Science.gov

Sample records for active habitat selection

  1. Habitat selection by juvenile Mojave Desert tortoises

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Todd, Brian D; Halstead, Brian J.; Chiquoine, Lindsay P.; Peaden, J. Mark; Buhlmann, Kurt A.; Tuberville, Tracey D.; Nafus, Melia G.

    2016-01-01

    Growing pressure to develop public lands for renewable energy production places several protected species at increased risk of habitat loss. One example is the Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), a species often at the center of conflicts over public land development. For this species and others on public lands, a better understanding of their habitat needs can help minimize negative impacts and facilitate protection or restoration of habitat. We used radio-telemetry to track 46 neonate and juvenile tortoises in the Eastern Mojave Desert, California, USA, to quantify habitat at tortoise locations and paired random points to assess habitat selection. Tortoise locations near burrows were more likely to be under canopy cover and had greater coverage of perennial plants (especially creosote [Larrea tridentata]), more coverage by washes, a greater number of small-mammal burrows, and fewer white bursage (Ambrosia dumosa) than random points. Active tortoise locations away from burrows were closer to washes and perennial plants than were random points. Our results can help planners locate juvenile tortoises and avoid impacts to habitat critical for this life stage. Additionally, our results provide targets for habitat protection and restoration and suggest that diverse and abundant small-mammal populations and the availability of creosote bush are vital for juvenile desert tortoises in the Eastern Mojave Desert.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Teaching Animal Habitat Selection Using Wildlife Tracking Equipment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Laskowski, Jessica; Gillespie, Caitlyn; Corral, Lucia; Oden, Amy; Fricke, Kent; Fontaine, Joseph J.

    2016-01-01

    We present a hands-on outdoor activity coupled with classroom discussion to teach students about wildlife habitat selection, the process by which animals choose where to live. By selecting locations or habitats with many benefits (e.g., food, shelter, mates) and few costs (e.g., predators), animals improve their ability to survive and reproduce.…

  6. Habitat Use and Selection by Giant Pandas.

    PubMed

    Hull, Vanessa; Zhang, Jindong; Huang, Jinyan; Zhou, Shiqiang; Viña, Andrés; Shortridge, Ashton; Li, Rengui; Liu, Dian; Xu, Weihua; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Zhang, Hemin; Liu, Jianguo

    2016-01-01

    Animals make choices about where to spend their time in complex and dynamic landscapes, choices that reveal information about their biology that in turn can be used to guide their conservation. Using GPS collars, we conducted a novel individual-based analysis of habitat use and selection by the elusive and endangered giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). We constructed spatial autoregressive resource utilization functions (RUF) to model the relationship between the pandas' utilization distributions and various habitat characteristics over a continuous space across seasons. Results reveal several new insights, including use of a broader range of habitat characteristics than previously understood for the species, particularly steep slopes and non-forest areas. We also used compositional analysis to analyze habitat selection (use with respect to availability of habitat types) at two selection levels. Pandas selected against low terrain position and against the highest clumped forest at the at-home range level, but no significant factors were identified at the within-home range level. Our results have implications for modeling and managing the habitat of this endangered species by illustrating how individual pandas relate to habitat and make choices that differ from assumptions made in broad scale models. Our study also highlights the value of using a spatial autoregressive RUF approach on animal species for which a complete picture of individual-level habitat use and selection across space is otherwise lacking. PMID:27627805

  7. Habitat Use and Selection by Giant Pandas

    PubMed Central

    Hull, Vanessa; Zhang, Jindong; Huang, Jinyan; Zhou, Shiqiang; Viña, Andrés; Shortridge, Ashton; Li, Rengui; Liu, Dian; Xu, Weihua; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Zhang, Hemin; Liu, Jianguo

    2016-01-01

    Animals make choices about where to spend their time in complex and dynamic landscapes, choices that reveal information about their biology that in turn can be used to guide their conservation. Using GPS collars, we conducted a novel individual-based analysis of habitat use and selection by the elusive and endangered giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). We constructed spatial autoregressive resource utilization functions (RUF) to model the relationship between the pandas' utilization distributions and various habitat characteristics over a continuous space across seasons. Results reveal several new insights, including use of a broader range of habitat characteristics than previously understood for the species, particularly steep slopes and non-forest areas. We also used compositional analysis to analyze habitat selection (use with respect to availability of habitat types) at two selection levels. Pandas selected against low terrain position and against the highest clumped forest at the at-home range level, but no significant factors were identified at the within-home range level. Our results have implications for modeling and managing the habitat of this endangered species by illustrating how individual pandas relate to habitat and make choices that differ from assumptions made in broad scale models. Our study also highlights the value of using a spatial autoregressive RUF approach on animal species for which a complete picture of individual-level habitat use and selection across space is otherwise lacking. PMID:27627805

  8. Habitat Use and Selection by Giant Pandas.

    PubMed

    Hull, Vanessa; Zhang, Jindong; Huang, Jinyan; Zhou, Shiqiang; Viña, Andrés; Shortridge, Ashton; Li, Rengui; Liu, Dian; Xu, Weihua; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Zhang, Hemin; Liu, Jianguo

    2016-01-01

    Animals make choices about where to spend their time in complex and dynamic landscapes, choices that reveal information about their biology that in turn can be used to guide their conservation. Using GPS collars, we conducted a novel individual-based analysis of habitat use and selection by the elusive and endangered giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). We constructed spatial autoregressive resource utilization functions (RUF) to model the relationship between the pandas' utilization distributions and various habitat characteristics over a continuous space across seasons. Results reveal several new insights, including use of a broader range of habitat characteristics than previously understood for the species, particularly steep slopes and non-forest areas. We also used compositional analysis to analyze habitat selection (use with respect to availability of habitat types) at two selection levels. Pandas selected against low terrain position and against the highest clumped forest at the at-home range level, but no significant factors were identified at the within-home range level. Our results have implications for modeling and managing the habitat of this endangered species by illustrating how individual pandas relate to habitat and make choices that differ from assumptions made in broad scale models. Our study also highlights the value of using a spatial autoregressive RUF approach on animal species for which a complete picture of individual-level habitat use and selection across space is otherwise lacking.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    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 km(2) 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

  13. 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).

  14. Quantifying spatial habitat loss from hydrocarbon development through assessing habitat selection patterns of mule deer.

    PubMed

    Northrup, Joseph M; Anderson, Charles R; Wittemyer, George

    2015-11-01

    Extraction of oil and natural gas (hydrocarbons) from shale is increasing rapidly in North America, with documented impacts to native species and ecosystems. With shale oil and gas resources on nearly every continent, this development is set to become a major driver of global land-use change. It is increasingly critical to quantify spatial habitat loss driven by this development to implement effective mitigation strategies and develop habitat offsets. Habitat selection is a fundamental ecological process, influencing both individual fitness and population-level distribution on the landscape. Examinations of habitat selection provide a natural means for understanding spatial impacts. We examined the impact of natural gas development on habitat selection patterns of mule deer on their winter range in Colorado. We fit resource selection functions in a Bayesian hierarchical framework, with habitat availability defined using a movement-based modeling approach. Energy development drove considerable alterations to deer habitat selection patterns, with the most substantial impacts manifested as avoidance of well pads with active drilling to a distance of at least 800 m. Deer displayed more nuanced responses to other infrastructure, avoiding pads with active production and roads to a greater degree during the day than night. In aggregate, these responses equate to alteration of behavior by human development in over 50% of the critical winter range in our study area during the day and over 25% at night. Compared to other regions, the topographic and vegetative diversity in the study area appear to provide refugia that allow deer to behaviorally mediate some of the impacts of development. This study, and the methods we employed, provides a template for quantifying spatial take by industrial activities in natural areas and the results offer guidance for policy makers, mangers, and industry when attempting to mitigate habitat loss due to energy development. PMID:26264447

  15. Quantifying spatial habitat loss from hydrocarbon development through assessing habitat selection patterns of mule deer.

    PubMed

    Northrup, Joseph M; Anderson, Charles R; Wittemyer, George

    2015-11-01

    Extraction of oil and natural gas (hydrocarbons) from shale is increasing rapidly in North America, with documented impacts to native species and ecosystems. With shale oil and gas resources on nearly every continent, this development is set to become a major driver of global land-use change. It is increasingly critical to quantify spatial habitat loss driven by this development to implement effective mitigation strategies and develop habitat offsets. Habitat selection is a fundamental ecological process, influencing both individual fitness and population-level distribution on the landscape. Examinations of habitat selection provide a natural means for understanding spatial impacts. We examined the impact of natural gas development on habitat selection patterns of mule deer on their winter range in Colorado. We fit resource selection functions in a Bayesian hierarchical framework, with habitat availability defined using a movement-based modeling approach. Energy development drove considerable alterations to deer habitat selection patterns, with the most substantial impacts manifested as avoidance of well pads with active drilling to a distance of at least 800 m. Deer displayed more nuanced responses to other infrastructure, avoiding pads with active production and roads to a greater degree during the day than night. In aggregate, these responses equate to alteration of behavior by human development in over 50% of the critical winter range in our study area during the day and over 25% at night. Compared to other regions, the topographic and vegetative diversity in the study area appear to provide refugia that allow deer to behaviorally mediate some of the impacts of development. This study, and the methods we employed, provides a template for quantifying spatial take by industrial activities in natural areas and the results offer guidance for policy makers, mangers, and industry when attempting to mitigate habitat loss due to energy development.

  16. Ecological specialisation in habitat selection within a macropodid herbivore guild.

    PubMed

    Garnick, Sarah; Di Stefano, Julian; Elgar, Mark A; Coulson, Graeme

    2016-03-01

    Specialist species show stronger resource selection, narrower niches and lower niche overlap than generalist species. We examined ecological specialisation with respect to habitat selection in a macropodid community comprising the western grey kangaroo Macropus fuliginosus, red-necked wallaby M. rufogriseus and swamp wallaby Wallabia bicolor in the Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia. We used radio tracking to quantify habitat selection. We predicted that because the fitness benefits of generalisation and specialisation differ, there would be a mix of generalised and specialised species in our community. As all three macropodid species show marked sexual dimorphism, we also expected that they would show sex-based specialisation. Finally, because many large herbivores select different habitats for foraging and resting, we predicted that our species would specialise on a subset of their overall selected habitat based on activity period (diurnal or nocturnal). All three species specialised on the available resources to some degree. Western grey kangaroos were specialists, at least during the active period. Niche data for the two wallaby species were harder to interpret so we could not determine their degree of specialisation. Within species, we found no evidence of sex-based specialisation. However, we found clear evidence of specialisation by activity period in western grey kangaroos and red-necked wallabies, but not in swamp wallabies. The strength of behavioural decisions made during the active period in influencing specialisation points to the likelihood that bottom-up processes regulate this community.

  17. Ecological specialisation in habitat selection within a macropodid herbivore guild.

    PubMed

    Garnick, Sarah; Di Stefano, Julian; Elgar, Mark A; Coulson, Graeme

    2016-03-01

    Specialist species show stronger resource selection, narrower niches and lower niche overlap than generalist species. We examined ecological specialisation with respect to habitat selection in a macropodid community comprising the western grey kangaroo Macropus fuliginosus, red-necked wallaby M. rufogriseus and swamp wallaby Wallabia bicolor in the Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia. We used radio tracking to quantify habitat selection. We predicted that because the fitness benefits of generalisation and specialisation differ, there would be a mix of generalised and specialised species in our community. As all three macropodid species show marked sexual dimorphism, we also expected that they would show sex-based specialisation. Finally, because many large herbivores select different habitats for foraging and resting, we predicted that our species would specialise on a subset of their overall selected habitat based on activity period (diurnal or nocturnal). All three species specialised on the available resources to some degree. Western grey kangaroos were specialists, at least during the active period. Niche data for the two wallaby species were harder to interpret so we could not determine their degree of specialisation. Within species, we found no evidence of sex-based specialisation. However, we found clear evidence of specialisation by activity period in western grey kangaroos and red-necked wallabies, but not in swamp wallabies. The strength of behavioural decisions made during the active period in influencing specialisation points to the likelihood that bottom-up processes regulate this community. PMID:26621691

  18. Spawning habitat selection of hickory shad

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harris, Julianne E.; Hightower, J.E.

    2011-01-01

    We examined the spawning habitat selectivity of hickory shad Alosa mediocris, an anadromous species on the Atlantic coast of North America. Using plankton tows and artificial substrates (spawning pads), we collected hickory shad eggs in the Roanoke River, North Carolina, to identify spawning timing, temperature, and microhabitat use. Hickory shad eggs were collected by both sampling gears in March and April. The results from this and three other studies in North Carolina indicate that spawning peaks at water temperatures between 12.0??C and 14.9??C and that approximately 90% occurs between 11.0??C and 18.9??C. Hickory shad eggs were collected in run and riffle habitats. Water velocity and substrate were significantly different at spawning pads with eggs than at those without eggs, suggesting that these are important microhabitat factors for spawning. Hickory shad eggs were usually collected in velocities of at least 0.1 m/s and on all substrates except those dominated by silt. Eggs were most abundant on gravel, cobble, and boulder substrates. Hickory shad spawned further upstream in years when water discharge rates at Roanoke Rapids were approximately average during March and April (2005 and 2007), as compared with a severe drought year (2006), suggesting that water flows may affect not only spawning site selection but also the quantity and quality of spawning habitat available at a macrohabitat scale. Using our field data and a Bayesian approach to resource selection analysis, we developed a preliminary habitat suitability model for hickory shad. This Bayesian approach provides an objective framework for updating the model as future studies of hickory shad spawning habitat are conducted. ?? American Fisheries Society 2011.

  19. Grizzly bear habitat selection is scale dependent.

    PubMed

    Ciarniello, Lana M; Boyce, Mark S; Seip, Dale R; Heard, Douglas C

    2007-07-01

    The purpose of our study is to show how ecologists' interpretation of habitat selection by grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) is altered by the scale of observation and also how management questions would be best addressed using predetermined scales of analysis. Using resource selection functions (RSF) we examined how variation in the spatial extent of availability affected our interpretation of habitat selection by grizzly bears inhabiting mountain and plateau landscapes. We estimated separate models for females and males using three spatial extents: within the study area, within the home range, and within predetermined movement buffers. We employed two methods for evaluating the effects of scale on our RSF designs. First, we chose a priori six candidate models, estimated at each scale, and ranked them using Akaike Information Criteria. Using this method, results changed among scales for males but not for females. For female bears, models that included the full suite of covariates predicted habitat use best at each scale. For male bears that resided in the mountains, models based on forest successional stages ranked highest at the study-wide and home range extents, whereas models containing covariates based on terrain features ranked highest at the buffer extent. For male bears on the plateau, each scale estimated a different highest-ranked model. Second, we examined differences among model coefficients across the three scales for one candidate model. We found that both the magnitude and direction of coefficients were dependent upon the scale examined; results varied between landscapes, scales, and sexes. Greenness, reflecting lush green vegetation, was a strong predictor of the presence of female bears in both landscapes and males that resided in the mountains. Male bears on the plateau were the only animals to select areas that exposed them to a high risk of mortality by humans. Our results show that grizzly bear habitat selection is scale dependent. Further, the

  20. Grizzly bear habitat selection is scale dependent.

    PubMed

    Ciarniello, Lana M; Boyce, Mark S; Seip, Dale R; Heard, Douglas C

    2007-07-01

    The purpose of our study is to show how ecologists' interpretation of habitat selection by grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) is altered by the scale of observation and also how management questions would be best addressed using predetermined scales of analysis. Using resource selection functions (RSF) we examined how variation in the spatial extent of availability affected our interpretation of habitat selection by grizzly bears inhabiting mountain and plateau landscapes. We estimated separate models for females and males using three spatial extents: within the study area, within the home range, and within predetermined movement buffers. We employed two methods for evaluating the effects of scale on our RSF designs. First, we chose a priori six candidate models, estimated at each scale, and ranked them using Akaike Information Criteria. Using this method, results changed among scales for males but not for females. For female bears, models that included the full suite of covariates predicted habitat use best at each scale. For male bears that resided in the mountains, models based on forest successional stages ranked highest at the study-wide and home range extents, whereas models containing covariates based on terrain features ranked highest at the buffer extent. For male bears on the plateau, each scale estimated a different highest-ranked model. Second, we examined differences among model coefficients across the three scales for one candidate model. We found that both the magnitude and direction of coefficients were dependent upon the scale examined; results varied between landscapes, scales, and sexes. Greenness, reflecting lush green vegetation, was a strong predictor of the presence of female bears in both landscapes and males that resided in the mountains. Male bears on the plateau were the only animals to select areas that exposed them to a high risk of mortality by humans. Our results show that grizzly bear habitat selection is scale dependent. Further, the

  1. Nesting habitat and nest site selection by the bald eagle in Maryland. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Mosher, J.A.; Andrew, J.M.

    1981-07-01

    Habitat at 70 bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) nest sites was quantified and compared with evaluations at 139 random habitat plots located in the Chesapeake Bay region of Maryland. Bald eagles selected vegetationally open habitats near water and away from selected human activities relative to random habitat plots. Successful nest sites were located in denser forest stands farther from water and unoccupied structures than unsuccessful nest sites.

  2. [Habitat selection attributes of giant panda].

    PubMed

    Kang, Dong-Wei; Zhao, Zhi-Jiang; Guo, Wen-Xia; Tan, Liu-Yi; Kang, Wen; Li, Jun-Qing

    2011-02-01

    Based on the 1997-2009 inventory data of Wanglang Nature Reserve, the habitat selection attributes of giant panda were studied from the aspects of topography, forest community structure, and main feeding bamboo by the methods of frequency distribution and Bailey. The giant panda had obvious habitat preferences. Topographically, the preferred microhabitat was on the even or convex slopes at the ridge, top, or middle part of mountain body at an elevation 2500-3000 m, with southwest aspect, 6 degrees-30 degrees, and the distance to the nearest water source > 300 m. As for the forest community structure, the giant panda preferred the microhabitat with the bamboo succeeded from secondary forest or mixed conifer and broad-leaved forest, and with the average tree height being 20-29 m and the shrub coverage being 0-24%. The preferred main feeding bamboo by the giant panda was the growing well Fargesia denudate with an average height of 2-5 m and the coverage of > 50%.

  3. Density-dependent habitat selection and partitioning between two sympatric ungulates.

    PubMed

    van Beest, Floris M; McLoughlin, Philip D; Vander Wal, Eric; Brook, Ryan K

    2014-08-01

    Theory on density-dependent habitat selection predicts that as population density of a species increases, use of higher quality (primary) habitat by individuals declines while use of lower quality (secondary) habitat rises. Habitat partitioning is often considered the primary mechanism for coexistence between similar species, but how this process evolves with changes in population density remains to be empirically tested for free-ranging ungulates. We used resource-selection functions to quantify density effects on landscape-scale habitat selection of two sympatric species of ungulates [moose (Alces alces) and elk (Cervus canadensis manitobensis)] in Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba, Canada (2000-2011). The density of elk was actively reduced from 1.2 to 0.4 elk km(-2) through increased hunting effort during the period of study, while moose density decreased without additional human influence from 1.6-0.7 moose km(-2). Patterns of habitat selection during winter by both species changed in accordance to expectations from density-dependent habitat-selection theory. At low intraspecific density, moose and elk did not partition habitat, as both species selected strongly for mixed forest (primary habitat providing both food and cover), but did so in different areas segregated across an elevational gradient. As intraspecific density increased, selection for primary habitat by both species decreased, while selection for secondary, lower quality habitat such as agricultural fields (for elk) and built-up areas (for moose) increased. We show that habitat-selection strategies during winter for moose and elk, and subsequent effects on habitat partitioning, depend heavily on the position in state space (density) of both species.

  4. Evaluating habitat selection with radio-telemetry triangulation error

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Samuel, M.D.; Kenow, K.P.

    1992-01-01

    Radio-telemetry triangulation errors result in the mislocation of animals and misclassification of habitat use. We present analytical methods that provide improved estimates of habitat use when misclassification probabilities can be determined. When misclassification probabilities cannot be determined, we use random subsamples from the error distribution of an estimated animal location to improve habitat use estimates. We conducted Monte Carlo simulations to evaluate the effects of this subsampling method, triangulation error, number of animal locations, habitat availability, and habitat complexity on bias and variation in habitat use estimates. Results for the subsampling method are illustrated using habitat selection by redhead ducks (Aythya americana ). We recommend the subsampling method with a minimum of 50 random points to reduce problems associated with habitat misclassification.

  5. Evaluating habitat selection with radio-telemetry triangulation error

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Samuel, M.D.; Kenow, K.P.

    1992-01-01

    Radio-telemetry triangulation errors result in the mislocation of animals and misclassification of habitat use. We present analytical methods that provide improved estimates of habitat use when misclassification probabilities can be determined. When misclassification probabilities cannot be determined, we use random subsamples from the error distribution of an estimated animal location to improve habitat use estimates. We conducted Monte Carlo simulations to evaluate the effects of this subsampling method, triangulation error, number of animal locations, habitat availability, and habitat complexity on bias and variation in habitat use estimates. Results for the subsampling method are illustrated using habitat selection by redhead ducks (Aythya americana). We recommend the subsampling method with a minimum of 50 random points to reduce problems associated with habitat misclassification.

  6. HABITAT MODELING APPROACHES FOR RESTORATION SITE SELECTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Numerous modeling approaches have been used to develop predictive models of species-environment and species-habitat relationships. These models have been used in conservation biology and habitat or species management, but their application to restoration efforts has been minimal...

  7. Habitat selection and risk of predation: re-colonization by lynx had limited impact on habitat selection by roe deer.

    PubMed

    Samelius, Gustaf; Andrén, Henrik; Kjellander, Petter; Liberg, Olof

    2013-01-01

    Risk of predation is an evolutionary force that affects behaviors of virtually all animals. In this study, we examined how habitat selection by roe deer was affected by risk of predation by Eurasian lynx - the main predator of roe deer in Scandinavia. Specifically, we compared how habitat selection by roe deer varied (1) before and after lynx re-established in the study area and (2) in relation to habitat-specific risk of predation by lynx. All analyses were conducted at the spatial and temporal scales of home ranges and seasons. We did not find any evidence that roe deer avoided habitats in which the risk of predation by lynx was greatest and information-theoretic model selection showed that re-colonization by lynx had limited impact on habitat selection by roe deer despite lynx predation causing 65% of known mortalities after lynx re-colonized the area. Instead we found that habitat selection decreased when habitat availability increased for 2 of 5 habitat types (a pattern referred to as functional response in habitat selection). Limited impact of re-colonization by lynx on habitat selection by roe deer in this study differs from elk in North America altering both daily and seasonal patterns in habitat selection at the spatial scales of habitat patches and home ranges when wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Our study thus provides further evidence of the complexity by which animals respond to risk of predation and suggest that it may vary between ecosystems and predator-prey constellations. PMID:24069419

  8. Habitat selection and risk of predation: re-colonization by lynx had limited impact on habitat selection by roe deer.

    PubMed

    Samelius, Gustaf; Andrén, Henrik; Kjellander, Petter; Liberg, Olof

    2013-01-01

    Risk of predation is an evolutionary force that affects behaviors of virtually all animals. In this study, we examined how habitat selection by roe deer was affected by risk of predation by Eurasian lynx - the main predator of roe deer in Scandinavia. Specifically, we compared how habitat selection by roe deer varied (1) before and after lynx re-established in the study area and (2) in relation to habitat-specific risk of predation by lynx. All analyses were conducted at the spatial and temporal scales of home ranges and seasons. We did not find any evidence that roe deer avoided habitats in which the risk of predation by lynx was greatest and information-theoretic model selection showed that re-colonization by lynx had limited impact on habitat selection by roe deer despite lynx predation causing 65% of known mortalities after lynx re-colonized the area. Instead we found that habitat selection decreased when habitat availability increased for 2 of 5 habitat types (a pattern referred to as functional response in habitat selection). Limited impact of re-colonization by lynx on habitat selection by roe deer in this study differs from elk in North America altering both daily and seasonal patterns in habitat selection at the spatial scales of habitat patches and home ranges when wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Our study thus provides further evidence of the complexity by which animals respond to risk of predation and suggest that it may vary between ecosystems and predator-prey constellations.

  9. Habitat Selection and Risk of Predation: Re-colonization by Lynx had Limited Impact on Habitat Selection by Roe Deer

    PubMed Central

    Samelius, Gustaf; Andrén, Henrik; Kjellander, Petter; Liberg, Olof

    2013-01-01

    Risk of predation is an evolutionary force that affects behaviors of virtually all animals. In this study, we examined how habitat selection by roe deer was affected by risk of predation by Eurasian lynx – the main predator of roe deer in Scandinavia. Specifically, we compared how habitat selection by roe deer varied (1) before and after lynx re-established in the study area and (2) in relation to habitat-specific risk of predation by lynx. All analyses were conducted at the spatial and temporal scales of home ranges and seasons. We did not find any evidence that roe deer avoided habitats in which the risk of predation by lynx was greatest and information-theoretic model selection showed that re-colonization by lynx had limited impact on habitat selection by roe deer despite lynx predation causing 65% of known mortalities after lynx re-colonized the area. Instead we found that habitat selection decreased when habitat availability increased for 2 of 5 habitat types (a pattern referred to as functional response in habitat selection). Limited impact of re-colonization by lynx on habitat selection by roe deer in this study differs from elk in North America altering both daily and seasonal patterns in habitat selection at the spatial scales of habitat patches and home ranges when wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Our study thus provides further evidence of the complexity by which animals respond to risk of predation and suggest that it may vary between ecosystems and predator-prey constellations. PMID:24069419

  10. Intercohort density dependence drives brown trout habitat selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ayllón, Daniel; Nicola, Graciela G.; Parra, Irene; Elvira, Benigno; Almodóvar, Ana

    2013-01-01

    Habitat selection can be viewed as an emergent property of the quality and availability of habitat but also of the number of individuals and the way they compete for its use. Consequently, habitat selection can change across years due to fluctuating resources or to changes in population numbers. However, habitat selection predictive models often do not account for ecological dynamics, especially density dependent processes. In stage-structured population, the strength of density dependent interactions between individuals of different age classes can exert a profound influence on population trajectories and evolutionary processes. In this study, we aimed to assess the effects of fluctuating densities of both older and younger competing life stages on the habitat selection patterns (described as univariate and multivariate resource selection functions) of young-of-the-year, juvenile and adult brown trout Salmo trutta. We observed all age classes were selective in habitat choice but changed their selection patterns across years consistently with variations in the densities of older but not of younger age classes. Trout of an age increased selectivity for positions highly selected by older individuals when their density decreased, but this pattern did not hold when the density of younger age classes varied. It suggests that younger individuals are dominated by older ones but can expand their range of selected habitats when density of competitors decreases, while older trout do not seem to consider the density of younger individuals when distributing themselves even though they can negatively affect their final performance. Since these results may entail critical implications for conservation and management practices based on habitat selection models, further research should involve a wider range of river typologies and/or longer time frames to fully understand the patterns of and the mechanisms underlying the operation of density dependence on brown trout habitat

  11. Age-related habitat selection by brown forest skinks (Sphenomorphus indicus).

    PubMed

    Zhu, Qi-Ping; Zhu, Meng-Yao; Hu, Ying-Chao; Zhang, Xue-Ya; Ding, Guo-Hua; Lin, Zhi-Hua

    2015-01-18

    In reptiles, habitat selection is the process whereby suitable habitat is selected that optimizes physiological functions and behavioral performance. Here, we used the brown forest skink (Sphenomorphus indicus) as a model animal and examined whether the frequency of active individuals, environmental temperature, illumination of activity area, and habitat type vary with different age classes. We surveyed the number of active individuals and measured environmental variables at Baiyunshan Mountain in Lishui, Zhejiang, China. We found no difference in the activity frequency of adult and juvenile S. indicus; the activity pattern of active individuals was bimodal. The mean environmental temperature selected by adults was higher than that selected by juveniles. The environmental temperature of active areas measured at 0900-1000 h and 1100-1200 h was higher than at 1400-1500 h; illumination of the active area at 1000-1200 h was also higher than at 1400 h-1600 h. The number of active individuals, the environmental temperature and illumination of activity areas showed pairwise positive correlation. There was a difference in habitat type between juveniles and adults whereby juveniles prefer rock habitats. We predict that active S. indicus select optimal habitats with different environmental temperatures and types to reach the physiological needs particular to their age classes.

  12. Age-related habitat selection by brown forest skinks (Sphenomorphus indicus)

    PubMed Central

    ZHU, Qi-Ping; ZHU, Meng-Yao; HU, Ying-Chao; ZHANG, Xue-Ya; DING, Guo-Hua; LIN, Zhi-Hua

    2015-01-01

    In reptiles, habitat selection is the process whereby suitable habitat is selected that optimizes physiological functions and behavioral performance. Here, we used the brown forest skink (Sphenomorphus indicus) as a model animal and examined whether the frequency of active individuals, environmental temperature, illumination of activity area, and habitat type vary with different age classes. We surveyed the number of active individuals and measured environmental variables at Baiyunshan Mountain in Lishui, Zhejiang, China. We found no difference in the activity frequency of adult and juvenile S. indicus; the activity pattern of active individuals was bimodal. The mean environmental temperature selected by adults was higher than that selected by juveniles. The environmental temperature of active areas measured at 0900-1000 h and 1100-1200h was higher than at 1400-1500h; illumination of the active area at 1000-1200h was also higher than at 1400h-1600 h. The number of active individuals, the environmental temperature and illumination of activity areas showed pairwise positive correlation. There was a difference in habitat type between juveniles and adults whereby juveniles prefer rock habitats. We predict that active S. indicus select optimal habitats with different environmental temperatures and types to reach the physiological needs particular to their age classes. PMID:25730458

  13. Scale-Dependent Habitat Selection and Size-Based Dominance in Adult Male American Alligators.

    PubMed

    Strickland, Bradley A; Vilella, Francisco J; Belant, Jerrold L

    2016-01-01

    Habitat selection is an active behavioral process that may vary across spatial and temporal scales. Animals choose an area of primary utilization (i.e., home range) then make decisions focused on resource needs within patches. Dominance may affect the spatial distribution of conspecifics and concomitant habitat selection. Size-dependent social dominance hierarchies have been documented in captive alligators, but evidence is lacking from wild populations. We studied habitat selection for adult male American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis; n = 17) on the Pearl River in central Mississippi, USA, to test whether habitat selection was scale-dependent and individual resource selectivity was a function of conspecific body size. We used K-select analysis to quantify selection at the home range scale and patches within the home range to determine selection congruency and important habitat variables. In addition, we used linear models to determine if body size was related to selection patterns and strengths. Our results indicated habitat selection of adult male alligators was a scale-dependent process. Alligators demonstrated greater overall selection for habitat variables at the patch level and less at the home range level, suggesting resources may not be limited when selecting a home range for animals in our study area. Further, diurnal habitat selection patterns may depend on thermoregulatory needs. There was no relationship between resource selection or home range size and body size, suggesting size-dependent dominance hierarchies may not have influenced alligator resource selection or space use in our sample. Though apparent habitat suitability and low alligator density did not manifest in an observed dominance hierarchy, we hypothesize that a change in either could increase intraspecific interactions, facilitating a dominance hierarchy. Due to the broad and diverse ecological roles of alligators, understanding the factors that influence their social dominance

  14. Scale-Dependent Habitat Selection and Size-Based Dominance in Adult Male American Alligators

    PubMed Central

    Strickland, Bradley A.; Vilella, Francisco J.; Belant, Jerrold L.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat selection is an active behavioral process that may vary across spatial and temporal scales. Animals choose an area of primary utilization (i.e., home range) then make decisions focused on resource needs within patches. Dominance may affect the spatial distribution of conspecifics and concomitant habitat selection. Size-dependent social dominance hierarchies have been documented in captive alligators, but evidence is lacking from wild populations. We studied habitat selection for adult male American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis; n = 17) on the Pearl River in central Mississippi, USA, to test whether habitat selection was scale-dependent and individual resource selectivity was a function of conspecific body size. We used K-select analysis to quantify selection at the home range scale and patches within the home range to determine selection congruency and important habitat variables. In addition, we used linear models to determine if body size was related to selection patterns and strengths. Our results indicated habitat selection of adult male alligators was a scale-dependent process. Alligators demonstrated greater overall selection for habitat variables at the patch level and less at the home range level, suggesting resources may not be limited when selecting a home range for animals in our study area. Further, diurnal habitat selection patterns may depend on thermoregulatory needs. There was no relationship between resource selection or home range size and body size, suggesting size-dependent dominance hierarchies may not have influenced alligator resource selection or space use in our sample. Though apparent habitat suitability and low alligator density did not manifest in an observed dominance hierarchy, we hypothesize that a change in either could increase intraspecific interactions, facilitating a dominance hierarchy. Due to the broad and diverse ecological roles of alligators, understanding the factors that influence their social dominance

  15. Habitat selection by postbreeding female diving ducks: Influence of habitat attributes and conspecifics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Austin, Jane E.; O'Neil, Shawn T.; Warren, Jeffrey M.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat selection studies of postbreeding waterfowl have rarely focused on within-wetland attributes such as water depth, escape cover, and food availability. Flightless waterfowl must balance habitat selection between avoiding predation risks and feeding. Reproductively successful female ducks face the greatest challenges because they begin the definitive prebasic molt at or near the end of brood rearing, when their body condition is at a low point. We assessed the relative importance of habitat attributes and group effects in habitat selection by postbreeding female lesser scaup Aythya affinis on a 2332-ha montane wetland complex during the peak flightless period (August) over seven years. Hypothesis-based habitat attributes included percent open water, open water:emergent edge density, water depth, percent flooded bare substrate, fetch (distance wind can travel unobstructed), group size, and several interactions representing functional responses to interannual variation in water levels. Surveys of uniquely marked females were conducted within randomly ordered survey blocks. We fitted two-part generalized linear mixed-effects models to counts of marked females within survey blocks, which allowed us to relate habitat attributes to relative probability of occurrence and, given the presence of a marked female, abundance of marked individuals. Postbreeding female scaup selected areas with water depths > 40 cm, large open areas, and intermediate edge densities but showed no relation to flooded bare substrate, suggesting their habitat preferences were more influenced by avoiding predation risks and disturbances than in meeting foraging needs. Grouping behavior by postbreeding scaup suggests habitat selection is influenced in part by behavioral components and/or social information, conferring energetic and survival benefits (predation and disturbance risks) but potentially also contributing to competition for food resources. This study demonstrates the importance of

  16. Habitat selection by mountain plovers in shortgrass steppe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Augustine, David J.

    2011-01-01

    Much of the breeding range for the mountain plover (Charadrius montanus) occurs in shortgrass steppe and mixed-grass prairie in the western Great Plains of North America. Studies of mountain plovers in shortgrass steppe during the 1970s and 1990s were focused in Weld County, Colorado, which was considered a key breeding area for the species. These studies, however, did not include habitats influenced by black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) or prescribed fire. The role of these 2 rangeland disturbance processes has increased substantially over the past 15 years. During 2008–2009, I used radial distance point count surveys to estimate mountain plover densities early in the nesting season in 4 habitats on public lands in Weld County, Colorado. All 4 habitats were grazed by cattle during the growing season at moderate stocking rates but had different additional disturbances consisting of 1) dormant-season prescribed burns, 2) active black-tailed prairie dog colonies, 3) black-tailed prairie dog colonies affected by epizootic plague in the past 1–2 years, and 4) rangeland with no recent history of fire or prairie dogs. Mountain plover densities were similar on active black-tailed prairie dog colonies (x = 6.8 birds/km2, 95% CI = 4.3–10.6) and prescribed burns (x = 5.6 birds/km2, 95% CI = 3.5–9.1). In contrast, no plovers were detected at randomly selected rangeland sites grazed by cattle but lacking recent disturbance by prairie dogs or fire, even though survey effort was highest for this rangeland habitat. Mountain plover densities were intermediate (2.0 birds/km2, 95% CI = 0.8–5.0) on sites where black-tailed prairie dogs had recently been extirpated by plague. These findings suggest that prescribed burns and active black-tailed prairie dog colonies may enhance breeding habitat for mountain plovers in shortgrass steppe and illustrate the potential for suppressed or altered disturbance processes to influence habitat

  17. Masticophis flagellum selects florida scrub habitat at multiple spatial scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Halstead, B.J.; Mushinsky, H.R.; McCoy, E.D.

    2009-01-01

    The use of space by individual animals strongly influences the spatial extent, abundance, and growth rates of their populations. We analyzed the spatial ecology and habitat selection of Masticophis flagellum (the coachwhip) at three different scales to determine which habitats are most important to this species. Home ranges and mean daily displacements of M. flagellum in Florida were large compared to individuals in other populations of this species. Home ranges contained a greater proportion of Florida scrub habitat than did the study site as a whole, and individuals selected Florida scrub habitat within their home ranges. For both selection of the home range within the study site and selection of habitats within the home range, mesic cutthroat and hydric swamp habitats were avoided. Standardized selection ratios of Florida scrub patches were positively correlated with lizard abundance. Several non-mutually exclusive mechanisms, including foraging success (prey abundance, prey vulnerability, and foraging efficiency), abundance of refugia, and thermoregulatory opportunity may underlie the selection of Florida scrub by M. flagellum. Historic rarity and anthropogenic loss and fragmentation of Florida scrub habitat, coupled with the long-distance movements, large home ranges, and selection of Florida scrub by M. flagellum, indicate that large contiguous tracts of land containing Florida scrub will be essential for the persistence of M. flagellum in central Florida. ?? 2009 by The Herpetologists' League, Inc.

  18. Sage-grouse habitat selection during winter in Alberta

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carpenter, J.; Aldridge, C.; Boyce, M.S.

    2010-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) are dependent on sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) for food and shelter during winter, yet few studies have assessed winter habitat selection, particularly at scales applicable to conservation planning. Small changes to availability of winter habitats have caused drastic reductions in some sage-grouse populations. We modeled winter habitat selection by sage-grouse in Alberta, Canada, by using a resource selection function. Our purpose was to 1) generate a robust winter habitat-selection model for Alberta sage-grouse; 2) spatially depict habitat suitability in a Geographic Information System to identify areas with a high probability of selection and thus, conservation importance; and 3) assess the relative influence of human development, including oil and gas wells, in landscape models of winter habitat selection. Terrain and vegetation characteristics, sagebrush cover, anthropogenic landscape features, and energy development were important in top Akaike's Information Criterionselected models. During winter, sage-grouse selected dense sagebrush cover and homogenous less rugged areas, and avoided energy development and 2-track truck trails. Sage-grouse avoidance of energy development highlights the need for comprehensive management strategies that maintain suitable habitats across all seasons. ?? 2010 The Wildlife Society.

  19. 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

  20. Can settlement in natal-like habitat explain maladaptive habitat selection?

    PubMed

    Piper, Walter H; Palmer, Michael W; Banfield, Nathan; Meyer, Michael W

    2013-08-22

    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.

  1. Selection of habitats by Emperor Geese during brood rearing

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmutz, J.A.

    2001-01-01

    Although forage quality strongly affects gosling growth and consequently juvenile survival, the relative use of different plant communities by brood rearing geese has been poorly studied. On the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska, population growth and juvenile recruitment of Emperor Geese (Chen canagica) are comparatively low, and it is unknown whether their selection of habitats during brood rearing differs from other goose species. Radio-telemetry was used to document the use of habitats by 56 families of Emperor Geese in a 70 km2 portion of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta during brood rearing in 1994-1996. When contrasted with available habitats (a set of six habitat classes), as estimated from 398 random sampling locations, Emperor Geese strongly selected Saline Ponds, Mudflat, and Ramenskii Meadow habitats and avoided Levee Meadow, Bog Meadow, and Sedge Meadow. These selected habitats were the most saline, comprised one-third of the study area, and 43% of all locations were in Ramenskii Meadow. I contrasted these Emperor Goose locations with habitats used by the composite goose community, as inferred from the presence of goose feces at random locations. The marked difference between groups in this comparison implied that Cackling Canada Geese (Branta canadensis minima) and Greater White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons) collectively selected much different brood rearing habitats than Emperor Geese. Received 20 February 2001, accepted 18 April 2001.

  2. Spawning habitat associations and selection by fishes in a flow-regulated prairie river

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brewer, S.K.; Papoulias, D.M.; Rabeni, C.F.

    2006-01-01

    We used histological features to identify the spawning chronologies of river-dwelling populations of slenderhead darter Percina phoxocephala, suckermouth minnow Phenacobius mirabilis, stonecat Noturus flavus, and red shiner Cyprinella lutrensis and to relate their reproductive status to microhabitat associations. We identified spawning and nonspawning differences in habitat associations resulting from I year of field data via logistic regression modeling and identified shifts in microhabitat selection via frequency-of-use and availability histograms. Each species demonstrated different habitat associations between spawning and nonspawning periods. The peak spawning period for slenderhead darters was April to May in high-velocity microhabitats containing cobble. Individuals were associated with similar microhabitats during the postspawn summer and began migrating to deeper habitats in the fall. Most suckermouth minnow spawned from late March through early May in shallow microhabitats. The probability of the presence of these fish in shallow habitats declined postspawn, as fish apparently shifted to deeper habitats. Stonecats conducted prespawn activities in nearshore microhabitats containing large substrates but probably moved to deeper habitats during summer to spawn. Microhabitats with shallow depths containing cobble were associated with the presence of spawning red shiners during the summer. Prespawn fish selected low-velocity microhabitats during the spring, whereas postspawn fish selected habitats similar to the spawning habitat but added a shallow depth component. Hydraulic variables had the most influence on microhabitat models for all of these species, emphasizing the importance of flow in habitat selection by river-dwelling fishes. Histological analyses allowed us to more precisely document the time periods when habitat use is critical to species success. Without evidence demonstrating the functional mechanisms behind habitat associations, protective flows

  3. Considering Spatial Scale and Reproductive Consequences of Habitat Selection when Managing Grasslands for a Threatened Species

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, Scott F.; Knapp, Shannon M.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat selection that has fitness consequences has important implications for conservation activities. For example, habitat characteristics that influence nest success in birds can be manipulated to improve habitat quality with the goal of ultimately improving reproductive success. We examined habitat selection by the threatened streaked horned lark (Eremophila alpestris strigata) at both the breeding-site (territory) and nest-site scales. Larks were selective at both spatial scales but with contrasting selection. At the territory scale, male larks selected sparsely vegetated grasslands with relatively short vegetation. At the nest-site scale, female larks selected sites within territories with higher vegetation density and more perennial forbs. These nest-site scale choices had reproductive consequences, with greater nest success in areas with higher densities of perennial forbs. We experimentally manipulated lark habitat structure in an attempt to mimic the habitat conditions selected by larks by using late summer prescribed fires. After the burn, changes in vegetation structure were in the direction preferred by larks but habitat effects attenuated by the following year. Our results highlight the importance of evaluating habitat selection at spatial scales appropriate to the species of interest, especially when attempting to improve habitat quality for rare and declining species. They also highlight the importance of conducting restoration activities in a research context. For example, because the sparsely vegetated conditions created by fire attenuate, there may be value in examining more frequent burns or hotter fires as the next management and research action. We hope the design outlined in this study will serve as an integrated research and management example for conserving grassland birds generally. PMID:27322196

  4. Considering Spatial Scale and Reproductive Consequences of Habitat Selection when Managing Grasslands for a Threatened Species.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Scott F; Knapp, Shannon M

    2016-01-01

    Habitat selection that has fitness consequences has important implications for conservation activities. For example, habitat characteristics that influence nest success in birds can be manipulated to improve habitat quality with the goal of ultimately improving reproductive success. We examined habitat selection by the threatened streaked horned lark (Eremophila alpestris strigata) at both the breeding-site (territory) and nest-site scales. Larks were selective at both spatial scales but with contrasting selection. At the territory scale, male larks selected sparsely vegetated grasslands with relatively short vegetation. At the nest-site scale, female larks selected sites within territories with higher vegetation density and more perennial forbs. These nest-site scale choices had reproductive consequences, with greater nest success in areas with higher densities of perennial forbs. We experimentally manipulated lark habitat structure in an attempt to mimic the habitat conditions selected by larks by using late summer prescribed fires. After the burn, changes in vegetation structure were in the direction preferred by larks but habitat effects attenuated by the following year. Our results highlight the importance of evaluating habitat selection at spatial scales appropriate to the species of interest, especially when attempting to improve habitat quality for rare and declining species. They also highlight the importance of conducting restoration activities in a research context. For example, because the sparsely vegetated conditions created by fire attenuate, there may be value in examining more frequent burns or hotter fires as the next management and research action. We hope the design outlined in this study will serve as an integrated research and management example for conserving grassland birds generally. PMID:27322196

  5. Effects of tide cycles on habitat selection and habitat partitioning by migrating shorebirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burger, J.; Howe, M.A.; Hahn, D.C.; Chase, J.

    1977-01-01

    We studied assemblages of feeding shorebirds in three intertidal habitats on the coast of New Jersey during August to document how species segregates patially both among and within habitats and to determine the effects of tidal cycles on these patterns. The habitats were a sandy beach facing the ocean proper (outer beach), a sandy beach on the mainland side of a barrier island (inner beach), and a small mudflat adjacent to a Spartina alternifiora salt marsh. We were able to identify several microhabitats on the outer beach and mudflat. Most speciesfe d in more than one habitat, but only two, Charadrius semipalmatus and Calidris canutus, used all three habitats regularly. Within habitats, most species exhibited strong preferences for the wettest areas, but we found differences among species in degrees of preference. The least amount of partitioning occurred on the inner beach, where birds crowded into a small zone near the water's edge and had frequent agonistic encounters suggesting intense competition. Shorebird feeding activity was partly a function of tide time: each habitat had a characteristic temporal pattern of use by shorebirds related to tide time rather than diel time; within habitats, we found species-characteristic feeding activity rhythms that were also a function of tide time. Feeding by most species peaked during the first 2 hours after low tide on the outer beach and mudflat. The results are discussed in terms of feeding strategies and interspecific competition.

  6. 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.

  7. Adaptive breeding habitat selection: Is it for the birds?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chalfoun, Anna D.; Schmidt, Kenneth A.

    2012-01-01

    The question of why animals choose particular habitats has important implications for understanding behavioral evolution and distribution of organisms in the wild and for delineating between habitats of different quality for conservation and management. Habitats chosen by animals can influence fitness outcomes via the costs (e.g., predation risk) and benefits (e.g., food availability) of habitat use. Habitat preferences should therefore be under selection to favor those that confer fitness advantages (Clark and Shutler 1999). Indeed, prevailing theory suggests that the habitat preferences of animals should be adaptive, such that fitness is higher in preferred habitats (Hildén 1965, Southwood 1977, Martin 1998). However, studies have often identified apparent mismatches between observed habitat preferences and fitness outcomes across a wide variety of taxa (Valladares and Lawton 1991, Mayhew 1997, Kolbe and Janzen 2002, Arlt and Pärt 2007, Mägi et al. 2009). Certainly, one limitation of studies may be that assessment of “fitness” is typically constrained to fitness surrogates such as nest success rather than lifetime reproductive success or classic Fisherian fitness (Endler 1986). Nevertheless, important habitat choices such as nest sites influence the probability that temporarily sedentary, dependent young are discovered by enemies such as predators and parasites. We therefore expect, on average, to see congruence between evolved habitat preferences and relevant components of fitness (e.g., nest success). Here, we (1) review the prevalence of apparent mismatches between avian breeding-habitat preferences and fitness outcomes using nest-site selection as a focus; (2) describe several potential mechanisms for such mismatches, including anthropogenic, methodological, and ecological–evolutionary; and (3) suggest a framework for understanding the contexts in which habitat preferences represent adaptive decisions, with a primary focus on ecological information

  8. Greater sage-grouse winter habitat selection and energy development

    SciTech Connect

    Doherty, K.E.; Naugle, D.E.; Walker, B.L.; Graham, J.M.

    2008-01-15

    Recent energy development has resulted in rapid and large-scale changes to western shrub-steppe ecosystems without a complete understanding of its potential impacts on wildlife populations. We modeled winter habitat use by female greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the Powder River Basin (PRB) of Wyoming and Montana, USA, to 1) identify landscape features that influenced sage-grouse habitat selection, 2) assess the scale at which selection occurred, 3) spatially depict winter habitat quality in a Geographic Information System, and 4) assess the effect of coal-bed natural gas (CBNG) development on winter habitat selection. We developed a model of winter habitat selection based on 435 aerial relocations of 200 radiomarked female sage-grouse obtained during the winters of 2005 and 2006. Percent sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) cover on the landscape was an important predictor of use by sage-grouse in winter. Sage-grouse were 1.3 times more likely to occupy sagebrush habitats that lacked CBNG wells within a 4-km{sup 2} area, compared to those that had the maximum density of 12.3 wells per 4 km{sup 2} allowed on federal lands. We validated the model with 74 locations from 74 radiomarked individuals obtained during the winters of 2004 and 2007. This winter habitat model based on vegetation, topography, and CBNG avoidance was highly predictive (validation R{sup 2} = 0.984). Our spatially explicit model can be used to identify areas that provide the best remaining habitat for wintering sage-grouse in the PRB to mitigate impacts of energy development.

  9. Habitat selection of Rocky Mountain elk in a nonforested environment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sawyer, H.; Nielson, R.M.; Lindzey, F.G.; Keith, L.; Powell, J.H.; Abraham, A.A.

    2007-01-01

    Recent expansions by Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus) into nonforested habitats across the Intermountain West have required managers to reconsider the traditional paradigms of forage and cover as they relate to managing elk and their habitats. We examined seasonal habitat selection patterns of a hunted elk population in a nonforested high-desert region of southwestern Wyoming, USA. We used 35,246 global positioning system locations collected from 33 adult female elk to model probability of use as a function of 6 habitat variables: slope, aspect, elevation, habitat diversity, distance to shrub cover, and distance to road. We developed resource selection probability functions for individual elk, and then we averaged the coefficients to estimate population-level models for summer and winter periods. We used the population-level models to generate predictive maps by assigning pixels across the study area to 1 of 4 use categories (i.e., high, medium-high, medium-low, or low), based on quartiles of the predictions. Model coefficients and predictive maps indicated that elk selected for summer habitats characterized by higher elevations in areas of high vegetative diversity, close to shrub cover, northerly aspects, moderate slopes, and away from roads. Winter habitat selection patterns were similar, except elk shifted to areas with lower elevations and southerly aspects. We validated predictive maps by using 528 locations collected from an independent sample of radiomarked elk (n = 55) and calculating the proportion of locations that occurred in each of the 4 use categories. Together, the high- and medium-high use categories of the summer and winter predictive maps contained 92% and 74% of summer and winter elk locations, respectively. Our population-level models and associated predictive maps were successful in predicting winter and summer habitat use by elk in a nonforested environment. In the absence of forest cover, elk seemed to rely on a combination of shrubs

  10. Information-Mediated Allee Effects in Breeding Habitat Selection.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Kenneth A; Johansson, Jacob; Betts, Matthew G

    2015-12-01

    Social information is used widely in breeding habitat selection and provides an efficient means for individuals to select habitat, but the population-level consequences of this process are not well explored. At low population densities, efficiencies may be reduced because there are insufficient information providers to cue high-quality habitat. This constitutes what we call an information-mediated Allee effect. We present the first general model for an information-mediated Allee effect applied to breeding habitat selection and unify personal and social information, Allee effects, and ecological traps into a common framework. In a second model, we consider an explicit mechanism of social information gathering through prospecting on conspecific breeding performance. In each model, we independently vary personal and social information use to demonstrate how dependency on social information may result in either weak or strong Allee effects that, in turn, affect population extinction risk. Abrupt transitions between outcomes can occur through reduced information transfer or small changes in habitat composition. Overall, information-mediated Allee effects may produce positive feedbacks that amplify population declines in species that are already experiencing environmentally driven stressors, such as habitat loss and degradation. Alternatively, social information has the capacity to rescue populations from ecological traps.

  11. Weather Conditions Drive Dynamic Habitat Selection in a Generalist Predator

    PubMed Central

    Sunde, Peter; Thorup, Kasper; Jacobsen, Lars B.; Rahbek, Carsten

    2014-01-01

    Despite the dynamic nature of habitat selection, temporal variation as arising from factors such as weather are rarely quantified in species-habitat relationships. We analysed habitat use and selection (use/availability) of foraging, radio-tagged little owls (Athene noctua), a nocturnal, year-round resident generalist predator, to see how this varied as a function of weather, season and availability. Use of the two most frequently used land cover types, gardens/buildings and cultivated fields varied more than 3-fold as a simple function of season and weather through linear effects of wind and quadratic effects of temperature. Even when controlling for the temporal context, both land cover types were used more evenly than predicted from variation in availability (functional response in habitat selection). Use of two other land cover categories (pastures and moist areas) increased linearly with temperature and was proportional to their availability. The study shows that habitat selection by generalist foragers may be highly dependent on temporal variables such as weather, probably because such foragers switch between weather dependent feeding opportunities offered by different land cover types. An opportunistic foraging strategy in a landscape with erratically appearing feeding opportunities in different land cover types, may possibly also explain decreasing selection of the two most frequently used land cover types with increasing availability. PMID:24516615

  12. Weather conditions drive dynamic habitat selection in a generalist predator.

    PubMed

    Sunde, Peter; Thorup, Kasper; Jacobsen, Lars B; Rahbek, Carsten

    2014-01-01

    Despite the dynamic nature of habitat selection, temporal variation as arising from factors such as weather are rarely quantified in species-habitat relationships. We analysed habitat use and selection (use/availability) of foraging, radio-tagged little owls (Athene noctua), a nocturnal, year-round resident generalist predator, to see how this varied as a function of weather, season and availability. Use of the two most frequently used land cover types, gardens/buildings and cultivated fields varied more than 3-fold as a simple function of season and weather through linear effects of wind and quadratic effects of temperature. Even when controlling for the temporal context, both land cover types were used more evenly than predicted from variation in availability (functional response in habitat selection). Use of two other land cover categories (pastures and moist areas) increased linearly with temperature and was proportional to their availability. The study shows that habitat selection by generalist foragers may be highly dependent on temporal variables such as weather, probably because such foragers switch between weather dependent feeding opportunities offered by different land cover types. An opportunistic foraging strategy in a landscape with erratically appearing feeding opportunities in different land cover types, may possibly also explain decreasing selection of the two most frequently used land cover types with increasing availability.

  13. Multi-scale habitat selection of the endangered Hawaiian Goose

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leopold, Christina R.; Hess, Steven C.

    2013-01-01

    After a severe population reduction during the mid-20th century, the endangered Hawaiian Goose (Branta sandvicensis), or Nēnē, has only recently re-established its seasonal movement patterns on Hawai‘i Island. Little is currently understood about its movements and habitat use during the nonbreeding season. The objectives of this research were to identify habitats preferred by two subpopulations of the Nēnē and how preferences shift seasonally at both meso-and fine scales. From 2009 to 2011, ten Nēnē ganders were outfitted with 40-to 45-g satellite transmitters with GPS capability. We used binary logistic regression to compare habitat use versus availability and an information-theoretic approach for model selection. Meso-scale habitat modeling revealed that Nēnē preferred exotic grass and human-modified landscapes during the breeding and molting seasons and native subalpine shrubland during the nonbreeding season. Fine-scale habitat modeling further indicated preference for exotic grass, bunch grass, and absence of trees. Proximity to water was important during molt, suggesting that the presence of water may provide escape from introduced mammalian predators while Nēnē are flightless. Finescale species-composition data added relatively little to understanding of Nēnē habitat preferences modeled at the meso scale, suggesting that the meso-scale is appropriate for management planning. Habitat selection during our study was consistent with historical records, although dissimilar from more recent studies of other subpopulations. Nēnē make pronounced seasonal movements between existing reserves and use distinct habitat types; understanding annual patterns has implications for the protection and restoration of important seasonal habitats.

  14. 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

  15. The spatial scaling of habitat selection by African elephants.

    PubMed

    de Knegt, Henrik J; van Langevelde, Frank; Skidmore, Andrew K; Delsink, Audrey; Slotow, Rob; Henley, Steve; Bucini, Gabriela; de Boer, Willem F; Coughenour, Michael B; Grant, Cornelia C; Heitkönig, Ignas M A; Henley, Michelle; Knox, Nicky M; Kohi, Edward M; Mwakiwa, Emmanuel; Page, Bruce R; Peel, Mike; Pretorius, Yolanda; van Wieren, Sipke E; Prins, Herbert H T

    2011-01-01

    1. Understanding and accurately predicting the spatial patterns of habitat use by organisms is important for ecological research, biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management. However, this understanding is complicated by the effects of spatial scale, because the scale of analysis affects the quantification of species-environment relationships. 2. We therefore assessed the influence of environmental context (i.e. the characteristics of the landscape surrounding a site), varied over a large range of scales (i.e. ambit radii around focal sites), on the analysis and prediction of habitat selection by African elephants in Kruger National Park, South Africa. 3. We focused on the spatial scaling of the elephants' response to their main resources, forage and water, and found that the quantification of habitat selection strongly depended on the scales at which environmental context was considered. Moreover, the inclusion of environmental context at characteristic scales (i.e. those at which habitat selectivity was maximized) increased the predictive capacity of habitat suitability models. 4. The elephants responded to their environment in a scale-dependent and perhaps hierarchical manner, with forage characteristics driving habitat selection at coarse spatial scales, and surface water at fine spatial scales. 5. Furthermore, the elephants exhibited sexual habitat segregation, mainly in relation to vegetation characteristics. Male elephants preferred areas with high tree cover and low herbaceous biomass, whereas this pattern was reversed for female elephants. 6. We show that the spatial distribution of elephants can be better understood and predicted when scale-dependent species-environment relationships are explicitly considered. This demonstrates the importance of considering the influence of spatial scale on the analysis of spatial patterning in ecological phenomena.

  16. Scale-dependent habitat selection in migratory frugivorous passerines.

    PubMed

    Sapir, Nir; Abramsky, Zvika; Shochat, Eyal; Izhaki, Ido

    2004-11-01

    Frugivorous migrants may select fruit-rich habitats en route to attain high food rewards, yet their stopover behavior may also be shaped by other considerations, such as predation risk. During 1996-2001 we investigated autumn stopover habitat use of three Sylvia warblers (sylviids; S. hortensis, S. atricapilla and S. curruca) and three Turdidae chats (turdids; Cercotrichas galactotes, Oenanthe hispanica and Phoenicurus phoenicurus) in planted groves of the fruiting tree Pistacia atlantica in Lahav Forest, Israel, which is located at the edge of a desert. We used fecal analysis, a constant-effort trapping scheme and field observations to estimate the extent of frugivory, and bird habitat and microhabitat selection with regard to natural fruit and foliage densities. We also measured bird microhabitat selection in a set of fruit-manipulated trees. We trapped a total of 2,357 birds during the course of the study. Although sylviids exhibited higher frugivory level than turdids, both species groups exhibited a similar significantly positive correlation between bird and fruit densities at the habitat scale. However, at the microhabitat scale, sylviids selected densely foliated trees, whilst turdids were randomly distributed among trees. Our findings suggest that both species groups selected fruit-rich stopover habitats to take advantage of the high food availability before the demanding migration journey. No other mechanism except predation avoidance can explain the sylviids' microhabitat selection; the migrants used foliage cover to reduce bird detectability by raptors. We conclude that en route passerines may use staging habitats in a sophisticated manner, by adopting scale-related behavior with regard to the availability of food and refuge cover.

  17. Scale-dependent habitat selection in migratory frugivorous passerines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sapir, Nir; Abramsky, Zvika; Shochat, Eyal; Izhaki, Ido

    2004-11-01

    Frugivorous migrants may select fruit-rich habitats en route to attain high food rewards, yet their stopover behavior may also be shaped by other considerations, such as predation risk. During 1996 2001 we investigated autumn stopover habitat use of three Sylvia warblers (sylviids; S. hortensis, S. atricapilla and S. curruca) and three Turdidae chats (turdids; Cercotrichas galactotes, Oenanthe hispanica and Phoenicurus phoenicurus) in planted groves of the fruiting tree Pistacia atlantica in Lahav Forest, Israel, which is located at the edge of a desert. We used fecal analysis, a constant-effort trapping scheme and field observations to estimate the extent of frugivory, and bird habitat and microhabitat selection with regard to natural fruit and foliage densities. We also measured bird microhabitat selection in a set of fruit-manipulated trees. We trapped a total of 2,357 birds during the course of the study. Although sylviids exhibited higher frugivory level than turdids, both species groups exhibited a similar significantly positive correlation between bird and fruit densities at the habitat scale. However, at the microhabitat scale, sylviids selected densely foliated trees, whilst turdids were randomly distributed among trees. Our findings suggest that both species groups selected fruit-rich stopover habitats to take advantage of the high food availability before the demanding migration journey. No other mechanism except predation avoidance can explain the sylviids’ microhabitat selection; the migrants used foliage cover to reduce bird detectability by raptors. We conclude that en route passerines may use staging habitats in a sophisticated manner, by adopting scale-related behavior with regard to the availability of food and refuge cover.

  18. Multiscale habitat selection by Ruffed Grouse at low population densities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zimmerman, G.S.; Gutierrez, R.J.; Thogmartin, W.E.; Banerjee, S.

    2009-01-01

    Theory suggests habitats should be chosen according to their relative evolutionary benefits and costs. It has been hypothesized that aspen (Populus spp.) forests provide optimal habitat for Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus). We used the low phase of a grouse population's cycle to assess the prediction that grouse should occupy aspen and avoid other forest types at low population density because of the presumptive fitness benefits of aspen. On the basis of our observations, we predict how the Ruffed Grouse population will increase in different forest types during the next cycle. In conifer (Pinus spp., Abies balsamea, Picea spp.)-dominated and mixed aspen-conifer landscapes, grouse densities were highest where forest types were evenly distributed. Within these landscapes, male Ruffed Grouse selected young aspen stands that were large and round or square. Although Ruffed Grouse selected young aspen stands strongly, contrary to prediction, they also used other forest types even when young aspen stands remained unoccupied. The relative densities of Ruffed Grouse in aspen and conifer forests indicated that the aspen forest's carrying capacities for grouse was higher than the conifer forest's at least during the low and declining phases of the grouse's cycle. On the basis of our observations, we predict that Ruffed Grouse populations in aspen-dominated landscapes will have higher population densities and fluctuate more than will populations in conifer-dominated landscapes. We suggest that studies of avian habitat selection would benefit from knowledge about the relative densities among habitats at differing population sizes because this information could provide insight into the role of habitat in regulating populations and clarify inferences from studies about habitat quality for birds. ?? 2009 by The Cooper Ornithological Society. All rights reserved.

  19. Spatial use and habitat selection of golden eagles in southwestern Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Marzluff, J.M.; Knick, Steven T.; Vekasy, M.S.; Schueck, Linda S.; Zarriello, T.J.

    1997-01-01

    We measured spatial use and habitat selection of radio-tagged Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) at eight to nine territories each year from 1992 to 1994 in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. Use of space did not vary between years or sexes, but did vary among seasons (home ranges and travel distances were larger during the nonbreeding than during the breeding season) and among individuals. Home ranges were large, ranging from 190 to 8,330 ha during the breeding season and from 1,370 to 170,000 ha outside of the breeding season, but activity was concentrated in small core areas of 30 to 1,535 ha and 485 to 6,380 ha during the breeding and nonbreeding seasons, respectively. Eagles selected shrub habitats and avoided disturbed areas, grasslands, and agriculture. This resulted in selection for habitat likely to contain their principal prey, black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus). Individuals with home ranges in extensive shrubland (n = 3) did not select for shrubs in the placement of their core areas or foraging points, but individuals in highly fragmented or dispersed shrublands (n = 5) concentrated their activities and foraged preferentially in jackrabbit habitats (i.e. areas with abundant and large shrub patches). As home ranges expanded outside of the breeding season, individuals selected jackrabbit habitats within their range. Shrubland fragmentation should be minimized so that remaining shrub patches are large enough to support jackrabbits.

  20. Habitat Selection and Post-Release Movement of Reintroduced Brown Treecreeper Individuals in Restored Temperate Woodland

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Victoria A.; Doerr, Veronica A. J.; Doerr, Erik D.; Manning, Adrian D.; Lindenmayer, David B.; Yoon, Hwan-Jin

    2012-01-01

    It is essential to choose suitable habitat when reintroducing a species into its former range. Habitat quality may influence an individual’s dispersal decisions and also ultimately where they choose to settle. We examined whether variation in habitat quality (quantified by the level of ground vegetation cover and the installation of nest boxes) influenced the movement, habitat choice and survival of a reintroduced bird species. We experimentally reintroduced seven social groups (43 individuals) of the brown treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus) into two nature reserves in south-eastern Australia. We radio-tracked 18 brown treecreepers from release in November 2009 until February 2010. We observed extensive movements by individuals irrespective of the release environment or an individual’s gender. This indicated that individuals were capable of dispersing and actively selecting optimum habitat. This may alleviate pressure on wildlife planners to accurately select the most optimum release sites, so long as the species’ requirements are met. There was significant variation in movement between social groups, suggesting that social factors may be a more important influence on movement than habitat characteristics. We found a significant effect of ground vegetation cover on the likelihood of settlement by social groups, with high rates of settlement and survival in dry forests, rather than woodland (where the species typically resides), which has implications for the success of woodland restoration. However, overall the effects of variation in habitat quality were not as strong as we had expected, and resulted in some unpredicted effects such as low survival and settlement in woodland areas with medium levels of ground vegetation cover. The extensive movement by individuals and unforeseen effects of habitat characteristics make it difficult to predict the outcome of reintroductions, the movement behaviour and habitat selection of reintroduced individuals, particularly

  1. Habitat selection predicts genetic relatedness in an alpine ungulate.

    PubMed

    Shafer, Aaron B A; Northrup, Joseph M; White, Kevin S; Boyce, Mark S; Côté, Steeve D; Coltman, David W

    2012-06-01

    Landscape heterogeneity plays an integral role in shaping ecological and evolutionary processes. Despite links between the two disciplines, ecologists and population geneticists have taken different approaches to evaluating habitat selection, animal movement, and gene flow across the landscape. Ecologists commonly use statistical models such as resource selection functions (RSFs) to identify habitat features disproportionately selected by animals, whereas population genetic approaches model genetic differentiation according to the distribution of habitat variables. We combined ecological and genetic approaches by using RSFs to predict genetic relatedness across a heterogeneous landscape. We constructed sex- and season-specific resistance surfaces based on RSFs estimated using data from 102 GPS (global positioning system) radio-collared mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus) in southeast Alaska, USA. Based on mountain goat ecology, we hypothesized that summer and male surfaces would be the best predictors of relatedness. All individuals were genotyped at 22 microsatellite loci, which we used to estimate genetic relatedness. Summer resistance surfaces derived from RSFs were the best predictors of genetic relatedness, and winter models the poorest. Mountain goats generally selected for areas close to escape terrain and with a high heat load (a metric related to vegetative productivity and snow depth), while avoiding valleys. Male- and female-specific surfaces were similar, except for winter, for which male habitat selection better predicted genetic relatedness. The null models of isolation-by-distance and barrier only outperformed the winter models. This study merges high-resolution individual locations through GPS telemetry and genetic data, that can be used to validate and parameterize landscape genetics models, and further elucidates the relationship between landscape heterogeneity and genetic differentiation. PMID:22834373

  2. Habitat selection predicts genetic relatedness in an alpine ungulate.

    PubMed

    Shafer, Aaron B A; Northrup, Joseph M; White, Kevin S; Boyce, Mark S; Côté, Steeve D; Coltman, David W

    2012-06-01

    Landscape heterogeneity plays an integral role in shaping ecological and evolutionary processes. Despite links between the two disciplines, ecologists and population geneticists have taken different approaches to evaluating habitat selection, animal movement, and gene flow across the landscape. Ecologists commonly use statistical models such as resource selection functions (RSFs) to identify habitat features disproportionately selected by animals, whereas population genetic approaches model genetic differentiation according to the distribution of habitat variables. We combined ecological and genetic approaches by using RSFs to predict genetic relatedness across a heterogeneous landscape. We constructed sex- and season-specific resistance surfaces based on RSFs estimated using data from 102 GPS (global positioning system) radio-collared mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus) in southeast Alaska, USA. Based on mountain goat ecology, we hypothesized that summer and male surfaces would be the best predictors of relatedness. All individuals were genotyped at 22 microsatellite loci, which we used to estimate genetic relatedness. Summer resistance surfaces derived from RSFs were the best predictors of genetic relatedness, and winter models the poorest. Mountain goats generally selected for areas close to escape terrain and with a high heat load (a metric related to vegetative productivity and snow depth), while avoiding valleys. Male- and female-specific surfaces were similar, except for winter, for which male habitat selection better predicted genetic relatedness. The null models of isolation-by-distance and barrier only outperformed the winter models. This study merges high-resolution individual locations through GPS telemetry and genetic data, that can be used to validate and parameterize landscape genetics models, and further elucidates the relationship between landscape heterogeneity and genetic differentiation.

  3. Adaptation and habitat selection in the eco-evolutionary process

    PubMed Central

    Morris, Douglas W.

    2011-01-01

    The struggle for existence occurs through the vital rates of population growth. This basic fact demonstrates the tight connection between ecology and evolution that defines the emerging field of eco-evolutionary dynamics. An effective synthesis of the interdependencies between ecology and evolution is grounded in six principles. The mechanics of evolution specifies the origin and rules governing traits and evolutionary strategies. Traits and evolutionary strategies achieve their selective value through their functional relationships with fitness. Function depends on the underlying structure of variation and the temporal, spatial and organizational scales of evolution. An understanding of how changes in traits and strategies occur requires conjoining ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Adaptation merges these five pillars to achieve a comprehensive understanding of ecological and evolutionary change. I demonstrate the value of this world-view with reference to the theory and practice of habitat selection. The theory allows us to assess evolutionarily stable strategies and states of habitat selection, and to draw the adaptive landscapes for habitat-selecting species. The landscapes can then be used to forecast future evolution under a variety of climate change and other scenarios. PMID:21613295

  4. Habitat selection by tundra swans on Northern Alaska breeding grounds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Earnst, Susan L.; Rothe, T.

    2004-01-01

    Habitat selection by the Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) was evaluated on the Colville River Delta prior to oil field development (1982-1989). Tundra Swan territories comprised a lake, used for refuge and foraging, and terrestrial habitats and ponds near the lakea??s perimeter used for foraging and nesting. Tundra swan sightings from early and late summer aerial surveys were used to investigate habitat selection at the territory and within-territory scale. At the territory or lake scale, swan sightings/lake increased with lake size, and increased from discrete to tapped (i.e., connected to a river channel) to drained lakes within size categories. Overall, 49% of the variation in swan sightings/lake was explained by lake size and type, a size-x-type interaction term, and the proportion of lake perimeter comprised of Halophytic Ponds and Halophytic Wet Meadows. At the within-territory or within-lake scale, foraging swans significantly selected Halophytic Ponds, Halophytic Wet Meadows, and Fresh Ponds relative to Uplands; nesting swans significantly selected Halophytic Ponds and significantly avoided Fresh Wet Meadows relative to Uplands. Vegetation sampling indicated that sites used by Tundra Swans on river channels and tapped lakes were significantly more likely to have Sheathed Pondweed (Potamogeton vaginatus) than control sites. The three major components of Tundra Swan diet were Carex sedges, Sheathed Pondweed, and algae, together comprising 85% of identifiable plant fragments in feces.

  5. Defining the scale of habitat availability for models of habitat selection.

    PubMed

    Paton, Robert Stephen; Matthiopoulos, Jason

    2016-05-01

    Statistical models of habitat preference and species distribution (e.g., Resource Selection Functions and Maximum Entropy approaches) perform a quantitative comparison of the use of space with the availability of all habitats in an animal's environment. However, not all of space is accessible all of the time to all individuals, so availability is in fact determined by limitations in animal perception and mobility. Therefore, measuring habitat availability at biologically relevant scales is essential for understanding preference, but herein lies a trade-off: Models fitted at large spatial scales, will tend to average across the responses of different individuals that happen to be in regions with contrasting habitat compositions. We suggest that such models may fail to capture local extremes (hotspots and coldspots) in animal usage and call this potential problem, homogenization. In contrast, models fitted at smaller scales will vary stochastically depending on the particular habitat composition of their narrow spatial neighborhood, and hence fail to describe responses when predicting for different sampling instances. This is the now well-documented issue of non-transferability of habitat models. We illustrate this tradeoff, using a range of simulated experiments, incorporating variations in environmental gradients, richness and fragmentation. We propose diagnostics for detecting the two issues of homogenization and non-transferability and show that these scale-related symptoms are likely to be more pronounced in highly fragmented or steeply graded landscapes. Further, we address these problems by treating the neighborhood of each cell in the landscape grid as an individual sampling instance (with its own neighborhood), hence allowing coefficients to respond to the local expectations of environmental variables according to a Generalized Functional Response (GFR). Under simulation this approach is consistently better at estimating robust (i.e., transferable) habitat

  6. Defining the scale of habitat availability for models of habitat selection.

    PubMed

    Paton, Robert Stephen; Matthiopoulos, Jason

    2016-05-01

    Statistical models of habitat preference and species distribution (e.g., Resource Selection Functions and Maximum Entropy approaches) perform a quantitative comparison of the use of space with the availability of all habitats in an animal's environment. However, not all of space is accessible all of the time to all individuals, so availability is in fact determined by limitations in animal perception and mobility. Therefore, measuring habitat availability at biologically relevant scales is essential for understanding preference, but herein lies a trade-off: Models fitted at large spatial scales, will tend to average across the responses of different individuals that happen to be in regions with contrasting habitat compositions. We suggest that such models may fail to capture local extremes (hotspots and coldspots) in animal usage and call this potential problem, homogenization. In contrast, models fitted at smaller scales will vary stochastically depending on the particular habitat composition of their narrow spatial neighborhood, and hence fail to describe responses when predicting for different sampling instances. This is the now well-documented issue of non-transferability of habitat models. We illustrate this tradeoff, using a range of simulated experiments, incorporating variations in environmental gradients, richness and fragmentation. We propose diagnostics for detecting the two issues of homogenization and non-transferability and show that these scale-related symptoms are likely to be more pronounced in highly fragmented or steeply graded landscapes. Further, we address these problems by treating the neighborhood of each cell in the landscape grid as an individual sampling instance (with its own neighborhood), hence allowing coefficients to respond to the local expectations of environmental variables according to a Generalized Functional Response (GFR). Under simulation this approach is consistently better at estimating robust (i.e., transferable) habitat

  7. 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.

  8. Phytochemistry predicts habitat selection by an avian herbivore at multiple spatial scales.

    PubMed

    Frye, Graham G; Connelly, John W; Musil, David D; Forbey, Jennifer S

    2013-02-01

    Animal habitat selection is a process that functions at multiple, hierarchically. structured spatial scales. Thus multi-scale analyses should be the basis for inferences about factors driving the habitat selection process. Vertebrate herbivores forage selectively on the basis of phytochemistry, but few studies have investigated the influence of selective foraging (i.e., fine-scale habitat selection) on habitat selection at larger scales. We tested the hypothesis that phytochemistry is integral to the habitat selection process for vertebrate herbivores. We predicted that habitats selected at three spatial scales would be characterized by higher nutrient concentrations and lower concentrations of plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) than unused habitats. We used the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), an avian herbivore with a seasonally specialized diet of sagebrush, to test our hypothesis. Sage-Grouse selected a habitat type (black sagebrush, Artemisia nova) with lower PSM concentrations than the alternative (Wyoming big sagebrush, A. tridentata wyomingensis). Within black sagebrush habitat, Sage-Grouse selected patches and individual plants within those patches that were higher in nutrient concentrations and lower in PSM concentrations than those not used. Our results provide the first evidence for multi-scale habitat selection by an avian herbivore on the basis of phytochemistry, and they suggest that phytochemistry may be a fundamental driver of habitat selection for vertebrate herbivores.

  9. Home range dynamics, habitat selection, and survival of Greater Roadrunners

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kelley, S.W.; Ransom, D.; Butcher, J.A.; Schulz, G.G.; Surber, B.W.; Pinchak, W.E.; Santamaria, C.A.; Hurtado, L.A.

    2011-01-01

    Greater Roadrunners (Geococcyx californianus) are common, poorly studied birds of arid and semi-arid ecosystems in the southwestern United States. Conservation of this avian predator requires a detailed understanding of their movements and spatial requirements that is currently lacking. From 2006 to 2009, we quantified home-range and core area sizes and overlap, habitat selection, and survival of roadrunners (N= 14 males and 20 females) in north-central Texas using radio-telemetry and fixed kernel estimators. Median home-range and core-area sizes were 90.4 ha and 19.2 ha for males and 80.1 ha and 16.7 ha for females, respectively. The size of home range and core areas did not differ significantly by either sex or season. Our home range estimates were twice as large (x??= 108.9 ha) as earlier published estimates based on visual observations (x??= 28-50 ha). Mean percent overlap was 38.4% for home ranges and 13.7% for core areas. Male roadrunners preferred mesquite woodland and mesquite savanna cover types, and avoided the grass-forb cover type. Female roadrunners preferred mesquite savanna and riparian woodland cover types, and avoided grass-forb habitat. Kaplan-Meier annual survival probabilities for females (0.452 ?? 0.118[SE]) were twice that estimated for males (0.210 ?? 0.108), but this difference was not significant. Mortality rates of male roadrunners were higher than those of females during the spring when males call from elevated perches, court females, and chase competing males. Current land use practices that target woody-shrub removal to enhance livestock forage production could be detrimental to roadrunner populations by reducing availability of mesquite woodland and mesquite savanna habitat required for nesting and roosting and increasing the amount of grass-forb habitat that roadrunners avoid. ??2011 The Authors. Journal of Field Ornithology ??2011 Association of Field Ornithologists.

  10. Multiscale habitat use and selection in cooperatively breeding Micronesian kingfishers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kesler, D.C.; Haig, S.M.

    2007-01-01

    Information about the interaction between behavior and landscape resources is key to directing conservation management for endangered species. We studied multi-scale occurrence, habitat use, and selection in a cooperatively breeding population of Micronesian kingfishers (Todiramphus cinnamominus) on the island of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. At the landscape level, point-transect surveys resulted in kingfisher detection frequencies that were higher than those reported in 1994, although they remained 15-40% lower than 1983 indices. Integration of spatially explicit vegetation information with survey results indicated that kingfisher detections were positively associated with the amount of wet forest and grass-urban vegetative cover, and they were negatively associated with agricultural forest, secondary vegetation, and upland forest cover types. We used radiotelemetry and remote sensing to evaluate habitat use by individual kingfishers at the home-range scale. A comparison of habitats in Micronesian kingfisher home ranges with those in randomly placed polygons illustrated that birds used more forested areas than were randomly available in the immediate surrounding area. Further, members of cooperatively breeding groups included more forest in their home ranges than birds in pair-breeding territories, and forested portions of study areas appeared to be saturated with territories. Together, these results suggested that forest habitats were limited for Micronesian kingfishers. Thus, protecting and managing forests is important for the restoration of Micronesian kingfishers to the island of Guam (United States Territory), where they are currently extirpated, as well as to maintaining kingfisher populations on the islands of Pohnpei and Palau. Results further indicated that limited forest resources may restrict dispersal opportunities and, therefore, play a role in delayed dispersal and cooperative behaviors in Micronesian kingfishers.

  11. Behavioural cues surpass habitat factors in explaining prebreeding resource selection by a migratory diving duck

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Neil, Shawn T.; Warren, Jeffrey M.; Takekawa, John Y.; De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Cutting, Kyle A.; Parker, Michael W.; Yee, Julie L.

    2014-01-01

    Prebreeding habitat selection in birds can often be explained in part by habitat characteristics. However, females may also select habitats on the basis of fidelity to areas of previous reproductive success or use by conspecifics. The relative influences of sociobehavioural attributes versus habitat characteristics in habitat selection has been primarily investigated in songbirds, while less is known about how these factors affect habitat selection processes in migratory waterfowl. Animal resource selection models often exhibit much unexplained variation; spatial patterns driven by social and behavioural characteristics may account for some of this. We radiomarked female lesser scaup, Aythya affinis, in the southwestern extent of their breeding range to explore hypotheses regarding relative roles of habitat quality, site fidelity and conspecific density in prebreeding habitat selection. We used linear mixed-effects models to relate intensity of use within female home ranges to habitat features, distance to areas of reproductive success during the previous breeding season and conspecific density. Home range habitats included shallow water (≤118 cm), moderate to high densities of flooded emergent vegetation/open water edge and open water areas with submerged aquatic vegetation. Compared with habitat features, conspecific female density and proximity to successful nesting habitats from the previous breeding season had greater influences on habitat use within home ranges. Fidelity and conspecific attraction are behavioural characteristics in some waterfowl species that may exert a greater influence than habitat features in influencing prebreeding space use and habitat selection within home ranges, particularly where quality habitat is abundant. These processes may be of critical importance to a better understanding of habitat selection in breeding birds.

  12. Pesticide alters habitat selection and aquatic community composition.

    PubMed

    Vonesh, James R; Kraus, Johanna M

    2009-05-01

    Anthropogenic chemical contamination is an important issue for conservation of aquatic ecosystems. While recent research highlights that community context can mediate the consequences of contaminant exposure, little is known about how contaminants themselves might determine this context by altering habitat selection and thus initial community composition. Here we show that the insecticide carbaryl and its commercial counterpart Sevin can affect aquatic community composition by differentially altering oviposition and colonization of experimental pools by amphibians and insects. On average, contaminated pools received 20-fold more adult beetle and heteropteran colonists and 12-fold more Culex mosquito and chironomid midge egg masses. On the other hand, ovipositing Anopheles mosquitoes and cricket frogs showed no preference and we have shown previously that gray treefrogs strongly avoid contaminated pools. Overall, initial richness doubled in contaminated pools compared with controls. By affecting colonizing taxa differently and increasing richness, the contaminant may alter the ecological context under which subsequent effects of exposure will unfold. Given that community context is important for evaluating toxicity effects, understanding the net effects of contaminants in natural systems requires an understanding of their effects on community assembly via shifts in habitat selection.

  13. Temperature-associated habitat selection in a cold-water marine fish.

    PubMed

    Freitas, Carla; Olsen, Esben M; Knutsen, Halvor; Albretsen, Jon; Moland, Even

    2016-05-01

    Habitat selection is a complex process, which involves behavioural decisions guided by the multiple needs and constraints faced by individuals. Climate-induced changes in environmental conditions may alter those trade-offs and resulting habitat use patterns. In this study, we investigated the effect of sea temperature on habitat selection and habitat use of acoustically tagged Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) at the Norwegian Skagerrak coast. Significant relationships between ocean temperature and habitat selection and use were found. Under favourable sea temperature thresholds (<16 °C), cod selected vegetated habitats, such as eelgrass and macroalgae beds, available in shallow areas. Selection for those habitats was especially high at night, when cod tended to ascend to shallower areas, presumably to feed. Selection and use of those habitats decreased significantly as temperature rose. Under increased sea surface temperature conditions, cod were absent from vegetated shallow habitats, both during the day and night, and selected instead non-vegetated rocky bottoms and sand habitats, available in deeper, colder areas. This study shows the dynamic nature of habitat selection and strongly suggests that cod in this region have to trade off food availability against favourable temperature conditions. Future increases in ocean temperature are expected to further influence the spatial behaviour of marine fish, potentially affecting individual fitness and population dynamics. PMID:26476092

  14. Temperature-associated habitat selection in a cold-water marine fish.

    PubMed

    Freitas, Carla; Olsen, Esben M; Knutsen, Halvor; Albretsen, Jon; Moland, Even

    2016-05-01

    Habitat selection is a complex process, which involves behavioural decisions guided by the multiple needs and constraints faced by individuals. Climate-induced changes in environmental conditions may alter those trade-offs and resulting habitat use patterns. In this study, we investigated the effect of sea temperature on habitat selection and habitat use of acoustically tagged Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) at the Norwegian Skagerrak coast. Significant relationships between ocean temperature and habitat selection and use were found. Under favourable sea temperature thresholds (<16 °C), cod selected vegetated habitats, such as eelgrass and macroalgae beds, available in shallow areas. Selection for those habitats was especially high at night, when cod tended to ascend to shallower areas, presumably to feed. Selection and use of those habitats decreased significantly as temperature rose. Under increased sea surface temperature conditions, cod were absent from vegetated shallow habitats, both during the day and night, and selected instead non-vegetated rocky bottoms and sand habitats, available in deeper, colder areas. This study shows the dynamic nature of habitat selection and strongly suggests that cod in this region have to trade off food availability against favourable temperature conditions. Future increases in ocean temperature are expected to further influence the spatial behaviour of marine fish, potentially affecting individual fitness and population dynamics.

  15. Temporal plasticity in thermal-habitat selection of burbot Lota lota a diel-migrating winter-specialist.

    PubMed

    Harrison, P M; Gutowsky, L F G; Martins, E G; Patterson, D A; Cooke, S J; Power, M

    2016-06-01

    In this study, animal-borne telemetry with temperature sensors was coupled with extensive habitat temperature monitoring in a dimictic reservoir, to test the following hypotheses: behavioural thermoregulation occurs throughout the year and temperature selection varies on a diel and seasonal basis, in a winter-specialist diel-migrating fish. Burbot Lota lota demonstrated nightly behavioural thermoregulation throughout the year, with a large seasonal shift between selection for very cold temperatures (<2° C) optimal for reproduction during the spawning period and selection for warmer temperatures (12-14° C) optimal for hunting and feeding during non-reproductive periods. During daylight hours, while L. lota avoided habitats warmer than optimal for reproduction and feeding during the spawning and non-reproductive periods, respectively, active selection was limited to selection for 4-6° C habitat during the prespawning period. Although behavioural thermoregulation explained the night-time migration, behavioural thermoregulation only partially explained daytime behaviour, indicating that diel migration is best explained by a combination of factors. Thus, thermal-habitat selection was a good predictor of night-time habitat occupancy in a diel-migrating species. Together, these results show that thermal-habitat selection by fishes may be important throughout the year and a more seasonally plastic behaviour than previously recognized. PMID:27125426

  16. Habitat Heterogeneity Variably Influences Habitat Selection by Wild Herbivores in a Semi-Arid Tropical Savanna Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Muposhi, Victor K.; Gandiwa, Edson; Chemura, Abel; Bartels, Paul; Makuza, Stanley M.; Madiri, Tinaapi H.

    2016-01-01

    An understanding of the habitat selection patterns by wild herbivores is critical for adaptive management, particularly towards ecosystem management and wildlife conservation in semi arid savanna ecosystems. We tested the following predictions: (i) surface water availability, habitat quality and human presence have a strong influence on the spatial distribution of wild herbivores in the dry season, (ii) habitat suitability for large herbivores would be higher compared to medium-sized herbivores in the dry season, and (iii) spatial extent of suitable habitats for wild herbivores will be different between years, i.e., 2006 and 2010, in Matetsi Safari Area, Zimbabwe. MaxEnt modeling was done to determine the habitat suitability of large herbivores and medium-sized herbivores. MaxEnt modeling of habitat suitability for large herbivores using the environmental variables was successful for the selected species in 2006 and 2010, except for elephant (Loxodonta africana) for the year 2010. Overall, large herbivores probability of occurrence was mostly influenced by distance from rivers. Distance from roads influenced much of the variability in the probability of occurrence of medium-sized herbivores. The overall predicted area for large and medium-sized herbivores was not different. Large herbivores may not necessarily utilize larger habitat patches over medium-sized herbivores due to the habitat homogenizing effect of water provisioning. Effect of surface water availability, proximity to riverine ecosystems and roads on habitat suitability of large and medium-sized herbivores in the dry season was highly variable thus could change from one year to another. We recommend adaptive management initiatives aimed at ensuring dynamic water supply in protected areas through temporal closure and or opening of water points to promote heterogeneity of wildlife habitats. PMID:27680673

  17. Patterns of Endemism and Habitat Selection in Coalbed Microbial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Lawson, Christopher E.; Strachan, Cameron R.; Williams, Dominique D.; Koziel, Susan; Hallam, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    Microbially produced methane, a versatile, cleaner-burning alternative energy resource to fossil fuels, is sourced from a variety of natural and engineered ecosystems, including marine sediments, anaerobic digesters, shales, and coalbeds. There is a prevailing interest in developing environmental biotechnologies to enhance methane production. Here, we use small-subunit rRNA gene sequencing and metagenomics to better describe the interplay between coalbed methane (CBM) well conditions and microbial communities in the Alberta Basin. Our results show that CBM microbial community structures display patterns of endemism and habitat selection across the Alberta Basin, consistent with observations from other geographical locations. While some phylum-level taxonomic patterns were observed, relative abundances of specific taxonomic groups were localized to discrete wells, likely shaped by local environmental conditions, such as coal rank and depth-dependent physicochemical conditions. To better resolve functional potential within the CBM milieu, a metagenome from a deep volatile-bituminous coal sample was generated. This sample was dominated by Rhodobacteraceae genotypes, resolving a near-complete population genome bin related to Celeribacter sp. that encoded metabolic pathways for the degradation of a wide range of aromatic compounds and the production of methanogenic substrates via acidogenic fermentation. Genomic comparisons between the Celeribacter sp. population genome and related organisms isolated from different environments reflected habitat-specific selection pressures that included nitrogen availability and the ability to utilize diverse carbon substrates. Taken together, our observations reveal that both endemism and metabolic specialization should be considered in the development of biostimulation strategies for nonproductive wells or for those with declining productivity. PMID:26341214

  18. Patterns of Endemism and Habitat Selection in Coalbed Microbial Communities.

    PubMed

    Lawson, Christopher E; Strachan, Cameron R; Williams, Dominique D; Koziel, Susan; Hallam, Steven J; Budwill, Karen

    2015-11-01

    Microbially produced methane, a versatile, cleaner-burning alternative energy resource to fossil fuels, is sourced from a variety of natural and engineered ecosystems, including marine sediments, anaerobic digesters, shales, and coalbeds. There is a prevailing interest in developing environmental biotechnologies to enhance methane production. Here, we use small-subunit rRNA gene sequencing and metagenomics to better describe the interplay between coalbed methane (CBM) well conditions and microbial communities in the Alberta Basin. Our results show that CBM microbial community structures display patterns of endemism and habitat selection across the Alberta Basin, consistent with observations from other geographical locations. While some phylum-level taxonomic patterns were observed, relative abundances of specific taxonomic groups were localized to discrete wells, likely shaped by local environmental conditions, such as coal rank and depth-dependent physicochemical conditions. To better resolve functional potential within the CBM milieu, a metagenome from a deep volatile-bituminous coal sample was generated. This sample was dominated by Rhodobacteraceae genotypes, resolving a near-complete population genome bin related to Celeribacter sp. that encoded metabolic pathways for the degradation of a wide range of aromatic compounds and the production of methanogenic substrates via acidogenic fermentation. Genomic comparisons between the Celeribacter sp. population genome and related organisms isolated from different environments reflected habitat-specific selection pressures that included nitrogen availability and the ability to utilize diverse carbon substrates. Taken together, our observations reveal that both endemism and metabolic specialization should be considered in the development of biostimulation strategies for nonproductive wells or for those with declining productivity. PMID:26341214

  19. Differential fitness in field and forest explains density-independent habitat selection by gartersnakes.

    PubMed

    Halliday, William D; Blouin-Demers, Gabriel

    2016-07-01

    The ideal free distribution concept predicts that organisms will distribute themselves between habitats in a density-dependent manner so that individuals, on average, achieve the same fitness in each habitat. In ectotherms, environmental temperature has a strong impact on fitness, but temperature is not depletable and thus not density dependent. Can density-dependent habitat selection occur in ectotherms when habitats differ in thermal quality? We used an observational study of habitat selection by small snakes in field and forest, followed by manipulative habitat selection and fitness experiments with common gartersnakes in enclosures in field and forest to test this hypothesis. Snakes were much more abundant in the field, the habitat with superior thermal quality, than in the forest. Gartersnakes in our controlled experiment only used the forest habitat when snake density was highest and when food was more abundant in the forest; habitat selection was largely density independent, although there was weak evidence of density dependence. No female gartersnake gave birth in the forest enclosures, whereas half of the females gave birth in the field enclosures. Growth rates of females were higher in field than in forest enclosures. Overall, our data indicate that temperature appears to be the most important factor driving the habitat selection of gartersnakes, likely because temperature was more limiting than food in our study system. Snakes, or at least temperate snakes, may naturally exist at population densities low enough that they do not exhibit density-dependent habitat selection. PMID:27016079

  20. Differential fitness in field and forest explains density-independent habitat selection by gartersnakes.

    PubMed

    Halliday, William D; Blouin-Demers, Gabriel

    2016-07-01

    The ideal free distribution concept predicts that organisms will distribute themselves between habitats in a density-dependent manner so that individuals, on average, achieve the same fitness in each habitat. In ectotherms, environmental temperature has a strong impact on fitness, but temperature is not depletable and thus not density dependent. Can density-dependent habitat selection occur in ectotherms when habitats differ in thermal quality? We used an observational study of habitat selection by small snakes in field and forest, followed by manipulative habitat selection and fitness experiments with common gartersnakes in enclosures in field and forest to test this hypothesis. Snakes were much more abundant in the field, the habitat with superior thermal quality, than in the forest. Gartersnakes in our controlled experiment only used the forest habitat when snake density was highest and when food was more abundant in the forest; habitat selection was largely density independent, although there was weak evidence of density dependence. No female gartersnake gave birth in the forest enclosures, whereas half of the females gave birth in the field enclosures. Growth rates of females were higher in field than in forest enclosures. Overall, our data indicate that temperature appears to be the most important factor driving the habitat selection of gartersnakes, likely because temperature was more limiting than food in our study system. Snakes, or at least temperate snakes, may naturally exist at population densities low enough that they do not exhibit density-dependent habitat selection.

  1. Selection of nest-site habitat by interior least terns in relation to sandbar construction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sherfy, Mark H.; Stucker, Jennifer H.; Buhl, Deborah A.

    2012-01-01

    Federally endangered interior least terns (Sternula antillarum) nest on bare or sparsely vegetated sandbars on midcontinent river systems. Loss of nesting habitat has been implicated as a cause of population declines, and managing these habitats is a major initiative in population recovery. One such initiative involves construction of mid-channel sandbars on the Missouri River, where natural sandbar habitat has declined in quantity and quality since the late 1990s. We evaluated nest-site habitat selection by least terns on constructed and natural sandbars by comparing vegetation, substrate, and debris variables at nest sites (n = 798) and random points (n = 1,113) in bare or sparsely vegetated habitats. Our logistic regression models revealed that a broader suite of habitat features was important in nest-site selection on constructed than on natural sandbars. Odds ratios for habitat variables indicated that avoidance of habitat features was the dominant nest-site selection process on both sandbar types, with nesting terns being attracted to nest-site habitat features (gravel and debris) and avoiding vegetation only on constructed sandbars, and avoiding silt and leaf litter on both sandbar types. Despite the seemingly uniform nature of these habitats, our results suggest that a complex suite of habitat features influences nest-site choice by least terns. However, nest-site selection in this social, colonially nesting species may be influenced by other factors, including spatial arrangement of bare sand habitat, proximity to other least terns, and prior habitat occupancy by piping plovers (Charadrius melodus). We found that nest-site selection was sensitive to subtle variation in habitat features, suggesting that rigor in maintaining habitat condition will be necessary in managing sandbars for the benefit of least terns. Further, management strategies that reduce habitat features that are avoided by least terns may be the most beneficial to nesting least terns.

  2. Selection of nest-site habitat by interior least terns in relation to sandbar construction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sherfy, M.H.; Stucker, J.H.; Buhl, D.A.

    2012-01-01

    Federally endangered interior least terns (Sternula antillarum) nest on bare or sparsely vegetated sandbars on midcontinent river systems. Loss of nesting habitat has been implicated as a cause of population declines, and managing these habitats is a major initiative in population recovery. One such initiative involves construction of mid-channel sandbars on the Missouri River, where natural sandbar habitat has declined in quantity and quality since the late 1990s. We evaluated nest-site habitat selection by least terns on constructed and natural sandbars by comparing vegetation, substrate, and debris variables at nest sites (na =a 798) and random points (na =a 1,113) in bare or sparsely vegetated habitats. Our logistic regression models revealed that a broader suite of habitat features was important in nest-site selection on constructed than on natural sandbars. Odds ratios for habitat variables indicated that avoidance of habitat features was the dominant nest-site selection process on both sandbar types, with nesting terns being attracted to nest-site habitat features (gravel and debris) and avoiding vegetation only on constructed sandbars, and avoiding silt and leaf litter on both sandbar types. Despite the seemingly uniform nature of these habitats, our results suggest that a complex suite of habitat features influences nest-site choice by least terns. However, nest-site selection in this social, colonially nesting species may be influenced by other factors, including spatial arrangement of bare sand habitat, proximity to other least terns, and prior habitat occupancy by piping plovers (Charadrius melodus). We found that nest-site selection was sensitive to subtle variation in habitat features, suggesting that rigor in maintaining habitat condition will be necessary in managing sandbars for the benefit of least terns. Further, management strategies that reduce habitat features that are avoided by least terns may be the most beneficial to nesting least terns

  3. Habitat selection and consumption across a landscape of multiple predators

    PubMed Central

    Wesner, Jeff S; Meyers, Peter; Billman, Eric J; Belk, Mark C

    2015-01-01

    Predator community composition can alter habitat quality for prey by changing the strength and direction of consumptive effects. Whether predator community composition also alters prey density via nonconsumptive effects during habitat selection is not well known, but is important for understanding how changes to predator communities will alter prey populations. We tested the hypothesis that predator community composition (presence of caged trout, caged dragonflies, or caged trout + dragonflies) alters colonization of aquatic mesocosms by ovipositing aquatic insects. In a previous experiment in this system, we found a spatial contagion effect, in which insects avoided pools with predators, but only when predator-free pools were isolated (∼5 m away from predator pools). Here, we removed the isolated predator-free pools, allowing us to test whether insects would make fine-scale (∼1 m) oviposition decisions in the absence of preferred isolated pools. We also estimated consumptive effects by allowing predators to feed on colonists for 5 days following colonization. All insects collected after 21 days were dipterans, dominated by Chironomidae. Total colonization, measured as the number of developing larvae after 21 days, was not affected by either predator presence or composition. Consumption was significant in the trout only treatment, reducing larval insect density by 46 ± 37% (mean ± SE). No other predator treatment significantly reduced prey density, although the proportion of chironomid larvae in protective cases increased in response to direct predation from dragonflies, indicating an antipredatory behavioral response. Taken together, these results reveal that predator community composition altered larval survival and behavior, but colonizing females either did not or could not assess these risks across small scales during oviposition. PMID:25628869

  4. Scale-dependent habitat selection of nesting Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stolen, Eric D.; Collazo, J.A.; Percival, H.F.

    2007-01-01

    Foraging habitat selection of nesting Great Egrets (Ardea alba) and Snowy Egrets (Egretta thula) was investigated within an estuary with extensive impounded salt marsh habitat. Using a geographic information system, available habitat was partitioned into concentric bands at five, ten, and 15 km radius from nesting colonies to assess the relative effects of habitat composition and distance on habitat selection. Snowy Egrets were more likely than Great Egrets to depart colonies and travel to foraging sites in groups, but both species usually arrived at sites that were occupied by other wading birds. Mean flight distances were 6.2 km (SE = 0.4, N = 28, range 1.8-10.7 km) for Great Egrets and 4.7 km (SE = 0.48, N = 31, range 0.7-12.5 km) for Snowy Egrets. At the broadest spatial scale both species used impounded (mostly salt marsh) and estuarine edge habitat more than expected based on availability while avoiding unimpounded (mostly fresh water wetland) habitat. At more local scales habitat use matched availability. Interpretation of habitat preference differed with the types of habitat that were included and the maximum distance that habitat was considered available. These results illustrate that caution is needed when interpreting the results of habitat preference studies when individuals are constrained in their choice of habitats, such as for central place foragers.

  5. Habitat selection and movements of Piping Plover broods suggest a tradeoff between breeding stages

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiltermuth, Mark T.; Anteau, Michael J.; Sherfy, Mark H.; Pearse, Aaron T.

    2015-01-01

    In precocial birds, adults select breeding areas using cues associated with habitat characteristics that are favorable for nesting success and chick survival, but there may be tradeoffs in habitat selection between these breeding stages. Here we describe habitat selection and intra-territory movements of 53 Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) broods (320 observations) during the 2007–2008 breeding seasons on mainland- and island-shoreline habitats at Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota, USA. We used remotely sensed habitat characteristics to separately examine habitat selection and movements at two spatiotemporal scales to account for potential confounding effects of nest-site selection on brood-rearing habitat used. The scales used were (1) the entire brood-rearing period within available brood-rearing areas and (2) 2-day observation intervals within age-specific discrete habitat selection choice sets. Analyses at both scales indicated that broods selected areas which were non-vegetated, moderately level, and nearer to the shoreline. Rate of brood movement increased with age up to 5 days, then stabilized; broods that hatched >50 m away from the shoreline moved toward the shoreline. Brood movements were greater when they were in vegetated areas, when the brood-rearing area was of greater topographic complexity, and when broods aged 6–25 days were further away from the shoreline. Using inferences from our results and those of previously published work, we postulate how a potential tradeoff in habitat selection between nesting and brood-rearing can contribute to an ecological trap in a novel habitat. This work, in the context of published works, suggests that plover breeding habitat is a complex of both nesting and brood-rearing habitats and provides a basis for making remotely sensed abundance estimates of suitable breeding habitat for Piping Plovers.

  6. Multiscale habitat selection by burrowing owls in black-tailed prairie dog colonies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lantz, S.J.; Conway, C.J.; Anderson, S.H.

    2007-01-01

    Some populations of western burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) have declined in recent decades. To design and implement effective recovery efforts, we need a better understanding of how distribution and demographic traits are influenced by habitat quality. To this end, we measured spatial patterns of burrowing owl breeding habitat selection within black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies in northeastern Wyoming, USA. We compared burrow-, site-, colony-, and landscape-scale habitat parameters between burrowing owl nest burrows (n = 105) and unoccupied burrows (n = 85). We sampled 4 types of prairie dog colonies: 1) owl-occupied, active with prairie dogs (n = 16); 2) owl-occupied, inactive (n = 13); 3) owl-unoccupied, active (n = 14); and 4) owl-unoccupied, inactive (n = 14). We used an information-theoretic approach to examine a set of candidate models of burrowing owl nest-site selection. The model with the most support included variables at all 4 spatial scales, and results were consistent among the 4 types of prairie dog colonies. Nest burrows had longer tunnels, more available burrows within 30 m, and less shrub cover within 30 m, more prairie dog activity within 100 m, and were closer to water than unoccupied burrows. The model correctly classified 76% of cases, all model coefficients were stable, and the model had high predictive ability. Based on our results, we recommend actions to ensure persistence of the remaining prairie dog colonies as an important management strategy for burrowing owl conservation in the Great Plains of North America.

  7. Habitat selection and abundance of young-of-year smallmouth bass in north temperate lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, Peter James; Bozek, Michael A.

    2010-01-01

    Habitat use during early life history plays an important role in the ecology of smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu in north temperate lakes. The highest levels of mortality occur during the first year of life, and the habitat selected probably affects mortality. We used resource selection functions and abundance data from two northern Wisconsin lakes to determine the habitats that influence the survival of smallmouth bass. Coarse substrates were consistently important to both nesting locations and young-of-year smallmouth bass. Young smallmouth bass used woody structure after swimming from their nests but disassociated themselves from habitats with more complex woody structure by August. Nonwoody cobble areas offer protection for young-of-year smallmouth bass without attracting predators, as woody habitats do. The decline in the abundance of young-of-year smallmouth bass was best fit to an exponential decay function in woody habitats, but in rock habitats it was linear. Habitat selection by young-of-year smallmouth bass shifts over time, and the shift is linked to predation risk: woody habitats initially offer them an advantage with respect to spawning but eventually provide their predators greater opportunities for ambush. This shift underscores the importance of having a diversity of littoral habitats. This study provides the first quantifiable analyses describing the habitat features selected by young-of-year smallmouth bass and links these descriptions to population dynamics.

  8. Quantity, structure, and habitat selection of natural spawning reefs by walleyes in a north temperate lake: A multiscale analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Raabe, Joshua K.; Bozek, Michael A.

    2012-01-01

    Spawning habitat, the cornerstone of self-sustaining, naturally reproducing walleyeSander vitreus populations, has received limited quantitative research. Our goal was to quantitatively describe the structure and quantity of natural walleye spawning habitat and evaluate potential selection of habitat in Big Crooked Lake, Wisconsin. In 2004 and 2005, we located and delineated walleye egg deposition polygons through visual snorkel and scuba surveys. We also delineated recently deposited, adhesive egg patches daily along one spawning reef in 2005. To determine habitat selection, we quantified and compared spawning and lakewide available habitat at different scales. In both years, walleyes used similar spawning habitat, including three geomorphic types: linear shorelines, a point bar, and an island. Walleyes used only 14% of the entire lake shoreline and 39% of the shoreline comprised of gravel (6.4–76.0 mm), cobble (76.1–149.9 mm), or coarser substrates for spawning in 2005, indicating selection of specific spawning habitat. Lakewide, walleyes spawned close to shore (outer egg deposition polygon boundary mean distance = 2.7 m), in shallow water (outer egg deposition polygon boundary mean depth = 0.3 m), and over gravel substrate (percent coverage mean = 64.3) having low embeddedness (mean = 1.30). Our best nearshore (0–13-m) resource selection function predicted an increase in the relative probability of egg deposition with the increasing abundance of gravel, cobble, and rubble (150.0–303.9-mm) substrates and a decrease with increasing distance from shore and water depth (89.9% overall correct classification). Adhesive egg patches confirmed that walleyes actively chose nearshore, shallow-water, and coarse-substrate spawning habitat. The quantitative habitat information and predictive models will assist biologists in developing walleye spawning reef protection strategies and potentially aid in designing and evaluating artificial spawning reefs.

  9. 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.

  10. Effects of spatial habitat heterogeneity on habitat selection and annual fecundity for a migratory forest songbird

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cornell, K.L.; Donovan, T.M.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding how spatial habitat patterns influence abundance and dynamics of animal populations is a primary goal in landscape ecology. We used an information-theoretic approach to investigate the association between habitat patterns at multiple spatial scales and demographic patterns for black-throated blue warblers (Dendroica caerulescens) at 20 study sites in west-central Vermont, USA from 2002 to 2005. Sites were characterized by: (1) territory-scale shrub density, (2) patch-scale shrub density occurring within 25 ha of territories, and (3) landscape-scale habitat patterns occurring within 5 km radius extents of territories. We considered multiple population parameters including abundance, age ratios, and annual fecundity. Territory-scale shrub density was most important for determining abundance and age ratios, but landscape-scale habitat structure strongly influenced reproductive output. Sites with higher territory-scale shrub density had higher abundance, and were more likely to be occupied by older, more experienced individuals compared to sites with lower shrub density. However, annual fecundity was higher on sites located in contiguously forested landscapes where shrub density was lower than the fragmented sites. Further, effects of habitat pattern at one spatial scale depended on habitat conditions at different scales. For example, abundance increased with increasing territory-scale shrub density, but this effect was much stronger in fragmented landscapes than in contiguously forested landscapes. These results suggest that habitat pattern at different spatial scales affect demographic parameters in different ways, and that effects of habitat patterns at one spatial scale depends on habitat conditions at other scales. ?? Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.

  11. Habitat selection and management of the Hawaiian crow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Giffen, J.G.; Scott, J.M.; Mountainspring, S.

    1987-01-01

    The abundance and range of the Hawaiian crow, or alala, (Corvus hawaiiensis) have decreased drastically since the 1890's. Fewer than 10 breeding pairs remained in the wild in 1985. A sample of 82 nests during 1970-82 were used to determine habitat associations. Two hundred firty-nine alala observations were used to estimate densities occurring in different vegetation types in 1978. Compared to available habitat, more nests and higher bird densities during the breeding season occurred in areas where: (1) canopy cover was > 60%; (2) koa (Acacia koa) and ohia (Metrosideros polymorpha) were dominant species in the crown layer; (3) native plants constituted > 75% of the understory cover; and (4) the elevation was 1,100-1,500 m. Compared to breeding habitat, nonbreeding habitat tended to lie at lower elevations and in wetter forests having the crown layer dominated by ohia but lacking koa. Habitat loss is a major factor underlying the decline of this species although predation on fledgings, avian disease, and shooting also have reduced the population. Remaining key habitat areas have little or no legal protection through zoning and land ownership. Preserves should be established to encompass the location of existing pairs and to assure the provision of optimum breeding habitat and suitable nonbreeding habitat.

  12. Long-term density-dependent changes in habitat selection in red deer (Cervus elaphus).

    PubMed

    Pérez-Barbería, F J; Hooper, R J; Gordon, I J

    2013-11-01

    Understanding how habitat selection changes with population density is a key concept in population regulation, community composition and managing impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. At low density, it is expected that individuals select habitats in terms of their preference, but as population density increases, the availability of resources per individual declines on preferred habitats, leading to competition which forces some individuals to exploit less preferred habitats. Using spatial information of Scottish red deer (Cervus elaphus) winter counts, carried out in 110 areas across Scotland between 1961 and 2004 (a total of 1,206,495 deer observations), we showed how winter habitat niche breadth in red deer has widened with increasing population density. Heather moorland and montane habitats were most and least preferred for deer, respectively. Increasing density favoured the selection of grassland, to the detriment of the selection of heather moorland. The selection of heather and grassland decreased when temperature increased, while the selection of montane and peatland habitats increased. These findings are important for understanding how habitat use, density and population are likely to be affected by weather, and allow us to predict habitat impacts by large mammal herbivory and climate.

  13. Discrete choice modeling of shovelnose sturgeon habitat selection in the Lower Missouri River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bonnot, T.W.; Wildhaber, M.L.; Millspaugh, J.J.; DeLonay, A.J.; Jacobson, R.B.; Bryan, J.L.

    2011-01-01

    Substantive changes to physical habitat in the Lower Missouri River, resulting from intensive management, have been implicated in the decline of pallid (Scaphirhynchus albus) and shovelnose (S. platorynchus) sturgeon. To aid in habitat rehabilitation efforts, we evaluated habitat selection of gravid, female shovelnose sturgeon during the spawning season in two sections (lower and upper) of the Lower Missouri River in 2005 and in the upper section in 2007. We fit discrete choice models within an information theoretic framework to identify selection of means and variability in three components of physical habitat. Characterizing habitat within divisions around fish better explained selection than habitat values at the fish locations. In general, female shovelnose sturgeon were negatively associated with mean velocity between them and the bank and positively associated with variability in surrounding depths. For example, in the upper section in 2005, a 0.5ms-1 decrease in velocity within 10m in the bank direction increased the relative probability of selection 70%. In the upper section fish also selected sites with surrounding structure in depth (e.g., change in relief). Differences in models between sections and years, which are reinforced by validation rates, suggest that changes in habitat due to geomorphology, hydrology, and their interactions over time need to be addressed when evaluating habitat selection. Because of the importance of variability in surrounding depths, these results support an emphasis on restoring channel complexity as an objective of habitat restoration for shovelnose sturgeon in the Lower Missouri River. ?? 2011 Blackwell Verlag, Berlin.

  14. Discrete choice modeling of shovelnose sturgeon habitat selection in the Lower Missouri River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bonnot, T.W.; Wildhaber, M.L.; Millspaugh, J.J.; DeLonay, A.J.; Jacobson, R.B.; Bryan, J.L.

    2011-01-01

    Substantive changes to physical habitat in the Lower Missouri River, resulting from intensive management, have been implicated in the decline of pallid (Scaphirhynchus albus) and shovelnose (S. platorynchus) sturgeon. To aid in habitat rehabilitation efforts, we evaluated habitat selection of gravid, female shovelnose sturgeon during the spawning season in two sections (lower and upper) of the Lower Missouri River in 2005 and in the upper section in 2007. We fit discrete choice models within an information theoretic framework to identify selection of means and variability in three components of physical habitat. Characterizing habitat within divisions around fish better explained selection than habitat values at the fish locations. In general, female shovelnose sturgeon were negatively associated with mean velocity between them and the bank and positively associated with variability in surrounding depths. For example, in the upper section in 2005, a 0.5 m s-1 decrease in velocity within 10 m in the bank direction increased the relative probability of selection 70%. In the upper section fish also selected sites with surrounding structure in depth (e.g., change in relief). Differences in models between sections and years, which are reinforced by validation rates, suggest that changes in habitat due to geomorphology, hydrology, and their interactions over time need to be addressed when evaluating habitat selection. Because of the importance of variability in surrounding depths, these results support an emphasis on restoring channel complexity as an objective of habitat restoration for shovelnose sturgeon in the Lower Missouri River.

  15. Quantification of fish habitat in selected reaches of the Marmaton and Marais des Cygnes Rivers, Missouri

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heimann, David C.; Richards, Joseph M.; Brewer, Shannon K.; Norman, Richard D.

    2005-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Conservation, undertook a study to quantify fish habitat by using relations between streamflow and the spatial and temporal distributions of fish habitat at five sites in the Marmaton and Marais des Cygnes Rivers in western Missouri. Twenty-six fish habitat categories were selected for nine species under varying seasonal (spring, summer, and fall), diel (summer day and night), and life-stage (spawning, juvenile, and adult) conditions. Physical habitat characteristics were determined for each category using depth, velocity, and channel substrate criteria. Continuous streamflow data were then combined with the habitat-streamflow relations to compile a habitat time series for each habitat category at each site. Fish habitat categories were assessed as to their vulnerability to habitat alteration based on critical life stages (spawning and juvenile rearing periods) and susceptibility to habitat limitations from dewatering or high flows. Species categories representing critical life stages with physical habitat limitations represent likely bottlenecks in fish populations. Categories with potential bottlenecks can serve as indicator categories and aid managers when determining the flows necessary for maintaining these habitats under altered flow regimes. The relation between the area of each habitat category and streamflow differed greatly between category, season, and stream reach. No single flow maximized selected habitat area for all categories or even for all species/category within a particular season at a site. However, some similarities were noted among habitat characteristics, including the streamflow range for which habitat availability is maximized and the range of streamflows for which a habitat category area is available at the Marmaton River sites. A monthly habitat time series was created for all 26 habitat categories at two Marmaton River sites. A daily habitat time series was

  16. Nesting habitat selection by sage grouse in southcentral Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sveum, C.M.; Edge, W.D.; Crawford, J.A.

    1998-01-01

    To characterize western sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus phaios Bonaparte) nesting habitat in sagebrush-steppe habitat in Washington, we initiated a study on the Yakima Training Center to determine nesting habitat characteristics and whether these characteristics differed between successful and depredated nests. Most nests (71%) were in big sagebrush (Artemesia tridentata Nutt.)/bunchgrass communities. Nest habitat was characterized by greater shrub cover, shrub height, vertical cover height, residual cover, and litter than at random locations. Successful 1-m2 nest sites within big sagebrush/bunchgrass in 1992 had less shrub cover (51%) and shrub height (64 cm) than depredated nest sites (70% and 90 cm, respectively). Successful 77-m2 nest areas in big sagebrush/bunchgrass in 1993 had more tall grass (??? 18 cm) than depredated nest areas. Management that protects the big sagebrush/bunchgrass community is essential for maintaining nesting habitat for sage grouse.

  17. Sleeping site selection of Francois's langur (Trachypithecus francoisi) in two habitats in Mayanghe National Nature Reserve, Guizhou, China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shuangling; Luo, Yang; Cui, Guofa

    2011-01-01

    Sleeping site selection is an important aspect of the behavioral biology of primates. Comparison of different habitats for the same species in this context enhances understanding of their adaptation to altered environments. We collected data on sleep-related behaviors for 6 groups of Francois's langur (Trachypithecus francoisi) in two habitats, in Mayanghe National Nature Reserve, Guizhou, China. Regardless of habitat, all sleeping sites were located in areas of steep terrain of ≥60°. In undisturbed habitat, sleeping sites were located only in evergreen broadleaf forest with rock caves and crevices surrounded mainly by a vegetation layer of shrub + rock. In disturbed habitat, sleeping sites were also located in mixed evergreen and deciduous broadleaf forest and in grassland, including rock caves, crevices, and pits, surrounded mainly by arbor + shrub and shrub + rock. Wild food availability was higher in undisturbed habitat than disturbed habitat, but food abundance around sleeping sites was lower. Water sources included river and seasonal gully or pond. There was strong positive correlation between use of sleeping sites away from the river valley and occurrence of seasonal water sources. The number of sleeping sites varied across groups, numbering 6, 7, and 10 for three specific groups. Few sleeping sites were used all year round. Six consecutive nights was the longest recorded run. Francois's langurs' sleeping habits differed between two habitats. In undisturbed habitat, minimizing predation risk appeared to predominate, expressed by choosing steep terrain, open visual field, and inconspicuous presleeping behavior. In disturbed habitat, along with predation avoidance, food resources may strongly influence sleeping site selection, as demonstrated by the richer food abundance and greater foraging activity around the site. Finally, water resources may influence choice of sites distant from the river; such sites were used less frequently during water

  18. Multi-scale habitat selection affects offspring survival in a precocial species.

    PubMed

    Bloom, P M; Clark, R G; Howerter, D W; Armstrong, L M

    2013-12-01

    In theory, habitat preferences should be adaptive. Accordingly, fitness is often assumed to be greater in preferred habitats; however, this assumption is rarely tested and, when it is, the results are often equivocal. Habitat preferences may not directly convey fitness advantages if animals are constrained by tradeoffs with other selective pressures like predation or food availability. We address unresolved questions about the survival consequences of habitat choices made during brood-rearing in a precocial species with exclusive maternal care (mallard Anas platyrhynchos, n = 582 radio-marked females on 27 sites over 8 years). We directly linked duckling survival with habitat selection patterns at two spatial scales using logistic regression and model selection techniques. At the landscape scale (55-80 km(2)), females that demonstrated stronger selection of areas with more cover type 4 wetlands and greater total cover type 3 wetland area (wetlands with large expanses of open water surrounded by either a narrow or wide peripheral band of vegetation, respectively) had lower duckling survival rates than did females that demonstrated weaker selection of these habitats. At finer scales (0.32-7.16 km(2)), females selected brood-rearing areas with a greater proportion of wetland habitat with no consequences for duckling survival. However, females that avoided woody perennial habitats composed of trees and shrubs fledged more ducklings. The relationship between habitat selection and survival depended on both spatial scale and habitats considered. Females did not consistently select brood-rearing habitats that conferred the greatest benefits, an unexpected finding, although one that has also been reported in other recent studies of breeding birds.

  19. The spatial structure of habitat selection: A caribou's-eye-view

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayor, Stephen J.; Schaefer, James A.; Schneider, David C.; Mahoney, Shane P.

    2009-03-01

    Greater understanding of habitat selection requires investigation at the scales at which organisms perceive and respond to their environment. Such knowledge could reveal the relative importance of factors limiting populations and the extent of response to habitat changes, and so guide conservation initiatives. We conducted a novel, spatially explicit analysis of winter habitat selection by caribou ( Rangifer tarandus) in Newfoundland, Canada, to elucidate the spatial scales of habitat selection. We combined conventional hierarchical habitat analysis with a newly developed geospatial approach that quantifies selection across scales as the difference in variance between available and used sites. We used both ordination and univariate analyses of lichen and plant cover, snow hardness and depth. This represents the first use of ordination with geostatistics for the assessment of habitat selection. Caribou habitat selection was driven by shallow, soft snow and high cover of Cladina lichens and was strongest at feeding microsites (craters) and broader feeding areas. Habitat selection was most evident at distance lags of up to 15 km, perhaps an indication of the perceptual abilities of caribou.

  20. Breeding Habitat Selection of Reeves's Pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii) in Dongzhai National Nature Reserve, Henan Province, China.

    PubMed

    Xu, Ji-Liang; Zhang, Xiao-Hui; Zhang, Zheng-Wang; Zheng, Guang-Mei; Ruan, Xiang-Feng; Zhang, Ke-Yin; Xi, Bo

    2010-04-01

    Reeves's Pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii) is a threatened pheasant species endemic to China. The habitat use of territorial male birds was surveyed by the help of live decoys in a core area of Dongzhai National Nature Reserve. The breeding habitat selection of this pheasant was examined at two scales (115 m and 250 m scale, i.e. 4.15 hm(2 ) and 19.63 hm(2 ), respectively), including the characteristics at distance scale. Investigation was based on line transect, RS and GIS in Dongzhai National Natural Reserve from 2001 to 2003. Moreover, a range of habitat variables were compared between used and control points at each scale, and stepwise logistic regression was applied to select the key scale and the key habitat factors in relation to breeding habitat selection of this bird. Our results stated that the territorial males at Baiyun occurred mostly in mixed forests, followed by fir forests, pine forests, shrubs, and broadleaf forests. The area of conifer forests was the key factor influencing habitat selection of this bird in breeding period at the scales of 115 m and 250 m, and the proximity of farmland was important for habitat selection in breeding seasons. Furthermore, Reeves's Pheasants attached great importance to the scale of 115 m. When considering a range of habitat variables at all scales within a multivariate regression, the leading factors having effect on habitat selection in the breeding period were areas of conifer forests at 115 m scale and the distance to farmland. In addition, these above results suggested that strengthening the management of suitable habitat, and optimizing the habitat configuration are important in promoting conservation of this bird. However, it also highlighted the importance of initiating future researches on the conifer forests and their impact on the population of Reeves's Pheasants, which would be beneficial to promote the habitat conservation of this pheasant more effectively.

  1. Habitat selection and productivity of least terns on the lower Platte River, Nebraska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirsch, Eileen M.

    1996-01-01

    Least terns (Sterna antillarum) were studied on the lower Platte River, Nebraska, where this endangered population nests on natural sandbar habitat and on sandpit sites created by gravel dredging adjacent to the river. Theoretically terns should select habitats according to habitat suitability. However, the introduction of sandpits and conversion of tallgrass prairies along the river banks to agriculture, residential, and wooded areas may have affected terns' abilities to distinguish suitable habitat or the suitability of nesting habitats in general. I examined habitat selection and productivity of least terns to determine if terns selected habitat according to suitability (as indicated by productivity), what factors affected habitat selection and productivity, and if estimated productivity could support this population. Available habitats of both types were characterized and quantified using aerial videography (1989-90), and habitat use was assessed from census data (1987-90). Productivity of adults and causes and correlates of egg and chick mortality were estimated (1987-90). Population trend was assessed with a deterministic model using my estimates of productivity and a range of survival estimates for Laridae reported in the literature. Terns tended to use river sites with large midstream sandbars and a wide channel, and large sandpit sites with large surface areas of water relative to unused sites on both habitats. Number of sites and area of sand available were estimated using discriminant function analysis of variables quantified from video scenes of both habitats. Terns apparently did not use all potentially available sandbar and sandpit sites because discriminant function factor scores for used and unused sites overlapped broadly for both habitats. Terns did not prefer 1 habitat over the other. Although proportions of available sites used were greater on sandpits than on the river, proportions of available sand used did not differ between habitats

  2. Habitat use and selection by adult pallid sturgeon in the lower Mississippi River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herrala, Jason R.; Kroboth, Patrick T.; Kuntz, Nathan M.; Schramm, Harold L.

    2014-01-01

    The Pallid Sturgeon Scaphirhynchus albus is an endangered riverine sturgeon with historical distribution restricted to the Yellowstone, Missouri, Mississippi, and Atchafalaya rivers. Although not abundant, Pallid Sturgeon in the lower Mississippi River appear to be naturally recruiting, and information about habitat use is important to conserve this species. Thirty-four adult Pallid Sturgeon (612-1,013-mm FL) were tagged with acoustic transmitters and relocated a total of 272times in a 40-km reach of the lower Mississippi River from April 2009 through December 2012. Pallid Sturgeon strongly selected island tip and natural bank habitats, and, to a lesser degree, revetted bank habitat. Although frequently used, Pallid Sturgeon exhibited negative selection for the expansive main channel habitat. Secondary channel habitat was seasonally available and excluded from habitat selection analysis, but this habitat was frequently used in the spring when available. Fifty percent of Pallid Sturgeon detections were in relatively narrow ranges of depths (6.2-13.6m) and surface current velocities (0.64-1.05m/s). Use of different habitats was related to river stage and water temperature, suggesting use of some habitats was seasonal. Results suggest that maintaining natural bank habitat and secondary channel-island complexes will benefit conservation of this endangered species in the lower Mississippi River. 

  3. Consequences of habitat change and resource selection specialization for population limitation in cavity-nesting birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, Thomas E.

    2015-01-01

    Synthesis and applications. Management should target species that specialize in resource selection on a declining resource. Species with greater resource selection generalization can reduce population impacts of environmental change. Resource generalization can allow a species like the wren to take advantage of habitat refuges, such as those provided by the elk exclosures. Yet, resource generalization cannot offset the negative impacts of broad-scale declines in habitat quality on the landscape, as demonstrated by the general decline of wrens. Ultimately, aspen is an important habitat for biodiversity, and land management programmes that protect and aid recovery of aspen habitats may be critical.

  4. Influences of human and livestock density on winter habitat selection of Mongolian gazelle (Procapra gutturosa).

    PubMed

    Luo, Zhenhua; Liu, Bingwan; Liu, Songtao; Jiang, Zhigang; Halbrook, Richard S

    2014-01-01

    Human and livestock related disturbances of habitat selection by ungulates are topics of global concern, as they have profound impacts on ungulate survival, population density, fitness, and management; however, differences in ungulate habitat use under different human and livestock densities are not fully understood. Mongolian gazelle (Procapra gutturosa), an endemic ungulate species on the Asia-European steppe, faces varying intensities of human and livestock disturbances in the area around Dalai Lake, China. To investigate how habitat selection strategies vary as disturbance intensity changes, we randomly set 20 transects containing 1486 plots, on which we conducted repeated surveys of 21 ecological factors during the winters in the period of 2005-2008. We aimed to: 1) determine the critical factors underlying habitat selection of the gazelles; 2) determine the gazelles' habitat preferences in this area; 3) determine how habitat selection varies with disturbance intensity and explore the primary underlying mechanism. We used binary-logistic regressions and information theoretic approaches to build best-fit habitat selection models, and calculated resource selection functions. Sixty-six herds, 522 individuals, and 499 tracks were recorded. Our results indicate that snow depth and aboveground biomass are the main factors affecting habitat selection by Mongolian gazelle throughout the district in winter. Thin snow cover and abundant aboveground biomass are preferred. Avoiding disturbance was the primary factor accounting for habitat selection in low disturbance areas, although with increasing human or live-stock-related disturbance, gazelle maintained a reduced distance to the source of the disturbance. Presumably owing to that shift, movement costs were more important as disturbance increased. In addition, Mongolian gazelle selected habitats based on topographical features promoting greater visibility where disturbance was lower. We suggest several management

  5. 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

  6. Selection Indicates Preference in Diverse Habitats: A Ground-Nesting Bird (Charadrius melodus) Using Reservoir Shoreline

    PubMed Central

    Anteau, Michael J.; Sherfy, Mark H.; Wiltermuth, Mark T.

    2012-01-01

    Animals use proximate cues to select resources that maximize individual fitness. When animals have a diverse array of available habitats, those selected could give insights into true habitat preferences. Since the construction of the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea (SAK) has become an important breeding area for federally threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plovers). We used conditional logistic regression to examine nest-site selection at fine scales (1, 3, and 10 m) during summers 2006–2009 by comparing characteristics at 351 nests to those of 668 random sites within nesting territories. Plovers selected sites (1 m2) that were lower than unused random sites, increasing the risk of nest inundation. Plovers selected nest sites that were flat, had little silt, and at least 1 cobble; they also selected for 3-m radius nest areas that were relatively flat and devoid of vegetation and litter. Ninety percent of nests had <38% coverage of silt and <10% slope at the site, and <15% coverage of vegetation or litter and <31% slope within the 3-m radius. Gravel was selected for at nest sites (11% median), but against in the area 10-m from the nest, suggesting plovers select for patches or strips of gravel. Although elevation is rarely evaluated in studies of ground-nesting birds, our results underscore its importance in habitat-selection studies. Relative to where plovers historically nested, habitat at SAK has more diverse topography, substrate composition, vegetation communities, and greater water-level fluctuations. Accordingly, our results provide an example of how habitat-selection results can be interpreted as habitat preferences because they are not influenced by desired habitats being scarce or absent. Further, our results will be useful for directing habitat conservation for plovers and interpreting other habitat-selection studies. PMID:22299037

  7. Selection indicates preference in diverse habitats: A Ground-Nesting bird (charadrius melodus) using reservoir shoreline

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anteau, M.J.; Sherfy, M.H.; Wiltermuth, M.T.

    2012-01-01

    Animals use proximate cues to select resources that maximize individual fitness. When animals have a diverse array of available habitats, those selected could give insights into true habitat preferences. Since the construction of the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea (SAK) has become an important breeding area for federally threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plovers). We used conditional logistic regression to examine nest-site selection at fine scales (1, 3, and 10 m) during summers 2006-2009 by comparing characteristics at 351 nests to those of 668 random sites within nesting territories. Plovers selected sites (1 m 2) that were lower than unused random sites, increasing the risk of nest inundation. Plovers selected nest sites that were flat, had little silt, and at least 1 cobble; they also selected for 3-m radius nest areas that were relatively flat and devoid of vegetation and litter. Ninety percent of nests had <38% coverage of silt and <10% slope at the site, and <15% coverage of vegetation or litter and <31% slope within the 3-m radius. Gravel was selected for at nest sites (11% median), but against in the area 10-m from the nest, suggesting plovers select for patches or strips of gravel. Although elevation is rarely evaluated in studies of ground-nesting birds, our results underscore its importance in habitat-selection studies. Relative to where plovers historically nested, habitat at SAK has more diverse topography, substrate composition, vegetation communities, and greater water-level fluctuations. Accordingly, our results provide an example of how habitat-selection results can be interpreted as habitat preferences because they are not influenced by desired habitats being scarce or absent. Further, our results will be useful for directing habitat conservation for plovers and interpreting other habitat-selection studies.

  8. Selection indicates preference in diverse habitats: A ground-nesting bird (Charadrius melodus) using reservoir shoreline

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anteau, Michael J.; Sherfy, Mark H.; Wiltermuth, Mark T.

    2012-01-01

    Animals use proximate cues to select resources that maximize individual fitness. When animals have a diverse array of available habitats, those selected could give insights into true habitat preferences. Since the construction of the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea (SAK) has become an important breeding area for federally threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plovers). We used conditional logistic regression to examine nest-site selection at fine scales (1, 3, and 10 m) during summers 2006–2009 by comparing characteristics at 351 nests to those of 668 random sites within nesting territories. Plovers selected sites (1 m2) that were lower than unused random sites, increasing the risk of nest inundation. Plovers selected nest sites that were flat, had little silt, and at least 1 cobble; they also selected for 3-m radius nest areas that were relatively flat and devoid of vegetation and litter. Ninety percent of nests had <38% coverage of silt and <10% slope at the site, and <15% coverage of vegetation or litter and <31% slope within the 3-m radius. Gravel was selected for at nest sites (11% median), but against in the area 10-m from the nest, suggesting plovers select for patches or strips of gravel. Although elevation is rarely evaluated in studies of ground-nesting birds, our results underscore its importance in habitat-selection studies. Relative to where plovers historically nested, habitat at SAK has more diverse topography, substrate composition, vegetation communities, and greater water-level fluctuations. Accordingly, our results provide an example of how habitat-selection results can be interpreted as habitat preferences because they are not influenced by desired habitats being scarce or absent. Further, our results will be useful for directing habitat conservation for plovers and interpreting other habitat-selection studies.

  9. Habitat selection for parasite-free space by hosts of parasitic cowbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Forsman, J.T.; Martin, T.E.

    2009-01-01

    Choice of breeding habitat can have a major impact on fitness. Sensitivity of habitat choice to environmental cues predicting reproductive success, such as density of harmful enemy species, should be favored by natural selection. Yet, experimental tests of this idea are in short supply. Brown-headed cowbirds Molothrus ater commonly reduce reproductive success of a wide diversity of birds by parasitizing their nests. We used song playbacks to simulate high cowbird density and tested whether cowbird hosts avoid such areas in habitat selection. Host species that made settlement decisions during manipulations were significantly less abundant in the cowbird treatment as a group. In contrast, hosts that settled before manipulations started and non-host species did not respond to treatments. These results suggest that hosts of cowbirds can use vocal cues to assess parasitism risk among potential habitat patches and avoid high risk habitats. This can affect community structure by affecting habitat choices of species with differential vulnerability.

  10. 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

  11. Oligotyping reveals community level habitat selection within the genus Vibrio

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Victor T.; Reveillaud, Julie; Zettler, Erik; Mincer, Tracy J.; Murphy, Leslie; Amaral-Zettler, Linda A.

    2014-01-01

    The genus Vibrio is a metabolically diverse group of facultative anaerobic bacteria, common in aquatic environments and marine hosts. The genus contains several species of importance to human health and aquaculture, including the causative agents of human cholera and fish vibriosis. Vibrios display a wide variety of known life histories, from opportunistic pathogens to long-standing symbionts with individual host species. Studying Vibrio ecology has been challenging as individual species often display a wide range of habitat preferences, and groups of vibrios can act as socially cohesive groups. Although strong associations with salinity, temperature and other environmental variables have been established, the degree of habitat or host specificity at both the individual and community levels is unknown. Here we use oligotyping analyses in combination with a large collection of existing Vibrio 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequence data to reveal patterns of Vibrio ecology across a wide range of environmental, host, and abiotic substrate associated habitats. Our data show that individual taxa often display a wide range of habitat preferences yet tend to be highly abundant in either substrate-associated or free-living environments. Our analyses show that Vibrio communities share considerable overlap between two distinct hosts (i.e., sponge and fish), yet are distinct from the abiotic plastic substrates. Lastly, evidence for habitat specificity at the community level exists in some habitats, despite considerable stochasticity in others. In addition to providing insights into Vibrio ecology across a broad range of habitats, our study shows the utility of oligotyping as a facile, high-throughput and unbiased method for large-scale analyses of publically available sequence data repositories and suggests its wide application could greatly extend the range of possibilities to explore microbial ecology. PMID:25431569

  12. Oligotyping reveals community level habitat selection within the genus Vibrio.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Victor T; Reveillaud, Julie; Zettler, Erik; Mincer, Tracy J; Murphy, Leslie; Amaral-Zettler, Linda A

    2014-01-01

    The genus Vibrio is a metabolically diverse group of facultative anaerobic bacteria, common in aquatic environments and marine hosts. The genus contains several species of importance to human health and aquaculture, including the causative agents of human cholera and fish vibriosis. Vibrios display a wide variety of known life histories, from opportunistic pathogens to long-standing symbionts with individual host species. Studying Vibrio ecology has been challenging as individual species often display a wide range of habitat preferences, and groups of vibrios can act as socially cohesive groups. Although strong associations with salinity, temperature and other environmental variables have been established, the degree of habitat or host specificity at both the individual and community levels is unknown. Here we use oligotyping analyses in combination with a large collection of existing Vibrio 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequence data to reveal patterns of Vibrio ecology across a wide range of environmental, host, and abiotic substrate associated habitats. Our data show that individual taxa often display a wide range of habitat preferences yet tend to be highly abundant in either substrate-associated or free-living environments. Our analyses show that Vibrio communities share considerable overlap between two distinct hosts (i.e., sponge and fish), yet are distinct from the abiotic plastic substrates. Lastly, evidence for habitat specificity at the community level exists in some habitats, despite considerable stochasticity in others. In addition to providing insights into Vibrio ecology across a broad range of habitats, our study shows the utility of oligotyping as a facile, high-throughput and unbiased method for large-scale analyses of publically available sequence data repositories and suggests its wide application could greatly extend the range of possibilities to explore microbial ecology. PMID:25431569

  13. The Influence of Mitigation on Sage-Grouse Habitat Selection within an Energy Development Field

    PubMed Central

    Fedy, Bradley C.; Kirol, Christopher P.; Sutphin, Andrew L.; Maechtle, Thomas L.

    2015-01-01

    Growing global energy demands ensure the continued growth of energy development. Energy development in wildlife areas can significantly impact wildlife populations. Efforts to mitigate development impacts to wildlife are on-going, but the effectiveness of such efforts is seldom monitored or assessed. Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) are sensitive to energy development and likely serve as an effective umbrella species for other sagebrush-steppe obligate wildlife. We assessed the response of birds within an energy development area before and after the implementation of mitigation action. Additionally, we quantified changes in habitat distribution and abundance in pre- and post-mitigation landscapes. Sage-grouse avoidance of energy development at large spatial scales is well documented. We limited our research to directly within an energy development field in order to assess the influence of mitigation in close proximity to energy infrastructure. We used nest-location data (n = 488) within an energy development field to develop habitat selection models using logistic regression on data from 4 years of research prior to mitigation and for 4 years following the implementation of extensive mitigation efforts (e.g., decreased activity, buried powerlines). The post-mitigation habitat selection models indicated less avoidance of wells (well density β = 0.18 ± 0.08) than the pre-mitigation models (well density β = -0.09 ± 0.11). However, birds still avoided areas of high well density and nests were not found in areas with greater than 4 wells per km2 and the majority of nests (63%) were located in areas with ≤ 1 well per km2. Several other model coefficients differed between the two time periods and indicated stronger selection for sagebrush (pre-mitigation β = 0.30 ± 0.09; post-mitigation β = 0.82 ± 0.08) and less avoidance of rugged terrain (pre-mitigation β = -0.35 ± 0.12; post-mitigation β = -0.05 ± 0.09). Mitigation efforts implemented may

  14. The influence of mitigation on sage-grouse habitat selection within an energy development field.

    PubMed

    Fedy, Bradley C; Kirol, Christopher P; Sutphin, Andrew L; Maechtle, Thomas L

    2015-01-01

    Growing global energy demands ensure the continued growth of energy development. Energy development in wildlife areas can significantly impact wildlife populations. Efforts to mitigate development impacts to wildlife are on-going, but the effectiveness of such efforts is seldom monitored or assessed. Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) are sensitive to energy development and likely serve as an effective umbrella species for other sagebrush-steppe obligate wildlife. We assessed the response of birds within an energy development area before and after the implementation of mitigation action. Additionally, we quantified changes in habitat distribution and abundance in pre- and post-mitigation landscapes. Sage-grouse avoidance of energy development at large spatial scales is well documented. We limited our research to directly within an energy development field in order to assess the influence of mitigation in close proximity to energy infrastructure. We used nest-location data (n = 488) within an energy development field to develop habitat selection models using logistic regression on data from 4 years of research prior to mitigation and for 4 years following the implementation of extensive mitigation efforts (e.g., decreased activity, buried powerlines). The post-mitigation habitat selection models indicated less avoidance of wells (well density β = 0.18 ± 0.08) than the pre-mitigation models (well density β = -0.09 ± 0.11). However, birds still avoided areas of high well density and nests were not found in areas with greater than 4 wells per km2 and the majority of nests (63%) were located in areas with ≤ 1 well per km2. Several other model coefficients differed between the two time periods and indicated stronger selection for sagebrush (pre-mitigation β = 0.30 ± 0.09; post-mitigation β = 0.82 ± 0.08) and less avoidance of rugged terrain (pre-mitigation β = -0.35 ± 0.12; post-mitigation β = -0.05 ± 0.09). Mitigation efforts implemented may

  15. The influence of mitigation on sage-grouse habitat selection within an energy development field.

    PubMed

    Fedy, Bradley C; Kirol, Christopher P; Sutphin, Andrew L; Maechtle, Thomas L

    2015-01-01

    Growing global energy demands ensure the continued growth of energy development. Energy development in wildlife areas can significantly impact wildlife populations. Efforts to mitigate development impacts to wildlife are on-going, but the effectiveness of such efforts is seldom monitored or assessed. Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) are sensitive to energy development and likely serve as an effective umbrella species for other sagebrush-steppe obligate wildlife. We assessed the response of birds within an energy development area before and after the implementation of mitigation action. Additionally, we quantified changes in habitat distribution and abundance in pre- and post-mitigation landscapes. Sage-grouse avoidance of energy development at large spatial scales is well documented. We limited our research to directly within an energy development field in order to assess the influence of mitigation in close proximity to energy infrastructure. We used nest-location data (n = 488) within an energy development field to develop habitat selection models using logistic regression on data from 4 years of research prior to mitigation and for 4 years following the implementation of extensive mitigation efforts (e.g., decreased activity, buried powerlines). The post-mitigation habitat selection models indicated less avoidance of wells (well density β = 0.18 ± 0.08) than the pre-mitigation models (well density β = -0.09 ± 0.11). However, birds still avoided areas of high well density and nests were not found in areas with greater than 4 wells per km2 and the majority of nests (63%) were located in areas with ≤ 1 well per km2. Several other model coefficients differed between the two time periods and indicated stronger selection for sagebrush (pre-mitigation β = 0.30 ± 0.09; post-mitigation β = 0.82 ± 0.08) and less avoidance of rugged terrain (pre-mitigation β = -0.35 ± 0.12; post-mitigation β = -0.05 ± 0.09). Mitigation efforts implemented may

  16. Sonoran pronghorn habitat use on landscapes disturbed by military activities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krausman, P.R.; Harris, L.K.; Haas, S.K.; Koenen, Kiana K. G.; Devers, P.; Bunting, D.; Barb, M.

    2005-01-01

    The Sonoran pronghorn (Antilocapra americana sonoriensis) population in the United States declined to ???33 animals in January 2003. Low population numbers and unstable recruitment are concerns for biologists managing this subspecies. We examined habitat use by pronghorn from 1999 to 2002 on a portion of the Barry M. Goldwater Range (BMGR) used for military exercises. We overlaid locations of pronghorn (n= 1,203) on 377 1-km2 blocks within the North (NTAC) and South Tactical Ranges (STAC), BMGR; we classified vegetation associations and disturbance status (e.g., airfields, targets, roads) for each block. Locations of pronghorn were distributed in proportion to vegetation associations on NTAC and STAC. Sightings of pronghorns were biased toward disturbed blocks, with 73% of locations of pronghorn occurring in proximity to mock airfields, high-explosive hills (e.g., targets for live high-explosive bombs and rockets), other targets, and roads. Disturbed landscapes on the BMGR may attract Sonoran pronghorn by creating favorable forage. Habitat manipulations simulating the effects of military disturbances on the landscape (e.g., improved forage) may improve remaining Sonoran pronghorn habitat. Antilocapra americana sonoriensis, Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range, disturbed habitat, habitat availability, habitat use, military activity, Sonoran pronghorn.

  17. Assessing habitat selection in Spring by male American Woodcock in Maine with a geographic information system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sprankle, K.E.; Sepik, G.F.; McAuley, D.G.; Longcore, J.R.

    2000-01-01

    Geographic information system (GIS) technology was used to identify habitats available to and used by male American woodcock (Scolopax minor) equipped with radio transmitters--54 in 1987, 51 in 1988, 46 in 1989 at Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, Maine. Woodcock were monitored from time of capture (25 March-15 April) to 15 June each year. To determine habitat selection by male woodcock, the following habitat characteristics were measured: land cover, age and stocking density of the forest overstory, soil drainage and texture, aspect, and percent slope. Habitat selection was examined as affected by the covariates weather and age-class of woodcock, and among years for diurnal and crepuscular periods of the breeding period. Multivariate techniques that compare use and availability of habitats were not available, so a statistical model was developed to rate importance of multiple habitat characteristics selected by woodcock. The most critical period for woodcock in terms of survival was from arrival to: mid-April. Second-year and after-second-year woodcock did not select different (P > 0.05) habitat types, but they did select different types among years and within breeding intervals (P < 0.05). In years when weather was moderate, woodcock selected young, dense stands of speckled alder (Alnus rugosa) and hardwoods, interspersed with forest openings. Suitable habitat can be maintained by creating an uneven-aged forest managed in even-aged blocks composed of several hardwood species. Managers can now quantify suitable woodcock habitat in a GIS and plan large-scale forest-harvesting strategies using data on several habitat characteristics (e.g., land cover, stand age, stocking density, soil drainage and texture, and aspect).

  18. Distinct Habitats Select Particular Bacterial Communities in Mangrove Sediments

    PubMed Central

    Rocha, Lidianne L.; Colares, Geórgia B.; Nogueira, Vanessa L. R.; Paes, Fernanda A.; Melo, Vânia M. M.

    2016-01-01

    We investigated the relationship among environmental variables, composition, and structure of bacterial communities in different habitats in a mangrove located nearby to an oil exploitation area, aiming to retrieve the natural pattern of bacterial communities in this ecosystem. The T-RFLP analysis showed a high diversity of bacterial populations and an increase in the bacterial richness from habitats closer to the sea and without vegetation (S1) to habitats covered by Avicennia schaueriana (S2) and Rhizophora mangle (S3). Environmental variables in S1 and S2 were more similar than in S3; however, when comparing the bacterial compositions, S2 and S3 shared more OTUs between them, suggesting that the presence of vegetation is an important factor in shaping these bacterial communities. In silico analyses of the fragments revealed a high diversity of the class Gammaproteobacteria in the 3 sites, although in general they presented quite different bacterial composition, which is probably shaped by the specificities of each habitat. This study shows that microhabitats inside of a mangrove ecosystem harbor diverse and distinct microbiota, reinforcing the need to conserve these ecosystems as a whole. PMID:26989418

  19. Distinct Habitats Select Particular Bacterial Communities in Mangrove Sediments.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Lidianne L; Colares, Geórgia B; Nogueira, Vanessa L R; Paes, Fernanda A; Melo, Vânia M M

    2016-01-01

    We investigated the relationship among environmental variables, composition, and structure of bacterial communities in different habitats in a mangrove located nearby to an oil exploitation area, aiming to retrieve the natural pattern of bacterial communities in this ecosystem. The T-RFLP analysis showed a high diversity of bacterial populations and an increase in the bacterial richness from habitats closer to the sea and without vegetation (S1) to habitats covered by Avicennia schaueriana (S2) and Rhizophora mangle (S3). Environmental variables in S1 and S2 were more similar than in S3; however, when comparing the bacterial compositions, S2 and S3 shared more OTUs between them, suggesting that the presence of vegetation is an important factor in shaping these bacterial communities. In silico analyses of the fragments revealed a high diversity of the class Gammaproteobacteria in the 3 sites, although in general they presented quite different bacterial composition, which is probably shaped by the specificities of each habitat. This study shows that microhabitats inside of a mangrove ecosystem harbor diverse and distinct microbiota, reinforcing the need to conserve these ecosystems as a whole. PMID:26989418

  20. Habitat Selection and Behaviour of a Reintroduced Passerine: Linking Experimental Restoration, Behaviour and Habitat Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Victoria A.; Doerr, Veronica A. J.; Doerr, Erik D.; Manning, Adrian D.; Lindenmayer, David B.; Yoon, Hwan-Jin

    2013-01-01

    Habitat restoration can play an important role in recovering functioning ecosystems and improving biodiversity. Restoration may be particularly important in improving habitat prior to species reintroductions. We reintroduced seven brown treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus) social groups into two nature reserves in the Australian Capital Territory in south-eastern Australia. This study provided a unique opportunity to understand the interactions between restoration ecology, behavioural ecology and habitat ecology. We examined how experimental restoration treatments (addition of coarse woody debris, variations in ground vegetation cover and nest box installation) influenced the behaviour and microhabitat use of radio-tracked individuals to evaluate the success of restoration treatments. The addition of coarse woody debris benefited the brown treecreeper through increasing the probability of foraging on a log or on the ground. This demonstrated the value of using behaviour as a bio-indicator for restoration success. Based on previous research, we predicted that variations in levels of ground vegetation cover would influence behaviour and substrate use, particularly that brown treecreepers would choose sites with sparse ground cover because this allows better access to food and better vigilance for predators. However, there was little effect of this treatment, which was likely influenced by the limited overall use of the ground layer. There was also little effect of nest boxes on behaviour or substrate use. These results somewhat confound our understanding of the species based on research from extant populations. Our results also have a significant impact regarding using existing knowledge on a species to inform how it will respond to reintroduction and habitat restoration. This study also places great emphasis on the value of applying an experimental framework to ecological restoration, particularly when reintroductions produce unexpected outcomes. PMID:23349923

  1. Specializing on vulnerable habitat: Acropora selectivity among damselfish recruits and the risk of bleaching-induced habitat loss

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonin, M. C.

    2012-03-01

    Coral reef habitats are increasingly being degraded and destroyed by a range of disturbances, most notably climate-induced coral bleaching. Habitat specialists, particularly those associated with susceptible coral species, are clearly among the most vulnerable to population decline or extinction. However, the degree of specialization on coral microhabitats is still unclear for one of the most ubiquitous, abundant and well studied of coral reef fish families—the damselfishes (Pomacentridae). Using high taxonomic resolution surveys of microhabitat use and availability, this study provides the first species-level description of patterns of Acropora selectivity among recruits of 10 damselfish species in order to determine their vulnerability to habitat degradation. In addition, surveys of the bleaching susceptibility of 16 branching coral species revealed which preferred recruitment microhabitats are at highest risk of decline as a result of chronic coral bleaching. Four species (i.e., Chrysiptera parasema, Pomacentrus moluccensis, Dascyllus melanurus and Chromis retrofasciata) were identified as highly vulnerable because they used only branching hard corals as recruitment habitat and primarily associated with only 2-4 coral species. The bleaching surveys revealed that five species of Acropora were highly susceptible to bleaching, with more than 50% of colonies either severely bleached or already dead. These highly susceptible corals included two of the preferred microhabitats of the specialist C. parasema and represented a significant proportion of its total recruitment microhabitat. In contrast, highly susceptible corals were rarely used by another specialist, P. moluccensis, suggesting that this species faces a lower risk of bleaching-induced habitat loss compared to C. parasema. As degradation to coral reef habitats continues, specialists will increasingly be forced to use alternative recruitment microhabitats, and this is likely to reduce population

  2. Effects of weather on habitat selection and behavior of mallards wintering in Nebraska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jorde, D.G.; Krapu, G.L.; Crawford, R.D.; Hay, M.A.

    1984-01-01

    Sex and age ratios, habitat selection, spatial characteristics, and time budgets of Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) wintering on the Platte River in south central Nebraska were studied from mid-December to early April 1978-1980. The proportion of females and subadults in the population increased substantially from a cold to a mild winter. Radio-tagged Mallards shifted from riverine to canal roost sites during the coldest periods of the winter, seemingly because of more favorable microclimatic conditions there. Subadults ranged over larger areas during winter than did adults. Activity patterns varied with weather conditions, time of day, and habitat type. During cold periods, energetically costly activities such as aggression and courtship decreased at roost sites and the intensity of foraging activities in fields increased. Mallards were more active at riverine than canal sites during both years. High energy requirements and intense competition for scarce food appear to be primary factors limiting the northernmost distribution of Mallards in winter and causing their skewed sex and age ratios.

  3. Marine Habitat Selection by Marbled Murrelets (Brachyramphus marmoratus) during the Breeding Season

    PubMed Central

    Lorenz, Teresa J.; Raphael, Martin G.; Bloxton, Thomas D.

    2016-01-01

    The marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) is a declining seabird that is well-known for nesting in coastal old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest. Most studies of habitat selection have focused on modeling terrestrial nesting habitat even though marine habitat is believed to be a major contributor to population declines in some regions. To address this information gap, we conducted a 5-year study of marine resource selection by murrelets in Washington, which contains a population experiencing the steepest documented declines and where marine habitat is believed to be compromised. Across five years we tracked 157 radio-tagged murrelets during the breeding season (May to August), and used discrete choice models to examine habitat selection. Using an information theoretic approach, our global model had the most support, suggesting that murrelet resource selection at-sea is affected by many factors, both terrestrial and marine. Locations with higher amounts of nesting habitat (β = 21.49, P < 0.001) that were closer to shore (β = -0.0007, P < 0.001) and in cool waters (β = -0.2026, P < 0.001) with low footprint (β = -0.0087, P < 0.001) had higher probabilities of use. While past conservation efforts have focused on protecting terrestrial nesting habitat, we echo many past studies calling for future efforts to protect marine habitat for murrelets, as the current emphasis on terrestrial habitat alone may be insufficient for conserving populations. In particular, marine areas in close proximity to old-growth nesting habitat appear important for murrelets during the breeding season and should be priorities for protection. PMID:27681655

  4. Seasonal variation in microhabitat of salamanders: environmental variation or shift of habitat selection?

    PubMed Central

    Manenti, Raoul; Ficetola, Gentile Francesco

    2015-01-01

    Relationships between species and their habitats are not always constant. Different processes may determine changes in species-habitat association: individuals may prefer different habitat typologies in different periods, or they may be forced to occupy a different habitat in order to follow the changing environment. The aim of our study was to assess whether cave salamanders change their habitat association pattern through the year, and to test whether such changes are determined by environmental changes or by changes in preferences. We monitored multiple caves in Central Italy through one year, and monthly measured biotic and abiotic features of microhabitat and recorded Italian cave salamanders distribution. We used mixed models and niche similarity tests to assess whether species-habitat relationships remain constant through the year. Microhabitat showed strong seasonal variation, with the highest variability in the superficial sectors. Salamanders were associated to relatively cold and humid sectors in summer, but not during winter. Such apparent shift in habitat preferences mostly occurred because the environmental gradient changed through the year, while individuals generally selected similar conditions. Nevertheless, juveniles were more tolerant to dry sectors during late winter, when food demand was highest. This suggests that tolerance for suboptimal abiotic conditions may change through time, depending on the required resources. Differences in habitat use are jointly determined by environmental variation through time, and by changes in the preferred habitat. The trade-offs between tolerance and resources requirement are major determinant of such variation. PMID:26290788

  5. Heat, safety or solitude? Using habitat selection experiments to identify a lizard's priorities.

    PubMed

    Downes; Shine

    1998-05-01

    Laboratory experiments with a rock-dwelling nocturnal gecko, Oedura lesueurii, showed that retreat-site selection (and other behaviours) are affected by the interplay between thermal benefits, social advantages and avoidance of predators. Velvet geckos were highly selective in habitat choice: they preferred artificial retreat-sites that mimic the thermal properties of natural rocks in full sun rather than those that mimic rocks in full shade; mature male geckos rarely shared retreat-sites with other adult males; and these lizards strongly avoided retreat-sites covered with the scent of a natural predator (the broadheaded snake, Hoplocephalus bungaroides). After documenting these preferences, we carried out additional trials in which two or more of these factors co-occurred, as is often the case in nature. Social dominance interacted with thermal benefits in determining retreat-site selection, with smaller (subordinate) males forced to use cooler retreat-sites when larger (dominant) males were present. Avoidance of predators was a higher priority than thermoregulation: the lizards would forego a warmer retreat-site with predator scent in favour of a cooler, unscented one. There was also an interplay between social dominance and predator scent: smaller males were forced to use either predator-scented retreat-sites or no retreat-site when larger males were present. General activity levels, and the frequencies of specific behavioural acts, also shifted in response to social and predator-scent cues. Our study emphasizes the complexity of habitat-selection behaviour in these lizards, and clarifies the criteria used in retreat-site selection when (as is commonly the case) the animal must choose between conflicting priorities. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  6. Active frequency selective surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buchwald, Walter R.; Hendrickson, Joshua; Cleary, Justin W.; Guo, Junpeng

    2013-05-01

    Split ring resonator arrays are investigated for use as active elements for the realization of voltage controllable frequency selective surfaces. Finite difference time domain simulations suggest the absorptive and reflective properties of such surfaces can be externally controlled through modifications of the split ring resonator gap impedance. In this work, such voltage-controlled resonance tuning is obtained through the addition of an appropriately designed high electron mobility transistor positioned across the split ring resonator gap. It is shown that a 0.5μm gate length high electron mobility transistor allows voltage controllable switching between the two resonant conditions associated with a split ring resonator and that of a closed loop geometry when the surface is illuminated with THz radiation. Partial switching between these two resonant conditions is observed at larger gate lengths. Such active frequency selective surfaces are proposed, for example, for use as modulators in THz detection schemes and as RF filters in radar applications when scaled to operate at GHz frequencies.

  7. Roosting habitat use and selection by northern spotted owls during natal dispersal

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sovern, Stan G.; Forsman, Eric D.; Dugger, Catherine M.; Taylor, Margaret

    2015-01-01

    We studied habitat selection by northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) during natal dispersal in Washington State, USA, at both the roost site and landscape scales. We used logistic regression to obtain parameters for an exponential resource selection function based on vegetation attributes in roost and random plots in 76 forest stands that were used for roosting. We used a similar analysis to evaluate selection of landscape habitat attributes based on 301 radio-telemetry relocations and random points within our study area. We found no evidence of within-stand selection for any of the variables examined, but 78% of roosts were in stands with at least some large (>50 cm dbh) trees. At the landscape scale, owls selected for stands with high canopy cover (>70%). Dispersing owls selected vegetation types that were more similar to habitat selected by adult owls than habitat that would result from following guidelines previously proposed to maintain dispersal habitat. Our analysis indicates that juvenile owls select stands for roosting that have greater canopy cover than is recommended in current agency guidelines.

  8. 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

  9. Invariant polar bear habitat selection during a period of sea ice loss.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Ryan R; Regehr, Eric V; Rode, Karyn D; St Martin, Michelle

    2016-08-17

    Climate change is expected to alter many species' habitat. A species' ability to adjust to these changes is partially determined by their ability to adjust habitat selection preferences to new environmental conditions. Sea ice loss has forced polar bears (Ursus maritimus) to spend longer periods annually over less productive waters, which may be a primary driver of population declines. A negative population response to greater time spent over less productive water implies, however, that prey are not also shifting their space use in response to sea ice loss. We show that polar bear habitat selection in the Chukchi Sea has not changed between periods before and after significant sea ice loss, leading to a 75% reduction of highly selected habitat in summer. Summer was the only period with loss of highly selected habitat, supporting the contention that summer will be a critical period for polar bears as sea ice loss continues. Our results indicate that bears are either unable to shift selection patterns to reflect new prey use patterns or that there has not been a shift towards polar basin waters becoming more productive for prey. Continued sea ice loss is likely to further reduce habitat with population-level consequences for polar bears.

  10. Invariant polar bear habitat selection during a period of sea ice loss.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Ryan R; Regehr, Eric V; Rode, Karyn D; St Martin, Michelle

    2016-08-17

    Climate change is expected to alter many species' habitat. A species' ability to adjust to these changes is partially determined by their ability to adjust habitat selection preferences to new environmental conditions. Sea ice loss has forced polar bears (Ursus maritimus) to spend longer periods annually over less productive waters, which may be a primary driver of population declines. A negative population response to greater time spent over less productive water implies, however, that prey are not also shifting their space use in response to sea ice loss. We show that polar bear habitat selection in the Chukchi Sea has not changed between periods before and after significant sea ice loss, leading to a 75% reduction of highly selected habitat in summer. Summer was the only period with loss of highly selected habitat, supporting the contention that summer will be a critical period for polar bears as sea ice loss continues. Our results indicate that bears are either unable to shift selection patterns to reflect new prey use patterns or that there has not been a shift towards polar basin waters becoming more productive for prey. Continued sea ice loss is likely to further reduce habitat with population-level consequences for polar bears. PMID:27534959

  11. Habitat selection by three littoral zone fishes: effects of predation pressure, plant density and macrophyte type

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chick, J.H.; McIvor, C.C.

    1997-01-01

    We conducted laboratory experiments which demonstrated that three littoral zone fishes differentially selected among three macrophytes when seeking refuge from predation. In the presence of a predator (a juvenile Micropterus salmoides), mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki), sailfin mollies (Poecilia latipinna). and dollar sunfish (Lepomis marginatus) displayed ferential use of four tank areas containing patches of either Hydrilla verticillata, Potamogeton illinoensis, Panicum hemitomon, or no plants. Patterns habitat selection, and the consistency of these patterns among replicates, differed among the three fishes and among three plant-density treatments - natural (each macrophyte presented at its mean field density), equal (all three macrophytes at the same density), and control (no plants). Selection for H. verticillata by mosquitofish was significant for both the equal and natural treatments, and thus was not caused by differences in plant density alone. Sailfin mollies displayed significant selection for H. verticillata only in the natural plant-density treatments. Dollar sunfish showed less consistent habitat selection than either mosquitofish or sailfin mollies. Significant habitat selection was not found in the absence of a predator, and there was no evidence for lection among the tank areas in control treatments. Patterns of habitat selection by the three fishes in our laboratory study corresponded to observed habitat use in Lake Okeechobee.

  12. Density-dependent habitat selection by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) in tallgrass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jensen, W.E.; Cully, J.F.

    2005-01-01

    Local distributions of avian brood parasites among their host habitats may depend upon conspecific parasite density. We used isodar analysis to test for density-dependent habitat selection in brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) among tallgrass prairie adjacent to wooded edges, and prairie interior habitat (>100 m from wooded edges) with and without experimental perches. Eight study sites containing these three habitat treatments were established along a geographical gradient in cowbird abundance within the Flint Hills region of Eastern Kansas and Oklahoma, USA. The focal host species of our study, the dickcissel (Spiza americana), is the most abundant and preferred cowbird host in the prairie of this region. Cowbird relative abundance and cowbird:host abundance ratios were used as estimates of female cowbird density, whereas cowbird egg density was measured as parasitism frequency (percent of dickcissel nests parasitized), and parasitism intensity (number of cowbird eggs per parasitized nest). Geographical variation in cowbird abundance was independent of host abundance. Within study sites, host abundance was highest in wooded edge plots, intermediate in the experimental perch plots, and lowest in prairie interior. Cowbirds exhibited a pattern of density-dependent selection of prairie edge versus experimental perch and interior habitats. On sites where measures of cowbird density were lowest, all cowbird density estimates (female cowbirds and their eggs) were highest near (???100 m) wooded edges, where host and perch availability are highest. However, as overall cowbird density increased geographically, these density estimates increased more rapidly in experimental perch plots and prairie interiors. Variation in cowbird abundance and cowbird:host ratios suggested density-dependent cowbird selection of experimental perch over prairie interior habitat, but parasitism levels on dickcissel nests were similar among these two habitats at all levels of local cowbird

  13. Contrasting habitat selection amongst cephalopods in the Mediterranean Sea: When the environment makes the difference.

    PubMed

    Lauria, V; Garofalo, G; Gristina, M; Fiorentino, F

    2016-08-01

    Conservation of fish habitat requires a deeper knowledge of how species distribution patterns are related to environmental factors. Habitat suitability modelling is an essential tool to quantify species' realised niches and understand species-environment relationships. Cephalopods are important players in the marine food web and a significant resource for fisheries; they are also very sensitive to environmental changes. Here a time series of fishery-independent data (1998-2011) was used to construct habitat suitability models and investigate the influence of environmental variables on four commercial cephalopods: Todaropsis eblanae, Illex coindetii, Eledone moschata and Eledone cirrhosa, in the central Mediterranean Sea. The main environmental predictors of cephalopod habitat suitability were depth, seafloor morphology, chlorophyll-a concentration, sea surface temperature and surface salinity. Predictive maps highlighted contrasting habitat selection amongst species. This study identifies areas where the important commercial species of cephalopods are concentrated and provides significant information for a future spatial based approach to fisheries management in the Mediterranean Sea.

  14. 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.

  15. Seasonal and diel habitat selection by bluegills in a shallow natural lake

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paukert, C.P.; Willis, D.W.

    2002-01-01

    Habitat use by bluegill Lepomis macrochirus may be dictated by the avoidance of predators and the availability of prey. Previous work suggests that bluegills large enough to avoid predators will select habitats based on foraging profitability. However, these studies focused on smaller fish (200 mm total length [TL]) bluegills in a shallow (mean depth = 1.2 m), 332-ha, natural lake (Pelican Lake, Nebraska) with both emergent and submergent vegetation distributed throughout. A total of 78 bluegills (200-273 mm TL) were implanted with radio transmitters and relocated daily for 6 d per month (April-September); up to 20 of the tagged fish were relocated every 2 h for a 24-h period once each month. Regardless of diel period, bluegills used open-water, emergent vegetation, submergent vegetation, and mixed emergent - submergent vegetation habitat types in similar proportions. During April, June, and July, male bluegills positively selected emergent vegetation, whereas female bluegills showed no vegetation selection preference during any month. Throughout the study period, bluegills never avoided open-water habitats, suggesting that larger individuals may continue to use open-water habitats in proportion to their availability. In addition, emergent vegetation appeared to be important, particularly for male bluegills. Although the mechanism for the positive selection of emergent vegetation by males was unclear, the protection or enhancement of such habitats may facilitate the preservation of quality bluegill populations in shallow lakes.

  16. Habitat selection responses of parents to offspring predation risk: An experimental test

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fontaine, J.J.; Martin, T.E.

    2006-01-01

    The ability of nest predation to influence habitat settlement decisions in birds is widely debated, despite its importance in limiting fitness. Here, we experimentally manipulated nest predation risk across a landscape and asked the question, do migratory birds assess and respond to variation in nest predation risk when choosing breeding habitats? We examined habitat preference by quantifying the density and settlement date of eight species of migratory passerines breeding in areas with and without intact nest predator communities. We found consistently more individuals nesting in areas with reduced nest predation than in areas with intact predator assemblages, although predation risk had no influence on settlement or breeding phenology. Additionally, those individuals occupying safer nesting habitats exhibited increased singing activity. These findings support a causal relationship between habitat choice and nest predation risk and suggest the importance of nest predation risk in shaping avian community structure and breeding activity. ?? 2006 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

  17. Selecting habitat to survive: the impact of road density on survival in a large carnivore.

    PubMed

    Basille, Mathieu; Van Moorter, Bram; Herfindal, Ivar; Martin, Jodie; Linnell, John D C; Odden, John; Andersen, Reidar; Gaillard, Jean-Michel

    2013-01-01

    Habitat selection studies generally assume that animals select habitat and food resources at multiple scales to maximise their fitness. However, animals sometimes prefer habitats of apparently low quality, especially when considering the costs associated with spatially heterogeneous human disturbance. We used spatial variation in human disturbance, and its consequences on lynx survival, a direct fitness component, to test the Hierarchical Habitat Selection hypothesis from a population of Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx in southern Norway. Data from 46 lynx monitored with telemetry indicated that a high proportion of forest strongly reduced the risk of mortality from legal hunting at the home range scale, while increasing road density strongly increased such risk at the finer scale within the home range. We found hierarchical effects of the impact of human disturbance, with a higher road density at a large scale reinforcing its negative impact at a fine scale. Conversely, we demonstrated that lynx shifted their habitat selection to avoid areas with the highest road densities within their home ranges, thus supporting a compensatory mechanism at fine scale enabling lynx to mitigate the impact of large-scale disturbance. Human impact, positively associated with high road accessibility, was thus a stronger driver of lynx space use at a finer scale, with home range characteristics nevertheless constraining habitat selection. Our study demonstrates the truly hierarchical nature of habitat selection, which aims at maximising fitness by selecting against limiting factors at multiple spatial scales, and indicates that scale-specific heterogeneity of the environment is driving individual spatial behaviour, by means of trade-offs across spatial scales.

  18. Selecting Habitat to Survive: The Impact of Road Density on Survival in a Large Carnivore

    PubMed Central

    Basille, Mathieu; Van Moorter, Bram; Herfindal, Ivar; Martin, Jodie; Linnell, John D. C.; Odden, John; Andersen, Reidar; Gaillard, Jean-Michel

    2013-01-01

    Habitat selection studies generally assume that animals select habitat and food resources at multiple scales to maximise their fitness. However, animals sometimes prefer habitats of apparently low quality, especially when considering the costs associated with spatially heterogeneous human disturbance. We used spatial variation in human disturbance, and its consequences on lynx survival, a direct fitness component, to test the Hierarchical Habitat Selection hypothesis from a population of Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx in southern Norway. Data from 46 lynx monitored with telemetry indicated that a high proportion of forest strongly reduced the risk of mortality from legal hunting at the home range scale, while increasing road density strongly increased such risk at the finer scale within the home range. We found hierarchical effects of the impact of human disturbance, with a higher road density at a large scale reinforcing its negative impact at a fine scale. Conversely, we demonstrated that lynx shifted their habitat selection to avoid areas with the highest road densities within their home ranges, thus supporting a compensatory mechanism at fine scale enabling lynx to mitigate the impact of large-scale disturbance. Human impact, positively associated with high road accessibility, was thus a stronger driver of lynx space use at a finer scale, with home range characteristics nevertheless constraining habitat selection. Our study demonstrates the truly hierarchical nature of habitat selection, which aims at maximising fitness by selecting against limiting factors at multiple spatial scales, and indicates that scale-specific heterogeneity of the environment is driving individual spatial behaviour, by means of trade-offs across spatial scales. PMID:23874381

  19. Linking habitat selection and predation risk to spatial variation in survival.

    PubMed

    DeCesare, Nicholas J; Hebblewhite, Mark; Bradley, Mark; Hervieux, David; Neufeld, Lalenia; Musiani, Marco

    2014-03-01

    A central assumption underlying the study of habitat selection is that selected habitats confer enhanced fitness. Unfortunately, this assumption is rarely tested, and in some systems, gradients of predation risk may more accurately characterize spatial variation in vital rates than gradients described by habitat selection studies. Here, we separately measured spatial patterns of both resource selection and predation risk and tested their relationships with a key demographic trait, adult female survival, for a threatened ungulate, woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou Gmelin). We also evaluated whether exposure to gradients in both predation risk and resource selection value was manifested temporally through instantaneous or seasonal effects on survival outcomes. We used Cox proportional hazards spatial survival modelling to assess the relative support for 5 selection- and risk-based definitions of habitat quality, as quantified by woodland caribou adult female survival. These hypotheses included scenarios in which selection ideally mirrored survival, risk entirely drove survival, non-ideal selection correlated with survival but with additive risk effects, an ecological trap with maladaptive selection and a non-spatial effect of annual variation in weather. Indeed, we found positive relationships between the predicted values of a resource selection function (RSF) and survival, yet subsequently incorporating an additional negative effect of predation risk greatly improved models further. This revealed a positive, but non-ideal relationship between selection and survival. Gradients in these covariates were also shown to affect individual survival probability at multiple temporal scales. Exposure to increased predation risk had a relatively instantaneous effect on survival outcomes, whereas variation in habitat suitability predicted by an RSF had both instantaneous and longer-term seasonal effects on survival. Predation risk was an additive source of hazard

  20. 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

  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

  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

  3. Use and selection of brood-rearing habitat by Sage Grouse in south central Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sveum, C.M.; Crawford, J.A.; Edge, W.D.

    1998-01-01

    Sage Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) brood-habitat use was examined during 1992 and 1993 at the Yakima Training Center in Yakima and Kittitas counties, Washington. During the 2 yr we followed 38 broods, of which 12 persisted to 1 August (x?? = approximately 1.5 chicks/brood). Food forb cover was greater at all brood locations than at random locations. Hens with broods in big sagebrush/bunchgrass habitat (Artemisia tridentata/Agropyron spicatum) selected for greater food forb cover, total forb cover, and lower shrub heights; broods in altered big sagebrush/bunchgrass habitats selected greater tall grass cover and vertical cover height; broods in grassland showed no preference for any measured vegetation characteristics. During the early rearing period (post-hatching-6 wk) each year, broods selected sagebrush/bunchgrass. Broods in 1993 made greater use of grasslands than in 1992 and selected grassland during the late brood-rearing period (7-12 wk). Broods selected for sagebrush/bunchgrass during midday, but 52% of brood locations in the afternoon were in grassland. Tall grass cover was greater at morning (0500-1000 h) and afternoon (1501-2000 h) brood locations than at midday (1001-1500 h) and random locations. Midday brood locations had greater shrub cover and height than morning and afternoon locations. Selection of habitat components was similar to the results of other studies, but habitat conditions coupled with a possible lack of 'alternate brood-rearing cover types resulted in low survival of chicks.

  4. Monitoring and mapping selected riparian habitat along the lower Snake River

    SciTech Connect

    Downs, J. L; Tiller, B. L; Witter, M.; Mazaika, R.

    1996-01-01

    Studies in this document were initiated to establish baseline information on riparian and wetland habitat conditions at the areas studied under the current reservoir operations on the lower Snake River. Two approaches were used to assess habitat at 28 study sites selected on the four pools on the lower Snake River. These areas all contribute significant riparian habitat along the river, and several of these areas are designated habitat management units. At 14 of the 28 sites, we monitored riparian habitat on three dates during the growing season to quantify vegetation abundance and composition along three transects: soil nutrients, moisture, and pH and water level and pH. A second approach involved identifying any differences in the extent and amount of riparian/wetland habitat currently found at the study areas from that previously documented. We used both ground and boat surveys to map and classify the changes in vegetative cover along the shoreline at the 14 monitoring sites and at 14 additional sites along the lower Snake selected to represent various riparian/wetland habitat conditions. Results of these mapping efforts are compared with maps of cover types previously generated using aerial photography taken in 1987.

  5. Habitat use and food selection of small mammals near a sagebrush/crested wheatgrass interface in southeastern Idaho

    SciTech Connect

    Koehler, D.K. ); Anderson, S.H. )

    1991-09-01

    Research has been conducted on various aspects of the ecology of wildlife residing on and adjacent to the Subsurface Disposal Area (SDA) and one other low-level radioactive waste disposal site on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) in southeastern Idaho. Habitat use and food selection data were collected for deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), montane voles (Microtus montanus), Ord's kangaroo rats (Dipodomys ordii), and Townsend's ground squirrels (Spermophilus townsendii) near a sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)/crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) interface. Significantly more captures occurred in the native sagebrush habitat than in areas planted in crested wheatgrass or in disturbed sites. Crested wheatgrass, a prolific seed producer, still accounted for over 30% of the total captures. Montane voles and Townsend's ground squirrels (during periods of aboveground activity) used the crested wheatgrass habitat throughout the summer, while deer mice and Ord's kangaroo rats exhibited heavy use after seed set.

  6. Redd Site Selection and Spawning Habitat Use by Fall Chinook Salmon, Hanford Reach, Columbia River : Final Report 1995 - 1998.

    SciTech Connect

    Geist, David R.

    1999-05-01

    This report summarizes results of research activities conducted from 1995 through 1998 on identifying the spawning habitat requirements of fall chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River. The project investigated whether traditional spawning habitat models could be improved in order to make better predictions of available habitat for fall chinook salmon in the Snake River. Results suggest models could be improved if they used spawning area-specific, rather than river-specific, spawning characteristics; incorporated hyporheic discharge measurements; and gave further consideration to the geomorphic features that are present in the unconstrained segments of large alluvial rivers. Ultimately the recovery of endangered fall chinook salmon will depend on how well we are able to recreate the characteristics once common in alluvial floodplains of large rivers. The results from this research can be used to better define the relationship between these physical habitat characteristics and fall chinook salmon spawning site selection, and provide more efficient use of limited recovery resources. This report is divided into four chapters which were presented in the author's doctoral dissertation which he completed through the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University. Each of the chapters has been published in peer reviewed journals or is currently under review. Chapter one is a conceptual spawning habitat model that describes how geomorphic features of river channels create hydraulic processes, including hyporheic flows, that influence where salmon spawn in unconstrained reaches of large mainstem alluvial rivers. Chapter two describes the comparison of the physical factors associated with fall chinook salmon redd clusters located at two sites within the Reach. Spatial point pattern analysis of redds showed that redd clusters averaged approximately 10 hectares in area and their locations were consistent from year to

  7. Post-parturition habitat selection by elk calves and adult female elk in New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pitman, J.; Cain, James W.; Liley, Stewart; Gould, William R.; Quintana, Nichole T.; Ballard, Warren

    2014-01-01

    Neonatal survival and juvenile recruitment are crucial to maintaining viable elk (Cervus elaphus) populations. Neonate survival is known to be influenced by many factors, including bed-site selection. Although neonates select the actual bed-site location, they must do so within the larger calf-rearing area selected by the mother. As calves age, habitat selection should change to meet the changing needs of the growing calf. Our main objectives were to characterize habitat selection at 2 spatial scales and in areas with different predator assemblages in New Mexico. We evaluated bed-site selection by calves and calf-rearing area selection by adult females. We captured 108 elk calves by hand and fitted them with ear tag transmitters in two areas in New Mexico: the Valle Vidal and Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. In both study areas, we found that concealing cover structure and distance to that cover influenced bed-site selection of young calves (i.e., <2 weeks of age). Older calves (i.e., 3–10 weeks of age) still selected areas in relation to distance to cover, but also preferred areas with higher visibility. At the larger spatial scale of calf-rearing habitat selection by the adult female, concealing cover (e.g., rocks, shrubs, and logs) and other variables important to the hiding calves were still in the most supported models, but selection was also influenced by forage availability and indices of forage quality. Studies that seek to obtain insight into microhabitat selection of ungulate neonates should consider selection by the neonate and selection by the adult female, changes in selection as neonates age, and potential selection differences in areas of differing predation risk. By considering these influences together and at multiple scales, studies can achieve a broader understanding of neonatal ungulate habitat requirements. 

  8. An obligate beach bird selects sub-, inter- and supra-tidal habitat elements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehmke, Glenn; Maguire, Grainne S.; Bird, Tomas; Ierodiaconou, Daniel; Weston, Michael A.

    2016-11-01

    Few habitat models are available for widespread, obligate, high-energy sandy shore vertebrates, such as the Eastern Hooded Plover Thinornis cucullatus cucullatus. We examined habitat attributes which determined the difference between sites where plovers breed and randomly-selected absence sites (determined from long-term systematic monitoring). A variety of habitat variables were derived from aerial photography and bathymetric and terrestrial Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) data. Logistic regression against eight candidate variables, in a model selection framework, revealed considerable support for four variables with respect to explaining the presence of breeding territories. In particular, the amount of unvegetated dune and foredune which was unvegetated, and the amount of intertidal and sub-tidal reef were positively associated with the presence of breeding territories. Thus, plovers apparently select certain habitat in which to breed, involving sub-tidal, intertidal and supra-tidal habitat elements. The model also helps explain the virtual absence of breeding plovers from long sections of superficially suitable habitat, such as the fourth longest continuous beach in the world.

  9. Density-dependent habitat selection of spawning Chinook salmon: broad-scale evidence and implications.

    PubMed

    Falcy, Matthew R

    2015-03-01

    An extensive body of theory suggests that density-dependent habitat selection drives many fundamental ecological processes. The ideal free distribution and the ideal despotic distribution make contrasting predictions about the effect of total population size on relative abundances among habitats. Empirical assessment of these habitat selection models is uncommon because data must be collected over large temporal and spatial scales. I ask whether fluctuation in Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) spawner population size through time leads to different relative densities over space. Twenty-six years of monitoring data on spawning Chinook salmon across the entire coast of Oregon, USA, were used to evaluate models that make contrasting statements about the interactions of a latent population abundance parameter with physical habitat characteristics. There is strong information-theoretic support for models that include terms that allow the spatial variation in density to change as population size changes through time. Analysis of the best model reveals nonlinear isodars, which suggests a 'despotic' or 'preemptive' distribution of individuals across habitats, indicating that dominant or early-arriving individuals exclude others from breeding sites. This finding has implications for genetic dynamics, population dynamics and conservation metrics of these highly valued fish. The novel application of modelling techniques used here to assess mechanisms of habitat selection from observational data can be used in the emerging field of eco-evolutionary dynamics. PMID:25283166

  10. Habitat selection by sea kraits (Laticauda spp.) at coastal sites of Orchid Island, Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yu-Ling; Chen, Yi-Huei; Lillywhite, Harvey B; Tu, Ming-Chung

    2012-08-01

    Three species of amphibious sea kraits (Laticauda spp.) spend variable time at sea and require fresh water for water balance. Both the rate of cutaneous evaporative water loss and the extent of terrestriality are known to differ among them. Laticauda semifasciata has the greatest rate of water loss and the least extent of terrestriality, whereas L. colubrina exhibits the reverse and L. laticaudata is intermediate. These sea kraits tend to be more abundant at places where there are sources of fresh water, but other factors also influence their distribution. To further clarify the habitat requirements, we investigated the abundance of each species of sea krait at six different habitats and the availability of each type of habitat on Orchid Island, Taiwan. The six habitats were high coral reef without fresh water (HR) and with fresh water (HRF); low coral reef without fresh water (LR) and with fresh water (LRF); sand or gravel coast, which has no coral reef, without fresh water (NR) and with fresh water (NRF). The extent of safety judged from the relative availability of retreat sites, from high to low, was HR, LR, and NR among these habitats. More than 75% of individuals counted for each species were found in HRF. We found no sea kraits in NRF and NR. The most available habitat was LR, but no L. laticaudata or L. semifasciata were found in this habitat. We found 3.3% and 16.7% of L. colubrina in LR and HR, respectively. For L. colubrina, the second abundant habitat was HR, whereas for L. laticaudata and L. semifasciata, the second abundant habitat was LRF. We conclude that both safety (availability of retreat sites) and fresh water are important to the habitat selection of sea kraits. Compared with other species, L. colubrina is characterized by a greater extent of terrestrial habit and possibly greater variety of access to sources of fresh water.

  11. Winter habitat selection of mule deer before and during development of a natural gas field

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sawyer, H.; Nielson, R.M.; Lindzey, F.; McDonald, L.L.

    2006-01-01

    Increased levels of natural gas exploration, development, and production across the Intermountain West have created a variety of concerns for mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) populations, including direct habitat loss to road and well-pad construction and indirect habitat losses that may occur if deer use declines near roads or well pads. We examined winter habitat selection patterns of adult female mule deer before and during the first 3 years of development in a natural gas field in western Wyoming. We used global positioning system (GPS) locations collected from a sample of adult female mule deer to model relative frequency or probability of use as a function of habitat variables. Model coefficients and predictive maps suggested mule deer were less likely to occupy areas in close proximity to well pads than those farther away. Changes in habitat selection appeared to be immediate (i.e., year 1 of development), and no evidence of well-pad acclimation occurred through the course of the study; rather, mule deer selected areas farther from well pads as development progressed. Lower predicted probabilities of use within 2.7 to 3.7 km of well pads suggested indirect habitat losses may be substantially larger than direct habitat losses. Additionally, some areas classified as high probability of use by mule deer before gas field development changed to areas of low use following development, and others originally classified as low probability of use were used more frequently as the field developed. If areas with high probability of use before development were those preferred by the deer, observed shifts in their distribution as development progressed were toward less-preferred and presumably less-suitable habitats.

  12. Size and biomagnification: How Habitat selection explains beluga mercury levels.

    PubMed

    Loseto, L L; Stern, G A; Ferguson, S H

    2008-06-01

    Mercury (Hg) levels in the Beaufort Sea beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) population increased during the 1990s; levels have since declined but remain higher than the 1980s. The diet of this beluga population is not well-known, thus it is difficult to assess dietary Hg sources. During the summer, the Beaufort Sea belugas segregate by length, sex, and reproductive status corresponding to habitat use that may result in feeding differences and ultimately Hg uptake. To test this hypothesis, we examine beluga dietary variation using fatty acid profiles and determine which biological variables best predict diet Relationships between biological variables and fatty acids were further evaluated with stable isotopes and Hg concentrations in liver and muscle. Hg concentrations in muscle were better related to liver delta15N than muscle delta15N. Stable isotopes and fatty acids are compared in their ability to describe dietary Hg processes in beluga. Fatty acids provided support for influences of whale behavior on dietary Hg uptake, whereas stable isotopes inferred tissue Hg metabolic rates. Here, we show beluga length drives diet variability leading to differences in Hg uptake and biomagnification processes dominate beluga Hg levels over Hg bioaccumulation over time.

  13. Basin-level habitat characteristics of selected streams in central Nebraska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zelt, R.B.

    1996-01-01

    The goal of stream habitat characterization is to use identified relations between habitat and other physical, chemical, or biological factors in interpreting water-quality conditions. Basin-level characterization of habitat is one component of the spatially hiearchial approach to stream habitat description adopted by the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment Program. The Central Nebraska Basins study unit is about 78,000 km2 in area and includes the Loup and Elkhorn River Basins as well as basins of smaller tributaries to the Platte River. Stream-basin habitat characteristics associated with nine fixed-sampling stations were computed from conventional and digital map data. Geographic information systems software was the principal analytical tool used. Basin characterizations generally were limited to only that part of each stream basin contained within the study unit. Habitat characteristics analyzed included basin size and shape, elevation, relief, drainage network characteristics, geology, physiography, soils, land use and cover, climate, runoff, and streamflow characteristics. The report presents a tabular summary of the basin-level habitat characteristics determined for the nine selected stream basins.

  14. [Habitat selection change of Mrs. Hume Pheasant (Syrmaticus humiae) in Dazhongshan during the year].

    PubMed

    Li, Wei; Zhou, Wei; Liu, Zhao; Li, Ning

    2010-10-01

    Habitat selection of Mrs. Hume Pheasant (Syrmaticus humiae) was studied respectively in fall and winter, spring and summer in Dazhongshan in Yunnan Province by the methods of used and available plots. The results of test and Bonferroni confidence interval showed that the pheasant prefer to select broadleaf evergreen forest as habitat category throughout the year, although the dominant species of tree, shrub or herb in habitat differed in seasons. The tests of differences of the factors between used and available plots indicated that there was no obvious selection for the terrain factors in the whole year except the factor of distance to the water in summer. Among all the vegetation factors that the significant different ones were listed as canopy tree coverage in spring; canopy tree density, canopy tree coverage, leaf litter coverage and herb coverage in summer; canopy tree coverage, herb coverage and liana density in autumn and winter. The results of principal component analysis of the factors in used plots revealed that the factors with large loads in principal components differed in different seasons, in other words, the key factors of habitat selection differed with seasons. One-way ANOVA and stepwise discriminant analysis validated that the features of habitat were similar between spring and autumn and winter with comparison to summer.

  15. Spread and habitat selection of Chrysomya albiceps (Wiedemann) (Diptera Calliphoridae) in Northern Italy: forensic implications.

    PubMed

    Lambiase, Simonetta; Camerini, Giuseppe

    2012-05-01

    Habitat selection exploited by Chrysomya albiceps during its initial spread in Northern Italy was analyzed in relation to landscape structure. The results of two short studies and a case report are here discussed. C. albiceps was not found on experimental pig carcasses in the urban area of Pavia. It was missing in the woody mountains surrounding Lecco, but it was found in the same area, at a lower altitude, within the typical "urban sprawl" landscape. It was then recorded in a natural reserve, among a rich carrion-fly population. Indications coming from habitat selection suggest that C. albiceps has not yet saturated its potential ecological niche in newly colonized areas of Northern Italy. Factors like temperature, altitude, and interspecific competition can act as limiting factors, affecting habitat selection and distribution in newly colonized areas; the influence of those factors has to be taken into account for forensic purposes. PMID:22211800

  16. Space use and habitat selection of migrant and resident American Avocets in San Francisco Bay

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Demers, Scott A.; Takekawa, J.Y.; Ackerman, J.T.; Warnock, N.; Athearn, N.D.

    2010-01-01

    San Francisco Bay is a wintering area for shorebirds, including American Avocets (Recurvirostra americana). Recently, a new resident population of avocets has emerged, presumably because of the development of tidal marshes into salt-evaporation ponds. In habitat restoration now underway, as many as 90% of salt ponds will be restored to tidal marsh. However, it is unknown if wintering and resident avocets coexist and if their requirements for space and habitat differ, necessitating different management for their populations to be maintained during restoration. We captured and radio-marked wintering avocets at a salt pond and a tidal flat to determine their population status (migrant or resident) and examine their space use and habitat selection. Of the radio-marked avocets, 79% were migrants and 21% were residents. At the salt pond, residents' fidelity to their location of capture was higher, and residents moved less than did migrants from the same site. Conversely, on the tidal flat, fidelity of residents to their site of capture was lower, and residents' home ranges were larger than those of migrants from the same site. Habitat selection of migrants and residents differed little; however, capture site influenced habitat selection far more than the birds' status as migrants or residents. Our study suggests that individual avocets have high site fidelity while wintering in San Francisco Bay, although the avocet as a species is plastic in its space use and habitat selection. This plasticity may allow wintering migrant and resident avocets to adapt to habitat change in San Francisco Bay. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2010.

  17. Feedbacks between community assembly and habitat selection shape variation in local colonization

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kraus, J.M.; Vonesh, J.R.

    2010-01-01

    1. Non-consumptive effects of predators are increasingly recognized as important drivers of community assembly and structure. Specifically, habitat selection responses to top predators during colonization and oviposition can lead to large differences in aquatic community structure, composition and diversity. 2. These differences among communities due to predators may develop as communities assemble, potentially altering the relative quality of predator vs. predator-free habitats through time. If so, community assembly would be expected to modify the subsequent behavioural responses of colonists to habitats containing top predators. Here, we test this hypothesis by manipulating community assembly and the presence of fish in experimental ponds and measuring their independent and combined effects on patterns of colonization by insects and amphibians. 3. Assembly modified habitat selection of dytscid beetles and hylid frogs by decreasing or even reversing avoidance of pools containing blue-spotted sunfish (Enneacanthus gloriosus). However, not all habitat selection responses to fish depended on assembly history. Hydrophilid beetles and mosquitoes avoided fish while chironomids were attracted to fish pools, regardless of assembly history. 4. Our results show that community assembly causes taxa-dependent feedbacks that can modify avoidance of habitats containing a top predator. Thus, non-consumptive effects of a top predator on community structure change as communities assemble and effects of competitors and other predators combine with the direct effects of top predators to shape colonization. 5. This work reinforces the importance of habitat selection for community assembly in aquatic systems, while illustrating the range of factors that may influence colonization rates and resulting community structure. Directly manipulating communities both during colonization and post-colonization is critical for elucidating how sequential processes interact to shape communities.

  18. Habitat selection and energetics of the fiddler crab ( Uca tangeri)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klaassen, Marcel; Ens, Bruno J.

    We tried to unravel the possible links between the skewed predation risk in Uca tangeri (where large individuals are more at risk from avian predators) and size-dependent changes in the physiology and habitat choice of this fiddler crab species. Over a transect running from low to high in the tidal zone of a beach in Mauritania, the temperature profile at various depths in the substrate, the water-table level of seep water, salt concentration of seep water, depth of the aerobic level, operative temperatures on the surface, and size distribution of crabs were assessed. In addition, resting metabolic rates, Q 10 and thermal and starvation tolerances were estimated. Going from low to high in the tidal zone, crab size and burrow depth increased. At the preferred burrowing depth, microclimatological conditions appeared to be equally favourable at all sites. At the surface, conditions were more favourable low in the tidal zone, where also food availability is sufficient to enable small crabs to forage in the vicinity of their burrows. Large crabs have higher energy requirements and are thereby forced to forage in flocks low in the tidal zone where food is probably more abundant. Low in the tidal zone, digging deeply is impossible as the aerobic layer is rather thin. Large crabs prefer living high in the tidal zone as (1) deep burrows ensure better protection against predators, (2) more time is available for digging holes and (3) the substrate is better suited for reproduction. Energy reserves in late summer ensured an average of 34 days of survival. It is argued that the allotment of energy to growth must be considerable even in reproducing animals; the rewards of growth being the disproportional increase in reproductive output with size.

  19. Space use and habitat selection by resident and transient coyotes (Canis latrans)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hinton, Joseph W; van Manen, Frank T.; Chamberlain, Michael J

    2015-01-01

    Little information exists on coyote (Canis latrans) space use and habitat selection in the southeastern United States and most studies conducted in the Southeast have been carried out within small study areas (e.g., ≤1,000 km2). Therefore, studying the placement, size, and habitat composition of coyote home ranges over broad geographic areas could provide relevant insights regarding how coyote populations adjust to regionally varying ecological conditions. Despite an increasing number of studies of coyote ecology, few studies have assessed the role of transiency as a life-history strategy among coyotes. During 2009–2011, we used GPS radio-telemetry to study coyote space use and habitat selection on the Albemarle Peninsula of northeastern North Carolina. We quantified space use and 2nd- and 3rd-order habitat selection for resident and transient coyotes to describe space use patterns in a predominantly agricultural landscape. The upper limit of coyote home-range size was approximately 47 km2 and coyotes exhibiting shifting patterns of space use of areas >65 km2 were transients. Transients exhibited localized space use patterns for short durations prior to establishing home ranges, which we defined as “biding” areas. Resident and transient coyotes demonstrated similar habitat selection, notably selection of agricultural over forested habitats. However, transients exhibited stronger selection for roads than resident coyotes. Although transient coyotes are less likely to contribute reproductively to their population, transiency may be an important life history trait that facilitates metapopulation dynamics through dispersal and the eventual replacement of breeding residents lost to mortality.

  20. Spatial variation in breeding habitat selection by Cerulean Warblers (Setophaga cerulea) throughout the Appalachian Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boves, Than J.; Buehler, David A.; Sheehan, James; Wood, Petra Bohall; Rodewald, Amanda D.; Larkin, Jeffrey L.; Keyser, Patrick D.; Newell, Felicity L.; Evans, Andrea; George, Gregory A.; Wigley, T.B.

    2013-01-01

    Studies of habitat selection are often of limited utility because they focus on small geographic areas, fail to examine behavior at multiple scales, or lack an assessment of the fitness consequences of habitat decisions. These limitations can hamper the identification of successful site-specific management strategies, which are urgently needed for severely declining species like Cerulean Warblers (Setophaga cerulea). We assessed how breeding habitat decisions made by Cerulean Warblers at multiple scales, and the subsequent effects of these decisions on nest survival, varied across the Appalachian Mountains. Selection for structural habitat features varied substantially among areas, particularly at the territory scale. Males within the least-forested landscapes selected microhabitat features that reflected more closed-canopy forest conditions, whereas males in highly forested landscapes favored features associated with canopy disturbance. Selection of nest-patch and nest-site attributes by females was more consistent across areas, with females selecting for increased tree size and understory cover and decreased basal area and midstory cover. Floristic preferences were similar across study areas: White Oak (Quercus alba), Cucumber-tree (Magnolia acuminata), and Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) were preferred as nest trees, whereas red oak species (subgenus Erythrobalanus) and Red Maple (A. rubrum) were avoided. The habitat features that were related to nest survival also varied among study areas, and preferred features were negatively associated with nest survival at one area. Thus, our results indicate that large-scale spatial heterogeneity may influence local habitat-selection behavior and that it may be necessary to articulate site-specific management strategies for Cerulean Warblers.

  1. Space Use and Habitat Selection by Resident and Transient Coyotes (Canis latrans)

    PubMed Central

    Hinton, Joseph W.; van Manen, Frank T.; Chamberlain, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Little information exists on coyote (Canis latrans) space use and habitat selection in the southeastern United States and most studies conducted in the Southeast have been carried out within small study areas (e.g., ≤1,000 km2). Therefore, studying the placement, size, and habitat composition of coyote home ranges over broad geographic areas could provide relevant insights regarding how coyote populations adjust to regionally varying ecological conditions. Despite an increasing number of studies of coyote ecology, few studies have assessed the role of transiency as a life-history strategy among coyotes. During 2009–2011, we used GPS radio-telemetry to study coyote space use and habitat selection on the Albemarle Peninsula of northeastern North Carolina. We quantified space use and 2nd- and 3rd-order habitat selection for resident and transient coyotes to describe space use patterns in a predominantly agricultural landscape. The upper limit of coyote home-range size was approximately 47 km2 and coyotes exhibiting shifting patterns of space use of areas >65 km2 were transients. Transients exhibited localized space use patterns for short durations prior to establishing home ranges, which we defined as “biding” areas. Resident and transient coyotes demonstrated similar habitat selection, notably selection of agricultural over forested habitats. However, transients exhibited stronger selection for roads than resident coyotes. Although transient coyotes are less likely to contribute reproductively to their population, transiency may be an important life history trait that facilitates metapopulation dynamics through dispersal and the eventual replacement of breeding residents lost to mortality. PMID:26148130

  2. Space Use and Habitat Selection by Resident and Transient Coyotes (Canis latrans).

    PubMed

    Hinton, Joseph W; van Manen, Frank T; Chamberlain, Michael J

    2015-01-01

    Little information exists on coyote (Canis latrans) space use and habitat selection in the southeastern United States and most studies conducted in the Southeast have been carried out within small study areas (e.g., ≤1,000 km2). Therefore, studying the placement, size, and habitat composition of coyote home ranges over broad geographic areas could provide relevant insights regarding how coyote populations adjust to regionally varying ecological conditions. Despite an increasing number of studies of coyote ecology, few studies have assessed the role of transiency as a life-history strategy among coyotes. During 2009-2011, we used GPS radio-telemetry to study coyote space use and habitat selection on the Albemarle Peninsula of northeastern North Carolina. We quantified space use and 2nd- and 3rd-order habitat selection for resident and transient coyotes to describe space use patterns in a predominantly agricultural landscape. The upper limit of coyote home-range size was approximately 47 km2 and coyotes exhibiting shifting patterns of space use of areas >65 km2 were transients. Transients exhibited localized space use patterns for short durations prior to establishing home ranges, which we defined as "biding" areas. Resident and transient coyotes demonstrated similar habitat selection, notably selection of agricultural over forested habitats. However, transients exhibited stronger selection for roads than resident coyotes. Although transient coyotes are less likely to contribute reproductively to their population, transiency may be an important life history trait that facilitates metapopulation dynamics through dispersal and the eventual replacement of breeding residents lost to mortality.

  3. Space Use and Habitat Selection by Resident and Transient Coyotes (Canis latrans).

    PubMed

    Hinton, Joseph W; van Manen, Frank T; Chamberlain, Michael J

    2015-01-01

    Little information exists on coyote (Canis latrans) space use and habitat selection in the southeastern United States and most studies conducted in the Southeast have been carried out within small study areas (e.g., ≤1,000 km2). Therefore, studying the placement, size, and habitat composition of coyote home ranges over broad geographic areas could provide relevant insights regarding how coyote populations adjust to regionally varying ecological conditions. Despite an increasing number of studies of coyote ecology, few studies have assessed the role of transiency as a life-history strategy among coyotes. During 2009-2011, we used GPS radio-telemetry to study coyote space use and habitat selection on the Albemarle Peninsula of northeastern North Carolina. We quantified space use and 2nd- and 3rd-order habitat selection for resident and transient coyotes to describe space use patterns in a predominantly agricultural landscape. The upper limit of coyote home-range size was approximately 47 km2 and coyotes exhibiting shifting patterns of space use of areas >65 km2 were transients. Transients exhibited localized space use patterns for short durations prior to establishing home ranges, which we defined as "biding" areas. Resident and transient coyotes demonstrated similar habitat selection, notably selection of agricultural over forested habitats. However, transients exhibited stronger selection for roads than resident coyotes. Although transient coyotes are less likely to contribute reproductively to their population, transiency may be an important life history trait that facilitates metapopulation dynamics through dispersal and the eventual replacement of breeding residents lost to mortality. PMID:26148130

  4. Spatial Niche Segregation of Sympatric Stone Marten and Pine Marten--Avoidance of Competition or Selection of Optimal Habitat?

    PubMed

    Wereszczuk, Anna; Zalewski, Andrzej

    2015-01-01

    Coexistence of ecologically similar species relies on differences in one or more dimensions of their ecological niches, such as space, time and resources in diel and/or seasonal scales. However, niche differentiation may result from other mechanisms such as avoidance of high predation pressure, different adaptations or requirements of ecologically similar species. Stone marten (Martes foina) and pine marten (Martes martes) occur sympatrically over a large area in Central Europe and utilize similar habitats and food, therefore it is expected that their coexistence requires differentiation in at least one of their niche dimensions or the mechanisms through which these dimensions are used. To test this hypothesis, we used differences in the species activity patterns and habitat selection, estimated with a resource selection function (RSF), to predict the relative probability of occurrence of the two species within a large forest complex in the northern geographic range of the stone marten. Stone martens were significantly heavier, have a longer body and a better body condition than pine martens. We found weak evidence for temporal niche segregation between the species. Stone and pine martens were both primarily nocturnal, but pine martens were active more frequently during the day and significantly reduced the duration of activity during autumn-winter. Stone and pine martens utilized different habitats and almost completely separated their habitat niches. Stone marten strongly preferred developed areas and avoided meadows and coniferous or deciduous forests. Pine marten preferred deciduous forest and small patches covered by trees, and avoided developed areas and meadows. We conclude that complete habitat segregation of the two marten species facilitates sympatric coexistence in this area. However, spatial niche segregation between these species was more likely due to differences in adaptation to cold climate, avoidance of high predator pressure and/or food

  5. Spatial Niche Segregation of Sympatric Stone Marten and Pine Marten--Avoidance of Competition or Selection of Optimal Habitat?

    PubMed

    Wereszczuk, Anna; Zalewski, Andrzej

    2015-01-01

    Coexistence of ecologically similar species relies on differences in one or more dimensions of their ecological niches, such as space, time and resources in diel and/or seasonal scales. However, niche differentiation may result from other mechanisms such as avoidance of high predation pressure, different adaptations or requirements of ecologically similar species. Stone marten (Martes foina) and pine marten (Martes martes) occur sympatrically over a large area in Central Europe and utilize similar habitats and food, therefore it is expected that their coexistence requires differentiation in at least one of their niche dimensions or the mechanisms through which these dimensions are used. To test this hypothesis, we used differences in the species activity patterns and habitat selection, estimated with a resource selection function (RSF), to predict the relative probability of occurrence of the two species within a large forest complex in the northern geographic range of the stone marten. Stone martens were significantly heavier, have a longer body and a better body condition than pine martens. We found weak evidence for temporal niche segregation between the species. Stone and pine martens were both primarily nocturnal, but pine martens were active more frequently during the day and significantly reduced the duration of activity during autumn-winter. Stone and pine martens utilized different habitats and almost completely separated their habitat niches. Stone marten strongly preferred developed areas and avoided meadows and coniferous or deciduous forests. Pine marten preferred deciduous forest and small patches covered by trees, and avoided developed areas and meadows. We conclude that complete habitat segregation of the two marten species facilitates sympatric coexistence in this area. However, spatial niche segregation between these species was more likely due to differences in adaptation to cold climate, avoidance of high predator pressure and/or food

  6. Spatial Niche Segregation of Sympatric Stone Marten and Pine Marten – Avoidance of Competition or Selection of Optimal Habitat?

    PubMed Central

    Wereszczuk, Anna; Zalewski, Andrzej

    2015-01-01

    Coexistence of ecologically similar species relies on differences in one or more dimensions of their ecological niches, such as space, time and resources in diel and/or seasonal scales. However, niche differentiation may result from other mechanisms such as avoidance of high predation pressure, different adaptations or requirements of ecologically similar species. Stone marten (Martes foina) and pine marten (Martes martes) occur sympatrically over a large area in Central Europe and utilize similar habitats and food, therefore it is expected that their coexistence requires differentiation in at least one of their niche dimensions or the mechanisms through which these dimensions are used. To test this hypothesis, we used differences in the species activity patterns and habitat selection, estimated with a resource selection function (RSF), to predict the relative probability of occurrence of the two species within a large forest complex in the northern geographic range of the stone marten. Stone martens were significantly heavier, have a longer body and a better body condition than pine martens. We found weak evidence for temporal niche segregation between the species. Stone and pine martens were both primarily nocturnal, but pine martens were active more frequently during the day and significantly reduced the duration of activity during autumn-winter. Stone and pine martens utilized different habitats and almost completely separated their habitat niches. Stone marten strongly preferred developed areas and avoided meadows and coniferous or deciduous forests. Pine marten preferred deciduous forest and small patches covered by trees, and avoided developed areas and meadows. We conclude that complete habitat segregation of the two marten species facilitates sympatric coexistence in this area. However, spatial niche segregation between these species was more likely due to differences in adaptation to cold climate, avoidance of high predator pressure and/or food

  7. 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

  8. Habitat Selectivity and Reliance on Live Corals for Indo-Pacific Hawkfishes (Family: Cirrhitidae)

    PubMed Central

    Coker, Darren J.; Hoey, Andrew S.; Wilson, Shaun K.; Depczynski, Martial; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Hobbs, Jean-Paul A.; Holmes, Thomas H.; Pratchett, Morgan S.

    2015-01-01

    Hawkfishes (family: Cirrhitidae) are small conspicuous reef predators that commonly perch on, or shelter within, the branches of coral colonies. This study examined habitat associations of hawkfishes, and explicitly tested whether hawkfishes associate with specific types of live coral. Live coral use and habitat selectivity of hawkfishes was explored at six locations from Chagos in the central Indian Ocean extending east to Fiji in the Pacific Ocean. A total of 529 hawkfishes from seven species were recorded across all locations with 63% of individuals observed perching on, or sheltering within, live coral colonies. Five species (all except Cirrhitus pinnulatus and Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus) associated with live coral habitats. Cirrhitichthys falco selected for species of Pocillopora while Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri selected for both Pocillopora and Acropora, revealing that these habitats are used disproportionately more than expected based on the local cover of these coral genera. Habitat selection was consistent across geographic locations, and species of Pocillopora were the most frequently used and most consistently selected even though this coral genus never comprised more than 6% of the total coral cover at any of the locations. Across locations, Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri were the most abundant species and variation in their abundance corresponded with local patterns of live coral cover and abundance of Pocilloporid corals, respectively. These findings demonstrate the link between small predatory fishes and live coral habitats adding to the growing body of literature highlighting that live corals (especially erect branching corals) are critically important for sustaining high abundance and diversity of fishes on coral reefs. PMID:26529406

  9. Reproductive habitat selection in alien and native populations of the genus Discoglossus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Escoriza, Daniel; Boix, Dani

    2014-08-01

    The existence of suitable breeding habitats is an important factor explaining the regional presence of an anuran species. This study examined patterns of habitat selection in populations of three species of the genus Discoglossus: Discoglossusgalganoi (south-western Iberian Peninsula), Discoglossusscovazzi (Morocco) and Discoglossuspictus (three different areas were included in the study: Sicily, Tunisia and north-eastern Iberian Peninsula). The populations of D. pictus on the Iberian Peninsula are allochthonous, and analysis of these patterns may provide insights into the processes that regulate the invasion phase. The hypotheses tested were: (i) congeneric species show the same patterns of habitat selection, and alien species have been established following these patterns; (ii) there are differences in species associations between assemblages structured deterministically and by chance, i.e. native versus invaded assemblages. The larval habitats of three species of this genus were characterized by measuring physical and chemical parameters of the water bodies. We examined the covariation between the presence of Discoglossus species and the species richness of sympatric anurans, and investigated a possible relationship between morphological similarity (as a proxy of functional group) and overlap in habitat use. The results showed that congeneric species are morphologically conservative and also select very similar types of aquatic habitat. The alien population and other sympatric species showed a high degree of overlap in habitat use, which was greater than that observed in the native assemblage with a similar functional richness. Species associations were not structured on the basis of morphological similarity in any of the assemblages. Among native populations, the presence of Discoglossus was either negatively correlated or not significantly correlated with species richness. Only the alien population showed a positive correlation between its presence and species

  10. An appraisal of the fitness consequences of forest disturbance for wildlife using habitat selection theory.

    PubMed

    Hodson, James; Fortin, Daniel; Leblanc, Mélanie-Louise; Bélanger, Louis

    2010-09-01

    Isodar theory can help to unveil the fitness consequences of habitat disturbance for wildlife through an evaluation of adaptive habitat selection using patterns of animal abundance in adjacent habitats. By incorporating measures of disturbance intensity or variations in resource availability into fitness-density functions, we can evaluate the functional form of isodars expected under different disturbance-fitness relationships. Using this framework, we investigated how a gradient of forest harvesting disturbance and differences in resource availability influenced habitat quality for snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) and red-backed voles (Myodes gapperi) using pairs of logged and uncut boreal forest. Isodars for both species had positive intercepts, indicating reductions to maximum potential fitness in logged stands. Habitat selection by hares depended on both conspecific density and differences in canopy cover between harvested and uncut stands. Fitness-density curves for hares in logged stands were predicted to shift from diverging to converging with those in uncut forest across a gradient of high to low disturbance intensity. Selection for uncut forests thus became less pronounced with increasing population size at low levels of logging disturbance. Voles responded to differences in moss cover between habitats which reflected moisture availability. Lower moss cover in harvested stands either reduced maximum potential fitness or increased the relative rate of decline in fitness with density. Differences in vole densities between harvested and uncut stands were predicted, however, to diminish as populations increased. Our findings underscore the importance of accounting for density-dependent behaviors when evaluating how changing habitat conditions influence animal distribution.

  11. An appraisal of the fitness consequences of forest disturbance for wildlife using habitat selection theory.

    PubMed

    Hodson, James; Fortin, Daniel; Leblanc, Mélanie-Louise; Bélanger, Louis

    2010-09-01

    Isodar theory can help to unveil the fitness consequences of habitat disturbance for wildlife through an evaluation of adaptive habitat selection using patterns of animal abundance in adjacent habitats. By incorporating measures of disturbance intensity or variations in resource availability into fitness-density functions, we can evaluate the functional form of isodars expected under different disturbance-fitness relationships. Using this framework, we investigated how a gradient of forest harvesting disturbance and differences in resource availability influenced habitat quality for snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) and red-backed voles (Myodes gapperi) using pairs of logged and uncut boreal forest. Isodars for both species had positive intercepts, indicating reductions to maximum potential fitness in logged stands. Habitat selection by hares depended on both conspecific density and differences in canopy cover between harvested and uncut stands. Fitness-density curves for hares in logged stands were predicted to shift from diverging to converging with those in uncut forest across a gradient of high to low disturbance intensity. Selection for uncut forests thus became less pronounced with increasing population size at low levels of logging disturbance. Voles responded to differences in moss cover between habitats which reflected moisture availability. Lower moss cover in harvested stands either reduced maximum potential fitness or increased the relative rate of decline in fitness with density. Differences in vole densities between harvested and uncut stands were predicted, however, to diminish as populations increased. Our findings underscore the importance of accounting for density-dependent behaviors when evaluating how changing habitat conditions influence animal distribution. PMID:20658153

  12. Raccoon spatial requirements and multi-scale habitat selection within an intensively managed central Appalachian forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Owen, Sheldon F.; Berl, Jacob L.; Edwards, John W.; Ford, W. Mark; Wood, Petra Bohall

    2015-01-01

    We studied a raccoon (Procyon lotor) population within a managed central Appalachian hardwood forest in West Virginia to investigate the effects of intensive forest management on raccoon spatial requirements and habitat selection. Raccoon home-range (95% utilization distribution) and core-area (50% utilization distribution) size differed between sexes with males maintaining larger (2×) home ranges and core areas than females. Home-range and core-area size did not differ between seasons for either sex. We used compositional analysis to quantify raccoon selection of six different habitat types at multiple spatial scales. Raccoons selected riparian corridors (riparian management zones [RMZ]) and intact forests (> 70 y old) at the core-area spatial scale. RMZs likely were used by raccoons because they provided abundant denning resources (i.e., large-diameter trees) as well as access to water. Habitat composition associated with raccoon foraging locations indicated selection for intact forests, riparian areas, and regenerating harvest (stands <10 y old). Although raccoons were able to utilize multiple habitat types for foraging resources, a selection of intact forest and RMZs at multiple spatial scales indicates the need of mature forest (with large-diameter trees) for this species in managed forests in the central Appalachians.

  13. The effect of adult aggression on habitat selection by settlers of two coral-dwelling damselfishes.

    PubMed

    Ben-Tzvi, Ofer; Kiflawi, Moshe; Polak, Omer; Abelson, Avigdor

    2009-01-01

    Coral-reef fishes experience a major challenge when facing settlement in a multi-threat environment, within which, using settlement cues, they need to select a suitable site. Studies in laboratories and artificial setups have shown that the presence of conspecific adults often serves as a positive settlement cue, whose value is explained by the increased survival of juveniles in an already proven fit environment. However, settlement in already inhabited corals may expose the recruits to adult aggression. Daily observations and manipulation experiments were used in the present study, which was conducted in the natural reef. We revealed differential strategies of settlers, which do not necessarily join conspecific adults. Dascyllus aruanus prefer to settle near (not with) their aggressive adults, and to join them only after gaining in size; whereas Dascyllus marginatus settlers in densely populated reefs settle independently of their adult distribution. Our results present different solutions to the challenges faced by fish recruits while selecting their microhabitat, and emphasize the complexity of habitat selection by the naïve settlers. Although laboratory experiments are important to the understanding of fish habitat selection, further studies in natural habitats are essential in order to elucidate the actual patterns of settlement and habitat selection, which are crucial for the survival of coral-reef fish populations. PMID:19436725

  14. Analysis of the Influence of Spatial Pattern in Habitat Selection Studies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Otis, D.L.

    1998-01-01

    Design and analysis of wildlife habitat selection studies typically do not assess the effect of spatial pattern on the habitat selection process. Effects of landscape scale pattern on habitat selection cannot be accomplished without replicate study areas, because pattern is a single, albeit multifaceted, attribute of an area. For a single area, however, the influence of pattern-related characteristics, such as shape and edge shared with adjacent patches, can be estimated by using GLIM (McCullough and Neider 1983) procedures to model patch-specific frequency counts of animal use as a function of these parameters. This approach is evaluated and illustrated with simulated breeding-bird counts in a South Carolina study area for which a GIS land cover classification is available. A related technique for evaluating whether movement from patch to patch is selective is developed and illustrated for designs that involve collection of trajectory data from monitored individuals. These designs and analyses are feasible given current GIS and GPS technology. Statistical inferences from habitat selection studies should be interpreted within the context of a range of scales at which animals differentiate between patch attributes.

  15. Landscape-scale habitat selection by fishers translocated to the Olympic Peninsula of Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lewis, Jeffrey C.; Jenkins, Kurt J.; Happe, Patricia J.; Manson, David J.; McCalmon, Marc

    2016-01-01

    The fisher was extirpated from much of the Pacific Northwestern United States during the mid- to late-1900s and is now proposed for federal listing as a threatened species in all or part of its west coast range. Following the translocation of 90 fishers from central British Columbia, Canada, to the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State from 2008 to 2010, we investigated the landscape-scale habitat selection of reintroduced fishers across a broad range of forest ages and disturbance histories, providing the first information on habitat relationships of newly reintroduced fishers in coastal coniferous forests in the Pacific Northwest. We developed 17 a priori models to evaluate several habitat-selection hypotheses based on premises of habitat models used to forecast habitat suitability for the reintroduced population. Further, we hypothesized that female fishers, because of their smaller body size than males, greater vulnerability to predation, and specific reproductive requirements, would be more selective than males for mid- to late-seral forest communities, where complex forest structural elements provide secure foraging, resting, and denning sites. We assessed 11 forest structure and landscape characteristics within the home range core-areas used by 19 females and 12 males and within randomly placed pseudo core areas that represented available habitats. We used case-controlled logistic regression to compare the characteristics of used and pseudo core areas and to assess selection by male and female fishers. Females were more selective of core area placement than males. Fifteen of 19 females (79%) and 5 of 12 males (42%) selected core areas within federal lands that encompassed primarily forests with an overstory of mid-sized or large trees. Male fishers exhibited only weak selection for core areas dominated by forests with an overstory of small trees, primarily on land managed for timber production or at high elevations. The amount of natural open area best

  16. Cleaner wrasse influence habitat selection of young damselfish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, D.; Cheney, K. L.; Werminghausen, J.; McClure, E. C.; Meekan, M. G.; McCormick, M. I.; Cribb, T. H.; Grutter, A. S.

    2016-06-01

    The presence of bluestreak cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, on coral reefs increases total abundance and biodiversity of reef fishes. The mechanism(s) that cause such shifts in population structure are unclear, but it is possible that young fish preferentially settle into microhabitats where cleaner wrasse are present. As a first step to investigate this possibility, we conducted aquarium experiments to examine whether settlement-stage and young juveniles of ambon damselfish, Pomacentrus amboinensis, selected a microhabitat near a cleaner wrasse (adult or juvenile). Both settlement-stage (0 d post-settlement) and juvenile (~5 weeks post-settlement) fish spent a greater proportion of time in a microhabitat adjacent to L. dimidiatus than in one next to a control fish (a non-cleaner wrasse, Halichoeres melanurus) or one where no fish was present. This suggests that cleaner wrasse may serve as a positive cue during microhabitat selection. We also conducted focal observations of cleaner wrasse and counts of nearby damselfishes (1 m radius) to examine whether newly settled fish obtained direct benefits, in the form of cleaning services, from being near a cleaner wrasse. Although abundant, newly settled recruits (<20 mm total length) were rarely (2 %) observed being cleaned in 20 min observations compared with larger damselfishes (58 %). Individual damselfish that were cleaned were significantly larger than the median size of the surrounding nearby non-cleaned conspecifics; this was consistent across four species. The selection by settlement-stage fish of a microhabitat adjacent to cleaner wrasse in the laboratory, despite only being rarely cleaned in the natural environment, suggests that even rare cleaning events and/or indirect benefits may drive their settlement choices. This behaviour may also explain the decreased abundance of young fishes on reefs from which cleaner wrasse had been experimentally removed. This study reinforces the potentially important role of

  17. Incubation success and habitat selection of shore-spawning kokanee Onchorhynchus nerka: effects of water level regulation and habitat characteristics.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Whitlock, Steven L.; Quist, Michael; Dux, Andrew M.

    2014-01-01

    Changes to water-level regimes have been known to restructure fish assemblages and interfere with the population dynamics of both littoral and pelagic species. The effect of altered water-level regimes on shore-spawning kokanee Oncorhynchus nerka incubation success was evaluated using a comprehensive in situ study in Lake Pend Oreille, ID, USA. Survival was not related to substrate size composition or depth, indicating that shore-spawning kokanee do not currently receive a substrate-mediated survival benefit from higher winter water levels. Substrate composition also did not differ among isobaths in the nearshore area. On average, the odds of an egg surviving to the preemergent stage were more than three times greater for sites in downwelling areas than those lacking downwelling. This study revealed that shoreline spawning habitat is not as limited as previously thought. Downwelling areas appear to contribute substantially to shore-spawning kokanee recruitment. This research illustrates the value of rigorous in situ studies both for testing potential mechanisms underlying population trends and providing insight into spawning habitat selection.

  18. Actinobacteria from Arid and Desert Habitats: Diversity and Biological Activity

    PubMed Central

    Mohammadipanah, Fatemeh; Wink, Joachim

    2016-01-01

    The lack of new antibiotics in the pharmaceutical pipeline guides more and more researchers to leave the classical isolation procedures and to look in special niches and ecosystems. Bioprospecting of extremophilic Actinobacteria through mining untapped strains and avoiding resiolation of known biomolecules is among the most promising strategies for this purpose. With this approach, members of acidtolerant, alkalitolerant, psychrotolerant, thermotolerant, halotolerant and xerotolerant Actinobacteria have been obtained from respective habitats. Among these, little survey exists on the diversity of Actinobacteria in arid areas, which are often adapted to relatively high temperatures, salt concentrations, and radiation. Therefore, arid and desert habitats are special ecosystems which can be recruited for the isolation of uncommon Actinobacteria with new metabolic capability. At the time of this writing, members of Streptomyces, Micromonospora, Saccharothrix, Streptosporangium, Cellulomonas, Amycolatopsis, Geodermatophilus, Lechevalieria, Nocardia, and Actinomadura are reported from arid habitats. However, metagenomic data present dominant members of the communities in desiccating condition of areas with limited water availability that are not yet isolated. Furthermore, significant diverse types of polyketide synthase (PKS) and non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) genes are detected in xerophilic and xerotolerant Actinobacteria and some bioactive compounds are reported from them. Rather than pharmaceutically active metabolites, molecules with protection activity against drying such as Ectoin and Hydroxyectoin with potential application in industry and agriculture have also been identified from xerophilic Actinobacteria. In addition, numerous biologically active small molecules are expected to be discovered from arid adapted Actinobacteria in the future. In the current survey, the diversity and biotechnological potential of Actinobacteria obtained from arid ecosystems

  19. Landscape effects on mallard habitat selection at multiple spatial scales during the non-breeding period

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beatty, William S.; Webb, Elisabeth B.; Kesler, Dylan C.; Raedeke, Andrew H.; Naylor, Luke W.; Humburg, Dale D.

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies that evaluated effects of landscape-scale habitat heterogeneity on migratory waterbird distributions were spatially limited and temporally restricted to one major life-history phase. However, effects of landscape-scale habitat heterogeneity on long-distance migratory waterbirds can be studied across the annual cycle using new technologies, including global positioning system satellite transmitters. We used Bayesian discrete choice models to examine the influence of local habitats and landscape composition on habitat selection by a generalist dabbling duck, the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), in the midcontinent of North America during the non-breeding period. Using a previously published empirical movement metric, we separated the non-breeding period into three seasons, including autumn migration, winter, and spring migration. We defined spatial scales based on movement patterns such that movements >0.25 and <30.00 km were classified as local scale and movements >30.00 km were classified as relocation scale. Habitat selection at the local scale was generally influenced by local and landscape-level variables across all seasons. Variables in top models at the local scale included proximities to cropland, emergent wetland, open water, and woody wetland. Similarly, variables associated with area of cropland, emergent wetland, open water, and woody wetland were also included at the local scale. At the relocation scale, mallards selected resource units based on more generalized variables, including proximity to wetlands and total wetland area. Our results emphasize the role of landscape composition in waterbird habitat selection and provide further support for local wetland landscapes to be considered functional units of waterbird conservation and management.

  20. Reef fishes can recognize bleached habitat during settlement: sea anemone bleaching alters anemonefish host selection.

    PubMed

    Scott, Anna; Dixson, Danielle L

    2016-05-25

    Understanding how bleaching impacts the settlement of symbiotic habitat specialists and whether there is flexibility in settlement choices with regard to habitat quality is essential given our changing climate. We used five anemonefishes (Amphiprion clarkii, Amphiprion latezonatus, Amphiprion ocellaris, Amphiprion percula and Premnas biaculeatus) and three host sea anemones (Entacmaea quadricolor, Heteractis crispa and Heteractis magnifica) in paired-choice flume experiments to determine whether habitat naive juveniles have the olfactory capabilities to distinguish between unbleached and bleached hosts, and how this may affect settlement decisions. All anemonefishes were able to distinguish between bleached and unbleached hosts, and responded only to chemical cues from species-specific host anemones irrespective of health status, indicating a lack of flexibility in host use. While bleached hosts were selected as habitat, this occurred only when unbleached options were unavailable, with the exception of A. latezonatus, which showed strong preferences for H. crispa regardless of health. This study highlights the potential deleterious indirect impacts of declining habitat quality during larval settlement in habitat specialists, which could be important in the field, given that bleaching events are becoming increasingly common. PMID:27226472

  1. Tradeoffs between homing and habitat quality for spawning site selection by hatchery-origin Chinook salmon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cram, Jeremy M.; Torgersen, Christian E.; Klett, Ryan S.; Pess, George R.; May, Darran; Pearsons, Todd N.; Dittman, Andrew H.

    2013-01-01

    Spawning site selection by female salmon is based on complex and poorly understood tradeoffs between the homing instinct and the availability of appropriate habitat for successful reproduction. Previous studies have shown that hatchery-origin Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) released from different acclimation sites return with varying degrees of fidelity to these areas. To investigate the possibility that homing fidelity is associated with aquatic habitat conditions, we quantified physical habitat throughout 165 km in the upper Yakima River basin (Washington, USA) and mapped redd and carcass locations from 2004 to 2008. Principal components analysis identified differences in substrate, cover, stream width, and gradient among reaches surrounding acclimation sites, and canonical correspondence analysis revealed that these differences in habitat characteristics were associated with spatial patterns of spawning (p < 0.01). These analyses indicated that female salmon may forego spawning near their acclimation area if the surrounding habitat is unsuitable. Evaluating the spatial context of acclimation areas in relation to surrounding habitat may provide essential information for effectively managing supplementation programs and prioritizing restoration actions.

  2. Predicting and mapping potential Whooping Crane stopover habitat to guide site selection for wind energy projects.

    PubMed

    Belaire, J Amy; Kreakie, Betty J; Keitt, Timothy; Minor, Emily

    2014-04-01

    Migratory stopover habitats are often not part of planning for conservation or new development projects. We identified potential stopover habitats within an avian migratory flyway and demonstrated how this information can guide the site-selection process for new development. We used the random forests modeling approach to map the distribution of predicted stopover habitat for the Whooping Crane (Grus americana), an endangered species whose migratory flyway overlaps with an area where wind energy development is expected to become increasingly important. We then used this information to identify areas for potential wind power development in a U.S. state within the flyway (Nebraska) that minimize conflicts between Whooping Crane stopover habitat and the development of clean, renewable energy sources. Up to 54% of our study area was predicted to be unsuitable as Whooping Crane stopover habitat and could be considered relatively low risk for conflicts between Whooping Cranes and wind energy development. We suggest that this type of analysis be incorporated into the habitat conservation planning process in areas where incidental take permits are being considered for Whooping Cranes or other species of concern. Field surveys should always be conducted prior to construction to verify model predictions and understand baseline conditions. PMID:24372936

  3. Predicting and mapping potential Whooping Crane stopover habitat to guide site selection for wind energy projects.

    PubMed

    Belaire, J Amy; Kreakie, Betty J; Keitt, Timothy; Minor, Emily

    2014-04-01

    Migratory stopover habitats are often not part of planning for conservation or new development projects. We identified potential stopover habitats within an avian migratory flyway and demonstrated how this information can guide the site-selection process for new development. We used the random forests modeling approach to map the distribution of predicted stopover habitat for the Whooping Crane (Grus americana), an endangered species whose migratory flyway overlaps with an area where wind energy development is expected to become increasingly important. We then used this information to identify areas for potential wind power development in a U.S. state within the flyway (Nebraska) that minimize conflicts between Whooping Crane stopover habitat and the development of clean, renewable energy sources. Up to 54% of our study area was predicted to be unsuitable as Whooping Crane stopover habitat and could be considered relatively low risk for conflicts between Whooping Cranes and wind energy development. We suggest that this type of analysis be incorporated into the habitat conservation planning process in areas where incidental take permits are being considered for Whooping Cranes or other species of concern. Field surveys should always be conducted prior to construction to verify model predictions and understand baseline conditions.

  4. HABITAT: A longitudinal multilevel study of physical activity change in mid-aged adults

    PubMed Central

    Burton, Nicola W; Haynes, Michele; Wilson, Lee-Ann M; Giles-Corti, Billie; Oldenburg, Brian F; Brown, Wendy J; Giskes, Katrina; Turrell, Gavin

    2009-01-01

    Background Little is known about the patterns and influences of physical activity change in mid-aged adults. This study describes the design, sampling, data collection, and analytical plan of HABITAT, an innovative study of (i) physical activity change over five years (2007–2011) in adults aged 40–65 years at baseline, and (ii) the relative contribution of psychological variables, social support, neighborhood perceptions, area-level factors, and sociodemographic characteristics to physical activity change. Methods/Design HABITAT is a longitudinal multi-level study. 1625 Census Collection Districts (CCDs) in Brisbane, Australia were ranked by their index of relative socioeconomic disadvantage score, categorized into deciles, and 20 CCDs from each decile were selected to provide 200 local areas for study inclusion. From each of the 200 CCDs, dwellings with individuals aged between 40–65 years (in 2007) were identified using electoral roll data, and approximately 85 people per CCD were selected to participate (N = 17,000). A comprehensive Geographic Information System (GIS) database has been compiled with area-level information on public transport networks, footpaths, topography, traffic volume, street lights, tree coverage, parks, public services, and recreational facilities Participants are mailed a questionnaire every two years (2007, 2009, 2011), with items assessing physical activity (general walking, moderate activity, vigorous activity, walking for transport, cycling for transport, recreational activities), sitting time, perceptions of neighborhood characteristics (traffic, pleasant surroundings, streets, footpaths, crime and safety, distance to recreational and business facilities), social support, social cohesion, activity-related cognitions (attitudes, efficacy, barriers, motivation), health, and sociodemographic characteristics. Analyses will use binary and multinomial logit regression models, as well as generalized linear latent growth models

  5. Cattle grazing in semiarid forestlands: Habitat selection during periods of drought.

    PubMed

    Roever, C L; DelCurto, T; Rowland, M; Vavra, M; Wisdom, M

    2015-06-01

    Climate change models are predicting increased frequency and severity of droughts in arid and semiarid environments, and these areas are responsible for much of the world's livestock production. Because cattle (Bos Taurus) grazing can impact the abundance, distribution, and ecological function of native plant and animal communities, it is important to understand how cattle might respond to increasingly arid conditions. Here, we evaluate changes in habitat selection by cattle across an 8-yr period as a function of rainfall and other environmental covariates. Using resource selection functions, we evaluated habitat selection based on 2 behaviors, stationary and mobile. Models revealed similarity in cattle habitat selection across years, with only modest changes in selection as a function of precipitation, despite marked seasonal and interannual differences in rainfall. Cattle preferred gentle slopes, forest edges, wet meadows, and areas near water as well as areas far from water on plateaus. Cattle avoided areas at intermediate distances from water, typically associated with steep slopes. As conditions became drier during the late season, cattle did not switch selection patterns but instead contracted their selection around water. Cattle also selected similar habitats whether they were mobile or stationary, possibly making microsite decisions therein. This consistent pattern of selection across years could be particularly problematic for riparian communities as climates become drier; however, it may also simplify cattle management, as range managers can focus vegetation monitoring efforts on riparian areas. Due to the uncertainty surrounding future climatic conditions, it is imperative that both range and wildlife managers develop long-term plans to continue managing these multiuse landscapes in an ecologically sustainable manner based on expected patterns of livestock grazing.

  6. Seasonal habitat use and selection by grizzly bears in Northern British Columbia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Milakovic, B.; Parker, K.L.; Gustine, D.D.; Lay, R.J.; Walker, A.B.D.; Gillingham, M.P.

    2012-01-01

    We defined patterns of habitat use and selection by female grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in the Besa-Prophet watershed of northern British Columbia. We fitted 13 adult females with Geographic Positioning System (GPS) radio-collars and monitored them between 2001 and 2004. We examined patterns of habitat selection by grizzly bears relative to topographical attributes and 3 potential surrogates of food availability: land-cover class, vegetation biomass or quality (as measured by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), and selection value for prey species themselves (moose [Alces alces], elk [Cervus elaphus], woodland caribou [Rangifer tarandus], Stone's sheep [Ovis dalli stonei]). Although vegetation biomass and quality, and selection values for prey were important in seasonal selection by some individual bears, land-cover class, elevation, aspect, and vegetation diversity most influenced patterns of habitat selection across grizzly bears, which rely on availability of plant foods and encounters with ungulate prey. Grizzly bears as a group avoided conifer stands and areas of low vegetation diversity, and selected for burned land-cover classes and high vegetation diversity across seasons. They also selected mid elevations from what was available within seasonal ranges. Quantifying relative use of different attributes helped place selection patterns within the context of the landscape. Grizzly bears used higher elevations (1,595??31 m SE) in spring and lower elevations (1,436??27 m) in fall; the range of average elevations used among individuals was highest (500 m) during the summer. During all seasons, grizzly bears most frequented aspects with high solar gain. Use was distributed across 10 land-cover classes and depended on season. Management and conservation actions must maintain a diverse habitat matrix distributed across a large elevational gradient to ensure persistence of grizzly bears as levels of human access increase in the northern Rocky Mountains

  7. Cattle grazing in semiarid forestlands: Habitat selection during periods of drought.

    PubMed

    Roever, C L; DelCurto, T; Rowland, M; Vavra, M; Wisdom, M

    2015-06-01

    Climate change models are predicting increased frequency and severity of droughts in arid and semiarid environments, and these areas are responsible for much of the world's livestock production. Because cattle (Bos Taurus) grazing can impact the abundance, distribution, and ecological function of native plant and animal communities, it is important to understand how cattle might respond to increasingly arid conditions. Here, we evaluate changes in habitat selection by cattle across an 8-yr period as a function of rainfall and other environmental covariates. Using resource selection functions, we evaluated habitat selection based on 2 behaviors, stationary and mobile. Models revealed similarity in cattle habitat selection across years, with only modest changes in selection as a function of precipitation, despite marked seasonal and interannual differences in rainfall. Cattle preferred gentle slopes, forest edges, wet meadows, and areas near water as well as areas far from water on plateaus. Cattle avoided areas at intermediate distances from water, typically associated with steep slopes. As conditions became drier during the late season, cattle did not switch selection patterns but instead contracted their selection around water. Cattle also selected similar habitats whether they were mobile or stationary, possibly making microsite decisions therein. This consistent pattern of selection across years could be particularly problematic for riparian communities as climates become drier; however, it may also simplify cattle management, as range managers can focus vegetation monitoring efforts on riparian areas. Due to the uncertainty surrounding future climatic conditions, it is imperative that both range and wildlife managers develop long-term plans to continue managing these multiuse landscapes in an ecologically sustainable manner based on expected patterns of livestock grazing. PMID:26115307

  8. CROSS-SCALE CORRELATIONS AND THE DESIGN AND ANALYSIS OF AVIAN HABITAT SELECTION STUDIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    It has long been suggested that birds select habitat hierarchically, progressing from coarser to finer spatial scales. This hypothesis, in conjunction with the realization that many organisms likely respond to environmental patterns at multiple spatial scales, has led to a large ...

  9. Effects of habitat quality and ambient hyporheic flows on salmon spawning site selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benjankar, Rohan; Tonina, Daniele; Marzadri, Alessandra; McKean, Jim; Isaak, Daniel J.

    2016-05-01

    Understanding the role of stream hydrologic and morphologic variables on the selection of spawning sites by salmonid fishes at high resolution across broad scales is needed for effective habitat restoration and protection. Here we used remotely sensed meter-scale channel bathymetry for a 13.5 km reach of Chinook salmon spawning stream in central Idaho to describe habitat quality and set boundary conditions for a two-dimensional surface water model coupled with a three-dimensional hyporheic flux model. Metrics describing ambient hyporheic flow intensity and habitat quality, which is quantified as a function of stream hydraulics and morphology, were compared to the locations of nests built by female salmon. Nest locations were predicted most accurately by habitat quality followed by channel morphology (i.e., riffles location). As a lesser degree than habitat quality, water surface curvature was also a good indicator of spawning location because its intensity can identify riffle morphology. The ambient hyporheic flow predicted at meter-scale resolution was not a strong predictor of redd site selection. Furthermore, the study suggests direct morphological measurements obtained from easily measured channel bathymetry data could enable effective and rapid assessments of salmon spawning channels across broad areas.

  10. Spatial analysis of habitat selection by Sitka black-tailed deer in Southeast Alaska, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Kang-Tsung; Verbyla, David L.; Yeo, Jeffrey J.

    1995-07-01

    We used a vector-based geographic information system (GIS) to examine habitat selection by radiocollared Sitka black-tailed deer ( Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis) in logged forests of southeast Alaska. Our main objective was to explain deer habitat selection relative to old-growth/clear-cut edges and edge habitats at two different spatial scales. Deer home ranges contained higher percentages of recent clear-cuts (50-69%) than the study area (37%; P<0.01) and had higher old-growth/clear-cut edge densities than expected by chance ( P<0.01). Deer relocation points were closer to old-growth/clear-cut edges (average=135 m) than random points located within each deer's relocation area (average=168 m; P=0.05). Likewise, deer relocations were closer to old-growth/clear-cut edges than points randomly located within old-growth stands or recent clear-cuts ( P<0.01). As the size of clear-cuts increased, both deer relocation density and the proportion of a clear-cut occupied by deer home ranges decreased. Because old growth is important deer habitat and clear-cuts can produce deer forage for only 20-30 years after logging in southeast Alaska, deer management plans such as preserving entire watersheds and maintaining mixes of old growth and recent clear-cut have been proposed. Our data suggest that deer need a diversity of habitats near each other within their home ranges.

  11. Habitat selection of two island-associated dolphin species from the south-west Indian Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Condet, Manon; Dulau-Drouot, Violaine

    2016-08-01

    Identifying suitable habitats of protected species is an essential question in ecology and conservation planning. Modelling approaches have been widely used to identify environmental features that contribute to a species' ecological requirements and distribution. On Reunion Island, a fast-growing French territory located in the south-western Indian Ocean, anthropogenic impacts are mainly concentrated along the coast, representing a potential threat for Indo-Pacific bottlenose (Tursiops aduncus) and spinner (Stenella longirostris) dolphins, two resident coastal species. Beside coastal development, commercial and recreational dolphin-watching are growing, particularly along the west coast. To promote effective local management, habitat modelling was applied using presence-only data collected from 2008 to 2012 on the west coast of the island. Ecological Niche Factor Analyses were used to investigate the effect of physiographic variables on the distribution of these two dolphin species and delineate suitable habitats. It was found that the core habitat of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins was mainly restricted by depth and confined to coastal waters ranging from 4.7 to 75.8 m deep. The species preferentially used soft substrates (sand and mud) and tended to be ubiquitous in terms of substrate type/color used. Foraging activities were significantly related to soft substrates. The diurnal core habitat of spinner dolphins was confined to one discrete area, on the flat portion of the insular shelf, between 45.1 m and 70.7 m of depth. Suitable habitat was mainly related to soft and light-colored substrates, with a clear avoidance of dark-colored substrates. The core habitats of both species were very restrained spatially and therefore vulnerable to human activities. The fine scale habitat mapping achieved in this study represents baseline data to conduct ad hoc impact assessment and support conservation actions.

  12. Linking habitat selection and predation risk to spatial variation in survival.

    PubMed

    DeCesare, Nicholas J; Hebblewhite, Mark; Bradley, Mark; Hervieux, David; Neufeld, Lalenia; Musiani, Marco

    2014-03-01

    A central assumption underlying the study of habitat selection is that selected habitats confer enhanced fitness. Unfortunately, this assumption is rarely tested, and in some systems, gradients of predation risk may more accurately characterize spatial variation in vital rates than gradients described by habitat selection studies. Here, we separately measured spatial patterns of both resource selection and predation risk and tested their relationships with a key demographic trait, adult female survival, for a threatened ungulate, woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou Gmelin). We also evaluated whether exposure to gradients in both predation risk and resource selection value was manifested temporally through instantaneous or seasonal effects on survival outcomes. We used Cox proportional hazards spatial survival modelling to assess the relative support for 5 selection- and risk-based definitions of habitat quality, as quantified by woodland caribou adult female survival. These hypotheses included scenarios in which selection ideally mirrored survival, risk entirely drove survival, non-ideal selection correlated with survival but with additive risk effects, an ecological trap with maladaptive selection and a non-spatial effect of annual variation in weather. Indeed, we found positive relationships between the predicted values of a resource selection function (RSF) and survival, yet subsequently incorporating an additional negative effect of predation risk greatly improved models further. This revealed a positive, but non-ideal relationship between selection and survival. Gradients in these covariates were also shown to affect individual survival probability at multiple temporal scales. Exposure to increased predation risk had a relatively instantaneous effect on survival outcomes, whereas variation in habitat suitability predicted by an RSF had both instantaneous and longer-term seasonal effects on survival. Predation risk was an additive source of hazard

  13. Linking habitat selection and predation risk to spatial variation in survival

    PubMed Central

    DeCesare, Nicholas J; Hebblewhite, Mark; Bradley, Mark; Hervieux, David; Neufeld, Lalenia; Musiani, Marco; Mysterud, Atle

    2014-01-01

    1. A central assumption underlying the study of habitat selection is that selected habitats confer enhanced fitness. Unfortunately, this assumption is rarely tested, and in some systems, gradients of predation risk may more accurately characterize spatial variation in vital rates than gradients described by habitat selection studies. 2. Here, we separately measured spatial patterns of both resource selection and predation risk and tested their relationships with a key demographic trait, adult female survival, for a threatened ungulate, woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou Gmelin). We also evaluated whether exposure to gradients in both predation risk and resource selection value was manifested temporally through instantaneous or seasonal effects on survival outcomes. 3. We used Cox proportional hazards spatial survival modelling to assess the relative support for 5 selection- and risk-based definitions of habitat quality, as quantified by woodland caribou adult female survival. These hypotheses included scenarios in which selection ideally mirrored survival, risk entirely drove survival, non-ideal selection correlated with survival but with additive risk effects, an ecological trap with maladaptive selection and a non-spatial effect of annual variation in weather. 4. Indeed, we found positive relationships between the predicted values of a resource selection function (RSF) and survival, yet subsequently incorporating an additional negative effect of predation risk greatly improved models further. This revealed a positive, but non-ideal relationship between selection and survival. Gradients in these covariates were also shown to affect individual survival probability at multiple temporal scales. Exposure to increased predation risk had a relatively instantaneous effect on survival outcomes, whereas variation in habitat suitability predicted by an RSF had both instantaneous and longer-term seasonal effects on survival. 5. Predation risk was an additive source

  14. Density-dependent habitat selection and performance by a large mobile reef fish.

    PubMed

    Lindberg, William J; Frazer, Thomas K; Portier, Kenneth M; Vose, Frederic; Loftin, James; Murie, Debra J; Mason, Doran M; Nagy, Brian; Hart, Mary K

    2006-04-01

    Many exploited reef fish are vulnerable to overfishing because they concentrate over hard-bottom patchy habitats. How mobile reef fish use patchy habitat, and the potential consequences on demographic parameters, must be known for spatially explicit population dynamics modeling, for discriminating essential fish habitat (EFH), and for effectively planning conservation measures (e.g., marine protected areas, stock enhancement, and artificial reefs). Gag, Mycteroperca microlepis, is an ecologically and economically important warm-temperate grouper in the southeastern United States, with behavioral and life history traits conducive to large-scale field experiments. The Suwannee Regional Reef System (SRRS) was built of standard habitat units (SHUs) in 1991-1993 to manipulate and control habitat patchiness and intrinsic habitat quality, and thereby test predictions from habitat selection theory. Colonization of the SRRS by gag over the first six years showed significant interactions of SHU size, spacing, and reef age; with trajectories modeled using a quadratic function for closely spaced SHUs (25 m) and a linear model for widely spaced SHUs (225 m), with larger SHUs (16 standardized cubes) accumulating significantly more gag faster than smaller 4-cube SHUs (mean = 72.5 gag/16-cube SHU at 225-m spacing by year 6, compared to 24.2 gag/4-cube SHU for same spacing and reef age). Residency times (mean = 9.8 mo), indicative of choice and measured by ultrasonic telemetry (1995-1998), showed significant interaction of SHU size and spacing consistent with colonization trajectories. Average relative weight (W(r)) and incremental growth were greater on smaller than larger SHUs (mean W(r) = 104.2 vs. 97.7; incremental growth differed by 15%), contrary to patterns of abundance and residency. Experimental manipulation of shelter on a subset of SRRS sites (2000-2001) confirmed our hypothesis that shelter limits local densities of gag, which, in turn, regulates their growth and

  15. Selection of roosting habitat by forest bats in a diverse forested landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perry, R.W.; Thill, R.E.; Leslie, David M.

    2007-01-01

    Many studies of roost selection by forest-dwelling bats have concentrated on microhabitat surrounding roosts without providing forest stand-level preferences of bats; thus, those studies have provided only part of the information needed by managers. We evaluated diurnal summer roost selection by the bat community at the forest-stand level in a diversely forested landscape in the Ouachita Mountains of central Arkansas. Over a 6-year period, we evaluated 428 roost locations for 162 individual bats of 6 species. Using Euclidean distance analysis and individual bat as the experimental unit, all 6 species were selective (P < 0.05) in their choice of roosting habitat. Five of six species preferred (P < 0.05) to roost in or near mature (???50 years old), mixed pine-hardwood forest that had undergone recent partial harvest, midstory removal, and burning; 41.3% of roosts were located in that habitat but it comprised an average of only 22.8% of available habitat. Five of six species also preferred older (???100 years old), relatively unmanaged, mixed pine-hardwood forest. Although 19.9% of roosts from all species were located in 50- to 99-year-old, second-growth forests of mixed pine-hardwood (average of 21.0% of available habitat), that habitat was preferred by no species of bat. In partially harvested stands, unharvested buffer strips (greenbelts) surrounding ephemeral streams were used at differing levels by each species; most (90%) eastern pipistrelle (Pipistrellus subflavus) roosts were in greenbelts whereas few (2.7%) Seminole bat (Lasiurus seminolus) roosts were in greenbelts. Older forests, thinned mature forests with reduced midstories, and greenbelts retained in harvested areas were all important roosting habitats for the bat community in the Ouachita Mountains. Our results demonstrate the importance of open forest conditions and a diversity of stand types to bat communities of the southeastern U.S.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Habitat selection and ranges of tolerance: how do species differ beyond critical thresholds?

    PubMed Central

    Cunningham, Mary Ann; Johnson, Douglas H

    2012-01-01

    Sensitivity to habitat fragmentation often has been examined in terms of thresholds in landscape composition at which a species is likely to occur. Observed thresholds often have been low or absent, however, leaving much unexplained about habitat selection beyond initial thresholds of occurrence, even for species with strong habitat preferences. We examined responses to varying amounts of tree cover, a widely influential measure of habitat loss, for 40 woodland bird species in a mixed woodland/grassland landscape in eastern North Dakota, USA. We used LOESS smoothing to describe incidence for each species at three scales: within 200, 400, and 1200 m around sample locations. For the 200-m scale, we also calculated the most-preferred range of tree cover (within which at least half of observations were predicted to occur) for each species. Only 10 of 40 species had occurrence thresholds greater than about 10% tree cover. After initial occurrence, species showed three general patterns: some increased monotonically with tree cover; some increased up to an asymptote; some peaked at intermediate amounts of tree cover and then declined. These patterns approximate selection for interior woodlands and for edge-rich environments, but incidence plots provide greater detail in landscape-scale selection than do those categories. For most species, patterns persisted at larger scales, but for some, larger scales had distinctly different patterns than local scales. Preferred ranges of tree cover varied from <20% tree cover (common grackle, Quiscalus quiscula) to >60% (veery, Catharus fuscescens). We conclude that incidence patterns provide more information on habitat selection than do threshold measures for most species: in particular, they differentiate species preferring concentrated woodlands from those preferring mixed landscapes, and they show contrasting degrees of selectiveness. [Correction added on 16 October 2012, after first online publication: the Abstract section has

  19. Seasonal habitat selection by lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) in a small Canadian shield lake: Constraints imposed by winter conditions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blanchfield, P.J.; Tate, L.S.; Plumb, J.M.; Acolas, M.-L.; Beaty, K.G.

    2009-01-01

    The need for cold, well-oxygenated waters significantly reduces the habitat available for lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) during stratification of small temperate lakes. We examined the spatial and pelagic distribution of lake trout over two consecutive summers and winters and tested whether winter increased habitat availability and access to littoral regions in a boreal shield lake in which pelagic prey fish are absent. In winter, lake trout had a narrowly defined pelagic distribution that was skewed to the upper 3 m of the water column and spatially situated in the central region of the lake. Individual core areas of use (50% Kernel utilization distributions) in winter were much reduced (75%) and spatially non-overlapping compared to summer areas, but activity levels were similar between seasons. Winter habitat selection is in contrast to observations from the stratified season, when lake trout were consistently located in much deeper waters (>6 m) and widely distributed throughout the lake. Winter distribution of lake trout appeared to be strongly influenced by ambient light levels; snow depth and day length accounted for up to 69% of the variation in daily median fish depth. More restricted habitat use during winter than summer was in contrast to our original prediction and illustrates that a different suite of factors influence lake trout distribution between these seasons. ?? Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.

  20. Microhabitat Selection by Marine Mesoconsumers in a Thermally Heterogeneous Habitat: Behavioral Thermoregulation or Avoiding Predation Risk?

    PubMed Central

    Vaudo, Jeremy J.; Heithaus, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    Habitat selection decisions by consumers has the potential to shape ecosystems. Understanding the factors that influence habitat selection is therefore critical to understanding ecosystem function. This is especially true of mesoconsumers because they provide the link between upper and lower tropic levels. We examined the factors influencing microhabitat selection of marine mesoconsumers – juvenile giant shovelnose rays (Glaucostegus typus), reticulate whiprays (Himantura uarnak), and pink whiprays (H. fai) – in a coastal ecosystem with intact predator and prey populations and marked spatial and temporal thermal heterogeneity. Using a combination of belt transects and data on water temperature, tidal height, prey abundance, predator abundance and ray behavior, we found that giant shovelnose rays and reticulate whiprays were most often found resting in nearshore microhabitats, especially at low tidal heights during the warm season. Microhabitat selection did not match predictions derived from distributions of prey. Although at a course scale, ray distributions appeared to match predictions of behavioral thermoregulation theory, fine-scale examination revealed a mismatch. The selection of the shallow nearshore microhabitat at low tidal heights during periods of high predator abundance (warm season) suggests that this microhabitat may serve as a refuge, although it may come with metabolic costs due to higher temperatures. The results of this study highlight the importance of predators in the habitat selection decisions of mesoconsumers and that within thermal gradients, factors, such as predation risk, must be considered in addition to behavioral thermoregulation to explain habitat selection decisions. Furthermore, increasing water temperatures predicted by climate change may result in complex trade-offs that might have important implications for ecosystem dynamics. PMID:23593501

  1. Microhabitat selection by marine mesoconsumers in a thermally heterogeneous habitat: behavioral thermoregulation or avoiding predation risk?

    PubMed

    Vaudo, Jeremy J; Heithaus, Michael R

    2013-01-01

    Habitat selection decisions by consumers has the potential to shape ecosystems. Understanding the factors that influence habitat selection is therefore critical to understanding ecosystem function. This is especially true of mesoconsumers because they provide the link between upper and lower tropic levels. We examined the factors influencing microhabitat selection of marine mesoconsumers - juvenile giant shovelnose rays (Glaucostegus typus), reticulate whiprays (Himantura uarnak), and pink whiprays (H. fai) - in a coastal ecosystem with intact predator and prey populations and marked spatial and temporal thermal heterogeneity. Using a combination of belt transects and data on water temperature, tidal height, prey abundance, predator abundance and ray behavior, we found that giant shovelnose rays and reticulate whiprays were most often found resting in nearshore microhabitats, especially at low tidal heights during the warm season. Microhabitat selection did not match predictions derived from distributions of prey. Although at a course scale, ray distributions appeared to match predictions of behavioral thermoregulation theory, fine-scale examination revealed a mismatch. The selection of the shallow nearshore microhabitat at low tidal heights during periods of high predator abundance (warm season) suggests that this microhabitat may serve as a refuge, although it may come with metabolic costs due to higher temperatures. The results of this study highlight the importance of predators in the habitat selection decisions of mesoconsumers and that within thermal gradients, factors, such as predation risk, must be considered in addition to behavioral thermoregulation to explain habitat selection decisions. Furthermore, increasing water temperatures predicted by climate change may result in complex trade-offs that might have important implications for ecosystem dynamics. PMID:23593501

  2. Influence of monsoon-related riparian phenology on yellow-billed cuckoo habitat selection in Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Villarreal, Miguel; Van Riper, Charles

    2013-01-01

    Aim: The western yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus occidentalis), a Neotropical migrant bird, is facing steep population declines in its western breeding grounds owing primarily to loss of native habitat. The favoured esting habitat for the cuckoo in the south-western United States is low-elevation riparian forests and woodlands. Our aim was to explore relationships between vegetation phenology patterns captured by satellite phenometrics and the distribution of the yellow-billed cuckoo, and to use this information to map cuckoo habitat. Location: Arizona, USA. Methods: Land surface phenometrics were derived from satellite Advanced Very High-Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), bi-weekly time-composite, ormalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data for 1998 and 1999 at a resolution of 1 km. Fourier harmonics were used to analyse the waveform of the annual NDVI profile in each pixel. To create the models, we coupled 1998 satellite phenometrics with 1998 field survey data of cuckoo presence or absence and with point data that sampled riparian and cottonwood–willow vegetation types. Our models were verified and refined using field and satellite data collected in 1999. Results: The models reveal that cuckoos prefer areas that experience peak greenness 29 days later, are 36% more dynamic and slightly (< 1%) more productive than their average cottonwood–willow habitat. The results support a scenario in which cuckoos migrate northwards, following the greening of riparian corridors and surrounding landscapes in response to monsoon precipitation, but then select a nesting site based on optimizing the near-term foraging potential of the neighbourhood. Main conclusions: The identification of preferred phenotypes within recognized habitat can be used to refine future habitat models, inform habitat response to climate change, and suggest adaptation strategies. For example, models of phenotype preferences can guide management actions by identifying and prioritizing for

  3. Habitat Selection of a Large Carnivore along Human-Wildlife Boundaries in a Highly Modified Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Takahata, Chihiro; Nielsen, Scott Eric; Takii, Akiko; Izumiyama, Shigeyuki

    2014-01-01

    When large carnivores occupy peripheral human lands conflict with humans becomes inevitable, and the reduction of human-carnivore interactions must be the first consideration for those concerned with conflict mitigation. Studies designed to identify areas of high human-bear interaction are crucial for prioritizing management actions. Due to a surge in conflicts, against a background of social intolerance to wildlife and the prevalent use of lethal control throughout Japan, Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) are now threatened by high rates of mortality. There is an urgent need to reduce the frequency of human-bear encounters if bear populations are to be conserved. To this end, we estimated the habitats that relate to human-bear interactions by sex and season using resource selection functions (RSF). Significant seasonal differences in selection for and avoidance of areas by bears were estimated by distance-effect models with interaction terms of land cover and sex. Human-bear boundaries were delineated on the basis of defined bear-habitat edges in order to identify areas that are in most need of proactive management strategies. Asiatic black bears selected habitats in close proximity to forest edges, forest roads, rivers, and red pine and riparian forests during the peak conflict season and this was correctly predicted in our human-bear boundary maps. Our findings demonstrated that bears selected abandoned forests and agricultural lands, indicating that it should be possible to reduce animal use near human lands by restoring season-specific habitat in relatively remote areas. Habitat-based conflict mitigation may therefore provide a practical means of creating adequate separation between humans and these large carnivores. PMID:24465947

  4. Species diversity, selectivity, and habitat associations of small mammals from coastal California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fellers, Gary M.

    1994-01-01

    Species diversity and habitat associations were documented for small mammals along 16 transects in a semiarid part of coastal California. Peromyscus were the most abundant, comprising 45.3% of all captures, followed by Dipodomys (21.2%), Neotoma (15.1%), and Perognathus (15.0%). Five additional genera made up the remaining captures (3.4%). Peromyscus truei and Perognathus californicus were both common and widespread, accounting for 42.1% of all captures. Both species were found on all but one transect. Neotoma lepida, the third most common species, was captured on rock transects 96% of the time. Dipodomys elephantinus was the fifth most common species, and was found exclusively in chamise chaparral. Species diversity (H') averaged 1.22 and ranged from 0.33 on a chamise chaparral transect to 1.74 on another chamise chaparral transect which crossed the edge of a burn. Nearly all transects demonstrated this same trend for diversity to vary widely both within and between habitats, indicating that local conditions were more of an influence on diversity than broad habitat types. Selectivity, averaged across the ten most common species, was only 0.06, indicating that habitat selectivity was quite low. The most geographically widespread species, Peromyscus maniculatus, was the least selective (0.03), whereas the two species with the smallest geographic ranges, D. venustus and D. elephantinus, showed the greatest habitat selectivity (0.11 and 0.20, respectively). These values are much lower than those reported from short-term studies and suggest that, like species diversity, brief studies may not accurately reflect community-level interactions.

  5. Using dynamic Brownian bridge movement modelling to measure temporal patterns of habitat selection.

    PubMed

    Byrne, Michael E; Clint McCoy, J; Hinton, Joseph W; Chamberlain, Michael J; Collier, Bret A

    2014-09-01

    Accurately describing animal space use is vital to understanding how wildlife use habitat. Improvements in GPS technology continue to facilitate collection of telemetry data at high spatial and temporal resolutions. Application of the recently introduced dynamic Brownian bridge movement model (dBBMM) to such data is promising as the method explicitly incorporates the behavioural heterogeneity of a movement path into the estimated utilization distribution (UD). Utilization distributions defining space use are normally estimated for time-scales ranging from weeks to months, obscuring much of the fine-scale information available from high-volume GPS data sets. By accounting for movement heterogeneity, the dBBMM provides a rigorous, behaviourally based estimate of space use between each set of relocations. Focusing on UDs generated between individual sets of locations allows us to quantify fine-scale circadian variation in habitat use. We used the dBBMM to estimate UDs bounding individual time steps for three terrestrial species with different life histories to illustrate how the method can be used to identify fine-scale variations in habitat use. We also demonstrate how dBBMMs can be used to characterize circadian patterns of habitat selection and link fine-scale patterns of habitat use to behaviour. We observed circadian patterns of habitat use that varied seasonally for a white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and coyote (Canis latrans). We found seasonal patterns in selection by the white-tailed deer and were able to link use of conifer forests and agricultural fields to behavioural state of the coyote. Additionally, we were able to quantify the date in which a Rio Grande wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia) initiated laying as well as when during the day, she was most likely to visit the nest site to deposit eggs. The ability to quantify circadian patterns of habitat use may have important implications for research and management of wildlife

  6. Linking Dynamic Habitat Selection with Wading Bird Foraging Distributions across Resource Gradients.

    PubMed

    Beerens, James M; Noonburg, Erik G; Gawlik, Dale E

    2015-01-01

    Species distribution models (SDM) link species occurrence with a suite of environmental predictors and provide an estimate of habitat quality when the variable set captures the biological requirements of the species. SDMs are inherently more complex when they include components of a species' ecology such as conspecific attraction and behavioral flexibility to exploit resources that vary across time and space. Wading birds are highly mobile, demonstrate flexible habitat selection, and respond quickly to changes in habitat quality; thus serving as important indicator species for wetland systems. We developed a spatio-temporal, multi-SDM framework using Great Egret (Ardea alba), White Ibis (Eudocimus albus), and Wood Stork (Mycteria Americana) distributions over a decadal gradient of environmental conditions to predict species-specific abundance across space and locations used on the landscape over time. In models of temporal dynamics, species demonstrated conditional preferences for resources based on resource levels linked to differing temporal scales. Wading bird abundance was highest when prey production from optimal periods of inundation was concentrated in shallow depths. Similar responses were observed in models predicting locations used over time, accounting for spatial autocorrelation. Species clustered in response to differing habitat conditions, indicating that social attraction can co-vary with foraging strategy, water-level changes, and habitat quality. This modeling framework can be applied to evaluate the multi-annual resource pulses occurring in real-time, climate change scenarios, or restorative hydrological regimes by tracking changing seasonal and annual distribution and abundance of high quality foraging patches. PMID:26107386

  7. Linking dynamic habitat selection with wading bird foraging distributions across resource gradients

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beerens, James; Noonberg, Erik G.; Gawlik, Dale E.

    2015-01-01

    Species distribution models (SDM) link species occurrence with a suite of environmental predictors and provide an estimate of habitat quality when the variable set captures the biological requirements of the species. SDMs are inherently more complex when they include components of a species' ecology such as conspecific attraction and behavioral flexibility to exploit resources that vary across time and space. Wading birds are highly mobile, demonstrate flexible habitat selection, and respond quickly to changes in habitat quality; thus serving as important indicator species for wetland systems. We developed a spatio-temporal, multi-SDM framework using Great Egret (Ardea alba), White Ibis (Eudocimus albus), and Wood Stork (Mycteria Americana) distributions over a decadal gradient of environmental conditions to predict species-specific abundance across space and locations used on the landscape over time. In models of temporal dynamics, species demonstrated conditional preferences for resources based on resource levels linked to differing temporal scales. Wading bird abundance was highest when prey production from optimal periods of inundation was concentrated in shallow depths. Similar responses were observed in models predicting locations used over time, accounting for spatial autocorrelation. Species clustered in response to differing habitat conditions, indicating that social attraction can co-vary with foraging strategy, water-level changes, and habitat quality. This modeling framework can be applied to evaluate the multi-annual resource pulses occurring in real-time, climate change scenarios, or restorative hydrological regimes by tracking changing seasonal and annual distribution and abundance of high quality foraging patches.

  8. Glacial Refugia and Future Habitat Coverage of Selected Dactylorhiza Representatives (Orchidaceae).

    PubMed

    Naczk, Aleksandra M; Kolanowska, Marta

    2015-01-01

    The intensively discussed taxonomic complexity of the Dactylorhiza genus is probably correlated with its migration history during glaciations and interglacial periods. Previous studies on past processes affecting the current distribution of Dactylorhiza species as well as the history of the polyploid complex formation were based only on molecular data. In the present study the ecological niche modeling (ENM) technique was applied in order to describe the distribution of potential refugia for the selected Dactylorhiza representatives during the Last Glacial Maximum. Additionally, future changes in their potential habitat coverage were measured with regard to three various climatic change scenarios. The maximum entropy method was used to create models of suitable niche distribution. A database of Dactylorhiza localities was prepared on the grounds of information collected from literature and data gathered during field works. Our research indicated that the habitats of majority of the studied taxa will decrease by 2080, except for D. incarnata var. incarnata, for which suitable habitats will increase almost two-fold in the global scale. Moreover, the potential habitats of some taxa are located outside their currently known geographical ranges, e.g. the Aleutian Islands, the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains, Newfoundland, southern Greenland and Iceland. ENM analysis did not confirm that the Balkans, central Europe or central Russia served as the most important refugia for individual representatives of the Dactylorhiza incarnata/maculata complex. Our study rather indicated that the Black Sea coast, southern Apennines and Corsica were the main areas characterized by habitats suitable for most of the taxa.

  9. Linking Dynamic Habitat Selection with Wading Bird Foraging Distributions across Resource Gradients

    PubMed Central

    Beerens, James M.; Noonburg, Erik G.; Gawlik, Dale E.

    2015-01-01

    Species distribution models (SDM) link species occurrence with a suite of environmental predictors and provide an estimate of habitat quality when the variable set captures the biological requirements of the species. SDMs are inherently more complex when they include components of a species’ ecology such as conspecific attraction and behavioral flexibility to exploit resources that vary across time and space. Wading birds are highly mobile, demonstrate flexible habitat selection, and respond quickly to changes in habitat quality; thus serving as important indicator species for wetland systems. We developed a spatio-temporal, multi-SDM framework using Great Egret (Ardea alba), White Ibis (Eudocimus albus), and Wood Stork (Mycteria Americana) distributions over a decadal gradient of environmental conditions to predict species-specific abundance across space and locations used on the landscape over time. In models of temporal dynamics, species demonstrated conditional preferences for resources based on resource levels linked to differing temporal scales. Wading bird abundance was highest when prey production from optimal periods of inundation was concentrated in shallow depths. Similar responses were observed in models predicting locations used over time, accounting for spatial autocorrelation. Species clustered in response to differing habitat conditions, indicating that social attraction can co-vary with foraging strategy, water-level changes, and habitat quality. This modeling framework can be applied to evaluate the multi-annual resource pulses occurring in real-time, climate change scenarios, or restorative hydrological regimes by tracking changing seasonal and annual distribution and abundance of high quality foraging patches. PMID:26107386

  10. Contrasting habitat selection amongst cephalopods in the Mediterranean Sea: When the environment makes the difference.

    PubMed

    Lauria, V; Garofalo, G; Gristina, M; Fiorentino, F

    2016-08-01

    Conservation of fish habitat requires a deeper knowledge of how species distribution patterns are related to environmental factors. Habitat suitability modelling is an essential tool to quantify species' realised niches and understand species-environment relationships. Cephalopods are important players in the marine food web and a significant resource for fisheries; they are also very sensitive to environmental changes. Here a time series of fishery-independent data (1998-2011) was used to construct habitat suitability models and investigate the influence of environmental variables on four commercial cephalopods: Todaropsis eblanae, Illex coindetii, Eledone moschata and Eledone cirrhosa, in the central Mediterranean Sea. The main environmental predictors of cephalopod habitat suitability were depth, seafloor morphology, chlorophyll-a concentration, sea surface temperature and surface salinity. Predictive maps highlighted contrasting habitat selection amongst species. This study identifies areas where the important commercial species of cephalopods are concentrated and provides significant information for a future spatial based approach to fisheries management in the Mediterranean Sea. PMID:27371813

  11. Model-based selection of areas for the restoration of Acrocephalus paludicola habitats in NE Germany.

    PubMed

    Frick, Annett; Tanneberger, Franziska; Bellebaum, Jochen

    2014-04-01

    The global Aquatic Warbler (Acrocephalus paludicola, Vieillot, 1817) population has suffered a major decline due to the large-scale destruction of its natural habitat (fen mires). The species is at risk of extinction, especially in NE Germany/NW Poland. In this study, we developed habitat suitability models based on satellite and environmental data to identify potential areas for habitat restoration on which further surveys and planning should be focused. To create a reliable model, we used all Aquatic Warbler presences in the study area since 1990 as well as additional potentially suitable habitats identified in the field. We combined the presence/absence regression tree algorithm Cubist with the presence-only algorithm Maxent since both commonly outperform other algorithms. To integrate the separate model results, we present a new way to create a metamodel using the initial model results as variables. Additionally, a histogram approach was applied to further reduce the final search area to the most promising sites. Accuracy increased when using both remote sensing and environmental data. It was highest for the integrated metamodel (Cohen's Kappa of 0.4, P < 0.001). The final result of this study supports the selection of the most promising sites for Aquatic Warbler habitat restoration. PMID:24446053

  12. Model-Based Selection of Areas for the Restoration of Acrocephalus paludicola Habitats in NE Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frick, Annett; Tanneberger, Franziska; Bellebaum, Jochen

    2014-04-01

    The global Aquatic Warbler ( Acrocephalus paludicola, Vieillot, 1817) population has suffered a major decline due to the large-scale destruction of its natural habitat (fen mires). The species is at risk of extinction, especially in NE Germany/NW Poland. In this study, we developed habitat suitability models based on satellite and environmental data to identify potential areas for habitat restoration on which further surveys and planning should be focused. To create a reliable model, we used all Aquatic Warbler presences in the study area since 1990 as well as additional potentially suitable habitats identified in the field. We combined the presence/absence regression tree algorithm Cubist with the presence-only algorithm Maxent since both commonly outperform other algorithms. To integrate the separate model results, we present a new way to create a metamodel using the initial model results as variables. Additionally, a histogram approach was applied to further reduce the final search area to the most promising sites. Accuracy increased when using both remote sensing and environmental data. It was highest for the integrated metamodel (Cohen's Kappa of 0.4, P < 0.001). The final result of this study supports the selection of the most promising sites for Aquatic Warbler habitat restoration.

  13. Habitat selection and spawning success of walleye in a tributary to Owasco Lake, New York

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chalupnicki, Marc A.; Johnson, James H.; McKenna, James E.; Dittman, Dawn E.

    2010-01-01

    Walleyes Sander vitreus are stocked into Owasco Lake, New York, to provide a sport fishery, but the population must be sustained by annual hatchery supplementation despite the presence of appropriate habitat. Therefore, we evaluated walleye spawning success in Dutch Hollow Brook, a tributary of Owasco Lake, to determine whether early survival limited recruitment. Spawning success during spring 2006 and 2007 was evaluated by estimating egg densities from samples collected in the lower 725 m of the stream. Environmental variables were also recorded to characterize the selected spawning habitat. Drift nets were set downstream of the spawning section to assess egg survival and larval drift. We estimated that 162,596 larvae hatched in 2006. For 2007, we estimated that 360,026 eggs were deposited, with a hatch of 127,500 larvae and hatching success of 35.4%. Egg density was significantly correlated to percent cover, substrate type, and depth : velocity ratio. Two sections had significantly higher egg deposition than other areas. Adult spawning walleyes selected shallow, slow habitats with some cover and gravel substrate in the accessible reaches of Dutch Hollow Brook. Our results show that walleyes found suitable spawning habitat in Dutch Hollow Brook and that egg and larval development does not appear to limit natural reproduction.

  14. Habitat selection of stone and starry flounders in an estuary in relation to feeding and survival

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomiyama, Takeshi; Omori, Michio

    2008-09-01

    Juveniles of both stone flounder Platichthys bicoloratus and starry flounder Platichthys stellatus utilize estuaries as nursery grounds. To understand their habitat selection and the functions of habitats such as food supply, we defined the seasonal distribution of recently settled fish of these species in shallow nursery areas and investigated their feeding habits in the Natori River estuary, Japan. Distribution of stone flounder was limited to the lower estuary (<3 km upriver from the mouth) and stone flounder were most abundant near the mouth. Recently settled starry flounder were first detected further upstream in areas characterized by low salinity <10 and by the absence of the predatory sand shrimp Crangon uritai. Early juvenile stone and starry flounders consumed mainly siphons of the bivalve Nuttallia olivacea and the mysid Neomysis awatschensis, respectively; however, 1- and 2-yr-old fish of both stone and starry flounders fed mainly on the bivalve siphons. These results indicate that habitat selections of juvenile stone and starry flounders enable utilization of preferred prey and predator avoidance, respectively, and that non-overlap of these species' habitats results in avoidance of inter-specific competition for food between these two species.

  15. Redd Site Selection and Spawning Habitat Use by Fall Chinook Salmon: The Importance of Geomorphic Features in Large Rivers

    PubMed

    Geist; Dauble

    1998-09-01

    / Knowledge of the three-dimensional connectivity between rivers and groundwater within the hyporheic zone can be used to improve the definition of fall chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) spawning habitat. Information exists on the microhabitat characteristics that define suitable salmon spawning habitat. However, traditional spawning habitat models that use these characteristics to predict available spawning habitat are restricted because they can not account for the heterogeneous nature of rivers. We present a conceptual spawning habitat model for fall chinook salmon that describes how geomorphic features of river channels create hydraulic processes, including hyporheic flows, that influence where salmon spawn in unconstrained reaches of large mainstem alluvial rivers. Two case studies based on empirical data from fall chinook salmon spawning areas in the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River are presented to illustrate important aspects of our conceptual model. We suggest that traditional habitat models and our conceptual model be combined to predict the limits of suitable fall chinook salmon spawning habitat. This approach can incorporate quantitative measures of river channel morphology, including general descriptors of geomorphic features at different spatial scales, in order to understand the processes influencing redd site selection and spawning habitat use. This information is needed in order to protect existing salmon spawning habitat in large rivers, as well as to recover habitat already lost.KEY WORDS: Hyporheic zone; Geomorphology; Spawning habitat; Large rivers; Fall chinook salmon; Habitat management

  16. Postfledging Forster's Tern movements, habitat selection, and colony attendance in San Francisco Bay

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ackerman, J.T.; Bluso-Demers, Jill D.; Takekawa, J.Y.

    2009-01-01

    Relatively little is known about birds during the postfledging period when flighted chicks have left the nest and must learn to forage independently. We examined postfledging movements, habitat selection, and colony attendance of Forster's Terns (Sterna forsteri) radio-marked just before they fledged in San Francisco Bay, California. The proportion of the day spent at their natal colony declined as juveniles aged, from 65% at the time of fledging to <5% within two weeks of fledging. Accordingly, the distance postfledging terns were located from their colony increased as they aged, from <500 m within the first week of fledging to >5000 m by their fifth week. Time of day also influenced colony attendance, with older terns spending more time at the colony during nighttime hours (20:00 to 05:00) than during the day (06:00 to 19:00), when they were presumably foraging. Home ranges and core-use areas averaged 12.14 km2 and 2.23 km2, respectively. At each of four spatial scales of analysis, postfledging terns selected salt pond habitats strongly. No other habitat types were selected at any scale, but terns consistently avoided tidal flats and uplands. Terns also avoided open bay habitats at the two largest spatial scales, tidal marsh habitats at the two smallest scales, and sloughs and managed marshes at several scales. Within salt ponds, terns were located closer to salt-pond levees (58 m) than was expected (107 m). Our results indicate that tern chicks disperse from their natal colony within a few weeks of fledging, with older chicks using their natal colony primarily for roosting during the night, and that postfledging terns are highly dependent on salt ponds. ?? 2009 by The Cooper Ornithological Society. All rights reserved.

  17. Phenology and cover of plant growth forms predict herbivore habitat selection in a high latitude ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Iversen, Marianne; Fauchald, Per; Langeland, Knut; Ims, Rolf A; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Bråthen, Kari Anne

    2014-01-01

    The spatial and temporal distribution of forage quality is among the most central factors affecting herbivore habitat selection. Yet, for high latitude areas, forage quantity has been found to be more important than quality. Studies on large ungulate foraging patterns are faced with methodological challenges in both assessing animal movements at the scale of forage distribution, and in assessing forage quality with relevant metrics. Here we use first-passage time analyses to assess how reindeer movements relate to forage quality and quantity measured as the phenology and cover of growth forms along reindeer tracks. The study was conducted in a high latitude ecosystem dominated by low-palatable growth forms. We found that the scale of reindeer movement was season dependent, with more extensive area use as the summer season advanced. Small-scale movement in the early season was related to selection for younger stages of phenology and for higher abundances of generally phenologically advanced palatable growth forms (grasses and deciduous shrubs). Also there was a clear selection for later phenological stages of the most dominant, yet generally phenologically slow and low-palatable growth form (evergreen shrubs). As the summer season advanced only quantity was important, with selection for higher quantities of one palatable growth form and avoidance of a low palatable growth form. We conclude that both forage quality and quantity are significant predictors to habitat selection by a large herbivore at high latitude. The early season selectivity reflected that among dominating low palatability growth forms there were palatable phenological stages and palatable growth forms available, causing herbivores to be selective in their habitat use. The diminishing selectivity and the increasing scale of movement as the season developed suggest a response by reindeer to homogenized forage availability of low quality.

  18. Fine-scale habitat selection of crabeater seals as determined by diving behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burns, J. M.; Hindell, M. A.; Bradshaw, C. J. A.; Costa, D. P.

    2008-02-01

    zooplankton were dispersed and light levels low, foraging activity was less frequent and seals concentrated their diving closer to the surface over a broader range of habitat depths. As individual seals moved an average of only 4.1±1.4 km between daytime and nighttime positions, these results suggest that crabeater seals diving along the Western Antarctic Peninsula select areas of high bathymetric gradients so that they can maximize foraging success over a 24-h cycle without the need to travel long distances. However, annual differences in behavior and the generally low amount of deviation explained by models also suggests that seals vary their diving behavior in response to finer-scale biological, temporal, and/or physical features that were not monitored as part of this study.

  19. Habitat selection by a focal predator (Canis lupus) in a multiprey ecosystem of the northern Rockies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Milakovic, B.; Parker, K.L.; Gustine, D.D.; Lay, R.J.; Walker, A.B.D.; Gillingham, M.P.

    2011-01-01

    Large predators respond to land cover and physiography that maximize the likelihood of encountering prey. Using locations from global positioning system-collared wolves (Canis lupus), we examined whether land cover, vegetation productivity or change, or habitat-selection value for ungulate prey species themselves most influenced patterns of selection by wolves in a large, intact multiprey system of northern British Columbia. Selection models based on land cover, in combination with topographical features, consistently outperformed models based on indexes of vegetation quantity and quality (using normalized difference vegetation index) or on selection value to prey species (moose [Alces americanus], elk [Cervus elaphus], woodland caribou [Rangifer tarandus], and Stone's sheep [Ovis dalli stonei]). Wolves generally selected for shrub communities and high diversity of cover across seasons and avoided conifer stands and non-vegetated areas and west aspects year-round. Seasonal selection strategies were not always reflected in use patterns, which showed highest frequency of use in riparian, shrub, and conifer classes. Patterns of use and selection for individual wolf packs did not always conform to global models, and appeared related to the distribution of land cover and terrain within respective home ranges. Our findings corroborate the biological linkages between wolves and their habitat related to ease of movement and potential prey associations. ?? American 2011 Society of Mammalogists.

  20. Habitat manipulation influences northern bobwhite resource selection on a reclaimed surface mine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooke, Jarred M.; Peters, David C.; Unger, Ashley M.; Tanner, Evan P.; Harper, Craig A.; Keyser, Patrick D.; Clark, Joseph D.; Morgan, John J.

    2015-01-01

    More than 600,000 ha of mine land have been reclaimed in the eastern United States, providing large contiguous tracts of early successional vegetation that can be managed for northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus). However, habitat quality on reclaimed mine land can be limited by extensive coverage of non-native invasive species, which are commonly planted during reclamation. We used discrete-choice analysis to investigate bobwhite resource selection throughout the year on Peabody Wildlife Management Area, a 3,330-ha reclaimed surface mine in western Kentucky. We used a treatment-control design to study resource selection at 2 spatial scales to identify important aspects of mine land vegetation and whether resource selection differed between areas with habitat management (i.e., burning, disking, herbicide; treatment) and unmanaged units (control). Our objectives were to estimate bobwhite resource selection on reclaimed mine land and to estimate the influence of habitat management practices on resource selection. We used locations from 283 individuals during the breeding season (1 Apr–30 Sep) and 136 coveys during the non-breeding season (1 Oct–Mar 31) from August 2009 to March 2014. Individuals were located closer to shrub cover than would be expected at random throughout the year. During the breeding season, individuals on treatment units used areas with smaller contagion index values (i.e., greater interspersion) compared with individuals on control units. During the non-breeding season, birds selected areas with greater shrub-open edge density compared with random. At the microhabitat scale, individuals selected areas with increased visual obstruction >1 m aboveground. During the breeding season, birds were closer to disked areas (linear and non-linear) than would be expected at random. Individuals selected non-linear disked areas during winter but did not select linear disked areas (firebreaks) because they were planted to winter wheat each fall and

  1. Waterfowl habitat use and selection during the remigial moult period in the northern hemisphere

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fox, Anthony D.; Flint, Paul L.; Hohman, William L.; Savard, Jean-Pierre L.

    2014-01-01

    This paper reviews factors affecting site selection amongst waterfowl (Anatidae) during the flightless remigial moult, emphasising the roles of predation and food supply (especially protein and energy). The current literature suggests survival during flightless moult is at least as high as at other times of the annual cycle, but documented cases of predation of flightless waterfowl under particular conditions lead us to infer that habitat selection is generally highly effective in mitigating or avoiding predation. High energetic costs of feather replacement and specific amino-acid requirements for their construction imply adoption of special energetic and nutritional strategies at a time when flightlessness limits movements. Some waterfowl meet their energy needs from endogenous stores accumulated prior to remigial moult, others rely on exogenous supply, but this varies with species, age, reproductive status and site. Limited evidence suggests feather proteins are derived from endogenous and exogenous sources which may affect site selection. Remigial moult does not occur independently of other annual cycle events and is affected by reproductive investment and success. Hence, moult strategies are affected by age, sex and reproductive history, and may be influenced by the need to attain a certain internal state for the next stage in the annual cycle (e.g. autumn migration). We know little about habitat selection during moult and urge more research of this poorly known part of the annual cycle, with particular emphasis on identifying key concentrations and habitats for specific flyway populations and the effects of disturbance upon these. This knowledge will better inform conservation actions and management actions concerning waterfowl during moult and the habitats that they exploit.

  2. Identification of landscape features influencing gene flow: How useful are habitat selection models?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roffler, Gretchen H.; Schwartz, Michael K.; Pilgrim, Kristy L.; Talbot, Sandra; Sage, Kevin; Adams, Layne G.; Luikart, Gordon

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how dispersal patterns are influenced by landscape heterogeneity is critical for modeling species connectivity. Resource selection function (RSF) models are increasingly used in landscape genetics approaches. However, because the ecological factors that drive habitat selection may be different from those influencing dispersal and gene flow, it is important to consider explicit assumptions and spatial scales of measurement. We calculated pairwise genetic distance among 301 Dall's sheep (Ovis dalli dalli) in southcentral Alaska using an intensive noninvasive sampling effort and 15 microsatellite loci. We used multiple regression of distance matrices to assess the correlation of pairwise genetic distance and landscape resistance derived from an RSF, and combinations of landscape features hypothesized to influence dispersal. Dall's sheep gene flow was positively correlated with steep slopes, moderate peak normalized difference vegetation indices (NDVI), and open land cover. Whereas RSF covariates were significant in predicting genetic distance, the RSF model itself was not significantly correlated with Dall's sheep gene flow, suggesting that certain habitat features important during summer (rugged terrain, mid-range elevation) were not influential to effective dispersal. This work underscores that consideration of both habitat selection and landscape genetics models may be useful in developing management strategies to both meet the immediate survival of a species and allow for long-term genetic connectivity.

  3. Identification of landscape features influencing gene flow: How useful are habitat selection models?

    PubMed

    Roffler, Gretchen H; Schwartz, Michael K; Pilgrim, Kristy L; Talbot, Sandra L; Sage, George K; Adams, Layne G; Luikart, Gordon

    2016-07-01

    Understanding how dispersal patterns are influenced by landscape heterogeneity is critical for modeling species connectivity. Resource selection function (RSF) models are increasingly used in landscape genetics approaches. However, because the ecological factors that drive habitat selection may be different from those influencing dispersal and gene flow, it is important to consider explicit assumptions and spatial scales of measurement. We calculated pairwise genetic distance among 301 Dall's sheep (Ovis dalli dalli) in southcentral Alaska using an intensive noninvasive sampling effort and 15 microsatellite loci. We used multiple regression of distance matrices to assess the correlation of pairwise genetic distance and landscape resistance derived from an RSF, and combinations of landscape features hypothesized to influence dispersal. Dall's sheep gene flow was positively correlated with steep slopes, moderate peak normalized difference vegetation indices (NDVI), and open land cover. Whereas RSF covariates were significant in predicting genetic distance, the RSF model itself was not significantly correlated with Dall's sheep gene flow, suggesting that certain habitat features important during summer (rugged terrain, mid-range elevation) were not influential to effective dispersal. This work underscores that consideration of both habitat selection and landscape genetics models may be useful in developing management strategies to both meet the immediate survival of a species and allow for long-term genetic connectivity.

  4. Salinity Is an Agent of Divergent Selection Driving Local Adaptation of Arabidopsis to Coastal Habitats.

    PubMed

    Busoms, Silvia; Teres, Joana; Huang, Xin-Yuan; Bomblies, Kirsten; Danku, John; Douglas, Alex; Weigel, Detlef; Poschenrieder, Charlotte; Salt, David E

    2015-07-01

    Understanding the molecular mechanism of adaptive evolution in plants provides insights into the selective forces driving adaptation and the genetic basis of adaptive traits with agricultural value. The genomic resources available for Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) make it well suited to the rapid molecular dissection of adaptive processes. Although numerous potentially adaptive loci have been identified in Arabidopsis, the consequences of divergent selection and migration (both important aspects of the process of local adaptation) for Arabidopsis are not well understood. Here, we use a multiyear field-based reciprocal transplant experiment to detect local populations of Arabidopsis composed of multiple small stands of plants (demes) that are locally adapted to the coast and adjacent inland habitats in northeastern Spain. We identify fitness tradeoffs between plants from these different habitats when grown together in inland and coastal common gardens and also, under controlled conditions in soil excavated from coastal and inland sites. Plants from the coastal habitat also outperform those from inland when grown under high salinity, indicating local adaptation to soil salinity. Sodium can be toxic to plants, and we find its concentration to be elevated in soil and plants sampled at the coast. We conclude that the local adaptation that we observe between adjacent coastal and inland populations is caused by ongoing divergent selection driven by the differential salinity between coastal and inland soils.

  5. Identification of landscape features influencing gene flow: How useful are habitat selection models?

    PubMed

    Roffler, Gretchen H; Schwartz, Michael K; Pilgrim, Kristy L; Talbot, Sandra L; Sage, George K; Adams, Layne G; Luikart, Gordon

    2016-07-01

    Understanding how dispersal patterns are influenced by landscape heterogeneity is critical for modeling species connectivity. Resource selection function (RSF) models are increasingly used in landscape genetics approaches. However, because the ecological factors that drive habitat selection may be different from those influencing dispersal and gene flow, it is important to consider explicit assumptions and spatial scales of measurement. We calculated pairwise genetic distance among 301 Dall's sheep (Ovis dalli dalli) in southcentral Alaska using an intensive noninvasive sampling effort and 15 microsatellite loci. We used multiple regression of distance matrices to assess the correlation of pairwise genetic distance and landscape resistance derived from an RSF, and combinations of landscape features hypothesized to influence dispersal. Dall's sheep gene flow was positively correlated with steep slopes, moderate peak normalized difference vegetation indices (NDVI), and open land cover. Whereas RSF covariates were significant in predicting genetic distance, the RSF model itself was not significantly correlated with Dall's sheep gene flow, suggesting that certain habitat features important during summer (rugged terrain, mid-range elevation) were not influential to effective dispersal. This work underscores that consideration of both habitat selection and landscape genetics models may be useful in developing management strategies to both meet the immediate survival of a species and allow for long-term genetic connectivity. PMID:27330556

  6. Use of Wetland Habitats by Selected Nongame Water Birds in Maine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gibbs, J.P.; Longcore, J.R.; McAuley, D.G.; Ringelman, J.K.

    1991-01-01

    Maine should consider providing emergent and aquatic-bed vegetation with variable cover-to-water ratios, accommodating species-specific habitat needs, focusing on species of restricted distribution and low abundance, and maintaining wetland complexes. Bird use and habitat information from 87 wetlands and models of habitat selection for each species are provided in appendixes.

  7. Human Activity and Habitat Characteristics Influence Shorebird Habitat Use and Behavior at a Vancouver Island Migratory Stopover Site.

    PubMed

    Murchison, Colleen R; Zharikov, Yuri; Nol, Erica

    2016-09-01

    Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, has 16 km of coastal beaches that attract many thousands of people and shorebirds (S.O. Charadrii) every year. To identify locations where shorebirds concentrate and to determine the impact of human activity and habitat characteristics on shorebirds, we conducted shorebird and visitor surveys at 20 beach sectors (across 20 total km of beach) during fall migration in 2011-2014 and spring migration in 2012 and 2013. Using zero-inflated negative binomial regression and a model selection approach, we found that beach width and number of people influenced shorebird use of beach sectors (Bayesian information criterion weight of top model = 0.69). Shorebird absence from beaches was associated with increasing number of people (parameter estimate from top model: 0.38; 95 % CI 0.19, 0.57) and decreasing beach width (parameter estimate: -0.32; 95 % CI -0.47, -0.17). Shorebirds spent more time at wider beaches (parameter estimate: 0.68; 95 % CI 0.49, 0.87). Close proximity to people increased the proportion of time shorebirds spent moving, while shorebirds spent more time moving and less time foraging on wider beaches than on narrower ones. Shorebird disturbance increased with proximity of people, activity speed, and presence of dogs. Based on our findings, management options, for reducing shorebird disturbance at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and similar shorebird stopover areas, include mandatory buffer distances between people and shorebirds, restrictions on fast-moving activities (e.g., running, biking), prohibiting dogs, and seasonal closures of wide beach sections.

  8. Human Activity and Habitat Characteristics Influence Shorebird Habitat Use and Behavior at a Vancouver Island Migratory Stopover Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murchison, Colleen R.; Zharikov, Yuri; Nol, Erica

    2016-09-01

    Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, has 16 km of coastal beaches that attract many thousands of people and shorebirds (S.O. Charadrii) every year. To identify locations where shorebirds concentrate and to determine the impact of human activity and habitat characteristics on shorebirds, we conducted shorebird and visitor surveys at 20 beach sectors (across 20 total km of beach) during fall migration in 2011-2014 and spring migration in 2012 and 2013. Using zero-inflated negative binomial regression and a model selection approach, we found that beach width and number of people influenced shorebird use of beach sectors (Bayesian information criterion weight of top model = 0.69). Shorebird absence from beaches was associated with increasing number of people (parameter estimate from top model: 0.38; 95 % CI 0.19, 0.57) and decreasing beach width (parameter estimate: -0.32; 95 % CI -0.47, -0.17). Shorebirds spent more time at wider beaches (parameter estimate: 0.68; 95 % CI 0.49, 0.87). Close proximity to people increased the proportion of time shorebirds spent moving, while shorebirds spent more time moving and less time foraging on wider beaches than on narrower ones. Shorebird disturbance increased with proximity of people, activity speed, and presence of dogs. Based on our findings, management options, for reducing shorebird disturbance at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and similar shorebird stopover areas, include mandatory buffer distances between people and shorebirds, restrictions on fast-moving activities (e.g., running, biking), prohibiting dogs, and seasonal closures of wide beach sections.

  9. Human Activity and Habitat Characteristics Influence Shorebird Habitat Use and Behavior at a Vancouver Island Migratory Stopover Site.

    PubMed

    Murchison, Colleen R; Zharikov, Yuri; Nol, Erica

    2016-09-01

    Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, has 16 km of coastal beaches that attract many thousands of people and shorebirds (S.O. Charadrii) every year. To identify locations where shorebirds concentrate and to determine the impact of human activity and habitat characteristics on shorebirds, we conducted shorebird and visitor surveys at 20 beach sectors (across 20 total km of beach) during fall migration in 2011-2014 and spring migration in 2012 and 2013. Using zero-inflated negative binomial regression and a model selection approach, we found that beach width and number of people influenced shorebird use of beach sectors (Bayesian information criterion weight of top model = 0.69). Shorebird absence from beaches was associated with increasing number of people (parameter estimate from top model: 0.38; 95 % CI 0.19, 0.57) and decreasing beach width (parameter estimate: -0.32; 95 % CI -0.47, -0.17). Shorebirds spent more time at wider beaches (parameter estimate: 0.68; 95 % CI 0.49, 0.87). Close proximity to people increased the proportion of time shorebirds spent moving, while shorebirds spent more time moving and less time foraging on wider beaches than on narrower ones. Shorebird disturbance increased with proximity of people, activity speed, and presence of dogs. Based on our findings, management options, for reducing shorebird disturbance at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and similar shorebird stopover areas, include mandatory buffer distances between people and shorebirds, restrictions on fast-moving activities (e.g., running, biking), prohibiting dogs, and seasonal closures of wide beach sections. PMID:27357808

  10. Habitat Selection by Eld’s Deer following Relocation to a Patchy Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Duo; Song, Yan-Ling; Zeng, Zhi-Gao; Bravery, Benjamin D.

    2014-01-01

    An emerging issue in wildlife conservation is the re-establishment of viable populations of endangered species in suitable habitats. Here, we studied habitat selection by a population of Hainan Eld’s deer (Cervus eldi) relocated to a patchy landscape of farmland and forest. Hainan Eld’s deer were pushed to the brink of extinction in the 1970s, but their population expanded rapidly from 26 to more than 1000 individuals by 2003 through effective reserve protection. As part of a wider relocation and population management strategy, 131 deer were removed from the reserve and reintroduced into a farmland-forest landscape in 2005. Habitat use under a context of human disturbance was surveyed by monitoring 19 radio-collared animals. The majority of deer locations (77%) were within 0.6–2 km of villages. Annual home ranges of these collared deer averaged 725 ha (SD 436), which was 55% of the size of the reserve from which they had originated. The annual home ranges contained 54% shrub-grassland, 26% forest and 15% farmland. The relocated deer population selected landscape comprising slash-and-burn agriculture and forest, and avoided both intensively farmed areas and areas containing only forest. Within the selected landscape, deer preferred swiddens and shrub-grasslands. Forests above 300 m in elevation were avoided, whereas forests below 300 m in elevation were overrepresented during the dry season and randomly used during the wet season. Our findings show that reintroduced deer can utilize disturbed habitats, and further demonstrate that subsistence agroforest ecosystems have the capacity to sustain endangered ungulates. PMID:24614039

  11. Habitat selection by Eld's deer following relocation to a patchy landscape.

    PubMed

    Pan, Duo; Song, Yan-Ling; Zeng, Zhi-Gao; Bravery, Benjamin D

    2014-01-01

    An emerging issue in wildlife conservation is the re-establishment of viable populations of endangered species in suitable habitats. Here, we studied habitat selection by a population of Hainan Eld's deer (Cervus eldi) relocated to a patchy landscape of farmland and forest. Hainan Eld's deer were pushed to the brink of extinction in the 1970s, but their population expanded rapidly from 26 to more than 1000 individuals by 2003 through effective reserve protection. As part of a wider relocation and population management strategy, 131 deer were removed from the reserve and reintroduced into a farmland-forest landscape in 2005. Habitat use under a context of human disturbance was surveyed by monitoring 19 radio-collared animals. The majority of deer locations (77%) were within 0.6-2 km of villages. Annual home ranges of these collared deer averaged 725 ha (SD 436), which was 55% of the size of the reserve from which they had originated. The annual home ranges contained 54% shrub-grassland, 26% forest and 15% farmland. The relocated deer population selected landscape comprising slash-and-burn agriculture and forest, and avoided both intensively farmed areas and areas containing only forest. Within the selected landscape, deer preferred swiddens and shrub-grasslands. Forests above 300 m in elevation were avoided, whereas forests below 300 m in elevation were overrepresented during the dry season and randomly used during the wet season. Our findings show that reintroduced deer can utilize disturbed habitats, and further demonstrate that subsistence agroforest ecosystems have the capacity to sustain endangered ungulates. PMID:24614039

  12. Habitat Selection and Reproductive Success of Lewis's Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis) at Its Northern Limit

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Xiang; Srivastava, Diane S.; Martin, Kathy

    2012-01-01

    Lewis's Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis) has experienced population declines in both Canada and the United States and in 2010 was assigned a national listing of threatened in Canada. We conducted a two-year study (2004–2005) of this species at its northern range limit, the South Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada. Our main objective was to determine whether the habitat features that influenced nest-site selection also predicted nest success, or whether other factors (e.g. cavity dimensions, clutch initiation date or time of season) were more important. Nest tree decay class, density of suitable cavities and total basal area of large trees were the best predictors of nest-site selection, but these factors were unrelated to nesting success. Estimates of demographic parameters (mean ± SE) included daily nest survival rate (0.988±0.003, years combined), nest success (0.52±0.08), clutch size (5.00±0.14 eggs), female fledglings per successful nest (1.31±0.11), and annual productivity (0.68±0.12 female fledglings per nest per year). Although higher nest survival was associated with both early and late initiated clutches, early-initiated clutches allowed birds to gain the highest annual productivity as early clutches were larger. Nests in deep cavities with small entrances experienced lower predation risk especially during the peak period of nest predation. We concluded that nest-site selection can be predicted by a number of easily measured habitat variables, whereas nest success depended on complicated ecological interactions among nest predators, breeding behaviors, and cavity features. Thus, habitat-based conservation strategies should also consider ecological factors that may not be well predicted by habitat. PMID:23028525

  13. Use and interpretation of logistic regression in habitat-selection studies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keating, Kim A.; Cherry, Steve

    2004-01-01

     Logistic regression is an important tool for wildlife habitat-selection studies, but the method frequently has been misapplied due to an inadequate understanding of the logistic model, its interpretation, and the influence of sampling design. To promote better use of this method, we review its application and interpretation under 3 sampling designs: random, case-control, and use-availability. Logistic regression is appropriate for habitat use-nonuse studies employing random sampling and can be used to directly model the conditional probability of use in such cases. Logistic regression also is appropriate for studies employing case-control sampling designs, but careful attention is required to interpret results correctly. Unless bias can be estimated or probability of use is small for all habitats, results of case-control studies should be interpreted as odds ratios, rather than probability of use or relative probability of use. When data are gathered under a use-availability design, logistic regression can be used to estimate approximate odds ratios if probability of use is small, at least on average. More generally, however, logistic regression is inappropriate for modeling habitat selection in use-availability studies. In particular, using logistic regression to fit the exponential model of Manly et al. (2002:100) does not guarantee maximum-likelihood estimates, valid probabilities, or valid likelihoods. We show that the resource selection function (RSF) commonly used for the exponential model is proportional to a logistic discriminant function. Thus, it may be used to rank habitats with respect to probability of use and to identify important habitat characteristics or their surrogates, but it is not guaranteed to be proportional to probability of use. Other problems associated with the exponential model also are discussed. We describe an alternative model based on Lancaster and Imbens (1996) that offers a method for estimating conditional probability of use in

  14. Glacial Refugia and Future Habitat Coverage of Selected Dactylorhiza Representatives (Orchidaceae)

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The intensively discussed taxonomic complexity of the Dactylorhiza genus is probably correlated with its migration history during glaciations and interglacial periods. Previous studies on past processes affecting the current distribution of Dactylorhiza species as well as the history of the polyploid complex formation were based only on molecular data. In the present study the ecological niche modeling (ENM) technique was applied in order to describe the distribution of potential refugia for the selected Dactylorhiza representatives during the Last Glacial Maximum. Additionally, future changes in their potential habitat coverage were measured with regard to three various climatic change scenarios. The maximum entropy method was used to create models of suitable niche distribution. A database of Dactylorhiza localities was prepared on the grounds of information collected from literature and data gathered during field works. Our research indicated that the habitats of majority of the studied taxa will decrease by 2080, except for D. incarnata var. incarnata, for which suitable habitats will increase almost two-fold in the global scale. Moreover, the potential habitats of some taxa are located outside their currently known geographical ranges, e.g. the Aleutian Islands, the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains, Newfoundland, southern Greenland and Iceland. ENM analysis did not confirm that the Balkans, central Europe or central Russia served as the most important refugia for individual representatives of the Dactylorhiza incarnata/maculata complex. Our study rather indicated that the Black Sea coast, southern Apennines and Corsica were the main areas characterized by habitats suitable for most of the taxa. PMID:26599630

  15. Glacial Refugia and Future Habitat Coverage of Selected Dactylorhiza Representatives (Orchidaceae).

    PubMed

    Naczk, Aleksandra M; Kolanowska, Marta

    2015-01-01

    The intensively discussed taxonomic complexity of the Dactylorhiza genus is probably correlated with its migration history during glaciations and interglacial periods. Previous studies on past processes affecting the current distribution of Dactylorhiza species as well as the history of the polyploid complex formation were based only on molecular data. In the present study the ecological niche modeling (ENM) technique was applied in order to describe the distribution of potential refugia for the selected Dactylorhiza representatives during the Last Glacial Maximum. Additionally, future changes in their potential habitat coverage were measured with regard to three various climatic change scenarios. The maximum entropy method was used to create models of suitable niche distribution. A database of Dactylorhiza localities was prepared on the grounds of information collected from literature and data gathered during field works. Our research indicated that the habitats of majority of the studied taxa will decrease by 2080, except for D. incarnata var. incarnata, for which suitable habitats will increase almost two-fold in the global scale. Moreover, the potential habitats of some taxa are located outside their currently known geographical ranges, e.g. the Aleutian Islands, the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains, Newfoundland, southern Greenland and Iceland. ENM analysis did not confirm that the Balkans, central Europe or central Russia served as the most important refugia for individual representatives of the Dactylorhiza incarnata/maculata complex. Our study rather indicated that the Black Sea coast, southern Apennines and Corsica were the main areas characterized by habitats suitable for most of the taxa. PMID:26599630

  16. Effect of habitat and foraging height on bat activity in the coastal plain of South Carolina.

    SciTech Connect

    Menzel, Jennifer, M.; Menzel, Michael A.; Kilgo, John C.; Ford, W. Mark; Edwards, John W.; McCracken, Gary F.

    2005-07-01

    A comparison of bat activity levels in the Coastal Plain of South Carolina among 5 habitat types: forested riparian areas, clearcuts, young pine plantations, mature pine plantations and pine savannas, using time expansion radio-microphones and integrated detectors to simultaneously monitor bat activity at three heights in each habitat type.

  17. Redd site selection and spawning habitat use by fall chinook salmon: The importance of geomorphic features in large rivers

    SciTech Connect

    Geist, D.R. |; Dauble, D.D.

    1998-09-01

    Knowledge of the three-dimensional connectivity between rivers and groundwater within the hyporheic zone can be used to improve the definition of fall chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) spawning habitat. Information exists on the microhabitat characteristics that define suitable salmon spawning habitat. However, traditional spawning habitat models that use these characteristics to predict available spawning habitat are restricted because they can not account for the heterogeneous nature of rivers. The authors present a conceptual spawning habitat model for fall chinook salmon that describes how geomorphic features of river channels create hydraulic processes, including hyporheic flows, that influence where salmon spawn in unconstrained reaches of large mainstem alluvial rivers. Two case studies based on empirical data from fall chinook salmon spawning areas in the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River are presented to illustrate important aspects of the conceptual model. The authors suggest that traditional habitat models and the conceptual model be combined to predict the limits of suitable fall chinook salmon spawning habitat. This approach can incorporate quantitative measures of river channel morphology, including general descriptors of geomorphic features at different spatial scales, in order to understand the processes influencing redd site selection and spawning habitat use. This information is needed in order to protect existing salmon spawning habitat in large rivers, as well as to recover habitat already lost.

  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.

  19. Evaluation of methods for identifying spawning sites and habitat selection for alosines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harris, Julianne E.; Hightower, Joseph E.

    2010-01-01

    Characterization of riverine spawning habitat is important for the management and restoration of anadromous alosines. We examined the relative effectiveness of oblique plankton tows and spawning pads for collecting the eggs of American shad Alosa sapidissima, hickory shad A. mediocris, and “river herring” (a collective term for alewife A. pseudoharengus and blueback herring A. aestivalis) in the Roanoke River, North Carolina. Relatively nonadhesive American shad eggs were only collected by plankton tows, whereas semiadhesive hickory shad and river herring eggs were collected by both methods. Compared with spawning pads, oblique plankton tows had higher probabilities of collecting eggs and led to the identification of longer spawning periods. In assumed spawning areas, twice-weekly plankton sampling for 15 min throughout the spawning season had a 95% or greater probability of collecting at least one egg for all alosines; however, the probabilities were lower in areas with more limited spawning. Comparisons of plankton tows, spawning pads, and two other methods of identifying spawning habitat (direct observation of spawning and examination of female histology) suggested differences in effectiveness and efficiency. Riverwide information on spawning sites and timing for all alosines is most efficiently obtained by plankton sampling. Spawning pads and direct observations of spawning are the best ways to determine microhabitat selectivity for appropriate species, especially when spawning sites have previously been identified. Histological examination can help determine primary spawning sites but is most useful when information on reproductive biology and spawning periodicity is also desired. The target species, riverine habitat conditions, and research goals should be considered when selecting methods with which to evaluate alosine spawning habitat.

  20. Bed site selection by neonate deer in grassland habitats on the northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grovenburg, T.W.; Jacques, C.N.; Klaver, R.W.; Jenks, J.A.

    2010-01-01

    Bed site selection is an important behavioral trait influencing neonate survival. Vegetation characteristics of bed sites influence thermal protection of neonates and concealment from predators. Although previous studies describe bed site selection of neonatal white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in regions of forested cover, none determined microhabitat effects on neonate bed site selection in the Northern Great Plains, an area of limited forest cover. During summers 2007–2009, we investigated bed site selection (n  =  152) by 81 radiocollared neonate white-tailed deer in north-central South Dakota, USA. We documented 80 (52.6%) bed sites in tallgrass–Conservation Reserve Program lands, 35 (23.0%) bed sites in forested cover, and 37 (24.3%) in other habitats (e.g., pasture, alfalfa, wheat). Bed site selection varied with age and sex of neonate. Tree canopy cover (P < 0.001) and tree basal area (P < 0.001) decreased with age of neonates, with no bed sites observed in forested cover after 18 days of age. Male neonates selected sites with less grass cover (P < 0.001), vertical height of understory vegetation (P < 0.001), and density of understory vegetation (P < 0.001) but greater bare ground (P  =  0.047), litter (P  =  0.028), and wheat (P  =  0.044) than did females. Odds of bed site selection increased 3.5% (odds ratio  =  1.035, 95% CI  =  1.008–1.062) for every 1-cm increase in vertical height of understory vegetation. Management for habitat throughout the grasslands of South Dakota that maximizes vertical height of understory vegetation would enhance cover characteristics selected by neonates.

  1. Across-habitat comparison of diazotroph activity in the subarctic.

    PubMed

    Rousk, Kathrin; Sorensen, Pernille L; Lett, Signe; Michelsen, Anders

    2015-05-01

    Nitrogen (N) fixation by N2-fixing bacteria (diazotrophs) is the primary N input to pristine ecosystems like boreal forests and subarctic and arctic tundra. However, the contribution by the various diazotrophs to habitat N2 fixation remains unclear. We present results from in situ assessments of N2 fixation of five diazotroph associations (with a legume, lichen, feather moss, Sphagnum moss and free-living) incorporating the ground cover of the associations in five typical habitats in the subarctic (wet and dry heath, polygon-heath, birch forest, mire). Further, we assessed the importance of soil and air temperature, as well as moisture conditions for N2 fixation. Across the growing season, the legume had the highest total as well as the highest fraction of N2 fixation rates at habitat level in the heaths (>85 % of habitat N2 fixation), whereas the free-living diazotrophs had the highest N2 fixation rates in the polygon heath (56 %), the lichen in the birch forest (87 %) and Sphagnum in the mire (100 %). The feather moss did not contribute more than 15 % to habitat N2 fixation in any of the habitats despite its high ground cover. Moisture content seemed to be a major driver of N2 fixation in the lichen, feather moss and free-living diazotrophs. Our results show that the range of N2 fixers found in pristine habitats contribute differently to habitat N2 fixation and that ground cover of the associates does not necessarily mirror contribution.

  2. Across-habitat comparison of diazotroph activity in the subarctic.

    PubMed

    Rousk, Kathrin; Sorensen, Pernille L; Lett, Signe; Michelsen, Anders

    2015-05-01

    Nitrogen (N) fixation by N2-fixing bacteria (diazotrophs) is the primary N input to pristine ecosystems like boreal forests and subarctic and arctic tundra. However, the contribution by the various diazotrophs to habitat N2 fixation remains unclear. We present results from in situ assessments of N2 fixation of five diazotroph associations (with a legume, lichen, feather moss, Sphagnum moss and free-living) incorporating the ground cover of the associations in five typical habitats in the subarctic (wet and dry heath, polygon-heath, birch forest, mire). Further, we assessed the importance of soil and air temperature, as well as moisture conditions for N2 fixation. Across the growing season, the legume had the highest total as well as the highest fraction of N2 fixation rates at habitat level in the heaths (>85 % of habitat N2 fixation), whereas the free-living diazotrophs had the highest N2 fixation rates in the polygon heath (56 %), the lichen in the birch forest (87 %) and Sphagnum in the mire (100 %). The feather moss did not contribute more than 15 % to habitat N2 fixation in any of the habitats despite its high ground cover. Moisture content seemed to be a major driver of N2 fixation in the lichen, feather moss and free-living diazotrophs. Our results show that the range of N2 fixers found in pristine habitats contribute differently to habitat N2 fixation and that ground cover of the associates does not necessarily mirror contribution. PMID:25403111

  3. Change in habitat selection by Japanese macaques ( Macaca fuscata) and habitat fragmentation analysis using temporal remotely sensed data in Niigata Prefecture, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mochizuki, Shota; Murakami, Takuhiko

    2011-08-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in macaque habitat selection during a 29-year period. We focused on the 1970s, when little crop damage was caused by Japanese macaques ( Macaca fuscata), and the 2000s, when the damage became remarkable. Landsat/MSS from 1978 and ALOS/AVNIR-2 from 2007 were employed for land-cover mapping. For the 2007 land-cover classification, we applied an object-oriented image classification and a classification and regression tree. The Kappa coefficient of the 2007 land-cover map was 0.89. For the 1978 land-cover classification, change detection using principal component analysis and object-oriented image classification were applied to reduce resolution difference errors. The Kappa coefficient of the 1978 land-cover map was 0.84. We applied a Random Forest model for machine learning and data mining to predict the habitat selection of macaques. Several important environmental factors were identified for macaque habitat selection: the ratio of coniferous forest to farmland, distance to farmland, and maximum snow depth. The Random Forest model was extrapolated to the 1978 land-cover map. Over the 29-year period, coniferous forest changed to broad-leaved forest and/or mixed forest within the macaque habitat area. Coniferous forests were not selected as food resources by Japanese macaques. Furthermore, large-scale patches of farmland were used as food resources over the 29-year period. These changes indicated that habitat selection by Japanese macaques changed over the study period. The results show that the home range of macaques expanded, and macaques may now be distributed over a wider area as a result of changes in landscape configuration. Thus, forest planning, such as sustainable management of artificial conifer forests, is important for reducing crop damage.

  4. Hepatic biotransformation and antioxidant enzyme activities in Mediterranean fish from different habitat depths.

    PubMed

    Ribalta, C; Sanchez-Hernandez, J C; Sole, M

    2015-11-01

    Marine fish are threatened by anthropogenic chemical discharges. However, knowledge on adverse effects on deep-sea fish or their detoxification capabilities is limited. Herein, we compared the basal activities of selected hepatic detoxification enzymes in several species (Solea solea, Dicentrarchus labrax, Trachyrhynchus scabrus, Mora moro, Cataetix laticeps and Alepocehalus rostratus) collected from the coast, middle and lower slopes of the Blanes Canyon region (Catalan continental margin, NW Mediterranean Sea). The xenobiotic-detoxifying enzymes analysed were the phase-I carboxylesterases (CbEs), and the phase-II conjugation activities uridine diphosphate glucuronyltransferase (UDPGT) and glutathione S-transferase (GST). Moreover, some antioxidant enzyme activities, i.e., catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and glutathione reductase (GR), were also included in this comparative study. Because CbE activity is represented by multiple isoforms, the substrates α-naphthyl acetate (αNA) and ρ-nitrophenyl acetate (ρNPA) were used in the enzyme assays, and in vitro inhibition kinetics with dichlorvos were performed to compare interspecific CbE sensitivity. Activity of xenobiotic detoxification enzymes varied among the species, following a trend with habitat depth and body size. Thus, UDPGT and some antioxidant enzyme activities decreased in fish inhabiting lower slopes of deep-sea, whereas UDPGT and αNA-CbE activities were negatively related to fish size. A trend between CbE activities and the IC50 values for dichlorvos suggested S. solea and M. moro as potentially more sensitive to anticholinesterasic pesticides, and T. scabrus as the most resistant one. A principal component analysis considering all enzyme activities clearly identified the species but this grouping was not related to habitat depth or phylogeny. Although these results can be taken as baseline levels of the main xenobiotic detoxification enzymes in Mediterranean fish, further research is

  5. Measuring and selecting scales of effect for landscape predictors in species-habitat models.

    PubMed

    Martin, Amanda E; Fahrig, Lenore

    2012-12-01

    Wildlife managers often use habitat models to determine species habitat requirements and to identify locations for conservation efforts, uses which depend on accurate specification of species-habitat relationships. Prior study suggests that model performance may be influenced by the way we measure environmental predictors. We hypothesized that species responses to landscape predictors are best represented by landscape composition-based measurements, rather than distance-based measurements. We also hypothesized that models using empirical data to select an appropriate scale of effect for each habitat predictor (multi-scale models) should perform better than models that assume a common scale of effect for all predictors (single-scale models). To test these hypotheses we constructed habitat models for three mammal species, Mephitis mephitis, Mustela erminea, and Procyon lotor, based on surveys conducted in 80 landscapes in southeastern Ontario, Canada. For each species we compared the performance of distance- and composition-based measurements, and we compared the performance of single- and multi-scale models. The composition-based measurement, measured at its empirically determined scale of effect, had greater explanatory power than the distance-based measurement of a given predictor more often than expected by chance, supporting our first hypothesis. Contrary to expectation, multi-scale models did not have better explanatory power or predictive performance relative to single-scale models. We identified and evaluated four potential mechanisms to explain this, and, depending on the species, we found that the best explanation was either that predictors have significant effects at a common scale or that, although the modeled effects were at multiple scales, they were of similar magnitude and direction at the scales modeled in single- and multi-scale models. Our results suggest that habitat modeling based on distance-based measurements could be improved by including

  6. 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.

  7. Photo-orientation regulates seasonal habitat selection in the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Takeshi; Kojima, Takeshi; Takeda, Makio; Sakuma, Masayuki

    2013-03-15

    Non-diapausing spider mites (Tetranychus urticae) live on the undersurface of host leaves during summer, but diapausing mites overwinter in dark hibernacula. The light environments of these habitats differ: visible radiation (VIS) but not ultraviolet radiation (UV) reaches the undersurface of leaves, but neither enters dark hibernacula. Thus, mites of either seasonal form could locate their preferred habitat by photo-orientation responses to UV and VIS. To investigate this possibility, we analysed the mites' locomotion behaviour on a virtual field with a programmed chequered pattern of light and dark patches in a micro-locomotion compensator. Both non-diapausing and diapausing mites moved away from UV-illuminated patches into dark patches. Non-diapausing mites moved towards VIS-illuminated patches, whereas diapausing mites did not show a preference. Our results show that non-diapausing mites avoid UV and are attracted to VIS, suggesting that this can guide them beneath a leaf. Diapausing mites simply avoid UV. The lack of a preference for VIS during diapause could be due to changes in carotenoid metabolism, which also involve orange pigmentation of diapausing mites. We consider that a diapause-mediated switch of the response to VIS, together with regular avoidance of UV, plays a key role in the seasonal change of habitat selection in this species. This seasonal polyphenism involves alterations in not only reproductive state and pigmentation, but also in photo-spectral responses. PMID:23197101

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

    PubMed

    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. Scale-dependent mechanisms of habitat selection for a migratory passerine: an experimental approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Donovan, Therese M.; Cornell, Kerri L.

    2010-01-01

    Habitat selection theory predicts that individuals choose breeding habitats that maximize fitness returns on the basis of indirect environmental cues at multiple spatial scales. We performed a 3-year field experiment to evaluate five alternative hypotheses regarding whether individuals choose breeding territories in heterogeneous landscapes on the basis of (1) shrub cover within a site, (2) forest land-cover pattern surrounding a site, (3) conspecific song cues during prebreeding settlement periods, (4) a combination of these factors, and (5) interactions among these factors. We tested hypotheses with playbacks of conspecific song across a gradient of landscape pattern and shrub density and evaluated changes in territory occupancy patterns in a forest-nesting passerine, the Black-throated Blue Warbler (Dendroica caerulescens). Our results support the hypothesis that vegetation structure plays a primary role during presettlement periods in determining occupancy patterns in this species. Further, both occupancy rates and territory turnover were affected by an interaction between local shrub density and amount of forest in the surrounding landscape, but not by interactions between habitat cues and social cues. Although previous studies of this species in unfragmented landscapes found that social postbreeding song cues played a key role in determining territory settlement, our prebreeding playbacks were not associated with territory occupancy or turnover. Our results suggest that in heterogeneous landscapes during spring settlement, vegetation structure may be a more reliable signal of reproductive performance than the physical location of other individuals.

  10. Habitat Selection and Temporal Abundance Fluctuations of Demersal Cartilaginous Species in the Aegean Sea (Eastern Mediterranean)

    PubMed Central

    Maravelias, Christos D.; Tserpes, George; Pantazi, Maria; Peristeraki, Panagiota

    2012-01-01

    Predicting the occurrence of keystone top predators in a multispecies marine environment, such as the Mediterranean Sea, can be of considerable value to the long-term sustainable development of the fishing industry and to the protection of biodiversity. We analysed fisheries independent scientific bottom trawl survey data of two of the most abundant cartilaginous fish species (Scyliorhinus canicula, Raja clavata) in the Aegean Sea covering an 11-year sampling period. The current findings revealed a declining trend in R. clavata and S. canicula abundance from the late ′90 s until 2004. Habitats with the higher probability of finding cartilaginous fish present were those located in intermediate waters (depth: 200–400 m). The present results also indicated a preferential species' clustering in specific geographic and bathymetric regions of the Aegean Sea. Depth appeared to be one of the key determining factors for the selection of habitats for all species examined. With cartilaginous fish species being among the more biologically sensitive fish species taken in European marine fisheries, our findings, which are based on a standardized scientific survey, can contribute to the rational exploitation and management of their stocks by providing important information on temporal abundance trends and habitat preferences. PMID:22536389

  11. Birdsong Acquisition Model by Sexual Selection Focused on the Habitat Density

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujita, Yohei; Mutoh, Atsuko; Kato, Shohei

    We describe a simulation model based on an avian ecosystem for determining what causes birdsong evolution. It is already known that songbirds communicate with a “birdsong.” This birdsong is used in territorial and courtship behaviors. Some previous researches have suggested that songs related to territorial behaviors should have simple structures while those related to courtship behaviors should have complex ones. We suspect that birdsongs are constantly evolving to achieve a suitable balance between the two behaviors while considering the surrounding environment. We consider avian habitat density to be one of the most important environmental factors influencing birdsong evolution and therefore created different densities in a simulation model. In this paper, we propose a birdsong acquisition model by sexual selection that contains both territorial and courtship behaviors. We conducted simulations with the proposed model and determined that the evolution of birdsongs differs depending on a bird's habitat density. The experimental results suggest that a bird's habitat density influences the structure of birdsongs, as well.

  12. Photo-orientation regulates seasonal habitat selection in the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Takeshi; Kojima, Takeshi; Takeda, Makio; Sakuma, Masayuki

    2013-03-15

    Non-diapausing spider mites (Tetranychus urticae) live on the undersurface of host leaves during summer, but diapausing mites overwinter in dark hibernacula. The light environments of these habitats differ: visible radiation (VIS) but not ultraviolet radiation (UV) reaches the undersurface of leaves, but neither enters dark hibernacula. Thus, mites of either seasonal form could locate their preferred habitat by photo-orientation responses to UV and VIS. To investigate this possibility, we analysed the mites' locomotion behaviour on a virtual field with a programmed chequered pattern of light and dark patches in a micro-locomotion compensator. Both non-diapausing and diapausing mites moved away from UV-illuminated patches into dark patches. Non-diapausing mites moved towards VIS-illuminated patches, whereas diapausing mites did not show a preference. Our results show that non-diapausing mites avoid UV and are attracted to VIS, suggesting that this can guide them beneath a leaf. Diapausing mites simply avoid UV. The lack of a preference for VIS during diapause could be due to changes in carotenoid metabolism, which also involve orange pigmentation of diapausing mites. We consider that a diapause-mediated switch of the response to VIS, together with regular avoidance of UV, plays a key role in the seasonal change of habitat selection in this species. This seasonal polyphenism involves alterations in not only reproductive state and pigmentation, but also in photo-spectral responses.

  13. Habitat selection of the channel darter, Percina (Cottogaster) copelandi, a surrogate for the imperiled pearl darter, Percina aurora

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schofield, P.J.; Ross, Stephen T.

    2003-01-01

    Percina (Cottogaster) aurora is an imperiled species under consideration for listing by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. To better understand habitat Use of P. aurora, we studied a related and more abundant Cottogaster species, Percina copelandi, from the Ouachita River, Arkansas. We used a laboratory stream system to examine mesohabitat selection (pools versus riffles) and microhabitat selection (substratum particle size) of P. copelandi over three temperature regimes (summer, spring, and winter). Percina copelandi selected pool habitats over riffles and selected pools with coarse substrata (e.g., cobble) over free substrata (e.g., gravel). In riffles, P. copelandi selected large substrata during winter and spring but did not show particle size selection during summer. These data, and various published and unpublished field data for P. aurora, suggest that habitat use of P. aurora is also centered around deep runs and pools, with large substrata likely being more important at low water temperatures.

  14. Correlation and studies of habitat selection: problem, red herring or opportunity?

    PubMed Central

    Fieberg, John; Matthiopoulos, Jason; Hebblewhite, Mark; Boyce, Mark S.; Frair, Jacqueline L.

    2010-01-01

    With the advent of new technologies, animal locations are being collected at ever finer spatio-temporal scales. We review analytical methods for dealing with correlated data in the context of resource selection, including post hoc variance inflation techniques, ‘two-stage’ approaches based on models fit to each individual, generalized estimating equations and hierarchical mixed-effects models. These methods are applicable to a wide range of correlated data problems, but can be difficult to apply and remain especially challenging for use–availability sampling designs because the correlation structure for combinations of used and available points are not likely to follow common parametric forms. We also review emerging approaches to studying habitat selection that use fine-scale temporal data to arrive at biologically based definitions of available habitat, while naturally accounting for autocorrelation by modelling animal movement between telemetry locations. Sophisticated analyses that explicitly model correlation rather than consider it a nuisance, like mixed effects and state-space models, offer potentially novel insights into the process of resource selection, but additional work is needed to make them more generally applicable to large datasets based on the use–availability designs. Until then, variance inflation techniques and two-stage approaches should offer pragmatic and flexible approaches to modelling correlated data. PMID:20566500

  15. 30 CFR 285.803 - How must I conduct my approved activities to protect essential fish habitats identified and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... protect essential fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation... activities to protect essential fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery... essential fish habitat or habitat areas of particular concern may be adversely affected by your...

  16. Multiscale habitat selection of wetland birds in the northern Gulf Coast

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pickens, Bradley A.; King, Sammy L.

    2014-01-01

    The spatial scale of habitat selection has become a prominent concept in ecology, but has received less attention in coastal ecology. In coastal marshes, broad-scale marsh types are defined by vegetation composition over thousands of hectares, water-level management is applied over hundreds of hectares, and fine-scale habitat is depicted by tens of meters. Individually, these scales are known to affect wetland fauna, but studies have not examined all three spatial scales simultaneously. We investigated wetland bird habitat selection at the three scales and compared single- and multiscale models. From 2009 to 2011, we surveyed marsh birds (i.e., Rallidae, bitterns, grebes), shorebirds, and wading birds in fresh and intermediate (oligohaline) coastal marsh in Louisiana and Texas, USA. Within each year, six repeated surveys of wintering, resident, and migratory breeding birds were conducted at > 100 points (n = 304). The results revealed fine-scale factors, primarily water depth, were consistently better predictors than marsh type or management. However, 10 of 11 species had improved models with the three scales combined. Birds with a linear association with water depth were, correspondingly, most abundant with deeper fresh marsh and permanently impounded water. Conversely, intermediate marsh had a greater abundance of shallow water species, such as king rail Rallus elegans, least bittern Ixobrychus exilis, and sora Porzana carolina. These birds had quadratic relationships with water depth or no relationship. Overall, coastal birds were influenced by multiple scales corresponding with hydrological characteristics. The effects suggest the timing of drawdowns and interannual variability in spring water levels can greatly affect wetland bird abundance.

  17. Habitat selection by anurofauna community at rocky seashore in coastal Atlantic Forest, Southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pontes, R C; Santori, R T; Gonçalves e Cunha, F C; Pontes, J A L

    2013-08-01

    Rocky seashores are low granitic hills distributed along the southeastern Brazilian coast with xeric-like vegetation due to the shallow soil. Knowledge on amphibian communities and their reproductive patterns is especially reduced on this kind of environment. Herein, we present a framework of two years monitoring an amphibian community at a rocky seashore environment located at the protected area of Parque Estadual da Serra da Tiririca, municipality of Niterói, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We conducted diurnal and nocturnal searches for frogs in tank bromeliads, rocky surface and shrubby vegetation. Annual pattern of breeding activity of anurans was also estimated. Individuals of the most abundant tank-bromeliad, Alcantarea glaziouana were collected and measured according to several variables to understanding the selection of bromeliads by frogs. We checked the influence of the environmental conditions on amphibian abundance, association between the bromeliads measures, and the water storage in the tank. We recorded the species: Scinax aff. x-signatus; S. cuspidatus; S. littoreus; Thoropa miliaris and Gastrotheca sp. Bromeliads were the preferential habitat used by anurans. The nocturnal habit was predominant for all species and during diurnal searches, the specimens were found sheltered in bromeliads axils. The number of calling males as well as amphibian abundance was associated with the rainiest and warmest period of the year. The species S. littoreus was observed in breeding activity in the majority of sample period. Adult calling males of T. miliaris were observed especially in the rainy season. Rainfall and temperature combined are positively correlated to the total number of captured amphibians. However, individually, rainfall was not significantly correlated, while temperature was positively correlated with the amphibian abundance. Water storage capacity by bromeliads was correlated to characteristics and size of the plant. In the rainy season, the

  18. Habitat selection by anurofauna community at rocky seashore in coastal Atlantic Forest, Southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pontes, R C; Santori, R T; Gonçalves e Cunha, F C; Pontes, J A L

    2013-08-01

    Rocky seashores are low granitic hills distributed along the southeastern Brazilian coast with xeric-like vegetation due to the shallow soil. Knowledge on amphibian communities and their reproductive patterns is especially reduced on this kind of environment. Herein, we present a framework of two years monitoring an amphibian community at a rocky seashore environment located at the protected area of Parque Estadual da Serra da Tiririca, municipality of Niterói, state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We conducted diurnal and nocturnal searches for frogs in tank bromeliads, rocky surface and shrubby vegetation. Annual pattern of breeding activity of anurans was also estimated. Individuals of the most abundant tank-bromeliad, Alcantarea glaziouana were collected and measured according to several variables to understanding the selection of bromeliads by frogs. We checked the influence of the environmental conditions on amphibian abundance, association between the bromeliads measures, and the water storage in the tank. We recorded the species: Scinax aff. x-signatus; S. cuspidatus; S. littoreus; Thoropa miliaris and Gastrotheca sp. Bromeliads were the preferential habitat used by anurans. The nocturnal habit was predominant for all species and during diurnal searches, the specimens were found sheltered in bromeliads axils. The number of calling males as well as amphibian abundance was associated with the rainiest and warmest period of the year. The species S. littoreus was observed in breeding activity in the majority of sample period. Adult calling males of T. miliaris were observed especially in the rainy season. Rainfall and temperature combined are positively correlated to the total number of captured amphibians. However, individually, rainfall was not significantly correlated, while temperature was positively correlated with the amphibian abundance. Water storage capacity by bromeliads was correlated to characteristics and size of the plant. In the rainy season, the

  19. Feeding habitat selection by great blue herons and great egrets nesting in east central Minnesota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, Christine M.; Galli, J.

    2002-01-01

    Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) and Great Egrets (Casmerodius albus) partitioned feeding habitat based on wetland size at Peltier Lake rookery in cast central Minnesota. Great Blue Herons preferred large water-bodies ( greater than or equal to350 ha), whereas Great Egrets fed most often at small ponds (<25 ha). Forty-nine percent of Great Blue Herons used wetlands 301 - 400 hectares in size and 83% of Great Egrets fed in wetlands <100 ha in size. Great Blue Herons selected large wetlands more often than expected both at the regional (30-km radius) and local (4-km radius) scales. Habitat use by Great Egrets was in proportion to availability at the regional scale, but they selected smaller wetlands for feeding more often than expected at a local scale. The median flight distance of Great Blue Herons was 2.7 km, similar to distances reported elsewhere. Great Egrets flew farther to feeding sites than Great Blue Herons, and flew farther (median = 13.5 km) than reported in other geographic areas. Received 22 September 2001, accepted 5 November 2001.

  20. Seasonal distribution, aggregation, and habitat selection of common carp in Clear Lake, Iowa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Penne, C.R.; Pierce, C.L.

    2008-01-01

    The common carp Cyprinus carpio is widely distributed and frequently considered a nuisance species outside its native range. Common carp are abundant in Clear Lake, Iowa, where their presence is both a symptom of degradation and an impediment to improving water quality and the sport fishery. We used radiotelemetry to quantify seasonal distribution, aggregation, and habitat selection of adult and subadult common carp in Clear Lake during 2005-2006 in an effort to guide future control strategies. Over a 22-month period, we recorded 1,951 locations of 54 adults and 60 subadults implanted with radio transmitters. Adults demonstrated a clear tendency to aggregate in an offshore area during the late fall and winter and in shallow, vegetated areas before and during spring spawning. Late-fall and winter aggregations were estimated to include a larger percentage of the tracked adults than spring aggregations. Subadults aggregated in shallow, vegetated areas during the spring and early summer. Our study, when considered in combination with previous research, suggests repeatable patterns of distribution, aggregation, and habitat selection that should facilitate common carp reduction programs in Clear Lake and similar systems. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2008.

  1. Selecting a Conservation Surrogate Species for Small Fragmented Habitats Using Ecological Niche Modelling.

    PubMed

    Nekaris, K Anne-Isola; Arnell, Andrew P; Svensson, Magdalena S

    2015-01-01

    Flagship species are traditionally large, charismatic animals used to rally conservation efforts. Accepted flagship definitions suggest they need only fulfil a strategic role, unlike umbrella species that are used to shelter cohabitant taxa. The criteria used to select both flagship and umbrella species may not stand up in the face of dramatic forest loss, where remaining fragments may only contain species that do not suit either set of criteria. The Cinderella species concept covers aesthetically pleasing and overlooked species that fulfil the criteria of flagships or umbrellas. Such species are also more likely to occur in fragmented habitats. We tested Cinderella criteria on mammals in the fragmented forests of the Sri Lankan Wet Zone. We selected taxa that fulfilled both strategic and ecological roles. We created a shortlist of ten species, and from a survey of local perceptions highlighted two finalists. We tested these for umbrella characteristics against the original shortlist, utilizing Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modelling, and analysed distribution overlap using ArcGIS. The criteria highlighted Loris tardigradus tardigradus and Prionailurus viverrinus as finalists, with the former having highest flagship potential. We suggest Cinderella species can be effective conservation surrogates especially in habitats where traditional flagship species have been extirpated. PMID:26479135

  2. To kill, stay or flee: the effects of lions and landscape factors on habitat and kill site selection of cheetahs in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Rostro-García, Susana; Kamler, Jan F; Hunter, Luke T B

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how animals utilize available space is important for their conservation, as it provides insight into the ecological needs of the species, including those related to habitat, prey and inter and intraspecific interactions. We used 28 months of radio telemetry data and information from 200 kill locations to assess habitat selection at the 3rd order (selection of habitats within home ranges) and 4th order (selection of kill sites within the habitats used) of a reintroduced population of cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus in Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa. Along with landscape characteristics, we investigated if lion Panthera leo presence affected habitat selection of cheetahs. Our results indicated that cheetah habitat selection was driven by a trade-off between resource acquisition and lion avoidance, and the balance of this trade-off varied with scale: more open habitats with high prey densities were positively selected within home ranges, whereas more closed habitats with low prey densities were positively selected for kill sites. We also showed that habitat selection, feeding ecology, and avoidance of lions differed depending on the sex and reproductive status of cheetahs. The results highlight the importance of scale when investigating a species' habitat selection. We conclude that the adaptability of cheetahs, together with the habitat heterogeneity found within Phinda, explained their success in this small fenced reserve. The results provide information for the conservation and management of this threatened species, especially with regards to reintroduction efforts in South Africa.

  3. To Kill, Stay or Flee: The Effects of Lions and Landscape Factors on Habitat and Kill Site Selection of Cheetahs in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Rostro-García, Susana; Kamler, Jan F.; Hunter, Luke T. B.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how animals utilize available space is important for their conservation, as it provides insight into the ecological needs of the species, including those related to habitat, prey and inter and intraspecific interactions. We used 28 months of radio telemetry data and information from 200 kill locations to assess habitat selection at the 3rd order (selection of habitats within home ranges) and 4th order (selection of kill sites within the habitats used) of a reintroduced population of cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus in Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa. Along with landscape characteristics, we investigated if lion Panthera leo presence affected habitat selection of cheetahs. Our results indicated that cheetah habitat selection was driven by a trade-off between resource acquisition and lion avoidance, and the balance of this trade-off varied with scale: more open habitats with high prey densities were positively selected within home ranges, whereas more closed habitats with low prey densities were positively selected for kill sites. We also showed that habitat selection, feeding ecology, and avoidance of lions differed depending on the sex and reproductive status of cheetahs. The results highlight the importance of scale when investigating a species’ habitat selection. We conclude that the adaptability of cheetahs, together with the habitat heterogeneity found within Phinda, explained their success in this small fenced reserve. The results provide information for the conservation and management of this threatened species, especially with regards to reintroduction efforts in South Africa. PMID:25693067

  4. Selecting a Conservation Surrogate Species for Small Fragmented Habitats Using Ecological Niche Modelling

    PubMed Central

    Nekaris, K. Anne-Isola; Arnell, Andrew P.; Svensson, Magdalena S.

    2015-01-01

    Simple Summary Large “charismatic” animals (with widespread popular appeal) are often used as flagship species to raise awareness for conservation. Deforestation and forest fragmentation are among the main threats to biodiversity, and in many places such species are disappearing. In this paper we aim to find a suitable species among the less charismatic animal species left in the fragmented forests of South-western Sri Lanka. We selected ten candidates, using a questionnaire survey along with computer modelling of their distributions. The red slender loris and the fishing cat came out as finalists as they were both appealing to local people, and fulfilled selected ecological criteria. Abstract Flagship species are traditionally large, charismatic animals used to rally conservation efforts. Accepted flagship definitions suggest they need only fulfil a strategic role, unlike umbrella species that are used to shelter cohabitant taxa. The criteria used to select both flagship and umbrella species may not stand up in the face of dramatic forest loss, where remaining fragments may only contain species that do not suit either set of criteria. The Cinderella species concept covers aesthetically pleasing and overlooked species that fulfil the criteria of flagships or umbrellas. Such species are also more likely to occur in fragmented habitats. We tested Cinderella criteria on mammals in the fragmented forests of the Sri Lankan Wet Zone. We selected taxa that fulfilled both strategic and ecological roles. We created a shortlist of ten species, and from a survey of local perceptions highlighted two finalists. We tested these for umbrella characteristics against the original shortlist, utilizing Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modelling, and analysed distribution overlap using ArcGIS. The criteria highlighted Loris tardigradus tardigradus and Prionailurus viverrinus as finalists, with the former having highest flagship potential. We suggest Cinderella species can be effective

  5. Habitat diversity in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico: Selected video clips from the Gulfstream Natural Gas Pipeline digital archive

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Raabe, Ellen A.; D'Anjou, Robert; Pope, Domonique K.; Robbins, Lisa L.

    2011-01-01

    This project combines underwater video with maps and descriptions to illustrate diverse seafloor habitats from Tampa Bay, Florida, to Mobile Bay, Alabama. A swath of seafloor was surveyed with underwater video to 100 meters (m) water depth in 1999 and 2000 as part of the Gulfstream Natural Gas System Survey. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in St. Petersburg, Florida, in cooperation with Eckerd College and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), produced an archive of analog-to-digital underwater movies. Representative clips of seafloor habitats were selected from hundreds of hours of underwater footage. The locations of video clips were mapped to show the distribution of habitat and habitat transitions. The numerous benthic habitats in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico play a vital role in the region's economy, providing essential resources for tourism, natural gas, recreational water sports (fishing, boating, scuba diving), materials, fresh food, energy, a source of sand for beach renourishment, and more. These submerged natural resources are important to the economy but are often invisible to the general public. This product provides a glimpse of the seafloor with sample underwater video, maps, and habitat descriptions. It was developed to depict the range and location of seafloor habitats in the region but is limited by depth and by the survey track. It should not be viewed as comprehensive, but rather as a point of departure for inquiries and appreciation of marine resources and seafloor habitats. Further information is provided in the Resources section.

  6. Hunting influences the diel patterns in habitat selection by northern pintails Anas acuta

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Casazza, Michael L.; Coates, Peter S.; Miller, Michael R.; Overton, Cory T.; Yparraguirre, Daniel R.

    2012-01-01

    Northern pintail Anas acuta (hereafter pintail) populations wintering within Suisun Marsh, a large estuarine managed wetland near San Francisco Bay, California,USA, have declined markedly over the last four decades. The reasons for this decline are unclear. Information on how hunting and other factors influence the selection of vegetation types and sanctuaries would be beneficial to manage pintail populations in SuisunMarsh. During 1991-1993, we radio-marked and relocated female pintails (individuals: N = 203, relocations: N = 7,688) within Suisun Marsh to investigate habitat selection during the non-breeding months (winter). We calculated selection ratios for different vegetation types and for sanctuaries, and examined differences in those ratios between hunting season (i.e. hunting and non-hunting), age (hatchyear and after-hatch-year), and time of day (daylight or night hours). We found that diel patterns in selection were influenced by hunting disturbance. For example, prior to the hunting season and during daylight hours, pintails selected areas dominated by brass buttons Cotula coronopifolia, a potentially important food source, usually outside of sanctuary boundaries. However, during the hunting season, pintails did not select brass buttons during daylight hours, but instead highly selected permanent pools, mostly within sanctuaries. Also, during the hunting season, pintails showed strong selection for brass buttons at night. Sanctuaries provided more area of permanent water pools than within hunting areas and appeared to function as important refugia during daylight hours of the hunting season. Wildlife managers should encourage large protected permanent pools adjacent to hunted wetlands to increase pintail numbers within wetland environments and responsibly benefit hunting opportunities while improving pintail conservation.

  7. Habitat selection of two gobies (Microgobius gulosus, Gobiosoma robustum): influence of structural complexity, competitive interactions and presence of a predator

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schofield, P.J.

    2003-01-01

    Herein I compare the relative importance of preference for structurally complex habitat against avoidance of competitors and predators in two benthic fishes common in the Gulf of Mexico. The code goby Gobiosoma robustum Ginsburg and clown goby Microgobius gulosus (Girard) are common, ecologically similar fishes found throughout the Gulf of Mexico and in the southeastern Atlantic Ocean. In Florida Bay, these fishes exhibit habitat partitioning: G. robustum is most abundant in seagrass-dominated areas while M. gulosus is most abundant in sparsely vegetated habitats. In a small-scale field survey, I documented the microhabitat use of these species where their distributions overlap. In a series of laboratory experiments, I presented each species with structured (artificial seagrass) versus nonstructured (bare sand) habitats and measured their frequency of choosing either habitat type. I then examined the use of structured versus nonstructured habitats when the two species were placed together in a mixed group. Finally, I placed a predator (Opsanus beta) in the experimental aquaria to determine how its presence influenced habitat selection. In the field, G. robustum was more abundant in seagrass and M. gulosus was more abundant in bare mud. In the laboratory, both species selected grass over sand in allopatry. However, in sympatry, M. gulosus occupied sand more often when paired with G. robustum than when alone. G. robustum appears to directly influence the habitat choice of M. gulosus: It seems that M. gulosus is pushed out of the structured habitat that is the preferred habitat of G. robustum. Thus, competition appears to modify the habitat selection of these species when they occur in sympatry. Additionally, the presence of the toadfish was a sufficient stimulus to provoke both M. gulosus and G. robustum to increase their selection for sand (compared to single-species treatments). Distribution patterns of M. gulosus and G. robustum

  8. Sexual differences in the post-breeding movements and habitats selected by Western toads (Bufo boreas) in southeastern Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bartelt, Paul E.; Peterson, Charles R.; Klaver, Robert W.

    2004-01-01

    We used radio-telemetry to study the movements and habitat use of Western toads (Bufo boreas) in the Targhee National Forest in southeastern Idaho. Eighteen toads (10 male and 8 female) that bred in a seasonally flooded pond, were fitted with radio-transmitters, tracked, and their movements mapped and analyzed with global positioning and geographic information systems. We also analyzed their patterns of habitat selection at micro- and macro-scales by comparing sites used by toads with randomly selected sites. After breeding, two male and six female toads left the breeding pond and used terrestrial habitats extensively. Male and female toads showed different patterns of movement and habitat use, although all toads seemed to behave in ways that reduced loss of body water (e.g., such as traveling on nights of high humidity). Male toads traveled shorter distances from the pond than females (581 ± 98 m and 1105 ± 272 m, respectively). Female toads used terrestrial habitats extensively and were selective of cover types (e.g., shrub) that provided greater protection from dehydration. Female toads also preferred certain habitat edges and open forests over forests with closed canopies or clearcuts. Information from this study can assist land managers in establishing protective buffers and managing forests for the protection of toad populations.

  9. Effects of forest canopy on habitat selection in treefrogs and aquatic insects: implications for communities and metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Binckley, Christopher A; Resetarits, William J

    2007-10-01

    The specific dispersal/colonization strategies used by species to locate and colonize habitat patches can strongly influence both community and metacommunity structure. Habitat selection theory predicts nonrandom dispersal to and colonization of habitat patches based on their quality. We tested whether habitat selection was capable of generating patterns of diversity and abundance across a transition of canopy coverage (open and closed canopy) and nutrient addition by investigating oviposition site choice in two treefrog species (Hyla) and an aquatic beetle (Tropisternus lateralis), and the colonization dynamics of a diverse assemblage of aquatic insects (primarily beetles). Canopy cover produced dramatic patterns of presence/absence, abundance, and species richness, as open canopy ponds received 99.5% of propagules and 94.6% of adult insect colonists. Nutrient addition affected only Tropisternus oviposition, as females oviposited more egg cases at higher nutrient levels, but only in open canopy ponds. The behavioral partitioning of aquatic landscapes into suitable and unsuitable habitats via habitat selection behavior fundamentally alters how communities within larger ecological landscapes (metacommunities) are linked by dispersal and colonization. PMID:17622564

  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

  11. Balancing energy budget in a central-place forager: which habitat to select in a heterogeneous environment?

    PubMed

    Patenaude-Monette, Martin; Bélisle, Marc; Giroux, Jean-François

    2014-01-01

    Foraging animals are influenced by the distribution of food resources and predation risk that both vary in space and time. These constraints likely shape trade-offs involving time, energy, nutrition, and predator avoidance leading to a sequence of locations visited by individuals. According to the marginal-value theorem (MVT), a central-place forager must either increase load size or energy content when foraging farther from their central place. Although such a decision rule has the potential to shape movement and habitat selection patterns, few studies have addressed the mechanisms underlying habitat use at the landscape scale. Our objective was therefore to determine how Ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis) select their foraging habitats while nesting in a colony located in a heterogeneous landscape. Based on locations obtained by fine-scale GPS tracking, we used resource selection functions (RSFs) and residence time analyses to identify habitats selected by gulls for foraging during the incubation and brood rearing periods. We then combined this information to gull survey data, feeding rates, stomach contents, and calorimetric analyses to assess potential trade-offs. Throughout the breeding season, gulls selected landfills and transhipment sites that provided higher mean energy intake than agricultural lands or riparian habitats. They used landfills located farther from the colony where no deterrence program had been implemented but avoided those located closer where deterrence measures took place. On the other hand, gulls selected intensively cultured lands located relatively close to the colony during incubation. The number of gulls was then greater in fields covered by bare soil and peaked during soil preparation and seed sowing, which greatly increase food availability. Breeding Ring-billed gulls thus select habitats according to both their foraging profitability and distance from their nest while accounting for predation risk. This supports the

  12. Balancing energy budget in a central-place forager: which habitat to select in a heterogeneous environment?

    PubMed

    Patenaude-Monette, Martin; Bélisle, Marc; Giroux, Jean-François

    2014-01-01

    Foraging animals are influenced by the distribution of food resources and predation risk that both vary in space and time. These constraints likely shape trade-offs involving time, energy, nutrition, and predator avoidance leading to a sequence of locations visited by individuals. According to the marginal-value theorem (MVT), a central-place forager must either increase load size or energy content when foraging farther from their central place. Although such a decision rule has the potential to shape movement and habitat selection patterns, few studies have addressed the mechanisms underlying habitat use at the landscape scale. Our objective was therefore to determine how Ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis) select their foraging habitats while nesting in a colony located in a heterogeneous landscape. Based on locations obtained by fine-scale GPS tracking, we used resource selection functions (RSFs) and residence time analyses to identify habitats selected by gulls for foraging during the incubation and brood rearing periods. We then combined this information to gull survey data, feeding rates, stomach contents, and calorimetric analyses to assess potential trade-offs. Throughout the breeding season, gulls selected landfills and transhipment sites that provided higher mean energy intake than agricultural lands or riparian habitats. They used landfills located farther from the colony where no deterrence program had been implemented but avoided those located closer where deterrence measures took place. On the other hand, gulls selected intensively cultured lands located relatively close to the colony during incubation. The number of gulls was then greater in fields covered by bare soil and peaked during soil preparation and seed sowing, which greatly increase food availability. Breeding Ring-billed gulls thus select habitats according to both their foraging profitability and distance from their nest while accounting for predation risk. This supports the

  13. Balancing Energy Budget in a Central-Place Forager: Which Habitat to Select in a Heterogeneous Environment?

    PubMed Central

    Patenaude-Monette, Martin; Bélisle, Marc; Giroux, Jean-François

    2014-01-01

    Foraging animals are influenced by the distribution of food resources and predation risk that both vary in space and time. These constraints likely shape trade-offs involving time, energy, nutrition, and predator avoidance leading to a sequence of locations visited by individuals. According to the marginal-value theorem (MVT), a central-place forager must either increase load size or energy content when foraging farther from their central place. Although such a decision rule has the potential to shape movement and habitat selection patterns, few studies have addressed the mechanisms underlying habitat use at the landscape scale. Our objective was therefore to determine how Ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis) select their foraging habitats while nesting in a colony located in a heterogeneous landscape. Based on locations obtained by fine-scale GPS tracking, we used resource selection functions (RSFs) and residence time analyses to identify habitats selected by gulls for foraging during the incubation and brood rearing periods. We then combined this information to gull survey data, feeding rates, stomach contents, and calorimetric analyses to assess potential trade-offs. Throughout the breeding season, gulls selected landfills and transhipment sites that provided higher mean energy intake than agricultural lands or riparian habitats. They used landfills located farther from the colony where no deterrence program had been implemented but avoided those located closer where deterrence measures took place. On the other hand, gulls selected intensively cultured lands located relatively close to the colony during incubation. The number of gulls was then greater in fields covered by bare soil and peaked during soil preparation and seed sowing, which greatly increase food availability. Breeding Ring-billed gulls thus select habitats according to both their foraging profitability and distance from their nest while accounting for predation risk. This supports the

  14. Habitat suitability criteria via parametric distributions: estimation, model selection and uncertainty

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Som, Nicholas A.; Goodman, Damon H.; Perry, Russell W.; Hardy, Thomas B.

    2016-01-01

    Previous methods for constructing univariate habitat suitability criteria (HSC) curves have ranged from professional judgement to kernel-smoothed density functions or combinations thereof. We present a new method of generating HSC curves that applies probability density functions as the mathematical representation of the curves. Compared with previous approaches, benefits of our method include (1) estimation of probability density function parameters directly from raw data, (2) quantitative methods for selecting among several candidate probability density functions, and (3) concise methods for expressing estimation uncertainty in the HSC curves. We demonstrate our method with a thorough example using data collected on the depth of water used by juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha) in the Klamath River of northern California and southern Oregon. All R code needed to implement our example is provided in the appendix. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  15. Resource selection by the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) relative to terrestrial-based habitats and meteorological conditions.

    PubMed

    Rivers, James W; Johnson, J Matthew; Haig, Susan M; Schwarz, Carl J; Glendening, John W; Burnett, L Joseph; George, Daniel; Grantham, Jesse

    2014-01-01

    Condors and vultures are distinct from most other terrestrial birds because they use extensive soaring flight for their daily movements. Therefore, assessing resource selection by these avian scavengers requires quantifying the availability of terrestrial-based habitats, as well as meteorological variables that influence atmospheric conditions necessary for soaring. In this study, we undertook the first quantitative assessment of habitat- and meteorological-based resource selection in the endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) within its California range and across the annual cycle. We found that condor use of terrestrial areas did not change markedly within the annual cycle, and that condor use was greatest for habitats where food resources and potential predators could be detected and where terrain was amenable for taking off from the ground in flight (e.g., sparse habitats, coastal areas). Condors originating from different release sites differed in their use of habitat, but this was likely due in part to variation in habitats surrounding release sites. Meteorological conditions were linked to condor use of ecological subregions, with thermal height, thermal velocity, and wind speed having both positive (selection) and negative (avoidance) effects on condor use in different areas. We found little evidence of systematic effects between individual characteristics (i.e., sex, age, breeding status) or components of the species management program (i.e., release site, rearing method) relative to meteorological conditions. Our findings indicate that habitat type and meteorological conditions can interact in complex ways to influence condor resource selection across landscapes, which is noteworthy given the extent of anthropogenic stressors that may impact condor populations (e.g., lead poisoning, wind energy development). Additional studies will be valuable to assess small-scale condor movements in light of these stressors to help minimize their risk to

  16. Resource selection by the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) relative to terrestrial-based habitats and meteorological conditions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, J. Matthew; Haig, Susan M.; Schwarz, Carl J.; Glendening, John W.; Burnett, L. Joseph; George, Daniel; Grantham, Jesse

    2014-01-01

    Condors and vultures are distinct from most other terrestrial birds because they use extensive soaring flight for their daily movements. Therefore, assessing resource selection by these avian scavengers requires quantifying the availability of terrestrial-based habitats, as well as meteorological variables that influence atmospheric conditions necessary for soaring. In this study, we undertook the first quantitative assessment of habitat- and meteorological-based resource selection in the endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) within its California range and across the annual cycle. We found that condor use of terrestrial areas did not change markedly within the annual cycle, and that condor use was greatest for habitats where food resources and potential predators could be detected and where terrain was amenable for taking off from the ground in flight (e.g., sparse habitats, coastal areas). Condors originating from different release sites differed in their use of habitat, but this was likely due in part to variation in habitats surrounding release sites. Meteorological conditions were linked to condor use of ecological subregions, with thermal height, thermal velocity, and wind speed having both positive (selection) and negative (avoidance) effects on condor use in different areas. We found little evidence of systematic effects between individual characteristics (i.e., sex, age, breeding status) or components of the species management program (i.e., release site, rearing method) relative to meteorological conditions. Our findings indicate that habitat type and meteorological conditions can interact in complex ways to influence condor resource selection across landscapes, which is noteworthy given the extent of anthropogenic stressors that may impact condor populations (e.g., lead poisoning, wind energy development). Additional studies will be valuable to assess small-scale condor movements in light of these stressors to help minimize their risk to

  17. Resource Selection by the California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus) Relative to Terrestrial-Based Habitats and Meteorological Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Rivers, James W.; Johnson, J. Matthew; Haig, Susan M.; Schwarz, Carl J.; Glendening, John W.; Burnett, L. Joseph; George, Daniel; Grantham, Jesse

    2014-01-01

    Condors and vultures are distinct from most other terrestrial birds because they use extensive soaring flight for their daily movements. Therefore, assessing resource selection by these avian scavengers requires quantifying the availability of terrestrial-based habitats, as well as meteorological variables that influence atmospheric conditions necessary for soaring. In this study, we undertook the first quantitative assessment of habitat- and meteorological-based resource selection in the endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) within its California range and across the annual cycle. We found that condor use of terrestrial areas did not change markedly within the annual cycle, and that condor use was greatest for habitats where food resources and potential predators could be detected and where terrain was amenable for taking off from the ground in flight (e.g., sparse habitats, coastal areas). Condors originating from different release sites differed in their use of habitat, but this was likely due in part to variation in habitats surrounding release sites. Meteorological conditions were linked to condor use of ecological subregions, with thermal height, thermal velocity, and wind speed having both positive (selection) and negative (avoidance) effects on condor use in different areas. We found little evidence of systematic effects between individual characteristics (i.e., sex, age, breeding status) or components of the species management program (i.e., release site, rearing method) relative to meteorological conditions. Our findings indicate that habitat type and meteorological conditions can interact in complex ways to influence condor resource selection across landscapes, which is noteworthy given the extent of anthropogenic stressors that may impact condor populations (e.g., lead poisoning, wind energy development). Additional studies will be valuable to assess small-scale condor movements in light of these stressors to help minimize their risk to

  18. Resource selection by the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) relative to terrestrial-based habitats and meteorological conditions.

    PubMed

    Rivers, James W; Johnson, J Matthew; Haig, Susan M; Schwarz, Carl J; Glendening, John W; Burnett, L Joseph; George, Daniel; Grantham, Jesse

    2014-01-01

    Condors and vultures are distinct from most other terrestrial birds because they use extensive soaring flight for their daily movements. Therefore, assessing resource selection by these avian scavengers requires quantifying the availability of terrestrial-based habitats, as well as meteorological variables that influence atmospheric conditions necessary for soaring. In this study, we undertook the first quantitative assessment of habitat- and meteorological-based resource selection in the endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) within its California range and across the annual cycle. We found that condor use of terrestrial areas did not change markedly within the annual cycle, and that condor use was greatest for habitats where food resources and potential predators could be detected and where terrain was amenable for taking off from the ground in flight (e.g., sparse habitats, coastal areas). Condors originating from different release sites differed in their use of habitat, but this was likely due in part to variation in habitats surrounding release sites. Meteorological conditions were linked to condor use of ecological subregions, with thermal height, thermal velocity, and wind speed having both positive (selection) and negative (avoidance) effects on condor use in different areas. We found little evidence of systematic effects between individual characteristics (i.e., sex, age, breeding status) or components of the species management program (i.e., release site, rearing method) relative to meteorological conditions. Our findings indicate that habitat type and meteorological conditions can interact in complex ways to influence condor resource selection across landscapes, which is noteworthy given the extent of anthropogenic stressors that may impact condor populations (e.g., lead poisoning, wind energy development). Additional studies will be valuable to assess small-scale condor movements in light of these stressors to help minimize their risk to

  19. Habitat use of bonobos (Pan paniscus) at Wamba: Selection of vegetation types for ranging, feeding, and night-sleeping.

    PubMed

    Terada, Saeko; Nackoney, Janet; Sakamaki, Tetsuya; Mulavwa, Mbangi Norbert; Yumoto, Takakazu; Furuichi, Takeshi

    2015-06-01

    Understanding the habitat requirements of great apes is essential for effective conservation strategies. We examined annual habitat use of a bonobo group in the Wamba field site within the Luo Scientific Reserve, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Using satellite imagery, we categorized the group's ranging area into three forest types: (1) primary and old secondary forest (P/OS), (2) young secondary forest and agriculture (YS/Ag), and (3) swamp forest (Sw). We tracked the group for 1 year (2007-2008) and compared usage of the three forest types for ranging, feeding, and night-sleeping. We also recorded what the bonobos ate and monitored monthly fruit availability in each forest type. The group ranged and fed more often in P/OS and less often in YS/Ag and Sw than expected based on habitat availability. Also, the group slept mostly in P/OS (94% of nights monitored), but also in YS/Ag (1%), and Sw (5%). Fruit availability in P/OS had no significant effect on habitat selection, but the group fed in YS/Ag most often during the two months when fruits in P/OS were least abundant. In June, when fruit of Uapaca spp. (selectively eaten by bonobos) was generally abundant in Sw, the group mostly ranged and slept there. The bonobos fed most often on herbaceous plants in all three forest types. In Sw, the bonobos frequently ate mushrooms. Our results show that semi-open forest with abundant herbaceous plants such as YS/Ag could be an important feeding habitat and may provide fallback food for bonobos when fruits are scarce. Furthermore, Sw can serve seasonally as a main habitat to complement P/OS if adequate food resources and tree nesting opportunities are available. We conclude that bonobos use diverse habitats depending on their needs and we highlight the importance of minor-use habitats for sustaining populations of target species in conservation planning. PMID:25809523

  20. Habitat use of bonobos (Pan paniscus) at Wamba: Selection of vegetation types for ranging, feeding, and night-sleeping.

    PubMed

    Terada, Saeko; Nackoney, Janet; Sakamaki, Tetsuya; Mulavwa, Mbangi Norbert; Yumoto, Takakazu; Furuichi, Takeshi

    2015-06-01

    Understanding the habitat requirements of great apes is essential for effective conservation strategies. We examined annual habitat use of a bonobo group in the Wamba field site within the Luo Scientific Reserve, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Using satellite imagery, we categorized the group's ranging area into three forest types: (1) primary and old secondary forest (P/OS), (2) young secondary forest and agriculture (YS/Ag), and (3) swamp forest (Sw). We tracked the group for 1 year (2007-2008) and compared usage of the three forest types for ranging, feeding, and night-sleeping. We also recorded what the bonobos ate and monitored monthly fruit availability in each forest type. The group ranged and fed more often in P/OS and less often in YS/Ag and Sw than expected based on habitat availability. Also, the group slept mostly in P/OS (94% of nights monitored), but also in YS/Ag (1%), and Sw (5%). Fruit availability in P/OS had no significant effect on habitat selection, but the group fed in YS/Ag most often during the two months when fruits in P/OS were least abundant. In June, when fruit of Uapaca spp. (selectively eaten by bonobos) was generally abundant in Sw, the group mostly ranged and slept there. The bonobos fed most often on herbaceous plants in all three forest types. In Sw, the bonobos frequently ate mushrooms. Our results show that semi-open forest with abundant herbaceous plants such as YS/Ag could be an important feeding habitat and may provide fallback food for bonobos when fruits are scarce. Furthermore, Sw can serve seasonally as a main habitat to complement P/OS if adequate food resources and tree nesting opportunities are available. We conclude that bonobos use diverse habitats depending on their needs and we highlight the importance of minor-use habitats for sustaining populations of target species in conservation planning.

  1. Effects of habitat and urbanization on the active space of brown-headed cowbird song.

    PubMed

    Gall, Megan D; Ronald, Kelly L; Bestrom, Eric S; Lucas, Jeffrey R

    2012-12-01

    The ability of a receiver to detect a signal is a product of the signal characteristics at the sender, habitat-specific degradation of the signal, and properties of the receiver's sensory system. Active space describes the maximum distance at which a receiver with a given sensory system can detect a signal in a given habitat. Here the effect of habitat structure and urbanization on brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) perched song active space was explored. The active space of the cowbird song was affected by both habitat type and level of urbanization. High frequency (4 to 6 kHz) portions of song resulted in the maximum active space. Surprisingly, the active space was the largest in open urban environments. The hard surfaces found in open urban areas (e.g., sidewalks, buildings) may provide a sound channel that enhances song propagation. When the introductory phrase and final phrase were analyzed separately, the active space of the introductory phrase was found to decrease in open urban environments but the active space of the final phrase increased in open urban environments. This suggests that different portions of the vocalization may be differentially influenced by habitat and level of urbanization.

  2. No Habitat Selection during Spring Migration at a Meso-Scale Range across Mosaic Landscapes: A Case Study with the Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola).

    PubMed

    Crespo, Ariñe; Rodrigues, Marcos; Telletxea, Ibon; Ibáñez, Rubén; Díez, Felipe; Tobar, Joseba F; Arizaga, Juan

    2016-01-01

    Success of migration in birds in part depends on habitat selection. Overall, it is still poorly known whether there is habitat selection amongst landbird migrants moving across landscapes. Europe is chiefly covered by agro-forestry mosaic landscapes, so migratory species associated to either agricultural landscapes or woodland habitats should theoretically find suitable stopover sites along migration. During migration from wintering to breeding quarters, woodcocks (Scolopax rusticola) tagged with PTT satellite-tracking transmitters were used to test for the hypothesis that migrants associated to agro-forest habitats have no habitat selection during migration, at a meso-scale level. Using a GIS platform we extracted at a meso-scale range habitat cover at stopover localities. Results obtained from comparisons of soil covers between points randomly selected and true stopover localities sites revealed, as expected, the species may not select for particular habitats at a meso-scale range, because the habitat (or habitats) required by the species can be found virtually everywhere on their migration route. However, those birds stopping over in places richer in cropland or mosaic habitats including both cropland and forest and with proportionally less closed forest stayed for longer than in areas with lower surfaces of cropland and mosaic and more closed forest. This suggests that areas rich in cropland or mosaic habitat were optimal. PMID:27002975

  3. No Habitat Selection during Spring Migration at a Meso-Scale Range across Mosaic Landscapes: A Case Study with the Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola).

    PubMed

    Crespo, Ariñe; Rodrigues, Marcos; Telletxea, Ibon; Ibáñez, Rubén; Díez, Felipe; Tobar, Joseba F; Arizaga, Juan

    2016-01-01

    Success of migration in birds in part depends on habitat selection. Overall, it is still poorly known whether there is habitat selection amongst landbird migrants moving across landscapes. Europe is chiefly covered by agro-forestry mosaic landscapes, so migratory species associated to either agricultural landscapes or woodland habitats should theoretically find suitable stopover sites along migration. During migration from wintering to breeding quarters, woodcocks (Scolopax rusticola) tagged with PTT satellite-tracking transmitters were used to test for the hypothesis that migrants associated to agro-forest habitats have no habitat selection during migration, at a meso-scale level. Using a GIS platform we extracted at a meso-scale range habitat cover at stopover localities. Results obtained from comparisons of soil covers between points randomly selected and true stopover localities sites revealed, as expected, the species may not select for particular habitats at a meso-scale range, because the habitat (or habitats) required by the species can be found virtually everywhere on their migration route. However, those birds stopping over in places richer in cropland or mosaic habitats including both cropland and forest and with proportionally less closed forest stayed for longer than in areas with lower surfaces of cropland and mosaic and more closed forest. This suggests that areas rich in cropland or mosaic habitat were optimal.

  4. No Habitat Selection during Spring Migration at a Meso-Scale Range across Mosaic Landscapes: A Case Study with the Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola)

    PubMed Central

    Crespo, Ariñe; Rodrigues, Marcos; Telletxea, Ibon; Ibáñez, Rubén; Díez, Felipe; Tobar, Joseba F.; Arizaga, Juan

    2016-01-01

    Success of migration in birds in part depends on habitat selection. Overall, it is still poorly known whether there is habitat selection amongst landbird migrants moving across landscapes. Europe is chiefly covered by agro-forestry mosaic landscapes, so migratory species associated to either agricultural landscapes or woodland habitats should theoretically find suitable stopover sites along migration. During migration from wintering to breeding quarters, woodcocks (Scolopax rusticola) tagged with PTT satellite-tracking transmitters were used to test for the hypothesis that migrants associated to agro-forest habitats have no habitat selection during migration, at a meso-scale level. Using a GIS platform we extracted at a meso-scale range habitat cover at stopover localities. Results obtained from comparisons of soil covers between points randomly selected and true stopover localities sites revealed, as expected, the species may not select for particular habitats at a meso-scale range, because the habitat (or habitats) required by the species can be found virtually everywhere on their migration route. However, those birds stopping over in places richer in cropland or mosaic habitats including both cropland and forest and with proportionally less closed forest stayed for longer than in areas with lower surfaces of cropland and mosaic and more closed forest. This suggests that areas rich in cropland or mosaic habitat were optimal. PMID:27002975

  5. Sediment dynamics modulated by burrowing crab activities in contrasting SW Atlantic intertidal habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Escapa, Mauricio; Perillo, Gerardo M. E.; Iribarne, Oscar

    2008-11-01

    Biogenic bottom features, animal burrows and biological activities interact with the hydrodynamics of the sediment-water interface to produce altered patterns of sediment erosion, transport and deposition which have consequences for large-scale geomorphologic features. It has been suggested that depending on the hydrodynamic status of the habitat, the biological activity on the bottom may have a variety of effects. In some cases, different bioturbation activities by the same organism can result in different consequences. The burrowing crab Neohelice granulata is the most important bioturbator at SW Atlantic saltmarshes and tidal plains. Because of the great variety of habitats that this species may inhabit, it is possible to compare its bioturbation effects between zones dominated by different hydrodynamic conditions. Internal marsh microhabitats, tidal creeks bottoms and basins, and open mudflats were selected as contrasting zones for the comparison on a large saltmarsh at Bahía Blanca Estuary (Argentina). Crab burrows act as passive traps of sediment in all zones, because their entrances remain open during inundation periods at high tide. Mounds are generated when crabs remove sediments from the burrows to the surface and become distinctive features in all the zones. Two different mechanisms of sediment transport utilizing mounds as sediment sources were registered. In the first one, parts of fresh mound sediments were transported when exposed to water flow during flooding and ebbing tide, with higher mound erosion where currents were higher as compared to internal marsh habitats and open mudflats. In the second mechanism, mounds exposed to atmospheric influence during low tide became desiccated and cracked forming ellipsoidal blocks, which were then transported by currents in zones of intense water flow in the saltmarsh edge. Sedimentary dynamics varied between zones; crabs were promoting trapping of sediments in the internal saltmarsh (380 g m -2 day -1) and

  6. Habitat Selection Response of Small Pelagic Fish in Different Environments. Two Examples from the Oligotrophic Mediterranean Sea

    PubMed Central

    Bonanno, Angelo; Giannoulaki, Marianna; Barra, Marco; Basilone, Gualtiero; Machias, Athanassios; Genovese, Simona; Goncharov, Sergey; Popov, Sergey; Rumolo, Paola; Di Bitetto, Massimiliano; Aronica, Salvatore; Patti, Bernardo; Fontana, Ignazio; Giacalone, Giovanni; Ferreri, Rosalia; Buscaino, Giuseppa; Somarakis, Stylianos; Pyrounaki, Maria-Myrto; Tsoukali, Stavroula; Mazzola, Salvatore

    2014-01-01

    A number of scientific papers in the last few years singled out the influence of environmental conditions on the spatial distribution of fish species, highlighting the need for the fisheries scientific community to investigate, besides biomass estimates, also the habitat selection of commercially important fish species. The Mediterranean Sea, although generally oligotrophic, is characterized by high habitat variability and represents an ideal study area to investigate the adaptive behavior of small pelagics under different environmental conditions. In this study the habitat selection of European anchovy Engraulis encrasicolus and European sardine Sardina pilchardus is analyzed in two areas of the Mediterranean Sea that largely differentiate in terms of environmental regimes: the Strait of Sicily and the North Aegean Sea. A number of environmental parameters were used to investigate factors influencing anchovy and sardine habitat selection. Acoustic surveys data, collected during the summer period 2002–2010, were used for this purpose. The quotient analysis was used to identify the association between high density values and environmental variables; it was applied to the entire dataset in each area in order to identify similarities or differences in the “mean” spatial behavioral pattern for each species. Principal component analysis was applied to selected environmental variables in order to identify those environmental regimes which drive each of the two ecosystems. The analysis revealed the effect of food availability along with bottom depth selection on the spatial distribution of both species. Furthermore PCA results highlighted that observed selectivity for shallower waters is mainly associated to specific environmental processes that locally increase productivity. The common trends in habitat selection of the two species, as observed in the two regions although they present marked differences in hydrodynamics, seem to be driven by the oligotrophic

  7. How Predictability of Feeding Patches Affects Home Range and Foraging Habitat Selection in Avian Social Scavengers?

    PubMed Central

    Monsarrat, Sophie; Benhamou, Simon; Sarrazin, François; Bessa-Gomes, Carmen; Bouten, Willem; Duriez, Olivier

    2013-01-01

    Feeding stations are commonly used to sustain conservation programs of scavengers but their impact on behaviour is still debated. They increase the temporal and spatial predictability of food resources while scavengers have supposedly evolved to search for unpredictable resources. In the Grands Causses (France), a reintroduced population of Griffon vultures Gyps fulvus can find carcasses at three types of sites: 1. “light feeding stations”, where farmers can drop carcasses at their farm (spatially predictable), 2. “heavy feeding stations”, where carcasses from nearby farms are concentrated (spatially and temporally predictable) and 3. open grasslands, where resources are randomly distributed (unpredictable). The impact of feeding stations on vulture’s foraging behaviour was investigated using 28 GPS-tracked vultures. The average home range size was maximal in spring (1272±752 km2) and minimal in winter (473±237 km2) and was highly variable among individuals. Analyses of home range characteristics and feeding habitat selection via compositional analysis showed that feeding stations were always preferred compared to the rest of the habitat where vultures can find unpredictable resources. Feeding stations were particularly used when resources were scarce (summer) or when flight conditions were poor (winter), limiting long-ranging movements. However, when flight conditions were optimal, home ranges also encompassed large areas of grassland where vultures could find unpredictable resources, suggesting that vultures did not lose their natural ability to forage on unpredictable resources, even when feeding stations were available. However during seasons when food abundance and flight conditions were not limited, vultures seemed to favour light over heavy feeding stations, probably because of the reduced intraspecific competition and a pattern closer to the natural dispersion of resources in the landscape. Light feeding stations are interesting tools for

  8. How predictability of feeding patches affects home range and foraging habitat selection in avian social scavengers?

    PubMed

    Monsarrat, Sophie; Benhamou, Simon; Sarrazin, François; Bessa-Gomes, Carmen; Bouten, Willem; Duriez, Olivier

    2013-01-01

    Feeding stations are commonly used to sustain conservation programs of scavengers but their impact on behaviour is still debated. They increase the temporal and spatial predictability of food resources while scavengers have supposedly evolved to search for unpredictable resources. In the Grands Causses (France), a reintroduced population of Griffon vultures Gyps fulvus can find carcasses at three types of sites: 1. "light feeding stations", where farmers can drop carcasses at their farm (spatially predictable), 2. "heavy feeding stations", where carcasses from nearby farms are concentrated (spatially and temporally predictable) and 3. open grasslands, where resources are randomly distributed (unpredictable). The impact of feeding stations on vulture's foraging behaviour was investigated using 28 GPS-tracked vultures. The average home range size was maximal in spring (1272 ± 752 km(2)) and minimal in winter (473 ± 237 km(2)) and was highly variable among individuals. Analyses of home range characteristics and feeding habitat selection via compositional analysis showed that feeding stations were always preferred compared to the rest of the habitat where vultures can find unpredictable resources. Feeding stations were particularly used when resources were scarce (summer) or when flight conditions were poor (winter), limiting long-ranging movements. However, when flight conditions were optimal, home ranges also encompassed large areas of grassland where vultures could find unpredictable resources, suggesting that vultures did not lose their natural ability to forage on unpredictable resources, even when feeding stations were available. However during seasons when food abundance and flight conditions were not limited, vultures seemed to favour light over heavy feeding stations, probably because of the reduced intraspecific competition and a pattern closer to the natural dispersion of resources in the landscape. Light feeding stations are interesting tools for managing

  9. How predictability of feeding patches affects home range and foraging habitat selection in avian social scavengers?

    PubMed

    Monsarrat, Sophie; Benhamou, Simon; Sarrazin, François; Bessa-Gomes, Carmen; Bouten, Willem; Duriez, Olivier

    2013-01-01

    Feeding stations are commonly used to sustain conservation programs of scavengers but their impact on behaviour is still debated. They increase the temporal and spatial predictability of food resources while scavengers have supposedly evolved to search for unpredictable resources. In the Grands Causses (France), a reintroduced population of Griffon vultures Gyps fulvus can find carcasses at three types of sites: 1. "light feeding stations", where farmers can drop carcasses at their farm (spatially predictable), 2. "heavy feeding stations", where carcasses from nearby farms are concentrated (spatially and temporally predictable) and 3. open grasslands, where resources are randomly distributed (unpredictable). The impact of feeding stations on vulture's foraging behaviour was investigated using 28 GPS-tracked vultures. The average home range size was maximal in spring (1272 ± 752 km(2)) and minimal in winter (473 ± 237 km(2)) and was highly variable among individuals. Analyses of home range characteristics and feeding habitat selection via compositional analysis showed that feeding stations were always preferred compared to the rest of the habitat where vultures can find unpredictable resources. Feeding stations were particularly used when resources were scarce (summer) or when flight conditions were poor (winter), limiting long-ranging movements. However, when flight conditions were optimal, home ranges also encompassed large areas of grassland where vultures could find unpredictable resources, suggesting that vultures did not lose their natural ability to forage on unpredictable resources, even when feeding stations were available. However during seasons when food abundance and flight conditions were not limited, vultures seemed to favour light over heavy feeding stations, probably because of the reduced intraspecific competition and a pattern closer to the natural dispersion of resources in the landscape. Light feeding stations are interesting tools for managing

  10. Spacing and physical habitat selection patterns by peregrine falcons in central West Greenland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wightman, C.; Fuller, Mark R.

    2005-01-01

    We examined nest-site spacing and selection of nesting cliffs by Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) in central West Greenland. Our sample included 67 nesting cliffs that were occupied at least once between 1972 and 1999 and 38 cliffs with no known history of Peregrine Falcon occupancy. We measured 29 eyrie, cliff, and topographical features at each occupied nesting cliff and unused cliff in 1998a??1999 and used them to model the probability of peregrines occupying a cliff for a breeding attempt. Nearest-neighbor distance was significantly greater than both nearest-cliff distance and nearest-occupied distance (the distance between an occupied cliff and one occupied at least once, 1972a??1999). Thus, spacing among occupied cliffs was probably the most important factor limiting nesting-cliff availability, and, ultimately, peregrine nesting densities. Although some unused cliffs were unavailable in a given year because of peregrine spacing behavior, physical characteristics apparently made some cliffs unsuitable, regardless of availability. We confirmed the importance of several features common to descriptions of peregrine nesting habitat and found that peregrines occupied tall nesting cliffs with open views. They chose nesting cliffs with eyrie ledges that provided a moderate degree of overhang protection and that were inaccessible to ground predators. Overall, we concluded that certain features of a cliff were important in determining its suitability as a nest site, but within a given breeding season there also must be sufficient spacing between neighboring falcon pairs. Our habitat model and information on spacing requirements may be applicable to other areas of Greenland and the Arctic, and can be used to test the generalities about features of Peregrine Falcon nesting cliffs throughout the species' widespread distribution.

  11. Perch-height specific predation on tropical lizard clay models: implications for habitat selection in mainland neotropical lizards.

    PubMed

    Steffen, John E

    2009-09-01

    Predation has been hypothesized to be a strong selective force structuring communities of tropical lizards. Comparisons of perch height and size-based predation frequencies can provide a unique window into understanding how predation might shape habitat selection and morphological patterns in lizards, especially anoles. Here I use plasticine clay models, placed on the trunks of trees and suspended in the canopy to show that predation frequency on clay models differs primarily according to habitat (canopy vs. trunk-ground), but not according to size. These data are discussed in light of observed lizard abundances in the lowland forests of Costa Rica, and are presented as partial explanation for why fewer lizards are found in tree canopies, and more lizards are found on ground-trunk habitats.

  12. Perch-height specific predation on tropical lizard clay models: implications for habitat selection in mainland neotropical lizards.

    PubMed

    Steffen, John E

    2009-09-01

    Predation has been hypothesized to be a strong selective force structuring communities of tropical lizards. Comparisons of perch height and size-based predation frequencies can provide a unique window into understanding how predation might shape habitat selection and morphological patterns in lizards, especially anoles. Here I use plasticine clay models, placed on the trunks of trees and suspended in the canopy to show that predation frequency on clay models differs primarily according to habitat (canopy vs. trunk-ground), but not according to size. These data are discussed in light of observed lizard abundances in the lowland forests of Costa Rica, and are presented as partial explanation for why fewer lizards are found in tree canopies, and more lizards are found on ground-trunk habitats. PMID:19928477

  13. Summer habitat selection by striped bass, Morone Saxatilis, in Cherokee Reservoir, Tennessee, 1977

    SciTech Connect

    Waddle, H.R.; Coutant, C.C.; Wilson, J.L.

    1980-02-01

    Summer habitat selection patterns of 18 adult striped bass (Morone saxatilis) in Cherokee Reservoir were monitored with externally attached temperature-sensing acoustic or radio transmitters from June through September 1977. Mortalities of adult striped bass in this reservoir were hypothesized to be related to high summer temperatures and low dissolved oxygen (DO). The inhabited areas or refuges differed from noninhabited areas by maintaining temperatures less than or equal to 22 C and DO concentrations greater than 5 mg/liter. Total water hardness, pH, and water transparency were not significantly different among refuges and noninhabited areas. Movement of fish outside refuges occurred more frequently and for longer periods during June when the summer pattern of high temperatures and low DO was less severe. Fish experienced temperatures between 15 and 27 C with mean temperatures of individuals ranging from 18.5 to 22.0 C. Several tagged fish migrated outside the refuges and selected the lowest available temperature, generally near 21 C, even though DO concentrations at these temperatures were 3 mg/liter or less. Long-term survival of tagged and nontagged fish outside refuges was undetermined because no fish were tracked outside a refuge for more than 12 days without being lost. This study indicates that temperature strongly influences the behavior of striped bass and that adults of this species may have a thermal preferendum of approximately 21 C.

  14. Structural and taxonomic components of habitat selection in the neotropical folivore Lamponius portoricensis (Phasmetodea: Phasmatidae)

    SciTech Connect

    Willig, M.R.; Sandlin, E.A. Univ. of Arizona, Tucson ); Gannon, M.R. )

    1993-06-01

    Lamponius portoricensis Rhen is a folivorous neotropical walkingstick that is a common light-gap inhabitant of the tabonuco forest in Puerto Rico. Little is known concerning the spatial distribution of this phasmatid or the manner in which it selects habitats. Based on multiple regression analysis of a suite of taxonomic and structural characteristics of understory flora, we determined that the density of walkingsticks was associated with patches that exhibit high apparency values for Piper treleaseanum Britton Wilson and Symplocos martinicensis Jacq., and low apparency values for Dryopteris deltoidea (Sw.) Kuntze. The total development of the understory regardless of taxonomic composition at 76 cm (2.5 ft) and 107 cm (3.5 ft) also contributes to high walkingstick density, based on correlative analyses. Moreover, nonparametric analysis suggests that L. portoricensis disproportionately occurs on P. treleaseanum (approximately twice as often as expected based on plant apparency). Despite these associations, only a third of the variation in walkingstick density is accounted for by this suite of floral characteristics. The low vagility of L. portoricensis may result in its having incomplete information about the abundance and distribution of forage plants, whereas patch-dynamic processes involving changes in quality of forage can confound the significance of apparency alone in predicting density. The production of aromatic attractants by Piper may act as the proximate cue affecting patch selection.

  15. Absence of selective brain cooling in free-ranging zebras in their natural habitat.

    PubMed

    Fuller, A; Maloney, S K; Kamerman, P R; Mitchell, G; Mitchell, D

    2000-03-01

    We used implanted miniature data loggers to measure brain and arterial blood temperatures in three free-ranging zebras (Equus burchelli) in their natural habitat, every 5 min for 9 days. The animals experienced globe temperatures exceeding 40 C, and radiant heat load of about 1000 W m-2. Arterial blood exhibited a moderate amplitude (1.7 C) nychthemeral rhythm, with an acrophase at 19.00 h and a nadir late in the morning, at 10.00 h. Brain temperature consistently exceeded blood temperature, on average by 0.2-0.4 C, and changes in brain temperature closely tracked changes in blood temperature. There was no evidence of selective brain cooling, even during the hyperthermia which followed surgery or that associated with intense, short-duration exercise. The relationship between brain and arterial blood temperatures in free-ranging zebras was unlike that reported for horses in the laboratory. Our results do not support the view that mammals lacking a carotid rete can achieve selective brain cooling.

  16. 30 CFR 285.803 - How must I conduct my approved activities to protect essential fish habitats identified and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... protect essential fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation... fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act? (a) If, during the conduct of your approved activities, MMS finds that essential fish habitat...

  17. Reach-scale comparison of habitat and mollusk assemblages for select sites in the Clinch River with regional context

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ostby, Brett J. K.; Krstolic, Jennifer L.; Johnson, Gregory C.

    2014-01-01

    Several hypotheses, including habitat degradation and variation in fluvial geomorphology, have been posed to explain extreme spatial and temporal variation in Clinch River mollusk assemblages. We examined associations between mollusk assemblage metrics (richness, abundance, recruitment) and physical habitat (geomorphology, streambed composition, fish habitat, and riparian condition) at 10 sites selected to represent the range of current assemblage condition in the Clinch River. We compared similar geomorphological units among reaches, employing semi-quantitative and quantitative protocols to characterize mollusk assemblages and a mix of visual assessments and empirical measurements to characterize physical habitat. We found little to no evidence that current assemblage condition was associated with 54 analyzed habitat metrics. When compared to other sites in the Upper Tennessee River Basin (UTRB) that once supported or currently support mollusk assemblages, Clinch River sites were more similar to each other, representing a narrower range of conditions than observed across the larger geographic extent of the UTRB. A post-hoc analysis suggested stream size and average boundary shear stress at bankfull stage may have historically limited species richness in the UTRB (p < 0.001). Associations between mollusk assemblages and physical habitat in the UTRB and Clinch River currently appear obscured by other factors limiting richness, abundance, and recruitment.

  18. Modelling Rift Valley fever (RVF) disease vector habitats using active and passive remote sensing systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ambrosia, Vincent G.; Linthicum, K. G.; Bailey, C. L.; Sebesta, P.

    1989-01-01

    The NASA Ames Ecosystem Science and Technology Branch and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases are conducting research to detect Rift Valley fever (RVF) vector habitats in eastern Africa using active and passive remote-sensing. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) calculated from Landsat TM and SPOT data is used to characterize the vegetation common to the Aedes mosquito. Relationships have been found between the highest NDVI and the 'dambo' habitat areas near Riuru, Kenya on both wet and dry data. High NDVI values, when combined with the vegetation classifications, are clearly related to the areas of vector habitats. SAR data have been proposed for use during the rainy season when optical systems are of minimal use and the short frequency and duration of the optimum RVF mosquito habitat conditions necessitate rapid evaluation of the vegetation/moisture conditions; only then can disease potential be stemmed and eradication efforts initiated.

  19. Staying cool in a changing landscape: the influence of maximum daily ambient temperature on grizzly bear habitat selection.

    PubMed

    Pigeon, Karine E; Cardinal, Etienne; Stenhouse, Gordon B; Côté, Steeve D

    2016-08-01

    To fulfill their needs, animals are constantly making trade-offs among limiting factors. Although there is growing evidence about the impact of ambient temperature on habitat selection in mammals, the role of environmental conditions and thermoregulation on apex predators is poorly understood. Our objective was to investigate the influence of ambient temperature on habitat selection patterns of grizzly bears in the managed landscape of Alberta, Canada. Grizzly bear habitat selection followed a daily and seasonal pattern that was influenced by ambient temperature, with adult males showing stronger responses than females to warm temperatures. Cutblocks aged 0-20 years provided an abundance of forage but were on average 6 °C warmer than mature conifer stands and 21- to 40-year-old cutblocks. When ambient temperatures increased, the relative change (odds ratio) in the probability of selection for 0- to 20-year-old cutblocks decreased during the hottest part of the day and increased during cooler periods, especially for males. Concurrently, the probability of selection for 21- to 40-year-old cutblocks increased on warmer days. Following plant phenology, the odds of selecting 0- to 20-year-old cutblocks also increased from early to late summer while the odds of selecting 21- to 40-year-old cutblocks decreased. Our results demonstrate that ambient temperatures, and therefore thermal requirements, play a significant role in habitat selection patterns and behaviour of grizzly bears. In a changing climate, large mammals may increasingly need to adjust spatial and temporal selection patterns in response to thermal constraints.

  20. Staying cool in a changing landscape: the influence of maximum daily ambient temperature on grizzly bear habitat selection.

    PubMed

    Pigeon, Karine E; Cardinal, Etienne; Stenhouse, Gordon B; Côté, Steeve D

    2016-08-01

    To fulfill their needs, animals are constantly making trade-offs among limiting factors. Although there is growing evidence about the impact of ambient temperature on habitat selection in mammals, the role of environmental conditions and thermoregulation on apex predators is poorly understood. Our objective was to investigate the influence of ambient temperature on habitat selection patterns of grizzly bears in the managed landscape of Alberta, Canada. Grizzly bear habitat selection followed a daily and seasonal pattern that was influenced by ambient temperature, with adult males showing stronger responses than females to warm temperatures. Cutblocks aged 0-20 years provided an abundance of forage but were on average 6 °C warmer than mature conifer stands and 21- to 40-year-old cutblocks. When ambient temperatures increased, the relative change (odds ratio) in the probability of selection for 0- to 20-year-old cutblocks decreased during the hottest part of the day and increased during cooler periods, especially for males. Concurrently, the probability of selection for 21- to 40-year-old cutblocks increased on warmer days. Following plant phenology, the odds of selecting 0- to 20-year-old cutblocks also increased from early to late summer while the odds of selecting 21- to 40-year-old cutblocks decreased. Our results demonstrate that ambient temperatures, and therefore thermal requirements, play a significant role in habitat selection patterns and behaviour of grizzly bears. In a changing climate, large mammals may increasingly need to adjust spatial and temporal selection patterns in response to thermal constraints. PMID:27085998

  1. Home range, habitat selection, and movements of California Black Rails at tidal marshes at San Francisco Bay, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tsao, D.C.; Takekawa, J.Y.; Woo, I.; Yee, J.L.; Evens, J.G.

    2009-01-01

    Little is known about the movements and habitat selection of California Black Rails (Laterallus jamaicensis coturniculus) in coastal California. We captured 130 Black Rails, of which we radio-marked 48, in tidal marshes in San Francisco Bay during 2005 and 2006. Our objective was to examine their home ranges, movements, and habitat selection to improve the species' conservation. The mean fixed-kernel home range was 0.59 ha, the mean core area was 0.14 ha. Home ranges and core areas did not differ by year or site. Males had significantly larger home ranges and core areas than did females. All sites combined, Black Rails used areas with ???94% total vegetative cover, with perennial pickleweed (Sarcocornia pacifica) the dominant plant. The rails' habitat selection varied by year and site but not by sex. A multivariate analysis of variance indicated that Black Rails selected areas with pickleweed taller and denser than average, greater cover and height of alkali bulrush (Bolboschoenus maritimus) and common saltgrass (Distichlis spicata), more stems between 20 and 30 cm above the ground, maximum vegetation height, and shorter distance to refugia. On average, Black Rails moved 27.6 ??1.8 (SE) m daily and 38.4 ?? 5.5 m during extreme high tides. Understanding the California Black Rail's movements, home range, and habitat use is critical for management to benefit the species. ?? 2009 by The Cooper Ornithological Society.

  2. Home range, habitat selection, and movements of California black rails at tidal marshes at San Francisco Bay, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tsao, Danika C.; Takekawa, John Y.; Woo, Isa; Yee, Julie L.; Evens, Jules G.

    2009-01-01

    Little is known about the movements and habitat selection of California Black Rails (Laterallus jamaicensis coturniculus) in coastal California. We captured 130 Black Rails, of which we radio-marked 48, in tidal marshes in San Francisco Bay during 2005 and 2006. Our objective was to examine their home ranges, movements, and habitat selection to improve the species' conservation. The mean fixed-kernel home range was 0.59 ha, the mean core area was 0.14 ha. Home ranges and core areas did not differ by year or site. Males had significantly larger home ranges and core areas than did females. All sites combined, Black Rails used areas with > or = 94% total vegetative cover, with perennial pickleweed (Sarcocornia pacifica) the dominant plant. The rails' habitat selection varied by year and site but not by sex. A multivariate analysis of variance indicated that Black Rails selected areas with pickleweed taller and denser than average, greater cover and height of alkali bulrush (Bolboschoenus maritimus) and common saltgrass (Distichlis spicata), more stems between 20 and 30 cm above the ground, maximum vegetation height, and shorter distance to refugia. On average, Black Rails moved 27.6 +/- 1.8 (SE) m daily and 38.4 +/- 5.5 m during extreme high tides. Understanding the California Black Rail's movements, home range, and habitat use is critical for management to benefit the species.

  3. Spring foraging distribution and habitat selection by Double-crested Cormorants on the Penobscot River, Maine USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blackwell, B.F.; Krohn, W.B.

    1997-01-01

    Restoration of the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) to New England rivers requires, in part, an understanding of the use of habitat and prey by potential and known predators. We examined variation in habitat use by Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritius), from April through June 1992-94 on ca. 288 km of the 2 primary tributaries and the mainstem of the Penobscot River, Maine. Our objectives were to quantify temporal and spatial variation in habitat use and test for selection of spring foraging habitats by cormorants. Cormorants forage during daylight hours only. To determine the distribution of foraging birds we conducted aerial surveys at intervals of 105 km north of the mouth of the mainstem. However, from late April through early June of all years, birds selected (P < 0.05) 4 of the 5 mainstem dams and the estuarine portion of the river. Cormorant use of dams remained at or above expected levels until the second week of June in all years. We suggest that cormorant selection for foraging areas adjacent to dams reflected a higher availability of prey, possibly due to delay and injury of migrating Atlantic salmon smolts. Cormorant selection of the estuarine portion of the Penobscot River was likely a response to a seasonally increasing availability and abundance of estuarine and marine prey, in addition to resident freshwater species and migrating smolts.

  4. Habitat selection and coexistence of invasive cockroach species (Dictyoptera) in sugar-cane fields on Réunion island

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyer, Stéphane; Rivault, Colette

    2006-01-01

    Selection of habitat has a profound influence on interactions among species and the assembly of ecological communities. We investigated habitat preferences to understand how different cockroach species coexist in sugar-cane fields on Réunion island. Cockroach populations belonging to a guild of seven species were surveyed during one annual cycle in eight sugar-cane fields that differed by several environmental factors, in order to investigate ecological features of cockroach species and their patterns of coexistence. Structure variations of the cockroach communities were analyzed at the field scale, at the sample unit scale, and according to variations of environmental conditions related to the annual sugar-cane growth cycle. A canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) was used to elucidate relationships between species diversity, population abundance and environmental characteristics. The examination of partitioning at different spatial and temporal scales evidenced that each species occupied a particular type of habitat. The main factors influencing spatial habitat selection were at the sample unit scale: presence of ants, edge effect, soil moisture and granulometry, at the field scale: irrigation, annual rainfall, altitude and age of the field. Although a pair of species shared the same type of habitat, annual population peaks of each species did not coincide in time. This suggests that resource partitioning is based both on ecological factors and interspecific competition. Factors enhancing cockroach coexistence and factors favoring population outbursts are discussed as well as specific invasive capacities of these cockroaches and the role of the cockroach community in the sugar-cane trophic web.

  5. Habitat selection, facilitation, and biotic settlement cues affect distribution and performance of coral recruits in French Polynesia

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Habitat selection can determine the distribution and performance of individuals if the precision with which sites are chosen corresponds with exposure to risks or resources. Contrastingly, facilitation can allow persistence of individuals arriving by chance and potentially maladapted to local abiotic conditions. For marine organisms, selection of a permanent attachment site at the end of their larval stage or the presence of a facilitator can be a critical determinant of recruitment success. In coral reef ecosystems, it is well known that settling planula larvae of reef-building corals use coarse environmental cues (i.e., light) for habitat selection. Although laboratory studies suggest that larvae can also use precise biotic cues produced by crustose coralline algae (CCA) to select attachment sites, the ecological consequences of biotic cues for corals are poorly understood in situ. In a field experiment exploring the relative importance of biotic cues and variability in habitat quality to recruitment of hard corals, pocilloporid and acroporid corals recruited more frequently to one species of CCA, Titanoderma prototypum, and significantly less so to other species of CCA; these results are consistent with laboratory assays from other studies. The provision of the biotic cue accurately predicted coral recruitment rates across habitats of varying quality. At the scale of CCA, corals attached to the “preferred” CCA experienced increased survivorship while recruits attached elsewhere had lower colony growth and survivorship. For reef-building corals, the behavioral selection of habitat using chemical cues both reduces the risk of incidental mortality and indicates the presence of a facilitator. PMID:20169452

  6. Seasonal activity of nymphal Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in different habitats in New Jersey.

    PubMed

    Lord, C C

    1995-01-01

    Activity patterns of nymphal Ixodes scapularis Say were compared between habitat types (dominant tree types: mixed deciduous, oak, white pine, red cedar, sassafras, and spicebush). Both the time of peak abundance and the relative abundance of questing nymphs at the peak were compared. Several smoothing algorithms were tested with the data to determine if they could be used to estimate the time of peak abundance more accurately. Determination of the time of peak abundance using the raw data or simple moving averages was susceptible to outliers. Weighted averages were less susceptible to outliers. The seasonal pattern of nymphal abundance was similar in all habitat types. Variation in the time of peak abundance between habitats was low. Peak densities were lower in deciduous habitats (0.24 +/- 0.05 nymphs per square meter) than in nondeciduous habitats (0.85 +/- 0.15 nymphs per square meter); this could have resulted from higher host use of the nondeciduous areas. These data suggest that there are differences in the population dynamics of nymphs found in different habitats.

  7. 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.

  8. Distribution and shell selection by two hermit crabs in different habitats on Egyptian Red Sea Coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Kareem Ismail, Tarek Gad

    2010-05-01

    The present work aims to assess the spatial distribution, analyze shell utilization, shell fitness and determine the effect of coexistence of two hermit crabs Calcinus latens and Clibanarius signatus on used shell resources in various habitats on the Red Sea Coast. Also, to determine the choice of shells and investigate the shell species preference of C. latens and C. signatus in the laboratory. The hermit crabs C. latens and C. signatus were found to occupy shells of 39 gastropod species. The most commonly occupied gastropod shells are those belonging to genera Strombus, Nerita, Cerithium and Planaxis. The results showed that crab individuals utilized mainly the shell with elongate aperture. Laboratory experiments showed that two crab species preferred shells of Strombus followed by Cerithium and Nerita when offered shells of nearly similar size (optimal). Crab individuals showed a significant preference for optimal sized shells when given suboptimal shells as an alternative choice. Also, the hermit crabs avoid damaged shells when given a choice of optimal sized damaged shell and optimal sized intact one. In addition, two hermit crab species chose shells of smaller than optimal size when given a choice of damaged optimal sized shells and smaller intact ones. On the other hand, field observations showed that most crab individuals lived in adequate sized shells. The present data conclude that shell selection by hermit crabs C. latens and C. signatus depends mostly on shell internal volume, shell quality and shell aperture size than other factors, because they provide a maximum protection for hermit crabs.

  9. Synchronization-induced persistence versus selection for habitats in spatially coupled ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Lampert, Adam; Hastings, Alan

    2013-10-01

    Critical population phase transitions, in which a persistent population becomes extinction-prone owing to environmental changes, are fundamentally important in ecology, and their determination is a key factor in successful ecosystem management. To persist, a species requires a suitable environment in a sufficiently large spatial region. However, even if this condition is met, the species does not necessarily persist, owing to stochastic fluctuations. Here, we develop a model that allows simultaneous investigation of extinction due to either stochastic or deterministic reasons. We find that even classic birth-death processes in spatially extended ecosystems exhibit phase transitions between extinction-prone and persistent populations. Sometimes these are first-order transitions, which means that environmental changes may result in irreversible population collapse. Moreover, we find that higher migration rates not only lead to higher robustness to stochastic fluctuations, but also result in lower sustainability in heterogeneous environments by preventing efficient selection for suitable habitats. This demonstrates that intermediate migration rates are optimal for survival. At low migration rates, the dynamics are reduced to metapopulation dynamics, whereas at high migration rates, the dynamics are reduced to a multi-type branching process. We focus on species persistence, but our results suggest a unique method for finding phase transitions in spatially extended stochastic systems in general. PMID:23904591

  10. Do Birds Select Habitat or Food Resources? Nearctic-Neotropic Migrants in Northeastern Costa Rica

    PubMed Central

    Wolfe, Jared D.; Johnson, Matthew D.; Ralph, C. John

    2014-01-01

    Nearctic-neotropic migrant birds need to replenish energy reserves during stopover periods to successfully complete their semiannual movements. In this study we used linear models to examine the habitat use of 11 migrant species in northeastern Costa Rica to better understand the influence of food and structural resources on the presence of birds during stopover periods. Our models indicated that frugivorous migrants primarily used food abundance, while insectivorous migrants chiefly used vegetation structure as cues for habitat use during stopover. In addition to habitat use models, we documented fruiting plant phenology and found a general relationship between migrant arrival and the timing of ripe fruit availability. Our results suggest that insectivorous migrants probably rely on structural features when using habitat because it may be inherently difficult to assess cryptic-arthropod availability during a short period of time in a novel habitat, such as stopover periods. PMID:24489701

  11. Habitat selection of a declining white-tailed deer herd in the central Black Hills, South Dakota and Wyoming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deperno, Christopher Shannon

    Habitat selection, survival rates, the Black Hills National Forest Habitat Capability Model (HABCAP), and the USDA Forest Service Geographic Information System (GIS) data base were evaluated for a declining white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus dacotensis) herd in the central Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming. From July 1993 through July 1996, 73 adult and yearling female and 12 adult and yearling male white-tailed deer were radiocollared and visually monitored. Habitat information was collected at 4,662 white-tailed deer locations and 1,087 random locations. Natural mortality (71%) was the primary cause of female mortality, followed by harvest (22.5%) and accidental causes (6.5%). More females died in spring (53.2%) than in fall (22.6%), winter (14.5%), or summer (9.7%). Male mortality resulted from hunting in fall (66.7%) and natural causes in spring (33.3%). Survival rates for all deer by year were 62.1% in 1993, 51.1% in 1994, 56.4% in 1995, and 53.9% in 1996 and were similar (P = 0.691) across years. During winter, white-tailed deer selected ponderosa pine- (Pinus ponderosa ) deciduous and burned pine cover types. Overstory-understory habitats selected included pine/grass-forb, pine/bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), pine/snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), burned pine/grass-forb, and pine/shrub habitats. Structural stages selected included sapling-pole pine stands with >70% canopy cover, burned pine sapling-pole and saw-timber stands with <40% canopy cover. Bedding locations were represented by saw-timber pine structural stages with >40% canopy cover and all sapling-pole pine structural stages; sapling-pole stands with >70% canopy cover received the greatest use. White-tailed deer primarily fed in pine saw-timber structural stage with less than 40% canopy cover. Overall, selected habitats contained lower amounts of grass/forb, shrubs, and litter than random locations. Male and female deer generally bedded in areas that were characterized by greater

  12. Conspecific reproductive success and breeding habitat selection: Implications for the study of coloniality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Danchin, E.; Boulinier, T.; Massot, M.

    1998-01-01

    Habitat selection is a crucial process in the life cycle of animals because it can affect most components of fitness. It has been proposed that some animals cue on the reproductive success of conspecifics to select breeding habitats. We tested this hypothesis with demographic and behavioral data from a 17-yr study of the Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), a cliff-nesting seabird. As the hypothesis assumes, the Black-legged Kittiwake nesting environment was patchy, and the relative quality of the different patches (i.e., breeding cliffs) varied in time. The average reproductive success of the breeders of a given cliff was predictable from one year to the next, but this predictability faded after several years. The dynamic nature of cliff quality in the long term is partly explained by the autocorrelation of the prevalence of an ectoparasite that influences reproductive success. As predicted by the performance-based conspecific attraction hypothesis, the reproductive success of current breeders on a given cliff was predictive of the reproductive success of new recruits on the cliff in the following year. Breeders tended to recruit to the previous year's most productive cliffs and to emigrate from the least productive ones. Consequently, the dynamics of breeder numbers on the cliffs were explained by local reproductive success on a year-to-year basis. Because, on average, young Black-legged Kittiwakes first breed when 4 yr old, such a relationship probably results from individual choices based on the assessment of previous-year local quality. When breeders changed breeding cliffs between years, they selected cliffs of per capita higher reproductive success. Furthermore, after accounting for the potential effects of age and sex as well as between-year variations, the effect of individual breeding performance on breeding dispersal was strongly influenced by the average reproductive success of other breeders on the same cliff. Individual breeding performance did

  13. Daytime habitat selection by introduced eastern cottontail Sylvilagus floridanus and native european hare Lepus europaeus in Northern Italy.

    PubMed

    Bertolino, Sandro; Montezemolo, Nicola Cordero di; Perrone, Aurelio

    2011-06-01

    We used radiotelemetry to investigate resting sites habitat selection by introduced eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) and native European hare (Lepus europaeus) under sympatric conditions. We tracked 24 hares and 34 cottontails in a protected area of northwestern Italy. Hares were found in different sites every week, while cottontails used the same site for two weeks, and occasionally for longer. It is supposed that this periodic nest switching reduces the risk of predation and parasitism. Hares and cottontails forms were located in different habitats and characterized by dense vegetation cover near the ground. This cover increased from winter to summer in both species, while in autumn it continued to increase in cottontails only, and decreased in hares. Cottontails selected shrubby habitats near the river, and avoided crop fields in all seasons. Hares were more adaptive in their search, using high herbs and shrubs all year round, wheat fields in spring, maize in spring and summer, and stubbles in winter. Arguably, partial niche differentiation is necessary to allow the coexistence of similar species. In our study area, hares and cottontails differentiated in the use of resting sites habitats, presumably so as not to compete in this part of their ecological niche.

  14. Selection and preference of benthic habitat by small and large Ammocoetes of the Least Brook Lamprey (Lampetra aepyptera)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, Dustin M.; Welsh, Stuart; Turk, Philip J.

    2011-01-01

    In this laboratory study, we quantified substrate selection by small (<50 mm) and large (100–150 mm) ammocoetes of the least brook lamprey (Lampetra aepyptera). In aquaria, ammocoetes were given a choice to burrow into six equally-available substrate types: small gravel (2.360–4.750 mm), coarse sand (0.500–1.400 mm), fine sand (0.125–0.500 mm), organic substrate (approximately 70% decomposing leaves/stems and organic sediment particles, and 30% silt and fine sand), an even mixture of silt, clay, and fine sand, and silt/clay (<0.063 mm). Fine sand was selected with a significantly higher probability than any other substrate. Fine sand habitat is limited in many streams, in part owing to geology, but also as a result of channelization and excessive silt/clay sedimentation, which is a conservation concern. Our results indicate that ammocoetes of least brook lampreys are habitat specialists that prefer fine sand habitat. Hence, availability of fine sand habitat may limit distributions and population sizes.

  15. Selection and preference of benthic habitat by small and large ammocoetes of the least brook lamprey (Lampetra aepyptera)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, D.M.; Welsh, S.A.; Turk, P.J.

    2011-01-01

    In this laboratory study, we quantified substrate selection by small (<50 mm) and large (100-150 mm) ammocoetes of the least brook lamprey (Lampetra aepyptera). In aquaria, ammocoetes were given a choice to burrow into six equally-available substrate types: small gravel (2.360-4.750 mm), coarse sand (0.500-1.400 mm), fine sand (0.125-0.500 mm), organic substrate (approximately 70% decomposing leaves/stems and organic sediment particles, and 30% silt and fine sand), an even mixture of silt, clay, and fine sand, and silt/clay (<0.063 mm). Fine sand was selected with a significantly higher probability than any other substrate. Fine sand habitat is limited in many streams, in part owing to geology, but also as a result of channelization and excessive silt/clay sedimentation, which is a conservation concern. Our results indicate that ammocoetes of least brook lampreys are habitat specialists that prefer fine sand habitat. Hence, availability of fine sand habitat may limit distributions and population sizes. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  16. Baseline Channel Geometry and Aquatic Habitat Data for Selected Streams in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Curran, Janet H.; Rice, William J.

    2009-01-01

    Small streams in the rapidly developing Matanuska-Susitna Valley in south-central Alaska are known to support anadromous and resident fish but little is known about their hydrologic and riparian conditions, or their sensitivity to the rapid development of the area or climate variability. To help address this need, channel geometry and aquatic habitat data were collected in 2005 as a baseline of stream conditions for selected streams. Three streams were selected as representative of various stream types, and one drainage network, the Big Lake drainage basin, was selected for a systematic assessment. Streams in the Big Lake basin were drawn in a Geographic Information System (GIS), and 55 reaches along 16 miles of Meadow Creek and its primary tributary Little Meadow Creek were identified from orthoimagery and field observations on the basis of distinctive physical and habitat parameters, most commonly gradient, substrate, and vegetation. Data-collection methods for sites at the three representative reaches and the 55 systematically studied reaches consisted of a field survey of channel and flood-plain geometry and collection of 14 habitat attributes using published protocols or slight modifications. Width/depth and entrenchment ratios along the Meadow-Little Meadow Creek corridor were large and highly variable upstream of Parks Highway and lower and more consistent downstream of Parks Highway. Channel width was strongly correlated with distance, increasing downstream in a log-linear relation. Runs formed the most common habitat type, and instream vegetation dominated the habitat cover types, which collectively covered 53 percent of the channel. Gravel suitable for spawning covered isolated areas along Meadow Creek and about 29 percent of Little Meadow Creek. Broad wetlands were common along both streams. For a comprehensive assessment of small streams in the Mat-Su Valley, critical additional data needs include hydrologic, geologic and geomorphic, and biologic data

  17. Dynamic habitat selection by two wading bird species with divergent foraging strategies in a seasonally fluctuating wetland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beerens, J.M.; Gawlik, D.E.; Herring, G.; Cook, Mark I.

    2011-01-01

    Seasonal and annual variation in food availability during the breeding season plays an influential role in the population dynamics of many avian species. In highly dynamic ecosystems like wetlands, finding and exploiting food resources requires a flexible behavioral response that may produce different population trends that vary with a species' foraging strategy. We quantified dynamic foraging-habitat selection by breeding and radiotagged White Ibises (Eudocimus albus) and Great Egrets (Ardea alba) in the Florida Everglades, where fluctuation in food resources is pronounced because of seasonal drying and flooding. The White Ibis is a tactile "searcher" species in population decline that specializes on highly concentrated prey, whereas the Great Egret, in a growing population, is a visual "exploiter" species that requires lower prey concentrations. In a year with high food availability, resource-selection functions for both species included variables that changed over multiannual time scales and were associated with increased prey production. In a year with low food availability, resource-selection functions included short-term variables that concentrated prey (e.g., water recession rates and reversals in drying pattern), which suggests an adaptive response to poor foraging conditions. In both years, the White Ibis was more restricted in its use of habitats than the Great Egret. Real-time species-habitat suitability models were developed to monitor and assess the daily availability and quality of spatially explicit habitat resources for both species. The models, evaluated through hindcasting using independent observations, demonstrated that habitat use of the more specialized White Ibis was more accurately predicted than that of the more generalist Great Egret. ?? The American Ornithologists' Union, 2011.

  18. The role of habitat-selection in restricting invasive blue mussel advancement to protect native populations in San Francisco Bay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mittal, N.; Saarman, N. P.; Pogson, G.

    2013-12-01

    Introduced species contribute to decline of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Introduced species threaten native species by increasing competition for space and resources, changing their habitat, and disrupting species interactions. Protecting native species is crucial to preserving ecosystem services (i.e. medicinal, agricultural, ecological, and cultural benefits) for future generations. In marine communities, the number of invasive species is dramatically increasing every year, further magnifying the negative impact on native species. This research determines if habitat-specific selection can protect native species from their invasive relatives, and could allow targeted habitat restoration for native species to maintain high levels of biodiversity. Blue mussels provide an ideal system for studying the impact of an invasive species (Mytilus galloprovincialis) on native mussels (M. trossulus), because M. galloprovincialis is marked as one of the world's 100 worst invasive species. Hybridization between M. galloprovincialis and M. trossulus occurs wherever their distributions overlap (i.e. Japan, Puget Sound, and central California). In central California, hybrids form in a broad variety of habitats ever since M. galloprovincialis was introduced about 100 years ago. The current level of threat posed to native mussels in central California is unknown. When population growth rate of an invasive species is higher than the native within a hybrid zone, the invader's genes become more prominent in the hybrids than the native species' genes. This uneven mix of genes and decrease of pure native mussels threatens to drive M. trossulus to extinction. Therefore, it is important to research which environment fosters highest success of pure native species. We conducted a field experiment in San Francisco Bay where mussels were reared in different habitats. We then collected samples and extracted DNA from each treatment, and genotyped them by a next-generation sequencing

  19. Oviposition site selection by Gasterophilus pecorum (Diptera: Gasterophilidae) in its habitat in Kalamaili Nature Reserve, Xinjiang, China

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Shan-Hui; Hu, De-Fu; Li, Kai

    2015-01-01

    Oviposition site selection is an important aspect of the behavioural ecology of insects. A comparison of the habitats used by a species enhances our understanding of their adaptation to altered environments. We collected data on the oviposition behaviours of Gasterophilus pecorum (Diptera: Gasterophilidae) in its habitat in Kalamaili Nature Reserve (KNR), Xinjiang, China between March and October 2014. We found 91 quadrats were used by G. pecorum for oviposition. Examining 13 ecological factors using the t-test, chi-square test, and principal component analysis showed that G. pecorum’s oviposition habitat was preferentially on slopes with inclinations of 10–30° that were semi-sunny, semi-cloudy slopes, in positions high or low on the slopes, with preferences for total plants lower than 10% and Stipa capillata coverage lower than 10% on the low slopes, but Ceratoides latens coverage on the high and intermediate slopes, when the numbers of plant species and families were lower than five. G. pecorum often selected sites at a distance < 2000 m from a water source and average altitude 900–1000 m. The oviposition site selection by G. pecorum may be correlated with the behaviour of Przewalski’s horses (Equus ferus przewalskii), and water and food resources may strongly influence oviposition site selection, as Przewalski’s horses rest and forage in these areas. PMID:26621549

  20. Oviposition site selection by Gasterophilus pecorum (Diptera: Gasterophilidae) in its habitat in Kalamaili Nature Reserve, Xinjiang, China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shan-Hui; Hu, De-Fu; Li, Kai

    2015-01-01

    Oviposition site selection is an important aspect of the behavioural ecology of insects. A comparison of the habitats used by a species enhances our understanding of their adaptation to altered environments. We collected data on the oviposition behaviours of Gasterophilus pecorum (Diptera: Gasterophilidae) in its habitat in Kalamaili Nature Reserve (KNR), Xinjiang, China between March and October 2014. We found 91 quadrats were used by G. pecorum for oviposition. Examining 13 ecological factors using the t-test, chi-square test, and principal component analysis showed that G. pecorum's oviposition habitat was preferentially on slopes with inclinations of 10-30° that were semi-sunny, semi-cloudy slopes, in positions high or low on the slopes, with preferences for total plants lower than 10% and Stipa capillata coverage lower than 10% on the low slopes, but Ceratoides latens coverage on the high and intermediate slopes, when the numbers of plant species and families were lower than five. G. pecorum often selected sites at a distance < 2000 m from a water source and average altitude 900-1000 m. The oviposition site selection by G. pecorum may be correlated with the behaviour of Przewalski's horses (Equus ferus przewalskii), and water and food resources may strongly influence oviposition site selection, as Przewalski's horses rest and forage in these areas.

  1. Ecological Insights from Pelagic Habitats Acquired Using Active Acoustic Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benoit-Bird, Kelly J.; Lawson, Gareth L.

    2016-01-01

    Marine pelagic ecosystems present fascinating opportunities for ecological investigation but pose important methodological challenges for sampling. Active acoustic techniques involve producing sound and receiving signals from organisms and other water column sources, offering the benefit of high spatial and temporal resolution and, via integration into different platforms, the ability to make measurements spanning a range of spatial and temporal scales. As a consequence, a variety of questions concerning the ecology of pelagic systems lend themselves to active acoustics, ranging from organism-level investigations and physiological responses to the environment to ecosystem-level studies and climate. As technologies and data analysis methods have matured, the use of acoustics in ecological studies has grown rapidly. We explore the continued role of active acoustics in addressing questions concerning life in the ocean, highlight creative applications to key ecological themes ranging from physiology and behavior to biogeography and climate, and discuss emerging avenues where acoustics can help determine how pelagic ecosystems function.

  2. Ecological Insights from Pelagic Habitats Acquired Using Active Acoustic Techniques.

    PubMed

    Benoit-Bird, Kelly J; Lawson, Gareth L

    2016-01-01

    Marine pelagic ecosystems present fascinating opportunities for ecological investigation but pose important methodological challenges for sampling. Active acoustic techniques involve producing sound and receiving signals from organisms and other water column sources, offering the benefit of high spatial and temporal resolution and, via integration into different platforms, the ability to make measurements spanning a range of spatial and temporal scales. As a consequence, a variety of questions concerning the ecology of pelagic systems lend themselves to active acoustics, ranging from organism-level investigations and physiological responses to the environment to ecosystem-level studies and climate. As technologies and data analysis methods have matured, the use of acoustics in ecological studies has grown rapidly. We explore the continued role of active acoustics in addressing questions concerning life in the ocean, highlight creative applications to key ecological themes ranging from physiology and behavior to biogeography and climate, and discuss emerging avenues where acoustics can help determine how pelagic ecosystems function.

  3. Ecological Insights from Pelagic Habitats Acquired Using Active Acoustic Techniques.

    PubMed

    Benoit-Bird, Kelly J; Lawson, Gareth L

    2016-01-01

    Marine pelagic ecosystems present fascinating opportunities for ecological investigation but pose important methodological challenges for sampling. Active acoustic techniques involve producing sound and receiving signals from organisms and other water column sources, offering the benefit of high spatial and temporal resolution and, via integration into different platforms, the ability to make measurements spanning a range of spatial and temporal scales. As a consequence, a variety of questions concerning the ecology of pelagic systems lend themselves to active acoustics, ranging from organism-level investigations and physiological responses to the environment to ecosystem-level studies and climate. As technologies and data analysis methods have matured, the use of acoustics in ecological studies has grown rapidly. We explore the continued role of active acoustics in addressing questions concerning life in the ocean, highlight creative applications to key ecological themes ranging from physiology and behavior to biogeography and climate, and discuss emerging avenues where acoustics can help determine how pelagic ecosystems function. PMID:26515810

  4. 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

  5. Attractiveness of food and avoidance from contamination as conflicting stimuli to habitat selection by fish.

    PubMed

    Araújo, Cristiano V M; Rodríguez, Elizabeth N V; Salvatierra, David; Cedeño-Macias, Luis A; Vera-Vera, Victoria C; Moreira-Santos, Matilde; Ribeiro, Rui

    2016-11-01

    Habitat selection by fish is the outcome of a choice between different stimuli. Typically, the presence of food tends to attract organisms, while contamination triggers an avoidance response to prevent toxic effects. Given that both food and contaminants are not homogeneously distributed in the environment and that food can be available in contaminated zones, a key question has been put forward in the present study: does a higher availability of food in contaminated areas interfere in the avoidance response to contaminants regardless of the contamination level? Tilapia fry (Oreochromis sp.; 2.5-3.0 cm and 0.5-0.8 g) were exposed to two different effluent samples, diluted along a free-choice, non-forced exposure system simulating a contamination gradient. Initially, avoidance to the effluents was checked during a one hour exposure. Afterwards, food was added to the system so that the availability of food increased with the increase in the level of contamination, and the avoidance response to contamination was checked during another hour. Results clearly showed a concentration-dependent avoidance response for both effluents during the first hour (i.e., with no food). However, in presence of the food, the avoidance pattern was altered: organisms were propelled to intermittently move towards contaminated areas where food availability was higher. The incursions were taken regardless of the potential risk linked to the toxic effects. In conclusion, even when the risk of toxicity was imminent, tilapia fry were more intensively stimulated by the attractiveness of the food than by repulsion to the contamination.

  6. Hypoxic refuges, predator-prey interactions and habitat selection by fishes.

    PubMed

    Hedges, K J; Abrahams, M V

    2015-01-01

    Localized hypoxic habitats were created in Delta Marsh, Manitoba, Canada to determine the potential of regions of moderate hypoxia to act as refuges for forage fishes from piscine predators. Minnow traps and giving-up density (GUD) plates (plexiglas plates covered with trout crumble and fine gravel) were used to assess habitat use and perceived habitat quality for forage fishes, respectively, while passive integrated transponder tags provided data on habitat use by predator species to assess the level of predation risk. Data were collected both before and after a hypoxia manipulation (2-3 mg l(-1) dissolved oxygen, DO) to create a before-after control-effect style experiment. Fathead minnows Pimephales promelas were more abundant and consumed more food from GUD plates in hypoxic bays after the DO manipulation, indicating hypoxic locations were perceived as higher quality, lower-risk habitats. The frequency of predator visits was not consistently affected. The duration of visits, and therefore the total time spent in these habitats, however, was significantly shorter. These predator data, combined with the prey information, are consistent with the hypothesis that hypoxic regions function as predator refuges. The refuge effect is not the result of predator exclusion, however; instead predators are rendered less capable of foraging and pose less of a threat in hypoxic locations. PMID:25557430

  7. Evaluation of Macroinvertebrate Communities and Habitat for Selected Stream Reaches at Los Alamos National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    L.J. Henne; K.J. Buckley

    2005-08-12

    This is the second aquatic biological monitoring report generated by Los Alamos National Laboratory's (LANL's) Water Quality and Hydrology Group. The study has been conducted to generate impact-based assessments of habitat and water quality for LANL waterways. The monitoring program was designed to allow for the detection of spatial and temporal trends in water and habitat quality through ongoing, biannual monitoring of habitat characteristics and benthic aquatic macroinvertebrate communities at six key sites in Los Alamos, Sandia, Water, Pajarito, and Starmer's Gulch Canyons. Data were collected on aquatic habitat characteristics, channel substrate, and macroinvertebrate communities during 2001 and 2002. Aquatic habitat scores were stable between 2001 and 2002 at all locations except Starmer's Gulch and Pajarito Canyon, which had lower scores in 2002 due to low flow conditions. Channel substrate changes were most evident at the upper Los Alamos and Pajarito study reaches. The macroinvertebrate Stream Condition Index (SCI) indicated moderate to severe impairment at upper Los Alamos Canyon, slight to moderate impairment at upper Sandia Canyon, and little or no impairment at lower Sandia Canyon, Starmer's Gulch, and Pajarito Canyon. Habitat, substrate, and macroinvertebrate data from the site in upper Los Alamos Canyon indicated severe impacts from the Cerro Grande Fire of 2000. Impairment in the macroinvertebrate community at upper Sandia Canyon was probably due to effluent-dominated flow at that site. The minimal impairment SCI scores for the lower Sandia site indicated that water quality improved with distance downstream from the outfall at upper Sandia Canyon.

  8. Floriculture. Selected Learning Activity Packages.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clemson Univ., SC. Vocational Education Media Center.

    This series of learning activity packages is based on a catalog of performance objectives, criterion-referenced measures, and performance guides for gardening/groundskeeping developed by the Vocational Education Consortium of States (V-TECS). Learning activity packages are presented in four areas: (1) preparation of soils and planting media, (2)…

  9. Habitat selection by two species of burrowing mayfly nymphs in the Les Cheneaux Islands region of northern Lake Huron

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blouin, Marc A.; Hudson, Patrick; Chriscinske, Margret

    2004-01-01

    This study focused primarily on the habitat preferences of Hexagenia limbata andEphemera simulans, two species prevalent in northern Lake Huron, to gain a better understanding of the key components that determined their distribution and abundance. Both species preferred habitats based upon depth and sediment type. In addition, the burrowing activity of H. limbata was examined using in-situ, underwater sampling techniques specifically designed for the study. SCUBA divers made resin casts and took clear sediment cores in order to study how the burrow densities of H. limbata related to the sediment: water volume ratios. H. limbata contributed to the bioturbation and sediment porosity in specific, fine-sediment habitats. Younger age classes of this species utilized the burrows of their larger cohorts, an adaptation that could allow for energy savings and optimized growth.

  10. Effects of predation risk on habitat selection by water column fish, benthic fish and crayfish in stream pools

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Magoulick, D.D.

    2004-01-01

    Predation risk can affect habitat selection by water column stream fish and crayfish, but little is known regarding effects of predation risk on habitat selection by benthic fish or assemblages of fish and crayfish. I used comparative studies and manipulative field experiments to determine whether, (1) habitat selection by stream fish and crayfish is affected by predation risk, and (2) benthic fish, water column fish, and crayfish differ in their habitat selection and response to predation risk. Snorkeling was used to observe fish and crayfish in, (1) unmanipulated stream pools with and without large smallmouth bass predators (Micropterus dolomieui >200 mm total length, TL) and (2) manipulated stream pools before and after addition of a single large smallmouth bass, to determine if prey size and presence of large fish predators affected habitat selection. Observations of microhabitat use were compared with microhabitat availability to determine microhabitat selection. Small fish (60-100 mm TL, except darters that were 30-100 mm TL) and crayfish (40-100 mm rostrum to telson length; TL) had significantly reduced densities in pools with large bass, whereas densities of large fish and crayfish (> 100 mm TL) did not differ significantly between pools with and without large bass. Small orangethroat darters (Etheostoma spectabile), northern crayfish (Orconectes virilis), and creek chubs (Semotilus atromaculatus) showed significantly greater densities in pools without large bass. The presence of large smallmouth bass did not significantly affect depths selected by fish and crayfish, except minnows, which were found significantly more often at medium depths when bass were present. Small minnows and large and small crayfish showed the greatest response to additions of bass to stream pools by moving away from bass locations and into shallow water. Small darters and sunfish showed an intermediate response, whereas large minnows showed no significant response to bass additions

  11. Linking trade-offs in habitat selection with the occurrence of functional responses for moose living in two nearby study areas.

    PubMed

    Mabille, Géraldine; Dussault, Christian; Ouellet, Jean-Pierre; Laurian, Catherine

    2012-12-01

    A species may modify its relative habitat use with changing availability, generating functional responses in habitat selection. Functional responses in habitat selection are expected to occur when animals experience trade-offs influencing their habitat selection, but only a few studies to date have explicitly linked functional responses to the underlying trade-offs faced by the animals. We used data from 39 female moose fitted with GPS telemetry collars in two nearby study areas in Canada to investigate if moose (1) were faced with a food/cover trade-off in habitat selection, as typically acknowledged in the literature, and (2) showed a functional response in their use of food/cover-rich habitats. We also examined how habitat selection patterns varied seasonally, and between study areas. The occurrence of functional responses varied strongly between study areas, and could not always be related to a measurable food/cover trade-off. Functional responses were observed more often in the study area where the environmental conditions were more severe (colder temperatures, higher precipitations, and lower food availability). Selection coefficients were also less variable among individuals in that study area, suggesting that severe environmental conditions may constrain individuals to a few selection tactics and promote the development of functional responses. Moose reacted to the availability of different habitat types in different seasons, reflecting the changing trade-offs faced by the animals. We found considerable behavioral differences between individuals from two adjacent study areas, and therefore recommend caution when extrapolating habitat selection results. We advocate for the wider use of functional responses to identify critical habitats for a species from a management or conservation perspective.

  12. The Why of Waiting: How mathematical Best-Choice Models demonstrate optimality of a Refractory Period in Habitat Selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brugger, M. F.; Waymire, E. C.; Betts, M. G.

    2010-12-01

    When brush mice, fruit flies, and other animals disperse from their natal site, they are immediately tasked with selecting new habitat, and must do so in such a way as to optimize their chances of surviving and breeding. Habitat selection connects the fields of behavioral ecology and landscape ecology by describing the role the physical quality of habitat plays in the selection process. Interestingly, observations indicate a strategy that occurs with a certain prescribed statistical regularity. It has been demonstrated (Stamps, Davis, Blozis, Boundy-Mills, Anim. Behav., 2007) that brush mice and fruit flies employ a refractory period: a period wherein a disperser, after leaving its natal site, will not accept highly-preferred natural habitats. Assuming this behavior has adaptive benefit, the apparent optimality of this strategy is mirrored in mathematical models of Stochastic Optimization. In one such model, the Classical Best Choice Problem, a selector views some permutation of the numbers {1, ..., n} one-by-one, seeing only their relative ranks and then either selecting that element or discarding it. The goal is to choose the ``n" element. The optimal strategy is to wait for the ⌈ n/e ⌉ th element and then pick an element if it is better than all those already seen; this might demonstrate why refractory periods have adaptive benefit. We present three extensions to the Best Choice Problem: a partial ordering on the set of elements (Kubicki & Morayne, SIAM J. Discrete Math., 2005), a new goal of minimizing the expected rank (Chow, Moriguti, Robbins, Samuels, Israel J. Math., 1964), and a general utility function (Gusein-Zade, Theory of Prob. and Applications, 1966), allowing the top r sites to be equally desirable. These extensions relate to ecological phenomena not represented by the Classical Problem. In each, we discuss the effect on the duration or existence of the Refractory Period.

  13. Habitat selection and overlap of Atlantic salmon and smallmouth bass juveniles in nursery streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wathen, G.; Coghlan, S.M.; Zydlewski, J.; Trial, J.G.

    2011-01-01

    Introduced smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu have invaded much of the historic freshwater habitat ofAtlantic salmon Salmo salar in North America, yet little is known about the ecological interactions between the two species.We investigated the possibility of competition for habitat between age-0 Atlantic salmon and age-0 and age-1 smallmouth bass by means of in situ observations and a mesocosm experiment.We used snorkel observation to identify the degree and timing of overlap in habitat use in our in situ observations and to describe habitat shifts by Atlantic salmon in the presence of smallmouth bass in our mesocosm experiments. In late July 2008, we observed substantial overlap in the depths and mean water column velocities used by both species in sympatric in situ conditions and an apparent shift by age-0 Atlantic salmon to shallower water that coincided with the period of high overlap. In the mesocosm experiments, we detected no overlap or habitat shifts by age-0 Atlantic salmon in the presence age-1 smallmouth bass and low overlap and no habitat shifts of Atlantic salmon and age-0 smallmouth bass in fall 2009. In 2009, summer floods with sustained high flows and low temperatures resulted in the nearly complete reproductive failure of the smallmouth bass in our study streams, and we did not observe a midsummer habitat shift by Atlantic salmon similar to that seen in 2008. Although this prevented us from replicating our 2008 experiments under similar conditions, the virtual year-class failure of smallmouth bass itself is enlightening. We suggest that future studies incorporate the effects of varying temperature and discharge to determine how abiotic factors affect the interactions between these species and thus mediate the outcomes of potential competition. ?? American Fisheries Society 2011.

  14. 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)

  15. Salinity Is an Agent of Divergent Selection Driving Local Adaptation of Arabidopsis to Coastal Habitats1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Teres, Joana; Bomblies, Kirsten; Douglas, Alex; Salt, David E.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the molecular mechanism of adaptive evolution in plants provides insights into the selective forces driving adaptation and the genetic basis of adaptive traits with agricultural value. The genomic resources available for Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) make it well suited to the rapid molecular dissection of adaptive processes. Although numerous potentially adaptive loci have been identified in Arabidopsis, the consequences of divergent selection and migration (both important aspects of the process of local adaptation) for Arabidopsis are not well understood. Here, we use a multiyear field-based reciprocal transplant experiment to detect local populations of Arabidopsis composed of multiple small stands of plants (demes) that are locally adapted to the coast and adjacent inland habitats in northeastern Spain. We identify fitness tradeoffs between plants from these different habitats when grown together in inland and coastal common gardens and also, under controlled conditions in soil excavated from coastal and inland sites. Plants from the coastal habitat also outperform those from inland when grown under high salinity, indicating local adaptation to soil salinity. Sodium can be toxic to plants, and we find its concentration to be elevated in soil and plants sampled at the coast. We conclude that the local adaptation that we observe between adjacent coastal and inland populations is caused by ongoing divergent selection driven by the differential salinity between coastal and inland soils. PMID:26034264

  16. Ontogenetic changes in habitat selection during settlement in a coral reef fish: ecological determinants and sensory mechanisms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lecchini, D.; Osenberg, C. W.; Shima, J. S.; St Mary, C. M.; Galzin, R.

    2007-06-01

    The behavior of marine larvae during and after settlement can help shape the distribution and abundance of benthic juveniles and therefore the intensity of ecological interactions on reefs. Several laboratory choice-chamber experiments were conducted to explore sensory capabilities and behavioral responses to ecological stimuli to better understand habitat selection by “pre-metamorphic” (larval) and “post-metamorphic” (juvenile) stages of a coral reef fish ( Thalassoma hardwicke). T. hardwicke larvae were attracted to benthic macroalgae ( Turbinaria ornata and Sargassum mangarevasae), while slightly older post-metamorphosed juveniles chose to occupy live coral colonies ( Pocillopora damicornis). Habitat choices of larvae were primarily based upon visual cues and were not influenced by the presence of older conspecifics. In contrast, juveniles selected live coral colonies and preferred those occupied by older conspecifics; choices made by juveniles were based upon both visual and olfactory cues from conspecifics. Overall, the laboratory experiments suggest that early life-history stages of T. hardwicke use a range of sensory modalities that vary through ontogeny, to effectively detect and possibly discriminate among different microhabitats for settlement and later occupation. Habitat selection, based upon cues provided by environmental features and/or by conspecifics, might have important consequences for subsequent competitive interactions.

  17. Linking habitat selection to fitness-related traits in herbivores: the role of the energy landscape.

    PubMed

    Long, Ryan A; Bowyer, R T; Porter, Warren P; Mathewson, Paul; Monteith, Kevin L; Findholt, Scott L; Dick, Brian L; Kie, John G

    2016-07-01

    Animals may partially overcome environmental constraints on fitness by behaviorally adjusting their exposure to costs and supplies of energy. Few studies, however, have linked spatiotemporal variation in the energy landscape to behaviorally mediated measures of performance that ostensibly influence individual fitness. We hypothesized that strength of selection by North American elk (Cervus elaphus) for areas that reduced costs of thermoregulation and activity, and increased access to high-quality forage, would influence four energetically mediated traits related to fitness: birth mass of young, nutritional condition of adult females at the onset of winter, change in nutritional condition of females between spring and winter, and neonatal survival. We used a biophysical model to map spatiotemporally explicit costs of thermoregulation and activity experienced by elk in a heterogeneous landscape. We then combined model predictions with data on forage characteristics, animal locations, nutritional condition, and mass and survival of young to evaluate behaviorally mediated effects of the energy landscape on fitness-related traits. During spring, when high-quality forage was abundant, female elk that consistently selected low-cost areas before parturition gave birth to larger young than less-selective individuals, and birth mass had a strong, positive influence on probability of survival. As forage quality declined during autumn, however, lactating females that consistently selected the highest quality forage available accrued more fat and entered winter in better condition than less-selective individuals. Results of our study highlight the importance of understanding the dynamic nature of energy landscapes experienced by free-ranging animals. PMID:27003702

  18. Water-quality assessment of the Ozark Plateaus study unit, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma- habitat data and characteristics at selected sites, 1993-95

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Femmer, Suzanne R.

    1997-01-01

    The characterization of instream and riparian habitat is part of the multiple lines of evidence used by the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program to assess the water quality of streams. In the NAWQA Program, integrated physical, chemical, and biological assessments are used to describe water-quality conditions. The instream and riparian habitat data are collected at sites selected for surface-water chemistry analyses and biological assessment. Instream and riparian habitat data are structured in a nested scheme?at sampling reach, segment, and basin scales. The habitat data were collected in the Ozark Plateaus study unit at 41 sites during 1993-95. Thirteen of these sites, representative of selected combinations of physiography, land use, and basin size, have longitudinal, transverse, and quarter point vegetation plot surveys in addition to the Level I survey measurements (reach length, depth, velocity, dominant substrate, embeddedness, and vegetation quarter points, for example) recommended by the NAWQA Program protocols. These habitat data were from onsite measurements, U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps, and a geographic information system. The analyses of the habitat data indicates substantial differences between sites of differing physiography and basin-scale land-use activities. The basins range from 46.4 to 4,318 square kilometers and have stream orders from 2 to 6. All streams studied are a riffle/pool type, and most have cobble that is less than 50 percent embedded as the dominant streambed substrate. Of the three physiographic sections studied, the Boston Mountains have the largest mean segment and sideslope gradients, basin relief, woody species diversity, and stream depths when compared with sites of similar size. Channel sinuosities, mean velocities, and canopy angles are largest at sites in the Springfield Plateau physiographic section. The sites in the Salem Plateau physiographic section have the largest woody

  19. Habitat selection of a parasitoid mediated by volatiles informing on host and intraguild predator densities.

    PubMed

    Cotes, Belén; Rännbäck, Linda-Marie; Björkman, Maria; Norli, Hans Ragnar; Meyling, Nicolai V; Rämert, Birgitta; Anderson, Peter

    2015-09-01

    To locate and evaluate host patches before oviposition, parasitoids of herbivorous insects utilize plant volatiles and host-derived cues, but also evaluate predator-derived infochemicals to reduce predation risks. When foraging in host habitats infested with entomopathogenic fungi that can infect both a parasitoid and its host, parasitoids may reduce the risk of intraguild predation (IGP) by avoiding such patches. In this study, we examined whether the presence of the entomopathogenic fungi Metarhizium brunneum and Beauveria bassiana in soil habitats of a root herbivore, Delia radicum, affects the behavior of Trybliographa rapae, a parasitoid of D. radicum. Olfactometer bioassays revealed that T. rapae avoided fungal infested host habitats and that this was dependent on fungal species and density. In particular, the parasitoid avoided habitats with high densities of the more virulent fungus, M. brunneum. In addition, host density was found to be important for the attraction of T. rapae. Volatiles collected from host habitats revealed different compound profiles depending on fungal presence and density, which could explain the behavior of T. rapae. We conclude that T. rapae females may use volatile compounds to locate high densities of prey, but also compounds related to fungal presence to reduce the risk of IGP towards themselves and their offspring. PMID:25943193

  20. Evaluation of habitat quality for selected wildlife species associated with back channels.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, James T.; Zadnik, Andrew K.; Wood, Petra Bohall; Bledsoe, Kerry

    2013-01-01

    The islands and associated back channels on the Ohio River, USA, are believed to provide critical habitat features for several wildlife species. However, few studies have quantitatively evaluated habitat quality in these areas. Our main objective was to evaluate the habitat quality of back and main channel areas for several species using habitat suitability index (HSI) models. To test the effectiveness of these models, we attempted to relate HSI scores and the variables measured for each model with measures of relative abundance for the model species. The mean belted kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon) HSI was greater on the main than back channel. However, the model failed to predict kingfisher abundance. The mean reproduction component of the great blue heron (Ardea herodias) HSI, total common muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) HSI, winter cover component of the snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) HSI, and brood-rearing component of the wood duck (Aix sponsa) HSI were all greater on the back than main channel, and were positively related with the relative abundance of each species. We found that island back channels provide characteristics not found elsewhere on the Ohio River and warrant conservation as important riparian wildlife habitat. The effectiveness of using HSI models to predict species abundance on the river was mixed. Modifications to several of the models are needed to improve their use on the Ohio River and, likely, other large rivers.

  1. Ontogenetic and sex-specific differences in density-dependent habitat selection of a marine fish population.

    PubMed

    Bartolino, Valerio; Ciannelli, Lorenzo; Bacheler, Nathan M; Chan, Kung-Sik

    2011-01-01

    The spatial dynamics of species are the result of complex interactions between density-independent and density-dependent sources of variability. Disentangling these two sources of variability has challenged ecologists working in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Using a novel spatially explicit statistical model, we tested for the presence of density-independent and density-dependent habitat selection in yellowfin sole (Limanda aspera) in the eastern Bering Sea. We found specificities in the density-dependent processes operating across ontogeny and particularly with gender. Density-dependent habitat expansion occurred primarily in females, and to a lesser degree in males. These patterns were especially evident in adult stages, while juvenile stages of both sexes exhibited a mix of different dynamics. Association of yellowfin sole with substrate type also varied by sex and to a lesser degree with size, with large females distributed over a wider range of substrates than males. Moreover, yellowfin sole expanded northward as cold subsurface waters retracted in summer, suggesting high sensitivity to arctic warming. Our findings illustrate how marginal habitats can play an important role in buffering density-dependent habitat expansion, with direct implications for resource management. Our spatially explicit modeling approach is effective in evaluating density-dependent spatial dynamics, and can easily be used to test similar hypotheses from a variety of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

  2. A piecewise linear modeling approach for testing competing theories of habitat selection: an example with mule deer in northern winter ranges.

    PubMed

    Manning, Jeffrey A; Garton, Edward O

    2013-07-01

    Habitat selection fundamentally drives the distribution of organisms across landscapes; density-dependent habitat selection (DDHS) is considered a central component of ecological theories explaining habitat use and population regulation. A preponderance of DDHS theories is based on ideal distributions, such that organisms select habitat according to either the ideal free, despotic, or pre-emptive distributions. Models that can be used to simultaneously test competing DDHS theories are desirable to help improve our understanding of habitat selection. We developed hierarchical, piecewise linear models that allow for simultaneous testing of DDHS theories and accommodate densities from multiple habitats and regional populations, environmental covariates, and random effects. We demonstrate the use of these models with data on mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) abundance and net energy costs in different snow depths within winter ranges of five regional populations in western Idaho, USA. Regional population density explained 40% of the variation in population growth, and we found that deer were ideal free in winter ranges. Deer occupied habitats with lowest net energy costs at higher densities and at a higher rate than compared to habitats with intermediate and high energy costs. The proportion of a regional population in low energy cost habitat the previous year accounted for a significant amount of variation in population growth (17%), demonstrating the importance of winter habitat selection in regulating deer populations. These linear models are most appropriate for empirical data collected from centralized habitat patches within the local range of a species where individuals are either year-round residents or migratory (but have already arrived from migration).

  3. An annotated bibliography of selected guides for stream habitat improvement in the Pacific Northwest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keim, R.F.; Price, A.B.; Hardin, T. S.; Skaugset, Arne E.; Bateman, D.S.; Gresswell, R.E.; Tesch, S. D.

    2004-01-01

    This annotated bibliography is a response to widespread interest in stream habitat improvement in the Pacific Northwest by land managers, governmental and nongovernmental organizations, and the lay public. Several guides to stream habitat improvement have been written in the past, but may not be easily accessible to people from diverse backgrounds. This annotated bibliography reviews 11 guides to stream habitat improvement so that readers can find literature appropriate to their needs. All reviews begin with summaries of the contents, stated audiences, and goals of each guide. Reviews also include subjective comments on the strengths and weaknesses of each guide. Finally, this bibliography includes recommendations of guides and combinations of guides judged most useful for a range of purposes. 

  4. Among-habitat algal selectivity by browsing herbivores on an inshore coral reef

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loffler, Zoe; Bellwood, David R.; Hoey, Andrew S.

    2015-06-01

    Understanding how the impact of different herbivores varies spatially on coral reefs is important in qualifying the resistance of coral reefs to disturbance events and identifying the processes that structure algal communities. We used assays of six common macroalgae ( Acanthophora spicifera, Caulerpa taxifolia, Galaxaura rugosa, Laurencia sp. Sargassum sp., and Turbinaria ornata) and remote underwater video cameras to quantify herbivory in two habitats (reef crest and slope) across multiple sites on Orpheus Island, Great Barrier Reef. Rates of herbivory varied among macroalgal taxa, habitats, and sites. Reductions in algal biomass were greatest for Sargassum sp. (36 % 4 h-1), intermediate for A. spicifera, Laurencia sp., C. taxifolia, and T. ornata (17-33 % 4 h-1) and lowest for G. rugosa (6 % 4 h-1). Overall, rates of herbivory were generally greater on the reef crest (30 % 4 h-1) than the reef slope (21 % 4 h-1). This difference in rates of herbivory coincided with a marked shift in the dominant herbivores between habitats. Kyphosus vaigiensis, despite only feeding on three species of macroalgae ( Sargassum sp., T. ornata, and A. spicifera), was responsible for 34 % of all bites recorded on the reef crest yet did not take a single bite from algae on the reef slope. In contrast, Siganus doliatus took bites on every species of algae in both habitats, accounting for 40 % of bites on the reef crest and 74 % of all bites recorded on the reef slope. This difference in the number of macroalgal species targeted by herbivores and the habitat/s in which they feed adds another dimension of complexity to our understanding of coral reef herbivore dynamics.

  5. 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 β^=0.28±0.08SE ). On islands, pair numbers also increased with the relative proportion of the total area that was habitat ( β^=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.

  6. Roosting behaviour and habitat selection of Pteropus giganteus reveals potential links to Nipah virus epidemiology.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Micah B; Epstein, Jonathan H; Gurley, Emily S; Islam, Mohammad S; Luby, Stephen P; Daszak, Peter; Patz, Jonathan A

    2014-04-01

    1. Flying foxes Pteropus spp. play a key role in forest regeneration as seed dispersers and are also the reservoir of many viruses, including Nipah virus in Bangladesh. Little is known about their habitat requirements, particularly in South Asia. Identifying Pteropus habitat preferences could assist in understanding the risk of zoonotic disease transmission broadly, and in Bangladesh, could help explain the spatial distribution of human Nipah virus cases. 2. We analysed characteristics of Pteropus giganteus roosts and constructed an ecological niche model to identify suitable habitat in Bangladesh. We also assessed the distribution of suitable habitat in relation to the location of human Nipah virus cases. 3. Compared to non-roost trees, P. giganteus roost trees are taller with larger diameters, and are more frequently canopy trees. Colony size was larger in densely forested regions and smaller in flood-affected areas. Roosts were located in areas with lower annual precipitation and higher human population density than non-roost sites. 4. We predicted that 2-17% of Bangladesh's land area is suitable roosting habitat. Nipah virus outbreak villages were 2.6 times more likely to be located in areas predicted as highly suitable habitat for P. giganteus compared to non-outbreak villages. 5. Synthesis and applications. Habitat suitability modelling may help identify previously undocumented Nipah outbreak locations and improve our understanding of Nipah virus ecology by highlighting regions where there is suitable bat habitat but no reported human Nipah virus. Conservation and public health education is a key component of P. giganteus management in Bangladesh due to the general misunderstanding and fear of bats that are a reservoir of Nipah virus. Affiliation between Old World fruit bats (Pteropodidae) and people is common throughout their range, and in order to conserve these keystone bat species and prevent emergence of zoonotic viruses, it is imperative that we

  7. Roosting behaviour and habitat selection of Pteropus giganteus reveals potential links to Nipah virus epidemiology

    PubMed Central

    Hahn, Micah B.; Epstein, Jonathan H.; Gurley, Emily S.; Islam, Mohammad S.; Luby, Stephen P.; Daszak, Peter; Patz, Jonathan A.

    2014-01-01

    Summary 1. Flying foxes Pteropus spp. play a key role in forest regeneration as seed dispersers and are also the reservoir of many viruses, including Nipah virus in Bangladesh. Little is known about their habitat requirements, particularly in South Asia. Identifying Pteropus habitat preferences could assist in understanding the risk of zoonotic disease transmission broadly, and in Bangladesh, could help explain the spatial distribution of human Nipah virus cases. 2. We analysed characteristics of Pteropus giganteus roosts and constructed an ecological niche model to identify suitable habitat in Bangladesh. We also assessed the distribution of suitable habitat in relation to the location of human Nipah virus cases. 3. Compared to non-roost trees, P. giganteus roost trees are taller with larger diameters, and are more frequently canopy trees. Colony size was larger in densely forested regions and smaller in flood-affected areas. Roosts were located in areas with lower annual precipitation and higher human population density than non-roost sites. 4. We predicted that 2–17% of Bangladesh's land area is suitable roosting habitat. Nipah virus outbreak villages were 2.6 times more likely to be located in areas predicted as highly suitable habitat for P. giganteus compared to non-outbreak villages. 5. Synthesis and applications. Habitat suitability modelling may help identify previously undocumented Nipah outbreak locations and improve our understanding of Nipah virus ecology by highlighting regions where there is suitable bat habitat but no reported human Nipah virus. Conservation and public health education is a key component of P. giganteus management in Bangladesh due to the general misunderstanding and fear of bats that are a reservoir of Nipah virus. Affiliation between Old World fruit bats (Pteropodidae) and people is common throughout their range, and in order to conserve these keystone bat species and prevent emergence of zoonotic viruses, it is imperative that

  8. Predicting and Mapping Potential Whooping Crane Stopover Habitat to Guide Site Selection for Wind Energy Projects

    EPA Science Inventory

    Migration is one of the most poorly understood components of a bird’s life cycle. For that reason, migratory stopover habitats are often not part of conservation planning and may be overlooked when planning new development projects. This project highlights and addresses an overl...

  9. A freshwater species wintering in a brackish environment: Habitat selection and diet of Slavonian grebes in the southern Baltic Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonntag, Nicole; Garthe, Stefan; Adler, Sven

    2009-09-01

    After the breeding season, Slavonian grebes ( Podiceps auritus) leave their freshwater breeding habitats and migrate to wintering grounds in marine or brackish waters. The most important wintering area in northwestern Europe is located in the southern Baltic Sea, with the largest concentrations in the offshore area of the Pommeranian Bight. Analysis of ship-based surveys revealed that the habitat selection of Slavonian grebes in this brackish area is significantly influenced by water depth and bottom sediment type. The grebes prefer shallow waters of 4-14 m depth and occur only over sandy sediments. While the diving depths of endothermic animals is limited due to energetic constraints and thermoregulation, sediment type is regarded to be a proxy for food choice. The diet of Slavonian grebes in the Pomeranian Bight consists mainly of demersal gobies (Gobiidae) that frequently occur over sandy bottom substrates.

  10. Infusing and selecting V&V activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feather, M. S.

    2002-01-01

    The evolving nature of software development poses a continuing series of challenges for V&V. In response, the V&V community selectively adapts the use of existing V&V activities, and introduces new and improved ones.

  11. Habitat use and terrestrial activity by red tree voles (Arborimus longicaudus) in Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corn, Paul Stephen; Bury, R. Bruce

    1986-01-01

    Several species of vertebrates may find optimal habitat for breeding, nesting, or foraging in old-growth (>200 years old) confierous forests in the Pacific Northwest. Old-growth forests are economically valuable, however, and most unprotected stands will be cut within 40 years (Franklin et al., 1981). Meslow et al. (1981) and Raphael (1984) identified a critical need to document habitat use and establish the relationship of wildlife species in these forests. In 1983, we operated arrays of pitfall traps for six months to investigate habitat use by terrestrial herpetofauna and small mammals in four age classes of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forest in and near the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest, Linn and Lane counties, Oregon. Red tree voles, Arborimus longicaudus, were among the mammals captured. This species is considered to find optimum habitat in old-growth forests (Franklin et al., 1981; Meslow et al., 1981), but quantitative data on the local occurrence of the species are lacking. Here we report on habitat use by A. longicaudus and document terrestrial activity for this presumably arboreal species. A pitfall array was located in each of 18 stands dominated by Douglas-fir. Each array consisted of two sets of three 5-m aluminum drift fences each with pitfall traps (No. 10 tin cans; 6.4 l in volume) at the ends of the fences (see Bury and Raphael, 1983). The 18 stands represented four successional stages based on estimated age: 3 pre-canopy (clear cuts 5-9 years old), 3 young (30-69 years), 4 mature (76-150 years), and 8 old-growth (195-450 years). Additionally, old-growth stands were ranked on a general moisture gradient (wet, mesic, or dry) based on aspect, topographic position, and presence of indicator plant species. Pitfall traps were operated continuously for 180 days from late May to late November, 1983.

  12. A Habitat Suitability Model for Selected Crayfish Species in Lancaster County,Pennsylvania, Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laverty, S.; Buchanan, R.; Wagner, J.; Wallace, J.; Perry, B.

    2005-05-01

    The introduction of invasive exotic species to previously inaccessible areas provides the opportunity to study the impacts of invasive species on closely related native species. Habitat suitability index [HSI] models offer a coarse estimate of the habitat quality relative to hypothesized physiological tolerances of a species. The distribution and abundance of two native [Orconectes obscurus and Cambarus bartonii] and one invasive [Orconectes rusticus] crayfish along a twenty-three mile length of a Lancaster County, PA, stream and various physical factors at the sample sites were provided by a recent survey (Wagner et.al. unpublished). Of the factors provided, stream width, velocity, pH, and temperature were considered as the factors defining the geographic range of each species. An HSI model was constructed based on these factors to identify regions offering suitable habitat for a species and areas of a stream which are at risk for invasion of O. rusticus. Current work involves the development of subindices describing the availability of food and shelter within the stream, using stream order, link magnitude, and substrate measurements. The HSI model will be coupled to a model describing the interactions between size-structured populations of native and invasive species under the influence of a predator.

  13. Habitat selection, reproduction and predation of wintering lemmings in the Arctic.

    PubMed

    Duchesne, David; Gauthier, Gilles; Berteaux, Dominique

    2011-12-01

    Snow cover has dramatic effects on the structure and functioning of Arctic ecosystems in winter. In the tundra, the subnivean space is the primary habitat of wintering small mammals and may be critical for their survival and reproduction. We have investigated the effects of snow cover and habitat features on the distributions of collared lemming (Dicrostonyx groenlandicus) and brown lemming (Lemmus trimucronatus) winter nests, as well as on their probabilities of reproduction and predation by stoats (Mustela erminea) and arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus). We sampled 193 lemming winter nests and measured habitat features at all of these nests and at random sites at two spatial scales. We also monitored overwinter ground temperature at a subsample of nest and random sites. Our results demonstrate that nests were primarily located in areas with high micro-topography heterogeneity, steep slopes, deep snow cover providing thermal protection (reduced daily temperature fluctuations) and a high abundance of mosses. The probability of reproduction increased in collared lemming nests at low elevation and in brown lemming nests with high availability of some graminoid species. The probability of predation by stoats was density dependent and was higher in nests used by collared lemmings. Snow cover did not affect the probability of predation of lemming nests by stoats, but deep snow cover limited predation attempts by arctic foxes. We conclude that snow cover plays a key role in the spatial structure of wintering lemming populations and potentially in their population dynamics in the Arctic.

  14. Habitat selection by female swift foxes (Vulpes velox) during the pup-rearing season

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sasmal, Indrani; Jenks, Jonathan A.; Grovenburg, Troy W.; Datta, Shubham; Schroeder, Greg M.; Klaver, Robert W.; Honness, Kevin M.

    2011-01-01

    The swift fox (Vulpes velox) was historically distributed in western South Dakota including the region surrounding Badlands National Park (BNP). The species declined during the mid-1800s, largely due to habitat loss and poisoning targeted at wolves (Canis lupis) and coyotes (C. latrans). Only a small population of swift foxes near Ardmore, South Dakota persisted. In 2003, an introduction program was initiated at BNP with swift foxes translocated from Colorado and Wyoming. We report on habitat use by female swift foxes during the pup-rearing season (May–July) in 2009. Analyses of location data from 13 radiomarked female foxes indicated disproportional use (P Ŷ = 1.01), sparse vegetation (Ŷ = 1.43) and prairie dog towns (Ŷ = 1.18) in proportion to their availability, whereas they were less likely to use woodland (Ŷ = 0.00), shrubland (Ŷ = 0.14), pasture/agricultural-land (Ŷ = 0.25) and development (Ŷ = 0.16) relative to availability. Swift foxes typically are located in habitats that provide greater visibility, such as shortgrass prairie and areas with sparse vegetation; which allow detection of approaching coyotes (e.g., primary predator of swift foxes).

  15. Abiotic vs. biotic influences on habitat selection of coexisting species: Climate change impacts?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, T.E.

    2001-01-01

    Species are commonly segregated along gradients of microclimate and vegetation. I explore the question of whether segregation is the result of microhabitat partitioning (biotic effects) or choice of differing microclimates (abiotic effects). I explored this question for four ground-nesting bird species that are segregated along a microclimate and vegetation gradient in Arizona. Birds shifted position of their nests on the microhabitat and microclimate gradient in response to changing precipitation over nine years. Similarly, annual bird abundance varied with precipitation across 12 yr. Those shifts in abundance and nesting microhabitat with changing precipitation demonstrate the importance of abiotic influences on bird distributions and habitat choice. However, nest-site shifts and microhabitat use also appear to be influenced by interactions among coexisting species. Moreover, shifts in habitat use by all species caused nest predation (i.e., biotic) costs that increased with increasing distance along the microclimate gradient. These results indicate that abiotic and biotic costs can strongly interact to influence microhabitat choice and abundances of coexisting species. Global climate change impacts have been considered largely in terms of simple distributional shifts, but these results indicate that shifts can also increase biotic costs when species move into habitat types for which they are poorly adapted or that create new biotic interactions.

  16. Habitat selection and ecological speciation in Galápagos warbler finches (Certhidea olivacea and Certhidea fusca)

    PubMed Central

    Tonnis, Brandon; Grant, Peter R; Grant, B. Rosemary; Petren, Kenneth

    2005-01-01

    We investigated phylogeographic divergence among populations of Galápagos warbler finches. Their broad distribution, lack of phenotypic differentiation and low levels of genetic divergence make warbler finches an appropriate model to study speciation in allopatry. A positive relationship between genetic and geographical distances is expected for island taxa. Warbler finches actually showed a negative isolation by distance relationship, causing us to reject the hypothesis of distance‐limited dispersal. An alternative hypothesis, that dispersal is limited by habitat similarity, was supported. We found a positive correlation between genetic distances and differences in maximum elevation among islands, which is an indicator of ecological similarity. MtDNA sequence variation revealed monophyletic support for two distinct species. Certhidea olivacea have recently dispersed among larger central islands, while some Certhidea fusca have recently dispersed to small islands at opposite ends of the archipelago. We conclude that females have chosen to breed on islands with habitats similar to their natal environment. Habitat selection is implicated as an important component of speciation of warbler finches, which is the earliest known divergence of the adaptive radiation of Darwin's finches. These results suggest that small populations can harbour cryptic but biologically meaningful variation that may affect longer term evolutionary processes. PMID:15940826

  17. Habitat selection by green turtles in a spatially heterogeneous benthic landscape in Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Hart, Kristen M.; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.

    2016-01-01

    We examined habitat selection by green turtles Chelonia mydas at Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USA. We tracked 15 turtles (6 females and 9 males) using platform transmitter terminals (PTTs); 13 of these turtles were equipped with additional acoustic transmitters. Location data by PTTs comprised periods of 40 to 226 d in varying months from 2009 to 2012. Core areas were concentrated in shallow water (mean bathymetry depth of 7.7 m) with a comparably dense coverage of seagrass; however, the utilization distribution overlap index indicated a low degree of habitat sharing. The probability of detecting a turtle on an acoustic receiver was inversely associated with the distance from the receiver to turtle capture sites and was lower in shallower water. The estimated daily detection probability of a single turtle at a given acoustic station throughout the acoustic array was small (<0.1 in any year), and that of multiple turtle detections was even smaller. However, the conditional probability of multiple turtle detections, given at least one turtle detection at a receiver, was much higher despite the small number of tagged turtles in each year (n = 1 to 5). Also, multiple detections of different turtles at a receiver frequently occurred within a few minutes (40%, or 164 of 415, occurred within 1 min). Our numerical estimates of core area overlap, co-occupancy probabilities, and habitat characterization for green turtles could be used to guide conservation of the area to sustain the population of this species.

  18. Habitat selection in a rocky landscape: experimentally decoupling the influence of retreat site attributes from that of landscape features.

    PubMed

    Croak, Benjamin M; Pike, David A; Webb, Jonathan K; Shine, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Organisms selecting retreat sites may evaluate not only the quality of the specific shelter, but also the proximity of that site to resources in the surrounding area. Distinguishing between habitat selection at these two spatial scales is complicated by co-variation among microhabitat factors (i.e., the attributes of individual retreat sites often correlate with their proximity to landscape features). Disentangling this co-variation may facilitate the restoration or conservation of threatened systems. To experimentally examine the role of landscape attributes in determining retreat-site quality for saxicolous ectotherms, we deployed 198 identical artificial rocks in open (sun-exposed) sites on sandstone outcrops in southeastern Australia, and recorded faunal usage of those retreat sites over the next 29 months. Several landscape-scale attributes were associated with occupancy of experimental rocks, but different features were important for different species. For example, endangered broad-headed snakes (Hoplocephalus bungaroides) preferred retreat sites close to cliff edges, flat rock spiders (Hemicloea major) preferred small outcrops, and velvet geckos (Oedura lesueurii) preferred rocks close to the cliff edge with higher-than-average sun exposure. Standardized retreat sites can provide robust experimental data on the effects of landscape-scale attributes on retreat site selection, revealing interspecific divergences among sympatric taxa that use similar habitats.

  19. Habitat Selection in a Rocky Landscape: Experimentally Decoupling the Influence of Retreat Site Attributes from That of Landscape Features

    PubMed Central

    Croak, Benjamin M.; Pike, David A.; Webb, Jonathan K.; Shine, Richard

    2012-01-01

    Organisms selecting retreat sites may evaluate not only the quality of the specific shelter, but also the proximity of that site to resources in the surrounding area. Distinguishing between habitat selection at these two spatial scales is complicated by co-variation among microhabitat factors (i.e., the attributes of individual retreat sites often correlate with their proximity to landscape features). Disentangling this co-variation may facilitate the restoration or conservation of threatened systems. To experimentally examine the role of landscape attributes in determining retreat-site quality for saxicolous ectotherms, we deployed 198 identical artificial rocks in open (sun-exposed) sites on sandstone outcrops in southeastern Australia, and recorded faunal usage of those retreat sites over the next 29 months. Several landscape-scale attributes were associated with occupancy of experimental rocks, but different features were important for different species. For example, endangered broad-headed snakes (Hoplocephalus bungaroides) preferred retreat sites close to cliff edges, flat rock spiders (Hemicloea major) preferred small outcrops, and velvet geckos (Oedura lesueurii) preferred rocks close to the cliff edge with higher-than-average sun exposure. Standardized retreat sites can provide robust experimental data on the effects of landscape-scale attributes on retreat site selection, revealing interspecific divergences among sympatric taxa that use similar habitats. PMID:22701592

  20. [Foraging habitat selection of Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus) during autumn migration period in the Momoge Nature Reserve].

    PubMed

    Kong, Wei-Yao; Zheng, Zhen-He; Wu, Jin-Cai; Ning, Yu; Wang, Yong; Han, Xiao-Dong

    2013-06-01

    In autumn of 2008 and 2009, we studied the foraging habitat selection of Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus) in the Momoge Nature Reserve of Jilin province. Using the resource selection index, resource selection functions, and the chi-squared test, we found that the Siberian Crane exhibited selectivity in their preferred foraging environments in relation to the distance to human disturbances, vegetation density, coverage and height, foraging vegetation density and water level. Interestingly, this selectivity in regards to large scale disturbances was lower than other factors. The characteristics of favorite foraging habits of Siberian Cranes include a variety of factors: a distance >5 000 m from a national highway, >1 500 m from a non-gravel road, >1 000 m from the nearest road, >1 000 m from a residential area, >1 000 m from farmland; plant density between 20 and 50 grass/m(2); plant coverage lower than 10%; plant height lower than 20 cm; Scirpus planiclmis density between 1 and 50 grass/m(2); Scirpus triqueter density between 1 and 10 grass/m(2); and the water level between 40 and 60 cm. The resource selection functions of Siberian Crane foraging habitat in autumn can be described thusly: Logistic (P) = 0.663 + 0.565×distance to national highway + 0.042×distance to non-gravel road + 0.519×distance to the nearest road + 0.353×distance to residential area + 0.169×distance to farmland - 0.455×vegetation density - 0.618×vegetation coverage - 0.548×vegetation height - 0.158×Scirpus planiclmis density - 0.404×Scirpus triqueter density + 0.920×water level,T (x) =e(Logistic(p)) / [1 + e(Logistic(p))], with an overall prediction accuracy of 82.9%.

  1. [Foraging habitat selection of Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus) during autumn migration period in the Momoge Nature Reserve].

    PubMed

    Kong, Wei-Yao; Zheng, Zhen-He; Wu, Jin-Cai; Ning, Yu; Wang, Yong; Han, Xiao-Dong

    2013-06-01

    In autumn of 2008 and 2009, we studied the foraging habitat selection of Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus) in the Momoge Nature Reserve of Jilin province. Using the resource selection index, resource selection functions, and the chi-squared test, we found that the Siberian Crane exhibited selectivity in their preferred foraging environments in relation to the distance to human disturbances, vegetation density, coverage and height, foraging vegetation density and water level. Interestingly, this selectivity in regards to large scale disturbances was lower than other factors. The characteristics of favorite foraging habits of Siberian Cranes include a variety of factors: a distance >5 000 m from a national highway, >1 500 m from a non-gravel road, >1 000 m from the nearest road, >1 000 m from a residential area, >1 000 m from farmland; plant density between 20 and 50 grass/m(2); plant coverage lower than 10%; plant height lower than 20 cm; Scirpus planiclmis density between 1 and 50 grass/m(2); Scirpus triqueter density between 1 and 10 grass/m(2); and the water level between 40 and 60 cm. The resource selection functions of Siberian Crane foraging habitat in autumn can be described thusly: Logistic (P) = 0.663 + 0.565×distance to national highway + 0.042×distance to non-gravel road + 0.519×distance to the nearest road + 0.353×distance to residential area + 0.169×distance to farmland - 0.455×vegetation density - 0.618×vegetation coverage - 0.548×vegetation height - 0.158×Scirpus planiclmis density - 0.404×Scirpus triqueter density + 0.920×water level,T (x) =e(Logistic(p)) / [1 + e(Logistic(p))], with an overall prediction accuracy of 82.9%. PMID:23775991

  2. Space-Use Patterns of the Asiatic Wild Ass (Equus hemionus): Complementary Insights from Displacement, Recursion Movement and Habitat Selection Analyses.

    PubMed

    Giotto, Nina; Gerard, Jean-François; Ziv, Alon; Bouskila, Amos; Bar-David, Shirli

    2015-01-01

    The way in which animals move and use the landscape is influenced by the spatial distribution of resources, and is of importance when considering species conservation. We aimed at exploring how landscape-related factors affect a large herbivore's space-use patterns by using a combined approach, integrating movement (displacement and recursions) and habitat selection analyses. We studied the endangered Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus) in the Negev Desert, Israel, using GPS monitoring and direct observation. We found that the main landscape-related factors affecting the species' space-use patterns, on a daily and seasonal basis, were vegetation cover, water sources and topography. Two main habitat types were selected: high-elevation sites during the day (specific microclimate: windy on warm summer days) and streambed surroundings during the night (coupled with high vegetation when the animals were active in summer). Distribution of recursion times (duration between visits) revealed a 24-hour periodicity, a pattern that could be widespread among large herbivores. Characterizing frequently revisited sites suggested that recursion movements were mainly driven by a few landscape features (water sources, vegetation patches, high-elevation points), but also by social factors, such as territoriality, which should be further explored. This study provided complementary insights into the space-use patterns of E. hemionus. Understanding of the species' space-use patterns, at both large and fine spatial scale, is required for developing appropriate conservation protocols. Our approach could be further applied for studying the space-use patterns of other species in heterogeneous landscapes.

  3. Ranging, Activity and Habitat Use by Tigers in the Mangrove Forests of the Sundarban.

    PubMed

    Naha, Dipanjan; Jhala, Yadvendradev V; Qureshi, Qamar; Roy, Manjari; Sankar, Kalyansundaram; Gopal, Rajesh

    2016-01-01

    The Sundarban of India and Bangladesh (about 6000 km²) are the only mangrove forests inhabited by a sizeable population of tigers. The adjoining area also supports one of the highest human densities and experiences severe human-tiger conflicts. We used GPS-Satellite and VHF radio-collars on 6 (3 males and 3 female) tigers to study their ranging patterns and habitat preference. The average home range (95% Fixed Kernel) for resident females was 56.4 (SE 5.69) and for males it was 110 (SE 49) km². Tigers crossed an average of 5 water channels > 30 meters per day with a mean width of 54 meters, whereas channels larger than 400 meters were rarely crossed. Tigers spent over 58% of their time within Phoenix habitat but compositional analysis showed a habitat preference of the order Avicennia-Sonneratia > Phoenix > Ceriops > Barren > Water. Average daily distance moved was 4.6 km (range 0.1-23). Activity of tigers peaked between 05:00 hours and 10:00 hours showing some overlap with human activity. Territory boundaries were demarcated by large channels which tigers intensively patrolled. Extra caution should be taken while fishing or honey collection during early morning in Avicennia-Sonneratia and Phoenix habitat types along wide channels to reduce human-tiger conflict. Considering home-range core areas as exclusive, tiger density was estimated at 4.6 (SE range 3.6 to 6.7) tigers/100 km2 giving a total population of 76 (SE range 59-110) tigers in the Indian Sundarban. Reluctance of tigers to cross wide water channels combined with increasing commercial boat traffic and sea level rise due to climate change pose a real threat of fragmenting the Sundarban tiger population.

  4. Ranging, Activity and Habitat Use by Tigers in the Mangrove Forests of the Sundarban.

    PubMed

    Naha, Dipanjan; Jhala, Yadvendradev V; Qureshi, Qamar; Roy, Manjari; Sankar, Kalyansundaram; Gopal, Rajesh

    2016-01-01

    The Sundarban of India and Bangladesh (about 6000 km²) are the only mangrove forests inhabited by a sizeable population of tigers. The adjoining area also supports one of the highest human densities and experiences severe human-tiger conflicts. We used GPS-Satellite and VHF radio-collars on 6 (3 males and 3 female) tigers to study their ranging patterns and habitat preference. The average home range (95% Fixed Kernel) for resident females was 56.4 (SE 5.69) and for males it was 110 (SE 49) km². Tigers crossed an average of 5 water channels > 30 meters per day with a mean width of 54 meters, whereas channels larger than 400 meters were rarely crossed. Tigers spent over 58% of their time within Phoenix habitat but compositional analysis showed a habitat preference of the order Avicennia-Sonneratia > Phoenix > Ceriops > Barren > Water. Average daily distance moved was 4.6 km (range 0.1-23). Activity of tigers peaked between 05:00 hours and 10:00 hours showing some overlap with human activity. Territory boundaries were demarcated by large channels which tigers intensively patrolled. Extra caution should be taken while fishing or honey collection during early morning in Avicennia-Sonneratia and Phoenix habitat types along wide channels to reduce human-tiger conflict. Considering home-range core areas as exclusive, tiger density was estimated at 4.6 (SE range 3.6 to 6.7) tigers/100 km2 giving a total population of 76 (SE range 59-110) tigers in the Indian Sundarban. Reluctance of tigers to cross wide water channels combined with increasing commercial boat traffic and sea level rise due to climate change pose a real threat of fragmenting the Sundarban tiger population. PMID:27049644

  5. Ranging, Activity and Habitat Use by Tigers in the Mangrove Forests of the Sundarban

    PubMed Central

    Naha, Dipanjan; Jhala, Yadvendradev V.; Qureshi, Qamar; Roy, Manjari; Sankar, Kalyansundaram; Gopal, Rajesh

    2016-01-01

    The Sundarban of India and Bangladesh (about 6000 km²) are the only mangrove forests inhabited by a sizeable population of tigers. The adjoining area also supports one of the highest human densities and experiences severe human-tiger conflicts. We used GPS-Satellite and VHF radio-collars on 6 (3 males and 3 female) tigers to study their ranging patterns and habitat preference. The average home range (95% Fixed Kernel) for resident females was 56.4 (SE 5.69) and for males it was 110 (SE 49) km². Tigers crossed an average of 5 water channels > 30 meters per day with a mean width of 54 meters, whereas channels larger than 400 meters were rarely crossed. Tigers spent over 58% of their time within Phoenix habitat but compositional analysis showed a habitat preference of the order Avicennia-Sonneratia > Phoenix > Ceriops > Barren > Water. Average daily distance moved was 4.6 km (range 0.1–23). Activity of tigers peaked between 05:00 hours and 10:00 hours showing some overlap with human activity. Territory boundaries were demarcated by large channels which tigers intensively patrolled. Extra caution should be taken while fishing or honey collection during early morning in Avicennia-Sonneratia and Phoenix habitat types along wide channels to reduce human-tiger conflict. Considering home-range core areas as exclusive, tiger density was estimated at 4.6 (SE range 3.6 to 6.7) tigers/100 km2 giving a total population of 76 (SE range 59–110) tigers in the Indian Sundarban. Reluctance of tigers to cross wide water channels combined with increasing commercial boat traffic and sea level rise due to climate change pose a real threat of fragmenting the Sundarban tiger population. PMID:27049644

  6. New insights on the rarity of the vulnerable Cinereous Warbling-finch (Aves, Emberizidae) based on density, home range, and habitat selection.

    PubMed

    Marques-Santos, F; Wischhoff, U; Rodrigues, M

    2014-11-01

    The Cinereous Warbling-finch Poospiza cinerea (Emberizidae) is a Neotropical grassland bird considered rare, with population declining due to habitat loss and classified as vulnerable. However, the species conspicuously remains in several degraded areas, suggesting that it may be favored by these environments. Studies which focus on this species were inexistent until 2012, making questionable any statement about its threaten status. Here we analyzed population density, home range, and habitat selection of two groups of P. cinerea at independent sites that differ in human impact levels. Density was estimated by counting and mapping birds. Kernel density and minimum convex polygon were used to estimate home ranges. Habitat selection was inferred from use and availability of every habitat identified within the home range boundaries. One group positively selected urban tree vegetation, despite the availability of natural habitats in its home range. Based on a review on the literature and our findings, we assume that it is unlikely that P. cinerea is rare owing to habitat degradation, as previously thought. Nevertheless, this species was always recorded around native Cerrado vegetation and thus habitat modification may still threaten this species at some level. It is suggested that this species might be a woodland edge species, but future studies are necessary to confirm this assumption.

  7. New insights on the rarity of the vulnerable Cinereous Warbling-finch (Aves, Emberizidae) based on density, home range, and habitat selection.

    PubMed

    Marques-Santos, F; Wischhoff, U; Rodrigues, M

    2014-11-01

    The Cinereous Warbling-finch Poospiza cinerea (Emberizidae) is a Neotropical grassland bird considered rare, with population declining due to habitat loss and classified as vulnerable. However, the species conspicuously remains in several degraded areas, suggesting that it may be favored by these environments. Studies which focus on this species were inexistent until 2012, making questionable any statement about its threaten status. Here we analyzed population density, home range, and habitat selection of two groups of P. cinerea at independent sites that differ in human impact levels. Density was estimated by counting and mapping birds. Kernel density and minimum convex polygon were used to estimate home ranges. Habitat selection was inferred from use and availability of every habitat identified within the home range boundaries. One group positively selected urban tree vegetation, despite the availability of natural habitats in its home range. Based on a review on the literature and our findings, we assume that it is unlikely that P. cinerea is rare owing to habitat degradation, as previously thought. Nevertheless, this species was always recorded around native Cerrado vegetation and thus habitat modification may still threaten this species at some level. It is suggested that this species might be a woodland edge species, but future studies are necessary to confirm this assumption. PMID:25627588

  8. Activity, aggression, and habitat use of ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus) and round goby (Apollonia melanostoma) under laboratory conditions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Savino, J.F.; Riley, S.C.; Holuszko, M.J.

    2007-01-01

    Potential negative ecological interactions between ruffe Gymnocephalus cernuus and round gobyApollonia melanostoma (formerly Neogobius melanostomus) might affect the colonization dynamics of these invasive species where they are sympatric in the Great Lakes. In order to determine the potential for ecological interactions between these species, we examined the activity, aggression, and habitat use of round gobies and ruffe in single species and mixed species laboratory experiments. Trials included conditions in which food was concentrated (in light or darkness) or scattered. Results showed that ruffe were more active than gobies, particularly when food was scattered. Activity of both species was significantly lower during darkness. Round gobies were significantly more aggressive than ruffe, and total aggression was lower in mixed species trials. Habitat use by ruffe and round gobies overlapped considerably, but we observed significant differences between species in their use of specific habitats that depended on experimental conditions. Overall, ruffe used open habitats more often than did round gobies, primarily when food was scattered. Round gobies used rocks significantly more frequently than did ruffe, but their use of rock habitat decreased during dark conditions. Ruffe were found more often in plant habitats and less often near the wall of the pool in trials during daylight with concentrated food. Activity and habitat use of ruffe and round goby did not significantly differ between single and mixed species trials. Overall, we found little evidence for negative ecological interactions between ruffe and round goby in these laboratory experiments.

  9. Elk migration patterns and human activity influence wolf habitat use in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Abigail A; Kauffman, Matthew J; Middleton, Arthur D; Jimenez, Michael D; McWhirter, Douglas E; Barber, Jarrett; Gerow, Kenneth

    2012-12-01

    Identifying the ecological dynamics underlying human-wildlife conflicts is important for the management and conservation of wildlife populations. In landscapes still occupied by large carnivores, many ungulate prey species migrate seasonally, yet little empirical research has explored the relationship between carnivore distribution and ungulate migration strategy. In this study, we evaluate the influence of elk (Cervus elaphus) distribution and other landscape features on wolf (Canis lupus) habitat use in an area of chronic wolf-livestock conflict in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, USA. Using three years of fine-scale wolf (n = 14) and elk (n = 81) movement data, we compared the seasonal habitat use of wolves in an area dominated by migratory elk with that of wolves in an adjacent area dominated by resident elk. Most migratory elk vacate the associated winter wolf territories each summer via a 40-60 km migration, whereas resident elk remain accessible to wolves year-round. We used a generalized linear model to compare the relative probability of wolf use as a function of GIS-based habitat covariates in the migratory and resident elk areas. Although wolves in both areas used elk-rich habitat all year, elk density in summer had a weaker influence on the habitat use of wolves in the migratory elk area than the resident elk area. Wolves employed a number of alternative strategies to cope with the departure of migratory elk. Wolves in the two areas also differed in their disposition toward roads. In winter, wolves in the migratory elk area used habitat close to roads, while wolves in the resident elk area avoided roads. In summer, wolves in the migratory elk area were indifferent to roads, while wolves in resident elk areas strongly avoided roads, presumably due to the location of dens and summering elk combined with different traffic levels. Study results can help wildlife managers to anticipate the movements and establishment of wolf packs as they expand into areas

  10. Elk migration patterns and human activity influence wolf habitat use in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Abigail A; Kauffman, Matthew J; Middleton, Arthur D; Jimenez, Michael D; McWhirter, Douglas E; Barber, Jarrett; Gerow, Kenneth

    2012-12-01

    Identifying the ecological dynamics underlying human-wildlife conflicts is important for the management and conservation of wildlife populations. In landscapes still occupied by large carnivores, many ungulate prey species migrate seasonally, yet little empirical research has explored the relationship between carnivore distribution and ungulate migration strategy. In this study, we evaluate the influence of elk (Cervus elaphus) distribution and other landscape features on wolf (Canis lupus) habitat use in an area of chronic wolf-livestock conflict in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, USA. Using three years of fine-scale wolf (n = 14) and elk (n = 81) movement data, we compared the seasonal habitat use of wolves in an area dominated by migratory elk with that of wolves in an adjacent area dominated by resident elk. Most migratory elk vacate the associated winter wolf territories each summer via a 40-60 km migration, whereas resident elk remain accessible to wolves year-round. We used a generalized linear model to compare the relative probability of wolf use as a function of GIS-based habitat covariates in the migratory and resident elk areas. Although wolves in both areas used elk-rich habitat all year, elk density in summer had a weaker influence on the habitat use of wolves in the migratory elk area than the resident elk area. Wolves employed a number of alternative strategies to cope with the departure of migratory elk. Wolves in the two areas also differed in their disposition toward roads. In winter, wolves in the migratory elk area used habitat close to roads, while wolves in the resident elk area avoided roads. In summer, wolves in the migratory elk area were indifferent to roads, while wolves in resident elk areas strongly avoided roads, presumably due to the location of dens and summering elk combined with different traffic levels. Study results can help wildlife managers to anticipate the movements and establishment of wolf packs as they expand into areas

  11. Elk migration patterns and human activity influence wolf habitat use in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, Abigail; Kauffman, Matthew J.; Middleton, Arthur D.; Jimenez, Mike; McWhirter, Douglas; Barber, Jarrett; Gerow, Ken

    2012-01-01

    Identifying the ecological dynamics underlying human–wildlife conflicts is important for the management and conservation of wildlife populations. In landscapes still occupied by large carnivores, many ungulate prey species migrate seasonally, yet little empirical research has explored the relationship between carnivore distribution and ungulate migration strategy. In this study, we evaluate the influence of elk (Cervus elaphus) distribution and other landscape features on wolf (Canis lupus) habitat use in an area of chronic wolf–livestock conflict in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, USA. Using three years of fine-scale wolf (n = 14) and elk (n = 81) movement data, we compared the seasonal habitat use of wolves in an area dominated by migratory elk with that of wolves in an adjacent area dominated by resident elk. Most migratory elk vacate the associated winter wolf territories each summer via a 40–60 km migration, whereas resident elk remain accessible to wolves year-round. We used a generalized linear model to compare the relative probability of wolf use as a function of GIS-based habitat covariates in the migratory and resident elk areas. Although wolves in both areas used elk-rich habitat all year, elk density in summer had a weaker influence on the habitat use of wolves in the migratory elk area than the resident elk area. Wolves employed a number of alternative strategies to cope with the departure of migratory elk. Wolves in the two areas also differed in their disposition toward roads. In winter, wolves in the migratory elk area used habitat close to roads, while wolves in the resident elk area avoided roads. In summer, wolves in the migratory elk area were indifferent to roads, while wolves in resident elk areas strongly avoided roads, presumably due to the location of dens and summering elk combined with different traffic levels. Study results can help wildlife managers to anticipate the movements and establishment of wolf packs as they expand into

  12. Feeding ecology of dunlins Calidris alpina staging in the southern Baltic Sea, 1. Habitat use and food selection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dierschke, Volker; Kube, Jan; Probst, Sandra; Brenning, Ulrich

    1999-08-01

    The feeding habits of migrating dunlins Calidris alpina staging in different non-tidal coastal habitats in the southern Baltic Sea are described. The study also focuses on the structure of the benthic macrofauna of these habitats and the diet choice of dunlins. All investigations were carried out on Langenwerder Island (Wismar Bay), where different types of flats and beaches harbour a total of 30 to 40 species of marine macrofauna. The composition of the macrobenthos differed considerably between the eulittoral sandbank, the eulittoral mudflat, the pebble beach, and the sublittoral surroundings. Most dunlins were observed foraging in flocks of up to several hundred individuals on the eulittoral flats. Densities of up to 20 to 30 foraging dunlins ha -1 occurred annually during peak migration in September and October. Macrobenthos biomass in these habitats fluctuated between 20 and 40 g AFDM m -2. The mean total food consumption of dunlins during autumn migration was estimated at 0.01 g AFDM m -2 d -1. The predation pressure could be estimated at 3 to 6% of the suitable food supply. Dunlins staging on Langenwerder were able to attain a pre-migratory mass gain of 0.2 to 0.5% of their body weight per day within an 8 to 12-h daily feeding period. The birds fed predominantly on the polychaete Hediste diversicolor by probing. They selected small 7 to 31-mm-long individuals. When water levels were high, and the eulittoral flats inundated, many dunlins switched to foraging along the shorelines where a variety of small prey were taken from spilled macrophytes. Dunlins sometimes obviously ignored their most important food H. diversicolor, although available, by feeding on other prey such as juvenile fishes and shrimps, dipteran larvae or spilled amphipods. When feeding on amphipods, dunlins selected the smallest individuals.

  13. Breeding habitat selection and home range of radio-marked black ducks (Anas rubripes) in Maine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ringelman, J.K.; Longcore, J.R.; Owen, R.B.

    1982-01-01

    Telemetry techniques were used to monitor the movements and habitat use of 13 female and 7 male black ducks (Anas rubripes) in an inland breeding region of south central Maine in 1977-1980. Black ducks preferred persistent emergent, broad-leaved deciduous forested, and broad-leaved deciduous scrub-shrub wetlands over unconsolidated organic bottom, needle-leaved evergreen forested, and broad-leaved evergreen scrub-shrub ponds. Birds also made frequent use of small ephemeral pools and streams throughout the breeding period. Nests were located in several habitats ranging from wetland sites to upland areas 1.5 km from the most frequently used pond. Home range size averaged 119 ha for females and 231 ha for males and did not differ by reproductive stage. Three pairs used only a single pond during the incubation period. Home ranges were linear (linearity index = 2.8), averaging 1956 m long for females and 2755 m for males. Wetlands used most by hens during incubation recesses were not always those located closest to the nest. Radio-marked ducks that returned in subsequent breeding seasons demonstrated fidelity to the previously used home range. Pair bonds of marked birds lasted until day 19 or 20 of incubation for initial nesting attempts.

  14. [Waterbird habitat-selection during winter and spring in reclaimed coastal wetlands in Nanhui Dongtan, Shanghai].

    PubMed

    Niu, Jun-Ying; Heng, Nan-Nan; Zhang, Bin; Yuan, Xiao; Wang, Tian-Hou

    2011-12-01

    From December 2009 to May 2010 goose and duck (Anatidae) community censuses in winter and shorebird (Charadriiforms) community censuses in spring were conducted across three types artificial wetlands (urban lake wetland, restorative wetland, abandoned wetland) along the coast of Nanhui, Shanghai. Correlation analyses were undertaken between community indices and habitat factors. The results showed there were significant differences in the density of geese and ducks among the wetlands, but no difference in the number of species. The density of geese and ducks in the restorative wetland was 3.77 times that of abandoned wetland and 6.03 times that of urban lake wetlands. The number of species and density of shorebirds in restorative wetlands was 2.88 and 5.70 times that of abandoned wetlands. We found significant differences in the number and density of shorebird species between restorative and abandoned wetlands. The number of species density of geese and ducks and the Shannon-Wiener (H') index were positively correlated with water area. The number of species and H' were negatively correlated with vegetation area. The number of species, species density and H' and evenness were negatively correlated with vegetation coverage. H' was positively correlated with mean water level. The results showed that the number and density of shorebird species were positively correlated with bare muddy areas. Aquaculture ponds and paddy fields in reclaimed area is efficient sufficient compensation mechanism to maintain more water areas for waterbirds and to control vegetation expansion and maintain shorebird habitat after coastal reclamation.

  15. Biotelemetry study of spring and summer habitat selection by striped bass in Cherokee Reservoir, Tennessee, 1978. [Morone saxatilis

    SciTech Connect

    Schaich, B.A.; Coutant, C.C.

    1980-08-01

    Habitat selection of 31 adult striped bass was monitored by temperature sensing ultrasonic and radio transmitters in Cherokee Reservoir, Tennessee, from March through October 1978. This study sought to corroborate summer data obtained by Waddle (1979) in 1977 and to examine mechanisms of habitat selection by observing establishment of the summer distribution. During the spring and early summer months the striped bass ranged throughout the study area in the downstream half of the reservoir. Fish stayed near the bottom at the preferred temperatures throughout the whole study, and no individuals were observed in open water. Movement rates of up to 2.6 km/day were estimated, and rates of 1 km/day were common in the spring. By late July they were apparently avoiding low dissolved oxygen (D.O.) concentrations (<3 mg/l) near the bottom of the main reservoir and epilimnion temperatures greater than 22/sup 0/C, and they moved into cool, oxygenated spring or creek channels (refuges). Low movement rates of 0 to 25 m/day within these refuges occurred. The rates of the few migrations between refuges could not be estimated. Tagged fish moved out of the refuges 3 to 4 weeks after the fall overturn when reservoir temperatures approximated 22 to 24/sup 0/C.

  16. Individual consistency in flight initiation distances in burrowing owls: a new hypothesis on disturbance-induced habitat selection.

    PubMed

    Carrete, Martina; Tella, José L

    2010-04-23

    Individuals often consistently differ in personalities and behaviours that allow them to cope with environmental variation. Flight initiation distance (FID) has been measured in a variety of taxa as an estimate of the risk that an individual is willing to take when facing a predator. FID has been used to test life-history trade-offs related to anti-predatory behaviour and for conservation purposes such as to establish buffer zones to minimize human disturbance, given its species-specific consistency. Individual consistency in FID, however, has been largely overlooked. Here we show that, even after controlling for several confounding effects, this behaviour has a strong individual component (repeatability = 0.84-0.92) in a bird species, leaving a small margin for behavioural flexibility. We hypothesize that individuals may distribute themselves among breeding sites depending on their individual susceptibility to human disturbance. This habitat selection hypothesis merits further research, given its implications on both evolutionary and applied ecology research. For example, selection of human-tolerant phenotypes may be promoted through the humanization of habitats occurring worldwide, and when population means instead of individual variability in FID are considered for designing buffer zones to reduce human impacts on wildlife.

  17. Individual consistency in flight initiation distances in burrowing owls: a new hypothesis on disturbance-induced habitat selection

    PubMed Central

    Carrete, Martina; Tella, José L.

    2010-01-01

    Individuals often consistently differ in personalities and behaviours that allow them to cope with environmental variation. Flight initiation distance (FID) has been measured in a variety of taxa as an estimate of the risk that an individual is willing to take when facing a predator. FID has been used to test life-history trade-offs related to anti-predatory behaviour and for conservation purposes such as to establish buffer zones to minimize human disturbance, given its species-specific consistency. Individual consistency in FID, however, has been largely overlooked. Here we show that, even after controlling for several confounding effects, this behaviour has a strong individual component (repeatability = 0.84–0.92) in a bird species, leaving a small margin for behavioural flexibility. We hypothesize that individuals may distribute themselves among breeding sites depending on their individual susceptibility to human disturbance. This habitat selection hypothesis merits further research, given its implications on both evolutionary and applied ecology research. For example, selection of human-tolerant phenotypes may be promoted through the humanization of habitats occurring worldwide, and when population means instead of individual variability in FID are considered for designing buffer zones to reduce human impacts on wildlife. PMID:19864278

  18. Importance of Native Grassland Habitat for Den-Site Selection of Indian Foxes in a Fragmented Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Punjabi, Girish Arjun; Chellam, Ravi; Vanak, Abi Tamim

    2013-01-01

    Fragmentation of native habitats is now a ubiquitous phenomenon affecting wildlife at various scales. We examined selection of den-sites (n = 26) by Indian foxes (Vulpes bengalensis) in a highly modified short-grassland landscape in central India (Jan-May, 2010). At the scale of the home-range, defined by an 800 m circular buffer around den sites, we examined the effect of land-cover edges and roads on selection of sites for denning using a distance-based approach. At the smaller den-area scale, defined by a 25 m x 25 m plot around den and paired available sites, the effect of microhabitat characteristics was examined using discrete-choice models. Indian foxes selected den-sites closer to native grasslands (t = -9.57, P < 0.001) and roads (t = -2.04, P = 0.05) than random at the home-range scale. At the smaller scale, abundance of rodents and higher visibility increased the odds of selection of a site by eight and four times respectively, indicating resource availability and predator avoidance to be important considerations for foxes. Indian foxes largely chose to den in human-made structures, indicated by the proportion of dens found in earthen bunds (0.69) and boulder piles (0.27) in the study area. With agricultural expansion and human modification threatening native short-grassland habitats, their conservation and effective management in human-dominated landscapes will benefit the Indian fox. The presence of some human-made structures within native grasslands would also be beneficial for this den-dependent species. We suggest future studies examine the impact of fragmentation and connectivity of grasslands on survival and reproductive success of the Indian fox. PMID:24098494

  19. Summer Resource Selection and Identification of Important Habitat Prior to Industrial Development for the Teshekpuk Caribou Herd in Northern Alaska

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Ryan R.; Prichard, Alexander K.; Parrett, Lincoln S.; Person, Brian T.; Carroll, Geoffry M.; Smith, Melanie A.; Rea, Caryn L.; Yokel, David A.

    2012-01-01

    Many caribou (Rangifer tarandus) populations are declining worldwide in part due to disturbance from human development. Prior to human development, important areas of habitat should be identified to help managers minimize adverse effects. Resource selection functions can help identify these areas by providing a link between space use and landscape attributes. We estimated resource selection during five summer periods at two spatial scales for the Teshekpuk Caribou Herd in northern Alaska prior to industrial development to identify areas of high predicted use for the herd. Additionally, given the strong influence parturition and insect harassment have on space use, we determined how selection differed between parturient and non-parturient females, and between periods with and without insect harassment. We used location data acquired between 2004–2010 for 41 female caribou to estimate resource selection functions. Patterns of selection varied through summer but caribou consistently avoided patches of flooded vegetation and selected areas with a high density of sedge-grass meadow. Predicted use by parturient females during calving was almost entirely restricted to the area surrounding Teshekpuk Lake presumably due to high concentration of sedge-grass meadows, whereas selection for this area by non-parturient females was less strong. When insect harassment was low, caribou primarily selected the areas around Teshekpuk Lake but when it was high, caribou used areas having climates where insect abundance would be lower (i.e., coastal margins, gravel bars). Areas with a high probability of use were predominately restricted to the area surrounding Teshekpuk Lake except during late summer when high use areas were less aggregated because of more general patterns of resource selection. Planning is currently underway for establishing where oil and gas development can occur in the herd’s range, so our results provide land managers with information that can help predict and

  20. Summer resource selection and identification of important habitat prior to industrial development for the Teshekpuk Caribou Herd in northern Alaska.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Ryan R; Prichard, Alexander K; Parrett, Lincoln S; Person, Brian T; Carroll, Geoffry M; Smith, Melanie A; Rea, Caryn L; Yokel, David A

    2012-01-01

    Many caribou (Rangifer tarandus) populations are declining worldwide in part due to disturbance from human development. Prior to human development, important areas of habitat should be identified to help managers minimize adverse effects. Resource selection functions can help identify these areas by providing a link between space use and landscape attributes. We estimated resource selection during five summer periods at two spatial scales for the Teshekpuk Caribou Herd in northern Alaska prior to industrial development to identify areas of high predicted use for the herd. Additionally, given the strong influence parturition and insect harassment have on space use, we determined how selection differed between parturient and non-parturient females, and between periods with and without insect harassment. We used location data acquired between 2004-2010 for 41 female caribou to estimate resource selection functions. Patterns of selection varied through summer but caribou consistently avoided patches of flooded vegetation and selected areas with a high density of sedge-grass meadow. Predicted use by parturient females during calving was almost entirely restricted to the area surrounding Teshekpuk Lake presumably due to high concentration of sedge-grass meadows, whereas selection for this area by non-parturient females was less strong. When insect harassment was low, caribou primarily selected the areas around Teshekpuk Lake but when it was high, caribou used areas having climates where insect abundance would be lower (i.e., coastal margins, gravel bars). Areas with a high probability of use were predominately restricted to the area surrounding Teshekpuk Lake except during late summer when high use areas were less aggregated because of more general patterns of resource selection. Planning is currently underway for establishing where oil and gas development can occur in the herd's range, so our results provide land managers with information that can help predict and

  1. The occurrence of killer activity in yeasts isolated from natural habitats.

    PubMed

    Wójcik, Monika; Kordowska-Wiater, Monika

    2015-01-01

    Yeast's ability to restrict the growth and kill other yeasts, fungi and bacteria has been known for over 50 years. Killer activity was detected in yeasts deposited in the world collections or isolated from natural habitats. In this study, isolates from the forest environment, leaves of fruit trees, flower petals, cereals and frozen fruit have been screened in terms of their killer activities. Killer activity was tested on strains belonging to six yeast species: Candida, Rhodotorula, Pichia, Pachysolen, Yarrowia, Trichosporon. The reference strains were Kluyveromyces lactis Y-6682 and Kluyveromyces marxinanus Y-8281, well-known to be sensitive to yeast killer toxins. Among one hundred and two tested strains, 24 (23.5% of isolates) showed positive killer action, and 10 (9.8% of the isolates) a weak killer action against at least one sensitive reference strain. The highest killer activity was observed among isolates from forest soil and flowers. PMID:26636138

  2. Diversity patterns of selected Andean plant groups correspond to topography and habitat dynamics, not orogeny

    PubMed Central

    Mutke, Jens; Jacobs, Rana; Meyers, Katharina; Henning, Tilo; Weigend, Maximilian

    2014-01-01

    The tropical Andes are a hotspot of biodiversity, but detailed altitudinal and latitudinal distribution patterns of species are poorly understood. We compare the distribution and diversity patterns of four Andean plant groups on the basis of georeferenced specimen data: the genus Nasa (Loasaceae), the two South American sections of Ribes (sect. Parilla and sect. Andina, Grossulariaceae), and the American clade of Urtica (Urticaceae). In the tropical Andes, these often grow together, especially in (naturally or anthropogenically) disturbed or secondary vegetation at middle to upper elevations. The climatic niches of the tropical groups studied here are relatively similar in temperature and temperature seasonality, but do differ in moisture seasonality. The Amotape–Huancabamba Zone (AHZ) between 3 and 8° S shows a clear diversity peak of overall species richness as well as for narrowly endemic species across the groups studied. For Nasa, we also show a particular diversity of growth forms in the AHZ. This can be interpreted as proxy for a high diversity of ecological niches based on high spatial habitat heterogeneity in this zone. Latitudinal ranges are generally larger toward the margins of overall range of the group. Species number and number of endemic species of our taxa peak at elevations of 2,500–3,500 m in the tropical Andes. Altitudinal diversity patterns correspond well with the altitudinal distribution of slope inclination. We hypothesize that the likelihood and frequency of landslides at steeper slopes translate into temporal habitat heterogeneity. The frequency of landslides may be causally connected to diversification especially for the numerous early colonizing taxa, such as Urtica and annual species of Nasa. In contrast to earlier hypotheses, uplift history is not reflected in the pattern here retrieved, since the AHZ is the area of the most recent Andean uplift. Similarly, a barrier effect of the low-lying Huancabamba depression is not retrieved

  3. Diversity patterns of selected Andean plant groups correspond to topography and habitat dynamics, not orogeny.

    PubMed

    Mutke, Jens; Jacobs, Rana; Meyers, Katharina; Henning, Tilo; Weigend, Maximilian

    2014-01-01

    The tropical Andes are a hotspot of biodiversity, but detailed altitudinal and latitudinal distribution patterns of species are poorly understood. We compare the distribution and diversity patterns of four Andean plant groups on the basis of georeferenced specimen data: the genus Nasa (Loasaceae), the two South American sections of Ribes (sect. Parilla and sect. Andina, Grossulariaceae), and the American clade of Urtica (Urticaceae). In the tropical Andes, these often grow together, especially in (naturally or anthropogenically) disturbed or secondary vegetation at middle to upper elevations. The climatic niches of the tropical groups studied here are relatively similar in temperature and temperature seasonality, but do differ in moisture seasonality. The Amotape-Huancabamba Zone (AHZ) between 3 and 8° S shows a clear diversity peak of overall species richness as well as for narrowly endemic species across the groups studied. For Nasa, we also show a particular diversity of growth forms in the AHZ. This can be interpreted as proxy for a high diversity of ecological niches based on high spatial habitat heterogeneity in this zone. Latitudinal ranges are generally larger toward the margins of overall range of the group. Species number and number of endemic species of our taxa peak at elevations of 2,500-3,500 m in the tropical Andes. Altitudinal diversity patterns correspond well with the altitudinal distribution of slope inclination. We hypothesize that the likelihood and frequency of landslides at steeper slopes translate into temporal habitat heterogeneity. The frequency of landslides may be causally connected to diversification especially for the numerous early colonizing taxa, such as Urtica and annual species of Nasa. In contrast to earlier hypotheses, uplift history is not reflected in the pattern here retrieved, since the AHZ is the area of the most recent Andean uplift. Similarly, a barrier effect of the low-lying Huancabamba depression is not retrieved in

  4. Aquatic biological communities and associated habitats at selected sites in the Big Wood River Watershed, south-central Idaho, 2014

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    MacCoy, Dorene E.; Short, Terry M.

    2016-09-28

    Assessments of streamflow (discharge) parameters, water quality, physical habitat, and biological communities were completed between May and September 2014 as part of a monitoring program in the Big Wood River watershed of south-central Idaho. The sampling was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with Blaine County, Trout Unlimited, the Nature Conservancy, and the Wood River Land Trust to help identify the status of aquatic resources at selected locations in the watershed. Information in this report provides a basis with which to evaluate and monitor the long-term health of the Big Wood River and its major tributaries. Sampling sites were co-located with existing U.S. Geological Survey streamgaging stations: three on the main stem Big Wood River and four on the North Fork Big Wood River (North Fork), Warm Springs Creek (Warm Sp), Trail Creek (Trail Ck), and East Fork Big Wood River (East Fork) tributaries.The analytical results and quality-assurance information for water quality, physical habitat, and biological community samples collected at study sites during 2 weeks in September 2014 are summarized. Water-quality data include concentrations of major nutrients, suspended sediment, dissolved oxygen, and fecal-coliform bacteria. To assess the potential effects of nutrient enrichment on algal growth, concentrations of periphyton biomass (chlorophyll-a and ash free dry weight) in riffle habitats were determined at each site. Physical habitat parameters include stream channel morphology, habitat volume, instream structure, substrate composition, and riparian vegetative cover. Biological data include taxa richness, abundance, and stream-health indicator metrics for macroinvertebrate and fish communities. Statistical summaries of the water-quality, habitat, and biological data are provided along with discussion of how these findings relate to the health of aquatic resources in the Big Wood River watershed.Seasonal discharge patterns using statistical

  5. Aquatic biological communities and associated habitats at selected sites in the Big Wood River Watershed, south-central Idaho, 2014

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    MacCoy, Dorene E.; Short, Terry M.

    2016-09-28

    Assessments of streamflow (discharge) parameters, water quality, physical habitat, and biological communities were completed between May and September 2014 as part of a monitoring program in the Big Wood River watershed of south-central Idaho. The sampling was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with Blaine County, Trout Unlimited, the Nature Conservancy, and the Wood River Land Trust to help identify the status of aquatic resources at selected locations in the watershed. Information in this report provides a basis with which to evaluate and monitor the long-term health of the Big Wood River and its major tributaries. Sampling sites were co-located with existing U.S. Geological Survey streamgaging stations: three on the main stem Big Wood River and four on the North Fork Big Wood River (North Fork), Warm Springs Creek (Warm Sp), Trail Creek (Trail Ck), and East Fork Big Wood River (East Fork) tributaries.The analytical results and quality-assurance information for water quality, physical habitat, and biological community samples collected at study sites during 2 weeks in September 2014 are summarized. Water-quality data include concentrations of major nutrients, suspended sediment, dissolved oxygen, and fecal-coliform bacteria. To assess the potential effects of nutrient enrichment on algal growth, concentrations of periphyton biomass (chlorophyll-a and ash free dry weight) in riffle habitats were determined at each site. Physical habitat parameters include stream channel morphology, habitat volume, instream structure, substrate composition, and riparian vegetative cover. Biological data include taxa richness, abundance, and stream-health indicator metrics for macroinvertebrate and fish communities. Statistical summaries of the water-quality, habitat, and biological data are provided along with discussion of how these findings relate to the health of aquatic resources in the Big Wood River watershed.Seasonal discharge patterns using statistical

  6. Diel activity and variability in habitat use of white sea bream in a temperate marine protected area.

    PubMed

    Di Lorenzo, Manfredi; Fernández, Tomás Vega; Badalamenti, Fabio; Guidetti, Paolo; Starr, Richard M; Giacalone, Vincenzo Maximiliano; Di Franco, Antonio; D'Anna, Giovanni

    2016-05-01

    Fish populations are often comprised of individuals that use habitats and associated resources in different ways. We placed sonic transmitters in, and tracked movements of, white sea bream (Diplodus sargus sargus) in the no-take zone of a Mediterranean marine protected area: the Torre Guaceto marine protected area, (Adriatic Sea, Italy). Tagged fish displayed three types of diel activity patterns in three different habitats: sand, rocky reefs and "matte" of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica. Individuals were more active during the day than at night. Overall, white sea bream displayed a remarkable behavioural plasticity in habitat use. Our results indicate that the observed behavioural plasticity in the marine protected area could be the result of multiple ecological and environmental drivers such as size, sex and increased intra-specific competition. Our findings support the view that habitat diversity helps support high densities of fishes. PMID:26922044

  7. Relation of desert pupfish abundance to selected environmental variables in natural and manmade habitats in the Salton Sea basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, B.A.; Saiki, M.K.

    2005-01-01

    We assessed the relation between abundance of desert pupfish, Cyprinodon macularius, and selected biological and physicochemical variables in natural and manmade habitats within the Salton Sea Basin. Field sampling in a natural tributary, Salt Creek, and three agricultural drains captured eight species including pupfish (1.1% of the total catch), the only native species encountered. According to Bray-Curtis resemblance functions, fish species assemblages differed mostly between Salt Creek and the drains (i.e., the three drains had relatively similar species assemblages). Pupfish numbers and environmental variables varied among sites and sample periods. Canonical correlation showed that pupfish abundance was positively correlated with abundance of western mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis, and negatively correlated with abundance of porthole livebearers, Poeciliopsis gracilis, tilapias (Sarotherodon mossambica and Tilapia zillii), longjaw mudsuckers, Gillichthys mirabilis, and mollies (Poecilia latipinnaandPoecilia mexicana). In addition, pupfish abundance was positively correlated with cover, pH, and salinity, and negatively correlated with sediment factor (a measure of sediment grain size) and dissolved oxygen. Pupfish abundance was generally highest in habitats where water quality extremes (especially high pH and salinity, and low dissolved oxygen) seemingly limited the occurrence of nonnative fishes. This study also documented evidence of predation by mudsuckers on pupfish. These findings support the contention of many resource managers that pupfish populations are adversely influenced by ecological interactions with nonnative fishes. ?? Springer 2005.

  8. Habitat Selection by African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in Response to Landscape-Level Fluctuations in Water Availability on Two Temporal Scales

    PubMed Central

    Bennitt, Emily; Bonyongo, Mpaphi Casper; Harris, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Seasonal fluctuations in water availability cause predictable changes in the profitability of habitats in tropical ecosystems, and animals evolve adaptive behavioural and spatial responses to these fluctuations. However, stochastic changes in the distribution and abundance of surface water between years can alter resource availability at a landscape scale, causing shifts in animal behaviour. In the Okavango Delta, Botswana, a flood-pulsed ecosystem, the volume of water entering the system doubled between 2008 and 2009, creating a sudden change in the landscape. We used African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) to test the hypotheses that seasonal habitat selection would be related to water availability, that increased floodwater levels would decrease forage abundance and affect habitat selection, and that this would decrease buffalo resting time, reduce reproductive success and decrease body condition. Buffalo selected contrasting seasonal habitats, using habitats far from permanent water during the rainy season and seasonally-flooded habitats close to permanent water during the early and late flood seasons. The 2009 water increase reduced forage availability in seasonally-flooded habitats, removing a resource buffer used by the buffalo during the late flood season, when resources were most limited. In response, buffalo used drier habitats in 2009, although there was no significant change in the time spent moving or resting, or daily distance moved. While their reproductive success decreased in 2009, body condition increased. A protracted period of high water levels could prove detrimental to herbivores, especially to smaller-bodied species that require high quality forage. Stochastic annual fluctuations in water levels, predicted to increase as a result of anthropogenically-induced climate change, are likely to have substantial impacts on the functioning of water-driven tropical ecosystems, affecting environmental conditions within protected areas. Buffer zones around

  9. Habitat selection by African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in response to landscape-level fluctuations in water availability on two temporal scales.

    PubMed

    Bennitt, Emily; Bonyongo, Mpaphi Casper; Harris, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Seasonal fluctuations in water availability cause predictable changes in the profitability of habitats in tropical ecosystems, and animals evolve adaptive behavioural and spatial responses to these fluctuations. However, stochastic changes in the distribution and abundance of surface water between years can alter resource availability at a landscape scale, causing shifts in animal behaviour. In the Okavango Delta, Botswana, a flood-pulsed ecosystem, the volume of water entering the system doubled between 2008 and 2009, creating a sudden change in the landscape. We used African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) to test the hypotheses that seasonal habitat selection would be related to water availability, that increased floodwater levels would decrease forage abundance and affect habitat selection, and that this would decrease buffalo resting time, reduce reproductive success and decrease body condition. Buffalo selected contrasting seasonal habitats, using habitats far from permanent water during the rainy season and seasonally-flooded habitats close to permanent water during the early and late flood seasons. The 2009 water increase reduced forage availability in seasonally-flooded habitats, removing a resource buffer used by the buffalo during the late flood season, when resources were most limited. In response, buffalo used drier habitats in 2009, although there was no significant change in the time spent moving or resting, or daily distance moved. While their reproductive success decreased in 2009, body condition increased. A protracted period of high water levels could prove detrimental to herbivores, especially to smaller-bodied species that require high quality forage. Stochastic annual fluctuations in water levels, predicted to increase as a result of anthropogenically-induced climate change, are likely to have substantial impacts on the functioning of water-driven tropical ecosystems, affecting environmental conditions within protected areas. Buffer zones around

  10. Distribution and habitat selection of adult striped bass, Morone saxatilis (Walbaum), in Watts Bar Reservoir, Tennessee

    SciTech Connect

    Cheek, T.E.; Van den Avyle, M.J.; Coutant, C.C.

    1983-09-01

    Biotelemetry was used to determine seasonal distribution patterns and habitat preferences and to evaluate factors affecting movements of adult striped bass (Morone saxatilis) in Watts Bar Reservoir, Tennessee. Distribution and movement of striped bass were strongly influenced by water temperature. Mean distances moved per day during spring and winter were similar but significantly higher than rates for summer and fall. During spring, striped bass moved into headwater areas as water temperatures approached those associated with spawning (15/sup 0/ to 19/sup 0/C). Brief habitation of the main body of the reservoir was noted during summer prior to movement to cool-water refuges located in the Clinch River and Tennessee River arms. No striped bass were located in the main body of the reservoir in early fall when temperatures ranged from 24/sup 0/ to 25/sup 0/C. Fish were located in thermal refuges during this period and occupied water temperatures averaging 20.5/sup 0/C. The only extended period of striped bass habitation of the main body of the reservoir occurred in winter, when the fish occupied a mean water temperature of 11/sup 0/C. Although distribution was restricted during warmer seasons, individual fish moved freely throughout the 116-km-long reservoir at other times, indicating that subpopulations did not exist. 64 references.

  11. Patchy sediment contamination scenario and the habitat selection by an estuarine mudsnail.

    PubMed

    Araújo, Cristiano V M; Martinez-Haro, Mónica; Pais-Costa, Antónia J; Marques, João C; Ribeiro, Rui

    2016-03-01

    Since mudsnails are able to avoid contaminated sediment and that the contaminants in sediment are not uniformly distributed, the mudsnail Peringia ulvae was exposed to cadmium (Cd) spiked sediment and assessed for avoidance response in a heterogeneous contamination scenario. Four Cd concentrations were prepared and disposed in patches on dishes, which were divided in 25 fields (six fields for each sediment concentration); 24 organisms were deployed in the central field, with no sediment. Observations were made at 2, 4 and 6 h (corresponding to immediate response), 8, 10 and 12 h (very short term), and 24 h (short term). A trend to avoid contaminated patches was observed in the immediate and very short term. After 24 h exposure, the organisms exposed to the highest level of contamination seemed to have lost the ability to move and avoid contaminated patches. In a contamination scenario in which non- and contaminated sediment patches are heterogeneously distributed, local mudsnail populations can simply rearrange their locality without needing to move to a different habitat. Such less contaminated patches can become donor areas in a future recolonization scenario.

  12. Divergence in parental care, habitat selection and larval life history between two species of Peruvian poison frogs: an experimental analysis.

    PubMed

    Brown, J L; Morales, V; Summers, K

    2008-11-01

    Changes in the nature of the ecological resources exploited by a species can lead to the evolution of novel suites of behaviours. We identified a case in which the transition from large pool use to the use of very small breeding pools in neotropical poison frogs (family Dendrobatidae) is associated with the evolution of a suite of behaviours, including biparental care (from uniparental care) and social monogamy (from promiscuity). We manipulated breeding pool size in order to demonstrate experimentally that breeding habitat selection strategy has evolved in concert with changes in parental care and mating system. We also manipulated intra- and interspecific larval interactions to demonstrate that larval adaptation to the use of very small pools for breeding affected the evolution of larval competition and cannibalism. Our results illustrate the intimate connection between breeding pool ecology, parental care and mating strategies in Peruvian poison frogs. PMID:18811668

  13. Predicting the future distribution of Polar Bear Habitat in the polar basin from resource selection functions applied to 21st century general circulation model projections of sea ice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Durner, George M.; Douglas, David C.; Nielson, Ryan M.; Amstrup, Steven C.; McDonald, Trent L.

    2007-01-01

    Predictions of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) habitat distribution in the Arctic polar basin during the 21st century were developed to help understand the likely consequences of anticipated sea ice reductions on polar bear populations. We used location data from satellite-collared polar bears and environmental data (e.g., bathymetry, coastlines, and sea ice) collected between 1985–1995 to build habitat use models called Resource Selection Functions (RSF). The RSFs described habitats polar bears preferred in each of four seasons: summer (ice minimum), autumn (growth), winter (ice maximum) and spring (melt). When applied to the model source data and to independent data (1996–2006), the RSFs consistently identified habitats most frequently used by polar bears. We applied the RSFs to monthly maps of 21st century sea ice concentration predicted by 10 general circulation models (GCM) described in the International Panel of Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report. The 10 GCMs we used had high concordance between their simulations of 20th century summer sea ice extent and the actual ice extent derived from passive microwave satellite observations. Predictions of the amount and rate of change in polar bear habitat varied among GCMs, but all GCMs predicted net habitat losses in the polar basin during the 21st century. Projected losses in the highest-valued RSF habitat (optimal habitat) were greatest in the peripheral seas of the polar basin, especially the Chukchi Sea and Barents Sea. Losses were least in high-latitude regions where RSFs predicted an initial increase in optimal habitat followed by a modest decline. The largest seasonal reductions in habitat were predicted for spring and summer. Average area of optimal polar bear habitat during summer in the polar basin declined from an observed 1.0 million km2 in 1985–1995 (baseline) to a projected multi-model average of 0.58 million km2 in 2045–2054 (-42% change), 0.36 million km2 in 2070–2079 (-64% change), and 0

  14. Evolution of opsin expression in birds driven by sexual selection and habitat

    PubMed Central

    Bloch, Natasha I.

    2015-01-01

    Theories of sexual and natural selection predict coevolution of visual perception with conspecific colour and/or the light environment animals occupy. One way to test these theories is to focus on the visual system, which can be achieved by studying the opsin-based visual pigments that mediate vision. Birds vary greatly in colour, but opsin gene coding sequences and associated visual pigment spectral sensitivities are known to be rather invariant across birds. Here, I studied expression of the four cone opsin genes (Lws, Rh2, Sws2 and Sws1) in 16 species of New World warblers (Parulidae). I found levels of opsin expression vary both across species and between the sexes. Across species, female, but not male Sws2 expression is associated with an index of sexual selection, plumage dichromatism. This fits predictions of classic sexual selection models, in which the sensory system changes in females, presumably impacting female preference, and co-evolves with male plumage. Expression of the opsins at the extremes of the light spectrum, Lws and Uvs, correlates with the inferred light environment occupied by the different species. Unlike opsin spectral tuning, regulation of opsin gene expression allows for fast adaptive evolution of the visual system in response to natural and sexual selection, and in particular, sex-specific selection pressures. PMID:25429020

  15. Evolution of opsin expression in birds driven by sexual selection and habitat.

    PubMed

    Bloch, Natasha I

    2015-01-01

    Theories of sexual and natural selection predict coevolution of visual perception with conspecific colour and/or the light environment animals occupy. One way to test these theories is to focus on the visual system, which can be achieved by studying the opsin-based visual pigments that mediate vision. Birds vary greatly in colour, but opsin gene coding sequences and associated visual pigment spectral sensitivities are known to be rather invariant across birds. Here, I studied expression of the four cone opsin genes (Lws, Rh2, Sws2 and Sws1) in 16 species of New World warblers (Parulidae). I found levels of opsin expression vary both across species and between the sexes. Across species, female, but not male Sws2 expression is associated with an index of sexual selection, plumage dichromatism. This fits predictions of classic sexual selection models, in which the sensory system changes in females, presumably impacting female preference, and co-evolves with male plumage. Expression of the opsins at the extremes of the light spectrum, Lws and Uvs, correlates with the inferred light environment occupied by the different species. Unlike opsin spectral tuning, regulation of opsin gene expression allows for fast adaptive evolution of the visual system in response to natural and sexual selection, and in particular, sex-specific selection pressures. PMID:25429020

  16. Genomic architecture of habitat-related divergence and signature of directional selection in the body shapes of Gnathopogon fishes.

    PubMed

    Kakioka, Ryo; Kokita, Tomoyuki; Kumada, Hiroki; Watanabe, Katsutoshi; Okuda, Noboru

    2015-08-01

    Evolution of ecomorphologically relevant traits such as body shapes is important to colonize and persist in a novel environment. Habitat-related adaptive divergence of these traits is therefore common among animals. We studied the genomic architecture of habitat-related divergence in the body shape of Gnathopogon fishes, a novel example of lake-stream ecomorphological divergence, and tested for the action of directional selection on body shape differentiation. Compared to stream-dwelling Gnathopogon elongatus, the sister species Gnathopogon caerulescens, exclusively inhabiting a large ancient lake, had an elongated body, increased proportion of the caudal region and small head, which would be advantageous in the limnetic environment. Using an F2 interspecific cross between the two Gnathopogon species (195 individuals), quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis with geometric morphometric quantification of body shape and restriction-site associated DNA sequencing-derived markers (1622 loci) identified 26 significant QTLs associated with the interspecific differences of body shape-related traits. These QTLs had small to moderate effects, supporting polygenic inheritance of the body shape-related traits. Each QTL was mostly located on different genomic regions, while colocalized QTLs were detected for some ecomorphologically relevant traits that are proxy of body and caudal peduncle depths, suggesting different degree of modularity among traits. The directions of the body shape QTLs were mostly consistent with the interspecific difference, and QTL sign test suggested a genetic signature of directional selection in the body shape divergence. Thus, we successfully elucidated the genomic architecture underlying the adaptive changes of the quantitative and complex morphological trait in a novel system. PMID:26179373

  17. Habitat Selection and Foraging Behavior of Southern Elephant Seals in the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huckstadt, L.; Costa, D. P.; McDonald, B. I.; Tremblay, Y.; Crocker, D. E.; Goebel, M. E.; Fedak, M. E.

    2006-12-01

    We examined the foraging behavior of 18 southern elephant seals foraging over two seasons in the Western Antarctic Peninsula. The foraging behavior and habitat utilization of 7 females in 2005 and 12 in 2006 were followed using satellite linked Satellite Relay Data Loggers that measured diving behavior as well collected salinity and temperature profiles as the animals dove. Animals were tagged after the annual molt during February at Cape Shirreff Livngston Island, South Shetland Islands. There was significant interannual variation in the regions of the Southern Ocean used by seals from Livingston Island. In 2005 of the 7 animals tagged one foraged 4700 km due west of the Antarctic Peninsula going as far as 150 W. The remaining females headed south along the Western Antarctic Peninsula bypassing Marguerite Bay moving south along Alexander Island. Three of these animals continued to forage in the pack ice as it developed. On their return trip all females swam past Livingston Island, continuing on to South Georgia Island where they apparently bred in the austral spring. One animal returned to Cape Shirreff to molt and her tag was recovered. During 2006 animals initially followed a similar migratory pattern going south along the Antarctic Peninsula, but unlike 2005 where the majority of the animals remained in the immediate vicinity of the Western Antarctic Peninsula, most of the animals in 2006 moved well to the west foraging as far as the Amundsen Sea. We compared the area restricted search (focal foraging areas) areas of these animals using a newly developed fractal landscape technique that identifies and quantifies areas of intensive search. The fractal analysis of area restricted search shows that the area, distance and coverage (Fractal D) searched were not different between years, while the time spent in the search areas was higher in 2005. Further analysis will examine how the physical properties of the water column as determined from the CTD data derived from

  18. Antimicrobial activities of selected Cyathus species.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ya-Jun; Zhang, Ke-Qin

    2004-02-01

    Twelve selected Cyathus species were tested for their abilities to produce antimicrobial metabolites. Most of them were found to produce secondary exo-metabolites that could induce morphological abnormalities of rice pathogenic fungi Pyricularia oryzae. Some extracts from the cultivated liquid obviously inhibited human pathogenic fungi Aspergillus fumigatus, Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans. Activities against six human pathogenic bacteria were also obtained from some of these extracts. PMID:15119855

  19. Stochastic cycle selection in active flow networks.

    PubMed

    Woodhouse, Francis G; Forrow, Aden; Fawcett, Joanna B; Dunkel, Jörn

    2016-07-19

    Active biological flow networks pervade nature and span a wide range of scales, from arterial blood vessels and bronchial mucus transport in humans to bacterial flow through porous media or plasmodial shuttle streaming in slime molds. Despite their ubiquity, little is known about the self-organization principles that govern flow statistics in such nonequilibrium networks. Here we connect concepts from lattice field theory, graph theory, and transition rate theory to understand how topology controls dynamics in a generic model for actively driven flow on a network. Our combined theoretical and numerical analysis identifies symmetry-based rules that make it possible to classify and predict the selection statistics of complex flow cycles from the network topology. The conceptual framework developed here is applicable to a broad class of biological and nonbiological far-from-equilibrium networks, including actively controlled information flows, and establishes a correspondence between active flow networks and generalized ice-type models. PMID:27382186

  20. Selective Activation of the Infraspinatus Muscle

    PubMed Central

    Ha, Sung-Min; Kwon, Oh-Yun; Cynn, Heon-Seock; Lee, Won-Hwee; Kim, Su-Jung; Park, Kyue-Nam

    2013-01-01

    Context: To improve selective infraspinatus muscle strength and endurance, researchers have recommended selective shoulder external-rotation exercise during rehabilitation or athletic conditioning programs. Although selective strengthening of the infraspinatus muscle is recommended for therapy and training, limited information is available to help clinicians design a selective strengthening program. Objective: To determine the most effective of 4 shoulder external-rotation exercises for selectively stimulating infraspinatus muscle activity while minimizing the use of the middle trapezius and posterior deltoid muscles. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: University research laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: A total of 30 healthy participants (24 men, 6 women; age = 22.6 ± 1.7 years, height = 176.2 ± 4.5 cm, mass = 65.6 ± 7.4 kg) from a university population. Intervention(s): The participants were instructed to perform 4 exercises: (1) prone horizontal abduction with external rotation (PER), (2) side-lying wiper exercise (SWE), (3) side-lying external rotation (SER), and (4) standing external-rotation exercise (STER). Main Outcome Measure(s): Surface electromyography signals were recorded from the infraspinatus, middle trapezius, and posterior deltoid muscles. Differences among the exercise positions were tested using a 1-way repeated-measures analysis of variance with Bonferroni adjustment. Results: The infraspinatus muscle activity was greater in the SWE (55.98% ± 18.79%) than in the PER (46.14% ± 15.65%), SER (43.38% ± 22.26%), and STER (26.11% ± 15.00%) (F3,87 = 19.97, P < .001). Furthermore, the SWE elicited the least amount of activity in the middle trapezius muscle (F3,87 = 20.15, P < .001). Posterior deltoid muscle activity was similar in the SWE and SER but less than that measured in the PER and STER (F3,87 = 25.10, P < .001). Conclusions: The SWE was superior to the PER, SER, and STER in maximizing infraspinatus activity with the least

  1. Habitat selection by juvenile Swainson’s thrushes (Catharus ustulatus) in headwater riparian areas, northwestern Oregon, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jenkins, Stephanie R.; Betts, Matthew G.; Huso, Manuela M.; Hagar, Joan C.

    2013-01-01

    Lower order, non-fish-bearing streams, often termed “headwater streams”, have received minimal research effort and protection priority, especially in mesic forests where distinction between riparian and upland vegetation can be subtle. Though it is generally thought that breeding bird abundance is higher in riparian zones, little is known about species distributions when birds are in their juvenile stage – a critical period in terms of population viability. Using radio telemetry, we examined factors affecting habitat selection by juvenile Swainson’s thrushes during the post-breeding period in headwater basins in the Coast Range of Oregon, USA. We tested models containing variables expected to influence the amount of food and cover (i.e., deciduous cover, coarse wood volume, and proximity to stream) as well as models containing variables that are frequently measured and manipulated in forest management (i.e., deciduous and coniferous trees separated into size classes). Juvenile Swainson’s thrushes were more likely to select locations with at least 25% cover of deciduous, mid-story vegetation and more than 2.0 m3/ha of coarse wood within 40 m of headwater streams. We conclude that despite their small and intermittent nature, headwater streams and adjacent riparian areas are selected over upland areas by Swainson’s thrush during the postfledging period in the Oregon Coast Range.

  2. Roost selection by Rafinesque’s big-eared bats (Corynorhinus rafinesquii) in a pristine habitat at three spatial scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lucas, Jessica S.; Loeb, Susan C.; Jodice, Patrick G.

    2015-01-01

    Although several studies have described roost use by Rafinesque's big-eared bats (Corynorhinus rafinesquii), few studies have examined roost selection. We examined roost use and selection by Rafinesque's big-eared bat at the tree, stand, and landscape scales during the maternity season in pristine old-growth habitat in the Coastal Plain of South Carolina. We located 43 roosts (14 maternity, 29 solitary) through cavity searches and radio-telemetry. Maternity colonies and solitary individuals selected roosts based on similar characteristics. The best model explaining roost selection by all bats included tree and stand characteristics; landscape factors had little influence on roost use. Bats selected large diameter trees in areas with a high density of trees with cavities in the surrounding area. Most roosts (67.4%) were in water tupelo (Nyssa aquatica) in semi-permanently flooded and saturated areas. Half of maternity roost cavities had upper bole openings whereas only 25.8% of solitary roosts had upper bole openings. Bats that roosted with maternity groups stayed in roosts for significantly shorter periods of time (1.3 ± 0.1 days) and used significantly more roost trees (5.0 ± 0.6 roosts) than adult males (3.8 ± 1.10 days, 2.3 ± 0.4 roosts, respectively). Maternity colony use of cavities with upper bole openings and shorter residency times suggest that predator avoidance may have been an important factor governing roosting behavior of maternity colonies in this area. Our results suggest that retention of large diameter, hollow trees in wetland areas will benefit Rafinesque's big-eared bat individuals and maternity colonies in this area.

  3. Space-Use Patterns of the Asiatic Wild Ass (Equus hemionus): Complementary Insights from Displacement, Recursion Movement and Habitat Selection Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Giotto, Nina; Gerard, Jean-François; Ziv, Alon; Bouskila, Amos; Bar-David, Shirli

    2015-01-01

    The way in which animals move and use the landscape is influenced by the spatial distribution of resources, and is of importance when considering species conservation. We aimed at exploring how landscape-related factors affect a large herbivore’s space-use patterns by using a combined approach, integrating movement (displacement and recursions) and habitat selection analyses. We studied the endangered Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus) in the Negev Desert, Israel, using GPS monitoring and direct observation. We found that the main landscape-related factors affecting the species’ space-use patterns, on a daily and seasonal basis, were vegetation cover, water sources and topography. Two main habitat types were selected: high-elevation sites during the day (specific microclimate: windy on warm summer days) and streambed surroundings during the night (coupled with high vegetation when the animals were active in summer). Distribution of recursion times (duration between visits) revealed a 24-hour periodicity, a pattern that could be widespread among large herbivores. Characterizing frequently revisited sites suggested that recursion movements were mainly driven by a few landscape features (water sources, vegetation patches, high-elevation points), but also by social factors, such as territoriality, which should be further explored. This study provided complementary insights into the space-use patterns of E. hemionus. Understanding of the species’ space-use patterns, at both large and fine spatial scale, is required for developing appropriate conservation protocols. Our approach could be further applied for studying the space-use patterns of other species in heterogeneous landscapes. PMID:26630393

  4. Space-Use Patterns of the Asiatic Wild Ass (Equus hemionus): Complementary Insights from Displacement, Recursion Movement and Habitat Selection Analyses.

    PubMed

    Giotto, Nina; Gerard, Jean-François; Ziv, Alon; Bouskila, Amos; Bar-David, Shirli

    2015-01-01

    The way in which animals move and use the landscape is influenced by the spatial distribution of resources, and is of importance when considering species conservation. We aimed at exploring how landscape-related factors affect a large herbivore's space-use patterns by using a combined approach, integrating movement (displacement and recursions) and habitat selection analyses. We studied the endangered Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus) in the Negev Desert, Israel, using GPS monitoring and direct observation. We found that the main landscape-related factors affecting the species' space-use patterns, on a daily and seasonal basis, were vegetation cover, water sources and topography. Two main habitat types were selected: high-elevation sites during the day (specific microclimate: windy on warm summer days) and streambed surroundings during the night (coupled with high vegetation when the animals were active in summer). Distribution of recursion times (duration between visits) revealed a 24-hour periodicity, a pattern that could be widespread among large herbivores. Characterizing frequently revisited sites suggested that recursion movements were mainly driven by a few landscape features (water sources, vegetation patches, high-elevation points), but also by social factors, such as territoriality, which should be further explored. This study provided complementary insights into the space-use patterns of E. hemionus. Understanding of the species' space-use patterns, at both large and fine spatial scale, is required for developing appropriate conservation protocols. Our approach could be further applied for studying the space-use patterns of other species in heterogeneous landscapes. PMID:26630393

  5. Biofilm history and oxygen availability interact to affect habitat selection in a marine invertebrate.

    PubMed

    Lagos, Marcelo E; White, Craig R; Marshall, Dustin J

    2016-07-01

    In marine systems, oxygen availability varies at small temporal and spatial scales, such that current oxygen levels may not reflect conditions of the past. Different studies have shown that marine invertebrate larvae can select settlement sites based on local oxygen levels and oxygenation history of the biofilm, but no study has examined the interaction of both. The influence of normoxic and hypoxic water and oxygenation history of biofilms on pre-settlement behavior and settlement of the bryozoan Bugula neritina was tested. Larvae used cues in a hierarchical way: the oxygen levels in the water prime larvae to respond, the response to different biofilms is contingent on oxygen levels in the water. When oxygen levels varied throughout biofilm formation, larvae responded differently depending on the history of the biofilm. It appears that B. neritina larvae integrate cues about current and historical oxygen levels to select the appropriate microhabitat and maximize their fitness. PMID:27169475

  6. Shifting habitats, morphology, and selective pressures: developmental polyphenism in an adaptive radiation of Hawaiian spiders.

    PubMed

    Brewer, Michael S; Carter, Rebecca A; Croucher, Peter J P; Gillespie, Rosemary G

    2015-01-01

    Particularly intriguing examples of adaptive radiation are those in which lineages show parallel or convergent evolution, suggesting utilization of similar genetic or developmental pathways. The current study focuses on an adaptive radiation of Hawaiian "spiny-leg" spiders in which diversification is associated with repeated convergent evolution leading to similar sets of ecomorphs on each island. However, two species on the oldest islands in the archipelago exhibit variability, occurring as two different ecomorphs. More derived species on the younger islands show much less variability, any one species displaying a single ecomorph. We measured ecomorphological features within individuals over time to determine the nature of the variability. Then, using transcriptomes, we conducted lineage-based tests for selection under varying models and analyses of gene tree versus species tree incongruencies. Our results provide strong evidence that variability in color in Tetragnatha kauaiensis and T. polychromata is associated with development within individuals (polyphenism). Moreover, a total of 28 loci showed a signature of selection associated with loss of the color-changing phenotype, and 37 loci showed a signature of selection associated with the colonization of a new environment. The results illustrate how developmental polyphenism might provide an avenue for the repeated evolution of ecomorphs during adaptive radiation.

  7. Conservation of Endangered Lupinus mariae-josephae in Its Natural Habitat by Inoculation with Selected, Native Bradyrhizobium Strains

    PubMed Central

    Navarro, Albert; Fos, Simón; Laguna, Emilio; Durán, David; Rey, Luis; Rubio-Sanz, Laura; Imperial, Juan; Ruiz-Argüeso, Tomás

    2014-01-01

    Lupinus mariae-josephae is a recently discovered endemism that is only found in alkaline-limed soils, a unique habitat for lupines, from a small area in Valencia region (Spain). In these soils, L. mariae-josephae grows in just a few defined patches, and previous conservation efforts directed towards controlled plant reproduction have been unsuccessful. We have previously shown that L. mariae-josephae plants establish a specific root nodule symbiosis with bradyrhizobia present in those soils, and we reasoned that the paucity of these bacteria in soils might contribute to the lack of success in reproducing plants for conservation purposes. Greenhouse experiments using L. mariae-josephae trap-plants showed the absence or near absence of L. mariae-josephae-nodulating bacteria in “terra rossa” soils of Valencia outside of L. mariae-josephae plant patches, and in other “terra rossa” or alkaline red soils of the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands outside of the Valencia L. mariae-josephae endemism region. Among the bradyrhizobia able to establish an efficient symbiosis with L. mariae-josephae plants, two strains, LmjC and LmjM3 were selected as inoculum for seed coating. Two planting experiments were carried out in consecutive years under natural conditions in areas with edapho-climatic characteristics identical to those sustaining natural L. mariae-josephae populations, and successful reproduction of the plant was achieved. Interestingly, the successful reproductive cycle was absolutely dependent on seedling inoculation with effective bradyrhizobia, and optimal performance was observed in plants inoculated with LmjC, a strain that had previously shown the most efficient behavior under controlled conditions. Our results define conditions for L. mariae-josephae conservation and for extension to alkaline-limed soil habitats, where no other known lupine can thrive. PMID:25019379

  8. Conservation of endangered Lupinus mariae-josephae in its natural habitat by inoculation with selected, native Bradyrhizobium strains.

    PubMed

    Navarro, Albert; Fos, Simón; Laguna, Emilio; Durán, David; Rey, Luis; Rubio-Sanz, Laura; Imperial, Juan; Ruiz-Argüeso, Tomás

    2014-01-01

    Lupinus mariae-josephae is a recently discovered endemism that is only found in alkaline-limed soils, a unique habitat for lupines, from a small area in Valencia region (Spain). In these soils, L. mariae-josephae grows in just a few defined patches, and previous conservation efforts directed towards controlled plant reproduction have been unsuccessful. We have previously shown that L. mariae-josephae plants establish a specific root nodule symbiosis with bradyrhizobia present in those soils, and we reasoned that the paucity of these bacteria in soils might contribute to the lack of success in reproducing plants for conservation purposes. Greenhouse experiments using L. mariae-josephae trap-plants showed the absence or near absence of L. mariae-josephae-nodulating bacteria in "terra rossa" soils of Valencia outside of L. mariae-josephae plant patches, and in other "terra rossa" or alkaline red soils of the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands outside of the Valencia L. mariae-josephae endemism region. Among the bradyrhizobia able to establish an efficient symbiosis with L. mariae-josephae plants, two strains, LmjC and LmjM3 were selected as inoculum for seed coating. Two planting experiments were carried out in consecutive years under natural conditions in areas with edapho-climatic characteristics identical to those sustaining natural L. mariae-josephae populations, and successful reproduction of the plant was achieved. Interestingly, the successful reproductive cycle was absolutely dependent on seedling inoculation with effective bradyrhizobia, and optimal performance was observed in plants inoculated with LmjC, a strain that had previously shown the most efficient behavior under controlled conditions. Our results define conditions for L. mariae-josephae conservation and for extension to alkaline-limed soil habitats, where no other known lupine can thrive.

  9. Nest-site selection and hatching success of waterbirds in coastal Virginia: some results of habitat manipulation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rounds, R.A.; Erwin, R.M.; Portera, J.H.

    2004-01-01