Habitat Suitability (HIS) models. The HSI models are designed to provide information that can be used in impact assessment and habitat management.

  15. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Greater Sandhill Crane

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Armbruster, Michael J.

    1987-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the greater sandhill crane (Grus canadensis tabida). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  16. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Lark Bunting

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Finch, Deborah M.; Anderson, Stanley H.; Hubert, Wayne A.

    1987-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the lark bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  17. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Gadwall (Breeding)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sousa, Patrick J.

    1985-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the gadwall (Anas strepera). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  18. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Black Bullhead

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stuber, Robert J.

    1982-01-01

    This is one of a series of publications that provide information on the habitat requirements of selected fish and wildlife species. Literature describing the relationship between habitat variables related to life requisites and habitat suitability for the Black bullhead (Ictalurus melas) are synthesized. These data are subsequently used to develop Habitat Suitability (HIS) models. The HSI models are designed to provide information that can be used in impact assessment and habitat management.

  19. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Blue Grouse

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schroeder, Richard L.

    1984-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  20. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Flathead Catfish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, Lawrence A.; Terrell, James W.

    1987-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  1. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Largemouth Bass

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stuber, Robert J.; Gebhart, Glen; Maughan, O. Eugene

    1982-01-01

    This is one of a series of publications that provide information on the habitat requirements of selected fish and wildlife species. Literature describing the relationship between habitat variables related to life requisites and habitat suitability for the Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) are synthesized. These data are subsequently used to develop Habitat Suitability (HIS) models. The HSI models are designed to provide information that can be used in impact assessment and habitat management.

  2. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Swamp Rabbit

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, Arthur W.

    1985-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the swamp rabbit (Sylvilagus aquaticus). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  3. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Snowshoe Hare

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carreker, Raymond G.

    1985-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the Snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  4. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Eastern Wild Turkey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schroeder, Richard L.

    1985-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo sylvestris). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  5. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Hairy Woodpecker

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sousa, Patrick J.

    1987-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the hairy woodpecker (Picoides villosus). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  6. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Cactus Wren

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Short, Henry L.

    1985-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  7. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Snapping Turtle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graves, Brent M.; Anderson, Stanley H.

    1987-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  8. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Barred Owl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, Arthur W.

    1987-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the barred owl (Strix varia). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  9. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Spotted Owl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laymon, Stephen A.; Salwasser, Hal; Barrett, Reginald H.

    1985-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the spotted owl (Strix occidentalis). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  10. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Smallmouth Buffalo

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Edwards, Elizabeth A.; Twomey, Katie

    1982-01-01

    This is one of a series of publications that provide information on the habitat requirements of selected fish and wildlife species. Literature describing the relationship between habitat variables related to life requisites and habitat suitability for the Smallmouth buffalo (Ictiobus bubalus) are synthesized. These data are subsequently used to develop Habitat Suitability (HIS) models. The HSI models are designed to provide information that can be used in impact assessment and habitat management.

  11. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Green Sunfish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stuber, Robert J.; Gebhart, Glen; Maughan, O. Eugene

    1982-01-01

    This is one of a series of publications that provide information on the habitat requirements of selected fish and wildlife species. Literature describing the relationship between habitat variables related to life requisites and habitat suitability for the Green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) are synthesized. These data are subsequently used to develop Habitat Suitability (HIS) models. The HSI models are designed to provide information that can be used in impact assessment and habitat management.

  12. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Gray Squirrel

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, Arthur W.

    1987-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  13. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Slider Turtle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morreale, Stephen J.; Gibbons, J. Whitfield

    1986-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the slider turtle (Pseudemys scripta). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  14. Determining habitat quality for species that demonstrate dynamic habitat selection

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beerens, James; Frederick, Peter C; Noonburg, Erik G; Gawlik, Dale E.

    2015-01-01

    Determining habitat quality for wildlife populations requires relating a species' habitat to its survival and reproduction. Within a season, species occurrence and density can be disconnected from measures of habitat quality when resources are highly seasonal, unpredictable over time, and patchy. Here we establish an explicit link among dynamic selection of changing resources, spatio-temporal species distributions, and fitness for predictive abundance and occurrence models that are used for short-term water management and long-term restoration planning. We used the wading bird distribution and evaluation models (WADEM) that estimate (1) daily changes in selection across resource gradients, (2) landscape abundance of flocks and individuals, (3) conspecific foraging aggregation, and (4) resource unit occurrence (at fixed 400 m cells) to quantify habitat quality and its consequences on reproduction for wetland indicator species. We linked maximum annual numbers of nests detected across the study area and nesting success of Great Egrets (Ardea alba), White Ibises (Eudocimus albus), and Wood Storks (Mycteria americana) over a 20-year period to estimated daily dynamics of food resources produced by WADEM over a 7490 km2 area. For all species, increases in predicted species abundance in March and high abundance in April were strongly linked to breeding responses. Great Egret nesting effort and success were higher when birds also showed greater conspecific foraging aggregation. Synthesis and applications: This study provides the first empirical evidence that dynamic habitat selection processes and distributions of wading birds over environmental gradients are linked with reproductive measures over periods of decades. Further, predictor variables at a variety of temporal (daily-multiannual) resolutions and spatial (400 m to regional) scales effectively explained variation in ecological processes that change habitat quality. The process used here allows managers to develop short- and long-term conservation strategies that (1) consider flexible behavioral patterns and (2) are robust to environmental variation over time.

  15. Concepts for manned lunar habitats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hypes, W. D.; Butterfield, A. J.; King, C. B.; Qualls, G. D.; Davis, W. T.; Gould, M. J.; Nealy, J. E.; Simonsen, L. C.

    1991-01-01

    The design philosophy that will guide the design of early lunar habitats will be based on a compromise between the desired capabilities of the base and the economics of its development and implantation. Preferred design will be simple, make use of existing technologies, require the least amount of lunar surface preparation, and minimize crew activity. Three concepts for an initial habitat supporting a crew of four for 28 to 30 days are proposed. Two of these are based on using Space Station Freedom structural elements modified for use in a lunar-gravity environment. A third concept is proposed that is based on an earlier technology based on expandable modules. The expandable modules offer significant advantages in launch mass and packaged volume reductions. It appears feasible to design a transport spacecraft lander that, once landed, can serve as a habitat and a stand-off for supporting a regolith environmental shield. A permanent lunar base habitat supporting a crew of twelve for an indefinite period can be evolved by using multiple initial habitats. There appears to be no compelling need for an entirely different structure of larger volume and increased complexity of implantation.

  16. A GIS modeling method applied to predicting forest songbird habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dettmers, Randy; Bart, Jonathan

    1999-01-01

    We have developed an approach for using a??presencea?? data to construct habitat models. Presence data are those that indicate locations where the target organism is observed to occur, but that cannot be used to define locations where the organism does not occur. Surveys of highly mobile vertebrates often yield these kinds of data. Models developed through our approach yield predictions of the amount and the spatial distribution of good-quality habitat for the target species. This approach was developed primarily for use in a GIS context; thus, the models are spatially explicit and have the potential to be applied over large areas. Our method consists of two primary steps. In the first step, we identify an optimal range of values for each habitat variable to be used as a predictor in the model. To find these ranges, we employ the concept of maximizing the difference between cumulative distribution functions of (1) the values of a habitat variable at the observed presence locations of the target organism, and (2) the values of that habitat variable for all locations across a study area. In the second step, multivariate models of good habitat are constructed by combining these ranges of values, using the Boolean operators a??anda?? and a??or.a?? We use an approach similar to forward stepwise regression to select the best overall model. We demonstrate the use of this method by developing species-specific habitat models for nine forest-breeding songbirds (e.g., Cerulean Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, Wood Thrush) studied in southern Ohio. These models are based on speciesa?? microhabitat preferences for moisture and vegetation characteristics that can be predicted primarily through the use of abiotic variables. We use slope, land surface morphology, land surface curvature, water flow accumulation downhill, and an integrated moisture index, in conjunction with a land-cover classification that identifies forest/nonforest, to develop these models. The performance of these models was evaluated with an independent data set. Our tests showed that the models performed better than random at identifying where the birds occurred and provided useful information for predicting the amount and spatial distribution of good habitat for the birds we studied. In addition, we generally found positive correlations between the amount of habitat, as predicted by the models, and the number of territories within a given area. This added component provides the possibility, ultimately, of being able to estimate population sizes. Our models represent useful tools for resource managers who are interested in assessing the impacts of alternative management plans that could alter or remove habitat for these birds.

  17. Coefficients of Productivity for Yellowstone's Grizzly Bear Habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mattson, David John; Barber, Kim; Maw, Ralene; Renkin, Roy

    2004-01-01

    This report describes methods for calculating coefficients used to depict habitat productivity for grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem. Calculations based on these coefficients are used in the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Cumulative Effects Model to map the distribution of habitat productivity and account for the impacts of human facilities. The coefficients of habitat productivity incorporate detailed information that was collected over a 20-year period (1977-96) on the foraging behavior of Yellowstone's bears and include records of what bears were feeding on, when and where they fed, the extent of that feeding activity, and relative measures of the quantity consumed. The coefficients also incorporate information, collected primarily from 1986 to 1992, on the nutrient content of foods that were consumed, their digestibility, characteristic bite sizes, and the energy required to extract and handle each food. Coefficients were calculated for different time periods and different habitat types, specific to different parts of the Yellowstone ecosystem. Stratifications included four seasons of bear activity (spring, estrus, early hyperphagia, late hyperphagia), years when ungulate carrion and whitebark pine seed crops were abundant versus not, areas adjacent to (<100 m) or far away from forest/nonforest edges, and areas inside or outside of ungulate winter ranges. Densities of bear activity in each region, habitat type, and time period were incorporated into calculations, controlling for the effects of proximity to human facilities. The coefficients described in this report and associated estimates of grizzly bear habitat productivity are unique among many efforts to model the conditions of bear habitat because calculations include information on energetics derived from the observed behavior of radio-marked bears.

  18. Multiple foundation species shape benthic habitat islands.

    PubMed

    Yakovis, Eugeniy L; Artemieva, Anna V; Shunatova, Natalia N; Varfolomeeva, Marina A

    2008-04-01

    Pattern generation by foundation species (FS) is a primary structuring agent in marine and terrestrial communities. Prior research, focused on single-species or guild-dominated habitats, stressed the role of facilitation in maintaining community structure. However, many habitats are developed by multiple FS from different guilds. Competition between these FS may provide an additional agent potentially responsible for spatial and temporal patterns. In the White Sea, epibenthic patches formed by barnacles (Balanus crenatus) and solitary ascidians (mainly Styela spp. and Molgula spp.) on small stones and empty bivalve shells (mainly Serripes groenlandicus) produce microhabitats for different sessile taxa. We hypothesized that: (1) several FS would provide habitats for most of other species in the community; (2) different FS promote different assemblages of sessile organisms; (3) the interplay of facilitation and competition best explains observed patterns of abundance and demography in FS; and (4) these interactions shape the whole community, increasing the diversity compared to less heterogeneous patches constituted by single FS. We examined 459 patches and the results generally supported this hypothesis. The number of FS in a patch positively affected species diversity. Most sessile species (72% of individuals) resided on barnacles, ascidians and red algae, except barnacles that dominated the primary substrate. The size structure of barnacles (live individuals and empty shells) and ascidians were interrelated, suggesting long-term patch dynamics whereby ascidians regularly replace barnacles. Following this replacement, we expect consequent changes to the entire dependent assemblage. Evidence for these changes exists in the spatial pattern: most sessile and motile taxa demonstrated significant associations with either FS. Our results indicate that the small-scale patterns observed in patches formed by multiple FS are primarily generated by facilitation of dependent taxa by FS, and facilitation and competition between different FS. PMID:18193291

  19. Movement is the glue connecting home ranges and habitat selection.

    PubMed

    Van Moorter, Bram; Rolandsen, Christer M; Basille, Mathieu; Gaillard, Jean-Michel

    2016-01-01

    Animal space use has been studied by focusing either on geographic (e.g. home ranges, species' distribution) or on environmental (e.g. habitat use and selection) space. However, all patterns of space use emerge from individual movements, which are the primary means by which animals change their environment. Individuals increase their use of a given area by adjusting two key movement components: the duration of their visit and/or the frequency of revisits. Thus, in spatially heterogeneous environments, animals exploit known, high-quality resource areas by increasing their residence time (RT) in and/or decreasing their time to return (TtoR) to these areas. We expected that spatial variation in these two movement properties should lead to observed patterns of space use in both geographic and environmental spaces. We derived a set of nine predictions linking spatial distribution of movement properties to emerging space-use patterns. We predicted that, at a given scale, high variation in RT and TtoR among habitats leads to strong habitat selection and that long RT and short TtoR result in a small home range size. We tested these predictions using moose (Alces alces) GPS tracking data. We first modelled the relationship between landscape characteristics and movement properties. Then, we investigated how the spatial distribution of predicted movement properties (i.e. spatial autocorrelation, mean, and variance of RT and TtoR) influences home range size and hierarchical habitat selection. In landscapes with high spatial autocorrelation of RT and TtoR, a high variation in both RT and TtoR occurred in home ranges. As expected, home range location was highly selective in such landscapes (i.e. second-order habitat selection); RT was higher and TtoR lower within the selected home range than outside, and moose home ranges were small. Within home ranges, a higher variation in both RT and TtoR was associated with higher selectivity among habitat types (i.e. third-order habitat selection). Our findings show how patterns of geographic and environmental space use correspond to the two sides of a coin, linked by movement responses of individuals to environmental heterogeneity. By demonstrating the potential to assess the consequences of altering RT or TtoR (e.g. through human disturbance or climatic changes) on home range size and habitat selection, our work sets the basis for new theoretical and methodological advances in movement ecology. PMID:25980987

  20. eHabitat - A web service for habitat similarity modeling with uncertainty propagation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olav Skøien, Jon; Schulz, Michael; Dubois, Gregoire; Heuvelink, Gerard

    2013-04-01

    We are developing eHabitat, a Web Processing Service (WPS) that can model current and future habitat similarity for point observations, polygons defining an existing or hypothetical protected area, or sets of polygons defining the estimated ranges for one or more species. A range of Web Clients makes it easy to use the WPS with predefined data for predictions of the current or future climatic niche. The WPS is also able to document propagating uncertainties of the input data to the estimated similarity maps, if such information is available. The presentation will focus on the architecture of the service and the clients, on how uncertainties are handled by the model and on the presentation of uncertain results. The idea behind eHabitat is that one can classify the similarity between a reference geometry (point locations or polygons) and the surroundings based on one or more species distribution models (SDMs) and a set of ecological indicators. The ecological indicators are typically raster bioclimatic data (DEMs, climate data, vegetation maps …) describing important features for the species or habitats of interest. All these data sets have uncertainties, which can usually be described by treating the value of each pixel as a mean with a standard deviation. As the standard deviation will also be pixel based, it can be given as rasters. If standard deviations of the rasters are not available in the input data, this can also be guesstimated by the service to allow end-users to generate uncertainty scenarios. Rasters of standard deviations are used for simulating a set of spatially correlated maps of the input data, which are then used in the SDM. Additionally, the service can do bootstrapping samples from the input data, which is one of the classic methods for assessing uncertainty of SDMs. The two methods can also be combined, a convenient solution considering that simulation is a computationally much slower process than bootstrapping. Uncertainties in the results produced by eHabitat can be visualized in different ways, as maps, as difference maps in the case of different SDMs, or as the uncertainty of summary statistics such as the habitat replaceability index (HRI) defined as the relative size of the area with a similarity to the training data above a certain threshold.

  1. Habitat use affects morphological diversification in dragon lizards

    PubMed Central

    COLLAR, D C; SCHULTE, J A; O’MEARA, B C; LOSOS, J B

    2010-01-01

    Habitat use may lead to variation in diversity among evolutionary lineages because habitats differ in the variety of ways they allow for species to make a living. Here, we show that structural habitats contribute to differential diversification of limb and body form in dragon lizards (Agamidae). Based on phylogenetic analysis and ancestral state reconstructions for 90 species, we find that multiple lineages have independently adopted each of four habitat use types: rock-dwelling, terrestriality, semi-arboreality and arboreality. Given these reconstructions, we fit models of evolution to species’ morphological trait values and find that rock-dwelling and arboreality limit diversification relative to terrestriality and semi-arboreality. Models preferred by Akaike information criterion infer slower rates of size and shape evolution in lineages inferred to occupy rocks and trees, and model-averaged rate estimates are slowest for these habitat types. These results suggest that ground-dwelling facilitates ecomorphological differentiation and that use of trees or rocks impedes diversification. PMID:20345808

  2. Colony site dynamics and habitat use in Atlantic coast seabirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erwin, R.M.; Galli, J.; Burger, J.

    1981-01-01

    Seabird colony sizes and movements were documented in the DelMarVa coastal region in 1976-1977 and in New Jersey in 1978-1979. Most colonies were found on marsh and dredge deposition islands and on barrier island beaches. For the 'traditionally' beach-nesting Herring Gull, Common Tern, and Black Skimmer, larger, more stable colonies were found on barrier beaches than on marsh islands. In marsh habitats, rates of colony-site change of marshnesting Forster's Tern and Laughing Gulls were similar to those of the former beach nesters. Several adaptations have evolved in marsh specialists to cope with a high risk of reproductive failure due to flooding, but both Herring Gulls and Common Terns also appear to be very adaptable in nesting under various habitat conditions. New colonies and those abandoned between years may be pioneering attempts by younger or inexperienced birds, because they are often smaller than persistent colonies, although patterns differ among areas and habitats. Colony-site dynamics are complex and result from many selective factors including competition, predation, physical changes in site structure, and flooding. The invasion of Herring Gulls into marshes along the mid-Atlantic coast has had an impact on new colony-site choice by associated seabirds. Calculating colony-site turnover rates allows for comparisons among species, habitats, and regions and may give useful insights into habitat quality and change and alternative nesting strategies

  3. Lunar Habitat Airlock/Suitlock

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griffin, Brand Norman

    2008-01-01

    Airlocks for lunar Extravehicular Activity (EVA) will be significantly different than previous designs. Until now, airlocks operated infrequently and only in the "clean" weightless environment, but lunar airlocks are planned to be used much more often (every other day) in a dusty, gravity environment. Concepts for airlocks were analyzed by the NASA, JSC Habitability Focus Element during recent lunar outpost studies. Three airlock types were identified; an Airlock (AL) or independent pressure vessel with one hatch to the outside and the other to the Habitat. A Suitlock (SL) which shares a pressure bulkhead with the Habitat allowing rear-entry suits to remain on the dusty side while the crew enters/exits the Habitat. The third option is the Suitport (SP) which offers direct access from the habitable volume into an externally mounted suit. The SP concept was not compared, however between the AL and SL, the AL was favored.

  4. Tackling the habitat fragmentation panchreston.

    PubMed

    Lindenmayer, David B; Fischer, Joern

    2007-03-01

    The term 'habitat fragmentation' is often used inconsistently and as a broad umbrella for many patterns and processes that accompany landscape change. This has made it a panchreston or an explanation or theory used in such a variety of ways as to become meaningless. The panchreston problem has hampered efforts to understand and mitigate the negative impacts of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity, and has contributed to several largely unproductive debates. To overcome the panchreston problem, we suggest that the focus of future work needs to be specified more clearly within several key themes that comprise the broad domain of habitat fragmentation. Here, we outline three of these key themes and provide unambiguous terminology to help overcome the panchreston problem. PMID:17145095

  5. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Black Crappie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Edwards, Elizabeth A.; Krieger, Douglas A.; Bacteller, Mary; Maughan, O. Eugene

    1982-01-01

    Characteristics and habitat requirements of the black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) are described in a review of Habitat Suitability Index models. This is one in a series of publications to provide information on the habitat requirements of selected fish and wildlife species. Numerous literature sources have been consulted in an effort to consolidate scientific data on species-habitat relationships. These data have subsequently been synthesized into explicit Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models. The models are based on suitability indices indicating habitat preferences. Indices have been formulated for variables found to affect the life cycle and survival of each species. Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models are designed to provide information for use in impact assessment and habitat management activities. The HSI technique is a corollary to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Habitat Evaluation Procedures.

  6. Ontogenetic and diel variation in stream habitat use by brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in a headwater stream

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, J.H.; Ross, R.M.; Dropkin, D.S.; Redell, L.A.

    2011-01-01

    Although considerable information exists on habitat use by stream salmonids, only a small portion has quantitatively examined diurnal and nocturnal habitat variation. We examined diel variation in habitat use by age-0 and age-1+ brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) during summer and autumn in a headwater stream in northern Pennsylvania. Habitat variables measured included cover, depth, substrate, and velocity. The most pronounced diel variation occurred in the use of cover during both seasons. Both age-0 brook trout and age-1+ trout were associated with less cover at night. Age-0 brook trout occupied swifter water during the day than at night during both seasons, but the difference was not significant. Increased cover, depth, and substrate size governed the habitat of age-1+ brook trout. Our findings support the need for a better understanding of diel differences in habitat use of stream salmonids when considering habitat enhancement and protection.

  7. Habitat effects on depth and velocity frequency distributions: Implications for modeling hydraulic variation and fish habitat suitability in streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenfeld, Jordan S.; Campbell, Kate; Leung, Elaine S.; Bernhardt, Joanna; Post, John

    2011-07-01

    Describing the velocity and depth attributes of stream channels is a basic goal of theoretical and applied hydrology and is also essential for modeling biological processes in streams. We applied frequency distributions (gamma probability functions fit to point velocity and depth data) to evaluate their ability to describe variation in hydraulic conditions at the channel unit scale among contrasting habitat types (pools, glides, riffles, and runs) at different flows in a small trout stream. Velocity and depth distributions differed systematically between habitat types, with linear regression explaining 65 and 72%, respectively, of variation in gamma distribution parameters related to skewness and kurtosis; however, distribution parameters were not significantly related to discharge. Relative depth explained 68-79% of the variation in slopes of at-a-station hydraulic geometry relationships between different habitat types. Differentiation of habitat types in a velocity-depth phase space was reduced at high flows, and differences in hydraulic geometry exponents were consistent with flow convergence at high discharge. Modeling variance in velocity and depth using locally derived gamma distributions, in conjunction with simple hydraulic geometry, provided accurate estimates of reach average habitat suitability for trout. Frequency distributions derived from a set of New Zealand streams provided much poorer estimates of habitat suitability. Frequency distributions are useful as an heuristic tool for understanding and modeling drivers of spatial variation in hydraulics, and provide a simple method to model hydraulic conditions in streams. However, general transferability of frequency distributions between streams would be improved by validating and refining existing relationships between distribution parameters and easily measured stream characteristics, like habitat type, channel size, gradient, and substrate caliber.

  8. Benthic habitat mapping in a Portuguese Marine Protected Area using EUNIS: An integrated approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henriques, Victor; Guerra, Miriam Tuaty; Mendes, Beatriz; Gaudêncio, Maria José; Fonseca, Paulo

    2015-06-01

    A growing demand for seabed and habitat mapping has taken place over the past years to support the maritime integrated policies at EU and national levels aiming at the sustainable use of sea resources. This study presents the results of applying the hierarchical European Nature Information System (EUNIS) to classify and map the benthic habitats of the Luiz Saldanha Marine Park, a marine protected area (MPA), located in the mainland Portuguese southwest coast, in the Iberian Peninsula. The habitat map was modelled by applying a methodology based on EUNIS to merge biotic and abiotic key habitat drivers. The modelling in this approach focused on predicting the association of different data types: substrate, bathymetry, light intensity, waves and currents energy, sediment grain size and benthic macrofauna into a common framework. The resulting seamless medium scale habitat map discriminates twenty six distinct sublittoral habitats, including eight with no match in the current classification, which may be regarded as new potential habitat classes and therefore will be submitted to EUNIS. A discussion is provided examining the suitability of the current EUNIS scheme as a standardized approach to classify marine benthic habitats and map their spatial distribution at medium scales in the Portuguese coast. In addition the factors that most affected the results available in the predictive habitat map and the role of the environmental factors on macrofaunal assemblage composition and distribution are outlined.

  9. Class Size.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Underwood, Siobhan; Lumsden, Linda S.

    1994-01-01

    The items featured in this annotated bibliography touch on several aspects of the multifaceted class-size debate. Allen Odden reviews the literature and contends that class-size reduction should be used "sparingly and strategically." C. M. Achilles and colleagues examines two different class-size situations and find student test performance in the…

  10. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Laughing Gull

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zale, Alexander V.; Mulholland, Rosemarie

    1985-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a habitat model for laughing gull (Larus atricilla). The model is scaled to produce an index of habitat suitability between 0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1.0 (optimally suitable habitat) for areas along the Gulf of Mexico coast. Habitat suitability indices are designed for use with the Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Guidelines for application of the model and techniques for measuring model variables are described.

  11. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Clapper Rail

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lewis, James C.; Garrison, Russell L.

    1983-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a model suitable for evaluating the quality of coastal habitat of clapper rails (Rallus longirostris). The model is scaled to produce an index of habitat suitability between 0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1 (optimally suitable habitat) for coastal areas of the continental United States. Habitat suitability indices are designed for use with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Guidelines for clapper rail model applications and techniques for estimating model variables are discussed.

  12. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Juvenile Spot

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stickney, Robert R.; Cuenco, Michael L.

    1982-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop estuarine habitat models for juvenile spot (Leiostomus xanthurus). The models are scaled to produce an index of habitat suitability between 0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1 (optimally suitable habitat) for estuarine areas of the continental United States. Habitat suitability indexes (HSI's) are designed for use with the habitat evaluation procedures developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Guideline for juvenile spot model applications and techniques for estimating model variables are described.

  13. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Red King Crab

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jewett, Stephen C.; Onuf, Christopher P.

    1988-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for evaluating habitat of different life stages of red king crab (Paralithodes camtschatica). A model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1.0 (optimum habitat) in Alaskan coastal waters, especially in the Gulf of Alaska and the southeastern Bering Sea. HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  14. Deep Space Habitat Configurations Based On International Space Station Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smitherman, David; Russell, Tiffany; Baysinger, Mike; Capizzo, Pete; Fabisinski, Leo; Griffin, Brand; Hornsby, Linda; Maples,Dauphne; Miernik, Janie

    2012-01-01

    A Deep Space Habitat (DSH) is the crew habitation module designed for long duration missions. Although humans have lived in space for many years, there has never been a habitat beyond low-Earth-orbit. As part of the Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Habitation Project, a study was conducted to develop weightless habitat configurations using systems based on International Space Station (ISS) designs. Two mission sizes are described for a 4-crew 60-day mission, and a 4-crew 500-day mission using standard Node, Lab, and Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) sized elements, and ISS derived habitation systems. These durations were selected to explore the lower and upper bound for the exploration missions under consideration including a range of excursions within the Earth-Moon vicinity, near earth asteroids, and Mars orbit. Current methods for sizing the mass and volume for habitats are based on mathematical models that assume the construction of a new single volume habitat. In contrast to that approach, this study explored the use of ISS designs based on existing hardware where available and construction of new hardware based on ISS designs where appropriate. Findings included a very robust design that could be reused if the DSH were assembled and based at the ISS and a transportation system were provided for its return after each mission. Mass estimates were found to be higher than mathematical models due primarily to the use of multiple ISS modules instead of one new large module, but the maturity of the designs using flight qualified systems have potential for improved cost, schedule, and risk benefits.

  15. Deep Space Habitat Configurations Based on International Space Station Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smitherman, David; Russell, Tiffany; Baysinger, Mike; Capizzo, Pete; Fabisinski, Leo; Griffin, Brand; Hornsby, Linda; Maples, Dauphne; Miernik, Janie

    2012-01-01

    A Deep Space Habitat (DSH) is the crew habitation module designed for long duration missions. Although humans have lived in space for many years, there has never been a habitat beyond low-Earth-orbit. As part of the Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Habitation Project, a study was conducted to develop weightless habitat configurations using systems based on International Space Station (ISS) designs. Two mission sizes are described for a 4-crew 60-day mission, and a 4-crew 500-day mission using standard Node, Lab, and Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) sized elements, and ISS derived habitation systems. These durations were selected to explore the lower and upper bound for the exploration missions under consideration including a range of excursions within the Earth-Moon vicinity, near earth asteroids, and Mars orbit. Current methods for sizing the mass and volume for habitats are based on mathematical models that assume the construction of a new single volume habitat. In contrast to that approach, this study explored the use of ISS designs based on existing hardware where available and construction of new hardware based on ISS designs where appropriate. Findings included a very robust design that could be reused if the DSH were assembled and based at the ISS and a transportation system were provided for its return after each mission. Mass estimates were found to be higher than mathematical models due primarily to the use of multiple ISS modules instead of one new large module, but the maturity of the designs using flight qualified systems have potential for improved cost, schedule, and risk benefits.

  16. Habitat selection by breeding red-winged blackbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Albers, P.H.

    1978-01-01

    Habitat preferences of breeding Red-winged Blackbirds in an agricultural area were determined by comparing population density, landscape characteristics, and vegetational descriptions. Observations were made throughout the breeding season. Preferred breeding habitats of Red-wings, in order of preference, were wetlands, hayfields, old fields, and pastures. Males and females occupied old fields and wetlands first, then hayfields, and finally, pastures. Cutting of hayfields caused territorial abandonment by both sexes within 48 h. The apparent movement of displaced females from cut hayfields to uncut hayfields suggests that habitat fidelity of females is strong after the breeding effort has begun. Breeding Red-wings exhibited general preferences for trees, large amounts of habitat edge, erect old vegetation, and sturdy, tall, and dense vegetation. Vegetative forms and species, such as upland grasses, broad- and narrow-leafed monocots in wetlands, and forbs were important to the Red-wing at various times during the breeding season. Landscape and vegetational preferences of breeding adults were easier to observe early in the breeding season (March through May) than later. Vegetational growth and increases in the size of the breeding population probably make these preferences more difficult to detect. Territory size was poorly correlated with landscape and vegetational characteristics in uplands but strongly correlated with broad- and narrow-leafed mono cots and vegetative height in wetlands. Wetland territories were smaller than upland territories. Territories increased in size during the middle and late portions of the breedi g season. Habitat selection by the Red-winged Blackbird can best be studied by evaluating vegetative preferences throughout the breeding season.

  17. Ecomorphology and phylogenetic risk: Implications for habitat reconstruction using fossil bovids.

    PubMed

    Scott, Robert S; Barr, W Andrew

    2014-08-01

    Reconstructions of paleohabitats are necessary aids in understanding hominin evolution. The morphology of species from relevant sites, understood in terms of functional relationships to habitat (termed ecomorphology), offers a direct link to habitat. Bovids are a speciose radiation that includes many habitat specialists and are abundant in the fossil record. Thus, bovids are extremely common in ecomorphological analyses. However, bovid phylogeny and habitat preference are related, which raises the possibility that analyses linking habitat with morphology are not 'taxon free' but 'taxon-dependent.' Here we analyze eight relative dimensions and one shape index of the metatarsal for a sample of 72 bovid species and one antilocaprid. The selected variables have been previously shown to have strong associations with habitat and to have functional explanations for these associations. Phylogenetic generalized least squares analyses of these variables, including habitat and size, resulted in estimates for the parameter lambda (used to model phylogenetic signal) varying from zero to one. Thus, while phylogeny, morphology, and habitat all march together among the bovids, the odds that phylogeny confounds ecomorphological analyses may vary depending on particular morphological characteristics. While large values of lambda do not necessarily indicate that habitat differences are unimportant drivers of morphology, we consider the low value of lambda for relative metatarsal width suggestive that conclusions about habitat built on observations of this particular morphology carry with them less 'phylogenetic risk.' We suggest that the way forward for ecomorphology is grounded in functionally relevant observations and careful consideration of phylogeny designed to bracket probable habitat preferences appropriately. Separate consideration of different morphological variables may help to determine the level of 'phylogenetic risk' attached to conclusions linking habitat and morphology. PMID:25038957

  18. MAINE ATLANTIC SALMON HABITAT - GENERAL

    EPA Science Inventory

    ASDENN00 describes, at 1:24,000 scale, important Atlantic salmon habitat of the Dennys River in Maine. The coverage was developed from field surveys conducted on the Dennys River in Maine by staff of the Atlantic Salmon Authority and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This survey wa...

  19. PECONIC ESTUARY EELGRASS HABITAT CRITERIA STUDY

    EPA Science Inventory

    PECONIC ESTUARY EELGRASS HABITAT CRITERIA STUDY The main objective of this study is to develop criteria for eelgrass habitat establishment and persistence within the Peconic Estuary utilizing various environmental analyses. The Program evaluated water and sediment quality data to...

  20. Contributions of Estuarine Habitats to Major Fisheries

    EPA Science Inventory

    Estuaries provide unique habitat conditions that are essential to the production of major fisheries throughout the world, but quantitatively demonstrating the value of these habitats to fisheries presents some difficult problems. The questions are important, because critical hab...

  1. Incipient habitat race formation in an amphibian.

    PubMed

    Van Buskirk, J

    2014-03-01

    Theory defines conditions under which sympatric speciation may occur, and several possible examples of the process in action have been identified. In most cases, organisms specialize onto habitats that fall into discrete categories, such as host species used by herbivores and parasites. Ecological specialization within a continuous habitat gradient is theoretically possible, but becomes less likely with increasing gene flow among clinal habitat types. Here, I show that habitat race formation is underway in a frog, Rana temporaria, along a continuous and spatially mosaic habitat gradient. Tadpoles from 23 populations raised in an outdoor mesocosm experiment showed adaptive phenotypic variation correlated with the predator density in their pond of origin. A survey of microsatellite markers in 48 populations found that neutral genetic divergence was enhanced between ponds with very different densities of predators. This represents a new example of habitat specialization along a continuous habitat gradient with no spatial autocorrelation in habitat. PMID:26230250

  2. Local extinction of dragonfly and damselfly populations in low- and high-quality habitat patches.

    PubMed

    Suhonen, Jukka; Hilli-Lukkarinen, Milla; Korkeamäki, Esa; Kuitunen, Markku; Kullas, Johanna; Penttinen, Jouni; Salmela, Jukka

    2010-08-01

    Understanding the risk of extinction of a single population is an important problem in both theoretical and applied ecology. Local extinction risk depends on several factors, including population size, demographic or environmental stochasticity, natural catastrophe, or the loss of genetic diversity. The probability of local extinction may also be higher in low-quality sink habitats than in high-quality source habitats. We tested this hypothesis by comparing local extinction rates of 15 species of Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) between 1930-1975 and 1995-2003 in central Finland. Local extinction rates were higher in low-quality than in high-quality habitats. Nevertheless, for the three most common species there were no differences in extinction rates between low- and high-quality habitats. Our results suggest that a good understanding of habitat quality is crucial for the conservation of species in heterogeneous landscapes. PMID:20412087

  3. 50 CFR 622.302 - Minimum mesh size.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC Pelagic Sargassum Habitat of the South Atlantic Region § 622.302 Minimum mesh size. (a) The minimum allowable...

  4. 50 CFR 622.302 - Minimum mesh size.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE FISHERIES OF THE CARIBBEAN, GULF OF MEXICO, AND SOUTH ATLANTIC Pelagic Sargassum Habitat of the South Atlantic Region § 622.302 Minimum mesh size. (a) The minimum allowable...

  5. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Field Sparrow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sousa, Patrick J.

    1983-01-01

    Habitat preferences of the field sparrow (Spizella pusilla) are described in this report, which is one of a series of Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models. A review and synthesis of the literature is followed by the development of a habitat model for the field sparrow throughout its breeding range in the United States. HSI models are designed to be used in conjunction with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  6. Juvenile river herring habitat use and marine emigration trends: comparing populations.

    PubMed

    Turner, Sara M; Limburg, Karin E

    2016-01-01

    Juvenile habitat use and early life migratory behaviors of successfully recruited adult fish provide unique insight into critical habitats for a population, and this information allows restoration plans to be tailored to maximize benefits. Retrospective analysis of adult otolith chemistry combined with fish-otolith growth models were used to assess juvenile nursery habitat selection and size at egress to adult habitats (marine waters) for anadromous alewife and blueback herring from 20 rivers throughout the eastern US. Between-species differences in the size of emigrants were small, with blueback herring found in freshwater nurseries ~ 8 % more frequently than alewives, and alewives using a combination of freshwater and estuarine nurseries ~ 9 % more than bluebacks. Estuarine nursery use was more common in populations at lower latitudes. No clear trends in sizes of emigrants or habitat use were observed between the species in watersheds where both co-occur. Principal component analysis of latitude, watershed area, estuary area, accessible river kilometers, and percentage of the watershed in urban use indicated that the combined effects of these watershed characteristics were correlated with size at egress. These results highlight the considerable plasticity in early life habitat use among populations of anadromous fishes as well as the effect of watershed characteristics on early life migration timing and strategies. PMID:26369780

  7. 75 FR 71325 - Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-11-23

    ... Conservation Service 7 CFR Part 636 RIN 0578-AA49 Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program AGENCY: Commodity Credit... Department of Agriculture (USDA), is issuing a final rule for the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP... Habitat Incentive Program Manager, Financial Assistance Programs Division, Department of...

  8. JUVENILE BAY SCALLOP (ARGOPECTEN IRRADIANS) HABITAT PREFERENCES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Habitat quality and quantity are known to be important for maintaining populations of bay scallops (Argopecten irradians), but data linking habitat attributes to bay scallop populations are lacking. This information is essential to understand the role of habitat alteration in th...

  9. Habitats: Making Homes for Animals and Plants.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hickman, Pamela M.

    This book of activities is designed to supplement a child's outdoor experiences and to encourage children to take a closer look at nature by creating temporary mini-habitats at home or in school. An introduction explains to students the concept of habitat and the responsibilities of keeping a mini-habitat. The remainder of the book contains…

  10. Correlated percolation models of structured habitat in ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huth, Géraldine; Lesne, Annick; Munoz, François; Pitard, Estelle

    2014-12-01

    Percolation offers acknowledged models of random media when the relevant medium characteristics can be described as a binary feature. However, when considering habitat modeling in ecology, a natural constraint comes from nearest-neighbor correlations between the suitable/unsuitable states of the spatial units forming the habitat. Such constraints are also relevant in the physics of aggregation where underlying processes may lead to a form of correlated percolation. However, in ecology, the processes leading to habitat correlations are in general not known or very complex. As proposed by Hiebeler (2000), these correlations can be captured in a lattice model by an observable aggregation parameter q, supplementing the density p of suitable sites. We investigate this model as an instance of correlated percolation. We analyze the phase diagram of the percolation transition and compute the cluster size distribution, the pair-connectedness function C(r) and the correlation function g(r). We find that while g(r) displays a power-law decrease associated with long-range correlations in a wide domain of parameter values, critical properties are compatible with the universality class of uncorrelated percolation. We contrast the correlation structures obtained respectively for the correlated percolation model and for the Ising model, and show that the diversity of habitat configurations generated by the Hiebeler model is richer than the archetypal Ising model. We also find that emergent structural properties are peculiar to the implemented algorithm, leading to questioning the notion of a well-defined model of aggregated habitat. We conclude that the choice of model and algorithm has strong consequences on what insights ecological studies can get using such models of species habitat.

  11. Systematic review of the influence of foraging habitat on red-cockaded woodpecker reproductive success.

    SciTech Connect

    Garabedian, James E.

    2014-04-01

    Relationships between foraging habitat and reproductive success provide compelling evidence of the contribution of specific vegetative features to foraging habitat quality, a potentially limiting factor for many animal populations. For example, foraging habitat quality likely will gain importance in the recovery of the threatened red-cockaded woodpecker Picoides borealis (RCW) in the USA as immediate nesting constraints are mitigated. Several researchers have characterized resource selection by foraging RCWs, but emerging research linking reproductive success (e.g. clutch size, nestling and fledgling production, and group size) and foraging habitat features has yet to be synthesized. Therefore, we reviewed peer-refereed scientific literature and technical resources (e.g. books, symposia proceedings, and technical reports) that examined RCW foraging ecology, foraging habitat, or demography to evaluate evidence for effects of the key foraging habitat features described in the species’ recovery plan on group reproductive success. Fitness-based habitat models suggest foraging habitat with low to intermediate pine Pinus spp. densities, presence of large and old pines, minimal midstory development, and herbaceous groundcover support more productive RCW groups. However, the relationships between some foraging habitat features and RCW reproductive success are not well supported by empirical data. In addition, few regression models account for > 30% of variation in reproductive success, and unstandardized multiple and simple linear regression coefficient estimates typically range from -0.100 to 0.100, suggesting ancillary variables and perhaps indirect mechanisms influence reproductive success. These findings suggest additional research is needed to address uncertainty in relationships between foraging habitat features and RCW reproductive success and in the mechanisms underlying those relationships.

  12. Transport Infrastructure Shapes Foraging Habitat in a Raptor Community

    PubMed Central

    Planillo, Aimara; Kramer-Schadt, Stephanie; Malo, Juan E.

    2015-01-01

    Transport infrastructure elements are widespread and increasing in size and length in many countries, with the subsequent alteration of landscapes and wildlife communities. Nonetheless, their effects on habitat selection by raptors are still poorly understood. In this paper, we analyzed raptors’ foraging habitat selection in response to conventional roads and high capacity motorways at the landscape scale, and compared their effects with those of other variables, such as habitat structure, food availability, and presence of potential interspecific competitors. We also analyzed whether the raptors’ response towards infrastructure depends on the spatial scale of observation, comparing the attraction or avoidance behavior of the species at the landscape scale with the response of individuals observed in the proximity of the infrastructure. Based on ecological hypotheses for foraging habitat selection, we built generalized linear mixed models, selected the best models according to Akaike Information Criterion and assessed variable importance by Akaike weights. At the community level, the traffic volume was the most relevant variable in the landscape for foraging habitat selection. Abundance, richness, and diversity values reached their maximum at medium traffic volumes and decreased at highest traffic volumes. Individual species showed different degrees of tolerance toward traffic, from higher abundance in areas with high traffic values to avoidance of it. Medium-sized opportunistic raptors increased their abundance near the traffic infrastructures, large scavenger raptors avoided areas with higher traffic values, and other species showed no direct response to traffic but to the presence of prey. Finally, our cross-scale analysis revealed that the effect of transport infrastructures on the behavior of some species might be detectable only at a broad scale. Also, food availability may attract raptor species to risky areas such as motorways. PMID:25786218

  13. Transport infrastructure shapes foraging habitat in a raptor community.

    PubMed

    Planillo, Aimara; Kramer-Schadt, Stephanie; Malo, Juan E

    2015-01-01

    Transport infrastructure elements are widespread and increasing in size and length in many countries, with the subsequent alteration of landscapes and wildlife communities. Nonetheless, their effects on habitat selection by raptors are still poorly understood. In this paper, we analyzed raptors' foraging habitat selection in response to conventional roads and high capacity motorways at the landscape scale, and compared their effects with those of other variables, such as habitat structure, food availability, and presence of potential interspecific competitors. We also analyzed whether the raptors' response towards infrastructure depends on the spatial scale of observation, comparing the attraction or avoidance behavior of the species at the landscape scale with the response of individuals observed in the proximity of the infrastructure. Based on ecological hypotheses for foraging habitat selection, we built generalized linear mixed models, selected the best models according to Akaike Information Criterion and assessed variable importance by Akaike weights. At the community level, the traffic volume was the most relevant variable in the landscape for foraging habitat selection. Abundance, richness, and diversity values reached their maximum at medium traffic volumes and decreased at highest traffic volumes. Individual species showed different degrees of tolerance toward traffic, from higher abundance in areas with high traffic values to avoidance of it. Medium-sized opportunistic raptors increased their abundance near the traffic infrastructures, large scavenger raptors avoided areas with higher traffic values, and other species showed no direct response to traffic but to the presence of prey. Finally, our cross-scale analysis revealed that the effect of transport infrastructures on the behavior of some species might be detectable only at a broad scale. Also, food availability may attract raptor species to risky areas such as motorways. PMID:25786218

  14. Size Matters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gehring, John

    2004-01-01

    This article describes the immense size of Unity Junior High School in Cicero, Illinois and the opinions of various people regarding its size. The school has more than 2,700 students, seventeen acres, eighty-eight faculty lounges, and ninety-six security cameras. Administrators hope the school--"Cicero's crown jewel," as the school district's Web…

  15. Physical, biotic, and sampling influences on diel habitat use by stream-dwelling bull trout

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Banish, N.P.; Peterson, J.T.; Thurow, R.F.

    2008-01-01

    We used daytime and nighttime underwater observation to assess microhabitat use by bull trout Salvelinus confluentus (N = 213) in streams of the intermountain western USA during the summers of 2001 and 2002. We recorded fish focal points and measured a set of habitat characteristics as well as habitat availability via line transects. Bull trout were benthic and solitary; most (88%) were observed at night. We developed a conditional logistic regression model to account for the effect of fish movement in response to snorkeling, and we fitted 18 candidate models to evaluate the relative influences of biotic and abiotic factors on habitat use. The candidate models were also fitted with a naive logistic regression (i.e., no movement) to evaluate the effects of movement on inferences of microhabitat use. The most plausible model describing bull trout habitat use was the same for the conditional and nai??ve regressions and included depth, velocity, percent rubble substratum, and the day X depth, body size X depth, and body size X day X depth interactions. The presence of brook trout S. fontinalis and the abundance of conspecifics did not strongly influence microhabitat use by bull trout. The relative rankings of the remaining models differed substantially between the conditional and nai??ve models. Relative to the conditional models, the naive models overestimated the importance of diurnal differences in habitat use and overestimated the use of deepwater habitats, particularly during the day. Both model types suggested that all sizes of bull trout were generally found in deeper, low-velocity habitat at night, whereas small bull trout (70-90 mm total length) were found in shallower habitats during the day. We recommend lhat biologists account for fish movement in response to sampling to avoid biasing modeled habitat use patterns by bull trout. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2008.

  16. Living on the edge: Space use of Eurasian red squirrels in marginal high-elevation habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romeo, Claudia; Wauters, Lucas A.; Preatoni, Damiano; Tosi, Guido; Martinoli, Adriano

    2010-11-01

    In marginal habitats located at the edge of a species' range, environmental conditions are frequently extreme and individuals may be subject to different selective pressures compared to central populations. These so-called edge or marginal populations tend to have lower densities and reproductive rates than populations located in more suitable habitats, but little is known about local adaptations in spacing behavior. We studied space use and social organization in a population of Eurasian red squirrels ( Sciurus vulgaris) in a high-elevation marginal habitat of dwarf mountain pine ( Pinus mugo) and compared it with spacing patterns in high-quality Scots pine ( Pinus sylvestris) forest at lower-elevation. Home ranges and core areas were larger in the marginal habitat. In both habitats, males used larger home ranges than females, but sex differences in core area size were significant only in the edge population. Patterns of core area overlap were similar in both habitats with intra-sexual territoriality among adult females and higher degrees of inter-sexual overlap, typical for the species throughout its range. However, low densities in the edge population resulted in higher female by males overlap in spring-summer, suggesting males increased home ranges and core areas during mating season to augment access to estrus females. Thus, in the marginal habitat, with low food abundance and low population densities, linked with extreme winter conditions, squirrels, especially males, used large home ranges. Finally, squirrels responded more strongly to variation in food availability (inverse relation between home range size and seed abundance), and even to fluctuations in density (inverse relation between core area size and density of animals of the same sex), in the marginal than in the high-quality habitat, suggesting high behavioral plasticity to respond to the ecological constraints in marginal habitats.

  17. Stream Crayfish Distribution Patterns and Habitat Associations in northern Mississippi

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, S. B.; Warren, M. L.

    2005-05-01

    Distribution patterns and habitat associations of crayfishes in Mississippi are largely unexplored. During summers 1999-2003, we sampled crayfishes, fishes and habitat in 119 stream sites in northern Mississippi. We captured over 1,200 crayfish of 9 species from 3 genera. Species co-occurrence analyses and principal components analyses (PCA) of species abundances indicated significant species structuring among crayfish assemblages. We infer from co-occurrence patterns that both competitive interactions and historic processes led to present distributions. Mantel tests and PCA both indicated that crayfish assemblage characteristics are significantly related to stream size, but not to other habitat variables. In contrast to the nearly-universal rule for aquatic taxa that species richness increases with stream size, crayfish richness, abundance, and density were inversely related to stream size. Crayfish densities dropped precipitously when watershed area exceeded about 2,500 hectares. The low richness and abundance of crayfishes in medium and large streams may be due, in part, to the extreme disturbance from channelization and incisement in middle to lower reaches of most of the drainages we studied. Intermittent and very small perennial streams are sometimes regarded as biologically unimportant by land managers, but are primary strongholds of stream crayfishes in northern Mississippi.

  18. Quantifying consistent individual differences in habitat selection.

    PubMed

    Leclerc, Martin; Vander Wal, Eric; Zedrosser, Andreas; Swenson, Jon E; Kindberg, Jonas; Pelletier, Fanie

    2016-03-01

    Habitat selection is a fundamental behaviour that links individuals to the resources required for survival and reproduction. Although natural selection acts on an individual's phenotype, research on habitat selection often pools inter-individual patterns to provide inferences on the population scale. Here, we expanded a traditional approach of quantifying habitat selection at the individual level to explore the potential for consistent individual differences of habitat selection. We used random coefficients in resource selection functions (RSFs) and repeatability estimates to test for variability in habitat selection. We applied our method to a detailed dataset of GPS relocations of brown bears (Ursus arctos) taken over a period of 6 years, and assessed whether they displayed repeatable individual differences in habitat selection toward two habitat types: bogs and recent timber-harvest cut blocks. In our analyses, we controlled for the availability of habitat, i.e. the functional response in habitat selection. Repeatability estimates of habitat selection toward bogs and cut blocks were 0.304 and 0.420, respectively. Therefore, 30.4 and 42.0 % of the population-scale habitat selection variability for bogs and cut blocks, respectively, was due to differences among individuals, suggesting that consistent individual variation in habitat selection exists in brown bears. Using simulations, we posit that repeatability values of habitat selection are not related to the value and significance of β estimates in RSFs. Although individual differences in habitat selection could be the results of non-exclusive factors, our results illustrate the evolutionary potential of habitat selection. PMID:26597548

  19. Subsurface microbial habitats on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boston, P. J.; Mckay, C. P.

    1991-01-01

    We developed scenarios for shallow and deep subsurface cryptic niches for microbial life on Mars. Such habitats could have considerably prolonged the persistence of life on Mars as surface conditions became increasingly inhospitable. The scenarios rely on geothermal hot spots existing below the near or deep subsurface of Mars. Recent advances in the comparatively new field of deep subsurface microbiology have revealed previously unsuspected rich aerobic and anaerobic microbal communities far below the surface of the Earth. Such habitats, protected from the grim surface conditions on Mars, could receive warmth from below and maintain water in its liquid state. In addition, geothermally or volcanically reduced gases percolating from below through a microbiologically active zone could provide the reducing power needed for a closed or semi-closed microbial ecosystem to thrive.

  20. Habitat suitability index models: American eider (breeding)

    SciTech Connect

    Blumton, A.K.; Owen, R.B. Jr.; Krohn, W.B.

    1988-02-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information was used to develop a model for evaluating the potential suitability of habitat along the coast of Maine for breeding American eider (Somateria mollissima dresseri). The model is scaled to produce an index from 0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimal habitat). Habitat suitability index models are designed for use with the Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Guidelines for model application are provided. 51 refs., 3 figs., 5 tabs.

  1. Habitat Suitability Index Models: American Alligator

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Newsom, John D.; Joanen, Ted; Howard, Rebecca J.

    1987-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a model for evaluating American alligator habitat quality. The model is applicable in marshes along the northern Gulf of Mexico. It is scaled to produce an index between 0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1.0 (optimal habitat). Habitat suitability index models are designed for use with the Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Guidelines for model application and techniques for measuring model variables are described.

  2. Macroalgal Composition Determines the Structure of Benthic Assemblages Colonizing Fragmented Habitats

    PubMed Central

    Matias, Miguel G.; Arenas, Francisco; Rubal, Marcos; Pinto, Isabel S.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the consequences of fragmentation of coastal habitats is an important topic of discussion in marine ecology. Research on the effects of fragmentation has revealed complex and context-dependent biotic responses, which prevent generalizations across different habitats or study organisms. The effects of fragmentation in marine environments have been rarely investigated across heterogeneous habitats, since most studies have focused on a single type of habitat or patch. In this study, we assessed the effects of different levels of fragmentation (i.e. decreasing size of patches without overall habitat loss). We measured these effects using assemblages of macro-invertebrates colonizing representative morphological groups of intertidal macroalgae (e.g. encrusting, turf and canopy-forming algae). For this purpose, we constructed artificial assemblages with different combinations of morphological groups and increasing levels of fragmentation by manipulating the amount of bare rock or the spatial arrangement of different species in mixed assemblages. In general, our results showed that 1) fragmentation did not significantly affect the assemblages of macroinvertebrates; 2) at greater levels of fragmentation, there were greater numbers of species in mixed algal assemblages, suggesting that higher habitat complexity promotes species colonization. Our results suggest that predicting the consequences of fragmentation in heterogeneous habitats is dependent on the type and diversity of morphological groups making up those habitats. PMID:26554924

  3. Macroalgal Composition Determines the Structure of Benthic Assemblages Colonizing Fragmented Habitats.

    PubMed

    Matias, Miguel G; Arenas, Francisco; Rubal, Marcos; Pinto, Isabel S

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the consequences of fragmentation of coastal habitats is an important topic of discussion in marine ecology. Research on the effects of fragmentation has revealed complex and context-dependent biotic responses, which prevent generalizations across different habitats or study organisms. The effects of fragmentation in marine environments have been rarely investigated across heterogeneous habitats, since most studies have focused on a single type of habitat or patch. In this study, we assessed the effects of different levels of fragmentation (i.e. decreasing size of patches without overall habitat loss). We measured these effects using assemblages of macro-invertebrates colonizing representative morphological groups of intertidal macroalgae (e.g. encrusting, turf and canopy-forming algae). For this purpose, we constructed artificial assemblages with different combinations of morphological groups and increasing levels of fragmentation by manipulating the amount of bare rock or the spatial arrangement of different species in mixed assemblages. In general, our results showed that 1) fragmentation did not significantly affect the assemblages of macroinvertebrates; 2) at greater levels of fragmentation, there were greater numbers of species in mixed algal assemblages, suggesting that higher habitat complexity promotes species colonization. Our results suggest that predicting the consequences of fragmentation in heterogeneous habitats is dependent on the type and diversity of morphological groups making up those habitats. PMID:26554924

  4. Energetic considerations and habitat quality for elk in arid grasslands and coniferous forests

    SciTech Connect

    McCorquodale, S.M. )

    1991-04-01

    The author used static modeling to explore the recent success of elk (Cervus elaphus) colonizing the arid shrub-steppe of Washington. Forage-based estimates of metabolizable energy available to elk in the shrub-steppe were compared to energy available in 2 mesic forest communities that historically have served as more typical summer elk habitat. Although precipitation and primary productivity were substantially lower in the shrub-steppe, the estimated calories available in shrub-steppe forage over a 300-km{sup 2} area were 271 and 86%, respectively, of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and cedar-hemlock (Thuja-Tsuga) forests of similar size. Low intercommunity variability in forage production, lack of a significant nonforage overstory, and the large size and relative abundance of foraging areas in the shrub-steppe mitigated reduced primary production. In the shrub-steppe, 92% of the habitat represented potential foraging habitat as determined by minimum forage biomass, whereas only 10 and 40% of the forested habitats, respectively, could be considered prime foraging areas. Whereas forage energy was concentrated in openings within conifer forests, it was more uniformly dispersed over the habitat mosaic in the shrub-steppe. These results provide a bioenergetic framework for understanding the recent success of elk colonizing the arid shrub-steppe of Washington and are consistent with observed patterns of movement and habitat use for elk in shrub-steppe habitat.

  5. Food and habitat resource partitioning between three estuarine fish species on the Swedish west coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thorman, Staffan

    1983-12-01

    In 1978 the food and habitat resource partitioning of three small and common fish species, viz. Pomatoschistus microps (Krøyer), Gasterosteus aculeatus (L.) and Pungitius pungitius (L.) were studied in river Broälven estuary on the Swedish west coast (58°22'N, 11°29'E). The area was divided into three habitats, based on environmental features. In July, September, and October stomach contents and size distribution of each species present were analysed. In July there was high food and habitat overlap between the species. Interference interactions probably occurred between some size classes of P. microps and the other two species. P. pungitius was exposed to both intra- and interspecific interactions. In September the food and habitat overlaps between G. aculeatus and P. pungitius were high, while both had low food and habitat overlaps in relation to P. microps. Interactions between G. aculeatus and P. pungitius were probably influenced by more severe abiotic conditions in one habitat, which caused lower abundances there, and higher abundances in the other two habitats. In October no interactions were observed. These results indicate that competition for food at least temporarily determines the species distribution in a temperate estuary, and that estuarine fish populations are sometimes food limited.

  6. Predictions and retrodictions of the hierarchical representation of habitat in heterogeneous environments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kolasa, Jurek; Allen, Craig R.; Sendzimir, Jan; Stow, Craig A.

    2012-01-01

    Interaction between habitat and species is central in ecology. Habitat structure may be conceived as being hierarchical, where larger, more diverse, portions or categories contain smaller, more homogeneous portions. When this conceptualization is combined with the observation that species have different abilities to relate to portions of the habitat that differ in their characteristics, a number of known patterns can be derived and new patterns hypothesized. We propose a quantitative form of this habitat–species relationship by considering species abundance to be a function of habitat specialization, habitat fragmentation, amount of habitat, and adult body mass. The model reproduces and explains patterns such as variation in rank–abundance curves, greater variation and extinction probabilities of habitat specialists, discontinuities in traits (abundance, ecological range, pattern of variation, body size) among species sharing a community or area, and triangular distribution of body sizes, among others. The model has affinities to Holling's textural discontinuity hypothesis and metacommunity theory but differs from both by offering a more general perspective. In support of the model, we illustrate its general potential to capture and explain several empirical observations that historically have been treated independently.

  7. Integration Process for the Habitat Demonstration Unit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gill, Tracy; Merbitz, Jerad; Kennedy, Kriss; Tn, Terry; Toups, Larry; Howe, A. Scott; Smitherman, David

    2011-01-01

    The Habitat Demonstration Unit (HDU) is an experimental exploration habitat technology and architecture test platform designed for analog demonstration activities. The HDU previously served as a test bed for testing technologies and sub-systems in a terrestrial surface environment. in 2010 in the Pressurized Excursion Module (PEM) configuration. Due to the amount of work involved to make the HDU project successful, the HDU project has required a team to integrate a variety of contributions from NASA centers and outside collaborators The size of the team and number of systems involved With the HDU makes Integration a complicated process. However, because the HDU shell manufacturing is complete, the team has a head start on FY--11 integration activities and can focus on integrating upgrades to existing systems as well as integrating new additions. To complete the development of the FY-11 HDU from conception to rollout for operations in July 2011, a cohesive integration strategy has been developed to integrate the various systems of HDU and the payloads. The highlighted HDU work for FY-11 will focus on performing upgrades to the PEM configuration, adding the X-Hab as a second level, adding a new porch providing the astronauts a larger work area outside the HDU for EVA preparations, and adding a Hygiene module. Together these upgrades result in a prototype configuration of the Deep Space Habitat (DSH), an element under evaluation by NASA's Human Exploration Framework Team (HEFT) Scheduled activates include early fit-checks and the utilization of a Habitat avionics test bed prior to installation into HDU. A coordinated effort to utilize modeling and simulation systems has aided in design and integration concept development. Modeling tools have been effective in hardware systems layout, cable routing, sub-system interface length estimation and human factors analysis. Decision processes on integration and use of all new subsystems will be defined early in the project to maximize the efficiency of both integration and field operations. In addition a series of tailored design reviews are utilized to quickly define the systems and their integration into the DSH configuration. These processes are necessary to ensure activities, such as partially reversing integration of the X-Hab second story of the HDU and deploying and stowing the new work porch for transportation to the JSC Rock Yard and to the Arizona Black Point Lava Flow Site are performed with minimal or no complications. In addition, incremental test operations leading up to an Integrated systems test allows for an orderly systems test program. For FY-11 activities, the HDU DSH will act as a laboratory utilizing a new X-Hab inflatable second floor with crew habitation features. In addition to the day to day operations involving maintenance of the HDU and exploring the surrounding terrain, testing and optimizing the use of the new X-Hab, work porch, Hygiene Module, and other sub-system enhancements will be the focus of the FY-11 test objectives. The HDU team requires a successful integration strategy using a variety of tools and approaches to prepare the DSH for these test objectives. In a challenging environment where the prototyping influences the system design, as well as Vice versa, results of the HDU DSH field tests will influence future designs of habitat systems.

  8. Physical habitat classification and instream flow modeling to determine habitat availability during low-flow periods, North Fork Shenandoah River, Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krstolic, Jennifer L.; Hayes, Donald C.; Ruhl, Peter M.

    2006-01-01

    Increasing development and increasing water withdrawals for public, industrial, and agricultural water supply threaten to reduce streamflows in the Shenandoah River basin in Virginia. Water managers need more information to balance human water-supply needs with the daily streamflows necessary for maintaining the aquatic ecosystems. To meet the need for comprehensive information on hydrology, water supply, and instream-flow requirements of the Shenandoah River basin, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission conducted a cooperative investigation of habitat availability during low-flow periods on the North Fork Shenandoah River. Historic streamflow data and empirical data on physical habitat, river hydraulics, fish community structure, and recreation were used to develop a physical habitat simulation model. Hydraulic measurements were made during low, medium, and high flows in six reaches at a total of 36 transects that included riffles, runs, and pools, and that had a variety of substrates and cover types. Habitat suitability criteria for fish were developed from detailed fish-community sampling and microhabitat observations. Fish were grouped into four guilds of species and life stages with similar habitat requirements. Simulated habitat was considered in the context of seasonal flow regimes to show the availability of flows that sustain suitable habitat during months when precipitation and streamflow are scarce. The North Fork Shenandoah River basin was divided into three management sections for analysis purposes: the upper section, middle section, and lower section. The months of July, August, and September were chosen to represent a low-flow period in the basin with low mean monthly flows, low precipitation, high temperatures, and high water withdrawals. Exceedance flows calculated from the combined data from these three months describe low-flow periods on the North Fork Shenandoah River. Long-term records from three streamflow-gaging stations were used to characterize the flow regime: North Fork Shenandoah River at Cootes Store, Va. (1925-2002), North Fork Shenandoah River at Mount Jackson, Va. (1943-2002), and North Fork Shenandoah River near Strasburg, Va. (1925-2002). The predominant mesohabitat types (14 percent riffle, 67.3 percent run, and 18.7 percent pool) were classified along the entire river (100 miles) to assist in the selection of reaches for hydraulic and fish community data collection. The upper section has predominantly particle substrate, ranging in size from sand to boulders, and the shortest habitat units. The middle section is a transitional section with increased bedrock substrate and habitat unit length. The lower section has predominantly bedrock substrate and the longest habitat units in the river. The model simulations show that weighted usable-habitat area in the upper management section is highest at flows higher than the 25-percent exceedance flow for July, August, and September. During these three months, total weighted usable-habitat area in this section is often less than the simulated maximum weighted usable-habitat area. Habitat area in the middle management section is highest at flows between the 25- and 75-percent exceedance flows for July, August, and September. In the middle section during these months, both the actual weighted usable-habitat area and the simulated maximum weighted usable-habitat area are associated with this flow range. Weighted usable-habitat area in the lower management section is highest at flows lower than the 75-percent exceedance flow for July, August, and September. In the lower section during these three months, some weighted usable-habitat area is available, but the normal range of flows does not include the simulated maximum weighted usable-habitat area. A time-series habitat analysis associated with the historic streamflow, zero water withdrawals, and doubled water withdrawals was completed. During s

  9. Habitat Use and Body Mass Regulation among Warblers in the Sahel Region during the Non-Breeding Season

    PubMed Central

    Vafidis, James O.; Vaughan, Ian P.; Jones, T. Hefin; Facey, Richard J.; Parry, Rob; Thomas, Robert J.

    2014-01-01

    Migratory birds face significant challenges across their annual cycle, including occupying an appropriate non-breeding home range with sufficient foraging resources. This can affect demographic processes such as over-winter survival, migration mortality and subsequent breeding success. In the Sahel region of Africa, where millions of migratory songbirds attempt to survive the winter, some species of insectivorous warblers occupy both wetland and dry-scrubland habitats, whereas other species are wetland or dry-scrubland specialists. In this study we examine evidence for strategic regulation of body reserves and competition-driven habitat selection, by comparing invertebrate prey activity-density, warbler body size and extent of fat and pectoral muscle deposits, in each habitat type during the non-breeding season. Invertebrate activity-density was substantially higher in wetland habitats than in dry-scrubland. Eurasian reed warblers Acrocephalus scirpaceus occupying wetland habitats maintained lower body reserves than conspecifics occupying dry-scrub habitats, consistent with buffering of reserves against starvation in food-poor habitat. A similar, but smaller, difference in body reserves between wet and dry habitat was found among subalpine warblers Sylvia cantillans but not in chiffchaffs Phylloscopus collybita inhabiting dry-scrub and scrub fringing wetlands. Body reserves were relatively low among habitat specialist species; resident African reed warbler A. baeticatus and migratory sedge warbler A. schoenobaenus exclusively occupying wetland habitats, and Western olivaceous warblers Iduna opaca exclusively occupying dry habitats. These results suggest that specialists in preferred habitats and generalists occupying prey-rich habitats can reduce body reserves, whereas generalists occupying prey-poor habitats carry an increased level of body reserves as a strategic buffer against starvation. PMID:25426716

  10. Habitat Use and Body Mass Regulation among Warblers in the Sahel Region during the Non-Breeding Season.

    PubMed

    Vafidis, James O; Vaughan, Ian P; Jones, T Hefin; Facey, Richard J; Parry, Rob; Thomas, Robert J

    2014-01-01

    Migratory birds face significant challenges across their annual cycle, including occupying an appropriate non-breeding home range with sufficient foraging resources. This can affect demographic processes such as over-winter survival, migration mortality and subsequent breeding success. In the Sahel region of Africa, where millions of migratory songbirds attempt to survive the winter, some species of insectivorous warblers occupy both wetland and dry-scrubland habitats, whereas other species are wetland or dry-scrubland specialists. In this study we examine evidence for strategic regulation of body reserves and competition-driven habitat selection, by comparing invertebrate prey activity-density, warbler body size and extent of fat and pectoral muscle deposits, in each habitat type during the non-breeding season. Invertebrate activity-density was substantially higher in wetland habitats than in dry-scrubland. Eurasian reed warblers Acrocephalus scirpaceus occupying wetland habitats maintained lower body reserves than conspecifics occupying dry-scrub habitats, consistent with buffering of reserves against starvation in food-poor habitat. A similar, but smaller, difference in body reserves between wet and dry habitat was found among subalpine warblers Sylvia cantillans but not in chiffchaffs Phylloscopus collybita inhabiting dry-scrub and scrub fringing wetlands. Body reserves were relatively low among habitat specialist species; resident African reed warbler A. baeticatus and migratory sedge warbler A. schoenobaenus exclusively occupying wetland habitats, and Western olivaceous warblers Iduna opaca exclusively occupying dry habitats. These results suggest that specialists in preferred habitats and generalists occupying prey-rich habitats can reduce body reserves, whereas generalists occupying prey-poor habitats carry an increased level of body reserves as a strategic buffer against starvation. PMID:25426716

  11. Ghosts of habitats past: Contribution of landscape change to current habitats used by shrubland birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knick, Steven T.; Rotenberry, J.T.

    2000-01-01

    Models of habitat associations for species often are developed with an implicit assumption that habitats are static, even though recent disturbance may have altered the landscape. We tested our hypothesis that trajectory and magnitude of habitat change influenced observed distribution and abundance of passerine birds breeding in shrubsteppe habitats of southwestern Idaho. Birds in this region live in dynamic landscapes undergoing predominantly large-scale, radical, and unidirectional habitat change because wildfires are converting shrublands into expanses of exotic annual grasslands. We used data from field surveys and satellite image analyses in a series of redundancy analyses to partition variances and to determine the relative contribution of habitat change and current landscapes. Although current habitats explained a greater proportion of total variation, changes in habitat and measures of habitat richness and texture also contributed to variation in abundance of Horned Larks (Eremophila alpestris), Brewera??s Sparrows (Spizella breweri), and Sage Sparrows (Amphispiza belli). Abundance of birds was insensitive to scale for nonspatial habitat variables. In contrast, spatial measures of habitat richness and texture in the landscape were significant only at large spatial scales. Abundance of Horned Larks, Western Meadowlarks (Sturnella neglecta), and Brewera??s Sparrows, but not Sage Thrashers (Oreoscoptes montanus) or Sage Sparrows, was positively correlated with changes toward stable habitats. Because dominant habitat changes were toward less stable conditions, regional declines of those birds in shrubsteppe habitats reflect current landscapes as well as the history, magnitude, and trajectory of habitat change.

  12. Post-settlement Life Cycle Migration Patterns and Habitat Preference of Coral Reef Fish that use Seagrass and Mangrove Habitats as Nurseries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cocheret de la Morinière, E.; Pollux, B. J. A.; Nagelkerken, I.; van der Velde, G.

    2002-08-01

    Mangroves and seagrass beds have received considerable attention as nurseries for reef fish, but comparisons have often been made with different methodologies. Thus, relative importance of different habitats to specific size-classes of reef fish species remains unclear. In this study, 35 transects in 11 sites of mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reef were surveyed daily, in and in front of a marine bay on the island of Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles). The density and size-frequency of nine reef fish species (including herbivores, zoobenthivores and piscivores) was determined during a five-month period using a single methodology, viz. underwater visual census. All species were ' nursery species ' in terms of their high densities of juveniles in mangroves or seagrass beds. Relative density distribution of the size-classes of the selected species over mangroves and seagrass beds suggested high levels of preference for either mangroves or seagrass beds of some species, while other species used both habitats as a nursery. Spatial size distribution of the nine species suggested three possible models for Post-settlement Life Cycle Migrations (PLCM). Haemulon sciurus, Lutjanus griseus, L. apodus, and Acanthurus chirurgus appear to settle and grow up in bay habitats such as mangroves and seagrass beds, and in a later stage migrate to the coral reef (Long Distance PLCM). Juveniles of Acanthurus bahianus and Scarus taeniopterus were found only in bay habitats at close proximity to the coral reef or on the reef itself, and their migration pattern concerns a limited spatial scale (Short Distance PLCM). Some congeneric species carry out either Long Distance PLCM or Short Distance PLCM, thereby temporarily alleviating competition in reef habitats. Haemulon flavolineatum, Ocyurus chrysurus and Scarus iserti displayed a Stepwise PLCM pattern in which smallest juveniles dwell in the mouth of the bay, larger individuals then move to habitats deeper into the bay, where they grow up to a (sub-) adult size at which they migrate to nearby coral reef habitats. This type of stepwise migration in opposite directions, combined with different preference for either mangroves or seagrass beds among (size-classes of) species, shows that reef fish using in-bay habitats during post-settlement life stages may do so by choice and not merely because of stochastic dispersal of their larvae, and underline the necessity of these habitats to Caribbean coral reef systems.

  13. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Smallmouth Bass

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Edwards, Elizabeth A.; Gebhart, Glen; Maughan, O. Eugene

    1983-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop riverine and lacustrine habitat models for Smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieui), a freshwater species. The models are scaled to produce an index of habitat suitability between 0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1 (optimally suitable habitat) for freshwater areas of the continental United States. Habitat suitability indexes (HSI's) are designed for use with the habitat evaluation procedures developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The instream flow suitability curves are intended for use with the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology. Also included are discussions of Suitability Index (SI) curves as used by the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM) and SI curves available for an IFIM analysis of Smallmouth bass habitat.

  14. Risky prey behavior evolves in risky habitats.

    PubMed

    Urban, Mark C

    2007-09-01

    Longstanding theory in behavioral ecology predicts that prey should evolve decreased foraging rates under high predation threat. However, an alternative perspective suggests that growth into a size refuge from gape-limited predation and the future benefits of large size can outweigh the initial survival costs of intense foraging. Here, I evaluate the relative contributions of selection from a gape-limited predator (Ambystoma opacum) and spatial location to explanations of variation in foraging, growth, and survival in 10 populations of salamander larvae (Ambystoma maculatum). Salamander larvae from populations naturally exposed to intense A. opacum predation risk foraged more actively under common garden conditions. Higher foraging rates were associated with low survival in populations exposed to free-ranging A. opacum larvae. Results demonstrate that risky foraging activity can evolve in high predation-risk habitats when the dominant predators are gape-limited. This finding invites the further exploration of diverse patterns of prey foraging behavior that depends on natural variation in predator size-selectivity. In particular, prey should adopt riskier behaviors under predation threat than expected under existing risk allocation models if foraging effort directly reduces the duration of risk by growth into a size refuge. Moreover, evidence from this study suggests that foraging has evolved over microgeographic scales despite substantial modification by regional gene flow. This interaction between local selection and spatial location suggests a joint role for adaptation and maladaptation in shaping species interactions across natural landscapes, which is a finding with implications for dynamics at the population, community, and metacommunity levels. PMID:17724339

  15. Risky prey behavior evolves in risky habitats

    PubMed Central

    Urban, Mark C.

    2007-01-01

    Longstanding theory in behavioral ecology predicts that prey should evolve decreased foraging rates under high predation threat. However, an alternative perspective suggests that growth into a size refuge from gape-limited predation and the future benefits of large size can outweigh the initial survival costs of intense foraging. Here, I evaluate the relative contributions of selection from a gape-limited predator (Ambystoma opacum) and spatial location to explanations of variation in foraging, growth, and survival in 10 populations of salamander larvae (Ambystoma maculatum). Salamander larvae from populations naturally exposed to intense A. opacum predation risk foraged more actively under common garden conditions. Higher foraging rates were associated with low survival in populations exposed to free-ranging A. opacum larvae. Results demonstrate that risky foraging activity can evolve in high predation-risk habitats when the dominant predators are gape-limited. This finding invites the further exploration of diverse patterns of prey foraging behavior that depends on natural variation in predator size-selectivity. In particular, prey should adopt riskier behaviors under predation threat than expected under existing risk allocation models if foraging effort directly reduces the duration of risk by growth into a size refuge. Moreover, evidence from this study suggests that foraging has evolved over microgeographic scales despite substantial modification by regional gene flow. This interaction between local selection and spatial location suggests a joint role for adaptation and maladaptation in shaping species interactions across natural landscapes, which is a finding with implications for dynamics at the population, community, and metacommunity levels. PMID:17724339

  16. Does habitat fragmentation influence nest predation in the shortgrass prairie?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Howard, M.N.; Skagen, S.K.; Kennedy, P.L.

    2001-01-01

    We examined the effects of habitat fragmentation and vegetation structure of shortgrass prairie and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands on predation rates of artificial and natural nests in northeastern Colorado. The CRP provides federal payments to landowners to take highly erodible cropland out of agricultural production. In our study area, CRP lands have been reseeded primarily with non-native grasses, and this vegetation is taller than native shortgrass prairie. We measured three indices of habitat fragmentation (patch size, degree of matrix fragmentation, and distance from edge), none of which influenced mortality rates of artificial or natural nests. Vegetation structure did influence predation rates of artificial nests; daily mortality decreased significantly with increasing vegetation height. Vegetation structure did not influence predation rates of natural nests. CRP lands and shortgrass sites did not differ with respect to mortality rates of artificial nests. Our study area is only moderately fragmented; 62% of the study area is occupied by native grassland. We conclude that the extent of habitat fragmentation in our study area does not result in increased predation in remaining patches of shortgrass prairie habitat.

  17. Evaluation of Life History Diversity, Habitat Connectivity, and Survival Benefits Associated with Habitat Restoration Actions in the Lower Columbia River and Estuary, Annual Report 2010

    SciTech Connect

    Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Johnson, Gary E.; Sather, Nichole K.; Skalski, J. R.; Dawley, Earl M.; Coleman, Andre M.; Ostrand, Kenneth G.; Hanson, Kyle C.; Woodruff, Dana L.; Donley, Erin E.; Ke, Yinghai; Buenau, Kate E.; Bryson, Amanda J.; Townsend, Richard L.

    2011-10-01

    This report describes the 2010 research conducted under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) project EST-P-09-1, titled Evaluation of Life History Diversity, Habitat Connectivity, and Survival Benefits Associated with Habitat Restoration Actions in the Lower Columbia River and Estuary, and known as the 'Salmon Benefits' study. The primary goal of the study is to establish scientific methods to quantify habitat restoration benefits to listed salmon and trout in the lower Columbia River and estuary (LCRE) in three required areas: habitat connectivity, early life history diversity, and survival (Figure ES.1). The general study approach was to first evaluate the state of the science regarding the ability to quantify benefits to listed salmon and trout from habitat restoration actions in the LCRE in the 2009 project year, and then, if feasible, in subsequent project years to develop quantitative indices of habitat connectivity, early life history diversity, and survival. Based on the 2009 literature review, the following definitions are used in this study. Habitat connectivity is defined as a landscape descriptor concerning the ability of organisms to move among habitat patches, including the spatial arrangement of habitats (structural connectivity) and how the perception and behavior of salmon affect the potential for movement among habitats (functional connectivity). Life history is defined as the combination of traits exhibited by an organism throughout its life cycle, and for the purposes of this investigation, a life history strategy refers to the body size and temporal patterns of estuarine usage exhibited by migrating juvenile salmon. Survival is defined as the probability of fish remaining alive over a defined amount of space and/or time. The objectives of the 4-year study are as follows: (1) develop and test a quantitative index of juvenile salmon habitat connectivity in the LCRE incorporating structural, functional, and hydrologic components; (2) develop and test a quantitative index of the early life history diversity of juvenile salmon in the LCRE; (3) assess and, if feasible, develop and test a quantitative index of the survival benefits of tidal wetland habitat restoration (hydrologic reconnection) in the LCRE; and (4) synthesize the results of investigations into the indices for habitat connectivity, early life history diversity, and survival benefits.

  18. Descent Assisted Split Habitat Lunar Lander Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mazanek, Daniel D.; Goodliff, Kandyce; Cornelius, David M.

    2008-01-01

    The Descent Assisted Split Habitat (DASH) lunar lander concept utilizes a disposable braking stage for descent and a minimally sized pressurized volume for crew transport to and from the lunar surface. The lander can also be configured to perform autonomous cargo missions. Although a braking-stage approach represents a significantly different operational concept compared with a traditional two-stage lander, the DASH lander offers many important benefits. These benefits include improved crew egress/ingress and large-cargo unloading; excellent surface visibility during landing; elimination of the need for deep-throttling descent engines; potentially reduced plume-surface interactions and lower vertical touchdown velocity; and reduced lander gross mass through efficient mass staging and volume segmentation. This paper documents the conceptual study on various aspects of the design, including development of sortie and outpost lander configurations and a mission concept of operations; the initial descent trajectory design; the initial spacecraft sizing estimates and subsystem design; and the identification of technology needs

  19. Do habitat shifts drive diversification in teleost fishes? An example from the pufferfishes (Tetraodontidae).

    PubMed

    Santini, F; Nguyen, M T T; Sorenson, L; Waltzek, T B; Lynch Alfaro, J W; Eastman, J M; Alfaro, M E

    2013-05-01

    Habitat shifts are implicated as the cause of many vertebrate radiations, yet relatively few empirical studies quantify patterns of diversification following colonization of new habitats in fishes. The pufferfishes (family Tetraodon-tidae) occur in several habitats, including coral reefs and freshwater, which are thought to provide ecological opportunity for adaptive radiation, and thus provide a unique system for testing the hypothesis that shifts to new habitats alter diversification rates. To test this hypothesis, we sequenced eight genes for 96 species of pufferfishes and closely related porcupine fishes, and added 19 species from sequences available in GenBank. We time-calibrated the molecular phylogeny using three fossils, and performed several comparative analyses to test whether colonization of novel habitats led to shifts in the rate of speciation and body size evolution, central predictions of clades experiencing ecological adaptive radiation. Colonization of freshwater is associated with lower rates of cladogenesis in pufferfishes, although these lineages also exhibit accelerated rates of body size evolution. Increased rates of cladogenesis are associated with transitions to coral reefs, but reef lineages surprisingly exhibit significantly lower rates of body size evolution. These results suggest that ecological opportunity afforded by novel habitats may be limited for pufferfishes due to competition with other species, constraints relating to pufferfish life history and trophic ecology, and other factors. PMID:23496826

  20. Analysis of habitat selection studies with multiple patches within cover types

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Otis, D.L.

    1997-01-01

    Current statistical methods are inadequate for evaluation of the relation between spatial pattern of the landscape and observed patterns of habitat use by individuals or populations. For example, traditional habitat selection analysis methods do not use information about the size and distribution of the several patches of each cover type that may exist within the study area. Statistical tests are presented for hypotheses about disproportional use of cover types and patches within cover types. These tests require that use of individual patches is recorded, as well as the size of individual patches. Different designs are considered in which there are (1) single or multiple samples of use, and (2) equal or unequal habitat availability. Formulas for calculating Type II statistical errors of the tests are presented and Monte Carlo simulation is used to assess the accuracy of the formulas and to check the Type I error rates of the proposed test statistics. With adequate sample sizes, Type II error formulas can be a useful tool for planning of habitat selection studies. An example analysis is presented of a hypothetical study of habitat selection by ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) in a Midwestern landscape. The proposed tests also represent a contribution toward bringing together concepts of landscape ecology and wildlife habitat selection.

  1. Resampling method for applying density-dependent habitat selection theory to wildlife surveys.

    PubMed

    Tardy, Olivia; Massé, Ariane; Pelletier, Fanie; Fortin, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Isodar theory can be used to evaluate fitness consequences of density-dependent habitat selection by animals. A typical habitat isodar is a regression curve plotting competitor densities in two adjacent habitats when individual fitness is equal. Despite the increasing use of habitat isodars, their application remains largely limited to areas composed of pairs of adjacent habitats that are defined a priori. We developed a resampling method that uses data from wildlife surveys to build isodars in heterogeneous landscapes without having to predefine habitat types. The method consists in randomly placing blocks over the survey area and dividing those blocks in two adjacent sub-blocks of the same size. Animal abundance is then estimated within the two sub-blocks. This process is done 100 times. Different functional forms of isodars can be investigated by relating animal abundance and differences in habitat features between sub-blocks. We applied this method to abundance data of raccoons and striped skunks, two of the main hosts of rabies virus in North America. Habitat selection by raccoons and striped skunks depended on both conspecific abundance and the difference in landscape composition and structure between sub-blocks. When conspecific abundance was low, raccoons and striped skunks favored areas with relatively high proportions of forests and anthropogenic features, respectively. Under high conspecific abundance, however, both species preferred areas with rather large corn-forest edge densities and corn field proportions. Based on random sampling techniques, we provide a robust method that is applicable to a broad range of species, including medium- to large-sized mammals with high mobility. The method is sufficiently flexible to incorporate multiple environmental covariates that can reflect key requirements of the focal species. We thus illustrate how isodar theory can be used with wildlife surveys to assess density-dependent habitat selection over large geographic extents. PMID:26042998

  2. Resampling Method for Applying Density-Dependent Habitat Selection Theory to Wildlife Surveys

    PubMed Central

    Tardy, Olivia; Massé, Ariane; Pelletier, Fanie; Fortin, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Isodar theory can be used to evaluate fitness consequences of density-dependent habitat selection by animals. A typical habitat isodar is a regression curve plotting competitor densities in two adjacent habitats when individual fitness is equal. Despite the increasing use of habitat isodars, their application remains largely limited to areas composed of pairs of adjacent habitats that are defined a priori. We developed a resampling method that uses data from wildlife surveys to build isodars in heterogeneous landscapes without having to predefine habitat types. The method consists in randomly placing blocks over the survey area and dividing those blocks in two adjacent sub-blocks of the same size. Animal abundance is then estimated within the two sub-blocks. This process is done 100 times. Different functional forms of isodars can be investigated by relating animal abundance and differences in habitat features between sub-blocks. We applied this method to abundance data of raccoons and striped skunks, two of the main hosts of rabies virus in North America. Habitat selection by raccoons and striped skunks depended on both conspecific abundance and the difference in landscape composition and structure between sub-blocks. When conspecific abundance was low, raccoons and striped skunks favored areas with relatively high proportions of forests and anthropogenic features, respectively. Under high conspecific abundance, however, both species preferred areas with rather large corn-forest edge densities and corn field proportions. Based on random sampling techniques, we provide a robust method that is applicable to a broad range of species, including medium- to large-sized mammals with high mobility. The method is sufficiently flexible to incorporate multiple environmental covariates that can reflect key requirements of the focal species. We thus illustrate how isodar theory can be used with wildlife surveys to assess density-dependent habitat selection over large geographic extents. PMID:26042998

  3. Differential Habitat Use or Intraguild Interactions: What Structures a Carnivore Community?

    PubMed

    Gompper, Matthew E; Lesmeister, Damon B; Ray, Justina C; Malcolm, Jay R; Kays, Roland

    2016-01-01

    Differential habitat use and intraguild competition are both thought to be important drivers of animal population sizes and distributions. Habitat associations for individual species are well-established, and interactions between particular pairs of species have been highlighted in many focal studies. However, community-wide assessments of the relative strengths of these two factors have not been conducted. We built multi-scale habitat occupancy models for five carnivore taxa of New York's Adirondack landscape and assessed the relative performance of these models against ones in which co-occurrences of potentially competing carnivore species were also incorporated. Distribution models based on habitat performed well for all species. Black bear (Ursus americanus) and fisher (Martes pennanti) distribution was similar in that occupancy of both species was negatively associated with paved roads. However, black bears were also associated with larger forest fragments and fishers with smaller forest fragments. No models with habitat features were more supported than the null habitat model for raccoons (Procyon lotor). Martens (Martes americana) were most associated with increased terrain ruggedness and elevation. Weasel (Mustela spp.) occupancy increased with the cover of deciduous forest. For most species dyads habitat-only models were more supported than those models with potential competitors incorporated. The exception to this finding was for the smallest carnivore taxa (marten and weasel) where habitat plus coyote abundance models typically performed better than habitat-only models. Assessing this carnivore community as whole, we conclude that differential habitat use is more important than species interactions in maintaining the distribution and structure of this carnivore guild. PMID:26731404

  4. Differential Habitat Use or Intraguild Interactions: What Structures a Carnivore Community?

    PubMed Central

    Gompper, Matthew E.; Lesmeister, Damon B.; Ray, Justina C.; Malcolm, Jay R.; Kays, Roland

    2016-01-01

    Differential habitat use and intraguild competition are both thought to be important drivers of animal population sizes and distributions. Habitat associations for individual species are well-established, and interactions between particular pairs of species have been highlighted in many focal studies. However, community-wide assessments of the relative strengths of these two factors have not been conducted. We built multi-scale habitat occupancy models for five carnivore taxa of New York’s Adirondack landscape and assessed the relative performance of these models against ones in which co-occurrences of potentially competing carnivore species were also incorporated. Distribution models based on habitat performed well for all species. Black bear (Ursus americanus) and fisher (Martes pennanti) distribution was similar in that occupancy of both species was negatively associated with paved roads. However, black bears were also associated with larger forest fragments and fishers with smaller forest fragments. No models with habitat features were more supported than the null habitat model for raccoons (Procyon lotor). Martens (Martes americana) were most associated with increased terrain ruggedness and elevation. Weasel (Mustela spp.) occupancy increased with the cover of deciduous forest. For most species dyads habitat-only models were more supported than those models with potential competitors incorporated. The exception to this finding was for the smallest carnivore taxa (marten and weasel) where habitat plus coyote abundance models typically performed better than habitat-only models. Assessing this carnivore community as whole, we conclude that differential habitat use is more important than species interactions in maintaining the distribution and structure of this carnivore guild. PMID:26731404

  5. Effects of Frugivore Preferences and Habitat Heterogeneity on Seed Rain: A Multi-Scale Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Pérez, Javier; Larrinaga, Asier R.; Santamaría, Luis

    2012-01-01

    Seed rain mediated by frugivores is influenced by (1) the seed-deposition distances following fruit ingestion, (2) the disperser activity, as determined by its behaviour and habitat preferences, and (3) the structure of the habitat within the landscape. Here, we evaluated such components using the fleshy-fruited shrub Ephedra fragilis and the frugivorous Balearic lizard Podarcis lilfordi. We estimated seed-deposition patterns based on the displacements and habitat preferences of lizards, derived from visual surveys and telemetry data. The influence of variables potentially determining lizard habitat preference (i.e., height, slope, four measures of habitat abundance and four measures of habitat fragmentation) was evaluated at three spatial scales: ‘home-range’ (c. 2.5–10*103 m2; telemetry data), ‘within home-range’ (c. 100 m2; telemetry data) and ‘microhabitat’ (<100 m2; visual survey). Cumulative lizard displacement (from each telemetric location to the initial capture point) saturated before the peak of seed defecation (seed-retention time), indicating that lizard home-range size and habitat preferences were the main determinants of the spread and shape of seed shadows. Shrub cover was positively correlated with habitat preference at the three scales of analysis, whereas slope was negatively correlated at the home-range scale. Model scenarios indicated that spatially-aggregated seed rain emerged when we incorporated the joint effect of habitat preference at the two largest (home-range and within home-range) scales. We conclude that, in order to predict seed rain in animal dispersed plants, it is important to consider the multi-scale effects of habitat preference by frugivores. PMID:22438902

  6. Climate Change Expands the Spatial Extent and Duration of Preferred Thermal Habitat for Lake Superior Fishes

    PubMed Central

    Cline, Timothy J.; Bennington, Val; Kitchell, James F.

    2013-01-01

    Climate change is expected to alter species distributions and habitat suitability across the globe. Understanding these shifting distributions is critical for adaptive resource management. The role of temperature in fish habitat and energetics is well established and can be used to evaluate climate change effects on habitat distributions and food web interactions. Lake Superior water temperatures are rising rapidly in response to climate change and this is likely influencing species distributions and interactions. We use a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model that captures temperature changes in Lake Superior over the last 3 decades to investigate shifts in habitat size and duration of preferred temperatures for four different fishes. We evaluated habitat changes in two native lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) ecotypes, siscowet and lean lake trout, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), and walleye (Sander vitreus). Between 1979 and 2006, days with available preferred thermal habitat increased at a mean rate of 6, 7, and 5 days per decade for lean lake trout, Chinook salmon, and walleye, respectively. Siscowet lake trout lost 3 days per decade. Consequently, preferred habitat spatial extents increased at a rate of 579, 495 and 419 km2 per year for the lean lake trout, Chinook salmon, and walleye while siscowet lost 161 km2 per year during the modeled period. Habitat increases could lead to increased growth and production for three of the four fishes. Consequently, greater habitat overlap may intensify interguild competition and food web interactions. Loss of cold-water habitat for siscowet, having the coldest thermal preference, could forecast potential changes from continued warming. Additionally, continued warming may render more suitable conditions for some invasive species. PMID:23638023

  7. Conservation of species in dynamic landscapes: divergent fates of Silene tatarica populations in riparian habitats.

    PubMed

    Jäkäläniemi, Anne; Tuomi, Juha; Siikamäki, Pirkko

    2006-06-01

    In transient environments, where local extinctions occur as a result of destruction or deterioration of the local habitat, the long-term persistence of a species requires successful colonizations at new, suitable sites. This kind of habitat tracking should be associated with the asynchronous dynamics of local populations, and it can be especially important for the conservation of rare plant species in riparian habitats. We determined spatiotemporal variation in the demography of the perennial Silene tatarica (L.) Pers. in 15 populations (1998-2003) located in periodically disturbed riparian habitats. The habitats differed according to their morphology (flat shores, slopes) and the amount of bare ground (open, intermediate, closed) along a successional gradient. We used elasticity and life-table response analyses and stochastic simulations to study the variation in population demography. Finite population growth rate was higher in intermediate habitats than in open and closed habitats. In stochastic simulations population size increased in most cases, but four populations were projected to become extinct within 12-70 years. The viability of local populations depended most on the survival and growth of juvenile individuals and on the fecundity of large fertile individuals. On a regional scale, the persistence of this species will require a viable network of local populations as protection against local extinctions caused by natural disturbances and succession. Accordingly, the long-term persistence of riparian species may depend on habitat changes; thus, their conservation requires maintenance of natural disturbance dynamics. Along regulated rivers, management activities such as the creation of open habitats for new colonization should be implemented. Similarly, these activities can be rather general requirements for the conservation of endangered species dependent on transient habitats along successional gradients. PMID:16909576

  8. Sandy beach surf zones: An alternative nursery habitat for 0-age Chinook salmon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marin Jarrin, J. R.; Miller, J. A.

    2013-12-01

    The role of each habitat fish use is of great importance to the dynamics of populations. During their early marine residence, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), an anadromous fish species, mostly inhabit estuaries but also use sandy beach surf zones and the coastal ocean. However, the role of surf zones in the early life history of Chinook salmon is unclear. We hypothesized that surf zones serve as an alternative nursery habitat, defined as a habitat that consistently provides a proportion of a population with foraging and growth rates similar to those experienced in the primary nursery. First, we confirmed that juvenile Chinook salmon cohorts are simultaneously using both habitats by combining field collections with otolith chemical and structural analysis to directly compare size and migration patterns of juveniles collected in two Oregon (USA) estuaries and surf zones during three years. We then compared juvenile catch, diet and growth in estuaries and surf zones. Juveniles were consistently caught in both habitats throughout summer. Catches were significantly higher in estuaries (average ± SD = 34.3 ± 19.7 ind. 100 m-2) than surf zones (1.0 ± 1.5 ind. 100 m-2) and were positively correlated (r = 0.92). Size at capture (103 ± 15 mm fork length, FL), size at marine entry (76 ± 13 mm FL), stomach fullness (2 ± 2% body weight) and growth rates (0.4 ± 0.0 mm day-1) were similar between habitats. Our results suggest that when large numbers of 0-age Chinook salmon inhabit estuaries, juveniles concurrently use surf zones, which serve as an alternative nursery habitat. Therefore, surf zones expand the available rearing habitat for Chinook salmon during early marine residence, a critical period in the life history.

  9. Habitat use and deconstruction of richness patterns in Cerrado birds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blamires, Daniel; de Oliveira, Guilherme; de Souza Barreto, Bruno; Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre Felizola

    2008-01-01

    At lower spatial scales, richness spatial patterns probably lead to more complex ecological-evolutionary interactions. In this paper, we used a "deconstruction" approach to evaluate the Cerrado breeding bird's richness, according to their habitat use categories (independent, semi-dependent and dependent on forest habitats). Six environmental variables and current human population size were used as predictors of species richness. Moran's I coefficients revealed strong spatial autocorrelation in ordinary least squares multiple regression residuals, and thus a Principal Coordinate of Neighbour Matrices (PCNM) was used to evaluate the influence of richness predictors, minimizing the problems caused by spatial autocorrelation. Models generated for total richness and for species richness by habitat categories were compared. We showed that, despite the total richness being more concentrated in south and southeast regions of Cerrado, these patterns changed when analysing semi-dependent and dependent forest habitat species, demonstrating a spatial variation in richness for these categories. The PCNM analyses demonstrated that, for total species richness, only partial coefficients of AET and temperature were significant. For independent forest richness, significant partial regression coefficients were found for AET, PET, TEMP and PREC, whereas for semi-dependent forest habitats richness, only AET was significant. On the other hand, for dependent of forest richness, a significant positive coefficient was found for precipitation and for human population. Most spatial variation in richness can be explained by joined effects of geographic structure and environmental predictors. These analyses reveal that deconstruction can be a step to a more effective understanding of richness patterns and their environmental drivers.

  10. Activities and preliminary results of nearshore benthic habitat mapping in southern California, 1998

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cochrane, Guy R.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2000-01-01

    The nearshore benthic habitat of the Santa Barbara coast and Channel Islands supports a diversity of marine life that are commercially, recreationally, and intrinsically valuable. Some of these resources are known to be endangered including a variety of rockfish and the White Abalone. State and National agencies have been mandated to preserve and enhance these resources and require detailed habitat characterization in order to do so. This project will characterize and map the benthic habitat in areas that have been selected because they have been set aside as National Sanctuaries or State Preserves, or are areas of ongoing or planned fish population studies. Various management strategies are being developed to protect marine resources in the Santa Barbara Channel Islands Region. One approach under investigation is to implement no-take marine reserves (Agardy, T., 1997; Bohnsack, 1998; Roberts, 1997). One small reserve presently exists on Anacapa Island and there is a growing momentum to add additional reserves to form a reserve network (Lafferty et al., 2000). Reserves may provide relatively pristine marine communities in a wild state for study and appreciation. In addition, they may buffer some species from over-fishing. A key feature of marine reserve design is to protect a representation of the existing habitats in a region (Roberts, 1997). Unfortunately, the distribution of habitats is not well known in this area since the underwater equivalent of soils and vegetation maps that are widely available for terrestrial systems do not yet exist. Managers need habitat maps to help determine the most appropriate boundaries for reserves in a network in order to meet various criteria and goals (such as habitat representation, reserve size, habitat heterogeneity, reserve spacing, inclusion of sensitive habitats, etc.). Another use for habitat mapping is to better understand the distribution of those habitats that are particularly important to fished species or sensitive species. Combining habitat mapping with ongoing studies of egg and larval fish counts by the National Marine Fisheries Service (Russell Vetter), rockfish population studies by the California Department of Fish and Game (Dave VenTresca), and white abalone (Kevin Lafferty and others, USGS) will extend the ability to predict the distribution of these species and identify areas with appropriate habitat that might be suitable for restoration. Additional uses for habitat mapping include managing visitor use, kelp distribution, and archeological resources.

  11. Maladaptive Habitat Selection of a Migratory Passerine Bird in a Human-Modified Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Hollander, Franck A.; Van Dyck, Hans; San Martin, Gilles; Titeux, Nicolas

    2011-01-01

    In human-altered environments, organisms may preferentially settle in poor-quality habitats where fitness returns are lower relative to available higher-quality habitats. Such ecological trapping is due to a mismatch between the cues used during habitat selection and the habitat quality. Maladaptive settlement decisions may occur when organisms are time-constrained and have to rapidly evaluate habitat quality based on incomplete knowledge of the resources and conditions that will be available later in the season. During a three-year study, we examined settlement decision-making in the long-distance migratory, open-habitat bird, the Red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio), as a response to recent land-use changes. In Northwest Europe, the shrikes typically breed in open areas under a management regime of extensive farming. In recent decades, Spruce forests have been increasingly managed with large-size cutblocks in even-aged plantations, thereby producing early-successional vegetation areas that are also colonised by the species. Farmland and open areas in forests create mosaics of two different types of habitats that are now occupied by the shrikes. We examined redundant measures of habitat preference (order of settlement after migration and distribution of dominant individuals) and several reproductive performance parameters in both habitat types to investigate whether habitat preference is in line with habitat quality. Territorial males exhibited a clear preference for the recently created open areas in forests with higher-quality males settling in this habitat type earlier. Reproductive performance was, however, higher in farmland, with higher nest success, offspring quantity, and quality compared to open areas in forests. The results showed strong among-year consistency and we can therefore exclude a transient situation. This study demonstrates a case of maladaptive habitat selection in a farmland bird expanding its breeding range to human-created open habitats in plantations. We discuss the reasons that could explain this decision-making and the possible consequences for the population dynamics and persistence. PMID:21984940

  12. Maladaptive habitat selection of a migratory passerine bird in a human-modified landscape.

    PubMed

    Hollander, Franck A; Van Dyck, Hans; San Martin, Gilles; Titeux, Nicolas

    2011-01-01

    In human-altered environments, organisms may preferentially settle in poor-quality habitats where fitness returns are lower relative to available higher-quality habitats. Such ecological trapping is due to a mismatch between the cues used during habitat selection and the habitat quality. Maladaptive settlement decisions may occur when organisms are time-constrained and have to rapidly evaluate habitat quality based on incomplete knowledge of the resources and conditions that will be available later in the season. During a three-year study, we examined settlement decision-making in the long-distance migratory, open-habitat bird, the Red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio), as a response to recent land-use changes. In Northwest Europe, the shrikes typically breed in open areas under a management regime of extensive farming. In recent decades, Spruce forests have been increasingly managed with large-size cutblocks in even-aged plantations, thereby producing early-successional vegetation areas that are also colonised by the species. Farmland and open areas in forests create mosaics of two different types of habitats that are now occupied by the shrikes. We examined redundant measures of habitat preference (order of settlement after migration and distribution of dominant individuals) and several reproductive performance parameters in both habitat types to investigate whether habitat preference is in line with habitat quality. Territorial males exhibited a clear preference for the recently created open areas in forests with higher-quality males settling in this habitat type earlier. Reproductive performance was, however, higher in farmland, with higher nest success, offspring quantity, and quality compared to open areas in forests. The results showed strong among-year consistency and we can therefore exclude a transient situation. This study demonstrates a case of maladaptive habitat selection in a farmland bird expanding its breeding range to human-created open habitats in plantations. We discuss the reasons that could explain this decision-making and the possible consequences for the population dynamics and persistence. PMID:21984940

  13. Exploring Size.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brand, Judith, Ed.

    1995-01-01

    "Exploring" is a magazine of science, art, and human perception that communicates ideas museum exhibits cannot demonstrate easily by using experiments and activities for the classroom. This issue concentrates on size, examining it from a variety of viewpoints. The focus allows students to investigate and discuss interconnections among apparently…

  14. 50 CFR 17.94 - Critical habitats.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Critical habitats. 17.94 Section 17.94... habitats. (a) The areas listed in § 17.95 (fish and wildlife) and § 17.96 (plants) and referred to in the lists at §§ 17.11 and 17.12 have been determined by the Director to be Critical Habitat. All...

  15. 50 CFR 17.94 - Critical habitats.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Critical habitats. 17.94 Section 17.94... habitats. (a) The areas listed in § 17.95 (fish and wildlife) and § 17.96 (plants) and referred to in the lists at §§ 17.11 and 17.12 have been determined by the Director to be Critical Habitat. All...

  16. 50 CFR 17.94 - Critical habitats.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Critical habitats. 17.94 Section 17.94... habitats. (a) The areas listed in § 17.95 (fish and wildlife) and § 17.96 (plants) and referred to in the lists at §§ 17.11 and 17.12 have been determined by the Director to be Critical Habitat. All...

  17. 50 CFR 17.94 - Critical habitats.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Critical habitats. 17.94 Section 17.94... habitats. (a) The areas listed in § 17.95 (fish and wildlife) and § 17.96 (plants) and referred to in the lists at §§ 17.11 and 17.12 have been determined by the Director to be Critical Habitat. All...

  18. 50 CFR 17.94 - Critical habitats.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Critical habitats. 17.94 Section 17.94... habitats. (a) The areas listed in § 17.95 (fish and wildlife) and § 17.96 (plants) and referred to in the lists at §§ 17.11 and 17.12 have been determined by the Director to be Critical Habitat. All...

  19. Subseafloor basalts as fungal habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivarsson, M.

    2012-02-01

    The oceanic crust is believed to host the largest potential habitat for microbial life on Earth, yet, next to nothing is known about this deep, concealed biosphere. Here fossilised fungal colonies in subseafloor basalts are reported from three different seamounts in the Pacific Ocean. The fungal colonies consist of various characteristic structures interpreted as fungal hyphae, fruit bodies and spores. The fungal hyphae are well preserved with morphological characteristics such as hyphal walls, septa, thallic conidiogenesis, and hyphal tips with hyphal vesicles within. The fruit bodies consist of large (~50-200 ?m in diameter) body-like structures with a defined outer membrane and an interior filled with calcite. The fruit bodies have at some stage been emptied of their contents of spores and filled by carbonate forming fluids. A few fruit bodies not filled by calcite and with spores still within support this interpretation. Spore-like structures (ranging from a few ?m:s to ∼20 ?m in diameter) are also observed outside of the fruit bodies and in some cases concentrated to openings in the membrane of the fruit bodies. The hyphae, fruit bodies and spores are all closely associated with a crust lining the vein walls that probably represent a mineralized biofilm. The results support a fungal presence in deep subseafloor basalts and indicate that such habitats were vital between ∼81 and 48 Ma, and probably still is. It is suggested that near future ocean drilling programs prioritize sampling of live species to better understand this concealed biosphere.

  20. The Habitat Demonstration Unit Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kennedy, Kriss J.; Gill, Tracy; Tri, Terry; Howe, Scott

    2009-01-01

    This paper will describe an overview of the NASA-led multi-center Habitat Demonstration Unit (HDU) Project. The HDU project is a technology-pull project that integrates technologies and innovations from numerous NASA centers. This project will be used to investigate and validate surface architectures, operations concepts, and requirements definition. The HDU project will be part of the 2010 Desert Research and Technologies Simulations (DRATS). The purpose of this project is to develop, integrate, test, and evaluate a HDU in the context of the mission architectures and surface operation concepts. This HDU is based on the Constellation Architecture Scenario 12.1 concept of a vertically oriented habitat module. A multi-center approach with be utilized to build, integrate, and test the HDU project through a shared collaborative effort of multiple NASA centers. This project is part of the strategic plan from the ESMD Directorate Integration Office (DIO) and the Lunar Surface Systems Project Office (LSSPO) to test surface elements in a surface analog environment which includes two Lunar Electric Rovers and the HDU during the 2010 analog field test. This paper will describe the overall objectives, its various configurations, strategic plan, and technology integration as it pertains to the 2010 and 2011 field analog tests.

  1. Habitat stability, predation risk and 'memory syndromes'.

    PubMed

    Dalesman, S; Rendle, A; Dall, S R X

    2015-01-01

    Habitat stability and predation pressure are thought to be major drivers in the evolutionary maintenance of behavioural syndromes, with trait covariance only occurring within specific habitats. However, animals also exhibit behavioural plasticity, often through memory formation. Memory formation across traits may be linked, with covariance in memory traits (memory syndromes) selected under particular environmental conditions. This study tests whether the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, demonstrates consistency among memory traits ('memory syndrome') related to threat avoidance and foraging. We used eight populations originating from three different habitat types: i) laboratory populations (stable habitat, predator-free); ii) river populations (fairly stable habitat, fish predation); and iii) ditch populations (unstable habitat, invertebrate predation). At a population level, there was a negative relationship between memories related to threat avoidance and food selectivity, but no consistency within habitat type. At an individual level, covariance between memory traits was dependent on habitat. Laboratory populations showed no covariance among memory traits, whereas river populations showed a positive correlation between food memories, and ditch populations demonstrated a negative relationship between threat memory and food memories. Therefore, selection pressures among habitats appear to act independently on memory trait covariation at an individual level and the average response within a population. PMID:26013966

  2. Habitat patterns in a small mammal community

    SciTech Connect

    Kitchings, J.T.; Levy, D.J.

    1981-11-01

    Microhabitat relationships between four sympatric small mammal species (Peromyscus leucopus, Ochrotomys nuttalli, Blarina brevicauda, and Tamias striatus) were examined to determine if their discriminant analysis of small mammal habitat represented a unique habitat utilization pattern for a specific small mammal community. The authors concluded that habitat is only one of many dimensions to be considered when studying the interactions of sympatric species. Reproductive strategy, activity patterns, and other factors make up the n-dimensional hyperspace of an animal's niche. Thus differences in habitat usage alone cannot be used to determine niche overlap and competition between species. (JMT)

  3. Elevation Derivatives for Mojave Desert Tortoise Habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Gass, Leila

    2008-01-01

    This report describes the methods used to derive various elevation-derivative grids that were inputted to the Mojave Desert Tortoise Habitat model (L. Gass and others, unpub. data). These grids, which capture information on surface roughness and topographic characteristics, are a subset of the environmental datasets evaluated for the tortoise habitat model. This habitat model is of major importance to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is charged with management of this threatened population, including relocating displaced tortoises to areas identified as suitable habitat.

  4. Habitat Demonstration Unit - Deep Space Habitat Configuration - Duration: 2 minutes, 22 seconds.

    NASA Video Gallery

    This animated video shows the process of transporting, assembling and testing the Habitat Demonstration Unit - Deep Space Habitat (HDU DSH) configuration, which will be deployed during the 2011 Des...

  5. Stable Isotope Models Predict Foraging Habitat of Northern Fur Seals (Callorhinus ursinus) in Alaska.

    PubMed

    Zeppelin, T K; Johnson, D S; Kuhn, C E; Iverson, S J; Ream, R R

    2015-01-01

    We developed models to predict foraging habitat of adult female northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) using stable carbon (?13C) and nitrogen (?15N) isotope values from plasma and red blood cells. Binomial generalized linear mixed models were developed using blood isotope samples collected from 35 adult female fur seals on three breeding colonies in Alaska during July-October 2006. Satellite location and dive data were used to define habitat use in terms of the proportion of time spent or dives made in different oceanographic/bathymetric domains. For both plasma and red blood cells, the models accurately predicted habitat use for animals that foraged exclusively off or on the continental shelf. The models did not perform as well in predicting habitat use for animals that foraged in both on- and off-shelf habitat; however, sample sizes for these animals were small. Concurrently collected scat, fatty acid, and dive data confirmed that the foraging differences predicted by isotopes were associated with diet differences. Stable isotope samples, dive data, and GPS location data collected from an additional 15 females during August-October 2008 validated the effective use of the models across years. Little within year variation in habitat use was indicated from the comparison between stable isotope values from plasma (representing 1-2 weeks) and red blood cells (representing the prior few months). Constructing predictive models using stable isotopes provides an effective means to assess habitat use at the population level, is inexpensive, and can be applied to other marine predators. PMID:26030280

  6. Habitat Effects on the Breeding Performance of Three Forest-Dwelling Hawks.

    PubMed

    Björklund, Heidi; Valkama, Jari; Tomppo, Erkki; Laaksonen, Toni

    2015-01-01

    Habitat loss causes population declines, but the mechanisms are rarely known. In the European Boreal Zone, loss of old forest due to intensive forestry is suspected to cause declines in forest-dwelling raptors by reducing their breeding performance. We studied the boreal breeding habitat and habitat-associated breeding performance of the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), common buzzard (Buteo buteo) and European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus). We combined long-term Finnish bird-of-prey data with multi-source national forest inventory data at various distances (100-4000 m) around the hawk nests. We found that breeding success of the goshawk was best explained by the habitat within a 2000-m radius around the nests; breeding was more successful with increasing proportions of old spruce forest and water, and decreasing proportions of young thinning forest. None of the habitat variables affected significantly the breeding success of the common buzzard or the honey buzzard, or the brood size of any of the species. The amount of old spruce forest decreased both around goshawk and common buzzard nests and throughout southern Finland in 1992-2010. In contrast, the area of young forest increased in southern Finland but not around hawk nests. We emphasize the importance of studying habitats at several spatial and temporal scales to determine the relevant species-specific scale and to detect environmental changes. Further effort is needed to reconcile the socioeconomic and ecological functions of forests and habitat requirements of old forest specialists. PMID:26422684

  7. Habitat Effects on the Breeding Performance of Three Forest-Dwelling Hawks

    PubMed Central

    Björklund, Heidi; Valkama, Jari; Tomppo, Erkki; Laaksonen, Toni

    2015-01-01

    Habitat loss causes population declines, but the mechanisms are rarely known. In the European Boreal Zone, loss of old forest due to intensive forestry is suspected to cause declines in forest-dwelling raptors by reducing their breeding performance. We studied the boreal breeding habitat and habitat-associated breeding performance of the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), common buzzard (Buteo buteo) and European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus). We combined long-term Finnish bird-of-prey data with multi-source national forest inventory data at various distances (100–4000 m) around the hawk nests. We found that breeding success of the goshawk was best explained by the habitat within a 2000-m radius around the nests; breeding was more successful with increasing proportions of old spruce forest and water, and decreasing proportions of young thinning forest. None of the habitat variables affected significantly the breeding success of the common buzzard or the honey buzzard, or the brood size of any of the species. The amount of old spruce forest decreased both around goshawk and common buzzard nests and throughout southern Finland in 1992–2010. In contrast, the area of young forest increased in southern Finland but not around hawk nests. We emphasize the importance of studying habitats at several spatial and temporal scales to determine the relevant species-specific scale and to detect environmental changes. Further effort is needed to reconcile the socioeconomic and ecological functions of forests and habitat requirements of old forest specialists. PMID:26422684

  8. How much habitat management is needed to meet mallard production objectives?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cowardin, L.M.; Shaffer, T.L.; Kraft, K.M.

    1995-01-01

    We used results from simulation models to demonstrate the benefit-cost ratios of habitat management to increase the number of mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) recruits produced. The models were applied to hypothetical 2-habitat landscapes comprised of managed and unmanaged habitat. Managed habitats were predator barrier fencing and CRP cover; unmanaged habitat was grassland. As the amount of managed cover increased, the production curve rose rapidly and leveled off. If 2 managed habitats are added to a landscape, the cover can compete for available nesting hens, thus negating the benefits of 1 of the covers. After converting benefits and costs to dollars, we determined the point at which maximum net benefit occurs. We present an equation that can be used to determine the maximum net benefit of a management treatment given the size of the breeding population and the values of costs and benefits. Our examples demonstrate that, on local areas, it is inefficient to spend money for habitat management once maximum net benefit has been attained. If desired production can not be attained efficiently on an area, the manager can invest effort on alternative areas with greater management potential. If recruitment is inadequate to maintain a stable population, managers should manage to increase recruitment before attempting to attract additional breeding pairs. If recruitment more than maintains the breeding population, managers should attempt to attract additional breeding pairs to the area.

  9. Habitat fragmentation effects on birds in grasslands and wetlands: A critique of our knowledge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, D.H.

    2001-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation exacerbates the problem of habitat loss for grassland and wetland birds. Remaining patches of grasslands and wetlands may be too small, too isolated, and too influenced by edge effects to maintain viable populations of some breeding birds. Knowledge of the effects of fragmentation on bird populations is critically important for decisions about reserve design, grassland and wetland management, and implementation of cropland set-aside programs that benefit wildlife. In my review of research that has been conducted on habitat fragmentation, I found at least five common problems in the methodology used. The results of many studies are compromised by these problems: passive sampling (sampling larger areas in larger patches), confounding effects of habitat heterogeneity, consequences of inappropriate pooling of data from different species, artifacts associated with artificial nest data, and definition of actual habitat patches. As expected, some large-bodied birds with large territorial requirements, such as the northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), appear area sensitive. In addition, some small species of grassland birds favor patches of habitat far in excess of their territory size, including the Savannah (Passerculus sandwichensis), grasshopper (Ammodramus savannarum) and Henslow's (A. henslowii) sparrows, and the bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). Other species may be area sensitive as well, but the data are ambiguous. Area sensitivity among wetland birds remains unknown since virtually no studies have been based on solid methodologies. We need further research on grassland bird response to habitat that distinguishes supportable conclusions from those that may be artifactual.

  10. The relative influence of habitat amount and configuration on genetic structure across multiple spatial scales.

    PubMed

    Millette, Katie L; Keyghobadi, Nusha

    2015-01-01

    Despite strong interest in understanding how habitat spatial structure shapes the genetics of populations, the relative importance of habitat amount and configuration for patterns of genetic differentiation remains largely unexplored in empirical systems. In this study, we evaluate the relative influence of, and interactions among, the amount of habitat and aspects of its spatial configuration on genetic differentiation in the pitcher plant midge, Metriocnemus knabi. Larvae of this species are found exclusively within the water-filled leaves of pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea) in a system that is naturally patchy at multiple spatial scales (i.e., leaf, plant, cluster, peatland). Using generalized linear mixed models and multimodel inference, we estimated effects of the amount of habitat, patch size, interpatch distance, and patch isolation, measured at different spatial scales, on genetic differentiation (F ST) among larval samples from leaves within plants, plants within clusters, and clusters within peatlands. Among leaves and plants, genetic differentiation appears to be driven by female oviposition behaviors and is influenced by habitat isolation at a broad (peatland) scale. Among clusters, gene flow is spatially restricted and aspects of both the amount of habitat and configuration at the focal scale are important, as is their interaction. Our results suggest that both habitat amount and configuration can be important determinants of genetic structure and that their relative influence is scale dependent. PMID:25628865

  11. Comparing the nursery role of inner continental shelf and estuarine habitats for temperate marine fishes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woodland, Ryan J.; Secor, David H.; Fabrizio, Mary C.; Wilberg, Michael J.

    2012-03-01

    The marine-estuarine transition represents an important biogeographic boundary, yet juvenile marine finfish have been observed in both temperate inner continental shelf (ICS) and estuarine habitats during the summer nursery period. In a direct comparison of ICS and estuary nurseries, spatial and temporal patterns in species composition, biodiversity, size structure, and relative abundance of age-0 fishes were tested using contemporaneous data from multiyear (2004-2006) trawl surveys of the Maryland ICS near Assateague Island, MD, and lower Chesapeake Bay, VA (estuary). Survey data from both habitats showed similar seasonal progression of assemblage structure, biodiversity phenologies, and dominant species identities. Late summer densities for four of five numerically dominant species varied by habitat. Densities of bay anchovy Anchoa mitchilli, weakfish Cynoscion regalis, and Atlantic butterfish Peprilus triacanthus were higher in the ICS; whereas summer flounder Paralichthys dentatus density was higher in the estuary. Density of spot Leiostomus xanthurus did not differ between habitats. Apparent daily growth rates of these five species, as estimated by modal length progression, were not significantly different between the two habitats. Although individual species displayed varying affinities for ICS versus estuarine habitats, this study provides strong evidence that the ICS of the Middle Atlantic Bight is capable of functioning interchangeably with polyhaline estuarine regions as nursery habitat for a diverse group of marine finfish.

  12. The relative influence of habitat amount and configuration on genetic structure across multiple spatial scales

    PubMed Central

    Millette, Katie L; Keyghobadi, Nusha

    2015-01-01

    Despite strong interest in understanding how habitat spatial structure shapes the genetics of populations, the relative importance of habitat amount and configuration for patterns of genetic differentiation remains largely unexplored in empirical systems. In this study, we evaluate the relative influence of, and interactions among, the amount of habitat and aspects of its spatial configuration on genetic differentiation in the pitcher plant midge, Metriocnemus knabi. Larvae of this species are found exclusively within the water-filled leaves of pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea) in a system that is naturally patchy at multiple spatial scales (i.e., leaf, plant, cluster, peatland). Using generalized linear mixed models and multimodel inference, we estimated effects of the amount of habitat, patch size, interpatch distance, and patch isolation, measured at different spatial scales, on genetic differentiation (FST) among larval samples from leaves within plants, plants within clusters, and clusters within peatlands. Among leaves and plants, genetic differentiation appears to be driven by female oviposition behaviors and is influenced by habitat isolation at a broad (peatland) scale. Among clusters, gene flow is spatially restricted and aspects of both the amount of habitat and configuration at the focal scale are important, as is their interaction. Our results suggest that both habitat amount and configuration can be important determinants of genetic structure and that their relative influence is scale dependent. PMID:25628865

  13. Response of the Agile Antechinus to Habitat Edge, Configuration and Condition in Fragmented Forest

    PubMed Central

    Johnstone, Christopher P.; Lill, Alan; Reina, Richard D.

    2011-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation and degradation seriously threaten native animal communities. We studied the response of a small marsupial, the agile antechinus Antechinus agilis, to several environmental variables in anthropogenically fragmented Eucalyptus forest in south-east Australia. Agile antechinus were captured more in microhabitats dominated by woody debris than in other microhabitats. Relative abundances of both sexes were positively correlated with fragment core area. Male and female mass-size residuals were smaller in larger fragments. A health status indicator, haemoglobin-haematocrit residuals (HHR), did not vary as a function of any environmental variable in females, but male HHR indicated better health where sites' microhabitats were dominated by shrubs, woody debris and trees other than Eucalyptus. Females were trapped less often in edge than interior fragment habitat and their physiological stress level, indicated by the neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio in peripheral blood, was higher where fragments had a greater proportion of edge habitat. The latter trend was potentially due to lymphopoenia resulting from stress hormone-mediated leukocyte trafficking. Using multiple indicators of population condition and health status facilitates a comprehensive examination of the effects of anthropogenic disturbances, such as habitat fragmentation and degradation, on native vertebrates. Male agile antechinus' health responded negatively to habitat degradation, whilst females responded negatively to the proportion of edge habitat. The health and condition indicators used could be employed to identify conservation strategies that would make habitat fragments less stressful for this or similar native, small mammals. PMID:22076129

  14. Measuring individuality in habitat use across complex landscapes: approaches, constraints, and implications for assessing resource specialization.

    PubMed

    Fodrie, F Joel; Yeager, Lauren A; Grabowski, Jonathan H; Layman, Craig A; Sherwood, Graham D; Kenworthy, Matthew D

    2015-05-01

    Many mobile marine species are presumed to utilize a broad spectrum of habitats, but this seemingly generalist life history may arise from conspecifics specializing on distinct habitat alternatives to exploit foraging, resting/refuge, or reproductive opportunities. We acoustically tagged 34 red drum, and mapped sand, seagrass, marsh, or oyster (across discrete landscape contexts) use by each uniquely coded individual. Using 144,000 acoustic detections, we recorded differences in habitat use among red drum: proportional use of seagrass habitat ranged from 0 to 100%, and use of oyster-bottom types also varied among fish. WIC/TNW and IS metrics (previously applied vis-à-vis diet specialization) consistently indicated that a typical red drum overlapped >70% with population-level niche exploitation. Monte Carlo permutations showed these values were lower than expected had fish drawn from a common habitat-use distribution, but longitudinal comparisons did not provide evidence of temporally consistent individuality, suggesting that differences among individuals were plastic and not reflective of true specialization. Given the range of acoustic detections we captured (from tens to 1,000s per individual), which are substantially larger sample sizes than in many diet studies, we extended our findings by serially reducing or expanding our data in simulations to evaluate sample-size effects. We found that the results of null hypothesis testing for specialization were highly dependent on sample size, with thresholds in the relationship between sample size and associated P-values. These results highlight opportunities and potential caveats in exploring individuality in habitat use. More broadly, exploring individual specialization in fine-scale habitat use suggests that, for mobile marine species, movement behaviors over shorter (?weeks), but not longer (?months), timescales may serve as an underlying mechanism for other forms of resource specialization. PMID:25669451

  15. Habitat use and home range of the Laysan Teal on Laysan Island, Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, M.H.

    2004-01-01

    The 24-hour habitat use and home range of the Laysan Teal (Anas laysanensis), an endemic dabbling duck in Hawaii, was studied using radio telemetry during 1998-2000. Radios were retained for a mean of 40 days (0-123 d; 73 adult birds radio-tagged). Comparisons of daily habitat use were made for birds in the morning, day, evening, and night. Most birds showed strong evidence of selective habitat use. Adults preferred the terrestrial vegetation (88%), and avoided the lake and wetlands during the day. At night, 63% of the birds selected the lake and wetlands. Nocturnal habitat use differed significantly between the non-breeding and breeding seasons, while the lake and wetland habitats were used more frequently during the non-breeding season. Most individuals showed strong site fidelity during the study, but habitat selection varied between individuals. Mean home range size was 9.78 ha (SE ?? 2.6) using the fixed kernel estimator (95% kernel; 15 birds, each with >25 locations). The average minimum convex polygon size was 24 ha (SE ?? 5.6). The mean distance traveled between tracking locations was 178 m (SE ?? 30-5), with travel distances between points ranging up to 1,649 m. Tracking duration varied from 31-121 days per bird (mean tracking duration 75 days).

  16. Habitat structure, trophic structure and ecosystem function: interactive effects in a bromeliad-insect community.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, Diane S

    2006-09-01

    Although previous studies have shown that ecosystem functions are affected by either trophic structure or habitat structure, there has been little consideration of their combined effects. Such interactions may be particularly important in systems where habitat and trophic structure covary. I use the aquatic insects in bromeliads to examine the combined effects of trophic structure and habitat structure on a key ecosystem function: detrital processing. In Costa Rican bromeliads, trophic structure naturally covaries with both habitat complexity and habitat size, precluding any observational analysis of interactions between factors. I therefore designed mesocosms that allowed each factor to be manipulated separately. Increases in mesocosm complexity reduced predator (damselfly larva) efficiency, resulting in high detritivore abundances, indirectly increasing detrital processing rates. However, increased complexity also directly reduced the per capita foraging efficiency of the detritivores. Over short time periods, these trends effectively cancelled each other out in terms of detrital processing. Over longer time periods, more complex patterns emerged. Increases in mesocosm size also reduced both predator efficiency and detritivore efficiency, leading to no net effect on detrital processing. In many systems, ecosystem functions may be impacted by strong interactions between trophic structure and habitat structure, cautioning against examining either effect in isolation. PMID:16896779

  17. Evaluating the effects of protection on Paracentrotus lividus distribution in two contrasting habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceccherelli, G.; Pinna, S.; Sechi, N.

    2009-01-01

    The sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus is common in the Mediterranean in shallow subtidal rocky habitats and in Posidonia oceanica beds. The aim of this study is to investigate whether protection has the same effect on the population structure of P. lividus occurring in rocky reef habitats and in P. oceanica beds. These results are important to generate hypotheses about the influence of human harvesting, predatory pressure and migration processes on P. lividus in the two habitats. Paracentrotus lividus was sampled at seven locations within the Gulf of Alghero (North West Sardinia) where the Capo Caccia-Isola Piana MPA (Marine Protected Area) is sited: 1 location was sited in Zone A, where no harvesting of P. lividus is allowed (NH), 3 locations were sited in Zone B, where harvesting is restricted (RH), and the other 3 were located outside the MPA where no restrictions apply to sea urchin harvesting (UH). For each combination of habitat × location, P. lividus density was assessed in 10 replicates using quadrats of 1 × 1 m and the size of 20 individuals (test diameter without spines) was measured. Finally, the specimens were grouped into size-classes to examine frequency distributions at each location. Sampling was performed at the end of the sea urchin harvesting period (April-May 2006). Analyses of data have highlighted significant variability among locations for both response variables. In both habitats, no differences were found in Paracentrotus lividus abundance among levels of protection (NH vs. RH vs. UH), while a significantly higher size was found in NH rather than in RH and UH locations. Differential direct and indirect effects of protection on P. lividus size is discussed. Also, P. lividus size seemed dependent on the habitat being quite larger in Posidonia oceanica than in the rocky reefs. This finding suggests that settlement and recruitment could be more highly successful events in rocky habitats, and that in P. oceanica meadows large-sized immigrants coming from the rocky habitat contribute to the population structure. The need to define the role of the P. oceanica habitat is also discussed.

  18. 75 FR 34975 - Notice of Estuary Habitat Restoration Council's Intent to Revise its Estuary Habitat Restoration...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-21

    ... the Final Estuary Habitat Restoration Strategy (67 FR 71942). Section 106(f) of the Act authorizes the... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XX00 Notice of Estuary Habitat Restoration Council's Intent to Revise its Estuary Habitat Restoration Strategy; Request for Public Comment...

  19. Structural Definition and Mass Estimation of Lunar Surface Habitats for the Lunar Architecture Team Phase 2 (LAT-2) Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dorsey, John T.; Wu, K, Chauncey; Smith, Russell W.

    2008-01-01

    The Lunar Architecture Team Phase 2 study defined and assessed architecture options for a Lunar Outpost at the Moon's South Pole. The Habitation Focus Element Team was responsible for developing concepts for all of the Habitats and pressurized logistics modules particular to each of the architectures, and defined the shapes, volumes and internal layouts considering human factors, surface operations and safety requirements, as well as Lander mass and volume constraints. The Structures Subsystem Team developed structural concepts, sizing estimates and mass estimates for the primary Habitat structure. In these studies, the primary structure was decomposed into a more detailed list of components to be sized to gain greater insight into concept mass contributors. Structural mass estimates were developed that captured the effect of major design parameters such as internal pressure load. Analytical and empirical equations were developed for each structural component identified. Over 20 different hard-shell, hybrid expandable and inflatable soft-shell Habitat and pressurized logistics module concepts were sized and compared to assess structural performance and efficiency during the study. Habitats were developed in three categories; Mini Habs that are removed from the Lander and placed on the Lunar surface, Monolithic habitats that remain on the Lander, and Habitats that are part of the Mobile Lander system. Each category of Habitat resulted in structural concepts with advantages and disadvantages. The same modular shell components could be used for the Mini Hab concept, maximizing commonality and minimizing development costs. Larger Habitats had higher volumetric mass efficiency and floor area than smaller Habitats (whose mass was dominated by fixed items such as domes and frames). Hybrid and pure expandable Habitat structures were very mass-efficient, but the structures technology is less mature, and the ability to efficiently package and deploy internal subsystems remains an open issue.

  20. Habitat Loss other than Fragmentation per se Decreased Nuclear and Chloroplast Genetic Diversity in a Monoecious Tree

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Dong-Wei; Chen, Xiao-Yong

    2012-01-01

    Generally, effect of fragmentation per se on biodiversity has not been separated from the effect of habitat loss. In this paper, using nDNA and cpDNA SSRs, we studied genetic diversity of Castanopsis sclerophylla (Lindl. & Paxton) Schotty populations and decoupled the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation per se. We selected seven nuclear and six cpDNA microsatellite loci and genotyped 460 individuals from mainland and island populations, which were located in the impoundment created in 1959. Number of alleles per locus of populations in larger habitats was significantly higher than that in smaller habitats. There was a significant relationship between the number of alleles per locus and habitat size. Based on this relationship, the predicted genetic diversity of an imaginary population of size equaling the total area of the islands was lower than that of the global population on the islands. Re-sampling demonstrated that low genetic diversity of populations in small habitats was caused by unevenness in sample size. Fisher's ? index was similar among habitat types. These results indicate that the decreased nuclear and chloroplast genetic diversity of populations in smaller habitats was mainly caused by habitat loss. For nuclear and chloroplast microsatellite loci, values of FST were 0.066 and 0.893, respectively, and the calculated pollen/seed dispersal ratio was 162.2. When separated into pre-and post-fragmentation cohorts, pollen/seed ratios were 121.2 and 189.5, respectively. Our results suggest that habitat loss explains the early decrease in genetic diversity, while fragmentation per se may play a major role in inbreeding and differentiation among fragmented populations and later loss of genetic diversity. PMID:22723951

  1. Measuring and modeling the spatial pattern of understory bamboo across landscapes: Implications for giant panda habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linderman, Marc Alan

    We examined an approach to classifying understory bamboo, the staple food of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), from remote sensing imagery in the Wolong Nature Reserve, China. We also used these data to estimate the landscape-scale distribution of giant panda habitat, and model the human effects on forest cover and the spatio-temporal dynamics of bamboo and the resulting implications for giant panda habitat. The spatial distribution of understory bamboo was mapped using an artificial neural network and leaf-on remote sensing data. Training on a limited set of ground truth data and using widely available Landsat TM data as input, a non-linear artificial neural network achieved a classification accuracy of 80% despite the presence of co-occurring mid-story and understory vegetation. Using information on the spatial distribution of bamboo in Wolong, we compared the results of giant panda habitat analyses with and without bamboo information. Total amount of habitat decreased by 29--56% and overall habitat patch size decreased by 16--48% after bamboo information was incorporated into the analyses. The decreases in the quantity of panda habitat and increases in habitat fragmentation resulted in decreases of 41--60% in carrying capacity. Using a spatio-temporal model of bamboo dynamics and human activities, we found that local fuelwood collection and household creation will likely reduce secondary habitat relied upon by pandas. Human impacts would likely contribute up to an additional 16% loss of habitat. Furthermore, these impacts primarily occur in the habitat relied upon by giant pandas during past bamboo die-offs. Decreased total area of habitat and increased fragmentation from human activities will likely make giant pandas increasingly sensitive to natural disturbances such as cyclical bamboo die-offs. Our studies suggest that it is necessary to further examine approaches to monitor understory vegetation and incorporate understory information into wildlife habitat research and management. The success here to map bamboo has important implications for giant panda conservation and provides a good foundation for developing methods to map the spatial distributions of understory plant species. Knowledge of the spatial distribution of bamboo is necessary to accurately measure the quantity and landscape characteristics of giant panda habitat. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

  2. BENTHIC MACROFAUNA-HABITAT RELATIONSHIPS IN TWO PACIFIC NORTHWEST ESTUARIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Habitat-based ecological risk assessments rely, in part, on estimates of the ecological value of the habitats at risk. As part of a larger programmatic effort to estimate estuarine habitat values, we determined benthic macrofauna-habitat relationships for 8 intertidal habitats i...

  3. MEGAEPIFAUNA-HABITAT RELATIONSHIPS IN YAQUINA BAY, OR

    EPA Science Inventory

    Habitat-based ecological risk assessments rely, in part, on estimates of the ecological value of the habitats at risk. As part of a larger programmatic effort to estimate estuarine habitat values, we determined megaepifauna-habitat relationships for four major intertidal habitat...

  4. Effects of Climate Change on Habitat Availability and Configuration for an Endemic Coastal Alpine Bird.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Michelle M; Gergel, Sarah E; Martin, Kathy

    2015-01-01

    North America's coastal mountains are particularly vulnerable to climate change, yet harbour a number of endemic species. With little room "at the top" to track shifting climate envelopes, alpine species may be especially negatively affected by climate-induced habitat fragmentation. We ask how climate change will affect the total amount, mean patch size, and number of patches of suitable habitat for Vancouver Island White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura saxatilis; VIWTP), a threatened, endemic alpine bird. Using a Random Forest model and a unique dataset consisting of citizen science observations combined with field surveys, we predict the distribution and configuration of potential suitable summer habitat for VIWTP under baseline and future (2020s, 2050s, and 2080s) climates using three general circulation models and two greenhouse gas scenarios. VIWTP summer habitat is predicted to decline by an average of 25%, 44%, and 56% by the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s, respectively, under the low greenhouse gas scenario and 27%, 59%, and 74% under the high scenario. Habitat patches are predicted to become fragmented, with a 52-79% reduction in mean patch size. The average elevation of suitable habitat patches is expected to increase, reflecting a loss of patches at lower elevations. Thus ptarmigan are in danger of being "squeezed off the mountain", as their remaining suitable habitat will be increasingly confined to mountaintops in the center of the island. The extent to which ptarmigan will be able to persist in increasingly fragmented habitat is unclear. Much will depend on their ability to move throughout a more heterogeneous landscape, utilize smaller breeding areas, and survive increasingly variable climate extremes. Our results emphasize the importance of continued monitoring and protection for high elevation specialist species, and suggest that White-tailed Ptarmigan should be considered an indicator species for alpine ecosystems in the face of climate change. PMID:26529306

  5. Effects of Climate Change on Habitat Availability and Configuration for an Endemic Coastal Alpine Bird

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Michelle M.; Gergel, Sarah E.; Martin, Kathy

    2015-01-01

    North America’s coastal mountains are particularly vulnerable to climate change, yet harbour a number of endemic species. With little room “at the top” to track shifting climate envelopes, alpine species may be especially negatively affected by climate-induced habitat fragmentation. We ask how climate change will affect the total amount, mean patch size, and number of patches of suitable habitat for Vancouver Island White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura saxatilis; VIWTP), a threatened, endemic alpine bird. Using a Random Forest model and a unique dataset consisting of citizen science observations combined with field surveys, we predict the distribution and configuration of potential suitable summer habitat for VIWTP under baseline and future (2020s, 2050s, and 2080s) climates using three general circulation models and two greenhouse gas scenarios. VIWTP summer habitat is predicted to decline by an average of 25%, 44%, and 56% by the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s, respectively, under the low greenhouse gas scenario and 27%, 59%, and 74% under the high scenario. Habitat patches are predicted to become fragmented, with a 52–79% reduction in mean patch size. The average elevation of suitable habitat patches is expected to increase, reflecting a loss of patches at lower elevations. Thus ptarmigan are in danger of being “squeezed off the mountain”, as their remaining suitable habitat will be increasingly confined to mountaintops in the center of the island. The extent to which ptarmigan will be able to persist in increasingly fragmented habitat is unclear. Much will depend on their ability to move throughout a more heterogeneous landscape, utilize smaller breeding areas, and survive increasingly variable climate extremes. Our results emphasize the importance of continued monitoring and protection for high elevation specialist species, and suggest that White-tailed Ptarmigan should be considered an indicator species for alpine ecosystems in the face of climate change. PMID:26529306

  6. Habitat Use by Fishes in Coral Reefs, Seagrass Beds and Mangrove Habitats in the Philippines

    PubMed Central

    Honda, Kentaro; Nakamura, Yohei; Nakaoka, Masahiro; Uy, Wilfredo H.; Fortes, Miguel D.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the interconnectivity of organisms among different habitats is a key requirement for generating effective management plans in coastal ecosystems, particularly when determining component habitat structures in marine protected areas. To elucidate the patterns of habitat use by fishes among coral, seagrass, and mangrove habitats, and between natural and transplanted mangroves, visual censuses were conducted semiannually at two sites in the Philippines during September and March 2010–2012. In total, 265 species and 15,930 individuals were recorded. Species richness and abundance of fishes were significantly higher in coral reefs (234 species, 12,306 individuals) than in seagrass (38 species, 1,198 individuals) and mangrove (47 species, 2,426 individuals) habitats. Similarity tests revealed a highly significant difference among the three habitats. Fishes exhibited two different strategies for habitat use, inhabiting either a single (85.6% of recorded species) or several habitats (14.4%). Some fish that utilized multiple habitats, such as Lutjanus monostigma and Parupeneus barberinus, showed possible ontogenetic habitat shifts from mangroves and/or seagrass habitats to coral reefs. Moreover, over 20% of commercial fish species used multiple habitats, highlighting the importance of including different habitat types within marine protected areas to achieve efficient and effective resource management. Neither species richness nor abundance of fishes significantly differed between natural and transplanted mangroves. In addition, 14 fish species were recorded in a 20-year-old transplanted mangrove area, and over 90% of these species used multiple habitats, further demonstrating the key role of transplanted mangroves as a reef fish habitat in this region. PMID:23976940

  7. Multistate modeling of habitat dynamics: Factors affecting Florida scrub transition probabilities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Breininger, D.R.; Nichols, J.D.; Duncan, B.W.; Stolen, Eric D.; Carter, G.M.; Hunt, D.K.; Drese, J.H.

    2010-01-01

    Many ecosystems are influenced by disturbances that create specific successional states and habitat structures that species need to persist. Estimating transition probabilities between habitat states and modeling the factors that influence such transitions have many applications for investigating and managing disturbance-prone ecosystems. We identify the correspondence between multistate capture-recapture models and Markov models of habitat dynamics. We exploit this correspondence by fitting and comparing competing models of different ecological covariates affecting habitat transition probabilities in Florida scrub and flatwoods, a habitat important to many unique plants and animals. We subdivided a large scrub and flatwoods ecosystem along central Florida's Atlantic coast into 10-ha grid cells, which approximated average territory size of the threatened Florida Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), a management indicator species. We used 1.0-m resolution aerial imagery for 1994, 1999, and 2004 to classify grid cells into four habitat quality states that were directly related to Florida Scrub-Jay source-sink dynamics and management decision making. Results showed that static site features related to fire propagation (vegetation type, edges) and temporally varying disturbances (fires, mechanical cutting) best explained transition probabilities. Results indicated that much of the scrub and flatwoods ecosystem was resistant to moving from a degraded state to a desired state without mechanical cutting, an expensive restoration tool. We used habitat models parameterized with the estimated transition probabilities to investigate the consequences of alternative management scenarios on future habitat dynamics. We recommend this multistate modeling approach as being broadly applicable for studying ecosystem, land cover, or habitat dynamics. The approach provides maximum-likelihood estimates of transition parameters, including precision measures, and can be used to assess evidence among competing ecological models that describe system dynamics. ?? 2010 by the Ecological Society of America.

  8. Object-based class modelling for multi-scale riparian forest habitat mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strasser, Thomas; Lang, Stefan

    2015-05-01

    Object-based class modelling allows for mapping complex, hierarchical habitat systems. The riparian zone, including forests, represents such a complex ecosystem. Forests within riparian zones are biologically high productive and characterized by a rich biodiversity; thus considered of high community interest with an imperative to be protected and regularly monitored. Satellite earth observation (EO) provides tools for capturing the current state of forest habitats such as forest composition including intermixture of non-native tree species. Here we present a semi-automated object based image analysis (OBIA) approach for the mapping of riparian forests by applying class modelling of habitats based on the European Nature Information System (EUNIS) habitat classifications and the European Habitats Directive (HabDir) Annex 1. A very high resolution (VHR) WorldView-2 satellite image provided the required spatial and spectral details for a multi-scale image segmentation and rule-base composition to generate a six-level hierarchical representation of riparian forest habitats. Thereby habitats were hierarchically represented within an image object hierarchy as forest stands, stands of homogenous tree species and single trees represented by sunlit tree crowns. 522 EUNIS level 3 (EUNIS-3) habitat patches with a mean patch size (MPS) of 12,349.64 m2 were modelled from 938 forest stand patches (MPS = 6868.20 m2) and 43,742 tree stand patches (MPS = 140.79 m2). The delineation quality of the modelled EUNIS-3 habitats (focal level) was quantitatively assessed to an expert-based visual interpretation showing a mean deviation of 11.71%.

  9. Multistate modeling of habitat dynamics: factors affecting Florida scrub transition probabilities.

    PubMed

    Breininger, David R; Nichols, James D; Duncan, Brean W; Stolen, Eric D; Carter, Geoffrey M; Hunt, Danny K; Drese, John H

    2010-11-01

    Many ecosystems are influenced by disturbances that create specific successional states and habitat structures that species need to persist. Estimating transition probabilities between habitat states and modeling the factors that influence such transitions have many applications for investigating and managing disturbance-prone ecosystems. We identify the correspondence between multistate capture-recapture models and Markov models of habitat dynamics. We exploit this correspondence by fitting and comparing competing models of different ecological covariates affecting habitat transition probabilities in Florida scrub and flatwoods, a habitat important to many unique plants and animals. We subdivided a large scrub and flatwoods ecosystem along central Florida's Atlantic coast into 10-ha grid cells, which approximated average territory size of the threatened Florida Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), a management indicator species. We used 1.0-m resolution aerial imagery for 1994, 1999, and 2004 to classify grid cells into four habitat quality states that were directly related to Florida Scrub-Jay source-sink dynamics and management decision making. Results showed that static site features related to fire propagation (vegetation type, edges) and temporally varying disturbances (fires, mechanical cutting) best explained transition probabilities. Results indicated that much of the scrub and flatwoods ecosystem was resistant to moving from a degraded state to a desired state without mechanical cutting, an expensive restoration tool. We used habitat models parameterized with the estimated transition probabilities to investigate the consequences of alternative management scenarios on future habitat dynamics. We recommend this multistate modeling approach as being broadly applicable for studying ecosystem, land cover, or habitat dynamics. The approach provides maximum-likelihood estimates of transition parameters, including precision measures, and can be used to assess evidence among competing ecological models that describe system dynamics. PMID:21141196

  10. Subseafloor basalts as fungal habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivarsson, M.

    2012-09-01

    The oceanic crust is believed to host the largest potential habitat for microbial life on Earth, yet, still we lack substantial information about the abundance, diversity, and consequence of its biosphere. The last two decades have involved major research accomplishments within this field and a change in view of the ocean crust and its potential to harbour life. Here fossilised fungal colonies in subseafloor basalts are reported from three different seamounts in the Pacific Ocean. The fungal colonies consist of various characteristic structures interpreted as fungal hyphae, fruit bodies and spores. The fungal hyphae are well preserved with morphological characteristics such as hyphal walls, septa, thallic conidiogenesis, and hyphal tips with hyphal vesicles within. The fruit bodies consist of large (∼50-200 µm in diameter) body-like structures with a defined outer membrane and an interior filled with calcite. The fruit bodies have at some stage been emptied of their contents of spores and filled by carbonate-forming fluids. A few fruit bodies not filled by calcite and with spores still within support this interpretation. Spore-like structures (ranging from a few µm to ∼20 µm in diameter) are also observed outside of the fruit bodies and in some cases concentrated to openings in the membrane of the fruit bodies. The hyphae, fruit bodies and spores are all closely associated with a crust lining the vein walls that probably represent a mineralized biofilm. The results support a fungal presence in deep subseafloor basalts and indicate that such habitats were vital between ∼81 and 48 Ma.

  11. Habitat management considerations for prairie chickens

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirsch, L.M.

    1974-01-01

    Lack of nesting and brood rearing habitat appears to be the universal limiting factor for prairie chickens (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) throughout their range. Grasslands are essential to prairie chickens, but vary widely in quality and thus in their ability to support prairie chickens. High-quality habitat is grassland providing residual vegetation averaging about 20 inches in height in spring and sufficiently dense to completely conceal a nesting prairie chicken. Annually grazed, annually hayed, or long-term (10 years or more) idled habitats are undesirable. The most successful method for maintaining high-quality nest-brood habitat is prescribed burning at 3- to 5-year intervals; such habitat may be established by seeding grass or grass-legume mixtures. Seeded habitat may be maintained by prescribed burning at 3- to 5-year intervals. Management units should contain at least 2 square miles of high-quality habitat within an area not to exceed 8 square miles. High-quality habitat blocks should be at least 160 acres with a minimum width of one-half mile. Based on available evidence, funding to provide winter food or cover is not recommended.

  12. Schoolyard Habitats[R] Site Planning Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Wildlife Federation, Reston, VA.

    This document provides guidance for the creation of habitats on school grounds. Science activities, resources, and information on how to apply knowledge to the design, creation, and development of a habitat are presented. Contents include: (1) "Starting the Process"; (2) "Gathering Information: Site Inventory and Analysis"; (3) "Assembling the…

  13. Relating Habitat and Climatic Niches in Birds

    PubMed Central

    Barnagaud, Jean-Yves; Devictor, Vincent; Jiguet, Frédéric; Barbet-Massin, Morgane; Le Viol, Isabelle; Archaux, Frédéric

    2012-01-01

    Predicting species' responses to the combined effects of habitat and climate changes has become a major challenge in ecology and conservation biology. However, the effects of climatic and habitat gradients on species distributions have generally been considered separately. Here, we explore the relationships between the habitat and thermal dimensions of the ecological niche in European common birds. Using data from the French Breeding Bird Survey, a large-scale bird monitoring program, we correlated the habitat and thermal positions and breadths of 74 bird species, controlling for life history traits and phylogeny. We found that cold climate species tend to have niche positions in closed habitats, as expected by the conjunction of the biogeographic history of birds' habitats, and their current continent-scale gradients. We also report a positive correlation between thermal and habitat niche breadths, a pattern consistent with macroecological predictions concerning the processes shaping species' distributions. Our results suggest that the relationships between the climatic and habitat components of the niche have to be taken into account to understand and predict changes in species' distributions. PMID:22427891

  14. COASTAL SUBMERGED VEGETATION: AQUATIC HABITAT RESEARCH

    EPA Science Inventory

    Aquatic vegetation is one of the most widespread and important types of aquatic habitat, in part because of the exceptional productivity of the plants. Aquatic vegetation also strongly influences local physical and chemical habitat conditions of significance to fish and shellfis...

  15. Static Atmospheres in a Rotating Space Habitat.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKinley, John M.

    1980-01-01

    Discusses O'Neill's proposal for the colonization of space as it offers new problems in pure physics. Addresses specifically the distribution of the atmosphere in O'Neill's habitat and whether there will be enough air at the axis of rotation to allow human-powered flight, with particular reference to the habitat's "artificial gravity." (CS)

  16. Estuaries and Tidal Marshes. Habitat Pac.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fish and Wildlife Service (Dept. of Interior), Washington, DC.

    This educational packet consists of an overview, three lesson plans, student data sheets, and a poster. The overview examines estuaries and tidal or salt marshes by discussing the plants and animals in these habitats, marsh productivity, benefits and management of the habitats, historical aspects, and development and pollution. A glossary and list…

  17. Riparian fencing, grazing, and trout habitat preference on Summit Creek, Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keller, Charles R.; Burnham, Kenneth P.

    1982-01-01

    In 1975, 3.2 km of Summit Creek, Idaho were fenced by the Bureau of Land Management to exclude livestock from the riparian area. Six stream sections were electrofished in 1979 to determine differences in trout abundance, size, and growth between grazed and ungrazed stream sections. Electrofishing stations were paired by habitat type. There were more trout in ungrazed sections than in grazed sections in all three habitat types sampled. With one exception, there were more catachable-sized (200 mm long or longer) rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) and brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) in the ungrazed area than in the grazed area. There was also evidence that the average size of the fish was less in grazed sections. Fish population data were not collected prior to fencing; therefore, it cannot be firmly concluded that the trout population increased within the livestock enclosure as a result of fencing the riparian area. However, the combined results of previous trout habitat improvements documented for Summit Creek, as a result of the fencing, and this study support the conclusion that trout prefer stream areas in ungrazed habitat over grazed habitat.

  18. Environmental adaptation in stomatal size independent of the effects of genome size.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Gregory J; Carpenter, Raymond J; Koutoulis, Anthony; Price, Aina; Brodribb, Timothy J

    2015-01-01

    Cell sizes are linked across multiple tissues, including stomata, and this variation is closely correlated with genome size. These associations raise the question of whether generic changes in cell size cause suboptimal changes in stomata, requiring subsequent evolution under selection for stomatal size. We tested the relationships among guard cell length, genome size and vegetation type using phylogenetically independent analyses on 67 species of the ecologically and structurally diverse family, Proteaceae. We also compared how genome and stomatal sizes varied at ancient (among genera) and more recent (within genus) levels. The observed 60-fold range in genome size in Proteaceae largely reflected the mean chromosome size. Compared with variation among genera, genome size varied much less within genera (< 6% of total variance) than stomatal size, implying evolution in stomatal size subsequent to changes in genome size. Open vegetation and closed forest had significantly different relationships between stomatal and genome sizes. Ancient changes in genome size clearly influenced stomatal size in Proteaceae, but adaptation to habitat strongly modified the genome-stomatal size relationship. Direct adaptation to the environment in stomatal size argues that new proxies for past concentrations of atmospheric CO2 that incorporate stomatal size are superior to older models based solely on stomatal frequency. PMID:25266914

  19. Environmental adaptation in stomatal size independent of the effects of genome size

    PubMed Central

    Jordan, Gregory J; Carpenter, Raymond J; Koutoulis, Anthony; Price, Aina; Brodribb, Timothy J

    2015-01-01

    Cell sizes are linked across multiple tissues, including stomata, and this variation is closely correlated with genome size. These associations raise the question of whether generic changes in cell size cause suboptimal changes in stomata, requiring subsequent evolution under selection for stomatal size. We tested the relationships among guard cell length, genome size and vegetation type using phylogenetically independent analyses on 67 species of the ecologically and structurally diverse family, Proteaceae. We also compared how genome and stomatal sizes varied at ancient (among genera) and more recent (within genus) levels. The observed 60-fold range in genome size in Proteaceae largely reflected the mean chromosome size. Compared with variation among genera, genome size varied much less within genera (< 6% of total variance) than stomatal size, implying evolution in stomatal size subsequent to changes in genome size. Open vegetation and closed forest had significantly different relationships between stomatal and genome sizes. Ancient changes in genome size clearly influenced stomatal size in Proteaceae, but adaptation to habitat strongly modified the genome–stomatal size relationship. Direct adaptation to the environment in stomatal size argues that new proxies for past concentrations of atmospheric CO2 that incorporate stomatal size are superior to older models based solely on stomatal frequency. PMID:25266914

  20. Evolution of extreme body size disparity in monitor lizards (Varanus).

    PubMed

    Collar, David C; Schulte, James A; Losos, Jonathan B

    2011-09-01

    Many features of species' biology, including life history, physiology, morphology, and ecology are tightly linked to body size. Investigation into the causes of size divergence is therefore critical to understanding the factors shaping phenotypic diversity within clades. In this study, we examined size evolution in monitor lizards (Varanus), a clade that includes the largest extant lizard species, the Komodo dragon (V. komodoensis), as well as diminutive species that are nearly four orders of magnitude smaller in adult body mass. We demonstrate that the remarkable body size disparity of this clade is a consequence of different selective demands imposed by three major habitat use patterns-arboreality, terrestriality, and rock-dwelling. We reconstructed phylogenetic relationships and ancestral habitat use and applied model selection to determine that the best-fitting evolutionary models for species' adult size are those that infer oppositely directed adaptive evolution associated with terrestriality and rock-dwelling, with terrestrial lineages evolving extremely large size and rock-dwellers becoming very small. We also show that habitat use affects the evolution of several ecologically important morphological traits independently of body size divergence. These results suggest that habitat use exerts a strong, multidimensional influence on the evolution of morphological size and shape disparity in monitor lizards. PMID:21884063

  1. The Selection and Design of Multiple-Species Habitat Preserves.

    PubMed

    SCOTT; SULLIVAN

    2000-07-01

    Multiple-species habitat conservation plans (MSHCPs) are designed to eliminate project-by-project review and minimize species-by-species conflicts; but these one-time, short-term processes invariably compress the divergent expectations of interest groups into an exercise driven by economic, amenity, and aesthetic values rather than scientific values. Participants may define an MSHCP as an exchange of habitat preserves for federal permits to take populations of endangered animals and plants, but the outcome is typically driven by overarching arguments over land development and suburban sprawl. Existing land uses also constrain the size, shape, and linkages among wildlife habitats, leading to a divergence of MSHCPs from the scientific preserve selection and design literature. Problems created by constraints to preserve configuration (e.g., land costs, fragmentation, pre-existing amounts of edge, lack of connectivity) must be resolved by long-term, post facto management. To date, estimates of preserve persistence have not been used in MSHCPs. Rather than focus on map-based exercises of preserve elements, it may be more productive to set goals for the persistence of species (states) and ecosystems (processes) within the preserves-accepting that preserve configurations and arrays will be defined by the landscape and politics of suburban areas and that long-term management will provide the primary means of maintaining biodiversity along the wildland/urban interface. PMID:10801989

  2. Distribution of Pratylenchus scribneri between Root and Soil Habitats

    PubMed Central

    MacGuidwin, A. E.

    1989-01-01

    The abundance of Pratylenchus scribneri in soil and root habitats was compared in potato and corn plots during 1986-88. Nematodes were extracted from 100-cm³ soil samples and the roots contained within the samples. The percentage of the population recovered from soil, similar among years and crops, averaged ca. 50% at the beginning and end of the growing season and ca. 20% from early to late season. Proportionately more adults and fourth-stage juveniles than younger stages were located outside roots until harvest. In a related study, nematodes were isolated from the roots, root surfaces, and soil associated with roots of whole corn and potato plants sampled from the field. Nematode population estimates calculated from the whole plant samples were generally lower than those based on soil cores, but showed similar patterns of population growth. Nematode density per gram dry weight was highest in roots, intermediate on root surfaces, and lowest in soil. Estimates of the absolute abundance of nematodes in each of the three habitats were highest in roots or soil, depending on the sampling date, and lowest on root surfaces. This study demonstrates that P. scribneri inhabits soil environments even when host roots are present and illustrates the importance of considering all possible habitats when estimating the size of Pratylenchus spp. populations. PMID:19287628

  3. Does body size affect a bird's sensitivity to patch size and landscape structure?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winter, M.; Johnson, D.H.; Shaffer, J.A.

    2006-01-01

    Larger birds are generally more strongly affected by habitat loss and fragmentation than are smaller ones because they require more resources and thus larger habitat patches. Consequently, conservation actions often favor the creation or protection of larger over smaller patches. However, in grassland systems the boundaries between a patch and the surrounding landscape, and thus the perceived size of a patch, can be indistinct. We investigated whether eight grassland bird species with different body sizes perceived variation in patch size and landscape structure in a consistent manner. Data were collected from surveys conducted in 44 patches of northern tallgrass prairie during 1998-2001. The response to patch size was very similar among species regardless of body size (density was little affected by patch size), except in the Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido), which showed a threshold effect and was not found in patches smaller than 140 ha. In landscapes containing 0%-30% woody vegetation, smaller species responded more negatively to increases in the percentage of woody vegetation than larger species, but above an apparent threshold of 30%, larger species were not detected. Further analyses revealed that the observed variation in responses to patch size and landscape structure among species was not solely due to body size per se, but to other differences among species. These results indicate that a stringent application of concepts requiring larger habitat patches for larger species appears to limit the number of grassland habitats that can be protected and may not always be the most effective conservation strategy. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2006.

  4. NEKTON-HABITAT ASSOCIATIONS IN A PACIFIC NORTHWEST (USA) ESTUARY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nekton?habitat associations were determined in Yaquina Bay, Oregon, United States, using a stratified-by-habitat, random, estuary-wide sampling design. Three habitats (intertidal eelgrass [Zostera marina], mud shrimp [Upogebia pugettensis], and ghost shrimp [Neotrypaea californie...

  5. 75 FR 18482 - Stanford University Habitat Conservation Plan

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-04-12

    ... 0648-XV36 Stanford University Habitat Conservation Plan AGENCIES: National Marine Fisheries Service... habitat conservation plan, and receipt of application; notice of public meeting. SUMMARY: This notice... Incidental Take and Implementation of Stanford University ] Habitat Conservation Plan (Plan), and...

  6. POWER TO DETECT REGIONAL TRENDS IN PHYSICAL HABITAT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The condition of stream habitat draws considerable attention concerning the protection and recovery of salmonid populations in the West. Habitat degradation continues and substantial sums of money are spent on habitat restoration. However, aided by uncertainty concerning the ad...

  7. POWER TO DETECT REGIONAL TRENDS IN HABITAT CHARACTERISTICS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The condition of stream habitat draws considerable attention concerning the protection and recovery of salmonid populations in the West. Habitat degradation continues and substantial sums of money are spent on habitat restoration. However, aided by uncertainty concerning the ad...

  8. NEKTON-HABITAT ASSOCIATIONS IN A PACIFIC NORTHWEST (USA) ESTUARY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Nekton−habitat associations were determined in Yaquina Bay, Oregon, United States, using a stratified-by-habitat, random, estuary-wide sampling design. Three habitats (intertidal eelgrass [Zostera marina], mud shrimp [Upogebia pugettensis], and ghost shrimp [Neotrypaea californie...

  9. Assessing patterns of fish demographics and habitat in stream networks

    EPA Science Inventory

    Effective habitat restoration planning requires correctly anticipating demographic responses to altered habitats. New applications of Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tag technology to fish-habitat research have provided critical insights into fish movement, growth, and surv...

  10. SKYLAB II - Making a Deep Space Habitat from a Space Launch System Propellant Tank

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griffin, Brand N.; Smitherman, David; Kennedy, Kriss J.; Toups, Larry; Gill, Tracy; Howe, A. Scott

    2012-01-01

    Called a "House in Space," Skylab was an innovative program that used a converted Saturn V launch vehicle propellant tank as a space station habitat. It was launched in 1973 fully equipped with provisions for three separate missions of three astronauts each. The size and lift capability of the Saturn V enabled a large diameter habitat, solar telescope, multiple docking adaptor, and airlock to be placed on-orbit with a single launch. Today, the envisioned Space Launch System (SLS) offers similar size and lift capabilities that are ideally suited for a Skylab type mission. An envisioned Skylab II mission would employ the same propellant tank concept; however serve a different mission. In this case, the SLS upper stage hydrogen tank is used as a Deep Space Habitat (DSH) for NASA s planned missions to asteroids, Earth-Moon Lagrangian point and Mars.

  11. Relationships between nesting populations of wading birds and wetland habitat features

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erwin, R.M.; Spendelow, J.A.; Geissler, P.H.; Williams, B.K.

    1986-01-01

    We used data from censuses of wading bird colonies on the Atlantic coast from Maine to Florida {1976-1977) to examine relationships between population sizes of wading birds {herons, egrets, ibises) and 9 key habitat features. Variables included features of the colony site {island size, dimensions, isolation from adjacent land) and surrounding (5 km circle) potential feeding habitat {wetland area). Measurements were made on nautical charts using a planimeter. For 122 colonies on islands, 5 multivariate procedures were used. Because of high correlations among habitat variables, a reduced regression model using only 4 variables performed best. The only variable that approached statistical significance (P = 0.06) was land-water interface distance (i.e., wetland 'edge' within the 5 km circle centered on the colony site).

  12. Habitat and roe deer fawn vulnerability to red fox predation.

    PubMed

    Panzacchi, M; Linnell, J D C; Odden, M; Odden, J; Andersen, R

    2009-11-01

    1. Notwithstanding the growing amount of literature emphasizing the link between habitat, life-history traits and behaviour, few empirical studies investigated the combined effect of these parameters on individual predation risk. We investigated direct and indirect consequences of habitat composition at multiple spatial scales on predation risk by red foxes on 151 radio-monitored roe deer fawns. We hypothesized that the higher resource availability in fragmented agricultural areas increased predation risk because of: (i) shorter prey movements, which may increase predictability; (ii) larger litter size and faster growth rates, which may increase detectability in species adopting a hiding neonatal anti-predator strategy. The sharing of risky habitat among littermates was expected to promote whole-litter losses as a result of predation. 2. The landscape-scale availability of agricultural areas negatively affected pre-weaning movements, but did not influence growth rates or litter size. Predation risk was best described by the interplay between movements and fine-scale habitat fragmentation: a higher mobility increased the encounter rate and predation risk in highly fragmented home ranges, while it reduced predation risk in forest-dominated areas with clumped resources because of decreased predictability. This is one of the first demonstrations that movement patterns can be an efficient anti-predator strategy when adjusted to local conditions. 3. In accordance with previous studies documenting the existence of family effects (i.e. non-independence among siblings) in survival, littermates survived or died together more often than expected by chance. In addition, our study specifically demonstrated the occurrence of behaviourally mediated family effects in predation risk: after a fox killed one fawn the probability of a sibling being killed within a few days rose from 20% to 47%, likely because of the win-stay strategy (i.e. return to a previously rewarding site) adopted by the predator. Hence, the predator's hunting strategy has the potential to raise fawn mortality disproportionately to predator abundance. 4. There is increasing evidence that fawns inhabiting highly productive predator-free habitats are granted lifetime fitness benefits; these potential advantages, however, can be cancelled out when predation risk increases in the very same high-productivity areas, which might thus turn into attractive sinks. PMID:19563469

  13. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Black-Capped Chickadee

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schroeder, Richard L.

    1983-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information was used to develop a habitat model for the black-capped chickadee (Parus atricapillus). The model is scaled to produce an index of habitat suitability between 0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1 (optimally suitable habitat) for areas of the continental United States. Habitat suitability indexes are designed for use with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  14. Developing a Habitat for Long Duration, Deep Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rucker, Michelle A.; Thompson, Shelby

    2012-01-01

    One possible next leap in human space exploration for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is a mission to a near Earth asteroid (NEA). In order to achieve such an ambitious goal, a space habitat will need to accommodate a crew of four for the 380-day round trip. The Human Spaceflight Architecture Team (HAT) developed a conceptual design for such a habitat. The team identified activities that would be performed inside a long-duration, deep space habitat, and the capabilities needed to support such a mission. A list of seven functional activities/capabilities was developed: individual and group crew care, spacecraft and mission operations, subsystem equipment, logistics and resupply, and contingency operations. The volume for each activity was determined using NASA STD-3001 and the companion Human Integration Design Handbook (HIDH). Although, the sum of these volumes produced an over-sized spacecraft, the team evaluated activity frequency and duration to identify functions that could share a common volume without conflict, reducing the total volume by 24%. After adding 10% for growth, the resulting functional pressurized volume was calculated to be a minimum of 268 cu m (9,464 cu ft) distributed over the functions. The work was validated through comparison to Mir, Skylab, the International Space Station (ISS), Bigelow Aerospace s proposed habitat module, and NASA s Trans-Hab concept. Using HIDH guidelines, the team developed an internal layout that (a) minimized the transit time between related crew stations, (b) accommodated expected levels of activity at each station, (c) isolated stations when necessary for health, safety, performance, and privacy, and (d) provided a safe, efficient, and comfortable work and living environment.

  15. Developing a Habitat for Long Duration, Deep Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rucker, Michelle A.; Thompson, Shelby

    2011-01-01

    One possible next leap in human space exploration is a mission to a near Earth asteroid (NEA). In order to achieve such an ambitious goal, a space habitat will need to be designed to accommodate a crew of four for the 380-day round trip. The Human Spaceflight Architecture Team (HAT) developed a conceptual design for such a habitat. The team identified activities that would be performed inside a long-duration, deep space habitat, and the capabilities needed to support such a mission. A list of seven functional activities/capabilities was developed: individual and group crew care, spacecraft and mission operations, subsystem equipment, logistics and resupply, and contingency operations. The volume for each activity was determined using NASA STD-3001 and the companion Human Integration Design Handbook (HIDH). Although, the sum of these volumes produced an over-sized spacecraft, the team evaluated activity frequency and duration to identify functions that could share a common volume without conflict, reducing the total volume by 24%. After adding 10% for growth, the resulting functional pressurized volume was calculated to be 268 m3 distributed over the functions. The work was validated through comparison with the International Space Station (ISS), Bigelow Aerospace s proposed habitat module, and NASA s Trans-Hab concepts. In the end, the team developed an internal layout that (a) minimized the transit time between related crew stations, (b) accommodated expected levels of activity at each station, (c) isolated stations when necessary for health, safety, performance, and privacy, and (d) provided a safe, efficient, and comfortable work and living environment.

  16. Estimated home ranges can misrepresent habitat relationships on patchy landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mitchell, M.S.; Powell, R.A.

    2008-01-01

    Home ranges of animals are generally structured by the selective use of resource-bearing patches that comprise habitat. Based on this concept, home ranges of animals estimated from location data are commonly used to infer habitat relationships. Because home ranges estimated from animal locations are largely continuous in space, the resource-bearing patches selected by an animal from a fragmented distribution of patches would be difficult to discern; unselected patches included in the home range estimate would bias an understanding of important habitat relationships. To evaluate potential for this bias, we generated simulated home ranges based on optimal selection of resource-bearing patches across a series of simulated resource distributions that varied in the spatial continuity of resources. For simulated home ranges where selected patches were spatially disjunct, we included interstitial, unselected cells most likely to be traveled by an animal moving among selected patches. We compared characteristics of the simulated home ranges with and without interstitial patches to evaluate how insights derived from field estimates can differ from actual characteristics of home ranges, depending on patchiness of landscapes. Our results showed that contiguous home range estimates could lead to misleading insights on the quality, size, resource content, and efficiency of home ranges, proportional to the spatial discontinuity of resource-bearing patches. We conclude the potential bias of including unselected, largely irrelevant patches in the field estimates of home ranges of animals can be high, particularly for home range estimators that assume uniform use of space within home range boundaries. Thus, inferences about the habitat relationships that ultimately define an animal's home range can be misleading where animals occupy landscapes with patchily distributed resources.

  17. Habitat loss, trophic collapse, and the decline of ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Dobson, Andrew; Lodge, David; Alder, Jackie; Cumming, Graeme S; Keymer, Juan; McGlade, Jacquie; Mooney, Hal; Rusak, James A; Sala, Osvaldo; Wolters, Volkmar; Wall, Diana; Winfree, Rachel; Xenopoulos, Marguerite A

    2006-08-01

    The provisioning of sustaining goods and services that we obtain from natural ecosystems is a strong economic justification for the conservation of biological diversity. Understanding the relationship between these goods and services and changes in the size, arrangement, and quality of natural habitats is a fundamental challenge of natural resource management. In this paper, we describe a new approach to assessing the implications of habitat loss for loss of ecosystem services by examining how the provision of different ecosystem services is dominated by species from different trophic levels. We then develop a mathematical model that illustrates how declines in habitat quality and quantity lead to sequential losses of trophic diversity. The model suggests that declines in the provisioning of services will initially be slow but will then accelerate as species from higher trophic levels are lost at faster rates. Comparison of these patterns with empirical examples of ecosystem collapse (and assembly) suggest similar patterns occur in natural systems impacted by anthropogenic change. In general, ecosystem goods and services provided by species in the upper trophic levels will be lost before those provided by species lower in the food chain. The decrease in terrestrial food chain length predicted by the model parallels that observed in the oceans following overexploitation. The large area requirements of higher trophic levels make them as susceptible to extinction as they are in marine systems where they are systematically exploited. Whereas the traditional species-area curve suggests that 50% of species are driven extinct by an order-of-magnitude decline in habitat abundance, this magnitude of loss may represent the loss of an entire trophic level and all the ecosystem services performed by the species on this trophic level. PMID:16937628

  18. Reoccurrence of 'Öma'o in leeward woodland habitat and their distribution in alpine habitat on Hawai'i Island

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Judge, Seth W.; Gaudioso, Jacqueline M.; Gorresen, P. Marcos; Camp, Richard J.

    2012-01-01

    The endemic solitaire, 'Oma'o (Myadestes obscurus), is common in windward forests of Hawai'i Island, but has been historically extirpated from leeward forests. The last detections of Oma'o on the leeward side of the island were in woodland habitat on the western flank of Mauna Loa in 1978. 'Oma'o were detected in woodland habitat in relatively low densities during a 2010 forest bird survey of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. The source of the population is unknown. It is probable they originated from a documented but unsurveyed population of Oma'o in scrub alpine lava. Alternatively, the birds may have persisted undetected for nearly 35 years, or expanded from windward mesic forests on southeast Mauna Loa. There is no evidence 'Oma'o recolonized the wet mesic forests of leeward Mauna Loa. The 'Oma'o can occupy diverse native habitats compared to other species in the Hawai'i Myadestes genus, of which most species are now extinct. The connectivity of each population is not understood but we assume there are significant geographic, physiological, and behavioral barriers for scrub alpine and wet mesic forest populations. The expansion of 'Oma'o to leeward woodlands is encouraging as the species is Hawai'i Island's last native frugivore capable of dispersing small and medium sized seeds of rare angiosperms, and could have an important role in re-establishing ecosystem function.

  19. Habitat distribution for non-native Amazona viridigenalis within San Diego County using Maxent predictive model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meseck, Kristin April

    Human propagated changes to the environment have adversely affected certain species while advantaging other species. Psittacines, or species that fall within the parrot family, have been found to be well adapted to modified environments. Over time, transportation of various parrot species for use in the exotic pet trade has caused accidental releases of individual parrots, resulting in species groups forming and colonizing in new, non-native environments, specifically urban and suburban ones. Amazona viridigenalis, the Red-crowned parrot, is a species that has adapted to living in several regions within the United States including Texas, Florida, and California. This species is endangered within its native range in the lowlands of eastern Mexico, yet has the largest population of any other psittacine species in California. Despite this interesting dichotomy this species remains severely understudied in its new range. Using geographic information systems and Maxent predictive model, this research aims to achieve a greater understanding of the extent of habitat suitable to the Amazona viridigenalis within San Diego County and the habitat variables that enable its establishment success. Presence locations where individuals of the species were using habitat were collected along with 12 important variables that represent Red-crowned parrot habitat elements. These were used in the creation of a predictive habitat model utilizing Maxent machine-learning technique. Three models were created using three different background extents from which the pseudo-absence points were generated. These models were tested for statistical significance and predictive accuracy. It was found that model performance significantly decreased with a decrease in size of model extent. The largest extent was chosen to model habitat using the five variables that were found to be the least correlated, achieved the most gain, and had the most explanatory power for the earlier models. The final model generated depicts highly suitable habitat for A. viridigenalis along the entire coast of San Diego County with pockets of moderately suitable to highly suitable habitat infiltrating into the interior. Some locations in East County were also identified as having moderate habitat suitability. It was found that A. viridigenalis requires habitat with elevations between sea level and 200 m., slopes of zero to 11% grade, and large amounts of non-native vegetated ground cover. More suitable habitat was found at locations with moderate to high population density and in close proximity to roads, suggesting the importance of human-presence in shaping habitat for A. viridigenalis.

  20. Does learning or instinct shape habitat selection?

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Scott E; Shafer, Aaron B A; Boyce, Mark S; Stenhouse, Gordon B

    2013-01-01

    Habitat selection is an important behavioural process widely studied for its population-level effects. Models of habitat selection are, however, often fit without a mechanistic consideration. Here, we investigated whether patterns in habitat selection result from instinct or learning for a population of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in Alberta, Canada. We found that habitat selection and relatedness were positively correlated in female bears during the fall season, with a trend in the spring, but not during any season for males. This suggests that habitat selection is a learned behaviour because males do not participate in parental care: a genetically predetermined behaviour (instinct) would have resulted in habitat selection and relatedness correlations for both sexes. Geographic distance and home range overlap among animals did not alter correlations indicating that dispersal and spatial autocorrelation had little effect on the observed trends. These results suggest that habitat selection in grizzly bears are partly learned from their mothers, which could have implications for the translocation of wildlife to novel environments. PMID:23341983

  1. Salmon River Habitat Enhancement, 1984 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Konopacky, Richard C.

    1986-04-01

    This report has four volumes: a Tribal project annual report (Part 1) and three reports (Parts 2, 3, and 4) prepared for the Tribes by their engineering subcontractor. The Tribal project annual report contains reports for four subprojects within Project 83-359. Subproject I involved habitat and fish inventories in Bear Valley Creek, Valley County, Idaho that will be used to evaluate responses to ongoing habitat enhancement. Subproject II is the coordination/planning activities of the Project Leader in relation to other BPA-funded habitat enhancement projects that have or will occur within the traditional Treaty (Fort Bridger Treaty of 1868) fishing areas of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, Fort Hall Reservation, Idaho. Subproject III involved habitat and fish inventories (pretreatment) and habitat problem identification on the Yankee Fork of the Salmon River (including Jordan Creek). Subproject IV during 1985 involved habitat problem identification in the East Fork of the Salmon River and habitat and fish inventories (pretreatment) in Herd Creek, a tributary to the East Fork.

  2. Modeling habitat dynamics accounting for possible misclassification

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Veran, Sophie; Kleiner, Kevin J.; Choquet, Remi; Collazo, Jaime A.; Nichols, James D.

    2012-01-01

    Land cover data are widely used in ecology as land cover change is a major component of changes affecting ecological systems. Landscape change estimates are characterized by classification errors. Researchers have used error matrices to adjust estimates of areal extent, but estimation of land cover change is more difficult and more challenging, with error in classification being confused with change. We modeled land cover dynamics for a discrete set of habitat states. The approach accounts for state uncertainty to produce unbiased estimates of habitat transition probabilities using ground information to inform error rates. We consider the case when true and observed habitat states are available for the same geographic unit (pixel) and when true and observed states are obtained at one level of resolution, but transition probabilities estimated at a different level of resolution (aggregations of pixels). Simulation results showed a strong bias when estimating transition probabilities if misclassification was not accounted for. Scaling-up does not necessarily decrease the bias and can even increase it. Analyses of land cover data in the Southeast region of the USA showed that land change patterns appeared distorted if misclassification was not accounted for: rate of habitat turnover was artificially increased and habitat composition appeared more homogeneous. Not properly accounting for land cover misclassification can produce misleading inferences about habitat state and dynamics and also misleading predictions about species distributions based on habitat. Our models that explicitly account for state uncertainty should be useful in obtaining more accurate inferences about change from data that include errors.

  3. Simulating riparian disturbance: Reach scale impacts on aquatic habitat in gravel bed streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davidson, S. L.; Eaton, B. C.

    2015-09-01

    Large wood governs channel morphology, as well as the availability of in-stream habitat, in many forested streams. In this paper, we use a stochastic, physically based model to simulate wood recruitment and in-stream geomorphic processes, in order to explore the influence of disturbance history on the availability of aquatic habitat. Specifically, we consider the effects of fire on a range of stream sizes by varying the rate of tree toppling over time in a simulated forest characterized by a tree height of 30 m. We also consider the effects of forest harvesting with various riparian buffer sizes, by limiting the lateral extent of the riparian stand. Our results show that pulsed inputs of wood increase the availability and variability of physical habitat in the postfire period; reach-averaged pool area and deposit area double in small streams, while side channels increase by over 50% in intermediate-sized channels. By contrast, forest harvesting reduces the availability of habitat within the reach, though the effects diminish with increasing buffer size or stream width; in laterally stable streams the effects are minimal so long as buffer width is large enough for key pieces to be recruited to the reach. This research emphasizes the importance of natural disturbance in creating and maintaining habitat heterogeneity and shows that scenario-based numerical modeling provides a useful tool for assessing the historical range of variability associated with natural disturbance, as well as changes in habitat relevant to fish. It can be also used to inform forest harvesting and management.

  4. Oceanographic connectivity between right whale critical habitats in Canada and its influence on whale abundance indices during 1987-2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, Kimberley T. A.; Vanderlaan, Angelia S. M.; Smedbol, R. Kent; Taggart, Christopher T.

    2015-10-01

    The Roseway and Grand Manan basins on the Canadian Atlantic coast are neighboring late-summer critical feeding habitats for endangered North Atlantic right whales. Although in late summer these habitats regularly contain thick aggregations of right whale food - the copepod Calanus spp. - right whales periodically abandon one or both habitats in the same year. The causes of abandonments, their relationship to food supply, and the locations of whales during abandonment periods are unclear. The goals of this study were to explain variation in right whale abundance indices from a habitat perspective, and to determine whether or not oceanographic variation in the habitats influences occupancy. Four indices of whale abundance and habitat occupancy, including sightings per unit effort (SPUE), photographic sightings of known individuals, population size and habitat transition probabilities, were analyzed in relation to unique datasets of Calanus concentration and water mass characteristics in each basin over the period 1987 through 2009. Calanus concentration, water mass sources and various hydrographic properties each varied coherently between basins. Calanus concentration showed an increasing trend over time in each habitat, although a short-lived reduction in Calanus may have caused right whales to abandon Roseway Basin during the mid-1990s. Food supply explained variation in right whale sightings and population size in Roseway Basin, but not in Grand Manan Basin, suggesting that the Grand Manan Basin has important habitat characteristics in addition to food supply. Changes in the distribution of whale abundance indices during years when oceanographic conditions were associated with reduced food supply in the Scotia-Fundy region suggest that other suitable feeding habitats may not have existed during such years and resulted in negative effects on whale health and reproduction.

  5. Selecting habitat management strategies on refuges

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schroeder, Richard L.; King, Wayne J.; Cornely, John E.

    1998-01-01

    This report is a joint effort of the Biological Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to provide National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) managers guidance on the selection and evaluation of habitat management strategies to meet stated objectives. The FWS recently completed a handbook on writing refuge management goals and objectives (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1996a). the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 requires that National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) lands be managed according to approved Comprehensive Conservation Plans to guide management decisions and devise strategies for achieving refuge unit purposes and meeting the NWRS mission. It is expected that over the next several years most refuges will develop new or revised refuge goals and objectives for directing their habitat management strategies. This paper outlines the steps we recommend in selecting and evaluating habitat management strategies to meet specific refuge habitat objectives. We selected two examples to illustrate the process. Although each refuge is unique and will require specific information and solutions, these two examples can be used as guidance when selecting and evaluating habitat management strategies for other refuge resources: Example 1. Management of floodplain woods habitat for forest interior birds. The biological recourse of concern is the quality and quantity of floodplain woods habitat for eastern forest interior birds in the Cypress Creek NWR (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1996b). Example 2. Management of habitat for biodiversity: Historical landscape proportions. The biological resource of concern is the change in diversity associated with man-induced changes in the distribution and abundance of habitat types at the Minnesota Valley NWR (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1996c).

  6. Invadosomes in their natural habitat.

    PubMed

    Génot, Elisabeth; Gligorijevic, Bojana

    2014-10-01

    Podosomes and invadopodia (collectively known as invadosomes) are small, F-actin-rich protrusions that are located at points of cell-ECM contacts and endow cells with invasive capabilities. So far, they have been identified in human or murine immune (myelomonocytic), vascular and cancer cells. The overarching reason for studying invadosomes is their connection to human disease. For example, macrophages and osteoclasts lacking Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp) are not able to form podosomes, and this leads to altered macrophage chemotaxis and defective bone resorption by osteoclasts. In contrast, the ability of cancer cells to form invadopodia is associated with high invasive and metastatic potentials. While invadosome composition, dynamics and signaling cascades leading to their assembly can be followed easily in in vitro assays, studying their contribution to pathophysiological processes in situ remains challenging. A number of recent papers have started to address this issue and describe invadosomes in situ in mouse models of cancer, cardiovascular disease and angiogenesis. In addition, in vivo invadosome homologs have been reported in developmental model systems such as C. elegans, zebrafish and sea squirt. Comparative analyses among different invasion mechanisms as they happen in their natural habitats, i.e., in situ, may provide an outline of the invadosome evolutionary history, and guide our understanding of the roles of the invasion process in pathophysiology versus development. PMID:25457677

  7. Dispersal polymorphism in stable habitats.

    PubMed

    Kisdi, Eva

    2016-03-01

    In fragmented but temporally stable landscapes, kin competition selects for dispersal when habitat patches are small, whereas the loss of dispersal is favoured when dispersal is costly and local populations are large enough for kin interactions to be negligible. In heterogeneous landscapes with both small and large patches, contrasting levels of kin competition facilitate the coexistence of low-dispersal and high-dispersal strategies. In this paper, I use both adaptive dynamics and inclusive fitness to analyse the evolution of dispersal in a simple model assuming that each patch supports either a single individual or a large population. With this assumption, many results can be obtained analytically. If the fraction of individuals living in small patches is below a threshold, then evolutionary branching yields two coexisting dispersal strategies. An attracting and evolutionarily stable dimorphism always exists (also when the monomorphic population does not have a branching point), and contains a strategy with zero dispersal and a strategy with dispersal probability between one half and the ESS of the classic Hamilton-May model. The present model features surprisingly rich population dynamics with multiple equilibria and unprotected dimorphisms, but the evolutionarily stable dimorphism is always protected. PMID:26739375

  8. Invadosomes in their natural habitat

    PubMed Central

    Génot, Elisabeth; Gligorijevic, Bojana

    2014-01-01

    Podosomes and invadopodia (collectively known as invadosomes) are small, F-actin-rich protrusions that are located at points of cell-ECM contacts and endow cells with invasive capabilities. So far, they have been identified in human or murine immune (myelomonocytic), vascular and cancer cells. The overarching reason for studying invadosomes is their connection to human disease. For example, macrophages and osteoclasts lacking Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp) are not able to form podosomes, and this leads to altered macrophage chemotaxis and defective bone resorption by osteoclasts. In contrast, the ability of cancer cells to form invadopodia is associated with high invasive and metastatic potentials. While invadosome composition, dynamics and signalling cascades leading to their assembly can be followed easily in in vitro assays, studying their contribution to pathophysiological processes in situ remains challenging. A number of recent papers have started to address this issue and describe invadosomes in situ in mouse models of cancer, cardiovascular disease and angiogenesis. In addition, in vivo invadosome homologs have been reported in developmental model systems such as C. elegans, zebrafish and sea squirt. Comparative analyses among different invasion mechanisms as they happen in their natural habitats, i.e., in situ, may provide an outline of the invadosome evolutionary history, and guide our understanding of the roles of the invasion process in pathophysiology versus development. PMID:25457677

  9. A Tool for the Automated Design and Evaluation of Habitat Interior Layouts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simon, Matthew A.; Wilhite, Alan W.

    2013-01-01

    The objective of space habitat design is to minimize mass and system size while providing adequate space for all necessary equipment and a functional layout that supports crew health and productivity. Unfortunately, development and evaluation of interior layouts is often ignored during conceptual design because of the subjectivity and long times required using current evaluation methods (e.g., human-in-the-loop mockup tests and in-depth CAD evaluations). Early, more objective assessment could prevent expensive design changes that may increase vehicle mass and compromise functionality. This paper describes a new interior design evaluation method to enable early, structured consideration of habitat interior layouts. This interior layout evaluation method features a comprehensive list of quantifiable habitat layout evaluation criteria, automatic methods to measure these criteria from a geometry model, and application of systems engineering tools and numerical methods to construct a multi-objective value function measuring the overall habitat layout performance. In addition to a detailed description of this method, a C++/OpenGL software tool which has been developed to implement this method is also discussed. This tool leverages geometry modeling coupled with collision detection techniques to identify favorable layouts subject to multiple constraints and objectives (e.g., minimize mass, maximize contiguous habitable volume, maximize task performance, and minimize crew safety risks). Finally, a few habitat layout evaluation examples are described to demonstrate the effectiveness of this method and tool to influence habitat design.

  10. Habitat-Specific Morphological Variation among Threespine Sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) within a Drainage Basin

    PubMed Central

    Webster, Mike M.; Atton, Nicola; Hart, Paul J. B.; Ward, Ashley J. W.

    2011-01-01

    Habitat-specific morphological variation, often corresponding to resource specialization, is well documented in freshwater fishes. In this study we used landmark based morphometric analyses to investigate morphological variation among threespine sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.) from four interconnected habitat types within a single lowland drainage basin in eastern England. These included the upper and lower reaches of the river, the estuary, a connected ditch network and a coastal salt marsh. We found significant habitat-specific differences in morphology, with three axes of variation describing differences in orbit diameter, body depth, caudal peduncle shape and pectoral fin positioning as well as variation in relative dorsal and pelvic spine size. Interestingly, the ditch system, an artificial and heavily managed habitat, is populated by sticklebacks with a characteristic morphology, suggesting that human management of habitats can in some circumstances lead to morphological variation among the animals that inhabit them. We discuss the mechanisms that conceivably underlie the observed morphological variation and the further work necessary to identify them. Finally, we consider the implications of habitat-specific body shape variation for the behavioural ecology of this ecologically generalist species. PMID:21698269

  11. Landscape responses of bats to habitat fragmentation in Atlantic forest of paraguay

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gorresen, P.M.; Willig, M.R.

    2004-01-01

    Understanding effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on populations or communities is critical to effective conservation and restoration. This is particularly important for bats because they provide vital services to ecosystems via pollination and seed dispersal, especially in tropical and subtropical habitats. Based on more than 1,000 h of survey during a 15-month period, we quantified species abundances and community structure of phyllostomid bats at 14 sites in a 3,000-km2 region of eastern Paraguay. Abundance was highest for Artibeus lituratus in deforested landscapes and for Chrotopterus auritus in forested habitats. In contrast, Artibeus fimbriatus, Carollia perspicillata, Glossophaga soricina, Platyrrhinus lineatus, Pygoderma bilabiatum, and Sturnira lilium attained highest abundance in moderately fragmented forest landscapes. Forest cover, patch size, and patch density frequently were associated with abundance of species. At the community level, species richness was highest in partly deforested landscapes, whereas evenness was greatest in forested habitat. In general, the highest diversity of bats occurred in landscapes comprising moderately fragmented forest habitat. This underscores the importance of remnant habitat patches to conservation strategies.

  12. The Earth Observation Data for Habitat Monitoring (EODHaM) system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucas, Richard; Blonda, Palma; Bunting, Peter; Jones, Gwawr; Inglada, Jordi; Arias, Marcela; Kosmidou, Vasiliki; Petrou, Zisis I.; Manakos, Ioannis; Adamo, Maria; Charnock, Rebecca; Tarantino, Cristina; Mücher, Caspar A.; Jongman, Rob H. G.; Kramer, Henk; Arvor, Damien; Honrado, Joāo Pradinho; Mairota, Paola

    2015-05-01

    To support decisions relating to the use and conservation of protected areas and surrounds, the EU-funded BIOdiversity multi-SOurce monitoring System: from Space TO Species (BIO_SOS) project has developed the Earth Observation Data for HAbitat Monitoring (EODHaM) system for consistent mapping and monitoring of biodiversity. The EODHaM approach has adopted the Food and Agriculture Organization Land Cover Classification System (LCCS) taxonomy and translates mapped classes to General Habitat Categories (GHCs) from which Annex I habitats (EU Habitats Directive) can be defined. The EODHaM system uses a combination of pixel and object-based procedures. The 1st and 2nd stages use earth observation (EO) data alone with expert knowledge to generate classes according to the LCCS taxonomy (Levels 1 to 3 and beyond). The 3rd stage translates the final LCCS classes into GHCs from which Annex I habitat type maps are derived. An additional module quantifies changes in the LCCS classes and their components, indices derived from earth observation, object sizes and dimensions and the translated habitat maps (i.e., GHCs or Annex I). Examples are provided of the application of EODHaM system elements to protected sites and their surrounds in Italy, Wales (UK), the Netherlands, Greece, Portugal and India.

  13. Spatial use and habitat associations of Columbian white-tailed deer fawns in southwestern Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ricca, M.A.; Anthony, R.G.; Jackson, D.H.; Wolfe, S.A.

    2003-01-01

    Fawns represent a critical life history stage in the dynamics of deer populations, yet little recent information is available on the ecology of neonatal Columbian white-tailed deer (CWTD), a geographically isolated and federally endangered sub-species. We described home ranges, areas of concentrated use, and habitat associations of CWTD fawns in southwestern Oregon during the summers of 1997 and 1998. Spatial use patterns and habitat use within areas of concentrated use were described for 11 radio-marked fawns. Pooled habitat use was described for 24 radio-marked fawns. Areas of concentrated use averaged 2.4 ha, which was 13.3% of mean 95% home range size (18.0 ha). Frequent use of oak-madrone woodland and riparian cover types characterized fawn habitat use patterns. Cover types containing conifers were rarely used and usually not available within home ranges. Although we found no detectable patterns of habitat selection or avoidance among fawns, areas of concentrated use were composed mostly of oak-madrone woodland (35%) and riparian (26%) cover types. Moreover, 74% of concentrated use area was within 200 m of streams. Our results provide useful information on habitat characteristics used frequently by CWTD fawns.

  14. Annual variation in the distribution, abundance, and habitat response of the palila (Loxioides bailleui)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scott, J.M.; Mountainspring, S.; van Riper, Charles, III; Kepler, C.B.; Jacobi, J.D.; Burr, T.A.; Giffen, J.G.

    1984-01-01

    We studied the distribution, population size, and habitat response of the Palila (Loxioides bailleui) during the 1980-1984 nonbreeding seasons to infer factors that limit the population and to develop management strategies. Distribution was fairly constant from year to year. Palila were confined to the subalpine woodland on Mauna Kea on the island of Hawaii, occurred between 2,000 and 2,850 m elevation, and reached highest densities on the southwests lopes. The population showed large annual fluctuations from 6,400 birds in 1981 to 2,000 in 1984. The width of woodland was the most important variable in determining habitat response. Palila were more common in areas with greater crown cover, taller trees, and a higher proportion of native plants in the understory. Annual variation in Palila density within a habitat reflected variation in levels of their staple food, mamane pods. The main limiting factors of the population appeared to be the availability of good habitat and levels of their staple food. Palila had strongly depressed densities in the Pohakuloa flats area. This low density could not be explained by gross habitat features or food levels. Site tenacity, thermal stress, disturbance, and disease were hypothesized explanations. Our study indicated that the most effective management strategies would be the removal of feral ungulates and certain noxious plants from Palila habitat and the extension of the woodland zone to areas now intensively grazed

  15. Influence of Riparian Habitat and Nutrients on Aquatic Communities Within Riparian Zones of Headwater Streams

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Headwater streams are the smallest streams in a watershed. Their small size and high frequency of occurrence make them susceptible to anthropogenic habitat alterations. Many headwater streams in the Midwestern United States have been channelized to drain agricultural fields. Aquatic macroinvertebrat...

  16. Orangethroat Darter Population Responses to Habitat Differences within a Central Ohio Headwater Stream

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The diversity and abundance of darters are often used as an indicator of habitat quality in streams. The orangethroat darter (Etheostoma spectabile) is a common fish in small to medium sized streams within portions of the midwest and southeast United States. Qualitative observations of orangethroat ...

  17. HOME RANGES AND HABITAT USE OF SUBURBAN RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Radio telemetry was used to determine home range size and habitat use for breeding season and non-breedng season red-shouldered hawks nesting in a surburban area in southwestern Ohio. Home ranges averaged 96.0 ha for males (n=4) and 48.3 for females (n-2) during the breeding sea...

  18. Evaluating the Effect of Green Infrastructure Stormwater Best Management Practices on New England Stream Habitat

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. EPA is evaluating the effectiveness of green infrastructure (GI) stormwater best management practices (BMPs) on stream habitat at the small watershed (< HUC12) scale in New England. Predictive models for thermal regime and substrate characteristics (substrate size, % em...

  19. Socio-ecological features other than sex affect habitat selection in the socially obligate monogamous Eurasian beaver.

    PubMed

    Steyaert, Sam M J G; Zedrosser, Andreas; Rosell, Frank

    2015-12-01

    Habitat selection is a context-dependent mechanism, in which both the internal state as well as external factors affect the behavior and decisions of an individual. This is well known for polygamous mammals, which are typically sexually dimorphic, and often express great variability in behavior and habitat selection between individuals as well between the sexes. Among monogamous mammals, however, variability in habitat selection should be explained by group characteristics and the presence of offspring rather than by sex. We evaluated this hypothesis in a socially monogamous rodent, the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber), in a saturated Norwegian population. For the first time in this species we applied GPS tracking devices (N = 22 adult beavers, in 15 territories, 2009-2013), and used resource selection functions (i) to document population-wide habitat selection and the importance of 'territory' therein, and (ii) to evaluate which socio-ecological factors explained potential individual differences in habitat selection. We found that variation in habitat selection was stronger between territories than between years or individuals nested by territory. We identified that family size and the presence of kits, but not sex, explained individual variation in habitat selection. Adults with kits and/or larger families tended to exhibit low risk-taking behavior (avoiding human-related variables such as roads, buildings, and agricultural land), and stayed close to their main lodge (parental care). Our results show that habitat selection is a context-dependent mechanism even in a species which expresses very little behavioral and morphological dimorphism. PMID:26260166

  20. Increasing density leads to generalization in both coarse-grained habitat selection and fine-grained resource selection in a large mammal.

    PubMed

    van Beest, Floris M; Uzal, Antonio; Vander Wal, Eric; Laforge, Michel P; Contasti, Adrienne L; Colville, David; McLoughlin, Philip D

    2014-01-01

    Density is a fundamental driver of many ecological processes including habitat selection. Theory on density-dependent habitat selection predicts that animals should be distributed relative to profitability of habitat, resulting in reduced specialization in selection (i.e. generalization) as density increases and competition intensifies. Despite mounting empirical support for density-dependent habitat selection using isodars to describe coarse-grained (interhabitat) animal movements, we know little of how density affects fine-grained resource selection of animals within habitats [e.g. using resource selection functions (RSFs)]. Using isodars and RSFs, we tested whether density simultaneously modified habitat selection and within-habitat resource selection in a rapidly growing population of feral horses (Equus ferus caballus Linnaeus; Sable Island, Nova Scotia, Canada; 42% increase in population size from 2008 to 2012). Among three heterogeneous habitat zones on Sable Island describing population clusters distributed along a west-east resource gradient (west-central-east), isodars revealed that horses used available habitat in a density-dependent manner. Intercepts and slopes of isodars demonstrated a pattern of habitat selection that first favoured the west, which generalized to include central and east habitats with increasing population size consistent with our understanding of habitat quality on Sable Island. Resource selection functions revealed that horses selected for vegetation associations similarly at two scales of extent (total island and within-habitat zone). When densities were locally low, horses were able to select for sites of the most productive forage (grasslands) relative to those of poorer quality. However, as local carrying capacity was approached, selection for the best of available forage types weakened while selection for lower-quality vegetation increased (and eventually exceeded that of grasslands). Isodars can effectively describe coarse-grained habitat selection in large mammals. Our study also shows that the main predictions of density-dependent habitat selection are highly relevant to our interpretation of RSFs in space and time. At low but not necessarily high population size, density will be a leading indicator of habitat quality. Fitness maximization from specialist vs. generalist strategies of habitat and resource selection may well be apparent at multiple spatial extents and grains of resolution. PMID:23931034

  1. When species' ranges meet: assessing differences in habitat selection between sympatric large carnivores.

    PubMed

    Rauset, Geir Rune; Mattisson, Jenny; Andrén, Henrik; Chapron, Guillaume; Persson, Jens

    2013-07-01

    Differentiation in habitat selection among sympatric species may depend on niche partitioning, species interactions, selection mechanisms and scales considered. In a mountainous area in Sweden, we explored hierarchical habitat selection in Global Positioning System-collared individuals of two sympatric large carnivore species; an obligate predator, the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), and a generalist predator and scavenger, the wolverine (Gulo gulo). Although the species' fundamental niches differ widely, their ranges overlap in this area where they share a prey base and main cause of mortality. Both lynx and wolverines selected for steep and rugged terrain in mountainous birch forest and in heaths independent of scale and available habitats. However, the selection of lynx for their preferred habitats was stronger when they were forming home ranges and they selected the same habitats within their home ranges independent of home range composition. Wolverines displayed a greater variability when selecting home ranges and habitat selection also varied with home range composition. Both species selected for habitats that promote survival through limited encounters with humans, but which also are rich in prey, and selection for these habitats was accordingly stronger in winter when human activity was high and prey density was low. We suggest that the observed differences between the species result primarily from different foraging strategies, but may also depend on differences in ranging and resting behaviour, home range size, and relative density of each species. Our results support the prediction that sympatric carnivores with otherwise diverging niches can select for the same resources when sharing main sources of food and mortality. PMID:23242426

  2. Habitat edges affect patterns of artificial nest predation along a wetland-meadow boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suvorov, Petr; Svobodová, Jana; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2014-08-01

    Wetland habitats are among the most endangered ecosystems in the world. However, little is known about factors affecting the nesting success of birds in pristine grass-dominated wetlands. During three breeding periods we conducted an experiment with artificial ground nests to test two basic mechanisms (the matrix and ecotonal effects) that may result in edge effects on nest predation in grass-dominated wetland habitats. Whereas the matrix effect model supposes that predator penetrate from habitat of higher predator density to habitat of lower predator density, thus causing an edge effect in the latter, according to the ecotonal effect model predators preferentially use edge habitats over habitat interiors. In addition, we tested the edge effect in a wetland habitat using artificial shrub nests that simulated the real nests of small open-cup nesting passerines. In our study area, the lowest predation rates on ground nests were found in wetland interiors and were substantially higher along the edges of both wetland and meadow habitat. However, predation was not significantly different between meadow and wetland interiors, indicating that both mechanisms can be responsible for the edge effect in wetland edges. An increased predation rate along wetland edges was also observed for shrub nests, and resembled the predation pattern of real shrub nests in the same study area. Though we are not able to distinguish between the two mechanisms of the edge effect found, our results demonstrate that species nesting in wetland edges bordering arable land may be exposed to higher predation. Therefore, an increase in the size of wetland patches that would lead to a reduced proportion of edge areas might be a suitable management practice to protect wetland bird species in cultural European landscapes.

  3. Application and testing of a procedure to evaluate transferability of habitat suitability criteria

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thomas, Jeff A.; Bovee, Ken D.

    1993-01-01

    A procedure designed to test the transferability of habitat suitability criteria was evaluated in the Cache la Poudre River, Colorado. Habitat suitability criteria were developed for active adult and juvenile rainbow trout in the South Platte River, Colorado. These criteria were tested by comparing microhabitat use predicted from the criteria with observed microhabitat use by adult rainbow trout in the Cache la Poudre River. A one-sided X2 test, using counts of occupied and unoccupied cells in each suitability classification, was used to test for non-random selection for optimum habitat use over usable habitat and for suitable over unsuitable habitat. Criteria for adult rainbow trout were judged to be transferable to the Cache la Poudre River, but juvenile criteria (applied to adults) were not transferable. Random subsampling of occupied and unoccupied cells was conducted to determine the effect of sample size on the reliability of the test procedure. The incidence of type I and type II errors increased rapidly as the sample size was reduced below 55 occupied and 200 unoccupied cells. Recommended modifications to the procedure included the adoption of a systematic or randomized sampling design and direct measurement of microhabitat variables. With these modifications, the procedure is economical, simple and reliable. Use of the procedure as a quality assurance device in routine applications of the instream flow incremental methodology was encouraged.

  4. Home range and habitat use by Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus) in Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bennett, J.R.; Bloom, P.H.

    2005-01-01

    Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus) are a common, widespread species that can be found in a variety of habitats across most of North America, but little is known about their space and habitat requirements. Using radiotelemetry, location data were collected on nine male and five female Great Horned Owls to determine home range and habitat use in southern California. Owls were tracked between January 1997 and September 1998 for periods ranging from 5-17 mo. Seven owls were also followed during 13 all-night observation periods. The mean 95% adaptive kernel home-range size for females was 180 ha (range = 88-282, SE = 36) and that for males was 425 ha (range = 147-1115 ha, SE = 105). Core areas estimated by the 50% adaptive kernel averaged 27 ha (range = 7-44, SE = 7) for females and 61 ha (range = 15-187, SE = 18) for males. Owls were located in areas with varying degrees of human disturbance ranging from almost entirely urban to native oak (Quercus agrifolia) woodland. Oak/sycamore (Quercus agrifolia/Platanus racemosa) woodland and ruderal grassland (Bromus spp., Avena spp., and various other non-native invasives), were used more often than expected based on availability, but we found no correlation between home-range size and any single habitat type or habitat groups. ?? 2005 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.

  5. Patterns of space and habitat use by northern bobwhites in South Florida, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Singh, A.; Hines, T.C.; Hostetler, J.A.; Percival, H.F.; Oli, M.K.

    2011-01-01

    The manner by which animals use space and select resources can have important management consequences. We studied patterns of habitat selection by northern bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) on Babcock-Webb Wildlife Management Area, Charlotte County, Florida and evaluated factors influencing the sizes of their home ranges. A total of 1,245 radio-tagged bobwhites were monitored for 19,467 radio days during 2002-2007. The mean (?? 1 SE) annual home range size, estimated using the Kernel density method, was 88. 43 (?? 6. 16) ha and did not differ between genders. Winter home ranges of bobwhites (69. 27 ?? 4. 92 ha) were generally larger than summer home ranges (53. 90 ?? 4. 93 ha). Annual and winter home ranges were smaller for bobwhites whose ranges contained food plots compared to those that did not; however, the presence of food plots did not influence summer home ranges. We used distance-based methods to investigate habitat selection by bobwhites at two scales: selection of home ranges within the study site (second-order selection) and selection of habitats within home ranges (third-order selection). Across both scales, bobwhites generally preferred food plots and dry prairie habitat and avoided wet prairies and roads. This pattern was generally consistent between genders and across years. Our data indicate that management practices aimed at increasing and maintaining a matrix of food plots and dry prairie habitat would provide the most favorable environment for bobwhites. ?? 2010 Springer-Verlag.

  6. Use of riverine through reef habitat systems by dog snapper ( Lutjanus jocu ) in eastern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moura, Rodrigo L.; Francini-Filho, Ronaldo B.; Chaves, Eduardo M.; Minte-Vera, Carolina V.; Lindeman, Kenyon C.

    2011-11-01

    The early life history of Western Atlantic snappers from the Southern hemisphere is largely unknown. Habitat use of different life stages (i.e. size categories) of the dog snapper ( Lutjanus jocu) was examined across the largest South Atlantic reef-estuarine complex (Abrolhos Shelf, Brazil, 16-19° S). Visual surveys were conducted in different habitats across the shelf (estuary, inner-shelf reefs and mid-shelf reefs). Lutjanus jocu showed higher densities on inner-shelf habitats, with a clear increase in fish size across the shelf. Individuals <7 cm were associated with both the estuary (mangrove and rocky habitats) and inner-shelf reefs (particularly shallow fore-reefs and tide pools). Individuals ranging 10-30 cm were broadly distributed, but consistently more abundant on inner-shelf reefs. Individuals between 30 and 40 cm were more common on mid-shelf reefs, while individuals >40 cm were recorded only on mid-shelf reefs. Literature data indicate that individuals ranging 70-80 cm are common on deep offshore reefs. This pattern suggests that the dog snapper performs ontogenetic cross-shelf migrations. Protecting portions of the different habitats used by the dog snapper during its post-settlement life cycle is highlighted as an important conservation and management measure.

  7. Can settlement in natal-like habitat explain maladaptive habitat selection?

    PubMed Central

    Piper, Walter H.; Palmer, Michael W.; Banfield, Nathan; Meyer, Michael W.

    2013-01-01

    The study of habitat selection has long been influenced by the ideal free model, which maintains that young adults settle in habitat according to its inherent quality and the density of conspecifics within it. The model has gained support in recent years from the finding that conspecifics produce cues inadvertently that help prebreeders locate good habitat. Yet abundant evidence shows that animals often fail to occupy habitats that ecologists have identified as those of highest quality, leading to the conclusion that young animals settle on breeding spaces by means not widely understood. Here, we report that a phenomenon virtually unknown in nature, natal habitat preference induction (NHPI), is a strong predictor of territory settlement in both male and female common loons (Gavia immer). NHPI causes young animals to settle on natal-like breeding spaces, but not necessarily those that maximize reproductive success. If widespread, NHPI might explain apparently maladaptive habitat settlement. PMID:23804619

  8. EPA'S BENTHIC HABITAT DATA FOR YAQUINA ESTUARY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Scientists at EPA's National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Western Ecology Division (WED) have been studying seafloor (benthic) habitats in Yaquina estuary for several years. Those studies were conducted as parts of several research projects, including: e...

  9. Columbia River Contaminants and Habitat Study

    USGS Multimedia Gallery

    USGS scientists strategize near the Rooster Rock boat launch en route to Skamania Landing to collect fish for the Columbia River Contaminants and Habitat Study. People pictured from the left: Glen Holmberg, Leticia Torres, Conra