Science.gov

Sample records for breeding habitat improves

  1. Familiarity with breeding habitat improves daily survival in colonial cliff swallows

    PubMed Central

    BROWN, CHARLES R.; BROWN, MARY BOMBERGER; BRAZEAL, KATHLEEN R.

    2008-01-01

    One probable cost of dispersing to a new breeding habitat is unfamiliarity with local conditions such as the whereabouts of food or the habits of local predators, and consequently immigrants may have lower probabilities of survival than more experienced residents. Within a breeding season, estimated daily survival probabilities of cliff swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) at colonies in southwestern Nebraska were highest for birds that had always nested at the same site, followed by those for birds that had nested there in some (but not all) past years. Daily survival probabilities were lowest for birds that were naïve immigrants to a colony site and for yearling birds that were nesting for the first time. Birds with past experience at a colony site had monthly survival 8.6% greater than that of naïve immigrants. All colonies where experienced residents did better than immigrants were smaller than 750 nests in size, and in colonies greater than 750 nests, naïve immigrants paid no survival costs relative to experienced residents. Removal of nest ectoparasites by fumigation resulted in higher survival probabilities for all birds, on average, and diminished the differences between immigrants and past residents, probably by improving bird condition to the extent that effects of past experience were relatively less important and harder to detect. The greater survival of experienced residents could not be explained by condition or territory quality, suggesting that familiarity with a local area confers survival advantages during the breeding season for cliff swallows. Colonial nesting may help to moderate the cost of unfamiliarity with an area, likely through social transfer of information about food sources and enhanced vigilance in large groups. PMID:19802326

  2. Habitat selection by breeding red-winged blackbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Albers, P.H.

    1978-01-01

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

  3. Sulfur isotopes link overwinter habitat use and breeding condition in Double-crested Cormorants.

    PubMed

    Hebert, Craig E; Bur, Michael; Sherman, David; Shutt, J Laird

    2008-04-01

    North American Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) populations have increased greatly. Both breeding and overwintering ground factors have likely contributed to these increases. However, demonstrating how overwintering conditions may affect breeding birds has not been possible because of the difficulty in linking breeding birds to their wintering grounds. Here, we demonstrate the utility of stable sulfur isotopes to elucidate overwintering habitat use by cormorants breeding on Lake Erie. Sulfur isotopes in feathers grown on overwintering grounds provided insights into the degree to which birds used freshwater vs. marine environments. The proportion of birds utilizing freshwater habitats increased through time. This change may have reflected increases in freshwater aquaculture (i.e., catfish) in the U.S. south. Examination of body condition in birds returning to breed on Lake Erie indicated that those individuals that solely used marine habitats for at least a portion of the overwintering period were in poorer condition than birds using freshwater. Enhanced foraging opportunities at aquaculture facilities may improve the fitness of individuals that have returned to breed after overwintering at such locations. This study is the first to demonstrate a linkage between overwinter habitat use and breeding ground parameters in Double-crested Cormorants. These results underscore that factors throughout the Mississippi flyway are likely acting together to regulate cormorant populations.

  4. Habitat and landscape associations of breeding birds in native and restored grasslands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fletcher, R.J.; Koford, Rolf R.

    2002-01-01

    In the midwestern United States, less than 1% of the original tallgrass prairie ecosystem remains. State and federal agencies have responded to this habitat loss with programs and land acquisition that have increased the amount of grassland on the landscape by restoring grassland from other land-use practices. We assessed the effects of habitat restoration and the relative contribution of local habitat and landscape factors on breeding grassland birds in northern Iowa. During the 1999 and 2000 breeding seasons, we surveyed grassland birds in 10 tallgrass prairies and 10 restored grasslands that contained a wide diversity of habitat and landscape conditions. Densities of common bird species were similar between habitat types, except for grasshopper sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum) and savannah sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis), which were 4 and 9 times more dense in restored grasslands, respectively. Species richness of breeding birds was similar between habitat types. Habitat structure was different in prairies and restored grasslands; restored grasslands had 7% less total vegetation cover and 3% more bare ground. A nested, multiscale analysis indicated that habitat structure explained some variation in species richness and bird density of all common species, yet addition of landscape structure improved models for species richness and for density of 4 of 8 species considered, explaining an additional 10-29% of the variation. Edge-density metrics were the most common variables entering into landscape models; most species had lower densities in landscapes with high edge density. Our results indicate that restored grassland habitats contain bird communities generally similar to those in native prairie habitats in northern Iowa, suggesting that restored grasslands may provide similar habitat suitability for most grassland birds. In addition, both local habitat and landscape factors can be important for managing breeding grassland birds.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  6. A multiscaled model of southwestern willow flycatcher breeding habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hatten, J.R.; Paradzick, C.E.

    2003-01-01

    The southwestern willow flycatcher (SWFL; Empidonax traillii extimus) is an endangered songbird whose habitat has declined dramatically over the last century. Understanding habitat selection patterns and the ability to identify potential breeding areas for the SWFL is crucial to the management and conservation of this species. We developed a multiscaled model of SWTL breeding habitat with a Geographic Information System (GIS), survey data, GIS variables, and multiple logistic regressions. We obtained presence and absence survey data from a riverine ecosystem and a reservoir delta in south-central Arizona, USA, in 1999. We extracted the GIS variables from satellite imagery and digital elevation models to characterize vegetation and floodplain within the project area. We used multiple logistic regressions within a cell-based (30 X 30 m) modeling environment to (1) determine associations between GIS variables and breeding-site occurrence at different spatial scales (0.09-72 ha), and (2) construct a predictive model. Our best model explained 54% of the variability in breeding-site occurrence with the following variables: vegetation density at the site (0.09 ha), proportion of dense vegetation and variability in vegetation density within a 4.5-ha neighborhood, and amount of floodplain or flat terrain within a 41-ha neighborhood. The density of breeding sites was highest in areas that the model predicted to be most suitable within the project area and at an external test site 200 km away. Conservation efforts must focus on protecting not only occupied patches, but also surrounding riparian forests and floodplain to ensure long-term viability of SWTL. We will use the multiscaled model to map SWTL breeding habitat in Arizona, prioritize future survey effort, and examine changes in habitat abundance and quality over time.

  7. Habitat use and preferences of breeding female wood ducks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

  8. Habitat Suitability Index Models: American eider (breeding)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blumton, Arlene K.; Owen, Ray B.; Krohn, William B.

    1988-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The common eider (Somateria mollissima) consists of five subspecies; four are found in North America (Palmer 1976). Six management populations of common eiders have recently been defined in eastern Canada and the United States (Reed and Erskine 1986). The American edier (S. mollissima dresseri), of which three populations are recognized (Reed and Erskine 1986), is the southernmost subspecies and the focus of this paper. The common eider is a member of the order Anseriformes, family Anatidae, and the tribe Mergini. A seabird of the northern latitudes of the world, the common eider is the largest duck of North America, ranging in weight from 1.2 to 2.8 kg and having a total length from 53.3 to 68.6 cm (Bellrose 1980). The American subspecies averages 2.0 kg and 61.0 cm for males, and 1.5 kg and 57.0 cm for females (Bellrose 1980). The drake is distinctly patterned,, having a white back and breast and a black belly and sides. The smaller female is brown and heavily barred with dark brown. Both sexes have a leathery extension of the bill which forms a Y-shaped frontal shield that reaches almost to the eyes. Maine, which supports part of the Atlantic population of common eiders (Reed and Erskine 1986), is the only major eider breeding population in the lower 48 States. American eiders are colonial nesters and use a variety of nesting sites, but they prefer relatively small, uninhabited islands (Mendall 1976). The coastal islands of Maine, which are essential to the eider's life cycle, are increasingly subjected to recreation and development, creating potential disturbances to eider breeding colonies. During recent years, aesthetic and sporting interest in eiders has increased. Sea ducks in Maine are experiencing increased hunting pressure. Compared to hunting seasons and bag limits for inland ducks, sea duck seasons and limits are liberal (Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife [MDIFW] 1983).

  9. Spatial scale of local breeding habitat quality and adjustment of breeding decisions.

    PubMed

    Doligez, Blandine; Berthouly, Anne; Doligez, Damien; Tanner, Marion; Saladin, Verena; Bonfils, Danielle; Richner, Heinz

    2008-05-01

    Experimental studies provide evidence that, in spatially and temporally heterogeneous environments, individuals track variation in breeding habitat quality to adjust breeding decisions to local conditions. However, most experiments consider environmental variation at one spatial scale only, while the ability to detect the influence of a factor depends on the scale of analysis. We show that different breeding decisions by adults are based on information about habitat quality at different spatial scales. We manipulated (increased or decreased) local breeding habitat quality through food availability and parasite prevalence at a small (territory) and a large (patch) scale simultaneously in a wild population of Great Tits (Parus major). Females laid earlier in high-quality large-scale patches, but laying date did not depend on small-scale territory quality. Conversely, offspring sex ratio was higher (i.e., biased toward males) in high-quality, small-scale territories but did not depend on large-scale patch quality. Clutch size and territory occupancy probability did not depend on our experimental manipulation of habitat quality, but territories located at the edge of patches were more likely to be occupied than central territories. These results suggest that integrating different decisions taken by breeders according to environmental variation at different spatial scales is required to understand patterns of breeding strategy adjustment.

  10. A Wildlife Habitat Improvement Plan.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogers, S. Elaine

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chalfoun, Anna D.; Schmidt, Kenneth A.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  13. Habitat use and home range of mallards breeding in Minnesota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gilmer, D.S.; Ball, I.J.; Cowardin, L.M.; Riechmann, J.

    1975-01-01

    Telemetry techniques were used to study habitat use and home range of 12 drake and 12 hen mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) in the forested region of north-central Minnesota during the 1968-72 breeding seasons. Circumneutral bogs and seasonal wetlands were the most frequently used communities; the lakeshore communities most used were sand-gravel, overhanging brush, and bog mat. Based on the availability of habitat, the highest preference shown was for the seasonal community and the least for the softwood swamp; however, all communities were used to some extent during the breeding season. Lakeshore was always among the habitats most frequently used by pairs. Twelve nest were found, nine in nonpermanent wetlands and three in upland forest sites. Mean home range was 210 ha for hens and 240 ha for drakes. The long axis of the home ranges of drakes and hens averaged 2.8 and 2.7 km, respectively. Hens had smaller home ranges during the laying period (mean = 70 ha) than during prenesting (mean = 135 ha).

  14. Breeding habitat associations and predicted distribution of an obligate tundra-breeding bird, Smith's Longspur

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wild, Teri C.; Kendall, Steven J.; Guldager, Nikki; Powell, Abby N.

    2015-01-01

    Smith's Longspur (Calcarius pictus) is a species of conservation concern which breeds in Arctic habitats that are expected to be especially vulnerable to climate change. We used bird presence and habitat data from point-transect surveys conducted at 12 sites across the Brooks Range, Alaska, 2003–2009, to identify breeding areas, describe local habitat associations, and identify suitable habitat using a predictive model of Smith's Longspur distribution. Smith's Longspurs were observed at seven sites, where they were associated with a variety of sedge–shrub habitats composed primarily of mosses, sedges, tussocks, and dwarf shrubs; erect shrubs were common but sparse. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling ordination of ground cover revealed positive associations of Smith's Longspur presence with sedges and mosses and a negative association with high cover of shrubs. To model predicted distribution, we used boosted regression trees to relate landscape variables to occurrence. Our model predicted that Smith's Longspurs may occur in valleys and foothills of the northeastern and southeastern mountains and in upland plateaus of the western mountains, and farther west than currently documented, over a predicted area no larger than 15% of the Brooks Range. With climate change, shrubs are expected to grow larger and denser, while soil moisture and moss cover are predicted to decrease. These changes may reduce Smith's Longspur habitat quality and limit distribution in the Brooks Range to poorly drained lowlands and alpine plateaus where sedge–shrub tundra is likely to persist. Conversely, northward advance of shrubs into sedge tundra may create suitable habitat, thus supporting a northward longspur distribution shift.

  15. Habitat use by prairie raccoons during the waterfowl breeding season

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fritzell, E.K.

    1978-01-01

    Mobility and habitat use of raccoons (Procyon lotor) in an intensively farmed area of the prairie pothole region were studied during the waterfowl breeding seasons (April-July) of 1973-75. Over 5700 locations of 30 raccoons were analyzed. Movement patterns varied with sex, age, and reproductive status. Adult males moved regularly throughout slightly overlapping ranges that averaged 2560 ha. Yearling males dispersed during May-June but their movements before and after dispersal were similar. Parous or pregnant females (mostly adults) had ranges averaging 806 ha but their movements were confined to smaller areas near the litter site after parturition. Nulliparous yearling females did not disperse and their ranges averaged 656 ha. Building sites, wooded areas, and wetlands were the only habitats preferentially used both at night and during the day. Eighty-one percent of all nocturnal locations and 94 percent of all diurnal locations were in these 3 habitats which comprised only 10 percent of the study area. Use of building sites decreased concomitantly with increased use of wetlands. Upland habitats were seldom used.

  16. Slipping through the cracks: rubber plantation is unsuitable breeding habitat for frogs in Xishuangbanna, China.

    PubMed

    Behm, Jocelyn E; Yang, Xiaodong; Chen, Jin

    2013-01-01

    Conversion of tropical forests into agriculture may present a serious risk to amphibian diversity if amphibians are not able to use agricultural areas as habitat. Recently, in Xishuangbanna Prefecture, Yunnan Province - a hotspot of frog diversity within China - two-thirds of the native tropical rainforests have been converted into rubber plantation agriculture. We conducted surveys and experiments to quantify habitat use for breeding and non-breeding life history activities of the native frog species in rainforest, rubber plantation and other human impacted sites. Rubber plantation sites had the lowest species richness in our non-breeding habitat surveys and no species used rubber plantation sites as breeding habitat. The absence of breeding was likely not due to intrinsic properties of the rubber plantation pools, as our experiments indicated that rubber plantation pools were suitable for tadpole growth and development. Rather, the absence of breeding in the rubber plantation was likely due to a misalignment of breeding and non-breeding habitat preferences. Analyses of our breeding surveys showed that percent canopy cover over pools was the strongest environmental variable influencing breeding site selection, with species exhibiting preferences for pools under both high and low canopy cover. Although rubber plantation pools had high canopy cover, the only species that bred in high canopy cover sites used the rainforest for both non-breeding and breeding activities, completing their entire life cycle in the rainforest. Conversely, the species that did use the rubber plantation for non-breeding habitat preferred to breed in low canopy sites, also avoiding breeding in the rubber plantation. Rubber plantations are likely an intermediate habitat type that 'slips through the cracks' of species habitat preferences and is thus avoided for breeding. In summary, unlike the rainforests they replaced, rubber plantations alone may not be able to support frog populations.

  17. Slipping through the Cracks: Rubber Plantation Is Unsuitable Breeding Habitat for Frogs in Xishuangbanna, China

    PubMed Central

    Behm, Jocelyn E.; Yang, Xiaodong; Chen, Jin

    2013-01-01

    Conversion of tropical forests into agriculture may present a serious risk to amphibian diversity if amphibians are not able to use agricultural areas as habitat. Recently, in Xishuangbanna Prefecture, Yunnan Province – a hotspot of frog diversity within China – two-thirds of the native tropical rainforests have been converted into rubber plantation agriculture. We conducted surveys and experiments to quantify habitat use for breeding and non-breeding life history activities of the native frog species in rainforest, rubber plantation and other human impacted sites. Rubber plantation sites had the lowest species richness in our non-breeding habitat surveys and no species used rubber plantation sites as breeding habitat. The absence of breeding was likely not due to intrinsic properties of the rubber plantation pools, as our experiments indicated that rubber plantation pools were suitable for tadpole growth and development. Rather, the absence of breeding in the rubber plantation was likely due to a misalignment of breeding and non-breeding habitat preferences. Analyses of our breeding surveys showed that percent canopy cover over pools was the strongest environmental variable influencing breeding site selection, with species exhibiting preferences for pools under both high and low canopy cover. Although rubber plantation pools had high canopy cover, the only species that bred in high canopy cover sites used the rainforest for both non-breeding and breeding activities, completing their entire life cycle in the rainforest. Conversely, the species that did use the rubber plantation for non-breeding habitat preferred to breed in low canopy sites, also avoiding breeding in the rubber plantation. Rubber plantations are likely an intermediate habitat type that ‘slips through the cracks’ of species habitat preferences and is thus avoided for breeding. In summary, unlike the rainforests they replaced, rubber plantations alone may not be able to support frog

  18. Sugarcane Improvement Through Breeding and Biotechnology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The advancements in sugarcane breeding and the improvement of sugarcane through biotechnology have been reviewed by a team of leading sugarcane specialists from around the world. Topics covered in the breeding section include the evolution and origin of sugarcane, early history of conventional sugar...

  19. Umatilla Basin Habitat Improvement Project.

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, Timothy D.

    1990-01-01

    This annual report is in fulfillment of contract obligations with Bonneville Power Administration which is the funding source for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Umatilla Basin Habitat Improvement Project. The major activities undertaken during this report period were: procurement of 17 cooperative lease agreements with private landowners, design and layout of 8.6 miles of riparian exclosure fence and 3.0 miles of instream structures, development of five fencing contracts and six instream work contracts. Results include implementation of 10 miles of fencing and 3 miles of instream work. Other activities undertaken during this report period are: data collection from 90 habitat monitoring transects, collection and summarization of temperature data, photopoint establishment, coordination with numerous agencies and tribes and education of all age groups on habitat improvement and protection. 4 refs., 4 figs., 6 tabs.

  20. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Black-bellied whistling-duck (breeding)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McKenzie, Paul M.; Zwank, Phillip J.

    1988-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a model for evaluating the quality of habitat for breeding black-bellied whistling-ducks. The model is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimal habitat). Habitat suitability index models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Guidelines for model application and techniques for measuring model variable are provided.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2001-12-01

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

  2. Breeding Guild Determines Frog Distributions in Response to Edge Effects and Habitat Conversion in the Brazil's Atlantic Forest.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Rodrigo B; Beard, Karen H; Crump, Martha L

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the response of species with differing life-history traits to habitat edges and habitat conversion helps predict their likelihood of persistence across changing landscape. In Brazil's Atlantic Forest, we evaluated frog richness and abundance by breeding guild at four distances from the edge of a reserve: i) 200 m inside the forest, ii) 50 m inside the forest, iii) at the forest edge, and iv) 50 m inside three different converted habitats (coffee plantation, non-native Eucalyptus plantation, and abandoned pastures, hereafter matrix types). By sampling a dry and a wet season, we recorded 622 individual frogs representing 29 species, of which three were undescribed. Breeding guild (i.e. bromeliad, leaf-litter, and water-body breeders) was the most important variable explaining frog distributions in relation to edge effects and matrix types. Leaf-litter and bromeliad breeders decreased in richness and abundance from the forest interior toward the matrix habitats. Water-body breeders increased in richness toward the matrix and remained relatively stable in abundance across distances. Number of large trees (i.e. DBH > 15 cm) and bromeliads best explained frog richness and abundance across distances. Twenty species found in the interior of the forest were not found in any matrix habitat. Richness and abundance across breeding guilds were higher in the rainy season but frog distributions were similar across the four distances in the two seasons. Across matrix types, leaf-litter species primarily used Eucalyptus plantations, whereas water-body species primarily used coffee plantations. Bromeliad breeders were not found inside any matrix habitat. Our study highlights the importance of primary forest for bromeliad and leaf-litter breeders. We propose that water-body breeders use edge and matrix habitats to reach breeding habitats along the valleys. Including life-history characteristics, such as breeding guild, can improve predictions of frog distributions in

  3. Improving the breed - Shuttle development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brand, V.

    1985-01-01

    An evaluation is made of design improvements that have been made to the Space Shuttle System, and the performance gains obtained; the most important of these stem from efforts to refine procedures for rendezvous with stricken satellites, in order to repair them. Ascent performance has been improved through Space Shuttle Main Engine thrust improvements and external tank weight reductions. On-orbit living convenience has been enhanced by the addition of small sleeping compartments and a galley. Greater flexibility has been obtained for reentry and landing maneuvers. Attention is given to problems which continue to be posed by the thermal protection tiles.

  4. Lidar remote sensing variables predict breeding habitat of a Neotropical migrant bird.

    PubMed

    Goetz, Scott J; Steinberg, Daniel; Betts, Matthew G; Holmes, Richard T; Doran, Patrick J; Dubayah, Ralph; Hofton, Michelle

    2010-06-01

    A topic of recurring interest in ecological research is the degree to which vegetation structure influences the distribution and abundance of species. Here we test the applicability of remote sensing, particularly novel use of waveform lidar measurements, for quantifying the habitat heterogeneity of a contiguous northern hardwoods forest in the northeastern United States. We apply these results to predict the breeding habitat quality, an indicator of reproductive output of a well-studied Neotropical migrant songbird, the Black-throated Blue Warbler (Dendroica caerulescens). We found that using canopy vertical structure metrics provided unique information for models of habitat quality and spatial patterns of prevalence. An ensemble decision tree modeling approach (random forests) consistently identified lidar metrics describing the vertical distribution and complexity of canopy elements as important predictors of habitat use over multiple years. Although other aspects of habitat were important, including the seasonality of vegetation cover, the canopy structure variables provided unique and complementary information that systematically improved model predictions. We conclude that canopy structure metrics derived from waveform lidar, which will be available on future satellite missions, can advance multiple aspects of biodiversity research, and additional studies should be extended to other organisms and regions.

  5. The ecology of vector snail habitats and mosquito breeding-places

    PubMed Central

    Muirhead-Thomson, R. C.

    1958-01-01

    The ecology of freshwater snails—in particular those which act as intermediate hosts of bilharziasis—is reviewed in the light of the much more extensive knowledge available on the breeding-places of anopheline mosquitos. Experimental ecological methods are recommended for the field and laboratory investigation of a number of common problems involved in the study of snail habitats and mosquito breeding-places. Among the environmental factors discussed are temperature, oxygen concentration, water movement, pollution and salinity. Sampling methods for estimating populations of both snails and mosquito larvae are also described. An attempt is made to show how malacologists and entomologists alike would benefit from improved facilities for keeping abreast of general developments in the wider field of freshwater ecology. PMID:13596888

  6. Habitat Effects on the Breeding Performance of Three Forest-Dwelling Hawks.

    PubMed

    Björklund, Heidi; Valkama, Jari; Tomppo, Erkki; Laaksonen, Toni

    2015-01-01

    Habitat loss causes population declines, but the mechanisms are rarely known. In the European Boreal Zone, loss of old forest due to intensive forestry is suspected to cause declines in forest-dwelling raptors by reducing their breeding performance. We studied the boreal breeding habitat and habitat-associated breeding performance of the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), common buzzard (Buteo buteo) and European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus). We combined long-term Finnish bird-of-prey data with multi-source national forest inventory data at various distances (100-4000 m) around the hawk nests. We found that breeding success of the goshawk was best explained by the habitat within a 2000-m radius around the nests; breeding was more successful with increasing proportions of old spruce forest and water, and decreasing proportions of young thinning forest. None of the habitat variables affected significantly the breeding success of the common buzzard or the honey buzzard, or the brood size of any of the species. The amount of old spruce forest decreased both around goshawk and common buzzard nests and throughout southern Finland in 1992-2010. In contrast, the area of young forest increased in southern Finland but not around hawk nests. We emphasize the importance of studying habitats at several spatial and temporal scales to determine the relevant species-specific scale and to detect environmental changes. Further effort is needed to reconcile the socioeconomic and ecological functions of forests and habitat requirements of old forest specialists.

  7. Habitat Effects on the Breeding Performance of Three Forest-Dwelling Hawks

    PubMed Central

    Björklund, Heidi; Valkama, Jari; Tomppo, Erkki; Laaksonen, Toni

    2015-01-01

    Habitat loss causes population declines, but the mechanisms are rarely known. In the European Boreal Zone, loss of old forest due to intensive forestry is suspected to cause declines in forest-dwelling raptors by reducing their breeding performance. We studied the boreal breeding habitat and habitat-associated breeding performance of the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), common buzzard (Buteo buteo) and European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus). We combined long-term Finnish bird-of-prey data with multi-source national forest inventory data at various distances (100–4000 m) around the hawk nests. We found that breeding success of the goshawk was best explained by the habitat within a 2000-m radius around the nests; breeding was more successful with increasing proportions of old spruce forest and water, and decreasing proportions of young thinning forest. None of the habitat variables affected significantly the breeding success of the common buzzard or the honey buzzard, or the brood size of any of the species. The amount of old spruce forest decreased both around goshawk and common buzzard nests and throughout southern Finland in 1992–2010. In contrast, the area of young forest increased in southern Finland but not around hawk nests. We emphasize the importance of studying habitats at several spatial and temporal scales to determine the relevant species-specific scale and to detect environmental changes. Further effort is needed to reconcile the socioeconomic and ecological functions of forests and habitat requirements of old forest specialists. PMID:26422684

  8. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Blue-winged teal (breeding)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sousa, Patrick J.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

  11. Non-breeding season habitat quality mediates the strength of density-dependence for a migratory bird.

    PubMed

    Marra, Peter P; Studds, Colin E; Wilson, Scott; Sillett, T Scott; Sherry, Thomas W; Holmes, Richard T

    2015-07-22

    Our understanding of when natural populations are regulated during their annual cycle is limited, particularly for migratory species. This information is needed for parametrizing models that can inform management and conservation. Here, we use 14 years of data on colour-marked birds to investigate how conspecific density and habitat quality during the tropical non-breeding period interact to affect body condition and apparent annual survival of a long-distance migratory songbird, the American redstart (Setophagaruticilla). Body condition and survival of birds in high-quality mangrove habitat declined as density increased. By contrast, body condition improved and survival did not vary as density increased in adjacent, lower quality scrub habitat, although mean condition and survival were almost always lower than in mangrove. High rainfall enhanced body condition in scrub but not in mangrove, suggesting factors such as food availability outweighed consequences of crowding in lower quality habitat. Thus, survival of overwintering redstarts in mangrove habitat, disproportionately males,appears to be regulated by a crowding mechanism based on density-dependent resource competition. Survival of individuals in scrub, mostly females, appears to be limited by density-independent environmental factors but not regulated by crowding. The contrasting effects of density and food limitation on individuals overwintering in adjacent habitats illustrate the complexity of processes operating during the non-breeding period for migratory animals, and emphasize the need for long-term studies of animals in multiple habitats and throughout their annual cycles.

  12. Non-breeding season habitat quality mediates the strength of density-dependence for a migratory bird

    PubMed Central

    Marra, Peter P.; Studds, Colin E.; Wilson, Scott; Sillett, T. Scott; Sherry, Thomas W.; Holmes, Richard T.

    2015-01-01

    Our understanding of when natural populations are regulated during their annual cycle is limited, particularly for migratory species. This information is needed for parametrizing models that can inform management and conservation. Here, we use 14 years of data on colour-marked birds to investigate how conspecific density and habitat quality during the tropical non-breeding period interact to affect body condition and apparent annual survival of a long-distance migratory songbird, the American redstart (Setophaga ruticilla). Body condition and survival of birds in high-quality mangrove habitat declined as density increased. By contrast, body condition improved and survival did not vary as density increased in adjacent, lower quality scrub habitat, although mean condition and survival were almost always lower than in mangrove. High rainfall enhanced body condition in scrub but not in mangrove, suggesting factors such as food availability outweighed consequences of crowding in lower quality habitat. Thus, survival of overwintering redstarts in mangrove habitat, disproportionately males, appears to be regulated by a crowding mechanism based on density-dependent resource competition. Survival of individuals in scrub, mostly females, appears to be limited by density-independent environmental factors but not regulated by crowding. The contrasting effects of density and food limitation on individuals overwintering in adjacent habitats illustrate the complexity of processes operating during the non-breeding period for migratory animals, and emphasize the need for long-term studies of animals in multiple habitats and throughout their annual cycles. PMID:26136445

  13. Development of an expert system for assessing trumpeter swan breeding habitat in the Northern Rocky Mountains.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sojda, Richard S.; Cornely, John E.; Howe, Adele E.

    2002-01-01

    A decision support system for the management of the Rocky Mountain Population of Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinators) is being developed. As part of this, three expert systems are also in development: one for assessing the quality of Trumpeter Swan breeding habitat; one for making water level recommendations in montane, palustrine wetlands; and one for assessing the contribution a particular site can make towards meeting objectives from as flyway perspective. The focus of this paper is the development of the breeding habitat expert system, which currently consists of 157 rules. Out purpose is to provide decision support for issues that appear to be beyond the capability of a single persons to conceptualize and solve. We propose that by involving multiple experts in the development and use of the systems, management will be significantly improved. The knowledge base for the expert system has been developed using standard knowledge engineering techniques with a small team of ecological experts. Knowledge was then coded using production rules organized in decision trees using a commercial expert system development shell. The final system has been deployed on the world wide web.

  14. Sex-Specific Habitat Utilization and Differential Breeding Investments in Christmas Island Frigatebirds throughout the Breeding Cycle.

    PubMed

    Hennicke, Janos C; James, David J; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-01-01

    In seabirds, equal bi-parental care is the rule, as it is considered crucial for raising chicks successfully because seabirds forage in an environment with unpredictable and highly variable food supply. Frigatebirds forage in poor tropical waters, yet males reduce and even stop parental care soon after chick brooding, leaving the female to provision the chick alone for an extended fledging period. Using bird-borne tracking devices, male and female Christmas Island Frigatebirds (Fregata andrewsi) were investigated during the brooding, late chick rearing and post-fledging period to examine whether sexes exhibit foraging strategies that may be linked to differential breeding investments. During brooding, males and females showed similar foraging behaviour under average marine productivity of oceanic waters close to the colony, but males shifted to more distant and more productive habitats when conditions deteriorated to continue with reduced chick provisioning. During the late chick rearing period, females progressively increased their foraging range to the more distant but productive marine areas that only males had visited during brooding. Birds spent the non-breeding period roosting in highly productive waters of the Sunda Shelf. The sex-specific utilisation of three different foraging habitats with different primary productivity (oceanic, coastal, and shelf areas) allowed for temporal and spatial segregation in the exploitation of favourable habitats which seems to enable each sex to optimise its foraging profitability. In addition, post-fledging foraging movements of females suggest a biennial breeding cycle, while limited information on males suggests the possibility of an annual breeding cycle.

  15. Tropical winter habitat limits reproductive success on the temperate breeding grounds in a migratory bird.

    PubMed Central

    Norris, D. Ryan; Marra, Peter P.; Kyser, T. Kurt; Sherry, Thomas W.; Ratcliffe, Laurene M.

    2004-01-01

    Identifying the factors that control population dynamics in migratory animals has been constrained by our inability to track individuals throughout the annual cycle. Using stable carbon isotopes, we show that the reproductive success of a long-distance migratory bird is influenced by the quality of habitat located thousands of kilometres away on tropical wintering grounds. For male American redstarts (Setophaga ruticilla), winter habitat quality influenced arrival date on the breeding grounds, which in turn affected key variables associated with reproduction, including the number of young fledged. Based on a winter-habitat model, females occupying high-quality winter habitat were predicted to produce more than two additional young and to fledge offspring up to a month earlier compared with females wintering in poor-quality habitat. Differences of this magnitude are highly important considering redstarts are single brooded, lay clutches of only three to five eggs and spend only two-and-a-half months on the breeding grounds. Results from this study indicate the importance of understanding how periods of the annual cycle interact for migratory animals. Continued loss of tropical wintering habitat could have negative effects on migratory populations in the following breeding season, minimizing density-dependent effects on the breeding grounds and leading to further population declines. If conservation efforts are to be successful, strategies must incorporate measures to protect all the habitats used during the entire annual cycle of migratory animals. PMID:15002772

  16. Breeding population density and habitat use of Swainson's warblers in a Georgia floodplain forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wright, E.A.

    2002-01-01

    I examined density and habitat use of a Swainson's Warbler (Limnothlypis swainsonii) breeding population in Georgia. This songbird species is inadequately monitored, and may be declining due to anthropogenic alteration of floodplain forest breeding habitats. I used distance sampling methods to estimate density, finding 9.4 singing males/ha (CV = 0.298). Individuals were encountered too infrequently to produce a Iow-variance estimate, and distance sampling thus may be impracticable for monitoring this relatively rare species. I developed a set of multivariate habitat models using binary logistic regression techniques, based on measurement of 22 variables in 56 plots occupied by Swainson's Warblers and 110 unoccupied plots. Occupied areas were characterized by high stem density of cane (Arundinaria gigantea) and other shrub layer vegetation, and presence of abundant and accessible leaf litter. I recommend two habitat models, which correctly classified 87-89% of plots in cross-validation runs, for potential use in habitat assessment at other locations.

  17. Breeding Guild Determines Frog Distributions in Response to Edge Effects and Habitat Conversion in the Brazil’s Atlantic Forest

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Rodrigo B.; Beard, Karen H.; Crump, Martha L.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the response of species with differing life-history traits to habitat edges and habitat conversion helps predict their likelihood of persistence across changing landscape. In Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, we evaluated frog richness and abundance by breeding guild at four distances from the edge of a reserve: i) 200 m inside the forest, ii) 50 m inside the forest, iii) at the forest edge, and iv) 50 m inside three different converted habitats (coffee plantation, non-native Eucalyptus plantation, and abandoned pastures, hereafter matrix types). By sampling a dry and a wet season, we recorded 622 individual frogs representing 29 species, of which three were undescribed. Breeding guild (i.e. bromeliad, leaf-litter, and water-body breeders) was the most important variable explaining frog distributions in relation to edge effects and matrix types. Leaf-litter and bromeliad breeders decreased in richness and abundance from the forest interior toward the matrix habitats. Water-body breeders increased in richness toward the matrix and remained relatively stable in abundance across distances. Number of large trees (i.e. DBH > 15 cm) and bromeliads best explained frog richness and abundance across distances. Twenty species found in the interior of the forest were not found in any matrix habitat. Richness and abundance across breeding guilds were higher in the rainy season but frog distributions were similar across the four distances in the two seasons. Across matrix types, leaf-litter species primarily used Eucalyptus plantations, whereas water-body species primarily used coffee plantations. Bromeliad breeders were not found inside any matrix habitat. Our study highlights the importance of primary forest for bromeliad and leaf-litter breeders. We propose that water-body breeders use edge and matrix habitats to reach breeding habitats along the valleys. Including life-history characteristics, such as breeding guild, can improve predictions of frog distributions in

  18. Breeding biology and habitat use of black ducks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Owen, R.; Longcore, J.; Ringelman, J.; Reinecke, K.; Hendrix, K.

    1989-01-01

    Forested wetlands are Important habitats for black ducks nesting in the Northeast. Invertebrates, with their high protein content, are primary foods of females during egg laying and for rapidly growing ducklings. Beaver-created and modified wetlands provide excellent habitat for feeding as well as protective cover. As these wetlands age, their quality declines after 7-10 years, and waterfowl use diminishes. Wetland availability and quality should be considered when managing beaver.

  19. Breeding bird populations and habitat associations within the Savannah River Site (SRS).

    SciTech Connect

    Gauthreaux, Sidney, A.; Steven J. Wagner.

    2005-06-29

    Gauthreaux, Sidney, A., and Steven J. Wagner. 2005. Breeding bird populations and habitat associations within the Savannah River Site (SRS). Final Report. USDA Forest Service, Savannah River, Aiken, SC. 48 pp. Abstract: During the 1970's and 1980's a dramatic decline occurred in the populations of Neotropical migratory birds, species that breed in North America and winter south of the border in Central and South America and in the Caribbean. In 1991 an international initiative was mounted by U. S. governmental land management agencies, nongovernmental conservation agencies, and the academic and lay ornithological communities to understand the decline of Neotropical migratory birds in the Americas. In cooperation with the USDA Forest Service - Savannah River (FS - SR) we began 1992 a project directed to monitoring population densities of breeding birds using the Breeding Bird Census (BBC) methodology in selected habitats within the Savannah River Site SRS. In addition we related point count data on the occurrence of breeding Neotropical migrants and other bird species to the habitat data gathered by the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program of the USDA Forest Service and data on habitat treatments within forest stands.

  20. Habitat and sex differences in physiological condition of breeding Southwestern Willow Flycatchers (Empidonax traillii extimus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Owen, J.C.; Sogge, M.K.; Kern, M.D.

    2005-01-01

    The Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus; hereafter "flycatcher") is a federally listed endangered species that breeds in densely vegetated riparian habitats dominated by native and exotic plants, including introduced monotypic saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima). Some workers have theorized that saltcedar is unsuitable habitat for the flycatcher, primarily because it generally supports a smaller and less diverse invertebrate community (the flycatcher's food base) than native habitats (e.g. Salix spp.). However, differences in insect communities between native and saltcedar habitats are not proof that saltcedar habitats are inferior. The only way to evaluate whether the habitats differ in dietary or energetic quality is to document actual food limitation or its manifestations. Measurements of an individual's body condition and metabolic state can serve as indicators of environmental stressors, such as food limitation and environmental extremes. We captured 130 flycatchers breeding in native and saltcedar habitats in Arizona and New Mexico and measured 12 variables of physiological condition. These variables included body mass, fat level, body condition index, hematocrit, plasma triglycerides, plasma free fatty acids and glycerol, plasma glucose and beta-hydroxybutyrate, plasma uric acid, total leukocyte count, and heterophil-to-lymphocyte ratio. We found substantial sex-based differences in the condition of male and female flycatchers. Ten of the 12 measures of physiological condition differed significantly between the sexes. In all cases where male and female condition differed (except mass), the differences suggest that males were in poorer condition than females. We found few habitat-based differences in flycatcher condition. Only 3 of the 12 physiological condition indices differed significantly between habitats. Our data show that, at least in some parts of the flycatcher's range, there is no evidence that flycatchers breeding in saltcedar

  1. Distribution and habitat associations of breeding secretive marsh birds in Louisiana's Mississippi alluvial valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Valente, J.J.; King, S.L.; Wilson, R.R.

    2011-01-01

    Populations of many North American secretive marsh birds (SMBs) have declined in recent decades, partially as a function of wetland loss. Protecting and restoring appropriate habitat for these species is contingent upon understanding the habitat features they utilize. We investigated breeding distributions of SMBs in northeast Louisiana at 118 wetlands in 2007 and 2008 and modeled species occupancy (??) as a function of habitat variables measured at local (???100 m) and landscape (???1 km) scales. Common Moorhens (Gallinula chloropus), Least Bitterns (Ixobrychus exilis), and Purple Gallinules (Porphyrula martinica) were the most commonly detected species, whereas breeding King Rails (Rallus elegans) and American Coots (Fulica americana) were rare. Local habitat features consistently played a greater role in predicting ?? than landscape features for the three most common species. The proportion of local wetland area dominated by robust emergent vegetation (i.e., Typha spp. and Zizaniopsis miliacea) positively influenced ?? for all species, while other wetland vegetation types tended to have a minimal or negative effect. Our results suggest the habitat characteristics preferred by breeding SMBs differ from those used by migrating shorebirds and wintering waterfowl and management and restoration objectives for those species may be inadequate for enhancing SMB habitat. ?? 2011 US Government.

  2. Distribution and habitat associations of breeding secretive marsh birds in Louisiana's Mississippi Alluvial Valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Valente , Jonathan J.; King, Sammy L.; Wilson, R. Randy

    2011-01-01

    Populations of many North American secretive marsh birds (SMBs) have declined in recent decades, partially as a function of wetland loss. Protecting and restoring appropriate habitat for these species is contingent upon understanding the habitat features they utilize. We investigated breeding distributions of SMBs in northeast Louisiana at 118 wetlands in 2007 and 2008 and modeled species occupancy (psi) as a function of habitat variables measured at local (<= 100 m) and landscape (<= 1 km) scales. Common Moorhens (Gallinula chloropus), Least Bitterns (Ixobrychus exilis), and Purple Gallinules (Porphyrula martinica) were the most commonly detected species, whereas breeding King Rails (Rallus elegans) and American Coots (Fulica americana) were rare. Local habitat features consistently played a greater role in predicting psi than landscape features for the three most common species. The proportion of local wetland area dominated by robust emergent vegetation (i.e., Typha spp. and Zizaniopsis miliacea) positively influenced psi for all species, while other wetland vegetation types tended to have a minimal or negative effect. Our results suggest the habitat characteristics preferred by breeding SMBs differ from those used by migrating shorebirds and wintering waterfowl and management and restoration objectives for those species may be inadequate for enhancing SMB habitat.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Earnst, Susan L.; Rothe, T.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

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

  6. Topographic models for predicting malaria vector breeding habitats: potential tools for vector control managers

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Identification of malaria vector breeding sites can enhance control activities. Although associations between malaria vector breeding sites and topography are well recognized, practical models that predict breeding sites from topographic information are lacking. We used topographic variables derived from remotely sensed Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) to model the breeding sites of malaria vectors. We further compared the predictive strength of two different DEMs and evaluated the predictability of various habitat types inhabited by Anopheles larvae. Methods Using GIS techniques, topographic variables were extracted from two DEMs: 1) Shuttle Radar Topography Mission 3 (SRTM3, 90-m resolution) and 2) the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission Reflection Radiometer Global DEM (ASTER, 30-m resolution). We used data on breeding sites from an extensive field survey conducted on an island in western Kenya in 2006. Topographic variables were extracted for 826 breeding sites and for 4520 negative points that were randomly assigned. Logistic regression modelling was applied to characterize topographic features of the malaria vector breeding sites and predict their locations. Model accuracy was evaluated using the area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC). Results All topographic variables derived from both DEMs were significantly correlated with breeding habitats except for the aspect of SRTM. The magnitude and direction of correlation for each variable were similar in the two DEMs. Multivariate models for SRTM and ASTER showed similar levels of fit indicated by Akaike information criterion (3959.3 and 3972.7, respectively), though the former was slightly better than the latter. The accuracy of prediction indicated by AUC was also similar in SRTM (0.758) and ASTER (0.755) in the training site. In the testing site, both SRTM and ASTER models showed higher AUC in the testing sites than in the training site (0.829 and 0.799, respectively). The

  7. The Effects of Habitat Type and Volcanic Eruptions on the Breeding Demography of Icelandic Whimbrels Numenius phaeopus

    PubMed Central

    Katrínardóttir, Borgný; Alves, José A.; Sigurjónsdóttir, Hrefna; Gunnarsson, Tómas G.

    2015-01-01

    Distinct preference of species for habitats is most often driven by long term differences in demographic rates between habitats. Estimating variation in those rates is key for developing successful conservation strategies. Stochastic events can interact with underlying variation in habitat quality in regulating demography but the opportunities to explore such interactions are rare. Whimbrels in Iceland show a strong preference for sparsely vegetated riverplains. Such habitats in Iceland face various threats, e.g., climate change, river regulation and spread of alien plant species. In this study we compared demographic parameters of breeding Whimbrels between riverplains and other habitats before, during and after volcanic eruption events to estimate the importance of the habitats for the species and the effect of ash deposit on breeding success. We found that an estimated minimum of 23% of the Icelandic population of Whimbrels and c. 10% of the world population of the species breed in riverplain habitats in Iceland. Whimbrels bred consistently at much higher densities in riverplain habitats than in other habitats and riverplains also had higher densities of pairs with fledglings although the proportion of successful breeders was similar between habitats. Predation by livestock may have had a considerable negative effect on breeding success on our study sites. Breeding was negatively affected by the volcanic activity, probably through the effects of ash on the invertebrate food supply, with breeding success being gradually worse closer to the eruption. Breeding success was equally affected by volcanism across habitats which differed in underlying habitat quality. This study gives an example of how populations can be regulated by factors which operate at different spatial scales, such as local variation in habitat quality and stochastic events which impact larger areas. PMID:26161860

  8. The Effects of Habitat Type and Volcanic Eruptions on the Breeding Demography of Icelandic Whimbrels Numenius phaeopus.

    PubMed

    Katrínardóttir, Borgný; Alves, José A; Sigurjónsdóttir, Hrefna; Hersteinsson, Páll; Gunnarsson, Tómas G

    2015-01-01

    Distinct preference of species for habitats is most often driven by long term differences in demographic rates between habitats. Estimating variation in those rates is key for developing successful conservation strategies. Stochastic events can interact with underlying variation in habitat quality in regulating demography but the opportunities to explore such interactions are rare. Whimbrels in Iceland show a strong preference for sparsely vegetated riverplains. Such habitats in Iceland face various threats, e.g., climate change, river regulation and spread of alien plant species. In this study we compared demographic parameters of breeding Whimbrels between riverplains and other habitats before, during and after volcanic eruption events to estimate the importance of the habitats for the species and the effect of ash deposit on breeding success. We found that an estimated minimum of 23% of the Icelandic population of Whimbrels and c. 10% of the world population of the species breed in riverplain habitats in Iceland. Whimbrels bred consistently at much higher densities in riverplain habitats than in other habitats and riverplains also had higher densities of pairs with fledglings although the proportion of successful breeders was similar between habitats. Predation by livestock may have had a considerable negative effect on breeding success on our study sites. Breeding was negatively affected by the volcanic activity, probably through the effects of ash on the invertebrate food supply, with breeding success being gradually worse closer to the eruption. Breeding success was equally affected by volcanism across habitats which differed in underlying habitat quality. This study gives an example of how populations can be regulated by factors which operate at different spatial scales, such as local variation in habitat quality and stochastic events which impact larger areas.

  9. Challenges and opportunities in genetic improvement of local livestock breeds

    PubMed Central

    Biscarini, Filippo; Nicolazzi, Ezequiel L.; Stella, Alessandra; Boettcher, Paul J.; Gandini, Gustavo

    2015-01-01

    Sufficient genetic variation in livestock populations is necessary both for adaptation to future changes in climate and consumer demand, and for continual genetic improvement of economically important traits. Unfortunately, the current trend is for reduced genetic variation, both within and across breeds. The latter occurs primarily through the loss of small, local breeds. Inferior production is a key driver for loss of small breeds, as they are replaced by high-output international transboundary breeds. Selection to improve productivity of small local breeds is therefore critical for their long term survival. The objective of this paper is to review the technology options available for the genetic improvement of small local breeds and discuss their feasibility. Most technologies have been developed for the high-input breeds and consequently are more favorably applied in that context. Nevertheless, their application in local breeds is not precluded and can yield significant benefits, especially when multiple technologies are applied in close collaboration with farmers and breeders. Breeding strategies that require cooperation and centralized decision-making, such as optimal contribution selection, may in fact be more easily implemented in small breeds. PMID:25763010

  10. Effects of habitat fragmentation on passerine birds breeding in Intermountain shrubsteppe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knick, S.T.; Rotenberry, J.T.

    2002-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation and loss strongly influence the distribution and abundance of passerine birds breeding in Intermountain shrubsteppe. Wildfires, human activities, and change in vegetation communities often are synergistic in these systems and can result in radical conversion from shrubland to grasslands dominated by exotic annuals at large temporal and spatial scales from which recovery to native conditions is unlikely. As a result, populations of 5 of the 12 species in our review of Intermountain shrubsteppe birds are undergoing significant declines; 5 species are listed as at-risk or as candidates for protection in at least one state. The process by which fragmentation affects bird distributions in these habitats remains unknown because most research has emphasized the detection of population trends and patterns of habitat associations at relatively large spatial scales. Our research indicates that the distribution of shrubland-obligate species, such as Brewer's Sparrows (Spizella breweri), Sage Sparrows (Amphispiza belli), and Sage Thrashers (Oreoscoptes montanus), was highly sensitive to fragmentation of shrublands at spatial scales larger than individual home ranges. In contrast, the underlying mechanisms for both habitat change and bird population dynamics may operate independently of habitat boundaries. We propose alternative, but not necessarily exclusive, mechanisms to explain the relationship between habitat fragmentation and bird distribution and abundance. Fragmentation might influence productivity through differences in breeding density, nesting success, or predation. However, local and landscape variables were not significant determinants either of success, number fledged, or probability of predation or parasitism (although our tests had relatively low statistical power). Alternatively, relative absence of natal philopatry and redistribution by individuals among habitats following fledging or post-migration could account for the pattern of

  11. Effects of habitat disturbance from residential development on breeding bird communities in riparian corridors.

    PubMed

    Lussier, Suzanne M; Enser, Richard W; Dasilva, Sara N; Charpentier, Michael

    2006-09-01

    This study assessed the relationship among land use, riparian vegetation,and avian populations at two spatial scales. Our objective was to compare the vegetated habitat in riparian corridors with breeding bird guilds in eight Rhode Island subwatersheds along a range of increasing residential land use. Riparian habitats were characterized with fine-scale techniques (used field transects to measure riparian vegetation structure and plant species richness) at the reach spatial scale,and with coarse-scale landscape techniques (a Geographic Information System to document land-cover attributes) at the subwatershed scale. Bird surveys were conducted in the riparian zone,and the observed bird species were separated into guilds based on tolerance to human disturbance,habitat preference,foraging type, and diet preference. Bird guilds were correlated with riparian vegetation metrics,percent impervious surface,and percent residential land use,revealing patterns of breeding bird distribution. The number of intolerant species predominated below 12%residential development and 3% impervious surface,whereas tolerant species predominated above these levels.Habitat guilds of edge,forest, and wetland bird species correlated with riparian vegetation. This study showed that the application of avian guilds at both stream reach and subwatershed scales offers a comprehensive assessment of effects from disturbed habitat,but that the subwatershed scale is a more efficient method of evaluation for environmental management.

  12. Corticosterone levels as indicators of habitat quality: effects of habitat segregation in a migratory bird during the non-breeding season.

    PubMed

    Marra, Peter P; Holberton, Rebecca L

    1998-08-01

    During the non-breeding season, many species of territorial migratory birds exhibit a non-random pattern of habitat distribution, with males and females occupying different habitats. In this study, we examined possible physiological consequences arising from such habitat segregation in one migrant passerine species, the American redstart (Setophaga ruticilla), on its non-breeding grounds in Jamaica, West Indies. For 2 years, we measured concentrations of corticosterone, at the time of capture (baseline) and 30 min after capture (profile of acute corticosterone secretion), in redstarts in two distinct habitats, one occupied predominately by males and one mostly by females. All redstarts in both habitat types exhibited similar concentrations of baseline corticosterone levels in fall (October), whereas in spring (March-April), redstarts in female-biased habitat exhibited significantly higher baseline levels regardless of age or sex. In fall, all individuals in both habitats exhibited significant increases in corticosterone concentration with capture and handling, but in spring only redstarts (both sexes) in male-biased habitat continued to exhibit acute corticosterone secretion. Redstarts in female-biased habitat had elevated baseline corticosterone levels and reduced acute corticosterone secretion. In spring, baseline corticosterone concentration was negatively correlated with body mass, suggesting muscle catabolism associated with high corticosterone concentrations or possibly that birds are leaner as a result of increased foraging effort. These results indicate that redstarts (primarily females) in female-biased habitats suffered a decline in physiological condition, which could in turn influence their departure schedules, migration patterns and even their condition and arrival schedules on the breeding grounds. Thus, segregation of populations into habitats of different quality during the non-breeding period may have ramifications throughout the annual cycle of

  13. Characterization of breeding habitats for black and surf scoters in the eastern boreal forest and subarctic regions of Canada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perry, M.C.; Kidwell, D.M.; Wells, A.M.; Lohnes, E.J.R.; Osenton, P.C.; Altmann, S.H.; Hanson, Alan; Kerekes, Joseph; Paquet, Julie

    2006-01-01

    We analyzed characteristics of wetland habitats used by breeding black scoters (Melanitta nigra) and surf scoters (M. perspicillata) in the eastern boreal forest and subarctic regions of Canada based on satellite telemetry data collected in the spring and summer. During 2002 and 2004, nine black scoters (four males, five females) were tracked to breeding areas in Quebec, Manitoba, and Northwest Territories. In addition, in 2001?04, seven surf scoters (three males, four females) were tracked to breeding areas in Labrador, Quebec, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. Based on satellite telemetry data, locations of black and surf scoters in breeding areas were not significantly different in regard to latitude and longitude. Presumed breeding areas were manually plotted on topographic maps and percent cover type and water were estimated. Breeding habitat of black scoters was significantly different than that for surf scoters, with black scoters mainly using open (tundra) areas (44%) and surf scoters using mainly forest areas (66%). Surf scoters presumed breeding areas were at significantly higher elevations than areas used by black scoters. Some breeding areas were associated with islands, but the role of islands for breeding areas is equivocal. These results aid in the identification of potentially critical breeding areas and provide a baseline classification of breeding habitats used by these two species.

  14. Greater shrub dominance alters breeding habitat and food resources for migratory songbirds in Alaskan arctic tundra.

    PubMed

    Boelman, Natalie T; Gough, Laura; Wingfield, John; Goetz, Scott; Asmus, Ashley; Chmura, Helen E; Krause, Jesse S; Perez, Jonathan H; Sweet, Shannan K; Guay, Kevin C

    2015-04-01

    Climate warming is affecting the Arctic in multiple ways, including via increased dominance of deciduous shrubs. Although many studies have focused on how this vegetation shift is altering nutrient cycling and energy balance, few have explicitly considered effects on tundra fauna, such as the millions of migratory songbirds that breed in northern regions every year. To understand how increasing deciduous shrub dominance may alter breeding songbird habitat, we quantified vegetation and arthropod community characteristics in both graminoid and shrub dominated tundra. We combined measurements of preferred nest site characteristics for Lapland longspurs (Calcarius lapponicus) and Gambel's White-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys gambelii) with modeled predictions for the distribution of plant community types in the Alaskan arctic foothills region for the year 2050. Lapland longspur nests were found in sedge-dominated tussock tundra where shrub height does not exceed 20 cm, whereas White-crowned sparrows nested only under shrubs between 20 cm and 1 m in height, with no preference for shrub species. Shrub canopies had higher canopy-dwelling arthropod availability (i.e. small flies and spiders) but lower ground-dwelling arthropod availability (i.e. large spiders and beetles). Since flies are the birds' preferred prey, increasing shrubs may result in a net enhancement in preferred prey availability. Acknowledging the coarse resolution of existing tundra vegetation models, we predict that by 2050 there will be a northward shift in current White-crowned sparrow habitat range and a 20-60% increase in their preferred habitat extent, while Lapland longspur habitat extent will be equivalently reduced. Our findings can be used to make first approximations of future habitat change for species with similar nesting requirements. However, we contend that as exemplified by this study's findings, existing tundra modeling tools cannot yet simulate the fine-scale habitat

  15. Breeding habitat survey of blackthroat (Luscinia obscura) in Foping nature reserve of Qinling Mountains.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Hongfeng; Han, Ning; Luo, Lei; Zhao, Leigang; Gao, Xuebin

    2014-05-01

    We carried out a primary survey by quadrat sampling to quantify breeding habitat characteristics of blackthroat (Luscnia obscura), a poorly documented and vulnerable bird species, in Foping nature reserve on the central southern Qinling Mountains. Tree layer information was collected in 10 m × 10 m plots, bamboo and shrub layer information was collected in 2 m × 2 m plots, and grass and ground layer information was collected in 1 m × 1 m plots. Our observations showed that blackthroat lives in coniferous forest and coniferous broadleaved forest with dense bamboos at the elevation ranging from 2130 m to 2600 m. Shrub cover, density and height, and ground cover in sites with blackthroat were significantly higher than those in random sites, while tree density, grass height and cover in habitat sites were significantly lower than those in random sites. These results suggest that shrub cover, shrub density, and canopy cover may be relevant to breeding habitat selection by these birds. Our study suggests that Qinling Mountains may be an important blackthroat breeding site.

  16. Productivity and breeding habitat of loggerhead shrikes in a southwestern urban environment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boal, C.W.; Estabrook, T.S.; Duerr, A.E.

    2003-01-01

    Declines in loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) populations have been associated in part with habitat loss and degradation, including that resulting from urbanization. We monitored the productivity and examined nesting habitat of loggerhead shrikes nesting in an urban environment in Tucson, Arizona. We located 22 breeding pairs in 1997 and 26 breeding pairs in 1998, with a 72% breeding area reoccupancy between years. Mean fledgling numbers were 2.28/ nesting attempt and 3.11/successful nest. Although some pairs initially failed and renested, 91% and 73% of shrike pairs successfully fledged young in 1997 and 1998, respectively. Mayfield estimates of nesting success were 78% in 1997 and 65% in 1998. Nest sites were characterized by more trees >3 m in height, taller nest trees than those randomly available, and a greater proportion of bare ground surface than at random sites. Shrike breeding territories had lower proportions of residential and commercial development and greater proportions of open areas with low-growing vegetation than randomly available. Some shrikes nested in school playgrounds, residential front yards, and parking lots, if adjacent open space was available.

  17. Pupal productivity & nutrient reserves of Aedes mosquitoes breeding in sewage drains & other habitats of Kolkata, India: implications for habitat expansion & vector management

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Soumyajit; Mohan, Sushree; Saha, Nabaneeta; Mohanty, Siba Prasad; Saha, Goutam K.; Aditya, Gautam

    2015-01-01

    Background & objectives: The quality of breeding sites is reflected through the pupal productivity and the life history traits of Aedes mosquitoes. Using nutrient reserves and pupal productivity of Aedes as indicators, the larval habitats including sewage drains were characterized to highlight the habitat expansion and vector management. Methods: The pupae and adults collected from the containers and sewage drains were characterized in terms of biomass and nutrient reserves and the data were subjected to three way factorial ANOVA. Discriminant function analyses were performed to highlight the differences among the habitats for sustenance of Aedes mosquitoes. Results: Survey of larval habitats from the study area revealed significant differences (P<0.05) in the pupal productivity of Aedes among the habitats and months. Despite sewage drains being comparatively less utilized for breeding, the pupae were of higher biomass with corresponding adults having longer wings in contrast to other habitats. The nutrient reserve of the adults emerging from pupae of sewage drains was significantly higher (P<0.05), compared to other habitats, as reflected through the discriminant function analysis. Interpretation & conclusions: The present results showed that for both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus, sewage drains were equally congenial habitat as were plastic, porcelain and earthen habitats. Availability of Aedes immature in sewage drains poses increased risk of dengue, and thus vector control programme should consider inclusion of sewage drains as breeding habitat of dengue vector mosquitoes. PMID:26905248

  18. New Brahman breed improvement program at STARS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    At the USDA, ARS, Subtropical Agricultural Research Station (STARS) in Brooksville, Florida we have initiated a new ambitious research project that many believe will have a positive influence on the Brahman breed. This research was developed from a meeting held at STARS that included past and prese...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Density and habitat of breeding Swallow-tailed Kites in the lower Suwannee ecosystem, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sykes, P.W.; Kepler, C.B.; Litzenberger, K.L.; Sansing, H.R.; Lewis, E.T.R.; Hatfield, J.S.

    1999-01-01

    Historically the Swallow-tailed Kite (Elanoides forficatus) bred in the United States in at least 16 eastern states. Currently it is restricted to seven southeastern states, with most of its breeding range in Florida. Breeding Bird Surveys indicate a declining trend for this Neotropical migrant in most of Florida. Using a rapid survey technique at the Lower Suwannee NWR on 25-27 Mar. 1997, we scanned for kites from 16 sampling stations above the forest canopy, using 10X binoculars for 45 min per station. An effective detection distance of 2.4 km provided almost complete coverage of kite habitat (excluding salt marsh) on the refuge (14,620 ha) and in a 1.6-km buffer (13,526 ha). A mobile observation platform, extended to heights of 30-34 m provided an unobstructed view above the forest canopy where foraging bouts, feeding, courtship displays, and other activities by this species occur. This technique was found to be efficient in obtaining an estimate of potential breeding pairs. An estimated 19 breeding pairs were observed, with possibly five additional pairs, a density of at least one pair per 1173-1407 ha. There was no opportunity to search for nests so we were unable to correlate number of active nests with the number of kites observed, and linear nature of study area might concentrate birds, including nonbreeders, so our density of kites may or may not be typical for other areas. The refuge has a mosaic of 11 different habitats (7 forest types, freshwater and salt marshes, open water and urban/suburban) providing much linear edge to the matrix of different plant communities that range in height from less than 1 m to greater than 30 m. Such structure provides quality habitat for Swallow-tailed Kites.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

  2. Breeding habitat selection and home range of radio-marked black ducks (Anas rubripes) in Maine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ringelman, J.K.; Longcore, J.R.; Owen, R.B.

    1982-01-01

    Telemetry techniques were used to monitor the movements and habitat use of 13 female and 7 male black ducks (Anas rubripes) in an inland breeding region of south central Maine in 1977-1980. Black ducks preferred persistent emergent, broad-leaved deciduous forested, and broad-leaved deciduous scrub-shrub wetlands over unconsolidated organic bottom, needle-leaved evergreen forested, and broad-leaved evergreen scrub-shrub ponds. Birds also made frequent use of small ephemeral pools and streams throughout the breeding period. Nests were located in several habitats ranging from wetland sites to upland areas 1.5 km from the most frequently used pond. Home range size averaged 119 ha for females and 231 ha for males and did not differ by reproductive stage. Three pairs used only a single pond during the incubation period. Home ranges were linear (linearity index = 2.8), averaging 1956 m long for females and 2755 m for males. Wetlands used most by hens during incubation recesses were not always those located closest to the nest. Radio-marked ducks that returned in subsequent breeding seasons demonstrated fidelity to the previously used home range. Pair bonds of marked birds lasted until day 19 or 20 of incubation for initial nesting attempts.

  3. Potential roadside biases due to habitat changes along Breeding Bird Survey routes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keller, C.M.E.; Scallan, J.T.

    1999-01-01

    Breeding Bird Surveys (BBS) are conducted along roadside routes to enable a large geographic area to be surveyed. Yet the potential biases of sampling populations only from roadsides have received little attention. We sampled aerial photography of BBS routes taken in the mid-1960s and late-1980s to evaluate whether habitat changes that occurred along roadsides were also occurring in the surrounding area, and whether the frequency of habitats encountered along roadsides were similar to that off-route. We examined 28 routes in Maryland and 25 routes in Ohio, and defined roadside area as within 200 m of the road, and off-route as 200-1,600 m from the road. Most habitat changes that occurred along BBS roadsides also were occurring in the off-route areas. However, increases in urban cover was significantly greater along the road in Maryland where urbanization of farmland was the predominant habitat change. The small increase in urban cover in Ohio was not significantly greater along the road. Construction of single family homes was greater along BBS roadsides in both states. In Ohio, the greatest change in habitat was the conversion of farmland back to forest, which was not significantly greater along the road. Changes associated with urbanization were more biased towards roadsides than the reforestation of farmland. Within one time period, roadside areas had less forest and more agricultural and urban cover types than occurred off-route.

  4. Alterations in the breeding habitats for two endangered raptor species along the Sava River basin, Croatia.

    PubMed

    Radović, Andreja; Jelaska, Sven D

    2012-07-01

    Changes in habitat suitable for breeding of two sympatric raptor species (Haliaeetus albicilla and Aquila pomarina) were analysed along one of the most important breeding sites in Croatia for both species. The habitat suitability modelling was used to assess the influence of forestry practice during 2000-2006 using the known data on nesting places along research area. The four most important variables for lesser spotted eagle were elevation, distance from the nearest pasture, vertical distance to the nearest channel network and broadleaved forest placement (second axis from the principal component analysis of the enhanced vegetation index (EVI) index of MODIS images; November-March). The variables where white-tailed eagles showed greatest shift from overall habitat characteristics in the research area were broadleaved forest (second axis from the principal component analysis of the EVI index), height above the sea level, distance from the small settlements, vertical distance to channel network - all with negative loadings. The results clearly reveal the disproportion of suitable forests for raptors that were cut down in comparison to maturation of suitable forests.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Improving Charging-Breeding Simulations with Space-Charge Effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bilek, Ryan; Kwiatkowski, Ania; Steinbrügge, René

    2016-09-01

    Rare-isotope-beam facilities use Highly Charged Ions (HCI) for accelerators accelerating heavy ions and to improve measurement precision and resolving power of certain experiments. An Electron Beam Ion Trap (EBIT) is able to create HCI through successive electron impact, charge breeding trapped ions into higher charge states. CBSIM was created to calculate successive charge breeding with an EBIT. It was augmented by transferring it into an object-oriented programming language, including additional elements, improving ion-ion collision factors, and exploring the overlap of the electron beam with the ions. The calculation is enhanced with the effects of residual background gas by computing the space charge due to charge breeding. The program assimilates background species, ionizes and charge breeds them alongside the element being studied, and allows them to interact with the desired species through charge exchange, giving fairer overview of realistic charge breeding. Calculations of charge breeding will be shown for realistic experimental conditions. We reexamined the implementation of ionization energies, cross sections, and ion-ion interactions when charge breeding.

  9. Identifying western yellow-billed cuckoo breeding habitat with a dual modelling approach

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Matthew J.; Hatten, James R.; Holmes, Jennifer A.; Shafroth, Patrick B.

    2017-01-01

    The western population of the yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) was recently listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Yellow-billed cuckoo conservation efforts require the identification of features and area requirements associated with high quality, riparian forest habitat at spatial scales that range from nest microhabitat to landscape, as well as lower-suitability areas that can be enhanced or restored. Spatially explicit models inform conservation efforts by increasing ecological understanding of a target species, especially at landscape scales. Previous yellow-billed cuckoo modelling efforts derived plant-community maps from aerial photography, an expensive and oftentimes inconsistent approach. Satellite models can remotely map vegetation features (e.g., vegetation density, heterogeneity in vegetation density or structure) across large areas with near perfect repeatability, but they usually cannot identify plant communities. We used aerial photos and satellite imagery, and a hierarchical spatial scale approach, to identify yellow-billed cuckoo breeding habitat along the Lower Colorado River and its tributaries. Aerial-photo and satellite models identified several key features associated with yellow-billed cuckoo breeding locations: (1) a 4.5 ha core area of dense cottonwood-willow vegetation, (2) a large native, heterogeneously dense forest (72 ha) around the core area, and (3) moderately rough topography. The odds of yellow-billed cuckoo occurrence decreased rapidly as the amount of tamarisk cover increased or when cottonwood-willow vegetation was limited. We achieved model accuracies of 75–80% in the project area the following year after updating the imagery and location data. The two model types had very similar probability maps, largely predicting the same areas as high quality habitat. While each model provided unique information, a dual-modelling approach provided a more complete picture of yellow-billed cuckoo habitat

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Predicting breeding habitat for amphibians: a spatiotemporal analysis across Yellowstone National Park.

    PubMed

    Bartelt, Paul E; Gallant, Alisa L; Klaver, Robert W; Wright, Chris K; Patla, Debra A; Peterson, Charles R

    2011-10-01

    The ability to predict amphibian breeding across landscapes is important for informing land management decisions and helping biologists better understand and remediate factors contributing to declines in amphibian populations. We built geospatial models of likely breeding habitats for each of four amphibian species that breed in Yellowstone National Park (YNP). We used field data collected in 2000-2002 from 497 sites among 16 basins and predictor variables from geospatial models produced from remotely sensed data (e.g., digital elevation model, complex topographic index, landform data, wetland probability, and vegetative cover). Except for 31 sites in one basin that were surveyed in both 2000 and 2002, all sites were surveyed once. We used polytomous regression to build statistical models for each species of amphibian from (1) field survey site data only, (2) field data combined with data from geospatial models, and (3) data from geospatial models only. Based on measures of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) scores, models of the second type best explained likely breeding habitat because they contained the most information (ROC values ranged from 0.70 to 0.88). However, models of the third type could be applied to the entire YNP landscape and produced maps that could be verified with reserve field data. Accuracy rates for models built for single years were highly variable, ranging from 0.30 to 0.78. Accuracy rates for models built with data combined from multiple years were higher and less variable, ranging from 0.60 to 0.80. Combining results from the geospatial multiyear models yielded maps of "core" breeding areas (areas with high probability values for all three years) surrounded by areas that scored high for only one or two years, providing an estimate of variability among years. Such information can highlight landscape options for amphibian conservation. For example, our models identify alternative areas that could be protected for each species

  12. Predicting breeding habitat for amphibians: a spatiotemporal analysis across Yellowstone National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bartelt, Paul E.; Gallant, Alisa L.; Klaver, Robert W.; Wright, Christopher K.; Patla, Debra A.; Peterson, Charles R.

    2011-01-01

    The ability to predict amphibian breeding across landscapes is important for informing land management decisions and helping biologists better understand and remediate factors contributing to declines in amphibian populations. We built geospatial models of likely breeding habitats for each of four amphibian species that breed in Yellowstone National Park (YNP). We used field data collected in 2000-2002 from 497 sites among 16 basins and predictor variables from geospatial models produced from remotely sensed data (e.g., digital elevation model, complex topographic index, landform data, wetland probabililty, and vegetative cover). Except for 31 sites in one basin that were surveyed in both 2000 and 2002, all sites were surveyed once. We used polytomous regression to build statistical models for each species of amphibian from 1) field survey site data only, 2) field data combined with data from geospatial models, and 3) data from geospatial models only. Based on measures of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) scores, models of the second type best explained likely breeding habitat because they contained the most information (ROC values ranged from 0.70 - 0.88). However, models of the third type could be applied to the entire YNP landscape and produced maps that could be verified with reserve field data. Accuracy rates for models built for single years were highly variable, ranging from 0.30 to 0.78. Accuracy rates for models built with data combined from multiple years were higher and less variable, ranging from 0.60 to 0.80. Combining results from the geospatial multiyear models yielded maps of "core" breeding areas (areas with high probability values for all three years) surrounded by areas that scored high for only one or two years, providing an estimate of variability among years. Such information can highlight landscape options for amphibian conservation. For example, our models identify alternative for areas that could be protected for each species

  13. Predicting breeding habitat for amphibians: A spatiotemporal analysis across Yellowstone National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bartelt, P.E.; Gallant, A.L.; Klaver, R.W.; Wright, C.K.; Patla, D.A.; Peterson, C.R.

    2011-01-01

    The ability to predict amphibian breeding across landscapes is important for informing land management decisions and helping biologists better understand and remediate factors contributing to declines in amphibian populations. We built geospatial models of likely breeding habitats for each of four amphibian species that breed in Yellowstone National Park (YNP). We used field data collected in 2000-2002 from 497 sites among 16 basins and predictor variables from geospatial models produced from remotely sensed data (e.g., digital elevation model, complex topographic index, landform data, wetland probability, and vegetative cover). Except for 31 sites in one basin that were surveyed in both 2000 and 2002, all sites were surveyed once. We used polytomous regression to build statistical models for each species of amphibian from (1) field survey site data only, (2) field data combined with data from geospatial models, and (3) data from geospatial models only. Based on measures of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) scores, models of the second type best explained likely breeding habitat because they contained the most information (ROC values ranged from 0.70 to 0.88). However, models of the third type could be applied to the entire YNP landscape and produced maps that could be verified with reserve field data. Accuracy rates for models built for single years were highly variable, ranging from 0.30 to 0.78. Accuracy rates for models built with data combined from multiple years were higher and less variable, ranging from 0.60 to 0.80. Combining results from the geospatial multiyear models yielded maps of "core" breeding areas (areas with high probability values for all three years) surrounded by areas that scored high for only one or two years, providing an estimate of variability among years. Such information can highlight landscape options for amphibian conservation. For example, our models identify alternative areas that could be protected for each species

  14. Species Composition and Diversity of Malaria Vector Breeding Habitats in Trincomalee District of Sri Lanka

    PubMed Central

    Gunathilaka, Nayana; Abeyewickreme, Wimaladharma; Hapugoda, Menaka; Wickremasinghe, Rajitha

    2015-01-01

    Introduction. Mosquito larval ecology is important in determining larval densities and species assemblage. This in turn influences malaria transmission in an area. Therefore, understanding larval habitat ecology is important in designing malaria control programs. Method. Larval surveys were conducted in 20 localities under five sentinel sites (Padavisiripura, Gomarankadawala, Thoppur, Mollipothana, and Ichchallampaththu) in Trincomalee District, Eastern Province of Sri Lanka, between June 2010 and July 2013. The relationship between seven abiotic variables (temperature, pH, conductivity, Total Dissolved Solid (TDS), turbidity, Dissolved Oxygen (DO), and salinity) was measured. Results. A total of 21,347 anophelines were recorded representing 15 species. Anopheles subpictus 24.72% (5,278/21,347) was the predominant species, followed by 24.67% (5,267/21,347) of An. nigerrimus and 14.56% (3,109/21,347) of An. peditaeniatus. A total of 9,430 breeding habitats under twenty-one categories were identified. An. culcicifacies was noted to be highest from built wells (20.5%) with high salinity (1102.3 ± 81.8 mg/L), followed by waste water collections (20.2%) having low DO levels (2.85 ± 0.03 mg/L) and high TDS (1,654 ± 140 mg/L). Conclusion. This study opens an avenue to explore new breeding habitats of malaria vectors in the country and reemphasizes the requirement of conducting entomological surveillance to detect potential transmission of malaria in Sri Lanka under the current malaria elimination programme. PMID:26583136

  15. Ecological constraints on breeding system evolution: the influence of habitat on brood desertion in Kentish plover.

    PubMed

    Kosztolányi, András; Székely, Tamas; Cuthill, Innes C; Yilmaz, K Tuluhan; Berberoglu, Süha

    2006-01-01

    1. One of the fundamental insights of behavioural ecology is that resources influence breeding systems. For instance, when food resources are plenty, one parent is able to care for the young on its own, so that the other parent can desert and became polygamous. We investigated this hypothesis in the context of classical polyandry when females may have several mates within a single breeding season, and parental duties are carried out largely by the male. 2. We studied a precocial wader, the Kentish plover Charadrius alexandrinus, that exhibits variable brood care such that the chicks may be raised by both parents, only by the female or, more often, only by the male. The timing of female desertion varies: some females desert their brood at hatching of the eggs and lay a clutch for a new mate, whereas other females stay with their brood until the chicks fledge. Kentish plovers are excellent organisms with which to study breeding system evolution, as some of their close relatives exhibit classical polyandry (Eurasian dotterel Eudromias morinellus, mountain plover Charadrius montanus), whereas others are polygynous (northern lapwing Vanellus vanellus). 3. Kentish plovers raised their broods in two habitats in our study site in southern Turkey: saltmarsh and lakeshore. Food intake was higher on the lakeshore than in the saltmarsh as judged from feeding behaviour of chicks and adults. As the season proceeded and the saltmarsh dried out, the broods moved toward the lakeshore. 4. As the density of plovers increased on lakeshore, the parents spent more time defending their young, and female parents stayed with their brood longer on the lakeshore. 5. We conclude that the influence of food abundance on breeding systems is more complex than currently anticipated. Abundant food resources appear to have profound implications on spatial distribution of broods, and the social interactions between broods constrain female desertion and polyandry.

  16. Underwater topography determines critical breeding habitat for humpback whales near Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica: implications for marine protected areas.

    PubMed

    Oviedo, L; Solís, M

    2008-06-01

    Migrating humpback whales from northern and southern feeding grounds come to the tropical waters near Osa Peninsula, Pacific of Costa Rica, to reproduce and raise their calves. Planning effective marine protected areas that encompass humpback critical habitats require data about which oceanographic features influence distribution during the breeding period. This study examines the relationship between water depth and ocean floor slope with humpback whale distribution, based on sightings during two breeding seasons (2005 and 2006). Data are from the Southern and Northern subpopulations in the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP). Analysis followed the basic principles of the Ecological Niche Factors Analysis (ENFA), where indices of Marginality and Tolerance provide insights on the restrictiveness of habitat use. At a fine scale, physical factors such as water depth and slope define the critical breeding and nursing habitat for M. novaeangliae. Divergence in the subsamples means of depths and slope distribution, with the global mean of the study area in both eco-geographical variables, determine habitat requirements restricted by topographic features such as depths (< 100 m) and slope (< 10%), and locate the key breeding and nursing habitat of the species within the continental shelf domains. Proposed Marine Protected Areas (MPA's) network plans should consider connectivity of Cafio Island-Drake Bay and the extension of Corcovado National Park maritime borders.

  17. Human disturbance and stage-specific habitat requirements influence snowy plover site occupancy during the breeding season

    PubMed Central

    Webber, Alyson F; Heath, Julie A; Fischer, Richard A

    2013-01-01

    Habitat use has important consequences for avian reproductive success and survival. In coastal areas with recreational activity, human disturbance may limit use of otherwise suitable habitat. Snowy plovers Charadrius nivosus have a patchy breeding distribution along the coastal areas on the Florida Panhandle, USA. Our goal was to determine the relative effects of seasonal human disturbance and habitat requirements on snowy plover habitat use. We surveyed 303 sites for snowy plovers, human disturbance, and habitat features between January and July 2009 and 2010. We made multiple visits during three different sampling periods that corresponded to snowy plover breeding: pre-breeding, incubation, and brood-rearing and used multi-season occupancy models to examine whether human disturbance, habitat features, or both influenced site occupancy, colonization (probability of transition from an unoccupied site to an occupied site), and extinction (probability of transition from an occupied site to an unoccupied site). Snowy plover site occupancy and colonization was negatively associated with human disturbance and site extinction was positively associated with human disturbance. Interdune vegetation had a negative effect on occupancy and colonization, indicating that plovers were less likely to use areas with uniform, dense vegetation among dunes. Also, dune shape, beach debris, and access to low-energy foraging areas influenced site occupancy, colonization, and extinction. Plovers used habitat based on beach characteristics that provided stage-specific resource needs; however, human disturbance was the strongest predictor of site occupancy. In addition, vegetation plantings used to enhance dune rehabilitation may negatively impact plover site occupancy. Management actions that decrease human disturbance, such as symbolic fencing and signage, may increase the amount of breeding habitat available to snowy plovers on the Florida Panhandle and in other areas with high human

  18. Non-breeding habitat preference affects ecological speciation in migratory waders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kraaijeveld, Ken

    2008-04-01

    Models of ecological speciation predict that certain types of habitat should be more conducive to species diversification than others. In this study, I test this hypothesis in waders of the sub-order Charadrii using the number of morphological sub-species per species as an index of diversity. I classified all members of this clade as spending the non-breeding season either coastally or inland and argue that these represent fundamentally different environments. Coastal mudflats are characterised by high predictability and patchy worldwide distribution, whilst inland wetlands are widespread but unpredictable. The results show that migratory species that winter coastally are sub-divided into more sub-species than those that winter inland. This was not the case for non-migratory species. I argue that coastal environments select for more rigid migratory pathways, whilst inland wetlands favour more flexible movement patterns. Population sub-division could then result from the passive segregation of breeding sites or from the active selection for assortative mating of ecomorphs.

  19. Mapping urban and peri-urban breeding habitats of Aedes mosquitoes using a fuzzy analytical hierarchical process based on climatic and physical parameters.

    PubMed

    Sarfraz, Muhammad Shahzad; Tripathi, Nagesh K; Faruque, Fazlay S; Bajwa, Usama Ijaz; Kitamoto, Asanobu; Souris, Marc

    2014-12-01

    The spread of dengue fever depends mainly on the availability of favourable breeding sites for its mosquito vectors around human dwellings. To investigate if the various factors influencing breeding habitats can be mapped from space, dengue indices, such as the container index, the house index and the Breteau index, were calculated from Ministry of Public health data collected three times annually in Phitsanulok, Thailand between 2009 and 2011. The most influential factors were found to be temperature, humidity, rainfall, population density, elevation and land cover. Models were worked out using parameters mostly derived from freely available satellite images and fuzzy logic software with parameter synchronisation and a predication algorithm based on data mining and the Decision Tree method. The models developed were found to be sufficiently flexible to accommodate additional parameters and sampling data that might improve prediction of favourable breeding hotspots. The algorithm applied can not only be used for the prediction of near real-time scenarios with respect to dengue, but can also be applied for monitoring other diseases influenced by environmental and climatic factors. The multi-criteria model presented is a cost-effective way of identifying outbreak hotspots and early warning systems lend themselves for development based on this strategy. The proposed approach demonstrates the successful utilisation of remotely sensed images to map mosquito breeding habitats.

  20. Simulating range-wide population and breeding habitat dynamics for an endangered woodland warbler in the face of uncertainty

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adam Duarte,; Hatfield, Jeffrey; Todd M. Swannack,; Michael R. J. Forstner,; M. Clay Green,; Floyd W. Weckerly,

    2015-01-01

    Population viability analyses provide a quantitative approach that seeks to predict the possible future status of a species of interest under different scenarios and, therefore, can be important components of large-scale species’ conservation programs. We created a model and simulated range-wide population and breeding habitat dynamics for an endangered woodland warbler, the golden-cheeked warbler (Setophaga chrysoparia). Habitat-transition probabilities were estimated across the warbler's breeding range by combining National Land Cover Database imagery with multistate modeling. Using these estimates, along with recently published demographic estimates, we examined if the species can remain viable into the future given the current conditions. Lastly, we evaluated if protecting a greater amount of habitat would increase the number of warblers that can be supported in the future by systematically increasing the amount of protected habitat and comparing the estimated terminal carrying capacity at the end of 50 years of simulated habitat change. The estimated habitat-transition probabilities supported the hypothesis that habitat transitions are unidirectional, whereby habitat is more likely to diminish than regenerate. The model results indicated population viability could be achieved under current conditions, depending on dispersal. However, there is considerable uncertainty associated with the population projections due to parametric uncertainty. Model results suggested that increasing the amount of protected lands would have a substantial impact on terminal carrying capacities at the end of a 50-year simulation. Notably, this study identifies the need for collecting the data required to estimate demographic parameters in relation to changes in habitat metrics and population density in multiple regions, and highlights the importance of establishing a common definition of what constitutes protected habitat, what management goals are suitable within those protected

  1. Preferred habitat of breeding birds may be compromised by climate change: unexpected effects of an exceptionally cold, wet spring.

    PubMed

    Whitehouse, Michael J; Harrison, Nancy M; Mackenzie, Julia; Hinsley, Shelley A

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies of the consequences for breeding birds of climate change have explored how their populations may respond to increasing temperatures. However, few have considered the likely outcome of predicted extreme conditions and the relative vulnerability of populations in different habitats. Here, we compare phenology and breeding success in great tits and blue tits over a 10 year period, including the extremely harsh conditions during spring 2012, at three sites in eastern England--mixed deciduous woodland, riparian and urban habitat. Production, measured as brood biomass, was significantly lower in 2012 compared with the previous 9 years, with the decrease in productivity relatively greatest in woodland habitat. Production was related to hatch delay, i.e. birds not initiating incubation immediately after clutch completion, which was more common in 2012 than in previous years. The best predictor of hatch delay was daytime temperature (not nighttime minimum temperature) and rainfall, which convincingly reflected low growth and activity of caterpillar prey. We found that birds breeding in riparian and urban habitats were less vulnerable to the extremes of weather than those breeding in mixed deciduous woodland.

  2. Predicting Risks to Wildlife Populations from Multriple Stressors: Mercury, Habitat Alteration and Common Loon Breeding in New Hampshire, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    We applied a generic approach to estimate and test predictions of population risks of mercury (Hg) exposure and habitat alteration on common loons (Gavia immer) breeding in New Hampshire (NH), USA. We developed a publically-accessible data system, integrating environmental data ...

  3. Infusion-Baited Ovitraps to Survey Ovipositional Height Preferences of Container-Breeding Mosquitoes in Two Florida Habitats

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The response of container-breeding mosquitoes to ovitraps containing water, oak or oak-pine infusion was evaluated in four suburban and four sylvatic habitats in north central Florida to ascertain species specific oviposition height preferences. A total of 48 ovitraps were suspended at 1 and 6 meter...

  4. Breeding habitat of sparrowhawks, Accipiter nisus on spoil heaps after coal mining

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Šálek, Miroslav; Hendrychová, Markéta; Řehoř, Michal

    2010-03-01

    Natural succession of spoil heaps after brown coal mining leads to the development of rich plant and invertebrate communities and therefore has been considered a proper alternative to conventional reclamation practice. Little is known, however, about the effects of these alternative approaches on vertebrate predators. This study analyses nest-site choice of the sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus on afforested spoil heaps in the brown coal basin of north-west Bohemia, Czech Republic. Nest places of sparrowhawks, numbers of their main prey (small birds) and habitat attributes were investigated in 2007 and 2008 on 28 individual spoil heaps that were either reclaimed by silviculture or spontaneously afforested. Our results revealed preferences of breeding sparrowhawks for spontaneously developed birch growths with diverse mosaics of tree clumps, open patches and edge structures, all providing for opportunities to hunt. In addition, the proximity of large forests positively influenced nest-site choice of sparrowhawks. Although small birds were more abundant on Successions than Reclamations, our results did not suggest that numbers of this main prey were of higher importance for the sparrowhawks than habitat components of prey availability. These results highlight the importance of spontaneous succession as a rehabilitation alternative in post-mining landscapes.

  5. Foraging and nesting habitat of breeding male northern goshawks in the laurentian mixed forest province, Minnesota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boal, C.W.; Andersen, D.E.; Kennedy, P.L.

    2005-01-01

    We used radiotelemetry to examine foraging habitat preferences of 17 breeding, male northern goshawks (Accipiter gentilis) in Minnesota from 1998-2000. We assessed habitat preference using radio relocation points and 50-m radius buffers of radio relocation points. Our data suggested that foraging male goshawks used early-successional upland conifer stands (???25 yrs old), early-successional upland deciduous stands (???50 yrs old), late-successional upland conifer stands (???50 yrs old), and late-successional upland deciduous stands (???50 yrs old) more frequently than expected based on the abundance of these vegetation types in the landscape. The 2 most available stand types, early-successional upland deciduous (<25 yrs old) and all ages of late-successional lowland conifer stands, were used less than expected by foraging goshawks. Late-successional lowland deciduous stands (???50 yrs old) were used in proportion to availability. Although analysis of relocation points suggested early-successional upland deciduous stands (25-49 yrs old) and late-successional upland conifer stands (???50 yrs old) were used in proportion to availability, analysis of buffers around relocation points indicated that these stand types were also used more than expected by foraging goshawks. Regardless of vegetation community type, stands used by goshawks were structurally similar with high canopy and understory stem densities, high canopy closure, substantial shrub cover, and large amounts of woody debris. Nest stands consisted of taller and larger diameter canopy trees and fewer understory trees than foraging stands, but stands were otherwise similar in structural features, suggesting goshawks used similar stands for nesting and foraging but that they tended to select the most mature stands for nesting. A commonality among nesting and foraging stands was the presence of open spaces between the canopy and understory foliage, and between understory and shrub layer foliage. In our study area

  6. Combining site occupancy, breeding population sizes and reproductive success to calculate time-averaged reproductive output of different habitat types: an application to Tricolored Blackbirds.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Using a remote sensing/GIS model to predict southwestern Willow Flycatcher breeding habitat along the Rio Grande, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hatten, James R.; Sogge, Mark K.

    2007-01-01

    Introduction The Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus; hereafter SWFL) is a federally endangered bird (USFWS 1995) that breeds in riparian areas in portions of New Mexico, Arizona, southwestern Colorado, extreme southern Utah and Nevada, and southern California (USFWS 2002). Across this range, it uses a variety of plant species as nesting/breeding habitat, but in all cases prefers sites with dense vegetation, high canopy, and proximity to surface water or saturated soils (Sogge and Marshall 2000). As of 2005, the known rangewide breeding population of SWFLs was roughly 1,214 territories, with approximately 393 territories distributed among 36 sites in New Mexico (Durst et al. 2006), primarily along the Rio Grande. One of the key challenges facing the management and conservation of the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher is that riparian areas are dynamic, with individual habitat patches subject to cycles of creation, growth, and loss due to drought, flooding, fire, and other disturbances. Former breeding patches can lose suitability, and new habitat can develop within a matter of only a few years, especially in reservoir drawdown zones. Therefore, measuring and predicting flycatcher habitat - either to discover areas that might support SWFLs, or to identify areas that may develop into appropriate habitat - requires knowledge of recent/current habitat conditions and an understanding of the factors that determine flycatcher use of riparian breeding sites. In the past, much of the determination of whether a riparian site is likely to support breeding flycatchers has been based on qualitative criteria (for example, 'dense vegetation' or 'large patches'). These determinations often require on-the-ground field evaluations by local or regional SWFL experts. While this has proven valuable in locating many of the currently known breeding sites, it is difficult or impossible to apply this approach effectively over large geographic areas (for example, the

  8. TILLING in forage grasses for gene discovery and breeding improvement.

    PubMed

    Manzanares, Chloe; Yates, Steven; Ruckle, Michael; Nay, Michelle; Studer, Bruno

    2016-09-25

    Mutation breeding has a long-standing history and in some major crop species, many of the most important cultivars have their origin in germplasm generated by mutation induction. For almost two decades, methods for TILLING (Targeting Induced Local Lesions IN Genomes) have been established in model plant species such as Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana L.), enabling the functional analysis of genes. Recent advances in mutation detection by second generation sequencing technology have brought its utility to major crop species. However, it has remained difficult to apply similar approaches in forage and turf grasses, mainly due to their outbreeding nature maintained by an efficient self-incompatibility system. Starting with a description of the extent to which traditional mutagenesis methods have contributed to crop yield increase in the past, this review focuses on technological approaches to implement TILLING-based strategies for the improvement of forage grass breeding through forward and reverse genetics. We present first results from TILLING in allogamous forage grasses for traits such as stress tolerance and evaluate prospects for rapid implementation of beneficial alleles to forage grass breeding. In conclusion, large-scale induced mutation resources, used for forward genetic screens, constitute a valuable tool to increase the genetic diversity for breeding and can be generated with relatively small investments in forage grasses. Furthermore, large libraries of sequenced mutations can be readily established, providing enhanced opportunities to discover mutations in genes controlling traits of agricultural importance and to study gene functions by reverse genetics.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

  10. Influence of environmental parameters on movements and habitat utilization of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Madagascar breeding ground.

    PubMed

    Trudelle, Laurène; Cerchio, Salvatore; Zerbini, Alexandre N; Geyer, Ygor; Mayer, François-Xavier; Jung, Jean-Luc; Hervé, Maxime R; Pous, Stephane; Sallée, Jean-Baptiste; Rosenbaum, Howard C; Adam, Olivier; Charrassin, Jean-Benoit

    2016-12-01

    Assessing the movement patterns and key habitat features of breeding humpback whales is a prerequisite for the conservation management of this philopatric species. To investigate the interactions between humpback whale movements and environmental conditions off Madagascar, we deployed 25 satellite tags in the northeast and southwest coast of Madagascar. For each recorded position, we collated estimates of environmental variables and computed two behavioural metrics: behavioural state of 'transiting' (consistent/directional) versus 'localized' (variable/non-directional), and active swimming speed (i.e. speed relative to the current). On coastal habitats (i.e. bathymetry < 200 m and in adjacent areas), females showed localized behaviour in deep waters (191 ± 20 m) and at large distances (14 ± 0.6 km) from shore, suggesting that their breeding habitat extends beyond the shallowest waters available close to the coastline. Males' active swimming speed decreased in shallow waters, but environmental parameters did not influence their likelihood to exhibit localized movements, which was probably dominated by social factors instead. In oceanic habitats, both males and females showed localized behaviours in shallow waters and favoured high chlorophyll-a concentrations. Active swimming speed accounts for a large proportion of observed movement speed; however, breeding humpback whales probably exploit prevailing ocean currents to maximize displacement. This study provides evidence that coastal areas, generally subject to strong human pressure, remain the core habitat of humpback whales off Madagascar. Our results expand the knowledge of humpback whale habitat use in oceanic habitat and response to variability of environmental factors such as oceanic current and chlorophyll level.

  11. Influence of environmental parameters on movements and habitat utilization of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the Madagascar breeding ground

    PubMed Central

    Cerchio, Salvatore; Zerbini, Alexandre N.; Geyer, Ygor; Mayer, François-Xavier; Jung, Jean-Luc; Hervé, Maxime R.; Pous, Stephane; Sallée, Jean-Baptiste; Rosenbaum, Howard C.; Adam, Olivier; Charrassin, Jean-Benoit

    2016-01-01

    Assessing the movement patterns and key habitat features of breeding humpback whales is a prerequisite for the conservation management of this philopatric species. To investigate the interactions between humpback whale movements and environmental conditions off Madagascar, we deployed 25 satellite tags in the northeast and southwest coast of Madagascar. For each recorded position, we collated estimates of environmental variables and computed two behavioural metrics: behavioural state of ‘transiting’ (consistent/directional) versus ‘localized’ (variable/non-directional), and active swimming speed (i.e. speed relative to the current). On coastal habitats (i.e. bathymetry < 200 m and in adjacent areas), females showed localized behaviour in deep waters (191 ± 20 m) and at large distances (14 ± 0.6 km) from shore, suggesting that their breeding habitat extends beyond the shallowest waters available close to the coastline. Males' active swimming speed decreased in shallow waters, but environmental parameters did not influence their likelihood to exhibit localized movements, which was probably dominated by social factors instead. In oceanic habitats, both males and females showed localized behaviours in shallow waters and favoured high chlorophyll-a concentrations. Active swimming speed accounts for a large proportion of observed movement speed; however, breeding humpback whales probably exploit prevailing ocean currents to maximize displacement. This study provides evidence that coastal areas, generally subject to strong human pressure, remain the core habitat of humpback whales off Madagascar. Our results expand the knowledge of humpback whale habitat use in oceanic habitat and response to variability of environmental factors such as oceanic current and chlorophyll level. PMID:28083104

  12. Influence of habitat heterogeneity on distribution, occupancy patterns, and productivity of breeding peregrine falcons in central west Greenland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wightman, C.; Fuller, Mark R.

    2006-01-01

    We used occupancy and productivity data collected at 67 cliffs used for nesting from 1972 to 1999 to assess patterns of distribution and nest-site selection in an increasing population of Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) in central West Greenland. Peregrine Falcons breeding at traditionally occupied cliffs used for nesting had significantly lower variation in productivity and thus these cliffs were better quality sites. This indicates that Peregrine Falcons occupied cliffs according to a pattern of despotic distribution. Falcons breeding at cliffs that were consistently occupied during the breeding season had higher average productivity and lower variation in productivity than falcons at inconsistently occupied cliffs, and thus consistent occupancy also was indicative of cliff quality. Features of high quality habitat included tall cliffs, greater change in elevation from the lowest point within 3 km of the cliff to the cliff top (elevation gain), and protection from weather on the eyrie ledge. Spacing of suitable and occupied cliffs also was an important feature, and the best cliffs generally were more isolated. Increased spacing was likely a mechanism for reducing intraspecific competition. Our results suggest that Peregrine Falcons use a resource defense strategy to compete for better quality habitats and may use spacing and physical features of a nest site to identify good quality breeding habitat.

  13. Influence of habitat heterogeneity on distribution, occupancy patterns, and productivity of breeding peregrine falcons in central West Greenland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wightman, C.S.; Fuller, M.R.

    2006-01-01

    We used occupancy and productivity data collected at 67 cliffs used for nesting from 1972 to 1999 to assess patterns of distribution and nest-site selection in an increasing population of Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) in central West Greenland. Peregrine Falcons breeding at traditionally occupied cliffs used for nesting had significantly lower variation in productivity and thus these cliffs were better quality sites. This indicates that Peregrine Falcons occupied cliffs according to a pattern of despotic distribution. Falcons breeding at cliffs that were consistently occupied during the breeding season had higher average productivity and lower variation in productivity than falcons at inconsistently occupied cliffs, and thus consistent occupancy also was indicative of cliff quality. Features of high quality habitat included tall cliffs, greater change in elevation from the lowest point within 3 km of the cliff to the cliff top (elevation gain), and protection from weather on the eyrie ledge. Spacing of suitable and occupied cliffs also was an important feature, and the best cliffs generally were more isolated. Increased spacing was likely a mechanism for reducing intraspecific competition. Our results suggest that Peregrine Falcons use a resource defense strategy to compete for better quality habitats and may use spacing and physical features of a nest site to identify good quality breeding habitat. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2006.

  14. Rebuilding Habitat and Shoreline Resilience through Improved Flood Control Project

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Information about the SFBWQP Rebuilding Habitat and Shoreline Resilience through Improved Flood Control Project, part of an EPA competitive grant program to improve SF Bay water quality focused on restoring impaired waters and enhancing aquatic resources.

  15. Proximity to mosquito breeding habitat and Ross River virus risk in the Peel region of Western Australia.

    PubMed

    Jardine, Andrew; Neville, Peter J; Lindsay, Michael D A

    2015-02-01

    It is intuitive that vector-borne disease exposure risk is related to proximity to sources of vector breeding, but this aspect rarely receives empirical testing. The population of Western Australia (WA) is increasing rapidly, with many new residential developments proposed in close proximity to mosquito breeding habitat. However, potential mosquito-borne disease risks for future residents are given little consideration by planning authorities. The Peel region is one of the fastest growing regions in WA and regularly experiences a large number of cases of the mosquito-borne Ross River virus (RRV) disease with epidemics occuring in the region every few years. A spatial analysis of RRV disease data in the Peel region was undertaken to determine the risk associated with proximity to a mosquito breeding habitat. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software was used to create buffers between 1 and 6 km from the breeding habitat. The number of cases per 1000 dwellings in each buffer was calculated between 2002/03 to 2011/12 for years with >100 cases across all buffers (n=5) in addition to the cumulative rate over the entire period in each buffer. Residents living within 1 km of a mosquito breeding habitat had a significantly higher rate of RRV disease compared to the background rate across the Peel region in all individual years investigated. The cumulative data over the 10-year study period showed that residents in the 1- and 2-km buffers had a significantly higher rate, whereas those living between 3 and 6 km away did not. This study demonstrates an increased mosquito-borne disease risk associated with living in close proximity to a mosquito breeding habitat in a rapidly expanding region of WA and highlights the importance of considering mosquito-borne disease risks when planning authorities assess new residential development applications. Known mosquito breeding wetlands should be incorporated into land use planning scheme maps to ensure that they are accurately

  16. Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea home range and habitat use during the non-breeding season in Assam, India

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Namgail, T.; Takekawa, J.Y.; Sivananinthaperumal, B.; Areendran, G.; Sathiyaselvam, P.; Mundkur, T.; Mccracken, T.; Newman, S.

    2011-01-01

    India is an important non-breeding ground for migratory waterfowl in the Central Asian Flyway. Millions of birds visit wetlands across the country, yet information on their distribution, abundance, and use of resources is rudimentary at best. Limited information suggests that populations of several species of migratory ducks are declining due to encroachment of wetland habitats largely by agriculture and industry. The development of conservation strategies is stymied by a lack of ecological information on these species. We conducted a preliminary assessment of the home range and habitat use of Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea in the northeast Indian state of Assam. Seven Ruddy Shelducks were fitted with solar-powered Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite transmitters, and were tracked on a daily basis during the winter of 2009-2010. Locations from all seven were used to describe habitat use, while locations from four were used to quantify their home range, as the other three had too few locations (2 (range = 22-87 km2) and an average home range (95% contour) of 610 km2 (range = 222-1,550 km2). Resource Selection Functions (RSF), used to describe habitat use, showed that the birds frequented riverine wetlands more than expected, occurred on grasslands and shrublands in proportion to their availability, and avoided woods and cropland habitats. The core use areas for three individuals (75%) were on the Brahmaputra River, indicating their preference for riverine habitats. Management and protection of riverine habitats and nearby grasslands may benefit conservation efforts for the Ruddy Shelduck and waterfowl species that share these habitats during the non-breeding season.

  17. Breeding crops for improved mineral nutrition under climate change conditions.

    PubMed

    Pilbeam, David J

    2015-06-01

    Improvements in understanding how climate change may influence chemical and physical processes in soils, how this may affect nutrient availability, and how plants may respond to changed availability of nutrients will influence crop breeding programmes. The effects of increased atmospheric CO2 and warmer temperatures, both individually and combined, on soil microbial activity, including mycorrhizas and N-fixing organisms, are evaluated, together with their implications for nutrient availability. Potential changes to plant growth, and the combined effects of soil and plant changes on nutrient uptake, are discussed. The organization of research on the efficient use of macro- and micronutrients by crops under climate change conditions is outlined, including analysis of QTLs for nutrient efficiency. Suggestions for how the information gained can be used in plant breeding programmes are given.

  18. Effects of habitat change along Breeding Bird Survey routes in the central Appalachians on Cerulean Warbler population

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McElhone, P.; Wood, P.W.; Dawson, D.

    2007-01-01

    The cerulean warbler (Dendroica cerulea) is one of the highest priority bird species in the eastern United States because populations have declined 4.3% annually during 1966?2005 based on Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data. Habitat loss and fragmentation due to land use changes is thought to be one of the major factors contributing to the decline. BBS routes, the primary source for monitoring bird population trends, include 50 sampling stops every 0.8 km. Although data from BBS routes are extrapolated to determine regional trends in bird populations, it is important to understand the effects of habitat changes at the stop-level along BBS routes. Route-level analysis of habitat changes may mask important changes that are occurring at a smaller scale particularly for the cerulean warbler which displays several micro-scale habitat preferences. We are examining cerulean warbler habitat and population changes in its core breeding range of the Ohio Hills and Cumberland Plateau physiographic regions. We quantified land cover changes within 300 m of BBS routes in the core cerulean warbler breeding range of Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky by digitizing aerial photographs from two time periods: the 1980s and 2004. We also quantified land cover changes within 300 m of BBS routes with the National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD) from 1992 and 2001. The hand-digitized aerial photos will be compared with the NLCD to determine how similar the two methods are in quantifying land cover changes. We then compared stop-level land cover changes with stop level changes in cerulean warbler detections within the same time periods along the BBS routes. This will allow for a more detailed analysis of how well habitat changes along BBS routes reflect the changes in cerulean warbler populations.

  19. Habitat use, diet and breeding biology of tufted puffins in Prince William Sound, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Piatt, John F.; Roby, Daniel D.; Henkel, Laird A.; Neumann, Kriss

    1997-01-01

    Habitat use, diet and breeding biology of tufted puffins (Fratercula cirrhata) were studied in Prince William Sound, Alaska, during summer 1995. On Seal Island, 112 puffin burrows (71% active) were located. Of 95 accessible burrows, 49% were typical earthen burrows, whereas the remainder were atypical for the species (e.g., under tree roots). Hatching success (≤79%), fledging success (≥82%), chick growth rates (17.7 g/day), asymptotic (600 g) and fledging (563 g) weights, meal sizes (14.2 g), meal delivery rates (5.32 meals/day), and daily rations (75.5 g/day) were all average or above-average for tufted puffins in Alaska. A total of 42 chick meals, comprising 125 individual prey were collected. Meals were composed of juvenile pollock (12.7% of total mass), herring (21.8%), prowfish (32.3%), salmonids (24.1%), and capelin, sandlance and squid (<5% each). Tufted puffin populations in Prince William Sound are relatively small, and may be limited by low densities of prey in the Sound, nest-site availability, and heavy rainfall.

  20. Factors influencing and consequences of breeding dispersal and habitat choice in female grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) on Sable Island, Nova Scotia.

    PubMed

    Weitzman, Jenny; den Heyer, Cornelia; Bowen, Don W

    2017-02-01

    Selection of breeding location can influence reproductive success and fitness. Breeding dispersal links habitat use and reproduction. This study investigated factors affecting breeding dispersal and its reproductive consequences in grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) on Sable Island, Nova Scotia. Breeding dispersal distance was determined in 692 individually marked, known-age female grey seals observed from 2004 to 2014. We used generalized linear mixed-effects models to test hypotheses concerning environmental and demographic factors influencing breeding dispersal distance and the consequences of dispersal distance on offspring weaning mass. Grey seal females rarely exhibited fidelity to previous breeding sites. Median dispersal distance between years was 5.1 km. Only 2.9% of females returned to a previous breeding site. Breeding dispersal distance was affected by parity and density, but effects were small and are presumably of no biological significance. Variation in dispersal distance among adult females was large. Dispersal distance had no significant influence on offspring weaning mass; however, as previously found, pup sex and maternal age did. Although breeding location was not important, heavier pups were born in habitats with no tidal or storm-surge influence indicating that breeding habitat type did influence offspring size at weaning. The lack of site fidelity in grey seals on Sable Island is associated with an unpredictable and changing landscape (sand dunes) that could make it difficult for females to locate previous breeding locations. Although breeding location within habitat type had small consequences on offspring weaning mass, we detected no evidence that breeding site selection within the habitat had consequences to females.

  1. Household disposables as breeding habitats of dengue vectors: Linking wastes and public health

    SciTech Connect

    Banerjee, Soumyajit; Aditya, Gautam; Saha, Goutam K

    2013-01-15

    are most frequently disposed off contributed largely to the sustenance of Aedes mosquito population in the city. This calls for a strict legislation towards disposal as well as enhanced management of the household wastes. A link between the wastes disposed and subsequent conversion to the mosquito larval habitats cautions for continuance of Aedes population and possibility of dengue epidemics if the existing management practices are not improved.

  2. Household disposables as breeding habitats of dengue vectors: linking wastes and public health.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Soumyajit; Aditya, Gautam; Saha, Goutam K

    2013-01-01

    An assessment of the household wastes as larval habitats of the dengue vectors was made considering Kolkata, India, as geographical area. Wastes of four major categories, namely, earthen, porcelain, plastic and coconut shells were monitored for positive with immature of either Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus. Twenty six types of wastes with varying size and shape, resembling containers, were identified that hosted mosquito immature. The number of waste containers positive for Aedes immature varied significantly (P<0.05) with respect to location, type and month. The relative density of Aedes immature in the waste containers varied significantly (P<0.05) with the types and months. The significant interaction between the month, waste container types and density of Aedes immature suggest that the household wastes are important contributors to the maintenance of the population of Aedes mosquito in the city. Based on the relative density of mosquito immature in the wastes, cluster analysis allowed segregation and classification of the wastes and their importance as mosquito larval habitats. Apparently, the containers that are most frequently disposed off contributed largely to the sustenance of Aedes mosquito population in the city. This calls for a strict legislation towards disposal as well as enhanced management of the household wastes. A link between the wastes disposed and subsequent conversion to the mosquito larval habitats cautions for continuance of Aedes population and possibility of dengue epidemics if the existing management practices are not improved.

  3. Field Review of Fish Habitat Improvement Projects in Central Idaho.

    SciTech Connect

    Beschta, Robert L.; Griffith, Jack; Wesche, Thomas A.

    1993-05-01

    The goal of this field review was to provide information to the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) regarding previous and ongoing fish habitat improvement projects in central Idaho. On July 14, 1992, the review team met at the Sawtooth National Recreation Area office near Ketchum, Idaho, for a slide presentation illustrating several habitat projects during their construction phases. Following the slide presentation, the review team inspected fish habitat projects that have been implemented in the last several years in the Stanley Basin and adjacent valleys. At each site the habitat project was described to the field team and a brief period for project inspection followed. The review team visited approximately a dozen sites on the Challis, Sawtooth, and Boise National Forests over a period of approximately two and a half days. There are two objectives of this review namely to summarize observations for specific field sites and to provide overview commentary regarding the BPA habitat improvement program in central Idaho.

  4. Effects of breeding versus winter habitat loss and fragmentation on the population dynamics of a migratory songbird.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Caz M; Stutchbury, Bridget J M

    2016-03-01

    Many migratory species are in decline and understanding these declines is challenging because individuals occupy widely divergent and geographically distant habitats during a single year and therefore populations across the range are interconnected in complex ways. Network modeling has been used to show, theoretically, that shifts in migratory connectivity patterns can occur in response to habitat or climate changes and that habitat loss in one region can affect sub-populations in regions that are not directly connected. Here, we use a network model, parameterized by integrating long-term monitoring data with direct tracking of -100 individuals, to explain population trends in the rapidly declining Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina) and to predict future trends. Our model suggests that species-level declines in Wood Thrush are driven primarily by tropical deforestation in Central America but that protection of breeding habitat in some regions is necessary to prevent shifts in migratory connectivity and to sustain populations in all breeding regions. The model illustrates how shifts in migratory connectivity may lead to unexpected population declines in key regions. We highlight current knowledge gaps that make modeling full life-cycle population demographics in migratory species challenging but also demonstrate that modeling can inform conservation while these gaps are being filled.

  5. Breeding habitat preference of preimaginal black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae) in Peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Ya'cob, Zubaidah; Takaoka, Hiroyuki; Pramual, Pairot; Low, Van Lun; Sofian-Azirun, Mohd

    2016-01-01

    To investigate the breeding habitat preference of black flies, a comprehensive black fly survey was conducted for the first time in Peninsular Malaysia. Preimaginal black flies (pupae and larvae) were collected manually from 180 stream points encompassing northern, southern, central and east coast of the Peninsular Malaysia. A total of 47 black fly species were recorded in this study. The predominant species were Simulium trangense (36.7%) and Simulium angulistylum (33.3%). Relatively common species were Simulium cheongi (29.4%), Simulium tani (25.6%), Simulium nobile (16.2%), Simulium sheilae (14.5%) and Simulium bishopi (10.6%). Principal Component Analysis (PCA) of all stream variables revealed four PCs that accounted for 69.3% of the total intersite variance. Regression analysis revealed that high species richness is associated with larger, deeper, faster and higher discharge streams with larger streambed particles, more riparian vegetation and low pH (F=22.7, d.f.=1, 173; P<0.001). Relationship between species occurrence of seven common species (present in >10% of the sampling sites) was assessed. Forward logistic regression analysis indicated that four species were significantly related to the stream variables. S. nobile and S. tani prefer large, fast flowing streams with higher pH, large streambed particles and riparian trees. S. bishopi was commonly found at high elevation with cooler stream, low conductivity, higher conductivity and more riparian trees. In contrast, S. sheilae was negatively correlated with PC-2, thus, this species commonly found at low elevation, warmer stream with low conductivity and less riparian trees. The results of this study are consistent with previous studies from other geographic regions, which indicated that both physical and chemical stream conditions are the key factors for black fly ecology.

  6. A Study of the Effects of Gas Well Compressor Noise on Breeding Bird Populations of the Rattlesnake Canyon Habitat Management Area, San Juan County, New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    LaGory, K.E.; Chang, Young-Soo; Chun, K.C.; Reeves, T.; Liebich, R.; Smith, K.

    2001-06-04

    This report, conducted from May through July 2000, addressed the potential effect of compressor noise on breeding birds in gas-production areas administered by the FFO, specifically in the Rattlesnake Canyon Habitat Management Area northeast of Farmington, New Mexico. The study was designed to quantify and characterize noise output from these compressors and to determine if compressor noise affected bird populations in adjacent habitat during the breeding season.

  7. Precision breeding of grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) for improved traits.

    PubMed

    Gray, Dennis J; Li, Zhijian T; Dhekney, Sadanand A

    2014-11-01

    This review provides an overview of recent technological advancements that enable precision breeding to genetically improve elite cultivars of grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.). Precision breeding, previously termed "cisgenic" or "intragenic" genetic improvement, necessitates a better understanding and use of genomic resources now becoming accessible. Although it is now a relatively simple task to identify genetic elements and genes from numerous "omics" databases, the control of major agronomic and enological traits often involves the currently unknown participation of many genes and regulatory machineries. In addition, genetic evolution has left numerous vestigial genes and sequences without tangible functions. Thus, it is critical to functionally test each of these genetic entities to determine their real-world functionality or contribution to trait attributes. Toward this goal, several diverse techniques now are in place, including cell culture systems to allow efficient plant regeneration, advanced gene insertion techniques, and, very recently, resources for genomic analyses. Currently, these techniques are being used for high-throughput expression analysis of a wide range of grapevine-derived promoters and disease-related genes. It is envisioned that future research efforts will be extended to the study of promoters and genes functioning to enhance other important traits, such as fruit quality and vigor.

  8. [Breeding habitat characteristics of red-crowned crane at Zhalong of Northeast China: a multi-scale approach based on TM and ASAR image data].

    PubMed

    Liu, Chun-Yue; Jiang, Hong-Xing; Zhang, Shu-Qing; Hou, Yun-Qiu; Lu, Jun

    2012-02-01

    Based on the Landsat TM and Envisat ASAR HH/HV imagery data and by using the GPS data of red-crowned crane nesting sites (n = 28) at Zhalong National Nature Reserve of Northeast China, the models of the breeding habitat selection of red-crowned crane at the Reserve were established by binary Logistic regression to identify the key variables for the habitat selection at eight spatial scales (30-240 m). The relative performance of the two models based on the Landsat TM and Envisat ASAR HH/HV databases was compared, and the prediction capacity of the models across the eight scales was approached. The overall precisions of the two models were satisfactory (> or = 69.0%). At scale 30 m, only variable TCA_2 entered with negative value into the model based on Landsat TM database, which indicated that the crane at this scale avoided selecting higher density reed marshes. At scales 60-120 m, the variable PCA_2 entered with positive value into the two models, indicating that the crane at these scales had higher demand of high density reed marshes to improve its concealment. At scale 90 m, the variable HV backward scatting coefficient also entered into the combined model, which indicated that water condition was the important factor for the habitat selection of the crane at this scale. At scales > 120 m, the texture information of the two satellite sensors started to be involved into the two models, indicating that at larger scales, the crane had decreasing demand on the vegetation features for its breeding habitat selection but increasing sensitivity to the anthropogenic disturbance factors. The introduction of ASAR variables into the models increased the prediction accuracy of the models markedly at all scales.

  9. Effects of stop-level habitat change on cerulean warbler detections along breeding bird survey routes in the central appalachians

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McElhone, P.M.; Wood, P.B.; Dawson, D.K.

    2011-01-01

    We examined the effects of habitat change on Cerulean Warbler (Dendroica cerulea) populations at stops along Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) routes in the central Appalachians. We used aerial photographs to compare early (1967/1971), middle (1982/1985), and late (2000/2003) periods and compared 1992 and 2001 National Land Cover Data (NLCD). Mean Cerulean Warbler detections per stop decreased at 68 BBS stops between the early (0.05) and middle (0.01) time periods and their distribution became more restricted (15 vs. 3% of stops), but the amount of deciduous/mixed forest increased. Mean detections at 240 stops decreased from the middle (0.09) to the late (0.06) time periods, but the deciduous/mixed forest land cover and fragmentation metrics did not change. The amounts of deciduous/mixed forest, core forest area, and edge density in the NLCD analysis decreased from 1992 to 2001, whereas the amount of non-forest land cover increased. The number of Cerulean Warbler detections did not change (1992 ?=? 0.08, 2001 ?=? 0.10; P ?=? 0.11). The lack of concordance between Cerulean Warbler detections and broad habitat features suggests that smaller, microhabitat features may be most important in affecting Cerulean Warbler breeding habitat suitability. ?? 2011 by the Wilson Ornithological Society.

  10. 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.

  11. Umatilla River Subbasin Fish Habitat Improvement Program, 2005 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    St. Hilaire, Danny R.

    2006-05-01

    This annual report is in fulfillment of contractual obligations with Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), which is the funding source for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's (ODFW), Umatilla River Subbasin Fish Habitat Improvement Program (Program). The Program works cooperatively with private landowners to develop long-term restoration agreements, under which, passive and active Habitat Improvement Projects are conducted. Historically, projects have included livestock exclusion fencing (passive restoration) to protect riparian habitats, along with the installation of instream structures (active restoration) to address erosion and improve fish habitat conditions. In recent years, the focus of active restoration has shifted to bioengineering treatments and, more recently, to channel re-design and re-construction aimed at improving fish habitat, through the restoration of stable channel function. This report provides a summary of Program activities for the 2005 calendar year (January 1 through December 31, 2005), within each of the four main project phases, including: (1) Implementation--Pre-Work, (2) Implementation--On Site Development, (3) Operation and Maintenance (O&M), and (4) Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E). This report also summarizes activities associated with Program Administration, Interagency Coordination, and Public Education.

  12. Rainforest birds: A land manager's guide to breeding bird habitat in young conifer forests in the Pacific Northwest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Altman, Bob; Hagar, Joan

    2007-01-01

    An underlying premise of the Guide is that forest management has a direct and significant influence on bird populations. Consequently, manipulation of forest conditions as part of forest management can be designed and implemented to achieve bird conservation objectives (Busing and Garman, 2002; Lehmkuhl and others, 2002). It is not our intent to describe all the potential forest management activities that could be conducted to achieve the desired habitat conditions for birds. Those need to be determined locally by assessing the most ecologically appropriate management at each site. However, to assist land managers, the Guide offers some basic forest management activities that are widely accepted for achieving habitat conditions and features which benefit breeding birds.

  13. EFFECTS OF HABITAT DISTURBANCE FROM RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT ON BREEDING BIRD COMMUNITIES IN RIPARIAN CORRIDORS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study was conducted to assess the relationship of land use, riparian vegetation, and avian populations. Our objective was to compare indicators of condition for vegetated riparian corridors with the composition of breeding bird populations in eight Rhode Island subwatersheds...

  14. The influence of habitat, prey abundance, sex, and breeding success on the ranging behavior of Prairie Falcons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Marzluff, J.M.; Kimsey, Bryan A.; Schueck, Linda S.; McFadzen, Mary E.; Vekasy, M.S.; Bednarz, James C.

    1997-01-01

    We studied the ranging behavior and habitat selection of radio-tagged Prairie Falcons (Falco mexicanus) during the breeding season in southwestern Idaho. The distribution and numbers of Townsend's ground squirrels (Spermophilus townsendii), the primary prey of Prairie Falcons in our study area, varied in response to drought during the study period. Prairie Falcons ranged over large areas (ca. 300 km2) and increased their foraging ranges in response to declining ground squirrels. Reptiles and birds were preyed upon most frequently when squirrels were rare. Males and females differed little in their use of space. Successful pairs ranged over smaller areas than non-nesters and unsuccessful pairs. Falcons nesting near habitat most suitable for ground squirrels ranged over smaller areas than those nesting farther from such habitat. Home ranges contained significantly more winterfat (Ceratoides lanata) and native perennial grasses (especially Poa secunda), and significantly less salt desert shrubs and exotic annual grasses than expected based on availability. Salt desert shrubs were found less than expected, based on availability in core areas within home ranges. Selection for winterfat and bluegrass in core areas was contingent upon selection at the larger scale of the home range; falcons with home ranges containing more winterfat and bluegrass than expected based on availability were less selective in their placement of core areas with respect to these habitats. We believe salient features of Prairie Falcon home ranges result largely from patchy distribution of landscape features associated with different densities and availabilities of Townsend's ground squirrels.

  15. The contribution of traditional potato breeding to scientific potato improvement

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conventional potato breeding refers to development of new cultivars from sexual crosses followed by clonal propagation and selection. Nearly all new varieties of potato still emerge from this process free from modern technologies of gene insertion. Conventional breeding remains the most important ...

  16. Umatilla Basin Habitat Improvement Project; 1989 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, Timothy D.

    1990-01-01

    This annual report is in fulfillment of contract obligations with Bonneville Power Administration which is the Funding source for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Umatilla Basin Habitat Improvement Project. The major activities undertaken during this report period were: procurement of 17 cooperative lease agreements with private landowners, design and layout of 8.6 miles of Riparian exclosure fence and 3.0 miles of instream structures, development of five fencing contracts and six instream work contracts. Results include implementation of 10 miles of fencing and 3 miles of instream work. Other activities undertaken during this report period are: data collection from 90 habitat monitoring transects, collection and summarization of temperature data, photopoint establishment, coordination with numerous agencies and tribes and education of all age groups on habitat improvement and protection.

  17. Umatilla River Subbasin Fish Habitat Improvement Project, 1989 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, Timothy D.

    1989-01-01

    This annual report is in fulfillment of contract obligations with Bonneville Power Administration which is the Funding source for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Umatilla Basin Habitat Improvement Project. The major activities undertaken during this report period were: procurement of 17 cooperative lease agreements with private landowners, design and layout of 8.6 miles of Riparian enclosure fence and 3.0 miles of instream structures, development of five fencing contracts and six instream work contracts. Results include implementation of 10 miles of fencing and 3 miles of instream work. Other activities undertaken during this report period are: data collection from 90 habitat monitoring transects, collection and summarization of temperature data, photopoint establishment, coordination with numerous agencies and tribes and education of all age groups on habitat improvement and protection.

  18. Sound settlement: noise surpasses land cover in explaining breeding habitat selection of secondary cavity-nesting birds.

    PubMed

    Kleist, Nathan J; Guralnick, Robert P; Cruz, Alexander; Francis, Clinton D

    2017-01-01

    Birds breeding in heterogeneous landscapes select nest sites by cueing in on a variety of factors from landscape features and social information to the presence of natural enemies. We focus on determining the relative impact of anthropogenic noise on nest site occupancy, compared to amount of forest cover, which is known to strongly influence the selection process. We examine chronic, industrial noise from natural gas wells directly measured at the nest box as well as site-averaged noise, using a well-established field experimental system in northwestern New Mexico. We hypothesized that high levels of noise, both at the nest site and in the environment, would decrease nest box occupancy. We set up nest boxes using a geospatially paired control and experimental site design and analyzed four years of occupancy data from four secondary cavity-nesting birds common to the Colorado Plateau. We found different effects of noise and landscape features depending on species, with strong effects of noise observed in breeding habitat selection of Myiarchus cinerascens, the Ash-throated Flycatcher, and Sialia currucoides, the Mountain Bluebird. In contrast, the amount of forest cover less frequently explained habitat selection for those species or had a smaller standardized effect than the acoustic environment. Although forest cover characterization and management is commonly employed by natural resource managers, our results show that characterizing and managing the acoustic environment should be an important tool in protected area management.

  19. Oak Grove Fork Habitat Improvement Project, 1988 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Bettin, Scott

    1989-04-01

    The Lower Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River is a fifth-order tributary of the Clackamas River drainage supporting depressed runs of coho and chinook salmon, and summer and winter steelhead. Habitat condition rating for the Lower Oak Grove is good, but smelt production estimates are below the average for Clackamas River tributaries. Limiting factors in the 3.8 miles of the Lower Oak Grove supporting anadromous fish include an overall lack of quality spawning and rearing habitat. Beginning in 1986. measures to improve fish habitat in the Lower Oak Grove were developed in coordination with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODF&W) and Portland General Electric (PGE) fisheries biologists. Prior to 1986, no measures had been applied to the stream to mitigate for PGE's storage and regulation of flows in the Oak Grove Fork (Timothy Lake, Harriet Lake). Catchable rainbow trout are stocked by ODF&W two or three times a year during the trout fishing season in the lowermost portion of the Oak Grove Fork near two Forest Service campgrounds (Ripplebrook and Rainbow). The 1987 field season marked the third year of efforts to improve fish habitat of the Lower Oak Grove Fork and restore anadromous fish production. The efforts included the development of an implementation plan for habitat improvement activities in the Lower Oak Grove Fork. post-project monitoring. and maintenance of the 1986 improvement structures. No new structures were constructed or placed in 1987. Fiscal year 1988 brought a multitude of changes which delayed implementation of plans developed in 1987. The most prominent change was the withdrawal of the proposed Spotted Owl Habitat Area (SOHA) which overlapped the Oak Grove project implementation area. Another was the change in the Forest Service biologist responsible for implementation and design of this project.

  20. Unravelling the annual cycle in a migratory animal: breeding-season habitat loss drives population declines of monarch butterflies.

    PubMed

    Flockhart, D T Tyler; Pichancourt, Jean-Baptiste; Norris, D Ryan; Martin, Tara G

    2015-01-01

    Threats to migratory animals can occur at multiple periods of the annual cycle that are separated by thousands of kilometres and span international borders. Populations of the iconic monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) of eastern North America have declined over the last 21 years. Three hypotheses have been posed to explain the decline: habitat loss on the overwintering grounds in Mexico, habitat loss on the breeding grounds in the United States and Canada, and extreme weather events. Our objectives were to assess population viability, determine which life stage, season and geographical region are contributing the most to population dynamics and test the three hypotheses that explain the observed population decline. We developed a spatially structured, stochastic and density-dependent periodic projection matrix model that integrates patterns of migratory connectivity and demographic vital rates across the annual cycle. We used perturbation analysis to determine the sensitivity of population abundance to changes in vital rate among life stages, seasons and geographical regions. Next, we compared the singular effects of each threat to the full model where all factors operate concurrently. Finally, we generated predictions to assess the risk of host plant loss as a result of genetically modified crops on current and future monarch butterfly population size and extinction probability. Our year-round population model predicted population declines of 14% and a quasi-extinction probability (<1000 individuals) >5% within a century. Monarch abundance was more than four times more sensitive to perturbations of vital rates on the breeding grounds than on the wintering grounds. Simulations that considered only forest loss or climate change in Mexico predicted higher population sizes compared to milkweed declines on the breeding grounds. Our model predictions also suggest that mitigating the negative effects of genetically modified crops results in higher population size and

  1. Rapid climate-driven loss of breeding habitat for Arctic migratory birds.

    PubMed

    Wauchope, Hannah S; Shaw, Justine D; Varpe, Øystein; Lappo, Elena G; Boertmann, David; Lanctot, Richard B; Fuller, Richard A

    2017-03-01

    Millions of birds migrate to and from the Arctic each year, but rapid climate change in the High North could strongly affect where species are able to breed, disrupting migratory connections globally. We modelled the climatically suitable breeding conditions of 24 Arctic specialist shorebirds and projected them to 2070 and to the mid-Holocene climatic optimum, the world's last major warming event ~6000 years ago. We show that climatically suitable breeding conditions could shift, contract and decline over the next 70 years, with 66-83% of species losing the majority of currently suitable area. This exceeds, in rate and magnitude, the impact of the mid-Holocene climatic optimum. Suitable climatic conditions are predicted to decline acutely in the most species rich region, Beringia (western Alaska and eastern Russia), and become concentrated in the Eurasian and Canadian Arctic islands. These predicted spatial shifts of breeding grounds could affect the species composition of the world's major flyways. Encouragingly, protected area coverage of current and future climatically suitable breeding conditions generally meets target levels; however, there is a lack of protected areas within the Canadian Arctic where resource exploitation is a growing threat. Given that already there are rapid declines of many populations of Arctic migratory birds, our results emphasize the urgency of mitigating climate change and protecting Arctic biodiversity.

  2. Assessing greater sage-grouse breeding habitat with aerial and ground imagery

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Anthropogenic disturbances, wildfires, and weedy-plant invasions have destroyed and fragmented sagebrush (Artemisia L. spp.) habitats. Sagebrush-dependent species like greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereafter, sage-grouse) are vulnerable to these changes, emphasizing the importance ...

  3. Effects of breeding habitat (woodland versus urban) and metal pollution on the egg characteristics of great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Hargitai, Rita; Nagy, Gergely; Nyiri, Zoltán; Bervoets, Lieven; Eke, Zsuzsanna; Eens, Marcel; Török, János

    2016-02-15

    In an urban environment, birds are exposed to metals, which may accumulate in their tissues and cause oxidative stress. Female birds may eliminate these pollutants through depositing them into eggs, thus eggs become suitable bioindicators of pollution. In this study, we aimed to analyse whether eggshell spotting pattern, egg volume, eggshell thickness and egg yolk antioxidant (lutein, tocopherol, retinol and selenium) levels were related to the breeding area (woodland versus urban) and the metal levels in the eggshell of a small passerine species, the great tit (Parus major). In the urban habitat, soil and eggshells contained higher concentrations of metals, and soil calcium level was also higher than that in the woodland. Eggshell spotting intensity and egg volume did not differ between eggs laid in the woodland and the urban park, and these traits were not related to the metal levels of the eggshell, suggesting that these egg characteristics are not sensitive indicators of metal pollution. A more aggregated eggshell spotting distribution indicated a higher Cu concentration of the eggshell. We found that eggshells were thinner in the less polluted woodland habitat, which is likely due to the limited Ca availability of the woodland area. Great tit eggs laid in the urban environment had lower yolk lutein, retinol and selenium concentrations, however, as a possible compensation for these lower antioxidant levels, urban females deposited more tocopherol into the egg yolk. It appears that females from different breeding habitats may provide similar antioxidant protection for their offspring against oxidative damage by depositing different specific dietary antioxidants. Egg yolk lutein and retinol levels showed a negative relationship with lead concentration of the eggshell, which may suggest that lead had a negative impact on the amount of antioxidants available for embryos during development in great tits.

  4. Use of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) habitat models to predict breeding birds on the San Pedro River, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McFarland, Tiffany Marie; van Riper, Charles

    2013-01-01

    Successful management practices of avian populations depend on understanding relationships between birds and their habitat, especially in rare habitats, such as riparian areas of the desert Southwest. Remote-sensing technology has become popular in habitat modeling, but most of these models focus on single species, leaving their applicability to understanding broader community structure and function largely untested. We investigated the usefulness of two Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) habitat models to model avian abundance and species richness on the upper San Pedro River in southeastern Arizona. Although NDVI was positively correlated with our bird metrics, the amount of explained variation was low. We then investigated the addition of vegetation metrics and other remote-sensing metrics to improve our models. Although both vegetation metrics and remotely sensed metrics increased the power of our models, the overall explained variation was still low, suggesting that general avian community structure may be too complex for NDVI models.

  5. Influence of breeding habitat on bear predation and age at maturity and sexual dimorphism of sockeye salmon populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Quinn, Thomas P; Wetzel, Lisa A.; Bishop, Susan; Overberg, Kristi; Rogers, Donald E.

    2001-01-01

    Age structure and morphology differ among Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) populations. Sexual selection and reproductive capacity (fecundity and egg size) generally favor large (old), deep-bodied fish. We hypothesized that natural selection from physical access to spawning grounds and size-biased predation by bears, Ursus spp., opposes such large, deep-bodied salmon. Accordingly, size and shape of salmon should vary predictably among spawning habitats. We tested this hypothesis by measuring the age composition and body depth of sockeye salmon, Oncorhynchus nerka, and the intensity of predation in a range of breeding habitats in southwestern Alaska. Stream width was positively correlated with age at maturity and negatively correlated with predation level. However, salmon spawning on lake beaches were not consistently old, indicating that different factors affect age in riverine- and beach-spawning populations. Body depths of male and female salmon were positively correlated with water depth across all sites, as predicted. However, the mouths of some streams were so shallow that they might select against large or deep-bodied salmon, even in the absence of bear predation. Taken together, the results indicated that habitat has direct and indirect effects (via predation) on life history and morphology of mature salmon.

  6. Invasive Parasites, Habitat Change and Heavy Rainfall Reduce Breeding Success in Darwin's Finches

    PubMed Central

    Cimadom, Arno; Ulloa, Angel; Meidl, Patrick; Zöttl, Markus; Zöttl, Elisabet; Fessl, Birgit; Nemeth, Erwin; Dvorak, Michael; Cunninghame, Francesca; Tebbich, Sabine

    2014-01-01

    Invasive alien parasites and pathogens are a growing threat to biodiversity worldwide, which can contribute to the extinction of endemic species. On the Galápagos Islands, the invasive parasitic fly Philornis downsi poses a major threat to the endemic avifauna. Here, we investigated the influence of this parasite on the breeding success of two Darwin's finch species, the warbler finch (Certhidea olivacea) and the sympatric small tree finch (Camarhynchus parvulus), on Santa Cruz Island in 2010 and 2012. While the population of the small tree finch appeared to be stable, the warbler finch has experienced a dramatic decline in population size on Santa Cruz Island since 1997. We aimed to identify whether warbler finches are particularly vulnerable during different stages of the breeding cycle. Contrary to our prediction, breeding success was lower in the small tree finch than in the warbler finch. In both species P. downsi had a strong negative impact on breeding success and our data suggest that heavy rain events also lowered the fledging success. On the one hand parents might be less efficient in compensating their chicks' energy loss due to parasitism as they might be less efficient in foraging on days of heavy rain. On the other hand, intense rainfalls might lead to increased humidity and more rapid cooling of the nests. In the case of the warbler finch we found that the control of invasive plant species with herbicides had a significant additive negative impact on the breeding success. It is very likely that the availability of insects (i.e. food abundance)is lower in such controlled areas, as herbicide usage led to the removal of the entire understory. Predation seems to be a minor factor in brood loss. PMID:25248092

  7. The spatial distribution and size of rook (Corvus frugilegus) breeding colonies is affected by both the distribution of foraging habitat and by intercolony competition.

    PubMed Central

    Griffin, L R; Thomas, C J

    2000-01-01

    Explanations for the variation in the number of nests at bird colonies have focused on competitive or habitat effects without considering potential interactions between the two. For the rook, a colonial corvid which breeds seasonally but forages around the colony throughout the year, both the amount of foraging habitat and its interaction with the number of competitors from surrounding colonies are important predictors of colony size. The distance over which these effects are strongest indicates that, for rooks, colony size may be limited outside of the breeding season when colony foraging ranges are larger and overlap to a greater extent. PMID:10983832

  8. Breeding loggerhead marine turtles Caretta caretta in Dry Tortugas National Park, USA, show high fidelity to diverse habitats near nesting beaches

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hart, Kristen M.; Zawada, David G.; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.; Fujisaki, Ikuko

    2016-01-01

    We used satellite telemetry to identify in-water habitat used by individuals in the smallest North-west Atlantic subpopulation of adult nesting loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta during the breeding season. During 2010, 2011 and 2012 breeding periods, a total of 20 adult females used habitats proximal to nesting beaches with various levels of protection within Dry Tortugas National Park. We then used a rapid, high-resolution, digital imaging system to map habitat adjacent to nesting beaches, revealing the diversity and distribution of available benthic cover. Turtle behaviour showing measurable site-fidelity to these diverse habitats has implications for managing protected areas and human activities within them. Protecting diverse benthic areas adjacent to loggerhead turtle nesting beaches here and elsewhere could provide benefits for overall biodiversity conservation.

  9. Yakima Habitat Improvement Project Master Plan, Technical Report 2003.

    SciTech Connect

    Golder Associates, Inc.

    2003-04-22

    The Yakima Urban Growth Area (UGA) is a developing and growing urban area in south-central Washington. Despite increased development, the Yakima River and its tributaries within the UGA continue to support threatened populations of summer steelhead and bull trout as well as a variety of non-listed salmonid species. In order to provide for the maintenance and recovery of these species, while successfully planning for the continued growth and development within the UGA, the City of Yakima has undertaken the Yakima Habitat Improvement Project. The overall goal of the project is to maintain, preserve, and restore functioning fish and wildlife habitat within and immediately surrounding the Yakima UGA over the long term. Acquisition and protection of the fish and wildlife habitat associated with key properties in the UGA will prevent future subdivision along riparian corridors, reduce further degradation or removal of riparian habitat, and maintain or enhance the long term condition of aquatic habitat. By placing these properties in long-term protection, the threat of development from continued growth in the urban area will be removed. To most effectively implement the multi-year habitat acquisition and protection effort, the City has developed this Master Plan. The Master Plan provides the structure and guidance for future habitat acquisition and restoration activities to be performed within the Yakima Urban Area. The development of this Master Plan also supports several Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPAs) of the NOAA Fisheries 2000 Biological Opinion (BiOp), as well as the Water Investment Action Agenda for the Yakima Basin, local planning efforts, and the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority's 2000 Fish and Wildlife Program. This Master Plan also provides the framework for coordination of the Yakima Habitat Improvement Project with other fish and wildlife habitat acquisition and protection activities currently being implemented in the area. As a result of

  10. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Forster's tern (breeding) - Gulf and Atlantic coasts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, Richard P.; Zwank, Phillip J.

    1987-01-01

    The nesting range of Forster's terns hosts three allopatric breeding populations. The first and most important breeding area, in terms of the number of nes t i ng pairs, includes the western guIf coas t from the Louisiana-Mississippi border to northern Tamaulipas, Mexico (American Ornithologists' Union [AOUJ 1983). In addition, small numbers of Forster's terns have nested in Mobile County, Alabama (Imhof 1976). Although this species has not been recorded nesting in Mississippi (J. Jackson, Mississippi State University, Starkville; pers. comm.), it is observed in the coastal regions of that State every summer, and several thousand nest in adjacent Louisiana (Portnoy 1977; Clapp et ale 1983). The two largest colonies of Forster's terns documented in the literature were both in Louisiana: one of 2,750 pairs in Lake Borgne on the Louisiana-Mississippi border and one of 2,263 pairs in Calcasieu Lake (Portnoy 1977).

  11. Assessing greater sage-grouse breeding habitat with aerial and ground imagery

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural expansion, housing and energy developments, wildfires, and weedy plant invasions have led to loss and fragmentation of sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) habitats within the Intermountain West. Sagebrush-dependent species such as greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) are vulnerable t...

  12. Water quality and breeding habitats of anopheline mosquito in northwestern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Kengluecha, Ampornpan; Singhasivanon, Pratap; Tiensuwan, Montip; Jones, James W; Sithiprasasna, Ratana

    2005-01-01

    Malaria transmission is dependent upon many hydrology-driven ecological factors that directly affect the vectorial competence, including the presence of suitable habitats for the development of anopheline larvae. Larval habitats were identified and characterized at three malaria endemic villages (Ban Khun Huay, Ban Pa Dae, and Ban Tham Seau) in Mae Sot district, Tak Province, in northwestern Thailand between July 2002 and June 2003. The Global Positioning System (GPS) was used to provide precise locational data for the spatial distribution of anopheline mosquito larvae and their habitats. Ten habitat categories were identified. Eighteen adult Anopheles species were identified from larvae in all the surveyed habitats. An. minimus was the most common species throughout the year. The relationship between eight abiotic variables (temperature, hardness, carbon dioxide, dissolved oxygen, nitrate, phosphate, silica and pH) and the abundance of four major species of malaria vectors (An. (Cel.) dirus, An. (Cel.) minimus, An. (Cel.) maculatus, and An. (Cel.) sawadwongporni), and six species of non-vectors (An. (Cel.) kochi, An. (Cel.) jamesii, An. (Ano.) peditaeniatus, An. (Ano.) barbirostris, An. (Ano.) campestris, and An (Cel.) vagus) larvae was investigated. The results from the multiple regression models suggest that hardness, water temperature and carbon dioxide are the best predictor variables associated with the abundance of An. minimus larvae (p < 0.001); water pH for An. dirus larvae (p < 0.001); temperature and pH for An. kochi larvae (p < 0.01); temperature and silica concentration for An. jamesii larvae (p < 0.001); dissolved oxygen and silica concentration for An. campestris larvae (p < 0.001); and pH and silica concentration for An. vagus larvae (p < 0.001). We could not identify key environmental variables for An. maculatus, An. sawadwongporni, An. peditaeniatus, and An. barbirostris.

  13. Linking Deforestation to Malaria in the Amazon: Characterization of the Breeding Habitat of the Principal Malaria Vector, Anopheles darlingi

    PubMed Central

    Vittor, Amy Y.; Pan, William; Gilman, Robert H.; Tielsch, James; Glass, Gregory; Shields, Tim; Sánchez-Lozano, Wagner; Pinedo, Viviana V.; Salas-Cobos, Erit; Flores, Silvia; Patz, Jonathan A.

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the larval breeding habitat of a major South American malaria vector, Anopheles darlingi, in areas with varying degrees of ecologic alteration in the Peruvian Amazon. Water bodies were repeatedly sampled across 112 km of transects along the Iquitos-Nauta road in ecologically varied areas. Field data and satellite imagery were used to determine the landscape composition surrounding each site. Seventeen species of Anopheles larvae were collected. Anopheles darlingi larvae were present in 87 of 844 sites (10.3%). Sites with A. darlingi larvae had an average of 24.1% forest cover, compared with 41.0% for sites without A. darlingi (P < 0.0001). Multivariate analysis identified seasonality, algae, water body size, presence of human populations, and the amount of forest and secondary growth as significant determinants of A. darlingi presence. We conclude that deforestation and associated ecologic alterations are conducive to A. darlingi larval presence, and thereby increase malaria risk. PMID:19556558

  14. Umatilla River Subbasin Fish Habitat Improvement Project, 1990 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, Timothy D.; Rimbach, Gregory P.

    1991-03-01

    This annual report is in fulfillment of contract obligations with Bonneville Power Administration which is the Funding source For the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Umatilla Basin Habitat Improvement Project. The major activities undertaken during this report period were: procurement of 6 cooperative lease agreements and one lease addendum with private landowners, design and layout of 4.4 miles of riparian exclosure fence and 1.75 miles of instream structures, development of three fencing contracts and three instream work contracts. Results include implementation of 3 miles of fencing and 3.7 miles of instream work. Other activities undertaken during this report period are: weekly inspection and maintenance of fencing projects, collection and summarization of temperature data, photopoint establishment, coordination with numerous agencies and tribes and education of high school students on habitat improvement and preservation.

  15. Umatilla Basin Habitat Improvement Project; 1990 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, Timothy D.; Rimbach, Gregory P.

    1991-03-01

    This annual report is in fulfillment of contract obligations with Bonneville Power Administration which is the Funding source For the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Umatilla Basin Habitat Improvement Project. The major activities undertaken during this report period were: procurement of 6 cooperative lease agreements and one lease addendum with private landowners, design and layout of 4.4 miles of riparian exclosure fence and 1.75 miles of instream structures, development of three fencing contracts and three instream work contracts. Results include implementation OF 3 miles of fencing and 3.7 miles of instream work. Other activities undertaken during this report period are: weekly inspection and maintenance of fencing projects, collection and summarization of temperature data, photopoint establishment, coordination with numerous agencies and tribes and education of high school students on habitat improvement and preservation.

  16. Climate Impacts on Sea Turtle Breeding Phenology in Greece and Associated Foraging Habitats in the Wider Mediterranean Region.

    PubMed

    Patel, Samir H; Morreale, Stephen J; Saba, Vincent S; Panagopoulou, Aliki; Margaritoulis, Dimitris; Spotila, James R

    2016-01-01

    Sea turtles are vulnerable to climate change impacts in both their terrestrial (nesting beach) and oceanic habitats. From 1982 to 2012, air and sea surface temperatures at major high use foraging and nesting regions (n = 5) of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) nesting in Greece have steadily increased. Here, we update the established relationships between sea surface temperature and nesting data from Zakynthos (latitude: 37.7°N), a major nesting beach, while also expanding these analyses to include precipitation and air temperature and additional nesting data from two other key beaches in Greece: Kyparissia Bay (latitude: 37.3°N) and Rethymno, Crete (latitude: 35.4°N). We confirmed that nesting phenology at Zakynthos has continued to be impacted by breeding season temperature; however, temperature has no consistent relationship with nest numbers, which are declining on Zakynthos and Crete but increasing at Kyparissia. Then using statistically downscaled outputs of 14 climate models assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we projected future shifts in nesting for these populations. Based on the climate models, we projected that temperature at the key foraging and breeding sites (Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea, Crete, Gulf of Gabès and Zakynthos/Kyparissia Bay; overall latitudinal range: 33.0°-45.8°N) for loggerhead turtles nesting in Greece will rise by 3-5°C by 2100. Our calculations indicate that the projected rise in air and ocean temperature at Zakynthos could cause the nesting season in this major rookery to shift to an earlier date by as much as 50-74 days by 2100. Although an earlier onset of the nesting season may provide minor relief for nest success as temperatures rise, the overall climatic changes to the various important habitats will most likely have an overall negative impact on this population.

  17. Climate Impacts on Sea Turtle Breeding Phenology in Greece and Associated Foraging Habitats in the Wider Mediterranean Region

    PubMed Central

    Morreale, Stephen J.; Saba, Vincent S.; Panagopoulou, Aliki; Margaritoulis, Dimitris; Spotila, James R.

    2016-01-01

    Sea turtles are vulnerable to climate change impacts in both their terrestrial (nesting beach) and oceanic habitats. From 1982 to 2012, air and sea surface temperatures at major high use foraging and nesting regions (n = 5) of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) nesting in Greece have steadily increased. Here, we update the established relationships between sea surface temperature and nesting data from Zakynthos (latitude: 37.7°N), a major nesting beach, while also expanding these analyses to include precipitation and air temperature and additional nesting data from two other key beaches in Greece: Kyparissia Bay (latitude: 37.3°N) and Rethymno, Crete (latitude: 35.4°N). We confirmed that nesting phenology at Zakynthos has continued to be impacted by breeding season temperature; however, temperature has no consistent relationship with nest numbers, which are declining on Zakynthos and Crete but increasing at Kyparissia. Then using statistically downscaled outputs of 14 climate models assessed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we projected future shifts in nesting for these populations. Based on the climate models, we projected that temperature at the key foraging and breeding sites (Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea, Crete, Gulf of Gabès and Zakynthos/Kyparissia Bay; overall latitudinal range: 33.0°—45.8°N) for loggerhead turtles nesting in Greece will rise by 3–5°C by 2100. Our calculations indicate that the projected rise in air and ocean temperature at Zakynthos could cause the nesting season in this major rookery to shift to an earlier date by as much as 50–74 days by 2100. Although an earlier onset of the nesting season may provide minor relief for nest success as temperatures rise, the overall climatic changes to the various important habitats will most likely have an overall negative impact on this population. PMID:27332550

  18. Breeding for profit: synergism between genetic improvement and livestock production (a review).

    PubMed

    Harris, D L; Newman, S

    1994-08-01

    Fifty years of research in animal breeding and genetics are examined from four perspectives: 1) genetic prediction, 2) animal testing and selection schemes, 3) dissemination of genetic improvement, and 4) definition of breeding objectives in economic form. Breeding in all classes of livestock has moved from a purebred appearance orientation to a performance (either purebred or crossbred) orientation. Unfortunately, the evolution from a performance orientation to an economic orientation is incomplete, especially for some livestock classes. Placing breeding objectives into a mathematical form on a sound economic basis is key to integrating modern developments in animal breeding into more purposeful industry programs. Procedures used to develop such objectives are reviewed with attention to common approaches. Where consensus is reached about a breeding objective (in economic form) for a class of livestock, this objective can be used in conjunction with genetic predictions to rank animals within a breeding population. Ranking without undue attention to herd of origin facilitates a pyramid-shaped hierarchy of animals that can be fundamental to the functioning of breeding enterprises contributing improvements to operations concerned with production. Genetic improvements should flow from proven genetically superior animals to improved production systems. The tiers of the pyramid need to be organized relative to animals with differing levels of economic evaluation.

  19. 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.

  20. Breeding lettuce for improved fresh-cut processing

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Lettuce is a widely grown vegetable that is used to make fresh-cut salads, which are popular with consumers due to their convenience. Production and processing of fresh-cut lettuce is continually evolving, offering more products and becoming more efficient. Breeding new lettuce cultivars specialized...

  1. Molecular marker-assisted breeding for maize improvement in Asia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize is one of the most important food and feed crops in Asia, and is a source of income for several million farmers. Despite impressive progress made in the last few decades through conventional breeding in the “Asia-7” (China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam), average m...

  2. Cowpea Breeding in the USA, New Varieties and Improved Germplasm

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cowpeas are utilized in the U.S. as both a vegetable crop and a dry bean, and breeding efforts are focused on development of cultivars for specific end uses. Blackeye cultivars are developed for production of dry beans for national and international markets. ‘California Blackeye No. 50' (CB50), a ...

  3. A Sequence of Flushing and Drying of Breeding Habitats of Aedes aegypti (L.) Prior to the Low Dengue Season in Singapore

    PubMed Central

    Seidahmed, Osama M. E.; Eltahir, Elfatih A. B.

    2016-01-01

    In dengue-endemic areas, transmission shows both a seasonal and interannual variability. To investigate how rainfall impacts dengue seasonality in Singapore, we carried out a longitudinal survey in the Geylang neighborhood from August 2014 to August 2015. The survey comprised of twice-weekly random inspections to outdoor breeding habitats and continuous monitoring for positive ones. In addition, observations of rainstorms were collected. Out of 6824 inspected habitats, 67 contained Aedes aegypti, 11 contained Aedes albopictus and 24 contained Culex spp. The main outdoors habitat of Aedes aegypti was storm drains (54/67). We found that 80% of breeding sites in drains (43/54) were lost after intense rainstorms related to the wet phase of the Northeast monsoon (NE) between November 2014 and early January 2015. Subsequently, 95% (41/43) of these flushed drains had dried out during the dry phase of the NE in late January-February 2015. A return in the outdoor breeding of Aedes aegypti was observed after the onset of Southwest monsoon (SW) between May and August 2015. There was also a reduction in productivity of breeding habitats for larvae and pupae after the onset of the NE. In wet equatorial regions like Singapore, rainfall varies with the monsoons. A monsoon-driven sequence of flushing and drying shapes the outdoor seasonal abundance of Aedes aegypti. This finding can be used to optimize vector control strategies and better understand dengue in the context of climate change. PMID:27459322

  4. Demographic consequences of terrestrial habitat loss for pool-breeding amphibians: predicting extinction risks associated with inadequate size of buffer zones.

    PubMed

    Harper, Elizabeth B; Rittenhouse, Tracy A G; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2008-10-01

    Much of the biodiversity associated with isolated wetlands requires aquatic and terrestrial habitat to maintain viable populations. Current federal wetland regulations in the United States do not protect isolated wetlands or extend protection to surrounding terrestrial habitat. Consequently, some land managers, city planners, and policy makers at the state and local levels are making an effort to protect these wetland and neighboring upland habitats. Balancing human land-use and habitat conservation is challenging, and well-informed land-use policy is hindered by a lack of knowledge of the specific risks of varying amounts of habitat loss. Using projections of wood frog (Rana sylvatica) and spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) populations, we related the amount of high-quality terrestrial habitat surrounding isolated wetlands to the decline and risk of extinction of local amphibian populations. These simulations showed that current state-level wetland regulations protecting 30 m or less of surrounding terrestrial habitat are inadequate to support viable populations of pool-breeding amphibians. We also found that species with different life-history strategies responded differently to the loss and degradation of terrestrial habitat. The wood frog, with a short life span and high fecundity, was most sensitive to habitat loss and isolation, whereas the longer-lived spotted salamander with lower fecundity was most sensitive to habitat degradation that lowered adult survival rates. Our model results demonstrate that a high probability of local amphibian population persistence requires sufficient terrestrial habitat, the maintenance of habitat quality, and connectivity among local populations. Our results emphasize the essential role of adequate terrestrial habitat to the maintenance of wetland biodiversity and ecosystem function and offer a means of quantifying the risks associated with terrestrial habitat loss and degradation.

  5. Ecology and habitat of breeding Northern Goshawks in the inland Pacific Northwest: A summary of research in the 1990s

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeStefano, S.; McGrath, M.T.; Daw, S.K.; Desimone, S.M.

    2006-01-01

    During the 1990s, we conducted research on the distribution, productivity, and habitat relationships of Northern Goshawks (Accipiter gentilis) in eastern Oregon and Washington. Our research was initiated primarily in response to concerns raised about the status of Northern Goshawks in the western US, and coincided with early attempts to list the species as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act and the publication of management guidelines for goshawks in the southwestern US. To develop baseline information on the status, distribution, and habitat relationships of goshawks in eastside forests (i.e., east of the Cascade Mountain Range) in the Pacific Northwest, we established study areas on three national forests in eastern Oregon in 1992, adding a fourth study area in central Washington in 1994. We focused on the breeding season and nesting habitat because of its primary importance to goshawk ecology and the logistical feasibility of finding nests. Density of breeding pairs ranged from 0.03-0.09/100 ha, and annual productivity ranged from 0.3-2.2 young fledged/nest. Goshawks selected forest stands with trees of larger diameter and greater canopy closure for nesting than available in the landscape. Occasionally nests could be found in large trees in open-canopied stands. As distance increased from the nest site, forest type and structure became more heterogeneous and the prevalence of older-seral-stage forest declined. Dry or wet openings were present in most territories, often within close proximity to nest stands. Goshawks ate a variety of mammalian and avian prey. Mammal species made up a larger portion of prey biomass on two of the national forests, but avian species appeared to be more prevalent in the diet of goshawks in the most northern study area. We recommend that the existing management guidelines for goshawks in the Southwest form a basis for management in the inland Pacific Northwest, particularly with regard to nested spatial concepts

  6. Umatilla River Subbasin Fish Habitat Improvement; 1992 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, Timothy D.; Rimbach, Gregory P.

    1993-03-01

    This annual report is in fulfillment of contract obligations with Bonneville Power Administration which is the funding source for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Umatilla Basin Habitat Improvement Project. The major activities undertaken during this report period were: (1) procurement of one cooperative lease agreement and one access easement with private landowners, (2) design and layout of 1.3 miles of riparian exclosure fence and 1.4 miles of instream structure maintenance, and (3) development of one fencing contract and three instream work contracts. Results include implementation of 1.9 miles of fencing, 1.4 miles of instream maintenance work, reconstruction of 0.75 miles of flood damaged fence, inspection and routine maintenance of 13.5 miles of fence, and planting of grasses, legumes and shrubs along 4.6 miles of stream. Other activities undertaken during this report period are: collection and summarization of temperature data, establishment and data collection from habitat monitoring transects, electrofishing surveys and spawning ground counts, photopoint establishment, coordination with numerous agencies and tribes and education of high school students on habitat improvement and preservation.

  7. Umatilla River Subbasin Fish Habitat Improvement; 1995 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Laws, Troy S.

    1996-06-01

    This annual report is in fulfillment of contract obligations with Bonneville Power Administration which is the funding source for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife`s Umatilla Basin Habitat Improvement Project. Major activities undertaken during this report period included: (1) Flood damage assessment of project leases after the May 1995 and November 1995 floods, (2) reconstruction of 0.75 miles of riparian fence, (3) inspection and routine maintenance of 14.8 miles of fence, (4) collection of approximately 55,000 native willow and cottonwood cuttings and installation of approximately 21,600 of these material, (5) implementation of two bioengineering projects and initiation of a third project, (6) installation of approximately 30 tree/rootwads for fish habitat enhancement, (7) removal of an abandoned flood irrigation dam/fish barrier, (8) collection and summarization of physical and biological monitoring data, and (9) extensive interagency coordination.

  8. Umatilla River Subbasin Fish Habitat Improvement; 1994 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Laws, Troy S.

    1995-06-01

    This annual report is in fulfillment of contract obligations with Bonneville Power Administration which is the funding source for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife`s Umatilla Basin Habitat Improvement Project. Major activities undertaken during this report period included: 1) Flood damage assessment of project leases after the May 1994 flood, 2) reconstruction of 1.25 miles of high tensile steel fence, 3) inspection and routine maintenance of 14.8 miles of fence, 4) collection of approximately 6,600 cottonwood and willow cuttings for transplanting in spring of 1995, 5) establishment of three bioengineered habitat restoration demonstration projects, 6) Implementation of a streambank stabilization workshop (bioengineering techniques) for Umatilla Basin residents and resource agency personnel, 7) collection and summarization of physical and biological monitoring data, and 8) extensive interagency coordination.

  9. Assessing the habitat suitability of agricultural landscapes for characteristic breeding bird guilds using landscape metrics.

    PubMed

    Borges, Friederike; Glemnitz, Michael; Schultz, Alfred; Stachow, Ulrich

    2017-04-01

    Many of the processes behind the decline of farmland birds can be related to modifications in landscape structure (composition and configuration), which can partly be expressed quantitatively with measurable or computable indices, i.e. landscape metrics. This paper aims to identify statistical relationships between the occurrence of birds and the landscape structure. We present a method that combines two comprehensive procedures: the "landscape-centred approach" and "guild classification". Our study is based on more than 20,000 individual bird observations based on a 4-year bird monitoring approach in a typical agricultural area in the north-eastern German lowlands. Five characteristic bird guilds, each with three characteristic species, are defined for the typical habitat types of that area: farmland, grassland, hedgerow, forest and settlement. The suitability of each sample plot for each guild is indicated by the level of persistence (LOP) of occurrence of three respective species. Thus, the sample plots can be classified as "preferred" or "less preferred" depending on the lower and upper quartiles of the LOP values. The landscape structure is characterized by 16 different landscape metrics expressing various aspects of landscape composition and configuration. For each guild, the three landscape metrics with the strongest rank correlation with the LOP values and that are not mutually dependent were identified. For four of the bird guilds, the classification success was better than 80%, compared with only 66% for the grassland bird guild. A subset of six landscape metrics proved to be the most meaningful and sufficiently classified the sample areas with respect to bird guild suitability. In addition, derived logistic functions allowed the production of guild-specific habitat suitability maps for the whole landscape. The analytical results show that the proposed approach is appropriate to assess the habitat suitability of agricultural landscapes for characteristic

  10. Spatial dispersion and characterisation of mosquito breeding habitats in urban vegetable-production areas of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.

    PubMed

    Matthys, B; Koudou, B G; N'Goran, E K; Vounatsou, P; Gosoniu, L; Koné, M; Gissé, G; Utzinger, J

    2010-12-01

    Although urban agriculture (UA) in the developing world may enhance nutrition and local economies, it may also lead to higher densities of mosquito breeding sites and, consequently, to increased transmission of malarial parasites. If targeted interventions against malaria vectors are to be successful in urban areas, the habitats that support Anopheles breeding need to be identified and detected. Mosquito breeding sites have recently been characterised, and the factors associated with productive Anopheles habitats identified, in market gardens of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. Two surveys were conducted in seven vegetable-production areas, one towards the end of the rainy season and one during the dry season. A standardized methodology was used for habitat characterisation and the detection of Anopheles larvae and mosquito pupae. Overall, 454 and 559 potential mosquito-breeding sites were recorded in the rainy-season and dry-season surveys, respectively. In the rainy season, Anopheles larvae and mosquito pupae were found in 29.7% and 5.5% of the potential breeding sites, respectively, whereas the corresponding percentages in the dry season were 24.3% and 8.6%. The potential breeding sites in an agricultural zone on the periphery of Abidjan were those least likely to be positive for Anopheles larvae and mosquito pupae whereas 'agricultural trenches' between seedbeds were the sites most likely to be positive. In a spatially-explicit Bayesian multivariate logistic-regression model, although one out of every five such wells was also found to harbour Anopheles larvae, irrigation wells were found to be the least productive habitats, of those sampled, for pupae. In the study area, simple and cost-effective strategies of larval control should be targeted at agricultural trenches, ideally with the active involvement of local stakeholders (i.e. urban farmers and urban agricultural extension services).

  11. Assessing habitat use by breeding great blue herons (Ardea herodias) on the upper Mississippi River, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirsch, E.M.; Ickes, B.; Olsen, D.A.

    2008-01-01

    Approximately 7,610 to 3,175 pairs of Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) nested along 420 river km of the Uppert Mississippi River (UMR) from 1993 to 2003. Numbers declined precipitously in the mid-1990s stabilizing somewhat in the early 2000s. The average number of nests in colonies was 349 (SD = 283). Annual colony turn over rate for the eleven year period was 0.15 and ranged from 0.06 to 0.29 each year. The number of years that a colony was active was positively correlated with the average number of nests present while the colony was active. Of the eight colonies active in 1993 that averaged more than 349 nests, four were abandoned by 2003. Only one colony grew to greater than 349 nests during the study period. Custer et al. (2004) suggested that herons on the UMR may be limited by forage resources or foraging habitat and social factors, as evidenced by the even spacing of colonies that reflects the maximum feeding range of herons on the river. To rule out nesting and foraging habitat limitation, landscape habitat features of terrestrial and aquatic areas were examined for colony areas and areas without colonies. Available fish monitoring data were used to examine potential interactions between herons and forage resources. Colony areas did not differ from areas without colonies in any habitat feature. Indices of potential heron forage fish increased from 1993 to 2002, although low indices of fish abundance in 1993 were likely influenced by flood conditions that year. Although fish availability to herons is related to flows and water levels, available data suggested that herons did not negatively impact their potential forage base. Numbers of herons were not correlated with indices of fish abundance from the preceding year on a pool-wide scale. Indices of fish abundance were higher within 5 km of colonies than farther than 5 km from colonies, and indices of fish abundance increased from June through August both near and far from colonies. Numbers of herons and

  12. Modelling Terrestrial and Marine Foraging Habitats in Breeding Audouin's Gulls Larus audouinii: Timing Matters

    PubMed Central

    Bécares, Juan; García-Tarrasón, Manuel; Villero, Dani; Bateman, Santiago; Jover, Lluís; García-Matarranz, Víctor; Sanpera, Carolina; Arcos, José Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Although the breeding ecology of Audouin’s gull has been widely studied, its spatial distribution patterns have received little attention. We assessed the foraging movements of 36 GPS-tracked adult Audouin’s gulls breeding at the Ebro Delta (NW Mediterranean), coinciding with the incubation period (May 2011). This also coincided with a trawling moratorium northwards from the colony. We modelled the distribution of the gulls by combining these tracking data with environmental variables (including fishing activities from Vessel Monitoring System, VMS), using Maxent. The modelling range included both marine and terrestrial areas. Models were produced separately for every 2h time interval across the day, and for 2 fishing activity scenarios (workdays vs. weekends), allowing to assess the spatio-temporal distribution patterns of the gulls and the degree of association with fisheries. During workdays, gull distribution at sea fully matched with fishing activities, both trawling (daylight) and purse-seining (nightime). Gulls tended to avoid the area under trawling moratorium, confirming the high influence of fisheries on the distribution patterns of this species. On weekends, gulls made lesser use of the sea and tended to increase the use of rice fields. Overall, Audouin’s gull activity was more intense during dailight hours, although birds also showed nocturnal activity, on both workdays and weekends. Nocturnal patterns at sea were more disperse during the latter, probably because these gulls are able to capture small pelagic fish at night in natural conditions, but tend to congregate around purse-seiners (which would enhance their foraging efficiency) in workdays. These results provide important insight for the management of this species. This is of particular relevance under the current scenario of European fisheries policies, since new regulations are aimed at eliminating discards, and this would likely influence Audouin’s gull populations. PMID:25875597

  13. Modelling terrestrial and marine foraging habitats in breeding Audouin's gulls Larus audouinii: timing matters.

    PubMed

    Bécares, Juan; García-Tarrasón, Manuel; Villero, Dani; Bateman, Santiago; Jover, Lluís; García-Matarranz, Víctor; Sanpera, Carolina; Arcos, José Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Although the breeding ecology of Audouin's gull has been widely studied, its spatial distribution patterns have received little attention. We assessed the foraging movements of 36 GPS-tracked adult Audouin's gulls breeding at the Ebro Delta (NW Mediterranean), coinciding with the incubation period (May 2011). This also coincided with a trawling moratorium northwards from the colony. We modelled the distribution of the gulls by combining these tracking data with environmental variables (including fishing activities from Vessel Monitoring System, VMS), using Maxent. The modelling range included both marine and terrestrial areas. Models were produced separately for every 2h time interval across the day, and for 2 fishing activity scenarios (workdays vs. weekends), allowing to assess the spatio-temporal distribution patterns of the gulls and the degree of association with fisheries. During workdays, gull distribution at sea fully matched with fishing activities, both trawling (daylight) and purse-seining (nightime). Gulls tended to avoid the area under trawling moratorium, confirming the high influence of fisheries on the distribution patterns of this species. On weekends, gulls made lesser use of the sea and tended to increase the use of rice fields. Overall, Audouin's gull activity was more intense during dailight hours, although birds also showed nocturnal activity, on both workdays and weekends. Nocturnal patterns at sea were more disperse during the latter, probably because these gulls are able to capture small pelagic fish at night in natural conditions, but tend to congregate around purse-seiners (which would enhance their foraging efficiency) in workdays. These results provide important insight for the management of this species. This is of particular relevance under the current scenario of European fisheries policies, since new regulations are aimed at eliminating discards, and this would likely influence Audouin's gull populations.

  14. Climate and habitat interact to shape the thermal reaction norms of breeding phenology across lizard populations.

    PubMed

    Rutschmann, Alexis; Miles, Donald B; Le Galliard, Jean-François; Richard, Murielle; Moulherat, Sylvain; Sinervo, Barry; Clobert, Jean

    2016-03-01

    Substantial plastic variation in phenology in response to environmental heterogeneity through time in the same population has been uncovered in many species. However, our understanding of differences in reaction norms of phenology among populations from a given species remains limited. As the plasticity of phenological traits is often influenced by local thermal conditions, we expect local temperature to generate variation in the reaction norms between populations. Here, we explored temporal variation in parturition date across 11 populations of the common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) from four mountain chains as a function of air temperatures during mid-gestation. We characterized among-population variation to assess how local weather conditions (mean and variance of ambient temperatures during mid-gestation) and habitat openness (an index of anthropogenic disturbance) influence the thermal reaction norms of the parturition date. Our results provide evidence of interactive effects of anthropogenic disturbance and thermal conditions, with earlier parturition dates in warmer years on average especially in closed habitats. Variation in the reaction norms for parturition date was correlated with mean local thermal conditions at a broad geographical scale. However, populations exposed to variable thermal conditions had flatter thermal reaction norms. Assessing whether environmental heterogeneity drives differentiation among reaction norms is crucial to estimate the capacity of different populations to contend with projected climatic and anthropogenic challenges.

  15. Effects of grazing and burning on densities and habitats of breeding ducks in North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kruse, Arnold D.; Bowen, Bonnie S.

    1996-01-01

    Native grassland communities controlled by public agencies become increasingly important to the maintenance of many wildlife species as privately owned grasslands are destroyed or degraded for farming, mining, and development. In turn, wildlife on publicly owned grasslands are affected by the management techniques practiced by local managers. We studied the effects of grazing and prescribed burning on upland-nesting ducks and the structure and type of vegetation from 1980 to 1988 at the Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in northwestern North Dakota. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), the most abundant species at Lostwood NWR, had lower (P < 0.05) annual nest densities on experimental and control fields in the later years than in the early years of the study. Spring burning reduced (P = 0.016) nest densities of gadwall (A. strepera). Spring grazing reduced nest densities of gadwall (P = 0.014), and blue-winged teal (A. discors, P = 0.023). Nest density of gadwall increased (P = 0.018) after spring grazing was terminated. On the summer burn/spring graze fields, blue-winged teal had lower (P = 0.010) nest densities after treatments (1987-88) than before treatments (1980-81). Nest success was high (mallard 34%, gadwall 45%, blue-winged teal 31%) but was not influenced (P 0.16) by the burning and grazing treatments. During the study, the amount of grass/brush increased, whereas the amount of brush and brush/grass decreased on control and treatment fields. During the years with burning and grazing, short vegetation increased and tall vegetation decreased. On the spring graze fields, 1 year after grazing ended the vegetation was similar to that on the control fields. The spring burn and summer burn/spring graze fields recovered more slowly. Brushy species such as western snowberry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis) provided attractive nesting habitat for many upland-nesting waterfowl species, especially mallard, gadwall, American wigeon (A. americana), and northern pintail (A

  16. Utility of ERTS for monitoring the breeding habitat of migratory waterfowl

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Work, E. A., Jr.; Gilmer, D. S.; Klett, A. T.

    1974-01-01

    Since 1968 the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife (BSF&W) and the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan have cooperated on developing applications of remote sensing to the management of migratory waterfowl. Basically, this work has been concerned with (1) the assimilation of data on surface water conditions so that the data can be used as an index of annual waterfowl production, and (2) the collection of data on land use and wetland quality so that a measure of habitat carrying capacity is obtained. To date, efforts have been directed toward utilizing ERTS to monitor surface water conditions. An example of a model used for predicting the annual production of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) is presented. The data inputs to this model and the potential for acquiring these data using ERTS are described.

  17. Between a rock and a hard place: habitat selection in female-calf humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) Pairs on the Hawaiian breeding grounds.

    PubMed

    Cartwright, Rachel; Gillespie, Blake; Labonte, Kristen; Mangold, Terence; Venema, Amy; Eden, Kevin; Sullivan, Matthew

    2012-01-01

    The Au'au Channel between the islands of Maui and Lanai, Hawaii comprises critical breeding habitat for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) of the Central North Pacific stock. However, like many regions where marine mega-fauna gather, these waters are also the focus of a flourishing local eco-tourism and whale watching industry. Our aim was to establish current trends in habitat preference in female-calf humpback whale pairs within this region, focusing specifically on the busy, eastern portions of the channel. We used an equally-spaced zigzag transect survey design, compiled our results in a GIS model to identify spatial trends and calculated Neu's Indices to quantify levels of habitat use. Our study revealed that while mysticete female-calf pairs on breeding grounds typically favor shallow, inshore waters, female-calf pairs in the Au'au Channel avoided shallow waters (<20 m) and regions within 2 km of the shoreline. Preferred regions for female-calf pairs comprised water depths between 40-60 m, regions of rugged bottom topography and regions that lay between 4 and 6 km from a small boat harbor (Lahaina Harbor) that fell within the study area. In contrast to other humpback whale breeding grounds, there was only minimal evidence of typical patterns of stratification or segregation according to group composition. A review of habitat use by maternal females across Hawaiian waters indicates that maternal habitat choice varies between localities within the Hawaiian Islands, suggesting that maternal females alter their use of habitat according to locally varying pressures. This ability to respond to varying environments may be the key that allows wildlife species to persist in regions where human activity and critical habitat overlap.

  18. Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Habitat Selection in Female-Calf Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) Pairs on the Hawaiian Breeding Grounds

    PubMed Central

    Cartwright, Rachel; Gillespie, Blake; LaBonte, Kristen; Mangold, Terence; Venema, Amy; Eden, Kevin; Sullivan, Matthew

    2012-01-01

    The Au'au Channel between the islands of Maui and Lanai, Hawaii comprises critical breeding habitat for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) of the Central North Pacific stock. However, like many regions where marine mega-fauna gather, these waters are also the focus of a flourishing local eco-tourism and whale watching industry. Our aim was to establish current trends in habitat preference in female-calf humpback whale pairs within this region, focusing specifically on the busy, eastern portions of the channel. We used an equally-spaced zigzag transect survey design, compiled our results in a GIS model to identify spatial trends and calculated Neu's Indices to quantify levels of habitat use. Our study revealed that while mysticete female-calf pairs on breeding grounds typically favor shallow, inshore waters, female-calf pairs in the Au'au Channel avoided shallow waters (<20 m) and regions within 2 km of the shoreline. Preferred regions for female-calf pairs comprised water depths between 40–60 m, regions of rugged bottom topography and regions that lay between 4 and 6 km from a small boat harbor (Lahaina Harbor) that fell within the study area. In contrast to other humpback whale breeding grounds, there was only minimal evidence of typical patterns of stratification or segregation according to group composition. A review of habitat use by maternal females across Hawaiian waters indicates that maternal habitat choice varies between localities within the Hawaiian Islands, suggesting that maternal females alter their use of habitat according to locally varying pressures. This ability to respond to varying environments may be the key that allows wildlife species to persist in regions where human activity and critical habitat overlap. PMID:22666432

  19. Umatilla River Subbasin Fish Habitat Improvement; 1993 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, Timothy D.; Laws, Troy S.

    1994-05-01

    This annual report is in fulfillment of contract obligations with Bonneville Power Administration which is the funding source for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife`s Umatilla Basin Habitat Improvement Project. Major activities undertaken during this report period included: (1) procurement of one access easement with a private landowner, (2) design, layout, and implementation of 3.36 miles of instream structure maintenance, (3) inspection and routine maintenance of 15.1 miles of fence, (4) revegetation along 3.36 miles of stream, (5) collection and summarization of physical and biological monitoring data, (6) extensive interagency coordination, and (7) environmental education activities with local high school students.

  20. Advances to improve the eating and cooking qualities of rice by marker-assisted breeding.

    PubMed

    Phing Lau, Wendy Chui; Latif, Mohammad Abdul; Y Rafii, Mohd; Ismail, Mohd Razi; Puteh, Adam

    2016-01-01

    The eating and cooking qualities of rice are heavily emphasized in breeding programs because they determine market values and they are the appealing attributes sought by consumers. Conventional breeding has developed traditional varieties with improved eating and cooking qualities. Recently, intensive genetic studies have pinpointed the genes that control eating and cooking quality traits. Advances in genetic studies have developed molecular techniques, thereby allowing marker-assisted breeding (MAB) for improved eating and cooking qualities in rice. MAB has gained the attention of rice breeders for the advantages it can offer that conventional breeding cannot. There have been successful cases of using MAB to improve the eating and cooking qualities in rice over the years. Nevertheless, MAB should be applied cautiously given the intensive effort needed for genotyping. Perspectives from conventional breeding to marker-assisted breeding will be discussed in this review for the advancement of the eating and cooking qualities of fragrance, amylose content (AC), gel consistency (GC) and gelatinization temperature (GT) in rice. These four parameters are associated with eating and cooking qualities in rice. The genetic basis of these four parameters is also included in this review. MAB is another approach to rice variety improvement and development in addition to being an alternative to genetic engineering. The MAB approach shortens the varietal development time, and is therefore able to deliver improved rice varieties to farmers within a shorter period of time.

  1. Improving virus production through quasispecies genomic selection and molecular breeding.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Rodríguez, Francisco J; D'Andrea, Lucía; de Castellarnau, Montserrat; Costafreda, Maria Isabel; Guix, Susana; Ribes, Enric; Quer, Josep; Gregori, Josep; Bosch, Albert; Pintó, Rosa M

    2016-11-03

    Virus production still is a challenging issue in antigen manufacture, particularly with slow-growing viruses. Deep-sequencing of genomic regions indicative of efficient replication may be used to identify high-fitness minority individuals suppressed by the ensemble of mutants in a virus quasispecies. Molecular breeding of quasispecies containing colonizer individuals, under regimes allowing more than one replicative cycle, is a strategy to select the fittest competitors among the colonizers. A slow-growing cell culture-adapted hepatitis A virus strain was employed as a model for this strategy. Using genomic selection in two regions predictive of efficient translation, the internal ribosome entry site and the VP1-coding region, high-fitness minority colonizer individuals were identified in a population adapted to conditions of artificially-induced cellular transcription shut-off. Molecular breeding of this population with a second one, also adapted to transcription shut-off and showing an overall colonizer phenotype, allowed the selection of a fast-growing population of great biotechnological potential.

  2. Improving virus production through quasispecies genomic selection and molecular breeding

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Rodríguez, Francisco J.; D’Andrea, Lucía; de Castellarnau, Montserrat; Costafreda, Maria Isabel; Guix, Susana; Ribes, Enric; Quer, Josep; Gregori, Josep; Bosch, Albert; Pintó, Rosa M.

    2016-01-01

    Virus production still is a challenging issue in antigen manufacture, particularly with slow-growing viruses. Deep-sequencing of genomic regions indicative of efficient replication may be used to identify high-fitness minority individuals suppressed by the ensemble of mutants in a virus quasispecies. Molecular breeding of quasispecies containing colonizer individuals, under regimes allowing more than one replicative cycle, is a strategy to select the fittest competitors among the colonizers. A slow-growing cell culture-adapted hepatitis A virus strain was employed as a model for this strategy. Using genomic selection in two regions predictive of efficient translation, the internal ribosome entry site and the VP1-coding region, high-fitness minority colonizer individuals were identified in a population adapted to conditions of artificially-induced cellular transcription shut-off. Molecular breeding of this population with a second one, also adapted to transcription shut-off and showing an overall colonizer phenotype, allowed the selection of a fast-growing population of great biotechnological potential. PMID:27808108

  3. Genomics, Physiology, and Molecular Breeding Approaches for Improving Salt Tolerance.

    PubMed

    Ismail, Abdelbagi M; Horie, Tomoaki

    2017-02-22

    Salt stress reduces land and water productivity and contributes to poverty and food insecurity. Increased salinization caused by human practices and climate change is progressively reducing agriculture productivity despite escalating calls for more food. Plant responses to salt stress are fairly well understood, involving numerous critical processes that are each controlled by multiple genes. Knowledge of the critical mechanisms controlling salt uptake and exclusion from functioning tissues, signaling of salt stress, and the arsenal of protective metabolites is advancing. However, little progress has been made in developing salt-tolerant varieties of crop species using standard (but slow) breeding approaches. The genetic diversity available within cultivated crops and their wild relatives provides rich sources for trait and gene discovery that has yet to be sufficiently utilized. Transforming this knowledge into modern approaches using genomics and molecular tools for precision breeding will accelerate the development of tolerant cultivars and help sustain food production. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Plant Biology Volume 68 is April 29, 2017. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

  4. Advanced phenotyping offers opportunities for improved breeding of forage and turf species

    PubMed Central

    Walter, Achim; Studer, Bruno; Kölliker, Roland

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Advanced phenotyping, i.e. the application of automated, high-throughput methods to characterize plant architecture and performance, has the potential to accelerate breeding progress but is far from being routinely used in current breeding approaches. In forage and turf improvement programmes, in particular, where breeding populations and cultivars are characterized by high genetic diversity and substantial genotype × environment interactions, precise and efficient phenotyping is essential to meet future challenges imposed by climate change, growing demand and declining resources. Scope This review highlights recent achievements in the establishment of phenotyping tools and platforms. Some of these tools have originally been established in remote sensing, some in precision agriculture, while others are laboratory-based imaging procedures. They quantify plant colour, spectral reflection, chlorophyll-fluorescence, temperature and other properties, from which traits such as biomass, architecture, photosynthetic efficiency, stomatal aperture or stress resistance can be derived. Applications of these methods in the context of forage and turf breeding are discussed. Conclusions Progress in cutting-edge molecular breeding tools is beginning to be matched by progress in automated non-destructive imaging methods. Joint application of precise phenotyping machinery and molecular tools in optimized breeding schemes will improve forage and turf breeding in the near future and will thereby contribute to amended performance of managed grassland agroecosystems. PMID:22362662

  5. Analysis of humpback whale sounds in shallow waters of the Southeastern Arabian Sea: An indication of breeding habitat.

    PubMed

    Mahanty, Madan M; Latha, G; Thirunavukkarasu, A

    2015-06-01

    The primary objective of this work was to present the acoustical identification of humpback whales, detected by using an autonomous ambient noise measurement system, deployed in the shallow waters of the Southeastern Arabian Sea (SEAS) during the period January to May 2011. Seven types of sounds were detected. These were characteristically upsweeps and downsweeps along with harmonics. Sounds produced repeatedly in a specific pattern were referred to as phrases (PQRS and ABC). Repeated phrases in a particular pattern were referred to as themes, and from the spectrographic analysis, two themes (I and II) were identified. The variation in the acoustic characteristics such as fundamental frequency, range, duration of the sound unit, and the structure of the phrases and themes are discussed. Sound units were recorded from mid-January to mid-March, with a peak in February, when the mean SST is approx. 28 degree C, and no presence was recorded after mid-March. The temporal and thematic structures strongly determine the functions of the humpback whale song form. Given the use of song in the SEAS, this area is possibly used as an active breeding habitat by humpback whales during the winter season.

  6. Natural Propagation and Habitat Improvement, Volume I, Oregon, Supplement C, White River Habitat Inventory, 1983 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Heller, David

    1984-04-01

    More than 130 miles of stream fish habitat was inventoried and evaluated on the Mt. Hood National Forest during the first year of this multi-year project. First year tasks included field inventory and evaluation of habitat conditions on the White River and tributary streams thought to have the highest potential for supporting anadromous fish populations. All streams inventoried were located on the Mt. Hood National Forest. The surveyed area appears to contain most of the high quality anadromous fish habitat in the drainage. Habitat conditions appear suitable for steelhead, coho, and chinook salmon, and possibly sockeye. One hundred and twenty-four miles of potential anadromous fish habitat were identifed in the survey. Currently, 32 miles of this habitat would be readily accessible to anadromous fish. An additional 72 miles of habitat could be accessed with only minor passage improvement work. About 20 miles of habitat, however, will require major investment to provide fish passage. Three large lakes (Boulder, 14 acres; Badger, 45 acres; Clear, 550 acres) appear to be well-suited for rearing anadromous fish, although passage enhancement would be needed before self-sustaining runs could be established in any of the lakes.

  7. Conflation and aggregation of spatial data improve predictive models for species with limited habitats: a case of the threatened yellow-billed cuckoo in Arizona, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Villarreal, Miguel L.; Van Riper, Charles; Petrakis, Roy E.

    2013-01-01

    Riparian vegetation provides important wildlife habitat in the Southwestern United States, but limited distributions and spatial complexity often leads to inaccurate representation in maps used to guide conservation. We test the use of data conflation and aggregation on multiple vegetation/land-cover maps to improve the accuracy of habitat models for the threatened western yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus occidentalis). We used species observations (n = 479) from a state-wide survey to develop habitat models from 1) three vegetation/land-cover maps produced at different geographic scales ranging from state to national, and 2) new aggregate maps defined by the spatial agreement of cover types, which were defined as high (agreement = all data sets), moderate (agreement ≥ 2), and low (no agreement required). Model accuracies, predicted habitat locations, and total area of predicted habitat varied considerably, illustrating the effects of input data quality on habitat predictions and resulting potential impacts on conservation planning. Habitat models based on aggregated and conflated data were more accurate and had higher model sensitivity than original vegetation/land-cover, but this accuracy came at the cost of reduced geographic extent of predicted habitat. Using the highest performing models, we assessed cuckoo habitat preference and distribution in Arizona and found that major watersheds containing high-probably habitat are fragmented by a wide swath of low-probability habitat. Focus on riparian restoration in these areas could provide more breeding habitat for the threatened cuckoo, offset potential future habitat losses in adjacent watershed, and increase regional connectivity for other threatened vertebrates that also use riparian corridors.

  8. New classification of natural breeding habitats for Neotropical anophelines in the Yanomami Indian Reserve, Amazon Region, Brazil and a new larval sampling methodology.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Ribas, Jordi; Oliveira-Ferreira, Joseli; Rosa-Freitas, Maria Goreti; Trilla, Lluís; Silva-do-Nascimento, Teresa Fernandes

    2015-09-01

    Here we present the first in a series of articles about the ecology of immature stages of anophelines in the Brazilian Yanomami area. We propose a new larval habitat classification and a new larval sampling methodology. We also report some preliminary results illustrating the applicability of the methodology based on data collected in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest in a longitudinal study of two remote Yanomami communities, Parafuri and Toototobi. In these areas, we mapped and classified 112 natural breeding habitats located in low-order river systems based on their association with river flood pulses, seasonality and exposure to sun. Our classification rendered seven types of larval habitats: lakes associated with the river, which are subdivided into oxbow lakes and nonoxbow lakes, flooded areas associated with the river, flooded areas not associated with the river, rainfall pools, small forest streams, medium forest streams and rivers. The methodology for larval sampling was based on the accurate quantification of the effective breeding area, taking into account the area of the perimeter and subtypes of microenvironments present per larval habitat type using a laser range finder and a small portable inflatable boat. The new classification and new sampling methodology proposed herein may be useful in vector control programs.

  9. New classification of natural breeding habitats for Neotropical anophelines in the Yanomami Indian Reserve, Amazon Region, Brazil and a new larval sampling methodology

    PubMed Central

    Sánchez-Ribas, Jordi; Oliveira-Ferreira, Joseli; Rosa-Freitas, Maria Goreti; Trilla, Lluís; Silva-do-Nascimento, Teresa Fernandes

    2015-01-01

    Here we present the first in a series of articles about the ecology of immature stages of anophelines in the Brazilian Yanomami area. We propose a new larval habitat classification and a new larval sampling methodology. We also report some preliminary results illustrating the applicability of the methodology based on data collected in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest in a longitudinal study of two remote Yanomami communities, Parafuri and Toototobi. In these areas, we mapped and classified 112 natural breeding habitats located in low-order river systems based on their association with river flood pulses, seasonality and exposure to sun. Our classification rendered seven types of larval habitats: lakes associated with the river, which are subdivided into oxbow lakes and nonoxbow lakes, flooded areas associated with the river, flooded areas not associated with the river, rainfall pools, small forest streams, medium forest streams and rivers. The methodology for larval sampling was based on the accurate quantification of the effective breeding area, taking into account the area of the perimeter and subtypes of microenvironments present per larval habitat type using a laser range finder and a small portable inflatable boat. The new classification and new sampling methodology proposed herein may be useful in vector control programs. PMID:26517655

  10. Lessons Learned While Breeding Peanut for Improved Drought Tolerance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Peanuts become contaminated with aflatoxins when subjected to prolong periods of heat and drought stress. We have documented that improved drought tolerance can result in reduced aflatoxin contamination, and we are using drought-tolerance as an indirect selection technique to develop peanut cultiva...

  11. A satellite model of Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) breeding habitat and a simulation of potential effects of tamarisk leaf beetles (Diorhabda spp.), southwestern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hatten, James R.

    2016-08-08

    The study described in this report represents the first time that a satellite model has been used to identify potential Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) (hereinafter referred to as “flycatcher”) breeding habitat rangewide for 2013–15. Fifty-seven Landsat scenes were required to map the entire range of the flycatcher, encompassing parts of six States and more than 1 billion 30-meter pixels. Predicted flycatcher habitat was summarized in a hierarchical fashion from largest to smallest: regionwide, State, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) management unit, 7.5-minute quadrangle, and critical-habitat reach. The term “predicted habitat” is used throughout this report to distinguish areas the satellite model predicts as suitable flycatcher habitat from what may actually exist on the ground. A rangewide accuracy assessment was done with 758 territories collected in 2014, and change detection was done with yearly habitat maps to identify how and where habitat changed over time. Additionally, effects of tamarisk leaf beetles (Diorhabda spp.) on flycatcher habitat were summarized for the lower Virgin River from 2010 to 2015, and simulations of how tamarisk leaf beetles may affect flycatcher habitat in the lower Colorado and upper Gila Rivers were done for 2015. Model results indicated that the largest areas of predicted flycatcher habitat at elevations below 1,524 meters were in New Mexico and Arizona, areas followed in descending order by California, Texas, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado. By FWS management unit, the largest area of flycatcher habitat during all 3 years were the Middle Rio Grande (New Mexico), followed by the Upper Gila (Arizona and New Mexico) and Middle Gila/San Pedro (Arizona) management units. The area of predicted flycatcher habitat varied considerably in 7.5-minute quadrangles, ranging from 0 to1,398 hectares (ha). Averaged across 3 years, the top three producing quadrangles were Paraje Well (New Mexico), San Marcial

  12. The Role of Breeding and Genetics in Animal Production Improvement in the Developing Countries

    PubMed Central

    Rendel, Jan

    1974-01-01

    Availability of animal protein for human consumption is very low in the developing countries mainly because of low productivity of existing livestock; ways and means to improve productivity through breeding are discussed and some basic issues requiring further research pointed out. PMID:17248670

  13. Index-in-retrospect and breeding objectives characterizing genetic improvement programs for South African Nguni cattle

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of the current study was to describe the historical selection applied to Nguni cattle in South Africa. Index-in-retrospect methods were applied to data originating from the National Beef Cattle Improvement Scheme. Data used were estimated breeding values (EBV) for animals born during t...

  14. Natural Propagation and Habitat Improvement, Volume I, Oregon, Supplement A: Habitat Enhancement Evaluation of Fish and Wash Creeks, 1983 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Everest, Fred

    1984-04-01

    Habitat improvements for anadromous salmonids on Fish Creek in the upper Clackamas Basin were evaluated. The primary objectives of the evaluation effort include: (1) evaluate and quantify the changes in salmonid spawning and rearing habitat resulting from a variety of habitat improvements; (2) evaluate and quantify the changes in fish populations and biomass resulting from habitat improvements; and (3) evaluate the cost-effectiveness of habitat improvements developed with BPA and KV funds on Fish Creek. This report integrates data for the evaluation efforts collected in the Fish Creek Basin in 1982 and 1983. 3 references, 34 figures, 23 tables.

  15. Changes in Habitat and Populations of Steelhead Trout, Coho Salmon, and Chinook Salmon in Fish Creek, Oregon; Habitat Improvement, 1983-1987 Final Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Everest, Fred H.; Hohler, David B.; Cain, Thomas C.

    1988-03-01

    Construction and evaluation of salmonid habitat improvements on Fish Creek, a tributary of the upper Clackamas River, began in 1982 as a cooperative venture between the Estacada Ranger District, Mt. Hood National Forest, and the Anadromous Fish Habitat Research Unit of the Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNW), USDA Forest Service. The project was initially conceived as a 5-year effort (1982-1987) to be financed with Forest Service funds. The habitat improvement program and the evaluation of improvements were both expanded in mid-1983 when the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) entered into an agreement with the Mt. Hood National Forest to cooperatively fund work on Fish Creek. Habitat improvement work in the basin is guided by the Fish Creek Habitat Rehabilitation-Enhancement Framework developed cooperatively by the Estacada Ranger District, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Pacific Northwest Research Station. The framework examines potential factors limiting production of salmonids in the basin, and the appropriate habitat improvement measures needed to address the limiting factors. Habitat improvement work in the basin has been designed to: (1) improve quantity, quality, and distribution of spawning habitat for coho and spring chinook salmon and steelhead trout, (2) increase low flow rearing habitat for steelhead trout and coho salmon, (3) improve overwintering habitat for coho salmon and steelhead trout, (4) rehabilitate riparian vegetation to improve stream shading to benefit all species, and (5) evaluate improvement projects from a drainage wide perspective. The objectives of the evaluation include: (1) Drainage-wide evaluation and quantification of changes in salmonid spawning and rearing habitat resulting from a variety of habitat improvements. (2) Evaluation and quantification of changes in fish populations and biomass resulting from habitat improvements. (3) Benefit-cost analysis of habitat improvements.

  16. Energy reallocation to breeding performance through improved nest building in laboratory mice.

    PubMed

    Gaskill, Brianna N; Pritchett-Corning, Kathleen R; Gordon, Christopher J; Pajor, Edmond A; Lucas, Jeffrey R; Davis, Jerry K; Garner, Joseph P

    2013-01-01

    Mice are housed at temperatures (20-26 °C) that increase their basal metabolic rates and impose high energy demands to maintain core temperatures. Therefore, energy must be reallocated from other biological processes to increase heat production to offset heat loss. Supplying laboratory mice with nesting material may provide sufficient insulation to reduce heat loss and improve both feed conversion and breeding performance. Naïve C57BL/6, BALB/c, and CD-1 breeding pairs were provided with bedding alone, or bedding supplemented with either 8 g of Enviro-Dri, 8 g of Nestlets, for 6 months. Mice provided with either nesting material built more dome-like nests than controls. Nesting material improved feed efficiency per pup weaned as well as pup weaning weight. The breeding index (pups weaned/dam/week) was higher when either nesting material was provided. Thus, the sparing of energy for thermoregulation of mice given additional nesting material may have been responsible for the improved breeding and growth of offspring.

  17. Use of a remote sensing-based geographic information system in the characterizing spatial patterns for Anopheles minimus A and C breeding habitats in western Thailand.

    PubMed

    Rongnoparut, Pornpimol; Ugsang, Donald M; Baimai, Visut; Honda, Kiyoshi; Sithiprasasna, Ratana

    2005-09-01

    A remote sensing (RS)-based Geographic Information System (GIS) was used to characterize the breeding habitats of Anopheles minimus species A and C in five different districts of Kanchanaburi Province in western Thailand. The GIS and RS were used to monitor the area for the presence and absence of An. minimus A and C in five major land areas, forest, agriculture, urban, water and bare land. The results show that An. minimus A survives both in dense canopy forest and in open fields where agriculture is dominant. A scatter plot of land-use/land-cover for An. minimus, considering proximities to the forest and proximities to agriculture, suggests that An. minimus A has a wider habitat preference, ranging from dense canopy forest to open agricultural fields. A scatter plot for An. minimus C, on the other hand, showed a narrow habitat preference. A scatter plot for proximities performed on separate populations of An. minimus species A, one in the north and the other in the south, showed that there was an association in the northern population with the forest and in the southern population with agricultural areas. There were no statistically significant differences in the scatter plot of proximities to urban areas and water bodies with the An. minimus A north, south, and An. minimus C. LANDSAT TM satellite data classification was used to identify larval habitats that produce An. minimus A and C and analyze proximities between land-use/land-cover classes and locations of larval habitats. An. minimus A has a wide habitat preference, from dense canopy forest to open agricultural fields, while An. minimus C has a narrow habitat preference.

  18. Does stress response predict return rate in a migratory bird species? A study of American redstarts and their non-breeding habitat

    PubMed Central

    Angelier, Frédéric; Holberton, Rebecca L.; Marra, Peter P.

    2009-01-01

    In vertebrates, the adrenocortical stress response activates an emergency life-history stage, which is thought to promote survival by helping individuals escape life-threatening situations. Although the adrenocortical stress response promotes many behavioural and physiological changes, it remains unclear whether this stress response actually translates into higher survival in wild vertebrates. We measured the adrenocortical stress response of non-breeding American redstarts (Setophaga ruticilla), a migratory bird that wintered in habitats of either high (mangroves) or low suitability (scrubs), and subsequently monitored their return rate during the following non-breeding seasons. The intensity of the adrenocortical stress response was consistent within individuals across the non-breeding season and was positively correlated with return rates in redstarts that wintered in scrubs, but not in redstarts that wintered in mangroves. Thus, in a context-dependent manner, the ability of an individual to physiologically react to stress determines its ability of returning to its non-breeding territory the following winters. For an individual, the ability to mount an important adrenocortical stress response probably benefits to survival. However, this beneficial effect probably depends on an individual's environment and phenotypic characteristics because these two variables are likely to affect its probability of being confronted with life-threatening stressors during its annual life cycle. PMID:19605397

  19. Remote sensing as a tool for mapping mosquito breeding habitats and associated health risk to assist control efforts and development plans: a case study in Wadi El Natroun, Egypt.

    PubMed

    Hassan, Ali N; Onsi, Hoda M

    2004-08-01

    Limited mosquito ground surveys were combined with remote sensing and GIS technologies to identify mosquito breeding habitats in Natroun lakes area and to delineate associated health risks. Mosquito larval surveys were carried out in a small area to characterize positive breeding habitats and determine their geographic coordinates. Mosquitoes (Anopheles multicolor, Culex antennatus and Cx. theileri) were found breeding in water-flooded habitats with dense vegetation cover spatially associated to existing lakes. Chemical analysis indicated that mosquito breeding water was found to be polluted by several sources including agriculture, industrial and domestic sources. This information served as a training set to characterize the spectral signature of mosquitogenic (mosquito-producing) habitats using reflectance data of the Thematic Mapper (TM) sensor aboard Landsat 5 satellite. Following characterization of the spectral signature, satellite data were used to predict, potential mosquito breeding patches over the whole study area. Field surveys were then carried out to assess the accuracy of predicted habitats and those surveys have indicated that all checked sites were positive for mosquito larvae demonstrating an accuracy of 100%. Based on an average adult mosquito flight range of 2 km, GIS was used to create buffer zones around breeding habitats describing areas at risk from mosquito nuisance and disease transmission. The obtained results could thus provide a new basis for directing the control of mosquito vectors as they provide health authorities with precise maps of mosquito breeding habitats in a timely manner. Moreover, the generated map delineating risk areas could be used by project developers to either re-site the project or invest in mosquito control activities in order to avoid health risks and ensure sustainability of their development. The approach adopted in this investigation demonstrated the practical and successful application of remote sensing and

  20. Umatilla River Subbasin Fish Habitat Improvement; 1991 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, Timothy D.; Rimbach, Gregory P.

    1992-01-01

    This annual report is in fulfillment of contract obligations with Bonneville Power Administration which is the funding source for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife`s Umatilla Basin Habitat Improvement Project. In May of this year a thirty year flood event occurred in the Umatilla Basin that resulted in major changes to the year`s statement of work and to the future direction of the program. All projects in the Birch Creek drainage sustained damage to either fencing or instream work, with severe damages on about 1/3 of the project areas. As a result of flooding, and subsequent maintenance demands, all new project implementation in the Birch Creek drainage was cancelled; the entire implementation season was spent repairing flood damages in the Birch Creek drainage. The major activities undertaken during this report period were: (a) construction of O.5 miles of riparian corridor fence on Meacham Creek, (b) performing intensive instream maintenance on 7.25 miles of Mainstem Birch and East Birch creeks, (c) performing major fence maintenance on 1.8 miles of flood damaged riparian corridor fence, (d) rebuilding of O.5 miles of flood destroyed fence, and 54 stream crossing fences, (e) retrofitting of three miles of high tensile fence with an extended electric wire, and (f) spending considerable time working with landowners to resolve flood related problems and come to agreement on project maintenance activities. Other activities undertaken during this report period were: weekly inspection and maintenance of fencing projects, collection and summarization of temperature data, photopoint picture taking, procurement of instream work permits, and coordination with numerous agencies and tribes.

  1. Ross River Virus Risk Associated with Dispersal of Aedes (Ochlerotatus) camptorhynchus (Thomson) from Breeding Habitat into Surrounding Residential Areas: Muddy Lakes, Western Australia

    PubMed Central

    Jardine, Andrew; Neville, Peter J.; Dent, Colin; Webster, Carla; Lindsay, Michael D. A.

    2014-01-01

    Rapid population growth in Western Australia has resulted in increased development of land for residential housing, and new developments are often proposed close to water because of intrinsic aesthetic values. However, this placement may place future residents at risk of mosquito-borne disease, of which Ross River virus (RRV) disease is the most common in Australia. Mosquito dispersal data were combined with a spatial analysis of human RRV cases to show that mosquitoes dispersed readily from larval habitat into surrounding low- and high-density residential areas and that residents living within 2 km of mosquito breeding habitat had a significantly higher rate of RRV disease. This finding highlights the importance of planning authorities in state and local governments to consider the implications of mosquito-borne disease risks when assessing residential development applications. PMID:24799370

  2. Implications of cloning for breed improvement strategies: are traditional methods of animal improvement obsolete?

    PubMed

    van Vleck, L D

    1999-01-01

    Can the optimum animal be defined? Will that definition change over time, by location, by market demand? First, assume what may be impossible, that the perfect animal can be defined or that only a limited number of definitions of "perfect" are needed. Then, can the "perfect" animal to match a definition be found? Suppose such an animal is found. Then the question to be answered before trying to clone as a method of genetic improvement becomes "Is the animal perfect because of phenotype or genotype?" In other words, the P = G + E problem exists, which requires traditional methods of genetic evaluation and testing to determine whether genotype (G) or random environmental (E) effects or a combination leads to the apparent perfection in the phenotype (P). For most traits, additive genetic variance accounts for 10 to 50% of total variance, a fraction denoted as heritability. With a simple model, the best prediction of genotypic value is to reduce the apparent phenotypic superiority by multiplying by heritability. Cloning the "perfect" animal also could capture optimum dominance and epistatic genetic effects that are otherwise difficult to select for. For some traits, maternal effects are important. In that case, clones as breeding animals must be "perfect" for both direct and maternal genotypes, or alternatively terminal and maternal clone lines would need to be developed. The use of clones to increase uniformity can be only partially successful. If heritability is 25%, then the standard deviation among clones would be 87% of that of uncloned animals. Only if heritability is 100% will clone mates have complete uniformity. Fixing the genotype could increase susceptibility to failure if environment changes or if the cloned genotype is susceptible to a new disease or if economic conditions change. Cloning, at best, is another tool for animal improvement that joins the list of previous biotechnological inventions, some of which have become cost-effective, such as artificial

  3. Fifteenmile Basin Habitat Improvement Project: 1990 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Asbridge, Gary M.

    1993-12-01

    U.S.D.A. Forest Service activities in the Fifteenmile basin during 1990 involved the placement of 84 log structures in a two mile reach of Fifteenmile Creek (RM 45.4-47.4) by a combination of falling trees into the channel, bucking in blowdown trees spanning the creek, and winching in existing blowdown and log segments from newly fallen trees. The primary project objective on Fifteenmile Creek was to increase physical habitat diversity and rearing habitat for age l+ winter steelhead trout. USFS personnel also conducted spring spawning surveys in sections of Ramsey and Eightmile Creeks, physical habitat pre-project monitoring in the above project reach, water temperature monitoring, and macroinvertebrate sampling.

  4. Genome-wide study of an elite rice pedigree reveals a complex history of genetic architecture for breeding improvement

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Shaoxia; Lin, Zechuan; Zhou, Degui; Wang, Chongrong; Li, Hong; Yu, Renbo; Deng, Hanchao; Tang, Xiaoyan; Zhou, Shaochuan; Wang Deng, Xing; He, Hang

    2017-01-01

    Improving breeding has been widely utilized in crop breeding and contributed to yield and quality improvement, yet few researches have been done to analyze genetic architecture underlying breeding improvement comprehensively. Here, we collected genotype and phenotype data of 99 cultivars from the complete pedigree including Huanghuazhan, an elite, high-quality, conventional indica rice that has been grown over 4.5 million hectares in southern China and from which more than 20 excellent cultivars have been derived. We identified 1,313 selective sweeps (SSWs) revealing four stage-specific selection patterns corresponding to improvement preference during 65 years, and 1113 conserved Huanghuazhan traceable blocks (cHTBs) introduced from different donors and conserved in >3 breeding generations were the core genomic regions for superior performance of Huanghuazhan. Based on 151 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) identified for 13 improved traits in the pedigree, we reproduced their improvement process in silico, highlighting improving breeding works well for traits controlled by major/major + minor effect QTLs, but was inefficient for traits controlled by QTLs with complex interactions or explaining low levels of phenotypic variation. These results indicate long-term breeding improvement is efficient to construct superior genetic architecture for elite performance, yet molecular breeding with designed genotype of QTLs can facilitate complex traits improvement. PMID:28374863

  5. Presence of Breeding Birds Improves Body Condition for a Crocodilian Nest Protector

    PubMed Central

    Nell, Lucas A.; Frederick, Peter C.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Vliet, Kent A.; Brandt, Laura A.

    2016-01-01

    Ecological associations where one species enhances habitat for another nearby species (facilitations) shape fundamental community dynamics and can promote niche expansion, thereby influencing how and where species persist and coexist. For the many breeding birds facing high nest-predation pressure, enemy-free space can be gained by nesting near more formidable animals for physical protection. While the benefits to protected species seem well documented, very few studies have explored whether and how protector species are affected by nest protection associations. Long-legged wading birds (Pelecaniformes and Ciconiiformes) actively choose nesting sites above resident American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), apparently to take advantage of the protection from mammalian nest predators that alligator presence offers. Previous research has shown that wading bird nesting colonies could provide substantial food for alligators in the form of dropped chicks. We compared alligator body condition in similar habitat with and without wading bird nesting colonies present. Alligator morphometric body condition indices were significantly higher in colony than in non-colony locations, an effect that was statistically independent of a range of environmental variables. Since colonially nesting birds and crocodilians co-occur in many tropical and subtropical wetlands, our results highlight a potentially widespread keystone process between two ecologically important species-groups. These findings suggest the interaction is highly beneficial for both groups of actors, and illustrate how selective pressures may have acted to form and reinforce a strongly positive ecological interaction. PMID:26934602

  6. Predicting occurrence of juvenile shark habitat to improve conservation planning.

    PubMed

    Oh, Beverly Z L; Sequeira, Ana M M; Meekan, Mark G; Ruppert, Jonathan L W; Meeuwig, Jessica J

    2016-11-30

    Fishing and habitat degradation have increased the extinction risk of sharks, and conservation strategies recognize that survival of juveniles is critical for the effective management of shark populations. Despite the rapid expansion of marine protected areas (MPAs) globally, the paucity of shark-monitoring data on large scales (100s-1000s km) means that the effectiveness of MPAs in halting shark declines remains unclear. Using data collected by baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS) in northwestern Australia, we developed generalized linear models to elucidate the ecological drivers of habitat suitability for juvenile sharks. We assessed occurrence patterns at the order and species levels. We included all juvenile sharks sampled and the 3 most abundant species sampled separately (grey reef [Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos], sandbar [Carcharhinus plumbeus], and whitetip reef sharks [Triaenodon obesus]). We predicted the occurrence of juvenile sharks across 490,515 km(2) of coastal waters and quantified the representation of highly suitable habitats within MPAs. Our species-level models had higher accuracy (ĸ ≥ 0.69) and deviance explained (≥48%) than our order-level model (ĸ = 0.36 and deviance explained of 10%). Maps of predicted occurrence revealed different species-specific patterns of highly suitable habitat. These differences likely reflect different physiological or resource requirements between individual species and validate concerns over the utility of conservation targets based on aggregate species groups as opposed to a species-focused approach. Highly suitable habitats were poorly represented in MPAs with the most restrictions on extractive activities. This spatial mismatch possibly indicates a lack of explicit conservation targets and information on species distribution during the planning process. Non-extractive BRUVS provided a useful platform for building the suitability models across large scales to assist conservation planning across

  7. Molecular Breeding Algae For Improved Traits For The Conversion Of Waste To Fuels And Commodities.

    SciTech Connect

    Bagwell, C.

    2015-10-14

    This Exploratory LDRD aimed to develop molecular breeding methodology for biofuel algal strain improvement for applications in waste to energy / commodity conversion technologies. Genome shuffling technologies, specifically protoplast fusion, are readily available for the rapid production of genetic hybrids for trait improvement and have been used successfully in bacteria, yeast, plants and animals. However, genome fusion has not been developed for exploiting the remarkable untapped potential of eukaryotic microalgae for large scale integrated bio-conversion and upgrading of waste components to valued commodities, fuel and energy. The proposed molecular breeding technology is effectively sexual reproduction in algae; though compared to traditional breeding, the molecular route is rapid, high-throughput and permits selection / improvement of complex traits which cannot be accomplished by traditional genetics. Genome fusion technologies are the cutting edge of applied biotechnology. The goals of this Exploratory LDRD were to 1) establish reliable methodology for protoplast production among diverse microalgal strains, and 2) demonstrate genome fusion for hybrid strain production using a single gene encoded trait as a proof of the concept.

  8. From phenotyping towards breeding strategies: using in vivo indicator traits and genetic markers to improve meat quality in an endangered pig breed.

    PubMed

    Biermann, A D M; Yin, T; König von Borstel, U U; Rübesam, K; Kuhn, B; König, S

    2015-06-01

    In endangered and local pig breeds of small population sizes, production has to focus on alternative niche markets with an emphasis on specific product and meat quality traits to achieve economic competiveness. For designing breeding strategies on meat quality, an adequate performance testing scheme focussing on phenotyped selection candidates is required. For the endangered German pig breed 'Bunte Bentheimer' (BB), no breeding program has been designed until now, and no performance testing scheme has been implemented. For local breeds, mainly reared in small-scale production systems, a performance test based on in vivo indicator traits might be a promising alternative in order to increase genetic gain for meat quality traits. Hence, the main objective of this study was to design and evaluate breeding strategies for the improvement of meat quality within the BB breed using in vivo indicator traits and genetic markers. The in vivo indicator trait was backfat thickness measured by ultrasound (BFiv), and genetic markers were allele variants at the ryanodine receptor 1 (RYR1) locus. In total, 1116 records of production and meat quality traits were collected, including 613 in vivo ultrasound measurements and 713 carcass and meat quality records. Additionally, 700 pigs were genotyped at the RYR1 locus. Data were used (1) to estimate genetic (co)variance components for production and meat quality traits, (2) to estimate allele substitution effects at the RYR1 locus using a selective genotyping approach and (3) to evaluate breeding strategies on meat quality by combining results from quantitative-genetic and molecular-genetic approaches. Heritability for the production trait BFiv was 0.27, and 0.48 for backfat thickness measured on carcass. Estimated heritabilities for meat quality traits ranged from 0.14 for meat brightness to 0.78 for the intramuscular fat content (IMF). Genetic correlations between BFiv and IMF were higher than estimates based on carcass backfat

  9. Genomics-based precision breeding approaches to improve drought tolerance in rice.

    PubMed

    Swamy, B P Mallikarjuna; Kumar, Arvind

    2013-12-01

    Rice (Oryza sativa L.), the major staple food crop of the world, faces a severe threat from widespread drought. The development of drought-tolerant rice varieties is considered a feasible option to counteract drought stress. The screening of rice germplasm under drought and its characterization at the morphological, genetic, and molecular levels revealed the existence of genetic variation for drought tolerance within the rice gene pool. The improvements made in managed drought screening and selection for grain yield under drought have significantly contributed to progress in drought breeding programs. The availability of rice genome sequence information, genome-wide molecular markers, and low-cost genotyping platforms now makes it possible to routinely apply marker-assisted breeding approaches to improve grain yield under drought. Grain yield QTLs with a large and consistent effect under drought have been indentified and successfully pyramided in popular rice mega-varieties. Various rice functional genomics resources, databases, tools, and recent advances in "-omics" are facilitating the characterization of genes and pathways involved in drought tolerance, providing the basis for candidate gene identification and allele mining. The transgenic approach is successful in generating drought tolerance in rice under controlled conditions, but field-level testing is necessary. Genomics-assisted drought breeding approaches hold great promise, but a well-planned integration with standardized phenotyping is highly essential to exploit their full potential.

  10. Habitat history improves prediction of biodiversity in rainforest fauna

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Catherine H.; Moritz, Craig; Williams, Stephen E.

    2006-01-01

    Patterns of biological diversity should be interpreted in light of both contemporary and historical influences; however, to date, most attempts to explain diversity patterns have largely ignored history or have been unable to quantify the influence of historical processes. The historical effects on patterns of diversity have been hypothesized to be most important for taxonomic groups with poor dispersal abilities. We quantified the relative stability of rainforests over the late Quaternary period by modeling rainforest expansion and contraction in 21 biogeographic subregions in northeast Australia across four time periods. We demonstrate that historical habitat stability can be as important, and in endemic low-dispersal taxa even more important, than current habitat area in explaining spatial patterns of species richness. In contrast, patterns of endemic species richness for taxa with high dispersal capacity are best predicted by using current environmental parameters. We also show that contemporary patterns of species turnover across the region are best explained by historical patterns of habitat connectivity. These results clearly demonstrate that spatially explicit analyses of the historical processes of persistence and colonization are both effective and necessary for understanding observed patterns of biodiversity. PMID:16407139

  11. Importance of Indigenous Breeds of Chicken for Rural Economy and Their Improvements for Higher Production Performance

    PubMed Central

    Padhi, Mahendra Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Indigenous/native breeds of chickens are playing an important role in rural economies in most of the developing and underdeveloped countries. They play a major role for the rural poor and marginalised section of the people with respect to their subsidiary income and also provide them with nutritious chicken egg and meat for their own consumption. Performance of native fowl can be improved by change in husbandry, feeding, and better health cover. However, genetic improvement may be made either through selection and crossbreeding or by utilisation of both selection and crossbreeding. Improvement through selection may be time consuming but the improvement will be permanent. Through crossbreeding improvement may be faster but research has to aim for the production of native-type birds with higher production potential. In the present review efforts have been made to present the importance of native fowl to rural economy and their improvement for higher production performance. PMID:27144053

  12. Natural Propagation and Habitat Improvement, Volume 1, Oregon, 1986 Final and Annual Reports.

    SciTech Connect

    Stuart, Amy

    1987-01-01

    This report describes activities implemented for fisheries habitat improvement work on priority drainages in the Clackamas and Hood River sub-basins. Separate abstracts have been prepared for the reports on individual projects. (ACR)

  13. Natural Propagation and Habitat Improvement, Volume I, Oregon, 1984 Final and Annual Reports.

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Rod

    1986-02-01

    This volume contains reports on habitat improvement and fisheries enhancement projects conducted in the following subbasins: (1) Clackamas River; (2) Hood River; :(3) Deschutes River; (4) John Day River; (5) Umatilla River; and (6) Grande Ronde River. (ACR)

  14. Integrating SAS and GIS software to improve habitat-use estimates from radiotelemetry data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kenow, K.P.; Wright, R.G.; Samuel, M.D.; Rasmussen, P.W.

    2001-01-01

    Radiotelemetry has been used commonly to remotely determine habitat use by a variety of wildlife species. However, habitat misclassification can occur because the true location of a radiomarked animal can only be estimated. Analytical methods that provide improved estimates of habitat use from radiotelemetry location data using a subsampling approach have been proposed previously. We developed software, based on these methods, to conduct improved habitat-use analyses. A Statistical Analysis System (SAS)-executable file generates a random subsample of points from the error distribution of an estimated animal location and formats the output into ARC/INFO-compatible coordinate and attribute files. An associated ARC/INFO Arc Macro Language (AML) creates a coverage of the random points, determines the habitat type at each random point from an existing habitat coverage, sums the number of subsample points by habitat type for each location, and outputs tile results in ASCII format. The proportion and precision of habitat types used is calculated from the subsample of points generated for each radiotelemetry location. We illustrate the method and software by analysis of radiotelemetry data for a female wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo).

  15. Opposing effects on glutathione and reactive oxygen metabolites of sex, habitat, and spring date, but no effect of increased breeding density in great tits (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Isaksson, Caroline

    2013-08-01

    Oxidative stress (i.e., more oxidants than antioxidants) has been proposed as a proximate currency in life-history trade-offs, which if studied in an ecological setting allow a more realistic perspective on the origin and evolution of trade-offs. Therefore, the aim here was to investigate the impact of ecological and individual factors for variation in markers of oxidative stress using both experimental and correlational data. Total glutathione (tGSH), oxidized glutathione (GSSG), plasma antioxidant capacity (OXY), and plasma-reactive oxygen metabolites (ROM) were measured in more than 700 breeding great tits (Parus major). The main results revealed a pronounced sex difference, with females having lower ROM and OXY, but higher tGSH compared with males. In addition, birds breeding in the evergreen areas had higher tGSH compared with those in the deciduous habitat, but the experimentally manipulated breeding density had no significant effect on any of the redox markers. Independent of the sex differences, the larger the reproductive investment the lower the ROM of both males and females. Taken together, the extracellular markers - ROM and OXY - revealed similar results and were highly correlated. Interestingly, the direction of their effects was in the opposite direction to the endogenously synthesized tGSH and GSSG. This highlights the need to combine extracellular markers with endogenously synthesized antioxidants to understand its implications for the origin and evolution of trade-offs in an ecological setting. Oxidative stress has been proposed as a proximate currency in life-history trade-offs, which if studied in an ecological setting allow a more realistic perspective on the origin and evolution of trade-offs. Here multiple markers of oxidative stress were analysed in wild great tits. The results reveal that the endogenously synthesized antioxidant glutathione and markers of plasma oxidative stress are affected in opposing directions with regard to sex

  16. Natural Propagation and Habitat improvement, Volume 2B, Washington, Similkameen River Habitat Inventory, 1983 Final Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Unknown Author

    1984-04-01

    During the summer low flow period, a habitat assessment of the Similkameen, Tulameen, Ashnola and Pasayten rivers in British Columbia and Washington State was conducted between August 10 and October 10, 1983. The biophysical survey assessed 400 km (250 mi) of stream at 77 stations. Fish sampling was conducted at each station to assess the resident fish populations and standing crop. Rainbow trout populations and standing crops were found to be very low. Large populations of mountain whitefish and bridgelip suckers were present in the manstem Similkameen River below Similkameen Falls. High densities of sculpins and longnose dace were found throughout the system except for sculpins above the falls, where none were captured. Approximately 961,000 m/sup 2/ (1,150,000 yd/sup 2/) of spawnable area for steelhead trout were estimated for the entire system which could accommodate 98,000 spawners. Nearly 367,000 m/sup 2/ (439,000 yd/sup 2/) of chinook salmon spawnable area was also estimated, capable of accommodating 55,000 chinook. Rearing area for steelhead trout smolts was estimated for the whole system at 1.8 million m/sup 2/ (2.2 million yd/sup 2/). Chinook salmon smolt rearing area was estimated at 700,000 m/sup 2/ (837,000 yd/sup 2/). Rearing area was found to be a limiting factor to anadromous production in a Similkameen River system. Smolt production from the system was estimated 610,000 steelhead trout and between 1.6 million and 4.8 million chinook salmon. No water quality, temperature or flow problems for anadromous salmonids were evident from the available data and the habitat inventory. In addition to an impassable falls on the Tulameen River at river mile 32.5, only two other areas of difficult passage exist in the system, Similkameen Falls (a series of chutes) and the steep, narrow lower section of the Ashnola River. 51 references, 18 figures, 25 tables.

  17. Particle Backtracking Improves Breeding Subpopulation Discrimination and Natal-Source Identification in Mixed Populations

    PubMed Central

    Fraker, Michael E.; Anderson, Eric J.; Brodnik, Reed M.; Carreon-Martinez, Lucia; DeVanna, Kristen M.; Fryer, Brian J.; Heath, Daniel D.; Reichert, Julie M.; Ludsin, Stuart A.

    2015-01-01

    We provide a novel method to improve the use of natural tagging approaches for subpopulation discrimination and source-origin identification in aquatic and terrestrial animals with a passive dispersive phase. Our method integrates observed site-referenced biological information on individuals in mixed populations with a particle-tracking model to retrace likely dispersal histories prior to capture (i.e., particle backtracking). To illustrate and test our approach, we focus on western Lake Erie’s yellow perch (Perca flavescens) population during 2006–2007, using microsatellite DNA and otolith microchemistry from larvae and juveniles as natural tags. Particle backtracking showed that not all larvae collected near a presumed hatching location may have originated there, owing to passive drift during the larval stage that was influenced by strong river- and wind-driven water circulation. Re-assigning larvae to their most probable hatching site (based on probabilistic dispersal trajectories from the particle backtracking model) improved the use of genetics and otolith microchemistry to discriminate among local breeding subpopulations. This enhancement, in turn, altered (and likely improved) the estimated contributions of each breeding subpopulation to the mixed population of juvenile recruits. Our findings indicate that particle backtracking can complement existing tools used to identify the origin of individuals in mixed populations, especially in flow-dominated systems. PMID:25799555

  18. Particle backtracking improves breeding subpopulation discrimination and natal-source identification in mixed populations.

    PubMed

    Fraker, Michael E; Anderson, Eric J; Brodnik, Reed M; Carreon-Martinez, Lucia; DeVanna, Kristen M; Fryer, Brian J; Heath, Daniel D; Reichert, Julie M; Ludsin, Stuart A

    2015-01-01

    We provide a novel method to improve the use of natural tagging approaches for subpopulation discrimination and source-origin identification in aquatic and terrestrial animals with a passive dispersive phase. Our method integrates observed site-referenced biological information on individuals in mixed populations with a particle-tracking model to retrace likely dispersal histories prior to capture (i.e., particle backtracking). To illustrate and test our approach, we focus on western Lake Erie's yellow perch (Perca flavescens) population during 2006-2007, using microsatellite DNA and otolith microchemistry from larvae and juveniles as natural tags. Particle backtracking showed that not all larvae collected near a presumed hatching location may have originated there, owing to passive drift during the larval stage that was influenced by strong river- and wind-driven water circulation. Re-assigning larvae to their most probable hatching site (based on probabilistic dispersal trajectories from the particle backtracking model) improved the use of genetics and otolith microchemistry to discriminate among local breeding subpopulations. This enhancement, in turn, altered (and likely improved) the estimated contributions of each breeding subpopulation to the mixed population of juvenile recruits. Our findings indicate that particle backtracking can complement existing tools used to identify the origin of individuals in mixed populations, especially in flow-dominated systems.

  19. Molecular Breeding Strategy and Challenges Towards Improvement of Blast Disease Resistance in Rice Crop

    PubMed Central

    Ashkani, Sadegh; Rafii, Mohd Y.; Shabanimofrad, Mahmoodreza; Miah, Gous; Sahebi, Mahbod; Azizi, Parisa; Tanweer, Fatah A.; Akhtar, Mohd Sayeed; Nasehi, Abbas

    2015-01-01

    Rice is a staple and most important security food crop consumed by almost half of the world’s population. More rice production is needed due to the rapid population growth in the world. Rice blast caused by the fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae is one of the most destructive diseases of this crop in different part of the world. Breakdown of blast resistance is the major cause of yield instability in several rice growing areas. There is a need to develop strategies providing long-lasting disease resistance against a broad spectrum of pathogens, giving protection for a long time over a broad geographic area, promising for sustainable rice production in the future. So far, molecular breeding approaches involving DNA markers, such as QTL mapping, marker-aided selection, gene pyramiding, allele mining and genetic transformation have been used to develop new resistant rice cultivars. Such techniques now are used as a low-cost, high-throughput alternative to conventional methods allowing rapid introgression of disease resistance genes into susceptible varieties as well as the incorporation of multiple genes into individual lines for more durable blast resistance. The paper briefly reviewed the progress of studies on this aspect to provide the interest information for rice disease resistance breeding. This review includes examples of how advanced molecular method have been used in breeding programs for improving blast resistance. New information and knowledge gained from previous research on the recent strategy and challenges towards improvement of blast disease such as pyramiding disease resistance gene for creating new rice varieties with high resistance against multiple diseases will undoubtedly provide new insights into the rice disease control. PMID:26635817

  20. Micronutrient fortification of plants through plant breeding: can it improve nutrition in man at low cost?

    PubMed

    Bouis, Howarth E

    2003-05-01

    Can commonly-eaten food staple crops be developed that fortify their seeds with essential minerals and vitamins? Can farmers be induced to grow such varieties? If so, would this result in a marked improvement in human nutrition at a lower cost than existing nutrition interventions? An interdisciplinary international effort is underway to breed for mineral- and vitamin-dense varieties of rice, wheat, maize, beans and cassava for release to farmers in developing countries. The biofortification strategy seeks to take advantage of the consistent daily consumption of large amounts of food staples by all family members, including women and children as they are most at risk for micronutrient malnutrition. As a consequence of the predominance of food staples in the diets of the poor, this strategy implicitly targets low-income households. After the one-time investment is made to develop seeds that fortify themselves, recurrent costs are low and germplasm may be shared internationally. It is this multiplier aspect of plant breeding across time and distance that makes it so cost-effective. Once in place, the biofortified crop system is highly sustainable. Nutritionally-improved varieties will continue to be grown and consumed year after year, even if government attention and international funding for micronutrient issues fades. Biofortification provides a truly feasible means of reaching malnourished populations in relatively remote rural areas, delivering naturally-fortified foods to population groups with limited access to commercially-marketed fortified foods that are more readily available in urban areas. Biofortification and commercial fortification are, therefore, highly complementary. Breeding for higher trace mineral density in seeds will not incur a yield penalty. Mineral-packed seeds sell themselves to farmers because, as recent research has shown, these trace minerals are essential in helping plants resist disease and other environmental stresses. More seedlings

  1. Molecular Breeding Strategy and Challenges Towards Improvement of Blast Disease Resistance in Rice Crop.

    PubMed

    Ashkani, Sadegh; Rafii, Mohd Y; Shabanimofrad, Mahmoodreza; Miah, Gous; Sahebi, Mahbod; Azizi, Parisa; Tanweer, Fatah A; Akhtar, Mohd Sayeed; Nasehi, Abbas

    2015-01-01

    Rice is a staple and most important security food crop consumed by almost half of the world's population. More rice production is needed due to the rapid population growth in the world. Rice blast caused by the fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae is one of the most destructive diseases of this crop in different part of the world. Breakdown of blast resistance is the major cause of yield instability in several rice growing areas. There is a need to develop strategies providing long-lasting disease resistance against a broad spectrum of pathogens, giving protection for a long time over a broad geographic area, promising for sustainable rice production in the future. So far, molecular breeding approaches involving DNA markers, such as QTL mapping, marker-aided selection, gene pyramiding, allele mining and genetic transformation have been used to develop new resistant rice cultivars. Such techniques now are used as a low-cost, high-throughput alternative to conventional methods allowing rapid introgression of disease resistance genes into susceptible varieties as well as the incorporation of multiple genes into individual lines for more durable blast resistance. The paper briefly reviewed the progress of studies on this aspect to provide the interest information for rice disease resistance breeding. This review includes examples of how advanced molecular method have been used in breeding programs for improving blast resistance. New information and knowledge gained from previous research on the recent strategy and challenges towards improvement of blast disease such as pyramiding disease resistance gene for creating new rice varieties with high resistance against multiple diseases will undoubtedly provide new insights into the rice disease control.

  2. Lemhi River Habitat Improvement Study, 1985 Final Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Dorratcaque, Dennis E.

    1986-02-01

    The objective was to develop methods for improving anadromous fish passage in the Lemhi River in east central Idaho. Alternatives assessed include flow concentration, fish screen improvement, groundwater augmentation, groundwater irrigation, water withdrawal reduction, return flow improvement, sprinkler irrigation, storage, and trap and haul. (ACR)

  3. Natural Propagation and Habitat Improvement, Volume 1, Oregon, 1985 Annual and Final Reports.

    SciTech Connect

    McDonald, Ken

    1986-10-01

    The Hot Springs Fork of the Collawash River is a major sub-drainage in the Clackamas River drainage. Emphasis species for natural production are spring chinook, coho salmon, and winter steelhead. Increased natural production appears limited by a lack of quality rearing habitat. Habitat complexity over approximately 70% of accessible area to anadromous fish has been reduced over the last 40 years by numerous factors. Natural passage barriers limit anadromous fish access to over 7 miles of high quality habitat. In the first year of a multi-year effort to improve fish habitat in the Hot Springs Fork drainage, passage enhancement on two tributaries and channel rehabilitation on one of those tributaries was completed. Three waterfalls on Nohorn Creek were evaluated and passage improved on the uppermost waterfall to provide steelhead full access to 2.4 miles of good quality habitat. The work was completed in October 1985 and involved blasting three jump pools and two holding pools into the waterfall. On Pansy Creek, four potential passage barriers were evaluated and passage improvement work conducted on two logjams and one waterfall. Minor modifications were made to a waterfall to increase flow into a side channel which allows passage around the waterfall. Channel rehabilitation efforts on Pansy Creek (RM 0.0 to 0.3) to increase low flow pool rearing habitat and spawning habitat including blasting five pools into areas of bedrock substrate and using a track-mounted backhoe to construct instream structures. On site materials were used to construct three log sills, three boulder berms, a boulder flow deflector, and five log and boulder structures. Also, an alcove was excavated to provide overwinter rearing habitat. Pre-project monitoring consisting of physical and biological data collection was completed in the project area.

  4. Resource selection and space use by sea ducks during the non-breeding season: implications for habitat conservation planning in urbanized estuaries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Eadie, John M.; Miles, A. Keith; Yee, Julie; Spragens, Kyle A.; Palm, Eric C.; Takekawa, John Y.

    2014-01-01

    Wide-ranging marine birds rely on multiple habitats for wintering, breeding, and migrating, and their conservation may be dependent on protecting networks of key areas. Urbanized estuaries are critical wintering and stopover areas for many declining sea ducks in North America; however, conservation measures within estuaries are difficult to establish given lack of knowledge about habitat use by these species and the variety of competing human interests. We applied hierarchical modeling to evaluate resource selection of sea ducks (surf scoters, Melanitta perspicillata) wintering in San Francisco Bay, California, USA, a large and highly urbanized estuary. We also examined their distribution, home range, and movements with respect to key habitat features and regions within the estuary. Herring roe was the strongest predictor of bird locations; however, eelgrass, water depth and salinity were also highly-ranked, with sea ducks using deeper areas of higher salinity associated with herring roe and eelgrass presence during mid-winter. Sea ducks were also strongly associated with ferry routes, suggesting these areas may contain resources that are too important to avoid and emphasizing the need to better understand water traffic effects. Movements and home range size differed between males and females in early winter but became more similar in late winter. Birds traveled farther and used several sub-bays in early winter compared to mid-winter when herring roe availability peaked in the Central Bay. Our findings identified key environmental variables, highlighted core use areas, and documented critical periods for consideration when developing conservation plans for sea ducks in urbanized estuaries.

  5. Human Disturbance and Stage-Specific Habitat Requirements Influence Snowy Plover Site Occupancy during the Breeding Season

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-01-01

    and nest- site selection of a western population of the Hermit Thrush. The Condor 90:51–57. Matessi, G., and G. Bogliani. 1999. Effects of nest...151–157. Muir, J. J., and M. A. Colwell. 2010. Snowy Plovers select open habitats for courtship scrapes and nests. Condor . 112:507–510. Nguyen, L. P...characteristics and nest success of Snowy Plovers associated with California Least Tern colonies. Condor 103:785–792. Powell, A. N., C. L. Fritz, B. L

  6. Transcriptome Analysis of a Breeding Program Pedigree Reveals Target Genes for the Improvement of Malting Quality

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The University of Minnesota barley-breeding program is a good example of advanced cycle breeding that has achieved genetic gains for agronomic and malting quality traits but with a proven reduction in genetic diversity. However, there are no studies examining the effect of advanced cycle breeding on...

  7. Umatilla River Subbasin Fish Habitat Improvement Program, 1996-2003 Summary Report.

    SciTech Connect

    St. Hilaire, Danny R.; Montgomery, Michael; Bailey, Timothy D.

    2005-01-01

    This annual report is in fulfillment of contractual obligations with Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), which is the funding source for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's (ODFW), Umatilla River Subbasin Fish Habitat Improvement Program (Program). The last Annual Program Report was submitted in 1997, and described projects undertaken in 1995. This report describes Program activities carried out in 2003, along with a summary of projects undertaken during the years 1996 through 2002. The Program works cooperatively with private landowners to develop long-term restoration agreements, under which, passive and active Habitat Improvement Projects are conducted. Historically, projects have included livestock exclusion fencing (passive restoration) to protect riparian habitats, along with the installation of instream structures (active restoration) to address erosion and improve fish habitat. In recent years, the focus of active restoration has shifted to bioengineering treatments and, more recently, to channel re-design and re-construction aimed at improving fish habitat, by restoring stable channel function. This report provides a summary table of past projects (1996-2002), along with a text description of more extensive habitat improvement projects, including: (1) Implementation of a four-phased project on the Lobato property (Birch Creek) beginning in 1996 and involving a demonstration bioengineering site and riparian improvements (fencing, planting), (2) Implementation of stable channel design/instream structure placement on the Houser property, East Birch Creek, beginning in 1998, an (3) Implementation of a joint, US Army Corps of Engineers/ODFW (cost share) project beginning in 2001 on the Brogoitti property, East Birch Creek, which involved implementation of stable channel design/construction and riparian improvement treatments.

  8. Umatilla River Subbasin Fish Habitat Improvement Program, 2004-2005 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    St. Hilaire, Danny R.

    2006-02-01

    This annual report is in fulfillment of contractual obligations with Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), which is the funding source for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's (ODFW), Umatilla River Subbasin Fish Habitat Improvement Program (Program). The Program works cooperatively with private landowners to develop long-term restoration, under which, passive and active Habitat Improvement Projects are conducted. Historically, projects have included livestock exclusion fencing (passive restoration) to protect riparian habitats, along with the installation of instream structures (active restoration) to address erosion and improve fish habitat. In recent years, the focus of active restoration has shifted to bioengineering treatments and, more recently, to channel re-design and reconstruction aimed at improving fish habitat, by restoring stable channel function. This report provides a summary of Program activities for the 2004 calendar year (January 1 through December 31, 2004), within each of the four main project phases, including: (1) Implementation--Pre-Work, (2) Implementation--On Site Development, (3) Operation and Maintenance, and (4) Monitoring and Evaluation. This report also summarizes Program Administrative, Interagency Coordination, and Public Education activities.

  9. Forb, insect, and soil response to burning and mowing Wyoming big sagebrush in greater sage-grouse breeding habitat.

    PubMed

    Hess, Jennifer E; Beck, Jeffrey L

    2014-04-01

    Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata wyomingensis A. t. Nutt. ssp. wyomingensis Beetle and Young) communities provide structure and forbs and insects needed by greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) for growth and survival. We evaluated forb, insect, and soil responses at six mowed and 19 prescribed burned sites compared to 25, paired and untreated reference sites. Sites were classified by treatment type, soil type, season, and decade of treatment (sites burned during 1990-1999 and sites burned or mowed during 2000-2006). Our objective was to evaluate differences in ten habitat attributes known to influence sage-grouse nesting and brood rearing to compare responses among treatment scenarios. Contrary to desired outcomes, treating Wyoming big sagebrush through prescribed burning or mowing may not stimulate cover or increase nutrition in food forbs, or increase insect abundance or indicators of soil quality compared with reference sites. In some cases, prescribed burning showed positive results compared with mowing such as greater forb crude protein content (%), ant (Hymenoptera; no./trap), beetle (Coleoptera/no./trap), and grasshopper abundance (Orthoptera; no./sweep), and total (%) soil carbon and nitrogen, but of these attributes, only grasshopper abundance was enhanced at burned sites compared with reference sites in 2008. Mowing did not promote a statistically significant increase in sage-grouse nesting or early brood-rearing habitat attributes such as cover or nutritional quality of food forbs, or counts of ants, beetles, or grasshoppers compared with reference sites.

  10. Forb, Insect, and Soil Response to Burning and Mowing Wyoming Big Sagebrush in Greater Sage-Grouse Breeding Habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hess, Jennifer E.; Beck, Jeffrey L.

    2014-04-01

    Wyoming big sagebrush ( Artemisia tridentata wyomingensis A. t. Nutt. ssp. wyomingensis Beetle and Young) communities provide structure and forbs and insects needed by greater sage-grouse ( Centrocercus urophasianus) for growth and survival. We evaluated forb, insect, and soil responses at six mowed and 19 prescribed burned sites compared to 25, paired and untreated reference sites. Sites were classified by treatment type, soil type, season, and decade of treatment (sites burned during 1990-1999 and sites burned or mowed during 2000-2006). Our objective was to evaluate differences in ten habitat attributes known to influence sage-grouse nesting and brood rearing to compare responses among treatment scenarios. Contrary to desired outcomes, treating Wyoming big sagebrush through prescribed burning or mowing may not stimulate cover or increase nutrition in food forbs, or increase insect abundance or indicators of soil quality compared with reference sites. In some cases, prescribed burning showed positive results compared with mowing such as greater forb crude protein content (%), ant (Hymenoptera; no./trap), beetle (Coleoptera/no./trap), and grasshopper abundance (Orthoptera; no./sweep), and total (%) soil carbon and nitrogen, but of these attributes, only grasshopper abundance was enhanced at burned sites compared with reference sites in 2008. Mowing did not promote a statistically significant increase in sage-grouse nesting or early brood-rearing habitat attributes such as cover or nutritional quality of food forbs, or counts of ants, beetles, or grasshoppers compared with reference sites.

  11. An annotated bibliography of selected guides for stream habitat improvement in the Pacific Northwest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keim, R.F.; Price, A.B.; Hardin, T. S.; Skaugset, Arne E.; Bateman, D.S.; Gresswell, R.E.; Tesch, S. D.

    2004-01-01

    This annotated bibliography is a response to widespread interest in stream habitat improvement in the Pacific Northwest by land managers, governmental and nongovernmental organizations, and the lay public. Several guides to stream habitat improvement have been written in the past, but may not be easily accessible to people from diverse backgrounds. This annotated bibliography reviews 11 guides to stream habitat improvement so that readers can find literature appropriate to their needs. All reviews begin with summaries of the contents, stated audiences, and goals of each guide. Reviews also include subjective comments on the strengths and weaknesses of each guide. Finally, this bibliography includes recommendations of guides and combinations of guides judged most useful for a range of purposes. 

  12. An Improved Quantum-Behaved Particle Swarm Optimization Algorithm with Elitist Breeding for Unconstrained Optimization.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhen-Lun; Wu, Angus; Min, Hua-Qing

    2015-01-01

    An improved quantum-behaved particle swarm optimization with elitist breeding (EB-QPSO) for unconstrained optimization is presented and empirically studied in this paper. In EB-QPSO, the novel elitist breeding strategy acts on the elitists of the swarm to escape from the likely local optima and guide the swarm to perform more efficient search. During the iterative optimization process of EB-QPSO, when criteria met, the personal best of each particle and the global best of the swarm are used to generate new diverse individuals through the transposon operators. The new generated individuals with better fitness are selected to be the new personal best particles and global best particle to guide the swarm for further solution exploration. A comprehensive simulation study is conducted on a set of twelve benchmark functions. Compared with five state-of-the-art quantum-behaved particle swarm optimization algorithms, the proposed EB-QPSO performs more competitively in all of the benchmark functions in terms of better global search capability and faster convergence rate.

  13. Low intensity, mixed livestock grazing improves the breeding abundance of a common insectivorous passerine.

    PubMed

    Evans, Darren M; Redpath, Stephen M; Evans, Sharon A; Elston, David A; Gardner, Charles J; Dennis, Peter; Pakeman, Robin J

    2006-12-22

    Livestock grazing is a major driver of ecosystem change and has been associated with significant declines in various bird species in Britain and worldwide. However, there is little experimental evidence to show how grazing affects bird populations. We manipulated livestock densities in a replicated field experiment and found that mixed sheep and cattle grazing, at low intensity, improved the breeding abundance of a common upland passerine, the meadow pipit Anthus pratensis, after two years. Plots stocked with sheep alone (at high or low density) or not stocked at all held fewer pipit territories. Despite a year-on-year decline in pairs of meadow pipits in intensively grazed plots, we found no effect of sheep number on breeding abundance. Our results support the hypothesis that mixed species of herbivores generate greater heterogeneity in vegetation structure, which modifies prey availability, resulting in a greater abundance of birds. The results of our study should inform the management of grassland areas and enhance the abundance of some bird species, particularly in areas that have seen significant shifts from mixed livestock grazing to grazing dominated by single species of animals.

  14. Hybrid breeding in wheat: technologies to improve hybrid wheat seed production.

    PubMed

    Whitford, Ryan; Fleury, Delphine; Reif, Jochen C; Garcia, Melissa; Okada, Takashi; Korzun, Viktor; Langridge, Peter

    2013-12-01

    Global food security demands the development and delivery of new technologies to increase and secure cereal production on finite arable land without increasing water and fertilizer use. There are several options for boosting wheat yields, but most offer only small yield increases. Wheat is an inbred plant, and hybrids hold the potential to deliver a major lift in yield and will open a wide range of new breeding opportunities. A series of technological advances are needed as a base for hybrid wheat programmes. These start with major changes in floral development and architecture to separate the sexes and force outcrossing. Male sterility provides the best method to block self-fertilization, and modifying the flower structure will enhance pollen access. The recent explosion in genomic resources and technologies provides new opportunities to overcome these limitations. This review outlines the problems with existing hybrid wheat breeding systems and explores molecular-based technologies that could improve the hybrid production system to reduce hybrid seed production costs, a prerequisite for a commercial hybrid wheat system.

  15. Improving wildlife habitat model performance: Sensitivity to the scale and detail of vegetation measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Lance Jay, Jr.

    Monitoring the impacts of resource use and landscape change on wildlife habitat over large areas is a daunting assignment. Forest land managers could benefit from linking the frequent decisions of resource use (timber harvesting) with a system of wildlife habitat accounting, but to date these tools are not widely available. I examined aspects of wildlife habitat modeling that: (in Chapter 2) could potentially lead to the establishment of wildlife habitat accounting within a resource decision support tool, (in Chapter 3) improve our theoretical understanding and methods to interpret the accuracy of wildlife habitat models, (in Chapter 4) explore the effects of vegetation classification systems on wildlife habitat model results, and (in Chapter 5) show that forest structural estimates from satellite imagery can improve potential habitat distribution models (GAP) for forest bird species. The majority of the analyses in this dissertation were done using a forest resource inventory developed by the State of Michigan (IFMAP). Paired with field vegetation and bird samples from sites across the lower peninsula of Michigan, we compared the relative accuracy of wildlife habitat relationship models built with plot-scale vegetation samples and stand-scale forest inventory maps. Recursive partitioning trees were used to build wildlife habitat models for 30 bird species. The habitat distribution maps from the Michigan Gap Analysis (MIGAP) were used as a baseline for comparison of model accuracy results. Both the plot and stand-scale measurements achieved high accuracy and there were few large differences between plot and stand-scale models for any individual species. Where the plot and stand-scale models were different, they tended to be species associated with mixed habitats. This may be evidence that scale of vegetation measurement has a larger influence on species associated with edges and ecotones. Habitat models that were built solely with land cover data were less accurate

  16. Breeding improvement of rubber yield in guayule. Sixth progress report, June 2, 1980

    SciTech Connect

    Hanson, G.P.

    1980-01-01

    Copies of the papers presented at the 3rd International Guayule Conference held in Pasadena, CA, are presented. Topics covered include: breeding for high rubber yield and improved adaptation in guayule; distribution and ecology of native guayule populations in Mexico; harvesting and cleaning bulk guayule seeds; guayule propagation and growth under greenhouse conditions; interspecific hybridization; selection for high rubber yield in guayule; isozyme variations in Parthenium and their inheritance during guayule interspecific hybridization; evaluating resistance to verticillum wilt disease in species of Parthenium; Phytophthora root rot disease, and other pests of guayule culture; distribution of rubber and comparative stem anatomy of high and low rubber guayule from Mexico; and growth studies of cultivated guayule. (DMC)

  17. Natural Propagation and Habitat Improvement, Volume 2, Idaho, 1984 Final and Annual Reports.

    SciTech Connect

    Hair, Don

    1986-01-01

    In 1984, and under the auspices of the Northwest Power Planning Council, the Clear-water National Forest and the Bonneville Power Administration entered into a contractual agreement to improve anadromous fish habitat in Lolo Creek. This was to be the second and final year of instream enhancement work in Lolo Creek, a major tributary to the Clearwater River. The project was again entitled Lolo Creek Habitat Improvement (No.84-6) which was scheduled from April 1, 1984, through March 31, 1985. Project costs were not to exceed $39,109. The following report is a description of the project objectives, methodology, results, and conclusions of this year's work, based on the knowledge and experience gained through 2 years of enhancement work. The primary objective was to partially mitigate the juvenile and adult anadromous fish losses accrued through hydroelectric development in the Columbia and Snake River systems by enhancing the spawning and rearing habitats of selected Clearwater River tributaries for spring chinook salmon and summer steelhead trout. The enhancement was designed to ameliorate the ''limiting production factors'' by the in-stream placement of habitat structures that would positively alter the pool-riffle structure and increase the quality of over-winter habitat.

  18. Modelling future improvements in the St. Louis River fishery from sediment remediation and aquatic habitat restoration

    EPA Science Inventory

    The presence of fish consumption advisories has a negative impact on fishing. In the St. Louis River, an important natural resource management goal is to reduce or eliminate fish consumption advisories by remediating contaminant sediments and improving aquatic habitat. However, w...

  19. Rice Improvement Through Genome-Based Functional Analysis and Molecular Breeding in India.

    PubMed

    Agarwal, Pinky; Parida, Swarup K; Raghuvanshi, Saurabh; Kapoor, Sanjay; Khurana, Paramjit; Khurana, Jitendra P; Tyagi, Akhilesh K

    2016-12-01

    Rice is one of the main pillars of food security in India. Its improvement for higher yield in sustainable agriculture system is also vital to provide energy and nutritional needs of growing world population, expected to reach more than 9 billion by 2050. The high quality genome sequence of rice has provided a rich resource to mine information about diversity of genes and alleles which can contribute to improvement of useful agronomic traits. Defining the function of each gene and regulatory element of rice remains a challenge for the rice community in the coming years. Subsequent to participation in IRGSP, India has continued to contribute in the areas of diversity analysis, transcriptomics, functional genomics, marker development, QTL mapping and molecular breeding, through national and multi-national research programs. These efforts have helped generate resources for rice improvement, some of which have already been deployed to mitigate loss due to environmental stress and pathogens. With renewed efforts, Indian researchers are making new strides, along with the international scientific community, in both basic research and realization of its translational impact.

  20. Irrigation Strategies and Crop Breeding As Complementary Measures for Improved Water Management and Ecosystem Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vico, G.; Manzoni, S.; Weih, M.; Porporato, A. M.

    2014-12-01

    The projected population growth and changes in climate and dietary habits will further increase the pressure on water resources globally. Within precision farming, a host of technical solutions has been developed to reduce water consumption for agricultural uses. Examples are the shift from scheduled to demand-based irrigation and the use of sophisticated water distribution techniques. The next frontier for a more sustainable agriculture is the combination of reduced water requirements with enhanced ecosystem services. Currently, staple grains are obtained from annuals crops. Enhanced ecosystem services could be obtained shifting from annual to perennial crops, obtained by means of targeted breeding. In fact, perennial plants, with their continuous soil cover and the higher allocation of resources to the below ground, contribute to the reduction of soil erosion, water and nutrient losses, while enhancing carbon sequestration in the root zone. We explore here the implications for water management at the field- to farm-scale of both improved irrigation methods and targeted breeding. A probabilistic description of the soil water balance and crop development is employed to quantify water requirements and yields and their inter-annual variability, as a function of rainfall patterns, soil and crop features. Optimal irrigation strategies are thus defined in terms of maximization of yield and minimization of required irrigation volumes and their inter-annual variability. The probabilistic model is parameterized based on an extensive meta-analysis of traits of co-generic annual and perennial species (including both selected and wild species) to explore the consequences for water requirements of shifting from annual to perennial crops under current and future climates. The larger and more developed roots of perennial crops may allow a better exploitation of soil water resources than annual species. At the same time, perennial crops may require adequate water supply for

  1. Landscape history improves detection of marginal habitats on semi-natural grasslands.

    PubMed

    Pitkänen, Timo P; Kumpulainen, J; Lehtinen, J; Sihvonen, M; Käyhkö, N

    2016-01-01

    Semi-natural grassland habitats have markedly declined from their historical coverage, thus causing substantial losses for agricultural biodiversity and establishing a consequent need to spot the remaining habitat patches. These patches are generally remnants of once larger habitat areas, formed by uninterrupted and low-intensity management for centuries, but then later being isolated and fragmented into smaller pieces. In the light of this development, past landscape phases have a crucial role for the present existence of semi-natural grasslands. The importance of historical factors has been indicated in many studies but evaluation of their added value, or actual site-specific effects compared to observations of only the present landscape characteristics, is not generally provided. As data related to the past is often difficult to obtain, tedious to process and challenging to interpret, assessment of its advantages and related effects - or consequences of potential exclusion - would be needed. In this study, we used maximum entropy approach to model the distribution of Fumewort (Corydalis solida) which in the study area is a good indicator of valuable semi-natural habitats. We constructed three different models - one based on only the contemporary environment with expected indicators of habitat stability, one solely on the historical landscape phases and long-term dynamics, and one combining variables from the past and the present. Predictions of the three models were validated and compared with each other, followed by an analysis indicating the similarity of model results with known Fumewort occurrences. Our results indicate that present landscapes may provide workable surrogates to delineate larger core habitats, but utilization of historical data markedly improves the detection of small outlying patches. These conclusions emphasize the importance of previous landscape phases particularly in detecting marginal semi-natural grassland habitats, existing in

  2. Logging impacts on avian species richness and composition differ across latitudes relative to foraging and breeding habitat preferences

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    LaManna, Joseph A.; Martin, Thomas E.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the causes underlying changes in species diversity is a fundamental pursuit of ecology. Animal species richness and composition often change with decreased forest structural complexity associated with logging. Yet differences in latitude and forest type may strongly influence how species diversity responds to logging. We performed a meta-analysis of logging effects on local species richness and composition of birds across the world and assessed responses by different guilds (nesting strata, foraging strata, diet, and body size). This approach allowed identification of species attributes that might underlie responses to this anthropogenic disturbance. We only examined studies that allowed forests to regrow naturally following logging, and accounted for logging intensity, spatial extent, successional regrowth after logging, and the change in species composition expected due to random assembly from regional species pools. Selective logging in the tropics and clearcut logging in temperate latitudes caused loss of species from nearly all forest strata (ground to canopy), leading to substantial declines in species richness (up to 27% of species). Few species were lost or gained following any intensity of logging in lower-latitude temperate forests, but the relative abundances of these species changed substantially. Selective logging at higher-temperate latitudes generally replaced late-successional specialists with early-successional specialists, leading to no net changes in species richness but large changes in species composition. Removing less basal area during logging mitigated the loss of avian species from all forests and, in some cases, increased diversity in temperate forests. This meta-analysis provides insights into the important role of habitat specialization in determining differential responses of animal communities to logging across tropical and temperate latitudes.

  3. Logging impacts on avian species richness and composition differ across latitudes and foraging and breeding habitat preferences.

    PubMed

    LaManna, Joseph A; Martin, Thomas E

    2016-10-10

    Understanding the causes underlying changes in species diversity is a fundamental pursuit of ecology. Animal species richness and composition often change with decreased forest structural complexity associated with logging. Yet differences in latitude and forest type may strongly influence how species diversity responds to logging. We performed a meta-analysis of logging effects on local species richness and composition of birds across the world and assessed responses by different guilds (nesting strata, foraging strata, diet, and body size). This approach allowed identification of species attributes that might underlie responses to this anthropogenic disturbance. We only examined studies that allowed forests to regrow naturally following logging, and accounted for logging intensity, spatial extent, successional regrowth after logging, and the change in species composition expected due to random assembly from regional species pools. Selective logging in the tropics and clearcut logging in temperate latitudes caused loss of species from nearly all forest strata (ground to canopy), leading to substantial declines in species richness (up to 27% of species). Few species were lost or gained following any intensity of logging in lower-latitude temperate forests, but the relative abundances of these species changed substantially. Selective logging at higher-temperate latitudes generally replaced late-successional specialists with early-successional specialists, leading to no net changes in species richness but large changes in species composition. Removing less basal area during logging mitigated the loss of avian species from all forests and, in some cases, increased diversity in temperate forests. This meta-analysis provides insights into the important role of habitat specialization in determining differential responses of animal communities to logging across tropical and temperate latitudes.

  4. Breeding for improved potato nutrition: High amylose starch potatoes show promise as fiber source

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Potato starch is composed of approximately 75% amylopectin and 25% amylose. We are interested in breeding for higher amylose content, which would increase the fiber content of potato and decrease glycemic index. In order to make progress in a breeding program, we have developed a high throughput ass...

  5. Notice of release of iceberg, romaine, and leaf lettuce breeding lines with improved disease resistance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture announces the release of sixteen breeding lines of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.). Five (SM13-Il, SM13-I2, SM13-I3, SM13-I4, and SM13-I5) of the six iceberg breeding lines can be used for whole head or salad blend production; the sixth i...

  6. Middle Fork and Upper Salmon River Habitat Improvement Implementation Plan, FY 1988-1992.

    SciTech Connect

    Andrews, John; Everson, Larry B.

    1988-02-01

    This document presents an implementation plan for completing the phase II portion of the Middle Fork and Upper Salmon River Habitat Improvement Agreement. Underseeding of spawning adult salmon and steelhead, high instream sediment levels, a lack of habitat diversity in the form of overhanging riparian vegetation and edge, and barriers to both adult and juvenile anadromous fish migration were identified as the principal factors limiting anadromous fish production in the project area. Underseeding is being addressed in other projects sponsored and funded by the Bonneville Power Administration while this implementation plan lays out a schedule for resolving the other identified limiting factors. The primary goal of this program is to increase the quality and quantity of anadromous fish habitat (spring chinook and summer steelhead) with an emphasis on the survival of the wild stocks. This goal will be achieved by reducing the impact of sediment loading, improving riparian vegetation, eliminating passage barriers, and increasing habitat diversity. Meeting the above goal will provide off-site mitigation under the manadate of the pacific northwest electric power planning and conservation act of 1980. Project implementation will follow measures in the Northwest Power Council's Columbia River Fish and Wildlife Program. 9 refs., 3 figs., 5 tabs.

  7. Can non-breeding be a cost of breeding dispersal?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Danchin, E.; Cam, E.

    2002-01-01

    Breeding habitat selection and dispersal are crucial processes that affect many components of fitness. Breeding dispersal entails costs, one of which has been neglected: dispersing animals may miss breeding opportunities because breeding dispersal requires finding a new nesting site and mate, two time- and energy-consuming activities. Dispersers are expected to be prone to non-breeding. We used the kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) to test whether breeding dispersal influences breeding probability. Breeding probability was associated with dispersal, in that both were negatively influenced by private information (previous individual reproductive success) and public information (average reproductive success of conspecifics) about patch quality. Furthermore, the probability of skipping breeding was 1.7 times higher in birds that settled in a new patch relative to those that remained on the same patch. Finally, non-breeders that resumed breeding were 4.4 times more likely to disperse than birds that bred in successive years. Although private information may influence breeding probability directly, the link between breeding probability and public information may be indirect, through the influence of public information on breeding dispersal, non-breeding thus being a cost of dispersal. These results support the hypothesis that dispersal may result in not being able to breed. More generally, non-breeding (which can be interpreted as an extreme form of breeding failure) may reveal costs of various previous activities. Because monitoring the non-breeding portion of a population is difficult, non-breeders have been neglected in many studies of reproduction trade-offs.

  8. Improving production efficiency in the presence of genotype by environment interactions in pig genomic selection breeding programmes.

    PubMed

    Nirea, K G; Meuwissen, T H E

    2017-04-01

    We simulated a genomic selection pig breeding schemes containing nucleus and production herds to improve feed efficiency of production pigs that were cross-breed. Elite nucleus herds had access to high-quality feed, and production herds were fed low-quality feed. Feed efficiency in the nucleus herds had a heritability of 0.3 and 0.25 in the production herds. It was assumed the genetic relationships between feed efficiency in the nucleus and production were low (rg  = 0.2), medium (rg  = 0.5) and high (rg  = 0.8). In our alternative breeding schemes, different proportion of production animals were recorded for feed efficiency and genotyped with high-density panel of genetic markers. Genomic breeding value of the selection candidates for feed efficiency was estimated based on three different approaches. In one approach, genomic breeding value was estimated including nucleus animals in the reference population. In the second approach, the reference population was containing a mixture of nucleus and production animals. In the third approach, the reference population was only consisting of production herds. Using a mixture reference population, we generated 40-115% more genetic gain in the production environment as compared to only using nucleus reference population that were fed high-quality feed sources when the production animals were offspring of the nucleus animals. When the production animals were grand offspring of the nucleus animals, 43-104% more genetic gain was generated. Similarly, a higher genetic gain generated in the production environment when mixed reference population was used as compared to only using production animals. This was up to 19 and 14% when the production animals were offspring and grand offspring of nucleus animals, respectively. Therefore, in genomic selection pig breeding programmes, feed efficiency traits could be improved by properly designing the reference population.

  9. Possibility of tree selection and breeding for genetic improvement of wood properties of Gmelina arborea

    SciTech Connect

    Akachuku, A.E.

    1984-06-01

    Wood samples of Gmelina arborea were collected from Nigerian plantations. The wood density was measured with an X-ray densitometer. Fiber length was measured with a modified map measurer. Fiber proportion was determined with a modification of Ladell's (1959) randomized dot technique. Considerable between-tree differences were observed in wood density, fiber length, fiber proportion, and sizes of trees of the same age, planted at the same spacing within the same environment. The magnitude of within-tree variations in these wood properties was different in trees within the same plot. Some individual trees combined comparatively high density, fiber length, and fiber proportion with fast growth rate and uniform wood. There was sufficient phenotypic variation to encourage genetic improvement of the wood properties and growth rate by selecting and breeding trees with higher values of these traits. Tree selection should be based on a preliminary screening for tree form and volume growth followed by a second selection for the desired wood properties.

  10. Fish Habitat Improvement Projects in the Fifteenmile Creek and Trout Creek Basins of Central Oregon: Field Review and Management Recommendations.

    SciTech Connect

    Kauffman, J. Boone

    1993-07-01

    A field review of stream habitat improvement project sites in the lower Deschutes River Basin was conducted by riparian ecology, fisheries, and hydrology specialists. Habitat management objectives, limiting factors, project implementation, land use history, and other factors were discussed at each site. This information, in conjunction with the reviewer`s field inspections of portions of a particular habitat project, provided the basis for this report.

  11. Natural Propagation and Habitat Improvement, Volume III, Idaho, 1982/1983 Final and Annual Reports.

    SciTech Connect

    Espinosa, Jr., F.

    1984-04-01

    In 1983 and under the auspices of the Northwest Power Act, the Clearwater National Forest and Bonneville Power Administration entered into an agreement to improve anadromous fish habitat in three major tributaries of the Clearwater River in Idaho. Phase I (FY 83) habitat enhancement was initiated and completed on Lolo, Crooked Fork, and White Sand Creeks. Enhancement of Lolo Creek involved the placement of 145 structures that were designed to alter the pool/riffle structure, increase diversity and cover, and purge in-stream sediment over 8.5 miles of stream length. Log weirs, organic debris, and boulder clusters were featured in the enhancement design. For the Lolo Project, the average unit cost was $186/structure. Spring chinook salmon was the primary target species and were observed utilizing the enhanced habitat in September. Enhancement of the upper Lochsa River tributaries involved the placement of 263 structures of which 200 were felled riparian trees and 63 were anchored organic debris. Enhancement occurred over 9.1 miles of stream reaches and was designed to increase diversity, cover, and spawning habitat. Depressed stocks of spring chinook salmon and summer steelhead trout were the focal points of the enhancement. The average cost per structure equaled $91/unit. Because of a mixed ownership pattern and in-channel variables, only 50 percent of the total stream distance was available for enhancement. 6 references, 68 figures.

  12. Tritium breeding in fusion reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Abdou, M.A.

    1982-10-01

    Key technological problems that influence tritium breeding in fusion blankets are reviewed. The breeding potential of candidate materials is evaluated and compared to the tritium breeding requirements. The sensitivity of tritium breeding to design and nuclear data parameters is reviewed. A framework for an integrated approach to improve tritium breeding prediction is discussed with emphasis on nuclear data requirements.

  13. Lake Roosevelt Rainbow Trout : Habitat/Passage Improvement Project Annual Report 2000.

    SciTech Connect

    Sear, Sheri

    2001-02-01

    Lake Franklin D. Roosevelt was created with the completion of the Grand Coulee Dam in 1942. The lake stretches 151 miles up-stream to the International border between the United States and Canada at the 49th parallel. Increased recreational use, subsistence and sport fishing has resulted in intense interest and possible exploitation of the resources within the lake. Previous studies of the lake and its fishery have been limited. Early studies indicate that natural reproduction within the lake and tributaries are not sufficient to support a rainbow trout (Onchoryhnchus mykiss) fishery (Scholz et. al., 1988). These studies indicate that the rainbow trout population may be limited by lack of suitable habitat for spawning and rearing (Scholz et. al., 1988). The initial phase of this project (Phase I, baseline data collection- 1990-91) was directed at the assessment of limiting factors such as quality and quantity of available spawning gravel, identification of passage barriers, and assessment of other limiting factors. Population estimates were conducted using the Seber/LeCren removal/depletion method. After the initial assessment of stream parameters, several streams were selected for habitat/passage improvement projects (Phase II, implementation-1992-96). At the completion of project habitat improvements, the final phase (Phase III, monitoring) began. This phase will assess changes and gauge the success achieved through the improvements. The objective of the project is to correct passage barriers and improve habitat conditions of selected tributaries to Lake Roosevelt for adfluvial rainbow trout that utilize tributary streams for spawning and rearing. Streams with restorable habitats were selected for improvements. Completion of improvement efforts should increase the adfluvial rainbow trout contribution to the resident fishery in Lake Roosevelt. Three co-operating agencies, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (CCT), the Spokane Tribe of Indians (STI

  14. Lake Roosevelt Rainbow Trout : Habitat/Passage Improvement Project Annual Report 1999.

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, Charles D.

    2000-02-01

    Lake Franklin D. Roosevelt was created with the completion of the Grand Coulee Dam in 1942. The lake stretches 151 miles up-stream to the International border between the United States and Canada at the 49th parallel. Increased recreational use, subsistence and sport fishing has resulted in intense interest and possible exploitation of the resources within the lake. Previous studies of the lake and its fishery have been limited. Early studies indicate that natural reproduction within the lake and tributaries are not sufficient to support a rainbow trout (Onchoryhnchus mykiss) fishery (Scholz et. al., 1988). These studies indicate that the rainbow trout population may be limited by lack of suitable habitat for spawning and rearing (Scholz et. al., 1988). The initial phase of this project (Phase I, baseline data collection- 1990-91) was directed at the assessment of limiting factors such as quality and quantity of available spawning gravel, identification of passage barriers, and assessment of other limiting factors. Population estimates were conducted using the Seber/LeCren removal/depletion method. After the initial assessment of stream parameters, several streams were selected for habitat/passage improvement projects (Phase II, implementation-1992-96). At the completion of project habitat improvements, the final phase (Phase III, monitoring) began. This phase will assess changes and gauge the success achieved through the improvements. The objective of the project is to correct passage barriers and improve habitat conditions of selected tributaries to Lake Roosevelt for adfluvial rainbow trout that utilize tributary streams for spawning and rearing. Streams with restorable habitats were selected for improvements. Completion of improvement efforts should increase the adfluvial rainbow trout contribution to the resident fishery in Lake Roosevelt. Three co-operating agencies, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (CCT), the Spokane Tribe of Indians (STI

  15. Lake Roosevelt Rainbow Trout : Habitat/Passage Improvement Project : Annual Report 1998.

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, Charles D.

    1999-02-01

    Lake Franklin D. Roosevelt was created with the completion of the Grand Coulee Dam in 1942. The lake stretches 151 miles up-stream to the International border between the United States and Canada at the 49th parallel. Increased recreational use, subsistence and sport fishing has resulted in intense interest and possible exploitation of the resources within the lake. Previous studies of the lake and its fishery have been limited. Early studies indicate that natural reproduction within the lake and tributaries are not sufficient to support a rainbow trout (Onchoryhnchus mykiss) fishery (Scholz et. al., 1988). These studies indicate that the rainbow trout population may be limited by lack of suitable habitat for spawning and rearing (Scholz et. al., 1988). The initial phase of this project (Phase I, baseline data collection) was directed at the assessment of limiting factors such as quality and quantity of available spawning gravel, identification of passage barriers, and assessment of other limiting factors. Population estimates were conducted using the Seber/LeCren removal/depletion method. After the initial assessment of stream parameters, several streams were selected for habitat/passage improvement projects (Phase II, implementation). At the completion of project habitat improvements, the final phase (Phase III, monitoring) began. This phase will assess changes and gauge the success achieved through the improvements. The objective of the project is to correct passage barriers and improve habitat conditions of selected tributaries to Lake Roosevelt for adfluvial rainbow trout that utilize tributary streams for spawning and rearing. Streams with restorable habitats were selected for improvements. Completion of improvement efforts should increase the adfluvial rainbow trout contribution to the resident fishery in Lake Roosevelt. Personnel of three co-operating agencies, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (CCT), the Spokane Tribe of Indians (STI) and

  16. Possibilities to improve the genetic evaluation of a rare breed using limited genomic information and multivariate BLUP.

    PubMed

    Pollott, G E; Charlesworth, A; Wathes, D C

    2014-05-01

    The use of molecular genetic information in the evaluation of livestock has become more common. This study looks at the efficacy of using such information to improve the genetic evaluation of a rare breed of dual-purpose cattle. Data were available in the form of pedigree information on the Gloucester cattle breed in the United Kingdom and recorded milk and beef performance on a small number of animals. In addition, molecular genetic information in the form of multi-marker, multiple regression results converted to a 1 to 10 score (Igenity scores) and 123 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotypes for 199 non-recorded animals were available. Appropriate mixed-animal models were explored for the recorded traits and these were used to calculate estimated breeding values (EBV), and their accuracies, for 6527 animals in the breed's pedigree file. Various ways to improve the accuracy of these EBV were explored. This involved using multivariate BLUP analyses, genomic estimated breeding values (GEBV) and combining Igenity scores with recorded traits in a series of bivariate genetic analyses. Using the milk recording traits as an example, the accuracy of a number of traits could be improved using multivariate analyses by up to 14%, depending on the combination of traits used. The level of increase in accuracy largely corresponded to the absolute difference between the genetic and residual correlations between two traits, but this was not always symmetrical. The use of GEBV did not increase the accuracy of milk trait EBV owing to the low proportion of variance explained by the 101 SNPs used. Using Igenity scores in bivariate analyses with the recorded data was more successful in increasing EBV accuracy. The largest increases were found in genotyped animals with no recorded performance (e.g. a 58% increase in fat weight in milk); however, the size of the increase depended on the level of the genetic correlation between the recorded trait and the Igenity score for that

  17. Lake Roosevelt Rainbow Trout Habitat/Passage Improvement Project, Annual Report 2002-2003.

    SciTech Connect

    Sears, Sheryl

    2004-01-01

    The construction of Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee Dams completely and irrevocably blocked anadromous fish migrations to the Upper Columbia River. Historically this area hosted vast numbers of salmon returning to their natal waters to reproduce and die. For the native peoples of the region, salmon and steelhead were a principle food source, providing physical nourishment and spiritual sustenance, and contributing to the religious practices and the cultural basis of tribal communities. The decaying remains of spawned-out salmon carcasses contributed untold amounts of nutrients into the aquatic, aerial, and terrestrial ecosystems of tributary habitats in the upper basin. Near the present site of Kettle Falls, Washington, the second largest Indian fishery in the state existed for thousands of years. Returning salmon were caught in nets and baskets or speared on their migration to the headwater of the Columbia River in British Columbia. Catch estimates at Kettle Falls range from 600,000 in 1940 to two (2) million around the turn of the century (UCUT, Report No.2). The loss of anadromous fish limited the opportunities for fisheries management and enhancement exclusively to those actions addressed to resident fish. The Lake Roosevelt Rainbow Trout Habitat/Passage Improvement Project is a mitigation project intended to enhance resident fish populations and to partially mitigate for anadromous fish losses caused by hydropower system impacts. This substitution of resident fish for anadromous fish losses is considered in-place and out-of-kind mitigation. Upstream migration and passage barriers limit the amount of spawning and rearing habitat that might otherwise be utilized by rainbow trout. The results of even limited stream surveys and habitat inventories indicated that a potential for increased natural production exists. However, the lack of any comprehensive enhancement measures prompted the Upper Columbia United Tribes Fisheries Center (UCUT), Colville Confederated

  18. Lake Roosevelt Rainbow Trout Habitat/Passage Improvement Project, Annual Report 2001-2002.

    SciTech Connect

    Sears, Sheryl

    2003-01-01

    The construction of Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee Dams completely and irrevocably blocked anadromous fish migrations to the Upper Columbia River. Historically this area hosted vast numbers of salmon returning to their natal waters to reproduce and die. For the native peoples of the region, salmon and steelhead were a principle food source, providing physical nourishment and spiritual sustenance, and contributing to the religious practices and the cultural basis of tribal communities. The decaying remains of spawned-out salmon carcasses contributed untold amounts of nutrients into the aquatic, aerial, and terrestrial ecosystems of tributary habitats in the upper basin. Near the present site of Kettle Falls, Washington, the second largest Indian fishery in the state existed for thousands of years. Returning salmon were caught in nets and baskets or speared on their migration to the headwater of the Columbia River in British Columbia. Catch estimates at Kettle Falls range from 600,000 in 1940 to two (2) million around the turn of the century (UCUT, Report No.2). The loss of anadromous fish limited the opportunities for fisheries management and enhancement exclusively to those actions addressed to resident fish. The Lake Roosevelt Rainbow Trout Habitat/Passage Improvement Project is a mitigation project intended to enhance resident fish populations and to partially mitigate for anadromous fish losses caused by hydropower system impacts. This substitution of resident fish for anadromous fish losses is considered in-place and out-of-kind mitigation. Upstream migration and passage barriers limit the amount of spawning and rearing habitat that might otherwise be utilized by rainbow trout. The results of even limited stream surveys and habitat inventories indicated that a potential for increased natural production exists. However, the lack of any comprehensive enhancement measures prompted the Upper Columbia United Tribes Fisheries Center (UCUT), Colville Confederated

  19. Intragenic crop improvement: combining the benefits of traditional breeding and genetic engineering.

    PubMed

    Rommens, Caius M

    2007-05-30

    New crop varieties are developed by applying traditional breeding methods that rely on random genome modifications. These varieties combine multiple traits that support farm efficiency and acceptable yields but also contain genes associated with the production of toxins, allergens, and/or antinutritional compounds that were not considered during the selection process. Furthermore, existing cultivars frequently lack the functional genes required for specific sensory traits and the formation of health-promoting antioxidants. One new method efficiently addresses some of these issues by either silencing undesirable genes or enhancing the expression of genes that are linked to dormant beneficial traits. Rather than incorporating foreign DNA into the plant's genome, these methods transform crops with plant-derived transfer (P-) DNAs that consist of only native genetic elements. The genetic modification can be characterized molecularly so that any inadvertent transfer of undesirable DNA, as may be the case with traditional methods, is excluded. A recently developed intragenic potato plant is silenced for the polyphenol oxidase, dikinase R1, and phosphorylase-L genes in a tuber-specific manner. French fries derived from these tubers lack discolorations, display an enhanced potato flavor, and produce greatly reduced amounts of the suspected carcinogen acrylamide. It is argued that intragenic modification is unlikely to trigger phenotypic, biochemical, or physiological variation that is new to the species. Similarly, the targeted traits are similar to those that breeders select for and often have a history of domestication and reduced fitness. For these reasons, an updated regulatory system is proposed whereby intragenic crops are considered as low risk and should be cleared for commercial release in a timely and cost-effective manner. By using modern techniques to modify the same genetic material that is used by breeders, intragenic approaches may be perceived as an

  20. Improved charge breeding efficiency of light ions with an electron cyclotron resonance ion source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vondrasek, R.; Delahaye, P.; Kutsaev, Sergey; Maunoury, L.

    2012-11-01

    The Californium Rare Isotope Breeder Upgrade is a new radioactive beam facility for the Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System (ATLAS). The facility utilizes a 252Cf fission source coupled with an electron cyclotron resonance ion source to provide radioactive beam species for the ATLAS experimental program. The californium fission fragment distribution provides nuclei in the mid-mass range which are difficult to extract from production targets using the isotope separation on line technique and are not well populated by low-energy fission of uranium. To date the charge breeding program has focused on optimizing these mid-mass beams, achieving high charge breeding efficiencies of both gaseous and solid species including 14.7% for the radioactive species 143Ba27+. In an effort to better understand the charge breeding mechanism, we have recently focused on the low-mass species sodium and potassium which up to present have been difficult to charge breed efficiently. Unprecedented charge breeding efficiencies of 10.1% for 23Na7+ and 17.9% for 39K10+ were obtained injecting stable Na+ and K+ beams from a surface ionization source.

  1. Improved charge breeding efficiency of light ions with an electron cyclotron resonance ion source

    SciTech Connect

    Vondrasek, R.; Kutsaev, Sergey; Delahaye, P.; Maunoury, L.

    2012-11-15

    The Californium Rare Isotope Breeder Upgrade is a new radioactive beam facility for the Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System (ATLAS). The facility utilizes a {sup 252}Cf fission source coupled with an electron cyclotron resonance ion source to provide radioactive beam species for the ATLAS experimental program. The californium fission fragment distribution provides nuclei in the mid-mass range which are difficult to extract from production targets using the isotope separation on line technique and are not well populated by low-energy fission of uranium. To date the charge breeding program has focused on optimizing these mid-mass beams, achieving high charge breeding efficiencies of both gaseous and solid species including 14.7% for the radioactive species {sup 143}Ba{sup 27+}. In an effort to better understand the charge breeding mechanism, we have recently focused on the low-mass species sodium and potassium which up to present have been difficult to charge breed efficiently. Unprecedented charge breeding efficiencies of 10.1% for {sup 23}Na{sup 7+} and 17.9% for {sup 39}K{sup 10+} were obtained injecting stable Na{sup +} and K{sup +} beams from a surface ionization source.

  2. Indicators: Shallow Water Habitat/In-stream Fish Habitat

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Shallow water habitat, also referred to as in-stream fish habitat, refers to areas that fish and other aquatic organisms need for concealment, breeding and feeding. This includes large woody snags, boulders, rock ledges, and undercut banks.

  3. Natural Propagation and Habitat Improvement Idaho: Lolo Creek and Upper Lochsa, Clearwater National Forest.

    SciTech Connect

    Espinosa, F.A. Jr.; Lee, Kristine M.

    1991-01-01

    In 1983, the Clearwater National Forest and the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) entered into a contractual agreement to improve anadromous fish habitat in selected tributaries of the Clearwater River Basin. This agreement was drawn under the auspices of the Northwest Power Act of 1980 and the Columbia River basin Fish and Wildlife Program (section 700). The Program was completed in 1990 and this document constitutes the Final Report'' that details all project activities, costs, accomplishments, and responses. The overall goal of the Program was to enhance spawning, rearing, and riparian habitats of Lolo Creek and major tributaries of the Lochsa River so that their production systems could reach full capability and help speed the recovery of salmon and steelhead within the basin.

  4. Variation in Anthocyanin Content of Wild Black Raspberry for Breeding Improved Cultivars

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Because of its intense anthocyanin pigments, black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis L.) has a long history of use as a natural colorant and dye. Recent studies showing black raspberries to be a rich source of anthocyanins and other dietary phytochemicals has led to renewed interest in breeding new, bet...

  5. Marsh birds and the North American Breeding Bird Survey: judging the value of a landscape level survey for habitat specialist species with low detection rates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sauer, J.R.

    1999-01-01

    The North American Breeding Bird Survey was started in 1966, and provides information on population change for >400 species of birds. it covers the continental United States, Canada, and Alaska, and is conducted once each year, in June, by volunteer observers. A 39.4 kIn roadside survey route is driven starting 30 min before sunrise, and a 3 min point count is conducted at each of 50 stops spaced every 0.8 kIn. Existing analyses of the data are internet-based (http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.govlbbslbbs.html), and include maps of relative abundance, estimates of population change including trends (%/yr), composite annual indices (pattern in time), and maps of population trend (pattern in space). At least 36 species of marsh birds are encountered on the BBS, and the survey provides estimates with greatly varying levels of efficiency for the species. It is often difficult to understand how well the BBS surveys a species. Often, efficiency is judged by estimating trend and its variance for a species, then by calculating power and needed samples to detect a prespecified trend over some time period (e.g., a 2%/yr trend over 31 yr). Unfortunately, this approach is not always valid, as estimated trends and variances can be of little use if the population is poorly sampled. Lurking concerns with BBS data include (1) incomplete coverage of species range; (2) undersampling of habitats; and (3) low and variable visibility of birds during point counts. It is difficult to evaluate these concerns, because known populations do not exist for comparison with counts, and detection rates are time-consuming and costly to estimate. I evaluated the efficiency of the BBS for selected rails (Rallidae) and snipes (Scolopacidae), presenting estimates of population trend over 1966-1996 (T), power to detect 2%/yr trend over 31 yr, needed samples to achieve power of 0.75 with alpha= 0.1, number of survey routes with data for the species (N), average abundance on survey routes (RA), and maps of

  6. Improving predictive mapping of deep-water habitats: Considering multiple model outputs and ensemble techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robert, Katleen; Jones, Daniel O. B.; Roberts, J. Murray; Huvenne, Veerle A. I.

    2016-07-01

    In the deep sea, biological data are often sparse; hence models capturing relationships between observed fauna and environmental variables (acquired via acoustic mapping techniques) are often used to produce full coverage species assemblage maps. Many statistical modelling techniques are being developed, but there remains a need to determine the most appropriate mapping techniques. Predictive habitat modelling approaches (redundancy analysis, maximum entropy and random forest) were applied to a heterogeneous section of seabed on Rockall Bank, NE Atlantic, for which landscape indices describing the spatial arrangement of habitat patches were calculated. The predictive maps were based on remotely operated vehicle (ROV) imagery transects high-resolution autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) sidescan backscatter maps. Area under the curve (AUC) and accuracy indicated similar performances for the three models tested, but performance varied by species assemblage, with the transitional species assemblage showing the weakest predictive performances. Spatial predictions of habitat suitability differed between statistical approaches, but niche similarity metrics showed redundancy analysis and random forest predictions to be most similar. As one statistical technique could not be found to outperform the others when all assemblages were considered, ensemble mapping techniques, where the outputs of many models are combined, were applied. They showed higher accuracy than any single model. Different statistical approaches for predictive habitat modelling possess varied strengths and weaknesses and by examining the outputs of a range of modelling techniques and their differences, more robust predictions, with better described variation and areas of uncertainties, can be achieved. As improvements to prediction outputs can be achieved without additional costly data collection, ensemble mapping approaches have clear value for spatial management.

  7. Simulated Breeding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Unemi, Tatsuo

    This chapter describes a basic framework of simulated breeding, a type of interactive evolutionary computing to breed artifacts, whose origin is Blind Watchmaker by Dawkins. These methods make it easy for humans to design a complex object adapted to his/her subjective criteria, just similarly to agricultural products we have been developing over thousands of years. Starting from randomly initialized genome, the solution candidates are improved through several generations with artificial selection. The graphical user interface helps the process of breeding with techniques of multifield user interface and partial breeding. The former improves the diversity of individuals that prevents being trapped at local optimum. The latter makes it possible for the user to fix features he/she already satisfied. These methods were examined through artistic applications by the author: SBART for graphics art and SBEAT for music. Combining with a direct genome editor and exportation to another graphical or musical tool on the computer, they can be powerful tools for artistic creation. These systems may contribute to the creation of a type of new culture.

  8. Annual Progress Report Fish Research Project Oregon : Project title, Evaluation of Habitat Improvements -- John Day River.

    SciTech Connect

    Olsen, Erik A.

    1984-01-01

    This report summarizes data collected in 1983 to evaluate habitat improvements in Deer, Camp, and Clear creeks, tributaries of the John Day River. The studies are designed to evaluate changes in abundance of spring chinook and summer steelhead due to habitat improvement projects and to contrast fishery benefits with costs of construction and maintenance of each project. Structure types being evaluated are: (1) log weirs, rock weirs, log deflectors, and in stream boulders in Deer Creek; (2) log weirs in Camp Creek; and (3) log weir-boulder combinations and introduced spawning gravel in Clear Creek. Abundance of juvenile steelhead ranged from 16% to 119% higher in the improved (treatment) area than in the unimproved (control) area of Deer Creek. However, abundance of steelhead in Camp Creek was not significantly different between treatment and control areas. Chinook and steelhead abundance in Clear Creek was 50% and 25% lower, respectively in 1983, than the mean abundance estimated in three previous years. The age structure of steelhead was similar between treatment and control areas in Deer and Clear creeks. The treatment area in Camp Creek, however, had a higher percentage of age 2 and older steelhead than the control. Steelhead redd counts in Camp Creek were 36% lower in 1983 than the previous five year average. Steelhead redd counts in Deer Creek were not made in 1983 because of high streamflows. Chinook redds counted in Clear Creek were 64% lower than the five year average. Surface area, volume, cover, and spawning gravel were the same or higher than the corresponding control in each stream except in Deer Creek where there was less available cover and spawning gravel in sections with rock weirs and in those with log deflectors, respectively. Pool:riffle ratios ranged from 57:43 in sections in upper Clear Creek with log weirs to 9:91 in sections in Deer Creek with rock weirs. Smolt production following habitat improvements is estimated for each stream

  9. Glucosinolate metabolism, functionality and breeding for the improvement of Brassicaceae vegetables

    PubMed Central

    Ishida, Masahiko; Hara, Masakazu; Fukino, Nobuko; Kakizaki, Tomohiro; Morimitsu, Yasujiro

    2014-01-01

    Unique secondary metabolites, glucosinolates (S-glucopyranosyl thiohydroximates), are naturally occurring S-linked glucosides found mainly in Brassicaceae plants. They are enzymatically hydrolyzed to produce sulfate ions, D-glucose, and characteristic degradation products such as isothiocyanates. The functions of glucosinolates in the plants remain unclear, but isothiocyanates possessing a pungent or irritating taste and odor might be associated with plant defense from microbes. Isothiocyanates have been studied extensively in experimental in vitro and in vivo carcinogenesis models for their cancer chemopreventive properties. The beneficial isothiocyanates, glucosinolates that are functional for supporting human health, have received attention from many scientists studying plant breeding, plant physiology, plant genetics, and food functionality. This review presents a summary of recent topics related with glucosinolates in the Brassica family, along with a summary of the chemicals, metabolism, and genes of glucosinolates in Brassicaceae. The bioavailabilities of isothiocyanates from certain functional glucosinolates and the importance of breeding will be described with emphasis on glucosinolates. PMID:24987290

  10. Hydrologic modification to improve habitat in riverine lakes: Management objectives, experimental approach, and initial conditions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Barry L.; Barko, John W.; Gerasimov, Yuri; James, William F.; Litvinov, Alexander; Naimo, Teresa J.; Wiener, James G.; Gaugush, Robert F.; Rogala, James T.; Rogers, Sara J.; Schoettger, R.A.

    1996-01-01

    The Finger Lakes habitat-rehabilitation project is intended to improve physical and chemical conditions for fish in six connected back water lakes in Navigation Pool 5 of the upper Missouri River. The primary management objective is to improve water temperature, dissolved oxygen concentration and current velocity during winter for bluegills, Lepomis macrochirus, and black crappies, Pomoxis nigromaculatus, two of the primary sport fishes in the lakes. The lakes will be hydrologically altered by Installing culverts to Introduce controlled flows of oxygenated water into four lakes, and an existing unregulated culvert on a fifth lake will be equipped with a control gate to regulate inflow. These habitat modifications constitute a manipulative field experiment that will compare pre-project (1991 to summer 1993) and post-project (fall 1993 to 1996) conditions in the lakes, including hydrology, chemistry, rooted vegetation, and fish and macroinvertebrate communities. Initial data indicate that the Finger Lakes differ in water chemistry, hydrology, and macrophyte abundance. Macroinvertebrate communities also differed among lakes: species diversity was highest in lakes with dense aquatic macrophytes. The system seems to support a single fish community, although some species concentrated in individual lakes at different times. The introduction of similar flows into five of the lakes will probably reduce the existing physical and chemical differences among lakes. However, our ability to predict the effects of hydrologic modification on fish populations is limited by uncertainties concerning both the interactions of temperature, oxygen and current in winter and the biological responses of primary and secondary producers. Results from this study should provide guidance for similar habitat-rehabilitation projects in large rivers.

  11. A Review of Microsatellite Markers and Their Applications in Rice Breeding Programs to Improve Blast Disease Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Miah, Gous; Rafii, Mohd Y.; Ismail, Mohd R.; Puteh, Adam B.; Rahim, Harun A.; Islam, Kh. Nurul; Latif, Mohammad Abdul

    2013-01-01

    Over the last few decades, the use of molecular markers has played an increasing role in rice breeding and genetics. Of the different types of molecular markers, microsatellites have been utilized most extensively, because they can be readily amplified by PCR and the large amount of allelic variation at each locus. Microsatellites are also known as simple sequence repeats (SSR), and they are typically composed of 1–6 nucleotide repeats. These markers are abundant, distributed throughout the genome and are highly polymorphic compared with other genetic markers, as well as being species-specific and co-dominant. For these reasons, they have become increasingly important genetic markers in rice breeding programs. The evolution of new biotypes of pests and diseases as well as the pressures of climate change pose serious challenges to rice breeders, who would like to increase rice production by introducing resistance to multiple biotic and abiotic stresses. Recent advances in rice genomics have now made it possible to identify and map a number of genes through linkage to existing DNA markers. Among the more noteworthy examples of genes that have been tightly linked to molecular markers in rice are those that confer resistance or tolerance to blast. Therefore, in combination with conventional breeding approaches, marker-assisted selection (MAS) can be used to monitor the presence or lack of these genes in breeding populations. For example, marker-assisted backcross breeding has been used to integrate important genes with significant biological effects into a number of commonly grown rice varieties. The use of cost-effective, finely mapped microsatellite markers and MAS strategies should provide opportunities for breeders to develop high-yield, blast resistance rice cultivars. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge concerning the linkage of microsatellite markers to rice blast resistance genes, as well as to explore the use of MAS in rice breeding

  12. Long-term reductions in anthropogenic nutrients link to improvements in Chesapeake Bay habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ruhl, H.A.; Rybicki, N.B.

    2010-01-01

    Great effort continues to focus on ecosystem restoration and reduction of nutrient inputs thought to be responsible, in part, for declines in estuary habitats worldwide. The ability of environmental policy to address restoration is limited, in part, by uncertainty in the relationships between costly restoration and benefits. Here, we present results from an 18-y field investigation (1990-2007) of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) community dynamics and water quality in the Potomac River, a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. River and anthropogenic discharges lower water clarity by introducing nutrients that stimulate phytoplankton and epiphyte growth as well as suspended sediments. Efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay are often viewed as failing. Overall nutrient reduction and SAV restoration goals have not been met. In the Potomac River, however, reduced in situ nutrients, wastewater-treatment effluent nitrogen, and total suspended solids were significantly correlated to increased SAV abundance and diversity. Species composition and relative abundance also correlated with nutrient and water-quality conditions, indicating declining fitness of exotic species relative to native species during restoration. Our results suggest that environmental policies that reduce anthropogenic nutrient inputs do result in improved habitat quality, with increased diversity and native species abundances. The results also help elucidate why SAV cover has improved only in some areas of the Chesapeake Bay.

  13. Long-term reductions in anthropogenic nutrients link to improvements in Chesapeake Bay habitat.

    PubMed

    Ruhl, Henry A; Rybicki, Nancy B

    2010-09-21

    Great effort continues to focus on ecosystem restoration and reduction of nutrient inputs thought to be responsible, in part, for declines in estuary habitats worldwide. The ability of environmental policy to address restoration is limited, in part, by uncertainty in the relationships between costly restoration and benefits. Here, we present results from an 18-y field investigation (1990-2007) of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) community dynamics and water quality in the Potomac River, a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. River and anthropogenic discharges lower water clarity by introducing nutrients that stimulate phytoplankton and epiphyte growth as well as suspended sediments. Efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay are often viewed as failing. Overall nutrient reduction and SAV restoration goals have not been met. In the Potomac River, however, reduced in situ nutrients, wastewater-treatment effluent nitrogen, and total suspended solids were significantly correlated to increased SAV abundance and diversity. Species composition and relative abundance also correlated with nutrient and water-quality conditions, indicating declining fitness of exotic species relative to native species during restoration. Our results suggest that environmental policies that reduce anthropogenic nutrient inputs do result in improved habitat quality, with increased diversity and native species abundances. The results also help elucidate why SAV cover has improved only in some areas of the Chesapeake Bay.

  14. Combining scales in habitat models to improve conservation planning in an endangered vulture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mateo-Tomás, Patricia; Olea, Pedro P.

    2009-07-01

    Predictive modelling of species' distributions has been successfully applied in conservation ecology, but effective conservation requires predictive and accurate models. The combination of different scales to build habitat models might improve their predictive ability and hence their usefulness for conservation, but this approach has rarely been evaluated. We developed habitat-occupancy models combining scales from nest-site to landscape for a key population at the northwestern edge of the distribution of the globally endangered Egyptian vulture ( Neophron percnopterus). We used generalised linear models (GLM) and an information-theoretic approach to identify the best combination of scales and resolutions for explaining occurrence. Those models that combined nest-site and landscape scales improved the predictive ability compared with the scale-specific ones. The best combined model had a very high predictive ability when used against an independent dataset (92% correct classifications). Egyptian vultures preferred to nest in caves with vegetation at the entrance that were situated at the base of long cliffs, provided that these cliffs are embedded within low-lying, heterogeneous areas with little topographic irregularity and with little human disturbance. The density of sheep around the nest positively influenced Egyptian vulture presence. Conservation of the studied population should focus on minimising human disturbance and on promoting sustainable development through conservation of traditional pastoralism. Our findings highlight the importance of developing region-specific multiscale models in order to design effective conservation strategies. The approach described here may be applied similarly in other populations and species.

  15. Breeding for genetic improvement of forage plants in relation to increasing animal production with reduced environmental footprint.

    PubMed

    Kingston-Smith, A H; Marshall, A H; Moorby, J M

    2013-03-01

    Animal production is a fundamental component of the food supply chain, and with an increasing global population production levels are set to increase. Ruminant animals in particular are valuable in their ability to convert a fibre-rich forage diet into a high-quality protein product for human consumption, although this benefit is offset by inefficiencies in rumen fermentation that contribute to emission of significant quantities of methane and nitrogenous waste. Through co-operation between plant and animal sciences, we can identify how the nutritional requirements of ruminants can be satisfied by high-quality forages for the future. Selective forage plant breeding has supported crop improvement for nearly a century. Early plant breeding programmes were successful in terms of yield gains (4% to 5% per decade), with quality traits becoming increasingly important breeding targets (e.g. enhanced disease resistance and digestibility). Recently, demands for more sustainable production systems have required high yielding, high-quality forages that enable efficient animal production with minimal environmental impact. Achieving this involves considering the entire farm system and identifying opportunities for maximising nutrient use efficiency in both forage and animal components. Forage crops of the future must be able to utilise limited resources (water and nutrients) to maximise production on a limited land area and this may require us to consider alternative plant species to those currently in use. Furthermore, new breeding targets will be identified as the interactions between plants and the animals that consume them become better understood. This will ensure that available resources are targeted at delivering maximum benefits to the animal through enhanced transformation efficiency.

  16. Marker-Assisted Breeding as Next-Generation Strategy for Genetic Improvement of Productivity and Quality: Can It Be Realized in Cotton?

    PubMed Central

    Boopathi, N. Manikanda; Thiyagu, K.; Urbi, B.; Santhoshkumar, M.; Gopikrishnan, A.; Aravind, S.; Swapnashri, Gat; Ravikesavan, R.

    2011-01-01

    The dawdling development in genetic improvement of cotton with conventional breeding program is chiefly due to lack of complete knowledge on and precise manipulation of fiber productivity and quality. Naturally available cotton continues to be a resource for the upcoming breeding program, and contemporary technologies to exploit the available natural variation are outlined in this paper for further improvement of fiber. Particularly emphasis is given to application, obstacles, and perspectives of marker-assisted breeding since it appears to be more promising in manipulating novel genes that are available in the cotton germplasm. Deployment of system quantitative genetics in marker-assisted breeding program would be essential to realize its role in cotton. At the same time, role of genetic engineering and in vitro mutagenesis cannot be ruled out in genetic improvement of cotton. PMID:21577317

  17. New Breed of Mice May Improve Accuracy for Preclinical Testing of Cancer Drugs | Poster

    Cancer.gov

    A new breed of lab animals, dubbed “glowing head mice,” may do a better job than conventional mice in predicting the success of experimental cancer drugs—while also helping to meet an urgent need for more realistic preclinical animal models. The mice were developed to tolerate often-used light-emitting molecules, such as luciferase from fireflies and green fluorescent protein (GFP) from jellyfish. These “optical reporters” are useful for monitoring the effect of experimental therapies in live animals over time because they emit an immediate and easily detected light signal showing whether a tumor inside the animal’s body is shrinking as desired.

  18. Combining correlative and mechanistic habitat suitability models to improve ecological compensation.

    PubMed

    Meineri, Eric; Deville, Anne-Sophie; Grémillet, David; Gauthier-Clerc, Michel; Béchet, Arnaud

    2015-02-01

    Only a few studies have shown positive impacts of ecological compensation on species dynamics affected by human activities. We argue that this is due to inappropriate methods used to forecast required compensation in environmental impact assessments. These assessments are mostly descriptive and only valid at limited spatial and temporal scales. However, habitat suitability models developed to predict the impacts of environmental changes on potential species' distributions should provide rigorous science-based tools for compensation planning. Here we describe the two main classes of predictive models: correlative models and individual-based mechanistic models. We show how these models can be used alone or synoptically to improve compensation planning. While correlative models are easier to implement, they tend to ignore underlying ecological processes and lack accuracy. On the contrary, individual-based mechanistic models can integrate biological interactions, dispersal ability and adaptation. Moreover, among mechanistic models, those considering animal energy balance are particularly efficient at predicting the impact of foraging habitat loss. However, mechanistic models require more field data compared to correlative models. Hence we present two approaches which combine both methods for compensation planning, especially in relation to the spatial scale considered. We show how the availability of biological databases and software enabling fast and accurate population projections could be advantageously used to assess ecological compensation requirement efficiently in environmental impact assessments.

  19. Advanced Burner Reactor with Breed-and-Burn Thorium Blankets for Improved Economics and Resource Utilization

    SciTech Connect

    Greenspan, Ehud

    2015-11-04

    This study assesses the feasibility of designing Seed and Blanket (S&B) Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor (SFR) to generate a significant fraction of the core power from radial thorium fueled blankets that operate on the Breed-and-Burn (B&B) mode without exceeding the radiation damage constraint of presently verified cladding materials. The S&B core is designed to maximize the fraction of neutrons that radially leak from the seed (or “driver”) into the subcritical blanket and reduce neutron loss via axial leakage. The blanket in the S&B core makes beneficial use of the leaking neutrons for improved economics and resource utilization. A specific objective of this study is to maximize the fraction of core power that can be generated by the blanket without violating the thermal hydraulic and material constraints. Since the blanket fuel requires no reprocessing along with remote fuel fabrication, a larger fraction of power from the blanket will result in a smaller fuel recycling capacity and lower fuel cycle cost per unit of electricity generated. A unique synergism is found between a low conversion ratio (CR) seed and a B&B blanket fueled by thorium. Among several benefits, this synergism enables the very low leakage S&B cores to have small positive coolant voiding reactivity coefficient and large enough negative Doppler coefficient even when using inert matrix fuel for the seed. The benefits of this synergism are maximized when using an annular seed surrounded by an inner and outer thorium blankets. Among the high-performance S&B cores designed to benefit from this unique synergism are: (1) the ultra-long cycle core that features a cycle length of ~7 years; (2) the high-transmutation rate core where the seed fuel features a TRU CR of 0.0. Its TRU transmutation rate is comparable to that of the reference Advanced Burner Reactor (ABR) with CR of 0.5 and the thorium blanket can generate close to 60% of the core power; but requires only one sixth of the reprocessing and

  20. In situ earthworm breeding in orchards significantly improves the growth, quality and yield of papaya (Carica papaya L.)

    PubMed Central

    Xiang, Huimin; Guo, Lei; Zhao, Benliang

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the effects of four fertilizer applications—control (C), chemical fertilizer (F), compost (O), and in situ earthworm breeding (E)—on the growth, quality and yield of papaya (Carica papaya L.). In this study, 5 g plant−1 urea (CH4N2O, %N = 46.3%) and 100 g plant−1 microelement fertilizer was applied to each treatment. The fertilizer applications of these four treatments are different from each other. The results showed that the E treatment had the highest growth parameters over the whole growth period. At 127 days after transplantation, the order of plant heights from greatest to smallest was E > F > O > C, and the stem diameters were E > F > O > C, with significant differences between all treatments. Soluble-solid, sugar, vitamin C, and protein content significantly increased in the E treatment. In addition, the total acid and the electrical conductivity of the fruit significantly decreased in the E treatment. Fruit firmness clearly increased in the O treatment, and decreased in the F treatment. The fresh individual fruit weights, fruit numbers, and total yields were greatly improved in the F and E treatments, and the total yield of the E treatment was higher than that in the F treatment. In conclusion, the in situ earthworm breeding treatment performed better than conventional compost and chemical fertilizer treatments. Furthermore, in situ earthworm breeding may be a potential organic fertilizer application in orchards because it not only improves the fruit quality and yield but also reduces the amount of organic wastes from agriculture as a result of the activities of earthworms. PMID:27994969

  1. Using Sequence Variants in Linkage Disequilibrium with Causative Mutations to Improve Across-Breed Prediction in Dairy Cattle: A Simulation Study

    PubMed Central

    van den Berg, Irene; Boichard, Didier; Guldbrandtsen, Bernt; Lund, Mogens S.

    2016-01-01

    Sequence data are expected to increase the reliability of genomic prediction by containing causative mutations directly, especially in cases where low linkage disequilibrium between markers and causative mutations limits prediction reliability, such as across-breed prediction in dairy cattle. In practice, the causative mutations are unknown, and prediction with only variants in perfect linkage disequilibrium with the causative mutations is not realistic, leading to a reduced reliability compared to knowing the causative variants. Our objective was to use sequence data to investigate the potential benefits of sequence data for the prediction of genomic relationships, and consequently reliability of genomic breeding values. We used sequence data from five dairy cattle breeds, and a larger number of imputed sequences for two of the five breeds. We focused on the influence of linkage disequilibrium between markers and causative mutations, and assumed that a fraction of the causative mutations was shared across breeds and had the same effect across breeds. By comparing the loss in reliability of different scenarios, varying the distance between markers and causative mutations, using either all genome wide markers from commercial SNP chips, or only the markers closest to the causative mutations, we demonstrate the importance of using only variants very close to the causative mutations, especially for across-breed prediction. Rare variants improved prediction only if they were very close to rare causative mutations, and all causative mutations were rare. Our results show that sequence data can potentially improve genomic prediction, but careful selection of markers is essential. PMID:27317779

  2. Applications of genetic data to improve management and conservation of river fishes and their habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scribner, Kim T.; Lowe, Winsor H.; Landguth, Erin L.; Luikart, Gordon; Infante, Dana M.; Whelan, Gary; Muhlfeld, Clint C.

    2015-01-01

    Environmental variation and landscape features affect ecological processes in fluvial systems; however, assessing effects at management-relevant temporal and spatial scales is challenging. Genetic data can be used with landscape models and traditional ecological assessment data to identify biodiversity hotspots, predict ecosystem responses to anthropogenic effects, and detect impairments to underlying processes. We show that by combining taxonomic, demographic, and genetic data of species in complex riverscapes, managers can better understand the spatial and temporal scales over which environmental processes and disturbance influence biodiversity. We describe how population genetic models using empirical or simulated genetic data quantify effects of environmental processes affecting species diversity and distribution. Our summary shows that aquatic assessment initiatives that use standardized data sets to direct management actions can benefit from integration of genetic data to improve the predictability of disturbance–response relationships of river fishes and their habitats over a broad range of spatial and temporal scales.

  3. Field Review of Fish Habitat Improvement Projects in the Grande Ronde and John Day River Basins of Eastern Oregon.

    SciTech Connect

    Beschta, Robert L.; Platts, William S.; Kauffman, J. Boone

    1991-10-01

    The restoration of vegetation adapted to riparian environments and the natural succession of riparian plant communities is necessary to recreate sustainable salmonid habitat and should be the focal point for fish habitat improvement programs. In mid-August of 1991, a field review of 16 Salmon habitat improvement sites in the Grande Ronde and John Day River Basins in Eastern Oregon was undertaken. The review team visited various types of fish habitat improvements associated with a wide range of reach types, geology, channel gradients, stream sizes, and vegetation communities. Enhancement objectives, limiting factors, landuse history, and other factors were discussed at each site. This information, in conjunction with the reviewer's field inspection of portions of a particular habitat improvement project, provided the basis for the following report. This report that follows is divided into four sections: (1) Recommendations, (2) Objectives, (3) Discussion and Conclusions, and (4) Site Comments. The first section represents a synthesis of major recommendations that were developed during this review. The remaining sections provide more detailed information and comments related to specific aspects of the field review.

  4. Short term, repeated exposure to rams during the transition into the breeding season improves the synchrony of mating in the breeding season.

    PubMed

    Hawken, P A R; Evans, A C O; Beard, A P

    2008-07-01

    The ram effect is widely used in Mediterranean breeds of sheep but its use in temperate genotypes is restricted by breed seasonality. However, ewes from these highly seasonal genotypes are sensitive to stimulation by rams close to the onset of the natural breeding season. In this study we developed a pre-mating protocol of repeated, short-term exposure to rams (fence-line contact or vasectomised rams) beginning during late anoestrus and continuing into the breeding season. We hypothesised that this pre-mating protocol would synchronise the distribution of mating of North of England Mule ewes during the breeding season above that observed in ewes isolated from rams prior to mating. Ram-exposed ewes were given contact with rams (Experiment 1: fence-line; FR, n=94 and Experiment 2: vasectomised rams; VR; n=103) for 24h on Days 0 (10 September), 17 and 34 of the experiment. Control ewes (Experiment 1; FC, n=98 and Experiment 2; VC; n=106) remained isolated from rams prior to mating. In Experiment 2, a subset of VR (n=35) and VC ewes (n=35) were blood sampled twice weekly to monitor their pre-mating progesterone profiles. At mating, harnessed entire rams were introduced, 17 or 16 days after the last ram exposure (Experiments 1 and 2) and raddle marks were recorded daily. The median time from ram introduction to mating was reduced in ewes given both fence-line and vasectomised ram contact (P<0.001), leading to a more compact distribution of mating and lambing (At least P<0.01). In the blood sampled VR ewes, there was a progressive decline in the number of days from ram exposure to the onset of dioestrus (at least P<0.05). This observation indicates that the cycles in VR ewes became increasingly synchronised over the pre-mating period, a pattern not evident in VC ewes. In conclusion, repeated, short-term exposure of ewes to rams during the transition into the breeding season is an effective method of synchronising the distribution of mating during the breeding season.

  5. Hyperspectral analysis of columbia spotted frog habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shive, J.P.; Pilliod, D.S.; Peterson, C.R.

    2010-01-01

    Wildlife managers increasingly are using remotely sensed imagery to improve habitat delineations and sampling strategies. Advances in remote sensing technology, such as hyperspectral imagery, provide more information than previously was available with multispectral sensors. We evaluated accuracy of high-resolution hyperspectral image classifications to identify wetlands and wetland habitat features important for Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) and compared the results to multispectral image classification and United States Geological Survey topographic maps. The study area spanned 3 lake basins in the Salmon River Mountains, Idaho, USA. Hyperspectral data were collected with an airborne sensor on 30 June 2002 and on 8 July 2006. A 12-year comprehensive ground survey of the study area for Columbia spotted frog reproduction served as validation for image classifications. Hyperspectral image classification accuracy of wetlands was high, with a producer's accuracy of 96 (44 wetlands) correctly classified with the 2002 data and 89 (41 wetlands) correctly classified with the 2006 data. We applied habitat-based rules to delineate breeding habitat from other wetlands, and successfully predicted 74 (14 wetlands) of known breeding wetlands for the Columbia spotted frog. Emergent sedge microhabitat classification showed promise for directly predicting Columbia spotted frog egg mass locations within a wetland by correctly identifying 72 (23 of 32) of known locations. Our study indicates hyperspectral imagery can be an effective tool for mapping spotted frog breeding habitat in the selected mountain basins. We conclude that this technique has potential for improving site selection for inventory and monitoring programs conducted across similar wetland habitat and can be a useful tool for delineating wildlife habitats. ?? 2010 The Wildlife Society.

  6. Applied genetics: Speeding the development of improved varieties by developing breeding tools and genetic knowledge

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Geneticists improve the breeders ability to create new, improved varieties by finding genes, making the genes more available to breeders by moving them into improved germplasm, and devising improved selection techniques, whether based on visual trait evaluations or linkage between genes and molecula...

  7. The critical role of islands for waterbird breeding and foraging habitat in managed ponds of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, South San Francisco Bay, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Hartman, C. Alex; Herzog, Mark P.; Smith, Lacy M.; Moskal, Stacy M.; De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Yee, Julie L.; Takekawa, John Y.

    2014-01-01

    The South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project aims to restore 50–90 percent of former salt evaporation ponds into tidal marsh in South San Francisco Bay, California. However, large numbers of waterbirds use these ponds annually as nesting and foraging habitat. Islands within ponds are particularly important habitat for nesting, foraging, and roosting waterbirds. To maintain current waterbird populations, the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project plans to create new islands within former salt ponds in South San Francisco Bay. In a series of studies, we investigated pond and individual island attributes that are most beneficial to nesting, foraging, and roosting waterbirds.

  8. Application of remotely sensed multispectral data to automated analysis of marshland vegetation. Inference to the location of breeding habitats of the salt marsh mosquito (Aedes Sollicitans)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cibula, W. G.

    1976-01-01

    The techniques used for the automated classification of marshland vegetation and for the color-coded display of remotely acquired data to facilitate the control of mosquito breeding are presented. A multispectral scanner system and its mode of operation are described, and the computer processing techniques are discussed. The procedures for the selection of calibration sites are explained. Three methods for displaying color-coded classification data are presented.

  9. Sustainable urban development and human health: septic tank as a major breeding habitat of mosquito vectors of human diseases in south-eastern Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Nwoke, B E; Nduka, F O; Okereke, O M; Ehighibe, O C

    1993-02-01

    Septic tank mosquitoes in Abia State University Okigwe, south-eastern Nigeria were studied using exit traps between November 1988 and April 1989. The results were revealing and striking. Apart from the common septic tank mosquitoes, Culex p. quinquefasciatus, Cu. cinereus and Aedes aegypti, which have been previously commonly found breeding in ammonia and nitrate-rich waters of latrines and septic tanks, the other species, Cu. horridus, Cu. tigripes and Aedes vittatus, have not been commonly reported as colonizing septic tanks in Nigeria. Three out of these six mosquito species observed are vectors of human diseases: Aedes aegypti and Aedes vittatus are vectors of Yellow fever and Cu. p. quinquefasciatus is a potential vector of Bancroftian filariasis and a world-wide vector of various arboviruses. The fact that these mosquito vectors are able to breed in highly polluted waters of septic tanks during the harsh dry months when most surface water bodies are dry is epidemiologically important. The breeding of these mosquito vectors of human diseases around human dwellings indicates an intense man-vector contact creating a high level risk to the crowded urban population. The public health implications of this urbanization/modernization problem and solutions are discussed.

  10. Improved arrival-date estimates of Arctic-breeding Dunlin (Calidris alpina arcticola)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Doll, Andrew C.; Lanctot, Richard B.; Stricker, Craig A.; Yezerinac, Stephen M.; Wunder, Michael B.

    2015-01-01

    The use of stable isotopes in animal ecology depends on accurate descriptions of isotope dynamics within individuals. The prevailing assumption that laboratory-derived isotopic parameters apply to free-living animals is largely untested. We used stable carbon isotopes (δ13C) in whole blood from migratory Dunlin (Calidris alpina arcticola) to estimate an in situ turnover rate and individual diet-switch dates. Our in situ results indicated that turnover rates were higher in free-living birds, in comparison to the results of an experimental study on captive Dunlin and estimates derived from a theoretical allometric model. Diet-switch dates from all 3 methods were then used to estimate arrival dates to the Arctic; arrival dates calculated with the in situ turnover rate were later than those with the other turnover-rate estimates, substantially so in some cases. These later arrival dates matched dates when local snow conditions would have allowed Dunlin to settle, and agreed with anticipated arrival dates of Dunlin tracked with light-level geolocators. Our study presents a novel method for accurately estimating arrival dates for individuals of migratory species in which return dates are difficult to document. This may be particularly appropriate for species in which extrinsic tracking devices cannot easily be employed because of cost, body size, or behavioral constraints, and in habitats that do not allow individuals to be detected easily upon first arrival. Thus, this isotopic method offers an exciting alternative approach to better understand how species may be altering their arrival dates in response to changing climatic conditions.

  11. Multiple stressors and complex life cycles: insights from a population-level assessment of breeding site contamination and terrestrial habitat loss in an amphibian.

    PubMed

    Salice, Christopher J; Rowe, Christopher L; Pechmann, Joseph H K; Hopkins, William A

    2011-12-01

    Understanding the effects of chemical contaminants on natural populations is challenging, as multiple anthropogenic and natural stressors may individually and interactively influence responses. Population models can be used to evaluate the impacts of multiple stressors and to provide insight into population-level effects and/or data gaps. For amphibians with complex life cycles, population models may be useful in understanding impacts of stressors that are unique to the habitat type (aquatic, terrestrial) and that operate at different times in the life cycle. We investigated the population-level effects of aquatic contaminants (coal combustion residues, CCR) and terrestrial habitat loss on the eastern narrowmouth toad, Gastrophryne carolinensis, using existing empirical data that demonstrated negative reproductive and developmental effects of CCR and a series of population models that incorporated density dependence and environmental stochasticity. Results of deterministic models indicated that when terrestrial habitat was abundant, CCR-exposed toads had a larger population size compared to the reference population as a result of reduced density-dependent effects on larval survival. However, when stochasticity in the form of catastrophic reproductive failure was included, CCR-exposed toads were more susceptible to decline and extinction compared to toads from the reference populations. The results highlight the complexities involved in assessing the effects of anthropogenic factors on natural populations, especially for species that are exposed to multiple biotic and abiotic stressors during different periods in the life cycle.

  12. Experimental evidence of a link between breeding conditions and the decision to breed or to help in a colonial cooperative bird.

    PubMed Central

    Covas, Rita; Doutrelant, Claire; du Plessis, Morné A.

    2004-01-01

    In many species mature individuals delay independent reproduction and may help others to reproduce. This behaviour is often explained through ecological constraints, although recently attention has also been paid to the variation in habitat quality. If the quality of vacant habitat influences the fitness trade-off between delaying reproduction and breeding independently, individuals should delay reproduction when conditions for breeding are poor. Yet, no study has experimentally manipulated habitat quality or the conditions experienced during the breeding period to test this assertion conclusively. We report results from an experiment conducted on a colonial cooperative bird with no territory constraints on reproduction. We artificially improved breeding conditions in several colonies of sociable weavers, Philetairus socius, through the provision of an easily obtainable and unlimited supply of food. We provide experimental evidence showing that under enhanced conditions some individuals reduce their age at first reproduction, a greater proportion of colony members engage in independent breeding and proportionally fewer birds act as helpers. Hence, these results also provide evidence for a direct influence of reproductive costs on life-history decisions such as age at first reproduction and breeding and helping behaviours. PMID:15255101

  13. Breeding of lager yeast with Saccharomyces cerevisiae improves stress resistance and fermentation performance.

    PubMed

    Garcia Sanchez, Rosa; Solodovnikova, Natalia; Wendland, Jürgen

    2012-08-01

    Lager beer brewing relies on strains collectively known as Saccharomyces carlsbergensis, which are hybrids between S. cerevisiae and S. eubayanus-like strains. Lager yeasts are particularly adapted to low-temperature fermentations. Selection of new yeast strains for improved traits or fermentation performance is laborious, due to the allotetraploid nature of lager yeasts. Initially, we have generated new F1 hybrids by classical genetics, using spore clones of lager yeast and S. cerevisiae and complementation of auxotrophies of the single strains upon mating. These hybrids were improved on several parameters, including growth at elevated temperature and resistance against high osmolarity or high ethanol concentrations. Due to the uncertainty of chromosomal make-up of lager yeast spore clones, we introduced molecular markers to analyse mating-type composition by PCR. Based on these results, new hybrids between a lager and an ale yeast strain were isolated by micromanipulation. These hybrids were not subject to genetic modification. We generated and verified 13 hybrid strains. All of these hybrid strains showed improved stress resistance as seen in the ale parent, including improved survival at the end of fermentation. Importantly, some of the strains showed improved fermentation rates using 18° Plato at 18-25°C. Uniparental mitochondrial DNA inheritance was observed mostly from the S. cerevisiae parent.

  14. Natural Propagation and Habitat Improvement, Volume 2, Idaho, 1985 Annual and Final Reports.

    SciTech Connect

    Hair, Don

    1986-09-01

    The individual reports in this volume have been separately abstracted for inclusion in the data base. The reports describe fish habitat enhancement projects on the Lochsa River, Eldorado and Camas Creeks, and the Clearwater River. (ACR)

  15. Breeding productivity of Smith Island black ducks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haramis, G.M.; Jorde, D.G.; Olsen, G.H.; Stotts, D.B.; Harrison, M.K.; Perry, M.C.

    2002-01-01

    We investigated the breeding performance of American black ducks (Anas rubripes) on Smith Island, Chesapeake Bay, to improve our understanding of island black duck breeding ecology and to make management recommendations to enhance productivity. During 1995-96, we implanted 56 female black ducks with 20-g radio transmitters and tracked 35 of the individuals through the breeding season to locate nests, determine nest fate, and identify brood habitat. We also increased preseason banding efforts and compared capture characteristics over 12 years with those from the Deal Island Wildlife Management Area, a banding site on the mainland of Tangier Sound. A low rate of nesting (37%), lack of renesting, and poor hatching success (31%) indicated that island salt marsh habitats present a harsh environment for breeding black ducks. Black ducks located 11 of 13 nests (85%) in black needlerush (Juncus roemerianus) marsh where they were vulnerable to flooding from extreme tides and to egg predators. No nests were found on forested tree hammocks, a feature that distinguishes Smith Island from nearby South Marsh and Bloodsworth Islands. Nest predators included red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), herring gulls (Larus argentams), fish crows (Corvus ossifragus), and, potentially, Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus). Unlike mainland red foxes, foxes radio tracked on Smith Island were found to be capable swimmers and effective low marsh predators. We found shoreline meadows of widgeon grass (Ruppia maritima) to be important foraging sites for black ducks and suspected that the virtual absence of fresh water in this high salinity environment (1217+ ppt) to incur some cost in terms of growth and survival of ducklings. Preseason bandings revealed a high proportion of banded adults and a strong positive correlation in age ratios with the Deal Island banding site. This latter finding strongly suggests a negative universal effect of storm tides on nest success for Tangier Sound black ducks. Management to

  16. Mutagenesis breeding of high echinocandin B producing strain and further titer improvement with culture medium optimization.

    PubMed

    Zou, Shu-Ping; Zhong, Wei; Xia, Chao-Jie; Gu, Ya-Nan; Niu, Kun; Zheng, Yu-Guo; Shen, Yin-Chu

    2015-10-01

    A combination of microbial strain improvement and statistical optimization is investigated to maximize echinocandin B (ECB) production from Aspergillus nidulans ZJB-0817. A classical sequential mutagenesis was studied first by using physical (ultraviolet irradiation at 254 nm) and chemical mutagens (lithium chloride and sodium nitrite). Mutant strain ULN-59 exhibited 2.1-fold increase in ECB production to 1583.1 ± 40.9 mg/L when compared with the parent strain (750.8 ± 32.0 mg/L). This is the first report where mutagenesis is applied in Aspergillus to improve ECB production. Further, fractional factorial design and central composite design were adopted to optimize the culture medium for increasing ECB production by the mutant ULN-59. Results indicated that four culture media including peptone, K2HPO4, mannitol and L-ornithine had significant effects on ECB production. The optimized medium provided another 1.4-fold increase in final ECB concentration to 2285.6 ± 35.6 mg/L compared to the original medium. The results of this study indicated the combined application of a classical mutation and medium optimization can improve effectively ECB production from A. nidulans and could be a promising tool to improve other secondary metabolites production by fungal strains.

  17. Genoproteomics-assisted improvement of Andrographis paniculata: toward a promising molecular and conventional breeding platform for autogamous plants affecting the pharmaceutical industry.

    PubMed

    Valdiani, Alireza; Talei, Daryush; Lattoo, Surrinder K; Ortiz, Rodomiro; Rasmussen, Søren Kjærsgaard; Batley, Jacqueline; Rafii, Mohd Yusop; Maziah, Mahmood; Sabu, Kallevettankuzhy K; Abiri, Rambod; Sakuanrungsirikul, Suchirat; Tan, Soon Guan

    2017-01-03

    Andrographis paniculata (Burm. f.) Wall. ex Nees. (AP) is a hermaphroditic, self-compatible, and habitual inbreeding plant. Its main bioactive component is andrographolide, which is capable of inducing autophagic cell death in some human cancer cells and helps fight HIV/AIDS. Increasing the andrographolide content by investigating the genetic mechanisms controlling its biosynthesis in order to improve and develop high-yielding cultivars are the main breeding targets for AP. However, there might exist some limitations or barriers for crossability within AP accessions. Recently, this problem was addressed in AP by using a combination of crossbreeding and biotechnology-aided genetic methods. This review emphasizes that development of a breeding platform in a hard-to-breed plant, such as AP, requires the involvement of a broad range of methods from classical genetics to molecular breeding. To this end, a phenological stage (for example, flowering and stigma development) can be simplified to a quantitative morphological trait (for example, bud or stigma length) to be used as an index to express the highest level of receptivity in order to manage outcrossing. The outcomes of the basic crossability research can be then employed in diallel mating and crossbreeding. This review explains how genomic data could produce useful information regarding genetic distance and its influence on the crossability of AP accessions. Our review indicates that co-dominant DNA markers, such as microsatellites, are also capable of resolving the evolutionary pathway and cryptic features of plant populations and such information can be used to select the best breeding strategy. This review also highlights the importance of proteomic analysis as a breeding tool. In this regard, protein diversification, as well as the impact of normal and stress-responsive proteins on morphometric and physiological behaviors, could be used in breeding programs. These findings have immense potential for improving

  18. Potential for Loss of Breeding Habitat for Imperiled Mountain Yellow-legged Frog ( Rana muscosa) in High Sierra Nevada Mountain Water Bodies due to Reduced Snowpack: Interaction of Climate Change and an Introduced Predator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lacan, I.; Matthews, K. R.

    2005-12-01

    Year to year variation in snowpack (20-200% average) and summer rain create large fluctuations in the volume of water in ponds and small lakes of the higher elevation (> 3000 m) Sierra Nevada. These water bodies are critical habitat for the imperiled mountain yellow-legged frog, Rana muscosa, which has decreased in abundance by 90% during the past century, due in part to the loss of suitable habitat and introduction of a fish predator (trout, Oncorhynchus spp.). Climate change is predicted to reduce the amount of snowpack, potentially impacting amphibian habitats throughout the Sierra Nevada by further reducing the lake and pond water levels and resulting in drying of small lakes during the summer. Mountain yellow-legged frogs are closely tied to water during all life stages, and are unique in having a three- to four-year tadpole phase. Thus, tadpole survival and future recruitment of adult frogs requires adequate water in lakes and ponds throughout the year, but larger lakes are populated with fish that prey on frogs and tadpoles. Thus, most successful frog breeding occurs in warm, shallow, fishless ponds that undergo wide fluctuations in volume. These water bodies would be most susceptible to the potential climate change effects of reduced snowpack, possibly resulting in lower tadpole survival. This study explores the link between the changes in water availability -- including complete pond drying -- and the abundance and recruitment of mountain yellow-legged frog in Dusy Basin, Kings Canyon National Park, California, USA. We propose using the low-snowpack years (1999, 2002, 2004) as comparative case studies to predict future effects of climate change on aquatic habitat availability and amphibian abundance and survival. To quantify the year to year variation and changes in water volume available to amphibians, we initiated GPS lake mapping in 2002 to quantify water volumes, water surface area, and shoreline length. We tracked these changes by repeated mapping of

  19. Multi-scale habitat selection in highly territorial bird species: Exploring the contribution of nest, territory and landscape levels to site choice in breeding rallids (Aves: Rallidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jedlikowski, Jan; Chibowski, Piotr; Karasek, Tomasz; Brambilla, Mattia

    2016-05-01

    Habitat selection often involves choices made at different spatial scales, but the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood, and studies that investigate the relative importance of individual scales are rare. We investigated the effect of three spatial scales (landscape, territory, nest-site) on the occurrence pattern of little crake Zapornia parva and water rail Rallus aquaticus at 74 ponds in the Masurian Lakeland, Poland. Habitat structure, food abundance and water chemical parameters were measured at nests and random points within landscape plots (from 300-m to 50-m radius), territory (14-m) and nest-site plots (3-m). Regression analyses suggested that the most relevant scale was territory level, followed by landscape, and finally by nest-site for both species. Variation partitioning confirmed this pattern for water rail, but also highlighted the importance of nest-site (the level explaining the highest share of unique variation) for little crake. The most important variables determining the occurrence of both species were water body fragmentation (landscape), vegetation density (territory) and water depth (at territory level for little crake, and at nest-site level for water rail). Finally, for both species multi-scale models including factors from different levels were more parsimonious than single-scale ones, i.e. habitat selection was likely a multi-scale process. The importance of particular spatial scales seemed more related to life-history traits than to the extent of the scales considered. In the case of our study species, the territory level was highly important likely because both rallids have to obtain all the resources they need (nest site, food and mates) in relatively small areas, the multi-purpose territories they defend.

  20. Transcriptome analysis of a breeding program pedigree examines gene expression diversity and reveals target genes for malting quality improvement

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Advanced cycle breeding utilizes crosses among elite lines and is a successful method to develop new inbreds. However, it results in a reduction in genetic diversity within the breeding population. The development of malting barley varieties requires the adherence to a narrow malting quality profile...

  1. Habitat use of breeding green turtles Chelonia mydas tagged in Dry Tortugas National Park: Making use of local and regional MPAs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hart, Kristen; Zawada, David G.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Lidz, Barbara H.

    2013-01-01

    Use of existing marine protected areas (MPAs) by far-ranging marine turtles can be determined using satellite telemetry. Because of a lack of information on MPA use by marine turtles in the Gulf of Mexico, we used satellite transmitters in 2010 and 2011 to track movements of 11 adult female breeding green turtles (Chelonia mydas) tagged in Dry Tortugas National Park (DRTO), in the Gulf of Mexico, south Florida, USA. Throughout the study period, turtles emerged every 9–18 days to nest. During the intervals between nesting episodes (i.e., inter-nesting periods), the turtles consistently used a common core-area within the DRTO boundary, determined using individual 50% kernel-density estimates (KDEs). We mapped the area in DRTO where individual turtle 50% KDEs overlapped using the USGS Along-Track Reef-Imaging System, and determined the diversity and distribution of various benthic-cover types within the mapped area. We also tracked turtles post-nesting as they transited to foraging sites 5–282 km away from tagging beaches; these sites were located both within DRTO and in the surrounding area of the Florida Keys and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS), a regional MPA. Year-round residency of 9 out of 11 individuals (82%) both within DRTO and in the FKNMS represents novel non-migratory behavior, which offers an opportunity for conservation of this imperiled species at both local and regional scales. These data comprise the first satellite-tracking results on adult nesting green turtles at this remote study site. Additional tracking could reveal whether the distinct inter-nesting and foraging sites delineated here will be repeatedly used in the future by these and other breeding green turtles.

  2. Improving ungulate habitat in a region undergoing rapid energy development: Consequences for songbirds and small mammals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bombaci, Sara Petrita

    Habitat manipulation intended to mitigate the impact of energy development on game animals is well underway in the western U.S. Yet, the consequences of these actions for other species are not well understood. A habitat manipulation experiment was established in the Piceance Basin, a region of Colorado undergoing rapid energy development, to evaluate alternative methods (i.e. chaining, hydro-axe, and roller-chop treatments) for reducing pinyon-juniper woodlands to promote mule deer habitat. I use this experimental design to additionally test the initial effects of these treatments on birds and small mammals, and to evaluate selection of habitat components in treatments by birds and small mammals. I found lower bird species occupancy in all treatment plots compared to control plots; however the strength of this response varied by bird guild. I found a positive relationship between bird species occupancy and percent tree cover and a negative relationship between bird species occupancy and percent grass and forb cover. I found no evidence of differences in small mammal species occupancy or density between controls and treatments. I found a positive relationship between small mammal species occupancy and percent grass and forb cover. Species richness did not significantly differ between control and treatment plots for birds or small mammals. My approach and research findings can be used to inform habitat management and multiple-species conservation objectives in pinyon-juniper and sage-steppe ecosystems undergoing energy development. Specifically, I have identified that recently developed roller-chop and hydro-axe treatments have similar impacts to woodland bird guilds as traditional chaining treatments. I have also identified species that are sensitive to habitat mitigation treatments, and thus should be monitored if woodland reduction continues to be used as a habitat mitigation strategy. Since all bird guilds were positively associated with tree cover, woodland

  3. Genome wide screening of candidate genes for improving piglet birth weight using high and low estimated breeding value populations.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lifan; Zhou, Xiang; Michal, Jennifer J; Ding, Bo; Li, Rui; Jiang, Zhihua

    2014-01-01

    Birth weight is an economically important trait in pig production because it directly impacts piglet growth and survival rate. In the present study, we performed a genome wide survey of candidate genes and pathways associated with individual birth weight (IBW) using the Illumina PorcineSNP60 BeadChip on 24 high (HEBV) and 24 low estimated breeding value (LEBV) animals. These animals were selected from a reference population of 522 individuals produced by three sires and six dam lines, which were crossbreds with multiple breeds. After quality-control, 43,257 SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), including 42,243 autosomal SNPs and 1,014 SNPs on chromosome X, were used in the data analysis. A total of 27 differentially selected regions (DSRs), including 1 on Sus scrofa chromosome 1 (SSC1), 1 on SSC4, 2 on SSC5, 4 on SSC6, 2 on SSC7, 5 on SSC8, 3 on SSC9, 1 on SSC14, 3 on SSC18, and 5 on SSCX, were identified to show the genome wide separations between the HEBV and LEBV groups for IBW in piglets. A DSR with the most number of significant SNPs (including 7 top 0.1% and 31 top 5% SNPs) was located on SSC6, while another DSR with the largest genetic differences in F ST was found on SSC18. These regions harbor known functionally important genes involved in growth and development, such as TNFRSF9 (tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 9), CA6 (carbonic anhydrase VI) and MDFIC (MyoD family inhibitor domain containing). A DSR rich in imprinting genes appeared on SSC9, which included PEG10 (paternally expressed 10), SGCE (sarcoglycan, epsilon), PPP1R9A (protein phosphatase 1, regulatory subunit 9A) and ASB4 (ankyrin repeat and SOCS box containing 4). More importantly, our present study provided evidence to support six quantitative trait loci (QTL) regions for pig birth weight, six QTL regions for average birth weight (ABW) and three QTL regions for litter birth weight (LBW) reported previously by other groups. Furthermore, gene ontology analysis with 183 genes

  4. Estimating habitat carrying capacity for migrating and wintering waterfowl: Considerations, pitfalls and improvements

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Christopher; Dugger, Bruce D.; Brasher, Michael G.; Coluccy, John M.; Cramer, Dane M.; Eadie, John M.; Gray, Matthew J.; Hagy, Heath M.; Livolsi, Mark; McWilliams, Scott R.; Petrie, Matthew; Soulliere, Gregory J.; Tirpak, John M.; Webb, Elisabeth B.

    2014-01-01

    Population-based habitat conservation planning for migrating and wintering waterfowl in North America is carried out by habitat Joint Venture (JV) initiatives and is based on the premise that food can limit demography (i.e. food limitation hypothesis). Consequently, planners use bioenergetic models to estimate food (energy) availability and population-level energy demands at appropriate spatial and temporal scales, and translate these values into regional habitat objectives. While simple in principle, there are both empirical and theoretical challenges associated with calculating energy supply and demand including: 1) estimating food availability, 2) estimating the energy content of specific foods, 3) extrapolating site-specific estimates of food availability to landscapes for focal species, 4) applicability of estimates from a single species to other species, 5) estimating resting metabolic rate, 6) estimating cost of daily behaviours, and 7) estimating costs of thermoregulation or tissue synthesis. Most models being used are daily ration models (DRMs) whose set of simplifying assumptions are well established and whose use is widely accepted and feasible given the empirical data available to populate such models. However, DRMs do not link habitat objectives to metrics of ultimate ecological importance such as individual body condition or survival, and largely only consider food-producing habitats. Agent-based models (ABMs) provide a possible alternative for creating more biologically realistic models under some conditions; however, ABMs require different types of empirical inputs, many of which have yet to be estimated for key North American waterfowl. Decisions about how JVs can best proceed with habitat conservation would benefit from the use of sensitivity analyses that could identify the empirical and theoretical uncertainties that have the greatest influence on efforts to estimate habitat carrying capacity. Development of ABMs at

  5. Population structure of ice-breeding seals.

    PubMed

    Davis, Corey S; Stirling, Ian; Strobeck, Curtis; Coltman, David W

    2008-07-01

    The development of population genetic structure in ice-breeding seal species is likely to be shaped by a combination of breeding habitat and life-history characteristics. Species that return to breed on predictable fast-ice locations are more likely to exhibit natal fidelity than pack-ice-breeding species, which in turn facilitates the development of genetic differentiation between subpopulations. Other aspects of life history such as geographically distinct vocalizations, female gregariousness, and the potential for polygynous breeding may also facilitate population structure. Based on these factors, we predicted that fast-ice-breeding seal species (the Weddell and ringed seal) would show elevated genetic differentiation compared to pack-ice-breeding species (the leopard, Ross, crabeater and bearded seals). We tested this prediction using microsatellite analysis to examine population structure of these six ice-breeding species. Our results did not support this prediction. While none of the Antarctic pack-ice species showed statistically significant population structure, the bearded seal of the Arctic pack ice showed strong differentiation between subpopulations. Again in contrast, the fast-ice-breeding Weddell seal of the Antarctic showed clear evidence for genetic differentiation while the ringed seal, breeding in similar habitat in the Arctic, did not. These results suggest that the development of population structure in ice-breeding phocid seals is a more complex outcome of the interplay of phylogenetic and ecological factors than can be predicted on the basis of breeding substrate and life-history characteristics.

  6. Apricot Breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Apricot orchard area and fruit production are increasing worldwide. Breeding programs engage in apricot development to provide new varieties to meet needs of producers and consumers. Over the last 20 years, breeders have used new techniques to assist in variety development and to increase breeding...

  7. Molecular breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Use of molecular and genomic tools to assist selection of parents or progeny has become an integral part of modern cotton breeding. In this chapter, the basic components of molecular cotton breeding are described. These components include: molecular marker development, genetic and physical map const...

  8. Improvement of Basmati rice varieties for resistance to blast and bacterial blight diseases using marker assisted backcross breeding.

    PubMed

    Ellur, Ranjith K; Khanna, Apurva; Yadav, Ashutosh; Pathania, Sandeep; Rajashekara, H; Singh, Vikas K; Gopala Krishnan, S; Bhowmick, Prolay K; Nagarajan, M; Vinod, K K; Prakash, G; Mondal, Kalyan K; Singh, Nagendra K; Vinod Prabhu, K; Singh, Ashok K

    2016-01-01

    Marker assisted backcross breeding was employed to incorporate the blast resistance genes, Pi2 and Pi54 and bacterial blight (BB) resistance genes xa13 and Xa21 into the genetic background of Pusa Basmati 1121 (PB1121) and Pusa Basmati 6. Foreground selection for target gene(s) was followed by arduous phenotypic and background selection which fast-tracked the recovery of recurrent parent genome (RPG) to an extent of 95.8% in one of the near-isogenic lines (NILs) namely, Pusa 1728-23-33-31-56, which also showed high degree of resemblance to recurrent parent, PB6 in phenotype. The phenotypic selection prior to background selection provided an additional opportunity for identifying the novel recombinants viz., Pusa 1884-9-12-14 and Pusa 1884-3-9-175, superior to parental lines in terms of early maturity, higher yield and improved quality parameters. There was no significant difference between the RPG recovery estimated based on SSR or SNP markers, however, the panel of SNPs markers was considered as the better choice for background selection as it provided better genome coverage and included SNPs in the genic regions. Multi-location evaluation of NILs depicted their stable and high mean performance in comparison to the respective recurrent parents. The Pi2+Pi54 carrying NILs were effective in combating a pan-India panel of Magnaporthe oryzae isolates with high level of field resistance in northern, eastern and southern parts of India. Alongside, the PB1121-NILs and PB6-NILs carrying BB resistance genes xa13+Xa21 were resistant against Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae races of north-western, southern and eastern parts of the country. Three of NILs developed in this study, have been promoted to final stage of testing during the ​Kharif 2015 in the Indian National Basmati Trial.

  9. Breeding sites of Phlebotomus sergenti, the sand fly vector of cutaneous leishmaniasis in the Judean Desert.

    PubMed

    Moncaz, Aviad; Faiman, Roy; Kirstein, Oscar; Warburg, Alon

    2012-01-01

    Phlebotomine sand flies transmit Leishmania, phlebo-viruses and Bartonella to humans. A prominent gap in our knowledge of sand fly biology remains the ecology of their immature stages. Sand flies, unlike mosquitoes do not breed in water and only small numbers of larvae have been recovered from diverse habitats that provide stable temperatures, high humidity and decaying organic matter. We describe studies designed to identify and characterize sand fly breeding habitats in a Judean Desert focus of cutaneous leishmaniasis. To detect breeding habitats we constructed emergence traps comprising sand fly-proof netting covering defined areas or cave openings. Large size horizontal sticky traps within the confined spaces were used to trap the sand flies. Newly eclosed male sand flies were identified based on their un-rotated genitalia. Cumulative results show that Phlebotomus sergenti the vector of Leishmania tropica rests and breeds inside caves that are also home to rock hyraxes (the reservoir hosts of L. tropica) and several rodent species. Emerging sand flies were also trapped outside covered caves, probably arriving from other caves or from smaller, concealed cracks in the rocky ledges close by. Man-made support walls constructed with large boulders were also identified as breeding habitats for Ph. sergenti albeit less important than caves. Soil samples obtained from caves and burrows were rich in organic matter and salt content. In this study we developed and put into practice a generalized experimental scheme for identifying sand fly breeding habitats and for assessing the quantities of flies that emerge from them. An improved understanding of sand fly larval ecology should facilitate the implementation of effective control strategies of sand fly vectors of Leishmania.

  10. Breeding Sites of Phlebotomus sergenti, the Sand Fly Vector of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in the Judean Desert

    PubMed Central

    Moncaz, Aviad; Faiman, Roy; Kirstein, Oscar; Warburg, Alon

    2012-01-01

    Phlebotomine sand flies transmit Leishmania, phlebo-viruses and Bartonella to humans. A prominent gap in our knowledge of sand fly biology remains the ecology of their immature stages. Sand flies, unlike mosquitoes do not breed in water and only small numbers of larvae have been recovered from diverse habitats that provide stable temperatures, high humidity and decaying organic matter. We describe studies designed to identify and characterize sand fly breeding habitats in a Judean Desert focus of cutaneous leishmaniasis. To detect breeding habitats we constructed emergence traps comprising sand fly-proof netting covering defined areas or cave openings. Large size horizontal sticky traps within the confined spaces were used to trap the sand flies. Newly eclosed male sand flies were identified based on their un-rotated genitalia. Cumulative results show that Phlebotomus sergenti the vector of Leishmania tropica rests and breeds inside caves that are also home to rock hyraxes (the reservoir hosts of L. tropica) and several rodent species. Emerging sand flies were also trapped outside covered caves, probably arriving from other caves or from smaller, concealed cracks in the rocky ledges close by. Man-made support walls constructed with large boulders were also identified as breeding habitats for Ph. sergenti albeit less important than caves. Soil samples obtained from caves and burrows were rich in organic matter and salt content. In this study we developed and put into practice a generalized experimental scheme for identifying sand fly breeding habitats and for assessing the quantities of flies that emerge from them. An improved understanding of sand fly larval ecology should facilitate the implementation of effective control strategies of sand fly vectors of Leishmania. PMID:22802981

  11. Kootenai River Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Project : Long-term Bighorn Sheep/Mule Deer Winter and Spring Habitat Improvement Project : Wildlife Mitigation Project, Libby Dam, Montana : Management Plan.

    SciTech Connect

    Yde, Chis

    1990-06-01

    The Libby hydroelectric project, located on the Kootenai River in northwestern Montana, resulted in several impacts to the wildlife communities which occupied the habitats inundated by Lake Koocanusa. Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, in cooperation with the other management agencies, developed an impact assessment and a wildlife and wildlife habitat mitigation plan for the Libby hydroelectric facility. In response to the mitigation plan, Bonneville Power Administration funded a cooperative project between the Kootenai National Forest and Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks to develop a long-term habitat enhancement plan for the bighorn sheep and mule deer winter and spring ranges adjacent to Lake Koocanusa. The project goal is to rehabilitate 3372 acres of bighorn sheep and 16,321 acres of mule deer winter and spring ranges on Kootenai National Forest lands adjacent to Lake Koocanusa and to monitor and evaluate the effects of implementing this habitat enhancement work. 2 refs.

  12. Improving proliferation resistance of high breeding gain generation 4 reactors using blankets composed of light water reactor waste

    SciTech Connect

    Hellesen, C.; Grape, S.; Haakanson, A.; Jacobson Svaerd, S.; Jansson, P.

    2013-07-01

    Fertile blankets can be used in fast reactors to enhance the breeding gain as well as the passive safety characteristics. However, such blankets typically result in the production of weapons grade plutonium. For this reason they are often excluded from Generation IV reactor designs. In this paper we demonstrate that using blankets manufactured directly from spent light water (LWR) reactor fuel it is possible to produce a plutonium product with non-proliferation characteristics on a par with spent LWR fuel of 30-50 MWd/kg burnup. The beneficial breeding and safety characteristics are retained. (authors)

  13. Combining Breeding Bird Survey and distance sampling to estimate density of migrant and breeding birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Somershoe, S.G.; Twedt, D.J.; Reid, B.

    2006-01-01

    We combined Breeding Bird Survey point count protocol and distance sampling to survey spring migrant and breeding birds in Vicksburg National Military Park on 33 days between March and June of 2003 and 2004. For 26 of 106 detected species, we used program DISTANCE to estimate detection probabilities and densities from 660 3-min point counts in which detections were recorded within four distance annuli. For most species, estimates of detection probability, and thereby density estimates, were improved through incorporation of the proportion of forest cover at point count locations as a covariate. Our results suggest Breeding Bird Surveys would benefit from the use of distance sampling and a quantitative characterization of habitat at point count locations. During spring migration, we estimated that the most common migrant species accounted for a population of 5000-9000 birds in Vicksburg National Military Park (636 ha). Species with average populations of 300 individuals during migration were: Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea), Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum), White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus), Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea), and Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula). Of 56 species that bred in Vicksburg National Military Park, we estimated that the most common 18 species accounted for 8150 individuals. The six most abundant breeding species, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, White-eyed Vireo, Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra), Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus), and Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater), accounted for 5800 individuals.

  14. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Eastern brown pelican

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1985-01-01

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

  15. Use of LANDSAT data to assess waterfowl habitat quality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colwell, J. E.; Gilmer, D. S. (Principal Investigator); Work, E. A., Jr.; Rebel, D. L.; Roller, N. E. G.

    1978-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. The capability of mapping ponds over a very large area was demonstrated, with multidate, multiframe LANDSAT imagery. A small double sample of aircraft data made it possible to adjust a LANDSAT large area census. Terrain classification was improved by using multitemporal LANDSAT data. Waterfowl production was estimated, using remotely determined pond data, in conjunction with FWS estimates of breeding population. Relative waterfowl habitat quality was characterized on a section by section basis.

  16. SM09A and SM09B: Romaine Lettuce Breeding Lines Resistant to Dieback and with Improved Shelf-life.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    SM09A and SM09B are F8 romaine breeding lines of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) resistant to dieback and with good shelf-life. SM09B was selected from a cross between ‘Darkland’ and PI491224, while SM09A was developed from ‘Green Towers’ × (‘Darkland’ × PI491224). Resistance to the disease in both bree...

  17. [The evaluation of breed-specific defects in dog breeds from an animal welfare viewpoint].

    PubMed

    Peyer, N; Steiger, A

    1998-01-01

    Issues of breed defects such as morphology, physiology or behaviour in pure-breed dogs, are briefly discussed. Suggestions for various kinds of improvements are made, particularly concerning legislation, analysis of pedigree to avoid undesirable breed characteristics and what breeding clubs, individual breeders, judges, future dog owners and veterinarians could and should do about these problems; these are followed by summary conclusions.

  18. Western juniper management: assessing strategies for improving greater sage-grouse habitat and rangeland productivity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Farzan, Shahla; Young, Derek J.N.; Dedrick, Allison G.; Hamilton, Mattew; Porse, Erik C.; Coates, Peter S.; Sampson, Gabriel

    2015-01-01

    Western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis subsp. occidentalis) range expansion into sagebrush steppe ecosystems has affected both native wildlife and economic livelihoods across western North America. The potential listing of the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) under the U.S. Endangered Species Act has spurred a decade of juniper removal efforts, yet limited research has evaluated program effectiveness. We used a multi-objective spatially explicit model to identify optimal juniper removal sites in Northeastern California across weighted goals for ecological (sage-grouse habitat) and economic (cattle forage production) benefits. We also extended the analysis through alternative case scenarios that tested the effects of coordination among federal agencies, budgetary constraints, and the use of fire as a juniper treatment method. We found that sage-grouse conservation and forage production goals are somewhat complementary, but the extent of complementary benefits strongly depends on spatial factors and management approaches. Certain management actions substantially increase achievable benefits, including agency coordination and the use of prescribed burns to remove juniper. Critically, our results indicate that juniper management strategies designed to increase cattle forage do not necessarily achieve measurable sage-grouse benefits, underscoring the need for program evaluation and monitoring.

  19. Western Juniper Management: Assessing Strategies for Improving Greater Sage-grouse Habitat and Rangeland Productivity.

    PubMed

    Farzan, Shahla; Young, Derek J N; Dedrick, Allison G; Hamilton, Matthew; Porse, Erik C; Coates, Peter S; Sampson, Gabriel

    2015-09-01

    Western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis subsp. occidentalis) range expansion into sagebrush steppe ecosystems has affected both native wildlife and economic livelihoods across western North America. The potential listing of the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) under the U.S. Endangered Species Act has spurred a decade of juniper removal efforts, yet limited research has evaluated program effectiveness. We used a multi-objective spatially explicit model to identify optimal juniper removal sites in Northeastern California across weighted goals for ecological (sage-grouse habitat) and economic (cattle forage production) benefits. We also extended the analysis through alternative case scenarios that tested the effects of coordination among federal agencies, budgetary constraints, and the use of fire as a juniper treatment method. We found that sage-grouse conservation and forage production goals are somewhat complementary, but the extent of complementary benefits strongly depends on spatial factors and management approaches. Certain management actions substantially increase achievable benefits, including agency coordination and the use of prescribed burns to remove juniper. Critically, our results indicate that juniper management strategies designed to increase cattle forage do not necessarily achieve measurable sage-grouse benefits, underscoring the need for program evaluation and monitoring.

  20. Western Juniper Management: Assessing Strategies for Improving Greater Sage-grouse Habitat and Rangeland Productivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farzan, Shahla; Young, Derek J. N.; Dedrick, Allison G.; Hamilton, Matthew; Porse, Erik C.; Coates, Peter S.; Sampson, Gabriel

    2015-09-01

    Western juniper ( Juniperus occidentalis subsp. occidentalis) range expansion into sagebrush steppe ecosystems has affected both native wildlife and economic livelihoods across western North America. The potential listing of the greater sage-grouse ( Centrocercus urophasianus) under the U.S. Endangered Species Act has spurred a decade of juniper removal efforts, yet limited research has evaluated program effectiveness. We used a multi-objective spatially explicit model to identify optimal juniper removal sites in Northeastern California across weighted goals for ecological (sage-grouse habitat) and economic (cattle forage production) benefits. We also extended the analysis through alternative case scenarios that tested the effects of coordination among federal agencies, budgetary constraints, and the use of fire as a juniper treatment method. We found that sage-grouse conservation and forage production goals are somewhat complementary, but the extent of complementary benefits strongly depends on spatial factors and management approaches. Certain management actions substantially increase achievable benefits, including agency coordination and the use of prescribed burns to remove juniper. Critically, our results indicate that juniper management strategies designed to increase cattle forage do not necessarily achieve measurable sage-grouse benefits, underscoring the need for program evaluation and monitoring.

  1. Adaptive traits of indigenous cattle breeds: The Mediterranean Baladi as a case study.

    PubMed

    Shabtay, Ariel

    2015-11-01

    Generally taken, breeds of Bos taurus ancestry are considered more productive, in comparison with Bos indicus derived breeds that present enhanced hardiness and disease resistance, low nutritional requirements and higher capability of feed utilization. While breeds of B. taurus have been mostly selected for intensive production systems, indigenous cattle, developed mostly from indicine and African taurines, flourish in extensive habitats. Worldwide demographic and economic processes face animal production with new challenges - the increasing demand for animal food products. Intensification of animal husbandry is thus a desired goal in stricken parts of the world. An introduction of productive traits to indigenous breeds might serve to generate improved biological and economic efficiencies. For this to succeed, the genetic merit of traits like efficiency of feed utilization and product quality should be revealed, encouraging the conservation initiatives of indigenous cattle populations, many of which are already extinct and endangered. Moreover, to overcome potential genetic homogeneity, controlled breeding practices should be undertaken. The Baladi cattle are a native local breed found throughout the Mediterranean basin. Purebred Baladi animals are rapidly vanishing, as more European breeds are being introduced or used for backcrosses leading to improved production. The superiority of Baladi over large-framed cattle, in feedlot and on Mediterranean pasture, with respect to adaptability and efficiency, is highlighted in the current review.

  2. Integration of BpMADS4 on various linkage groups improves the utilization of the rapid cycle breeding system in apple.

    PubMed

    Weigl, Kathleen; Wenzel, Stephanie; Flachowsky, Henryk; Peil, Andreas; Hanke, Magda-Viola

    2015-02-01

    Rapid cycle breeding in apple is a new approach for the rapid introgression of agronomically relevant traits (e.g. disease resistances) from wild apple species into domestic apple cultivars (Malus × domestica Borkh.). This technique drastically shortens the long-lasting juvenile phase of apple. The utilization of early-flowering apple lines overexpressing the BpMADS4 gene of the European silver birch (Betula pendula Roth.) in hybridization resulted in one breeding cycle per year. Aiming for the selection of non-transgenic null segregants at the end of the breeding process, the flower-inducing transgene and the gene of interest (e.g. resistance gene) that will be introgressed by hybridization need to be located on different chromosomes. To improve the flexibility of the existing approach in apple, this study was focused on the development and characterization of eleven additional BpMADS4 overexpressing lines of four different apple cultivars. In nine lines, the flowering gene was mapped to different linkage groups. The differences in introgressed T-DNA sequences and plant genome deletions post-transformation highlighted the unique molecular character of each line. However, transgenic lines demonstrated no significant differences in flower organ development and pollen functionality compared with non-transgenic plants. Hybridization studies using pollen from the fire blight-resistant wild species accession Malus fusca MAL0045 and the apple scab-resistant cultivar 'Regia' indicated that BpMADS4 introgression had no significant effect on the breeding value of each transgenic line.

  3. RosBREED: Enabling Marker-Assisted Breeding In Rosaceae

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    RosBREED will create a national, dynamic, sustained effort in research, infrastructure establishment, training, and extension for applying marker-assisted breeding (MAB) to deliver improved plant materials more efficiently and rapidly. The Rosaceae family (including apple, peach, sweet and tart cher...

  4. Studies on the use of herbicides for improving waterfowl habitat in western Kentucky and Tennessee

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Steenis, J.H.

    1950-01-01

    During four years of investigation on the use of herbicides to control pest plants in waterfowl habitat in western Kentucky and Tennessee, it was found that: (1) Ammate at 3/4 pound to a gallon of water and 2,4-D at 6% strength can, under selected conditions, be used effectively on many plants, including important pest species such as lotus, giant cutgrass and several woody species. For the greatest degree of success, application must be at certain stages of plant growth and certain environmental conditions. (2) For non-hormone types of chemicals, such as Ammate, best results are likely to be obtained at the period when treatment causes maximum shock to the plant. Generally this is somewhat later than the optimum time for 2,4-D and, in many plants, occurs when the plant is fruiting. (3) Best results with the hormone-type of herbicide, such as 2,4-D, were obtained during active vegetative growth and when foliage development is nearly maximum. Correlated with this optimum stage of the plant's development, the environment should be wet and the average temperature should be 70?F. or higher. (4) Successive treatments of 2,4-D and Ammate made at periods when hormone and non-hormone herbicides are each most effective, were used on hard-to-kill woody sucker growth and on spatterdock. This procedure was more effective than double treatment with either 2,4-D or Ammate, and may show promise for controlling resistant vegetation. (5) Effective application of herbicides in waterfowl areas requires procedures that will result in economical replacement of objectionable vegetation by more desirable plants.

  5. Raspberry Breeding and Genetics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter describes the origin, speciation, and history of improvement of the raspberries, Rubus section idaeobatus. The world industry in North America, Australasia, China, Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa, and South America and the breeding objectives of programs in those areas are discussed. Ger...

  6. Breeding-assisted genomics.

    PubMed

    Poland, Jesse

    2015-04-01

    The revolution of inexpensive sequencing has ushered in an unprecedented age of genomics. The promise of using this technology to accelerate plant breeding is being realized with a vision of genomics-assisted breeding that will lead to rapid genetic gain for expensive and difficult traits. The reality is now that robust phenotypic data is an increasing limiting resource to complement the current wealth of genomic information. While genomics has been hailed as the discipline to fundamentally change the scope of plant breeding, a more symbiotic relationship is likely to emerge. In the context of developing and evaluating large populations needed for functional genomics, none excel in this area more than plant breeders. While genetic studies have long relied on dedicated, well-structured populations, the resources dedicated to these populations in the context of readily available, inexpensive genotyping is making this philosophy less tractable relative to directly focusing functional genomics on material in breeding programs. Through shifting effort for basic genomic studies from dedicated structured populations, to capturing the entire scope of genetic determinants in breeding lines, we can move towards not only furthering our understanding of functional genomics in plants, but also rapidly improving crops for increased food security, availability and nutrition.

  7. Suitability criteria analyzed at the spatial scale of redd clusters improved estimates of fall chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) spawning habitat use in the Hanford Reach, Columbia River

    SciTech Connect

    Geist, David R. ); Jones, Julia; Murray, Christopher J. ); Dauble, Dennis D. )

    1999-12-01

    We improved our predictions of fall chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) habitat use by analyzing spawning habitat at the spatial scale of redd clusters. Spatial point pattern analyses indicated that redd clusters in the Hanford Reach, Columbia River, were consistent in their location from 1994 to 1995. Redd densities were 16.1 and 8.9 redds?ha-1 in 1994 and 1995, respectively, and individual redds within clusters were usually less than 30 m apart. Pattern analysis also showed strong evidence that redds were uniformly distributed within the clusters where inter-redd distances ranged from 2 to 5 m. Redd clusters were found to occur predominantly where water velocity was between 1.4 to 2 m?s-1, water depth was 2 to 4 m, and lateral slope of the riverbed was less than 4%. This habitat use represented a narrower range of use than previously reported for adult fall chinook salmon. Logistic regression analysis determined that water velocity and lateral slope were the most significant predictors of redd cluster location over a range of river discharges. Over-estimates of available spawning habitat lead to non-achievable goals for protecting and restoring critical salmonid habitat. Better predictions of spawning habitat may be possible if cluster-specific characteristics are used.

  8. The use of agrobiodiversity for plant improvement and the intellectual property paradigm: institutional fit and legal tools for mass selection, conventional and molecular plant breeding.

    PubMed

    Batur, Fulya; Dedeurwaerdere, Tom

    2014-12-01

    Focused on the impact of stringent intellectual property mechanisms over the uses of plant agricultural biodiversity in crop improvement, the article delves into a systematic analysis of the relationship between institutional paradigms and their technological contexts of application, identified as mass selection, controlled hybridisation, molecular breeding tools and transgenics. While the strong property paradigm has proven effective in the context of major leaps forward in genetic engineering, it faces a systematic breakdown when extended to mass selection, where innovation often displays a collective nature. However, it also creates partial blockages in those innovation schemes rested between on-farm observation and genetic modification, i.e. conventional plant breeding and upstream molecular biology research tools. Neither overly strong intellectual property rights, nor the absence of well delineated protection have proven an optimal fit for these two intermediary socio-technological systems of cumulative incremental innovation. To address these challenges, the authors look at appropriate institutional alternatives which can create effective incentives for in situ agrobiodiversity conservation and the equitable distribution of technologies in plant improvement, using the flexibilities of the TRIPS Agreement, the liability rules set forth in patents or plant variety rights themselves (in the form of farmers', breeders' and research exceptions), and other ad hoc reward regimes.

  9. Breeding productivity and adult survival in nongame birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Martin, Thomas E.; DeSante, David F.; Paine, Charles R.; Donovan, Therese M.; Dettmers, Randy; Manolis, J.C.; Burton, K.

    1995-01-01

    Demographic data (breeding productivity and adult survival) provide the kind of early warning signal that allows detection of unhealthy populations in terms of productivity or survival problems (Martin and Guepel 1993). In addition, demographic data can help determine whether population declines are the result of low breeding productivity or low survival in migration or winter. Breeding productivity data also can help identify habitat conditions associated with successful and failed breeding attempts. Such information is critical for developing habitat- and land-management practices (Martin 1992). Here, we provide examples of the kinds of information that can be obtained by broad-scale demographic studies.

  10. Hungry Horse Dam Fisheries Mitigation : Fish Passage and Habitat Improvement in the Upper Flathead River Basin, 1991-1996 Progress Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Knotek, W.Ladd; Deleray, Mark; Marotz, Brian L.

    1997-08-01

    In the past 50 years, dramatic changes have occurred in the Flathead Lake and River system. Degradation of fishery resources has been evident, in part due to deterioration of aquatic habitat and introduction of non-endemic fish and invertebrate species. Habitat loss has been attributed to many factors including the construction and operation of Hungry Horse Dam, unsound land use practices, urban development, and other anthropogenic and natural disturbances. Fish migration has also been limited by barriers such as dams and impassible culverts. Cumulatively, these factors have contributed to declines in the distribution and abundance of native fish populations. Recovery of fish populations requires that a watershed approach be developed that incorporates long-term aquatic habitat needs and promotes sound land use practices and cooperation among natural resource management agencies. In this document, the authors (1) describe completed and ongoing habitat improvement and fish passage activities under the Hungry Horse Fisheries Mitigation Program, (2) describe recently identified projects that are in the planning stage, and (3) develop a framework for identifying prioritizing, implementing, and evaluating future fish habitat improvement and passage projects.

  11. Bald eagle habitat suitability on Melton Hill Reservoir and the Clinch River

    SciTech Connect

    Buehler, D.A.

    1994-09-01

    The area around Melton Hill Reservoir and sections of the Clinch River along the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) provide suitable habitat for bald eagles for both breeding and wintering activities. Primary limitations on habitat suitability appear to be human activity in aquatic habitats and along shoreline areas, and human development along shoreline areas. ORR provides the majority of the suitable habitat because shoreline development is very limited. Four eagle management strategies discussed for ORR include planning development away from high-quality habitats, allowing forest stands near water to mature, conducting timber stand improvement to foster growth and development in pines and hardwoods, and using introductions to foster the development of a breeding population. The primary objective of this project was to make a qualitative assessment of bald eagle habitat suitability along Melton Hill Reservoir and the Clinch River and in adjacent areas on the ORR, including the proposed Advanced Neutron Source site. This survey`s aim was to provide ORR managers with an indication of whether suitable habitat exists and, if so, where it occurs on ORR. This information should provide the basis for incorporating eagle management into the overall ORR land management plan.

  12. Road to the Future: Strategies for Wildlife Crossings and Youth Empowerment to Improve Wildlife Habitat in Roaded Landscapes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tanner, Dawn Renee

    2010-01-01

    As the footprint of human society expands upon the earth, habitat loss and landscape fragmentation is an increasing global problem. That problem includes loss of native habitats as these areas are harvested, converted to agricultural crops, and occupied by human settlement. Roads increase human access to previously inaccessible areas, encourage…

  13. Non-invasive monitoring of hormones: a tool to improve reproduction in captive breeding of the Eurasian lynx.

    PubMed

    Dehnhard, M; Naidenko, S; Frank, A; Braun, B; Göritz, F; Jewgenow, K

    2008-07-01

    The survival of many critical endangered mammal species is often depending on successful captive breeding programmes which include the future option of reintroduction to the wild. Breeding in captivity also demands the application of modern assisted reproductive techniques to ensure maximal biodiversity, but knowledge on reproductive physiology is often limited. Therefore, non-invasive monitoring of urinary and faecal hormones has become an important tool for reproductive management. To exemplify the importance of non-invasive hormone monitoring, we choose the Eurasian lynx as a model for the world's most endangered felid species, the Iberian lynx. We analysed faecal samples of pregnant and pseudo-pregnant female Eurasian lynxes during a 3-year study period. Compared to pre-mating levels faecal progesterone metabolite profiles revealed a tendency towards higher levels in pregnant and pseudo-pregnant females with no difference between both categories. Oestrogen levels raised in both pregnant and pseudo-pregnant females with a tendency to be more elevated and prolonged in pregnant females. Surprisingly both E2 and P4 metabolites were highly correlated (r(2) =0.8131, p < 0.0001) showing a postpartum increase both in pregnant and pseudo-pregnant females. The results from the Eurasian lynx revealed that the measurement of faecal progesterone metabolites led to profiles dissimilar to profiles shown in other felid species, but similar to those from faecal gestagen metabolite analysis in the Iberian lynx. To identify faecal gestagen and oestrogen metabolites a radio-metabolism study was performed. Using the progesterone immunoassay two major progesterone metabolites were detected demonstrating that the assay indeed tracks the relevant metabolites. The oestrogen assay measured authentic 17beta-oestradiol and oestrone, and their conjugates. The analysis of the faecal metabolite composition in samples from early and late pregnancy and lactation particularly revealed a

  14. Genome-wide Association Study (GWAS) and Its Application for Improving the Genomic Estimated Breeding Values (GEBV) of the Berkshire Pork Quality Traits.

    PubMed

    Lee, Young-Sup; Jeong, Hyeonsoo; Taye, Mengistie; Kim, Hyeon Jeong; Ka, Sojeong; Ryu, Youn-Chul; Cho, Seoae

    2015-11-01

    The missing heritability has been a major problem in the analysis of best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP). We introduced the traditional genome-wide association study (GWAS) into the BLUP to improve the heritability estimation. We analyzed eight pork quality traits of the Berkshire breeds using GWAS and BLUP. GWAS detects the putative quantitative trait loci regions given traits. The single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were obtained using GWAS results with p value <0.01. BLUP analyzed with significant SNPs was much more accurate than that with total genotyped SNPs in terms of narrow-sense heritability. It implies that genomic estimated breeding values (GEBVs) of pork quality traits can be calculated by BLUP via GWAS. The GWAS model was the linear regression using PLINK and BLUP model was the G-BLUP and SNP-GBLUP. The SNP-GBLUP uses SNP-SNP relationship matrix. The BLUP analysis using preprocessing of GWAS can be one of the possible alternatives of solving the missing heritability problem and it can provide alternative BLUP method which can find more accurate GEBVs.

  15. Slow improvements of metal exposure, health- and breeding conditions of pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca) after decreased industrial heavy metal emissions.

    PubMed

    Berglund, A M M; Nyholm, N E I

    2011-09-15

    The environment around metal industries, such as smelters, is often highly contaminated due to continuous deposition of metals. We studied nest box breeding populations of pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca) in a well-studied pollution gradient from a sulfide ore smelter in Northern Sweden, after reduced aerial metal emissions (by 93-99%) from the smelter. The deposition of arsenic, cadmium, copper and zinc (based on moss samples) reflected the reduced emissions fairly well. However, nestling pied flycatchers had similar concentrations of these elements and mercury in tissues (bone, liver and blood) and feces in the 2000s, as in the 1980s, when the emissions were substantially higher. The exposure to high metal concentrations in the close vicinity of the smelter resulted in inhibited ALAD activities, depressed hemoglobin and hematocrit levels and increased mortality of nestlings. Our results indicate that in the highly contaminated environment around the smelter, nestlings reflected the slowly cycling soil pool, rather than the atmospheric deposition, and the concentration in soils plays an important role for the response of pied flycatchers to reduced atmospheric deposition.

  16. Improving the screening of potato breeding lines for specific nutritional traits using portable mid-infrared spectroscopy and multivariate analysis.

    PubMed

    Ayvaz, Huseyin; Bozdogan, Adnan; Giusti, M Monica; Mortas, Mustafa; Gomez, Rene; Rodriguez-Saona, Luis E

    2016-11-15

    Efficient selection of potato varieties with enhanced nutritional quality requires simple, accurate and cost effective assays to obtain tuber chemical composition information. In this study, 75 Andean native potato samples from 7 Solanum species with different colors were characterized and quantified for their anthocyanin, phenolics and sugar content using traditional reference methods. IR (infrared) spectra of potato extracts were collected using a portable infrared system and partial least squares regression (PLSR) calibration models were developed. These models were validated using both full cross-validation and an independent sample set giving strong linear correlation coefficients of prediction (rPred)>0.91 and standard error of prediction (SEP) of 24mg/100g phenolics, 7mg/100g monomeric anthocyanins, 0.1g/100g reducing sugars and 0.12g/100g sucrose. Overall, portable infrared system with PLSR showed great potential to facilitate potato breeding and certain aspects of crop management, material selection for potato processing and related research by providing alternative prediction models.

  17. Composition of breeding bird communities in Gulf Coast Chenier Plain marshes: Effects of winter burning

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gabrey, S.W.; Afton, A.D.

    2004-01-01

    Marsh managers along the Gulf Coast Chenier Plain frequently use winter burns to alter marsh vegetation and improve habitat quality for wintering waterfowl. However, effects of these burns on marsh avifauna are not well documented. We recorded abundances of breeding bird species and vegetation structure in burned and unburned control marshes during one breeding season before (1996) and two breeding seasons after (1997, 1998) experimental winter burns. We used non-metric multidimensional scaling analysis to assess the extent and direction of changes in bird community compositions of burned and unburned control marshes and to investigate the influence of vegetation structure on bird community composition. Overall, we found that Seaside Sparrows (Emberizidae: Ammodramus maritimus [Wilson]) and Red-winged Blackbirds and Boat-tailed Grackles (Icteridae: Agelaius phoeniceus [L.] and Quiscalus major Vieillot, respectively) comprised > 85% of observed birds. In burned marshes during the first breeding season following experimental burns (1997), icterid abundance increased while Seaside Sparrow abundance decreased relative to pre-burn (1996) conditions. This pattern was reversed during the second breeding season post-burn. No obvious patterns of change in avian abundance were detected in unburned control marshes over the 3-year period. Qualitative changes in breeding bird community composition were related to effects of winter burning on percent cover of dead vegetation and Spartina patens (Aiton) Muhl.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Natural Propagation and Habitat Improvement, Volume I, Oregon Supplement 5: White River Falls Fish Passage, 1983 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Lindsay, Robert

    1984-04-01

    Biological and physical characteristics of White River drainage were studied in 1983 to determine the feasibility of introducing anadromous salmonids into the watershed. Access to White River by anadromous fish is presently blocked by waterfalls located 3.4 km from the confluence with the Deschutes River. Mortality of juvenile chinook salmon from a 43 m free fall at White River Falls does not appear to be significant during high flows (300 to 500 cfs) but may be significant at low flows (115 to 150 cfs). At low flow the recapture of fish released in the south channel above the falls was 54% lower than the recapture of control fish released below the falls. The recapture of two releases in the north channel was 37% lower than the recapture of control groups. We surveyed 94 km of the lower reaches of 7 tributaries below the boundary of the Mt. Hood National Forest. We identified 8325 m/sup 2/ of anadromous spawning gravel of which 52% was good quality, 20 water withdrawals for irrigation that took a total of 33 cfs of water, 13 barriers to upstream migration of which 3 were waterfalls of 3.1 to 7.6 m, and 138 major holding and rearing pools. Maximum water temperatures of 25/sup 0/C or greater and diurnal fluctuations of around 10/sup 0/C were recorded in the lower reaches of several streams. The maximum water temperature in upper reaches of streams above the forest boundary was 13 to 14/sup 0/C. Habitat improvement opportunities identified in surveys of the lower reaches included barrier modifications for upstream passage, in-stream structures to develop pools and retain gravels, structures to reduce bank erosion, and streamside fensing to protect riparian zones. 10 references, 34 figures, 20 tables.

  20. An assessment of water quality, physical habitat, and biological integrity of an urban stream in Wichita, Kansas, prior to restoration improvements (phase I).

    PubMed

    Davis, N M; Weaver, V; Parks, K; Lydy, M J

    2003-04-01

    Urban development alters the natural hydrological conditions of many streams and rivers often resulting in the degradation of water quality, physical habitat, and biotic integrity of lotic systems. Restoration projects attempt to improve and maintain the ecological integrity of urban streams; however, few projects have quantified improvements to stream ecology following implementation of restoration measures. This paper summarizes pre-restoration data collected as part of an urban stream restoration project on Gypsum Creek in Wichita, Kansas. Water quality monitoring revealed eutrophic conditions in the stream and the presence of pesticides. Channelization has led to changes in physical habitat including bank erosion, sedimentation, loss of substrate and channel diversity, elimination of in-stream aquatic habitat, removal of riparian vegetation, and decreased base flows. Benthic macroinvertebrate communities appear degraded with more than 90% of individuals collected described as tolerant to anthropogenic stressors. Fish communities were assessed with an Index of Biotic Integrity and were rated as poor to fair, with trophic structure dominated by generalists, no sensitive species present, and one-third of the species collected considered non-native. Overall, the data collected strongly suggest that site-specific restoration measures need to be implemented in order to improve and maintain the ecological condition of Gypsum Creek. Recommendations for improvements have been made to city managers, with implementation beginning in spring 2003 (dependent upon funding availability).

  1. Breeding System of Ruellia succulenta Small (Acanthaceae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study examines the breeding system of Ruellia succulenta (Acanthaceae), an herbaceous perennial found in the pine rockland habitat of southern Florida. Hand pollination treatments were performed on 75 plants, 25 from each of three sites. Treatments applied to test plants included: 1) control ...

  2. Proximate drivers of spatial segregation in non-breeding albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Clay, Thomas A; Manica, Andrea; Ryan, Peter G; Silk, Janet R D; Croxall, John P; Ireland, Louise; Phillips, Richard A

    2016-07-21

    Many animals partition resources to avoid competition, and in colonially-breeding species this often leads to divergent space or habitat use. During the non-breeding season, foraging constraints are relaxed, yet the patterns and drivers of segregation both between and within populations are poorly understood. We modelled habitat preference to examine how extrinsic (habitat availability and intra-specific competition) and intrinsic factors (population, sex and breeding outcome) influence the distributions of non-breeding grey-headed albatrosses Thalassarche chrysostoma tracked from two major populations, South Georgia (Atlantic Ocean) and the Prince Edward Islands (Indian Ocean). Spatial segregation was greater than expected, reflecting distinct seasonal differences in habitat selection and accessibility, and avoidance of intra-specific competition with local breeders. Previously failed birds segregated spatially from successful birds during summer, when they used less productive waters, suggesting a link between breeding outcome and subsequent habitat selection. In contrast, we found weak evidence of sexual segregation, which did not reflect a difference in habitat use. Our results indicate that the large-scale spatial structuring of albatross distributions results from interactions between extrinsic and intrinsic factors, with important implications for population dynamics. As habitat preferences differed substantially between colonies, populations should be considered independently when identifying critical areas for protection.

  3. Proximate drivers of spatial segregation in non-breeding albatrosses

    PubMed Central

    Clay, Thomas A.; Manica, Andrea; Ryan, Peter G.; Silk, Janet R. D.; Croxall, John P.; Ireland, Louise; Phillips, Richard A.

    2016-01-01

    Many animals partition resources to avoid competition, and in colonially-breeding species this often leads to divergent space or habitat use. During the non-breeding season, foraging constraints are relaxed, yet the patterns and drivers of segregation both between and within populations are poorly understood. We modelled habitat preference to examine how extrinsic (habitat availability and intra-specific competition) and intrinsic factors (population, sex and breeding outcome) influence the distributions of non-breeding grey-headed albatrosses Thalassarche chrysostoma tracked from two major populations, South Georgia (Atlantic Ocean) and the Prince Edward Islands (Indian Ocean). Spatial segregation was greater than expected, reflecting distinct seasonal differences in habitat selection and accessibility, and avoidance of intra-specific competition with local breeders. Previously failed birds segregated spatially from successful birds during summer, when they used less productive waters, suggesting a link between breeding outcome and subsequent habitat selection. In contrast, we found weak evidence of sexual segregation, which did not reflect a difference in habitat use. Our results indicate that the large-scale spatial structuring of albatross distributions results from interactions between extrinsic and intrinsic factors, with important implications for population dynamics. As habitat preferences differed substantially between colonies, populations should be considered independently when identifying critical areas for protection. PMID:27443877

  4. Spatial Scaling of Environmental Variables Improves Species-Habitat Models of Fishes in a Small, Sand-Bed Lowland River

    PubMed Central

    Radinger, Johannes; Wolter, Christian; Kail, Jochem

    2015-01-01

    Habitat suitability and the distinct mobility of species depict fundamental keys for explaining and understanding the distribution of river fishes. In recent years, comprehensive data on river hydromorphology has been mapped at spatial scales down to 100 m, potentially serving high resolution species-habitat models, e.g., for fish. However, the relative importance of specific hydromorphological and in-stream habitat variables and their spatial scales of influence is poorly understood. Applying boosted regression trees, we developed species-habitat models for 13 fish species in a sand-bed lowland river based on river morphological and in-stream habitat data. First, we calculated mean values for the predictor variables in five distance classes (from the sampling site up to 4000 m up- and downstream) to identify the spatial scale that best predicts the presence of fish species. Second, we compared the suitability of measured variables and assessment scores related to natural reference conditions. Third, we identified variables which best explained the presence of fish species. The mean model quality (AUC = 0.78, area under the receiver operating characteristic curve) significantly increased when information on the habitat conditions up- and downstream of a sampling site (maximum AUC at 2500 m distance class, +0.049) and topological variables (e.g., stream order) were included (AUC = +0.014). Both measured and assessed variables were similarly well suited to predict species’ presence. Stream order variables and measured cross section features (e.g., width, depth, velocity) were best-suited predictors. In addition, measured channel-bed characteristics (e.g., substrate types) and assessed longitudinal channel features (e.g., naturalness of river planform) were also good predictors. These findings demonstrate (i) the applicability of high resolution river morphological and instream-habitat data (measured and assessed variables) to predict fish presence, (ii) the

  5. Spatial Scaling of Environmental Variables Improves Species-Habitat Models of Fishes in a Small, Sand-Bed Lowland River.

    PubMed

    Radinger, Johannes; Wolter, Christian; Kail, Jochem

    2015-01-01

    Habitat suitability and the distinct mobility of species depict fundamental keys for explaining and understanding the distribution of river fishes. In recent years, comprehensive data on river hydromorphology has been mapped at spatial scales down to 100 m, potentially serving high resolution species-habitat models, e.g., for fish. However, the relative importance of specific hydromorphological and in-stream habitat variables and their spatial scales of influence is poorly understood. Applying boosted regression trees, we developed species-habitat models for 13 fish species in a sand-bed lowland river based on river morphological and in-stream habitat data. First, we calculated mean values for the predictor variables in five distance classes (from the sampling site up to 4000 m up- and downstream) to identify the spatial scale that best predicts the presence of fish species. Second, we compared the suitability of measured variables and assessment scores related to natural reference conditions. Third, we identified variables which best explained the presence of fish species. The mean model quality (AUC = 0.78, area under the receiver operating characteristic curve) significantly increased when information on the habitat conditions up- and downstream of a sampling site (maximum AUC at 2500 m distance class, +0.049) and topological variables (e.g., stream order) were included (AUC = +0.014). Both measured and assessed variables were similarly well suited to predict species' presence. Stream order variables and measured cross section features (e.g., width, depth, velocity) were best-suited predictors. In addition, measured channel-bed characteristics (e.g., substrate types) and assessed longitudinal channel features (e.g., naturalness of river planform) were also good predictors. These findings demonstrate (i) the applicability of high resolution river morphological and instream-habitat data (measured and assessed variables) to predict fish presence, (ii) the

  6. Habitat-specific foraging of prothonotary warblers: Deducing habitat quality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lyons, J.E.

    2005-01-01

    Foraging behavior often reflects food availability in predictable ways. For example, in habitats where food availability is high, predators should attack prey more often and move more slowly than in habitats where food availability is low. To assess relative food availability and habitat quality, I studied the foraging behavior of breeding Prothonotary Warblers (Protonotaria citrea) in two forest habitat types, cypress-gum swamp forest and coastal-plain levee forest. I quantified foraging behavior with focal animal sampling and continuous recording during foraging bouts. I measured two aspects of foraging behavior: 1) prey attack rate (attacks per minute), using four attack maneuvers (glean, sally, hover, strike), and 2) foraging speed (movements per minute), using three types of movement (hop, short flight [???1 m], long flight [>1 m]). Warblers attacked prey more often in cypress-gum swamp forest than in coastal-plain levee forest. Foraging speed, however, was not different between habitats. I also measured foraging effort (% time spent foraging) and relative frequency of attack maneuvers employed in each habitat; neither of these variables was influenced by forest type. I conclude that Prothonotary Warblers encounter more prey when foraging in cypress-gum swamps than in coastal-plain levee forest, and that greater food availability results in higher density and greater reproductive success for birds breeding in cypress-gum swamp.

  7. Emperor penguins breeding on iceshelves.

    PubMed

    Fretwell, Peter T; Trathan, Phil N; Wienecke, Barbara; Kooyman, Gerald L

    2014-01-01

    We describe a new breeding behaviour discovered in emperor penguins; utilizing satellite and aerial-survey observations four emperor penguin breeding colonies have been recorded as existing on ice-shelves. Emperors have previously been considered as a sea-ice obligate species, with 44 of the 46 colonies located on sea-ice (the other two small colonies are on land). Of the colonies found on ice-shelves, two are newly discovered, and these have been recorded on shelves every season that they have been observed, the other two have been recorded both on ice-shelves and sea-ice in different breeding seasons. We conduct two analyses; the first using synthetic aperture radar data to assess why the largest of the four colonies, for which we have most data, locates sometimes on the shelf and sometimes on the sea-ice, and find that in years where the sea-ice forms late, the colony relocates onto the ice-shelf. The second analysis uses a number of environmental variables to test the habitat marginality of all emperor penguin breeding sites. We find that three of the four colonies reported in this study are in the most northerly, warmest conditions where sea-ice is often sub-optimal. The emperor penguin's reliance on sea-ice as a breeding platform coupled with recent concerns over changed sea-ice patterns consequent on regional warming, has led to their designation as "near threatened" in the IUCN red list. Current climate models predict that future loss of sea-ice around the Antarctic coastline will negatively impact emperor numbers; recent estimates suggest a halving of the population by 2052. The discovery of this new breeding behaviour at marginal sites could mitigate some of the consequences of sea-ice loss; potential benefits and whether these are permanent or temporary need to be considered and understood before further attempts are made to predict the population trajectory of this iconic species.

  8. Should I stay or should I go? A habitat-dependent dispersal kernel improves prediction of movement.

    PubMed

    Vinatier, Fabrice; Lescourret, Françoise; Duyck, Pierre-François; Martin, Olivier; Senoussi, Rachid; Tixier, Philippe

    2011-01-01

    The analysis of animal movement within different landscapes may increase our understanding of how landscape features affect the perceptual range of animals. Perceptual range is linked to movement probability of an animal via a dispersal kernel, the latter being generally considered as spatially invariant but could be spatially affected. We hypothesize that spatial plasticity of an animal's dispersal kernel could greatly modify its distribution in time and space. After radio tracking the movements of walking insects (Cosmopolites sordidus) in banana plantations, we considered the movements of individuals as states of a Markov chain whose transition probabilities depended on the habitat characteristics of current and target locations. Combining a likelihood procedure and pattern-oriented modelling, we tested the hypothesis that dispersal kernel depended on habitat features. Our results were consistent with the concept that animal dispersal kernel depends on habitat features. Recognizing the plasticity of animal movement probabilities will provide insight into landscape-level ecological processes.

  9. Should I Stay or Should I Go? A Habitat-Dependent Dispersal Kernel Improves Prediction of Movement

    PubMed Central

    Vinatier, Fabrice; Lescourret, Françoise; Duyck, Pierre-François; Martin, Olivier; Senoussi, Rachid; Tixier, Philippe

    2011-01-01

    The analysis of animal movement within different landscapes may increase our understanding of how landscape features affect the perceptual range of animals. Perceptual range is linked to movement probability of an animal via a dispersal kernel, the latter being generally considered as spatially invariant but could be spatially affected. We hypothesize that spatial plasticity of an animal's dispersal kernel could greatly modify its distribution in time and space. After radio tracking the movements of walking insects (Cosmopolites sordidus) in banana plantations, we considered the movements of individuals as states of a Markov chain whose transition probabilities depended on the habitat characteristics of current and target locations. Combining a likelihood procedure and pattern-oriented modelling, we tested the hypothesis that dispersal kernel depended on habitat features. Our results were consistent with the concept that animal dispersal kernel depends on habitat features. Recognizing the plasticity of animal movement probabilities will provide insight into landscape-level ecological processes. PMID:21765890

  10. Molecular Breeding to Improve Salt Tolerance of Rice (Oryza sativa L.) in the Red River Delta of Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Linh, Le Hung; Linh, Ta Hong; Xuan, Tran Dang; Ham, Le Huy; Ismail, Abdelbagi M; Khanh, Tran Dang

    2012-01-01

    Rice is a stable food in Vietnam and plays a key role in the economy of the country. However, the production and the cultivating areas are adversely affected from the threats of devastation caused by the rise of sea level. Using marker-assisted backcrossing (MABC) to develop a new salt tolerance rice cultivar is one of the feasible methods to cope with these devastating changes. To improve rice salt tolerance in BT7 cultivar, FL478 was used as a donor parent to introgress the Saltol QTL conferring salt tolerance into BT7. Three backcrosses were conducted and successfully transferred positive alleles of Saltol from FL478 into BT7. The plants numbers IL-30 and IL-32 in BC(3)F(1) population expected recurrent genome recovery of up to 99.2% and 100%, respectively. These selected lines that carried the Saltol alleles were screened in field for their agronomic traits. All improved lines had Saltol allele similar to the donor parent FL478, whereas their agronomic performances were the same as the original BT7. We show here the success of improving rice salt tolerance by MABC and the high efficiency of selection in early generations. In the present study, MABC has accelerated the development of superior qualities in the genetic background of BT7.

  11. Effects of vegetation manipulation on breeding waterfowl in prairie wetlands--a literature review

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kantrud, H.A.

    1986-01-01

    Literature on the effects of fire and grazing on the wetlands used by breeding prairie waterfowl is reviewed. Both dabbling and diving ducks and their broods prefer wetlands with openings in the marsh canopy. Decreased use is commonly associated with decreased habitat heterogeneity caused by tall, robust hydrophytes such as Typha spp. and other species adapted to form monotypes in the absence of disturbance. Nearly all previous studies indicate that reductions in height and density of tall, emergent hydrophytes by fire and grazing (unless very intensive) generally benefit breeding waterfowl. Such benefits are an increase in pair density, probably related to increased interspersion of cover and open water which decreases visibility among conspecific pairs, and improvements in their invertebrate food resources that result from increased habitat heterogeneity. Research needs are great because of the drastic changes that have accrued to prairie wetlands through fire suppression, cultivation, and other factors. The physical and biological environments preferred by species of breeding waterfowl during their seasonal and daily activities should be ascertained from future studies in wetland complexes that exist in the highest state of natural preservation. Long-term burning and grazing experiments should follow on specific vegetatively-degraded wetlands judged to be potentially important breeding areas. Seasonality, frequency, and intensity of treatments should be varied and combined and, in addition to measuring the response of the biotic community, the changes in the physical and chemical environment of the wetlands should be monitored to increase our knowledge of causative factors and possible predictive values.

  12. Aloe vera bathing improved physical and humoral protection in breeding stock after induced spawning in matrinxã (Brycon amazonicus).

    PubMed

    Zanuzzo, Fábio S; Zaiden, Sérgio F; Senhorini, José A; Marzocchi-Machado, Cleni M; Urbinati, Elisabeth C

    2015-07-01

    In this study, we show that induced spawning causes stress, an intense loss of epithelia and immunosuppression, decreasing physical and humoral protection in fish, effects that were prevented or improved in fish bathed with Aloe vera. A. vera has several medicinal properties, including wound healing and immunostimulatory effects, which we observed in this study. Fish bathed with A. vera had a higher number of epidermal goblet cells and, in general, an improved wound healing rate compared with the control after induced spawning. These effects might be related to (1) the stimulation of leukocyte activity, represented here by the increased leukocyte respiratory activity triggered by A. vera (leukocytes are recognized as playing an important role in wound repair); (2) the antimicrobial properties of A. vera, which decrease wound infection and accelerate the healing process; and (3) several mechanisms that explain the healing effect of A. vera (increased collagen synthesis, rate of epithelialization, and anti-inflammatory and moisturizing effects). Our results also suggest that caution is necessary during the induced spawning process, especially during stripping, and A. vera bathing is recommended after intensive aquaculture operations.

  13. Breeding Dispersal by Birds in a Dynamic Urban Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Marzluff, John M.; DeLap, Jack H.; Oleyar, M. David; Whittaker, Kara A.; Gardner, Beth

    2016-01-01

    Changes in land cover during urbanization profoundly affect the diversity of bird communities, but the demographic mechanisms affecting diversity are poorly known. We advance such understanding by documenting how urbanization influences breeding dispersal—the annual movement of territorial adults—of six songbird species in the Seattle, WA, USA metropolitan area. We color-banded adults and mapped the centers of their annual breeding activities from 2000–2010 to obtain 504 consecutive movements by 337 adults. By comparing movements, annual reproduction, and mate fidelity among 10 developed, 5 reserved, and 11 changing (areas cleared and developed during our study) landscapes, we determined that adaptive breeding dispersal of sensitive forest species (Swainson’s Thrush and Pacific wren), which involves shifting territory and mate after reproductive failure, was constrained by development. In changing lands, sensitive forest specialists dispersed from active development to nearby forested areas, but in so doing suffered low annual reproduction. Species tolerant of suburban lands (song sparrow, spotted towhee, dark-eyed junco, and Bewick’s wren) dispersed adaptively in changing landscapes. Site fidelity ranged from 0% (Pacific wren in changing landscape) to 83% (Bewick’s wren in forest reserve). Mate fidelity ranged from 25% (dark-eyed junco) to 100% (Bewick’s wren). Variation in fidelity to mate and territory was consistent with theories positing an influence of territory quality, asynchronous return from migration, prior productivity, and reproductive benefits of retaining a familiar territory. Costly breeding dispersal, as well as reduced reproductive success and lowered survival cause some birds to decline in the face of urbanization. In contrast, the ability of species that utilize edges and early successional habitats to breed successfully, disperse to improve reproductive success after failure, and survive throughout the urban ecosystem enables them

  14. Habitat-specific breeder survival of Florida Scrub-Jays: Inferences from multistate models

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Breininger, D.R.; Nichols, J.D.; Carter, G.M.; Oddy, D.M.

    2009-01-01

    Quantifying habitat-specific survival and changes in habitat quality within disturbance-prone habitats is critical for understanding population dynamics and variation in fitness, and for managing degraded ecosystems. We used 18 years of color-banding data and multistate capture-recapture models to test whether habitat quality within territories influences survival and detection probability of breeding Florida Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma coerulescens) and to estimate bird transition probabilities from one territory quality state to another. Our study sites were along central Florida's Atlantic coast and included two of the four largest metapopulations within the species range. We developed Markov models for habitat transitions and compared these to bird transition probabilities. Florida Scrub-Jay detection probabilities ranged from 0.88 in the tall territory state to 0.99 in the optimal state; detection probabilities were intermediate in the short state. Transition probabilities were similar for birds and habitat in grid cells mapped independently of birds. Thus, bird transitions resulted primarily from habitat transitions between states over time and not from bird movement. Survival ranged from 0.71 in the short state to 0.82 in the optimal state, with tall states being intermediate. We conclude that average Florida Scrub-Jay survival will remain at levels that lead to continued population declines because most current habitat quality is only marginally suitable across most of the species range. Improvements in habitat are likely to be slow and difficult because tall states are resistant to change and the optimal state represents an intermediate transitional stage. The multistate modeling approach to quantifying survival and habitat transition probabilities is useful for quantifying habitat transition probabilities and comparing them to bird transition probabilities to test for habitat selection in dynamic environments. ?? 2009 by the Ecological society ot America.

  15. Breeding season survival and breeding incidence of female Mottled Ducks on the upper Texas gulf coast

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rigby, Elizabeth A.; Haukos, David A.

    2012-01-01

    Previous Mottled Duck (Anas fulvigula) studies suggested that high female breeding season survival may be caused by low nesting effort, but few breeding season estimates of survival associated with nesting effort exist on the western Gulf Coast. Here, breeding season survival (N = 40) and breeding incidence (N = 39) were estimated for female Mottled Ducks on the upper Texas coast, 2006–2008. Females were fitted with backpack radio transmitters and visually relocated every 3–4 days. Weekly survival was estimated using the Known Fate procedure of program MARK with breeding incidence estimated as the annual proportion of females observed nesting or with broods. The top-ranked survival model included a body mass covariate and held weekly female survival constant across weeks and years (SW = 0.986, SE = 0.006). When compared to survival across the entire year estimated from previous band recovery and age ratio analysis, survival rate during the breeding season did not differ. Breeding incidence was well below 100% in all years and highly variable among years (15%–63%). Breeding season survival and breeding incidence were similar to estimates obtained with implant transmitters from the mid-coast of Texas. The greatest breeding incidence for both studies occurred when drought indices indicated average environmental moisture during the breeding season. The observed combination of low breeding incidence and high breeding season survival support the hypothesis of a trade-off between the ecological cost of nesting effort and survival for Mottled Duck females. Habitat cues that trigger nesting are unknown and should be investigated.

  16. How to improve breeding value prediction for feed conversion ratio in the case of incomplete longitudinal body weights.

    PubMed

    Tran, V H Huynh; Gilbert, H; David, I

    2017-01-01

    With the development of automatic self-feeders, repeated measurements of feed intake are becoming easier in an increasing number of species. However, the corresponding BW are not always recorded, and these missing values complicate the longitudinal analysis of the feed conversion ratio (FCR). Our aim was to evaluate the impact of missing BW data on estimations of the genetic parameters of FCR and ways to improve the estimations. On the basis of the missing BW profile in French Large White pigs (male pigs weighed weekly, females and castrated males weighed monthly), we compared 2 different ways of predicting missing BW, 1 using a Gompertz model and 1 using a linear interpolation. For the first part of the study, we used 17,398 weekly records of BW and feed intake recorded over 16 consecutive weeks in 1,222 growing male pigs. We performed a simulation study on this data set to mimic missing BW values according to the pattern of weekly proportions of incomplete BW data in females and castrated males. The FCR was then computed for each week using observed data (obser_FCR), data with missing BW (miss_FCR), data with BW predicted using a Gompertz model (Gomp_FCR), and data with BW predicted by linear interpolation (interp_FCR). Heritability (h) was estimated, and the EBV was predicted for each repeated FCR using a random regression model. In the second part of the study, the full data set (males with their complete BW records, castrated males and females with missing BW) was analyzed using the same methods (miss_FCR, Gomp_FCR, and interp_FCR). Results of the simulation study showed that h were overestimated in the case of missing BW and that predicting BW using a linear interpolation provided a more accurate estimation of h and of EBV than a Gompertz model. Over 100 simulations, the correlation between obser_EBV and interp_EBV, Gomp_EBV, and miss_EBV was 0.93 ± 0.02, 0.91 ± 0.01, and 0.79 ± 0.04, respectively. The heritabilities obtained with the full data set were

  17. Integrating DNA-based data into bioassessments improves our understanding of species distributions and species habitat relationships

    EPA Science Inventory

    The integration of DNA-based identification methods into bioassessments could result in more accurate representations of species distributions and species-habitat relationships. DNA-based approaches may be particularly informative for tracking the distributions of rare and/or inv...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    The study of habitat selection has long been influenced by the ideal free model, which maintains that young adults settle in habitat according to its inherent quality and the density of conspecifics within it. The model has gained support in recent years from the finding that conspecifics produce cues inadvertently that help prebreeders locate good habitat. Yet abundant evidence shows that animals often fail to occupy habitats that ecologists have identified as those of highest quality, leading to the conclusion that young animals settle on breeding spaces by means not widely understood. Here, we report that a phenomenon virtually unknown in nature, natal habitat preference induction (NHPI), is a strong predictor of territory settlement in both male and female common loons (Gavia immer). NHPI causes young animals to settle on natal-like breeding spaces, but not necessarily those that maximize reproductive success. If widespread, NHPI might explain apparently maladaptive habitat settlement. PMID:23804619

  19. Sources of variation in survival and breeding site fidelity in three species of European ducks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blums, P.; Nichols, J.D.; Hines, J.E.

    2002-01-01

    1. We used long-term capture-recapture-recovery data and a modelling approach developed by Burnham (1993) to test a priori predictions about sources of variation in annual survival rates and fidelity within a population of individually marked females in three species of European ducks from a breeding ground study site in Latvia. 2. True annual survival was higher for diving ducks (tufted duck 0-72, common pochard 0-65) and lower for northern shoveler (0-52). Survival of female diving ducks was positively correlated with mean winter temperatures at Western European wintering areas, the relationship being much stronger for pochard. 3. We present the first unbiased estimates of breeding fidelity and permanent emigration in European ducks. Estimated fidelity rates were high (0'88-1-0) and emigration rates low (0-0-12) for all three species, and we found strong evidence for age-specific differences in fidelity of pochards. Unusual long-distance (up to 2500 km) breeding dispersal movements that we found in female tufted ducks have not been documented in any other European waterfowl and are most probably a result of saturated nesting habitats. 4. Fidelity was a function of patch reproductive success in the previous year for all three species providing support for the idea that patch success is an important cue influencing fidelity. 5. Fidelity probability increased to 1.0 for shovelers during the last 12 years of study following provision of critical improvements in nesting habitats and suggested that habitat conditions and reproductive success determined site fidelity and settling patterns for shoveler and probably also influenced fidelity of the two other species. In predictable habitats, fidelity is a parameter that reflects the integration of fitness components and is thus a good quantity for assessing the effectiveness of habitat management actions.

  20. Improving salt tolerance of lowland rice cultivar 'Rassi' through marker-aided backcross breeding in West Africa.

    PubMed

    Bimpong, Isaac Kofi; Manneh, Baboucarr; Sock, Mamadou; Diaw, Faty; Amoah, Nana Kofi Abaka; Ismail, Abdelbagi M; Gregorio, Glenn; Singh, Rakesh Kumar; Wopereis, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Salt stress affects about 25% of the 4.4 million ha of irrigated and lowland systems for rice cultivation in West Africa (WA). A major quantitative trait locus (QTLs) on chromosome 1 (Saltol) that enhances tolerance to salt stress at the vegetative stage has enabled the use of marker-assisted selection (MAS) to develop salt-tolerant rice cultivar(s) in WA. We used 3 cycles of backcrossing with selection based on DNA markers and field-testing using 'FL478' as tolerant donor and the widely grown 'Rassi' as recurrent parent. In the BC3F2 stage, salt-tolerant lines with over 80% Rassi alleles except in the region around Saltol segment were selected. 429 introgression lines (Saltol-ILs) were identified as tolerant at vegetative stage, of which 116 were field-tested for four seasons at the reproductive stage. Sixteen Saltol-ILs had less yield loss (3-26% relative to control trials), and 8 Saltol-ILs showed high yield potential under stress and non-stress conditions. The 16 Saltol-ILs had been included for further African-wide testing prior to release in 6 WA countries. MAS reduced the time for germplasm improvement from at least 7 to about 4 years. Our objective is to combine different genes/QTLs conferring tolerance to stresses under one genetic background using MAS.

  1. Improvement of technical results following use of Ingelvac CircoFLEX in a Dutch organic breeding and fattening farm: a case report.

    PubMed

    Schlepers, M; Gelauf, J; Wertenbroek, N; Nielen, M

    2013-07-01

    Porcine Circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is a ubiquitous infection and major cause of production loss for the pig industry. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of vaccination against PCV2 on technical results of pigs on an organic breeding and fattening farm, focussing on growth and mortality of weaned piglets and fattening pigs. The study was based on retrospective data between January 2009 and May 2011. During the study period, three subsequent vaccination strategies were used: 1. Stellamune One, 2. Stellamune One+CircoFLEX, 3. MycoFLEX+CircoFLEX. From these three periods, the corresponding management- and slaughterhouse data were analysed by an ANOVA-test. Due to few data in period 2 and an outbreak of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae during periods 2 and 3, these two periods were combined in one period and analysed by a two-sample t-test. Mortality of weaned piglets decreased with 3.6% (0.6 - 6.6%) (P0.023) in comparison to period 1 and average daily weight gain improved by 21 gram (7 - 34 gram) (P0.004) in periods 2 and 3. Mortality of fattening pigs was 2.3% (1.2 - 3.5%) (P0.001) less than in period 1 and corrected energy conversion rate improved 0.27 (0.05 - 0.49) (P0.017). There was no significant effect on slaughterhouse parameters. In conclusion, vaccination against PCV2 improved technical results of weaned and fattening pigs on this farm. The advantage of vaccination with MycoFLEX+CircoFLEX instead of Stellamune One+CircoFLEX is that the two FLEX-vaccines can be mixed and administered as a one shot vaccine, reducing work load and animal stressors.

  2. Precision breeding for RNAi suppression of a major 4-coumarate:coenzyme A ligase gene improves cell wall saccharification from field grown sugarcane.

    PubMed

    Jung, Je Hyeong; Kannan, Baskaran; Dermawan, Hugo; Moxley, Geoffrey W; Altpeter, Fredy

    2016-11-01

    Sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrids) is a major feedstock for commercial bioethanol production. The recent integration of conversion technologies that utilize lignocellulosic sugarcane residues as well as sucrose from stem internodes has elevated bioethanol yields. RNAi suppression of lignin biosynthetic enzymes is a successful strategy to improve the saccharification of lignocellulosic biomass. 4-coumarate:coenzyme A ligase (4CL) is a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of phenylpropanoid metabolites, such as lignin and flavonoids. Identifying a major 4CL involved in lignin biosynthesis among multiple isoforms with functional divergence is key to manipulate lignin biosynthesis. In this study, two full length 4CL genes (Sh4CL1 and Sh4CL2) were isolated and characterized in sugarcane. Phylogenetic, expression and RNA interference (RNAi) analysis confirmed that Sh4CL1 is a major lignin biosynthetic gene. An intragenic precision breeding strategy may facilitate the regulatory approval of the genetically improved events and was used for RNAi suppression of Sh4CL1. Both, the RNAi inducing cassette and the expression cassette for the mutated ALS selection marker consisted entirely of DNA sequences from sugarcane or the sexually compatible species Sorghum bicolor. Field grown sugarcane with intragenic RNAi suppression of Sh4CL1 resulted in reduction of the total lignin content by up to 16.5 % along with altered monolignol ratios without reduction in biomass yield. Mature, field grown, intragenic sugarcane events displayed 52-76 % improved saccharification efficiency of lignocellulosic biomass compared to wild type (WT) controls. This demonstrates for the first time that an intragenic approach can add significant value to lignocellulosic feedstocks for biofuel and biochemical production.

  3. Thermal characteristics of wild and captive Micronesian Kingfisher nesting habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kesler, Dylan C.; Haig, Susan M.

    2004-01-01

    To provide information for managing the captive population of endangered Guam Micronesian kingfishers (Halcyon cinnamomina cinnamomina), four biologically relevant thermal metrics were compared among captive facilities on the United States mainland and habitats used by wild Micronesian kingfishers on the island of Pohnpei (H. c. reichenbachii), Federated States of Micronesia. Additionally, aviaries where kingfishers laid eggs were compared to those in which birds did not attempt to breed. Compared to aviaries, habitats used by wild Pohnpei kingfishers had 3.2A?C higher daily maximum and minimum temperatures and the proportion of time when temperatures were in the birds' thermoneutral zone was 45% greater. No differences were found in the magnitude of temperature fluctuation in captive and wild environments. In captive environments in which birds bred, daily maximum temperatures were 2.1A?C higher and temperatures were within the thermoneutral zone 25% more often than in the aviaries where the kingfishers did not breed. No differences were found in the magnitude of temperature fluctuation or the daily minimum temperature. Results suggest that the thermal environment has the potential to influence reproduction, and that consideration should be given to increasing temperatures in captive breeding facilities to improve propagation of the endangered Micronesian kingfisher.

  4. Productive responses of breeding Cashmere goats and their kids to different stocking rates on improved upland pastures.

    PubMed

    Celaya, R; Moreno-Gonzalo, J; López López, C; Ferreira, L M M; García, U; Ferre, I; Osoro, K

    2016-03-01

    Although goat meat production could be an option for diversification in improved upland pastures in northern Spain, precise information on the optimal grazing management to enhance goat performance and maximize production per unit land area is lacking. The objective of this study was to compare the effects of 3 stocking rates, high stocking rate (HSR; 20 goats/ha), medium stocking rate (MSR; 15 goats/ha), and low stocking rate (LSR; 10 goats/ha), on gastrointestinal (GI) nematode infections and productive responses of Cashmere goats grazing such pastures. Treatments were replicated twice on 6 paddocks sown with and and with a high presence of the native grass . The experiment lasted 3 grazing seasons (from spring to autumn). Pastures were sampled for sward height and botanical and proximate composition. Body weight and BCS changes of goats were monitored and GI nematode infections were assessed by fecal egg counts (FEC). The established treatments resulted in lower mean sward height in the HSR than in the MSR and LSR (9.6, 11.5, and 14.4 cm, respectively; < 0.001). Pasture botanical composition and nutritive quality did not differ between treatments. The mean FEC of does across the 3 grazing seasons were greater ( < 0.05) in the HSR than in the LSR. spp., , and were the most prevalent nematode species identified in coprocultures. Does showed more favorable ( < 0.001) BW and BCS changes in the LSR than in the MSR and HSR (-14, -30, and -52 g/d and -0.1, -0.3, and -0.7 BCS units [scale 1 to 5], respectively). Greater ( < 0.001) kids' BW gains were observed in the LSR and MSR (average 94 g/d) compared with the HSR (70 g/d). Inversely, kid output per unit land area was greater in the HSR than in the MSR and LSR (320, 258, and 192 kg∙ha∙yr, respectively; < 0.001), whereas daily kids' BW gains per hectare were greater ( < 0.001) in the HSR and MSR (average 1.37 kg∙d∙ha) compared with the LSR (0.98 kg∙d∙ha). A medium stocking rate of 15 goats/ha could

  5. Advantages and Risks of Husbandry and Housing Changes to Improve Animal Wellbeing in a Breeding Colony of Common Marmosets (Callithrix jacchus)

    PubMed Central

    Bakker, Jaco; Ouwerling, Boudewijn; Heidt, Peter J; Kondova, Ivanela; Langermans, Jan AM

    2015-01-01

    Between 1975 and 2014, housing conditions for laboratory-housed marmosets changed dramatically after the introduction of new guidelines designed to improve their care and wellbeing. According to these guidelines, our facility provided marmosets with outside enclosures, switched to deep litter as bedding material, and discontinued the use of disinfectant agents in animal enclosures. However, both deep litter and access to outside enclosures hypothetically increase the risk of potential exposure to pathogenic microorganisms. We evaluated whether these housing and husbandry modifications constituted an increased veterinary risk for laboratory-housed common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). After the animals had been exposed to these new housing conditions for 2.5 y, we examined their intestinal bacterial flora and feces, the deep litter, and insects present in the housing. In addition, we assessed the marmosets’ general health and the effect of outdoor housing on, for example, vitamin D levels. Although numerous bacterial strains—from nonpathogenic to potentially pathogenic—were cultured, we noted no increase in illness, mortality, or breeding problems related to this environmental microflora. Housing laboratory marmosets in large enriched cages, with both indoor and outdoor enclosures, providing them with deep litter, and eliminating the use of disinfectants present an increased veterinary risk. However, after evaluating all of the collected data, we estimate that the veterinary risk of the new housing conditions is minimal to none in terms of clinical disease, disease outbreaks, abnormal behavior, and negative effects on reproduction. PMID:26045452

  6. Using Net Energy Intake models to predict and evaluate the benefits of stream restoration to improve juvenile steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouwes, N.; Wall, C. E.; Wheaton, J. M.; Bennett, S.; Jordan, C.

    2013-12-01

    Stream restoration is often targeted to improve fish habitat. However, predictions or evaluations of habitat or fish population responses to these actions are rarely assessed or more often assumed. Model predictions that describe both physical and biological effects from different types of restorations can help test hypotheses to improve our understanding of fish habitat requirements, especially if restoration is treated as an experiment. In addition, models can help synthesize data to determine project effectiveness to link fish responses to physical habitat responses, promoting a mechanistic understanding that is transferrable to other systems. We are applying a mechanistic model to estimate net energy intake (NEI) potential for juvenile steelhead throughout a stream reach. NEI modeling approaches attempt to describe the quantity of food a fish can ingest at a particular site (as a function of food availability, temperature, and fish size) and the energetic costs of living there (as a function of flow patterns, temperature, and fish size). The collection of NEI estimates can be used to help understand the site's overall energetic profitability for fish and to generate an estimate of carrying capacity. We collected topographic information to create digital elevation models (DEMs) of a stream channel along with drifting invertebrates, temperature, discharge, and substrate type, before and after the addition of large wood in the Asotin watershed. This information was used to create hydraulic models to estimate water velocities and flow direction which were then used to predict delivery rates of drift, swimming costs to fish, and ultimately NEI potential throughout the reach. The model was used to predict restoration benefits based on expected geomorphic responses to large wood. In addition, the model was used to translate modest observed changes in topography from the restoration to increases in NEI and carrying capacity of the stream reach. We believe the NEI

  7. Predicting breeding bird occurrence by stand- and microhabitat-scale features in even-aged stands in the Central Appalachians

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McDermott, M.E.; Wood, P.B.; Miller, G.W.; Simpson, B.T.

    2011-01-01

    Spatial scale is an important consideration when managing forest wildlife habitat, and models can be used to improve our understanding of these habitats at relevant scales. Our objectives were to determine whether stand- or microhabitat-scale variables better predicted bird metrics (diversity, species presence, and abundance) and to examine breeding bird response to clearcut size and age in a highly forested landscape. In 2004-2007, vegetation data were collected from 62 even-aged stands that were 3.6-34.6. ha in size and harvested in 1963-1990 on the Monongahela National Forest, WV, USA. In 2005-2007, we also surveyed birds at vegetation plots. We used classification and regression trees to model breeding bird habitat use with a suite of stand and microhabitat variables. Among stand variables, elevation, stand age, and stand size were most commonly retained as important variables in guild and species models. Among microhabitat variables, medium-sized tree density and tree species diversity most commonly predicted bird presence or abundance. Early successional and generalist bird presence, abundance, and diversity were better predicted by microhabitat variables than stand variables. Thus, more intensive field sampling may be required to predict habitat use for these species, and management may be needed at a finer scale. Conversely, stand-level variables had greater utility in predicting late-successional species occurrence and abundance; thus management decisions and modeling at this scale may be suitable in areas with a uniform landscape, such as our study area. Our study suggests that late-successional breeding bird diversity can be maximized long-term by including harvests >10. ha in size into our study area and by increasing tree diversity. Some harvesting will need to be incorporated regularly, because after 15 years, the study stands did not provide habitat for most early successional breeding specialists. ?? 2010 Elsevier B.V.

  8. Surface Habitat Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kennedy, Kriss J.

    2009-01-01

    The Surface Habitat Systems (SHS) Focused Investment Group (FIG) is part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC) effort to provide a focused direction and funding to the various projects that are working on human surface habitat designs and technologies for the planetary exploration missions. The overall SHS-FIG effort focuses on directing and guiding those projects that: 1) develop and demonstrate new surface habitat system concepts, innovations, and technologies to support human exploration missions, 2) improve environmental systems that interact with human habitats, 3) handle and emplace human surface habitats, and 4) focus on supporting humans living and working in habitats on planetary surfaces. The activity areas of the SHS FIG described herein are focused on the surface habitat project near-term objectives as described in this document. The SHS-FIG effort focuses on mitigating surface habitat risks (as identified by the Lunar Surface Systems Project Office (LSSPO) Surface Habitat Element Team; and concentrates on developing surface habitat technologies as identified in the FY08 gap analysis. The surface habitat gap assessment will be updated annually as the surface architecture and surface habitat definition continues to mature. These technologies are mapped to the SHS-FIG Strategic Development Roadmap. The Roadmap will bring to light the areas where additional innovative efforts are needed to support the development of habitat concepts and designs and the development of new technologies to support of the LSSPO Habitation Element development plan. Three specific areas of development that address Lunar Architecture Team (LAT)-2 and Constellation Architecture Team (CxAT) Lunar habitat design issues or risks will be focused on by the SHS-FIG. The SHS-FIG will establish four areas of development that will help the projects prepare in their planning for surface habitat systems development. Those development areas are

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

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

  10. Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Breeding Site and Territory Summary - 2006

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Durst, Scott L.; Sogge, Mark K.; Stump, Shay D.; Williams, Sartor O.; Kus, Barbara E.; Sferra, Susan J.

    2007-01-01

    Introduction The Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) is an endangered bird that breeds only in dense riparian habitats in six southwestern states (southern California, extreme southern Nevada, southern Utah, southwestern Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico). Since 1993, hundreds of Southwestern Willow Flycatcher surveys have been conducted each year, and many new flycatcher breeding sites located. This document synthesizes information on all known Southwestern Willow Flycatcher breeding sites. This rangewide data synthesis was designed to meet these objectives: * identify all known Southwestern Willow Flycatcher breeding sites, and * assemble data on population size, location, habitat, and other information for all breeding sites, for as many years as possible, from 1993 through 2006. This report provides data summaries in terms of the number of flycatcher sites and the number of territories.

  11. Natural Propagation and Habitat Improvement, Volume 1, Oregon, Supplement B, White River Falls Fish Passage, 1983 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    United States. Bonneville Power Administration.

    1984-04-01

    White River Falls are located in north central Oregon approximately 25 miles south of the City of The Dalles. The project site is characterized by a series of three natural waterfalls with a combined fall of 180 ft. In the watershed above the falls are some 120 miles of mainstem habitat and an undetermined amount of tributary stream habitat that could be opened to anadromous fish, if passage is provided around the falls. The purpose of this project is to determine feasibility of passage, select a passage scheme, and design and construct passage facilities. This report provides information on possible facilities that would pass adult anadromous fish over the White River Falls. 25 references, 29 figures, 12 tables. (ACR)

  12. Effects of agri-environmental schemes on farmland birds: do food availability measurements improve patterns obtained from simple habitat models?

    PubMed

    Ponce, Carlos; Bravo, Carolina; Alonso, Juan Carlos

    2014-07-01

    Studies evaluating agri-environmental schemes (AES) usually focus on responses of single species or functional groups. Analyses are generally based on simple habitat measurements but ignore food availability and other important factors. This can limit our understanding of the ultimate causes determining the reactions of birds to AES. We investigated these issues in detail and throughout the main seasons of a bird's annual cycle (mating, postfledging and wintering) in a dry cereal farmland in a Special Protection Area for farmland birds in central Spain. First, we modeled four bird response parameters (abundance, species richness, diversity and "Species of European Conservation Concern" [SPEC]-score), using detailed food availability and vegetation structure measurements (food models). Second, we fitted new models, built using only substrate composition variables (habitat models). Whereas habitat models revealed that both, fields included and not included in the AES benefited birds, food models went a step further and included seed and arthropod biomass as important predictors, respectively, in winter and during the postfledging season. The validation process showed that food models were on average 13% better (up to 20% in some variables) in predicting bird responses. However, the cost of obtaining data for food models was five times higher than for habitat models. This novel approach highlighted the importance of food availability-related causal processes involved in bird responses to AES, which remained undetected when using conventional substrate composition assessment models. Despite their higher costs, measurements of food availability add important details to interpret the reactions of the bird community to AES interventions and thus facilitate evaluating the real efficiency of AES programs.

  13. Effects of agri-environmental schemes on farmland birds: do food availability measurements improve patterns obtained from simple habitat models?

    PubMed Central

    Ponce, Carlos; Bravo, Carolina; Alonso, Juan Carlos

    2014-01-01

    Studies evaluating agri-environmental schemes (AES) usually focus on responses of single species or functional groups. Analyses are generally based on simple habitat measurements but ignore food availability and other important factors. This can limit our understanding of the ultimate causes determining the reactions of birds to AES. We investigated these issues in detail and throughout the main seasons of a bird's annual cycle (mating, postfledging and wintering) in a dry cereal farmland in a Special Protection Area for farmland birds in central Spain. First, we modeled four bird response parameters (abundance, species richness, diversity and “Species of European Conservation Concern” [SPEC]-score), using detailed food availability and vegetation structure measurements (food models). Second, we fitted new models, built using only substrate composition variables (habitat models). Whereas habitat models revealed that both, fields included and not included in the AES benefited birds, food models went a step further and included seed and arthropod biomass as important predictors, respectively, in winter and during the postfledging season. The validation process showed that food models were on average 13% better (up to 20% in some variables) in predicting bird responses. However, the cost of obtaining data for food models was five times higher than for habitat models. This novel approach highlighted the importance of food availability-related causal processes involved in bird responses to AES, which remained undetected when using conventional substrate composition assessment models. Despite their higher costs, measurements of food availability add important details to interpret the reactions of the bird community to AES interventions and thus facilitate evaluating the real efficiency of AES programs. PMID:25165523

  14. Experimental evidence for the effect of habitat loss on the dynamics of migratory networks.

    PubMed

    Betini, Gustavo S; Fitzpatrick, Mark J; Norris, D Ryan

    2015-06-01

    Migratory animals present a unique challenge for understanding the consequences of habitat loss on population dynamics because individuals are typically distributed over a series of interconnected breeding and non-breeding sites (termed migratory network). Using replicated breeding and non-breeding populations of Drosophila melanogaster and a mathematical model, we investigated three hypotheses to explain how habitat loss influenced the dynamics of populations in networks with different degrees of connectivity between breeding and non-breeding seasons. We found that habitat loss increased the degree of connectivity in the network and influenced population size at sites that were not directly connected to the site where habitat loss occurred. However, connected networks only buffered global population declines at high levels of habitat loss. Our results demonstrate why knowledge of the patterns of connectivity across a species range is critical for predicting the effects of environmental change and provide empirical evidence for why connected migratory networks are commonly found in nature.

  15. Habitat automation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swab, Rodney E.

    1992-01-01

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

  16. Fish genome manipulation and directional breeding.

    PubMed

    Ye, Ding; Zhu, ZuoYan; Sun, YongHua

    2015-02-01

    Aquaculture is one of the fastest developing agricultural industries worldwide. One of the most important factors for sustainable aquaculture is the development of high performing culture strains. Genome manipulation offers a powerful method to achieve rapid and directional breeding in fish. We review the history of fish breeding methods based on classical genome manipulation, including polyploidy breeding and nuclear transfer. Then, we discuss the advances and applications of fish directional breeding based on transgenic technology and recently developed genome editing technologies. These methods offer increased efficiency, precision and predictability in genetic improvement over traditional methods.

  17. Breeding commercial sugarcane varieties for the industry

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent literature suggests that sugarcane breeding in the United States has reached a sugar yield plateau. If so, this could have huge implications for the future of the industry and breeding per se because yield improvement might have to be achieved through secondary, non-sugar-related traits, or t...

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

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, Scott F.; Knapp, Shannon M.

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Competitor phenology as a social cue in breeding site selection.

    PubMed

    Samplonius, Jelmer M; Both, Christiaan

    2017-05-01

    Predicting habitat quality is a major challenge for animals selecting a breeding patch, because it affects reproductive success. Breeding site selection may be based on previous experience, or on social information from the density and success of competitors with an earlier phenology. Variation in animal breeding phenology is often correlated with variation in habitat quality. Generally, animals breed earlier in high-quality habitats that allow them to reach a nutritional threshold required for breeding earlier or avoid nest predation. In addition, habitat quality may affect phenological overlap between species and thereby interspecific competition. Therefore, we hypothesized that competitor breeding phenology can be used as social cue by settling migrants to locate high-quality breeding sites. To test this hypothesis, we experimentally advanced and delayed hatching phenology of two resident tit species on the level of study plots and studied male and female settlement patterns of migratory pied flycatchers Ficedula hypoleuca. The manipulations were assigned at random in two consecutive years, and treatments were swapped between years in sites that were used in both years. In both years, males settled in equal numbers across treatments, but later arriving females avoided pairing with males in delayed phenology plots. Moreover, male pairing probability declined strongly with arrival date on the breeding grounds. Our results demonstrate that competitor phenology may be used to assess habitat quality by settling migrants, but we cannot pinpoint the exact mechanism (e.g. resource quality, predation pressure or competition) that has given rise to this pattern. In addition, we show that opposing selection pressures for arrival timing may give rise to different social information availabilities between sexes. We discuss our findings in the context of climate warming, social information use and the evolution of protandry in migratory animals.

  20. USDA lettuce breeding and genetics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The lettuce industry of California requires continued development of improved, adapted cultivars to meet new disease and insect problems, changes in the market, and changes in growing procedures. The USDA lettuce breeding and genetics project aims to incorporate valuable traits into crisphead, mixed...

  1. Genomic selection in animal breeding programs.

    PubMed

    van der Werf, Julius

    2013-01-01

    Genomic selection can have a major impact on animal breeding programs, especially where traits that are important in the breeding objective are hard to select for otherwise. Genomic selection provides more accurate estimates for breeding value earlier in the life of breeding animals, giving more selection accuracy and allowing lower generation intervals. From sheep to dairy cattle, the rates of genetic improvement could increase from 20 to 100 % and hard-to-measure traits can be improved more effectively.Reference populations for genomic selection need to be large, with thousands of animals measured for phenotype and genotype. The smaller the effective size of the breeding population, the larger the DNA segments they potentially share and the more accurate genomic prediction will be. The relative contribution of information from relatives in the reference population will be larger if the baseline accuracy is low, but such information is limited to closely related individuals and does not last over generations.

  2. Emperor Penguins Breeding on Iceshelves

    PubMed Central

    Fretwell, Peter T.; Trathan, Phil N.; Wienecke, Barbara; Kooyman, Gerald L.

    2014-01-01

    We describe a new breeding behaviour discovered in emperor penguins; utilizing satellite and aerial-survey observations four emperor penguin breeding colonies have been recorded as existing on ice-shelves. Emperors have previously been considered as a sea-ice obligate species, with 44 of the 46 colonies located on sea-ice (the other two small colonies are on land). Of the colonies found on ice-shelves, two are newly discovered, and these have been recorded on shelves every season that they have been observed, the other two have been recorded both on ice-shelves and sea-ice in different breeding seasons. We conduct two analyses; the first using synthetic aperture radar data to assess why the largest of the four colonies, for which we have most data, locates sometimes on the shelf and sometimes on the sea-ice, and find that in years where the sea-ice forms late, the colony relocates onto the ice-shelf. The second analysis uses a number of environmental variables to test the habitat marginality of all emperor penguin breeding sites. We find that three of the four colonies reported in this study are in the most northerly, warmest conditions where sea-ice is often sub-optimal. The emperor penguin’s reliance on sea-ice as a breeding platform coupled with recent concerns over changed sea-ice patterns consequent on regional warming, has led to their designation as “near threatened” in the IUCN red list. Current climate models predict that future loss of sea-ice around the Antarctic coastline will negatively impact emperor numbers; recent estimates suggest a halving of the population by 2052. The discovery of this new breeding behaviour at marginal sites could mitigate some of the consequences of sea-ice loss; potential benefits and whether these are permanent or temporary need to be considered and understood before further attempts are made to predict the population trajectory of this iconic species. PMID:24416381

  3. Development and application of biological technologies in fish genetic breeding.

    PubMed

    Xu, Kang; Duan, Wei; Xiao, Jun; Tao, Min; Zhang, Chun; Liu, Yun; Liu, ShaoJun

    2015-02-01

    Fish genetic breeding is a process that remolds heritable traits to obtain neotype and improved varieties. For the purpose of genetic improvement, researchers can select for desirable genetic traits, integrate a suite of traits from different donors, or alter the innate genetic traits of a species. These improved varieties have, in many cases, facilitated the development of the aquaculture industry by lowering costs and increasing both quality and yield. In this review, we present the pertinent literatures and summarize the biological bases and application of selection breeding technologies (containing traditional selective breeding, molecular marker-assisted breeding, genome-wide selective breeding and breeding by controlling single-sex groups), integration breeding technologies (containing cross breeding, nuclear transplantation, germline stem cells and germ cells transplantation, artificial gynogenesis, artificial androgenesis and polyploid breeding) and modification breeding technologies (represented by transgenic breeding) in fish genetic breeding. Additionally, we discuss the progress our laboratory has made in the field of chromosomal ploidy breeding of fish, including distant hybridization, gynogenesis, and androgenesis. Finally, we systematically summarize the research status and known problems associated with each technology.

  4. Determinants of breeding distributions of ducks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, D.H.; Grier, J.W.

    1988-01-01

    The settling of breeding habitat by migratory waterfowl is a topic of both theoretical and practical interest. We use the results of surveys conducted annually during 1955-81 in major breeding areas to examine the factors that affect the distributions of 10 common North American duck species. Three patterns of settling are described: homing, opportunistic, and flexible. Homing is generally more pronounced among species that use more stable (more predictable) wetlands, such as the redhead (Aythya americana), canvasback (A. valisineria), lesser scaup (A. affinis), mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), gadwall (Anas strepera), and northern shoveler (Anas clypeata). Opportunistic settling is more prevalent among species that use less stable (less predictable) wetlands, such as northern pintail (Anas acuta) and blue-winged teal (Anas discors). Flexible settling is exhibited to various degrees by most species.The 10 species are shown to fall along a natural ordination reflecting different life history characteristics. Average values of indices of r- and K-selection indicated that pintail, mallard, blue-winged teal, and shoveler have the most features associated with unstable or unpredictable environments. Gadwall, American wigeon (Anas americana), and green-winged teal (Anas crecca) were intermediate, and attributes of the diving ducks were associated with the use of stable or predictable environments.Some species--notably mallard, gadwall, blue-winged teal, redhead, and canvasback--tend to fill available breeding habitat first in the central portions of their range, and secondly in peripheral areas. Other species--American wigeon, green-winged teal, northern shoveler, northern pintail, and lesser scaup--fill their habitat in the order it is encountered during spring migration.Age and sex classes within species vary in their settling pattern. Some of this variation can be predicted from the mating systems of ducks in which breeding females, especially successful ones, have a

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

    lacked cover during the non-breeding season. Individuals also selected areas treated with herbicide to control sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata) throughout the year. During the breeding season, bobwhites avoided areas burned during the previous dormant season. Habitat quality of reclaimed mine lands may be limited by a lack of shrub cover and extensive coverage of non-native herbaceous vegetation. Managers aiming to increase bobwhite abundance should focus on increasing interspersion of shrub cover, with no area >100 m from shrub cover. We suggest disking and herbicide application to control invasive species and improve the structure and composition of vegetation for bobwhites.

  6. Understanding the Habitat Needs of the Declining Western Yellow-Billed Cuckoo

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Matthew J.

    2009-01-01

    The western yellow-billed cuckoo, once common along the streams and rivers of the American West, is now a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act. Most of the remaining breeding pairs are found in Arizona, California, and New Mexico. Research to understand the cuckoos' habitat needs by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Northern Arizona University scientists has shown that cuckoos in Arizona prefer breeding habitat dominated by native tree species, especially cottonwood-willow habitat bordered by mesquite bosque habitat. This research also revealed that the size of habitat patches matters - breeding cuckoos were found only in large, continuous areas of riparian habitat. These findings and the development of spatially explicit habitat models by USGS scientists will help resource managers conserve and manage riparian habitats needed to ensure the survival of the western yellow-billed cuckoo.

  7. Captive breeding of pangolins: current status, problems and future prospects

    PubMed Central

    Hua, Liushuai; Gong, Shiping; Wang, Fumin; Li, Weiye; Ge, Yan; Li, Xiaonan; Hou, Fanghui

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Pangolins are unique placental mammals with eight species existing in the world, which have adapted to a highly specialized diet of ants and termites, and are of significance in the control of forest termite disaster. Besides their ecological value, pangolins are extremely important economic animals with the value as medicine and food. At present, illegal hunting and habitat destruction have drastically decreased the wild population of pangolins, pushing them to the edge of extinction. Captive breeding is an important way to protect these species, but because of pangolin’s specialized behaviors and high dependence on natural ecosystem, there still exist many technical barriers to successful captive breeding programs. In this paper, based on the literatures and our practical experience, we reviewed the status and existing problems in captive breeding of pangolins, including four aspects, the naturalistic habitat, dietary husbandry, reproduction and disease control. Some recommendations are presented for effective captive breeding and protection of pangolins. PMID:26155072

  8. Captive breeding of pangolins: current status, problems and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Hua, Liushuai; Gong, Shiping; Wang, Fumin; Li, Weiye; Ge, Yan; Li, Xiaonan; Hou, Fanghui

    2015-01-01

    Pangolins are unique placental mammals with eight species existing in the world, which have adapted to a highly specialized diet of ants and termites, and are of significance in the control of forest termite disaster. Besides their ecological value, pangolins are extremely important economic animals with the value as medicine and food. At present, illegal hunting and habitat destruction have drastically decreased the wild population of pangolins, pushing them to the edge of extinction. Captive breeding is an important way to protect these species, but because of pangolin's specialized behaviors and high dependence on natural ecosystem, there still exist many technical barriers to successful captive breeding programs. In this paper, based on the literatures and our practical experience, we reviewed the status and existing problems in captive breeding of pangolins, including four aspects, the naturalistic habitat, dietary husbandry, reproduction and disease control. Some recommendations are presented for effective captive breeding and protection of pangolins.

  9. Admixture and local breed marginalization threaten Algerian sheep diversity.

    PubMed

    Gaouar, Samir Bachir Souheil; Da Silva, Anne; Ciani, Elena; Kdidi, Samia; Aouissat, Miloud; Dhimi, Laziz; Lafri, Mohamed; Maftah, Abderrahman; Mehtar, Nadhira

    2015-01-01

    Due to its geo-climatic conditions, Algeria represents a biodiversity hotspot, with sheep breeds well adapted to a patchwork of extremely heterogeneous harsh habitats. The importance of this peculiar genetic reservoir increases as climate change drives the demand for new adaptations. However, the expansion of a single breed (Ouled-Djellal) which occurred in the last decades has generated a critical situation for the other breeds; some of them are being subjected to uncontrolled cross-breeding with the favored breed and/or to marginalization (effective size contraction). This study investigated genetic diversity within and among six of the nine Algerian breeds, by use of 30 microsatellite markers. Our results showed that, in spite of the census contraction experienced by most of the considered breeds, genetic diversity is still substantial (average gene diversity ranging 0.68 to 0.76) and inbreeding was not identified as a problem. However, two breeds (Rembi and Taâdmit) appeared to have lost most of their genetic originality because of intensive cross-breeding with Ouled-Djellal. Based on the above evidence, we suggest Hamra, Sidaoun, and D'man as breeds deserving the highest priority for conservation in Algeria.

  10. Admixture and Local Breed Marginalization Threaten Algerian Sheep Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Ciani, Elena; Kdidi, Samia; Aouissat, Miloud; Dhimi, Laziz; Lafri, Mohamed; Maftah, Abderrahman; Mehtar, Nadhira

    2015-01-01

    Due to its geo-climatic conditions, Algeria represents a biodiversity hotspot, with sheep breeds well adapted to a patchwork of extremely heterogeneous harsh habitats. The importance of this peculiar genetic reservoir increases as climate change drives the demand for new adaptations. However, the expansion of a single breed (Ouled-Djellal) which occurred in the last decades has generated a critical situation for the other breeds; some of them are being subjected to uncontrolled cross-breeding with the favored breed and/or to marginalization (effective size contraction). This study investigated genetic diversity within and among six of the nine Algerian breeds, by use of 30 microsatellite markers. Our results showed that, in spite of the census contraction experienced by most of the considered breeds, genetic diversity is still substantial (average gene diversity ranging 0.68 to 0.76) and inbreeding was not identified as a problem. However, two breeds (Rembi and Taâdmit) appeared to have lost most of their genetic originality because of intensive cross-breeding with Ouled-Djellal. Based on the above evidence, we suggest Hamra, Sidaoun, and D’man as breeds deserving the highest priority for conservation in Algeria. PMID:25875832

  11. Habitat availability is a more plausible explanation than insecticide acute toxicity for U.S. grassland bird species declines

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grassland bird species have experienced substantial declines in North America. These declines have been largely attributed to habitat loss and degradation, especially from agricultural practices and intensification (the habitat-availability hypothesis). A recent analysis of North American Breeding B...

  12. Accelerometers Identify New Behaviors and Show Little Difference in the Activity Budgets of Lactating Northern Fur Seals (Callorhinus ursinus) between Breeding Islands and Foraging Habitats in the Eastern Bering Sea

    PubMed Central

    Battaile, Brian C.; Sakamoto, Kentaro Q.; Nordstrom, Chad A.; Rosen, David A. S.; Trites, Andrew W.

    2015-01-01

    We tagged 82 lactating northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) with tri-axial accelerometers and magnetometers on two eastern Bering Sea islands (Bogoslof and St. Paul) with contrasting population trajectories. Using depth data, accelerometer data and spectral analysis we classified time spent diving (30%), resting (~7%), shaking and grooming their pelage (9%), swimming in the prone position (~10%) and two types of previously undocumented rolling behavior (29%), with the remaining time (~15%) unspecified. The reason for the extensive rolling behavior is not known. We ground-truthed the accelerometry signals for shaking and grooming and rolling behaviors—and identified the acceleration signal for porpoising—by filming tagged northern fur seals in captivity. Speeds from GPS interpolated data indicated that animals traveled fastest while in the prone position, suggesting that this behavior is indicative of destination-based swimming. Very little difference was found in the percentages of time spent in the categorical behaviors with respect to breeding islands (Bogoslof or St. Paul Island), forager type (cathemeral or nocturnal), and the region where the animals foraged (primarily on-shelf <200m, or off-shelf > 200m). The lack of significant differences between islands, regions and forager type may indicate that behaviors summarized over a trip are somewhat hardwired even though foraging trip length and when and where animals dive are known to vary with island, forager type and region. PMID:25807552

  13. Accelerometers identify new behaviors and show little difference in the activity budgets of lactating northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) between breeding islands and foraging habitats in the eastern Bering Sea.

    PubMed

    Battaile, Brian C; Sakamoto, Kentaro Q; Nordstrom, Chad A; Rosen, David A S; Trites, Andrew W

    2015-01-01

    We tagged 82 lactating northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) with tri-axial accelerometers and magnetometers on two eastern Bering Sea islands (Bogoslof and St. Paul) with contrasting population trajectories. Using depth data, accelerometer data and spectral analysis we classified time spent diving (30%), resting (~7%), shaking and grooming their pelage (9%), swimming in the prone position (~10%) and two types of previously undocumented rolling behavior (29%), with the remaining time (~15%) unspecified. The reason for the extensive rolling behavior is not known. We ground-truthed the accelerometry signals for shaking and grooming and rolling behaviors--and identified the acceleration signal for porpoising--by filming tagged northern fur seals in captivity. Speeds from GPS interpolated data indicated that animals traveled fastest while in the prone position, suggesting that this behavior is indicative of destination-based swimming. Very little difference was found in the percentages of time spent in the categorical behaviors with respect to breeding islands (Bogoslof or St. Paul Island), forager type (cathemeral or nocturnal), and the region where the animals foraged (primarily on-shelf <200 m, or off-shelf > 200 m). The lack of significant differences between islands, regions and forager type may indicate that behaviors summarized over a trip are somewhat hardwired even though foraging trip length and when and where animals dive are known to vary with island, forager type and region.

  14. Cassava Breeding I: The Value of Breeding Value

    PubMed Central

    Ceballos, Hernán; Pérez, Juan C.; Joaqui Barandica, Orlando; Lenis, Jorge I.; Morante, Nelson; Calle, Fernando; Pino, Lizbeth; Hershey, Clair H.

    2016-01-01

    Breeding cassava relies on several selection stages (single row trial-SRT; preliminary; advanced; and uniform yield trials—UYT). This study uses data from 14 years of evaluations. From more than 20,000 genotypes initially evaluated only 114 reached the last stage. The objective was to assess how the data at SRT could be used to predict the probabilities of genotypes reaching the UYT. Phenotypic data from each genotype at SRT was integrated into the selection index (SIN) used by the cassava breeding program. Average SIN from all the progenies derived from each progenitor was then obtained. Average SIN is an approximation of the breeding value of each progenitor. Data clearly suggested that some genotypes were better progenitors than others (e.g., high number of their progenies reaching the UYT), suggesting important variation in breeding values of progenitors. However, regression of average SIN of each parental genotype on the number of their respective progenies reaching UYT resulted in a negligible coefficient of determination (r2 = 0.05). Breeding value (e.g., average SIN) at SRT was not efficient predicting which genotypes were more likely to reach the UYT stage. Number of families and progenies derived from a given progenitor were more efficient predicting the probabilities of the progeny from a given parent reaching the UYT stage. Large within-family genetic variation tends to mask the true breeding value of each progenitor. The use of partially inbred progenitors (e.g., S1 or S2 genotypes) would reduce the within-family genetic variation thus making the assessment of breeding value more accurate. Moreover, partial inbreeding of progenitors can improve the breeding value of the original (S0) parental material and sharply accelerate genetic gains. For instance, homozygous S1 genotypes for the dominant resistance to cassava mosaic disease (CMD) could be generated and selected. All gametes from these selected S1 genotypes would carry the desirable allele and

  15. Long-term effect of instream habitat-improvement structures on channel morphology along the Blackledge and Salmon rivers, Connecticut, USA.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Douglas M

    2002-02-01

    Habitat-improvement structures on the Blackledge and Salmon rivers date back to the 1930s and 1950s. Forty of these structures were investigated to determine their long-term impact on channel morphology. These structures include designs that continue to be used in modern restoration efforts. During the intervening period since these structures were introduced, several major floods have affected the two channels. The floods include three flows in excess of the 50-year event, including the flood of record, which has an estimated recurrence interval of almost 300 years. Despite the extreme flooding, many structures were discovered in varying conditions of operation. Grade-control structures and low-flow deflectors generally create some low-flow habitat (P = 0.815) but do not produce the depth of water predicted by design manuals (P < 0.0001). Unintended erosion has developed in response to many of the channel modifications especially along the outside of meanders. In addition, the mode of failure of grade-control structures has created localized channel widening with associated bank erosion. Meanwhile, cover structures have produced a 30% reduction in streamside vegetation with over 75% less overhead cover than unaltered reaches. Based on these results, it is important for prospective designers to carefully consider the long-term impacts of instream structures when developing future channel-restoration projects.

  16. Improving classification accuracy using multi-date IRS/LISS data and development of thermal stress index for Asiatic lion habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Rajendra Kumar

    The increase in lion and leopard population in the GIR wild life sanctuary and National Park (Gir Protected Area) demands periodic and precision monitoring of habitat at close intervals using space based remote sensing data. Besides characterizing the different forest classes, remote sensing needs to support for the assessment of thermal stress zones and identification of possible corridors for lion dispersion to new home ranges. The study focuses on assessing the thematic forest classification accuracies in percentage terms(CA) attainable using single date post-monsoon (CA=60, kappa = 0.514) as well as leaf shedding (CA=48.4, kappa = 0.372) season data in visible and Near-IR spectral bands of IRS/LISS-III at 23.5 m spatial resolution; and improvement of CA by using joint two date (multi-temporal) data sets (CA=87.2, kappa = 0.843) in the classification. The 188 m spatial resolution IRS/WiFS and 23.5 m spatial resolution LISS-III data were used to study the possible corridors for dispersion of Lions from GIR protected areas (PA). A relative thermal stress index (RTSI) for Gir PA has been developed using NOAA/ AVHRR data sets of post-monsoon, leaf shedded and summer seasons. The paper discusses the role of RTSI as a tool to work out forest management plans using leaf shedded season data to combat the thermal stress in the habitat, by identifying locations for artificial water holes during the ensuing summer season.

  17. Habitat selection and management of the Hawaiian crow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1987-01-01

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

  18. Population size of snowy plovers breeding in North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thomas, Susan M.; Lyons, James E.; Andres, Brad A.; T-Smith, Elise Elliot; Palacios, Eduardo; Cavitt, John F.; Royle, J. Andrew; Fellows, Suzanne D.; Maty, Kendra; Howe, William H.; Mellink, Eric; Melvin, Stefani; Zimmerman, Tara

    2012-01-01

    Snowy Plovers (Charadrius nivosus) may be one of the rarest shorebirds in North America yet a comprehensive assessment of their abundance and distribution has not been completed. During 2007 and 2008, 557 discrete wetlands were surveyed and nine additional large wetland complexes sampled in México and the USA. From these surveys, a population of 23,555 (95% CI = 17,299 – 29,859) breeding Snowy Plovers was estimated. Combining the estimate with information from areas not surveyed, the total North American population was assessed at 25,869 (95% CI = 18,917 – 32,173). Approximately 42% of all breeding Snowy Plovers in North America resided at two sites (Great Salt Lake, Utah, and Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma), and 33% of all these were on wetlands in the Great Basin (including Great Salt Lake). Also, coastal habitats in central and southern Texas supported large numbers of breeding plovers. New breeding sites were discovered in interior deserts and highlands and along the Pacific coast of México; approximately 9% of the North American breeding population occurred in México. Because of uncertainties about effects of climate change and current stresses to breeding habitats, the species should be a management and conservation priority. Periodic monitoring should be undertaken at important sites to ensure high quality habitat is available to support the Snowy Plover population.

  19. Improvement of Anadromous Fish Habitat and Passage in Omak Creek, 2008 Annual Report : February 1, 2008 to January 31, 2009.

    SciTech Connect

    Dasher, Rhonda; Fisher, Christopher

    2009-06-09

    During the 2008 season, projects completed under BPA project 2000-100-00 included installation of riparian fencing, maintenance of existing riparian fencing, monitoring of at-risk culverts and installation of riparian vegetation along impacted sections of Omak Creek. Redd and snorkel surveys were conducted in Omak Creek to determine steelhead production. Canopy closure surveys were conducted to monitor riparian vegetation recovery after exclusion of cattle since 2000 from a study area commonly known as the Moomaw property. Additional redd and fry surveys were conducted above Mission Falls and in the lower portion of Stapaloop Creek to try and determine whether there has been successful passage at Mission Falls. Monitoring adult steelhead trying to navigate the falls resulted in the discovery of shallow pool depth at an upper pool that is preventing many fish from successfully navigating the entire falls. The Omak Creek Habitat and Passage Project has worked with NRCS to obtain additional funds to implement projects in 2009 that will address passage at Mission Falls, culvert replacement, as well as additional riparian planting. The Omak Creek Technical Advisory Group (TAG) is currently revising the Omak Creek Watershed Assessment. In addition, the group is revising strategy to focus efforts in targeted areas to provide a greater positive impact within the watershed. In 2008 the NRCS Riparian Technical Team was supposed to assess areas within the watershed that have unique problems and require special treatments to successfully resolve the issues involved. The technical team will be scheduled for 2009 to assist the TAG in developing strategies for these special areas.

  20. Improved dissolved oxygen status following removal of exotic weed mats in important fish habitat lagoons of the tropical Burdekin River floodplain, Australia.

    PubMed

    Perna, Colton; Burrows, Damien

    2005-01-01

    The Burdekin delta floodplain, north Queensland, is highly modified for agricultural purposes. Riparian condition is very poor and exotic aquatic weeds dominate waterways. Historically, most streams and lagoons were highly seasonal, but those now used for the delivery of irrigation water maintain elevated flows and increased turbidity and nutrient loading. These factors have aided exotic weed growth and many major lagoons are covered by dense water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) mats which greatly reduce dissolved oxygen levels, one of the most important water quality variables for aquatic fauna. Mechanical harvesting of water hyacinth from several of these lagoons resulted in rapid and substantial increases in dissolved oxygen saturation, and improved suitability of the habitat to support fish species. Decrease in dissolved oxygen as water passes sequentially through weed-infested lagoons, justified the approach of harvesting upstream lagoons first, however, the channels that connect these lagoons remain weed-infested and are still impacting upon downstream oxygen levels.

  1. Climate and the distribution of cooperative breeding in mammals

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Cooperative breeding systems, in which non-breeding individuals provide care for the offspring of dominant group members, occur in less than 1% of mammals and are associated with social monogamy and the production of multiple offspring per birth (polytocy). Here, we show that the distribution of alloparental care by non-breeding subordinates is associated with habitats where annual rainfall is low. A possible reason for this association is that the females of species found in arid environments are usually polytocous and this may have facilitated the evolution of alloparental care. PMID:28280589

  2. Climate and the distribution of cooperative breeding in mammals.

    PubMed

    Lukas, Dieter; Clutton-Brock, Tim

    2017-01-01

    Cooperative breeding systems, in which non-breeding individuals provide care for the offspring of dominant group members, occur in less than 1% of mammals and are associated with social monogamy and the production of multiple offspring per birth (polytocy). Here, we show that the distribution of alloparental care by non-breeding subordinates is associated with habitats where annual rainfall is low. A possible reason for this association is that the females of species found in arid environments are usually polytocous and this may have facilitated the evolution of alloparental care.

  3. Mine-drainage treatment wetland as habitat for herptofaunal wildlife

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lacki, Michael J.; Hummer, Joseph W.; Webster, Harold J.

    1992-07-01

    Land reclamation techniques that incorporate habitat features for herptofaunal wildlife have received little attention. We assessed the suitability of a wetland, constructed for the treatment of mine-water drainage, for supporting herptofaunal wildlife from 1988 through 1990 using diurnal and nocturnal surveys. Natural wetlands within the surrounding watershed were also monitored for comparison. The treatment wetland supported the greatest abundance and species richness of herptofauna among the sites surveyed. Abundance was a function of the frog density, particularly green frogs ( Rana clamitans) and pickerel frogs ( R. palustris), while species richness was due to the number of snake species found. The rich mix of snake species present at the treatment wetland was believed due to a combination of an abundant frog prey base and an amply supply of den sites in rock debris left behind from earlier surface-mining activities. Nocturnal surveys of breeding male frogs demonstrated highest breeding activity at the treatment wetland, particularly for spring peepers ( Hyla crucifer). Whole-body assays of green frog and bullfrog ( R. catesbeiana) tissues showed no differences among sites in uptake of iron, aluminum, and zinc; managanese levels in samples from the treatment wetland were significantly lower than those from natural wetlands. These results suggest that wetlands established for water quality improvement can provide habitat for reptiles and amphibians, with the species composition dependent on the construction design, the proximity to source populations, and the degree of acidity and heavy-metal concentrations in drainage waters.

  4. An empirical evaluation of landscape energetic models: Mallard and American black duck space use during the non-breeding period

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

    Bird conservation Joint Ventures are collaborative partnerships between public agencies and private organizations that facilitate habitat management to support waterfowl and other bird populations. A subset of Joint Ventures has developed energetic carrying capacity models (ECCs) to translate regional waterfowl population goals into habitat objectives during the non-breeding period. Energetic carrying capacity models consider food biomass, metabolism, and available habitat to estimate waterfowl carrying capacity within an area. To evaluate Joint Venture ECCs in the context of waterfowl space use, we monitored 33 female mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and 55 female American black ducks (A. rubripes) using global positioning system satellite telemetry in the central and eastern United States. To quantify space use, we measured first-passage time (FPT: time required for an individual to transit across a circle of a given radius) at biologically relevant spatial scales for mallards (3.46 km) and American black ducks (2.30 km) during the non-breeding period, which included autumn migration, winter, and spring migration. We developed a series of models to predict FPT using Joint Venture ECCs and compared them to a biological null model that quantified habitat composition and a statistical null model, which included intercept and random terms. Energetic carrying capacity models predicted mallard space use more efficiently during autumn and spring migrations, but the statistical null was the top model for winter. For American black ducks, ECCs did not improve predictions of space use; the biological null was top ranked for winter and the statistical null was top ranked for spring migration. Thus, ECCs provided limited insight into predicting waterfowl space use during the non-breeding season. Refined estimates of spatial and temporal variation in food abundance, habitat conditions, and anthropogenic disturbance will likely improve ECCs and benefit conservation planners

  5. WILDLIFE HABITAT

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  6. Missouri River Emergent Sandbar Habitat Monitoring Plan - A Conceptual Framework for Adaptive Management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sherfy, Mark H.; Stucker, Jennifer H.; Anteau, Michael J.

    2009-01-01

    available to quantify changes in managed habitats for least terns and piping plovers, so that management effectiveness can be evaluated. Extremely high flows and flooding of the Missouri River in 1997 created and improved vast amounts of nesting habitat for least terns and piping plovers. Since 1998, there has been an apparent loss and/or degradation of habitat throughout the river system. However, during the same timeframe reservoir water levels have declined, exposing extensive piping plover breeding habitat. For example, 64 percent of adult piping plovers using the Missouri River in 2005 were observed on reservoir habitats, and 43 percent were observed on Lake Sakakawea (Threatened and Endangered Species Section, Omaha District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, unpub. data, 2006). Given the vast dynamics of this river and reservoir system, systemwide monitoring of habitat is clearly needed for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to employ adaptive management (with respect to river operations) to provide most optimal conditions for the maintenance of breeding habitat of least terns and piping plovers. As a result of this need, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, began work on a habitat monitoring plan in 2005 as a conceptual framework for adaptive management.

  7. Spatial genetic structure of bristle-thighed curlews (Numenius tahitiensis): breeding area differentiation not reflected on the non-breeding grounds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Gill, Robert E.; Williams, Ian S.; Talbot, Sandra L.

    2015-01-01

    Migratory birds occupy geographically and ecologically disparate areas during their annual cycle with conditions on breeding and non-breeding grounds playing separate and important roles in population dynamics. We used data from nuclear microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA control region loci to assess the breeding and non-breeding spatial genetic structure of a transoceanic migrant shorebird, the bristle-thighed curlew. We found spatial variance in the distribution of allelic and haplotypic frequencies between the curlew's two breeding areas in Alaska but did not observe this spatial structure throughout its non-breeding range on low-lying tropical and subtropical islands in the Central Pacific (Oceania). This suggests that the two breeding populations do not spatially segregate during the non-breeding season. Lack of migratory connectivity is likely attributable to the species' behavior, as bristle-thighed curlews exhibit differential timing of migration and some individuals move among islands during non-breeding months. Given the detrimental impact of many past and current human activities on island ecosystems, admixture of breeding populations in Oceania may render the bristle-thighed curlew less vulnerable to perturbations there, as neither breeding population will be disproportionally affected by local habitat losses or by stochastic events. Furthermore, lack of migratory connectivity may enable bristle-thighed curlews to respond to changing island ecosystems by altering their non-breeding distribution. However, availability of suitable non-breeding habitat for curlews in Oceania is increasingly limited on both low-lying and high islands by habitat loss, sea level rise, and invasive mammalian predators that pose a threat to flightless and flight-compromised curlews during the molting period.

  8. Habitat characterization and spatial distribution of Anopheles sp. mosquito larvae in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) during an extended dry period

    PubMed Central

    Sattler, Michael A; Mtasiwa, Deo; Kiama, Michael; Premji, Zul; Tanner, Marcel; Killeen, Gerry F; Lengeler, Christian

    2005-01-01

    Introduction By 2030, more than 50% of the African population will live in urban areas. Controlling malaria reduces the disease burden and further improves economic development. As a complement to treated nets and prompt access to treatment, measures targeted against the larval stage of Anopheles sp. mosquitoes are a promising strategy for urban areas. However, a precise knowledge of the geographic location and potentially of ecological characteristics of breeding sites is of major importance for such interventions. Methods In total 151 km2 of central Dar es Salaam, the biggest city of Tanzania, were systematically searched for open mosquito breeding sites. Ecologic parameters, mosquito larvae density and geographic location were recorded for each site. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the key ecological factors explaining the different densities of mosquito larvae. Results A total of 405 potential open breeding sites were examined. Large drains, swamps and puddles were associated with no or low Anopheles sp. larvae density. The probability of Anopheles sp. larvae to be present was reduced when water was identified as "turbid". Small breeding sites were more commonly colonized by Anopheles sp. larvae. Further, Anopheles gambiae s.l. larvae were found in highly organically polluted habitats. Conclusions Clear ecological characteristics of the breeding requirements of Anopheles sp. larvae could not be identified in this setting. Hence, every stagnant open water body, including very polluted ones, have to be considered as potential malaria vector breeding sites. PMID:15649333

  9. Genetic trends and breed overlap derived from multiple-breed genetic evaluations of beef cattle for growth traits.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, P G; Wilton, J W; Miller, S P; Banks, L R

    1999-08-01

    Genetic evaluations for a multiple-breed population of beef cattle were used to estimate genetic trends for five breeds, and genetic differences and overlap among 14 breeds. Genetic evaluations studied were for direct contributions to birth weight, gain from birth to 200 and 365 d, and maternal contribution to gain from birth to 200 d. Almost all genetic trends were positive, but the magnitude of the trends varied among breeds. Trends were nonlinear between 1985 and 1995 for most breed and trait combinations. The rates of increase in genetic trends were generally higher for the lighter weight breeds, and lighter weight breeds had faster growth rate genetic trends at 1995 than the heavier breeds. Genetic trend estimates for yearling gain at 1995 were 2.46, 2.23, 1.73, 1.70, and 1.46 kg/yr for Angus, Hereford, Limousin, Charolais, and Simmental, respectively. Corresponding birth weight genetic trends were .130, .226, .049, .130, and .048 kg/yr. Mean genetic differences between breeds have been decreasing in magnitude due to these differences in genetic trends between heavier and lighter breeds. Genetic variation for the traits studied seemed to be greater within than between breeds for calves born and cows calving between 1993 and 1995. Genetic trends at 1995 suggest that ratios of within:between breed variation will increase and that across-breed genetic improvement initiatives for growth traits will become more important in the future.

  10. EVALUATING AN URBAN STREAM RESTORATION PROGRAM FOR IMPROVING WATER QUALITY, IN-STREAM HABITAT, AND BANK STABILITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    To improve water quality in urban and suburban areas, watershed managers often incorporate best management practices (BMPs) to reduce the quantity of runoff, as well as minimize pollutants and other stressors contained in stormwater runoff. It is well known that land use practice...

  11. Improving the reliability of female fertility breeding values using type and milk yield traits that predict energy status in Australian Holstein cattle.

    PubMed

    González-Recio, O; Haile-Mariam, M; Pryce, J E

    2016-01-01

    The objectives of this study were (1) to propose changing the selection criteria trait for evaluating fertility in Australia from calving interval to conception rate at d 42 after the beginning of the mating season and (2) to use type traits as early fertility predictors, to increase the reliability of estimated breeding values for fertility. The breeding goal in Australia is conception within 6 wk of the start of the mating season. Currently, the Australian model to predict fertility breeding values (expressed as a linear transformation of calving interval) is a multitrait model that includes calving interval (CVI), lactation length (LL), calving to first service (CFS), first nonreturn rate (FNRR), and conception rate. However, CVI has a lower genetic correlation with the breeding goal (conception within 6 wk of the start of the mating season) than conception rate. Milk yield, type, and fertility data from 164,318 cow sired by 4,766 bulls were used. Principal component analysis and genetic correlation estimates between type and fertility traits were used to select type traits that could subsequently be used in a multitrait analysis. Angularity, foot angle, and pin set were chosen as type traits to include in an index with the traits that are included in the multitrait fertility model: CVI, LL, CFS, FNRR, and conception rate at d 42 (CR42). An index with these 8 traits is expected to achieve an average bull first proof reliability of 0.60 on the breeding objective (conception within 6 wk of the start of the mating season) compared with reliabilities of 0.39 and 0.45 for CR42 only or the current 5-trait Australian model. Subsequently, we used the first eigenvector of a principal component analysis with udder texture, bone quality, angularity, and body condition score to calculate an energy status indicator trait. The inclusion of the energy status indicator trait composite in a multitrait index with CVI, LL, CFS, FNRR, and CR42 achieved a 12-point increase in

  12. Population and habitat viability assessment for the Wyoming toad (Bufo baxteri): Final workshop report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2001-01-01

    The Wyoming toad was listed as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act on January 17, 1984, with a recovery plan approved in 1991. Currently the total population of the Wyoming toad includes approximately 200 animals in the captive breeding program and as few as 62 toads surviving at reintroduction sites in the Laramie Basin based upon fall 2000 survey data (after releases of more than 10,000 toads and tadpoles since 1995). Necessary conservation measures include improving reproduction and survival in the captive breeding program, improving survival at reintroduction sites, developing techniques to control the effects of the amphibian chytrid fungus, and eliminating threats and further habitat degradation in the wild.

  13. Evaluating water management scenarios to support habitat management for the Cape Sable seaside sparrow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beerens, James M.; Romañach, Stephanie S.; McKelvy, Mark

    2016-06-22

    The endangered Cape Sable seaside sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis) is endemic to south Florida and a key indicator species of marl prairie, a highly diverse freshwater community in the Florida Everglades. Maintenance and creation of suitable habitat is seen as the most important pathway to the persistence of the six existing sparrow subpopulations; however, major uncertainties remain in how to increase suitable habitat within and surrounding these subpopulations, which are vulnerable to environmental stochasticity. Currently, consistently suitable conditions for the Cape Sable seaside sparrow are only present in two of these subpopulations (B and E). The water management scenarios evaluated herein were intended to lower water levels and improve habitat conditions in subpopulation A and D, raise water levels to improve habitat conditions in subpopulations C and F, and minimize impacts to subpopulations B and E. Our objective in this analysis was to compare these scenarios utilizing a set of metrics (short- to long-time scales) that relate habitat suitability to hydrologic conditions. Although hydrologic outputs are similar across scenarios in subpopulation A, scenario R2H reaches the hydroperiod and depth suitability targets more than the other scenarios relative to ECB, while minimizing negative consequences to subpopulation E. However, although R2H hydroperiods are longer than those for ECB during the wet season in subpopulations C and F, depths during the breeding season are predicted to decrease in suitability (less than -50 cm) relative to existing conditions.

  14. Breeding and genetic diversity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Corn breeding has been historically remarkably successful. Much research has investigated optimal breeding procedures, which are detailed here. A smaller effort has been put into identifying useful genetic resources for maize and how to best use them, but results from long-term base broadening effor...

  15. Tritium breeding materials

    SciTech Connect

    Hollenberg, G.W.; Johnson, C.E.; Abdou, M.

    1984-03-01

    Tritium breeding materials are essential to the operation of D-T fusion facilities. Both of the present options - solid ceramic breeding materials and liquid metal materials are reviewed with emphasis not only on their attractive features but also on critical materials issues which must be resolved.

  16. Sexual Reproduction and Breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the second edition of Plant Propagation Concepts and Laboratory Exercises, we have combined the first edition chapters 36: Sexual Reproduction in Angiosperms and 37: Breeding Horticultural Plants into the present single chapter Sexual Reproduction and Breeding. These topics are so closely relate...

  17. Synchrony of Piping Plover breeding populations in the U.S. Northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roche, Erin A.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Dovichin, Colin M.; Sherfy, Mark H.; Anteau, Michael J.; Wiltermuth, Mark T.

    2016-01-01

    Local populations that fluctuate synchronously are at a greater risk of extinction than those that do not. The closer the geographic proximity of populations, the more prone they are to synchronizing. Shorebird species select habitat broadly, and many breed across regions with diverse nesting habitat types. Under these conditions, nearby populations may experience conditions sufficiently different to prevent population synchrony, despite dispersal. In the U.S. Northern Great Plains, the Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus), federally listed as Threatened, is a migratory shorebird species that nests on the shorelines of rivers, reservoirs, and alkaline lakes. We assessed the degree to which local plover breeding population abundances were correlated (population synchrony), changed over time (population stability), and were influenced by environmental factors such as available habitat, precipitation, and within-season reservoir level rise. We found that the abundances of breeding populations nesting in riverine and reservoir habitats were the most synchronous, while populations nesting in alkaline lake habitats exhibited the greatest stability. Changes in local breeding population abundances were not explained by a single factor across habitat types. However, the abundances of local populations nesting in alkaline lake and river shoreline habitats were positively correlated with changes in nesting habitat availability. Our results suggest that dispersal among populations nesting in either river or reservoir and alkaline lake shoreline habitat may have an overall stabilizing effect on the persistence of the Great Plains Piping Plover metapopulation.

  18. Carry-Over Effects of Nonbreeding Habitat on Start-to-Finish Spring Migration Performance of a Songbird.

    PubMed

    McKinnon, Emily A; Stanley, Calandra Q; Stutchbury, Bridget J M

    2015-01-01

    For migratory animals, conditions during the nonbreeding period may carry-over to influence spring migration performance. Animals in low-quality habitats are predicted to be in poorer condition, show later migration timing, and travel at slower speeds. This can result in subsequent negative effects on fitness. We tested the hypothesis that nonbreeding season body condition and habitat quality carry-over to affect spring migration performance of a long-distance migratory songbird, the Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina). We tracked individual birds between multiple breeding sites in North America and nonbreeding sites in Central America. First, we compared body condition of nonbreeding birds migrating to the same general region of the breeding range with spring migration performance (timing, speed, and duration) obtained from light-level geolocators. Second, we assessed the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) as a proxy for nonbreeding habitat quality, and predicted that birds from wetter habitat or in wetter years (higher NDVI) would show improved migration performance relative to birds from drier sites. We found no evidence of individual-level carry-over effects of nonbreeding season body condition on spring migration performance. Lower NDVI of nonbreeding habitat resulted in delayed spring migration departure, but this effect disappeared by arrival at breeding sites. Birds occupying drier nonbreeding sites migrated faster and for fewer days, compensating for their relatively late departure. We also documented a broader pattern in NDVI and migration timing and distance, in that birds that occupied the wettest areas in the southern part of the nonbreeding range departed significantly later and migrated farther. Our results suggest that individual carry-over effects of nonbreeding habitat quality may be compensated for by a faster and shorter migration strategy. At a broad scale, consistently later spring timing and longer migration distances were

  19. Carry-Over Effects of Nonbreeding Habitat on Start-to-Finish Spring Migration Performance of a Songbird

    PubMed Central

    McKinnon, Emily A.; Stanley, Calandra Q.; Stutchbury, Bridget J. M.

    2015-01-01

    For migratory animals, conditions during the nonbreeding period may carry-over to influence spring migration performance. Animals in low-quality habitats are predicted to be in poorer condition, show later migration timing, and travel at slower speeds. This can result in subsequent negative effects on fitness. We tested the hypothesis that nonbreeding season body condition and habitat quality carry-over to affect spring migration performance of a long-distance migratory songbird, the Wood Thrush (Hylocichla mustelina). We tracked individual birds between multiple breeding sites in North America and nonbreeding sites in Central America. First, we compared body condition of nonbreeding birds migrating to the same general region of the breeding range with spring migration performance (timing, speed, and duration) obtained from light-level geolocators. Second, we assessed the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) as a proxy for nonbreeding habitat quality, and predicted that birds from wetter habitat or in wetter years (higher NDVI) would show improved migration performance relative to birds from drier sites. We found no evidence of individual-level carry-over effects of nonbreeding season body condition on spring migration performance. Lower NDVI of nonbreeding habitat resulted in delayed spring migration departure, but this effect disappeared by arrival at breeding sites. Birds occupying drier nonbreeding sites migrated faster and for fewer days, compensating for their relatively late departure. We also documented a broader pattern in NDVI and migration timing and distance, in that birds that occupied the wettest areas in the southern part of the nonbreeding range departed significantly later and migrated farther. Our results suggest that individual carry-over effects of nonbreeding habitat quality may be compensated for by a faster and shorter migration strategy. At a broad scale, consistently later spring timing and longer migration distances were

  20. Effects of silvicultultural modifications of temperate rainforest on breeding and wintering bird communities, Prince of Wales Island, southeast Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dellasala, Dominick A.; Hagar, Joan C.; Engel, Kathleen A.; McComb, W.C.; Fairbanks, Randal L.; Campbell, Ellen G.

    1996-01-01

    We inventoried breeding and wintering bird communities in four treatments of temperate rainforest on Prince of Wales Island, southeast Alaska during 1991-1992 and 1992-1993. The four forest treatments sampled included: (1) young growth (20 years) originating from clearcut logging with no silvicultural modification (non-modified), (2) young growth (20 years) precommercially thinned along uniformly-spaced thinning grids (thinned), (3) young growth (20 years) with gaps in the overstory canopy created by felling trees in 0.05-ha openings (gapped), and (4) virgin old growth (2 150 years). Of 16 common breeding bird species observed, six showed significant responses to young-growth modifications. One species was more abundant and two species were less abundant in thinned sites, while one species was more abundant and two species were less abundant in gapped sites than at least one of the other treatments. None of the three common wintering species of birds observed was influenced by young-growth modification. Breeding bird communities, in general, were less similar between young- and old-growth treatments than among young-growth treatments. Three of the 16 common breeding bird species were more abundant in old growth than each of the young-growth treatments and one uncommon species was detected almost exclusivelyi n old growth duringb oth the breedinga nd wintering seasonsF. our other breeding bird species were more abundant in young-growth treatments than in old growth. Higher use of old growth by wintering birds was related to winter severity. To enhance habitat for wintering and breeding birds we recommend: (1) thinning young growth along variablespaced grids to create additional canopy layers and improve snow-intercept properties of young growth for canopy-foraging birds, (2) retention of old-growth clumps in clearcuts for bird species associated with old-growth structure, and (3) long-term conservation of oldgrowth temperate rainforest for breeding and wintering

  1. Influence of land use and climate on wetland breeding birds in the Prairie Pothole region of Canada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Forcey, G.M.; Linz, G.M.; Thogmartin, W.E.; Bleier, W.J.

    2007-01-01

    Bird populations are influenced by a variety of factors at both small and large scales that range from the presence of suitable nesting habitat, predators, and food supplies to climate conditions and land-use patterns. We evaluated the influences of regional climate and land-use variables on wetland breeding birds in the Canada section of Bird Conservation Region 11 (CA-BCR11), the Prairie Potholes. We used bird abundance data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey, land-use data from the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration, and weather data from the National Climatic Data and Information Archive to model effects of regional environmental variables on bird abundance. Models were constructed a priori using information from published habitat associations in the literature, and fitting was performed with WinBUGS using Markov chain Monte Carlo techniques. Both land-use and climate variables contributed to predicting bird abundance in CA-BCR11, although climate predictors contributed the most to improving model fit. Examination of regional effects of climate and land use on wetland birds in CA-BCR11 revealed relationships with environmental covariates that are often overlooked by small-scale habitat studies. Results from these studies can be used to improve conservation and management planning for regional populations of avifauna. ?? 2007 NRC.

  2. Facilitated by nature and agriculture: performance of a specialist herbivore improves with host-plant life history evolution, domestication, and breeding.

    PubMed

    Dávila-Flores, Amanda M; DeWitt, Thomas J; Bernal, Julio S

    2013-12-01

    Plant defenses against herbivores are predicted to change as plant lineages diversify, and with domestication and subsequent selection and breeding in the case of crop plants. We addressed whether defense against a specialist herbivore declined coincidently with life history evolution, domestication, and breeding within the grass genus Zea (Poaceae). For this, we assessed performance of corn leafhopper (Dalbulus maidis) following colonization of one of four Zea species containing three successive transitions: the evolutionary transition from perennial to annual life cycle, the agricultural transition from wild annual grass to primitive crop cultivar, and the agronomic transition from primitive to modern crop cultivar. Performance of corn leafhopper was measured through seven variables relevant to development speed, survivorship, fecundity, and body size. The plants included in our study were perennial teosinte (Zea diploperennis), Balsas teosinte (Zea mays parviglumis), a landrace maize (Zea mays mays), and a hybrid maize. Perennial teosinte is a perennial, iteroparous species, and is basal in Zea; Balsas teosinte is an annual species, and the progenitor of maize; the landrace maize is a primitive, genetically diverse cultivar, and is ancestral to the hybrid maize; and, the hybrid maize is a highly inbred, modern cultivar. Performance of corn leafhopper was poorest on perennial teosinte, intermediate on Balsas teosinte and landrace maize, and best on hybrid maize, consistent with our expectation of declining defense from perennial teosinte to hybrid maize. Overall, our results indicated that corn leafhopper performance increased most with the agronomic transition, followed by the life history transition, and least with the domestication transition.

  3. Habitat classification modeling with incomplete data: Pushing the habitat envelope

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zarnetske, P.L.; Edwards, T.C.; Moisen, G.G.

    2007-01-01

    Habitat classification models (HCMs) are invaluable tools for species conservation, land-use planning, reserve design, and metapopulation assessments, particularly at broad spatial scales. However, species occurrence data are often lacking and typically limited to presence points at broad scales. This lack of absence data precludes the use of many statistical techniques for HCMs. One option is to generate pseudo-absence points so that the many available statistical modeling tools can be used. Traditional techniques generate pseudoabsence points at random across broadly defined species ranges, often failing to include biological knowledge concerning the species-habitat relationship. We incorporated biological knowledge of the species-habitat relationship into pseudo-absence points by creating habitat envelopes that constrain the region from which points were randomly selected. We define a habitat envelope as an ecological representation of a species, or species feature's (e.g., nest) observed distribution (i.e., realized niche) based on a single attribute, or the spatial intersection of multiple attributes. We created HCMs for Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis atricapillus) nest habitat during the breeding season across Utah forests with extant nest presence points and ecologically based pseudo-absence points using logistic regression. Predictor variables were derived from 30-m USDA Landfire and 250-m Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) map products. These habitat-envelope-based models were then compared to null envelope models which use traditional practices for generating pseudo-absences. Models were assessed for fit and predictive capability using metrics such as kappa, thresholdindependent receiver operating characteristic (ROC) plots, adjusted deviance (Dadj2), and cross-validation, and were also assessed for ecological relevance. For all cases, habitat envelope-based models outperformed null envelope models and were more ecologically relevant, suggesting

  4. The North American Breeding Bird Survey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bystrak, D.; Ralph, C. John; Scott, J. Michael

    1981-01-01

    A brief history of the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and a discussion of the technique are presented. The approximately 2000 random roadside routes conducted yearly during the breeding season throughout North America produce an enormous bank of data on distribution and abundance of breeding birds with great potential use. Data on about one million total birds of 500 species per year are on computer tape to facilitate accessibility and are available to any serious investigator. The BBS includes the advantages of wide geographic coverage, sampling of most habitat types, standardization of data collection, and a relatively simple format. The Survey is limited by placement of roads (e.g., marshes and rugged mountainous areas are not well sampled), traffic noise interference in some cases and preference of some bird species for roadside habitats. These and other problems and biases of the BBS are discussed. The uniformity of the technique allows for detecting changes in populations and for creation of maps of relative abundance. Examples of each are presented.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  6. Evaluating the accotink creek restoration project for improving water quality, in-stream habitat, and bank stability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Struck, S.D.; Selvakumar, A.; Hyer, K.; O'Connor, T.

    2007-01-01

    Increased urbanization results in a larger percentage of connected impervious areas and can contribute large quantities of stormwater runoff and significant quantities of debris and pollutants (e.g., litter, oils, microorganisms, sediments, nutrients, organic matter, and heavy metals) to receiving waters. To improve water quality in urban and suburban areas, watershed managers often incorporate best management practices (BMPs) to reduce the quantity of runoff as well as to minimize pollutants and other stressors contained in stormwater runoff. It is well known that land-use practices directly impact urban streams. Stream flows in urbanized watersheds increase in magnitude as a function of impervious area and can result in degradation of the natural stream channel morphology affecting the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of the stream. Stream bank erosion, which also increases with increased stream flows, can lead to bank instability, property loss, infrastructure damage, and increased sediment loading to the stream. Increased sediment loads may lead to water quality degradation downstream and have negative impacts on fish, benthic invertebrates, and other aquatic life. Accotink Creek is in the greater Chesapeake Bay and Potomac watersheds, which have strict sediment criteria. The USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) and USGS (United States Geological Survey) are investigating the effectiveness of stream restoration techniques as a BMP to decrease sediment load and improve bank stability, biological integrity, and in-stream water quality in an impaired urban watershed in Fairfax, Virginia. This multi-year project continuously monitors turbidity, specific conductance, pH, and water temperature, as well as biological and chemical water quality parameters. In addition, physical parameters (e.g., pebble counts, longitudinal and cross sectional stream surveys) were measured to assess geomorphic changes associated with the restoration. Data

  7. Advances in Japanese pear breeding in Japan.

    PubMed

    Saito, Toshihiro

    2016-01-01

    The Japanese pear (Pyrus pyrifolia Nakai) is one of the most widely grown fruit trees in Japan, and it has been used throughout Japan's history. The commercial production of pears increased rapidly with the successive discoveries of the chance seedling cultivars 'Chojuro' and 'Nijisseiki' around 1890, and the development of new cultivars has continued since 1915. The late-maturing, leading cultivars 'Niitaka' and 'Shinko' were released during the initial breeding stage. Furthermore, systematic breeding by the Horticultural Research Station (currently, NARO Institute of Fruit Tree Science, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NIFTS)) began in 1935, which mainly aimed to improve fruit quality by focusing on flesh texture and black spot disease resistance. To date, 22 cultivars have been released, including 'Kosui', 'Hosui', and 'Akizuki', which are current leading cultivars from the breeding program. Four induced mutant cultivars induced by gamma irradiation, which exhibit some resistance to black spot disease, were released from the Institute of Radiation Breeding. Among these cultivars, 'Gold Nijisseiki' has become a leading cultivar. Moreover, 'Nansui' from the Nagano prefectural institute breeding program was released, and it has also become a leading cultivar. Current breeding objectives at NIFTS mainly combine superior fruit quality with traits related to labor and cost reduction, multiple disease resistance, or self-compatibility. Regarding future breeding, marker-assisted selection for each trait, QTL analyses, genome-wide association studies, and genomic selection analyses are currently in progress.

  8. Habitats of North American sea ducks.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Derksen, Dirk V.; Petersen, Margaret R.; Savard, Jean-Pierre L.

    2015-01-01

    Breeding, molting, fall and spring staging, and wintering habitats of the sea duck tribe Mergini are described based on geographic locations and distribution in North America, geomorphology, vegetation and soil types, and fresh water and marine characteristics. The dynamics of habitats are discussed in light of natural and anthropogenic events that shape areas important to sea ducks. Strategies for sea duck habitat management are outlined and recommendations for international collaboration to preserve key terrestrial and aquatic habitats are advanced. We follow the definition of habitat advanced by Odum (1971), which is the place or space where an organism lives. Weller (1999) emphasized that habitats for waterbirds required presence of sufficient resources (i.e., food, water, cover, space) for maintenance during a portion of their annual cycle. Habitats exploited by North American sea ducks are diverse, widespread across the continent and adjacent marine waters and until recently, most were only superficially known. Even following a 15-year-long effort through the Sea Duck Joint Venture and U.S. and Canadian Endangered/Threatened Species programs to fund research focused on sea duck habitats there are still important gaps in our understanding of key elements required by some species during various life stages. Importantly, many significant habitats, especially staging and wintering sites, have been and continue to be destroyed or altered, largely as a result of anthropogenic effects. Our goal here is to develop a comprehensive summary of marine, freshwater, and terrestrial habitats and their characteristics by considering sea duck species with similar needs as groups (e.g., eiders) within the tribe Mergini. Additionally, this chapter will examine threats and changes to sea duck habitats from human-caused and natural events. Finally, we will evaluate conservation and management programs underway or available for maintenance and enhancement of habitats critical for

  9. Teetering on the edge or too late? Conservation and research issues for avifauna of sagebrush habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knick, Steven T.; Dobkin, D.S.; Rotenberry, J.T.; Schroeder, M.A.; Vander Haegen, M.; Van Riper, C.

    2003-01-01

    Degradation, fragmentation, and loss of native sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) landscapes have imperiled these habitats and their associated avifauna. Historically, this vast piece of the Western landscape has been undervalued: even though more than 70% of all remaining sagebrush habitat in the United States is publicly owned, <3% of it is protected as federal reserves or national parks. We review the threats facing birds in sagebrush habitats to emphasize the urgency for conservation and research actions, and synthesize existing information that forms the foundation for recommended research directions. Management and conservation of birds in sagebrush habitats will require more research into four major topics: (1) identification of primary land-use practices and their influence on sagebrush habitats and birds, (2) better understanding of bird responses to habitat components and disturbance processes of sagebrush ecosystems, (3) improved hierarchical designs for surveying and monitoring programs, and (4) linking bird movements and population changes during migration and wintering periods to dynamics on the sagebrush breeding grounds. This research is essential because we already have seen that sagebrush habitats can be altered by land use, spread of invasive plants, and disrupted disturbance regimes beyond a threshold at which natural recovery is unlikely. Research on these issues should be instituted on lands managed by state or federal agencies because most lands still dominated by sagebrush are owned publicly. In addition to the challenge of understanding shrubsteppe bird-habitat dynamics, conservation of sagebrush landscapes depends on our ability to recognize and communicate their intrinsic value and on our resolve to conserve them.

  10. Ultra-Fine Scale Spatially-Integrated Mapping of Habitat and Occupancy Using Structure-From-Motion

    PubMed Central

    McDowall, Philip; Lynch, Heather J.

    2017-01-01

    Organisms respond to and often simultaneously modify their environment. While these interactions are apparent at the landscape extent, the driving mechanisms often occur at very fine spatial scales. Structure-from-Motion (SfM), a computer vision technique, allows the simultaneous mapping of organisms and fine scale habitat, and will greatly improve our understanding of habitat suitability, ecophysiology, and the bi-directional relationship between geomorphology and habitat use. SfM can be used to create high-resolution (centimeter-scale) three-dimensional (3D) habitat models at low cost. These models can capture the abiotic conditions formed by terrain and simultaneously record the position of individual organisms within that terrain. While coloniality is common in seabird species, we have a poor understanding of the extent to which dense breeding aggregations are driven by fine-scale active aggregation or limited suitable habitat. We demonstrate the use of SfM for fine-scale habitat suitability by reconstructing the locations of nests in a gentoo penguin colony and fitting models that explicitly account for conspecific attraction. The resulting digital elevation models (DEMs) are used as covariates in an inhomogeneous hybrid point process model. We find that gentoo penguin nest site selection is a function of the topography of the landscape, but that nests are far more aggregated than would be expected based on terrain alone, suggesting a strong role of behavioral aggregation in driving coloniality in this species. This integrated mapping of organisms and fine scale habitat will greatly improve our understanding of fine-scale habitat suitability, ecophysiology, and the complex bi-directional relationship between geomorphology and habitat use. PMID:28076351

  11. Ultra-Fine Scale Spatially-Integrated Mapping of Habitat and Occupancy Using Structure-From-Motion.

    PubMed

    McDowall, Philip; Lynch, Heather J

    2017-01-01

    Organisms respond to and often simultaneously modify their environment. While these interactions are apparent at the landscape extent, the driving mechanisms often occur at very fine spatial scales. Structure-from-Motion (SfM), a computer vision technique, allows the simultaneous mapping of organisms and fine scale habitat, and will greatly improve our understanding of habitat suitability, ecophysiology, and the bi-directional relationship between geomorphology and habitat use. SfM can be used to create high-resolution (centimeter-scale) three-dimensional (3D) habitat models at low cost. These models can capture the abiotic conditions formed by terrain and simultaneously record the position of individual organisms within that terrain. While coloniality is common in seabird species, we have a poor understanding of the extent to which dense breeding aggregations are driven by fine-scale active aggregation or limited suitable habitat. We demonstrate the use of SfM for fine-scale habitat suitability by reconstructing the locations of nests in a gentoo penguin colony and fitting models that explicitly account for conspecific attraction. The resulting digital elevation models (DEMs) are used as covariates in an inhomogeneous hybrid point process model. We find that gentoo penguin nest site selection is a function of the topography of the landscape, but that nests are far more aggregated than would be expected based on terrain alone, suggesting a strong role of behavioral aggregation in driving coloniality in this species. This integrated mapping of organisms and fine scale habitat will greatly improve our understanding of fine-scale habitat suitability, ecophysiology, and the complex bi-directional relationship between geomorphology and habitat use.

  12. Spatiotemporal variation in range-wide Golden-cheeked Warbler habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duarte, Adam; Jensen, Jennifer; Hatfield, Jeffrey S.; Weckerly, Floyd

    2013-01-01

    Habitat availability ultimately limits the distribution and abundance of wildlife species. Consequently, it is paramount to identify where wildlife habitat is and understand how it changes over time in order to implement large scale wildlife conservation plans. Yet, no work has quantified the degree of change in range-wide breeding habitat for the golden-cheeked warbler (Setophaga chrysoparia), despite the species being listed as endangered by the U.S. federal government. Thus, using available geographic information system (GIS) data and Landsat satellite imagery we quantified range-wide warbler breeding habitat change from 1999-2001 to 2010-2011. We detected a 29% reduction in total warbler breeding habitat and found that warbler breeding habitat was removed and became more fragmented at uneven rates across the warbler’s breeding range during this time period. This information will assist researchers and managers in prioritizing breeding habitat conservation efforts for the species and provide a foundation for more realistic carrying capacity scenarios when modeling golden-cheeked warbler populations over time. Additionally, this study highlights the need for future work centered on quantifying golden-cheeked warbler movement rates and distances in order to assess the degree of connectivity between increasingly fragmented habitat patches.

  13. Understanding the contribution of habitats and regional variation to long-term population trends in tricolored blackbirds

    PubMed Central

    Graves, Emily E; Holyoak, Marcel; Rodd Kelsey, T; Meese, Robert J

    2013-01-01

    Population trends represent a minimum amount of information required to assess the conservation status of a species. However, understanding and detecting trends can be complicated by variation among habitats and regions, and by dispersal connecting habitats through source-sink dynamics. We analyzed trends in breeding populations between habitats and regions to better understand the overall dynamics of a species' decline. Specifically, we analyzed historical trends in breeding populations of tricolored blackbirds (Agelaius tricolor) using breeding records from 1907 to 2009. The species breeds itinerantly and ephemerally uses multiple habitat types and breeding areas, which make interpretation of trends complex. We found overall abundance declines of 63% between 1935 and 1975. Since 1980 overall declines became nonsignificant and obscure despite large amounts of data from 1980 to 2009. Temporal trends differed between breeding habitat types and were associated with regional differences in population declines. A new habitat, triticale crops (a wheat-rye hybrid grain) produced colonies 40× larger, on average, than other breeding habitats, and contributed to a change in regional distribution since it primarily occurred in a single region. The mechanism for such an effect is not clear, but could represent the local availability of foodstuffs in the landscape rather than something specific to triticale crops. While variation in trends among habitats clearly occurred, they could not easily be ascribed to source-sink dynamics, ecological traps, habitat selection or other detailed ecological mechanisms. Nonetheless, such exchanges provide valuable information to guide management of dynamic systems. PMID:24101977

  14. Understanding the contribution of habitats and regional variation to long-term population trends in tricolored blackbirds.

    PubMed

    Graves, Emily E; Holyoak, Marcel; Rodd Kelsey, T; Meese, Robert J

    2013-09-01

    Population trends represent a minimum amount of information required to assess the conservation status of a species. However, understanding and detecting trends can be complicated by variation among habitats and regions, and by dispersal connecting habitats through source-sink dynamics. We analyzed trends in breeding populations between habitats and regions to better understand the overall dynamics of a species' decline. Specifically, we analyzed historical trends in breeding populations of tricolored blackbirds (Agelaius tricolor) using breeding records from 1907 to 2009. The species breeds itinerantly and ephemerally uses multiple habitat types and breeding areas, which make interpretation of trends complex. We found overall abundance declines of 63% between 1935 and 1975. Since 1980 overall declines became nonsignificant and obscure despite large amounts of data from 1980 to 2009. Temporal trends differed between breeding habitat types and were associated with regional differences in population declines. A new habitat, triticale crops (a wheat-rye hybrid grain) produced colonies 40× larger, on average, than other breeding habitats, and contributed to a change in regional distribution since it primarily occurred in a single region. The mechanism for such an effect is not clear, but could represent the local availability of foodstuffs in the landscape rather than something specific to triticale crops. While variation in trends among habitats clearly occurred, they could not easily be ascribed to source-sink dynamics, ecological traps, habitat selection or other detailed ecological mechanisms. Nonetheless, such exchanges provide valuable information to guide management of dynamic systems.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Natural Propagation and Habitat Improvement, Washington, Volume IIA, Tumwater Falls and Dryden Dam Fish Passage, 1983 Final Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Unknown Author

    1984-05-01

    This engineering feasibility and predesign report on the Tumwater Falls and Dryden Dam Fish Passage Project provides BPA with information for planning purposes and will serve as a discussion document for interested agencies. Tumwater Falls and Dryden Dams, both on the Wenatchee River, were built in the early 1900's as diversions for hydropower, and irrigation and hydropower, respectively. The present fishway facilities at both sites are inadequate to properly pass the anadromous fish runs in the Wenatchee River. These runs include spring and summer chinook salmon, sockeye salmon, coho salmon and steelhead trout. Predesign level drawings are provided in this report that represent fishway schemes capable of adequately passing present and projected fish runs. The effects of present passage facilities on anadromous fish stocks is addressed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The quantitative treatment assesses losses of adult migrants due to the structures and places an estimated value on those fish. The dollar figure is estimated to be between $391,000 and $701,000 per year for both structures. The qualitative approach to benefits deals with the concept of stock vigor, the need for passage improvements to help ensure the health of the anadromous fish stock. 29 references, 27 figures, 5 tables.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Feasibility for improving phytonutrient content in vegetable crops using conventional breeding strategies: case study with carotenoids and tocopherols in sweet corn and broccoli.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, Khalid E; Juvik, John A

    2009-06-10

    Among vegetables, sweet corn ( Zea mays L.) and broccoli ( Brassica oleracea L. ssp. italica) are important sources of dietary carotenoids and tocopherols. Because medical evidence suggests that carotenoid and tocopherol health-promoting activity acts in a dose-dependent manner, conventional breeding to develop elite sweet corn and broccoli germplasm with enhanced levels of these phytochemicals will potentially promote health among the consuming public. This investigation includes the quantitative analysis of carotenoid and tocopherol contents of 41 corn and 24 broccoli genotypes grown in multiple environments (years and seasons in one location) to partition the variation into genetic, environment, and genotype by environment interaction (GxE) components and measure the phenotypic stability of genotypes for these phytochemicals. The primary carotenoids and tocopherols in corn were lutein and gamma-tocopherol (65 and 73% of total carotenoid and tocopherol, respectively), whereas beta-carotene and alpha-tocopherol were dominant in broccoli (65 and 79% of total carotenoid and tocopherol, respectively). Partitioning of the variance indicated that genetic differences among the genotypes averaged for the primary compounds in corn (lutein, zeaxanthin, and alpha- and gamma-tocopherol) and broccoli (beta-carotene, lutein, and alpha- and gamma-tocopherol) accounted for the largest proportion of the variation (67 and 55% of total phenotypic variation averaged across the phytochemicals in sweet corn and broccoli, respectively). Stability analysis identified several corn (IL451b sh2 and IL2027-8 sh2) and broccoli ('Pirate' and 'Baccus') genotypes with relatively high mean concentrations for the various carotenoids and tocopherols that were comparatively stable across seasons and years. The results of this investigation suggest that sweet corn and broccoli germplasm with enhanced concentrations of carotenoids and tocopherols can be developed using conventional breeding protocols.

  19. Relating habitat and climatic niches in birds.

    PubMed

    Barnagaud, Jean-Yves; Devictor, Vincent; Jiguet, Frédéric; Barbet-Massin, Morgane; Le Viol, Isabelle; Archaux, Frédéric

    2012-01-01

    Predicting species' responses to the combined effects of habitat and climate changes has become a major challenge in ecology and conservation biology. However, the effects of climatic and habitat gradients on species distributions have generally been considered separately. Here, we explore the relationships between the habitat and thermal dimensions of the ecological niche in European common birds. Using data from the French Breeding Bird Survey, a large-scale bird monitoring program, we correlated the habitat and thermal positions and breadths of 74 bird species, controlling for life history traits and phylogeny. We found that cold climate species tend to have niche positions in closed habitats, as expected by the conjunction of the biogeographic history of birds' habitats, and their current continent-scale gradients. We also report a positive correlation between thermal and habitat niche breadths, a pattern consistent with macroecological predictions concerning the processes shaping species' distributions. Our results suggest that the relationships between the climatic and habitat components of the niche have to be taken into account to understand and predict changes in species' distributions.

  20. Relating Habitat and Climatic Niches in Birds

    PubMed Central

    Barnagaud, Jean-Yves; Devictor, Vincent; Jiguet, Frédéric; Barbet-Massin, Morgane; Le Viol, Isabelle; Archaux, Frédéric

    2012-01-01

    Predicting species' responses to the combined effects of habitat and climate changes has become a major challenge in ecology and conservation biology. However, the effects of climatic and habitat gradients on species distributions have generally been considered separately. Here, we explore the relationships between the habitat and thermal dimensions of the ecological niche in European common birds. Using data from the French Breeding Bird Survey, a large-scale bird monitoring program, we correlated the habitat and thermal positions and breadths of 74 bird species, controlling for life history traits and phylogeny. We found that cold climate species tend to have niche positions in closed habitats, as expected by the conjunction of the biogeographic history of birds' habitats, and their current continent-scale gradients. We also report a positive correlation between thermal and habitat niche breadths, a pattern consistent with macroecological predictions concerning the processes shaping species' distributions. Our results suggest that the relationships between the climatic and habitat components of the niche have to be taken into account to understand and predict changes in species' distributions. PMID:22427891

  1. Mars habitat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

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

  2. Is income breeding an appropriate construct for waterfowl?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Janke, Adam K.; Anteau, Michael J.; Markl, Nicholas; Stafford, Joshua D.

    2015-01-01

    Breeding birds use a range of nutrient accumulation and allocation strategies to meet the nutritional demands of clutch formation and incubation. On one end of the spectrum, capital breeders use stored nutrients acquired prior to clutch formation and incubation to sustain metabolism during reproduction, while on the opposite end, income breeders derive nutrients solely from exogenous sources on the breeding grounds. Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors) are an ideal candidate to test for adoption of an income strategy among migratory waterfowl because of their small body size, temperate breeding range, and timing of reproduction relative to pulses in nutrient availability within breeding habitats. We collected migrating and pre-breeding Blue-winged Teal (n = 110) during the warmest spring in over a century in the southern edge of the species’ breeding range, which produced ideal conditions to test for adoption of an income breeding strategy among migratory waterfowl. Regression analyses revealed that females accumulated protein and fat reserves early in follicle development and appeared to mobilize at least some reserves coincident with the onset of clutch formation. Accumulation and subsequent mobilization of nutrient reserves was inconsistent with adherence to an income breeding strategy and suggested breeding Blue-winged Teal used capital (albeit locally acquired) for reproduction. Our results add to existing knowledge on the ubiquity of endogenous nutrient reserve accumulation prior to and during reproduction by waterfowl, perhaps suggesting endogenous nutrient reserves are universally used for clutch formation or incubation to some degree. If indeed Blue-winged Teal and other waterfowl universally use capital for breeding, research and conservation efforts should shift from evaluating whether an income breeding strategy is used and focus on when and where necessary capital is acquired prior to clutch formation.

  3. Welfare in horse breeding

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, M. L. H.; Sandøe, P.

    2015-01-01

    Welfare problems related to the way horses are bred, whether by coitus or by the application of artificial reproduction techniques (ARTs), have been given no discrete consideration within the academic literature. This paper reviews the existing knowledge base about welfare issues in horse breeding and identifies areas in which data is lacking. We suggest that all methods of horse breeding are associated with potential welfare problems, but also that the judicious use of ARTs can sometimes help to address those problems. We discuss how negative welfare effects could be identified and limited and how positive welfare effects associated with breeding might be maximised. Further studies are needed to establish an evidence base about how stressful or painful various breeding procedures are for the animals involved, and what the lifetime welfare implications of ARTs are for future animal generations. PMID:25908746

  4. Familiar neighbors enhance breeding success in birds.

    PubMed Central

    Beletsky, L D; Orians, G H

    1989-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis that long-term familiarity with neighbors is advantageous by determining whether male red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) breeding adjacent to familiar neighbors have better reproductive success than other males. Using data gathered during a 10-yr study of breeding success, we found that males with familiar neighbors fledged, on average, significantly more offspring annually than males without familiar neighbors. We also found that the same males, breeding in different years on the same territories, had significantly larger harems in the years they had familiar neighbors. Improved reproductive success was due to the males' abilities to attract more females to nest in their territories. Alternative hypotheses to explain the positive relationship between familiar neighbors and breeding success were not supported by our data. Relatively high reproductive success for breeders with long-term neighbors may provide a basis for the evolution of cooperative behavior in this and other species. PMID:2813369

  5. Citrus breeding, genetics and genomics in Japan

    PubMed Central

    Omura, Mitsuo; Shimada, Takehiko

    2016-01-01

    Citrus is one of the most cultivated fruits in the world, and satsuma mandarin (Citrus unshiu Marc.) is a major cultivated citrus in Japan. Many excellent cultivars derived from satsuma mandarin have been released through the improvement of mandarins using a conventional breeding method. The citrus breeding program is a lengthy process owing to the long juvenility, and it is predicted that marker-assisted selection (MAS) will overcome the obstacle and improve the efficiency of conventional breeding methods. To promote citrus molecular breeding in Japan, a genetic mapping was initiated in 1987, and the experimental tools and resources necessary for citrus functional genomics have been developed in relation to the physiological analysis of satsuma mandarin. In this paper, we review the progress of citrus breeding and genome researches in Japan and report the studies on genetic mapping, expression sequence tag cataloguing, and molecular characterization of breeding characteristics, mainly in terms of the metabolism of bio-functional substances as well as factors relating to, for example, fruit quality, disease resistance, polyembryony, and flowering. PMID:27069387

  6. Post-breeding migration of Dutch-breeding black-tailed godwits: timing, routes, use of stopovers, and nonbreeding destinations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hooijmeijer, Jos C. E. W.; Senner, Nathan R.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Gill, Robert E.; Douglas, David C.; Bruinzeel, Leo W.; Wymenga, Eddy; Piersma, Theunis

    2014-01-01

    Conservation of long-distance migratory shorebirds is complex because these species use habitats spread across continents and hemispheres, making identification of critical habitats and potential bottlenecks in the annual cycle especially difficult. The population of Black-tailed Godwits that breeds in Western Europe, Limosa limosa limosa, has declined precipitously over the past few decades. Despite significant efforts to identify the root causes of this decline, much remains unclear. To better understand the migratory timing, use of stopover and nonbreeding sites, and the potential impact of breeding success on these parameters, we attached 15 Argos satellite transmitters and 10 geolocation tracking devices to adult godwits nearing completion of incubation at breeding sites in southwest Friesland, The Netherlands during the spring of 2009. We successfully tracked 16 adult godwits for their entire southward migration and two others for part of it. Three migration patterns and four regions of use were apparent. Most godwits left their breeding sites and proceeded south directly to stopover sites in the Mediterranean — e.g. Spain, Portugal, and Morocco — before flying on to non-breeding sites in West Africa. Other individuals spent the entire nonbreeding season in the Mediterranean. A third pattern included a few individuals that flew nonstop from their Dutch breeding sites to nonbreeding sites in West Africa. Tracking data from this study will be immediately useful for conservation efforts focused on preserving the dispersed network of sites used by godwits during their southward migration.

  7. Modeling sensitive elasmobranch habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  8. The peregrine falcon in Arizona: Habitat utilization and management recommendations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ellis, D.H.

    1982-01-01

    The peregrine falcon once bred in significant numbers in Arizona. Good documentation is available for specific breeding sites and an additional 20 general locations. This report, based on the published literature, an extensive personal contact survey, an aerial habitat inventory (over 124 hours air time), and ground visits to over 300 locations, provides information on habitat preferences and management practices which can contribute to the bird's survival. In seeking to identify the habitat preferences of the falcon, many site description factors were examined. Those traits which appeared common to most recent Arizona sites (and therefore most useful in evaluating habitat) were: elevation less than 9,000 feet, cliffs tall or very tall, cliffs extensive, topographic relief high, and surface water readily available. All recent sites are in extensive canyon systems or in extensive mountain ranges. Using a habitat evaluation key derived from the traits common to known breeding sites, all cliff regions in Arizona and the Navajo Indian Reservation were flown and evaluated for suitability. Nineteen falcon eyries located in subsequent ground visits were all in areas previously ranked acceptable or better. Many management alternatives are discussed: management of information on breeding sites, habitat preservation, controlling disruptive human activities, and enhancing productivity through the creation of suitable breeding ledges, providing pesticide free prey, or direct reintroductions. Given their privacy (and an increasingly pesticide free environment) the peregrine falcon will likely exist indefinitely in suitable areas across Arizona.

  9. Breeding programmes for smallholder sheep farming systems: II. Optimization of cooperative village breeding schemes.

    PubMed

    Gizaw, S; van Arendonk, J A M; Valle-Zárate, A; Haile, A; Rischkowsky, B; Dessie, T; Mwai, A O

    2014-10-01

    A simulation study was conducted to optimize a cooperative village-based sheep breeding scheme for Menz sheep of Ethiopia. Genetic gains and profits were estimated under nine levels of farmers' participation and three scenarios of controlled breeding achieved in the breeding programme, as well as under three cooperative flock sizes, ewe to ram mating ratios and durations of ram use for breeding. Under fully controlled breeding, that is, when there is no gene flow between participating (P) and non-participating (NP) flocks, profits ranged from Birr 36.9 at 90% of participation to Birr 21.3 at 10% of participation. However, genetic progress was not affected adversely. When there was gene flow from the NP to P flocks, profits declined from Birr 28.6 to Birr -3.7 as participation declined from 90 to 10%. Under the two-way gene flow model (i.e. when P and NP flocks are herded mixed in communal grazing areas), NP flocks benefited from the genetic gain achieved in the P flocks, but the benefits declined sharply when participation declined beyond 60%. Our results indicate that a cooperative breeding group can be established with as low as 600 breeding ewes mated at a ratio of 45 ewes to one ram, and the rams being used for breeding for a period of two years. This study showed that farmer cooperation is crucial to effect genetic improvement under smallholder low-input sheep farming systems.

  10. Utilization of surface mine ponds in East Tennessee by breeding amphibians

    SciTech Connect

    Turner, L.J.; Fowler, D.K.

    1981-06-01

    Of 24 ponds examined on Ollis Creek Surface Mine, Campbell County, Tennessee, 21 contained breeding amphibians. Twelve species of amphibians were identified in ponds that ranged from 4.0 to 8.0 in pH. Although ponds with low pH values were used by breeding amphibians, significantly more amphibian species were found in ponds with higher pH values. The average pH of ponds occupied by each amphibian species varied. Spring peepers (Hyla crucifer) occupied ponds with the lowest average pH (5.22) while upland chorus frogs (Pseudacris triseriata feriarum) utilized ponds with the highest average pH (6.33). Findings indicated high biological productivity in surface mine ponds. Aquatic vegetation was present in 20 of the 24 ponds. Aquatic insects and a diverse wildlife fauna utilized the study ponds. Large mammals (3 species), waterbirds (17 species), and snakes (2 species) were among those species observed. Surface mine ponds were found to supply an important habitat component for a variety of wildlife species and therefore improve the quality of wildlife habitat on the surface mines. In some areas, mine ponds are the only source of surface water available for wildlife use. 23 references, 9 figures, 5 tables.

  11. Grande Ronde Basin Fish Habitat Enhancement Project : 1998 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    McGowan, Vance R.; Powell, Russ M.

    1999-05-01

    The primary goal of ''The Grande Ronde Basin Fish Habitat Improvement Project'' is to access, create, improve, protect, and restore reparian and instream habitat for anadromous salmonids, thereby maximizing opportunities for natural fish production within the basin.

  12. Breeding site selection by coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) in relation to large wood additions and factors that influence reproductive success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Steven M.; Dunham, Jason B.; McEnroe, Jeffery R.; Lightcap, Scott W.

    2014-01-01

    The fitness of female Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) with respect to breeding behavior can be partitioned into at least four fitness components: survival to reproduction, competition for breeding sites, success of egg incubation, and suitability of the local environment near breeding sites for early rearing of juveniles. We evaluated the relative influences of habitat features linked to these fitness components with respect to selection of breeding sites by coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). We also evaluated associations between breeding site selection and additions of large wood, as the latter were introduced into the study system as a means of restoring habitat conditions to benefit coho salmon. We used a model selection approach to organize specific habitat features into groupings reflecting fitness components and influences of large wood. Results of this work suggest that female coho salmon likely select breeding sites based on a wide range of habitat features linked to all four hypothesized fitness components. More specifically, model parameter estimates indicated that breeding site selection was most strongly influenced by proximity to pool-tail crests and deeper water (mean and maximum depths). Linkages between large wood and breeding site selection were less clear. Overall, our findings suggest that breeding site selection by coho salmon is influenced by a suite of fitness components in addition to the egg incubation environment, which has been the emphasis of much work in the past.

  13. Northern bobwhite breeding season ecology on a reclaimed surface mine

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2017-01-01

    Surface coal mining and subsequent reclamation of surface mines have converted large forest areas into early successional vegetative communities in the eastern United States. This reclamation can provide a novel opportunity to conserve northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus). We evaluated the influence of habitat management activities on nest survival, nest-site selection, and brood resource selection on managed and unmanaged units of a reclaimed surface mine, Peabody Wildlife Management Area (Peabody), in west-central Kentucky, USA, from 2010 to 2013. We compared resource selection, using discrete-choice analysis, and nest survival, using the nest survival model in Program MARK, between managed and unmanaged units of Peabody at 2 spatial scales: the composition and configuration of vegetation types (i.e., macrohabitat) and vegetation characteristics at nest sites and brood locations (i.e., microhabitat). On managed sites, we also investigated resource selection relative to a number of different treatments (e.g., herbicide, disking, prescribed fire). We found no evidence that nest-site selection was influenced by macrohabitat variables, but bobwhite selected nest sites in areas with greater litter depth than was available at random sites. On managed units, bobwhite were more likely to nest where herbicide was applied to reduce sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata) compared with areas untreated with herbicide. Daily nest survival was not influenced by habitat characteristics or by habitat management but was influenced by nest age and the interaction of nest initiation date and nest age. Daily nest survival was greater for older nests occurring early in the breeding season (0.99, SE < 0.01) but was lower for older nests occurring later in the season (0.08, SE = 0.13). Brood resource selection was not influenced by macrohabitat or microhabitat variables we measured, but broods on managed units selected areas treated with herbicide to control sericea lespedeza

  14. The Habitat Connection.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naturescope, 1987

    1987-01-01

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

  15. Habitat Demonstration Unit - Deep Space Habitat Configuration

    NASA Video Gallery

    This animated video shows the process of transporting, assembling and testing the Habitat Demonstration Unit - Deep Space Habitat (HDU DSH) configuration, which will be deployed during the 2011 Des...

  16. Habitat, topographical, and geographical components structuring shrubsteppe bird communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knick, S.T.; Rotenberry, J.T.; Leu, M.

    2008-01-01

    Landscapes available to birds to select for breeding locations are arrayed along multiple dimensions. Identifying the primary gradients structuring shrubsteppe bird communities in the western United States is important because widespread habitat loss and alteration are shifting the environmental template on which these birds depend. We integrated field habitat surveys, GIS coverages, and bird counts from 61 Breeding Bird Survey routes located in shrubsteppe habitats across a >800 000 km2 region to determine the gradients of habitat, topography, and geography underlying bird communities. A small set of habitat features dominated the primary environmental gradients in a canonical ordination; the 13 species in the shrubsteppe bird community were closely packed along the first two axes. Using hierarchical variance partitioning, we identified habitat as the most important pure (31% explained variation) or shared component. Topography (9%) and geography (4%) were minor components but each shared a larger contribution with habitat (habitat-topography 21%; habitat-geography 22%) in explaining the organization of the bird community. In a second tier partition of habitat structure, pure composition (% land cover) was more important (45%) than configuration (patch size and edge) (7%); the two components shared 27% of the explained variation in the bird community axes. Local (9%), community (14%), and landscape (10%) levels contributed equally. Adjacent organizational levels had a larger shared contribution (local-community 26%; community-landscape 27%) than more separated local-landscape levels (21%). Extensive conversion of shrubsteppe habitats to agriculture, exotic annual grasslands, or pinyon (Pinus spp.)-juniper (Juniperus spp.) woodlands is occurring along the primary axes of habitat structure. Because the shrubsteppe bird community was organized along short gradients dominated by habitat features, relatively small shifts in their available environment will exert a

  17. Landscape Analysis of Adult Florida Panther Habitat

    PubMed Central

    Frakes, Robert A.; Belden, Robert C.; Wood, Barry E.

    2015-01-01

    Historically occurring throughout the southeastern United States, the Florida panther is now restricted to less than 5% of its historic range in one breeding population located in southern Florida. Using radio-telemetry data from 87 prime-aged (≥3 years old) adult panthers (35 males and 52 females) during the period 2004 through 2013 (28,720 radio-locations), we analyzed the characteristics of the occupied area and used those attributes in a random forest model to develop a predictive distribution map for resident breeding panthers in southern Florida. Using 10-fold cross validation, the model was 87.5 % accurate in predicting presence or absence of panthers in the 16,678 km2 study area. Analysis of variable importance indicated that the amount of forests and forest edge, hydrology, and human population density were the most important factors determining presence or absence of panthers. Sensitivity analysis showed that the presence of human populations, roads, and agriculture (other than pasture) had strong negative effects on the probability of panther presence. Forest cover and forest edge had strong positive effects. The median model-predicted probability of presence for panther home ranges was 0.81 (0.82 for females and 0.74 for males). The model identified 5579 km2 of suitable breeding habitat remaining in southern Florida; 1399 km2 (25%) of this habitat is in non-protected private ownership. Because there is less panther habitat remaining than previously thought, we recommend that all remaining breeding habitat in south Florida should be maintained, and the current panther range should be expanded into south-central Florida. This model should be useful for evaluating the impacts of future development projects, in prioritizing areas for panther conservation, and in evaluating the potential impacts of sea-level rise and changes in hydrology. PMID:26222526

  18. Landscape Analysis of Adult Florida Panther Habitat.

    PubMed

    Frakes, Robert A; Belden, Robert C; Wood, Barry E; James, Frederick E

    2015-01-01

    Historically occurring throughout the southeastern United States, the Florida panther is now restricted to less than 5% of its historic range in one breeding population located in southern Florida. Using radio-telemetry data from 87 prime-aged (≥3 years old) adult panthers (35 males and 52 females) during the period 2004 through 2013 (28,720 radio-locations), we analyzed the characteristics of the occupied area and used those attributes in a random forest model to develop a predictive distribution map for resident breeding panthers in southern Florida. Using 10-fold cross validation, the model was 87.5 % accurate in predicting presence or absence of panthers in the 16,678 km2 study area. Analysis of variable importance indicated that the amount of forests and forest edge, hydrology, and human population density were the most important factors determining presence or absence of panthers. Sensitivity analysis showed that the presence of human populations, roads, and agriculture (other than pasture) had strong negative effects on the probability of panther presence. Forest cover and forest edge had strong positive effects. The median model-predicted probability of presence for panther home ranges was 0.81 (0.82 for females and 0.74 for males). The model identified 5579 km2 of suitable breeding habitat remaining in southern Florida; 1399 km2 (25%) of this habitat is in non-protected private ownership. Because there is less panther habitat remaining than previously thought, we recommend that all remaining breeding habitat in south Florida should be maintained, and the current panther range should be expanded into south-central Florida. This model should be useful for evaluating the impacts of future development projects, in prioritizing areas for panther conservation, and in evaluating the potential impacts of sea-level rise and changes in hydrology.

  19. Integration of georeferencing, habitat, sampling, and genetic data for documentation of wild plant genetic resources

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant genetic resource collections provide novel materials to the breeding and research communities. Availability of detailed documentation of passport, phenotypic, and genetic data increases the value of the genebank accessions. Inclusion of georeferenced sources, habitats, and sampling data in co...

  20. 1980 breeding bird censuses

    SciTech Connect

    Raynor, G.S.

    1980-09-01

    As part of a program to characterize the plant and animal life of the Laboratory site and the surrounding region, the two breeding bird censuses originated in 1977 were continued in 1980. Coverage was below that of previous years due to illness and travel of some participants, but 11 trips were made to the BNL plot and 8 to the Westhampton plot. Each was censused by separate teams of three volunteer observers. The number of breeding species and number of territorial males on the BNL plot have progressively declined since 1977 but little change has taken place in either number of territories or species composition on the Westhampton plot.

  1. Breeding implications resulting from classification of patellae luxation in dogs.

    PubMed

    van Grevenhof, E M; Hazewinkel, H A W; Heuven, H C M

    2016-08-01

    Patellar luxation (PL) is one of the major hereditary orthopaedic abnormalities observed in a variety of dog breeds. When the patellae move sideways out of the trochlear groove, this is called PL. The PL score varies between dogs from normal to very severe. Reducing the prevalence of PL by breeding could prevent surgery, thereby improve welfare. Orthopaedic specialists differentiate between normal and loose patellae, where the patellae can be moved to the edge of the trochlear groove, considering scoring loose patellae as normal in the future. Loose patellae are considered acceptable for breeding so far by the breeding organization. The aim of this study was to analyse the genetic background of PL to decide on the importance of loose patellae when breeding for healthy dogs. Data are available from two dog breeds, that is Flat-coated Retrievers (n = 3808) and Kooiker dogs (n = 794), with a total of 4602 dogs. Results show that loose patellae indicate that dogs are genetically more susceptible to develop PL because family members of the dogs with loose patellae showed more severe PL. In addition, the estimated breeding values for dogs with loose patellae indicate that breeding values of dogs with loose patellae were worse than breeding values obtained for dogs with a normal score. Given these results, it is advised to orthopaedic specialists to continue to score loose patellae as a separate class and to dog breeders to minimize the use of dogs in breeding with a genetically higher susceptibility for PL.

  2. Habitat selection by Forster's Terns (Sterna forsteri) at multiple spatial scales in an urbanized estuary: The importance of salt ponds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bluso-Demers, Jill; Ackerman, Josh; Takekawa, John; Peterson, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    The highly urbanized San Francisco Bay Estuary, California, USA, is currently undergoing large-scale habitat restoration, and several thousand hectares of former salt evaporation ponds are being converted to tidal marsh. To identify potential effects of this habitat restoration on breeding waterbirds, habitat selection of radiotagged Forster's Terns (Sterna forsteri) was examined at multiple spatial scales during the pre-breeding and breeding seasons of 2005 and 2006. At each spatial scale, habitat selection ratios were calculated by season, year, and sex. Forster's Terns s