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Sample records for affecting nesting success

  1. Nest visits and capture events affect breeding success of Yellow-billed and Pacific loons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Wright, Kenneth G.

    2015-01-01

    Accurate estimates of breeding success are essential for understanding population dynamics and for managing populations. Unfortunately, research activities to collect these data can negatively impact the breeding success of the study species and bias estimates of breeding success. Despite the potential for negative impacts, few studies have documented the effect of capturing incubating adults on nest survival or compared nest survival following different capture methods. In this study we evaluate the impacts of investigator disturbance associated with captures and nest visits on nest survival of Yellow-billed Loons (Gavia adamsii) and Pacific Loons (Gavia pacifica) in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A), an area of conservation concern, in 2011–2013. In an effort to reduce capture-related nest failures, we developed a new suspended dive net technique to catch territorial aquatic birds while off their nests. We then compared nest survival following suspended dive net captures to bow-net trap captures of breeding adult loons. Daily nest survival following bow-net trap or suspended dive net capture was about 30% lower than when adults were not captured. The effect of captures on nest survival was similar between bow-net trap and suspended dive net capture methods. Nest visits without captures also negatively impacted nest survival, although less than captures. If not accounted for, nest visitation biased daily survival rates of nests downward 6%. Effects of investigator disturbance did not differ by species or between years. Our results suggest that any source of disturbance that displaces incubating adult loons could potentially reduce nest survival. To maximize breeding success, human disturbance factors should be limited near loon nests.

  2. Conditions during adulthood affect cohort-specific reproductive success in an Arctic-nesting goose population

    PubMed Central

    Bearhop, Stuart; Hilton, Geoff M.; Walsh, Alyn; Fox, Anthony David

    2016-01-01

    Variation in fitness between individuals in populations may be attributed to differing environmental conditions experienced among birth (or hatch) years (i.e., between cohorts). In this study, we tested whether cohort fitness could also be explained by environmental conditions experienced in years post-hatch, using 736 lifelong resighting histories of Greenland white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons flavirostris) marked in their first winter. Specifically, we tested whether variation in age at first successful reproduction, the size of the first successful brood and the proportion of successful breeders by cohort was explained by environmental conditions experienced on breeding areas in west Greenland during hatch year, those in adulthood prior to successful reproduction and those in the year of successful reproduction, using North Atlantic Oscillation indices as proxies for environmental conditions during these periods. Fifty-nine (8%) of all marked birds reproduced successfully (i.e., were observed on wintering areas with young) only once in their lifetime and 15 (2%) reproduced successfully twice or thrice. Variation in age at first successful reproduction was explained by the environmental conditions experienced during adulthood in the years prior to successful reproduction. Birds bred earliest (mean age 4) when environmental conditions were ‘good’ prior to the year of successful reproduction. Conversely, birds successfully reproduced at older ages (mean age 7) if they experienced adverse conditions prior to the year of successful reproduction. Hatch year conditions and an interaction between those experienced prior to and during the year of successful reproduction explained less (marginally significant) variation in age at first successful reproduction. Environmental conditions did not explain variation in the size of the first successful brood or the proportion of successful breeders. These findings show that conditions during adulthood prior to the year of

  3. Conditions during adulthood affect cohort-specific reproductive success in an Arctic-nesting goose population.

    PubMed

    Weegman, Mitch D; Bearhop, Stuart; Hilton, Geoff M; Walsh, Alyn; Fox, Anthony David

    2016-01-01

    Variation in fitness between individuals in populations may be attributed to differing environmental conditions experienced among birth (or hatch) years (i.e., between cohorts). In this study, we tested whether cohort fitness could also be explained by environmental conditions experienced in years post-hatch, using 736 lifelong resighting histories of Greenland white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons flavirostris) marked in their first winter. Specifically, we tested whether variation in age at first successful reproduction, the size of the first successful brood and the proportion of successful breeders by cohort was explained by environmental conditions experienced on breeding areas in west Greenland during hatch year, those in adulthood prior to successful reproduction and those in the year of successful reproduction, using North Atlantic Oscillation indices as proxies for environmental conditions during these periods. Fifty-nine (8%) of all marked birds reproduced successfully (i.e., were observed on wintering areas with young) only once in their lifetime and 15 (2%) reproduced successfully twice or thrice. Variation in age at first successful reproduction was explained by the environmental conditions experienced during adulthood in the years prior to successful reproduction. Birds bred earliest (mean age 4) when environmental conditions were 'good' prior to the year of successful reproduction. Conversely, birds successfully reproduced at older ages (mean age 7) if they experienced adverse conditions prior to the year of successful reproduction. Hatch year conditions and an interaction between those experienced prior to and during the year of successful reproduction explained less (marginally significant) variation in age at first successful reproduction. Environmental conditions did not explain variation in the size of the first successful brood or the proportion of successful breeders. These findings show that conditions during adulthood prior to the year of

  4. Successful nesting behavior of Puerto Rican parrots

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilson, K.A.; Field, R.; Wilson, M.H.

    1995-01-01

    We analyzed nesting behavior of five pairs of the endangered Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona vittata) during eight successful nesting attempts. Each stage of the nesting cycle (egg laying, incubation, early chick rearing, and late chick rearing) was characterized by distinct trends or levels of behavior. During egg laying, female attentiveness to tile nest increased, and male attentiveness decreased. Throughout incubation and the first several days of early chick rearing, females were highly attentive to their nests, whereas males rarely entered the nest cavities. Female attentiveness then began to decline. Male attentiveness to the nest was sporadic until chicks were 10-12 days old. when all males began to enter their nests at least once each day. During late chick rearing, both male and female attentiveness were erratic and highly variable. Biologists may be able to use these results to identify nest problems and the need for management intervention when patterns of nest attentiveness deviate from the limits described in this study..

  5. Nest-site selection and reproductive success of greater sage-grouse in a fire-affected habitat of northwestern Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lockyer, Zachary B.; Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Espinosa, Shawn; Delehanty, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Identifying links between micro-habitat selection and wildlife reproduction is imperative to population persistence and recovery. This information is particularly important for landscape species such as greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; sage-grouse). Although this species has been widely studied, because environmental factors can affect sage-grouse populations, local and regional studies are crucial for developing viable conservation strategies. We studied the habitat-use patterns of 71 radio-marked sage-grouse inhabiting an area affected by wildfire in the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada during 2009–2011 to determine the effect of micro-habitat attributes on reproductive success. We measured standard vegetation parameters at nest and random sites using a multi-scale approach (range = 0.01–15,527 ha). We used an information-theoretic modeling approach to identify environmental factors influencing nest-site selection and survival, and determine whether nest survival was a function of resource selection. Sage-grouse selected micro-sites with greater shrub canopy cover and less cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) cover than random sites. Total shrub canopy, including sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) and other shrub species, at small spatial scales (0.8 ha and 3.1 ha) was the single contributing selection factor to higher nest survival. These results indicate that reducing the risk of wildfire to maintain important sagebrush habitats could be emphasized in sage-grouse conservation strategies in Nevada. Managers may seek to mitigate the influx of annual grass invasion by preserving large intact sagebrush-dominated stands with a mixture of other shrub species. For this area of Nevada, the results suggest that ≥40% total shrub canopy cover in sage-grouse nesting areas could yield improved reproductive success

  6. Nest Success of Gunnison Sage-Grouse in Colorado, USA

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Amy J.; Phillips, Michael L.; Doherty, Paul F.

    2015-01-01

    Gunnison Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus minimus) is a species of concern for which little demographic information exists. To help fill this information gap, we investigated factors affecting nest success in two populations of Gunnison Sage-Grouse. We assessed the relative effects of (1) vegetation characteristics (e.g., shrub height, shrub cover, grass cover, and grass height), (2) temporal factors (e.g., year, timing of incubation initiation, and nest age), (3) precipitation, and (4) age of the nesting female (yearling or adult) on nest success rates. We found 177 nests in the Gunnison Basin population (that contains 85–90% of the species) from 2005–2010 and 20 nests in the San Miguel population (that contains < 10% of the species) from 2007–2010. Temporal factors had the greatest impact on nest success compared to vegetation characteristics, precipitation, and female age. Nest success varied considerably among years ranging from 4.0%-60.2% in Gunnison Basin and from 12.9%- 51.9% in San Miguel. Nests that were initiated earlier in the breeding season had higher nest success (at least one egg hatches). Daily nest survival rates decreased during the course of incubation. None of the vegetation characteristics we examined were strongly related to nest success. PMID:26287996

  7. Breeding biology and nesting success of palila

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pletschet, S.M.; Kelly, J.F.

    1990-01-01

    We studied the breeding biology of Palila (Loxioides bailleui ) at 85 nests from 20 April to 14 September 1988. Eggs were laid over a 139-day period and incubation averaged 16.6 days. The female incubated 85.2% of daylight hours and males fed incubating females. Modal clutch size was 2 (x super(-) = 2.0) and an average of 1.4 nestlings fledged per successful nest. Nestlings were in the nest an average of 25.3 days. Both females and males fed nestlings with the rate of feeding decreasing as the nestlings grew older. Palila nesting success was 25%, reduced primarily by hatching failure and depredation of nestlings. Hatching failure, due to inviable eggs or desertion, occurred in 41% of nests with eggs (55% of nest mortality). Egg depredation was rare (5% of nest mortality). Inbreeding and low food availability are postulated as the major causes for poor hatching success.

  8. Mourning Dove nesting habitat and nest success in Central Missouri

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Drobney, R.D.; Schulz, J.H.; Sheriff, S.L.; Fuemmeler, W.J.

    1998-01-01

    Previous Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) nesting studies conducted in areas containing a mixture of edge and continuous habitats have focused on edge habitats. Consequently, little is known about the potential contribution of continuous habitats to dove production. In this study we evaluated the relative importance of these two extensive habitat types by monitoring the habitat use and nest success of 59 radio-marked doves during 1990-1991 in central Missouri. Of 83 nests initiated by our marked sample, most (81.9%) were located in edge habitats. Although continuous habitats were selected less as nest sites, the proportion of successful nests did not differ significantly from that in edge habitats. Our data indicate that continuous habitats should not be considered marginal nesting habitat. If the intensity of use and nest success that we observed are representative regionally or nationally, continuous habitats could contribute substantially to annual Mourning Dove production because of the high availability of these habitats throughout much of the Mourning Dove breeding range.

  9. A unified approach to analyzing nest success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shaffer, T.L.

    2004-01-01

    Logistic regression has become increasingly popular for modeling nest success in terms of nest-specific explanatory variables. However, logistic regression models for nest fate are inappropriate when applied to data from nests found at various ages, for the same reason that the apparent estimator of nest success is biased (i.e. older clutches are more likely to be successful than younger clutches). A generalized linear model is presented and illustrated that gives ornithologists access to a flexible, suitable alternative to logistic regression that is appropriate when exposure periods vary, as they usually do. Unlike the Mayfield method and the logistic regression method of Aebischer (1999), the logistic-exposure model requires no assumptions about when nest losses occur. Nest survival models involving continuous and categorical explanatory variables, multi-way classifications, and time-specific (e.g. nest age) and random effects are easily implemented with the logistic-exposure model. Application of the model to a sample of Yellow-breasted Chat (Icteria virens) nests shows that logistic-exposure estimates for individual levels of categorical explanatory variables agree closely with estimates obtained with Johnson's (1979) constant-survival estimator. Use of the logistic-exposure method to model time-specific effects of nest age and date on survival of Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors) and Mallard (A. platyrhynchos) nests gives results comparable to those reported by Klett and Johnson (1982). However, the logistic-exposure approach is less subjective and much easier to implement than Klett and Johnson's method. In addition, logistic-exposure survival rate estimates are constrained to the (0,1) interval, whereas Klett and Johnson estimates are not. When applied to a sample of Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus) nests, the logistic-exposure method gives results either identical to, or similar to, those obtained with the nest survival model in program MARK. I

  10. Acadian flycatcher nest placement: Does placement influence reproductive success?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilson, R.R.; Cooper, R.J.

    1998-01-01

    We located 511 Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens) nests in bottomland hardwood forest of eastern Arkansas. Microhabitat characteristics were measured and their relationship with nest success evaluated. Fifty-two percent of all nesting attempts resulted in predation. Attributes of nest placement were similar between successful and unsuccessful nests, although successful nests were placed higher. Similarly, nonparasitized nests were typically higher than parasitized nests. Nests initiated late in the breeding season were placed in larger trees with higher canopy bases resulting in increased vegetation around the nest. Fifteen different tree species were used for nesting. Acadian Flycatchers chose nest trees in a nonrandom fashion, selecting Nuttall oak (Quercus nuttallii) and possumhaw (Ilex decidua) in greater proportions than their availability. However, there was no relationship between tree species used for nesting and nest success. Nest height was positively correlated with concealment at the nest site, supporting the predator-avoidance theory. No other attribute of nest placement differentiated successful nest sites, suggesting that nest predation is likely a function of random events in space and time.

  11. Avian nest success in midwestern forests fragmented by agriculture

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knutson, M.G.; Friberg, M.A.; Niemi, G.J.; Newton, W.E.

    2004-01-01

    Knutson et al. (2004) report the results of an avian nest success study conducted to investigate how forest-bird nest success varied by nest location and type as well as by landscape context from 1996 to 1998 in an agricultural region of southwestern Minnesota, and southwestern Wisconsin, and northeastern Iowa. The authors found an overall Mayfield adjusted nest success of 48%, 82% for cavity-nesting species, and 42% for cup-nesting species. Common species varied from 23% for American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla) to 43% for the Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens). Nest success was lowest for open-cup nesters, species that reject Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) eggs, species that next near forest edges, and Neotropical migrants. These tendencies were consistent across the years of the study. Assessments of nest success considering surrounding landscape metrics indicated that forest area may not be a strong indicator of nest success in landscapes where all the available forests are fragmented.

  12. Nest guarding from observation blinds: strategy for improving Puerto Rican parrot nest success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lindsey, G.D.

    1992-01-01

    The effectiveness of 17 yr of nestguarding from observation blinds for increasing reproductive success of the endangered Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona vittata) is described. As personnel and time allowed, active nests were guarded part-time during the nest site exploration and selection s stage of the breeding cycle, and part-time to full-time when a nest contained eggs or chicks. Biologists identified nine categories of threat to the success of parrot nests. Since 1973, a minimum of 20 nests, which otherwise would have failed, successfully produced fledglings as a direct result of nest guarding and intervention. Nest success averaged 66% with nest guarding compared to an estimated 38% without guarding. Nest guarding from blinds can help maintain a wild population of a critically endangered species while other management techniques are being developed to stimulate population growth.

  13. Duck nest success in the prairie pothole region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Klett, A.T.; Shaffer, T.L.; Johnson, D.H.

    1988-01-01

    We estimated nest success of mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), gadwall (A. strepera), blue-winged teal (A. discors), northern shoveler (A. clypeata), and northern pintail (A. acuta) for 5 regions in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota, for 1-3 periods between 1966 and 1984, and for 8 habitat classes. We obtained composite estimates of nest success for regions and periods by weighting each habitat proportional to the number of nest initiations. The distribution of nest initiations was derived from estimates of breeding populations, preferences of species for nesting habitats, and availability of habitats. Nest success rates ranged from <5 to 36% among regions, periods, and species. Rates were lowest in western Minnesota (MNW) and eastern North Dakota (NDE), intermediate in central North Dakota (NDC) and eastern South Dakota (SDE), and highest in central South Dakota (SDC). In regions with comparable data, no consistent trend in nest success was apparent from early to late periods. Gadwalls and blue-winged teal nested more successfully than mallards and pintails; the relative success of shovelers varied regionally. Ducks nesting in idle grassland were the most successful and those nesting in cropland were least successful. Mammalian predation was the major cause of nesting failure (54-85%) in all habitats, but farming operations resulted in 37 and 27% of the nesting failures in cropland and hayland, respectively. Most of the populations studied were not self-sustaining.

  14. Estimating Raptor Nesting Success: Old and New Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Jessi L.; Steenhof, Karen; Kochert, Michael N.; Bond, Laura

    2015-01-01

    Studies of nesting success can be valuable in assessing the status of raptor populations, but differing monitoring protocols can present unique challenges when comparing populations of different species across time or geographic areas. We used large datasets from long-term studies of 3 raptor species to compare estimates of apparent nest success (ANS, the ratio of successful to total number of nesting attempts), Mayfield nesting success, and the logistic-exposure model of nest survival. Golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), prairie falcons (Falco mexicanus), and American kestrels (F. sparverius) differ in their breeding biology and the methods often used to monitor their reproduction. Mayfield and logistic-exposure models generated similar estimates of nesting success with similar levels of precision. Apparent nest success overestimated nesting success and was particularly sensitive to inclusion of nesting attempts discovered late in the nesting season. Thus, the ANS estimator is inappropriate when exact point estimates are required, especially when most raptor pairs cannot be located before or soon after laying eggs. However, ANS may be sufficient to assess long-term trends of species in which nesting attempts are highly detectable. PMID:26401058

  15. Estimating raptor nesting success: old and new approaches

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, Jessi L.; Steenhof, Karen; Kochert, Michael N.; Bond, Laura

    2013-01-01

    Studies of nesting success can be valuable in assessing the status of raptor populations, but differing monitoring protocols can present unique challenges when comparing populations of different species across time or geographic areas. We used large datasets from long-term studies of 3 raptor species to compare estimates of apparent nest success (ANS, the ratio of successful to total number of nesting attempts), Mayfield nesting success, and the logistic-exposure model of nest survival. Golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), prairie falcons (Falco mexicanus), and American kestrels (F. sparverius) differ in their breeding biology and the methods often used to monitor their reproduction. Mayfield and logistic-exposure models generated similar estimates of nesting success with similar levels of precision. Apparent nest success overestimated nesting success and was particularly sensitive to inclusion of nesting attempts discovered late in the nesting season. Thus, the ANS estimator is inappropriate when exact point estimates are required, especially when most raptor pairs cannot be located before or soon after laying eggs. However, ANS may be sufficient to assess long-term trends of species in which nesting attempts are highly detectable.

  16. Spawning chronology, nest site selection and nest success of smallmouth bass during benign streamflow conditions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dauwalter, D.C.; Fisher, W.L.

    2007-01-01

    We documented the nesting chronology, nest site selection and nest success of smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu in an upstream (4th order) and downstream (5th order) reach of Baron Fork Creek, Oklahoma. Males started nesting in mid-Apr. when water temperatures increased to 16.9 C upstream, and in late-Apr. when temperatures increased to 16.2 C downstream. Streamflows were low (77% upstream to 82% downstream of mean Apr. streamflow, and 12 and 18% of meanjun. streamflow; 47 and 55 y of record), and decreased throughout the spawning period. Larger males nested first upstream, as has been observed in other populations, but not downstream. Upstream, progeny in 62 of 153 nests developed to swim-up stage. Downstream, progeny in 31 of 73 nests developed to swim-up. Nesting densities upstream (147/km) and downstream (100/km) were both higher than any densities previously reported. Males selected nest sites with intermediate water depths, low water velocity and near cover, behavior that is typical of smallmouth bass. Documented nest failures resulted from human disturbance, angling, and longear sunfish predation. Logistic exposure models showed that water velocity at the nest was negatively related and length of the guarding male was positively related to nest success upstream. Male length and number of degree days were both positively related to nest success downstream. Our results, and those of other studies, suggest that biological factors account for most nest failures during benign (stable, low flow) streamflow conditions, whereas nest failures attributed to substrate mobility or nest abandonment dominate when harsh streamflow conditions (spring floods) coincide with the spawning season.

  17. Effect of a commonly-used nest marker on nest success of ducks in prairie Canada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greenwood, R.J.; Sargeant, A.B.

    1995-01-01

    We evaluated the effect of a flagged-stake marker on success of duck nests in the prairie pothole region of Canada, and whether abundance of American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) influenced results. We marked 565 nests with flagged-stake markers and 573 in relation to natural objects (e.g., rock, tree, fence-post). We detected no difference in average daily survival rates between nests with flagged vs. natural markers (Xi?? = 3.37, 1 df, P = 0.07). Success rates averaged 10% for nests with flagged markers and 6% for nests with natural markers. The direction of the difference was consistent among areas and years (Xi?? = 19.9, 17 df, P = 0.28). We detected no correlation among areas and years between indices of American Crow abundance and differences in daily survival rates between nests with flagged markers and nests with natural markers (r = 0.02, 37 df, P = 0.91).

  18. Nesting habitat and reproductive success of southwestern riparian birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, B.F.; Steidl, R.J.

    2000-01-01

    Vegetation structure and floristic composition strongly influence the structure of bird communities. To assess the influence of vegetation and other environmental characteristics on songbirds, we quantified nest-site characteristics and reproductive success of a riparian songbird community in Arizona. Although we found interspecific variation in characteristics associated with nest sites, we identified two suites of species that chose sites with similar characteristics. These 'nest groups' were explained largely by nest height and characteristics of nest trees. Overall, nest success was low for songbirds in this community, and averaged 23%. The most common cause of nest failure was predation (81%), although brood parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) was highest at nests of Bell's Vireos (Vireo bellii) (29%). No vegetation or environmental features were associated with the likelihood of cowbird parasitism for any species; nest success for Bell's Vireos was negatively associated with the amount of netleaf hackberry (Celtis reticulata) in the understory. Arizona sycamore (Platanus wrightii) and netleaf hackberry trees contained 41% and 17% of all nests, respectively, and therefore provide critically important nesting substrates for birds in this rare yet diverse vegetation community.

  19. Nest site characteristics and nesting success of the Western Burrowing Owl in the eastern Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Longshore, Kathleen M.; Crowe, Dorothy E.

    2013-01-01

    We evaluated nest site selection at two spatial scales (microsite, territory) and reproductive success of Western Burrowing Owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) at three spatial scales (microsite, territory, landscape) in the eastern Mojave Desert. We used binary logistic regression within an information-theoretic approach to assess factors influencing nest site choice and nesting success. Microsite-scale variables favored by owls included burrows excavated by desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), burrows with a large mound of excavated soil at the entrance, and a greater number of satellite burrows within 5 m of the nest burrow. At the territory scale, owls preferred patches with greater cover of creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) within 50 m of the nest burrow. An interaction between the presence or absence of a calcic soil horizon layer over the top of the burrow (microsite) and the number of burrows within 50 m (territory) influenced nest site choice. Nesting success was influenced by a greater number of burrows within 5 m of the nest burrow. Total cool season precipitation was a predictor of nesting success at the landscape scale. Conservation strategies can rely on management of habitat for favored and productive nesting sites for this declining species.

  20. Effect of predator reduction on waterfowl nesting success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Balser, D.S.; Dill, H.H.; Nelson, H.K.

    1968-01-01

    A 6-year study to determine the effect of nest-predator removal on waterfowl nesting success was conducted at the Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge in northwestern Minnesota from 1959 through 1964. Predators were removed from the west side of the Refuge while the east side served as a control area. At the end of 3 years, these areas were reversed to reduce the effects of environmental influences. The effect of predator removal was measured by a simulated nest study to determine predation pressure, a check of natural nest success, and weekly breeding pair and brood counts. Results indicated that 60 percent more Class I ducklings were produced on the units where predator control was conducted. Until more is known, reduction of predators to increase waterfowl nesting success should be limited to intensively managed production areas where substantial nest losses are demonstrated.

  1. How Corridors Reduce Indigo Bunting Nest Success.

    SciTech Connect

    Weldon, Aimee, J.

    2006-08-01

    Abstract: Corridors are a popular strategy to conserve biodiversity and promote gene flow in fragmented landscapes. Corridor effectiveness has been bolstered by the fact that no empirical field studies have shown negative effects on populations or communities. I tested the hypothesis that corridors increase nest predation in connected habitat fragments relative to unconnected fragments. I evaluated this hypothesis in a large-scale experimental system of open-habitat fragments that varied in shape and connectivity. Corridors increased nest predation rates in connected fragments relative to unconnected fragments with lower edge:area ratios. Nest predation rates were similar between connected and unconnected fragments with higher edge:area ratios. These results suggest that the increase in predator activity is largely attributable to edge effects incurred through the addition of a corridor. This is the first field study to demonstrate that corridors can negatively impact animal populations occupying connected fragments.

  2. Avian nest success in midwestern forests fragmented by agriculture

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knutson, M.G.; Niemi, G.J.; Newton, W.E.; Friberg, M.A.

    2004-01-01

    We studied how forest-bird nest success varied by landscape context from 1996 to 1998 in an agricultural region of southeastern Minnesota, southwestern Wisconsin, and northeastern Iowa. Nest success was 48% for all nests, 82% for cavity-nesting species, and 42% for cup-nesting species. Mayfield-adjusted nest success for five common species ranged from 23% for the American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla) to 43% for the Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens). Nest success was lowest for open-cup nesters, species that reject Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) eggs, species that nest near forest edges, and Neo-tropical migrants. The proportion of forest core area in a 5-km radius around the plot had a weakly negative relationship with daily survival rate of nests for all species pooled and for medium or high canopy nesters, species associated with interior and edge habitats, open-cup nesters, and nests located between 75 and 199 m from an edge. The proportion of forest core area was positively related to daily survival rate only for ground and low nesters. Our findings are in contrast to a number of studies from the eastern United States reporting strong positive associations between forest area and nesting success. Supported models of habitat associations changed with the spatial scale of analysis and included variables not often considered in studies of forest birds, including the proportion of water, shrubs, and grasslands in the landscape. Forest area may not be a strong indicator of nest success in landscapes where all the available forests are fragmented.

  3. Island characteristics within wetlands influence waterbird nest success and abundance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hartman, Christopher; Ackerman, Josh; Herzog, Mark

    2016-01-01

    Coastal waterbird populations are threatened by habitat loss and degradation from urban and agricultural development and forecasted sea level rise associated with climate change. Remaining wetlands often must be managed to ensure that waterbird habitat needs, and other ecosystem functions, are met. For many waterbirds, the availability of island nesting habitat is important for conserving breeding populations. We used linear mixed models to investigate the influence of pond and island landscape characteristics on nest abundance and nest success of American avocets (Recurvirostra americana), black-necked stilts (Himantopus mexicanus), and Forster's terns (Sterna forsteri) in San Francisco Bay, California, USA, based on a 9-year dataset that included >9,000 nests. Nest abundance and nest success were greatest within ponds and on individual islands located either <1 km or >4 km from San Francisco Bay. Further, nest abundance was greater within ponds with relatively few islands, and on linear-shaped, highly elongated islands compared to more rounded islands. Nest success was greater on islands located away from the nearest surrounding pond levee. Compared to more rounded islands, linear islands contained more near-water habitat preferred by many nesting waterbirds. Islands located away from pond levees may provide greater protection from terrestrial egg and chick predators. Our results indicate that creating and maintaining a few, relatively small, highly elongated and narrow islands away from mainland levees, in as many wetland ponds as possible would be effective at providing waterbirds with preferred nesting habitat.

  4. Influence of Nest Box Color and Release Sites on Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) Reproductive Success in a Commercial Almond Orchard.

    PubMed

    Artz, Derek R; Allan, Matthew J; Wardell, Gordon I; Pitts-Singer, Theresa L

    2014-12-01

    Intensively managed, commercial orchards offer resources for managed solitary bees within agricultural landscapes and provide a means to study bee dispersal patterns, spatial movement, nest establishment, and reproduction. In 2012, we studied the impact of 1) the color of nest boxes covaried with four nest box density treatments and 2) the number of bee release sites covaried with two nest box density treatments on the reproductive success of Osmia lignaria Say in a California almond orchard pollinated by a mixture of O. lignaria and Apis mellifera L. Nest box color influenced the number of nests, total cells, and cells with male and female brood. More nests and cells were produced in light blue nest boxes than in orange or yellow nest boxes. The covariate nest box density also had a significant effect on brood production. The number of release sites did not affect O. lignaria nesting and reproduction, but the number of cavities in nest boxes influenced reproduction. Overall, the color of nest boxes and their distribution, but not the number of release sites, can greatly affect O. lignaria nest establishment and reproductive success in a commercial almond orchard. The ability to locate nesting sites in a homogenous, large orchard landscape may also be facilitated by the higher frequency of nest boxes with low numbers of cavities, and by the ability to detect certain nest box colors that best contrast with the blooming trees. PMID:26470068

  5. Landscape context moderates edge effects: Nesting success of wood thrushes in Central New York

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Driscoll, M.J.L.; Donovan, T.M.

    2004-01-01

    Despite two decades of research into the effects of habitat fragmentation and edges on nesting birds, critical information about how edges affect the success of natural nests of Neotropical migratory songbirds breeding in heterogeneous landscapes is still missing. We studied abundance and nesting success in Wood Thrushes (Hylocichla mustelina) breeding across a heterogeneous landscape in central New York from 1998 to 2000 to test the hypothesis that edge effects on nesting passerines are stronger in fragmented than contiguous landscapes. We monitored nests to estimate nesting success in edge and interior habitats in both fragmented and contiguously forested landscapes. In contiguous landscapes, daily survival rate did not differ between edge nests (0.963) and interior nests (0.968) (??2 = 0.19, p = 0.66). In contrast, in fragmented landscapes, daily survival estimates were higher in interior (0.971) than edge (0.953) nests (??2 = 3.1, p = 0.08). Our study supports the hypothesis that landscape composition moderates edge effects on actual nests of birds but does not determine the mechanisms causing these patterns.

  6. Maternal Health Status Correlates with Nest Success of Leatherback Sea Turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) from Florida

    PubMed Central

    Perrault, Justin R.; Miller, Debra L.; Eads, Erica; Johnson, Chris; Merrill, Anita; Thompson, Larry J.; Wyneken, Jeanette

    2012-01-01

    Of the seven sea turtle species, the critically endangered leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) exhibits the lowest and most variable nest success (i.e., hatching success and emergence success) for reasons that remain largely unknown. In an attempt to identify or rule out causes of low reproductive success in this species, we established the largest sample size (n = 60–70 for most values) of baseline blood parameters (protein electrophoresis, hematology, plasma biochemistry) for this species to date. Hematologic, protein electrophoretic and biochemical values are important tools that can provide information regarding the physiological condition of an individual and population health as a whole. It has been proposed that the health of nesting individuals affects their reproductive output. In order to establish correlations with low reproductive success in leatherback sea turtles from Florida, we compared maternal health indices to hatching success and emergence success of their nests. As expected, hatching success (median = 57.4%) and emergence success (median = 49.1%) in Floridian leatherbacks were low during the study period (2007–2008 nesting seasons), a trend common in most nesting leatherback populations (average global hatching success = ∼50%). One protein electrophoretic value (gamma globulin protein) and one hematologic value (red blood cell count) significantly correlated with hatching success and emergence success. Several maternal biochemical parameters correlated with hatching success and/or emergence success including alkaline phosphatase activity, blood urea nitrogen, calcium, calcium∶phosphorus ratio, carbon dioxide, cholesterol, creatinine, and phosphorus. Our results suggest that in leatherbacks, physiological parameters correlate with hatching success and emergence success of their nests. We conclude that long-term and comparative studies are needed to determine if certain individuals produce nests with lower

  7. Effects of spatial disturbance on common loon nest site selection and territory success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McCarthy, K.P.; DeStefano, S.

    2011-01-01

    The common loon (Gavia immer) breeds during the summer on northern lakes and water bodies that are also often desirable areas for aquatic recreation and human habitation. In northern New England, we assessed how the spatial nature of disturbance affects common loon nest site selection and territory success. We found through classification and regression analysis that distance to and density of disturbance factors can be used to classify observed nest site locations versus random points, suggesting that these factors affect loon nest site selection (model 1: Correct classification = 75%, null = 50%, K = 0.507, P < 0.001; model 2: Correct classification = 78%, null = 50%, K = 0.551, P < 0.001). However, in an exploratory analysis, we were unable to show a relation between spatial disturbance variables and breeding success (P = 0.595, R 2 = 0.436), possibly because breeding success was so low during the breeding seasons of 2007-2008. We suggest that by selecting nest site locations that avoid disturbance factors, loons thereby limit the effect that disturbance will have on their breeding success. Still, disturbance may force loons to use sub-optimal nesting habitat, limiting the available number of territories, and overall productivity. We advise that management efforts focus on limiting disturbance factors to allow breeding pairs access to the best nesting territories, relieving disturbance pressures that may force sub-optimal nest placement. ?? 2011 The Wildlife Society.

  8. Nesting success of birds in different silvicultural treatments in southeastern U.S. Pine Forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barber, D.R.; Martin, T.E.; Melchiors, M.A.; Thill, R.E.; Wigley, T.B.

    2001-01-01

    We examined nesting success and levels of nest predation and cowbird parasitism among five different silvicultural treatments: regenerating (3-6 years old), mid-rotation (12-15 years old), and thinned (17-23 years old) pine plantations, single-tree selection, and late-rotation pine-hardwood stands in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas from 1993 to 1995. We monitored 1674 nests. Differences in daily mortality and daily predation rate among two or more treatments were found for 4 and 3 of 12 species, respectively. These differences were lost following Bonferroni adjustments, but thinned stands had higher levels of predation than single-tree selection stands when predation levels were averaged across species. Daily predation rates were positively correlated with the relative abundance of birds, suggesting that nest predators respond to prey availability (i.e., nests) in a density-dependent manner. The relative abundance of cowbirds differed among treatments, with the highest densities in regenerating, thinned, and single-tree selection stands. Field Sparrows (Spizella pusilla) and Yellow-breasted Chats (Icteria virens) experienced higher levels of parasitism in thinned than regenerating plantations, whereas White-eyed Vireos (Vireo griseus) experienced higher parasitism in regenerating plantations than in mid-rotation or thinned plantations. Several shrub-nesting and 1 ground-nesting species had lower nesting success in thinned and regenerating plantations than has been reported in previously published studies. Thus, some seral stages of even-aged management may provide low-quality nesting habitat for several early-successional bird species. In contrast, many species nesting in mid-rotation and single-tree selection stands had nesting success similar to or greater than that found in previous studies, suggesting that some silvicultural treatments, when embedded in a largely forested landscape, may provide suitable habitat for forest land birds without affecting their

  9. Nesting phenology and success of ring-necked ducks in east-central Maine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McAuley, D.G.; Longcore, J.R.

    1989-01-01

    Selected aspects of the nesting biology of Ring-necked Ducks in east-central Maine were studied during 1983-1985 and compared to previous studies. Nesting chronology, clutch size, and hatching success were similar to results reported from previous studies, but nest success was 32-42% lower. Thirty-eight percent of the nests were successful; % of the eggs in successful nests hatched. Among unsuccessful nests, predation and flooding caused most failures.

  10. Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Hatching Success as a Function of the Microbial Abundance in Nest Sand at Ostional, Costa Rica

    PubMed Central

    Bézy, Vanessa S.; Valverde, Roldán A.; Plante, Craig J.

    2015-01-01

    Several studies have suggested that significant embryo mortality is caused by microbes, while high microbial loads are generated by the decomposition of eggs broken by later nesting turtles. This occurs commonly when nesting density is high, especially during mass nesting events (arribadas). However, no previous research has directly quantified microbial abundance and the associated effects on sea turtle hatching success at a nesting beach. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that the microbial abundance in olive ridley sea turtle nest sand affects the hatching success at Ostional, Costa Rica. We applied experimental treatments to alter the microbial abundance within the sand into which nests were relocated. We monitored temperature, oxygen, and organic matter content throughout the incubation period and quantified the microbial abundance within the nest sand using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) molecular analysis. The most successful treatment in increasing hatching success was the removal and replacement of nest sand. We found a negative correlation between hatching success and fungal abundance (fungal 18S rRNA gene copies g-1 nest sand). Of secondary importance in determining hatching success was the abundance of bacteria (bacterial 16S rRNA gene copies g-1 g-1 nest sand). Our data are consistent with the hypothesis that high microbial activity is responsible for the lower hatching success observed at Ostional beach. Furthermore, the underlying mechanism appears to be the deprivation of oxygen and exposure to higher temperatures resulting from microbial decomposition in the nest. PMID:25714355

  11. Factors influencing nesting success of king eiders on northern Alaska's Coastal Plain

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bentzen, R.L.; Powell, A.N.; Suydam, R.S.

    2008-01-01

    King eider (Somateria spectabilis) populations have declined markedly in recent decades for unknown reasons. Nest survival is one component of recruitment, and a female's chance of reproductive success increases with her ability to choose an appropriate nesting strategy. We estimated variation in daily nest survival of king eiders at 2 sites, Teshekpuk and Kuparuk, Alaska, USA, 2002-2005. We evaluated both a priori and exploratory competing models of nest survival that considered importance of nest concealment, seclusion, and incubation constancy as strategies to avoid 2 primary egg predators, avian (Larus spp., Stercorarius spp., and Corvus corax) and fox (Alopex lagopus). We used generalized nonlinear techniques to examine factors affecting nest survival rates and information-theoretic approaches to select among competing models. Estimated nest survival, accounting for a nest visitation effect, varied considerably across sites and years (0.21-0.57); however, given our small sample size, much of this variation maybe attributable to sampling variation (??process = 0.007, 95% CI: 0.003-0.070). Nest survival was higher at Kuparuk than Teshekpuk in all years; however, due to the correlative nature of our data, we cannot determine the underlying causes with any certainty. We found mixed support for the concealed breeding strategy, females derived no benefit from nesting in areas with more willow (Salix spp.; measure of concealment) except that the observer effect diminished as willow cover increased. We suggest these patterns are due to conflicting predation pressures. Nest survival was not higher on islands (measure of seclusion) or with increased incubation constancy but was higher post-fox removal, indicating that predator control on breeding grounds could be a viable management option. Nest survival was negatively affected by our nest visitations, most likely by exposing the nest to avian scavengers. We recommend precautions be taken to limit the effects of nest

  12. Factors affecting songbird nest survival in riparian forests in a Midwestern agricultural landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peak, R.G.; Thompson, F. R., III; Shaffer, T.L.

    2004-01-01

    We investigated factors affecting nest success of songbirds in riparian forest and buffers in northeastern Missouri. We used an information-theoretic approach to determine support for hypotheses concerning effects of nest-site, habitat-patch, edge, and temporal factors on nest success of songbirds in three narrow (55DS95 m) and three wide (400DS530 m) riparian forests with adjacent grasslandDSshrub buffer strips and in three narrow and three wide riparian forests without adjacent grasslandDSshrub buffer strips. We predicted that temporal effects would have the most support and that habitat-patch and edge effects would have little support, because nest predation would be great across all sites in the highly fragmented, predominantly agricultural landscape. Interval nest success was 0.404, 0.227, 0.070, and 0.186, respectively, for Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis), Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea), and forest interior species pooled (Acadian Flycatcher [Empidonax virescens], Wood Thrush [Hylocichla mustelina], Ovenbird [Seiurus aurocapillus], and Kentucky Warbler [Oporornis formosus]). The effect of nest stage on nest success had the most support; daily nest success for Gray Catbird and Indigo Bunting were lowest in the laying stage. We found strong support for greater nest success of Gray Catbird in riparian forests with adjacent buffer strips than in riparian forests without adjacent buffer strips. Patch width also occurred in the most supported model for Gray Catbird, but with very limited support. The null model received the most support for Northern Cardinal. Riparian forests provided breeding habitat for areas sensitive forest species and grassland-shrub nesting species. Buffer strips provided additional breeding habitat for grassland-shrub nesting species. Interval nest success for Indigo Bunting and area-sensitive forest species pooled, however, fell well below the level that is likely necessary to balance

  13. Factors affecting songbird nest survival in riparian forests in a midwestern agricultural landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peak, R.G.; Thompson, F. R., III; Shaffer, T.L.

    2004-01-01

    We investigated factors affecting nest success of songbirds in riparian forest and buffers in northeastern Missouri. We used an information-theoretic approach to determine support for hypotheses concerning effects of nest-site, habitat-patch, edge, and temporal factors on nest success of songbirds in three narrow (55-95 m) and three wide (400-530 m) riparian forests with adjacent grassland-shrub buffer strips and in three narrow and three wide riparian forests without adjacent grassland-shrub buffer strips. We predicted that temporal effects would have the most support and that habitat-patch and edge effects would have little support, because nest predation would be great across all sites in the highly fragmented, predominantly agricultural landscape. Interval nest success was 0.404, 0.227, 0.070, and 0.186, respectively, for Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis), Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea), and forest interior species pooled (Acadian Flycatcher [Empidonax virescens], Wood Thrush [Hylocichla mustelina], Ovenbird [Seiurus aurocapillus], and Kentucky Warbler [Oporornis formosus]). The effect of nest stage on nest success had the most support; daily nest success for Gray Catbird and Indigo Bunting were lowest in the laying stage. We found strong support for greater nest success of Gray Catbird in riparian forests with adjacent buffer strips than in riparian forests without adjacent buffer strips. Patch width also occurred in the most-supported model for Gray Catbird, but with very limited support. The null model received the most support for Northern Cardinal. Riparian forests provided breeding habitat for area-sensitive forest species and grassland-shrub nesting species. Buffer strips provided additional breeding habitat for grassland-shrub nesting species. Interval nest success for Indigo Bunting and area-sensitive forest species pooled, however, fell well below the level that is likely necessary to balance juvenile

  14. Flexibility in nest-site choice and nesting success of Turdus rufiventris (Turdidae) in a montane forest in northwestern argentina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lomascolo, S.B.; Monmany, A.C.; Malizia, A.; Martin, T.E.

    2010-01-01

    We studied the consequences of nest-site choice on nesting success under differing disturbance levels for the Rufous-bellied Thrush (Turdus rufiventris). We compared nest-site choice and nest success between a disturbed site and an undisturbed site in a montane subtropical forest in northwestern Argentina. We found no overall difference in daily predation rate (DPR) between the disturbed and undisturbed sites. However, DPR of nests on bromeliads was significantly lower at the microhabitat level than on other types of subtrates at the disturbed site. T. rufiventris used bromeliads for nesting more often than expected by chance at the disturbed site. DPR did not differ between substrates at the undisturbed site and T. rufiventris used all substrates according to their availability. Nests had higher predation at the disturbed site when DPR on non-bromeliad substrates was compared between disturbed and undisturbed sites. Nest fate was independent of nest height. Our results suggest T. rufiventris' flexibility in nest-site choice, as reflected by increased use of the safest sites, i.e., bromeliads, in the disturbed site compared to the undisturbed site, may allow this species to survive in an otherwise much riskier habitat. Our results illustrate how microhabitat-scale effects can mediate landscape scale effects. ?? 2010 by the Wilson Ornithological Society.

  15. Techniques for studying nest success of ducks in upland habitats in the prairie pothole region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Klett, A.T.; Duebbert, H.F.; Faanes, C.A.; Higgins, K.F.

    1986-01-01

    Selected procedures are described for conducting nesting studies of upland nesting ducks in the prairie pothole region. Emphasis is on the use of standard procedures so that comparable results can be obtained. Major topics addressed are finding nests by flushing hens with drags pulled by vehicles, recording of appropriate data, and calculating nest success rates. Techniques are described for conducting nest searches, candling eggs in the field, determining fate of clutches, and identifying species from evidence at nests. Two methods are presented for calculating nest success.

  16. Nest success of snowy plovers (Charadrius nivosus) in the Southern high plains of Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Saalfeld, S.T.; Conway, Warren C.; Haukos, D.A.; Johnson, W.P.

    2011-01-01

    Snowy Plovers (Charadrius nivosus) nesting on edges of saline lakes within the Southern High Plains (SHP) of Texas are threatened by habitat degradation due to reduced artesian spring flow, making many saline lakes unsuitable for nesting and migrating shorebirds. Factors influencing nest success were evaluated, current nest success estimates in the SHP of Texas were compared to estimates obtained ten years prior, and causes and timing of nest failures determined. Overall, 215 nests were monitored from three saline lakes in 20082009, with nest success estimates from Program MARK ranging from 7-33% ( x??= 22%). The leading causes of nest failures were attributed to predation (40%) and weather (36%). Nest success was negatively influenced by number of plants within 707-cm 2 plot, positively influenced by percent surface water availability, and at one saline lake, negatively influenced by day during the nesting season (i.e., nest success declined later in the nesting season). When compared to estimates ten years prior (19981999), mean nest success has declined by 31%. If nesting Snowy Plovers continue to experience increased predation rates, decreased hydrological integrity, and habitat alterations, populations will continue to decline throughout this region.

  17. Breeding dispersal of Eastern Bluebirds depends on nesting success but not on removal of old nests: An experimental study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gowaty, P.A.; Plissner, J.H.

    1997-01-01

    One hypothesis to explain both within-and between-season breeding dispersal is that individuals move in response to degradation in the suitability and/or quality of their nesting sites. This hypothesis was experimentally examined by manipulating the suitability and/or quality of nesting boxes used by Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) on one study site in upstate South Carolina. From 12 randomly assigned boxes, old nests, parasites, dead nestlings, old food or feces were not removed, as they were from 12 other randomly assigned boxes. There were 24 nesting attempts in cleaned boxes; 26 in not-cleaned boxes. Third brood nesting attempts occurred in only one of the cleaned boxes but in five of the not-cleaned boxes. Only 59% of individuals stayed to breed again within the season in not-cleaned boxes, whereas 72% stayed in cleaned boxes. Equal numbers of both males and females returned to breed in cleaned and not-cleaned boxes during the next breeding season, however. Both within-and between-season breeding dispersal is significantly more likely after unsuccessful nesting attempts than successful nesting attempts. There was no significant effect of cleaning or not cleaning nesting boxes on the chance of nesting attempts or the numbers of nestlings fledged from nesting boxes.

  18. Factors affecting detection of burrowing owl nests during standardized surveys

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conway, C.J.; Garcia, V.; Smith, M.D.; Hughes, K.

    2008-01-01

    Identifying causes of declines and evaluating effects of management practices on persistence of local populations of burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) requires accurate estimates of abundance and population trends. Moreover, regulatory agencies in the United States and Canada typically require surveys to detect nest burrows prior to approving developments or other activities in areas that are potentially suitable for nesting burrowing owls. In general, guidelines on timing of surveys have been lacking and surveys have been conducted at different times of day and in different stages of the nesting cycle. We used logistic regression to evaluate 7 factors that could potentially affect probability of a surveyor detecting a burrowing owl nest. We conducted 1,444 detection trials at 323 burrowing owl nests within 3 study areas in Washington and Wyoming, USA, between February and August 2000-2002. Detection probability was highest during the nestling period and increased with ambient temperature. The other 5 factors that we examined (i.e., study area, time of day, timing within the breeding season, wind speed, % cloud cover) interacted with another factor to influence detection probability. Use of call-broadcast surveys increased detection probability, even during daylight hours when we detected >95% of owls visually. Optimal timing of surveys will vary due to differences in breeding phenology and differences in nesting behavior across populations. Nevertheless, we recommend ???3 surveys per year: one that coincides with the laying and incubation period, another that coincides with the early nestling period, and a third that coincides with the late nestling period. In northern latitudes, surveys can be conducted throughout the day.

  19. Habitat edges affect patterns of artificial nest predation along a wetland-meadow boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suvorov, Petr; Svobodová, Jana; Albrecht, Tomáš

    2014-08-01

    Wetland habitats are among the most endangered ecosystems in the world. However, little is known about factors affecting the nesting success of birds in pristine grass-dominated wetlands. During three breeding periods we conducted an experiment with artificial ground nests to test two basic mechanisms (the matrix and ecotonal effects) that may result in edge effects on nest predation in grass-dominated wetland habitats. Whereas the matrix effect model supposes that predator penetrate from habitat of higher predator density to habitat of lower predator density, thus causing an edge effect in the latter, according to the ecotonal effect model predators preferentially use edge habitats over habitat interiors. In addition, we tested the edge effect in a wetland habitat using artificial shrub nests that simulated the real nests of small open-cup nesting passerines. In our study area, the lowest predation rates on ground nests were found in wetland interiors and were substantially higher along the edges of both wetland and meadow habitat. However, predation was not significantly different between meadow and wetland interiors, indicating that both mechanisms can be responsible for the edge effect in wetland edges. An increased predation rate along wetland edges was also observed for shrub nests, and resembled the predation pattern of real shrub nests in the same study area. Though we are not able to distinguish between the two mechanisms of the edge effect found, our results demonstrate that species nesting in wetland edges bordering arable land may be exposed to higher predation. Therefore, an increase in the size of wetland patches that would lead to a reduced proportion of edge areas might be a suitable management practice to protect wetland bird species in cultural European landscapes.

  20. Patch size and landscape effects on density and nesting success of grassland birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winter, M.; Johnson, D.H.; Shaffer, J.A.; Donovan, T.M.; Svedarsky, W.D.

    2006-01-01

    Current management recommendations for grassland birds in North America emphasize providing large patches of grassland habitat within landscapes that have few forest or shrubland areas. These Bird Conservation Areas are being proposed under the assumption that large patches of habitat in treeless landscapes will maintain viable populations of grassland birds. This assumption requires that patch size and landscape features affect density and nesting success of grassland birds, and that these effects are consistent among years and regions and across focal species. However, these assumptions have not yet been validated for grassland birds, and the relative importance of local vegetation structure, patch size, and landscape composition on grassland bird populations Is not well known. In addition, factors influencing grassland bird nesting success have been investigated mostly in small-scale and short-duration studies. To develop management guidelines for grassland birds, we tested the spatial and temporal repeatability of the influence of patch size and landscape composition on density and nesting success of 3 grassland passerines, after controlling for local-scale vegetation structure, climate, and-when analyzing nest success-bird density. We conducted our study during 4 years (1998-2001) in 44 study plots that were set up in 3 regions of the northern tallgrass prairie in Minnesota and North Dakota, USA. In these study plots we measured density and nesting success of clay-colored sparrows (Spizella pallida), Savannah sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis), and bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorusj. Statistical models indicated that density was influenced by patch size, landscape, region, and local vegetation structure more so than by local vegetation structure alone. Both magnitude and direction of the response of density to patch size varied among regions, years, and species. In contrast, the direction of landscape effects was consistent among regions, years, and between

  1. Effects of nest density, location, and timing on breeding success of Caspian Terns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Antolos, M.; Roby, D.D.; Lyons, Donald E.; Anderson, S.K.; Collis, K.

    2006-01-01

    One of the proposed benefits of colonial nesting in birds is the protection afforded against avian predators. This advantage may be counter-balanced by the negative effects of intraspecific aggression on breeding success. Effects of nest density, nest location within the colony, and timing of nest initiation on productivity of Caspian Terns (Sterna caspia) were investigated on Crescent Island in the mid-Columbia River, Washington, USA. In the absence of intense nest predation at the Crescent Island tern colony, it was hypothesized that nest density would be negatively associated with productivity. A rangefinder was used to determine spatial distribution of Caspian Tern nests, and these data used to calculate nest characteristics (nest density, nearest neighbor distance, and distance to colony edge) for a randomly-selected subset of nests monitored for nest chronology and productivity. Productivity did not differ between nests in high- and low-density areas of the colony, and was positively associated with earlier nest initiation. Early nests were more productive, were located in areas of higher nest density, and were further from the colony edge than late nests. The strong effect of timing may have been attributable to seasonal declines in prey resources for terns at this site. Our results suggest that Caspian Terns nesting at the highest densities observed in this study did not incur immediate reproductive costs, despite increased potential for encounters between chicks and aggressive conspecific adults.

  2. Redefining reproductive success in songbirds: Moving beyond the nest success paradigm

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Streby, Henry M.; Refsnider, Jeanine M.; Andersen, David E.

    2014-01-01

    One of the most commonly estimated parameters in studies of songbird ecology is reproductive success, as a measure of either individual fitness or population productivity. Traditionally, the “success” in reproductive success refers to whether, or how many, nestlings leave nests. Here, we advocate that “reproductive success” in songbirds be redefined as full-season productivity, orthe number of young raised to independence from adult care in a breeding season. A growing body of evidence demonstrates interdependence between nest success and fledgling survival, and emphasizes that data from either life stage alone can produce misleading measures of individual fitness and population productivity. Nest success, therefore, is an insufficient measure of reproductive success, and songbird ecology needs to progress beyond this long-standing paradigm. Full-season productivity, an evolutionarily rational measure of reproductive success, provides the framework for appropriately addressing unresolved questions about the adaptive significance of many breeding behaviors and within which effective breeding-grounds conservation and management can be designed.

  3. Nesting success and resource selection of greater sage grouse in South Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kaczor, Nicholas W.; Jensen, Kent C.; Klaver, Robert W.; Rumble, Mark A.; Herman-Brunson, Katie M.; Swanson, Christopher C.; Sandercock, Brett K., (Edited By); Martin, Kathy; Segelbacher, Gernot

    2011-01-01

    Declines of Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in South Dakota are a concern because further population declines may lead to isolation from populations in Wyoming and Montana. Furthermore, little information exists about reproductive ecology and resource selection of sage grouse on the eastern edge of their distribution. We investigated Greater Sage-Grouse nesting success and resource selection in South Dakota during 2006-2007. Radiomarked females were tracked to estimate nesting rates, nest success, and habitat resources selected for nesting. Nest initiation was 98.0%, with a maximum likelihood estimate of nest success of 45.6 ± 5.3%. Females selected nest sites that had greater sagebrush canopy cover and visual obstruction of the nest bowl compared to random sites. Nest survival models indicated that taller grass surrounding nests increased nest survival. Tall grass may supplement the low sagebrush cover in this area in providing suitable nest sites for Greater Sage-Grouse. Land managers on the eastern edge of Greater Sage-Grouse range could focus on increasing sagebrush density while maintaining tall grass by developing range management practices that accomplish this goal. To achieve nest survival rates similar to other populations, predictions from our models suggest 26 cm grass height would result in approximately 50% nest survival. Optimal conditions could be accomplished by adjusting livestock grazing systems and stocking rates.

  4. Differential effects of coyotes and red foxes on duck nest success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sovada, Marsha A.; Sargeant, A.; Grier, J.W.

    1995-01-01

    Low recruitment rates prevail among ducks in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America, primarily because of high nest depredation rates. The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is a major predator of duck eggs, but fox abundance is depressed by coyotes (Canis latrans). We tested the hypothesis that nest success of upland-nesting ducks is higher in areas with coyotes than in areas with red foxes. We conducted the study during 1990-92 in uplands of 36 areas managed for nesting ducks in North Dakota and South Dakota. Overall nest success averaged 32% (95% CI = 25-40) on 17 study areas where coyotes were the principal canid and 17% (CI = 11-25) on 13 study areas where red foxes were the principal canid (P = 0.01). Both canids were common on 6 other areas, where nest success averaged 25% (CI = 13-47). Habitat composition, predator communities with the exception of canids, and species composition of duck nests in coyote and red fox areas were similar overall. Upon examining only nests with greater than or equal to 6 eggs on the last visit prior to hatch or depredation, we determined nests with evidence characteristic of fox predation accounted for 4% of depredated nests in coyote areas and 27% in fox areas (P = 0.001). An expanding coyote population is contributing to higher overall nest success. Management of coyotes may be an effective method for increasing duck nest success.

  5. Density and success of bird nests relative to grazing on western Montana grasslands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fondell, T.F.; Ball, I.J.

    2004-01-01

    Grassland birds are declining at a faster rate than any other group of North American bird species. Livestock grazing is the primary economic use of grasslands in the western United States, but the effects of this use on distribution and productivity of grassland birds are unclear. We examined nest density and success of ground-nesting birds on grazed and ungrazed grasslands in western Montana. In comparison to grazed plots, ungrazed plots had reduced forb cover, increased litter cover, increased litter depth, and increased visual obstruction readings (VOR) of vegetation. Nest density among 10 of 11 common bird species was most strongly correlated with VOR of plots, and greatest nest density for each species occured where mean VOR of the plot was similar to mean VOR at nests. Additionally, all bird species were relatively consistent in their choice of VOR at nests despite substantial differences in VOR among plots. We suggest that birds selected plots based in part on availability of suitable nest sites and that variation in nest density relative to grazing reflected the effect of grazing on availability of nest sites. Nest success was similar between grazed plots and ungrazed plots for two species but was lower for nests on grazed plots than on ungrazed plots for two other species because of increased rates of predation, trampling, or parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater). Other species nested almost exclusively on ungrazed plots (six species) or grazed plots (one species), precluding evaluation of the effects of grazing on nest success. We demonstrate that each species in a diverse suite of ground-nesting birds preferentially used certain habitats for nesting and that grazing altered availability of preferred nesting habitats through changes in vegetation structure and plant species composition. We also show that grazing directly or indirectly predisposed some bird species to increased nesting mortality. Management alternatives that avoid intensive

  6. Effect of nesting environment on incubation temperature and hatching success of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) in an urban lake of Southeastern Mexico.

    PubMed

    López-Luna, Marco A; Hidalgo-Mihart, Mircea G; Aguirre-León, Gustavo; González-Ramón, Mariana Del C; Rangel-Mendoza, Judith A

    2015-01-01

    Incubation temperature is an important aspect in terms of biological performance among crocodiles, and several controlled experiments have demonstrated a significant relationship between incubation temperature, success in hatching and survival of hatchlings. However, a few studies have tested these relationships in the wild. The objective of this study was to determine the relationship of nest characteristics and environment (hatch year, nest basal area and height, clutch size, distance to shore line, and vegetation cover), to incubation temperature and hatching success among Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii). The study was carried out during the nesting seasons of Morelet's crocodile, from 2007 to 2009 in the Laguna de Las Ilusiones, an urban lake located in Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico. We physically characterized 18 nests and inserted a temperature data logger in each nest chamber. At the end of the nesting season and prior to hatching, we recovered the crocodile eggs and data loggers and calculated hatching success, under laboratory conditions. We related the environmental variables of the nest with the mean and fluctuation (standard deviation) of nest temperature, using linear models. We also related the environmental variables affecting the nest, to mean nest temperature and fluctuation in incubation temperature and to hatching success, using linear models. Although we found differences in incubation temperature between nests, mean incubation temperature did not differ between years, but there were differences in nest thermal fluctuation between years. The mean incubation temperature for 11 nests (61.1%) was lower than the suggested Female-Male pivotal temperature (producing 50% of each sex) for this species, and all hatchlings obtained were males. There were no differences in clutch size between years, but hatching success varied. Our study indicates that hatching success depends on certain environmental variables and nest conditions to which the

  7. Factors influencing nesting success of burrowing owls in southeastern Idaho

    SciTech Connect

    Gleason, R.S.; Johnson, D.R.

    1985-01-31

    A burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) population nesting on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) in southeastern Idaho utilized burrows excavated by badgers (Taxidea taxus) or natural cavities in lava flows as nesting sites. The size of the population was small (N = 13-14 pairs) in relation to the number of available nesting sites, suggesting that factors other than burrow availability limited this population. Rodents and Jerusalem crickets (Stenopelmatus fuscus) represented the primary prey utilized during the nesting season. This population demonstrated both a numerical (brood size) and functional (dietary) response to a decrease in the density of three species of rodents on the INEL during a drought in 1977. 11 references, 1 figure, 2 table.

  8. Age and breeding success related to nest position in a White stork Ciconia ciconia colony

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vergara, Pablo; Aguirre, José I.

    2006-11-01

    Coloniality is a breeding system that may produce benefits in terms of breeding success, although these advantages could vary according to factors such as colony size or nest position. We studied breeder's age in relation to nest position (peripheral or central) within the colony. In addition, we studied the relationship between breeding success and nest position, controlling for breeder's age, a highly correlated factor, in a White Stork Ciconia ciconia colony over a 7-year period. Our results show that central nests are mainly occupied by adult birds and had lower failure rates. However, controlling for breeder's age, nest position per se did not explain breeding success. The scarce predation and the lack of human disturbance in the study colony could explain the absence of differences in breeding success between different nest positions within the colony.

  9. Nest success of mountain plovers relative to anthropogenic edges in eastern Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mettenbrink, C.W.; Dreitz, V.J.; Knopf, F.L.

    2006-01-01

    We monitored nest success of mountain plovers (Charadrius montanus) relative to distance from the nearest anthropogenic edges, such as fence lines, roads, and perimeters of crop fields, in 2003 and 2004. We located and observed 163 mountain plover nests in eastern Colorado (USA). At least one egg hatched in 81 of 163 nests. Successful nests occurred at a mean distance of 93.94 m ?? 8.87 SE, whereas unsuccessful nests were located 84.39 m ?? 8.95 SE from the nearest edge. Based on our model selection criteria (AIC c), nests farther from edges were not necessarily more successful than those closer to edges. The logistic regression coefficient for edge effects (0.13 ?? 0.12 SE) suggests that nests farther from edges are more successful. However, the standard error for the edge coefficient was large and the 95% confidence interval (-0.08, 0.35) encompassed zero, suggesting nest success was independent of distance from an anthropomorphic edge. We conclude that phenomena determining nest success of mountain plovers cannot be attributed to the single factor of anthropogenic edges in this fragmented landscape.

  10. Potential Influences of Climate and Nest Structure on Spotted Owl Reproductive Success: A Biophysical Approach

    PubMed Central

    Rockweit, Jeremy T.; Franklin, Alan B.; Bakken, George S.; Gutiérrez, R. J.

    2012-01-01

    Many bird species do not make their own nests; therefore, selection of existing sites that provide adequate microclimates is critical. This is particularly true for owls in north temperate climates that often nest early in the year when inclement weather is common. Spotted owls use three main types of nest structures, each of which are structurally distinct and may provide varying levels of protection to the eggs or young. We tested the hypothesis that spotted owl nest configuration influences nest microclimate using both experimental and observational data. We used a wind tunnel to estimate the convective heat transfer coefficient (hc) of eggs in 25 potential nest configurations that mimicked 2 nest types (top-cavity and platform nests), at 3 different wind speeds. We then used the estimates of hc in a biophysical heat transfer model to estimate how long it would take unattended eggs to cool from incubation temperature (∼36°C) to physiological zero temperature (PZT; ∼26°C) under natural environmental conditions. Our results indicated that the structural configuration of nests influences the cooling time of the eggs inside those nests, and hence, influences the nest microclimate. Estimates of time to PZT ranged from 10.6 minutes to 33.3 minutes. Nest configurations that were most similar to platform nests always had the fastest egg cooling times, suggesting that platform nests were the least protective of those nests we tested. Our field data coupled with our experimental results suggested that nest choice is important for the reproductive success of owls during years of inclement weather or in regions characterized by inclement weather during the nesting season. PMID:22859993

  11. Sitting in the sun: Nest microhabitat affects incubation temperatures in seabirds.

    PubMed

    Hart, Lorinda A; Downs, Colleen T; Brown, Mark

    2016-08-01

    During incubation parent birds are committed to a nest site and endure a range of ambient conditions while regulating egg temperatures. Using artificial eggs containing temperature loggers alongside ambient temperature (Ta) controls, incubation profiles were determined for four tropical seabird species at different nest site locations. Camera traps were used for ad-hoc behavioural incubation observations. Eggs experienced a range of temperatures during incubation and varied significantly between species and in some cases between different microhabitats within a species. Such variation has important consequences in the phenotypic expression of both physical and physiological traits of chicks, and ultimately species fitness. Exposed nest sites were more strongly correlated to Tas. Camera traps highlighted different incubation strategies employed by these species that could be related to trade-offs in predator defence, feeding habits, and temperature regulation of eggs. This study provides evidence that species with similar breeding habits could be affected by environmental stressors in similar ways and that the differences shown in nest site selection could negate some of these effects. We propose that habitats providing suitable nest microclimates will become increasingly important for the successful breeding of seabird species, particularly under predicted climate change scenarios. PMID:27503727

  12. Factors affecting chick provisioning by Caspian Terns nesting in the Columbia River estuary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, S.K.; Roby, D.D.; Lyons, Donald E.; Collis, K.

    2005-01-01

    We investigated factors affecting chick provisioning by radio-tagged Caspian Terns (Sterna caspia) nesting in a large colony on East Sand Island in the Columbia River estuary during 2001. Caspian Tern predation on juvenile salmonids (Oncorhynchus spp.) in the estuary prompted resource managers to relocate ca. 9,000 pairs of terns nesting on Rice Island (river km 34) to East Sand Island (river km 8), where terns were expected to consume fewer salmonids in favor of marine forage fishes. This study investigated factors influencing foraging success, diet composition, and overall reproductive success at the managed Caspian Tern colony. Our results indicated that daytime colony attendance by nesting terns averaged 64% and decreased throughout the chick-rearing period, while duration of foraging trips averaged 47 min and increased during the same period; these seasonal changes were more strongly related to date than chick age. Average meal delivery rates to 2-chick broods (0.88 meals h-1) were 2.6 times greater than to 1-chick broods (0.33 meals h-1). Parents delivered more juvenile salmonids to chicks during ebb tides than flood tides, but meal delivery rates to the nest remained constant, suggesting diet composition tracks relative availability of prey species. Foraging trips resulting in delivery of juvenile salmonids averaged 68% longer than foraging trips for schooling marine forage fishes, indicating higher availability of marine prey near the colony. High availability of marine forage fish in the Columbia River estuary during 2001 was apparently responsible for high colony attendance, short foraging trips, high chick meal delivery rates, and high nesting success of Caspian Terns on East Sand Island.

  13. Hatching success of Caspian terns nesting in the lower Laguna Madre, Texas, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mitchell, C.A.; Custer, T.W.

    1986-01-01

    The average clutch size of Caspian Terns nesting in a colony in the Lower Laguna Madre near Laguna Vista, Texas, USA in 1984 was 1.9 eggs per nest. Using the Mayfield method for calculating success, one egg hatched in 84.1% of the nests and 69.8% of the eggs laid hatched. These hatching estimates are as high or higher than estimates from colonies in other areas.

  14. Mitigation effectiveness for improving nesting success of greater sage-grouse influenced by energy development

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirol, Christopher P.; Sutphin, Andrew L.; Bond, Laura S.; Fuller, Mark R.; Maechtle, Thomas L.

    2015-01-01

    Sagebrush Artemisia spp. habitats being developed for oil and gas reserves are inhabited by sagebrush obligate species — including the greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus (sage-grouse) that is currently being considered for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Numerous studies suggest increasing oil and gas development may exacerbate species extinction risks. Therefore, there is a great need for effective on-site mitigation to reduce impacts to co-occurring wildlife such as sage-grouse. Nesting success is a primary factor in avian productivity and declines in nesting success are also thought to be an important contributor to population declines in sage-grouse. From 2008 to 2011 we monitored 296 nests of radio-marked female sage-grouse in a natural gas (NG) field in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming, USA, and compared nest survival in mitigated and non-mitigated development areas and relatively unaltered areas to determine if specific mitigation practices were enhancing nest survival. Nest survival was highest in relatively unaltered habitats followed by mitigated, and then non-mitigated NG areas. Reservoirs used for holding NG discharge water had the greatest support as having a direct relationship to nest survival. Within a 5-km2 area surrounding a nest, the probability of nest failure increased by about 15% for every 1.5 km increase in reservoir water edge. Reducing reservoirs was a mitigation focus and sage-grouse nesting in mitigated areas were exposed to almost half of the amount of water edge compared to those in non-mitigated areas. Further, we found that an increase in sagebrush cover was positively related to nest survival. Consequently, mitigation efforts focused on reducing reservoir construction and reducing surface disturbance, especially when the surface disturbance results in sagebrush removal, are important to enhancing sage-grouse nesting success.

  15. Mitigation effectiveness for improving nesting success of greater sage-grouse influenced by energy development

    PubMed Central

    Kirol, Christopher P.; Sutphin, Andrew L.; Bond, Laura; Fuller, Mark R.; Maechtle, Thomas L.

    2015-01-01

    Sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) habitats being developed for oil and gas reserves are inhabited by sagebrush obligate species—including the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; sage-grouse) that is currently being considered for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Numerous studies suggest increasing oil and gas development may exacerbate species extinction risks. Therefore, there is a great need for effective on-site mitigation to reduce impacts to co-occurring wildlife such as sage-grouse. Nesting success is a primary factor in avian productivity and declines in nesting success are also thought to be an important contributor to population declines in sage-grouse. From 2008 to 2011 we monitored 296 nests of radio-marked female sage-grouse in a natural gas (NG) field in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming, USA and compared nest survival in mitigated and non-mitigated development areas and relatively unaltered areas to determine if specific mitigation practices were enhancing nest survival. Nest survival was highest in relatively unaltered habitats followed by mitigated, and then non-mitigated NG areas. Reservoirs used for holding NG discharge water had the greatest support as having a direct relationship to nest survival. Within a 5 km2 area surrounding a nest, the probability of nest failure increased by about 15% for every 1.5 km increase in reservoir water edge. Reducing reservoirs was a mitigation focus and sage-grouse nesting in mitigated areas were exposed to almost half of the amount of water edge compared to those in non-mitigated areas. Further, we found that an increase in sagebrush cover was positively related to nest survival. Consequently, mitigation efforts focused on reducing reservoir construction and reducing surface disturbance, especially when the surface disturbance results in sagebrush removal, are important to enhancing sage-grouse nesting success. PMID:26366042

  16. Determinants of wood thrush nest success: A multi-scale, model selection approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Driscoll, M.J.L.; Donovan, T.; Mickey, R.; Howard, A.; Fleming, K.K.

    2005-01-01

    We collected data on 212 wood thrush (Hylocichla mustelina) nests in central New York from 1998 to 2000 to determine the factors that most strongly influence nest success. We used an information-theoretic approach to assess and rank 9 models that examined the relationship between nest success (i.e., the probability that a nest would successfully fledge at least 1 wood thrush offspring) and habitat conditions at different spatial scales. We found that 4 variables were significant predictors of nesting success for wood thrushes: (1) total core habitat within 5 km of a study site, (2) distance to forest-field edge, (3) total forest cover within 5 km of the study site, and (4) density and variation in diameter of trees and shrubs surrounding the nest. The coefficients of these predictors were all positive. Of the 9 models evaluated, amount of core habitat in the 5-km landscape was the best-fit model, but the vegetation structure model (i.e., the density of trees and stems surrounding a nest) was also supported by the data. Based on AIC weights, enhancement of core area is likely to be a more effective management option than any other habitat-management options explored in this study. Bootstrap analysis generally confirmed these results; core and vegetation structure models were ranked 1, 2, or 3 in over 50% of 1,000 bootstrap trials. However, bootstrap results did not point to a decisive model, which suggests that multiple habitat factors are influencing wood thrush nesting success. Due to model uncertainty, we used a model averaging approach to predict the success or failure of each nest in our dataset. This averaged model was able to correctly predict 61.1% of nest outcomes.

  17. Nest success, cause-specific nest failure, and hatchability of aquatic birds at selenium-contaminated Kesterson Reservoir and a reference site

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ohlendorf, H.M.; Hothem, R.L.; Welsh, D.

    1989-01-01

    Nest success and causes of failure varied by species, site, and year. The most important causes of nest failure were predation, desertion, and water level changes. Embryotoxicity was the most important cause of nest failure in eared grebes at Kesterson Reservoir.

  18. Factors influencing nest success of songbirds in aspen and willow riparian areas in the Great Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heltzel, J.M.; Earnst, S.L.

    2006-01-01

    Recent studies have examined the effects of livestock grazing, agriculture, and human habitation on nest predation and brood parasitism in riparian areas in the western United States. However, we know little about factors influencing nest success in riparian areas lacking such anthropogenic influences, in part because the influences are so pervasive. We studied riparian bird communities in a 115 000 ha wildlife refuge where livestock grazing was discontinued > 10 years ago, and which has little nearby agriculture or human habitation. We monitored nests on 24 aspen (Populus tremuloides) and 10 willow (Salix spp.) plots. Brood parasitism rates were substantially lower than at other western sites and did not differ between aspen and willow habitats. Nest success in aspen was relatively high compared to that reported for other western sites and higher than in willow. Predators may have been able to find nests more efficiently in willow than in aspen because territory densities were higher in willow (40 versus 30 pairs per ha, respectively), because willow had less structural heterogeneity, or both. We did not find strong evidence that nest success was influenced by aspen patch size or distance to riparian edge, indicating that even small aspen patches provide valuable nesting habitat. Weather was an important cause of nest failure, particularly at higher elevations during late-spring snowstorms. Our results indicate that riparian areas without major anthropogenic impacts, especially aspen stands, constitute high-quality breeding habitat and warrant conservation focus. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2006.

  19. Factors associated with duck nest success in the prairie pothole region of Canada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greenwood, R.J.; Sargeant, A.B.; Johnson, D.H.; Cowardin, L.; Shaffer, T.L.

    1995-01-01

    Populations of some dabbling ducks have declined sharply in recent decades and information is needed to understand reasons for this. During 1982-85, we studied duck nesting for 1-4 years in 17 1.6 by 16.0-km, high-density duck areas in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of Canada, 9 in parkland and 8 in prairie. We estimated nest-initiation dates, habitat preferences, nest success, and nest fates for mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), gadwalls (A. strepera), blue-winged teals (A. discors), northern shovelers (A. clypeata), and northern pintails (A. acuta). We also examined the relation of mallard production to geographic and temporal variation in wetlands, breeding populations, nesting effort, and hatch rate.Average periods of nest initiation were similar for mallards and northern pintails, and nearly twice as long as those of gadwalls, blue-winged teals, and northern shovelers. Median date of nest initiation was related to presence of wet wetlands (contained visible standing water), spring precipitation, and May temperature. Length of initiation period was related to presence of wet wetlands and precipitation in May, June temperature, and nest success; it was negatively related overall to drought that prevailed over much of Prairie Canada during the study, especially in 1984.Mallards, gadwalls, and northern pintails nested most often in brush in native grassland, blue-winged teals in road rights-of-way, and northern shovelers in hayfields and small (<2 ha) untilled tracts of upland habitat (hereafter called Odd area). Among 8 habitat classes that composed all suitable nesting habitat of each study area, nest success estimates averaged 25% in Woodland, 19% in Brush, 18% in Hayland, 16% in Wetland, 15% in Grass, 11% in Odd area, 8% in Right-of-way, and 2% in Cropland. We detected no significant difference in nest success among species: mallard (11%), gadwall (14%), blue-winged teal (15%), northern shoveler (12%), and northern pintail (7%). Annual nest success (pooled by

  20. The human influence on seabird nesting success: Conservation implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, D.W.; Keith, J.O.

    1980-01-01

    Based on studies of brown pelicans Pelecanus occidentalis californicus and Heermann's gulls Larus heermanni, disturbances by recreationists, educational groups, local fishermen and scientists alike can be seriously disruptive and damaging to breeding seabirds in the Gulf of California and off the west coast of Baja California. Similar instances have been identified throughout the world?the problem is not difficult to document, but it is difficult to eliminate. The increasing human-seabird contacts on islands in the Gulf of California and along the west coast of Baja California raise serious questions and immediate concern about the continued preservation of nesting colonies of marine birds in those areas. Conservation measures must consider the extreme sensitivity of many seabirds to the inter- and intraspecific behavioural imbalances created by human disturbances. In some cases, total exclusion of humans may be required; in others, limited access might be possible under closely managed conditions at certain times of the year. A symbiotic relationship between seabird conservation, legitimate research and tourism should be the desired goal.

  1. Estimating Differential Reproductive Success From Nests of Related Individuals, With Application to a Study of the Mottled Sculpin, Cottus bairdi

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Beatrix; Grossman, Gary D.; Walsh, Daniel C. I.; Porter, Brady A.; Avise, John C.; Fiumera, Anthony C.

    2007-01-01

    Understanding how variation in reproductive success is related to demography is a critical component in understanding the life history of an organism. Parentage analysis using molecular markers can be used to estimate the reproductive success of different groups of individuals in natural populations. Previous models have been developed for cases where offspring are random samples from the population but these models do not account for the presence of full- and half-sibs commonly found in large clutches of many organisms. Here we develop a model for comparing reproductive success among different groups of individuals that explicitly incorporates within-nest relatedness. Inference for the parameters of the model is done in a Bayesian framework, where we sample from the joint posterior of parental assignments and fertility parameters. We use computer simulations to determine how well our model recovers known parameters and investigate how various data collection scenarios (varying the number of nests or the number of offspring) affect the estimates. We then apply our model to compare reproductive success among different age groups of mottled sculpin, Cottus bairdi, from a natural population. We demonstrate that older adults are more likely to contribute to a nest and that females in the older age groups contribute more eggs to a nest than younger individuals. PMID:17565960

  2. Lead concentrations and reproductive success in European starlings Sturnus vulgaris nesting within highway roadside verges

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grue, C.E.; Hoffman, D.J.; Beyer, W.N.; Franson, L.P.

    1986-01-01

    In 1981, the authors studied lead concentrations and reproductive success in free-living European starlings Sturnus vulgaris nesting within the verges of two Maryland highways with different traffic volumes, Route 197(average daily traffic volume[ADT] = 10,800 vehicles) and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (ADT=52,500 vehicles) and a nearby control area. Concentrations (mg kg-1 dry weight) of lead in the ingesta (84-94 mg kg-1), carcasses (4.0-9.6 mg kg-1)and feathers (6.8-52 mg kg-1) of Parkway nestlings and adults were 3 to 13 times those found in starlings from the control area, whereas lead concentrations in the ingesta and tissues of starlings from the verge of Route 197 were similar to those of controls. Activity of delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) in red blood cells (RBCs) of adult and nestling starlings from the Parkway was depressed from 43 to 60% compared to controls. RBC ALAD activity in adults from nests along Route 197 was similar to that of adult starlings from the control area, but that of their young was depressed 17%. Haemoglobin concentrations (-16%) and haematocrits (-10%) in Parkway nestlings were depressed compared with those of nestlings from the other two study areas, whereas those of adults were not affected. Clutch size, number of young hatched and the number of young in nests 1 to 3 days before fledging were similar among sites, as were body weights of adults and prefledging weights of their young. However, brain weights of Parkway nestlings were lower (P < 0.05) than those of nestlings from the other study areas. Results suggests that lead within verges of major highways probably does not pose a serious hazard to adult ground-foraging songbirds. However, the effects of lead-induced reductions in haemoglobin concentration, haematocrit, RBC ALAD activity and brain weight on the postfledging survival of their young are not known.

  3. Duck nest success on Conservation Reserve Program land in the prairie pothole region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kantrud, H.A.

    1993-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation from intensified farming has concentrated nesting waterfowl and their predators in the remaining, relatively small untitled habitats of the prairie pothole region in the United States. The areas of land that have been enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in this area could help disperse these concentrations and reduce losses to predators. The presence of CRP land may influence decisions about intensive management of public lands devoted to waterfowl production. During 1989-1991, waterfowl nest success on CRP fields in areas of high wetland density in the prairie pothole region was 23.1 percent compared to 8.2 percent on similar covers on federal waterfowl production areas. CRP fields thus provided more secure nesting cover for upland-nesting ducks than waterfowl production areas. However, nest success and use of the fields by ducks varied greatly. CRP fields are abundant and of a wide variety of age classes and sizes. These characteristics make CRP fields well suited as study sites for determining the effects of cover area, distance to water, and cover age on nest success of ducks.

  4. Hooded-Warbler Nesting Success Adjacent to Group-Selection and Clearcut Edges in a Southeastern Bottomland Forest

    SciTech Connect

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

    2002-01-11

    Location and monitoring of Hooded-Warbler nests in a bottomland forest and examined the effects of edge proximity, edge type and nest-site vegetation on nesting success. Probability of parasitism by Brown-headed cowbirds was higher near clearcut edges and parasitism reduced clutch-size and numbers of fledglings per successful nest. Study was conducted in a primarily forested landscape, so cowbird abundance or negative edge effects may have been low relative to agricultural landscapes in the South.

  5. SENSITIVITY OF NEST SUCCESS, YOUNG FLEDGED, AND PROBABILITY OF RENESTING TO SEASONAL FECUNDITY IN MULTI-BROODED SPECIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    A considerable number of avian species can produce multiple broods within a season. Seasonal fecundity in these species can vary by changes in the number of young fledged per nest, the probability of a successful nest, and the probability of initiating additional nests (e.g., re...

  6. Effects of contaminants on reproductive success of aquatic birds nesting at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

    PubMed

    Hothem, R L; Crayon, J J; Law, M A

    2006-11-01

    Contamination by organochlorine pesticides (OCs), polychlorinated biphenyls, metals, and trace elements at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB), located in the Mojave Desert, could adversely affect nesting aquatic birds, especially at the sewage lagoons that comprise Piute Ponds. Estimates of avian reproduction, in conjunction with analyses of eggs and avian foods for contaminant residues, may indicate the potential for negative effects on avian populations. From 1996 to 1999, we conducted studies at the Piute Ponds area of EAFB to evaluate the impacts of contaminants on nesting birds. Avian reproduction was evaluated in 1999. Eggs were collected for chemical analyses in 1996 and 1999, and African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis), a likely food source, were collected for chemical analyses in 1998. Avian species occupying the higher trophic levels--black-crowned night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), white-faced ibis (Plegadis chihi), and American avocet (Recurvirostra americana)--generally bioaccumulated higher concentrations of contaminants in their eggs. Reproductive success and egg hatchability of night-herons and white-faced ibises in the Piute Ponds were similar to results observed at other western colonies. Deformities were observed in only one embryo in this study, but concentrations of contaminants evaluated in this ibis embryo were considered insufficient to have caused the deformities. Because clawed frogs, a primary prey item for night-herons at Piute Ponds, had no detectable levels of any OCs, it is likely that OCs found in night-heron eggs were acquired from the wintering grounds rather than from EAFB. The presence of isomers of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in ibis eggs indicated recent exposure, but invertebrates used for food by ibises were not sampled at Piute Ponds, and conclusions about the source of OCs in ibis eggs could not be made. Concentrations of contaminants in random and failed eggs of individual species were not different, and we concluded

  7. Effects of contaminants on reproductive success of aquatic birds nesting at Edwards Air Force Base, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hothem, R.L.; Crayon, J.J.; Law, M.A.

    2006-01-01

    Contamination by organochlorine pesticides (OCs), polychlorinated biphenyls, metals, and trace elements at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB), located in the Mojave Desert, could adversely affect nesting aquatic birds, especially at the sewage lagoons that comprise Piute Ponds. Estimates of avian reproduction, in conjunction with analyses of eggs and avian foods for contaminant residues, may indicate the potential for negative effects on avian populations. From 1996 to 1999, we conducted studies at the Piute Ponds area of EAFB to evaluate the impacts of contaminants on nesting birds. Avian reproduction was evaluated in 1999. Eggs were collected for chemical analyses in 1996 and 1999, and African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis), a likely food source, were collected for chemical analyses in 1998. Avian species occupying the higher trophic levels-black-crowned night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), white-faced ibis (Plegadis chihi), and American avocet (Recurvirostra americana)-generally bioaccumulated higher concentrations of contaminants in their eggs. Reproductive success and egg hatchability of night-herons and white-faced ibises in the Piute Ponds were similar to results observed at other western colonies. Deformities were observed in only one embryo in this study, but concentrations of contaminants evaluated in this ibis embryo were considered insufficient to have caused the deformities. Because clawed frogs, a primary prey item for night-herons at Piute Ponds, had no detectable levels of any OCs, it is likely that OCs found in night-heron eggs were acquired from the wintering grounds rather than from EAFB. The presence of isomers of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in ibis eggs indicated recent exposure, but invertebrates used for food by ibises were not sampled at Piute Ponds, and conclusions about the source of OCs in ibis eggs could not be made. Concentrations of contaminants in random and failed eggs of individual species were not different, and we concluded

  8. Effects of prairie fragmentation on the nest success of breeding birds in the midcontinental United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herkert, J.R.; Reinking, D.L.; Wiedenfeld, D.A.; Winter, M.; Zimmerman, J.L.; Jensen, W.E.; Finck, E.J.; Koford, Rolf R.; Wolfe, D.H.; Sherrod, S.K.; Jenkins, M.A.; Faaborg, J.; Robinson, S.K.

    2003-01-01

    Grassland fragmentation and habitat loss are hypothesized to be contributing to widespread grassland bird declines in North America due to the adverse effects of fragmentation on breeding bird abundance and reproductive success. To assess the effects of fragmentation on the reproductive success of grassland birds, we measured rates of nest predation and brood parasitism for four species of birds (Grasshopper Sparrow [Ammodramus savannaru], Henslow's Sparrow[Ammodramus henslowii], Eastern Meadowlark [Sturnella magna], and Dickcissel [Spiza Americana]) in 39 prairie fragments ranging from 24 to >40,000 ha in size in five states in the mid-continental United States. Throughout the region, nest-predation rates were significantly influenced by habitat fragmentation. Nest predation was highest in small (1000 ha) prairie fragments. Rates of brood parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater), however, were not consistently related to fragment size and instead were more strongly related to regional cowbird abundance, being significantly higher in regions with high cowbird abundance. Differences in nest-predation rates between large fragments (54-68% of all nests lost to predators) and small fragments (78-84% lost to predators) suggest that fragmentation of prairie habitats may be contributing to regional declines of grassland birds. Maintaining grassland bird populations, therefore, may require protection and restoration of large prairie areas.

  9. Reproductive success of kittiwakes and murres in sequential stages of the nesting period: Relationships with diet and oceanography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Renner, Heather M.; Drummond, Brie A.; Benson, Anna-Marie; Paredes, Rosana

    2014-11-01

    Reproductive success is one of the most easily-measured and widely studied demographic parameters of colonial nesting seabirds. Nevertheless, factors affecting the sequential stages (egg laying, incubation, chick-rearing) of reproductive success are less understood. We investigated the separate sequential stages of reproductive success in piscivorous black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) and thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) using a 36-year dataset (1975-2010) on the major Pribilof Islands (St. Paul and St. George), which have recently had contrasting population trajectories. Our objectives were to evaluate how the proportion of successful nests varied among stages, and to quantify factors influencing the probability of nest success at each stage in each island. We modeled the probability of nest success at each stage using General Linear Mixed Models incorporating broad-scale and local climate variables, and diet as covariates as well as other measures of reproduction such as timing of breeding and reproductive output in the previous year and previous stage. For both species we found: (1) Success in previous stages of the breeding cycle and success in the prior year better explained overall success than any environmental variables. Phenology was also an important predictor of laying success for kittiwakes. (2) Fledging success was lower when chick diets contained oceanic fish found farther from the colonies and small invertebrates, rather than coastal fish species. (3) Differences in reproductive variables at St. Paul and St. George islands did not correspond to population trends between the two islands. Our results highlight the potential importance of adult condition and annual survival to kittiwake and murre productivity and ultimately, populations. Adult condition carrying over from the previous year ultimately seems to drive annual breeding success in a cascade effect. Furthermore, condition and survival appear to be important contributors to population

  10. Microhabitat Conditions in Wyoming's Sage-Grouse Core Areas: Effects on Nest Site Selection and Success.

    PubMed

    Dinkins, Jonathan B; Smith, Kurt T; Beck, Jeffrey L; Kirol, Christopher P; Pratt, Aaron C; Conover, Michael R

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of our study was to identify microhabitat characteristics of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) nest site selection and survival to determine the quality of sage-grouse habitat in 5 regions of central and southwest Wyoming associated with Wyoming's Core Area Policy. Wyoming's Core Area Policy was enacted in 2008 to reduce human disturbance near the greatest densities of sage-grouse. Our analyses aimed to assess sage-grouse nest selection and success at multiple micro-spatial scales. We obtained microhabitat data from 928 sage-grouse nest locations and 819 random microhabitat locations from 2008-2014. Nest success was estimated from 924 nests with survival data. Sage-grouse selected nests with greater sagebrush cover and height, visual obstruction, and number of small gaps between shrubs (gap size ≥0.5 m and <1.0 m), while selecting for less bare ground and rock. With the exception of more small gaps between shrubs, we did not find any differences in availability of these microhabitat characteristics between locations within and outside of Core Areas. In addition, we found little supporting evidence that sage-grouse were selecting different nest sites in Core Areas relative to areas outside of Core. The Kaplan-Meier nest success estimate for a 27-day incubation period was 42.0% (95% CI: 38.4-45.9%). Risk of nest failure was negatively associated with greater rock and more medium-sized gaps between shrubs (gap size ≥2.0 m and <3.0 m). Within our study areas, Wyoming's Core Areas did not have differing microhabitat quality compared to outside of Core Areas. The close proximity of our locations within and outside of Core Areas likely explained our lack of finding differences in microhabitat quality among locations within these landscapes. However, the Core Area Policy is most likely to conserve high quality habitat at larger spatial scales, which over decades may have cascading effects on microhabitat quality available between areas within

  11. The Mayfield method of estimating nesting success: A model, estimators and simulation results

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hensler, G.L.; Nichols, J.D.

    1981-01-01

    Using a nesting model proposed by Mayfield we show that the estimator he proposes is a maximum likelihood estimator (m.l.e.). M.l.e. theory allows us to calculate the asymptotic distribution of this estimator, and we propose an estimator of the asymptotic variance. Using these estimators we give approximate confidence intervals and tests of significance for daily survival. Monte Carlo simulation results show the performance of our estimators and tests under many sets of conditions. A traditional estimator of nesting success is shown to be quite inferior to the Mayfield estimator. We give sample sizes required for a given accuracy under several sets of conditions.

  12. A comparison of the nesting success of mourning doves and American robins in conventionally managed and organic orchards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fluetsch, K.M.

    1992-01-01

    A comparative study was undertaken to document more closely the effects of operational pesticide use on non-target avian species. Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) and American Robin (Turdus migratorius) nesting activity was monitored in three organic and three conventional orchards during two breeding seasons. Surveys were conducted to characterize the avian community within orchards under both management practices. Organophosphorus (OP) and carbamate pesticides, known to be extremely toxic to birds, were repeatedly sprayed during the peaks in dove and robin breeding activity. Spray card tests revealed that OP pesticides were deposited on 85.5% of the nests tested during routine spray operations. The threat of direct pesticide exposure to eggs, nestlings, and adult birds was considerable. Nest daily survival rates (DSRs) for both doves and robins, were significantly higher in the organic orchards than in the conventional orchards in 1991 and years combined (P < 0.05). Species diversity was significantly greater in the organic orchards (H = 2.43) than in the conventional orchards (H = 1.79). Results suggest that repeated applications of pesticides, within the conventional orchards, directly or indirectly, affected the reproductive success of doves and robins, as well as influenced species diversity within the treated orchards. Organic orchards appear to provide more favorable nesting and foraging habitat for birds than conventional orchards.

  13. Reproductive success of barn swallows nesting near a selenium-contaminated lake in east Texas, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    King, K.A.; Custer, T.W.; Weaver, D.A.

    1994-01-01

    Reproductive success and contaminant levels in 1986 and 1987 were compared between Barn Swallows nesting at selenium-contaminated Martin Lake, Texas, USA, and swallows nesting at a reference site. Nests were initiated about the same time or earlier at Martin Lake than at the reference site and clutch size was similar between the two locations. Nest success was significantly higher at Martin Lake than at the reference site and no embryo or chick deformities were documented. Selenium concentrations in 14 of 20 eggs from Martin Lake were above background (> 3 ppm, dry weight); two of 20 eggs contained > 5 ppm, a concentration associated with a 20% embryo mortality/deformity rate in some bird species. Selenium concentrations in the kidneys of adult swallows were higher at Martin Lake (mean = 14 ppm dry weight) than at the reference site (5.8 ppm). DDE, the only detected organochlorine compound, was in two of 10 eggs from Martin Lake; these concentrations were below those associated with chronic poisoning and reproductive problems. The maximum mercury concentration in livers of adult Barn Swallows (0.83 ppm, dry weight) was within the range for background levels (< 5 ppm).

  14. Reproductive success of barn swallows nesting near a selenium-contaminated lake in east Texas, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    King, K.A.; Custer, T.W.; Weaver, D.A.

    1994-01-01

    Reproductive success and contaminant levels in 1986 and 1987 were compared between Barn Swallows nesting at selenium-contaminated Martin Lake, Texas, USA, and swallows nesting at a reference site. Nests were initiated about the same time or earlier at Martin Lake than at the reference site and clutch size was similar between the two locations. Nest success was significantly higher a Martin Lake than at the reference site and no embryo or chick deformities were documented. Selenium concentrations in 14 of 20 eggs from Martin Lake were above background ( gt 3 ppm, dry weight); two of 20 eggs contained gt 5 ppm, a concentration associated with a 20% embryo mortality/deformity rate in some bird species. Selenium concentrations in the kidneys of adult swallows were higher at Martin Lake (mean = 14 ppm dry weight) than at the reference site (5.8 ppm). DDE, the only detected organochlorine compound, was in two of 10 eggs from Martin Lake; these concentrations were below those associated with chronic poisoning and reproductive problems. The maximum mercury concentration in livers of adult Barn Swallows (0.83 ppm, dry weight) was within the range for background levels ( lt 5 ppm).

  15. Nest Success and Cause-Specific Nest Failure of Grassland Passerines Breeding in Prairie Grazed by Livestock

    EPA Science Inventory

    This manuscript describes two years of field research on ground-nesting songbird species at Zumwalt Prairie Reserve, northeastern Oregon, USA. Cattle-grazing has long been suspected in declines of ground-nesting songbirds in grazed grassland, primarily due to increased trampling...

  16. The Variables Affecting the Success of Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savas, Behsat; Gurel, Ramazan

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study is to determine the variables affecting the success of students. This research, which was conducted through the relational screening model, has a sampling of students who were selected from a middle city in Turkey. The schools are classified into three as low, medium and high. A total of 3491 students are selected by using…

  17. Relationship of Caspian tern foraging ecology to nesting success in the Columbia River estuary, Oregon, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, S.K.; Roby, D.D.; Lyons, Donald E.; Collis, K.

    2007-01-01

    The prevalence of juvenile salmonids (Oncorhynchus spp.) and marine forage fishes in the diet of Caspian terns (Hydroprogne caspia) nesting in the Columbia River estuary has been established, but the relationship between diet composition, foraging distribution, and productivity of these birds has received little attention. We used radio-telemetry and on-colony observations to relate changes in off-colony distribution to patterns of colony attendance, diet composition, and productivity of adult terns nesting on East Sand Island during two years of different river and prey conditions. Average distance from the East Sand Island colony (located in the marine zone of the estuary) was 38% (6.6 km) greater in 2000 compared to 2001, associated with lower availability of marine forage fish near East Sand Island and lower prevalence of marine prey in tern diets. Colony attendance was much lower (37.0% vs. 62.5% of daylight hours), average trip duration was 40% longer (38.9 min), and nesting success was much lower (0.57 young fledged pair-1 vs. 1.40 young fledged pair-1) in 2000 compared to 2001. Higher proportions of juvenile salmonids in the diet were associated with relatively high use of the freshwater zone of the estuary by radio-tagged terns, which occurred prior to chick-rearing and when out-migrating salmonid smolts were relatively abundant. Lower availability of marine prey in 2000 apparently limited Caspian tern nesting success by markedly reducing colony attendance and lengthening foraging trips by nesting terns, thereby increasing chick mortality rates from predation, exposure, and starvation. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Relationship of Caspian tern foraging ecology to nesting success in the Columbia River estuary, Oregon, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Scott K.; Roby, Daniel D.; Lyons, Donald E.; Collis, Ken

    2007-07-01

    The prevalence of juvenile salmonids ( Oncorhynchus spp.) and marine forage fishes in the diet of Caspian terns ( Hydroprogne caspia) nesting in the Columbia River estuary has been established, but the relationship between diet composition, foraging distribution, and productivity of these birds has received little attention. We used radio-telemetry and on-colony observations to relate changes in off-colony distribution to patterns of colony attendance, diet composition, and productivity of adult terns nesting on East Sand Island during two years of different river and prey conditions. Average distance from the East Sand Island colony (located in the marine zone of the estuary) was 38% (6.6 km) greater in 2000 compared to 2001, associated with lower availability of marine forage fish near East Sand Island and lower prevalence of marine prey in tern diets. Colony attendance was much lower (37.0% vs. 62.5% of daylight hours), average trip duration was 40% longer (38.9 min), and nesting success was much lower (0.57 young fledged pair -1 vs. 1.40 young fledged pair -1) in 2000 compared to 2001. Higher proportions of juvenile salmonids in the diet were associated with relatively high use of the freshwater zone of the estuary by radio-tagged terns, which occurred prior to chick-rearing and when out-migrating salmonid smolts were relatively abundant. Lower availability of marine prey in 2000 apparently limited Caspian tern nesting success by markedly reducing colony attendance and lengthening foraging trips by nesting terns, thereby increasing chick mortality rates from predation, exposure, and starvation.

  19. Historical changes in laying date, clutch size, and nest success of American black ducks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krementz, D.G.; Stotts, V.D.; Stotts, D.B.; Hines, J.E.; Funderburk, S.L.

    1991-01-01

    The breeding population of American black ducks (Anas rubripes ) on Chesapeake Bay has declined over the past 30 years. We tested whether there have been changes in laying date, clutch size, and nest success of breeding black ducks on islands in Chesapeake Bay between the 1950's and 1980's. None of these variables differed significantly between decades, suggesting that other factors must be responsible for the decline in locally breeding black ducks.

  20. Nest-climatic factors affect the abundance of biting flies and their effects on nestling condition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-de la Puente, Josué; Merino, Santiago; Lobato, Elisa; Aguilar, Juan Rivero-de; del Cerro, Sara; Ruiz-de-Castañeda, Rafael; Moreno, Juan

    2010-11-01

    The first step in the establishment of a host-biting fly relationship is host location. While a number of studies highlight the role of host emitted products as important cues affecting host location by biting flies, the role of host temperature is far from clear. We investigated the role of different nest microclimatic variables affecting the interaction between pied flycatchers and two biting flies: black flies and biting midges. Biting midge abundances increased with temperature inside the nest, supporting the potential importance of nest temperature as a cue used by insects to localize their hosts. The possibility that biting fly infestations were associated to ecological conditions in the vicinity of the nests is also discussed. Furthermore, we found a negative association between nestling weight (including tarsus length as a covariate in the analyses) and the interaction between the abundance of biting midges and the presence/absence of black flies in nests. The potential negative effect of these ectoparasites on nestling weight (condition index) and potential differences in the bird phenotypic/genetic quality associated with nest site choice and parasite infestations are considered.

  1. 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

    Rising sea levels in the mid-Atlantic region pose a long-term threat to marshes and their avian inhabitants. The Gull-billed Tern (Sterna nilotica), Common Tern (S. hirundo), Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger), and American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus), species of concern in Virginia, nest on low shelly perimeters of salt marsh islands on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Marsh shellpiles are free of mammalian predators, but subject to frequent floods that reduce reproductive success. In an attempt to examine nest-site selection, enhance habitat, and improve hatching success, small (2 ? 2 m) plots on five island shellpiles were experimentally elevated, and nest-site selection and hatching success were monitored from 1 May to 1 August, 2002. In addition, location, elevation, and nesting performance of all other nests in the colonies were also monitored. No species selected the elevated experimental plots preferentially over adjacent control plots at any of the sites. When all nests were considered, Common Tern nests were located significantly lower than were random point elevations at two sites, as they tended to concentrate on low-lying wrack. At two other sites, however, Common Tern nests were significantly higher than were random points. Gull-billed Terns and American Oystercatchers showed a weak preference for higher elevations on bare shell at most sites. Hatching success was not improved on elevated plots, despite the protection they provided from flooding. Because of a 7 June flood, when 47% of all nests flooded, hatching success for all species was low. Nest elevation had the strongest impact on a nest's probability of hatching, followed by nest-initiation date. Predation rates were high at small colonies, and Ruddy Turnstones (Arenaria interpres) depredated 90% of early Gull-billed Tern nests at one shellpile. The importance of nest elevation and flooding on hatching success demonstrates the potential for management of certain waterbird nesting sites

  2. Contaminant exposure and reproductive success of ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) nesting in Chesapeake Bay regions of concern.

    PubMed

    Rattner, B A; McGowan, P C; Golden, N H; Hatfield, J S; Toschik, P C; Lukei, R F; Hale, R C; Schmitz-Afonso, I; Rice, C P

    2004-07-01

    The Chesapeake Bay osprey population has more than doubled in size since restrictions were placed on the production and use of DDT and other toxic organochlorine contaminants in the 1970s. Ospreys are now nesting in the most highly polluted portions of the Bay. In 2000 and 2001, contaminant exposure and reproduction were monitored in ospreys nesting in regions of concern, including Baltimore Harbor and the Patapsco River, the Anacostia and middle Potomac rivers, and the Elizabeth River, and a presumed reference site consisting of the South, West, and Rhode rivers. A "sample egg" from each study nest was collected for contaminant analysis, and the fate of eggs remaining in each nest (n = 14-16/site) was monitored at 7- to 10-day intervals from egg incubation through fledging of young. Ospreys fledged young in regions of concern (observed success: 0.88-1.53 fledglings/active nest), although productivity was marginal for sustaining local populations in Baltimore Harbor and the Patapsco River and in the Anacostia and middle Potomac rivers. Concentrations of p,p'-DDE and many other organochlorine pesticides or metabolites, total PCBs, some arylhydrocarbon receptor-active PCB congeners and polybrominated diphenyl ether congeners, and perfluorooctanesulfonate were often greater in sample eggs from regions of concern compared to the reference site. Nonetheless, logistic regression analyses did not provide evidence linking marginal productivity to p,p'-DDE, total PCBs, or arylhydrocarbon receptor-active PCB congener exposure in regions of concern. In view of the moderate concentrations of total PCBs in eggs from the reference site, concerns related to new and emerging toxicants, and the absence of ecotoxicological data for terrestrial vertebrates in many Bay tributaries, a more thorough spatial evaluation of contaminant exposure in ospreys throughout the Chesapeake may be warranted. PMID:15346786

  3. Contaminant exposure and reproductive success of Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) nesting in Chesapeake Bay regions of concern

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; McGowan, P.C.; Golden, N.H.; Hatfield, J.S.; Toschik, P.C.; Lukei, R.F., Jr.; Hale, R.C.; Schmitz-Afonso, I.; Rice, C.P.

    2004-01-01

    The Chesapeake Bay osprey population has more than doubled in size since restrictions were placed on the production and use of DDT and other toxic organochlorine contaminants in the 1970s. Ospreys are now nesting in the most highly polluted portions of the Bay. In 2000 and 2001, contaminant exposure and reproduction were monitored in ospreys nesting in regions of concern, including Baltimore Harbor and the Patapsco River, the Anacostia and middle Potomac rivers, and the Elizabeth River, and a presumed reference site consisting of the South, West, and Rhode rivers. A 'sample egg' from each study nest was collected for contaminant analysis, and the fate of eggs remaining in each nest (n = 14-16/site) was monitored at 7- to 10-day intervals from egg incubation through fledging of young. Ospreys fledged young in regions of concern (observed success: 0.88 -1.53 fledglings/active nest), although productivity was marginal for sustaining local populations in Baltimore Harbor and the Patapsco River and in the Anacostia and middle Potomac rivers. Concentrations of p,p'DDE and many other organochlorine pesticides or metabolites, total PCBs, some arylhydrocarbon receptor-active PCB congeners and polybrominated diphenyl ether congeners, and perfluorooctanesulfonate were often greater in sample eggs from regions of concern compared to the reference site. Nonetheless, logistic regression analyses did not provide evidence linking marginal productivity to p,p' -DDE, total PCBs, or arylhydrocarbon receptor-active PCB congener exposure in regions of concern. In view of the moderate concentrations of total PCBs in eggs from the reference site, concerns related to new and emerging toxicants, and the absence of ecotoxicological data for terrestrial vertebrates in many Bay tributaries, a more thorough spatial evaluation of contaminant exposure in ospreys throughout the Chesapeake may be warranted.

  4. Nest Bacterial Environment Affects Microbiome of Hoopoe Eggshells, but Not That of the Uropygial Secretion.

    PubMed

    Martínez-García, Ángela; Martín-Vivaldi, Manuel; Rodríguez-Ruano, Sonia M; Peralta-Sánchez, Juan Manuel; Valdivia, Eva; Soler, Juan J

    2016-01-01

    The study of associations between symbiotic bacterial communities of hosts and those of surrounding environments would help to understand how bacterial assemblages are acquired, and how they are transmitted from one to another location (i.e. symbiotic bacteria acquisition by hosts). Hoopoes (Upupa epops) smear their eggshells with uropygial secretion (oily secretion produced in their uropygial gland) that harbors antibiotic producing bacteria. Trying to elucidate a possible role of nest material and cloaca microbiota in determining the bacterial community of the uropygial gland and the eggshells of hoopoes, we characterized bacterial communities of nest material, cloaca, uropygial gland and eggshells by the ARISA fingerprinting. Further, by adding material with scarce bacteria and antimicrobial properties, we manipulated the bacterial community of nest material and thus tested experimentally its effects on the microbiomes of the uropygial secretion and of the eggshells. The experiment did not influence the microbiome of the uropygial secretion of females, but affected the community established on eggshells. This is the first experimental evidence indicating that nest material influences the bacterial community of the eggshells and, therefore, probability of embryo infection. Some of the bacterial strains detected in the secretion were also in the bacterial communities of the nest material and of cloaca, but their occurrence within nests was not associated, which suggests that bacterial environments of nest material and cloaca are not sources of symbiotic bacteria for the gland. These results do not support a role of nest environments of hoopoes as reservoirs of symbiotic bacteria. We discuss possible scenarios explaining bacterial acquisition by hoopoes that should be further explored. PMID:27409772

  5. Group Size and Nest Spacing Affect Buggy Creek Virus (Togaviridae: Alphavirus) Infection in Nestling House Sparrows

    PubMed Central

    O'Brien, Valerie A.; Brown, Charles R.

    2011-01-01

    The transmission of parasites and pathogens among vertebrates often depends on host population size, host species diversity, and the extent of crowding among potential hosts, but little is known about how these variables apply to most vector-borne pathogens such as the arboviruses (arthropod-borne viruses). Buggy Creek virus (BCRV; Togaviridae: Alphavirus) is an RNA arbovirus transmitted by the swallow bug (Oeciacus vicarius) to the cliff swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) and the introduced house sparrow (Passer domesticus) that has recently invaded swallow nesting colonies. The virus has little impact on cliff swallows, but house sparrows are seriously affected by BCRV. For house sparrows occupying swallow nesting colonies in western Nebraska, USA, the prevalence of BCRV in nestling sparrows increased with sparrow colony size at a site but decreased with the number of cliff swallows present. If one nestling in a nest was infected with the virus, there was a greater likelihood that one or more of its nest-mates would also be infected than nestlings chosen at random. The closer a nest was to another nest containing infected nestlings, the greater the likelihood that some of the nestlings in the focal nest would be BCRV-positive. These results illustrate that BCRV represents a cost of coloniality for a vertebrate host (the house sparrow), perhaps the first such demonstration for an arbovirus, and that virus infection is spatially clustered within nests and within colonies. The decreased incidence of BCRV in sparrows as cliff swallows at a site increased reflects the “dilution effect,” in which virus transmission is reduced when a vector switches to feeding on a less competent vertebrate host. PMID:21966539

  6. Nest Bacterial Environment Affects Microbiome of Hoopoe Eggshells, but Not That of the Uropygial Secretion

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-García, Ángela; Martín-Vivaldi, Manuel; Rodríguez-Ruano, Sonia M.; Peralta-Sánchez, Juan Manuel; Valdivia, Eva; Soler, Juan J.

    2016-01-01

    The study of associations between symbiotic bacterial communities of hosts and those of surrounding environments would help to understand how bacterial assemblages are acquired, and how they are transmitted from one to another location (i.e. symbiotic bacteria acquisition by hosts). Hoopoes (Upupa epops) smear their eggshells with uropygial secretion (oily secretion produced in their uropygial gland) that harbors antibiotic producing bacteria. Trying to elucidate a possible role of nest material and cloaca microbiota in determining the bacterial community of the uropygial gland and the eggshells of hoopoes, we characterized bacterial communities of nest material, cloaca, uropygial gland and eggshells by the ARISA fingerprinting. Further, by adding material with scarce bacteria and antimicrobial properties, we manipulated the bacterial community of nest material and thus tested experimentally its effects on the microbiomes of the uropygial secretion and of the eggshells. The experiment did not influence the microbiome of the uropygial secretion of females, but affected the community established on eggshells. This is the first experimental evidence indicating that nest material influences the bacterial community of the eggshells and, therefore, probability of embryo infection. Some of the bacterial strains detected in the secretion were also in the bacterial communities of the nest material and of cloaca, but their occurrence within nests was not associated, which suggests that bacterial environments of nest material and cloaca are not sources of symbiotic bacteria for the gland. These results do not support a role of nest environments of hoopoes as reservoirs of symbiotic bacteria. We discuss possible scenarios explaining bacterial acquisition by hoopoes that should be further explored. PMID:27409772

  7. Spawning success in the damselfish Amblyglyphidodon leucogaster: the influence of eggs in the nest

    PubMed

    Goulet

    1998-03-01

    Spawning success of males and its correlates were investigated in a natural colony of whitebelly damselfish, A. leucogaster (Pomacentridae), to explore the criteria that females use in choosing mates. The mating success of individual males was variable, with some males acquiring as few as 5000 eggs and others as many as 450 000 eggs during a breeding season. Male spawning success was not correlated with body size, territory size, nest site parameters or parental care behaviour. Egg hatching success was not related to either male size or egg clutch size, and all males were capable of rearing eggs to hatching. The temporal sequence of choices by females indicated non-independent choice by females, such that males chosen by females on the first spawn of the day were also chosen by females that spawned later in the day. Field observations indicated that, in the absence of male courtship, females preferentially visited males that had eggs in their nest site. Males that had recently mated were preferred by females over those males with either late-stage eggs or no eggs in the nest. This female preference did not appear to be related to increased paternal care or egg clutch survival. Given that the mating system is promiscuous and non-resource based, and that there appears to be little difference among males in body size, females may be mating non-independently by mimicking the choice of other females. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:9514684

  8. Effects of agricultural burning on nesting waterfowl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fritzell, E.K.

    1975-01-01

    Agricultural burning in an intensively farmed region within Manitoba's pothole district is shown to affect the nesting activities of ground-nesting ducks. All species, except Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors), preferred unburned nest cover, although success was higher in burned areas, where predators may have exerted less influence. Attitudes of farmers, burning chronology, and nest destruction by fires are also reported.

  9. Avian nesting success and diversity in conventionally and organically managed apple orchards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fluetsch, K.M.; Sparling, D.W.

    1994-01-01

    This study examines the effects of operational use of pesticides on avian species inhabiting apple orchards in Pennsylvania. Mourning dove (Zenaida rnacroura) and American robin (Turdus migratorius) nests were monitored in three organic and three conventional apple orchards during 1990 and 1991. In 1991 we surveyed the avian communities of these orchards by using line transects. Organophosphorus (OP) (e.g., azinphos-methyl, phosphamidon, parathion, dimethoate), carbamate (CA) (e.g., methomyl, formetanate, oxamyl), and organochlorine (endosulfan) pesticides, known to be highly toxic to birds, were sprayed individually or in mixtures as part of routine pest management as many as 19 times during peaks in breeding activity. Spray card tests revealed that OP pesticides were deposited on 86% of the nests in conventional orchards. Daily survival rates (DSRs) for nests of both species were higher in the organic orchards than in the conventional orchards for 1991 and for years combined (p < 0.05). Species diversity was greater in the organic orchards (H= 2.43) than in the conventional orchards (H=1.79). Repeated applications of pesticides within the conventional orchards reduced the reproductive success of doves and robins and may have lowered avian species diversity compared with organic orchards.

  10. Landscape and regional context differentially affect nest parasitism and nest predation for Wood Thrush in central Virginia, USA (Presentation)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Many empirical studies have shown that forest-breeding songbirds suffer greater rates of nest predation and nest parasitism in smaller forest patches and in fragmented landscapes. To compare the performance of different metrics of spatial habitat configuration resulting from defo...

  11. Nesting success of grassland and savanna birds on reclaimed surface coal mines of the midwestern United States

    SciTech Connect

    Galligan, E.W.; DeVault, T.L.; Lima, S.L.

    2006-12-15

    Reclaimed surface coal mines in southwestern Indiana support many grassland and shrub/savanna bird species of conservation concern. We examined the nesting success of birds on these reclaimed mines to assess whether such 'unnatural' places represent productive breeding habitats for such species. We established eight study sites on two large, grassland-dominated mines in southwestern Indiana and classified them into three categories (open grassland, shrub/savanna, and a mixture of grassland and shrub/savanna) based on broad vegetation and landscape characteristics. During the 1999 and 2000 breeding seasons, we found and monitored 911 nests of 31 species. Daily nest survival for the most commonly monitored grassland species ranged from 0.903 (Dickcissel, Spiza americana) to 0.961 (Grasshopper Sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum). Daily survival estimates for the dominant shrub/savanna nesting species ranged from 0.932 (Brown Thrasher, Toxostoma rufum) to 0.982 (Willow Flycatcher, Empidonax traillii). Vegetation and landscape effects on nesting success were minimal, and only Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna) showed a clear time-of-season effect, with greater nesting success in the first half of the breeding season. Rates of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism were only 2.1% for grassland species and 12.0% for shrub/savanna species. The nesting success of birds on reclaimed mine sites was comparable to that in other habitats, indicating that reclaimed habitats on surface mines do not necessarily represent reproductive traps for birds.

  12. Postfire Succession of Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Nesting in Dead Wood of Northern Boreal Forest.

    PubMed

    Boucher, Philippe; Hébert, Christian; Francoeur, André; Sirois, Luc

    2015-10-01

    Dead wood decomposition begins immediately after tree death and involves a large array of invertebrates. Ecological successions are still poorly known for saproxylic organisms, particularly in boreal forests. We investigated the use of dead wood as nesting sites for ants along a 60-yr postfire chronosequence in northeastern coniferous forests. We sampled a total of 1,625 pieces of dead wood, in which 263 ant nests were found. Overall, ant abundance increased during the first 30 yr after wildfire, and then declined. Leptothorax cf. canadensis Provancher, the most abundant species in our study, was absent during the first 2 yr postfire, but increased steadily until 30 yr after fire, whereas Myrmica alaskensis Wheeler, second in abundance, was found at all stages of succession in the chronosequence. Six other species were less frequently found, among which Camponotus herculeanus (Linné), Formica neorufibarbis Emery, and Formica aserva Forel were locally abundant, but more scarcely distributed. Dead wood lying on the ground and showing numerous woodborer holes had a higher probability of being colonized by ants. The C:N ratio was lower for dead wood colonized by ants than for noncolonized dead wood, showing that the continuous occupation of dead wood by ants influences the carbon and nitrogen dynamics of dead wood after wildfire in northern boreal forests. PMID:26314011

  13. Odour cues from suitors' nests determine mating success in a fish.

    PubMed

    Lehtonen, Topi K; Kvarnemo, Charlotta

    2015-05-01

    Animals use a range of sensory cues for finding food, avoiding predators and choosing mates. In this regard, the aquatic environment is particularly suitable for the use of olfactory and other chemical cues. Nevertheless, mate choice research, even on aquatic organisms, has focused on visual signals, while chemical cues relevant in sexual selection have been assumed to be 'intrinsic' excretions of mate candidates. Here, using the sand goby Pomatoschistus minutus, a small fish with paternal egg care, we investigated the possibility that 'extrinsic' chemical cues in the males' nests could also have a significant contribution to mating success. We found that females strongly avoided laying eggs into nests subject to the odour of Saprolegnia water moulds (an egg infection) and that this effect was independent of the females' initial, visually based preference for males. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to show that chemical cues related to parental failure can play a large role in sexual selection. PMID:25948566

  14. Odour cues from suitors’ nests determine mating success in a fish

    PubMed Central

    Lehtonen, Topi K.; Kvarnemo, Charlotta

    2015-01-01

    Animals use a range of sensory cues for finding food, avoiding predators and choosing mates. In this regard, the aquatic environment is particularly suitable for the use of olfactory and other chemical cues. Nevertheless, mate choice research, even on aquatic organisms, has focused on visual signals, while chemical cues relevant in sexual selection have been assumed to be ‘intrinsic’ excretions of mate candidates. Here, using the sand goby Pomatoschistus minutus, a small fish with paternal egg care, we investigated the possibility that ‘extrinsic’ chemical cues in the males’ nests could also have a significant contribution to mating success. We found that females strongly avoided laying eggs into nests subject to the odour of Saprolegnia water moulds (an egg infection) and that this effect was independent of the females’ initial, visually based preference for males. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to show that chemical cues related to parental failure can play a large role in sexual selection. PMID:25948566

  15. Colonization, population growth, and nesting success of Black Oystercatchers following a seismic uplift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gill, V.A.; Hatch, Shyla A.; Lanctot, Richard B.

    2004-01-01

    We present data on the colonization of Middleton Island, Alaska, by Black Oystercatchers (Haematopus bachmani) following the creation of an extensive rocky intertidal zone after the Alaskan earthquake of 1964. The first pair of oystercatchers was detected in 1976, and it was another 5 years before the population increased to three pairs. Oystercatcher numbers increased steadily thereafter, with a population explosion occurring in the 1990s. By 2002, there were 171 territorial pairs on the island. The total number of birds increased from two in 1976 to 718 in 2002. Breeding-pair densities on Middleton Island are the highest recorded for any portion of Alaska, averaging more than 5 pairs per km of shoreline in 2002. Nesting success in 2001 and 2002 was greater (83% or more of the eggs laid hatched) than that reported for any other population of oystercatchers in Alaska or along the Pacific Coast. We attribute this exponential growth rate and exceptionally high reproductive success to the large area of available and suitable habitat, the low number of avian predators and the complete lack of mammalian predators, low rate of nest loss to high tides and storm surges, and a low level of human disturbance. We propose nominating Middleton Island as a regional Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network site because a high percentage of the world's and region's population of Black Oystercatchers resides there during the breeding season. Further, since Middleton Island may be the single most important site in Alaska for Black Oystercatchers, we suggest it be protected from future development.

  16. The effects of patch shape and connectivity on nest site selection and reproductive success of the Indigo Bunting.

    SciTech Connect

    Weldon, Aimee Jean

    2004-07-01

    Description – Ph.D Dissertation. North Carolina State University. Raleigh, North Carolina. 135 pp. Abatract - Habitat fragmentation and its associated effects have been blamed for the recent population declines of many Neotropical migratory bird species. Increased predation and parasitism resulting from edge-related effects have been implicated for poor nesting success in many studies, mostly of forest interior species. However, little attention has been devoted to disturbance-dependent birds. In this study, I examine how patch shape and connectivity in fragmented landscapes affects the reproductive success of disturbance-dependent bird species, specifically the Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea). I conducted my study in a landscape-scale experimental system of similar-area habitat patches that differed in connectivity and in shape. Shapes differed between edgy and rectangular forms, where edgy patches contained 50% more edge than rectangular patches. I tested whether edgy patches function as ecological traps for species with strong edge preferences, by leading them to select dangerous habitats. Indigo Buntings preferentially selected edgy patches over rectangular patches, but experienced significantly lower reproductive success in edgy patches early in the season. Although predation pressure intensified in rectangular patches late in the season, seasonal fecundity was still significantly lower in edgy patches, providing the first empirical evidence that edges can function as ecological traps for Indigo Buntings. A second objective of my study was to evaluate the efficacy of conservation corridors for disturbance-dependent bird species. Conservation corridors have become a popular strategy to preserve biodiversity and promote gene flow in fragmented landscapes, but corridors may also have negative consequences. I tested the hypothesis that corridors can increase nest predation risk in connected patches relative to unconnected patches. Nest predation rates

  17. Larval memory affects adult nest-mate recognition in the ant Aphaenogaster senilis

    PubMed Central

    Signorotti, Lisa; Jaisson, Pierre; d'Ettorre, Patrizia

    2014-01-01

    Prenatal olfactory learning has been demonstrated in a wide variety of animals, where it affects development and behaviour. Young ants learn the chemical signature of their colony. This cue-learning process allows the formation of a template used for nest-mate recognition in order to distinguish alien individuals from nest-mates, thus ensuring that cooperation is directed towards group members and aliens are kept outside the colony. To date, no study has investigated the possible effect of cue learning during early developmental stages on adult nest-mate recognition. Here, we show that odour familiarization during preimaginal life affects recognition abilities of adult Aphaenogaster senilis ants, particularly when the familiarization process occurs during the first larval stages. Ants eclosed from larvae exposed to the odour of an adoptive colony showed reduced aggression towards familiar, adoptive individuals belonging to this colony compared with alien individuals (true unfamiliar), but they remained non-aggressive towards adult individuals of their natal colony. Moreover, we found that the chemical similarity between the colony of origin and the adoptive colony does not influence the degree of aggression, meaning that the observed effect is likely to be due only to preimaginal learning experience. These results help understanding the developmental processes underlying efficient recognition systems. PMID:24258719

  18. Habitat use and reproductive success of western snowy plovers at new nesting areas created for California least terns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, A.N.; Collier, C.L.

    2000-01-01

    The Pacific coast population of western snowy plovers (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1993 and its decline is primarily attributed to habitat loss. In southern California, snowy plovers typically nest in association with federally endangered California least terns (Sterna antillarum browni). Since least terns were afforded protection under the ESA, the creation of nesting habitat from dredged materials has been a popular component of habitat restoration to partially compensate for wetland loss in this region. We had a unique opportunity to monitor habitat use and reproductive success at newly created habitats associated with the restoration of Batiquitos Lagoon, San Diego County, California from 1994 to 1998. We also compared hatch and fledge rates and habitat characteristics of snowy plovers nesting at new nesting areas at Batiquitos Lagoon to a nearby natural beach and a dredged-material area created in the 1970s. The number of nesting attempts by snowy plovers increased from 5 in 1994 to a high of 38 in 1997, and plovers nested on 4 of the 5 created areas. Fledge rates at Batiquitos Lagoon varied annually and declined after the initial colonization in 1995. Fledge rate in 1995 was higher at the newly created area than at the older dredged-material and natural beach areas in any other year. Nests on the created areas at Batiquitos Lagoon were surrounded by less vegetative cover, less debris, and shorter vegetation than nests at the older dredged-material and natural beach areas. Nonbreeding snowy plovers used created habitats within the lagoon, and more plovers used the lagoon and its adjacent beach during fall than winter. Predation pressure and habitat quality were important factors determining use and reproductive success on created areas at Batiquitos Lagoon.

  19. Organochlorine contaminant exposure and reproductive success of Black-Crowned Night Herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) nesting in Baltimore Harbor, Maryland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; McGowan, P.C.; Hatfield, J.S.; Hong, C.-S.; Chu, S.G.

    2001-01-01

    The declining size of the Baltimore Harbor black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) colony has been hypothesized to be linked to PCB exposure. In 1998, a 'sample egg' was collected from 65 black-crowned night heron nests (each containing > three eggs) for contaminant analysis, and the remaining eggs in these 65 nests, plus four two-egg nests, were monitored for hatching and fledging success. Eggs were also collected from 12 nests at Holland Island, a reference site in southern Chesapeake Bay. Samples were analyzed for 26 organochlorine pesticides and metabolites, and 145 PCB congeners. Pesticide and metabolite concentrations, including p,p'-DDE, were well below thresholds associated with adverse reproductive effects at both sites. Average concentration of total PCBs, 12 Ah receptor-active PCB congeners, and toxic equivalents in eggs from Baltimore Harbor were greater (up to 35- fold) than that observed in Holland Island samples. Overall nest success at the Baltimore Harbor heronry was estimated by the Mayfield method to be 0.74, and the mean number of young fledged/hen was 2.05, which is within published productivity estimates for maintaining a stable black-crowned night heron population. Using logistic regression, no significant relationships were found between organochlorine contaminant concentrations in sample eggs and hatching, fledging, or overall reproductive success. Processes other than poor reproduction (e.g., low post- fledging survival, emigration, habitat degradation) may be responsible for the declining size of the Baltimore Harbor colony.

  20. DOES FEEDBACK FROM A NEST AFFECT PERIPARTURIENT BEHAVIOUR, HORMONES AND HEART RATE IN GILTS?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To determine the effects of feedback from a farrowing nest on sow welfare, as determined by behaviour, hormones and heart rate, 20 gilts housed in central-nest-farrowing-pens were permitted to build a nest of peat, straw and branches. Ten sows then had their nest removed (NR) 10h after the onset of ...

  1. Distribution and nesting success of ferruginous hawks and Swainson's hawks on an agricultural landscape in the Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We studied nest site land cover associations, and reproductive success of two Buteo species of conservation concern on the southern Great Plains, USA. The study area was in Cimarron County, Oklahoma, where land use is dominated by row crop agriculture, livestock grazing, and Conservation Reserve Pro...

  2. Microhabitat Conditions in Wyoming’s Sage-Grouse Core Areas: Effects on Nest Site Selection and Success

    PubMed Central

    Beck, Jeffrey L.; Kirol, Christopher P.; Pratt, Aaron C.; Conover, Michael R.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of our study was to identify microhabitat characteristics of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) nest site selection and survival to determine the quality of sage-grouse habitat in 5 regions of central and southwest Wyoming associated with Wyoming’s Core Area Policy. Wyoming’s Core Area Policy was enacted in 2008 to reduce human disturbance near the greatest densities of sage-grouse. Our analyses aimed to assess sage-grouse nest selection and success at multiple micro-spatial scales. We obtained microhabitat data from 928 sage-grouse nest locations and 819 random microhabitat locations from 2008–2014. Nest success was estimated from 924 nests with survival data. Sage-grouse selected nests with greater sagebrush cover and height, visual obstruction, and number of small gaps between shrubs (gap size ≥0.5 m and <1.0 m), while selecting for less bare ground and rock. With the exception of more small gaps between shrubs, we did not find any differences in availability of these microhabitat characteristics between locations within and outside of Core Areas. In addition, we found little supporting evidence that sage-grouse were selecting different nest sites in Core Areas relative to areas outside of Core. The Kaplan-Meier nest success estimate for a 27-day incubation period was 42.0% (95% CI: 38.4–45.9%). Risk of nest failure was negatively associated with greater rock and more medium-sized gaps between shrubs (gap size ≥2.0 m and <3.0 m). Within our study areas, Wyoming’s Core Areas did not have differing microhabitat quality compared to outside of Core Areas. The close proximity of our locations within and outside of Core Areas likely explained our lack of finding differences in microhabitat quality among locations within these landscapes. However, the Core Area Policy is most likely to conserve high quality habitat at larger spatial scales, which over decades may have cascading effects on microhabitat quality available between

  3. Effects of an unseasonable snowstorm on red-faced Warbler nesting success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Decker, Karie L.; Conway, C.J.

    2009-01-01

    Earlier initiation of nests by breeding birds may reflect an adaptive response to changes in food availability or warming of spring temperatures, but the consequences of initiating nests too early may be severe, particularly at high elevations. A rare snowstorm in late May 2008 resulted in nest abandonment by 68% of Red-faced Warblers (Cardellina rubrifrons) breeding in a high-elevation riparian ecosystem of southeastern Arizona. In addition, climate data from our study site from 1950 to 2008 revealed higher-than-average springtime temperatures during the past 10 years. If birds respond to this increase in springtime temperatures by nesting earlier their vulnerability to spring snowstorms may increase. ?? 2009 by The Cooper Ornithological Society. All rights reserved.

  4. Ecological and physiological factors affecting brood patch area and prolactin levels in arctic-nesting geese

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jonsson, J.E.; Afton, A.D.; Alisauskas, R.T.; Bluhm, C.K.; El Halawani, M.E.

    2006-01-01

    We investigated effects of ecological and physiological factors on brood patch area and prolactin levels in free-ranging Lesser Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens; hereafter "Snow Geese") and Ross's Geese (C. rossii). On the basis of the body-size hypothesis, we predicted that the relationships between prolactin levels, brood patch area, and body condition would be stronger in Ross's Geese than in the larger Snow Geese. We found that brood patch area was positively related to clutch volume and inversely related to prolactin levels in Ross's Geese, but not in Snow Geese. Nest size, nest habitat, and first egg date did not affect brood patch area in either species. Prolactin levels increased as incubation progressed in female Snow Geese, but this relationship was not significant in Ross's Geese. Prolactin levels and body condition (as indexed by size-adjusted body mass) were inversely related in Ross's Geese, but not in Snow Geese. Our findings are consistent with the prediction that relationships between prolactin levels, brood patch area, and body condition are relatively stronger in Ross's Geese, because they mobilize endogenous reserves at faster rates than Snow Geese. ?? The American Ornithologists' Union, 2006. Printed in USA.

  5. EFFECTS OF METHYL PARATHION ON RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (AGELIUS PHOENICUES) INCUBATION BEHAVIOR AND NESTING SUCCESS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Free-living female red-winged blackbirds were captured on their nests and given oral doses of 0,2.37 or 4.21 mg/kg methyl- parathion in a propylene glycol carrier during incubation. irds were released immediately after dosing and observed for 5 h to document behavioral effects, a...

  6. Emptying the Nest: Launching Your Young Adult toward Success and Self-Reliance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sachs, Brad E.

    2010-01-01

    In today's rapidly changing world and challenging economy, young adults increasingly find themselves at a crossroads between financial and emotional dependence and autonomy. Drawing on Dr. Sachs' extensive clinical experience and his illuminating discussion of the latest psychological research, "Emptying the Nest" will support parents in their…

  7. Effects of contaminant exposure on reproductive success of ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) nesting in Delaware River and Bay, USA.

    PubMed

    Toschik, Pamela C; Rattner, Barnett A; McGowan, Peter C; Christman, Mary C; Carter, David B; Hale, Robert C; Matson, Cole W; Ottinger, Mary Ann

    2005-03-01

    Despite serious water-quality problems and pollutant loading and retention, Delaware River and Bay (USA) provide important wildlife habitat. In 2002, we conducted a comprehensive evaluation of contaminant exposure and reproduction of ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) breeding in Delaware River and Bay. Sample eggs were collected from 39 nests and analyzed for organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and mercury; a subset of 15 eggs was analyzed for perfluorinated compounds and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). The fate of each nest was monitored weekly. Concentrations of 10 organochlorine pesticides or metabolites, total PCBs, and several toxic PCB congeners were greater (p < 0.05) in eggs collected between the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal (C and D Canal) and Trenton (Delaware River and northern Bay) compared to other sites. Concentrations of p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE; 0.785-3.84 microg/g wet wt) and total PCBs (5.50-14.5 microg/g wet wt) in eggs collected between the C and D Canal and Trenton were similar to levels recently found in the Chesapeake Bay. In all study segments, at least one young fledged from 66 to 75% of nests. Productivity for Delaware Inland Bays (reference area) and southern Delaware Bay was 1.17 and 1.42 fledglings/active nest, respectively; north of the C and D Canal, productivity was 1.00 fledgling/active nest, which is marginally adequate to maintain the population. Using these data, a logistic regression model found that contaminant concentrations (p,p'-DDE, heptachlor epoxide, chlordane and metabolites, and total PCBs) were predictive of hatching success. Several perfluorinated compounds and PBDEs were detected in eggs at concentrations approaching 1 microg/g wet weight. These findings provide evidence that contaminants continue to be a significant stressor on osprey productivity in the northern Delaware River and Bay. PMID:15779762

  8. Effects of contaminant exposure on reproductive success of ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) nesting in Delaware River and Bay, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Toschik, P.C.; Rattner, B.A.; McGowan, P.C.; Christman, M.C.; Carter, Daniel B.; Hale, R.C.; Matson, C.W.; Ottinger, M.A.

    2005-01-01

    Despite serious water-quality problems and pollutant loading and retention, Delaware River and Bay (USA) provide important wildlife habitat. In 2002, we conducted a comprehensive evaluation of contaminant exposure and reproduction of ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) breeding in Delaware River and Bay. Sample eggs were collected from 39 nests and analyzed for organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and mercury; a subset of 15 eggs was analyzed for perfluorinated compounds and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). The fate of each nest was monitored weekly. Concentrations of 10 organochlorine pesticides or metabolites, total PCBs, and several toxic PCB congeners were greater (p < 0.05) in eggs collected between the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal (C and D Canal) and Trenton (Delaware River and northern Bay) compared to other sites. Concentrations of p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE; 0.785-3.84 mug/g wet wt) and total PCBs (5.50-14.5 mug/g wet wt) in eggs collected between the C and D Canal and Trenton were similar to levels recently found in the Chesapeake Bay. In all study segments, at least one young fledged from 66 to 75% of nests. Productivity for Delaware Inland Bays (reference area) and southern Delaware Bay was 1.17 and 1.42 fledglings/active nest, respectively; north of the C and D Canal, productivity was 1.00 fledgling/active nest, which is marginally adequate to maintain the population. Using these data, a logistic regression model found that contaminant concentrations (p,p'-DDE, heptachlor epoxide, chlordane and metabolites, and total PCBs) were predictive of hatching success. Several perfluorinated compounds and PBDEs were detected in eggs at concentrations approaching 1 mug/g wet weight. These findings provide evidence that contaminants continue to be a significant stressor on osprey productivity in the northern Delaware River and Bay.

  9. Landscape position moderates how ant nests affect hydrology and soil chemistry across a Chihuahuan Desert watershed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ants moderate the supply of critical resources such as water and nutrients in desert environments by changing the physical arrangement of soils during nest construction. We measured water infiltration and soil physical and chemical properties on and off the nests of two ant species (Pogonomyrmex rug...

  10. Density and fledging success of ground-nesting passerines in Conservation Reserve Program fields in the northeastern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Koford, Rolf R.

    1999-01-01

    The Conservation Reserve Program, initiated in 1985, was designed primarily to reduce soil erosion and crop surpluses. A secondary benefit was the provision of habitat for wildlife. Grassland bird populations, many of which declined in the decades prior to the Conservation Reserve Program, may have benefited from the Conservation Reserve Program if reproduction in this newly available habitat has been at least as high as it would have been in the absence of the Conservation Reserve Program. On study areas in North Dakota and Minnesota, I examined breeding densities and fledging success of grassland birds in Conservation Reserve Program fields and in an alternative habitat of similar structure, idle grassland fields on federal Waterfowl Production Areas. Fields were 10 to 25 hectares in size. The avifaunas of these two habitats were similar, although brush-dependent species were more abundant on Waterfowl Protection Areas. The common species in these habitats included ones whose continental populations have declined, such as Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis), and Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). These ground-nesting species were pooled with other ground nesters in an analysis of fledging success, which revealed no significant differences between habitats, between states, or among years (1991-1993). Predation was the primary cause of nest failure. I concluded that Conservation Reserve Program fields in this region were suitable breeding habitat for several species whose populations had declined prior to the Conservation Reserve Program era. This habitat appeared to be as secure for nests of ground-nesting birds as another suitable habitat in North Dakota and Minnesota.

  11. Nest Initiation in Three North American Species of Bumble Bees (Bombus): Effects of Gyne Number and Worker Helpers on Colony Size and Establishment Success

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Three species of bumble bees, Bombus appositus, B. bifarius, and B. centralis (Hymenoptera: Apidae) were evaluated for nest initiation success under three sets of initial conditions. In the spring, queens of each species were caught in the wild and introduced to nest boxes in one of three ways. Qu...

  12. Metal Concentrations, Foraging Distances, and Fledging Success of Great Blue Herons Nesting Along the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River

    SciTech Connect

    Tiller, Brett L.; Marco, Jeffrey D.; Rickard, William H.

    2005-05-01

    Excrement sample and livers of juvenile great blue herons were collected at nests at three widely separated colonies along the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River to test the validity of using excrement samples as indicators of metal concentrations in tissues of juvenile herons fed food collected by parent birds within a few kilometers of nests. There was no positive relation noted between metal concentrations in excrement and liver samples taken from the same nests. Statistically significant differences in metal concentrations were noted in excrement samples collected among the different heron colonies. Arsenic, Cd, Cr, and Pb concentrations (dry wt.) were higher in excrement than in liver samples but the opposite was noted for Cu, Hg, and Zn. Mercury concentrations in heron liver samples were biomagnified to a greater extent than Cd and Cr. Fledging success and eggshell thickness measurements were used as indicators of population health. These values were equivalent to or better than those noted for heron colonies elsewhere in the United States.

  13. Factors affecting nest survival of Henslow's Sparrows (Ammodramus henslowii) in southern Indiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crimmins, Shawn M.; McKann, Patrick C.; Robb, Joseph R.; Lewis, Jason P.; Vanosdol, Teresa; Walker, Benjamin A.; Williams, Perry J.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.

    2016-01-01

    Populations of Henslow’s Sparrows have declined dramatically in recent decades, coinciding with widespread loss of native grassland habitat. Prescribed burning is a primary tool for maintaining grassland patches, but its effects on nest survival of Henslow’s Sparrows remains largely unknown, especially in conjunction with other factors. We monitored 135 nests of Henslow’s Sparrows at Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge in southern Indiana from 1998–2001 in an effort to understand factors influencing nest survival, including prescribed burning of habitat. We used a mixed-effects implementation of the logistic exposure model to predict daily nest survival in an information theoretic framework. We found that daily survival declined near the onset of hatching and increased with the height of standing dead vegetation, although this relationship was weak. We found only nominal support to suggest that time since burn influenced nest survival. Overall, nest age was the most important factor in estimating daily nest survival rates. Our daily survival estimate from our marginal model (0.937) was similar to that derived from the Mayfield method (0.944) suggesting that our results are comparable to previous studies using the Mayfield approach. Our results indicate that frequent burning to limit woody encroachment into grassland habitats might benefit Henslow’s Sparrow, but that a variety of factors ultimately influence daily nest survival. However, we note that burning too frequently can also limit occupancy by Henslow’s Sparrows. We suggest that additional research is needed to determine the population-level consequences of habitat alteration and if other extrinsic factors influence demographics of Henslow’s Sparrows.

  14. Organochlorine residues, eggshell thickness, and nest success in barn owls from the Chesapeake Bay

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Klaas, E.E.; Wiemeyer, Stanley N.; Ohlendorf, H.M.; Swineford, D.M.

    1978-01-01

    Eggs of barn owls (Tyto alba) were collected from 18 nests in offshore duck blinds on the Maryland side of the lower Potomac River estuary in 1972 and 1973 and analyzed for organochlorine residues. DDE was found in 100% of the clutches, PCBs in 89%, and dieldrin in 78%. Eggshell thickness was inversely correlated with concentrations of DDE, DDD, and dieldrin residues. Six of the 18 clutches had mean DDE residues above 5 ppm, and eggshell thickness in these six clutches was significantly less (P < 0.001) than in the other 12 clutches. The owls produced 1.7 young per active nest in 1973. This rate is slightly below the reproductive rate needed to maintain a stable population. An estimated 15% of the population carried concentrations of organochlorine residues that may have been detrimental to their reproduction. Passerine birds, taken extensively as food by a small proportion of the population, are believed to have been the source of elevated concentrations of organochlorines in these barn owls.

  15. Out of sight but not out of harm's way: Human disturbance reduces reproductive success of a cavity-nesting seabird.

    PubMed

    Watson, Hannah; Bolton, Mark; Monaghan, Pat

    2014-06-01

    While negative effects of human disturbance on animals living above the ground have been widely reported, few studies have considered effects on animals occupying cavities or burrows underground. It is generally assumed that, in the absence of direct visual contact, such species are less vulnerable to disturbance. Seabird colonies can support large populations of burrow- and cavity-nesting species and attract increasing numbers of tourists. We investigated the potential effects of recreational disturbance on the reproductive behaviour of the European storm petrel Hydrobates pelagicus, a nocturnally-active cavity-nesting seabird. Reproductive phenology and outcome of nests subject to high and low levels of visitor pressure were recorded in two consecutive years. Hatching success did not differ between disturbance levels, but overall nestling mortality was significantly higher in areas exposed to high visitor pressure. Although visitor numbers were consistent throughout the season, the magnitude and rate of a seasonal decline in productivity were significantly greater in nests subject to high disturbance. This study presents good evidence that, even when humans do not pose a direct mortality risk, animals may perceive them as a predation risk. This has implications for the conservation and management of a diverse range of burrow- and cavity-dwelling animals. Despite this reduction in individual fitness, overall colony productivity was reduced by ⩽1.6% compared with that expected in the absence of visitors. While the colony-level consequences at the site in question may be considered minor, conservation managers must evaluate the trade-off between potential costs and benefits of public access on a site- and species-specific basis. PMID:24899731

  16. Factors affecting hatch success of hawksbill sea turtles on Long Island, Antigua, West Indies.

    PubMed

    Ditmer, Mark Allan; Stapleton, Seth Patrick

    2012-01-01

    Current understanding of the factors influencing hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) hatch success is disparate and based on relatively short-term studies or limited sample sizes. Because global populations of hawksbills are heavily depleted, evaluating the parameters that impact hatch success is important to their conservation and recovery. Here, we use data collected by the Jumby Bay Hawksbill Project (JBHP) to investigate hatch success. The JBHP implements saturation tagging protocols to study a hawksbill rookery in Antigua, West Indies. Habitat data, which reflect the varied nesting beaches, are collected at egg deposition, and nest contents are exhumed and categorized post-emergence. We analyzed hatch success using mixed-model analyses with explanatory and predictive datasets. We incorporated a random effect for turtle identity and evaluated environmental, temporal and individual-based reproductive variables. Hatch success averaged 78.6% (SD: 21.2%) during the study period. Highly supported models included multiple covariates, including distance to vegetation, deposition date, individual intra-seasonal nest number, clutch size, organic content, and sand grain size. Nests located in open sand were predicted to produce 10.4 more viable hatchlings per clutch than nests located >1.5 m into vegetation. For an individual first nesting in early July, the fourth nest of the season yielded 13.2 more viable hatchlings than the initial clutch. Generalized beach section and inter-annual variation were also supported in our explanatory dataset, suggesting that gaps remain in our understanding of hatch success. Our findings illustrate that evaluating hatch success is a complex process, involving multiple environmental and individual variables. Although distance to vegetation and hatch success were inversely related, vegetation is an important component of hawksbill nesting habitat, and a more complete assessment of the impacts of specific vegetation types on hatch

  17. Factors affecting the reproductive success of American Oystercatchers Haematopus palliatus on the outer banks of North Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schulte, Shiloh A.; Simons, Theodore R.

    2015-01-01

    We used an information-theoretic approach to assess the factors affecting the reproductive success of American Oystercatchers Haematopus palliatus on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We evaluated survival with respect to nesting island, year, time of season, brood age, distance to tide (m), presence of off-road vehicles and proximity of foraging habitat. The daily nest survival (mean 0.981, standard error [SE] 0.002) was affected by year and island, and declined over the nesting season. Mammals were responsible for 54% of identified nest failures. Daily brood survival (mean 0.981, SE 0.002) varied by island and increased non-linearly with age, with highest mortality in the seven days after hatching. Model results indicate direct access to foraging sites has a positive effect on brood survival, whereas presence of off-road vehicles has a negative effect. We studied chick behavior and survival using radio telemetry and direct observation and found that vehicles caused mortality and affected behavior and resource use by oystercatcher chicks. We identified the source of mortality for 37 radio-tagged chicks. Six (16%) were killed by vehicles, 21 (57%) by predators, and 10 (27%) by exposure and starvation. From 1995 to 2008, 25 additional oystercatcher chicks were found dead, 13 (52%) killed by vehicles. Chicks on beaches closed to vehicles used beach and intertidal zones more frequently than chicks on beaches open to vehicles. Chick predators included Great Horned Owls Bubo virginianus, Fish Crows Corvus ossifragus, cats Felis catus, mink Mustela vison, raccoons Procyon lotor, and ghost crabs Ocypode albicans. The factors affecting reproductive success differed between the incubation and chick-rearing stages.  Management actions that influence chick survival will have a larger effect on total productivity than actions affecting nest survival.

  18. Factors affecting the reproductive success of dominant male meerkats.

    PubMed

    Spong, Göran F; Hodge, Sarah J; Young, Andrew J; Clutton-Brock, Tim H

    2008-05-01

    Identifying traits that affect the reproductive success of individuals is fundamental for our understanding of evolutionary processes. In cooperative breeders, a dominant male typically restricts mating access to the dominant female for extended periods, resulting in pronounced variation in reproductive success among males. This may result in strong selection for traits that increase the likelihood of dominance acquisition, dominance retention and reproductive rates while dominant. However, despite considerable research on reproductive skew, few studies have explored the factors that influence these three processes among males in cooperative species. Here we use genetic, behavioural and demographic data to investigate the factors affecting reproductive success in dominant male meerkats (Suricata suricatta). Our data show that dominant males sire the majority of all offspring surviving to 1 year. A male's likelihood of becoming dominant is strongly influenced by age, but not by weight. Tenure length and reproductive rate, both important components of dominant male reproductive success, are largely affected by group size and composition, rather than individual traits. Dominant males in large groups have longer tenures, but after this effect is controlled, male tenure length also correlates negatively to the number of adult females in the group. Male reproductive rate also declines as the number of intra- and extra-group competitors increases. As the time spent in the dominant position and reproductive rate while dominant explain > 80% of the total variance in reproductive success, group composition thus has major implications for male reproductive success. PMID:18410290

  19. Factors affecting the level of success of community information systems.

    PubMed

    Coombs, C R; Doherty, N F; Loan-Clarke, J

    1999-01-01

    The factors that influence the ultimate level of success or failure of systems development projects have received considerable attention in the academic literature. However, previous research has rarely targeted different instances of a common type of system within a homogeneous organisational sector. This paper presents the results of a survey of IM&T managers within Community Trusts to gain insights into the factors affecting the success of Community Information Systems. The results demonstrate that the most successful operational systems were thoroughly tested prior to implementation and enjoyed high levels of user and senior management commitment. Furthermore, it has been shown that there is a relationship between the level of organisational impact and systems success, with the most successful systems engendering changes to the host organisation's culture, level of empowerment and clinical working practices. In addition to being of academic interest, this research provides many important insights for practising IM&T managers. PMID:10747445

  20. Parsimonious modelling of water and suspended sediment flux from nested catchments affected by selective tropical forestry.

    PubMed Central

    Chappell, N A; McKenna, P; Bidin, K; Douglas, I; Walsh, R P

    1999-01-01

    The ability to model the suspended sediment flux (SSflux) and associated water flow from terrain affected by selective logging is important to the establishment of credible measures to improve the ecological sustainability of forestry practices. Recent appreciation of the impact of parameter uncertainty on the statistical credibility of complex models with little internal state validation supports the use of more parsimonious approaches such as data-based mechanistic (DBM) modelling. The DBM approach combines physically based understanding with model structure identification based on transfer functions and objective statistical inference. Within this study, these approaches have been newly applied to rainfall-SSflux response. The dynamics of the sediment system, together with the rainfall-river flow system, were monitored at five nested contributory areas within a 44 ha headwater region in Malaysian Borneo. The data series analysed covered a whole year at a 5 min resolution, and were collected during a period some five to six years after selective timber harvesting had ceased. Physically based and statistical interpretation of these data was possible given the wealth of contemporary and past hydrogeomorphic data collected within the same region. The results indicated that parsimonious, three-parameter models of rainfall-river flow and rainfall-SSflux for the whole catchment describe 80 and 90% of the variance, respectively, and that parameter changes between scales could be explained in physically meaningful terms. Indeed, the modelling indicated some new conceptual descriptions of the river flow and sediment-generation systems. An extreme rainstorm having a 10-20 year return period was present within the data series and was shown to generate new mass movements along the forestry roads that had a differential impact on the monitored contributory areas. Critically, this spatially discrete behaviour was captured by the modelling and may indicate the potential use of

  1. Survival during the Breeding Season: Nest Stage, Parental Sex, and Season Advancement Affect Reed Warbler Survival

    PubMed Central

    Wierucka, Kaja; Halupka, Lucyna; Klimczuk, Ewelina; Sztwiertnia, Hanna

    2016-01-01

    Avian annual survival has received much attention, yet little is known about seasonal patterns in survival, especially of migratory passerines. In order to evaluate survival rates and timing of mortality within the breeding season of adult reed warblers (Acrocephalus scirpaceus), mark-recapture data were collected in southwest Poland, between 2006 and 2012. A total of 612 individuals (304 females and 308 males) were monitored throughout the entire breeding season, and their capture-recapture histories were used to model survival rates. Males showed higher survival during the breeding season (0.985, 95% CI: 0.941–0.996) than females (0.869, 95% CI: 0.727–0.937). Survival rates of females declined with the progression of the breeding season (from May to August), while males showed constant survival during this period. We also found a clear pattern within the female (but not male) nesting cycle: survival was significantly lower during the laying, incubation, and nestling periods (0.934, 95% CI: 0.898–0.958), when birds spent much time on the nest, compared to the nest building and fledgling periods (1.000, 95% CI: 1.00–1.000), when we did not record any female mortality. These data (coupled with some direct evidence, like bird corpses or blood remains found next to/on the nest) may suggest that the main cause of adult mortality was on-nest predation. The calculated survival rates for both sexes during the breeding season were high compared to annual rates reported for this species, suggesting that a majority of mortality occurs at other times of the year, during migration or wintering. These results have implications for understanding survival variation within the reproductive period as well as general trends of avian mortality. PMID:26934086

  2. Academic, Affective, and Personal Attributes of Successful Student Teachers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pigge, Fred L.; Marso, Ronald N.

    The influences of students' (N=152) academic, affective, and personal attributes on their success in student teaching (as measured by university supervisors' ratings) were examined in this study. It was found that the following student attributes were related to their student teaching performance: (1) their total university and their education…

  3. Nesting behavior of the poo-uli

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kepler, C.B.; Pratt, T.K.; Ecton, A.M.; Engilis, A., Jr.; Fluetsch, K.M.

    1996-01-01

    We describe two sequential nestings of a pair of Poo-uli (Melamprosops phaeosoma), a Hawaiian honeycreeper nearing extinction. Similarities to nesting of most other honeycreepers included: nest site in ohia lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha Gaud.) canopy; breeding in March through June; monogamous breeding system with the putative male helping build the nest, feeding the putative female throughout each nesting event, and feeding the chicks, but not incubating or brooding; and complete nest sanitation. Notable differences were the paucity of songs and calls by the parents and inclusion of snails in the diet of nestlings. Clutch size was probably two eggs for both nests. High winds, rain, or both influenced parental behavior: the female stayed longer on the nest and took shorter recesses in poor weather. Weather did not affect rates at which the male fed the female on the nest; however, the feeding rate increased from the egg to the chick stage probably because food was passed on to the chicks. At nest #2, parents fed young chicks (<14 days old) more often in good than in poor weather; data were insufficient for old chicks. Weather is usually poor throughout the year in the relictual range of the Poo-uli and is likely to impact nesting success. The first nest failed in poor weather. The second fledged a single young 21 days old. Diet of nestlings appeared to consist of a higher proportion of insect larvae than that of older birds, which are reported to eat mostly snails.

  4. Drought-caused delay in nesting of Sonoran Desert birds and its facilitation of parasite- and predator-mediated variation in reproductive success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chris McCreedy; Van Riper, Charles, III

    2015-01-01

    As our understanding of climate change has increased, so has our awareness of the impacts of these changes on biotic systems. Climate models are nearly unanimous in their predictions for increased drought frequency in southwestern North America, and delays in nest initiation due to drought may influence nesting success and productivity for many Sonoran Desert bird species. In southeastern California and western Arizona in 2004–2009, we found negative correlations for 13 of 13 species between nest initiation date and rainfall accumulation during the preceding 4-month winter rainy season. Nesting was delayed more than 3 weeks for some species during extreme droughts in 2006 and 2007. During 2004–2009, we found a significant negative effect of nest initiation date on nest survival probability (β̂ = −0.031 ± 0.005 SE, P < 0.001) for the four species of greatest sample size. To investigate the role of nesting delay in nesting success and productivity, in 2010 we conducted a manipulative experiment with Black-tailed Gnatcatchers (Polioptila melanura; BTGN) and Verdins (Auriparus flaviceps; VERD). Following a wet winter, we delayed clutch initiation dates for treatment pairs to match first-egg dates that we observed during droughts in 2006 and 2007. Nest initiation date had a significant negative effect on nest survival of both species (BTGN: β̂ = −1.18 ± 0.27 SE, P < 0.001; VERD: β̂ = −2.33 ± 0.51 SE, P = 0.003). Treatment pairs were unable to overcome the lost period of high productivity in March and early April, and had lower productivity than control pairs over the entire breeding season. As nest predation and Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism were the most common causes of nest failure, we conclude that the impacts of climate change–caused drought on annual reproductive output in the Sonoran Desert will be further compounded by parasitism and predation for Black-tailed Gnatcatchers and by predation for Verdins.

  5. Factors Affecting Successful Implementation of Hospital Information Systems

    PubMed Central

    Farzandipur, Mehrdad; jeddi, Fatemeh Rangraz; Azimi, Esmaeil

    2016-01-01

    Background: Today, the use of information systems in health environments, like any other fields, is necessary and organizational managers are convinced to use these systems. However, managers’ satisfaction is not the only factor in successfully implementing these systems and failed information technology projects (IT) are reported despite the consent of the directors. Therefore, this study aims to determine the factors affecting the successful implementation of a hospital information system. Methods: The study was carried out as a descriptive method in 20 clinical hospitals that the hospital information system (HIS) was conducted in them. The clinical and paraclinical users of mentioned hospitals are the study group. 400 people were chosen as samples in scientific method and the data was collected using a questionnaire consisted of three main human, managerial and organizational, and technological factors, by questionnaire and interview. Then the data was scored in Likert scale (score of 1 to 5) and were analyzed using the SPSS software. Results: About 75 percent of the population were female, with average work experience of 10 years and the mean age was 30 years. The human factors affecting the success of hospital information system implementation achieved the mean score of 3.5, both organizational and managerial factors 2.9 and technological factors the mean of 3. Conclusion: Human factors including computer skills, perceiving usefulness and perceiving the ease of a hospital information system use are more effective on the acceptance and successful implementation of hospital information systems; then the technological factors play a greater role. It is recommended that for the successful implementation of hospital information systems, most of these factors to be considered PMID:27041811

  6. DOES FEED-BACK FROM A NEST AFFECT PERIPARTURIENT BEHAVIOR, HEART RATE AND CIRCULATORY CORTISOL AND OXYTOCIN IN GILTS?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To determine the effects of feed-back from a farrowing nest on periparturient behaviour, heart rate and hormones, 20 primiparous sows housed in Schmid pens were permitted to build a nest of peat, straw and branches. Ten primiparous sows then had their nest removed (NR) 10 h after the onset of nest-b...

  7. Factor determining prochard nest predation along a wetland gradient

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Albrecht, T.; Horak, D.; Kreisinger, J.; Weidinger, K.; Klvana, P.; Michot, T.C.

    2006-01-01

    Waterfowl management on breeding grounds focuses on improving nest success, but few studies have compared waterfowl nest success and factors affecting nest survival along a wetland gradient and simultaneously identified nest predators. We monitored nests (n = 195) of common pochards (Aythya ferina) in Trebon Basin Biosphere Reserve, Czech Republic, during 1999-2002. Daily nest survival rates (DSRs, logistic-exposure) declined from island (0.985, 95% confidence interval, 0.978-0.991) to overwater (0.962, 0.950-0.971) and terrestrial (0.844, 0.759-0.904) nests. The most parsimonious model for DSRs included habitat class (DSRs: island > overwater > terrestrial) and nest visibility. Nest survival was improved by reduced nest visibility, increased water depth, and increased distance from the nest to habitat edge in littoral habitats. On islands, nest success increased with advancing date and increased distance to open water. A model of constant nest survival best explained the data for terrestrial nests. There were no observer effects on DSRs in any habitat. In 2003, artificial nests (n = 180; 120 contained a wax-filled egg) were deployed on study plots. The model that best explained variation in DSRs for artificial nests included only 1 variable: habitat class (DSRs: island ??? overwater > terrestrial). Mammalian predation of artificial nests (by foxes [Vulpes vulpes] and martens [Martes spp.]) was more likely in terrestrial habitats than in littoral habitats or on islands. By contrast, corvids and marsh harriers (Circus aeruginosus) prevailed among predators of overwater and island nests. Our data indicate that artificial islands and wide strips of littoral vegetation may represent secure breeding habitats for waterfowl because those habitats allow nests to be placed in areas that are not accessible to, or that are avoided by, mammalian predators. Management actions should be aimed at preserving these habitats. This, along with creation of new artificial islands

  8. Importance of individual species of predators on nesting success of ducks in the Canadian prairie pothole region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Douglas H.; Sargeant, Alan B.; Greenwood, Raymond J.

    1989-01-01

    We followed 3094 upland nests of several species of ducks. Clutches in most nests were lost to predation. We related daily nest predation rates to indices of activity of eight egg-eating predators, precipitation during the nesting season, and measures of wetland conditions. Activity indices of red fox (Vulpes vulpes), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), and raccoon (Procyon lotor) activity were positively correlated, as were activity indices of coyote (Canis latrans), Franklin's ground squirrel (Spermophilus franklinii), and black-billed magpie (Pica pica). Indices of fox and coyote activity were strongly negatively correlated (r = -0.51), as were those of badger (Taxidea taxus) and skunk (r = -0.46). Nest predation rates in the early part of the breeding season were positively related to indices of fox, American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos), and badger activity. Predation rates in the latter part of the season were positively related to indices of fox and skunk activity. Predation rates on early-season nests were lower in areas and years in which larger fractions of seasonal wetlands contained water. For late-season nests, a similar relationship held involving semipermanent wetlands. We suspect that the wetland measures, which reflect precipitation during some previous period, also indicate vegetation growth and the abundance of buffer prey, factors that may influence nest predation rates.

  9. Risk of predation and weather events affect nest site selection by sympatric Pacific (Gavia pacifica) and Yellow-billed (Gavia adamsii) loons in Arctic habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haynes, Trevor B.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Rosenberger, Amanda E.

    2014-01-01

    Pacific (Gavia pacifica) and Yellow-billed (G. adamsii) loons nest sympatrically in Arctic regions. These related species likely face similar constraints and requirements for nesting success; therefore, use of similar habitats and direct competition for nesting habitat is likely. Both of these loon species must select a breeding lake that provides suitable habitat for nesting and raising chicks; however, characteristics of nest site selection by either species on interior Arctic lakes remains poorly understood. Here, logistic regression was used to compare structural and habitat characteristics of all loon nest locations with random points from lakes on the interior Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska. Results suggest that both loon species select nest sites to avoid predation and exposure to waves and shifting ice. Loon nest sites were more likely to be on islands and peninsulas (odds ratio = 16.13, 95% CI = 4.64–56.16) than mainland shoreline, which may help loons avoid terrestrial predators. Further, nest sites had a higher degree of visibility (mean degrees of visibility to 100 and 200 m) of approaching predators than random points (odds ratio = 2.57, 95% CI = 1.22–5.39). Nests were sheltered from exposure, having lower odds of being exposed to prevailing winds (odds ratio = 0.34, 95% CI = 0.13–0.92) and lower odds of having high fetch values (odds ratio = 0.46, 95% CI = 0.22–0.96). Differences between Pacific and Yellow-billed loon nesting sites were subtle, suggesting that both species have similar general nest site requirements. However, Yellow-billed Loons nested at slightly higher elevations and were more likely to nest on peninsulas than Pacific Loons. Pacific Loons constructed built up nests from mud and vegetation, potentially in response to limited access to suitable shoreline due to other territorial loons. Results suggest that land managers wishing to protect habitats for these species should focus on lakes with islands as well as shorelines

  10. Unintended imitation affects success in a competitive game.

    PubMed

    Naber, Marnix; Vaziri Pashkam, Maryam; Nakayama, Ken

    2013-12-10

    Imitation typically occurs in social contexts where people interact and have common goals. Here, we show that people are also highly susceptible to imitate each other in a competitive context. Pairs of players performed a competitive and fast-reaching task (a variant of the arcade whac-a-mole game) in which money could be earned if players hit brief-appearing visual targets on a large touchscreen before their opponents. In three separate experiments, we demonstrate that reaction times and movements were highly correlated within pairs of players. Players affected their success by imitating each other, and imitation depended on the visibility of the opponent's behavior. Imitation persisted, despite the competitive and demanding nature of the game, even if this resulted in lower scores and payoffs and even when there was no need to counteract the opponent's actions. PMID:24277821

  11. Relaxation training affects success and activation on a teaching test.

    PubMed

    Helin, P; Hänninen, O

    1987-12-01

    We studied the effects of an audiocassette-relaxation training period (ART) and its timing on success at a teaching test (lecture type), on observed tension and on a number of physiological responses. The electrical activity of the upper trapezius muscle (EMG), heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP), of female and male instructor candidates, were examined before, during and after the teaching test as well as during its critique. The relaxation period (18 min) was presented either on the preceding night (ARTnt) or immediately before the teaching test (ARTimm). The influence of personality (types A-B and extrovert-introvert) was also studied. ART improved success at the teaching test in both sexes. In males (but not in females), ARTimm decreased EMG level during the test, but ARTnt increased EMG at the test period as compared to the control group. In females, both ARTnt and ARTimm lowered HR more than in the control group. ARTimm lowered systolic BP in both sexes. Personality types affected the ART responses; ART was more beneficial for type A than B subjects. PMID:3325481

  12. How dependencies between successive examples affect on-line learning.

    PubMed

    Wiegerinck, W; Heskes, T

    1996-11-15

    We study the dynamics of on-line learning for a large class of neural networks and learning rules, including backpropagation for multilayer perceptrons. In this paper, we focus on the case where successive examples are dependent, and we analyze how these dependencies affect the learning process. We define the representation error and the prediction error. The representation error measures how well the environment is represented by the network after learning. The prediction error is the average error that a continually learning network makes on the next example. In the neighborhood of a local minimum of the error surface, we calculate these errors. We find that the more predictable the example presentation, the higher the representation error, i.e., the less accurate the asymptotic representation of the whole environment. Furthermore we study the learning process in the presence of a plateau. Plateaus are flat spots on the error surface, which can severely slow down the learning process. In particular, they are notorious in applications with multilayer perceptrons. Our results, which are confirmed by simulations of a multilayer perceptron learning a chaotic time series using backpropagation, explain how dependencies between examples can help the learning process to escape from a plateau. PMID:8888616

  13. Nest and nest site characterisitcs of some ground-nesting, non-passerine birds of northern grasslands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kantrud, H.A.; Higgins, K.F.

    1992-01-01

    We summarized biological and ecologic characteristics of 2490 nests of 16 species of upland-nesting, non-passerine birds of northern grasslands found during 1963 through 1991. Nest initiation and hatch dates, clutch sizes, nest fates, causes of failure, success rates of nests among major habitat types and land uses, and vegetation measurements at nest sites are analyzed.

  14. Influence of nest box color and release sites on Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) reproductive success in a commercial almond orchard

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Because of the reduced availability of honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies for commercial pollination and high honey bee rental costs, alternative pollinators could provide pollination insurance against ongoing honey bee losses. In 2011, we studied the impact of two nesting site density treatments (...

  15. Effects of human disturbance on waterbird nesting and reproductive success at restoration pond SF2, south San Francisco Bay, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herzog, Mark P.; Hartman, Christopher A.

    2014-01-01

    To determine the effects that human disturbance may have on waterbirds nesting on these newly constructed islands in Pond SF2, we assessed the potential effects of human disturbance features (specifically, access trails, viewing platforms, internal pond berms, exterior levees, and highways) on breeding waterbirds in 2011 and 2012. We found no clear pattern of potential disturbance features on a group of reproductive factors, including nest survival, nest initiation date, and clutch size. Because all the islands were constructed greater than 90 meters from the nearest disturbance feature, Pond SF2 alone did not provide adequate variation in the distance of disturbance features to detect potential detrimental effects for islands closer to disturbance features in other areas of the SBSP Restoration Project. If there is a need for SBSP Restoration Project Management Team to understand how close islands can be built to disturbance features in the future, we suggest a more comprehensive study that includes multiple ponds, other than SF2, with islands at varying distances to disturbance features.

  16. Lifespan analyses of forest raptor nests: patterns of creation, persistence and reuse.

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Franco, María V; Martínez, José E; Calvo, José F

    2014-01-01

    Structural elements for breeding such as nests are key resources for the conservation of bird populations. This is especially true when structural elements require a specific and restricted habitat, or if the construction of nests is costly in time and energy. The availability of nesting-platforms is influenced by nest creation and persistence. In a Mediterranean forest in southeastern Spain, nesting-platforms are the only structural element for three forest-dwelling raptor species: booted eagle Aquila pennata, common buzzard Buteo buteo and northern goshawk Accipiter gentilis. From 1998 to 2013, we tracked the fate of 157 nesting-platforms built and reused by these species with the aim of determining the rates of creation and destruction of nesting-platforms, estimating nest persistence by applying two survival analyses, describing the pattern of nest reuse and testing the effects of nest use on breeding success. Nest creation and destruction rates were low (0.14 and 0.05, respectively). Using Kaplan Meier survival estimates and Cox proportional-hazards regression models we found that median nest longevity was 12 years and that this was not significantly affected by nest characteristics, nest-tree dimensions, nest-builder species, or frequency of use of the platform. We also estimated a transition matrix, considering the different stages of nest occupation (vacant or occupied by one of the focal species), to obtain the fundamental matrix and the average life expectancies of nests, which varied from 17.9 to 19.7 years. Eighty six percent of nests were used in at least one breeding attempt, 67.5% were reused and 17.8% were successively occupied by at least two of the study species. The frequency of nest use had no significant effects on the breeding success of any species. We conclude that nesting-platforms constitute an important resource for forest raptors and that their longevity is sufficiently high to allow their reuse in multiple breeding attempts. PMID

  17. Lifespan Analyses of Forest Raptor Nests: Patterns of Creation, Persistence and Reuse

    PubMed Central

    Jiménez-Franco, María V.; Martínez, José E.; Calvo, José F.

    2014-01-01

    Structural elements for breeding such as nests are key resources for the conservation of bird populations. This is especially true when structural elements require a specific and restricted habitat, or if the construction of nests is costly in time and energy. The availability of nesting-platforms is influenced by nest creation and persistence. In a Mediterranean forest in southeastern Spain, nesting-platforms are the only structural element for three forest-dwelling raptor species: booted eagle Aquila pennata, common buzzard Buteo buteo and northern goshawk Accipiter gentilis. From 1998 to 2013, we tracked the fate of 157 nesting-platforms built and reused by these species with the aim of determining the rates of creation and destruction of nesting-platforms, estimating nest persistence by applying two survival analyses, describing the pattern of nest reuse and testing the effects of nest use on breeding success. Nest creation and destruction rates were low (0.14 and 0.05, respectively). Using Kaplan Meier survival estimates and Cox proportional-hazards regression models we found that median nest longevity was 12 years and that this was not significantly affected by nest characteristics, nest-tree dimensions, nest-builder species, or frequency of use of the platform. We also estimated a transition matrix, considering the different stages of nest occupation (vacant or occupied by one of the focal species), to obtain the fundamental matrix and the average life expectancies of nests, which varied from 17.9 to 19.7 years. Eighty six percent of nests were used in at least one breeding attempt, 67.5% were reused and 17.8% were successively occupied by at least two of the study species. The frequency of nest use had no significant effects on the breeding success of any species. We conclude that nesting-platforms constitute an important resource for forest raptors and that their longevity is sufficiently high to allow their reuse in multiple breeding attempts. PMID

  18. Time-lagged variation in pond density and primary productivity affects duck nest survival in the Prairie Pothole Region.

    PubMed

    Walker, Johann; Rotella, Jay J; Stephens, Scott E; Lindberg, Mark S; Ringelman, James K; Hunter, Christine; Smith, Aaron J

    2013-07-01

    The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) is the primary breeding region for most species of North American dabbling ducks (Anas spp.). Conservation of these species is guided in part by knowledge of relationships between nest survival probability and habitat features. Positive relationships between duck nest survival and amount and configuration of herbaceous perennial vegetation have been observed in previous studies, but these 2- to 4-year studies might not have adequately characterized the temporal effect of wet-dry episodes on nest survival. Over an eight-year period, we studied nest survival of five species of ducks in the PPR relative to spatial and temporal variation in pond density, primary productivity, and hydrologic status of wetlands, soil, and vegetation on 52 study sites selected to span a gradient of spatial variation in proportion of herbaceous perennial vegetation and in number of wetland basins. We observed the fate of 12 754 nests. Consistent with past studies, 90% of nests that failed to hatch were destroyed by predators. Nest survival probability was positively related to current-year pond density and primary productivity, negatively related to pond density and primary productivity during the previous two years, and positively related to the number of wetland basins on the study site. Predicted relationships between nest survival and proportion or configuration of herbaceous perennial vegetation in the surrounding landscape were not supported. For mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), median estimated nest survival probability ranged from 0.02 (SE = 0.01) to 0.22 (SE = 0.02). Estimated nest survival was greatest on sites with numerous wetland basins that had transitioned from dry, unproductive conditions to wet, productive conditions in the previous 1-2 years. Our results were consistent with time-lagged responses of food webs to resource pulses in a broad array of ecosystems. Our study highlighted the importance of wetland basins and wet-dry episodes to duck

  19. Factors affecting larval tick feeding success: host, density and time

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background: Ectoparasites rely on blood feeding to sustain activity, support development and produce offspring. Blood feeding is also a route for transmission of diverse vector-borne pathogens. The likelihood of successfully feeding is thus an important aspect of ectoparasite population dynamics and...

  20. Factors Affecting the Success of Hmong College Students in America

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xiong, Soua; Lam, Sarah K. Y.

    2013-01-01

    This study explores barriers and success factors of Hmong students in American colleges by interviewing five Hmong graduate students from refugee families in the US. Emerging themes revolve around academic, cultural and financial barriers. Professors, advisors, classmates, academic support programmes, family, financial aid and their own…

  1. Nest survival of American Coots relative to grazing, burning, and water depths

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Austin, Jane E.; Buhl, Deborah A.

    2011-01-01

    Water and emergent vegetation are key features influencing nest site selection and success for many marsh-nesting waterbirds. Wetland management practices such as grazing, burning, and water-level manipulations directly affect these features and can influence nest survival. We used model selection and before-after-control-impact approaches to evaluate the effects of water depth and four common land-management practices or treatments, i.e., summer grazing, fall grazing, fall burning, and idle (no active treatment) on nest survival of American coots (Fulica americana) nesting at Grays Lake, a large montane wetland in southeast Idaho. The best model included the variables year × treatment, and quadratic functions of date, water depth, and nest age; height of vegetation at the nest did not improve the best model. However, results from the before-after-control-impact analysis indicate that management practices affected nest success via vegetation and involved interactions of hydrology, residual vegetation, and habitat composition. Nest success in idled fields changed little between pre- and post-treatment periods, whereas nest success declined in fields that were grazed or burned, with the most dramatic declines the year following treatments. The importance of water depth may be amplified in this wetland system because of rapid water-level withdrawal during the nesting season. Water and land-use values for area ranchers, management for nesting waterbirds, and long-term wetland function are important considerations in management of water levels and vegetation.

  2. Social, Emotional, and Affective Skills for College and Career Success

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savitz-Romer, Mandy; Rowan-Kenyon, Heather T.; Fancsali, Cheri

    2015-01-01

    Students enrolled in the My Wildcat Track program at the University of Arizona are receiving a novel type of support to help them get and stay off academic probation: social and affective skill building. These students, who are referred to the program by their advisors, have one-on-one meetings with professional learning specialists and attend…

  3. Out of sight but not out of harm’s way: Human disturbance reduces reproductive success of a cavity-nesting seabird

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Hannah; Bolton, Mark; Monaghan, Pat

    2014-01-01

    While negative effects of human disturbance on animals living above the ground have been widely reported, few studies have considered effects on animals occupying cavities or burrows underground. It is generally assumed that, in the absence of direct visual contact, such species are less vulnerable to disturbance. Seabird colonies can support large populations of burrow- and cavity-nesting species and attract increasing numbers of tourists. We investigated the potential effects of recreational disturbance on the reproductive behaviour of the European storm petrel Hydrobates pelagicus, a nocturnally-active cavity-nesting seabird. Reproductive phenology and outcome of nests subject to high and low levels of visitor pressure were recorded in two consecutive years. Hatching success did not differ between disturbance levels, but overall nestling mortality was significantly higher in areas exposed to high visitor pressure. Although visitor numbers were consistent throughout the season, the magnitude and rate of a seasonal decline in productivity were significantly greater in nests subject to high disturbance. This study presents good evidence that, even when humans do not pose a direct mortality risk, animals may perceive them as a predation risk. This has implications for the conservation and management of a diverse range of burrow- and cavity-dwelling animals. Despite this reduction in individual fitness, overall colony productivity was reduced by ⩽1.6% compared with that expected in the absence of visitors. While the colony-level consequences at the site in question may be considered minor, conservation managers must evaluate the trade-off between potential costs and benefits of public access on a site- and species-specific basis. PMID:24899731

  4. Female stickleback prefer shallow males: Sexual selection on nest microhabitat.

    PubMed

    Bolnick, Daniel I; Shim, Kum Chuan; Brock, Chad D

    2015-06-01

    Sexual selection is most often thought of as acting on organismal traits, such as size or color. However, individuals' habitat use may also affect mating success. Here, we show that, in threespine stickleback, nest depth can be a target of sexual selection. In postglacial lakes in British Columbia, male threespine stickleback nest in a narrow range of depths. Prior studies revealed heritable variation in males' preferred nest microhabitat. We surveyed four natural populations, finding that male stickleback with shallower nests were more successful at breeding. Indeed, nest depth was a much stronger predictor of male mating success than more commonly studied targets of sexual selection in stickleback (size, condition, shape, color, infection status). This selection on nest depth means that variance in fitness changed predictably across microhabitats, altering the opportunity for sexual selection to act on other traits. Accordingly, we show that sexual selection on other male traits is strongest where variance in nesting success is highest (at intermediate nest depths in some lakes). We conclude that males' choice of nesting microhabitat is an especially important target of sexual selection, resulting in fine-scale spatial variation in sexual selection on other traits. PMID:25958935

  5. Density-dependent nest predation in waterfowl: the relative importance of nest density versus nest dispersion.

    PubMed

    Ringelman, Kevin M; Eadie, John M; Ackerman, Joshua T

    2012-07-01

    When nest predation levels are very high or very low, the absolute range of observable nest success is constrained (a floor/ceiling effect), and it may be more difficult to detect density-dependent nest predation. Density-dependent nest predation may be more detectable in years with moderate predation rates, simply because there can be a greater absolute difference in nest success between sites. To test this, we replicated a predation experiment 10 years after the original study, using both natural and artificial nests, comparing a year when overall rates of nest predation were high (2000) to a year with moderate nest predation (2010). We found no evidence for density-dependent predation on artificial nests in either year, indicating that nest predation is not density-dependent at the spatial scale of our experimental replicates (1-ha patches). Using nearest-neighbor distances as a measure of nest dispersion, we also found little evidence for "dispersion-dependent" predation on artificial nests. However, when we tested for dispersion-dependent predation using natural nests, we found that nest survival increased with shorter nearest-neighbor distances, and that neighboring nests were more likely to share the same nest fate than non-adjacent nests. Thus, at small spatial scales, density-dependence appears to operate in the opposite direction as predicted: closer nearest neighbors are more likely to be successful. We suggest that local nest dispersion, rather than larger-scale measures of nest density per se, may play a more important role in density-dependent nest predation. PMID:22179311

  6. Density-dependent nest predation in waterfowl: the relative importance of nest density versus nest dispersion

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Ringelman, KM; Eadie, J.M.

    2012-01-01

    When nest predation levels are very high or very low, the absolute range of observable nest success is constrained (a floor/ceiling effect), and it may be more difficult to detect density-dependent nest predation. Density-dependent nest predation may be more detectable in years with moderate predation rates, simply because there can be a greater absolute difference in nest success between sites. To test this, we replicated a predation experiment 10 years after the original study, using both natural and artificial nests, comparing a year when overall rates of nest predation were high (2000) to a year with moderate nest predation (2010). We found no evidence for density-dependent predation on artificial nests in either year, indicating that nest predation is not density-dependent at the spatial scale of our experimental replicates (1-ha patches). Using nearest-neighbor distances as a measure of nest dispersion, we also found little evidence for “dispersion-dependent” predation on artificial nests. However, when we tested for dispersion-dependent predation using natural nests, we found that nest survival increased with shorter nearest-neighbor distances, and that neighboring nests were more likely to share the same nest fate than non-adjacent nests. Thus, at small spatial scales, density-dependence appears to operate in the opposite direction as predicted: closer nearest neighbors are more likely to be successful. We suggest that local nest dispersion, rather than larger-scale measures of nest density per se, may play a more important role in density-dependent nest predation.

  7. Retrievable Inferior Vena Cava Filters: Factors that Affect Retrieval Success

    SciTech Connect

    Geisbuesch, Philipp Benenati, James F.; Pena, Constantino S.; Couvillon, Joseph; Powell, Alex; Gandhi, Ripal; Samuels, Shaun; Uthoff, Heiko

    2012-10-15

    Purpose: To report and analyze the indications, procedural success, and complications of retrievable inferior vena cava filters (rIVCF) placement and to identify parameters that influence retrieval attempt and failure. Methods: Between January 2005 and December 2010, a total of 200 patients (80 men, median age 67 years, range 11-95 years) received a rIVCF with the clinical possibility that it could be removed. All patients with rIVCF were prospectively entered into a database and followed until retrieval or a decision not to retrieve the filter was made. A retrospective analysis of this database was performed. Results: Sixty-one percent of patients had an accepted indication for filter placement; 39% of patients had a relative indication. There was a tendency toward a higher retrieval rate in patients with relative indications (40% vs. 55%, P = 0.076). Filter placement was technically successful in all patients, with no procedure-related mortality. The retrieval rate was 53%. Patient age of >80 years (odds ratio [OR] 0.056, P > 0.0001) and presence of malignancy (OR 0.303, P = 0.003) was associated with a significantly reduced probability for attempted retrieval. Retrieval failure occurred in 7% (6 of 91) of all retrieval attempts. A time interval of > 90 days between implantation and attempted retrieval was associated with retrieval failure (OR 19.8, P = 0.009). Conclusions: Patient age >80 years and a history of malignancy are predictors of a reduced probability for retrieval attempt. The rate of retrieval failure is low and seems to be associated with a time interval of >90 days between filter placement and retrieval.

  8. Prey selectivity affects reproductive success of a corallivorous reef fish.

    PubMed

    Brooker, Rohan M; Jones, Geoffrey P; Munday, Philip L

    2013-06-01

    Most animals consume a narrower range of food resources than is potentially available in the environment, but the underlying basis for these preferences is often poorly understood. Foraging theory predicts that prey selection should represent a trade-off between prey preferences based on nutritional value and prey availability. That is, species should consume preferred prey when available, but select less preferred prey when preferred prey is rare. We employed both field observation and laboratory experiments to examine the relationship between prey selection and preferences in the obligate coral-feeding filefish, Oxymonacanthus longirostris. To determine the drivers of prey selection, we experimentally established prey preferences in choice arenas and tested the consequences of prey preferences for key fitness-related parameters. Field studies showed that individuals fed almost exclusively on live corals from the genus Acropora. While diet was dominated by the most abundant species, Acropora nobilis, fish appeared to preferentially select rarer acroporids, such as A. millepora and A. hyacinthus. Prey choice experiments confirmed strong preferences for these corals, suggesting that field consumption is constrained by availability. In a longer-term feeding experiment, reproductive pairs fed on non-preferred corals exhibited dramatic reductions to body weight, and in hepatic and gonad condition, compared with those fed preferred corals. The majority of pairs fed preferred corals spawned frequently, while no spawning was observed for any pairs fed a non-preferred species of coral. These experiments suggest that fish distinguish between available corals based on their intrinsic value as prey, that reproductive success is dependent on the presence of particular coral species, and that differential loss of preferred corals could have serious consequences for the population success of these dietary specialists. PMID:23124333

  9. The influence of regional hydrology on nesting behavior and nest fate of the American alligator

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ugarte, Cristina A.; Bass, Oron L.; Nuttle, William; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Rice, Kenneth G.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Whelan, Kevin R.T.

    2013-01-01

    Hydrologic conditions are critical to the nesting behavior and reproductive success of crocodilians. In South Florida, USA, growing human settlement has led to extensive surface water management and modification of historical water flows in the wetlands, which have affected regional nesting of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Although both natural and anthropogenic factors are considered to determine hydrologic conditions, the aspects of hydrological patterns that affect alligator nest effort, flooding (partial and complete), and failure (no hatchling) are unclear. We deconstructed annual hydrological patterns using harmonic models that estimated hydrological matrices including mean, amplitude, timing of peak, and periodicity of surface water depth and discharge and examined their effects on alligator nesting using survey data from Shark Slough, Everglades National Park, from 1985 to 2005. Nest effort increased in years with higher mean and lesser periodicity of water depth. A greater proportion of nests were flooded and failed when peak discharge occurred earlier in the year. Also, nest flooding rates were greater in years with greater periodicity of water depth, and nest failure rate was greater when mean discharge was higher. This study guides future water management decisions to mitigate negative impacts on reproduction of alligators and provides wildlife managers with a tool for assessing and modifying annual water management plans to conserve crocodilians and other wetland species.

  10. A quantitative approach to identifying predators from nest remains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anthony, R.M.; Grand, J.B.; Fondell, T.F.; Manly, B.F.

    2004-01-01

    Nesting success of Dusky Canada Geese (Branta canadensis occidentalis) has declined greatly since a major earthquake affected southern Alaska in 1964. To identify nest predators, we collected predation data at goose nests and photographs of predators at natural nests containing artificial eggs in 1997-2000. To document feeding behavior by nest predators, we compiled the evidence from destroyed nests with known predators on our study site and from previous studies. We constructed a profile for each predator group and compared the evidence from 895 nests with unknown predators to our predator profiles using mixture-model analysis. This analysis indicated that 72% of destroyed nests were depredated by Bald Eagles and 13% by brown bears, and also yielded the probability that each nest was correctly assigned to a predator group based on model fit. Model testing using simulations indicated that the proportion estimated for eagle predation was unbiased and the proportion for bear predation was slightly overestimated. This approach may have application whenever there are adequate data on nests destroyed by known predators and predators exhibit different feeding behavior at nests.

  11. Nesting Instincts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenman, Geri

    2003-01-01

    Describes an art project where beginning drawing students used values and chiaroscuro techniques to draw bird nests. Explains how the students observed the nest that was displayed in the art classroom. Discusses the steps involved in creating the artworks. (CMK)

  12. Size matters: nest colonization patterns for twig-nesting ants

    PubMed Central

    Jiménez-Soto, Estelí; Philpott, Stacy M

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the drivers of ant diversity and co-occurrence in agroecosystems is fundamental because ants participate in interactions that influence agroecosystem processes. Multiple local and regional factors influence ant community assembly. We examined local factors that influence the structure of a twig-nesting ant community in a coffee system in Mexico using an experimental approach. We investigated whether twig characteristics (nest entrance size and diversity of nest entrance sizes) and nest strata (canopy shade tree or coffee shrub) affected occupation, species richness, and community composition of twig-nesting ants and whether frequency of occupation of ant species varied with particular nest entrance sizes or strata. We conducted our study in a shaded coffee farm in Chiapas, Mexico, between March and June 2012. We studied ant nest colonization by placing artificial nests (bamboo twigs) on coffee shrubs and shade trees either in diverse or uniform treatments. We also examined whether differences in vegetation (no. of trees, canopy cover and coffee density) influenced nest colonization. We found 33 ant species occupying 73% of nests placed. Nest colonization did not differ with nest strata or size. Mean species richness of colonizing ants was significantly higher in the diverse nest size entrance treatment, but did not differ with nest strata. Community composition differed between strata and also between the diverse and uniform size treatments on coffee shrubs, but not on shade trees. Some individual ant species were more frequently found in certain nest strata and in nests with certain entrance sizes. Our results indicate that twig-nesting ants are nest-site limited, quickly occupy artificial nests of many sizes, and that trees or shrubs with twigs of a diversity of entrance sizes likely support higher ant species richness. Further, individual ant species more frequently occupy nests with different sized entrances promoting ant richness on individual

  13. Size matters: nest colonization patterns for twig-nesting ants.

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Soto, Estelí; Philpott, Stacy M

    2015-08-01

    Understanding the drivers of ant diversity and co-occurrence in agroecosystems is fundamental because ants participate in interactions that influence agroecosystem processes. Multiple local and regional factors influence ant community assembly.We examined local factors that influence the structure of a twig-nesting ant community in a coffee system in Mexico using an experimental approach. We investigated whether twig characteristics (nest entrance size and diversity of nest entrance sizes) and nest strata (canopy shade tree or coffee shrub) affected occupation, species richness, and community composition of twig-nesting ants and whether frequency of occupation of ant species varied with particular nest entrance sizes or strata.We conducted our study in a shaded coffee farm in Chiapas, Mexico, between March and June 2012. We studied ant nest colonization by placing artificial nests (bamboo twigs) on coffee shrubs and shade trees either in diverse or uniform treatments. We also examined whether differences in vegetation (no. of trees, canopy cover and coffee density) influenced nest colonization.We found 33 ant species occupying 73% of nests placed. Nest colonization did not differ with nest strata or size. Mean species richness of colonizing ants was significantly higher in the diverse nest size entrance treatment, but did not differ with nest strata. Community composition differed between strata and also between the diverse and uniform size treatments on coffee shrubs, but not on shade trees. Some individual ant species were more frequently found in certain nest strata and in nests with certain entrance sizes.Our results indicate that twig-nesting ants are nest-site limited, quickly occupy artificial nests of many sizes, and that trees or shrubs with twigs of a diversity of entrance sizes likely support higher ant species richness. Further, individual ant species more frequently occupy nests with different sized entrances promoting ant richness on individual coffee

  14. Factors That Affect the Academic Success of Foreign Students at Cardinal Stritch University

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Annor, Peter

    2010-01-01

    There are limited studies in the literature on the factors that affect the academic success of foreign students in the United States. This ex post facto mixed method study investigated the factors that affect the academic success of foreign students at Cardinal Stitch University (CSU), a medium size, private university located in the Midwestern…

  15. It is not all pheromones: No evidence that pheromones affect digging face choice during ant nest excavation.

    PubMed

    Bruce, Andrew I

    2016-01-01

    Ants create nests of a size that is tailored to the number of individuals in a nest via a self-organized process. It is not yet clear how they accomplish this. Deposition and evaporation of pheromones at the digging face has been hypothesised by Deneubourg and Franks (1995) and Buhl et al. (2005) to be part of the nest construction process, with models being presented to support this contention. This hypothesis was tested by allowing groups of 5 Acromyrmex lundi workers to choose between two excavation sites, one that was freshly exposed to digging and one where digging had ceased an hour previously. It was expected that if pheromones played a role in stimulating digging, then ants would show a preference for digging in the "fresh" sites rather than the "aged" sites where the putative digging pheromone had decayed. No significant difference in digging activity between "fresh" and "aged" sites was detected. It is therefore likely that, while digging pheromones may play other roles in other parts of the digging system, they do not play an important role in regulation of soil excavation at the digging face. PMID:26529291

  16. Nest survival patterns in Eurasian Bittern: effect of nest age, time and habitat variables

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Determining the key factors affecting the reproductive success of nesting birds is crucial in order to better understand the population dynamics of endangered species and to introduce effective conservation programmes for them. Inhabiting a variety of wetland habitats, aquatic birds actively select safe nesting sites so as to protect their nests against predators. The main aim of the present work was to assess the effect of temporal and habitat variables on the daily nest survival rate of Eurasian Bitterns colonizing semi–natural fishpond habitat in eastern Poland. MARK software was used for the modelling. Eurasian Bittern nests were most vulnerable to depredation at the beginning of the breeding season. This was probably because the reedbed vegetation at this time was not yet dense enough to effectively conceal the nests. There was a positive relationship between nest age and the daily survival rate. Two of the habitat variables analysed were of the greatest significance: water depth and vegetation density. In the Eurasian Bittern population studied here, nests built over deep water and in dense vegetation had the best chances of survival. The results of this work may be useful in the preparation of plans for the conservation and management of populations of this rare and endangered species. Conservation and restoration efforts that attempt to maintain high water levels will be especially beneficial to this avian species that is dependent on wetland ecosystems for breeding. PMID:27350897

  17. Nest survival patterns in Eurasian Bittern: effect of nest age, time and habitat variables.

    PubMed

    Polak, Marcin

    2016-01-01

    Determining the key factors affecting the reproductive success of nesting birds is crucial in order to better understand the population dynamics of endangered species and to introduce effective conservation programmes for them. Inhabiting a variety of wetland habitats, aquatic birds actively select safe nesting sites so as to protect their nests against predators. The main aim of the present work was to assess the effect of temporal and habitat variables on the daily nest survival rate of Eurasian Bitterns colonizing semi-natural fishpond habitat in eastern Poland. MARK software was used for the modelling. Eurasian Bittern nests were most vulnerable to depredation at the beginning of the breeding season. This was probably because the reedbed vegetation at this time was not yet dense enough to effectively conceal the nests. There was a positive relationship between nest age and the daily survival rate. Two of the habitat variables analysed were of the greatest significance: water depth and vegetation density. In the Eurasian Bittern population studied here, nests built over deep water and in dense vegetation had the best chances of survival. The results of this work may be useful in the preparation of plans for the conservation and management of populations of this rare and endangered species. Conservation and restoration efforts that attempt to maintain high water levels will be especially beneficial to this avian species that is dependent on wetland ecosystems for breeding. PMID:27350897

  18. Brood parasitism among waterfowl nesting on islands and peninsulas in North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lokemoen, J.T.

    1991-01-01

    During 1985 and 1986 I studied interspecific brood parasitism among seven species of waterfowl nesting on 36 islands and 24 peninsulas in central North Dakota. On islands, 40% of 178 nests were parasitized with an average of 4.3 parasitic eggs, and on peninsulas 2% of 275 nests were parasitized with an average of 2.2 parasitic eggs. Redheads (Aythya americana) were the primary parasite, adding eggs to 92% of all parasitized nests. Species nesting in open cover were parasitized at a higher rate than species nesting in dense cover. Nests with parasitic eggs had fewer host eggs and there was a negative association between the number of parasitic eggs and the success of host eggs. Parasitized nests had lower success, but additional parasitic eggs had no added influence on nest success. Interspecific brood parasitism had significant negative effects on dabbling ducks on islands but Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) were little affected. Even so, the number of young hatched per nest was much higher on islands because of the high loss of eggs to predators on the mainland. Parasitic eggs were deposited during the middle of the nesting season, but the peak of parasitic laying occurred before the peak of normal nesting.

  19. Nest survival of forest birds in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Twedt, D.J.; Wilson, R.R.; Henne-Kerr, J.L.; Hamilton, R.B.

    2001-01-01

    vimns, 7%), eastern towhee (14%), indigo bunting (14%), and northern cardinal (17%) did not differ from nest success in cottonwood plantations that were coppiced from root sprouts following pulpwood harvest. Within bottomland hardwood forests, uneven-aged group-selection timber harvest reduced the combined daily nest survival of all species from 0.958 to 0.938, which reduced nest success by about 14%. Specifically, timber harvest reduced nest success of species that nest in the forest midstory and canopy, such as Acadian flycatcher (Empidonax virescens)--from 32% before harvest to 14% after harvest. Conversely, those species that nest primarily in the shrubby understory--such as northern cardinal--were not affected by timber harvest and maintained an overall nest success of about 33%. Thus, birds nesting in the understory of bottomland hardwood forests are not adversely impacted by selective timber harvest, but there is a short-term reduction in nest success for birds that nest in the canopy and midstory.

  20. Triangular Nests!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Powell, R. I.

    2002-01-01

    Shows how integer-sided triangles can be nested, each nest having a single enclosing isosceles triangle. Brings to light what can be seen as a relatively simple generalization of Pythagoras' theorem, a result that should be readily accessible to many secondary school pupils. (Author/KHR)

  1. Exploring Alignment between Affective Assessments and College Success Courses: An Exploratory Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Begotka, James

    2012-01-01

    Many two-year colleges throughout the nation are intentionally redesigning developmental education programming and practices directed at improving student preparedness and success. Theoretical works from Bloom and Knowles have established that the affective domain is significant to learner preparedness and eventual success, specifically for adult…

  2. Power lines, roads, and avian nest survival: effects on predator identity and predation intensity.

    PubMed

    DeGregorio, Brett A; Weatherhead, Patrick J; Sperry, Jinelle H

    2014-05-01

    1 Anthropogenic alteration of landscapes can affect avian nest success by influencing the abundance, distribution, and behavior of predators. Understanding avian nest predation risk necessitates understanding how landscapes affect predator distribution and behavior. 2 From a sample of 463 nests of 17 songbird species, we evaluated how landscape features (distance to forest edge, unpaved roads, and power lines) influenced daily nest survival. We also used video cameras to identify nest predators at 137 nest predation events and evaluated how landscape features influenced predator identity. Finally, we determined the abundance and distribution of several of the principal predators using surveys and radiotelemetry. 3 Distance to power lines was the best predictor of predator identity: predation by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater), corvids (Corvus sp. and Cyanocitta cristata), racers (Coluber constrictor), and coachwhips (Masticophis flagellum) increased with proximity to power lines, whereas predation by rat snakes (Elaphe obsoleta) and raptors decreased. In some cases, predator density may reliably indicate nest predation risk because racers, corvids, and cowbirds frequently used power line right-of-ways. 4 Of five bird species with enough nests to analyze individually, daily nest survival of only indigo buntings (Passerina cyanea) decreased with proximity to power lines, despite predation by most predators at our site being positively associated with power lines. For all nesting species combined, distance to unpaved road was the model that most influenced daily nest survival. This pattern is likely a consequence of rat snakes, the locally dominant nest predator (28% of predation events), rarely using power lines and associated areas. Instead, rat snakes were frequently associated with road edges, indicating that not all edges are functionally similar. 5 Our results suggest that interactions between predators and landscape features are likely to be specific to

  3. Power lines, roads, and avian nest survival: effects on predator identity and predation intensity

    PubMed Central

    DeGregorio, Brett A; Weatherhead, Patrick J; Sperry, Jinelle H

    2014-01-01

    1 Anthropogenic alteration of landscapes can affect avian nest success by influencing the abundance, distribution, and behavior of predators. Understanding avian nest predation risk necessitates understanding how landscapes affect predator distribution and behavior. 2 From a sample of 463 nests of 17 songbird species, we evaluated how landscape features (distance to forest edge, unpaved roads, and power lines) influenced daily nest survival. We also used video cameras to identify nest predators at 137 nest predation events and evaluated how landscape features influenced predator identity. Finally, we determined the abundance and distribution of several of the principal predators using surveys and radiotelemetry. 3 Distance to power lines was the best predictor of predator identity: predation by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater), corvids (Corvus sp. and Cyanocitta cristata), racers (Coluber constrictor), and coachwhips (Masticophis flagellum) increased with proximity to power lines, whereas predation by rat snakes (Elaphe obsoleta) and raptors decreased. In some cases, predator density may reliably indicate nest predation risk because racers, corvids, and cowbirds frequently used power line right-of-ways. 4 Of five bird species with enough nests to analyze individually, daily nest survival of only indigo buntings (Passerina cyanea) decreased with proximity to power lines, despite predation by most predators at our site being positively associated with power lines. For all nesting species combined, distance to unpaved road was the model that most influenced daily nest survival. This pattern is likely a consequence of rat snakes, the locally dominant nest predator (28% of predation events), rarely using power lines and associated areas. Instead, rat snakes were frequently associated with road edges, indicating that not all edges are functionally similar. 5 Our results suggest that interactions between predators and landscape features are likely to be specific to

  4. Changes in reproductive life-history strategies in response to nest density in a shell-brooding cichlid, Telmatochromis vittatus.

    PubMed

    Ota, Kazutaka; Hori, Michio; Kohda, Masanori

    2012-01-01

    To determine whether the appearance of a reproductively parasitic tactic varies, and how this variation affects territorial males of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid fish Telmatochromis vittatus, we examined the reproductive ecology of territorial males in Mtondwe and compared it with that of a neighboring Wonzye population, where nest density differs from that at Mtondwe. In Wonzye, with high nest density, male tactics change with their body size from a territorial to a non-territorial parasitic tactic called piracy in which they conquer several nests defended by territorial males and take over the nests while females are spawning. These "pirate" males could decrease the costs incurred by travelling among nests by exclusively targeting aggregations of nests in close proximity while avoiding separate nests. Territorial males in Wonzye sacrifice the potential higher attractiveness offered by large nests and instead compete for nests farther from neighbors on which pirates less frequently intrude. In contrast, the Mtondwe population had lower nest density and piracy was absent. Given that the success of piracy depends on the close proximity of nests, nest density is likely responsible for the observed variation in the occurrence of piracy between the two populations. Furthermore, in Mtondwe, territorial males competed for larger nests and were smaller than the territorial males in Wonzye. Thus, this lower nest density may free territorial males from the selection pressures for increased size caused by both defense against nest piracy and the need to develop into pirates as they grow. PMID:22089034

  5. Changes in reproductive life-history strategies in response to nest density in a shell-brooding cichlid, Telmatochromis vittatus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ota, Kazutaka; Hori, Michio; Kohda, Masanori

    2012-01-01

    To determine whether the appearance of a reproductively parasitic tactic varies, and how this variation affects territorial males of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid fish Telmatochromis vittatus, we examined the reproductive ecology of territorial males in Mtondwe and compared it with that of a neighboring Wonzye population, where nest density differs from that at Mtondwe. In Wonzye, with high nest density, male tactics change with their body size from a territorial to a non-territorial parasitic tactic called piracy in which they conquer several nests defended by territorial males and take over the nests while females are spawning. These "pirate" males could decrease the costs incurred by travelling among nests by exclusively targeting aggregations of nests in close proximity while avoiding separate nests. Territorial males in Wonzye sacrifice the potential higher attractiveness offered by large nests and instead compete for nests farther from neighbors on which pirates less frequently intrude. In contrast, the Mtondwe population had lower nest density and piracy was absent. Given that the success of piracy depends on the close proximity of nests, nest density is likely responsible for the observed variation in the occurrence of piracy between the two populations. Furthermore, in Mtondwe, territorial males competed for larger nests and were smaller than the territorial males in Wonzye. Thus, this lower nest density may free territorial males from the selection pressures for increased size caused by both defense against nest piracy and the need to develop into pirates as they grow.

  6. Artificial nesting habitats as a conservation strategy for turtle populations experiencing global change.

    PubMed

    Wnek, John P; Bien, Walter F; Avery, Harold W

    2013-06-01

    Diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin) inhabit estuaries in eastern USA and may tolerate salinity of sea-water for short durations. Many North American estuaries are adversely affected by anthropogenic impacts, such as pollution, dredging and invasion by non-native plants. Many nesting areas have been altered or destroyed, causing terrapins to nest on roadsides and artificial islands made of dredged substrate from bottom sediments. Shading by non-native plants may suppress development and reduce survival of embryos. In Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, USA, there is a mosaic of natural and degraded terrapin nesting habitats. We investigated the effects of dredge soil and shade on the hatching success of diamondback terrapins to determine whether nesting habitat could be increased by using dredged bottom sediments. In year 1, unshaded nests in natural loamy-sand had the highest hatching success (55.2%), while nests in dredge soil produced no hatchlings. In year 2, nests in unshaded loamy-sand had a hatching success of 85.3%, whereas those in dredge soil, aged 1 year, had a hatching success of 59.4%. Dredge soil improved as an incubation substrate after aging 1 year by the washout of salt. Nest temperatures were generally cool and produced mostly male hatchlings. Uncontaminated dredge soil may provide suitable nesting substrates for diamondback terrapins if used after one year, and may be particularly beneficial if used for constructing islands that provide new nesting sites with reduced access of mammalian predators. PMID:23731816

  7. Nesting site density and distribution affects Osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) reproductive success and almond yield in a commercial orchard.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Continued declines in honey bee Apis mellifera populations have prompted further exploration of alternative, economically-viable managed bee pollinators of agricultural crops. The potential of commercially-managed, native blue orchard bees Osmia lignaria to augment honey bees in orchard pollination...

  8. Nested Cohort

    Cancer.gov

    NestedCohort is an R software package for fitting Kaplan-Meier and Cox Models to estimate standardized survival and attributable risks for studies where covariates of interest are observed on only a sample of the cohort.

  9. Do mammalian nest predators follow human scent trails in the shortgrass prairie?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Skagen, S.K.; Stanley, T.R.; Dillon, M.B.

    1999-01-01

    Nest predation, the major cause of nest failure in passerines, has exerted a strong influence on the evolution of life history traits of birds. Because human disturbance during nest monitoring may alter predation rates, we investigated whether human scent affected the survival of artificial ground nests in shortgrass prairie. Our experiment consisted of two treatments, one in which there was no attempt to mask human scent along travel routes between artificial nests, and one in which we masked human scent with cow manure, a scent familiar to mammalian predators in the study area. We found no evidence that human scent influenced predation rates, nor that mammalian predators followed human trails between nests. We conclude that scent trails made by investigators do not result in lower nesting success of passerines of the shortgrass prairie where vegetation trampling is minimal, mammalian predators predominate, and avian predators are rare.

  10. Herbivory affects salt marsh succession dynamics by suppressing the recovery of dominant species.

    PubMed

    Daleo, Pedro; Alberti, Juan; Pascual, Jesús; Canepuccia, Alejandro; Iribarne, Oscar

    2014-05-01

    Disturbance can generate heterogeneous environments and profoundly influence plant diversity by creating patches at different successional stages. Herbivores, in turn, can govern plant succession dynamics by determining the rate of species replacement, ultimately affecting plant community structure. In a south-western Atlantic salt marsh, we experimentally evaluated the role of herbivory in the recovery following disturbance of the plant community and assessed whether herbivory affects the relative importance of sexual and clonal reproduction on these dynamics. Our results show that herbivory strongly affects salt marsh secondary succession by suppressing seedlings and limiting clonal colonization of the dominant marsh grass, allowing subordinate species to dominate disturbed patches. These results demonstrate that herbivores can have an important role in salt marsh community structure and function, and can be a key force during succession dynamics. PMID:24549938

  11. Food-cue affected motor response inhibition and self-reported dieting success: a pictorial affective shifting task

    PubMed Central

    Meule, Adrian; Lutz, Annika P. C.; Krawietz, Vera; Stützer, Judith; Vögele, Claus; Kübler, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Behavioral inhibition is one of the basic facets of executive functioning and is closely related to self-regulation. Impulsive reactions, that is, low inhibitory control, have been associated with higher body mass index (BMI), binge eating, and other problem behaviors (e.g., substance abuse, pathological gambling, etc.). Nevertheless, studies which investigated the direct influence of food-cues on behavioral inhibition have been fairly inconsistent. In the current studies, we investigated food-cue affected behavioral inhibition in young women. For this purpose, we used a go/no-go task with pictorial food and neutral stimuli in which stimulus-response mapping is reversed after every other block (affective shifting task). In study 1, hungry participants showed faster reaction times to and omitted fewer food than neutral targets. Low dieting success and higher BMI were associated with behavioral disinhibition in food relative to neutral blocks. In study 2, both hungry and satiated individuals were investigated. Satiation did not influence overall task performance, but modulated associations of task performance with dieting success and self-reported impulsivity. When satiated, increased food craving during the task was associated with low dieting success, possibly indicating a preload-disinhibition effect following food intake. Food-cues elicited automatic action and approach tendencies regardless of dieting success, self-reported impulsivity, or current hunger levels. Yet, associations between dieting success, impulsivity, and behavioral food-cue responses were modulated by hunger and satiation. Future research investigating clinical samples and including other salient non-food stimuli as control category is warranted. PMID:24659978

  12. Can selection on nest size from nest predation explain the latitudinal gradient in clutch size?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Biancucci, L.; Martin, T.E.

    2010-01-01

    1. Latitudinal variation in clutch sizes of birds is a well described, but poorly understood pattern. Many hypotheses have been proposed, but few have been experimentally tested, and none have been universally accepted by researchers. 2. The nest size hypothesis posits that higher nest predation in the tropics favours selection for smaller nests and thereby constrains clutch size by shrinking available space for eggs and/or nestlings in the nest. We tested this hypothesis with an experiment in a tropical forest and a comparative study between temperate and tropical field sites. 3. Specifically, we tested if: (i) predation increased with nest size; (ii) tropical birds had smaller nests controlled for body size; and (iii) clutch size was explained by nest size controlled for body size. 4. Experimental swapping of nests of different sizes showed that nest predation increased with nest size in the tropical site. Moreover, nest predation rates were higher in species with larger nests in both sites. However, nest size, corrected for body mass and phylogeny, did not differ between sites and was not related to clutch size between sites. 5. Hence, nest predation can exert selection on nest size as predicted by the hypothesis. Nest size increased with adult body mass, such that adult size might indirectly influence reproductive success through effects on nest size and nest predation risk. Ultimately, however, selection from nest predation on nest size does not explain the smaller clutch sizes typical of the tropics.

  13. Alloparenting experience affects future parental behavior and reproductive success in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Stone, Anita Iyengar; Mathieu, Denise; Griffin, Luana; Bales, Karen Lisa

    2010-01-01

    Various hypotheses have been proposed to explain the function of alloparental behavior in cooperatively breeding species. We examined whether alloparental experience as juveniles enhanced later parental care and reproductive success in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster), a cooperatively breeding rodent. Juveniles cared for one litter of siblings (1EX), two litters of siblings (2EX) or no siblings (0EX). As adults, these individuals were mated to other 0EX, 1EX or 2EX voles, yielding seven different pair combinations, and we recorded measures of parental behaviors, reproductive success, and pup development. As juveniles, individuals caring for siblings for the first time were more alloparental; and as adults, 0EX females paired with 0EX males spent more time in the nest with their pups. Taken together, these results suggest that inexperienced animals spend more time in infant care. As parents, 1EX males spent more time licking their pups than 2EX and 0EX males. Pups with either a 1EX or 2EX parent gained weight faster than pups with 0EX parents during certain developmental periods. While inexperienced animals may spend more time in pup care, long-term benefits of alloparenting may become apparent in the display of certain, particularly important parental behaviors such as licking pups, and in faster weight gain of offspring. PMID:19732810

  14. Identifying Cognitive and Affective Variables as They Relate to the Successful Completion of Business Statistics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goldstein, Jeffrey; High, Robert V.

    This study examined the student characteristics, affective or cognitive, which predict academic success in undergraduate and graduate business statistics courses. The issue was found to be important because most business curricula require courses in business statistics and because both undergraduate and graduate students come to business programs…

  15. Using Artificial Nests to Study Nest Predation in Birds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Belthoff, James R.

    2005-01-01

    A simple and effective field exercise that demonstrates factors affecting predation on bird nests is described. With instructor guidance, students in high school biology or college-level biology, ecology, animal behavior, wildlife management or ornithology laboratory courses can collaborate to design field experiments related to nest depredation.

  16. Does nonrandom nest placement imply nonrandom nest predation? - A reply

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cooper, R.J.; Wilson, R.R.; Zenitsky, G.D.; Mullin, S.J.; Dececco, J.D.; Marshall, M.R.; Wolf, D.J.; Pomara, L.Y.

    1999-01-01

    In response to the critique by Schmidt and Whelan (Condor 101(4):916-920, 1999), we find that the relationship between nest success and tree selectivity is dependent upon inclusion or exclusion of particular tree species, whether or not years are pooled, and the selectivity index used. We question their use of point estimates of nest success with extremely high variances, defend our index, question the application of the Chesson (1983) index to our data, and explain the need to analyze years separately. Bottomland hardwood forest systems are extremely variable; hydroperiods alter the suitability of nesting substrates, availability of alternative food, and behavior of predators and their prey. Given these features, actively searching for Acadian Flycatcher (Empidonax virescens) nests is seldom an efficient predator foraging strategy. Therefore, these predation events are best described as random; nests are principally encountered opportunistically by generalist predators while searching for other prey.

  17. Determining nest predators of the Least Bell's Vireo through point counts, tracking stations, and video photography

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterson, B.L.; Kus, B.E.; Deutschman, D.H.

    2004-01-01

    We compared three methods to determine nest predators of the Least Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) in San Diego County, California, during spring and summer 2000. Point counts and tracking stations were used to identify potential predators and video photography to document actual nest predators. Parental behavior at depredated nests was compared to that at successful nests to determine whether activity (frequency of trips to and from the nest) and singing vs. non-singing on the nest affected nest predation. Yellow-breasted Chats (Icteria virens) were the most abundant potential avian predator, followed by Western Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma californica). Coyotes (Canis latrans) were abundant, with smaller mammalian predators occurring in low abundance. Cameras documented a 48% predation rate with scrub-jays as the major nest predators (67%), but Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana, 17%), gopher snakes (Pituophis melanoleucus, 8%) and Argentine ants (Linepithema humile, 8%) were also confirmed predators. Identification of potential predators from tracking stations and point counts demonstrated only moderate correspondence with actual nest predators. Parental behavior at the nest prior to depredation was not related to nest outcome.

  18. A hierarchical nest survival model integrating incomplete temporally varying covariates

    PubMed Central

    Converse, Sarah J; Royle, J Andrew; Adler, Peter H; Urbanek, Richard P; Barzen, Jeb A

    2013-01-01

    Nest success is a critical determinant of the dynamics of avian populations, and nest survival modeling has played a key role in advancing avian ecology and management. Beginning with the development of daily nest survival models, and proceeding through subsequent extensions, the capacity for modeling the effects of hypothesized factors on nest survival has expanded greatly. We extend nest survival models further by introducing an approach to deal with incompletely observed, temporally varying covariates using a hierarchical model. Hierarchical modeling offers a way to separate process and observational components of demographic models to obtain estimates of the parameters of primary interest, and to evaluate structural effects of ecological and management interest. We built a hierarchical model for daily nest survival to analyze nest data from reintroduced whooping cranes (Grus americana) in the Eastern Migratory Population. This reintroduction effort has been beset by poor reproduction, apparently due primarily to nest abandonment by breeding birds. We used the model to assess support for the hypothesis that nest abandonment is caused by harassment from biting insects. We obtained indices of blood-feeding insect populations based on the spatially interpolated counts of insects captured in carbon dioxide traps. However, insect trapping was not conducted daily, and so we had incomplete information on a temporally variable covariate of interest. We therefore supplemented our nest survival model with a parallel model for estimating the values of the missing insect covariates. We used Bayesian model selection to identify the best predictors of daily nest survival. Our results suggest that the black fly Simulium annulus may be negatively affecting nest survival of reintroduced whooping cranes, with decreasing nest survival as abundance of S. annulus increases. The modeling framework we have developed will be applied in the future to a larger data set to evaluate the

  19. A hierarchical nest survival model integrating incomplete temporally varying covariates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Converse, Sarah J.; Royle, J. Andrew; Adler, Peter H.; Urbanek, Richard P.; Barzan, Jeb A.

    2013-01-01

    Nest success is a critical determinant of the dynamics of avian populations, and nest survival modeling has played a key role in advancing avian ecology and management. Beginning with the development of daily nest survival models, and proceeding through subsequent extensions, the capacity for modeling the effects of hypothesized factors on nest survival has expanded greatly. We extend nest survival models further by introducing an approach to deal with incompletely observed, temporally varying covariates using a hierarchical model. Hierarchical modeling offers a way to separate process and observational components of demographic models to obtain estimates of the parameters of primary interest, and to evaluate structural effects of ecological and management interest. We built a hierarchical model for daily nest survival to analyze nest data from reintroduced whooping cranes (Grus americana) in the Eastern Migratory Population. This reintroduction effort has been beset by poor reproduction, apparently due primarily to nest abandonment by breeding birds. We used the model to assess support for the hypothesis that nest abandonment is caused by harassment from biting insects. We obtained indices of blood-feeding insect populations based on the spatially interpolated counts of insects captured in carbon dioxide traps. However, insect trapping was not conducted daily, and so we had incomplete information on a temporally variable covariate of interest. We therefore supplemented our nest survival model with a parallel model for estimating the values of the missing insect covariates. We used Bayesian model selection to identify the best predictors of daily nest survival. Our results suggest that the black fly Simulium annulus may be negatively affecting nest survival of reintroduced whooping cranes, with decreasing nest survival as abundance of S. annulus increases. The modeling framework we have developed will be applied in the future to a larger data set to evaluate the

  20. A hierarchical nest survival model integrating incomplete temporally varying covariates.

    PubMed

    Converse, Sarah J; Royle, J Andrew; Adler, Peter H; Urbanek, Richard P; Barzen, Jeb A

    2013-11-01

    Nest success is a critical determinant of the dynamics of avian populations, and nest survival modeling has played a key role in advancing avian ecology and management. Beginning with the development of daily nest survival models, and proceeding through subsequent extensions, the capacity for modeling the effects of hypothesized factors on nest survival has expanded greatly. We extend nest survival models further by introducing an approach to deal with incompletely observed, temporally varying covariates using a hierarchical model. Hierarchical modeling offers a way to separate process and observational components of demographic models to obtain estimates of the parameters of primary interest, and to evaluate structural effects of ecological and management interest. We built a hierarchical model for daily nest survival to analyze nest data from reintroduced whooping cranes (Grus americana) in the Eastern Migratory Population. This reintroduction effort has been beset by poor reproduction, apparently due primarily to nest abandonment by breeding birds. We used the model to assess support for the hypothesis that nest abandonment is caused by harassment from biting insects. We obtained indices of blood-feeding insect populations based on the spatially interpolated counts of insects captured in carbon dioxide traps. However, insect trapping was not conducted daily, and so we had incomplete information on a temporally variable covariate of interest. We therefore supplemented our nest survival model with a parallel model for estimating the values of the missing insect covariates. We used Bayesian model selection to identify the best predictors of daily nest survival. Our results suggest that the black fly Simulium annulus may be negatively affecting nest survival of reintroduced whooping cranes, with decreasing nest survival as abundance of S. annulus increases. The modeling framework we have developed will be applied in the future to a larger data set to evaluate the

  1. Reproductive interference between Rana dalmatina and Rana temporaria affects reproductive success in natural populations.

    PubMed

    Hettyey, Attila; Vági, Balázs; Kovács, Tibor; Ujszegi, János; Katona, Patrik; Szederkényi, Márk; Pearman, Peter B; Griggio, Matteo; Hoi, Herbert

    2014-10-01

    Experimental evidence suggests that reproductive interference between heterospecifics can seriously affect individual fitness; support from field studies for such an effect has, however, remained scarce. We studied reproductive interference in 25 natural breeding ponds in an area where two ranid frogs, Rana dalmatina and Rana temporaria, co-occur. The breeding seasons of the two species usually overlap and males of both species are often found in amplexus with heterospecific females, even though matings between heterospecifics produce no viable offspring. We estimated species abundance ratios based on the number of clutches laid and evaluated fertilization success. In ponds with low spatial complexity and a species abundance ratio biased towards R. temporaria, the average fertilization success of R. dalmatina eggs decreased, while this relationship was not detectable in spatially more complex ponds. Fertilization success of R. temporaria did not decrease with increasing relative numbers of heterospecifics. This asymmetry in fitness effects of reproductive interference may be attributed to R. temporaria males being more competitive in scramble competition for females than R. dalmatina males. Our study is among the first to demonstrate that in natural breeding populations of vertebrates interference among heterospecifics has the potential to substantially lower reproductive success at the population level, which may in turn affect population dynamics. PMID:25138258

  2. Factors affecting initial training success of blood glucose testing in captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes).

    PubMed

    Reamer, Lisa A; Haller, Rachel L; Thiele, Erica J; Freeman, Hani D; Lambeth, Susan P; Schapiro, Steven J

    2014-01-01

    Type 2 diabetes can be a problem for captive chimpanzees. Accurate blood glucose (BG) readings are necessary to monitor and treat this disease. Thus, obtaining voluntary samples from primates through positive reinforcement training (PRT) is critical. The current study assessed the voluntary participation of 123 chimpanzees in BG sampling and investigated factors that may contribute to individual success. All subjects participate in regular PRT sessions as part of a comprehensive behavioral management program. Basic steps involved in obtaining BG values include: voluntarily presenting a finger/toe; allowing digit disinfection; holding for the lancet device; and allowing blood collection onto a glucometer test strip for analysis. We recorded the level of participation (none, partial, or complete) when each chimpanzee was first asked to perform the testing procedure. Nearly 30% of subjects allowed the entire procedure in one session, without any prior specific training for the target behavior. Factors that affected this initial successful BG testing included sex, personality (chimpanzees rated higher on the factor "openness" were more likely to participate with BG testing), and past training performance for "present-for-injection" (chimpanzees that presented for their most recent anesthetic injection were more likely to participate). Neither age, rearing history, time since most recent anesthetic event nor social group size significantly affected initial training success. These results have important implications for captive management and training program success, underlining individual differences in training aptitude and the need for developing individual management plans in order to provide optimal care and treatment for diabetic chimpanzees in captivity. PMID:24706518

  3. Inflorescence architecture affects pollinator behaviour and mating success in Spiranthes sinensis (Orchidaceae).

    PubMed

    Iwata, Tatsunori; Nagasaki, Osamu; Ishii, Hiroshi S; Ushimaru, Atushi

    2012-01-01

    • Despite the wide inflorescence diversity among angiosperms, the effects of inflorescence architecture (three-dimensional flower arrangement) on pollinator behaviour and mating success have not been sufficiently studied in natural plant populations. • Here, we investigated how inflorescence architecture affected inter- and intra-plant pollinator movements and consequent mating success in a field population of Spiranthes sinensis var. amoena (S. sinensis). In this species, the flowers are helically arranged around the stem, and the degree of twisting varies greatly among individuals. The large variation in inflorescence architecture in S. sinensis results from variation in a single structural parameter, the helical angle (the angular distance between neighbour-flower directions). • The numbers of visits per inflorescence and successive probes per visit by leaf-cutting bees decreased with helical angle, indicating that individual flowers of tightly twisted inflorescences received less visitations. As expected from pollinator behaviour, pollinia removal and fruit set of individual flowers decreased with helical angle. Meanwhile, geitonogamy decreased in tightly twisted inflorescences. • Our novel findings demonstrate that natural variation in inflorescence architecture significantly affects pollinator behaviour and reproductive success, suggesting that inflorescence architecture can evolve under pollinator-mediated natural selection in plant populations. We also discuss how diverse inflorescence architectures may have been maintained in S. sinensis populations. PMID:21919912

  4. No pain, no gain: the affective valence of congruency conditions changes following a successful response.

    PubMed

    Schouppe, Nathalie; Braem, Senne; De Houwer, Jan; Silvetti, Massimo; Verguts, Tom; Ridderinkhof, K Richard; Notebaert, Wim

    2015-03-01

    The cognitive control theory of Botvinick, Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 7, 356-366 (2007) integrates cognitive and affective control processes by emphasizing the aversive nature of cognitive conflict. Using an affective priming paradigm, we replicate earlier results showing that incongruent trials, relative to congruent trials, are indeed perceived as more aversive (Dreisbach & Fischer, Brain and Cognition, 78(2), 94-98 (2012)). Importantly, however, in two experiments we demonstrate that this effect is reversed following successful responses; correctly responding to incongruent trials engendered relatively more positive affect than correctly responding to congruent trials. The results are discussed in light of a recent computational model by Silvetti, Seurinck, and Verguts, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 5:75 (2011) where it is assumed that outcome expectancies are more negative for incongruent trials than congruent trials. Consequently, the intrinsic reward (prediction error) following successful completion is larger for incongruent than congruent trials. These findings divulge a novel perspective on 'cognitive' adaptations to conflict. PMID:25183556

  5. Physical cognition: birds learn the structural efficacy of nest material

    PubMed Central

    Bailey, Ida E.; Morgan, Kate V.; Bertin, Marion; Meddle, Simone L.; Healy, Susan D.

    2014-01-01

    It is generally assumed that birds’ choice of structurally suitable materials for nest building is genetically predetermined. Here, we tested that assumption by investigating whether experience affected male zebra finches’ (Taeniopygia guttata) choice of nest material. After a short period of building with relatively flexible string, birds preferred to build with stiffer string while those that had experienced a stiffer string were indifferent to string type. After building a complete nest with either string type, however, all birds increased their preference for stiff string. The stiffer string appeared to be the more effective building material as birds required fewer pieces of stiffer than flexible string to build a roofed nest. For birds that raised chicks successfully, there was no association between the material they used to build their nest and the type they subsequently preferred. Birds’ material preference reflected neither the preference of their father nor of their siblings but juvenile experience of either string type increased their preference for stiffer string. Our results represent two important advances: (i) birds choose nest material based on the structural properties of the material; (ii) nest material preference is not entirely genetically predetermined as both the type and amount of experience influences birds’ choices. PMID:24741011

  6. Nest Predation Deviates from Nest Predator Abundance in an Ecologically Trapped Bird

    PubMed Central

    Hollander, Franck A.; Van Dyck, Hans; San Martin, Gilles; Titeux, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    In human-modified environments, ecological traps may result from a preference for low-quality habitat where survival or reproductive success is lower than in high-quality habitat. It has often been shown that low reproductive success for birds in preferred habitat types was due to higher nest predator abundance. However, between-habitat differences in nest predation may only weakly correlate with differences in nest predator abundance. An ecological trap is at work in a farmland bird (Lanius collurio) that recently expanded its breeding habitat into open areas in plantation forests. This passerine bird shows a strong preference for forest habitat, but it has a higher nest success in farmland. We tested whether higher abundance of nest predators in the preferred habitat or, alternatively, a decoupling of nest predator abundance and nest predation explained this observed pattern of maladaptive habitat selection. More than 90% of brood failures were attributed to nest predation. Nest predator abundance was more than 50% higher in farmland, but nest predation was 17% higher in forest. Differences between nest predation on actual shrike nests and on artificial nests suggested that parent shrikes may facilitate nest disclosure for predators in forest more than they do in farmland. The level of caution by parent shrikes when visiting their nest during a simulated nest predator intrusion was the same in the two habitats, but nest concealment was considerably lower in forest, which contributes to explaining the higher nest predation in this habitat. We conclude that a decoupling of nest predator abundance and nest predation may create ecological traps in human-modified environments. PMID:26624619

  7. Which Factors Affect the Success or Failure of Eradication Campaigns against Alien Species?

    PubMed Central

    Pluess, Therese; Jarošík, Vojtěch; Pyšek, Petr; Cannon, Ray; Pergl, Jan; Breukers, Annemarie; Bacher, Sven

    2012-01-01

    Although issues related to the management of invasive alien species are receiving increasing attention, little is known about which factors affect the likelihood of success of management measures. We applied two data mining techniques, classification trees and boosted trees, to identify factors that relate to the success of management campaigns aimed at eradicating invasive alien invertebrates, plants and plant pathogens. We assembled a dataset of 173 different eradication campaigns against 94 species worldwide, about a half of which (50.9%) were successful. Eradications in man-made habitats, greenhouses in particular, were more likely to succeed than those in (semi-)natural habitats. In man-made habitats the probability of success was generally high in Australasia, while in Europe and the Americas it was higher for local infestations that are easier to deal with, and for international campaigns that are likely to profit from cross-border cooperation. In (semi-) natural habitats, eradication campaigns were more likely to succeed for plants introduced as an ornamental and escaped from cultivation prior to invasion. Averaging out all other factors in boosted trees, pathogens, bacteria and viruses were most, and fungi the least likely to be eradicated; for plants and invertebrates the probability was intermediate. Our analysis indicates that initiating the campaign before the extent of infestation reaches the critical threshold, starting to eradicate within the first four years since the problem has been noticed, paying special attention to species introduced by the cultivation pathway, and applying sanitary measures can substantially increase the probability of eradication success. Our investigations also revealed that information on socioeconomic factors, which are often considered to be crucial for eradication success, is rarely available, and thus their relative importance cannot be evaluated. Future campaigns should carefully document socioeconomic factors to

  8. The disadvantages of mating outside home: How breeding in captivity affects the reproductive success of seahorses?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faleiro, Filipa; Narciso, Luís

    2013-04-01

    In captivity, husbandry conditions are distinct from those experienced by fish in the wild and may have a significant effect on reproductive success. This study evaluates the effect of supportive breeding (i.e., breeding animals in captivity using wild parents) on some quantitative and qualitative aspects of the reproductive success of the long-snouted seahorse, Hippocampus guttulatus. Wild and captive broods were compared in terms of juvenile number, size, condition and fatty acid profile at birth. Reproductive investment and breeding success of H. guttulatus decreased considerably in captivity. Juveniles from captive broods were fewer in number, smaller, generally thinner and with lower fatty acid contents (per juvenile) than those from wild broods, although their fatty acid composition (μg mg- 1 DW or %TFA) was not significantly affected. Although not greatly encouraging, the poor reproductive performance of captive seahorses should not, however, efface the potential of supportive breeding as a tool for seahorse conservation. Enhanced conditions and long-term breeding in captivity will allow to improve the reproductive success of the species and the quality of the fingerlings.

  9. Factors affecting student success in a first-year mathematics course: a South African experience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kizito, Rita; Munyakazi, Justin; Basuayi, Clement

    2016-01-01

    In spite of sustained efforts tertiary institutions implement to try and improve student academic performance, the number of students succeeding in first-year mathematics courses remains disturbingly low. For most students, the gap between their mathematical capability and the competencies they are expected and need to develop to function effectively in these courses persists even after course instruction. In this study, an instrument for identifying and examining factors affecting student performance and success in a first-year Mathematics university course was developed and administered to 86 students. The overall Cronbach's Alpha coefficient for the questionnaire was found to be 0.916. Having identified variables from prior research known to affect student performance, factor analysis was used to identify variables exhibiting the greatest impact on student performance. The variables included prior academic knowledge, workload, student approaches to learning, assessment, student support teaching quality, methods and resources. From the analysis, students' perceptions of their workload emerged as the factor having the greatest impact on student's performance, followed by the matriculation examination score. The findings are discussed and strategies that can be used to improve teaching and contribute to student success in a first-year mathematics course in a South African context are presented.

  10. Nest-site competition between invasive and native cavity nesting birds and its implication for conservation.

    PubMed

    Charter, Motti; Izhaki, Ido; Ben Mocha, Yitzchak; Kark, Salit

    2016-10-01

    Nesting cavities are often a limited resource that multiple species use. There is an ongoing discussion on whether invasive cavity nesting birds restrict the availability of this key limited resource. While the answer to this question has important conservation implications, little experimental work has been done to examine it. Here, we aimed to experimentally test whether alien cavity nesting birds affect the occupancy of cavities and the resulting breeding success of native cavity breeders in a large urban park located in Tel Aviv, Israel. Over three breeding seasons, we manipulated the entry size of nest boxes and compared the occupancy and breeding success of birds in nest boxes of two treatments. These included nest boxes with large-entrance and small-entrance holes. The large-entrance holes allowed access for both the native and invasive birds (the two main aliens in the park are the common mynas and rose-ringed parakeets). The smaller-entrance boxes, on the other hand, allowed only the smaller sized native cavity breeders (great tits and house sparrows) to enter the boxes but prevented the alien species from entering. We found that the large-entrance nest boxes were occupied by five different bird species, comprising three natives (great tit, house sparrow, Scops owl) and two invasive species (common myna, rose-ringed parakeet) while the small-entrance boxes were only occupied by the two native species. The alien common mynas and rose-ringed parakeets occupied 77.5% of the large-entrance nest boxes whereas native species, mainly great tits, occupied less than 9% of the large-entrance boxes and 36.5% of the small-entrance boxes. When examining the occupancy of those cavities that were not occupied by the aliens, natives occupied both the small and large-entrance nest boxes equally. Three quarters (78%) of the great tits breeding in the large-entrance boxes were usurped by common mynas during the breeding season and as a result breeding success was

  11. Nesting ecology of Spectacled Eiders Somateria fischeri on the Indigirka River Delta, Russia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pearce, J.M.; Esler, Daniel; Degtyarev, A.G.

    1998-01-01

    In 1994 and 1995 we investigated breeding biology and nest site habitat of Spectacled Eiders on two study areas within the coastal fringe of the Indigirka River Delta, Russia (71??20' N, 150??20' E). Spectacled Eiders were first observed on 6 June in both years and nesting commenced by mid-June. Average clutch size declined with later nest initiation dates by 0.10 eggs per day; clutches were larger in 1994 than 1995 and were slightly larger on a coastal island study area compared to an interior area. Nesting success varied substantially between years, with estimates of 1.6% in 1994 and 27.6% in 1995. Total egg loss, through avian or mammalian predation, occurred more frequently than partial egg loss. Partial egg loss was detected in 16 nests and appeared unrelated to nest initiation date or clutch size. We found no difference among survival rates of nests visited weekly, biweekly, and those at which the hen was never flushed, suggesting that researcher presence did not adversely affect nesting success. A comparison of nine habitat variables within each study area revealed little difference between nest sites and a comparable number of randomly located sites, leading us to conclude that Spectacled Eiders nest randomly with respect to most small scale habitat features. We propose that large scale landscape features are more important indicators of nesting habitat as they may afford greater protection from land-based predators, such as the Arctic Fox. Demographic data collected during this study, along with recent conservation measures implemented by the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), lead us to conclude that there are few threats to the Indigirka River Delta Spectacled Eider population. Presently, the Indigirka River Delta contains the largest concentration of nesting Spectacled Eiders and deserves continued monitoring and conservation.

  12. Characteristics of some black duck nest sites in Maine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

    A standard method for characterizing nest sites and concealment (visibility of orange decoy and percent overhead cover measured by densiometer) was used to obtain characteristics of 36 nest sites of black ducks in Maine, 1978-89. Nest locations were represented by cutover areas (10), islands (6), bogmat (5), emergent meadow (5), emergent wetland (3), stream floodplain (3), hardwood forest (1), conifer forest (1), mixed forest (1) and ephemeral pond (1). Within these locations nests were found in shrub clumps (1), under conifers (6), on hummocks (6), on ericaceous mats (4), under a clump of hardwood trees (4), under woody slash (3), on an emergent herbaceous clump (1), on a boulder (1) and on a muskrat house (1). After excluding 7 nests disturbed by investigators, 22 (76%) of the 29 remaining nests were successful nests. Nests in upland cuts were especially successful (9 of 9) and success was 75 - 100% at most locations, but both nests along stream floodplain were abandoned because of human disturbance. Unsuccessful nests were usually closer to ponds (2.5 times) or streams (6.6 times) and often at land water interfaces, i.e., islands and bogmat. Nests under conifers (5 of 6) and woody slash (3 of 3) usually were successful. The combination of low nesting density and isolation of nests in upland cutover areas (successful nests averaged nearly 3 times farther from roads) seem to influence black duck nest success.

  13. Waterbird nest density and nest survival in rice fields of southwestern Louisiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pierluissi, S.; King, Sammy L.; Kaller, Michael D.

    2010-01-01

    Rice fields in southwestern Louisiana provide breeding habitat for several waterbird species; however, little is known about nest density, nest survival and the importance of landscape context of rice fields in determining breeding activity. In 2004, 42 rice fields were searched for nests, and 40 were searched in 2005. Land uses surrounding rice fields, including irrigation canals, trees, crawfish ponds, rice, fallow and soybean fields, were examined to determine influence on nest density and survival. Nest densities were 13.5-16.0 nests/km2 for Purple Gallinules (Porphyrio martinica), 3.0-13.7 nests/km2 for Fulvous Whistling Ducks (Dendrocygna bicolor), 2.6-2.8 nests/km2 for Common Moorhens (Gallinula chloropus), 0.3-0.92 nests/km2 for Least Bitterns (Ixobrychus exilisi) and 0-0.6 nests/km2 for Mottled Ducks (Anas fulvigula). Nest survival was 52-79% for Purple Gallinules and 39-43% for Fulvous Whistling Ducks. Apparent nest success of Common Moorhens was 73-75%, 83% for Least Bitterns and 33% for Mottled Ducks. Purple Gallinule and Common Moorhen nest densities were highest in fields with a larger proportion of irrigation canals surrounding rice fields. Purple Gallinule nest densities were greater in fields devoid of trees and landscapes dominated by rice fields and pasture, rather than landscapes containing soybean fields and residential areas. Fulvous Whistling Duck nest densities were higher in agriculturally-dominated landscapes with few trees.

  14. Nest Mosquito Trap quantifies contact rates between nesting birds and mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Caillouët, Kevin A.; Riggan, Anna E.; Rider, Mark; Bulluck, Lesley P.

    2012-01-01

    Accurate estimates of host-vector contact rates are required for precise determination of arbovirus transmission intensity. We designed and tested a novel mosquito collection device, the Nest Mosquito Trap (NMT), to collect mosquitoes as they attempt to feed on unrestrained nesting birds in artificial nest boxes. In the laboratory, the NMT collected nearly one-third of the mosquitoes introduced to the nest boxes. We then used these laboratory data to estimate our capture efficiency of field-collected bird-seeking mosquitoes collected over 66 trap nights. We estimated that 7.5 mosquitoes per trap night attempted to feed on nesting birds in artificial nest boxes. Presence of the NMT did not have a negative effect on avian nest success when compared to occupied nest boxes that were not sampled with the trap. Future studies using the NMT may elucidate the role of nestlings in arbovirus transmission and further refine estimates of nesting bird and vector contact rates. PMID:22548555

  15. 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.

  16. Nest survival of piping plovers at a dynamic reservoir indicates an ecological trap for a threatened population.

    PubMed

    Anteau, Michael J; Shaffer, Terry L; Sherfy, Mark H; Sovada, Marsha A; Stucker, Jennifer H; Wiltermuth, Mark T

    2012-12-01

    In the past 60 years, reservoirs have reshaped riverine ecosystems and transformed breeding habitats used by the threatened piping plover (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plover). Currently, 29 % of the Northern Great Plains plover population nests at reservoirs that might function as ecological traps because reservoirs have more diverse habitat features and greater dynamics in water levels than habitats historically used by breeding plovers. We examined factors influencing daily survival rates (DSR) of 346 plover nests at Lake Sakakawea (SAK; reservoir) during 2006-2009 by evaluating multiple a priori models, and we used our best model to hindcast nest success of plovers during 1985-2009. Our observed and hindcast estimates of nest success were low compared to published estimates. Previous findings indicate that plovers prefer nest sites that are low relative to water level. We found that elevation of nests above the water level had a strong positive correlation with DSR because water levels of SAK typically increased throughout the nesting period. Habitat characteristics on the reservoir differ from those that shaped nest-site selection for plovers. Accordingly, extraordinary nest loss occurs there in many years, largely due to inundation of nests, and based on low fledging rates those losses were not compensated by potential changes in chick survival. Therefore, our example supports the concept of ecological traps in birds because it addresses quantitative assessments of habitat preference and productivity over 25 years (since species listing) and affects a large portion of the population. PMID:22700065

  17. Nest survival of piping plovers at a dynamic reservoir indicates an ecological trap for a threatened population

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anteau, Michael J.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Sherfy, Mark H.; Sovada, Marsha A.; Stucker, Jennifer H.; Wiltermuth, Mark T.

    2012-01-01

    In the past 60 years, reservoirs have reshaped riverine ecosystems and transformed breeding habitats used by the threatened piping plover (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plover). Currently, 29 % of the Northern Great Plains plover population nests at reservoirs that might function as ecological traps because reservoirs have more diverse habitat features and greater dynamics in water levels than habitats historically used by breeding plovers. We examined factors influencing daily survival rates (DSR) of 346 plover nests at Lake Sakakawea (SAK; reservoir) during 2006–2009 by evaluating multiple a priori models, and we used our best model to hindcast nest success of plovers during 1985–2009. Our observed and hindcast estimates of nest success were low compared to published estimates. Previous findings indicate that plovers prefer nest sites that are low relative to water level. We found that elevation of nests above the water level had a strong positive correlation with DSR because water levels of SAK typically increased throughout the nesting period. Habitat characteristics on the reservoir differ from those that shaped nest-site selection for plovers. Accordingly, extraordinary nest loss occurs there in many years, largely due to inundation of nests, and based on low fledging rates those losses were not compensated by potential changes in chick survival. Therefore, our example supports the concept of ecological traps in birds because it addresses quantitative assessments of habitat preference and productivity over 25 years (since species listing) and affects a large portion of the population.

  18. Factors Affecting Student Success with a Google Earth-Based Earth Science Curriculum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blank, Lisa M.; Almquist, Heather; Estrada, Jen; Crews, Jeff

    2016-02-01

    This study investigated to what extent the implementation of a Google Earth (GE)-based earth science curriculum increased students' understanding of volcanoes, earthquakes, plate tectonics, scientific reasoning abilities, and science identity. Nine science classrooms participated in the study. In eight of the classrooms, pre- and post-assessments of earth science content, scientific reasoning, and science identity were completed. In one classroom, a staggered implementation of the curriculum was completed to control for student and teacher variables. In all nine classrooms, implementation of the GE curriculum advanced students' science identity, earth science understanding, and science reasoning, but the curriculum was most transformative in terms of scientific reasoning. Two factors were identified related to student success. Students with strong science identities and high reading proficiencies demonstrated greater science learning outcomes. Math proficiency and gender did not affect learning outcomes.

  19. Bacterial population succession and adaptation affected by insecticide application and soil spraying history

    PubMed Central

    Itoh, Hideomi; Navarro, Ronald; Takeshita, Kazutaka; Tago, Kanako; Hayatsu, Masahito; Hori, Tomoyuki; Kikuchi, Yoshitomo

    2014-01-01

    Although microbial communities have varying degrees of exposure to environmental stresses such as chemical pollution, little is known on how these communities respond to environmental disturbances and how past disturbance history affects these community-level responses. To comprehensively understand the effect of organophosphorus insecticide application on microbiota in soils with or without insecticide-spraying history, we investigated the microbial succession in response to the addition of fenitrothion [O,O-dimethyl O-(3-methyl-p-nitrophenyl) phosphorothioate, abbreviated as MEP] by culture-dependent experiments and deep sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. Despite similar microbial composition at the initial stage, microbial response to MEP application was remarkably different between soils with and without MEP-spraying history. MEP-degrading microbes more rapidly increased in the soils with MEP-spraying history, suggesting that MEP-degrading bacteria might already exist at a certain level and could quickly respond to MEP re-treatment in the soil. Culture-dependent and -independent evaluations revealed that MEP-degrading Burkholderia bacteria are predominant in soils after MEP application, limited members of which might play a pivotal role in MEP-degradation in soils. Notably, deep sequencing also revealed that some methylotrophs dramatically increased after MEP application, strongly suggesting that these bacteria play a role in the consumption and removal of methanol, a harmful derivative from MEP-degradation, for better growth of MEP-degrading bacteria. This comprehensive study demonstrated the succession and adaptation processes of microbial communities under MEP application, which were critically affected by past experience of insecticide-spraying. PMID:25221549

  20. Do the Concentration and Volume of Local Anesthetics Affect the Onset and Success of Infraclavicular Anesthesia?

    PubMed Central

    Mosaffa, Faramarz; Gharaei, Babak; Qoreishi, Mohammad; Razavi, Sajjad; Safari, Farhad; Fathi, Mohammad; Mohseni, Gholamreza; Elyasi, Hedayatollah; Hosseini, Fahimeh

    2015-01-01

    Background: Although local anesthesia is a suitable method for upper limb surgeries, there is debate regarding the effects of appropriate dosing. Objectives: In the current study, we investigated the effects of the concentration and volume of a local anesthetic on the beginning and quality of anesthesia during upper limb orthopedic surgeries. Patients and Methods: This double-blinded, randomized, clinical trial was conducted on 60 patients aged between 18 and 85 years candidated for upper limb orthopedic operations. The patients were equally and randomly distributed into two groups (n = 30). Under ultrasound imaging guidance, the first group received 7 mL of 2% lidocaine and the second group 10 mL of 1.3% lidocaine into the brachial plexus cords. The onset of block and the level of sensory and motor block were documented for each nerve territory. Results: The onset of sensory and motor block was significantly shorter in the 1.3% lidocaine group than in the 2% lidocaine group (P ≤ 0.05). The success rate of sensory and motor block was not different. The quality (completeness) of sensory block for the musculocutaneous nerve and that of motor block for the radial nerve were significantly better in the 1.3% lidocaine group than in the 2% lidocaine group. Conclusions: The volume of the injected anesthetic accelerated the onset of sensory and motor block without affecting the rate of success in our patients. PMID:26473102

  1. Factors affecting reproductive success in three entomophilous orchid species in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Vojtkó, Anna E; Sonkoly, Judit; Lukács, Balázs András; Molnár V, Attila

    2015-06-01

    The reproductive success of orchids is traditionally estimated by determining the fruit-set of individuals. Here, we investigated both the fruit and the seed production of three orchid species and the factors that may affect individual fruit-set, like pollination strategy, individual traits or the annual amount of precipitation. The species [Dactylorhiza sambucina (L.) Soó, Dactylorhiza majalis (Rchb.) P. F. Hunt & Summerhayes and Platanthera bifolia (L.) L. C. M. Richard] were studied in three consecutive years (2010-2012) in the Bükk Mountains, Hungary. All three species were proved to be non-autogamous by a bagging experiment. Data analyses showed significant differences between seed numbers but not between fruit-sets of species. There was no statistical difference in individual reproductive success between wet and dry years, however, the effect of the annual amount of precipitation is significant on the population level. Comparison of published fruit-set data revealed accordance with our results in P. bifolia, but not in D. sambucina and D. majalis. We assume that the surprisingly high fruit-set values of the two Dactylorhiza species may be due to the fact that the pollination crisis reported from Western European countries is not an actual problem in the Bükk Mountains, Hungary. PMID:26081278

  2. Rapid successions affect microbial N-acetyl-glucosamine uptake patterns during a lacustrine spring phytoplankton bloom.

    PubMed

    Eckert, Ester M; Salcher, Michaela M; Posch, Thomas; Eugster, Bettina; Pernthaler, Jakob

    2012-03-01

    The vernal successions of phytoplankton, heterotrophic nanoflagellates (HNF) and viruses in temperate lakes result in alternating dominance of top-down and bottom-up factors on the bacterial community. This may lead to asynchronous blooms of bacteria with different life strategies and affect the channelling of particular components of the dissolved organic matter (DOM) through microbial food webs. We followed the dynamics of several bacterial populations and of other components of the microbial food web throughout the spring phytoplankton bloom period in a pre-alpine lake, and we assessed bacterial uptake patterns of two constituents of the labile DOM pool (N-acetyl-glucosamine [NAG] and leucine). There was a clear genotypic shift within the bacterial assemblage, from fast growing Cytophaga-Flavobacteria (CF) affiliated with Fluviicola and from Betaproteobacteria (BET) of the Limnohabitans cluster to more grazing resistant AcI Actinobacteria (ACT) and to filamentous morphotypes. This was paralleled by successive blooms of viruses and HNF. We also noted the transient rise of other CF (related to Cyclobacteriaceae and Sphingobacteriaceae) that are not detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization with the general CF probe. Both, the average uptake rates of leucine and the fractions of leucine incorporating bacteria were approximately five to sixfold higher than of NAG. However, the composition of the NAG-active community was much more prone to genotypic successions, in particular of bacteria with different life strategies: While 'opportunistically' growing BET and CF dominated NAG uptake in the initial period ruled by bottom-up factors, ACT constituted the major fraction of NAG active cells during the subsequent phase of high predation pressure. This indicates that some ACT could profit from a substrate that might in parts have originated from the grazing of protists on their bacterial competitors. PMID:22082109

  3. Territorial males can sire more offspring in nests with smaller doors in the cichlid Lamprologus lemairii.

    PubMed

    Ota, Kazutaka; Awata, Satoshi; Morita, Masaya; Yokoyama, Ryota; Kohda, Masanori

    2014-01-01

    To examine how territorial males counter reproductive parasites, we examined the paternity of broods guarded by territorial males using 5 microsatellite loci and factors that determine siring success in a wild population of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid Lamprologus lemairii. Females enter rock holes (nests) and spawn inside, and territorial males release milt over the nest openings. Sneakers attempt to dart into the nests, but territorial males often interrupt the attempt. The body size of territorial males (territorial defense ability) and the size of nest opening (the ability to prevent sneakers from nest intrusions) are predicted to be factors that affect paternity at the premating stage, whereas milt quality traits are factors that affect paternity at the postmating stage. Parentage analyses of 477 offspring revealed that most clutches have few or no cuckolders, and territorial males sired >80% of eggs in 7 of the 10 analyzed clutches. Larger territorial males that spawned in nests with narrower openings had greater siring success. In contrast, none of the milt traits affected the siring success. These suggest that territorial male L. lemairii adopt premating strategies whereby they effectively prevent reproductive parasitism. PMID:24574486

  4. The effects of large beach debris on nesting sea turtles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Lamont, Margaret M.

    2016-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted to understand the effects of large beach debris on sea turtle nesting behavior as well as the effectiveness of large debris removal for habitat restoration. Large natural and anthropogenic debris were removed from one of three sections of a sea turtle nesting beach and distributions of nests and false crawls (non-nesting crawls) in pre- (2011–2012) and post- (2013–2014) removal years in the three sections were compared. The number of nests increased 200% and the number of false crawls increased 55% in the experimental section, whereas a corresponding increase in number of nests and false crawls was not observed in the other two sections where debris removal was not conducted. The proportion of nest and false crawl abundance in all three beach sections was significantly different between pre- and post-removal years. The nesting success, the percent of successful nests in total nesting attempts (number of nests + false crawls), also increased from 24% to 38%; however the magnitude of the increase was comparably small because both the number of nests and false crawls increased, and thus the proportion of the nesting success in the experimental beach in pre- and post-removal years was not significantly different. The substantial increase in sea turtle nesting activities after the removal of large debris indicates that large debris may have an adverse impact on sea turtle nesting behavior. Removal of large debris could be an effective restoration strategy to improve sea turtle nesting.

  5. Ground-nesting marine birds and potential for human disturbance in Glacier Bay National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arimitsu, M.L.; Romano, Marc D.; Piatt, J.F.

    2004-01-01

    Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve contains a diverse assemblage of marine birds that use the area for nesting, foraging and molting. The abundance and diversity of marine bird species in Glacier Bay is unmatched in the region, due in part to the geomorphic and successional characteristics that result in a wide array of habitat types (Robards and others, 2003). The opportunity for proactive management of these species is unique in Glacier Bay National Park because much of the suitable marine bird nesting habitat occurs in areas designated as wilderness. Ground-nesting marine birds are vulnerable to human disturbance wherever visitors can access nest sites during the breeding season. Human disturbance of nest sites can be significant because intense parental care is required for egg and hatchling survival, and repeated disturbance can result in reduced productivity (Leseberg and others, 2000). Temporary nest desertion by breeding birds in disturbed areas can lead to increased predation on eggs and hatchlings by conspecifics or other predators (Bolduc and Guillemette, 2003). Human disturbance of ground-nesting birds may also affect incubation time and adult foraging success, which in turn can alter breeding success (Verhulst and others, 2001). Furthermore, human activity can potentially cause colony failure when disturbance prevents the initiation of nesting (Hatch, 2002). There is management concern about the susceptibility of breeding birds to disturbance from human activities, but little historical data has been collected on the distribution of ground-nesting marine birds in Glacier Bay. This report summarizes results obtained during two years of a three-year study to determine the distribution of ground-nesting marine birds in Glacier Bay, and the potential for human disturbance of those nesting birds.

  6. Analyzing the Factors Affecting the Success in University Entrance Examination through the use of Artificial Neural Networks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Agdelen, Zafer; Haydar, Ali; Kanani, Andisheh

    2007-01-01

    There are many factors that affect the success of students in university entrance examination. These factors can be mainly categorized as follows; social factors, environmental factors, economical factors etc. The main aim of this study is to find whether there is a relation between these factors and the success in the university entrance…

  7. Behavior of Puerto Rican parrots during failed nesting attempts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilson, K.A.; Wilson, M.H.; Field, R.

    1997-01-01

    We compared patterns of nesting behavior of four pairs of Puerto Rican Parrots (Amazona vittata) that experienced failed nesting attempts to behavior of four pairs of parrots that experienced no substantial nest problems and successfully fledged young without management intervention. Only changes in female parrots' behavior were clearly associated with nest failure. During incubation, decreases in nest attendance, increases in duration of recesses, and increases in frequency of nest entries by female parrots were associated with imminent abandonment of nests. During early chick rearing, similar behavior was associated with the loss of broods. Low nest attendance and long recesses by female parrots during incubation were also associated with successful hatching of eggs followed by death of young several days later. The behavior patterns and changes in Puerto Rican Parrot nesting behavior described in this paper may alert biologists to nest problems that might be mitigated by management intervention.

  8. Human residential status and habitat quality affect the likelihood but not the success of lapwing breeding in an urban matrix.

    PubMed

    Roche, Dylan V; Cardilini, Adam P A; Lees, Daniel; Maguire, Grainne S; Dann, Peter; Sherman, Craig D H; Weston, Michael A

    2016-06-15

    Wildlife living in the suburbs faces the challenge of dealing with human presence and yard management (including the occurrence of pets) which vary at the scale of the house block. This study examined the influence of ecological factors (e.g. extent of grass and food availability) and anthropogenic factors (e.g. human activity and garden usage) on breeding site choice and reproductive success of the ground-nesting masked lapwing Vanellus miles on Phillip Island, Australia. Lapwings nested less frequently in residential properties (high levels of human usage) compared with vacant blocks and holiday houses. They were also more likely to breed on properties with high food availability and larger areas of grass. None of these variables influenced clutch size or the probability of eggs hatching, although larger clutches and higher hatching rates tended to be associated with more food. This study shows that, for an urban exploiting species, habitat quality is not homogenous at the scale of the house block, and that human activity is avoided by a species generally considered highly tolerant of people. PMID:26971220

  9. Tests of landscape influence: Nest predation and brood parasitism in fragmented ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tewksbury, J.J.; Garner, L.; Garner, S.; Lloyd, J.D.; Saab, V.; Martin, T.E.

    2006-01-01

    The effects of landscape fragmentation on nest predation and brood parasitism, the two primary causes of avian reproductive failure, have been difficult to generalize across landscapes, yet few studies have clearly considered the context and spatial scale of fragmentation. Working in two river systems fragmented by agricultural and rural-housing development, we tracked nesting success and brood parasitism in >2500 bird nests in 38 patches of deciduous riparian woodland. Patches on both river systems were embedded in one of two local contexts (buffered from agriculture by coniferous forest, or adjacent to agriculture), but the abundance of agriculture and human habitation within 1 km of each patch was highly variable. We examined evidence for three models of landscape effects on nest predation based on (1) the relative importance of generalist agricultural nest predators, (2) predators associated with the natural habitats typically removed by agricultural development, or (3) an additive combination of these two predator communities. We found strong support for an additive predation model in which landscape features affect nest predation differently at different spatial scales. Riparian habitat with forest buffers had higher nest predation rates than sites adjacent to agriculture, but nest predation also increased with increasing agriculture in the larger landscape surrounding each site. These results suggest that predators living in remnant woodland buffers, as well as generalist nest predators associated with agriculture, affect nest predation rates, but they appear to respond at different spatial scales. Brood parasitism, in contrast, was unrelated to agricultural abundance on the landscape, but showed a strong nonlinear relationship with farm and house density, indicating a critical point at which increased human habitat causes increased brood parasitism. Accurate predictions regarding landscape effects on nest predation and brood parasitism will require an

  10. Eggshell bacterial load is related to antimicrobial properties of feathers lining barn swallow nests.

    PubMed

    Peralta-Sánchez, Juan Manuel; Soler, Juan José; Martín-Platero, Antonio Manuel; Knight, Rob; Martínez-Bueno, Manuel; Møller, Anders Pape

    2014-02-01

    The use of feathers to line bird's nests has traditionally been interpreted as having a thermoregulatory function. Feather-degrading bacteria growing on feathers lining nests may have antimicrobial properties, which may provide an additional benefit to lining nests with feathers. We test the hypothesis that the production of antimicrobial substances by feather bacteria affects the microbiological environment of the nest, and therefore the bacterial density on eggshells and, indirectly, hatching success. These effects would be expected to differ between nests lined with pigmented and white feathers, because bacteria grow differently on feathers of different colors. We experimentally manipulated the composition of pigmented and unpigmented feathers in nests of the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica) and studied the antimicrobial properties against the keratin-degrading bacterium Bacillus licheniformis of bacteria isolated from feathers of each color. Analyzed feathers were collected at the end of the incubation period, and antimicrobial activity was defined as the proportion of bacteria from the feathers that produce antibacterial substances effective against B. licheniformis. Our experimental manipulation affected antimicrobial activity, which was higher in nests with only white feathers at the beginning of incubation. Moreover, white feathers showed higher antimicrobial activity than black ones. Interestingly, antimicrobial activity in feathers of one of the colors correlated negatively with bacterial density on feather of the opposite color. Finally, antimicrobial activity of white feathers was negatively related to eggshell bacterial load. These results suggest that antimicrobial properties of feathers in general and of white feathers in particular affect the bacterial environment in nests. This environment in turn affects the bacterial load on eggshells, which may affect hatching success. PMID:24317898

  11. Nests and nest sites of the San Miguel Island Song Sparrow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kern, Michael D.; Sogge, Mark K.; Kern, Robert B.; Van Riper, Charles, III

    1993-01-01

    Nests and nest sites of the San Miguel Island (SMI) Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia micronyx) are described; nests are compared with those of 16 other races of Song Sparrows. Bush lupins (Lupinus albifrons), coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis) and golden bush (Haplopappus venetus) were the shrubs used most commonly as nest sites by Song Sparrows on SMI. As a result of its location, the nest was effectively concealed from gray foxes (Urocyon littoralis), the major predator of this sparrow. Nest and nest site also moderated the combined chilling effects of cool air temperatures and strong northwesterly winds on the eggs and nestlings. Even in the absence of these moderating effects of the nest site, the energetic cost of incubation, estimated at 41-53% of the sparrow's resting metabolic rate, was modest. Twenty-nine percent of the canopy above the nest was open and as much as 73% of the nest cup was in the sun at midday, a time when surface temperatures of foliage, nest and nestlings sometimes exceeded 40 C. Whereas this exposure did not apparently reduce fledging success, it may explain why the incidence of addled eggs was so high in this population of Song Sparrows compared to others. Significant differences existed among races of Song Sparrows in the size, porosity and insulation of the nest. In most cases, these differences were not related to the latitude of the races' nesting areas.

  12. Nest survival of American Coots relative to grazing, burning, and water depths [Survie au nid chez la Foulque d’Amérique en fonction du pâturage, du brûlage et de la profondeur d’eau

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Austin, Jane E.; Buhl, Deborah A.

    2011-01-01

    Water and emergent vegetation are key features influencing nest site selection and success for many marsh-nesting waterbirds. Wetland management practices such as grazing, burning, and water-level manipulations directly affect these features and can influence nest survival. We used model selection and before-after-control-impact approaches to evaluate the effects of water depth and four common land-management practices or treatments, i.e., summer grazing, fall grazing, fall burning, and idle (no active treatment) on nest survival of American coots (Fulica americana) nesting at Grays Lake, a large montane wetland in southeast Idaho. The best model included the variables year × treatment, and quadratic functions of date, water depth, and nest age; height of vegetation at the nest did not improve the best model. However, results from the before-after-control-impact analysis indicate that management practices affected nest success via vegetation and involved interactions of hydrology, residual vegetation, and habitat composition. Nest success in idled fields changed little between pre- and post-treatment periods, whereas nest success declined in fields that were grazed or burned, with the most dramatic declines the year following treatments. The importance of water depth may be amplified in this wetland system because of rapid water-level withdrawal during the nesting season. Water and land-use values for area ranchers, management for nesting waterbirds, and long-term wetland function are important considerations in management of water levels and vegetation.

  13. Do peat amendments to oil sands wet sediments affect Carex aquatilis biomass for reclamation success?

    PubMed

    Roy, Marie-Claude; Mollard, Federico P O; Foote, A Lee

    2014-06-15

    The oil sands industries of Alberta (Canada) have reclamation objectives to return the mined landscape to equivalent pre-disturbance land capability. Industrial operators are charged with reclaiming a vast landscape of newly exposed sediments on saline-sodic marine-shales sediments. Incorporated in these sediments are by-products resulting from bitumen extraction (consolidated tailings (CT), tailings-sand (TS), and oil sands processed water (OSPW)). A sedge community dominated by Carex aquatilis was identified as a desirable and representative late-succession community for wet-meadow zones of oil sands-created marshes. However, the physical and chemical conditions, including high salinity and low nutrient content of CT and TS sediments suppress plant growth and performance. We experimentally tested the response of C. aquatilis to amendments with peat-mineral-mix (PM) on oil sand sediments (CT and TS). In a two factorial design experiment, we also tested the effects of OSPW on C. aquatilis. We assessed survival, below- and aboveground biomass, and physiology (chlorophyll a fluorescence). We demonstrated that PM amendments to oil sands sediments significantly increased C. aquatilis survival as well as below and aboveground biomass. The use of OSPW significantly reduced C. aquatilis belowground biomass and affected its physiological performance. Due to its tolerance and performance, we verified that C. aquatilis was a good candidate for use in reclaiming the wet-meadow zones of oil sands-created marshes. Ultimately, amending CT and TS with PM expedited the reclamation of the wetland to a C. aquatilis-community which was similar in gross structure to undisturbed wetlands of the region. PMID:24694323

  14. Blue jays nest in an unusual structure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, Erin L.; Lyons, Curtis P.; Sedgwick, James A.

    2007-01-01

    We describe a successful Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) nest in an unusual structure on the side of a building.  The nest was located near the edge of the species' range along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.  The nest was completely obvious, suggesting that the structure itself provided adequate cover and sercurity for the jays.  Blue Jays appear to be declining in some areas of the United States such as the Southeast.  Structures such as the one we describe may be more useful in attracting Blue Jays than the nesting platforms available commercially.

  15. Undergraduate African American females in the sciences: A qualitative study of student experiences affecting academic success and persistence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Essien-Wood, Idara R.

    Given the lack of literature on Undergraduate African American females in the sciences (UAAFS), this study sought to explicate their experiences at one large, predominantly White, Research I institution in the southwestern United States. In particular, the purpose of this study was to identify factors that affect the academic success and persistence of Black females in the natural and physical sciences. Data was collected via in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 15 Black female science majors. Findings from this study identified several supportive mechanisms for academic success: family, religion, teaching assistants and friends. Also identified were seven barriers to academic success: employment, lack of diversity, cultural dissonance, unwelcoming Research I environment, faculty, advisors, classmates, and lab groups. Further, an analysis of students' responses revealed numerous instances of racial and gender micro-aggressions. Recommendations are provided to address factors identified as affecting student academic success and persistence as well as a culture of micro-aggressive behavior.

  16. The Variables Which Affect the Success in English Teaching in Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Engin, Ali Osman

    2006-01-01

    This research has been done to find out the factors influencing the students' successes in learning a foreign language (English). In other words, the effects of the methods and techniques, used by the teachers on the staff to teach the chosen foreign language, on the students' success. The main aim of our study is to make the foreign language…

  17. Reduced density and nest survival of ground-nesting songbirds relative to earthworm invasions in northern hardwood forests.

    PubMed

    Loss, Scott R; Blair, Robert B

    2011-10-01

    European earthworms (Lumbricus spp.) are spreading into previously earthworm-free forests in the United States and Canada and causing substantial changes, including homogenization of soil structure, removal of the litter layer, and reduction in arthropod abundance and species richness of understory plants. Whether these changes affect songbirds that nest and forage on the forest floor is unknown. In stands with and without earthworms in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, Wisconsin (U.S.A.), we surveyed for, monitored nests of, and measured attributes of habitat of Ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapillus) and Hermit Thrushes (Catharus guttatus), both ground-dwelling songbirds, and we sampled earthworms at survey points and nests. Bird surveys indicated significantly lower densities of Ovenbirds and Hermit Thrushes in relation to Lumbricus invasions at survey point and stand extents (3.1 and 15-20 ha, respectively). Modeling of Ovenbird nest survival (i.e., the probability that nestlings successfully fledge) indicated that lower survival probabilities were associated with increased sedge cover and decreased litter depth, factors that are related to Lumbricus invasions, possibly due to reduced nest concealment or arthropod abundance. Our findings provide compelling evidence that earthworm invasions may be associated with local declines of forest songbird populations. PMID:21797927

  18. Adaptive nest clustering and density-dependent nest survival in dabbling ducks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ringelman, Kevin M.; Eadie, John M.; Ackerman, Joshua T.

    2014-01-01

    Density-dependent population regulation is observed in many taxa, and understanding the mechanisms that generate density dependence is especially important for the conservation of heavily-managed species. In one such system, North American waterfowl, density dependence is often observed at continental scales, and nest predation has long been implicated as a key factor driving this pattern. However, despite extensive research on this topic, it remains unclear if and how nest density influences predation rates. Part of this confusion may have arisen because previous studies have studied density-dependent predation at relatively large spatial and temporal scales. Because the spatial distribution of nests changes throughout the season, which potentially influences predator behavior, nest survival may vary through time at relatively small spatial scales. As such, density-dependent nest predation might be more detectable at a spatially- and temporally-refined scale and this may provide new insights into nest site selection and predator foraging behavior. Here, we used three years of data on nest survival of two species of waterfowl, mallards and gadwall, to more fully explore the relationship between local nest clustering and nest survival. Throughout the season, we found that the distribution of nests was consistently clustered at small spatial scales (˜50–400 m), especially for mallard nests, and that this pattern was robust to yearly variation in nest density and the intensity of predation. We demonstrated further that local nest clustering had positive fitness consequences – nests with closer nearest neighbors were more likely to be successful, a result that is counter to the general assumption that nest predation rates increase with nest density.

  19. Factors Affecting Student Success in Distance Learning Courses at a Local California Community College: Joint Governance Perspectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gonzalez, Luis A.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to explore the perspectives of staff and faculty regarding factors affecting student success in distance learning at a California community college (CCC). Participants were members of the leadership group known as the distance learning committee. Data were collected through in-depth interviews using open-ended…

  20. Differences in Affect, Life Satisfaction, and Depression between Successfully and Unsuccessfully Rehabilitated Persons with Spinal Cord Injuries

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chapin, Martha H.; Holbert, Donald

    2009-01-01

    This study assessed whether persons with spinal cord injuries who were successfully rehabilitated differed from those who were not with regard to positive and negative affect, life satisfaction, and depression. An ex post facto research design compared persons with spinal cord injuries who were previously employed with persons with spinal cord…

  1. Project design factors that affect student perceptions of the success of a science research project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kimbrough, Doris R.

    Throughout the United States, various summer science programs for precollege students are conducted with an aim toward increasing the involvement of young people in science. Most of these programs are perceived as successful by teachers and scientists because they involve students in hands-on science activities, improve their scientific skills and confidence, and allow them the opportunity to use science to answer questions and solve problems. The work described here involves a detailed assessment of a summer National Science Foundation (NSF) Young Scholars Program, which was carried out over 2 summers. Student participants were entering 9th and 10th grade. The data used for this assessment included journals kept by teaching assistants, questionnaires administered to the participants and parents, and interviews with the participants. Analysis revealed that students perceived program success differently from teachers and program organizers. Their perception of the success of a program is directly related to whether or not their individual research project met its goals, regardless of other project activities. Designing projects that have a high likelihood of success from this perspective can be complex, but this work identified six variables that must be incorporated appropriately into the design of a project to ensure its success: (1) extent of project structure and who structures the project, faculty or student; (2) project relevance; (3) project flexibility; (4) project background research; (5) tangible results; and (6) project introduction.Received: 5 March 1993; Revised: 20 October 1993;

  2. 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.

  3. Measuring the effects of morphological changes to sea turtle nesting beaches over time with LiDAR data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamamoto, Kristina H.; Anderson, Sharolyn J.; Sutton, Paul C.

    2015-10-01

    Sea turtle nesting beaches in southeastern Florida were evaluated for changes from 1999 to 2005 using LiDAR datasets. Changes to beach volume were correlated with changes in several elevation-derived characteristics, such as elevation and slope. In addition, these changes to beach geomorphology were correlated to changes in nest success, illustrating that beach alterations may affect sea turtle nesting behavior. The ability to use LiDAR datasets to quickly and efficiently conduct beach comparisons for habitat use represents another benefit to this high spatial resolution data.

  4. PyMultiNest: Python interface for MultiNest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buchner, Johannes

    2016-06-01

    PyMultiNest provides programmatic access to MultiNest (ascl:1109.006) and PyCuba, integration existing Python code (numpy, scipy), and enables writing Prior & LogLikelihood functions in Python. PyMultiNest can plot and visualize MultiNest's progress and allows easy plotting, visualization and summarization of MultiNest results. The plotting can be run on existing MultiNest output, and when not using PyMultiNest for running MultiNest.

  5. Factors affecting pupation success of the Small Hive Beetle, Aethina tumida Murray

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Survivorship of larvae of the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida, was measured after larvae were raised on one of six diets, and pupation success was measured by exposing mature larvae to one of six soil depths and maintaining temperatures at either 28°, 32°, or 35° C. Diet influenced larval survivor...

  6. Does Big-Time Success in Football or Basketball Affect SAT Scores?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tucker, Irvin B., III; Amato, Louis

    1993-01-01

    Examines the effects of academics and athletics (including football and basketball variables) on first-year college students' Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores at U.S. universities engaged in big-time intercollegiate sports. Academic variables rather than athletic success variables determine the level of average first-year students' SAT…

  7. Factors Affecting Business-to-Business Electronic Commerce Success: An Empirical Investigation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chen, Chun-I Philip

    2010-01-01

    It is generally believed that Business to Business (B2B) e-commerce has a great impact on business performance improvement. Considerable research also shows that another dependent variable, B2B e-commerce success, can be a good overall measure of B2B systems. This paper investigated and examined the impact of several factors, which are either…

  8. Paving the Way: How Financial Aid Awareness Affects College Access and Success. Literature Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Institute for College Access & Success, 2008

    2008-01-01

    In a time of ever-rising college costs, financial aid is critical to increase college access and success. Federal, state, and institutional aid programs help to ensure that students can afford higher education regardless of economic background. Financial aid is most effective when students and families learn about it early enough to make the right…

  9. Factors That Affect Success in Nursing. Research Report No. 89-28R.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Belcher, Marcia J.

    In response to decreasing nursing program enrollments, less qualified enrollees, and decreasing scores on the national licensing board exams, a study was conducted at Miami-Dade Community College (MDCC) to examine factors that might contribute to success or failure among students entering the nursing program. In order to identify "high risk"…

  10. Transgenerational interactions involving parental age and immune status affect female reproductive success in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Nystrand, M.; Dowling, D. K.

    2014-01-01

    It is well established that the parental phenotype can influence offspring phenotypic expression, independent of the effects of the offspring's own genotype. Nonetheless, the evolutionary implications of such parental effects remain unclear, partly because previous studies have generally overlooked the potential for interactions between parental sources of non-genetic variance to influence patterns of offspring phenotypic expression. We tested for such interactions, subjecting male and female Drosophila melanogaster of two different age classes to an immune activation challenge or a control treatment. Flies were then crossed in all age and immune status combinations, and the reproductive success of their immune- and control-treated daughters measured. We found that daughters produced by two younger parents exhibited reduced reproductive success relative to those of other parental age combinations. Furthermore, immune-challenged daughters exhibited higher reproductive success when produced by immune-challenged relative to control-treated mothers, a pattern consistent with transgenerational immune priming. Finally, a complex interplay between paternal age and parental immune statuses influenced daughter's reproductive success. These findings demonstrate the dynamic nature of age- and immune-mediated parental effects, traceable to both parents, and regulated by interactions between parents and between parents and offspring. PMID:25253454

  11. Environmental Factors Affecting Computer Assisted Language Learning Success: A Complex Dynamic Systems Conceptual Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marek, Michael W.; Wu, Wen-Chi Vivian

    2014-01-01

    This conceptual, interdisciplinary inquiry explores Complex Dynamic Systems as the concept relates to the internal and external environmental factors affecting computer assisted language learning (CALL). Based on the results obtained by de Rosnay ["World Futures: The Journal of General Evolution", 67(4/5), 304-315 (2011)], who observed…

  12. Individual and School Factors Affecting Students' Participation and Success in Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shulruf, Boaz; Hattie, John; Tumen, Sarah

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to identify school factors that affect students' achievements at the secondary and tertiary levels of education. The analysis included data of 9,894 students who studied in Auckland regional secondary schools in 2004. The results indicate that, although student demographic characteristics are associated with students'…

  13. Factors affecting pupation success of the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida.

    PubMed

    Meikle, W G; Diaz, R

    2012-01-01

    Survivorship of larvae of the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida Murray (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), was measured after they were raised on one of six diets. The effects of container shape (wide and shallow vs. narrow and deep), soil depth (0, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 4.0, and 8.0 cm), and temperature (28°, 32°, or 35° C) on pupation success was measured. Diet influenced larval survivorship, but did not have a strong effect on larval weight. The larvae fed only bee brood survived the shortest period of time. The larvae that were denied pupation substrate, fed only honey and pollen, and no other food or water after 20 days, had a median survivorship of 47.6 days, with a maximum of 61 days, while those fed only brood had a median survivorship of 18.2 days. Pupation substrate was essential for successful pupation, and the depth of the substrate, not its top surface area, was the crucial factor. Pupation success in narrow and deep containers was 95.6% on average, but only 12.5% in wide and shallow containers, using the same soil volume. In narrow and deep containers, most or all larvae kept in 4-8 cm of soil pupated at all temperatures, few larvae kept at 2 cm soil depth pupated, one out of 240 kept at 1.0 cm pupated, and no larvae kept at soil depths of 0 or 0.5 cm pupated. PMID:23451773

  14. Factors Affecting Pupation Success of the Small Hive Beetle, Aethina tumida

    PubMed Central

    Meikle, W.G.; Diaz, R.

    2012-01-01

    Survivorship of larvae of the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida Murray (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), was measured after they were raised on one of six diets. The effects of container shape (wide and shallow vs. narrow and deep), soil depth (0, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 4.0, and 8.0 cm), and temperature (28°, 32°, or 35° C) on pupation success was measured. Diet influenced larval survivorship, but did not have a strong effect on larval weight. The larvae fed only bee brood survived the shortest period of time. The larvae that were denied pupation substrate, fed only honey and pollen, and no other food or water after 20 days, had a median survivorship of 47.6 days, with a maximum of 61 days, while those fed only brood had a median survivorship of 18.2 days. Pupation substrate was essential for successful pupation, and the depth of the substrate, not its top surface area, was the crucial factor. Pupation success in narrow and deep containers was 95.6% on average, but only 12.5% in wide and shallow containers, using the same soil volume. In narrow and deep containers, most or all larvae kept in 4–8 cm of soil pupated at all temperatures, few larvae kept at 2 cm soil depth pupated, one out of 240 kept at 1.0 cm pupated, and no larvae kept at soil depths of 0 or 0.5 cm pupated. PMID:23451773

  15. Flowering synchrony and floral display size affect pollination success in a deceit-pollinated tropical orchid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parra-Tabla, Victor; Vargas, Carlos F.

    2007-07-01

    ue to frequency-dependent negative selection, a strong relationship between reproductive phenology traits and pollination success is expected in deceit-pollinated species. This paper assesses the effects of floral display size on both female (fruit production) and male (pollen removal) pollination success in a population of the deceit-pollinated tropical orchid Myrmecophila christinae during two consecutive years (1998-1999). Low pollen removal (˜9% of total flowers) and fruit production values (˜3% of total flowers) were recorded during both years. As expected, binary logistic regressions showed a significant negative effect of floral synchrony, and a positive effect of floral display size on both male and female success, although these effects varied across years. Pollination rates in the field and in hand pollinations suggest a doubling in pollinator abundance between years. Results suggest that floral display size and flowering synchrony are of adaptive value for M. christinae. However, between-year fluctuations might indicate that reproductive phenology traits in deceit-pollinated species undergo fluctuating selection regimes among years and are probably linked to short-term changes in environmental (abiotic and biotic) conditions.

  16. Sperm selection and genetic incompatibility: does relatedness of mates affect male success in sperm competition?

    PubMed Central

    Stockley, P.

    1999-01-01

    Sperm selection may be said to occur if females influence the relative success of ejaculates competing to fertilize their ova. Most evidence that female animals or their ova are capable of sperm selection relates to male genetic incompatibility, although relatively few studies focus on competition between conspecific males. Here I look for evidence of sperm selection with respect to relatedness of mates. Reduced fitness or inbreeding effects in offspring resulting from copulations between close relatives are well documented. If females are capable of sperm selection, they might therefore be expected to discriminate against the sperm of sibling males during sperm competition. I describe an experimental protocol designed to test for evidence of sperm selection while controlling for inbreeding effects. Using decorated field crickets (Gryllodes supplicans), I found that sibling males achieved lower fertilization success in competition with a male unrelated to the female than in competition with another sibling more frequently than expected by chance, although the mean paternity values did not differ significantly between treatments. The tendancy for sibling males to achieve relatively lower fertilization success in competition with males unrelated to the female could not be explained by the effects of increased ejaculate allocation, female control of sperm transfer or inbreeding. This study therefore provides some evidence in support of the idea that female insects (or their ova) may be capable of selection against sperm on the basis of genetic similarity of conspecific males.

  17. Juvenile social experience affects pairing success at adulthood: congruence with the loser effect?

    PubMed

    Mariette, Mylene M; Cathaud, Charlène; Chambon, Rémi; Vignal, Clémentine

    2013-09-22

    Social interactions with adults are often critical for the development of mating behaviours. However, the potential role of other primary social partners such as juvenile counterparts is rarely considered. Most interestingly, it is not known whether interactions with juvenile females improve males' courtship and whether, similar to the winner and loser effects in a fighting context--outcome of these interactions shapes males' behaviour in future encounters. We investigated the combined effects of male quality and juvenile social experience on pairing success at adulthood in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). We manipulated brood size to alter male quality and then placed males in either same- or mixed-sex juvenile dyads until adulthood. We found that males from reduced broods obtained more copulations and males from mixed-sex dyads had more complete courtships. Furthermore, independent of their quality, males that failed to pair with juvenile females, but not juvenile males, had a lower pairing success at adulthood. Our study shows that negative social experience with peers during adolescence may be a potent determinant of pairing success that can override the effects of early environmental conditions on male attractiveness and thereby supports the occurrence of an analogous process to the loser effect in a mating context. PMID:23902911

  18. A comparison of diel nest temperature and nest site selection for two sympatric species of freshwater turtles

    SciTech Connect

    Bodie, J.R.; Burke, V.J.; Smith, K.R.

    1996-07-01

    Diel nest temperature profiles were recorded form natural nests of eastern mud turtles (Kinosternon subrubrum) and Florida cooters (Pseudemys floridana) to determine whether nest microhabitat selection compensates for the effect of interspecific differences in nest depth on nest temperature. Kinosternon subrubrum nest depths were significantly shallower than those of P. floridana (t = 2.93, P < 0.01). We predicted that differences in nest depth would result in K. subrubrum nests being cooler at night and warmer during daylight than the deeper P. floridana nests. Diel temperature patterns agreed with out predictions at night, but P. floridana nest temperatures were not lower than K. subrubrum nest temperatures during the day. Soil composition, slope and soil moisture were similar for the nest of both species. However, the amount of sunlight reaching the soil above K. subrubrum nest sites was substantially less than the amount above P. floridana nest sites. We suggest that these species select habitats for oviposition that differ in the amount and types of vegetative cover, which in turn affect exposure to sunlight and ultimately nest temperature. 27 refs., 2 figs.

  19. Exploration of Factors Affecting Success of Undergraduate Engineering Majors at a Historically Black University

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Igbinoba, Egheosa P.

    Blacks are underrepresented amongst persons who earn college degrees in the United States and Black males attend and complete college at a lower rate than Black females (Toldson, Fry Brown, & Sutton, 2009). According to Toldson et al. (2009), this quandary may be attributed to Black males' apathy toward education in general, waning support and ideological challenges toward Pell Grants and affirmative action, cultural incompetency on the part of the 90% White, ethnic makeup of the U.S. teaching force, and the relatively high numbers of Black males who are held back in school. In spite of the dismal statistics regarding Black male academic achievement and matriculation, there are those Black males who do participate in postsecondary education. While many studies have highlighted reasons that Black males do not achieve success in attending and persisting through college, few have adopted the anti-deficit research framework suggested by Harper (2010), identifying reasons Black males do persist in higher education. Although science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers are identified as those most imperative to the economic competitiveness of the United States, few studies have concentrated solely on engineering majors and fewer, if any, solely on Black male engineering majors at an historically Black college and university. The aim of this study was to address an apparent gap in the literature and invoke theories for recruitment, retention, and success of Black males in engineering degree programs by employing an anti-deficit achievement framework for research of students of color in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Data garnered from the study included insight into participants' definitions of success, precollege experiences, factors contributing to the persistence during undergraduate study, and perceptions of attending a historically Black college and university versus a primarily White institution.

  20. Building a Successful Communications Program Based on the Needs and Characteristics of the Affected Communities - 13152

    SciTech Connect

    Herod, Judy; Mahabir, Alexandra; Holmes, Sandy

    2013-07-01

    Over 200 local residents streamed through the doors of the Port Hope Lions Centre to see the detailed plans for the historic low-level radioactive waste clean-up project about to take place in their community. The event had a congenial atmosphere as people walked through the hall taking in rows of display panels that explained each element of the project, asked questions of project staff stationed around the room and chatted with friends and neighbours over light refreshments. Later that year, the results of the Port Hope Area Initiative (PHAI) 10. annual public attitude survey revealed an all-time high in community awareness of the project (94%) and the highest levels of confidence (84%) recorded since surveying began. Today, as the PHAI transitions from a decade of scientific and technical studies to implementation, the success of its communications program - as evidenced by the above examples - offers room for cautious encouragement. The PHAI has spent the past 10 years developing relationships with the southern Ontario communities of Port Hope and Port Granby in preparation for Canada's largest low-level radioactive waste environmental restoration project. These relationships have been built around a strong understanding of the communities' individual needs and characteristics and on the PHAI's efforts to consider and respond to these needs. The successes of the past, as well as the lessons learned, will inform the next stage of communications as the projects move into waste excavation and transportation and building of the long-term waste management facilities. (authors)

  1. Frequency of nest use by golden eagles in southwestern Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kochert, Michael N.; Steenhof, Karen

    2012-01-01

    We studied nest use by Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) from 1966 to 2011 to assess nest reuse within territories, ascertain the length of time that elapses between uses of nests, and test the hypotheses that reproductive success and adult turnover influence nest switching. Golden Eagles used 454 nests in 66 territories and used individual nests 1 to 26 times during 45 continuous years of observation. Time between reuse ranged from 1 to 39 yr. Distances between nearest adjacent alternative nests within territories ranged between 5 times. Two nests were unused for 21 and 27 yr after 1971 before being used every 1 to 3 yr thereafter. Eagles used 43% of the nests in series of consecutive years (range 3 to 20 consecutive nestings). Protecting unused nests for a proposed 10 yr after the last known use would not have protected 34% of all 300 nests that were reused during the study and 49% of 37 reused nests monitored consistently for 41 yr. The 102 nests that would not have received protection were in 56 of the 66 territories.

  2. Acute hypoxic exposure affects gamete quality and subsequent fertilization success and embryonic development in a serpulid polychaete.

    PubMed

    Shin, P K S; Leung, J Y S; Qiu, J W; Ang, P O; Chiu, J M Y; Thiyagarajan, V; Cheung, S G

    2014-08-30

    Hypoxia likely compromises the reproductive success of those marine organisms carrying out external fertilization because their gametes and embryos are inevitably exposed to the external environment. Hydroides elegans, a dominant serpulid polychaete in Hong Kong waters, can spawn throughout the year but the number of recruits drops during summer when hypoxia commonly occurs. This study attempted to explain such observation by investigating the gamete quality, including sperm motility, egg size, complexity and viability, after 1-h hypoxic exposure (1 mg O2 l(-1)). In addition, how gamete quality affects fertilization success and embryonic development was examined. After 1-h hypoxic exposure, sperm motility was significantly reduced, compromising fertilization success. Although the eggs remained viable, more malformed embryos and retarded embryonic development were observed. We interpreted that the harmful effect of hypoxia on embryonic development was attributed to the teratogenicity and induced oxidative stress, ultimately causing the reduction in recruitment during summer. PMID:24661460

  3. The factors affecting Nigeria's success toward implementation of global public health priorities.

    PubMed

    Echebiri, Vitalis C

    2015-06-01

    This paper examines the challenges facing the Nigerian government toward the implementation of global public health priories. The Nigerian government recognizes the need to implement these priorities by putting in place the necessary policy framework, but political instability, poor infrastructural development and inadequate funding have remained barriers toward the achievement of success in implementing these priorities. The rest of the paper elucidates the fact that despite leadership and influence from the World Health Organization and other United Nations agencies, and some responses from the Nigerian government, tackling these public health problems requires much more fundamental reform to primary health services and a reduction in poverty. Although the government has shown enough political will to tackle these problems, it is expected that a better result will be achieved through injecting more funds into the Nigerian health sector, and deploying astute health administrators to manage the sector rather than pure health professionals without managerial acumen. PMID:25073860

  4. Understanding the conditions for improvement: research to discover which context influences affect improvement success.

    PubMed

    Øvretveit, John

    2011-04-01

    Context can be defined as all factors that are not part of a quality improvement intervention itself. More research indicates which aspects are 'conditions for improvement', which influence improvement success. However, little is known about which conditions are most important, whether these are different for different quality interventions or whether some become less or more important at different times in carrying out an improvement. Knowing more about these conditions could help speed up and spread improvements and develop the science. This paper proposes ways to build knowledge about the conditions needed for different changes, and to create conditional-attribution explanations to provide qualified generalisations. It describes theory-based, non-experimental research designs. It also suggests that 'practical improvers' can make their changes more effective by reflecting on and revising their own 'assumption-theories' about the conditions which will help and hinder the improvements they aim to implement. PMID:21450764

  5. Understanding the conditions for improvement: research to discover which context influences affect improvement success

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Context can be defined as all factors that are not part of a quality improvement intervention itself. More research indicates which aspects are ‘conditions for improvement’, which influence improvement success. However, little is known about which conditions are most important, whether these are different for different quality interventions or whether some become less or more important at different times in carrying out an improvement. Knowing more about these conditions could help speed up and spread improvements and develop the science. This paper proposes ways to build knowledge about the conditions needed for different changes, and to create conditional-attribution explanations to provide qualified generalisations. It describes theory-based, non-experimental research designs. It also suggests that ‘practical improvers’ can make their changes more effective by reflecting on and revising their own ‘assumption-theories’ about the conditions which will help and hinder the improvements they aim to implement. PMID:21450764

  6. Maternal immune activation affects litter success, size and neuroendocrine responses related to behavior in adult offspring.

    PubMed

    French, Susannah S; Chester, Emily M; Demas, Gregory E

    2013-07-01

    It is increasingly evident that influences other than genetics can contribute to offspring phenotype. In particular, maternal influences are an important contributing factor to offspring survival, development, physiology and behavior. Common environmental pathogens such as viral or bacterial microorganisms can induce maternal immune responses, which have the potential to alter the prenatal environment via multiple independent pathways. The effects of maternal immune activation on endocrine responses and behavior are less well studied and provide the basis for the current study. Our approach in the current study was two-pronged: 1) quantify sickness responses during pregnancy in adult female hamsters experiencing varying severity of immune responsiveness (i.e., differing doses of lipopolysaccharide [LPS]), and 2) assess the effects of maternal immune activation on offspring development, immunocompetence, hormone profiles, and social behavior during adulthood. Pregnancy success decreased with increasing doses of LPS, and litter size was reduced in LPS dams that managed to successfully reproduce. Unexpectedly, pregnant females treated with LPS showed a hypothermic response in addition to the more typical anorexic and body mass changes associated with sickness. Significant endocrine changes related to behavior were observed in the offspring of LPS-treated dams; these effects were apparent in adulthood. Specifically, offspring from LPS treated dams showed significantly greater cortisol responses to stressful resident-intruder encounters compared with offspring from control dams. Post-behavior cortisol was elevated in male LPS offspring relative to the offspring of control dams, and was positively correlated with the frequency of bites during agonistic interactions, and cortisol levels in both sexes were related to defensive behaviors, suggesting that changes in hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis responsiveness may play a regulatory role in the observed behavioral

  7. How does visual language affect crossmodal plasticity and cochlear implant success?

    PubMed Central

    Lyness, C.R.; Woll, B.; Campbell, R.; Cardin, V.

    2013-01-01

    Cochlear implants (CI) are the most successful intervention for ameliorating hearing loss in severely or profoundly deaf children. Despite this, educational performance in children with CI continues to lag behind their hearing peers. From animal models and human neuroimaging studies it has been proposed the integrative functions of auditory cortex are compromised by crossmodal plasticity. This has been argued to result partly from the use of a visual language. Here we argue that ‘cochlear implant sensitive periods’ comprise both auditory and language sensitive periods, and thus cannot be fully described with animal models. Despite prevailing assumptions, there is no evidence to link the use of a visual language to poorer CI outcome. Crossmodal reorganisation of auditory cortex occurs regardless of compensatory strategies, such as sign language, used by the deaf person. In contrast, language deprivation during early sensitive periods has been repeatedly linked to poor language outcomes. Language sensitive periods have largely been ignored when considering variation in CI outcome, leading to ill-founded recommendations concerning visual language in CI habilitation. PMID:23999083

  8. Premarital screening programmes for haemoglobinopathies, HIV and hepatitis viruses: review and factors affecting their success.

    PubMed

    Alswaidi, Fahad M; O'Brien, Sarah J

    2009-01-01

    This literature review is a comprehensive summary of premarital (prenuptial) screening programmes for the most prevalent hereditary haemoglobinopathies, namely thalassaemia and sickle cell disease, and the important infections HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and hepatitis viruses B and C (HBV and HCV). It describes the background to premarital screening programmes and their value in countries where these diseases are endemic. The use of premarital screening worldwide is critically evaluated, including recent experiences in Saudi Arabia, followed by discussion of the outcomes of such programmes. Despite its many benefits, premarital testing is not acceptable in some communities for various legal and religious reasons, and other educational and cultural factors may prevent some married couples following the advice given by counsellors. The success of these programmes therefore depends on adequate religious support, government policy, education and counselling. In contrast to premarital screening for haemoglobinopathies, premarital screening for HIV and the hepatitis viruses is still highly controversial, both in terms of ethics and cost-effectiveness. In wealthy countries, premarital hepatitis and HIV testing could become mandatory if at-risk, high-prevalence populations are clearly identified and all ethical issues are adequately addressed. PMID:19349527

  9. Maternally transferred dioxin-like compounds can affect the reproductive success of European eel.

    PubMed

    Foekema, Edwin M; Kotterman, Michiel; de Vries, Pepijn; Murk, Albertinka J

    2016-01-01

    Reported concentrations of dioxin-like compounds accumulated in the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) were used to perform a risk assessment for eel larval survival, taking into account a modeled amplification of tissue concentrations with a factor of 1.33 during spawning migration. The calculated concentrations of dioxin-like compounds finally deposited in the eggs were compared with the internal effect concentrations for survival of early life stages of the European eel; these concentrations, by lack of experimental data, were estimated from a sensitivity distribution based on literature data by assuming that eel larvae are among the 10% most sensitive teleost fish species. Given concentrations of dioxin-like contaminants and assuming a relatively high sensitivity, it can be expected that larvae from eggs produced by eel from highly contaminated locations in Europe will experience increased mortality as a result of maternally transferred dioxin-like contaminants. As historical persistent organic pollutant concentrations in eel tissue were higher, this impact must have been stronger in the past. Potential effects of other compounds or effects on the migration, condition, and fertility of the parental animals were not taken into account. It is important to further study the overall impact of contaminants on the reproductive success of the European eel as this may have been underestimated until now. PMID:26223357

  10. How does visual language affect crossmodal plasticity and cochlear implant success?

    PubMed

    Lyness, C R; Woll, B; Campbell, R; Cardin, V

    2013-12-01

    Cochlear implants (CI) are the most successful intervention for ameliorating hearing loss in severely or profoundly deaf children. Despite this, educational performance in children with CI continues to lag behind their hearing peers. From animal models and human neuroimaging studies it has been proposed the integrative functions of auditory cortex are compromised by crossmodal plasticity. This has been argued to result partly from the use of a visual language. Here we argue that 'cochlear implant sensitive periods' comprise both auditory and language sensitive periods, and thus cannot be fully described with animal models. Despite prevailing assumptions, there is no evidence to link the use of a visual language to poorer CI outcome. Crossmodal reorganisation of auditory cortex occurs regardless of compensatory strategies, such as sign language, used by the deaf person. In contrast, language deprivation during early sensitive periods has been repeatedly linked to poor language outcomes. Language sensitive periods have largely been ignored when considering variation in CI outcome, leading to ill-founded recommendations concerning visual language in CI habilitation. PMID:23999083

  11. Mutations of the Drosophila Myosin Regulatory Light Chain Affect Courtship Song and Reduce Reproductive Success

    PubMed Central

    Chakravorty, Samya; Vu, Hien; Foelber, Veronica; Vigoreaux, Jim O.

    2014-01-01

    The Drosophila indirect flight muscles (IFM) rely on an enhanced stretch-activation response to generate high power output for flight. The IFM is neurally activated during the male courtship song, but its role, if any, in generating the small amplitude wing vibrations that produce the song is not known. Here, we examined the courtship song properties and mating behavior of three mutant strains of the myosin regulatory light chain (DMLC2) that are known to affect IFM contractile properties and impair flight: (i) Dmlc2Δ2–46 (Ext), an N-terminal extension truncation; (ii) Dmlc2S66A,S67A (Phos), a disruption of two MLC kinase phosphorylation sites; and (iii) Dmlc2Δ2–46;S66A,S67A (Dual), expressing both mutations. Our results show that the Dmlc2 gene is pleiotropic and that mutations that have a profound effect on flight mechanics (Phos and Dual) have minimal effects on courtship song. None of the mutations affect interpulse interval (IPI), a determinant of species-specific song, and intrapulse frequency (IPF) compared to Control (Dmlc2+ rescued null strain). However, abnormalities in the sine song (increased frequency) and the pulse song (increased cycles per pulse and pulse length) evident in Ext males are not apparent in Dual males suggesting that Ext and Phos interact differently in song and flight mechanics, given their known additive effect on the latter. All three mutant males produce a less vigorous pulse song and exhibit impaired mating behavior compared to Control males. As a result, females are less receptive to Ext, Phos, and Dual males when a Control male is present. These results open the possibility that DMLC2, and perhaps contractile protein genes in general, are partly under sexual selection. That mutations in DMLC2 manifest differently in song and flight suggest that this protein fulfills different roles in song and flight and that stretch activation plays a smaller role in song production than in flight. PMID:24587213

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

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

  13. Synchronised provisioning at the nest: parental coordination over care in a socially monogamous species

    PubMed Central

    van Rooij, Erica P.

    2013-01-01

    Bi-parental care is very common in birds, occurring in over 90% of species, and is expected to evolve whenever the benefits of enhanced offspring survival exceed the costs to both parents of providing care. In altricial species, where the nestlings are entirely dependent on the parents for providing food until fledging, reproductive success is related to the capacity of the parents to provision the offspring at the nest. The degree to which parents synchronise their visits to the nest is rarely considered by studies of bi-parental care, and yet may be an important component of parental care, affecting the outcome of the reproductive attempt, and the dynamics of sexual conflict between the parents. Here we studied this aspect of parental care in the long-tailed finch (Poephila acuticauda), a socially monogamous estrildid finch. We monitored parental nest visit rates and the degree of parental visit synchrony, and assessed their effects on reproductive success (e.g., brood size, number of offspring fledged and nestling growth). The frequency of nest visits in a day was low in this species (<1 visit/h), but there was a high level of synchrony by the two partners with 73% of visits made together. There was a correlation between the proportion of visits that were made by the pair together and the size of the brood at hatching, although it was not related to the number of fledglings a pair produced, or the quality of those offspring. We suggest that nest visit synchrony may primarily be driven by the benefit of parents being together whilst foraging away from the nest, or may reduce nest predation by reducing the level of activity around the nest throughout the day. PMID:24432197

  14. Paternal investment and status-related child outcomes: timing of father's death affects offspring success.

    PubMed

    Shenk, Mary K; Scelza, Brooke A

    2012-09-01

    Recent work in human behavioural ecology has suggested that analyses focusing on early childhood may underestimate the importance of paternal investment to child outcomes since such investment may not become crucial until adolescence or beyond. This may be especially important in societies with a heritable component to status, as later investment by fathers may be more strongly related to a child's adult status than early forms of parental investment that affect child survival and child health. In such circumstances, the death or absence of a father may have profoundly negative effects on the adult outcomes of his children that cannot be easily compensated for by the investment of mothers or other relatives. This proposition is tested using a multigenerational dataset from Bangalore, India, containing information on paternal mortality as well as several child outcomes dependent on parental investment during adolescence and young adulthood. The paper examines the effects of paternal death, and the timing of paternal death, on a child's education, adult income, age at marriage and the amount spent on his or her marriage, along with similar characteristics of spouses. Results indicate that a father's death has a negative impact on child outcomes, and that, in contrast to some findings in the literature on father absence, the effects of paternal death are strongest for children who lose their father in late childhood or adolescence. PMID:22429791

  15. Identifying effective actions to guide volunteer-based and nationwide conservation efforts for a ground-nesting farmland bird

    PubMed Central

    Santangeli, Andrea; Arroyo, Beatriz; Millon, Alexandre; Bretagnolle, Vincent

    2015-01-01

    1. Modern farming practices threaten wildlife in different ways, and failure to identify the complexity of multiple threats acting in synergy may result in ineffective management. To protect ground-nesting birds in farmland, monitoring and mitigating impacts of mechanical harvesting is crucial. 2. Here, we use 6 years of data from a nationwide volunteer-based monitoring scheme of the Montagu's harrier, a ground-nesting raptor, in French farmlands. We assess the effectiveness of alternative nest protection measures and map their potential benefit to the species. 3. We show that unprotected nests in cultivated land are strongly negatively affected by harvesting and thus require active management. Further, we show that protection from harvesting alone (e.g. by leaving a small unharvested buffer around the nest) is impaired by post-harvest predation at nests that become highly conspicuous after harvest. Measures that simultaneously protect from harvesting and predation (by adding a fence around the nest) significantly enhance nest productivity. 4. The map of expected gain from nest protection in relation to available volunteers' workforce pinpoints large areas of high expected gain from nest protection that are not matched by equally high workforce availability. This mismatch suggests that the impact of nest protection can be further improved by increasing volunteer efforts in key areas where they are low relative to the expected gain they could have. 5. Synthesis and applications. This study shows that synergistic interplay of multiple factors (e.g. mechanical harvesting and predation) may completely undermine the success of well-intentioned conservation efforts. However, identifying areas where the greatest expected gains can be achieved relative to effort expended can minimize the risk of wasted volunteer actions. Overall, this study underscores the importance of citizen science for collecting large-scale data useful for producing science and ultimately informs

  16. Nesting ecology of a population of Gopherus agassizii at a utility-scale wind energy facility in southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ennen, Joshua R.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Meyer, Katherin P.; Bjurlin, Curtis; Arundel, Terence R.

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the annual nesting ecology of a population of Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) inhabiting a utility-scale renewable energy (USRE) facility in southern California and compared our results with populations inhabiting relatively undisturbed sites. In 2000, 15 radio-tracked females produced 29 clutches, and 24 nests were monitored to examine nest-site selection, nest predation, hatching success, date of emergence of hatchlings, and hatchling mass and carapace length. Overall, the nesting ecology of the population inhabiting the USRE facility was very similar to other populations of Desert Tortoises inhabiting relatively undisturbed habitats. Oviposition occurred from 12 May to 8 July, which was similar to other sites. Nest depths (11.1 cm), nest predation (12%), hatchling emergence date (7 August and 29 September), and hatchling morphometrics (i.e., MCL: 44.5 mm; mass: 23 g) were all within ranges reported in other populations. Unlike within other populations, we observed no relationship between hatchling size and either maternal body size or egg width. We found no evidence of females selecting for a particular burrow for oviposition of eggs based on environmental or anthropogenic variables. Most nests were located in or near burrows, and nest depth was greater for nests near the entrance than those deeper in the burrow. Although this study suggests that the nesting ecology of the Desert Tortoise population we studied was not adversely affected by the USRE facility, this relationship is only correlative because our study was not a before-after-control-impact (BACI) study, which would establish a cause and effect relationship. As pointed out in a recent review, BACI studies are critically needed to address the wildlife impacts of utility-scale renewable energy development.

  17. How partial reinforcement of food cues affects the extinction and reacquisition of appetitive responses. A new model for dieting success?

    PubMed

    van den Akker, Karolien; Havermans, Remco C; Bouton, Mark E; Jansen, Anita

    2014-10-01

    Animals and humans can easily learn to associate an initially neutral cue with food intake through classical conditioning, but extinction of learned appetitive responses can be more difficult. Intermittent or partial reinforcement of food cues causes especially persistent behaviour in animals: after exposure to such learning schedules, the decline in responding that occurs during extinction is slow. After extinction, increases in responding with renewed reinforcement of food cues (reacquisition) might be less rapid after acquisition with partial reinforcement. In humans, it may be that the eating behaviour of some individuals resembles partial reinforcement schedules to a greater extent, possibly affecting dieting success by interacting with extinction and reacquisition. Furthermore, impulsivity has been associated with less successful dieting, and this association might be explained by impulsivity affecting the learning and extinction of appetitive responses. In the present two studies, the effects of different reinforcement schedules and impulsivity on the acquisition, extinction, and reacquisition of appetitive responses were investigated in a conditioning paradigm involving food rewards in healthy humans. Overall, the results indicate both partial reinforcement schedules and, possibly, impulsivity to be associated with worse extinction performance. A new model of dieting success is proposed: learning histories and, perhaps, certain personality traits (impulsivity) can interfere with the extinction and reacquisition of appetitive responses to food cues and they may be causally related to unsuccessful dieting. PMID:24973507

  18. The colour of a football outfit affects visibility and team success.

    PubMed

    Olde Rikkert, Joris; Haes, Vincent De; Barsingerhorn, Annemiek D; Theelen, Thomas; Olde Rikkert, Marcel G M

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the impact of the colour of football outfits on localising football players and on the results of football matches. Two studies were conducted: an experimental study examining the effects of outfit colour on the assessment of the positions of computer-animated football players in a video set-up (study 1) and a retrospective study on professional football clubs' performances dependent on their outfit colours (study 2). The studies were conducted with 18 human volunteers aged 15-18 years (study 1) and league results from 10 professional European football teams over 17 years (1995-2013) (study 2). We analysed the number of correct assessments of the positions of virtual football players with different outfit colours (study 1) and analysed the relationship between match results and outfits' colours (study 2). Study 1 showed that the position of players wearing white outfits was better assessed in 5.2% of the trials compared to players wearing green outfits (P = 0.007). Study 2 showed that Manchester City conceded less goals against in away games in highly visible kits (r = 0.62; P = 0.024), while Newcastle United conceded less goals and won more points while playing in kits associated with low visibility (r = 0.63; P = 0.007; r = 0.50; P = 0.040, respectively). We conclude that the colour of football outfits affects evaluations of football players' positions on the field, with white tricots resulting in the best location assessment. The outfit colour may indirectly influence football match results, warranting more attention to the home and away shirts by team managers and football scientists. PMID:26140538

  19. Nested Neural Networks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baram, Yoram

    1992-01-01

    Report presents analysis of nested neural networks, consisting of interconnected subnetworks. Analysis based on simplified mathematical models more appropriate for artificial electronic neural networks, partly applicable to biological neural networks. Nested structure allows for retrieval of individual subpatterns. Requires fewer wires and connection devices than fully connected networks, and allows for local reconstruction of damaged subnetworks without rewiring entire network.

  20. Marsh nesting by mallards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krapu, G.L.; Talent, L.G.; Dwyer, T.J.

    1979-01-01

    Nest-site selection by mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) hens was studied on a 52-km2, privately owned area in the Missouri Coteau of south-central North Dakota during 1974-77. Sixty-six percent of 53 nests initiated by radio-marked and unmarked hens were in wetlands in dense stands of emergent vegetation and usually within 50 m of the wetland edge. These findings and other sources of information suggest that significant numbers of mallards breeding in the Prairie Pothole Region nest in marsh habitat. Potential factors contributing to mallard use of marsh habitat for nesting purposes are discussed. Management considerations associated with marsh nesting by mallards are described and research needs are identified.

  1. Are traditional methods of determining nest predators and nest fates reliable? An experiment with Wood Thrushes (Hylocichla mustelina) using miniature video cameras

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Gary E.; Wood, P.B.

    2002-01-01

    We used miniature infrared video cameras to monitor Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina) nests during 1998-2000. We documented nest predators and examined whether evidence at nests can be used to predict predator identities and nest fates. Fifty-six nests were monitored; 26 failed, with 3 abandoned and 23 depredated. We predicted predator class (avian, mammalian, snake) prior to review of video footage and were incorrect 57% of the time. Birds and mammals were underrepresented whereas snakes were over-represented in our predictions. We documented ???9 nest-predator species, with the southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans) taking the most nests (n = 8). During 2000, we predicted fate (fledge or fail) of 27 nests; 23 were classified correctly. Traditional methods of monitoring nests appear to be effective for classifying success or failure of nests, but ineffective at classifying nest predators.

  2. Buteo Nesting Ecology: Evaluating Nesting of Swainson’s Hawks in the Northern Great Plains

    PubMed Central

    Inselman, Will M.; Datta, Shubham; Jenks, Jonathan A.; Jensen, Kent C.; Grovenburg, Troy W.

    2015-01-01

    Swainson’s hawks (Buteo swainsoni) are long-distance migratory raptors that nest primarily in isolated trees located in areas of high grassland density. In recent years, anthropogenic conversion of grassland habitat has raised concerns about the status of the breeding population in the northern Great Plains. In 2013, we initiated a study to investigate the influence of extrinsic factors influencing Swainson’s hawk nesting ecology in north-central South Dakota and south-central North Dakota. Using ground and aerial surveys, we located and monitored nesting Swainson’s hawk pairs: 73 in 2013 and 120 in 2014. We documented 98 successful breeding attempts that fledged 163 chicks; 1.52 and 1.72 fledglings per successful nest in 2013 and 2014, respectively. We used Program MARK to evaluate the influence of land cover on nest survival. The top model, SDist2Farm+%Hay, indicated that nest survival (fledging at least one chick) decreased as nests were located farther from farm sites and as the percent of hay cover increased within 1200-m of the nest site (34.4%; 95% CI = 27.6%–42.3%). We used logistic regression analysis to evaluate the influence of landscape variables on nest-site selection; Swainson’s hawks selected for nest sites located closer to roads. We suggest that tree belts associated with farm sites, whether occupied or not, provide critical breeding sites for Swainson’s hawks. Additionally, poor breeding success may be related to the late migratory behavior of this species which requires them to occupy marginal habitat due to other raptors occupying the most suitable habitat prior to Swainson’s hawks arriving to the breeding grounds. PMID:26327440

  3. Buteo Nesting Ecology: Evaluating Nesting of Swainson's Hawks in the Northern Great Plains.

    PubMed

    Inselman, Will M; Datta, Shubham; Jenks, Jonathan A; Jensen, Kent C; Grovenburg, Troy W

    2015-01-01

    Swainson's hawks (Buteo swainsoni) are long-distance migratory raptors that nest primarily in isolated trees located in areas of high grassland density. In recent years, anthropogenic conversion of grassland habitat has raised concerns about the status of the breeding population in the northern Great Plains. In 2013, we initiated a study to investigate the influence of extrinsic factors influencing Swainson's hawk nesting ecology in north-central South Dakota and south-central North Dakota. Using ground and aerial surveys, we located and monitored nesting Swainson's hawk pairs: 73 in 2013 and 120 in 2014. We documented 98 successful breeding attempts that fledged 163 chicks; 1.52 and 1.72 fledglings per successful nest in 2013 and 2014, respectively. We used Program MARK to evaluate the influence of land cover on nest survival. The top model, SDist2Farm+%Hay, indicated that nest survival (fledging at least one chick) decreased as nests were located farther from farm sites and as the percent of hay cover increased within 1200-m of the nest site (34.4%; 95% CI = 27.6%-42.3%). We used logistic regression analysis to evaluate the influence of landscape variables on nest-site selection; Swainson's hawks selected for nest sites located closer to roads. We suggest that tree belts associated with farm sites, whether occupied or not, provide critical breeding sites for Swainson's hawks. Additionally, poor breeding success may be related to the late migratory behavior of this species which requires them to occupy marginal habitat due to other raptors occupying the most suitable habitat prior to Swainson's hawks arriving to the breeding grounds. PMID:26327440

  4. Best-case performance of quantum annealers on native spin-glass benchmarks: How chaos can affect success probabilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Zheng; Ochoa, Andrew J.; Schnabel, Stefan; Hamze, Firas; Katzgraber, Helmut G.

    2016-01-01

    Recent tests performed on the D-Wave Two quantum annealer have revealed no clear evidence of speedup over conventional silicon-based technologies. Here we present results from classical parallel-tempering Monte Carlo simulations combined with isoenergetic cluster moves of the archetypal benchmark problem—an Ising spin glass—on the native chip topology. Using realistic uncorrelated noise models for the D-Wave Two quantum annealer, we study the best-case resilience, i.e., the probability that the ground-state configuration is not affected by random fields and random-bond fluctuations found on the chip. We thus compute classical upper-bound success probabilities for different types of disorder used in the benchmarks and predict that an increase in the number of qubits will require either error correction schemes or a drastic reduction of the intrinsic noise found in these devices. We restrict this study to the exact ground state, however, the approach can be trivially extended to the inclusion of excited states if the success metric is relaxed. We outline strategies to develop robust, as well as hard benchmarks for quantum annealing devices, as well as any other (black box) computing paradigm affected by noise.

  5. Eggshell Porosity Provides Insight on Evolution of Nesting in Dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Kohei; Zelenitsky, Darla K; Therrien, François

    2015-01-01

    with fully exposed eggs only became widespread among Euornithes. A potential co-evolution of open nests and brooding behavior among maniraptorans may have freed theropods from the ground-based restrictions inherent to covered nests and allowed the exploitation of alternate nesting locations. These changes in nesting styles and behaviors thus may have played a role in the evolutionary success of maniraptorans (including birds). PMID:26605799

  6. Eggshell Porosity Provides Insight on Evolution of Nesting in Dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    with fully exposed eggs only became widespread among Euornithes. A potential co-evolution of open nests and brooding behavior among maniraptorans may have freed theropods from the ground-based restrictions inherent to covered nests and allowed the exploitation of alternate nesting locations. These changes in nesting styles and behaviors thus may have played a role in the evolutionary success of maniraptorans (including birds). PMID:26605799

  7. Nested neural networks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baram, Yoram

    1988-01-01

    Nested neural networks, consisting of small interconnected subnetworks, allow for the storage and retrieval of neural state patterns of different sizes. The subnetworks are naturally categorized by layers of corresponding to spatial frequencies in the pattern field. The storage capacity and the error correction capability of the subnetworks generally increase with the degree of connectivity between layers (the nesting degree). Storage of only few subpatterns in each subnetworks results in a vast storage capacity of patterns and subpatterns in the nested network, maintaining high stability and error correction capability.

  8. Nested sampling with demons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Habeck, Michael

    2015-01-01

    This article looks at Skilling's nested sampling from a physical perspective and interprets it as a microcanonical demon algorithm. Using key quantities of statistical physics we investigate the performance of nested sampling on complex systems such as Ising, Potts and protein models. We show that releasing multiple demons helps to smooth the truncated prior and eases sampling from it because the demons keep the particle off the constraint boundary. For continuous systems it is straightforward to extend this approach and formulate a phase space version of nested sampling that benefits from correlated explorations guided by Hamiltonian dynamics.

  9. Upland duck nesting related to land use and predator reduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duebbert, H.F.; Kantrud, H.A.

    1974-01-01

    Duck nesting was studied during 1971 in north-central South Dakota under four conditions: in idle, five or six year old fields of domestic grass-legume mixtures in an area where predators including the red fox (Vulpes fulva), raccoon (Procyon lotor), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), and badger (Taxidea taxus) were (1) reduced and (2) not reduced. Nesting was also studied in tracts of active agricultural land (primarily croplands and pastures) where predators were (3) reduced, and (4) not reduced. Under condition (1), 260 nests were found on 0.87 km2 (299 nests/km2), eggs hatched in 92 percent of the nests and production was 22.0 ducklings/hectare. Under condition (2), 187 nests were found on 2.22 km2 (84 nests/km2), nest success was 68 percent and 4.7 ducklings/hectare were produced. On active agricultural land subject to predator reduction (condition 3), 64 nests were found on 5.14 km2 (12 nests/km2). Eggs in 85 percent of the nests hatched and production was 0.7 duckling/hectare. On active agricultural land not subject to predator reduction (condition 4), 58 nests were found on 4.01 km2 (14 nests/km2), nest success was 51 percent and 0.5 duckling/hectare was produced. Idle, 16 to 65-hectare (40 to 160-acre) stands of cool-season, introduced grasses in combination with legumes produced maximum numbers of upland nesting ducks.

  10. Evaluation of an operant successive negative contrast task as a method to study affective state in rodents.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Emma N; Marston, Hugh M; Nutt, David J; Robinson, Emma S J

    2012-10-01

    Successive negative contrast (SNC) describes a change in an animal's behaviour following a downshift in the quantitative or qualitative value of a reward. Previous studies suggest both consummatory and instrumental paradigms have the potential to provide an objective measure of affective state in rodents. We first investigated whether an SNC effect is observed in an operant task based on the 5 choice serial reaction time task. We then tested whether this SNC effect was sensitive to differences in affective state induced by manipulating the home cage environment. In animals trained to receive a four pellet food reward, reinforcer downshift to a single reward pellet induced a significant slowing of both correct response and collection latencies to levels below that of animals which had only ever received the lower value reward, indicating a SNC effect. Home cage environmental enrichment resulted in a paradoxical effect on responses in this SNC task where animals housed in a barren environment showed faster baseline response times and the SNC effect was significantly attenuated. These data suggest that the animals housed in the barren conditions were in a more positive affective and/or motivational state during testing than animals housed in enriched cages. Although opposite to the effects of housing conditions in a runway SNC task, these data could be explained by the enriching effects of daily training in an operant task. Rather than inducing a negative affective state in rats, the barren housing conditions resulted in a relatively more positive affective state in the chamber when compared to animals living in a highly enriched environment. PMID:22732261

  11. Factors Affecting Successful Reintegration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, David Vittle

    2015-01-01

    This study explores the perspectives of education practitioners towards the process of reintegrating pupils (many of whom display social, emotional and behavioural difficulties), from a pupil referral unit (PRU) to mainstream educational provision in a rural bilingual Welsh authority, and examines the barriers and facilitators they identified as…

  12. Habitat and nesting of Le Conte's Sparrows in the northern tallgrass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winter, M.; Shaffer, J.A.; Johnson, D.H.; Donovan, T.M.; Svedarsky, W.D.; Jones, P.W.; Euliss, B.R.

    2005-01-01

    Little is known about the breeding biology of the Le Conte's Sparrow (Ammodramus leconteii), probably because of its secretive nature. We provide new information on several aspects of Le Conte's Sparrow breeding biology, including rates of nest parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) and potential factors affecting breeding densities and nesting success of the species. Our study was conducted in the tallgrass prairie of northwestern Minnesota and southeastern North Dakota during 1998-2002. Breeding densities varied among years, but this variation was not clearly linked to climatic patterns. Vegetation had some influence on densities of Le Conte's Sparrows; densities were highest in grasslands with moderate amounts of bare ground. Prairie patch size and the percentage of shrubs and trees in the landscape had no recognizable influence on density. Nesting success was highly variable among sites and years and increased slightly with distance from trees. Rates of nest parasitism were low (1 of 50 nests parasitized), and clutch sizes were similar to those of other studies of Le Conte's Sparrows.

  13. Do chimpanzees build comfortable nests?

    PubMed

    Stewart, Fiona A; Pruetz, Jill D; Hansell, Mike H

    2007-08-01

    Nests built by wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) were studied at the Fongoli research site in southeastern Senegal from January 2004-May 2004 to investigate the role of comfort in nest building behavior by relating measures of nest comfort and building effort. Nest comfort across zones of the nest surface were compared with construction effort for 25 nests. Several variables of nest comfort were assessed: (1) physical discomfort, (2) visible discomfort, and (3) softness. Physical discomfort was used as a representative measure of nest discomfort. Building effort was measured by (1) construction force, (2) complexity, and (3) added material. Spearman rank correlations compared Effort and Comfort measures for both whole nests and central versus edge zones. The results show that construction force and complexity do not influence comfort of the nest as a whole. Greater Construction force correlates with more nest edge discomfort, yet the central area shows no difference. More complex nests do result in a more comfortable central area in the nest. Nests built with greater force may result in more discomfort, whereas complexity may allow chimpanzees to maintain comfort in a central area for sleep. Chimpanzees may place additional leaves or twigs over hard branches, protruding from the nest surface after construction, to increase comfort of the central nest area. Functions of chimpanzee nest building are likely to be several, but these results suggest comfort is a factor in nest building behavior. PMID:17358021

  14. Productivity, mortality, and response to disturbance of nesting Swainson's hawks on the Hanford Site

    SciTech Connect

    Poole, L.D.; Marr, N.V.; McCorquodale, S.M.

    1988-03-01

    The objectives of this study were to characterize Swainson's hawk (Buteo swainson) use of the US Department of Energy (DOE) Hanford Site and to evaluate the potential for engineering and other human activities on the Hanford Site to negatively affect the nesting Swainson's hawk population. Activities associated with the Basalt Waste Isolation Project (BWIP) were used as the primary external stimuli in studying hawk responses to potential human disturbance. Parked and moving vehicles were the most common disturbance sources observed in Swainson's hawk territories. Hawks appeared to be sensitive to disturbance from pedestrians and slow-moving vehicles near nests. Novel stimuli were much more likely to evoke strong responses than were recurring events. Adult hawks reacted more frequently and vigorously than did juveniles. When disturbed, adult hawks usually flew toward the location of the disturbance; juvenile hawks usually flew away from disturbances. Human activity associated with BWIP may have had negative on one pair of nesting Swainson's hawks and may have precluded the use of an additional traditional nesting territory. Negative impacts to nesting Swainson's hawks from human activity could be minimized by confining activities to the non-nesting period or to distances greater than 2.2 km from nest sites. Tree groves and elevated perches, including utility poles, across the Hanford Site are probably critical to the success of nesting Swainson's hawks. Potential mitigation strategies associated with energy research and development activities on the Hanford Site could include provisions for maintenance and establishment of drought-tolerant trees and native vegetation. 22 refs., 5 figs., 3 tabs.

  15. Soil Eukaryotic Microorganism Succession as Affected by Continuous Cropping of Peanut - Pathogenic and Beneficial Fungi were Selected

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Mingna; Li, Xiao; Yang, Qingli; Chi, Xiaoyuan; Pan, Lijuan; Chen, Na; Yang, Zhen; Wang, Tong; Wang, Mian; Yu, Shanlin

    2012-01-01

    Peanut is an important oil crop worldwide and shows considerable adaptability but growth and yield are negatively affected by continuous cropping. Soil micro-organisms are efficient bio-indicators of soil quality and plant health and are critical to the sustainability of soil-based ecosystem function and to successful plant growth. In this study, 18S rRNA gene clone library analyses were employed to study the succession progress of soil eukaryotic micro-organisms under continuous peanut cultivation. Eight libraries were constructed for peanut over three continuous cropping cycles and its representative growth stages. Cluster analyses indicated that soil micro-eukaryotic assemblages obtained from the same peanut cropping cycle were similar, regardless of growth period. Six eukaryotic groups were found and fungi predominated in all libraries. The fungal populations showed significant dynamic change and overall diversity increased over time under continuous peanut cropping. The abundance and/or diversity of clones affiliated with Eurotiales, Hypocreales, Glomerales, Orbiliales, Mucorales and Tremellales showed an increasing trend with continuous cropping but clones affiliated with Agaricales, Cantharellales, Pezizales and Pyxidiophorales decreased in abundance and/or diversity over time. The current data, along with data from previous studies, demonstrated that the soil microbial community was affected by continuous cropping, in particular, the pathogenic and beneficial fungi that were positively selected over time, which is commonplace in agro-ecosystems. The trend towards an increase in fungal pathogens and simplification of the beneficial fungal community could be important factors contributing to the decline in peanut growth and yield over many years of continuous cropping. PMID:22808226

  16. Analysis of Pre-Analytic Factors Affecting the Success of Clinical Next-Generation Sequencing of Solid Organ Malignancies

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Hui; Luthra, Rajyalakshmi; Goswami, Rashmi S.; Singh, Rajesh R.; Roy-Chowdhuri, Sinchita

    2015-01-01

    Application of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to routine clinical practice has enabled characterization of personalized cancer genomes to identify patients likely to have a response to targeted therapy. The proper selection of tumor sample for downstream NGS based mutational analysis is critical to generate accurate results and to guide therapeutic intervention. However, multiple pre-analytic factors come into play in determining the success of NGS testing. In this review, we discuss pre-analytic requirements for AmpliSeq PCR-based sequencing using Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine (PGM) (Life Technologies), a NGS sequencing platform that is often used by clinical laboratories for sequencing solid tumors because of its low input DNA requirement from formalin fixed and paraffin embedded tissue. The success of NGS mutational analysis is affected not only by the input DNA quantity but also by several other factors, including the specimen type, the DNA quality, and the tumor cellularity. Here, we review tissue requirements for solid tumor NGS based mutational analysis, including procedure types, tissue types, tumor volume and fraction, decalcification, and treatment effects. PMID:26343728

  17. Discriminating the Drivers of Edge Effects on Nest Predation: Forest Edges Reduce Capture Rates of Ship Rats (Rattus rattus), a Globally Invasive Nest Predator, by Altering Vegetation Structure

    PubMed Central

    Ruffell, Jay; Didham, Raphael K.; Barrett, Paul; Gorman, Nic; Pike, Rhonda; Hickey-Elliott, Andrée; Sievwright, Karin; Armstrong, Doug P.

    2014-01-01

    Forest edges can strongly affect avian nest success by altering nest predation rates, but this relationship is inconsistent and context dependent. There is a need for researchers to improve the predictability of edge effects on nest predation rates by examining the mechanisms driving their occurrence and variability. In this study, we examined how the capture rates of ship rats, an invasive nest predator responsible for avian declines globally, varied with distance from the forest edge within forest fragments in a pastoral landscape in New Zealand. We hypothesised that forest edges would affect capture rates by altering vegetation structure within fragments, and that the strength of edge effects would depend on whether fragments were grazed by livestock. We measured vegetation structure and rat capture rates at 488 locations ranging from 0–212 m from the forest edge in 15 forest fragments, seven of which were grazed. Contrary to the vast majority of previous studies of edge effects on nest predation, ship rat capture rates increased with increasing distance from the forest edge. For grazed fragments, capture rates were estimated to be 78% lower at the forest edge than 118 m into the forest interior (the farthest distance for grazed fragments). This relationship was similar for ungrazed fragments, with capture rates estimated to be 51% lower at the forest edge than 118 m into the forest interior. A subsequent path analysis suggested that these ‘reverse’ edge effects were largely or entirely mediated by changes in vegetation structure, implying that edge effects on ship rats can be predicted from the response of vegetation structure to forest edges. We suggest the occurrence, strength, and direction of edge effects on nest predation rates may depend on edge-driven changes in local habitat when the dominant predator is primarily restricted to forest patches. PMID:25412340

  18. Ground-nesting by the chimpanzees of the Nimba Mountains, Guinea: environmentally or socially determined?

    PubMed

    Koops, Kathelijne; Humle, Tatyana; Sterck, Elisabeth H M; Matsuzawa, Tetsuro

    2007-04-01

    The chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) of the Nimba Mountains, Guinea, West Africa, commonly make both elaborate ("night") and simple ("day") nests on the ground. In this study we investigated which factors might influence ground-nesting in this population, and tested two ecological hypotheses: 1) climatic conditions, such as high wind speeds at high altitudes, may deter chimpanzees from nesting in trees; and 2) a lack of appropriate arboreal nesting opportunities may drive the chimpanzees to nest on the ground. In addition to testing these two hypotheses, we explored whether ground-nesting is a sex-linked behavior. Data were collected monthly between August 2003 and May 2004 along transects and ad libitum. To identify the sex of ground-nesting individuals, we used DNA extracted from hair samples. The results showed that the occurrence and distribution of ground nests were not affected by climatic conditions or a lack of appropriate nest trees. Support was found for the notion that ground-nesting is a sex-linked behavior, as males were responsible for building all of the elaborate ground nests and most of the simple ground nests sampled. Elaborate ground nests occurred mostly in nest groups associated with tree nests, whereas simple ground nests usually occurred without tree nests in their vicinity. These results suggest that ground-nesting may be socially, rather than ecologically, determined. PMID:17146789

  19. Nesting habitat and productivity of Swainson's Hawks in southeastern Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nishida, Catherine; Boal, Clint W.; DeStefano, Stephen; Hobbs, Royden J.

    2013-01-01

    We studied Swainson's Hawks (Buteo swainsoni) in southeastern Arizona to assess the status of the local breeding population. Nest success (≥1 young fledged) was 44.4% in 1999 with an average of 1.43 ± 0.09 (SE) young produced per successful pair. Productivity was similar in 2000, with 58.2% nesting success and 1.83 ± 0.09 fledglings per successful pair. Mesquite (Prosopis velutina) and cottonwood (Populus fremontii) accounted for >50% of 167 nest trees. Nest trees were taller than surrounding trees and random trees, and overall there was more vegetative cover at nest sites than random sites. This apparent requirement for cover around nest sites could be important for management of the species in Arizona. However, any need for cover at nest sites must be balanced with the need for open areas for foraging. Density of nesting Swainson's Hawks was higher in agriculture than in grasslands and desert scrub. Breeding pairs had similar success in agricultural and nonagricultural areas, but the effect of rapid and widespread land-use change on breeding distribution and productivity continues to be a concern throughout the range of the species.

  20. Effects of anthropogenic developments on common raven nesting biology in the West Mojave Desert.

    PubMed

    Kristan, William B; Boarman, William I

    2007-09-01

    Subsidized predators may affect prey abundance, distribution, and demography. Common Ravens (Corvus corax) are anthropogenically subsidized throughout their range and, in the Mojave Desert, have increased in number dramatically over the last 3-4 decades. Human-provided food resources are thought to be important drivers of raven population growth, but human developments add other features as well, such as nesting platforms. From 1996 to 2000, we examined the nesting ecology of ravens in the Mojave Desert, relative to anthropogenic developrhent. Ravens nested disproportionately near point sources of food and water subsidies (such as towns, landfills, and ponds) but not near roads (sources of road-killed carrion), even though both sources of subsidy enhanced fledging success. Initiation of breeding activity was more likely when a nest from the previous year was present at the start of a breeding season but was not affected by access to food. The relative effect of environmental modifications on fledging success varied from year to year, but the effect of access to human-provided resources was comparatively consistent, suggesting that humans provide consistently high-quality breeding habitat for ravens. Anthropogenic land cover types in the desert are expected to promote raven population growth and to allow ravens to occupy parts of the desert that otherwise would not support them. Predatory impacts of ravens in the Mojave Desert can therefore be considered indirect effects of anthropogenic development. PMID:17913134

  1. Effects of anthropogenic developments on common Raven nesting biology in the west Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kristan, W. B., III; Boarman, W.I.

    2007-01-01

    Subsidized predators may affect prey abundance, distribution, and demography. Common Ravens (Corvus corax) are anthropogenically subsidized throughout their range and, in the Mojave Desert, have increased in number dramatically over the last 3-4 decades. Human-provided food resources are thought to be important drivers of raven population growth, but human developments add other features as well, such as nesting platforms. From 1996 to 2000, we examined the nesting ecology of ravens in the Mojave Desert, relative to anthropogenic development. Ravens nested disproportionately near point sources of food and water subsidies (such as towns, landfills, and ponds) but not near roads (sources of road-killed carrion), even though both sources of subsidy enhanced fledging success. Initiation of breeding activity was more likely when a nest from the previous year was present at the start of a breeding season but was not affected by access to food. The relative effect of environmental modifications on fledging success varied from year to year, but the effect of access to humanprovided resources was comparatively consistent, suggesting that humans provide consistently high-quality breeding habitat for ravens. Anthropogenic land cover types in the desert are expected to promote raven population growth and to allow ravens to occupy parts of the desert that otherwise would not support them. Predatory impacts of ravens in the Mojave Desert can therefore be considered indirect effects of anthropogenic development. ?? 2007 by the Ecological Society of America.

  2. Nest survival estimation: a review of alternatives to the Mayfield estimator

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jehle, G.; Yackel Adams, A.A.; Savidge, J.A.; Skagen, S.K.

    2004-01-01

    Reliable estimates of nest survival are essential for assessing strategies for avian conservation. We review the history of modifications and alternatives for estimating nest survival, with a focus on four techniques: apparent nest success, the Mayfield estimator, the Stanley method, and program MARK. The widely used Mayfield method avoids the known positive bias inherent in apparent nest success by estimating daily survival rates using the number of exposure days, eliminating the need to monitor nests from initiation. Concerns that some of Mayfield's assumptions were restrictive stimulated the development of new techniques. Stanley's method allows for calculation of stage-specific daily survival rates when transition and failure dates are unknown, and eliminates Mayfield's assumption that failure occurred midway through the nest-check interval. Program MARK obviates Mayfield's assumption of constant daily survival within nesting stages and evaluates variation in nest survival as a function of biologically relevant factors. These innovative methods facilitate the evaluation of nest survival using an information-theoretic approach. We illustrate use of these methods with Lark Bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys) nest data from the Pawnee National Grassland, Colorado. Nest survival estimates calculated using Mayfield, Stanley, and MARK methods were similar, but apparent nest success estimates ranged 1-24% greater than the other estimates. MARK analysis revealed that survival of Lark Bunting nests differed between site-year groups, declined with both nest age and time in season, but did not vary with weather parameters. We encourage researchers to use these approaches to gain reliable and meaningful nest survival estimates.

  3. Serenbe Nest Cottages

    SciTech Connect

    Butler, T.; Curtis, O.; Kim, E.; Roberts, S.; Stephenson, R.

    2012-12-01

    As part of the NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Southface partnered with Martin Dodson Builders and the Serenbe community on the construction of a new test home in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA in the mixed humid climate zone. The most recent subdivision within the Serenbe community, the Nest, will contain 15 small footprint cottage style homes, and Southface has selected Lot Nine, as the test home for this study. This Nest subdivision serves as a project showcase for both the builder partner and the Serenbe community as a whole. The planning and design incorporated into the Nest cottages will be implemented in each home within the subdivision. These homes addresses Building America Savings targets and serve as a basis of design for other homes Martin Dodson plans to build within the Serenbe community.

  4. Superposition Enhanced Nested Sampling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martiniani, Stefano; Stevenson, Jacob D.; Wales, David J.; Frenkel, Daan

    2014-07-01

    The theoretical analysis of many problems in physics, astronomy, and applied mathematics requires an efficient numerical exploration of multimodal parameter spaces that exhibit broken ergodicity. Monte Carlo methods are widely used to deal with these classes of problems, but such simulations suffer from a ubiquitous sampling problem: The probability of sampling a particular state is proportional to its entropic weight. Devising an algorithm capable of sampling efficiently the full phase space is a long-standing problem. Here, we report a new hybrid method for the exploration of multimodal parameter spaces exhibiting broken ergodicity. Superposition enhanced nested sampling combines the strengths of global optimization with the unbiased or athermal sampling of nested sampling, greatly enhancing its efficiency with no additional parameters. We report extensive tests of this new approach for atomic clusters that are known to have energy landscapes for which conventional sampling schemes suffer from broken ergodicity. We also introduce a novel parallelization algorithm for nested sampling.

  5. Serenbe Nest Cottages

    SciTech Connect

    Butler, T.; Curtis, O.; Kim, E.; Roberts, S.; Stephenson, R.

    2012-12-01

    As part of the NAHB Research Center Industry Partnership, Southface partnered with Martin Dodson Builders and the Serenbe community on the construction of a new test home in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA, in the mixed humid climate zone. The most recent subdivision within the Serenbe community, the Nest, will contain 15 small footprint cottage-style homes, and Southface has selected Lot Nine, as the test home for this study. This Nest subdivision serves as a project showcase for both the builder partner and the Serenbe community as a whole. The planning and design incorporated into the Nest cottages will be implemented in each home within the subdivision. These homes addresses Building America savings targets and serve as a basis of design for other homes Martin Dodson plans to build within the Serenbe community.

  6. Relationships of Personality, Affect, Emotional Intelligence and Coping with Student Stress and Academic Success: Different Patterns of Association for Stress and Success

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saklofske, Donald H.; Austin, Elizabeth J.; Mastoras, Sarah M.; Beaton, Laura; Osborne, Shona E.

    2012-01-01

    The associations of personality, affect, trait emotional intelligence (EI) and coping style measured at the start of the academic year with later academic performance were examined in a group of undergraduate students at the University of Edinburgh. The associations of the dispositional and affect measures with concurrent stress and life…

  7. Arctic foxes, lemmings, and canada goose nest survival at cape Churchill, Manitoba

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reiter, M.E.; Andersen, D.E.

    2011-01-01

    We examined factors influencing Canada Goose (Branta canadensis interior) annual nest success, including the relative abundance of collared lemmings (Dicrostonyx richardsoni), arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) den occupancy, nest density, and spring phenology using data collected during annual Canada Goose breeding area surveys at Cape Churchill, Manitoba. Nest density and arctic fox den occupancy strongly influenced Canada Goose nest success. High nest density resulted in higher nest success and high den occupancy reduced nest success. Nest success was not influenced by lemming abundance in the current or previous year as predicted by the "bird-lemming" hypothesis. Reducing arctic fox abundance through targeted management increased nest survival of Canada Geese; a result that further emphasizes the importance of arctic fox as nest predators in this system. The spatial distribution of nest predators, at least for dispersed-nesting geese, may be most important for nest survival, regardless of the abundance of small mammals in the local ecosystem. Further understanding of the factors influencing the magnitude and variance in arctic fox abundance in this region, and the spatial scale at which these factors are realized, is necessary to fully explain predator-prey-alternative prey dynamics in this system. ?? 2011 by the Wilson Ornithological Society.

  8. Eggs, nests, and nesting behavior of akiapolaau (Drepanidinae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Banko, P.C.; Williams, J.

    1993-01-01

    We describe the fifth verified nest and first verified egg of the Akiapolaau (Hemignathus munroi), an endangered Hawaiian honeycreeper. We dispute the validity of Bryan?s (1905a) description of three eggs and two nests of the Akiapolaau. Eggs that he attributed to this species were much smaller than ours, and his nest descriptions did not match the only nest apparently belonging to the Akiapolaau in the B. P. Bishop Museum in Honolulu, where Bryan worked. Twigs and bark were distinctively combined in the nest that we examined. We compare eggs and nests of the Akiapolaau with those of other Hawaiian honeycreepers.

  9. CO2 efflux from subterranean nests of ant communities in a seasonal tropical forest, Thailand

    PubMed Central

    Hasin, Sasitorn; Ohashi, Mizue; Yamada, Akinori; Hashimoto, Yoshiaki; Tasen, Wattanachai; Kume, Tomonori; Yamane, Seiki

    2014-01-01

    Many ant species construct subterranean nests. The presence of their nests may explain soil respiration “hot spots”, an important factor in the high CO2 efflux from tropical forests. However, no studies have directly measured CO2 efflux from ant nests. We established 61 experimental plots containing 13 subterranean ant species to evaluate the CO2 efflux from subterranean ant nests in a tropical seasonal forest, Thailand. We examined differences in nest CO2 efflux among ant species. We determined the effects of environmental factors on nest CO2 efflux and calculated an index of nest structure. The mean CO2 efflux from nests was significantly higher than those from the surrounding soil in the wet and dry seasons. The CO2 efflux was species-specific, showing significant differences among the 13 ant species. The soil moisture content significantly affected nest CO2 efflux, but there was no clear relationship between nest CO2 efflux and nest soil temperature. The diameter of the nest entrance hole affected CO2 efflux. However, there was no significant difference in CO2 efflux rates between single-hole and multiple-hole nests. Our results suggest that in a tropical forest ecosystem the increase in CO2 efflux from subterranean ant nests is caused by species-specific activity of ants, the nest soil environment, and nest structure. PMID:25505521

  10. Acute exposure to gas-supersaturated water does not affect reproductive success of female adult chinook salmon late in maturation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gale, William L.; Maule, A.G.; Postera, A.; Peters, M.H.

    2004-01-01

    At times, total dissolved gas concentrations in the Columbia and Snake rivers have been elevated due to involuntary spill from high spring runoff and voluntary spill used as a method to pass juvenile salmonids over dams. The goal of this project was to determine if acute exposure to total dissolved gas supersaturation (TDGS) affects the reproductive performance of female chinook salmon late in their maturation. During this study, adult female spring chinook salmon were exposed to mean TDGS levels of 114.1 % to 125.5%. We ended exposures at first mortality, or at the appearance of impending death. Based on this criterion, exposures lasted from 10 to 68 h and were inversely related to TDGS. There was no effect of TDGS on pre-spawning mortality or fecundity when comparing treatment fish to experimental controls or the general hatchery population four to six weeks after exposures. Egg quality, based on egg weight and egg diameter, did not differ between treatment and control fish. Fertilization rate and survival to eyed-stage was high (>94%) for all groups. With the exception of Renibacterium salmoninarum (the causative agent of bacterial kidney disease; BKD), no viral or bacterial fish pathogens were isolated from experimental fish. The prevalence (about 45%) and severity of R. salmoninarum did not differ among the groups or the general hatchery population. We conclude that these acute exposures to moderate levels of gas-supersaturated water-perhaps similar to that experienced by immigrating adult salmon as they approach and pass a hydropower dam on the Columbia River-did not affect reproductive success of female chinook salmon late in their maturation. These results are most applicable to summer and fall chinook salmon, which migrate in the summer/fall and spawn shortly after reaching their natal streams. Published in 2004 by John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

  11. Host Plants Affect the Foraging Success of Two Parasitoids that Attack Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae).

    PubMed

    Feng, Yi; Wratten, Steve; Sandhu, Harpinder; Keller, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana is a key pest of wine grapes in Australia. Two parasitoids, Dolichogenidea tasmanica and Therophilus unimaculatus, attack the larval stage of this pest. D. tasmanica is dominant in vineyards, whereas T. unimaculatus is mainly active in native vegetation. We sought to understand why they differ in their use of habitats. Plants are a major component of habitats of parasitoids, and herbivore-infested plants influence parasitoid foraging efficiency by their architecture and emission of volatile chemicals. We investigated how different plant species infested by E. postvittana could affect the foraging success of the two parasitoid species in both laboratory and field experiments. Four common host-plant species were selected for this study. In paired-choice experiments to determine the innate foraging preferences for plants, both parasitoid species showed differences in innate search preferences among plant species. The plant preference of D. tasmanica was altered by oviposition experience with hosts that were feeding on other plant species. In a behavioral assay, the two parasitoid species allocated their times engaged in various types of behavior differently when foraging on different plant species. For both parasitoids, parasitism on Hardenbergia violacea was the highest of the four plant species. Significantly more larvae dropped from Myoporum insulare when attacked than from the other three host-plant species, which indicates that parasitism is also affected by interactions between plants and host insects. In vineyards, parasitism by D. tasmanica was significantly lower on M. insulare than on the other three host-plant species, but the parasitism rates were similar among the other three plant species. Our results indicate that plants play a role in the habitat preferences of these two parasitoid species by influencing their foraging behavior, and are likely to contribute to their distributions among habitats. PMID

  12. Identification of the Key Weather Factors Affecting Overwintering Success of Apolygus lucorum Eggs in Dead Host Tree Branches

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Hongsheng; Liu, Bing; Lu, Yanhui; Desneux, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the effects of weather on insect population dynamics is crucial to simulate and forecast pest outbreaks, which is becoming increasingly important with the effects of climate change. The mirid bug Apolygus lucorum is an important pest on cotton, fruit trees and other crops in China, and primarily lays its eggs on dead parts of tree branches in the fall for subsequent overwintering. As such, the eggs that hatch the following spring are most strongly affected by ambient weather factors, rather than by host plant biology. In this study, we investigated the effects of three major weather factors: temperature, relative humidity and rainfall, on the hatching rate of A. lucorum eggs overwintering on dead branches of Chinese date tree (Ziziphus jujuba). Under laboratory conditions, rainfall (simulated via soaking) was necessary for the hatching of overwintering A. lucorum eggs. In the absence of rainfall (unsoaked branches), very few nymphs successfully emerged under any of the tested combinations of temperature and relative humidity. In contrast, following simulated rainfall, the hatching rate of the overwintering eggs increased dramatically. Hatching rate and developmental rate were positively correlated with relative humidity and temperature, respectively. Under field conditions, the abundance of nymphs derived from overwintering eggs was positively correlated with rainfall amount during the spring seasons of 2009–2013, while the same was not true for temperature and relative humidity. Overall, our findings indicate that rainfall is the most important factor affecting the hatching rate of overwintering A. lucorum eggs on dead plant parts and nymph population levels during the spring season. It provides the basic information for precisely forecasting the emergence of A. lucorum and subsequently timely managing its population in spring, which will make it possible to regional control of this insect pest widely occurring in multiple crops in summer. PMID

  13. Host Plants Affect the Foraging Success of Two Parasitoids that Attack Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Yi; Wratten, Steve; Sandhu, Harpinder; Keller, Michael

    2015-01-01

    The light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana is a key pest of wine grapes in Australia. Two parasitoids, Dolichogenidea tasmanica and Therophilus unimaculatus, attack the larval stage of this pest. D. tasmanica is dominant in vineyards, whereas T. unimaculatus is mainly active in native vegetation. We sought to understand why they differ in their use of habitats. Plants are a major component of habitats of parasitoids, and herbivore-infested plants influence parasitoid foraging efficiency by their architecture and emission of volatile chemicals. We investigated how different plant species infested by E. postvittana could affect the foraging success of the two parasitoid species in both laboratory and field experiments. Four common host-plant species were selected for this study. In paired-choice experiments to determine the innate foraging preferences for plants, both parasitoid species showed differences in innate search preferences among plant species. The plant preference of D. tasmanica was altered by oviposition experience with hosts that were feeding on other plant species. In a behavioral assay, the two parasitoid species allocated their times engaged in various types of behavior differently when foraging on different plant species. For both parasitoids, parasitism on Hardenbergia violacea was the highest of the four plant species. Significantly more larvae dropped from Myoporum insulare when attacked than from the other three host-plant species, which indicates that parasitism is also affected by interactions between plants and host insects. In vineyards, parasitism by D. tasmanica was significantly lower on M. insulare than on the other three host-plant species, but the parasitism rates were similar among the other three plant species. Our results indicate that plants play a role in the habitat preferences of these two parasitoid species by influencing their foraging behavior, and are likely to contribute to their distributions among habitats. PMID

  14. The Parameters Affecting the Success of Irrigation and Debridement with Component Retention in the Treatment of Acutely Infected Total Knee Arthroplasty

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jae Gyoon; Bae, Ji Hoon; Lee, Seung Yup; Cho, Won Tae

    2015-01-01

    Background The aims of our study were to evaluate the success rate of irrigation and debridement with component retention (IDCR) for acutely infected total knee arthroplasty (TKA) (< 4 weeks of symptom duration) and to analyze the factors affecting prognosis of IDCR. Methods We retrospectively reviewed 28 knees treated by IDCR for acutely infected TKA from 2003 to 2012. We evaluated the success rate of IDCR. All variables were compared between the success and failure groups. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was also used to examine the relative contribution of these parameters to the success of IDCR. Results Seventeen knees (60.7%) were successfully treated. Between the success and failure groups, there were significant differences in the time from primary TKA to IDCR (p = 0.021), the preoperative erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR; p = 0.021), microorganism (p = 0.006), and polyethylene liner exchange (p = 0.017). Multivariable logistic regression analysis of parameters affecting the success of IDCR demonstrated that preoperative ESR (odds ratio [OR], 1.02; p = 0.041), microorganism (OR, 12.4; p = 0.006), and polyethylene liner exchange (OR, 0.07; p = 0.021) were significant parameters. Conclusions The results show that 60.7% of the cases were successfully treated by IDCR for acutely infected TKA. The preoperative ESR, microorganism, and polyethylene liner exchange were factors that affected the success of IDCR in acutely infected TKA. PMID:25729521

  15. Fine-scale thermal adaptation in a green turtle nesting population

    PubMed Central

    Weber, Sam B.; Broderick, Annette C.; Groothuis, Ton G. G.; Ellick, Jacqui; Godley, Brendan J.; Blount, Jonathan D.

    2012-01-01

    The effect of climate warming on the reproductive success of ectothermic animals is currently a subject of major conservation concern. However, for many threatened species, we still know surprisingly little about the extent of naturally occurring adaptive variation in heat-tolerance. Here, we show that the thermal tolerances of green turtle (Chelonia mydas) embryos in a single, island-breeding population have diverged in response to the contrasting incubation temperatures of nesting beaches just a few kilometres apart. In natural nests and in a common-garden rearing experiment, the offspring of females nesting on a naturally hot (black sand) beach survived better and grew larger at hot incubation temperatures compared with the offspring of females nesting on a cooler (pale sand) beach nearby. These differences were owing to shallower thermal reaction norms in the hot beach population, rather than shifts in thermal optima, and could not be explained by egg-mediated maternal effects. Our results suggest that marine turtle nesting behaviour can drive adaptive differentiation at remarkably fine spatial scales, and have important implications for how we define conservation units for protection. In particular, previous studies may have underestimated the extent of adaptive structuring in marine turtle populations that may significantly affect their capacity to respond to environmental change. PMID:21937495

  16. Feathering Your Nest

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nabors, Martha L.; Edwards, Linda Carol; Decker, Suzanne

    2010-01-01

    The first-grade classroom was like a natural history museum. Bird nests of every shape and size lay on top of bookshelves that lined two walls. Methods students, who were visiting the classroom in preparation for the science lessons they would teach there, were immediately inspired by the collection. They used the collection as a springboard for…

  17. Daily survival rate for nests and chicks of Least Terns (Sternula antillarum) at natural nest sites in South Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, Gillian L.; Sanders, Felicia J.; Gerard, Patrick D.; Jodice, Patrick G.

    2013-01-01

    Although a species of conservation concern, little is known about the reproductive success of Least Terns (Sternula antillarum) throughout the southeastern USA where availability of natural beaches for nesting is limited. Daily survival rate (DSR) of nests and chicks was examined at four natural nesting sites in Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, South Carolina, 2009–2010. Measures of nest success (n = 257 nests) ranged from 0–93% among colony sites. The DSR of nests was primarily related to colony site, but year and estimates of predation risk also were related to DSR. Predation was the principal cause of identifiable nest loss, accounting for 47% of nest failures when the two years of data were pooled. The probability (± SE) of a chick surviving from hatching to fledging = 0.449 ± 0.01 (n = 92 chicks). DSR of chicks was negatively related to tide height and rainfall. Therefore, productivity of Least Terns is being lost during both the nesting and chick stage through a combination of biotic and abiotic factors that may prove difficult to fully mitigate or manage. Although natural nesting sites within Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge intermittently produce successful nests, the consistency of productivity over the long term is still unknown. Given that the long term availability of anthropogenic nest sites (e.g., rooftops, dredge-spoil islands) for Least Terns is questionable, further research is required both locally and throughout the region to assess the extent to which natural sites act as population sources or sinks.

  18. Fiber Tracking Cylinder Nesting

    SciTech Connect

    Stredde, H.; /Fermilab

    1999-03-30

    The fiber tracker consists of 8 concentric carbon fiber cylinders of varying diameters, from 399mm to 1032.2mm and two different lengths. 1.66 and 2.52 meters. Each completed cylinder is covered over the entire o.d. with scintillating fiber ribbons with a connector on each ribbon. These ribbons are axial (parallel to the beam line) at one end and stereo (at 3 deg. to the beam line) at the other. The ribbon connectors have dowel pins which are used to match with the connectors on the wave guide ribbons. These dowel pins are also used during the nesting operation, locating and positioning measurements. The nesting operation is the insertion of one cylinder into another, aligning them with one another and fastening them together into a homogeneous assembly. For ease of assembly. the nesting operation is accomplished working from largest diameter to smallest. Although the completed assembly of all 8 cylinders glued and bolted together is very stiff. individual cylinders are relatively flexible. Therefore. during this operation, No.8 must be supported in a manner which maintains its integrity and yet allows the insertion of No.7. This is accomplished by essentially building a set of dummy end plates which replicate a No.9 cylinder. These end plates are mounted on a wheeled cart that becomes the nesting cart. Provisions for a protective cover fastened to these rings has been made and will be incorporated in finished product. These covers can be easily removed for access to No.8 and/or the connection of No.8 to No.9. Another wheeled cart, transfer cart, is used to push a completed cylinder into the cylinder(s) already mounted in the nesting cart.

  19. Habitat fragmentation reduces nest survival in an Afrotropical bird community in a biodiversity hotspot

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Newmark, W.D.; Stanley, T.R.

    2011-01-01

    Ecologists have long hypothesized that fragmentation of tropical landscapes reduces avian nest success. However, this hypothesis has not been rigorously assessed because of the difficulty of finding large numbers of well-hidden nests in tropical forests. Here we report that in the East Usambara Mountains in Tanzania, which are part of the Eastern Arc Mountains, a global biodiversity hotspot, that daily nest survival rate and nest success for seven of eight common understory bird species that we examined over a single breeding season were significantly lower in fragmented than in continuous forest, with the odds of nest failure for these seven species ranging from 1.9 to 196.8 times higher in fragmented than continuous forest. Cup-shaped nests were particularly vulnerable in fragments. We then examined over six breeding seasons and 14 study sites in a multivariable survival analysis the influence of landscape structure and nest location on daily nest survival for 13 common species representing 1,272 nests and four nest types (plate, cup, dome, and pouch). Across species and nest types, area, distance of nest to edge, and nest height had a dominant influence on daily nest survival, with area being positively related to nest survival and distance of nest to edge and nest height being both positively and negatively associated with daily nest survival. Our results indicate that multiple environmental factors contribute to reduce nest survival within a tropical understory bird community in a fragmented landscape and that maintaining large continuous forest is important for enhancing nest survival for Afrotropical understory birds.

  20. Breeding Phenology of Birds: Mechanisms Underlying Seasonal Declines in the Risk of Nest Predation

    PubMed Central

    Borgmann, Kathi L.; Conway, Courtney J.; Morrison, Michael L.

    2013-01-01

    Seasonal declines in avian clutch size are well documented, but seasonal variation in other reproductive parameters has received less attention. For example, the probability of complete brood mortality typically explains much of the variation in reproductive success and often varies seasonally, but we know little about the underlying cause of that variation. This oversight is surprising given that nest predation influences many other life-history traits and varies throughout the breeding season in many songbirds. To determine the underlying causes of observed seasonal decreases in risk of nest predation, we modeled nest predation of Dusky Flycatchers (Empidonax oberholseri) in northern California as a function of foliage phenology, energetic demand, developmental stage, conspecific nest density, food availability for nest predators, and nest predator abundance. Seasonal variation in the risk of nest predation was not associated with seasonal changes in energetic demand, conspecific nest density, or predator abundance. Instead, seasonal variation in the risk of nest predation was associated with foliage density (early, but not late, in the breeding season) and seasonal changes in food available to nest predators. Supplemental food provided to nest predators resulted in a numerical response by nest predators, increasing the risk of nest predation at nests that were near supplemental feeders. Our results suggest that seasonal changes in foliage density and factors associated with changes in food availability for nest predators are important drivers of temporal patterns in risk of avian nest predation. PMID:23776566

  1. Concentric Nested Toroidal Inflatable Structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Christopher J.; Raboin, Jasen L.; Spexarth, Gary R.

    2010-01-01

    materials. The minor diameters of the nested toroid can be chosen to partition interior spaces optimally, without necessitating the addition of walls or floors. Inasmuch as the maximum stress in a nested inflatable toroidal structure is a function of its minor diameter and the minor diameter is typically small enough that the load-bearing capability of the structural materials is not exceeded, there is no longer a limit on the outer diameter of the assembly: instead, the assembly can be expanded, without limit, by simply adding concentric inflatable toroidal structures having suitable minor diameters and successively larger major diameters. The minor diameters need not be equal:

  2. Self-perceived successful weight regulators are less affected by self-regulatory depletion in the domain of eating behavior.

    PubMed

    Friese, Malte; Engeler, Michèle; Florack, Arnd

    2015-01-01

    Weight loss and maintenance goals are highly prevalent in many affluent societies, but many weight regulators are not successful in the long term. Research started to reveal psychological mechanisms that help successful weight regulators in being successful. In the present study, we tested the assumption that these mechanisms facilitate successful self-regulation particularly under conditions of self-regulatory depletion. Participants exerted or did not exert self-control in a first task before engaging in a taste test of a tempting but unhealthy food. Participants who had initially exerted self-control ate more than participants in the control condition. This effect was reduced in self-perceived successful weight regulators as compared to perceived unsuccessful self-regulators. A reduced susceptibility to self-regulatory depletion may be an important contributor to long-term weight regulation success in successful weight regulators. PMID:25464058

  3. Woodpigeons nesting in association with hobby falcons: advantages and choice rules.

    PubMed

    Bogliani; Sergio; Tavecchia

    1999-01-01

    Many bird species nest in close association with other bolder and more aggressive birds which provide protection against nest predators. The woodpigeons, Columba palumbus, that nest in poplar plantations in Northern Italy are found almost exclusively clumped around hobby, Falco subbuteo, nests. Woodpigeons settle in the area and build their nests after the hobby has started nesting. We carried out experiments with dummy nests and observations on woodpigeon nests. Dummy woodpigeon nests placed near a hobby's nest suffered less depredation by hooded crows, Corvus corone cornix, than those placed far from it. A logistic regression analysis showed that three variables, hobby nesting stage, distance from the hobby's nest and the hobby's aggressiveness, influenced the probability of nest predation. The degree of protection varied during the hobby's nesting period and was highest when chicks were in the nest. The hobby's aggressiveness against intruders varied both between and within individuals during different nesting phases. The predation rate of dummy nests associated with the falcon was negatively correlated with the aggressiveness score of the hobby during the 6 days of dummy nest exposure. Observations on real nests showed that woodpigeons selected hobbies that had a high fledging success, and a more vigorous defensive behaviour. Clues that would allow woodpigeons to choose the best protector may be early nesting by the hobby and its aggressiveness. Hobbies preyed on adult woodpigeons, but the risk incurred by the woodpigeons was low compared with the very high risk of nest predation in this area. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:10053079

  4. Constraints on nest site selection: a comparison of predator and flood avoidance in four species of marsh-nesting birds (genera: Catoptrophorus, Larus, Rallus, and Sterna).

    PubMed

    Storey, A E; Montevecchi, W A; Andrews, H F; Sims, N

    1988-03-01

    Nest site characteristics associated with flood and predator avoidance were compared for four nonpasserine species of marsh-nesting birds: clapper rails, willets, laughing gulls, and common terns. Species with short nests, willets and terns, minimized flood damage by nesting on higher ground than did gulls and rails that build tall nests. Species with dispersed, cryptic nests had taller surrounding grass than did open-nesting colonial species. Total nest height was similar for species with tall nests and for terns whose short nests were elevated by placement on mats of dead Spartina grass. Willets had lower nest heights than the other species, probably because the inverse relation between grass height and ground height in the salt marsh makes it difficult for willets to find sites with high enough ground for flood avoidance while still retaining high enough grass for nest crypticity. Ground height for common terns and grass height for gulls and rails appear to be cues used in nest site selection. Nests of each species in which these characteristics were maximized were more successful in a major tidal flood. Laughing gulls and clapper rails appear to be more specialized salt marsh nesters than the other two species. PMID:3365941

  5. Nested Hierarchical Dirichlet Processes.

    PubMed

    Paisley, John; Wang, Chong; Blei, David M; Jordan, Michael I

    2015-02-01

    We develop a nested hierarchical Dirichlet process (nHDP) for hierarchical topic modeling. The nHDP generalizes the nested Chinese restaurant process (nCRP) to allow each word to follow its own path to a topic node according to a per-document distribution over the paths on a shared tree. This alleviates the rigid, single-path formulation assumed by the nCRP, allowing documents to easily express complex thematic borrowings. We derive a stochastic variational inference algorithm for the model, which enables efficient inference for massive collections of text documents. We demonstrate our algorithm on 1.8 million documents from The New York Times and 2.7 million documents from Wikipedia. PMID:26353240

  6. Parental investment decisions in response to ambient nest-predation risk versus actual predation on the prior nest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chalfoun, A.D.; Martin, T.E.

    2010-01-01

    Theory predicts that parents should invest less in dependent offspring with lower reproductive value, such as those with a high risk of predation. Moreover, high predation risk can favor reduced parental activity when such activity attracts nest predators. Yet, the ability of parents to assess ambient nest-predation risk and respond adaptively remains unclear, especially where nest-predator assemblages are diverse and potentially difficult to assess. We tested whether variation in parental investment by a multi-brooded songbird (Brewer's Sparrow, Spizella breweri) in an environment (sagebrush steppe) with diverse predators was predicted by ambient nest-predation risk or direct experience with nest predation. Variation among eight sites in ambient nest-predation risk, assayed by daily probabilities of nest predation, was largely uncorrelated across four years. In this system risk may therefore be unpredictable, and aspects of parental investment (clutch size, egg mass, incubation rhythms, nestling-feeding rates) were not related to ambient risk. Moreover, investment at first nests that were successful did not differ from that at nests that were depredated, suggesting parents could not assess and respond to territorylevel nest-predation risk. However, parents whose nests were depredated reduced clutch sizes and activity at nests attempted later in the season by increasing the length of incubation shifts (on-bouts) and recesses (off-bouts) and decreasing trips to feed nestlings. In this unpredictable environment parent birds may therefore lack sufficient cues of ambient risk on which to base their investment decisions and instead rely on direct experience with nest predation to inform at least some of their decisions. ?? 2010 The Cooper Ornithological Society.

  7. Nest fidelity is driven by multi-scale information in a long-lived seabird.

    PubMed

    Robert, Alexandre; Paiva, Vítor H; Bolton, Mark; Jiguet, Frédéric; Bried, Joël

    2014-10-22

    Although the reproductive success of most organisms depends on factors acting at several spatial scales, little is known about how organisms are able to synthesize multi-scale information to optimize reproduction. Using longitudinal data from a long-lived seabird, Monteiro's storm-petrel, we show that average breeding success is strongly related to oceanic conditions at the population level, and we postulate that (i) individuals use proximal information (their own reproduction outcome in year t) to assess the qualities of their mate and nest and to decide to retain them or not in year t + 1; (ii) the intensity of these responses depends on the quality of the oceanic environment in year t, which affects the predictability of reproduction outcome in year t + 1. Our results confirm that mate and nest fidelities are higher following successful reproduction and that the relationship between the success of a given pair and subsequent nest fidelity is stronger in years with unfavourable oceanic conditions, suggesting that individuals rely on distant information to modulate their use of proximal information and adjust their breeding strategy. PMID:25209940

  8. Nest fidelity is driven by multi-scale information in a long-lived seabird

    PubMed Central

    Robert, Alexandre; Paiva, Vítor H.; Bolton, Mark; Jiguet, Frédéric; Bried, Joël

    2014-01-01

    Although the reproductive success of most organisms depends on factors acting at several spatial scales, little is known about how organisms are able to synthesize multi-scale information to optimize reproduction. Using longitudinal data from a long-lived seabird, Monteiro's storm-petrel, we show that average breeding success is strongly related to oceanic conditions at the population level, and we postulate that (i) individuals use proximal information (their own reproduction outcome in year t) to assess the qualities of their mate and nest and to decide to retain them or not in year t + 1; (ii) the intensity of these responses depends on the quality of the oceanic environment in year t, which affects the predictability of reproduction outcome in year t + 1. Our results confirm that mate and nest fidelities are higher following successful reproduction and that the relationship between the success of a given pair and subsequent nest fidelity is stronger in years with unfavourable oceanic conditions, suggesting that individuals rely on distant information to modulate their use of proximal information and adjust their breeding strategy. PMID:25209940

  9. PyNEST: A Convenient Interface to the NEST Simulator

    PubMed Central

    Eppler, Jochen Martin; Helias, Moritz; Muller, Eilif; Diesmann, Markus; Gewaltig, Marc-Oliver

    2008-01-01

    The neural simulation tool NEST (http://www.nest-initiative.org) is a simulator for heterogeneous networks of point neurons or neurons with a small number of compartments. It aims at simulations of large neural systems with more than 104 neurons and 107 to 109 synapses. NEST is implemented in C++ and can be used on a large range of architectures from single-core laptops over multi-core desktop computers to super-computers with thousands of processor cores. Python (http://www.python.org) is a modern programming language that has recently received considerable attention in Computational Neuroscience. Python is easy to learn and has many extension modules for scientific computing (e.g. http://www.scipy.org). In this contribution we describe PyNEST, the new user interface to NEST. PyNEST combines NEST's efficient simulation kernel with the simplicity and flexibility of Python. Compared to NEST's native simulation language SLI, PyNEST makes it easier to set up simulations, generate stimuli, and analyze simulation results. We describe how PyNEST connects NEST and Python and how it is implemented. With a number of examples, we illustrate how it is used. PMID:19198667

  10. PyNEST: A Convenient Interface to the NEST Simulator.

    PubMed

    Eppler, Jochen Martin; Helias, Moritz; Muller, Eilif; Diesmann, Markus; Gewaltig, Marc-Oliver

    2008-01-01

    The neural simulation tool NEST (http://www.nest-initiative.org) is a simulator for heterogeneous networks of point neurons or neurons with a small number of compartments. It aims at simulations of large neural systems with more than 10(4) neurons and 10(7) to 10(9) synapses. NEST is implemented in C++ and can be used on a large range of architectures from single-core laptops over multi-core desktop computers to super-computers with thousands of processor cores. Python (http://www.python.org) is a modern programming language that has recently received considerable attention in Computational Neuroscience. Python is easy to learn and has many extension modules for scientific computing (e.g. http://www.scipy.org). In this contribution we describe PyNEST, the new user interface to NEST. PyNEST combines NEST's efficient simulation kernel with the simplicity and flexibility of Python. Compared to NEST's native simulation language SLI, PyNEST makes it easier to set up simulations, generate stimuli, and analyze simulation results. We describe how PyNEST connects NEST and Python and how it is implemented. With a number of examples, we illustrate how it is used. PMID:19198667

  11. Nest ectoparasites increase physiological stress in breeding birds: an experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martínez-de La Puente, Josué; Merino, Santiago; Tomás, Gustavo; Moreno, Juan; Morales, Judith; Lobato, Elisa; Martínez, Javier

    2011-02-01

    Parasites are undoubtedly a biotic factor that produces stress. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are important molecules buffering cellular damage under adverse conditions. During the breeding season, blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus (L.) adults are affected by blood parasites, nest-dwelling parasites and biting flies, potentially affecting their HSP-mediated responses. Here, we treated females with primaquine to reduce blood parasites and fumigated nests with permethrin to reduce nest-dwelling parasites to test whether these treatments affect HSP60 level during the breeding season. Medicated females, but not controls, had a significant reduction of the intensity of infection by Haemoproteus spp. blood parasites. However, final intensity of infection did not differ significantly between groups, and we did not find an effect of medication on change in HSP60 level. Fumigation reduced the abundance of nest-dwelling parasites (mites, fleas and blowfly larvae) and engorged biting midges in nests. Females breeding in non-fumigated nests increased HSP60 levels during the season more than those breeding in fumigated nests. Furthermore, the change in HSP60 level was positively correlated with the abundance of biting midges. These results show how infections by nest ectoparasites during the breeding period can increase the level of HSPs and suggest that biting midges impose physiological costs on breeding female blue tits. Although plausible, the alternative that biting midges prefer to feed on more stressed birds is poorly supported by previous studies.

  12. Effects of recreational river traffic on nest defense by longear sunfish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mueller, Gordon

    1980-01-01

    An underwater camera system was designed to record the behavior of male nest-guarding longear sunfish (Lepomis megalotus) during periods of boating activity. Boats traveling at slow speeds near nests usually drove males from their nests, increasing the likelihood of egg predation. Boats moving at higher speeds or further from nests caused little or no displacement of males, but increased turbidity and possible success of predators. Location of a nest near cover increased the male's ability to protect his nest during repeated surface disturbances.

  13. Coping with Shifting Nest Predation Refuges by European Reed Warblers Acrocephalus scirpaceus

    PubMed Central

    Halupka, Lucyna; Halupka, Konrad; Klimczuk, Ewelina; Sztwiertnia, Hanna

    2014-01-01

    Predation, the most important source of nest mortality in altricial birds, has been a subject of numerous studies during past decades. However, the temporal dynamics between changing predation pressures and parental responses remain poorly understood. We analysed characteristics of 524 nests of European reed warblers monitored during six consecutive breeding seasons in the same area, and found some support for the shifting nest predation refuge hypothesis. Nest site characteristics were correlated with nest fate, but a nest with the same nest-site attributes could be relatively safe in one season and vulnerable to predation in another. Thus nest predation refuges were ephemeral and there was no between-season consistency in nest predation patterns. Reed warblers that lost their first nests in a given season did not disperse farther for the subsequent reproductive attempt, compared to successful individuals, but they introduced more changes to their second nest sites. In subsequent nests, predation risk remained constant for birds that changed nest-site characteristics, but increased for those that did not. At the between-season temporal scale, individual birds did not perform better with age in terms of reducing nest predation risk. We conclude that the experience acquired in previous years may not be useful, given that nest predation refuges are not stable. PMID:25522327

  14. Predators of Greater Sage-Grouse nests identified by video monitoring

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coates, P.S.; Connelly, J.W.; Delehanty, D.J.

    2008-01-01

    Nest predation is the primary cause of nest failure for Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), but the identity of their nest predators is often uncertain. Confirming the identity of these predators may be useful in enhancing management strategies designed to increase nest success. From 2002 to 2005, we monitored 87 Greater Sage-Grouse nests (camera, N = 55; no camera, N = 32) in northeastern Nevada and south-central Idaho and identified predators at 17 nests, with Common Ravens (Corvus corax) preying on eggs at 10 nests and American badgers (Taxidea taxis) at seven. Rodents were frequently observed at grouse nests, but did not prey on grouse eggs. Because sign left by ravens and badgers was often indistinguishable following nest predation, identifying nest predators based on egg removal, the presence of egg shells, or other sign was not possible. Most predation occurred when females were on nests. Active nest defense by grouse was rare and always unsuccessful. Continuous video monitoring of Sage-Grouse nests permitted unambiguous identification of nest predators. Additional monitoring studies could help improve our understanding of the causes of Sage-Grouse nest failure in the face of land-use changes in the Intermountain West. ?? 2008 Association of Field Ornithologists.

  15. Duck nesting in intensively farmed areas of North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Higgins, K.F.

    1977-01-01

    A study to determine the major factors limiting duck nesting and production on intensively farmed areas in eastern North Dakota was conducted from 1969 through 1974. A total of 186 duck nests was found during searches on 6,018 ha of upland. Nest density per km2 for 5 major habitat types was 20.2 in untilled upland, 3.7 in standing grain stubble, 1.6 in mulched grain stubble, 1.2 in summer fallow, and 1.1 in growing grain. Pintails (Anas acuta) nested in cultivated cropland types in greater prevalence than other duck species. Nest densities were 12 times greater on untilled upland (20.2/km2) than on annually tilled cropland (1.7/km2), and hatched-clutch densities were 16 times greater on untilled upland (4.8/km2) than on annually tilled cropland (0.3/km2). Hatching success was greater on untilled upland (25%) than on tilled cropland (17%). Of 186 nests found, 77 percent did not hatch; 76 percent of the failures were attributed to predators and 19 percent to farming operations. Poor quality nesting cover, the result of intensive land use practices, and nesting failures caused by machinery and predators mainly mammals, were the principal factors limiting duck nesting and production on intensively farmed areas.

  16. Nesting biology of laughing gulls Larus atricilla in relation to agricultural chemicals in south Texas USA 1978-1981

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, D.H.; Mitchell, C.A.; Prouty, R.M.

    1983-01-01

    Various aspects of the breeding biology of Laughing Gulls (Larus atricilla) have been studied extensively in Florida (Dinsmore and Schreiber 1974, Schreiber et al. 1979, Schreiber and Schreiber 1980), New Jersey (Bongiorno 1970, Burger and Beer 1976, Burger 1976, Montevecchi 1978), and Massachusetts (Noble and Wurm 1943), but little is known of their yearly fledging success in Texas or elsewhere. The Laughing Gull is a common colonial nester along most of the Texas coast, second only to the Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) in breeding abundance; however, the Laughing Gull may be threatened in Texas because of suspected declines at certain traditional nesting locales (Blacklock et al. 1979). Since Laughing Gulls often nest in proximity to agricultural and industrial areas, we were concerned that environmental pollutants might be adversely affecting productivity. In 1978-1981 we conducted studies along the south Texas coast to learn more about the nesting ecology of Laughing Gulls and to evaluate the effects of environmental contaminants on reproduction.

  17. Large increase in nest size linked to climate change: an indicator of life history, senescence and condition.

    PubMed

    Møller, Anders Pape; Nielsen, Jan Tøttrup

    2015-11-01

    Many animals build extravagant nests that exceed the size required for successful reproduction. Large nests may signal the parenting ability of nest builders suggesting that nests may have a signaling function. In particular, many raptors build very large nests for their body size. We studied nest size in the goshawk Accipiter gentilis, which is a top predator throughout most of the Nearctic. Both males and females build nests, and males provision their females and offspring with food. Nest volume in the goshawk is almost three-fold larger than predicted from their body size. Nest size in the goshawk is highly variable and may reach more than 600 kg for a bird that weighs ca. 1 kg. While 8.5% of nests fell down, smaller nests fell down more often than large nests. There was a hump-shaped relationship between nest volume and female age, with a decline in nest volume late in life, as expected for senescence. Clutch size increased with nest volume. Nest volume increased during 1977-2014 in an accelerating fashion, linked to increasing spring temperature during April, when goshawks build and start reproduction. These findings are consistent with nest size being a reliable signal of parental ability, with large nest size signaling superior parenting ability and senescence, and also indicating climate warming. PMID:26154876

  18. Does catch and release affect the mating system and individual reproductive success of wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.)?

    PubMed

    Richard, Antoine; Dionne, Mélanie; Wang, Jinliang; Bernatchez, Louis

    2013-01-01

    In this study, we documented the breeding system of a wild population of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) by genetically sampling every returning adult and assessed the determinants of individual fitness. We then quantified the impacts of catch and release (C&R) on mating and reproductive success. Both sexes showed high variance in individual reproductive success, and the estimated standardized variance was higher for males (2.86) than for females (0.73). We found a weak positive relationship between body size and fitness and observed that fitness was positively correlated with the number of mates, especially in males. Mature male parr sired 44% of the analysed offspring. The impact of C&R on the number of offspring was size dependent, as the reproductive success of larger fish was more impaired than smaller ones. Also, there was an interactive negative effect of water temperature and air exposure time on reproductive success of C&R salmon. This study improves our understanding of the complex reproductive biology of the Atlantic salmon and is the first to investigate the impact of C&R on reproductive success. Our study expands the management toolbox of appropriate C&R practices that promote conservation of salmon populations and limit negative impacts on mating and reproductive success. PMID:23163395

  19. Nesting of the masked booby on the Dry Tortugas, Florida: The first record for the contiguous United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clapp, R.B.; Robertson, W.R., Jr.

    1986-01-01

    In both 1984 and 1985 Masked Boobies (Sula dactylatra) attempted to nest on sandy islets at the Dry Tortugas, Florida. Nesting attempts failed because the nest sites were washed away by summer storms. It seems likely that this species will eventually nest there successfully and will establish a small breeding population. This is the first documented nesting by this species in the contiguous United States.

  20. Achieving the Dream in Connecticut: State Policies Affecting Access to, and Success in, Community Colleges for Students of Color and Low-Income Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dougherty, Kevin J.; Reid, Monica

    2006-01-01

    This report provides an audit of state policies in Connecticut affecting access to, and success in, community colleges for students of color and low-income students. It was commissioned by Lumina Foundation for Education as part of a series of policy audits of the states involved in Achieving the Dream. Lumina Foundation is the primary funder of…

  1. Achieving the Dream in Ohio: State Policies Affecting Access to, and Success in, Community Colleges for Students of Color and Low-Income Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dougherty, Kevin J.; Marshall, James; Soonachan, Andrea

    2006-01-01

    This report provides an audit of state policies in Ohio affecting access to, and success in, community colleges for students of color and low-income students. It was commissioned by Lumina Foundation for Education as part of a series of policy audits of the states involved in Achieving the Dream. Lumina Foundation is the primary funder of the…

  2. Neste plans three projects

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-02-03

    Neste Chemicals (Helsinki) is discussing three joint ventures with local authorities in China, says Mikko Haapavaara, v.p./Asia. The projects should help the Finnish producer to increase sales in Asia by a considerable amount by 2000, he says. The plan involves production of polyethylene (PE), unsaturated polyester resins and PE compounding-all core operations. Sites have not been selected, but Shanghai is the favored location for the PE operations. The company is also looking at a site in the south, near Hong Kong, and at locations near Beijing. The PE plant would need to be near an ethylene unit, says Haapavaara. The PE resin plant would be designed to produce about 150,000 m.t./year and would cost about No. 150 million. A part of the output would need to be exported to take care of the financing, the company says. A feasibility study now under way with the potential Chinese partners should be completed by the end of March. The plant would use Neste's linear low-density PE process, proved in a world-scale plant at Beringen, Belgium. The compounding units would produce specialty PE material for the wire and cable and pipe industry. The company is a joint venture partner in a propane dehydrogenation/polypropylene (PP) plant and a minority partner in a Qualipoly, the 20,000 m.t./year unsaturated polyester resin producer.

  3. Female access and diet affect insemination success, senescence, and the cost of reproduction in male Mexican fruit flies Anastrepha ludens

    PubMed Central

    HARWOOD, JAMES F.; CHEN, KEHUI; LIEDO, PABLO; MÜLLER, HANS-GEORG; WANG, JANE-LING; MORICE, AMY E.; CAREY, JAMES R.

    2014-01-01

    Hypotheses exploring the influence of dietary conditions on the life history trade-off between survival and reproductive success are extensively tested in female insects, but are rarely explored in males. Here, the impact of dietary quality and female access on age-specific reproduction and survival of male Mexican fruit flies, Anastrepha ludens Loew (Diptera: Tephritidae), are examined. There is a clear cost of female access for males with access to dietary protein, measurable as a decrease in life expectancy, which is further influenced by the age when females are introduced. A protein deficient diet reduces the lifespan benefit of virginity and masks the detrimental effect of female access on male life expectancy. Dietary protein is not necessary for reproductive success, but access to protein at eclosion improves the lifetime reproductive success of males compared to when it is delayed. Overall, reproductive success diminishes as the male flies age, regardless of the dietary conditions, providing evidence for reproductive senescence in males. Delaying the males’ access to a protein source fails to influence the negative effect of age on reproductive ability. Because age specific reproductive rates decline with age, regardless of diet, male fitness does not benefit from lifespan extension. Therefore, males can be expected to allocate available resources towards reproductive effort in favour of extended lifespan, regardless of mate and protein availability. PMID:25709143

  4. Factors Affecting Burnout and School Engagement among High School Students: Study Habits, Self- Efficacy Beliefs, and Academic Success

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bilge, Filiz; Tuzgol Dost, Meliha; Cetin, Bayram

    2014-01-01

    This study examines high school students' levels of burnout and school engagement with respect to academic success, study habits, and self-efficacy beliefs. The data were gathered during the 2011-2012 school year from 633 students attending six high schools located in Ankara, Turkey. The analyses were conducted on responses from 605 students.…

  5. Predator identity influences the effect of habitat management on nest predation.

    PubMed

    Lyons, Timothy P; Miller, James R; Debinski, Diane M; Engle, David M

    2015-09-01

    Predation is the leading cause of nest failure for many passerines and considerable effort is devoted to identifying the habitat characteristics and management practices that influence nest loss. The habitat components associated with nest loss are strongly influenced by the ecology of nest predators and differ among predator species as a result. Nevertheless, there is a tendency to generalize about the effects of habitat features and management on nest failure without considering how resulting patterns are influenced by nest predators. We examined how predator-specific patterns of nest loss differed among predators and in response to grassland management with fire and grazing by cattle (Bos taurus). We used video cameras to monitor and identify predators at nests of the Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), a species of conservation concern throughout its range. We observed predation by 15 different species that differed in their response to management and the habitat characteristics associated with nests they preyed on. Losses to mammals and snakes were more likely at nests with greater amounts of litter cover and tall fescue (Schedonorus phoenix). Mammals were less likely to prey on nests surrounded by greater forb cover. Nest predation by snakes was lower in burned areas, whereas predation by mammals and Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) was unaffected by the use of fire. Neither vegetation density at the nest, nor landscape context was related to nest loss by any predator taxon. Although there were many similarities, we identified important differences in the species composing the nest predator community between our. study and other published research. These differences are likely to be responsible for geographic variation in the influence of habitat features and management actions on nest success. Our results demonstrate the need for natural resource managers to incorporate knowledge of local nest predators and their ecology when developing

  6. Time-lapse video sysem used to study nesting gyrfalcons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Booms, Travis; Fuller, Mark R.

    2003-01-01

    We used solar-powered time-lapse video photography to document nesting Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) food habits in central West Greenland from May to July in 2000 and 2001. We collected 2677.25 h of videotape from three nests, representing 94, 87, and 49% of the nestling period at each nest. The video recorded 921 deliveries of 832 prey items. We placed 95% of the items into prey categories. The image quality was good but did not reveal enough detail to identify most passerines to species. We found no evidence that Gyrfalcons were negatively affected by the video system after the initial camera set-up. The video system experienced some mechanical problems but proved reliable. The system likely can be used to effectively document the food habits and nesting behavior of other birds, especially those delivering large prey to a nest or other frequently used site.

  7. Inflatable nested toroid structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Christopher J. (Inventor); Raboin, Jasen L. (Inventor); Spexarth, Gary R. (Inventor)

    2011-01-01

    An inflatable structure comprises at least two generally toroidal, inflatable modules. When in a deployed mode, the first, inner module has a major diameter less than that of a second, outer module and is positioned within the inner circumference of the outer module such that the first module is nested circumferentially alongside the second module. The inflatable structure, in a non-deployed, non-inflated mode, is of compact configuration and adapted to be transported to a site of deployment. When deployed, the inflatable structure is of substantially increased interior volume. In one embodiment, access between the interior of the first module and the second module is provided by at least one port or structural pass-through. In another embodiment, the inflatable structure includes at least one additional generally toroidal module external of and circumferentially surrounding the second module.

  8. A spatial model of waterfowl nest site selection in grassland nesting cover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pool, Duane Bruce

    Ducks Unlimited's (DU) mission statement is focused on providing for the annual lifecycle needs of migratory waterfowl. The largest impacts to the success and numbers of continental populations are determined by their activities on the breeding grounds. To model and therefore manage habitats and landscapes for ducks (Anas and Aythya spp.) it is necessary to understand several characteristics of their behavior. This research builds a model of nest site selection from nest probability based on remotely sensed data, presence data and minimum threshold theory. The methods used are applicable to other sensor platforms as well as other target species or phenomenon. Using data compression techniques, logistic regression, and spatial statistical functions (Ripley's k-function, a global k-function, and Multiple Response Permutation Procedure) we tested the observed point patterns and developed a point process model to predict nesting patterns. The application of this type of fine resolution database, validated by empirical data, will be more powerful than either classified remote sensing data or field level nest demographic data alone. In the largest of the five study sites, which was also the site with the greatest number of observations, the pattern of nests were significantly different from Poisson. The model developed to fit these data was tested using the other sites and the observed data on the other four sites were not shown to be significantly different from the model. The tests for spatial association showed some evidence negative association between Blue-winged Teal and Gadwall as well as between successful and unsuccessful nest. There is some evidence that a process of natural selection may exist and the future studies should be designed with this in mind. These data will be used as a baseline for future habitat manipulation and controlled experiments on the DU Goebel Ranch complex. The results of this and future studies will be used as the basis for DU strategic

  9. Neighbours' breeding success and the sex ratio of their offspring affect the mate preferences of female zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Drullion, Dominique; Dubois, Frédérique

    2011-01-01

    Several hypotheses on divorce predict that monogamous pairs should split up more frequently after a breeding failure. Yet, deviations from the expected pattern "success-stay, failure-leave" have been reported in several species. One possible explanation for these deviations would be that individuals do not use only their own breeding performance (i.e., private information) but also that of others (i.e., public information) to decide whether or not to divorce. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the relative importance of private and public information for mate choice decisions in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).We manipulated the reproductive performance of breeding pairs and measured females' preferences for their mate and the neighbouring male first following pair formation and then seven weeks later when all females had laid eggs and the young were independent. Although all females reduced their preference for their mate after a breeding failure, the decrease was significant only when the neighbouring pair had reproduced successfully. Furthermore, there was no evidence that females biased the sex ratio of their offspring according to their mate's attractiveness. On the other hand, after reproduction, both successful and unsuccessful females increased their preferences for males who had produced a larger proportion of sons. Despite the fact that other mechanisms may have also contributed to our findings, we suggest that females changed their mate preferences based on the proportion of sons produced by successful males, because offspring sex ratio reflects the male's testosterone level at the moment of fertilization and hence is an indicator of his immune condition. PMID:22216351

  10. Neighbours' Breeding Success and the Sex Ratio of Their Offspring Affect the Mate Preferences of Female Zebra Finches

    PubMed Central

    Drullion, Dominique; Dubois, Frédérique

    2011-01-01

    Several hypotheses on divorce predict that monogamous pairs should split up more frequently after a breeding failure. Yet, deviations from the expected pattern “success-stay, failure-leave” have been reported in several species. One possible explanation for these deviations would be that individuals do not use only their own breeding performance (i.e., private information) but also that of others (i.e., public information) to decide whether or not to divorce. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the relative importance of private and public information for mate choice decisions in female zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata).We manipulated the reproductive performance of breeding pairs and measured females' preferences for their mate and the neighbouring male first following pair formation and then seven weeks later when all females had laid eggs and the young were independent. Although all females reduced their preference for their mate after a breeding failure, the decrease was significant only when the neighbouring pair had reproduced successfully. Furthermore, there was no evidence that females biased the sex ratio of their offspring according to their mate's attractiveness. On the other hand, after reproduction, both successful and unsuccessful females increased their preferences for males who had produced a larger proportion of sons. Despite the fact that other mechanisms may have also contributed to our findings, we suggest that females changed their mate preferences based on the proportion of sons produced by successful males, because offspring sex ratio reflects the male's testosterone level at the moment of fertilization and hence is an indicator of his immune condition. PMID:22216351

  11. Analysis of Affective Instability in Ecological Momentary Assessment: Indices Using Successive Difference and Group Comparison via Multilevel Modeling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jahng, Seungmin; Wood, Phillip K.; Trull, Timothy J.

    2008-01-01

    Temporal instability of affect is a defining characteristic of psychological disorders such as borderline personality disorder (BPD) and mood cycling disorders. Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) enables researchers to directly assess such frequent and extreme fluctuations over time. The authors examined 4 operationalizations of such temporal…

  12. Nested Graft for Acral Lichen Sclerosus of the Feet: A Surgical Treatment for an Inflammatory Disease

    PubMed Central

    Monari, Paola; Pelizzari, Laura; Cammalleri, Daniele; Calzavara-Pinton, Piergiacomo

    2016-01-01

    Summary: The “nested graft” is an innovative and well-defined surgical technique used for chronic wound healing that induces the de-senescence of fibroblasts in the wound bed. We report a case of a 76-year-old man affected by plantar chronic wounds because of acral lichen sclerosus and atrophicus localized at both feet and treated for many years successfully with immunosuppressive agents. For cardiological dysfunction, systemic therapy was reduced to low dosage of steroids with an increase of ulcerations (5 × 2 cm). So we decided to perform the nested graft on the plantar region. After the surgical procedure, all the grafted ulcers healed, and at a 4-month follow-up, no signs of lichen sclerosus were present. PMID:27257563

  13. High-tech or field techs: Radio-telemetry is a cost-effective method for reducing bias in songbird nest searching

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterson, Sean M.; Streby, Henry M.; Lehman, Justin A.; Kramer, Gunnar R.; Fish, Alexander C.; Andersen, David E.

    2015-01-01

    We compared the efficacy of standard nest-searching methods with finding nests via radio-tagged birds to assess how search technique influenced our determination of nest-site characteristics and nest success for Golden-winged Warblers (Vermivora chrysoptera). We also evaluated the cost-effectiveness of using radio-tagged birds to find nests. Using standard nest-searching techniques for 3 populations, we found 111 nests in locations with habitat characteristics similar to those described in previous studies: edges between forest and relatively open areas of early successional vegetation or shrubby wetlands, with 43% within 5 m of forest edge. The 83 nests found using telemetry were about half as likely (23%) to be within 5 m of forest edge. We spent little time searching >25 m into forest because published reports state that Golden-winged Warblers do not nest there. However, 14 nests found using telemetry (18%) were >25 m into forest. We modeled nest success using nest-searching method, nest age, and distance to forest edge as explanatory variables. Nest-searching method explained nest success better than nest age alone; we estimated that nests found using telemetry were 10% more likely to fledge young than nests found using standard nest-searching methods. Although radio-telemetry was more expensive than standard nest searching, the cost-effectiveness of both methods differed depending on searcher experience, amount of equipment owned, and bird population density. Our results demonstrate that telemetry can be an effective method for reducing bias in Golden-winged Warbler nest samples, can be cost competitive with standard nest-searching methods in some situations, and is likely to be a useful approach for finding nests of other forest-nesting songbirds.

  14. Water-vapor pressure in nests of the San Miguel Island Song Sparrow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kern, Michael D.; Sogge, Mark K.; van Riper, Charles, III

    1990-01-01

    The water-vapor pressure (PN) in nests of the San Miguel Island race of Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia micronyx) averaged 16 torr, but varied considerable between nests and within individual nests during successive days of incubation. Large daily fluctuations occurred throughout the incubation period and did not parallel concurrent changes in ambien vapor pressure (P1). Daily rates of water loss from nest eggs (MH2O) averaged 28 mg day-1, but also varied considerable within and between nests and did not correlate with changes in P1. MH2O increased 6-33% after the third day of incubation. PN was significantly higher and MH2O significantly lower in nests located in sheltered gullies than in nests from a windswept slope. These data suggest that Song Sparrows do not regulate PN to achieve hatching success.

  15. Could autonomous motivation hold the key to successfully implementing lifestyle changes in affective disorders? A multicentre cross sectional study.

    PubMed

    Vancampfort, Davy; Madou, Tomas; Moens, Herman; De Backer, Tanja; Vanhalst, Patrick; Helon, Chris; Naert, Pieter; Rosenbaum, Simon; Stubbs, Brendon; Probst, Michel

    2015-07-30

    There is a need for theoretically-based research on the motivational processes linked to the adoption and maintenance of an active lifestyle in people with affective disorders. Within the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) framework, we investigated the SDT tenets in people with major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder by examining the factor structure of the Behavioural Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire-2 (BREQ-2) and by investigating associations between motivation, the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS) and International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) scores. A total of 165 patients (105 ♀) (45.6 ± 14.2 years) agreed to participate. An exploratory factor analysis demonstrated sufficient convergence with the original factor for amotivation, and external and introjected regulation. The items of identified and intrinsic regulation loaded on the same factor, which was labelled autonomous regulation. Significant correlations were found between the total IPAQ score and the subscales amotivation, external regulation, introjected regulation and autonomous regulation. The relative autonomy index (RAI) was associated with the PANAS scores. Differences in RAI were found between physically inactive and active participants. Our results suggest that in people with affective disorders the level of autonomous motivation may play an important role in the adoption and maintenance of health promoting behaviours. PMID:25956760

  16. Effects of grazing on nesting by upland sandpipers in southcentral North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowen, B.S.; Kruse, A.D.

    1993-01-01

    Grazing by livestock is often used to reduce litter, improve plant vigor, and alter plant species composition, but additional information is needed on the effects of these management practices on upland-nesting birds. Thus, we conducted an experimental study of the effect of grazing on nest density and nest success of upland sandpipers (Bartramia longicauda) in southcentral North Dakota from 1981 to 1987. Our experimental design consisted of 4 treatments and 1 control, each applied to 1 field in each of 3 study areas. The treatments represented options available to grassland managers: spring grazing, autumn grazing, autumn-and-spring grazing, season-long grazing, and control (ungrazed during the study). Nests (n = 342) were found by searching study areas with a cable-chain drag. Nest density was lower (P = 0.006) for treatments where cattle were present (spring, autumn-and-spring, and season-long) than where cattle were not present (autumn and control) during the nesting season. We concluded that grazing during the nesting season reduced the nest density of upland sandpipers. Nest success varied among years (P = 0.01) and was low in the first year of grazing and higher at the end of the study period. We found little evidence that the grazing treatment influenced nest success. We recommend that public lands with breeding populations of upland sandpipers include a complex of fields under various management practices, including fields undisturbed during the nesting season.

  17. Foam nests provide context-dependent thermal insulation to embryos of three leptodactylid frogs.

    PubMed

    Méndez-Narváez, J; Flechas, S V; Amézquita, A

    2015-01-01

    The choice of adequate breeding habitat and its associated thermoregulatory conditions are thought to be important in the evolution of amphibian reproductive strategies. Among leptodactylid frogs, there is a terrestrial cline in the oviposition sites chosen to build foam nests for eggs. Although several functions have been attributed to foam nests, their role in temperature regulation for embryos is unclear. Here we tested the hypothesis that foam nests buffer embryos from variation in air temperature. We examined the degree of terrestrial nest sites in three species, finding a terrestrial cline of sites in terms of distance from water. We tested whether this nest-insulation effect varied among these species that differ in the degree of terrestrial nest sites and whether translocating nests impacted embryonic mortality. Our results demonstrate a negative effect of translocating aquatic nests to land, inferred from the highest hatching success in natural nests sites. All nests attenuated environmental thermal variation, but more terrestrial nests buffered embryos from a greater range of temperatures than did aquatic ones. Altogether, our data indicate that foam nests insulate embryos from daily temperature fluctuations among leptodactylid frogs with different degrees of terrestrial nests, which may well have contributed to the evolution of this reproductive strategy. PMID:25860824

  18. Site selection and nest survival of the Bar-Headed Goose (Anser indicus) on the Mongolian Plateau

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Batbayar, Nyambayar; Takekawa, John Y.; Natsagdorj, Tseveenmyadag; Spragens, Kyle A.; Xiao, Xiamgming

    2014-01-01

    Waterbirds breeding on the Mongolian Plateau in Central Asia must find suitable wetland areas for nesting in a semiarid region characterized by highly variable water conditions. The first systematic nesting study of a waterbird dependent on this region for breeding was conducted on the Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus). The purpose of this study was to document Bar-headed Goose nesting locations, characterize nests and nesting strategies, and estimate daily nest survival (n = 235 nests) from eight areas of west-central Mongolia across three summers (2009–2011) using a modified Mayfield estimator. Bar-headed Goose daily nest survival ranged from 0.94 to 0.98, with a 3-year average nest success of 42.6% during incubation. Bar-headed Geese were found to primarily nest on isolated pond and lake islands as previously reported, but were also documented regularly, though less frequently, along rocky cliffs in several regions of west-central Mongolia. Daily nest survival was higher for cliff nests than for island nests. Information-theoretic models indicated that nest survival decreased with nest age and varied annually with changing environmental conditions. Results of this study suggest that while Bar-headed Geese primarily rely on nesting island sites these sites may be more susceptible to anthropogenic disturbance and predation events influenced by seasonal variation in environmental conditions, and that higher daily nest survival values documented for the less frequent cliff nest strategy may provide an important alternative strategy during poor island nest success years. Thus, conservation efforts for this and other waterbird species in the semiarid region should be focused on conserving nesting islands and protecting them from disturbance in areas of high livestock densities experiencing a rapidly warming climate.

  19. Nesting ecology of boreal forest birds following a massive outbreak of spruce beetles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Matsuoka, S.M.; Handel, C.M.

    2007-01-01

    We studied breeding dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis), yellow-rumped warblers (Dendroica coronata), and spruce-nesting birds from 1997 to 1998 among forests with different levels of spruce (Picea spp.) mortality following an outbreak of spruce beetles (Dendroctonus rufipennis) in Alaska, USA. We identified species using live and beetle-killed spruce for nest sites and monitored nests to determine how the outbreak influenced avian habitat selection and reproduction. We tested predictions that 1) nesting success of ground-nesting juncos would increase with spruce mortality due to proliferation of understory vegetation available to conceal nests from predators, 2) nesting success of canopy-nesting warblers would decrease with spruce mortality due to fewer live spruce in which to conceal nests, and 3) both species would alter nest-site selection in response to disturbance. Juncos did not benefit from changes in understory vegetation; nesting success in highly disturbed stands (46%) was comparable to that in undisturbed habitats throughout their range. In stands with low spruce mortality, nesting success of juncos was low (5%) and corresponded with high densities of red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). Yellow-rumped warblers nested exclusively in spruce, but success did not vary with spruce mortality. As disturbance increased, nesting warblers switched from selecting forest patches with high densities of live white spruce (Picea glauca) to patches with beetle-killed spruce. Warblers also placed nests in large-diameter live or beetle-killed spruce, depending on which was more abundant in the stand, with no differences in nesting success. Five of the 12 other species of spruce-nesting birds also used beetle-killed spruce as nest sites. Because beetle-killed spruce can remain standing for >50 years, even highly disturbed stands provide an important breeding resource for boreal forest birds. We recommend that boreal forest managers preserve uncut blocks of infested

  20. Nesting ecology and reproductive rate of the red-winged blackbird in tidal marshes of the upper Chesapeake Bay region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meanley, B.; Webb, J.S.

    1963-01-01

    The nesting ecology and reproductive rate of the polygynous red-winged blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus, were studied in the tidal marshes of Maryland during the period of 1958 through 1961. Sixteen nesting colonies were located in six major marsh communities of the Eastern Shore and were visited approximately twice a week from late April to mid-August. The average clutch size for 537 clutches was 3.3 eggs, with a range of 2 to 5 eggs. The ratio of territorial males to nesting females was 1:1.9. There was direct evidence of double broods by four females. The average number of young produced was 4.2 per breeding female or 8.1 per breeding male. Nesting success for the total of 675 active nests was 57%, with a range from 38% to 69% in the colonies. Robust plants that held constant form throughout the nesting season supported 95% of the nests, and the success of these nests was 58%; in contrast, non-robust plants supported only 5% of the nests, and success of this group of nests was only 26%. Nesting success varied with height from ground: 45% for nests less than 2 feet from the ground, 55% for those 2 to 4 feet, and 62% for those more than 4 feet. Histories of 749 nests were summarized by stages: 749 newly built, 675 with eggs, 424 with nestlings, and 388 with fledging young.

  1. Focal metatarsal fistulae syndrome affecting a greyhound dog successfully treated with topical 0.1% tacrolimus ointment.

    PubMed

    Scholz, Fiona M; Muse, Russell; Burrows, Amanda K

    2015-12-01

    Metatarsal fistulation is an uncommon cutaneous condition reported almost exclusively in German shepherd dogs and their cross-breeds. To the best of the authors' knowledge this is the first reported case of focal metatarsal fistulae syndrome affecting a greyhound. Remission was obtained within 6 weeks of commencing treatment using compounded 0.1% tacrolimus ointment twice daily and the dog remained stable for another 6 months with twice weekly application before treatment was discontinued. The dog remained in remission at the time of writing, which is 1 year after treatment withdrawal. PMID:26216245

  2. Depredation of common eider, Somateria mollissima, nests on a central Beaufort Sea barrier island: A case where no one wins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, J.A.; Lacroix, D.L.; Flint, P.L.

    2007-01-01

    Along the central Beaufort Sea, Pacific Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima v-nigra) nest on unvegetated, barrier islands; often near nesting Glaucous Gulls (Larus hyperboreus). Nest-site choice likely reflects a strategy of predator avoidance: nesting on islands to avoid mammalian predators and near territorial gulls to avoid other avian predators. We observed a nesting colony of Common Eiders from first nest initiation through nesting termination on Egg Island near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska (2002 - 2003). Resident gulls depredated many eider nests, mostly during initiation. All nests failed when an Arctic Fox (Alopex lagopus) visited the island and flushed hens from their nests, exposing the eggs to depredation by the fox and gulls (resident and non-resident). Common Eiders actively defended nests from gulls, but not from foxes. Likely all three species (i.e., eiders, gulls, and foxes) ultimately achieved negligible benefit from their nest-site selection or predatory activity: (a) island nesting provided no safety from mammalian predators for eiders or gulls, (b) for Common Eiders, nesting near gulls increased egg loss, (c) for Glaucous Gulls, nesting near colonial eiders may have reduced nest success by attracting the fox, and (d) for Arctic Foxes, the depredation was of questionable value, as most eggs were cached and probably not recoverable (due to damage from fall storms). Thus, the predator-prey interactions we observed appear to be a case where little or no fitness advantage was realized by any of the species involved.

  3. Ecological succession in the honey bee gut: Shift in Lactobacillus strain dominance during early adult development

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In many vertebrates, social interactions and nutrition can affect the colonization of gut symbionts across generations. We used next generation sequencing to investigate the effect of nest materials and social environment on the colonization and succession of core hindgut microbiota in workers of t...

  4. Comparative productivity of American black ducks and mallards nesting on Chesapeake Bay Islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krementz, D.G.; Stotts, D.B.; Pendleton, G.W.; Hines, J.E.; Stotts, V.D.

    1992-01-01

    The authors estimated laying dates, clutch sizes, and nest success rates of sympatrically breeding populations of American black ducks (Anas rubripes ) and mallards (Anas platyrhynchos ) on Chesapeake Bay islands between 1986 and 1989. Neither average laying date nor clutch size differed between black ducks and mallards. Nest success rates were higher for mallards in 2 of 4 years, but were area dependent.

  5. SUBTASK 1.7 EVALUATION OF KEY FACTORS AFFECTING SUCCESSFUL OIL PRODUCTION IN THE BAKKEN FORMATION, NORTH DAKOTA PHASE II

    SciTech Connect

    Darren D. Schmidt; Steven A. Smith; James A. Sorensen; Damion J. Knudsen; John A. Harju; Edward N. Steadman

    2011-10-31

    Production from the Bakken and Three Forks Formations continues to trend upward as forecasts predict significant production of oil from unconventional resources nationwide. As the U.S. Geological Survey reevaluates the 3.65 billion bbl technically recoverable estimate of 2008, technological advancements continue to unlock greater unconventional oil resources, and new discoveries continue within North Dakota. It is expected that the play will continue to expand to the southwest, newly develop in the northeastern and northwestern corners of the basin in North Dakota, and fully develop in between. Although not all wells are economical, the economic success rate has been near 75% with more than 90% of wells finding oil. Currently, only about 15% of the play has been drilled, and recovery rates are less than 5%, providing a significant future of wells to be drilled and untouched hydrocarbons to be pursued through improved stimulation practices or enhanced oil recovery. This study provides the technical characterizations that are necessary to improve knowledge, provide characterization, validate generalizations, and provide insight relative to hydrocarbon recovery in the Bakken and Three Forks Formations. Oil-saturated rock charged from the Bakken shales and prospective Three Forks can be produced given appropriate stimulation treatments. Highly concentrated fracture stimulations with ceramic- and sand-based proppants appear to be providing the best success for areas outside the Parshall and Sanish Fields. Targeting of specific lithologies can influence production from both natural and induced fracture conductivity. Porosity and permeability are low, but various lithofacies units within the formation are highly saturated and, when targeted with appropriate technology, release highly economical quantities of hydrocarbons.

  6. Successful treatment of fusarium solani ecthyma gangrenosum in a patient affected by leukocyte adhesion deficiency type 1 with granulocytes transfusions

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Ecthyma gangrenosum (EG) manifests as a skin lesion affecting patients suffering extreme neutropenia and is commonly associated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa in immunocompromised patients. Leukocyte adhesion deficiency I (LAD I) which count among primary immunodeficiency syndromes of the innate immunity, is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized in its severe phenotype by a complete defect in CD18 expression on neutrophils, delayed cord separation, chronic skin ulcers mainly due to recurrent bacterial and fungal infections, leucocytosis with high numbers of circulating neutrophils and an accumulation of abnormally low number of neutrophils at sites of infection. Case Presentation We report at our knowledge the first case of a child affected by LAD-1, who experienced during her disease course a multi-bacterial and fungal EG lesion caused by fusarium solani. Despite targeted antibiotics and anti-fungi therapy, the lesion extended for as long as 18 months and only massive granulocytes pockets transfusions in association with G-CSF had the capacity to cure this lesion. Conclusion We propose that granulocytes pockets transfusions will be beneficial to heal EG especially in severely immunocompromised patients. PMID:20929531

  7. Impact of nesting material on mouse body temperature and physiology.

    PubMed

    Gaskill, Brianna N; Gordon, Christopher J; Pajor, Edmond A; Lucas, Jeffrey R; Davis, Jerry K; Garner, Joseph P

    2013-02-17

    In laboratories, mice are housed at 20-24 °C, which is below their lower critical temperature (≈30 °C). Thus, mice are potentially cold stressed, which can alter metabolism, immune function, and reproduction. These physiological changes reflect impaired wellbeing, and affect scientific outcomes. We hypothesized that nesting material would allow mice to alleviate cold stress by controlling their thermal microenvironment, thus insulating them, reducing heat loss and thermogenic processes. Naïve C57BL/6, CD-1, and BALB/c mice (24 male and 24 female/strain in groups of 3) were housed in standard cages at 20 °C either with or without 8 g nesting material for 4 weeks. Core body temperature was followed using intraperitoneal radio telemetry. The thermal properties of the nests were assessed using a thermal imaging camera, and related to nest quality. Higher scoring nests were negatively correlated with the mean radiated temperature and were thus more insulating. No effects of nesting material on body temperature were found. CD-1 mice with nesting material had higher end body weights than controls. No effect was seen in the other two strains. Mice with the telemetry implant had larger spleens than controls, possibly indicating an immune response to the implant or low level infection from the surgery. BALB/c mice express less mRNA for the UCP1 protein than mice without nesting material. This indicates that BALB/c's with nesting material do not utilize their brown fat to create heat as readily as controls. Nests can alleviate thermal discomfort by decreasing the amount of radiated heat and reduce the need for non-shivering thermogenesis. However, different strains appear to use different behavioral (through different primary modes of behavioral thermoregulation) and physiological strategies (utilizing thermogenesis to different degrees) to maintain a constant body temperature under cool standard laboratory ambient temperatures. PMID:23313562

  8. Consequences of least tern (Sternula antillarum) microhabitat nest-site selection on natural and mechanically constructed sandbars in the Missouri River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

    Nest-habitat selection in colonial species has rarely been assessed at multiple spatial scales to evaluate its fitness consequences. Management for the federally endangered U.S. Interior population of Least Terns (Sternula antillarum) has focused on maintenance of breeding habitats, including mechanical construction of sandbars from dredged material. Least Terns are attracted to large areas of unvegetated substrate, yet small-scale habitat features are thought to trigger selection for nesting. We evaluated nest-scale habitat selection to determine (1) whether selection differs between constructed and natural sandbars and (2) the subsequent consequences of habitat selection on nest success. During 2006–2008, we examined 869 Least Tern nest sites on constructed and natural sandbars in the Missouri River for evidence of microhabitat selection at the nest in relation to habitat within the surrounding 3-m area. Least Tern nest sites had coarser and larger substrate materials at the nest, more debris, and less vegetation than the surrounding area. Nests in constructed habitats had a greater percentage of coarse substrates and less vegetation or debris than nests in naturally created habitats. Apparent nest success was 1.8× greater on constructed than on natural sandbars. Nest success was best predicted by models with two spatial scales of predictors, including substrates (nest) and vegetation and debris (nest or surrounding area). Our results indicate that Least Terns select nest microhabitat characteristics that are associated with wind- and water-scoured habitats, and that nest success increases when these habitats are selected.

  9. An object-oriented approach to nested data parallelism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sheffler, Thomas J.; Chatterjee, Siddhartha

    1994-01-01

    This paper describes an implementation technique for integrating nested data parallelism into an object-oriented language. Data-parallel programming employs sets of data called 'collections' and expresses parallelism as operations performed over the elements of a collection. When the elements of a collection are also collections, then there is the possibility for 'nested data parallelism.' Few current programming languages support nested data parallelism however. In an object-oriented framework, a collection is a single object. Its type defines the parallel operations that may be applied to it. Our goal is to design and build an object-oriented data-parallel programming environment supporting nested data parallelism. Our initial approach is built upon three fundamental additions to C++. We add new parallel base types by implementing them as classes, and add a new parallel collection type called a 'vector' that is implemented as a template. Only one new language feature is introduced: the 'foreach' construct, which is the basis for exploiting elementwise parallelism over collections. The strength of the method lies in the compilation strategy, which translates nested data-parallel C++ into ordinary C++. Extracting the potential parallelism in nested 'foreach' constructs is called 'flattening' nested parallelism. We show how to flatten 'foreach' constructs using a simple program transformation. Our prototype system produces vector code which has been successfully run on workstations, a CM-2, and a CM-5.

  10. Extended incubation affects larval morphology, hatching success and starvation resistance in a terrestrially spawning fish, Galaxias maculatus (Jenyns 1842).

    PubMed

    Semmens, D; Swearer, S E

    2011-10-01

    The effect of extended incubation (delayed hatching) on larval morphology in the terrestrially spawning common galaxias Galaxias maculatus was investigated by inducing larvae to hatch 1 and 2 weeks after the normal 2 week incubation period. After 1 week of extended incubation, larvae were larger (longer in standard length, L(S), and greater in body depth) compared to controls (larvae that experienced normal incubation durations). After 2 weeks of extended incubation, larvae were smaller (shorter in L(S) and smaller in body depth) than larvae that experienced 1 week of extended incubation. Furthermore, eye area increased while yolk-sac size decreased monotonically with increasing incubation duration. These results suggest that larvae experiencing long periods of extended incubation are using somatic tissue to meet their metabolic demands. Larvae that experienced 2 weeks of extended incubation succumbed to starvation sooner than control larvae, but hatching success was not significantly different. Temperature mediated the effect of extended incubation on the morphology of larvae at hatching, most likely, through its effects on developmental rate and efficiency of yolk utilization. This study demonstrates some of the consequences of terrestrial spawning with extended incubation, which will assist in determining why this intriguing behaviour has evolved several times in a diverse range of taxa. PMID:21967585

  11. Biases in grant proposal success rates, funding rates and award sizes affect the geographical distribution of funding for biomedical research.

    PubMed

    Wahls, Wayne P

    2016-01-01

    The ability of the United States to most efficiently make breakthroughs on the biology, diagnosis and treatment of human diseases requires that physicians and scientists in each state have equal access to federal research grants and grant dollars. However, despite legislative and administrative efforts to ensure equal access, the majority of funding for biomedical research is concentrated in a minority of states. To gain insight into the causes of such disparity, funding metrics were examined for all NIH research project grants (RPGs) from 2004 to 2013. State-by-state differences in per application success rates, per investigator funding rates, and average award size each contributed significantly to vast disparities (greater than 100-fold range) in per capita RPG funding to individual states. To the extent tested, there was no significant association overall between scientific productivity and per capita funding, suggesting that the unbalanced allocation of funding is unrelated to the quality of scientists in each state. These findings reveal key sources of bias in, and new insight into the accuracy of, the funding process. They also support evidence-based recommendations for how the NIH could better utilize the scientific talent and capacity that is present throughout the United States. PMID:27077009

  12. Biases in grant proposal success rates, funding rates and award sizes affect the geographical distribution of funding for biomedical research

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The ability of the United States to most efficiently make breakthroughs on the biology, diagnosis and treatment of human diseases requires that physicians and scientists in each state have equal access to federal research grants and grant dollars. However, despite legislative and administrative efforts to ensure equal access, the majority of funding for biomedical research is concentrated in a minority of states. To gain insight into the causes of such disparity, funding metrics were examined for all NIH research project grants (RPGs) from 2004 to 2013. State-by-state differences in per application success rates, per investigator funding rates, and average award size each contributed significantly to vast disparities (greater than 100-fold range) in per capita RPG funding to individual states. To the extent tested, there was no significant association overall between scientific productivity and per capita funding, suggesting that the unbalanced allocation of funding is unrelated to the quality of scientists in each state. These findings reveal key sources of bias in, and new insight into the accuracy of, the funding process. They also support evidence-based recommendations for how the NIH could better utilize the scientific talent and capacity that is present throughout the United States. PMID:27077009

  13. Factors affecting plant diversity during post-fire recovery and succession of mediterranean-climate shrublands in California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, J.E.; Fotheringham, C.J.; Baer-Keeley, M.

    2005-01-01

    Plant community diversity, measured as species richness, is typically highest in the early post-fire years in California shrublands. However, this generalization is overly simplistic and the present study demonstrates that diversity is determined by a complex of temporal and spatial effects. Ninety sites distributed across southern California were studied for 5 years after a series of fires. Characteristics of the disturbance event, in this case fire severity, can alter post-fire diversity, both decreasing and increasing diversity, depending on life form. Spatial variability in resource availability is an important factor explaining patterns of diversity, and there is a complex interaction between landscape features and life form. Temporal variability in resource availability affects diversity, and the diversity peak in the immediate post-fire year (or two) appears to be driven by factors different from subsequent diversity peaks. Early post-fire diversity is influenced by life-history specialization, illustrated by species that spend the bulk of their life cycle as a dormant seed bank, which is then triggered to germinate by fire. Resource fluctuations, precipitation in particular, may be associated with subsequent post-fire diversity peaks. These later peaks in diversity comprise a flora that is compositionally different from the immediate post-fire flora, and their presence may be due to mass effects from population expansion of local populations in adjacent burned areas. ?? 2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  14. Reproductive ecology of American Oystercatchers nesting on shell rakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jodice, Patrick G.; Thibault, Janet M.; Collins, S.A.; Spinks, Mark D.; Sanders, Felicia J.

    2014-01-01

    Degradation of nesting habitat for coastal birds has led to the use of nontraditional nesting habitat. The American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) is listed as a "Species of High Concern'' by the U. S. Shorebird Conservation Plan and is declining in the southern portion of its U. S. breeding range, where ~ 50% of breeding oystercatchers nest on shell substrate instead of beachfront habitat. We measured daily survival rates during incubation and chick rearing in shell rake habitats over five breeding seasons in the Cape Romain region of South Carolina, USA. Of 354 nesting attempts monitored, 16.1% hatched at least one egg. During incubation, daily survival rate was 0.938, corresponding to 22.8% success to hatching (nest success). For broods, daily survival was 0.991, or 74.0% success from hatching to fledging. Productivity in the Cape Romain region is primarily being lost during the incubation phase, when nests are exposed to overwash and predation. Mobile chicks may, however, be able to avoid flood events or predators by relocating to higher or more protected portions of a shell rake. Based on comparative data for American Oystercatchers from elsewhere in their range, it does not appear that shell rakes in the Cape Romain region are inferior breeding habitat. Our data suggest that conservation actions targeting nest and chick loss from flooding and predation have the greatest opportunity to enhance reproductive success in this core breeding area, and that an assessment of the availability, structure, avian use, and protection status of shell rakes is warranted.

  15. Nest liquid resources of several cavity nesting bees in the genus Centris and the identification of a preservative, levulinic acid.

    PubMed

    Vinson, S Bradleigh; Frankie, Gordon W; Williams, H J

    2006-09-01

    Twig-nesting species of bees in the genus Centris including C. bicornuta, C. analis, C. vittata, and C. nitida, found in the dry forest of Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica, provision their nests with pollen and nectar, rather than pollen and oil as reported for other Centris species. The liquid contents of the nests of these four species were found to contain sugars including 66-75% fructose, 25-33% glucose, and a trace of sucrose. The sugar concentration averaged 47.2%, slightly higher than most flower nectars. No tri-, di-, or monoglycerides, the main components of the flower oil of Byrsonima crassifolia, were detected in the nest provisions. Although these four Centris species are also known to collect oil from B. crassifolia, the oil appears to be used for activities other than nest provisioning. The liquid nest contents did have a slight goat-like odor, suggesting the presence of short-chain fatty acids, and were found to contain a small amount (less than 1%) of three fatty acids. Two of these, butanoic and octanoic acid, were found in trace amounts and are responsible for the goat-like odor. A third was identified as levulinic acid, which made up about 99% of the nest fatty acid contents. This fatty acid had little odor, but may be important as a fungicidal agent. Attempts to determine the source of the fatty acids, were not successful. PMID:16902822

  16. Nesting ecology of Greater Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis tabida) in riparian and palustrine wetlands of eastern Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McWethy, D.B.; Austin, J.E.

    2009-01-01

    Little information exists on breeding Greater Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis tabida) in riparian wetlands of the Intermountain West. We examined the nesting ecology of Sandhill Cranes associated with riparian and palustrine wetlands in the Henry's Fork Watershed in eastern Idaho in 2003. We located 36 active crane nests, 19 in riparian wetlands and 17 in palustrine wetlands. Nesting sites were dominated by rushes (Juncus spp.), sedges (Carex spp.), Broad-leaved Cattail (Typha latifolia) and willow (Salix spp.), and adjacent foraging areas were primarily composed of sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), cinquefoil (Potentilla spp.),Rabbitbrush (Ericameria bloomeri) bunch grasses, upland forbs, Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) and cottonwood (Populus spp.). Mean water depth surrounding nests was 23 cm (SD = 22). A majority of nests (61%) were surrounded by vegetation between 3060 cm, 23% by vegetation 60 cm in height. We were able to determine the fate of 29 nests, of which 20 were successful (69%). Daily nest survival was 0.986 (95% LCI 0.963, UCI 0.995), equivalent to a Mayfield nest success of 0.654 (95% LCI 0.324, UCI 0.853). Model selection favored models with the covariates vegetation type, vegetation height, and water depth. Nest survival increased with increasing water depth surrounding nest sites. Mean water depth was higher around successful nests (30 cm, SD = 21) than unsuccessful nests (15 cm, SD 22). Further research is needed to evaluate the relative contribution of cranes nesting in palustrine and riparian wetlands distributed widely across the Intermountain West.

  17. Impacts of Short-Rotation Early-Growing Season Prescribed Fire on a Ground Nesting Bird in the Central Hardwoods Region of North America

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Landscape-scale short-rotation early-growing season prescribed fire, hereafter prescribed fire, in upland hardwood forests represents a recent shift in management strategies across eastern upland forests. Not only does this strategy depart from dormant season to growing season prescriptions, but the strategy also moves from stand-scale to landscape-scale implementation (>1,000 ha). This being so, agencies are making considerable commitments in terms of time and resources to this management strategy, but the effects on wildlife in upland forests, especially those dominated by hardwood canopy species, are relatively unknown. We initiated our study to assess whether this management strategy affects eastern wild turkey reproductive ecology on the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest. We marked 67 wild turkey hens with Global Positioning System (GPS) Platform Transmitting Terminals in 2012 and 2013 to document exposure to prescribed fire, and estimate daily nest survival, nest success, and nest-site selection. We estimated these reproductive parameters in forest units managed with prescribed fire (treated) and units absent of prescribed fire (untreated). Of 60 initial nest attempts monitored, none were destroyed or exposed to prescribed fire because a majority of fires occurred early than a majority of the nesting activity. We found nest success was greater in untreated units than treated units (36.4% versus 14.6%). We did not find any habitat characteristic differences between successful and unsuccessful nest-sites. We found that nest-site selection criteria differed between treated and untreated units. Visual concealment and woody ground cover were common selection criteria in both treated and untreated units. However, in treated units wild turkey selected nest-sites with fewer small shrubs (<5 cm ground diameter) and large trees (>20 cm DBH) but not in untreated units. In untreated units wild turkey selected nest-sites with more large shrubs (≥5cm ground diameter) but

  18. Impacts of Short-Rotation Early-Growing Season Prescribed Fire on a Ground Nesting Bird in the Central Hardwoods Region of North America.

    PubMed

    Pittman, H Tyler; Krementz, David G

    2016-01-01

    Landscape-scale short-rotation early-growing season prescribed fire, hereafter prescribed fire, in upland hardwood forests represents a recent shift in management strategies across eastern upland forests. Not only does this strategy depart from dormant season to growing season prescriptions, but the strategy also moves from stand-scale to landscape-scale implementation (>1,000 ha). This being so, agencies are making considerable commitments in terms of time and resources to this management strategy, but the effects on wildlife in upland forests, especially those dominated by hardwood canopy species, are relatively unknown. We initiated our study to assess whether this management strategy affects eastern wild turkey reproductive ecology on the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest. We marked 67 wild turkey hens with Global Positioning System (GPS) Platform Transmitting Terminals in 2012 and 2013 to document exposure to prescribed fire, and estimate daily nest survival, nest success, and nest-site selection. We estimated these reproductive parameters in forest units managed with prescribed fire (treated) and units absent of prescribed fire (untreated). Of 60 initial nest attempts monitored, none were destroyed or exposed to prescribed fire because a majority of fires occurred early than a majority of the nesting activity. We found nest success was greater in untreated units than treated units (36.4% versus 14.6%). We did not find any habitat characteristic differences between successful and unsuccessful nest-sites. We found that nest-site selection criteria differed between treated and untreated units. Visual concealment and woody ground cover were common selection criteria in both treated and untreated units. However, in treated units wild turkey selected nest-sites with fewer small shrubs (<5 cm ground diameter) and large trees (>20 cm DBH) but not in untreated units. In untreated units wild turkey selected nest-sites with more large shrubs (≥5 cm ground diameter

  19. Key Factors Affecting Reproductive Success of Thoroughbred Mares and Stallions on a Commercial Stud Farm.

    PubMed

    Lane, E A; Bijnen, Mlj; Osborne, M; More, S J; Henderson, Isf; Duffy, P; Crowe, M A

    2016-04-01

    To evaluate factors contributing to fertility of thoroughbred mares, data from 3743 oestrous periods of 2385 mares were collected on a large thoroughbred farm in Ireland. Fourteen stallions (mean age 8.3 years; range 4-15 years) had bred 2385 mares (mean age 9.4 years; range 3-24 years). Maiden mares accounted for 12%, mares with a foal at foot for 64%, and barren, slipped or rested mares for 24% of the total. The mean pregnancy rate per cycle was 67.8% (68.6% in year 1 and 66.9% in year 2). Backward stepwise multivariable logistic regression analysis was utilized to develop two models to evaluate mare factors, including mare age, reproductive status, month of foaling, dystocia, month of cover, foal heat, cycle number, treatments, walk-in status and stallion factors including stallion identity, stallion age, shuttle status, time elapsed between covers and high stallion usage on the per cycle pregnancy rate and pregnancy loss. Old age (p < 0.001) and cover within 20 days post-partum (p < 0.003) were associated with lowered pregnancy rates. High mare age (p < 0.05) and barren, slipped or rested reproductive status (p = 0.05) increased the likelihood of pregnancy loss. Uterine inflammation or infection, if appropriately treated, did not affect fertility. Only high usage of stallions (used more than 21 times in previous week) was associated with lowered (p = 0.009) pregnancy rates. However, shuttle stallions were more likely to have increased (p = 0.035) pregnancy survival, perhaps reflecting a bias in stallion selection. In conclusion, mare age exerted the greatest influence on fertility; nonetheless, thoroughbreds can be effectively managed to achieve high reproductive performance in a commercial setting. PMID:26815482

  20. Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) Succession in Different Substrates as Affected by the Co-Application of Three Pesticides

    PubMed Central

    Cardinali, Alessandra; Pizzeghello, Diego; Zanin, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Introduction In intensive agriculture areas the use of pesticides can alter soil properties and microbial community structure with the risk of reducing soil quality. Materials and Methods In this study the fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) evolution has been studied in a factorial lab experiment combining five substrates (a soil, two aged composts and their mixtures) treated with a co-application of three pesticides (azoxystrobin, chlorotoluron and epoxiconazole), with two extraction methods, and two incubation times (0 and 58 days). FAMEs extraction followed the microbial identification system (MIDI) and ester-linked method (EL). Results and Discussion The pesticides showed high persistence, as revealed by half-life (t1/2) values ranging from 168 to 298 days, which confirms their recalcitrance to degradation. However, t1/2 values were affected by substrate and compost age down to 8 days for chlorotoluron in S and up to 453 days for epoxiconazole in 12M. Fifty-six FAMEs were detected. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that the EL method detected a higher number of FAMEs and unique FAMEs than the MIDI one, whereas principal component analysis (PCA) highlighted that the monosaturated 18:1ω9c and cyclopropane 19:0ω10c/19ω6 were the most significant FAMEs grouping by extraction method. The cyclopropyl to monoenoic acids ratio evidenced higher stress conditions when pesticides were applied to compost and compost+soil than solely soil, as well as with final time. Conclusion Overall, FAMEs profiles showed the importance of the extraction method for both substrate and incubation time, the t1/2 values highlighted the effectiveness of solely soil and the less mature compost in reducing the persistence of pesticides. PMID:26694029

  1. Nest sites and conservation of endangered Interior Least Terns Sterna antillarum athalassos on an alkaline flat in the south-central Great Plains (USA)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winton, Brian R.; Leslie, David M., Jr.

    2003-01-01

    We monitored nest sites of endangered Interior Least Terns on a 5 095 ha alkaline flat in north-central Oklahoma, USA. After nest loss, Least Terns commonly renested and experienced 30% apparent nest success in 1995-1996 (n = 233 nests). Nest success and predation differed by location on the alkaline flat in 1995 and overall, but nest success and flooding did not differ by microhabitat type. Predation was highest at nests ??? 5 cm from debris (driftwood/hay) in 1995. No differences in nesting success, flooding, or predation were observed on comparing nests inside and outside electrified enclosures. Coyotes and Striped Skunks were confirmed nest predators, and Ring-billed Gulls were suspected nest predators. We identified one location on the alkaline flat of about 1 000 ha with consistently lower nest losses attributable to flooding and predation and the highest hatching success compared with other parts of the alkaline flat; it was typified by open ground and bisected by several creeks. Management activities that minimize flooding and predation in this area could further enhance nest success and theoretically increase overall productivity of this population of Least Terns. However, the efficacy of electrified enclosures and nest-site enhancements, as currently undertaken, is questionable because of considerable annual variation in use by and protection of Least Terns.

  2. Development and evaluation of methods to assess populations of black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae) at nests of the endangered whooping crane (Grus americana).

    PubMed

    King, Richard S; Adler, Peter H

    2012-12-01

    Hematophagous insects can negatively affect the reproductive success of their vertebrate hosts. To determine the influence of hematophagous insects on endangered vertebrates requires specially designed programs that minimize disturbance to the hosts and address problems associated with their small populations. We developed and evaluated a surveillance program for black flies potentially affecting a population of whooping cranes (Grus americana) introduced to central Wisconsin, U.S.A. In one of the few studies to survey host-seeking female black flies and their immature stages concurrently, we processed nearly 346,000 specimens and documented 26 species, of which only two, Simulium annulus and Simulium johannseni, were attracted to nesting whooping cranes. Attempts to assess black fly populations with artificial nests and real crane eggs were unsuccessful. Carbon-dioxide traps performed well in describing black fly taxa on the landscape. However, the number of black flies at whooping crane nests was consistently higher than the number captured in carbon-dioxide traps. The carbon-dioxide traps poorly described the presence/absence, population fluctuations, and periodicity of black flies at whooping crane nests. The weak performance of the carbon-dioxide traps might have resulted from microhabitat differences between trap locations and nests or from Simulium annulus and Simulium johannseni using sensory cues in addition to carbon dioxide to find hosts. Choice of trapping techniques, therefore, depends on the information required for the particular study objectives. PMID:23181852

  3. Reproductive success of belted kingfishers on the upper Hudson River.

    PubMed

    Bridge, Eli S; Kelly, Jeffrey F

    2013-08-01

    Belted kingfishers (Megaceryle alcyon) are predators in many North American aquatic ecosystems; as such, they are prone to bioaccumulation of certain environmental contaminants. In 2002 and 2004, kingfisher eggs collected near the upper Hudson River in New York had elevated concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and the kingfisher population in this area was reported to be at risk because of PCB exposure. From 2007 to 2009, the authors monitored 69 kingfisher nests on the Hudson River to track both nest success and survival of individual nestlings. The study site consisted of 2 adjacent sections of the Hudson River, 1 upstream and 1 downstream of a historic PCB source. The authors compared models of nest success that differentially incorporated the following 4 variables that they deemed most likely to affect reproductive output: 1) river section (upstream vs downstream of PCB source), 2) year, 3) hatch date, and 4) abandonment by 1 parent. After ranking models according to Akaike's information criterion for small sample sizes, it was clear that parental abandonment was the most important of the factors examined. River section was not an important parameter, and overall nesting success was slightly higher in the PCB-contaminated section than in the upstream area. These findings support the conclusion that kingfisher productivity is not adversely impacted by PCB contamination in the upper Hudson River. PMID:23633435

  4. The effect of wind on the rate of heat loss from avian cup-shaped nests.

    PubMed

    Heenan, Caragh B; Seymour, Roger S

    2012-01-01

    Forced convection can significantly influence the heat loss from birds and their offspring but effects may be reduced by using sheltered micro-sites such as cavities or constructing nests. The structural and thermal properties of the nests of two species, the spiny-cheeked honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis) and yellow-throated miner (Manorina flavigula), were measured in relation to three wind speeds. Nest dimensions differ between the two species, despite the similar body mass of the incubating adults, however nest conductance is comparable. As wind speed increases, so does the rate of heat loss from the nests of both species, and further still during incubation recesses. The significance of forced convection through the nest is a near-doubling in heat production required by the parent, even when incubating at relatively low wind speeds. This provides confirmation that selecting a sheltered nest site is important for avian reproductive success. PMID:22389689

  5. The Effect of Wind on the Rate of Heat Loss from Avian Cup-Shaped Nests

    PubMed Central

    Heenan, Caragh B.; Seymour, Roger S.

    2012-01-01

    Forced convection can significantly influence the heat loss from birds and their offspring but effects may be reduced by using sheltered micro-sites such as cavities or constructing nests. The structural and thermal properties of the nests of two species, the spiny-cheeked honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis) and yellow-throated miner (Manorina flavigula), were measured in relation to three wind speeds. Nest dimensions differ between the two species, despite the similar body mass of the incubating adults, however nest conductance is comparable. As wind speed increases, so does the rate of heat loss from the nests of both species, and further still during incubation recesses. The significance of forced convection through the nest is a near-doubling in heat production required by the parent, even when incubating at relatively low wind speeds. This provides confirmation that selecting a sheltered nest site is important for avian reproductive success. PMID:22389689

  6. Successful Treatment of Phantom Limb Pain by 1 Hz Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Over Affected Supplementary Motor Complex: A Case Report

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jong-Hoo; Byun, Jeong-Hyun; Choe, Yu-Ri; Lim, Seung-Kyu; Lee, Ka-Young

    2015-01-01

    A 37-year-old man with a right transfemoral amputation suffered from severe phantom limb pain (PLP). After targeting the affected supplementary motor complex (SMC) or primary motor cortex (PMC) using a neuro-navigation system with 800 stimuli of 1 Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) at 85% of resting motor threshold, the 1 Hz rTMS over SMC dramatically reduced his visual analog scale (VAS) of PLP from 7 to 0. However, the 1 Hz rTMS over PMC failed to reduce pain. To our knowledge, this is the first case report of a successfully treated severe PLP with a low frequency rTMS over SMC in affected hemisphere. PMID:26361601

  7. Successful Treatment of Phantom Limb Pain by 1 Hz Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Over Affected Supplementary Motor Complex: A Case Report.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jong-Hoo; Byun, Jeong-Hyun; Choe, Yu-Ri; Lim, Seung-Kyu; Lee, Ka-Young; Choi, In-Sung

    2015-08-01

    A 37-year-old man with a right transfemoral amputation suffered from severe phantom limb pain (PLP). After targeting the affected supplementary motor complex (SMC) or primary motor cortex (PMC) using a neuro-navigation system with 800 stimuli of 1 Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) at 85% of resting motor threshold, the 1 Hz rTMS over SMC dramatically reduced his visual analog scale (VAS) of PLP from 7 to 0. However, the 1 Hz rTMS over PMC failed to reduce pain. To our knowledge, this is the first case report of a successfully treated severe PLP with a low frequency rTMS over SMC in affected hemisphere. PMID:26361601

  8. Using the time-varying effect model (TVEM) to examine dynamic associations between negative affect and self confidence on smoking urges: differences between successful quitters and relapsers.

    PubMed

    Shiyko, Mariya P; Lanza, Stephanie T; Tan, Xianming; Li, Runze; Shiffman, Saul

    2012-06-01

    With technological advances, collection of intensive longitudinal data (ILD), such as ecological momentary assessments, becomes more widespread in prevention science. In ILD studies, researchers are often interested in the effects of time-varying covariates (TVCs) on a time-varying outcome to discover correlates and triggers of target behaviors (e.g., how momentary changes in affect relate to momentary smoking urges). Traditional analytical methods, however, impose important constraints, assuming a constant effect of the TVC on the outcome. In the current paper, we describe a time-varying effect model (TVEM) and its applications to data collected as part of a smoking-cessation study. Differentiating between groups of short-term successful quitters (N = 207) and relapsers (N = 40), we examine the effects of momentary negative affect and abstinence self-efficacy on the intensity of smoking urges in each subgroup in the 2 weeks following a quit attempt. Successful quitters demonstrated a rapid reduction in smoking urges over time, a gradual decoupling of the association between negative affect and smoking urges, and a consistently strong negative effect of self-efficacy on smoking urges. In comparison, relapsers exhibited a high level of smoking urges throughout the post-quit period, a time-varying and, generally, weak effect of self-efficacy on smoking urges, and a gradual reduction in the strength of the association between negative affect and smoking urges. Implications of these findings are discussed. The TVEM is made available to applied prevention researchers through a SAS macro. PMID:22246429

  9. Recent distribution and status of nesting bald eagles in Baja California, Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Henny, C.J.; Conant, B.; Anderson, D.W.

    1993-01-01

    We studied Bald Eagles(Haliaeetus leucocephalus) nesting in Baja California, Mexico, and vicinity from 1983-1993. The range of nesting Bald Eagles in Baja California has been reduced from a scattering of pairs along both the Pacific and Gulf sides to a remnant population in Magdalena Bay where no more than three pairs were found annually. Low numbers and a restricted distribution make this disjunct population especially vulnerable to human disturbance. Additional protection of present nesting localities and a reintroduction program on remote islands in the Gulf of California where eagles historically nested, are proposed. Limited data on nesting success indicate that the Magdalena Bay population is reproducing successfully with young probably dispersing north following fledging. The Bald Eagles found wintering along the Colorado River Delta in January apparently nest farther north in the United States or Canada.

  10. Reproductive success of Potomac River ospreys--1970

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiemeyer, Stanley N.

    1971-01-01

    Osprey reproductive success on the Potomac River during 1970 is described. Thirty-five percent of the accessible active nests fledged young and only 0.70 young were fledged per active nest. Egg failure was the major cause of poor success. Reproduction was below that considered normal for a stable population.

  11. Nest poaching in Neotropical parrots

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wright, T.F.; Toft, C.A.; Enkerlin-Hoeflich, E.; Gonzalez-Elizondo, J.; Albornoz, M.; Rodriguez-Ferraro, A.; Rojas-Suarez, F.; Sanz, V.; Trujillo, A.; Beissinger, S.R.; Berovides A., V.; Galvez A., X.; Brice, A.T.; Joyner, K.; Eberhard, J.; Gilardi, J.; Koenig, S.E.; Stoleson, S.; Martuscelli, P.; Meyers, J.M.; Renton, K.; Rodriguez, A.M.; Sosa-Asanza, A.C.; Vilella, F.J.; Wiley, J.W.

    2001-01-01

    Although the poaching of nestlings for the pet trade is thought to contribute to the decline of many species of parrots, its effects have been poorly demonstrated. We calculated rates of mortality due to nest poaching in 23 studies of Neotropical parrots, representing 4024 nesting attempts in 21 species and 14 countries. We also examined how poaching rates vary with geographic region, presence of active protection programs, conservation status and economic value of a species, and passage of the U.S. Wild Bird Conservation Act. The average poaching rate across all studies was 30% of all nests observed. Thirteen studies reported poaching rates of >20%, and four reported rates of >70%. Only six studies documented no nest poaching. Of these, four were conducted on islands in the Caribbean region, which had significantly lower poaching rates than the mainland Neotropics. The other two studies that showed no poaching were conducted on the two species with the lowest economic value in our sample (U.S. retail price). In four studies that allowed direct comparison between poaching at sites with active nest protection versus that at unprotected sites, poaching rates were significantly lower at protected sites, suggesting that active protection efforts can be effective in reducing nest poaching. In those studies conducted both before and after the passage of the U.S. Wild Bird Conservation Act, poaching rates were found to be significantly lower following its enactment than in the period before. This result supports the hypothesis that the legal and illegal parrot trades are positively related, rather than inversely related as has been suggested by avicultural interests. Overall, our study indicates that poaching of parrot nestlings for economic gain is a widespread and biologically significant source of nest mortality in Neotropical parrots.

  12. Management and protection protocols for nesting sea turtles on Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cohen, J.B.

    2005-01-01

    Executive Summary 1. The southeast U.S. population of the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) has increased since the species was listed as federally threatened in 1978. Since standardized monitoring began in North Carolina in 1995, the number of nests at Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CAHA) fluctuated from year to year, and was lowest in 1996 and 1997 (39 nests) and highest in 2003 (101 nests). Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea) have nested in small numbers at CAHA, sporadically over time. 2. Hatching success of sea turtle nests typically approaches 80%. At CAHA hatching success from 1999-2003 was low when hurricanes hit during the nesting season (30%-38%), and ranged from 52%-70% otherwise. Hatching success at CAHA is usually correlated with hatching success in the surrounding subpopulation (north Florida to North Carolina). 3. Inclement weather, predation, and human recreation can negatively impact nesting rate and hatching success. 4. Currently there is little protection from recreation at CAHA for nesting females and nests that have not been found by monitors. We propose three management options to provide such protection, and to increase protection for known nests and hatchlings. We propose an adaptive management framework for assessing the effectiveness of these management options in improving sea turtle nesting rate and nest and hatchling survival. 5. We recommend continued efforts to trap and remove mammalian predators from all sea turtle habitat. We further recommend intensive monitoring and surveillance of protected areas to determine the extent and timing of threats to nests and broods, including nest overwash, predation, and disturbance or vandalism by humans. 6. Continue to relocate nests and assist stranded turtles according to North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission guidelines. 7. Artificial light sources pose a serious threat to sea turtles in some parts of CAHA, which must be remedied immediately

  13. Plastic and the Nest Entanglement of Urban and Agricultural Crows

    PubMed Central

    Townsend, Andrea K.; Barker, Christopher M.

    2014-01-01

    Much attention has been paid to the impacts of plastics and other debris on marine organisms, but the effects of plastic on terrestrial organisms have been largely ignored. Detrimental effects of terrestrial plastic could be most pronounced in intensively human-modified landscapes (e.g., urban and agricultural areas), which are a source of much anthropogenic debris. Here, we examine the occurrence, types, landscape associations, and consequences of anthropogenic nest material in the American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos), a North American species that breeds in both urban and agricultural landscapes. We monitored 195 nestlings in 106 nests across an urban and agricultural gradient in the Sacramento Valley, California, USA. We found that 85.2% of crow nests contained anthropogenic material, and 11 of 195 nestlings (5.6%) were entangled in their nests. The length of the material was greater in nests in agricultural territories than in urban territories, and the odds of entanglement increased 7.55 times for each meter of anthropogenic material in the nest. Fledging success was significantly lower for entangled than for unentangled nestlings. In all environments, particularly urban, agricultural, and marine, careful disposal of potential hazards (string, packing and hay bale twine, balloon ribbon, wire, fishing line) could reduce the occurrence of entanglement of nestling birds. PMID:24498238

  14. Plastic and the nest entanglement of urban and agricultural crows.

    PubMed

    Townsend, Andrea K; Barker, Christopher M

    2014-01-01

    Much attention has been paid to the impacts of plastics and other debris on marine organisms, but the effects of plastic on terrestrial organisms have been largely ignored. Detrimental effects of terrestrial plastic could be most pronounced in intensively human-modified landscapes (e.g., urban and agricultural areas), which are a source of much anthropogenic debris. Here, we examine the occurrence, types, landscape associations, and consequences of anthropogenic nest material in the American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos), a North American species that breeds in both urban and agricultural landscapes. We monitored 195 nestlings in 106 nests across an urban and agricultural gradient in the Sacramento Valley, California, USA. We found that 85.2% of crow nests contained anthropogenic material, and 11 of 195 nestlings (5.6%) were entangled in their nests. The length of the material was greater in nests in agricultural territories than in urban territories, and the odds of entanglement increased 7.55 times for each meter of anthropogenic material in the nest. Fledging success was significantly lower for entangled than for unentangled nestlings. In all environments, particularly urban, agricultural, and marine, careful disposal of potential hazards (string, packing and hay bale twine, balloon ribbon, wire, fishing line) could reduce the occurrence of entanglement of nestling birds. PMID:24498238

  15. Genetic and Environmental Factors Associated with Laboratory Rearing Affect Survival and Assortative Mating but Not Overall Mating Success in Anopheles gambiae Sensu Stricto

    PubMed Central

    Paton, Doug; Touré, Mahamoudou; Sacko, Adama; Coulibaly, Mamadou B.; Traoré, Sékou F.; Tripet, Frédéric

    2013-01-01

    Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto, the main vector of malaria in Africa, is characterized by its vast geographical range and complex population structure. Assortative mating amongst the reproductively isolated cryptic forms that co-occur in many areas poses unique challenges for programs aiming to decrease malaria incidence via the release of sterile or genetically-modified mosquitoes. Importantly, whether laboratory-rearing affects the ability of An. gambiae individuals of a given cryptic taxa to successfully mate with individuals of their own form in field conditions is still unknown and yet crucial for mosquito-releases. Here, the independent effects of genetic and environmental factors associated with laboratory rearing on male and female survival, mating success and assortative mating were evaluated in the Mopti form of An. gambiae over 2010 and 2011. In semi-field enclosures experiments and despite strong variation between years, the overall survival and mating success of male and female progeny from a laboratory strain was not found to be significantly lower than those of the progeny of field females from the same population. Adult progeny from field-caught females reared at the larval stage in the laboratory and from laboratory females reared outdoors exhibited a significant decrease in survival but not in mating success. Importantly, laboratory individuals reared as larvae indoors were unable to mate assortatively as adults, whilst field progeny reared either outdoors or in the laboratory, as well as laboratory progeny reared outdoors all mated significantly assortatively. These results highlight the importance of genetic and environment interactions for the development of An. gambiae's full mating behavioral repertoire and the challenges this creates for mosquito rearing and release-based control strategies. PMID:24391719

  16. Daily survival rates for nests of Black Skimmers from a core breeding area of the Southeastern USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, Gillian L.; Sanders, Felicia J.; Gerard, Patrick D.; Jodice, Patrick G.

    2014-01-01

    Little is known about the reproductive success of Black Skimmers (Rynchops niger) throughout the southeastern USA where availability of undisturbed beaches for nesting is limited. Daily survival rates (DSR) of nests were examined at three nesting sites in Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge (CRNWR), South Carolina, USA, 2009–2010. The percent of successful nests (n  =  346 nests) ranged from 42–69% among colony sites when data were pooled across both years. The DSR of nests was primarily related to colony site, predation risk, height of high tide, and clutch size. Predation and overwash were the principal causes of identifiable nest loss, each accounting for ∼33% of nest failures during the two study years. Because of the challenges of resighting skimmer chicks, we were not able to measure chick survival effectively and therefore accurate measures of productivity remain elusive. High variability in nest success among sites within close proximity to each other (<20 km) suggests factors at local scales such as disturbance, predation, and overwash events strongly influenced nest success of Black Skimmers during these 2 years as opposed to more region-wide stressors such as tropical storms or food availability. Although time-intensive techniques to control predators do exist, management options to limit flooding and overwash are far more limited. Conservation of Black Skimmers in the southeastern USA would benefit from coordinated, multi-state efforts to measure nest and chick survival.

  17. Greater sage-grouse nest predators in the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lockyer, Zachary B.; Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Espinosa, Shawn; Delehanty, David J.

    2013-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse Centrocercus urophasianus, hereafter sage-grouse, populations have declined across their range due to the loss, degradation, and fragmentation of habitat. Habitat alterations can lead not only to vegetative changes but also to shifts in animal behavior and predator composition that may influence population vital rates, such as nest success. For example, common ravens Corvus corax are sage-grouse nest predators, and common raven abundance is positively associated with human-caused habitat alterations. Because nest success is a central component to sage-grouse population persistence, research that identifies factors influencing nest success will better inform conservation efforts. We used videography to unequivocally identify sage-grouse nest predators within the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada, USA, from 2009 to 2011 and used maximum likelihood to calculate daily probability of nest survival. In the Virginia Mountains, fires, energy exploration, and other anthropogenic activities have altered historic sage-grouse habitat. We monitored 71 sage-grouse nests during the study, placing video cameras at 39 nests. Cumulative nest survival for all nests was 22.4% (95% CI, 13.0–33.4%), a survival rate that was significantly lower than other published results for sage-grouse in the Great Basin. Depredation was the primary cause for nest failure in our study (82.5%), and common ravens were the most frequent sage-grouse nest predator, accounting for 46.7% of nest depredations. We also successfully documented a suite of mammalian and reptilian species depredating sage-grouse nests, including some predators never previously confirmed in the literature to be sage-grouse nest predators (i.e., bobcats Lynx rufus and long-tailed weasels Mephitis frenata). Within the high elevation, disturbed habitat of the Virginia Mountains, low sage-grouse nest success may be limiting sage-grouse population growth. These results suggest that management actions that

  18. Classical Markov Chains: A Unifying Framework for Understanding Avian Reproductive Success

    EPA Science Inventory

    Traditional methods for monitoring and analysis of avian nesting success have several important shortcomings, including 1) inability to handle multiple classes of nest failure, and 2) inability to provide estimates of annual reproductive success (because birds can, and typically ...

  19. Arboreal nesting as anti-predator adaptation by savanna chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in southeastern Senegal.

    PubMed

    Pruetz, J D; Fulton, S J; Marchant, L F; McGrew, W C; Schiel, M; Waller, M

    2008-04-01

    Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) make nests for resting and sleeping, which is unusual for anthropoid primates but common to all great apes. Arboreal nesting has been linked to predation pressure, but few studies have tested the adaptive nature of this behavior. We collected data at two chimpanzee study sites in southeastern Senegal that differed in predator presence to test the hypothesis that elevated sleeping platforms are adaptations for predator defense. At Assirik in the Parc National du Niokolo-Koba, chimpanzees face four species of large carnivore, whereas at Fongoli, outside national park boundaries, humans have exterminated almost all natural predators. We quantified the availability of vegetation at the two sites to test the alternative hypothesis that differences in nesting reflect differences in habitat structure. We also examined possible sex differences in nesting behavior, community demographic differences, seasonality and nest age differences as variables also potentially affecting nest characteristics and nesting behavior between the two sites. Chimpanzees at Fongoli nested at lower heights and farther apart than did chimpanzees at Assirik and sometimes made nests on the ground. The absence of predators outside of the national park may account for the differences in nest characteristics at the two sites, given the similarities in habitat structure between Fongoli and Assirik. However, Fongoli chimpanzees regularly build arboreal nests for sleeping, even under minimal predation pressure, and this requires explanation. PMID:18161774

  20. Locating, constructing, and managing islands for nesting waterfowl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lokemoen, John T.; Messmer, Terry A.

    1994-01-01

    The purpose of this extension bulletin is to assist public and private managers in locating, constructing, and managing islands to enhance nest success of waterfowl. The information is from studies by the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, North Dakota, and information collected by biologists working at sites throughout the northern hemisphere.

  1. POLYCHORD: nested sampling for cosmology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Handley, W. J.; Hobson, M. P.; Lasenby, A. N.

    2015-06-01

    POLYCHORD is a novel nested sampling algorithm tailored for high-dimensional parameter spaces. In addition, it can fully exploit a hierarchy of parameter speeds such as is found in COSMOMC and CAMB. It utilizes slice sampling at each iteration to sample within the hard likelihood constraint of nested sampling. It can identify and evolve separate modes of a posterior semi-independently and is parallelized using OPENMPI. POLYCHORD is available for download at http://ccpforge.cse.rl.ac.uk/gf/project/polychord/.

  2. Nesting ecology of Chelonia mydas (Testudines: Cheloniidae) on the Guanahacabibes Peninsula, Cuba.

    PubMed

    Azanza Ricardo, Julia; Ibarra Martín, Maria E; González Sansón, Gaspar; Abreu Grobois, F Alberto; Eckert, Karen L; Espinosa López, Georgina; Oyama, Ken

    2013-12-01

    The nesting colony of green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) at Guanahacabibes Peninsula Biosphere Reserve and National Park is one of the largest in the Cuban archipelago; however, little information about its nesting ecology is available. Temporal and spatial variation in nesting and reproductive success as well as morphometric characteristics of gravid females were used to ecologically characterize this colony. Nine beaches of the Southernmost coast of Guanahacabibes Peninsula were monitored for 14 years (1998-2012) to determine green turtle nesting activity, from May to September (peak nesting season in this area). Beach dimensions were measured to determine nest density using the length and the area. Afterward the beaches were divided in two categories, index and secondary. Females were measured and tagged to compare new tagged females (823) with returning tagged females (140). Remigration interval was also determined. Temporal variation was identified as the annual number of nesting emergences and oviposits per female, with apparent peaks in reproductive activity on a biennial cycle in the first six years followed by periods of annual increase in nest number (2003-2008) and periods of decreasing number of nests (2010-2012). We also found intra-seasonal variation with the highest nesting activity in July, particularly in the second half of the month. The peak emergence time was 22:00-02:00 hr. In terms of spatial variation, smaller beaches had the highest nest density and nesting was more frequent 6-9m from the high tide line, where hatchling production was maximized although hatchling success was high on average, above 80%. Morphometric analysis of females was made and newly tagged turtles were smaller on average than remigrants. Our results are only a first attempt at characterizing Guanahacabibes' populations but have great value for establishing conservation priorities within the context of national management plans, and for efficient monitoring and protection

  3. Reproductive success and habitat characteristics of Golden-winged Warblers in high-elevation pasturelands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, Petra; Aldinger, Kyle R.

    2016-01-01

    The Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) is one of the most rapidly declining vertebrate species in the Appalachian Mountains. It is the subject of extensive range-wide research and conservation action. However, little is known about this species' breeding ecology in high-elevation pasturelands, a breeding habitat with conservation potential considering the U.S. Natural Resource Conservation Service's Working Lands for Wildlife program targeting private lands in the Appalachian Mountains. We located 100 nests of Golden-winged Warblers in pastures in and around the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia during 2008–2012. Daily nest survival rate (mean ± SE  =  0.962 ± 0.006), clutch size (4.5 ± 0.1), and number of young fledged per nest attempt (2.0 ± 0.2) and successful nest (4.0 ± 0.1) fell within the range of values reported in other parts of the species' range and were not significantly affected by year or the presence/absence of cattle grazing. Classification tree analysis revealed that nests were in denser vegetation (≥52%) and closer to forest edges (<36.0 m) and shrubs (<7.0 cm) than random locations within the male's territory. Successful nests had significantly more woody cover (≥9%) within 1 m than failed nests. Our results suggest that cattle grazing at 1.2–2.4 ha of forage/animal unit with periodic mowing can create and maintain these characteristics without interfering with the nesting of Golden-winged Warblers. High-elevation pasturelands may provide a refuge for remaining populations of Golden-winged Warblers in this region.

  4. Ticks as a factor in nest desertion of California brown pelicans

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    King, Kirke A.; Keith, James O.; Mitchell, Christine A.; Keirans, James E.

    1977-01-01

    In summary, our observations suggest that O. denmarki may be an important environmental factor influencing the distribution and success of Brown Pelican nests in the Gulf of California. More information on these relationships may be unobtainable without seriously disturbing and destroying large numbers of nests.

  5. Agricultural management affects evolutionary processes in a migratory songbird

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perlut, N.G.; Freeman-Gallant, C. R.; Strong, A.M.; Donovan, T.M.; Kilpatrick, C.W.; Zalik, N.J.

    2008-01-01

    Hay harvests have detrimental ecological effects on breeding songbirds, as harvesting results in nest failure. Importantly, whether harvesting also affects evolutionary processes is not known. We explored how hay harvest affected social and genetic mating patterns, and thus, the overall opportunity for sexual selection and evolutionary processes for a ground-nesting songbird, the Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis). On an unharvested field, 55% of females were in polygynous associations, and social polygyny was associated with greater rates of extra-pair paternity (EPP). In this treatment, synchrony explained variation in EPP rates, as broods by more synchronous females had more EPP than broods by asynchronous females. In contrast, on a harvested field, simultaneous nest failure caused by haying dramatically decreased the overall incidence of EPP by increasing the occurrence of social monogamy and, apparently, the ability of polygynous males to maintain paternity in their own nests. Despite increased social and genetic monogamy, these haying-mediated changes in mating systems resulted in greater than twofold increase in the opportunity for sexual selection. This effect arose, in part, from a 30% increase in the variance associated with within-pair fertilization success, relative to the unharvested field. This effect was caused by a notable increase (+110%) in variance associated with the quality of social mates following simultaneous nest failure. Because up to 40% of regional habitat is harvested by early June, these data may demonstrate a strong population-level effect on mating systems, sexual selection, and consequently, evolutionary processes. ?? 2008 The Authors.

  6. Estimating chimpanzee population size with nest counts: validating methods in Taï National Park.

    PubMed

    Kouakou, Célestin Yao; Boesch, Christophe; Kuehl, Hjalmar

    2009-06-01

    Successful conservation and management of wild animals require reliable estimates of their population size. Ape surveys almost always rely on counts of sleeping nests, as the animals occur at low densities and visibility is low in tropical forests. The reliability of standing-crop nest counts and marked-nest counts, the most widely used methods, has not been tested on populations of known size. Therefore, the answer to the question of which method is more appropriate for surveying chimpanzee population remains problematic and comparisons among sites are difficult. This study aimed to test the validity of these two methods by comparing their estimates to the known population size of three habituated chimpanzee communities in Taï National Park [Boesch et al., Am J Phys Anthropol 130:103-115, 2006; Boesch et al., Am J Primatol 70:519-532, 2008]. In addition to transect surveys, we made observations on nest production rate and nest lifetime. Taï chimpanzees built 1.143 nests per day. The mean nest lifetime of 141 fresh nests was 91.22 days. Estimate precision for the two methods did not differ considerably (difference of coefficient of variation <5%). The estimate of mean nest decay time was more precise (CV=6.46%) when we used covariates (tree species, rainfall, nest height and age) to model nest decay rate, than when we took a simple mean of nest decay times (CV=9.17%). The two survey methods produced point estimates of chimpanzee abundance that were similar and reliable: i.e. for both methods the true chimpanzee abundance was included within the 95% estimate confidence interval. We recommend further research on covariate modeling of nest decay times as one way to improve the precision and to reduce the costs of conducting nest surveys. PMID:19235865

  7. Locating chimpanzee nests and identifying fruiting trees with an unmanned aerial vehicle.

    PubMed

    van Andel, Alexander C; Wich, Serge A; Boesch, Christophe; Koh, Lian Pin; Robbins, Martha M; Kelly, Joseph; Kuehl, Hjalmar S

    2015-10-01

    Monitoring of animal populations is essential for conservation management. Various techniques are available to assess spatiotemporal patterns of species distribution and abundance. Nest surveys are often used for monitoring great apes. Quickly developing technologies, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be used to complement these ground-based surveys, especially for covering large areas rapidly. Aerial surveys have been used successfully to detect the nests of orang-utans. It is unknown if such an approach is practical for African apes, which usually build their nests at lower heights, where they might be obscured by forest canopy. In this 2-month study, UAV-derived aerial imagery was used for two distinct purposes: testing the detectability of chimpanzee nests and identifying fruiting trees used by chimpanzees in Loango National Park (Gabon). Chimpanzee nest data were collected through two approaches: we located nests on the ground and then tried to detect them in UAV photos and vice versa. Ground surveys were conducted using line transects, reconnaissance trails, and opportunistic sampling during which we detected 116 individual nests in 28 nest groups. In complementary UAV images we detected 48% of the individual nests (68% of nest groups) in open coastal forests and 8% of individual nests (33% of nest groups) in closed canopy inland forests. The key factor for nest detectability in UAV imagery was canopy openness. Data on fruiting trees were collected from five line transects. In 122 UAV images 14 species of trees (N = 433) were identified, alongside 37 tree species (N = 205) in complementary ground surveys. Relative abundance of common tree species correlated between ground and UAV surveys. We conclude that UAVs have great potential as a rapid assessment tool for detecting chimpanzee presence in forest with open canopy and assessing fruit tree availability. UAVs may have limited applicability for nest detection in closed canopy forest. PMID

  8. Unusual raptor nests around the world

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ellis, D.H.; Craig, T.; Craig, E.; Postupalsky, S.; LaRue, C.T.; Nelson, R.W.; Anderson, D.W.; Henny, C.J.; Watson, J.; Millsap, B.A.; Dawson, J.W.; Cole, K.L.; Martin, E.M.; Margalida, A.; Kung, P.

    2009-01-01

    From surveys in many countries, we report raptors using unusual nesting materials (e.g., paper money, rags, metal, antlers, and large bones) and unusual nesting situations. For example, we documented nests of Steppe Eagles Aquila nipalensis and Upland Buzzards Buteo hemilasius on the ground beside well-traveled roads, Saker Falcon Falco cherrug eyries in attics and a cistern, and Osprey Pandion haliaetus nests on the masts of boats and on a suspended automobile. Other records include a Golden Eagle A. chrysaetos nest 7.0 m in height, believed to be the tallest nest ever described, and, for the same species, we report nesting in rudimentary nests. Some nest sites are within a few meters of known predators or competitors. These unusual observations may be important in revealing the plasticity of a species' behavioral repertoire. ?? 2009 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.

  9. Breeding ecology and nesting habitat associations of five marsh bird species in western New York

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lor, S.; Malecki, R.A.

    2006-01-01

    Nesting habitats and nest success of five species of marsh birds were studied during 1997 and 1998 at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and the adjacent Oak Orchard and Tonawanda State Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) located in western New York. Nest searches located 18 American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus), 117 Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), 189 Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), 23 Sora (Porzana carolina), and 72 Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) nests. Average nest densities in 1998, our best nest searching year, ranged from 0.01/ha for Soras (N = 8) to 0.28/ha for Pied-billed Grebes (N = 160). Mayfield nest success estimates for Least Bittern were 80% (N = 16) in 1997 and 46% (N = 37) in 1998. Nest success estimates were 72% (N = 55) for Pied-billed Grebe, 43% (N = 6) for Sora, and 38% (N = 20) for Virginia Rail. Nests of all five species were located in ???70% emergent vegetation with a mean water depth of 24-56 cm and an average vegetation height that ranged from 69-133 cm. Logistic regression models were developed for each species using habitat variables at nest and random site locations. Each model was ranked with Akaike's Information Criterion for small sample size (AICc). In general, our best models indicated that increased emergent vegetation and horizontal cover with shallow water depths improved the odds of encountering marsh bird nests in the wetlands of western New York. We suggest that managing wetlands as a complex, at different stages of succession, would best benefit marsh bird species.

  10. Impact of Supplementary Feeding on Reproductive Success of White Storks

    PubMed Central

    Hilgartner, Roland; Stahl, Daniel; Zinner, Dietmar

    2014-01-01

    European white stork (Ciconia ciconia) populations have been object to several conservation measures such as reintroduction programs, habitat improvement or supplementary feeding in the last decades. Although recent white stork censuses revealed an upward trend of most of the western populations, evaluations of the relative importance of certain conservation measures are still scarce or even lacking. In our study we analyzed the effect of supplementary feeding on the reproductive success of white storks in conjunction with other factors such as weather or nest site characteristics. We present data of 569 breeding events at 80 different nest sites located in variable distances to an artificial feeding site at Affenberg Salem (south-western Germany) collected from 1990–2012. A multilevel Poisson regression revealed that in our study population (1) reproductive success was negatively affected by monthly precipitation in April, May and June, (2) pairs breeding on power poles had a lower reproductive success than pairs breeding on platforms or trees and (3) reproductive success was significantly higher in pairs breeding in close distance to the feeding site. The number of fledglings per nest decreased by 8% per kilometer distance to the feeding site. Our data suggest that supplementary feeding increases fledgling populations which may be a tool to attenuate population losses caused by factors such as habitat deterioration or unfavorable conditions in wintering habitats. PMID:25119566

  11. Landscape-moderated bird nest predation in hedges and forest edges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ludwig, Martin; Schlinkert, Hella; Holzschuh, Andrea; Fischer, Christina; Scherber, Christoph; Trnka, Alfréd; Tscharntke, Teja; Batáry, Péter

    2012-11-01

    Landscape-scale agricultural intensification has caused severe declines in biodiversity. Hedges and forest remnants may mitigate biodiversity loss by enhancing landscape heterogeneity and providing habitat to a wide range of species, including birds. However, nest predation, the major cause of reproductive failure of birds, has been shown to be higher in forest edges than in forest interiors. Little is known about how spatial arrangement (configuration) of hedges affects the avian nest predation. We performed an experiment with artificial ground and elevated nests (resembling yellowhammer and whitethroat nests) baited with quail and plasticine eggs. Nests were placed in three habitat types with different degrees of isolation from forests: forest edges, hedges connected to forests and hedges isolated from forests. Nest predation was highest in forest edges, lowest in hedges connected to forests and intermediate in isolated hedges. In the early breeding season, we found similar nest predation on ground and elevated nests, but in the late breeding season nest predation was higher on ground nests than on elevated nests. Small mammals were the main predators of ground nests and appeared to be responsible for the increase in predation from early to late breeding season, whereas the elevated nests were mainly depredated by small birds and small mammals. High predation pressure at forest edges was probably caused by both forest and open-landscape predators. The influence of forest predators may be lower at hedges, leading to lower predation pressure than in forest edges. Higher predation pressure in isolated than connected hedges might be an effect of concentration of predators in these isolated habitats. We conclude that landscape configuration of hedges is important in nest predation, with connected hedges allowing higher survival than isolated hedges and forest edges.

  12. Population dynamics of adult fleas (Siphonaptera) on hosts and in nests of the California vole.

    PubMed

    Stark, Harold E

    2002-11-01

    Microtus californicus (Peale, 1848) were live trapped or retrapped 887 times, and fleas were collected over a 2.5-yr period in the San Francisco Watershed and Wildlife Refuge. Also, 179 M. californicus nests were collected monthly with observations to identify the environment of fleas. The ratio of the mean number of fleas per nest to the mean number collected on voles was 4.7:1 for Malaraeus telchinus (Rothschild, 1905), 13:1 for Hystrichopsylla occidentalis linsdalei Holland, 1957,9:1 for Atyphloceras multidentatus multidentatus (C. Fox, 1909), and 76:1 for Catallagia wymani (C. Fox, 1909). The proportion of each flea species per nest to those per host was not closely associated seasonally or spatially. The average nest contained 37.5% moisture content in relation to its total weight and ranged between 3 and 92%. No relationship was observed between relative humidity of air within nests and flea number, but a significant relationship existed between the moisture of nesting materials and flea number. Malaraeus telchinus and A. m. multidentatus were collected in greatest numbers from nests having 30-39% moisture content by weight, and H. o. linsdalei and C. wymani were most numerous in nests that had 40-49% moisture content. Catallagia wymani had the greatest tolerance for high moisture and was severely affected by lack of moisture and nearly absent in drier nests. No ectoparasites were collected from nests that had <12% moisture content, and nests with >50% moisture content had few fleas. A static concept of nest fleas and host fleas as suggested by averages and often used in literature is questionable. In seasonal comparison of populations of fleas on hosts and in nests, M. telchinus and H. o. linsdalei reversed so that more of the flea population was on the host than in the nest for a short time during fall. PMID:12495178

  13. Optimizing nest survival and female survival: Consequences of nest site selection for Canada Geese

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, David A.; Grand, J.B.; Fondell, T.F.; Anthony, R.M.

    2007-01-01

    We examined the relationship between attributes of nest sites used by Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) in the Copper River Delta, Alaska, and patterns in nest and female survival. We aimed to determine whether nest site attributes related to nest and female survival differed and whether nest site attributes related to nest survival changed within and among years. Nest site attributes that we examined included vegetation at and surrounding the nest, as well as associations with other nesting birds. Optimal nest site characteristics were different depending on whether nest survival or female survival was examined. Prior to 25 May, the odds of daily survival for nests in tall shrubs and on islands were 2.92 and 2.26 times greater, respectively, than for nests in short shrub sites. Bald Eagles (Halieaeetus leucocephalus) are the major predator during the early breeding season and their behavior was likely important in determining this pattern. After 25 May, when eagle predation is limited due to the availability of alternative prey, no differences in nest survival among the nest site types were found. In addition, nest survival was positively related to the density of other Canada Goose nests near the nest site. Although the number of detected mortalities for females was relatively low, a clear pattern was found, with mortality three times more likely at nest sites dominated by high shrub density within 50 m than at open sites dominated by low shrub density. The negative relationship of nest concealment and adult survival is consistent with that found in other studies of ground-nesting birds. Physical barriers that limited access to nest sites by predators and sites that allowed for early detection of predators were important characteristics of nest site quality for Canada Geese and nest site quality shifted within seasons, likely as a result of shifting predator-prey interactions.

  14. Foraging Habitat Quality Constrains Effectiveness of Artificial Nest-Site Provisioning in Reversing Population Declines in a Colonial Cavity Nester

    PubMed Central

    Catry, Inês; Franco, Aldina M. A.; Rocha, Pedro; Alcazar, Rita; Reis, Susana; Cordeiro, Ana; Ventim, Rita; Teodósio, Joaquim; Moreira, Francisco

    2013-01-01

    Among birds, breeding numbers are mainly limited by two resources of major importance: food supply and nest-site availability. Here, we investigated how differences in land-use and nest-site availability affected the foraging behaviour, breeding success and population trends of the colonial cavity-dependent lesser kestrel Falco naumanni inhabiting two protected areas. Both areas were provided with artificial nests to increase nest-site availability. The first area is a pseudo-steppe characterized by traditional extensive cereal cultivation, whereas the second area is a previous agricultural zone now abandoned or replaced by forested areas. In both areas, lesser kestrels selected extensive agricultural habitats, such as fallows and cereal fields, and avoided scrubland and forests. In the second area, tracked birds from one colony travelled significantly farther distances (6.2 km ±1.7 vs. 1.8 km ±0.4 and 1.9 km ±0.6) and had significant larger foraging-ranges (144 km2 vs. 18.8 and 14.8 km2) when compared to the birds of two colonies in the extensive agricultural area. Longer foraging trips were reflected in lower chick feeding rates, lower fledging success and reduced chick fitness. Availability and occupation of artificial nests was high in both areas but population followed opposite trends, with a positive increment recorded exclusively in the first area with a large proportion of agricultural areas. Progressive habitat loss around the studied colony in the second area (suitable habitat decreased from 32% in 1990 to only 7% in 2002) is likely the main driver of the recorded population decline and suggests that the effectiveness of bird species conservation based on nest-site provisioning is highly constrained by habitat quality in the surrounding areas. Therefore, the conservation of cavity-dependent species may be enhanced firstly by finding the best areas of remaining habitat and secondly by increasing the carrying capacity of high-quality habitat areas

  15. Use of no-till winter wheat by nesting ducks in North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duebbert, H.F.; Kantrud, H.A.

    1987-01-01

    Nesting of dabbling ducks (Anatinae) was studied in fields of no-till winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) in the prairie pothole region of North Dakota during 1984 and 1985. Total area of 59 fields searched in 1984 was 1,135 ha and total area of 70 fields searched in 1985 was 1,175 ha. Field sizes ranged from 3 ha to 110 ha. Nests of five duck species were found: blue-winged teal (Anas discors), 55 nests; northern pintail (A. acuta), 44; mallard (A. platyrhynchos), 29; gadwall (A. strepera), 15; and northern shoveler (A. clypeata), 8. The average number of nests found was 8/100 ha in 1984 and 6/100 ha in 1985. Nest success for all species averaged 26% in 1984 and 29% in 1985. Predation by mammals was the principal cause of nest destruction. No egg or hen mortality could be attributed to pesticide use. Only 6 of 151 nests (4%) were abandoned during the two years. We also found 29 nests of seven other ground-nesting bird species. The trend toward increased planting of no-till winter wheat in the prairie pothole region should benefit production of ducks and other ground-nesting birds.

  16. Evaluation of a reproductive index to estimate grasshopper sparrow and eastern meadowlark reproductive success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Althoff, D.P.; Gipson, P.S.; Pontius, J.S.; Japuntich, R.D.

    2009-01-01

    We compared an index of reproductive success based on breeding behavior to actual nest fates of grasshopper sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum) and eastern meadowlarks (Sturnella magna) on 12 plots (4-ha). Concordance of results between the two methods was 58% for grasshopper sparrows and 42% for eastern meadowlarks on a plot-by-plot basis. The indirect method yielded higher estimates of reproductive activity than nest monitoring for the balance of the plots,. There was little evidence that brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism influenced the estimates of reproductive success using the indirect method. We concluded that nests and about-to-fledge nestlings were missed during searches on some plots. It may be appropriate to use an indirect method to more efficiently survey territories and/or plots for species with hard-to-find nests or when monitoring large areas. Use of a reproductive index may be appropriate and more time-efficient than nest searching and monitoring for comparing management effects such as burning, grazing, haying, military training, and other localized disturbances that are likely to affect reproductive success of grasshopper sparrows and eastern meadowlarks. However, nest monitoring may be necessary for more precise estimates of productivity necessary for long-term monitoring. Nest monitoring results are also likely to allow for direct comparisons to results from other studies because the index method requires intimate knowledge of the species being evaluated - a factor that could lead to reduced precision because the experience level of technicians relying only on behavioral cues from study-to-study is likely to vary considerably.

  17. Multivariate analysis of Buteo nest site selection in Washington

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, D.G.; Bechard, M.; Knight, R.L.; Fitzner, R.E.

    1983-03-01

    Raptor breeding populations of grasslands and semi-arid grasslands of western North America include varying densities of three Buteo species, the Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis) and Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni). These three species are behaviorially rather similar in their diurnal activity patterns and foraging habitats and exhibit similar diets comprised of small mammals and birds. Principal component analysis and discriminant function analysis were used to describe key similarities and differences in nest site selection of the three Buteo species. Differences in nest site selection may offer an explanation of how the three Buteo species may nest sympatrically and at times successfully at distances of less than 0.5 km despite apparent similarities in use of other resources. 15 refs., 1 fig., 9 tabs.

  18. Nest spacing, habitat selection, and behavior of waterfowl on Miller Lake Island, North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lokemoen, J.T.; Duebbert, H.F.; Sharp, D.E.

    1984-01-01

    The nesting behavior of a concentration of nesting mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and gadwalls (A. strepera) was studied on a 4.5-ha island in Miller Lake, North Dakota, in 1977. A single 0.59-ha clump of thick shrub contained 225 simultaneously active mallard nests on 10 May. During the peak nesting period, mallard nests were spaced an average of 2.7 m from conspecifics. Active nests of all species peaked at 327, spaced an average of 2.1 m apart. Nests were clustered in thick shrub with moderate numbers in open shrub and few in grassland. Nest placement was significantly related to the amount of vegetative screening although mammalian predators were absent on the island. Cover density appeared to be important to the nesting hens as vegetation screened nests from potential avian predators and from harassment by other conspecific nesting hens and drakes. Mallards and gadwalls nesting on this island used wetlands in >100 km2 around Miller Lake. During daylight hours in late April 1978, an average of 4.9 mallards/minute arrived at the island; a peak of 17.2 mallards/minute arrived at 0800. In late April 1978, as many as 26 mallard pairs/ha occurred on favored wetlands and behavioral aggression was intense. Yet, most mallard hens maintained adequate space to acquire food and other requisites. Mallards and gadwalls were sufficiently adaptable to successfully exploit the Miller Lake island and environments that resulted in high reproductive success. Other local breeding Anatidae because of behavioral constraints were unable to exploit the same situation.

  19. Decline in a population of spectacled eiders nesting on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ely, Craig; Dau, Christian; Babcock, Christopher

    1994-01-01

    The number of spectacled eiders nesting on two study areas near the Kashunuk River, on the central Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) Delta, Alaska, declined by over 75% in the last 20 years. Nesting densities have remained low, but have not significantly declined since 1985. There has been no decrease in the reproductive effort of individual females as indicated by average clutch sizes. There has been a significant decline in the proportion of nests located on islands on one of the two study areas. Nesting success declined significantly during the 1970's. Success was not monitored in recent years, but has likely been low, based on the poor nesting success and declining numbers of cackling Canada geese and black brant nesting on the area. Nest predation by arctic foxes severely limited the productivity of cackling Canada geese, and foxes were likely the major predators of eider nests. Persistent high predation rates may lead to local extirpation in highly philopatric species such as eiders.

  20. Nesting biology of three grassland passerines in the northern tallgrass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winter, M.; Johnson, D.H.; Shaffer, J.A.; Svedarsky, W.D.

    2004-01-01

    Basic nesting information on grassland passerines is needed for improving grassland bird management. Among the information needs are (1) the suitability of nesting habitat, (2) periods during the breeding season in which birds are most vulnerable to disturbances, and (3) how to fit grasslands into a prioritization scheme for conservation. Comparisons of nesting parameters among grassland species will help identify important management considerations. We describe and compare nest-site characteristics, nesting phenology, clutch size, hatching and fledging success, and brood parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) for three grassland passerine species nesting in tallgrass prairie of northwestern Minnesota and southeastern North Dakota. During 1998-2002, we found 793 Clay-colored Sparrow (Spizella pallida), 687 Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis), and 315 Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) nests. These species differed in many aspects of their breeding ecology. Clay-colored and Savannah sparrows initiated their nests almost 2 weeks earlier than Bobolinks, with peak nesting occurring in June. Clutch size was lower (3.77 ?? 0.03 SE) for Clay-colored Sparrows than Savannah Sparrows (4.13 ?? 0.05) and Bobolinks (5.25 ?? 0.08). The number of host eggs hatched per nest was higher in Bobolinks (3.46 ?? 0.20) than in Clay-colored Sparrows (2.52 ?? 0.09) and Savannah Sparrows (2.41 ?? 0.11), but the number of young fledged per Bobolink nest (1.97) was similar to that of Savannah Sparrows (2.01). Clay-colored Sparrows fledged only 1.35 host young per nest. Mayfield nest success was higher for Savannah Sparrows (31.4%) than for Clay-colored Sparrows (27.4%) or Bobolinks (20.7%). The main cause of nest failure was nest predation: predation in Clay-colored Sparrows (47.9%) was higher than in Savannah Sparrows (33.5%) but similar to Bobolinks (41.8%). Brood parasitism was lower in Clay-colored Sparrows (5.1%) than in Bobolinks (10.8%), and intermediate (6.7%) in

  1. Use of novel nest boxes by carmine bee-eaters (Merops nubicus) in captivity.

    PubMed

    Elston, Jennifer J; Carney, Jennifer; Quinones, Glorieli; Sky, Christy; Plasse, Chelle; Bettinger, Tammie

    2007-01-01

    Carmine bee-eaters make attractive additions to zoo aviaries but breeding programs have had challenges and limited success. The objectives of this study were to document nesting behavior of Carmine bee-eaters in a captive setting and compare reproductive success between a novel nest box (plastic, 17 x 30 x 22 cm) and a PVC pipe model used previously (30 cm long, 8 cm in diameter). Three bee-eater pairs were given access to seven nest chambers (six novel boxes, one PVC model). Behavioral observations occurred during a 15-min period in the morning or afternoon before egg production and continued until chicks fledged for a total of 87 observation periods (21.75 hr). All occurrences by an individual bird entering or exiting a nest tunnel, food provision, and the time (min) spent inside a nest cavity were documented. Additionally, daily temperature within each nest chamber was recorded. Before eggs were produced the average daily temperature (23.02 degrees C) within the nest chambers did not differ, suggesting that nest cavity choice was not influenced by temperature. No differences were detected among pairs in percent of observed time spent inside their nest cavities or number of times a nest tunnel was entered during the incubation or fledging periods. During incubation females spent a greater percent of observed time inside the nest cavity than males (P=0.02). During the fledging period food provision did not differ between the pairs, however males entered their nest tunnels more often per hour than females (P=0.03), and males tended to provide food more often than females (P=0.053). Two pairs nested in novel nest boxes and successfully fledged one chick each. The pair that nested in the PVC model did not fledge a chick. A nest box that aids in keeping eggs intact is essential for breeding bee-eaters in captivity, and maintaining captive populations will provide opportunities for zoo visitors to enjoy these birds and will reduce the need to remove birds from the wild

  2. Nest-site characteristics of Glyptemys muhlenbergii (Bog Turtle) in New Jersey and Pennsylvania

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zappalorti, Robert T.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Farrell, Ray F.; Torocco, Michael E.

    2015-01-01

    Nest-site selection can affect both the survival and fitness of female turtles and their offspring. In many turtle species, the nest environment determines the thermal regime during incubation, length of incubation period, sex ratio of the hatchlings, and exposure to predators and other forms of mortality for both mothers and their offspring. Between 1974 and 2012, we collected detailed data on habitat variables at 66 Glyptemys muhlenbergii (Bog Turtle) nests in 9 different bogs, fens, and wetland complexes in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The nests had a mean elevation above the substrate of 8.2 cm, and many were shallow and located in raised tussocks of grass or sedges. Females covered most nests, but we also observed partially or completely uncovered eggs. Some females deposited eggs in communal nests; we found 4 nests with 2 separate clutches, and 2 nests with 3 clutches. Principal component analysis confirmed the importance of cover and vegetation to nest-site selection in this species. Availability of open, shade-free, wet nesting areas is an important habitat requirement for Bog Turtles.

  3. Correlates of nest-defense behavior of common terns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erwin, R.M.

    1988-01-01

    Nest-defense behavior was studied at seven Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) colonies in southern coastal New Jersey during June and July 1981. Data were collected weekly on numbers of adults, nests, eggs, and young in relation to the frequency and intensity of dive attacks on a human intruder by nesting terns. I explored the relationships between attack behavior and colony size/density, seasonality, and brood survival. The results provide little support for social facilitation since neither colony size (range 30-250 nests) nor density was related to mean attack frequency; however, in larger colonies, fewer birds participated in dive attacks. Although the intensity of attacks was strongly seasonal, patterns were very different among colonies and peak attack rates did not always coincide with peak hatching periods. Defense levels declined late in the season in most colonies regardless of whether brood survival was high or low. Colonies with individuals that attacked early in the season had higher overall nesting success than in colonies where individuals showed little early season aggression.

  4. INCLUDING TRANSITION PROBABILITIES IN NEST SURVIVAL ESTIMATION: A MAYFIELD MARKOV CHAIN

    EPA Science Inventory

    This manuscript is primarily an exploration of the statistical properties of nest-survival estimates for terrestrial songbirds. The Mayfield formulation described herein should allow researchers to test for complicated effects of stressors on daily survival and overall success, i...

  5. Ectoparasitism and the role of green nesting material in the European starling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fauth, P.T.; Krementz, D.G.; Hines, J.E.

    1991-01-01

    The use of green nesting material is wide-spread among birds. Recent evidence suggests that birds use secondary chemicals contained in green plants to control ectoparasites. We manipulated green nesting material and ectoparasites of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris ) to test two hypotheses: (1) ectoparasites adversely affect prefledging survival and morphometrics or postfledging survival, and (2) green nesting material ameliorates the effects of ectoparasites. We recorded fat score, number of scabs, tarsal length, body mass, and hematocrit level on each nestling 17 days after hatching. We also fitted each nestling with unique patagial tags and resighted the starlings for 6-8 weeks after fledging to estimate survival and sighting rates. Nests devoid of green nesting material and dusted with the insecticide, carbaryl, had fewer high ectoparasite infestations, and nestlings had significantly lower scab scores, and significantly higher body masses than nestlings in undusted boxes. However, there was no difference in postfledging survival between birds from carbaryl-treated and undusted nests.

  6. Nest predation increases with parental activity: Separating nest site and parental activity effects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, T.E.; Scott, J.; Menge, C.

    2000-01-01

    Alexander Skutch hypothesized that increased parental activity can increase the risk of nest predation. We tested this hypothesis using ten open-nesting bird species in Arizona, USA. Parental activity was greater during the nestling than incubation stage because parents visited the nest frequently to feed their young during the nestling stage. However, nest predation did not generally increase with parental activity between nesting stages across the ten study species. Previous investigators have found similar results. We tested whether nest site effects might yield higher predation during incubation because the most obvious sites are depredated most rapidly. We conducted experiments using nest sites from the previous year to remove parental activity. Our results showed that nest sites have highly repeatable effects on nest predation risk; poor nest sites incurred rapid predation and caused predation rates to be greater during the incubation than nestling stage. This pattern also was exhibited in a bird species with similar (i.e. controlled) parental activity between nesting stages. Once nest site effects are taken into account, nest predation shows a strong proximate increase with parental activity during the nestling stage within and across species. Parental activity and nest sites exert antagonistic influences on current estimates of nest predation between nesting stages and both must be considered in order to understand current patterns of nest predation, which is an important source of natural selection.

  7. Nest predation increases with parental activity: separating nest site and parental activity effects.

    PubMed Central

    Martin, T E; Scott, J; Menge, C

    2000-01-01

    Alexander Skutch hypothesized that increased parental activity can increase the risk of nest predation. We tested this hypothesis using ten open-nesting bird species in Arizona, USA. Parental activity was greater during the nestling than incubation stage because parents visited the nest frequently to feed their young during the nestling stage. However, nest predation did not generally increase with parental activity between nesting stages across the ten study species. Previous investigators have found similar results. We tested whether nest site effects might yield higher predation during incubation because the most obvious sites are depredated most rapidly. We conducted experiments using nest sites from the previous year to remove parental activity. Our results showed that nest sites have highly repeatable effects on nest predation risk; poor nest sites incurred rapid predation and caused predation rates to be greater during the incubation than nestling stage. This pattern also was exhibited in a bird species with similar (i.e. controlled) parental activity between nesting stages. Once nest site effects are taken into account, nest predation shows a strong proximate increase with parental activity during the nestling stage within and across species. Parental activity and nest sites exert antagonistic influences on current estimates of nest predation between nesting stages and both must be considered in order to understand current patterns of nest predation, which is an important source of natural selection. PMID:11413645

  8. Decoration Increases the Conspicuousness of Raptor Nests

    PubMed Central

    Canal, David; Mulero-Pázmány, Margarita; Negro, Juan José; Sergio, Fabrizio

    2016-01-01

    Avian nests are frequently concealed or camouflaged, but a number of species builds noticeable nests or use conspicuous materials for nest decoration. In most cases, nest decoration has a role in mate choice or provides thermoregulatory or antiparasitic benefits. In territorial species however, decorations may serve additional or complementary functions, such as extended phenotypic signaling of nest-site occupancy and social status to potential intruders. The latter may benefit both signaler and receiver by minimizing the risk of aggressive interactions, especially in organisms with dangerous weaponry. Support for this hypothesis was recently found in a population of black kites (Milvus migrans), a territorial raptor that decorates its nest with white artificial materials. However, the crucial assumption that nest decorations increased nest-site visibility to conspecifics was not assessed, a key aspect given that black kite nests may be well concealed within the canopy. Here, we used an unmanned aircraft system to take pictures of black kite nests, with and without an experimentally placed decoration, from different altitudes and distances simulating the perspective of a flying and approaching, prospecting intruder. The pictures were shown to human volunteers through a standardized routine to determine whether detection rates varied according the nest decoration status and distance. Decorated nests consistently showed a higher detection frequency and a lower detection-latency, compared to undecorated versions of the same nests. Our results confirm that nest decoration in this species may act as a signaling medium that enhances nest visibility for aerial receivers, even at large distances. This finding complements previous work on this communication system, which showed that nest decoration was a threat informing trespassing conspecifics on the social dominance, territory quality and fighting capabilities of the signaler. PMID:27455066

  9. Decoration Increases the Conspicuousness of Raptor Nests.

    PubMed

    Canal, David; Mulero-Pázmány, Margarita; Negro, Juan José; Sergio, Fabrizio

    2016-01-01

    Avian nests are frequently concealed or camouflaged, but a number of species builds noticeable nests or use conspicuous materials for nest decoration. In most cases, nest decoration has a role in mate choice or provides thermoregulatory or antiparasitic benefits. In territorial species however, decorations may serve additional or complementary functions, such as extended phenotypic signaling of nest-site occupancy and social status to potential intruders. The latter may benefit both signaler and receiver by minimizing the risk of aggressive interactions, especially in organisms with dangerous weaponry. Support for this hypothesis was recently found in a population of black kites (Milvus migrans), a territorial raptor that decorates its nest with white artificial materials. However, the crucial assumption that nest decorations increased nest-site visibility to conspecifics was not assessed, a key aspect given that black kite nests may be well concealed within the canopy. Here, we used an unmanned aircraft system to take pictures of black kite nests, with and without an experimentally placed decoration, from different altitudes and distances simulating the perspective of a flying and approaching, prospecting intruder. The pictures were shown to human volunteers through a standardized routine to determine whether detection rates varied according the nest decoration status and distance. Decorated nests consistently showed a higher detection frequency and a lower detection-latency, compared to undecorated versions of the same nests. Our results confirm that nest decoration in this species may act as a signaling medium that enhances nest visibility for aerial receivers, even at large distances. This finding complements previous work on this communication system, which showed that nest decoration was a threat informing trespassing conspecifics on the social dominance, territory quality and fighting capabilities of the signaler. PMID:27455066

  10. Uterine Artery Embolization in 101 Cases of Uterine Fibroids: Do Size, Location, and Number of Fibroids Affect Therapeutic Success and Complications?

    SciTech Connect

    Firouznia, Kavous Ghanaati, Hossein; Jalali, Amir H.; Shakiba, Madjid

    2008-05-15

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the size, location, or number of fibroids affects therapeutic efficacy or complications of uterine artery embolization (UAE). Patients with symptomatic uterine fibroids (n = 101) were treated by selective bilateral UAE using 500- to 710-{mu}m polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) particles. Baseline measures of clinical symptoms, sonography, and MRI taken before the procedure were compared to those taken 1, 3, 6, and 12 months later. Complications and outcomes were analyzed for associations with fibroid size, location, and number. Reductions in mean fibroid volume were similar in patients with single (66.6 {+-} 21.5%) and multiple (67.4 {+-} 25.0%) fibroids (p-value = 0.83). Menstrual improvement occurred in patients with single (93.3%) and multiple (72.2%) fibroids (p = 0.18). Changes in submucosal and other fibroids were not significantly different between the two groups (p's > 0.56). Linear regression analysis between primary fibroid volume as independent variable and percentage reduction of fibroid volume after 1 year yielded an R{sup 2} of 0.083 and the model coefficient was not statistically significant (p = 0.072). Multivariate regression models revealed no statistically or clinically significant coefficients or odds ratios for three independent variables (primary fibroid size, total number, and fibroid location) and all outcome variables (percent reduction of uterus and fibroid volumes in 1 year, improvement of clinical symptoms [menstrual, bulk related, and urinary] in 1 year, and complications after UAE). In conclusion, neither the success rate nor the probability of complications was affected by the primary fibroid size, location, or total number of fibroids.

  11. Teaching Ecological Concepts with Mud Dauber Nests.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matthews, Robert W.; Matthews, Janice R.

    1999-01-01

    Contends that mud dauber nests--which are widely available, safe, inexpensive, and easy to use--offer a novel and highly motivating way to teach ecological concepts to life science students at many grade levels. Presents background information for teachers, details classroom-tested methods for nest dissection, provides keys to nest contents, and…

  12. NESTED GRID MESOSCALE ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY MODEL

    EPA Science Inventory

    A nested grid version of the Regional Acid Deposition Model (RADM) has been developed. he horizontal grid interval size of the nested model is 3 times smaller than that of RADM (80/3 km 26.7 km). herefore the nested model is better able to simulate mesoscale atmospheric processes...

  13. Supramolecular nesting of cyclic polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kondratuk, Dmitry V.; Perdigão, Luís M. A.; Esmail, Ayad M. S.; O'Shea, James N.; Beton, Peter H.; Anderson, Harry L.

    2015-04-01

    Advances in template-directed synthesis make it possible to create artificial molecules with protein-like dimensions, directly from simple components. These synthetic macromolecules have a proclivity for self-organization that is reminiscent of biopolymers. Here, we report the synthesis of monodisperse cyclic porphyrin polymers, with diameters of up to 21 nm (750 C-C bonds). The ratio of the intrinsic viscosities for cyclic and linear topologies is 0.72, indicating that these polymers behave as almost ideal flexible chains in solution. When deposited on gold surfaces, the cyclic polymers display a new mode of two-dimensional supramolecular organization, combining encapsulation and nesting; one nanoring adopts a near-circular conformation, thus allowing a second nanoring to be captured within its perimeter, in a tightly folded conformation. Scanning tunnelling microscopy reveals that nesting occurs in combination with stacking when nanorings are deposited under vacuum, whereas when they are deposited directly from solution under ambient conditions there is stacking or nesting, but not a combination of both.

  14. Nested Variant of Urothelial Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Venyo, Anthony Kodzo-Grey

    2014-01-01

    Background. Nested variant of urothelial carcinoma was added to the WHO's classification in 2004. Aims. To review the literature on nested variant of urothelial carcinoma. Results. About 200 cases of the tumour have been reported so far and it has the ensuing morphological features: large numbers of small confluent irregular nests of bland-appearing, closely packed, haphazardly arranged, and poorly defined urothelial cells infiltrating the lamina propria and the muscularis propria. The tumour has a bland histomorphologic appearance, has an aggressive biological behaviour, and has at times been misdiagnosed as a benign lesion which had led to a significant delay in the establishment of the correct diagnosis and contributing to the advanced stage of the disease. Immunohistochemically, the tumour shares some characteristic features with high-risk conventional urothelial carcinomas such as high proliferation index and loss of p27 expression. However, p53, bcl-2, or EGF-r immunoreactivity is not frequently seen. The tumour must be differentiated from a number of proliferative lesions of the urothelium. Conclusions. Correct and early diagnosis of this tumour is essential to provide early curative treatment to avoid diagnosis at an advanced stage. A multicentre trial is required to identify treatment options that would improve the outcome of this tumour. PMID:24587796

  15. Nest site selection influences mortality and stress responses in developmental stages of Megachile apicalis Spinola (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae).

    PubMed

    Hranitz, John M; Barthell, John F; Thorp, Robbin W; Overall, Lisa M; Griffith, Justin L

    2009-04-01

    We examined stress responses and survival in developmental stages of the invasive solitary bee Megachile apicalis Spinola during two nesting seasons in the Central Valley of California to consider whether abiotic stress tolerance of its offspring contributes to this species' successful colonization of the western United States. In 2001 and 2003, artificial nesting cavities were affixed to vertical plywood boards oriented to maximize nest cavity temperature and humidity differences: one side faced south (exposed to direct sun) and the other one faced north (shaded). After several weeks of nesting activity, we measured heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) concentrations in adults and offspring on 1 d in both years and offspring survival and mortality sources in 2003. In 2001, M. apicalis showed higher HSP70 concentrations in exposed nests than in shaded nests during all developmental stages, adults and their offspring. In 2003, overall survivorship was not significantly different between treatments because exposed nests experienced high offspring mortality caused by heat stress, whereas shaded nests suffered similarly high offspring mortality because of parasitoids. In both years of our study, females preferred shaded nests over exposed nests. M. apicalis successfully reproduces in grasslands of the Central Valley of California where offspring survive hot, dry nest sites and parasitoids in sufficient numbers to inoculate new grassland habitats, unpopulated by tolerance-limited native solitary bees, with incipient populations of this bee, M. apicalis. PMID:19389299

  16. Do seasonal patterns of rat snake (Pantherophis obsoletus) and black racer (Coluber constrictor) activity predict avian nest predation?

    PubMed

    DeGregorio, Brett A; Weatherhead, Patrick J; Ward, Michael P; Sperry, Jinelle H

    2016-04-01

    Avian nest success often varies seasonally and because predation is the primary cause of nest failure, seasonal variation in predator activity has been hypothesized to explain seasonal variation in nest success. Despite the fact that nest predator communities are often diverse, recent evidence from studies of snakes that are nest predators has lent some support to the link between snake activity and nest predation. However, the strength of the relationship has varied among studies. Explaining this variation is difficult, because none of these studies directly identified nest predators, the link between predator activity and nest survival was inferred. To address this knowledge gap, we examined seasonal variation in daily survival rates of 463 bird nests (of 17 bird species) and used cameras to document predator identity at 137 nests. We simultaneously quantified seasonal activity patterns of two local snake species (N = 30 individuals) using manual (2136 snake locations) and automated (89,165 movements detected) radiotelemetry. Rat snakes (Pantherophis obsoletus), the dominant snake predator at the site (~28% of observed nest predations), were most active in late May and early June, a pattern reported elsewhere for this species. When analyzing all monitored nests, we found no link between nest predation and seasonal activity of rat snakes. When analyzing only nests with known predator identities (filmed nests), however, we found that rat snakes were more likely to prey on nests during periods when they were moving the greatest distances. Similarly, analyses of all monitored nests indicated that nest survival was not linked to racer activity patterns, but racer-specific predation (N = 17 nests) of filmed nests was higher when racers were moving the greatest distances. Our results suggest that the activity of predators may be associated with higher predation rates by those predators, but that those effects can be difficult to detect when nest predator communities

  17. Nest Material Shapes Eggs Bacterial Environment

    PubMed Central

    Ruiz-Castellano, Cristina; Tomás, Gustavo; Ruiz-Rodríguez, Magdalena; Martín-Gálvez, David; Soler, Juan José

    2016-01-01

    Selective pressures imposed by pathogenic microorganisms to embryos have selected in hosts for a battery of antimicrobial lines of defenses that includes physical and chemical barriers. Due to the antimicrobial properties of volatile compounds of green plants and of chemicals of feather degrading bacteria, the use of aromatic plants and feathers for nest building has been suggested as one of these barriers. However, experimental evidence suggesting such effects is scarce in the literature. During two consecutive years, we explored experimentally the effects of these nest materials on loads of different groups of bacteria (mesophilic bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, Staphylococcus and Enterococcus) of eggshells in nests of spotless starlings (Sturnus unicolor) at the beginning and at the end of the incubation period. This was also explored in artificial nests without incubation activity. We also experimentally increased bacterial density of eggs in natural and artificial nests and explored the effects of nest lining treatments on eggshell bacterial load. Support for the hypothetical antimicrobial function of nest materials was mainly detected for the year and location with larger average values of eggshell bacterial density. The beneficial effects of feathers and plants were more easily detected in artificial nests with no incubation activity, suggesting an active role of incubation against bacterial colonization of eggshells. Pigmented and unpigmented feathers reduced eggshell bacterial load in starling nests and artificial nest boxes. Results from artificial nests allowed us to discuss and discard alternative scenarios explaining the detected association, particularly those related to the possible sexual role of feathers and aromatic plants in starling nests. All these results considered together confirm the antimicrobial functionality mainly of feathers but also of plants used as nest materials, and highlight the importance of temporally and geographically

  18. Nest Material Shapes Eggs Bacterial Environment.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Castellano, Cristina; Tomás, Gustavo; Ruiz-Rodríguez, Magdalena; Martín-Gálvez, David; Soler, Juan José

    2016-01-01

    Selective pressures imposed by pathogenic microorganisms to embryos have selected in hosts for a battery of antimicrobial lines of defenses that includes physical and chemical barriers. Due to the antimicrobial properties of volatile compounds of green plants and of chemicals of feather degrading bacteria, the use of aromatic plants and feathers for nest building has been suggested as one of these barriers. However, experimental evidence suggesting such effects is scarce in the literature. During two consecutive years, we explored experimentally the effects of these nest materials on loads of different groups of bacteria (mesophilic bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, Staphylococcus and Enterococcus) of eggshells in nests of spotless starlings (Sturnus unicolor) at the beginning and at the end of the incubation period. This was also explored in artificial nests without incubation activity. We also experimentally increased bacterial density of eggs in natural and artificial nests and explored the effects of nest lining treatments on eggshell bacterial load. Support for the hypothetical antimicrobial function of nest materials was mainly detected for the year and location with larger average values of eggshell bacterial density. The beneficial effects of feathers and plants were more easily detected in artificial nests with no incubation activity, suggesting an active role of incubation against bacterial colonization of eggshells. Pigmented and unpigmented feathers reduced eggshell bacterial load in starling nests and artificial nest boxes. Results from artificial nests allowed us to discuss and discard alternative scenarios explaining the detected association, particularly those related to the possible sexual role of feathers and aromatic plants in starling nests. All these results considered together confirm the antimicrobial functionality mainly of feathers but also of plants used as nest materials, and highlight the importance of temporally and geographically

  19. Identifying Kittlitz's Murrelet nesting habitat in North America at the landscape scale

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Felis, Jonathan J.; Kissling, Michelle L.; Kaler, Robb S.A.; Kenney, Leah A.; Lawonn, Matthew J.

    2016-01-01

    The Kittlitz's Murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris) is a small, non-colonial seabird endemic to marine waters of Alaska and eastern Russia that may have experienced significant population decline in recent decades, in part because of low reproductive success and terrestrial threats. Although recent studies have shed new light on Kittlitz's Murrelet nesting habitat in a few discrete areas, the location and extent of suitable nesting habitat throughout most of its range remains unclear. Here, we have compiled all existing nest records and locations to identify landscape-scale parameters (distance to coast, elevation, slope, and land cover) that provide potential nesting habitat in four regions: northern Alaska, Aleutian Islands, Alaska Peninsula Mountains and Kodiak Island, and Pacific Coastal Mountains (including nearshore interior Canada). We produced a final map classifying 12% (70,411 km2) of the lands assessed as potential Kittlitz's Murrelet nesting habitat, with dense but distinct patches in northern Alaska and a more uninterrupted, narrow band extending across the Pacific Coastal Mountains, Alaska Peninsula Mountains, and Aleutian Islands. The extent of habitat-capable parameter values varied regionally, indicating that the Kittlitz's Murrelet may be able to use a variety of habitats for nesting, depending on availability. Future nesting habitat studies could employ spatially random sampling designs to allow for quantitatively robust modeling of nesting habitat and predictive extrapolation to areas where nests have not been located but likely exist.

  20. Investigation of flow transition problems at WRFs nested-domain interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirkil, Gokhan

    2015-04-01

    Many contemporary atmospheric simulation models employ a grid nesting capability that permits large-eddy simulations (LES) to be conducted over subsets of larger bounding simulations, with the bounding-domain solutions providing lateral boundary conditions for the nested domains within. While grid nesting has been successfully applied at GCM to mesoscale resolutions, such nesting behavior at higher resolutions, including those appropriate for LES, is less well understood. We investigate such grid nesting capabilities for conducting an LES inside both larger-scale LES and mesoscale simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Comparisons among the velocity and stress profiles inside the nested domain relative to both the outer domain and non-nested simulations indicate that errors contributed from the bounding domains are observed within the nested-domain solution. We also examine the spatial scales required for flow structures to equilibrate to the finer mesh as flow enters a nest, and how equilibration depends on several parameters, including mesh resolution and the type of turbulence subfilter-scale stress model used.

  1. Nest box use and productivity of great crested flycatchers in prescribed-burned longleaf pine forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, D.H.; Seginak, J.T.

    2000-01-01

    Managing for the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis) on federal lands requires burning large tracts of mature pine forests every 3-5 yr. Many cavity trees that serve as potential nest sites for primary and secondary hole-nesting birds are destroyed by fire. We assessed the efficacy of a nest box program for the Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus) at Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, an area intensively managed for Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. During 1996-1998, we installed and monitored 330 (30 in each of 11 sites) nest boxes in mature (>60 yr) longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) tracts that were burned either in April-June (warm season) or December-March (cool season). Prescribed-burned sites were nearly devoid of snags; we estimated only 0.8/ ha in cool-season burns and 1.7/ha in warm-season burns. Great Crested Flycatchers built nests in 20% of the boxes available to them. Clutch sizes were larger in warm-season burns than in cool-season burns, but fledging success (fledglings/nest hatching -1 egg) was lower. Twenty-two of 59 Great Crested Flycatcher nests were depredated and the proportions in each burn class were similar. We recommend the installation of nest boxes for Great Crested Flycatchers in prescribed-burned pine forests, but additional research is needed in these habitats on nest depredation rates and causes.

  2. Habitat comparisons and productivity in nesting common terns on the mid-Atlantic coast

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erwin, R.M.; Smith, D.C.

    1985-01-01

    Nesting Common Terns (Sterna hirundo) were studied at a number of barrier beaches and small islands of tidal salt marsh in New Jersey and the Eastern Shore of Maryland-Virginina from 1980 through 1982. Data were collected on clutch sizes, nest spacing, and nesting success. The principal null hypothesis tested was that no difference in reproductive success exists between beach and marsh habitats. Nests were monitored from egg-laying in mid-May until mid-July when young fledged. Clutch sizes varied among colonies and across years but no systematic effect of year, habitat, or colony size on mean clutch size per colony was detected. Analyses of nest productivity (estimated using both the Mayfield method and using a colony average) failed to reveal significant effects of habitat or colony size but showed a stronger year effect. Storm tide flooding and egg chick disappearance (presumably predation by Herring Gulls Larus argentatus and Laughing Gulls L. atricilla nesting nearby) accounted for most nest failures. Losses due to both these mortality factors were unpredictable from year to year. Nest spacing in salt marsh colonies was much closer than it was on barrier beaches. In mixed-species colonies with Black Skimmers (Rynchops niger), distances between tern and skimmer nests were also much smaller in marsh colonies than they were on beaches. The limited amount of wrack (windrows of dead, matted vegetation) preferred by marsh-nesting terns probably explains these spacing differences. Several lines of evidence suggest that terns prefer beaches to marshes for nesting, however, the uncertainty of predation and flooding may often obscure any intrinsic differences in habitat quality. Long-term field studies are essential for testing hypotheses related to differential fitness of individuals among habitats.

  3. Productivity, diet, and environmental contaminants in bald eagles nesting near the Wisconsin shoreline of Lake Superior.

    PubMed

    Kozie, K D; Anderson, R K

    1991-01-01

    Bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) nesting in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and along the Wisconsin shoreline of Lake Superior produced an average of 0.8 young/occupied nest and had an average nest success of 57% during 1983-1988, compared to 1.3 young/occupied nest and 77% nest success in inland Wisconsin. Contaminant levels in nestling bald eagle carcasses collected from nests near Lake Superior were higher than those collected inland, suggesting local contamination. Prey remains collected at nests consisted of fish (50%); birds, primarily herring gulls (Larus argentatus) (48.4%); and mammals (1.2%). Organochlorine and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) residues were present at low levels (DDE: means = 0.07 micrograms/g wet wt, PCP: means = 0.21 micrograms/g wet wt) in fish. Herring gulls contained higher concentrations (DDE: means = 5.5 micrograms/g wet wt, PCB: means = 16.95 micrograms/g wet wt) and appear to be the major source of elevated contaminant levels in bald eagles nesting near Lake Superior. PMID:1996910

  4. Habitat edges have weak effects on duck nest survival at local spatial scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Raquel, Amelia J; Ringelman, Kevin M.; Ackerman, Josh; Eadie, John M.

    2015-01-01

    Edge effects on nesting success have been documented in breeding birds in a variety of contexts, but there is still uncertainty in how edge type and spatial scale determine the magnitude and detectability of edge effects. Habitat edges are often viewed as predator corridors that surround or penetrate core habitat and increase the risk of predation for nearby nests. We studied the effects of three different types of potential predator corridors (main perimeter roads, field boundaries, and ATV trails within fields) on waterfowl nest survival in California. We measured the distance from duck nests to the nearest edge of each type, and used distance as a covariate in a logistic exposure analysis of nest survival. We found only weak evidence for edge effects due to predation. The best supported model of nest survival included all three distance categories, and while all coefficient estimates were positive (indicating that survival increased with distance from edge), 85% coefficient confidence intervals approached or bounded zero indicating an overall weak effect of habitat edges on nest success. We suggest that given the configuration of edges at our site, there may be few areas far enough from hard edges to be considered ‘core’ habitat, making edge effects on nest survival particularly difficult to detect.

  5. Assessing hypotheses about nesting site occupancy dynamics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bled, Florent; Royle, J. Andrew; Cam, Emmanuelle

    2011-01-01

    Hypotheses about habitat selection developed in the evolutionary ecology framework assume that individuals, under some conditions, select breeding habitat based on expected fitness in different habitat. The relationship between habitat quality and fitness may be reflected by breeding success of individuals, which may in turn be used to assess habitat quality. Habitat quality may also be assessed via local density: if high-quality sites are preferentially used, high density may reflect high-quality habitat. Here we assessed whether site occupancy dynamics vary with site surrogates for habitat quality. We modeled nest site use probability in a seabird subcolony (the Black-legged Kittiwake, Rissa tridactyla) over a 20-year period. We estimated site persistence (an occupied site remains occupied from time t to t + 1) and colonization through two subprocesses: first colonization (site creation at the timescale of the study) and recolonization (a site is colonized again after being deserted). Our model explicitly incorporated site-specific and neighboring breeding success and conspecific density in the neighborhood. Our results provided evidence that reproductively "successful'' sites have a higher persistence probability than "unsuccessful'' ones. Analyses of site fidelity in marked birds and of survival probability showed that high site persistence predominantly reflects site fidelity, not immediate colonization by new owners after emigration or death of previous owners. There is a negative quadratic relationship between local density and persistence probability. First colonization probability decreases with density, whereas recolonization probability is constant. This highlights the importance of distinguishing initial colonization and recolonization to understand site occupancy. All dynamics varied positively with neighboring breeding success. We found evidence of a positive interaction between site-specific and neighboring breeding success. We addressed local

  6. Influence of food supply and chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminants on breeding success of bald eagles.

    PubMed

    Gill, Christopher E; Elliott, John E

    2003-01-01

    Food supply and contaminants were investigated as possible causes of low bald eagle productivity near a bleached kraft pulp and paper mill at Crofton on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Over a seven year period, 1992-1998, average productivity of five eagle territories situated south of the pulp mill at Crofton was significantly lower (0.43 young/occupied territory) than six territories north of the mill (1.04 young/occupied territory). A reference population of 32 territories located in Barkley Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island demonstrated intermediary mean productivity (0.75 young/occupied territory). Measures of prey biomass delivered to nests were lowest south of the mill, and correlated significantly with nesting success. On average, measures of energy delivered to nests and a parameter determined to be related to prey availability, adult nest attendance time, accounted for about 70% of variability in nest success. Contaminant concentrations, including pulp mill derived polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), as well as dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (DDE), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and calculated tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin toxic equivalents (TEQs) were significantly greater in plasma samples of nestlings from south of the mill compared to the other two sites, but did not correlate significantly with individual nest success data. Nests south of the mill concentrate around Maple Bay, which appears to be a deposition area for contaminants transported by tides and currents from sources such as the pulp mill. Concentrations of DDE and PCBs in plasma of nestling eagles from south of the mill were less than the critical values estimated to affect production of young. For TEQs, there are no published critical values for plasma by which to compare our results. We conclude that less than adequate energy provisioning to nests, presumably related to low prey availability, was likely the main cause of

  7. Nest survival is influenced by parental behaviour and heterospecifics in a mixed-species colony

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brussee, Brianne E.; Coates, Peter S.; Hothem, Roger L.; Howe, Kristy; Casazza, Michael L.; Eadie, John M.

    2016-01-01

    Studies of avian nest success often focus on examining influences of variation in environmental and seasonal factors. However, in-depth evaluations can also incorporate variation in individual incubation behaviour to further advance our understanding of avian reproductive ecology. We examined these relationships in colonially nesting Black-crowned Night-Herons Nycticorax nycticorax using intensive video-monitoring methods to quantify incubation behaviours. We modelled nest survival as a function of both extrinsic factors and incubation behaviours over a 3-year period (2010–12) on Alcatraz Island, USA. Model-averaged parameter estimates indicated that nest survival increased as a function of greater incubation constancy (% of time spent incubating eggs within a 24-h period), and average daily precipitation throughout the nesting stage. Common Ravens Corvus corax are the only known nest predator of Night-Herons on Alcatraz Island, as on many other coastal Pacific islands. We also investigated the effects of heterospecific nesting of California Gulls Larus californicus and Western Gulls Larus occidentalis in a mixed-species colony with Night-Herons, based on nesting proximity data collected over a 2-year period (2011–12). This second analysis indicated that, in addition to incubation behaviours, nesting heterospecifics are an important factor for explaining variation in Night-Heron nest survival. However, contrary to our original expectation, we found that Night-Herons experienced increased nest survival with increasing distance from gull colony boundaries. These results may apply to other areas with multiple colonial nesting species and similar predator communities and climatic patterns.

  8. Burrowing owl nesting productivity: A comparison between artificial and natural burrows on and off golf courses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, M.D.; Conway, C.J.; Ellis, L.A.

    2005-01-01

    Burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) populations are declining in many portions of their range, and lack of suitable nesting burrows is thought to be one reason for observed declines. Burrowing owls are attracted to golf courses because the birds generally nest and forage in short-grass, open areas, yet golf courses seldom have suitable nesting burrows. We examined the efficacy of installing artificial nesting burrows on golf courses as a way to help restore local burrowing owl populations. From 2001-2004 we monitored over 175 natural burrows off golf courses, 14 natural burrows on golf courses, 86 artificial burrows off golf courses, and 130 artificial burrows on golf courses. Owls located and used 8 of the 130 artificial burrows installed on golf courses (4 were used as nests). Owls selected burrows that were closer to existing natural burrows, farther from maintained areas (areas receiving turf maintenance by golf course staff), and farther from sprinkler heads. All 4 of the artificial burrows used as nests successfully fledged young, and annual site fidelity for owls nesting on golf courses was higher than for owls nesting off golf courses. However, annual fecundity of owls nesting on golf courses was lower than that of owls nesting off golf courses. If golf courses have sufficiently large nonmaintained areas and there are nesting owls nearby, course managers potentially can help in restoring local burrowing owl populations by installing artificial nesting burrows on the periphery of the course. However, the low fecundity on golf courses reported here should be more thoroughly examined before artificial burrows are used to attract owls to golf courses.

  9. Nest-building behavior of Monk Parakeets and insights into potential mechanisms for reducing damage to utility poles.

    PubMed

    Burgio, Kevin R; Rubega, Margaret A; Sustaita, Diego

    2014-01-01

    The Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) commonly uses utility poles as a substrate for building large, bulky nests. These nests often cause fires and electric power outages, creating public safety risks and increasing liability and maintenance costs for electric companies. Previous research has focused on lethal methods and chemical contraception to prevent nesting on utility poles and electrical substations. However, implementation of lethal methods has led to public protests and lawsuits, while chemical contraception may affect other than the targeted species, and must be continually reapplied for effectiveness. One non-lethal alternative, nest removal, is costly and may not be a sustainable measure if Monk Parakeet populations continue to grow. In order to identify cost-effective non-lethal solutions to problems caused by Monk Parakeet nesting, we studied their behavior as they built nests on utility poles. Monk Parakeets initiate nests by attaching sticks at the intersection of the pole and electric lines. We found that parakeets use the electric lines exclusively to gain access to the intersection of lines and pole during nest initiation, and continue to use the lines intensively throughout construction. Monk Parakeets also have more difficulty attaching sticks during the early stages of nest construction than when the nest is nearing completion. These findings suggest that intervention during the earlier stages of nest building, by excluding Monk Parakeets from electric lines adjacent to poles, may be an effective, non-lethal method of reducing or eliminating parakeets nesting on, and damaging, utility poles. PMID:25289186

  10. Nest-building behavior of Monk Parakeets and insights into potential mechanisms for reducing damage to utility poles

    PubMed Central

    Rubega, Margaret A.; Sustaita, Diego

    2014-01-01

    The Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus) commonly uses utility poles as a substrate for building large, bulky nests. These nests often cause fires and electric power outages, creating public safety risks and increasing liability and maintenance costs for electric companies. Previous research has focused on lethal methods and chemical contraception to prevent nesting on utility poles and electrical substations. However, implementation of lethal methods has led to public protests and lawsuits, while chemical contraception may affect other than the targeted species, and must be continually reapplied for effectiveness. One non-lethal alternative, nest removal, is costly and may not be a sustainable measure if Monk Parakeet populations continue to grow. In order to identify cost-effective non-lethal solutions to problems caused by Monk Parakeet nesting, we studied their behavior as they built nests on utility poles. Monk Parakeets initiate nests by attaching sticks at the intersection of the pole and electric lines. We found that parakeets use the electric lines exclusively to gain access to the intersection of lines and pole during nest initiation, and continue to use the lines intensively throughout construction. Monk Parakeets also have more difficulty attaching sticks during the early stages of nest construction than when the nest is nearing completion. These findings suggest that intervention during the earlier stages of nest building, by excluding Monk Parakeets from electric lines adjacent to poles, may be an effective, non-lethal method of reducing or eliminating parakeets nesting on, and damaging, utility poles. PMID:25289186

  11. Long-term lesser prairie-chicken nest ecology in response to grassland management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fritts, Sarah R.; Grisham, Blake A.; Haukos, David A.; Boal, Clint W.; Patten, Michael; Wolfe, Don H.; Dixon, Charles; Cox, Robert D.; Heck, Willard R.

    2016-01-01

    Long-term population and range declines from habitat loss and fragmentation caused the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) to be a species of concern throughout its range. Current lesser prairie-chicken range in New Mexico and Texas is partially restricted to sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii; hereafter shinnery oak) prairies, on which cattle grazing is the main socioeconomic driver for private landowners. Cattle producers within shinnery oak prairies often focus land management on shrub eradication using the herbicide tebuthiuron to promote grass production for forage; however, herbicide application alone, and in combination with grazing, may affect nest site selection and nest survival of lesser prairie-chickens through the reduction of shinnery oak and native grasses. We used a controlled, paired, completely randomized design study to assess the influence of grazing and tebuthiuron application and their combined use on nest site selection and nest survival from 2001 to 2010 in Roosevelt County, New Mexico, USA at 2 spatial scales (i.e., treatment and microhabitat) in 4 treatments: tebuthiuron with grazing, tebuthiuron without grazing, no tebuthiuron with grazing, and a control of no tebuthiuron and no grazing. Grazing treatment was a short-duration system in which plots were grazed once during the dormant season and once during the growing season. Stocking rate was calculated each season based on measured forage production and applied to remove ≤25% of available herbaceous material per season. At the treatment scale, we compared nest site selection among treatments using 1-way χ2 tests and nest survival among treatments using a priori candidate nest survival models in Program MARK. At the microhabitat scale, we identified important habitat predictors of nest site selection and nest survival using logistic regression and a priori candidate nest survival models in Program MARK, respectively. Females typically used treatments as expected and

  12. Wood ant nests as hot spots of carbon dioxide production and cold spots of methane oxidation in temperate forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jilkova, Veronika; Picek, Tomas; Cajthaml, Tomas; Frouz, Jan

    2016-04-01

    Wood ant nests are known as hot spots of carbon dioxide (CO2) production and are also thought to affect methane (CH4) flux. Stable high temperatures are maintained in ant nests even in cold environments. Here we focused on quantification of CO2 and CH4 flux in wood ant nests, contribution of ants and microbes to CO2 production, properties of nest material that affect CO2 production and the role of ants and microbes in the maintenance of nest temperature. The research was conducted in temperate and boreal forests inhabited by wood ants (Formica s. str.). Gas fluxes were measured either by an infrared gas analyser or a static chamber technique. Ants and nest materials were also incubated in a laboratory. Material properties potentially influencing CO2 flux, such as moisture, nutrient content or temperature were determined. According to the results, CH4 oxidation was lower in wood ant nests than in the surrounding forest soil suggesting that some characteristics of ant nests hinder CH4 oxidation or promote CH4 production. These characteristics were mainly available carbon and nitrogen contents. Wood ant nests clearly are hot spots of CO2 production in temperate forests originating mainly from ant and also from microbial metabolism. Most important properties positively affecting CO2 production were found to be moisture, nutrient content and temperature. Nest temperature is maintained by ant and microbial metabolism; nests from colder environments produce more metabolic heat to maintain similar temperature as nests from warmer environments. In conclusion, as the abundance of wood ant nests in some forests can be very high, ant nests may largely increase heterogeneity in greenhouse gas fluxes in forest ecosystems.

  13. Effect of Tithonia diversifolia mulch on Atta cephalotes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) nests.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Jonathan; Montoya-Lerma, James; Calle, Zoraida

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies have shown an insecticidal effect of Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) Gray (Asterales: Asteraceae) foliage on workers of Atta cephalotes L. and inhibitory effects of this plant on the growth of the symbiotic fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus (A. Müler) Singer. To evaluate the potential of T. diversifolia as a biological control treatment of this important pest, we assessed the effect of green manure (mulch) of this plant on natural nests of A. cephalotes, in Cali, Colombia. Three treatments were randomly assigned to 30 nests: 1) green mulch of T. diversifolia, 2) green mulch of Miconia sp., Ruiz & Pav. and 3) unmulched control. Every 2 wk for 6 mo, the surface of the nests was completely covered with leaves. Physical and chemical parameters of nest soil were assessed before the first and after the last application of the mulch. Ant foraging in T. diversifolia-treated nests decreased by 60% after the initial applications of the mulch, while nest surface area decreased by 40%. When the nests covered with T. diversifolia were opened, it was observed that the superficial fungus chambers had been relocated at a greater depth. In addition, microbial activity and soil pH increased by 84% and 12%, respectively, in nests covered with plant residues. In conclusion, the continued use of T. diversifolia mulch reduces foraging activity and negatively affects the internal conditions of the colonies, thereby inducing the ants to relocate the fungus chambers within the nests. PMID:25843585

  14. Effect of Tithonia diversifolia Mulch on Atta cephalotes (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Nests

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez, Jonathan; Montoya-Lerma, James; Calle, Zoraida

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies have shown an insecticidal effect of Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) Gray (Asterales: Asteraceae) foliage on workers of Atta cephalotes L. and inhibitory effects of this plant on the growth of the symbiotic fungus Leucoagaricus gongylophorus (A. Müler) Singer. To evaluate the potential of T. diversifolia as a biological control treatment of this important pest, we assessed the effect of green manure (mulch) of this plant on natural nests of A. cephalotes, in Cali, Colombia. Three treatments were randomly assigned to 30 nests: 1) green mulch of T. diversifolia, 2) green mulch of Miconia sp., Ruiz & Pav. and 3) unmulched control. Every 2 wk for 6 mo, the surface of the nests was completely covered with leaves. Physical and chemical parameters of nest soil were assessed before the first and after the last application of the mulch. Ant foraging in T. diversifolia-treated nests decreased by 60% after the initial applications of the mulch, while nest surface area decreased by 40%. When the nests covered with T. diversifolia were opened, it was observed that the superficial fungus chambers had been relocated at a greater depth. In addition, microbial activity and soil pH increased by 84% and 12%, respectively, in nests covered with plant residues. In conclusion, the continued use of T. diversifolia mulch reduces foraging activity and negatively affects the internal conditions of the colonies, thereby inducing the ants to relocate the fungus chambers within the nests. PMID:25843585

  15. Nested-cone transformer antenna

    DOEpatents

    Ekdahl, Carl A.

    1991-01-01

    A plurality of conical transmission lines are concentrically nested to form n output antenna for pulsed-power, radio-frequency, and microwave sources. The diverging conical conductors enable a high power input density across a bulk dielectric to be reduced below a breakdown power density at the antenna interface with the transmitting medium. The plurality of cones maintain a spacing between conductors which minimizes the generation of high order modes between the conductors. Further, the power input feeds are isolated at the input while enabling the output electromagnetic waves to add at the transmission interface. Thus, very large power signals from a pulse rf, or microwave source can be radiated.

  16. DNest3: Diffusive Nested Sampling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brewer, Brendon

    2016-04-01

    DNest3 is a C++ implementation of Diffusive Nested Sampling (ascl:1010.029), a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm for Bayesian Inference and Statistical Mechanics. Relative to older DNest versions, DNest3 has improved performance (in terms of the sampling overhead, likelihood evaluations still dominate in general) and is cleaner code: implementing new models should be easier than it was before. In addition, DNest3 is multi-threaded, so one can run multiple MCMC walkers at the same time, and the results will be combined together.

  17. Nested-cone transformer antenna

    DOEpatents

    Ekdahl, C.A.

    1991-05-28

    A plurality of conical transmission lines are concentrically nested to form an output antenna for pulsed-power, radio-frequency, and microwave sources. The diverging conical conductors enable a high power input density across a bulk dielectric to be reduced below a breakdown power density at the antenna interface with the transmitting medium. The plurality of cones maintain a spacing between conductors which minimizes the generation of high order modes between the conductors. Further, the power input feeds are isolated at the input while enabling the output electromagnetic waves to add at the transmission interface. Thus, very large power signals from a pulse rf, or microwave source can be radiated. 6 figures.

  18. Nested and Dynamic Contract Boundaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strickland, T. Stephen; Felleisen, Matthias

    Previous work on software contracts assumes fixed and statically known boundaries between the parties to a contract. Implementations of contract monitoring systems rely on this assumption to explain the nature of contract violations and to assign blame to violators. In this paper, we explain how to implement arbitrary, nested, and dynamic contract boundaries with two examples. First, we add nestable contract regions to a static, first-order module system. Second, we show that even a dynamic, higher-order, and hierarchical module system can be equipped with software contracts that support precise blame assignment.

  19. Waterfowl nesting on interstate highway right-of-way in North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oetting, R.B.; Cassel, J.F.

    1971-01-01

    We studied 630 acres of roadside along 23 miles of Interstate 94 in Stutsman County, North Dakota, to assess wildlife values of highway rights-of-way. We found 422 duck nests that had an overall success of 57 percent in 1968, 1969, and 1970. Mammalian predators were responsible for 85 percent of the destroyed nests. To test the effect of mowing on duck nest initiation and success, alternate 1-mile blocks of the study area were not mowed in the fall of 1968. In 1969 and 1970, significantly more ducks chose unmowed vegetation in preference to mowed vegetation for nest sites. Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), pintails (A. acuta), and gadwalls (A. strepera) were especially responsive to unmowed vegetation. Success of duck nests in unmowed vegetation was 62 percent compared with 51 percent in mowed vegetation. Sixteen percent of the nests were unhatched by July 5, the beginning mowing date previously recommended by the North Dakota Highway Department. Wildlife killed by traffic did not increase when half the mile blocks were unmowed, and no significant difference was observed in buildup of snow between mowed and unmowed blocks in the winter of 1968-69. Of 182 motorists interviewed in the study area, 82 percent had not noticed the unmowed rights-of-way. We strongly recommend no mowing of ditch bottoms or back slopes, minimal mowing of inslopes, and no mowing before July 20 to enhance waterfowl nesting and to reduce maintenance costs of highway rights-of-way in duck-producing regions.

  20. Studies on nest construction and nest microclimate of the Baya weaver, Ploceus philippinus (Linn.).

    PubMed

    Asokan, S; Ali, A Mohamed Samsoor; Nagarajan, R

    2008-05-01

    The nest construction pattern at different stages of nest and variations in the nest microclimate, i.e., temperature and light intensity were assessed in different nests of Baya weaver (Ploceus philippinus) between November 2002 and March 2003 in Nagapattinam and Tiruvarur District of Tamil Nadu, India. The Baya weaver constructed nests in palm (Borassus flabellifer), coconut (Cocos nucifera) and date palm trees (Phoneix psuilla) and majority of the nests were found in the solitary palm. The male bird only involved in the construction and took 18 days to construct a single nest. The birds spent different amount of working hours (in terms of days) for completing various stages of nests viz., wad, ring and helmet stage and in which the 'helmet stage took a maximum of eight days. Furthermore, totally eight active nests were selected and once in a week the variations in the nest microclimate was investigated with reference to atmospheric temperature and light intensity (two active nests) across day throughout the study period. The mean temperature of the nests ranged from 25 degrees C to 29 degrees C and light intensity varied between 25 Lux and 625 Lux. The analysis of variance (ANOVA and ANCOVA) indicated that the nest microclimate varied among the nests in different hr of a day PMID:18972698

  1. Formalizing narratives using nested circumscription

    SciTech Connect

    Baral, C.; Gabaldon, A.; Provetti, A.

    1996-12-31

    The representation of narratives of actions and observations is a current issue in Knowledge Representation, where traditional plan-oriented treatments of action seem to fall short. To address narratives, Pinto and Reiter have extended Situation Calculus axioms, Kowalski and Sergot have introduced the Event Calculus in Logic Programming, and Baral et al. have defined the specification language L which allows to express actual and hypothetical situations in a uniform setting. The L entailment relation can formalize several forms of reasoning about actions and change. In this paper we illustrate a translation of L theories into Nested Abnormality Theories, a novel form of circumscription. The proof of soundness and completeness of the translation is the main technical result of the paper, but attention is also devoted to the features of Nested Abnormality Theories to capture commonsense reasoning in general and to clarify which assumptions a logical formalization forces upon a domain. These results also help clarifying the relationship between L and other recent circumscriptive formalization for narratives, such as Miller and Shanahan`s.

  2. Changes in vegetation structure in seeded nesting cover in the prairie pothole region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Higgins, K.F.; Barker, W.T.

    1982-01-01

    A sample of 365 stands of seeded nesting cover (mixtures of cool-season grasses and legumes) was studied in the glaciated prairie pothole region during 1977-79. Measurements of species composition, canopy cover, plant height, and visual obstruction values differed with stand age but only in a general way when results from over the entire region were pooled. Maximum values for plant height and visual obstruction occurred once per stand during the first 10 growing seasons. Although the year of maximum growth was variable and unpredictable, stands showed trends of degeneration in height and visual obstruction after the year of maximum growth.Seeded nesting cover grew similarly throughout the region when on soils of capability class IV or better and within a precipitation range of 30 to 61 cm. Precipitation was the factor that most affected stand growth, especially the amount received in the year before spring measurements. Height and visual obstruction values within a stand were also directly affected by some individual species and by the percentage of grass within a stand. In 2 of the 3 study years, the height and visual obstruction values of residual cover were extremely reduced by ice pack, heavy snow pack, or a combination of snow pack and harvest by rodents. Such events, if frequent, largely negate the possibility of using minimum visual obstruction or plant height measurements for assessing quality of vegetation for wildlife cover and management purposes.Species composition, number of species, and canopy cover varied most during the first three growing seasons and least during the next six. Succession toward dominance by native grasses and forbs and woody species was retarded by the predominance of the species of seeded nesting cover, at least during the first 10 growing seasons.All stands had at least one species present that was either a noxious weed, a problem cropland weed, or a nuisance weed. Weeds were usually local in distribution. Five weed species

  3. The bright incubate at night: sexual dichromatism and adaptive incubation division in an open-nesting shorebird.

    PubMed

    Ekanayake, Kasun B; Weston, Michael A; Nimmo, Dale G; Maguire, Grainne S; Endler, John A; Küpper, Clemens

    2015-05-01

    Ornamentation of parents poses a high risk for offspring because it reduces cryptic nest defence. Over a century ago, Wallace proposed that sexual dichromatism enhances crypsis of open-nesting females although subsequent studies found that dichromatism per se is not necessarily adaptive. We tested whether reduced female ornamentation in a sexually dichromatic species reduces the risk of clutch depredation and leads to adaptive parental roles in the red-capped plover Charadrius ruficapillus, a species with biparental incubation. Males had significantly brighter and redder head coloration than females. During daytime, when visually foraging predators are active, colour-matched model males incurred a higher risk of clutch depredation than females, whereas at night there was no difference in depredation risk between sexes. In turn, red-capped plovers maintained a strongly diurnal/nocturnal division of parental care during incubation, with males attending the nest largely at night when visual predators were inactive and females incubating during the day. We found support for Wallace's conclusion that reduced female ornamentation provides a selective advantage when reproductive success is threatened by visually foraging predators. We conclude that predators may alter their prey's parental care patterns and therefore may affect parental cooperation during care. PMID:25854884

  4. The bright incubate at night: sexual dichromatism and adaptive incubation division in an open-nesting shorebird

    PubMed Central

    Ekanayake, Kasun B.; Weston, Michael A.; Nimmo, Dale G.; Maguire, Grainne S.; Endler, John A.; Küpper, Clemens

    2015-01-01

    Ornamentation of parents poses a high risk for offspring because it reduces cryptic nest defence. Over a century ago, Wallace proposed that sexual dichromatism enhances crypsis of open-nesting females although subsequent studies found that dichromatism per se is not necessarily adaptive. We tested whether reduced female ornamentation in a sexually dichromatic species reduces the risk of clutch depredation and leads to adaptive parental roles in the red-capped plover Charadrius ruficapillus, a species with biparental incubation. Males had significantly brighter and redder head coloration than females. During daytime, when visually foraging predators are active, colour-matched model males incurred a higher risk of clutch depredation than females, whereas at night there was no difference in depredation risk between sexes. In turn, red-capped plovers maintained a strongly diurnal/nocturnal division of parental care during incubation, with males attending the nest largely at night when visual predators were inactive and females incubating during the day. We found support for Wallace's conclusion that reduced female ornamentation provides a selective advantage when reproductive success is threatened by visually foraging predators. We conclude that predators may alter their prey's parental care patterns and therefore may affect parental cooperation during care. PMID:25854884

  5. Identification of edible Bird’s nest with amino acid and monosaccharide analysis.

    PubMed

    Chua, Yong Guan; Chan, Sheot Harn; Bloodworth, Bosco Chen; Li, Sam Fong Yau; Leong, Lai Peng

    2015-01-14

    This study describes the approach of amino acid and monosaccharide combined with Hotelling T2 range plot to identify edible bird nests (EBN) and non-EBN. Prior to the approach, an analytical method was developed and validated to quantify monosaccharides in EBN. Hotelling T2 range plots of both compounds were successful in predicting the different types of EBN and differentiating EBN and non-EBN. This outcome suggests EBN contains a group of glycoproteins which is not affected by the EBN’s coloration, country of origin, and/or the processing method of the food item. In addition, the glycoproteins were shown to be unique to EBN. EBN were revealed to be rich in protein and essential amino acids as well as contain a wider variety of monosaccharides than most food items. The overall findings suggest that amino acid and monosaccharide provide information not only on the detected compounds and also insights into the glycoproteins of EBN. PMID:25392186

  6. Network-based model of the growth of termite nests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eom, Young-Ho; Perna, Andrea; Fortunato, Santo; Darrouzet, Eric; Theraulaz, Guy; Jost, Christian

    2015-12-01

    We present a model for the growth of the transportation network inside nests of the social insect subfamily Termitinae (Isoptera, termitidae). These nests consist of large chambers (nodes) connected by tunnels (edges). The model based on the empirical analysis of the real nest networks combined with pruning (edge removal, either random or weighted by betweenness centrality) and a memory effect (preferential growth from the latest added chambers) successfully predicts emergent nest properties (degree distribution, size of the largest connected component, average path lengths, backbone link ratios, and local graph redundancy). The two pruning alternatives can be associated with different genuses in the subfamily. A sensitivity analysis on the pruning and memory parameters indicates that Termitinae networks favor fast internal transportation over efficient defense strategies against ant predators. Our results provide an example of how complex network organization and efficient network properties can be generated from simple building rules based on local interactions and contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms that come into play for the formation of termite networks and of biological transportation networks in general.

  7. Warm oceanographic anomalies and fishing pressure drive seabird nesting north

    PubMed Central

    Velarde, Enriqueta; Ezcurra, Exequiel; Horn, Michael H.; Patton, Robert T.

    2015-01-01

    Parallel studies of nesting colonies in Mexico and the United States show that Elegant Terns (Thalasseus elegans) have expanded from the Gulf of California Midriff Island Region into Southern California, but the expansion fluctuates from year to year. A strong inverse relationship between nesting pairs in three Southern California nesting areas [San Diego saltworks, Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, and Los Angeles Harbor (1991 to 2014)] and Isla Rasa in the Midriff (1980 to 2014) shows that terns migrate northward when confronting warm oceanographic anomalies (>1.0°C), which may decrease fish availability and hamper nesting success. Migration pulses are triggered by sea surface temperature anomalies localized in the Midriff and, secondarily, by reductions in the sardine population as a result of intensive fishing. This behavior is new; before year 2000, the terns stayed in the Midriff even when oceanographic conditions were adverse. Our results show that terns are responding dynamically to rapidly changing oceanographic conditions and fish availability by migrating 600 km northwest in search of more productive waters. PMID:26601193

  8. Warm oceanographic anomalies and fishing pressure drive seabird nesting north.

    PubMed

    Velarde, Enriqueta; Ezcurra, Exequiel; Horn, Michael H; Patton, Robert T

    2015-06-01

    Parallel studies of nesting colonies in Mexico and the United States show that Elegant Terns (Thalasseus elegans) have expanded from the Gulf of California Midriff Island Region into Southern California, but the expansion fluctuates from year to year. A strong inverse relationship between nesting pairs in three Southern California nesting areas [San Diego saltworks, Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, and Los Angeles Harbor (1991 to 2014)] and Isla Rasa in the Midriff (1980 to 2014) shows that terns migrate northward when confronting warm oceanographic anomalies (>1.0°C), which may decrease fish availability and hamper nesting success. Migration pulses are triggered by sea surface temperature anomalies localized in the Midriff and, secondarily, by reductions in the sardine population as a result of intensive fishing. This behavior is new; before year 2000, the terns stayed in the Midriff even when oceanographic conditions were adverse. Our results show that terns are responding dynamically to rapidly changing oceanographic conditions and fish availability by migrating 600 km northwest in search of more productive waters. PMID:26601193

  9. Network-based model of the growth of termite nests.

    PubMed

    Eom, Young-Ho; Perna, Andrea; Fortunato, Santo; Darrouzet, Eric; Theraulaz, Guy; Jost, Christian

    2015-12-01

    We present a model for the growth of the transportation network inside nests of the social insect subfamily Termitinae (Isoptera, termitidae). These nests consist of large chambers (nodes) connected by tunnels (edges). The model based on the empirical analysis of the real nest networks combined with pruning (edge removal, either random or weighted by betweenness centrality) and a memory effect (preferential growth from the latest added chambers) successfully predicts emergent nest properties (degree distribution, size of the largest connected component, average path lengths, backbone link ratios, and local graph redundancy). The two pruning alternatives can be associated with different genuses in the subfamily. A sensitivity analysis on the pruning and memory parameters indicates that Termitinae networks favor fast internal transportation over efficient defense strategies against ant predators. Our results provide an example of how complex network organization and efficient network properties can be generated from simple building rules based on local interactions and contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms that come into play for the formation of termite networks and of biological transportation networks in general. PMID:26764747

  10. Determinants of mallard and gadwall nesting on constructed islands in North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shaffer, T.L.; Dahl, A.L.; Reynolds, R.E.; Baer, K.L.; Johnson, M.A.; Sargeant, G.A.

    2006-01-01

    Constructed islands with adequate nesting cover provide secure nesting sites for ducks because islands restrict access by mammalian predators. These islands are costly to construct and should be placed in areas that ensure the greatest use by nesting ducks. We studied mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and gadwall (A. strepera) nesting on constructed islands in North Dakota in 1996 and 1997 to evaluate factors--particularly amount of perennial grass cover in the surrounding landscape and density of breeding pairs--that possibly influence numbers of initiated nests. We also examined effects of island characteristics, such as island vegetation, on numbers of nests. Numbers of mallard and gadwall nests on islands were negatively related to amounts of perennial grass cover in the surrounding uplands. Numbers of mallard nests were positively related to percentages of tall dense cover on islands. We found no effects of breeding-pair density on numbers of nests initiated by either species, possibly because breeding pairs were abundant on all study sites. Percent shrub cover on islands was a better predictor of island use than was percent tall dense cover. Island use by these species increased with island age and distance from mainland shore. Amounts of perennial cover in landscapes should be primary considerations in determining where to build islands. Our data suggest that use of islands by nesting mallards and gadwalls is greatest in landscapes with little perennial grass cover (i.e., high amounts of cropland). Other researchers documented a positive relation between nest success in upland covers and amount of perennial grass cover in the landscape. Therefore, islands constructed in landscapes with little perennial cover should provide greater gains in duck recruitment rates than islands constructed in landscapes with greater amounts of perennial grass cover.

  11. Copper accumulation by stickleback nests containing spiggin.

    PubMed

    Pinho, G L L; Martins, C M G; Barber, I

    2016-07-01

    The three-spined stickleback is a ubiquitous fish of marine, brackish and freshwater ecosystems across the Northern hemisphere that presents intermediate sensitivity to copper. Male sticklebacks display a range of elaborate reproductive behaviours that include nest construction. To build the nests, each male binds nesting material together using an endogenous glycoprotein nesting glue, known as 'spiggin'. Spiggin is a cysteine-rich protein and, therefore, potentially binds heavy metals present in the environment. The aim of this study was to investigate the capacity of stickleback nests to accumulate copper from environmental sources. Newly built nests, constructed by male fish from polyester threads in laboratory aquaria, were immersed in copper solutions ranging in concentration from 21.1-626.6 μg Cu L(-1). Bundles of polyester threads from aquaria without male fish were also immersed in the same copper solutions. After immersion, nests presented higher amounts of copper than the thread bundles, indicating a higher capacity of nests to bind this metal. A significant, positive correlation between the concentration of copper in the exposure solution and in the exposed nests was identified, but there was no such relationship for thread bundles. Since both spiggin synthesis and male courtship behaviour are under the control of circulating androgens, we predicted that males with high courtship scores would produce and secrete high levels of the spiggin protein. In the present study, nests built by high courtship score males accumulated more copper than those built by low courtship score males. Considering the potential of spiggin to bind metals, the positive relationship between fish courtship and spiggin secretion seems to explain the higher amount of copper on the nests from the fish showing high behaviour scores. Further work is now needed to determine the consequences of the copper binding potential of spiggin in stickleback nests for the health and survival of

  12. Nest initiation and clutch size of great blue herons on the Mississippi River in relation to the 1993 flood

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Hines, R.K.; Custer, Christine M.

    1996-01-01

    Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) eggs were collected from ten colonies between Clinton, Iowa and Royalton, Minnesota on the Mississippi River in 1993, a year of record floods in the midwestern United States. In the live southernmost colonies where record flooding occurred, Great Blue Herons initiated nesting two weeks later than herons nesting in the five northernmost colonies that were less affected by flooding. The southern nests had a-smaller average clutch size than the northern nests, but egg size was similar between south and north. Weather patterns in 1993 were similar between northern and southern colonies. We suspect that flooding of the available feeding habitat influenced nest initiation and clutch size. Data from 1995, a year without record flooding on the Mississippi River, support this hypothesis. In 1995, timing of nesting and number of eggs per clutch were similar between sites that had record flooding and sites that were less affected by flooding in 1993.

  13. Nest predation risk influences a cavity-nesting passerine during the post-hatching care period.

    PubMed

    Yoon, Jongmin; Kim, Byung-Su; Joo, Eun-Jin; Park, Shi-Ryong

    2016-01-01

    Some nest predators visually assess parental activities to locate a prey nest, whereas parents modify fitness-related traits to reduce the probability of nest predation, and/or nestlings fledge early to escape the risky nest environment. Here, we experimentally tested if the parental and fledging behaviours of oriental tits (Parus minor) that bred in the nest-box varied with cavity conditions associated with nest predation risk during the nestling period. The entrance of experimental nest-boxes was enlarged to create a long-term risk soon after clutch competition. A short-term risk, using simulated playbacks with a coexisting control bird and avian nest predator sound, was simultaneously applied to the nest-boxes whether or not the long-term risk existed. We found that the parents reduced their hourly feeding trips, and the nestlings fledged early with the long-term risk, although the nest mortality of the two nest-box types was low and did not differ. While this study presents a portion of prey-predator interactions with the associated uncertainties, our results highlight that the entrance size of cavities for small hole-nesting birds may play an important role in determining their fitness-related traits depending upon the degree of perceived risk of nest predation. PMID:27553176

  14. Nest predation risk influences a cavity-nesting passerine during the post-hatching care period

    PubMed Central

    Yoon, Jongmin; Kim, Byung-Su; Joo, Eun-Jin; Park, Shi-Ryong

    2016-01-01

    Some nest predators visually assess parental activities to locate a prey nest, whereas parents modify fitness-related traits to reduce the probability of nest predation, and/or nestlings fledge early to escape the risky nest environment. Here, we experimentally tested if the parental and fledging behaviours of oriental tits (Parus minor) that bred in the nest-box varied with cavity conditions associated with nest predation risk during the nestling period. The entrance of experimental nest-boxes was enlarged to create a long-term risk soon after clutch competition. A short-term risk, using simulated playbacks with a coexisting control bird and avian nest predator sound, was simultaneously applied to the nest-boxes whether or not the long-term risk existed. We found that the parents reduced their hourly feeding trips, and the nestlings fledged early with the long-term risk, although the nest mortality of the two nest-box types was low and did not differ. While this study presents a portion of prey–predator interactions with the associated uncertainties, our results highlight that the entrance size of cavities for small hole-nesting birds may play an important role in determining their fitness-related traits depending upon the degree of perceived risk of nest predation. PMID:27553176

  15. Effects of human disturbance on nest placement of the woodpigeon (Columba palumbus): a case study from the Middle Atlas, Morocco.

    PubMed

    Hanane, Saâd

    2014-06-01

    The woodpigeon (Columba palumbus) is a common and widespread bird in Morocco (North Africa). I examined, over 2 years (2010 and 2011), the breeding density and nest placement of this game species in relation to nest site habitat and degree of human disturbance. The study area was in the Middle Atlas Tighboula mountain forest, Morocco, in a disturbed and an undisturbed site. Using data collected in the 2 study sites, I aimed to identify the factors influencing the placement of nests within holm oak trees (Quercus rotundifolia) and their densities. I found that habitat structures, influenced by grazing disturbance, have affected nesting density and the location of nests of this species. Woodpigeons place their nests in a higher position (3.42 ± 0.19 m) when disturbance intensity is high and lower (1.68 ± 0.1 m) when disturbance intensity is low, and show higher nesting density in less disturbed zone (3.1 ± 0.4 nests/ha) than in highly disturbed zones (1.4 ± 0.2 nests/ha). Grazing disturbance could pose a threat to population persistence at a broader scale and could potentially reduce the abundance of this species by altering the composition and the structure of the forest nesting habitat. Further multi-scale studies are needed to assess the effects of different levels of grazing disturbance on woodpigeon nest density and placement, and to enhance our knowledge of the breeding behavior of this game species under variable environments. PMID:24148611

  16. The design and function of birds' nests.

    PubMed

    Mainwaring, Mark C; Hartley, Ian R; Lambrechts, Marcel M; Deeming, D Charles

    2014-10-01

    All birds construct nests in which to lay eggs and/or raise offspring. Traditionally, it was thought that natural selection and the requirement to minimize the risk of predation determined the design of completed nests. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that sexual selection also influences nest design. This is an important development as while species such as bowerbirds build structures that are extended phenotypic signals whose sole purpose is to attract a mate, nests contain eggs and/or offspring, thereby suggesting a direct trade-off between the conflicting requirements of natural and sexual selection. Nest design also varies adaptively in order to both minimize the detrimental effects of parasites and to create a suitable microclimate for parents and developing offspring in relation to predictable variation in environmental conditions. Our understanding of the design and function of birds' nests has increased considerably in recent years, and the evidence suggests that nests have four nonmutually exclusive functions. Consequently, we conclude that the design of birds' nests is far more sophisticated than previously realized and that nests are multifunctional structures that have important fitness consequences for the builder/s. PMID:25505520

  17. The design and function of birds' nests

    PubMed Central

    Mainwaring, Mark C; Hartley, Ian R; Lambrechts, Marcel M; Deeming, D Charles

    2014-01-01

    All birds construct nests in which to lay eggs and/or raise offspring. Traditionally, it was thought that natural selection and the requirement to minimize the risk of predation determined the design of completed nests. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that sexual selection also influences nest design. This is an important development as while species such as bowerbirds build structures that are extended phenotypic signals whose sole purpose is to attract a mate, nests contain eggs and/or offspring, thereby suggesting a direct trade-off between the conflicting requirements of natural and sexual selection. Nest design also varies adaptively in order to both minimize the detrimental effects of parasites and to create a suitable microclimate for parents and developing offspring in relation to predictable variation in environmental conditions. Our understanding of the design and function of birds' nests has increased considerably in recent years, and the evidence suggests that nests have four nonmutually exclusive functions. Consequently, we conclude that the design of birds' nests is far more sophisticated than previously realized and that nests are multifunctional structures that have important fitness consequences for the builder/s. PMID:25505520

  18. Bisphenol A exposure inhibits germ cell nest breakdown by reducing apoptosis in cultured neonatal mouse ovaries.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Changqing; Wang,