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Sample records for forests ecological implications

  1. Forest-succession models and their ecological and management implications

    SciTech Connect

    West, D.; Smith, T.M.; Weinstein, D.A.; Shugart, H.H.

    1981-01-01

    Computer models of forest succession have been developed to an extent that allows their use as a tool for predicting forest ecosystem behavior over long periods of time. This paper outlines the use of one approach to forest succession modeling for a variety of problems including: (1) determining the effect of climate change on forests; (2) integrating information on wildlife habitat changes with the changes in forest structure associated with timber management; (3) assessing the potential effect of air pollutants on forest dynamics; and (4) determining the theoretical importance of disturbance on forest community diversity and function.

  2. Modeling the Carbon Implications of Ecologically Based Forest Management

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-08-20

    habitat conditions identified; yet some forest stands with these attributes are not used. It does not appear that lack of use is due to birds ...model extension called Century Succession, which incorporates the Century model into the LANDIS-II framework to simulate belowground carbon...to promote continued dominance of open canopy longleaf pine. Burns were assigned under simulated weather and fuel conditions that reflect

  3. Forest Fire Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zucca, Carol; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Presents a model that integrates high school science with the needs of the local scientific community. Describes how a high school ecology class conducted scientific research in fire ecology that benefited the students and a state park forest ecologist. (MKR)

  4. FOREST ECOLOGY. Pervasive drought legacies in forest ecosystems and their implications for carbon cycle models.

    PubMed

    Anderegg, W R L; Schwalm, C; Biondi, F; Camarero, J J; Koch, G; Litvak, M; Ogle, K; Shaw, J D; Shevliakova, E; Williams, A P; Wolf, A; Ziaco, E; Pacala, S

    2015-07-31

    The impacts of climate extremes on terrestrial ecosystems are poorly understood but important for predicting carbon cycle feedbacks to climate change. Coupled climate-carbon cycle models typically assume that vegetation recovery from extreme drought is immediate and complete, which conflicts with the understanding of basic plant physiology. We examined the recovery of stem growth in trees after severe drought at 1338 forest sites across the globe, comprising 49,339 site-years, and compared the results with simulated recovery in climate-vegetation models. We found pervasive and substantial "legacy effects" of reduced growth and incomplete recovery for 1 to 4 years after severe drought. Legacy effects were most prevalent in dry ecosystems, among Pinaceae, and among species with low hydraulic safety margins. In contrast, limited or no legacy effects after drought were simulated by current climate-vegetation models. Our results highlight hysteresis in ecosystem-level carbon cycling and delayed recovery from climate extremes.

  5. Implication of Forest-Savanna Dynamics on Biomass and Carbon Stock: Effectiveness of an Amazonian Ecological Station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Couto-Santos, F. R.; Luizao, F. J.

    2014-12-01

    The forests-savanna advancement/retraction process seems to play an important role in the global carbon cycle and in the climate-vegetation balance maintenance in the Amazon. To contribute with long term carbon dynamics and assess effectiveness of a protected area in reduce carbon emissions in Brazilian Amazon transitional areas, variations in forest-savanna mosaics biomass and carbon stock within Maraca Ecological Station (MES), Roraima/Brazil, and its outskirts non-protected areas were compared. Composite surface soil samples and indirect methods based on regression models were used to estimate aboveground tree biomass accumulation and assess vegetation and soil carbon stock along eleven 0.6 ha transects perpendicular to the forest-savanna limits. Aboveground biomass and carbon accumulation were influenced by vegetation structure, showing higher values within protected area, with great contribution of trees above 40 cm in diameter. In the savanna environments of protected areas, a higher tree density and carbon stock up to 30 m from the border confirmed a forest encroachment. This pointed that MES acts as carbon sink, even under variations in soil fertility gradient, with a potential increase of the total carbon stock from 9 to 150 Mg C ha-1. Under 20 years of fire and disturbance management, the results indicated the effectiveness of this protected area to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate greenhouse and climate change effects in a forest-savanna transitional area in Brazilian Northern Amazon. The contribution of this study in understanding rates and reasons for biomass and carbon variation, under different management strategies, should be considered the first approximation to assist policies of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) from underresearched Amazonian ecotone; despite further efforts in this direction are still needed. FINANCIAL SUPPORT: Boticário Group Foundation (Fundação Grupo Boticário); National Council for

  6. Ecological gradients within a Pennsylvanian mire forest

    SciTech Connect

    DiMichele, W.A.; Falcon-Lang, H.J.; Nelson, W.J.; Brick, S.D.; Ames, P.R.

    2007-05-15

    Pennsylvanian coals represent remains of the earliest peat-forming rain forests, but there is no current consensus on forest ecology. Localized studies of fossil forests suggest intermixture of taxa (heterogeneity), while, in contrast, coal ball and palynological analyses imply the existence of pronounced ecological gradients. Here, we report the discovery of a spectacular fossil forest preserved over 1000 ha on top of the Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian) Herrin (No. 6) Coal of Illinois, United States. The forest was abruptly drowned when fault movement dropped a segment of coastal mire below sea level. In the largest study of its kind to date, forest composition is statistically analyzed within a well-constrained paleogeographic context. Findings resolve apparent conflicts in models of Pennsylvanian mire ecology by confirming the existence of forest heterogeneity at the local scale, while additionally demonstrating the emergence of ecological gradients at landscape scale.

  7. Ecological gradients within a Pennsylvanian mire forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DiMichele, W.A.; Falcon-Lang, H. J.; Nelson, W.J.; Elrick, S.D.; Ames, P.R.

    2007-01-01

    Pennsylvanian coals represent remains of the earliest peat-forming rain forests, but there is no current consensus on forest ecology. Localized studies of fossil forests suggest intermixture of taxa (heterogeneity), while, in contrast, coal ball and palynological analyses imply the existence of pronounced ecological gradients. Here, we report the discovery of a spectacular fossil forest preserved over ???1000 ha on top of the Pennsylvanian (Desmoinesian) Herrin (No. 6) Coal of Illinois, United States. The forest was abruptly drowned when fault movement dropped a segment of coastal mire below sea level. In the largest study of its kind to date, forest composition is statistically analyzed within a well-constrained paleogeographic context. Findings resolve apparent conflicts in models of Pennsylvanian mire ecology by confirming the existence of forest heterogeneity at the local scale, while additionally demonstrating the emergence of ecological gradients at landscape scale. ?? 2007 The Geological Society of America.

  8. [Basic theory and research method of urban forest ecology].

    PubMed

    He, Xingyuan; Jin, Yingshan; Zhu, Wenquan; Xu, Wenduo; Chen, Wei

    2002-12-01

    With the development of world economy and the increment of urban population, the urban environment problem hinders the urban sustainable development. Now, more and more people realized the importance of urban forests in improving the quality of urban ecology. Therefore, a new subject, urban forest ecology, and correlative new concept frame in the field formed. The theoretic foundation of urban forest ecology derived from the mutual combination of theory relating to forest ecology, landscape ecology, landscape architecture ecology and anthrop-ecology. People survey the development of city from the view of ecosystem, and regard the environment, a colony of human, animals and plants, as main factors of the system. The paper introduces systematically the urban forest ecology as follows: 1) the basic concept of urban forest ecology; 2) the meaning of urban forest ecology; 3) the basic principle and theoretic base of urban forest ecology; 4) the research method of urban forest ecology; 5) the developmental expectation of urban forest ecology.

  9. [Madison School Forests Ecology Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Madison Public Schools, WI.

    Each of these three booklets is to be used in conjunction with a field trip in the Madison, Wisconsin area, and to serve as a guide for presenting the filmstrips for each excursion. "Madison School Forests" emphasizes plant succession in a natural oak community. "Three Layers of Green in the Madison School Forest" emphasizes…

  10. Ecological responses to el Niño-induced surface fires in central Brazilian Amazonia: management implications for flammable tropical forests.

    PubMed Central

    Barlow, Jos; Peres, Carlos A

    2004-01-01

    Over the past 20 years the combined effects of El Niño-induced droughts and land-use change have dramatically increased the frequency of fire in humid tropical forests. Despite the potential for rapid ecosystem alteration and the current prevalence of wildfire disturbance, the consequences of such fires for tropical forest biodiversity remain poorly understood. We provide a pan-tropical review of the current state of knowledge of these fires, and include data from a study in a seasonally dry terra firme forest of central Brazilian Amazonia. Overall, this study supports predictions that rates of tree mortality and changes in forest structure are strongly linked to burn severity. The potential consequences for biomass loss and carbon emissions are explored. Despite the paucity of data on faunal responses to tropical forest fires, some trends are becoming apparent; for example, large canopy frugivores and understorey insectivorous birds appear to be highly sensitive to changes in forest structure and composition during the first 3 years after fires. Finally, we appraise the management implications of fires and evaluate the viability of techniques and legislation that can be used to reduce forest flammability, prevent anthropogenic ignition sources from coming into contact with flammable forests and aid the post-fire recovery process. PMID:15212091

  11. Ecological responses to el Niño-induced surface fires in central Brazilian Amazonia: management implications for flammable tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Barlow, Jos; Peres, Carlos A

    2004-03-29

    Over the past 20 years the combined effects of El Niño-induced droughts and land-use change have dramatically increased the frequency of fire in humid tropical forests. Despite the potential for rapid ecosystem alteration and the current prevalence of wildfire disturbance, the consequences of such fires for tropical forest biodiversity remain poorly understood. We provide a pan-tropical review of the current state of knowledge of these fires, and include data from a study in a seasonally dry terra firme forest of central Brazilian Amazonia. Overall, this study supports predictions that rates of tree mortality and changes in forest structure are strongly linked to burn severity. The potential consequences for biomass loss and carbon emissions are explored. Despite the paucity of data on faunal responses to tropical forest fires, some trends are becoming apparent; for example, large canopy frugivores and understorey insectivorous birds appear to be highly sensitive to changes in forest structure and composition during the first 3 years after fires. Finally, we appraise the management implications of fires and evaluate the viability of techniques and legislation that can be used to reduce forest flammability, prevent anthropogenic ignition sources from coming into contact with flammable forests and aid the post-fire recovery process.

  12. A tool for assessing ecological status of forest ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahman Kassim, Abd; Afizzul Misman, Muhammad; Azahari Faidi, Mohd; Omar, Hamdan

    2016-06-01

    Managers and policy makers are beginning to appreciate the value of ecological monitoring of artificially regenerated forest especially in urban areas. With the advent of more advance technology in precision forestry, high resolution remotely sensed data e.g. hyperspectral and LiDAR are becoming available for rapid and precise assessment of the forest condition. An assessment of ecological status of forest ecosystem was developed and tested using FRIM campus forest stand. The forest consisted of three major blocks; the old growth artificially regenerated native species forests, naturally regenerated forest and recent planted forest for commercial timber and other forest products. Our aim is to assess the ecological status and its proximity to the mature old growth artificially regenerated stand. We used airborne LiDAR, orthophoto and thirty field sampling quadrats of 20x20m for ground verification. The parameter assessments were grouped into four broad categories: a. forest community level-composition, structures, function; landscape structures-road network and forest edges. A metric of parameters and rating criteria was introduced as indicators of the forest ecological status. We applied multi-criteria assessment to categorize the ecological status of the forest stand. The paper demonstrates the application of the assessment approach using FRIM campus forest as its first case study. Its potential application to both artificially and naturally regenerated forest in the variety of Malaysian landscape is discussed

  13. The Living Forest. Environmental Ecological Education Project. Revised.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parkway School District, Chesterfield, MO.

    This unit, designed for intermediate grades of elementary schools, focuses on the living forest by presenting such concepts as succession, forest communities, adaptation, ecological interrelationships, animal populations, the impact of man on forests, and job opportunities in the forest industry. The unit includes the behavioral objectives and the…

  14. Random forests for classification in ecology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cutler, D.R.; Edwards, T.C.; Beard, K.H.; Cutler, A.; Hess, K.T.; Gibson, J.; Lawler, J.J.

    2007-01-01

    Classification procedures are some of the most widely used statistical methods in ecology. Random forests (RF) is a new and powerful statistical classifier that is well established in other disciplines but is relatively unknown in ecology. Advantages of RF compared to other statistical classifiers include (1) very high classification accuracy; (2) a novel method of determining variable importance; (3) ability to model complex interactions among predictor variables; (4) flexibility to perform several types of statistical data analysis, including regression, classification, survival analysis, and unsupervised learning; and (5) an algorithm for imputing missing values. We compared the accuracies of RF and four other commonly used statistical classifiers using data on invasive plant species presence in Lava Beds National Monument, California, USA, rare lichen species presence in the Pacific Northwest, USA, and nest sites for cavity nesting birds in the Uinta Mountains, Utah, USA. We observed high classification accuracy in all applications as measured by cross-validation and, in the case of the lichen data, by independent test data, when comparing RF to other common classification methods. We also observed that the variables that RF identified as most important for classifying invasive plant species coincided with expectations based on the literature. ?? 2007 by the Ecological Society of America.

  15. Random forests for classification in ecology.

    PubMed

    Cutler, D Richard; Edwards, Thomas C; Beard, Karen H; Cutler, Adele; Hess, Kyle T; Gibson, Jacob; Lawler, Joshua J

    2007-11-01

    Classification procedures are some of the most widely used statistical methods in ecology. Random forests (RF) is a new and powerful statistical classifier that is well established in other disciplines but is relatively unknown in ecology. Advantages of RF compared to other statistical classifiers include (1) very high classification accuracy; (2) a novel method of determining variable importance; (3) ability to model complex interactions among predictor variables; (4) flexibility to perform several types of statistical data analysis, including regression, classification, survival analysis, and unsupervised learning; and (5) an algorithm for imputing missing values. We compared the accuracies of RF and four other commonly used statistical classifiers using data on invasive plant species presence in Lava Beds National Monument, California, USA, rare lichen species presence in the Pacific Northwest, USA, and nest sites for cavity nesting birds in the Uinta Mountains, Utah, USA. We observed high classification accuracy in all applications as measured by cross-validation and, in the case of the lichen data, by independent test data, when comparing RF to other common classification methods. We also observed that the variables that RF identified as most important for classifying invasive plant species coincided with expectations based on the literature.

  16. Ecological implications of behavioural syndromes.

    PubMed

    Sih, Andrew; Cote, Julien; Evans, Mara; Fogarty, Sean; Pruitt, Jonathan

    2012-03-01

    Interspecific trait variation has long served as a conceptual foundation for our understanding of ecological patterns and dynamics. In particular, ecologists recognise the important role that animal behaviour plays in shaping ecological processes. An emerging area of interest in animal behaviour, the study of behavioural syndromes (animal personalities) considers how limited behavioural plasticity, as well as behavioural correlations affects an individual's fitness in diverse ecological contexts. In this article we explore how insights from the concept and study of behavioural syndromes provide fresh understanding of major issues in population ecology. We identify several general mechanisms for how population ecology phenomena can be influenced by a species or population's average behavioural type, by within-species variation in behavioural type, or by behavioural correlations across time or across ecological contexts. We note, in particular, the importance of behavioural type-dependent dispersal in spatial ecology. We then review recent literature and provide new syntheses for how these general mechanisms produce novel insights on five major issues in population ecology: (1) limits to species' distribution and abundance; (2) species interactions; (3) population dynamics; (4) relative responses to human-induced rapid environmental change; and (5) ecological invasions.

  17. Ecology of Missouri Forests. Instructional Unit. Conservation Education Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Jim

    This unit is designed to help science, social studies, vocational agriculture, and other teachers incorporate forest ecology concepts into their subject matter. The unit includes: (1) topic outline; (2) unit objectives; (3) background information on climate and soils, levels of a deciduous forest, age classes, food and energy relationships, forest…

  18. Multiple successional pathways in human-modified tropical landscapes: new insights from forest succession, forest fragmentation and landscape ecology research.

    PubMed

    Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor; Melo, Felipe P L; Martínez-Ramos, Miguel; Bongers, Frans; Chazdon, Robin L; Meave, Jorge A; Norden, Natalia; Santos, Bráulio A; Leal, Inara R; Tabarelli, Marcelo

    2017-02-01

    Old-growth tropical forests are being extensively deforested and fragmented worldwide. Yet forest recovery through succession has led to an expansion of secondary forests in human-modified tropical landscapes (HMTLs). Secondary forests thus emerge as a potential repository for tropical biodiversity, and also as a source of essential ecosystem functions and services in HMTLs. Such critical roles are controversial, however, as they depend on successional, landscape and socio-economic dynamics, which can vary widely within and across landscapes and regions. Understanding the main drivers of successional pathways of disturbed tropical forests is critically needed for improving management, conservation, and restoration strategies. Here, we combine emerging knowledge from tropical forest succession, forest fragmentation and landscape ecology research to identify the main driving forces shaping successional pathways at different spatial scales. We also explore causal connections between land-use dynamics and the level of predictability of successional pathways, and examine potential implications of such connections to determine the importance of secondary forests for biodiversity conservation in HMTLs. We show that secondary succession (SS) in tropical landscapes is a multifactorial phenomenon affected by a myriad of forces operating at multiple spatio-temporal scales. SS is relatively fast and more predictable in recently modified landscapes and where well-preserved biodiversity-rich native forests are still present in the landscape. Yet the increasing variation in landscape spatial configuration and matrix heterogeneity in landscapes with intermediate levels of disturbance increases the uncertainty of successional pathways. In landscapes that have suffered extensive and intensive human disturbances, however, succession can be slow or arrested, with impoverished assemblages and reduced potential to deliver ecosystem functions and services. We conclude that: (i

  19. Project Independence: Its Ecological and Sociological Implications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strain, Boyd R.

    1974-01-01

    Article reviewed the current energy demands of the United States, enumerated the major alternative energy sources and commented briefly on their feasibility, and considered some ecological and social implications of attempting to meet our projected demands primarily by using our domestic fossil fuel reserves. (Author/RK)

  20. All green, but equal? Morphological traits and ecological implications on spores of three species of mosses in the Brazilian Atlantic forest.

    PubMed

    Maciel-Silva, Adaíses S; da Silva, Flávia C L; Válio, Ivany F M

    2014-09-01

    Spores of the tropical mosses Pyrrhobryum spiniforme, Neckeropsis undulata and N. disticha were characterized regarding size, number per capsule and viability. Chemical substances were analyzed for P. spiniforme and N. undulata spores. Length of sporophyte seta (spore dispersal ability) was analyzed for P. spiniforme. Four to six colonies per species in each site (lowland and highland areas of an Atlantic Forest; Serra do Mar State Park, Brazil) were visited for the collection of capsules (2008 - 2009). Neckeropsis undulata in the highland area produced the largest spores (ca. 19 µm) with the highest viability. The smallest spores were found in N. disticha in the lowland (ca. 13 µm). Pyrrhobryum spiniforme produced more spores per capsule in the highland (ca. 150,000) than in lowland (ca. 40,000); longer sporophytic setae in the lowland (ca. 64 mm) than in the highland (ca. 43 mm); and similar sized spores in both areas (ca. 16 µm). Spores of N. undulata and P. spiniforme contained lipids and proteins in the cytoplasm, and acid/neutral lipids and pectins in the wall. Lipid bodies were larger in N. undulata than in P. spiniforme. No starch was recorded for spores. Pyrrhobryum spiniforme in the highland area, different from lowland, was characterized by low reproductive effort, but presented many spores per capsule.

  1. Human ecological intervention and the role of forest fires in human ecology.

    PubMed

    Caldararo, N

    2002-06-26

    The present text is a summary of research on the relationship between forest fires and human activities. Numerous theories have been created to explain changes in forests during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene, and a general understanding has developed in the past 50 years regarding natural fire regimes. The present summary is directed to assess the validity of these theories. A re-analysis of the literature argues that the intense forest fires we experience today are an artifact of human intervention in forest ecology, especially by the reduction of herbivores and are relatively recent, approximately 100,000-250,000 BP. The history of fire, especially in the context of the increased dominance of humans, has produced a progressively fire-adapted ecology, which argues for human-free wildlife areas and against prescribed burns under many circumstances.

  2. Socio-ecological implications of modifying rotation lengths in forestry.

    PubMed

    Roberge, Jean-Michel; Laudon, Hjalmar; Björkman, Christer; Ranius, Thomas; Sandström, Camilla; Felton, Adam; Sténs, Anna; Nordin, Annika; Granström, Anders; Widemo, Fredrik; Bergh, Johan; Sonesson, Johan; Stenlid, Jan; Lundmark, Tomas

    2016-02-01

    The rotation length is a key component of even-aged forest management systems. Using Fennoscandian forestry as a case, we review the socio-ecological implications of modifying rotation lengths relative to current practice by evaluating effects on a range of ecosystem services and on biodiversity conservation. The effects of shortening rotations on provisioning services are expected to be mostly negative to neutral (e.g. production of wood, bilberries, reindeer forage), while those of extending rotations would be more varied. Shortening rotations may help limit damage by some of today's major damaging agents (e.g. root rot, cambium-feeding insects), but may also increase other damage types (e.g. regeneration pests) and impede climate mitigation. Supporting (water, soil nutrients) and cultural (aesthetics, cultural heritage) ecosystem services would generally be affected negatively by shortened rotations and positively by extended rotations, as would most biodiversity indicators. Several effect modifiers, such as changes to thinning regimes, could alter these patterns.

  3. Changing disturbance regimes, ecological memory, and forest resilience

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnstone, Jill F.; Allen, Craig D.; Franklin, Jerry F.; Frelich, Lee E.; Harvey, Brian J.; Higuera, Philip E.; Mack, Michelle C.; Meentemeyer, Ross K.; Metz, Margaret R.; Perry, George LW; Schoennagel, Tania; Turner, Monica G.

    2016-01-01

    Ecological memory is central to how ecosystems respond to disturbance and is maintained by two types of legacies – information and material. Species life-history traits represent an adaptive response to disturbance and are an information legacy; in contrast, the abiotic and biotic structures (such as seeds or nutrients) produced by single disturbance events are material legacies. Disturbance characteristics that support or maintain these legacies enhance ecological resilience and maintain a “safe operating space” for ecosystem recovery. However, legacies can be lost or diminished as disturbance regimes and environmental conditions change, generating a “resilience debt” that manifests only after the system is disturbed. Strong effects of ecological memory on post-disturbance dynamics imply that contingencies (effects that cannot be predicted with certainty) of individual disturbances, interactions among disturbances, and climate variability combine to affect ecosystem resilience. We illustrate these concepts and introduce a novel ecosystem resilience framework with examples of forest disturbances, primarily from North America. Identifying legacies that support resilience in a particular ecosystem can help scientists and resource managers anticipate when disturbances may trigger abrupt shifts in forest ecosystems, and when forests are likely to be resilient.

  4. Sustainability and economics: The Adirondack Park experience, a forest economic-ecological model, and solar energy policy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erickson, Jon David

    The long-term sustainability of human communities will depend on our relationship with regional environments, our maintenance of renewable resources, and our successful disengagement from nonrenewable energy dependence. This dissertation investigates sustainability at these three levels, following a critical analysis of sustainability and economics. At the regional environment level, the Adirondack Park of New York State is analyzed as a potential model of sustainable development. A set of initial and ongoing conditions are presented that both emerge from and support a model of sustainability in the Adirondacks. From these conditions, a clearer picture emerges of the definition of regional sustainability, consequences of its adoption, and lessons from its application. Next, an economic-ecological model of the northern hardwood forest ecosystem is developed. The model integrates economic theory and intertemporal ecological concepts, linking current harvest decisions with future forest growth, financial value, and ecosystem stability. The results indicate very different economic and ecological outcomes by varying opportunity cost and ecosystem recovery assumptions, and suggest a positive benefit to ecological recovery in the forest rotation decision of the profit maximizing manager. The last section investigates the motives, economics, and international development implications of renewable energy (specifically photovoltaic technology) in rural electrification and technology transfer, drawing on research in the Dominican Republic. The implications of subsidizing a photovoltaic market versus investing in basic research are explored.

  5. The implications of new forest tenure reforms and forestry property markets for sustainable forest management and forest certification in China.

    PubMed

    Chen, Juan; Innes, John L

    2013-11-15

    This study examines issues existing in the southern collective forests in China, particularly prior to the implementation of new forest tenure reforms, such as continued illegal logging and timber theft, inadequate availability of finance and inconsistent forest-related policies. Such problems are believed to be hindering the adoption of sustainable forest management (SFM) and forest certification by forest farmers in China. Two strategies were introduced by the Chinese government with the purpose of addressing these issues, namely forest tenure reforms and their associated supporting mechanism, forestry property markets. Through two case studies in southern China, we investigated the effectiveness of the two strategies as well as their implications for the adoption of SFM and forest certification. The two cases were Yong'an in Fujian province and Tonggu in Jiangxi province. Personal interviews with open-ended questions were conducted with small-scale forest farmers who had already benefited from the two strategies as well as market officers working for the two selected forestry property markets. The study identified eight issues constraining the potential adoption of SFM and certification in China, including limited finance, poorly developed infrastructure and transport systems, insecure forest tenures, inconsistent forest policies, low levels of awareness, illegal forest management practices, lack of local cooperative organizations, and inadequate knowledge and technical transfer. We found that the new forest tenure reforms and forestry property markets had generally fulfilled their original objectives and had the capacity to assist in addressing many of the issues facing forests prior to the reforms.

  6. Applications and implications of ecological energetics.

    PubMed

    Tomlinson, Sean; Arnall, Sophie G; Munn, Adam; Bradshaw, S Don; Maloney, Shane K; Dixon, Kingsley W; Didham, Raphael K

    2014-05-01

    The ecological processes that are crucial to an animal's growth, survival, and reproductive fitness have energetic costs. The imperative for an animal to meet these costs within the energetic constraints of the environment drives many aspects of animal ecology and evolution, yet has largely been overlooked in traditional ecological paradigms. The field of 'ecological energetics' is bringing comparative physiology out of the laboratory and, for the first time, is becoming broadly accessible to field ecologists addressing real-world questions at many spatial and temporal scales. In an era of unprecedented global environmental challenges, ecological energetics opens up the tantalising prospect of a more predictive, mechanistic understanding of the drivers of threatened species decline, delivering process-based modelling approaches to natural resource management.

  7. Social and ecological synergy: local rulemaking, forest livelihoods, and biodiversity conservation.

    PubMed

    Persha, Lauren; Agrawal, Arun; Chhatre, Ashwini

    2011-03-25

    Causal pathways to achieve social and ecological benefits from forests are unclear, because there are few systematic multicountry empirical analyses that identify important factors and their complex relationships with social and ecological outcomes. This study examines biodiversity conservation and forest-based livelihood outcomes using a data set on 84 sites from six countries in East Africa and South Asia. We find both positive and negative relationships, leading to joint wins, losses, and trade-offs depending on specific contextual factors; participation in forest governance institutions by local forest users is strongly associated with jointly positive outcomes for forests in our study.

  8. Birds in Anthropogenic Landscapes: The Responses of Ecological Groups to Forest Loss in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

    PubMed Central

    Morante-Filho, José Carlos; Rhodes, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Habitat loss is the dominant threat to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in terrestrial environments. In this study, we used an a priori classification of bird species based on their dependence on native forest habitats (forest-specialist and habitat generalists) and specific food resources (frugivores and insectivores) to evaluate their responses to forest cover reduction in landscapes in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. From the patch-landscapes approach, we delimited 40 forest sites, and quantified the percentage of native forest within a 2 km radius around the center of each site (from 6 - 85%). At each site, we sampled birds using the point-count method. We used a null model, a generalized linear model and a four-parameter logistic model to evaluate the relationship between richness and abundance of the bird groups and the native forest amount. A piecewise model was then used to determine the threshold value for bird groups that showed nonlinear responses. The richness and abundance of the bird community as a whole were not affected by changes in forest cover in this region. However, a decrease in forest cover had a negative effect on diversity of forest-specialist, frugivorous and insectivorous birds, and a positive effect on generalist birds. The species richness and abundance of all ecological groups were nonlinearly related to forest reduction and showed similar threshold values, i.e., there were abrupt changes in individuals and species numbers when forest amount was less than approximately 50%. Forest sites within landscapes with forest cover that was less than 50% contained a different bird species composition than more extensively forested sites and had fewer forest-specialist species and higher beta-diversity. Our study demonstrated the pervasive effect of forest reduction on bird communities in one of the most important hotspots for bird conservation and shows that many vulnerable species require extensive forest cover to persist. PMID:26083245

  9. Birds in Anthropogenic Landscapes: The Responses of Ecological Groups to Forest Loss in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

    PubMed

    Morante-Filho, José Carlos; Faria, Deborah; Mariano-Neto, Eduardo; Rhodes, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Habitat loss is the dominant threat to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in terrestrial environments. In this study, we used an a priori classification of bird species based on their dependence on native forest habitats (forest-specialist and habitat generalists) and specific food resources (frugivores and insectivores) to evaluate their responses to forest cover reduction in landscapes in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. From the patch-landscapes approach, we delimited 40 forest sites, and quantified the percentage of native forest within a 2 km radius around the center of each site (from 6 - 85%). At each site, we sampled birds using the point-count method. We used a null model, a generalized linear model and a four-parameter logistic model to evaluate the relationship between richness and abundance of the bird groups and the native forest amount. A piecewise model was then used to determine the threshold value for bird groups that showed nonlinear responses. The richness and abundance of the bird community as a whole were not affected by changes in forest cover in this region. However, a decrease in forest cover had a negative effect on diversity of forest-specialist, frugivorous and insectivorous birds, and a positive effect on generalist birds. The species richness and abundance of all ecological groups were nonlinearly related to forest reduction and showed similar threshold values, i.e., there were abrupt changes in individuals and species numbers when forest amount was less than approximately 50%. Forest sites within landscapes with forest cover that was less than 50% contained a different bird species composition than more extensively forested sites and had fewer forest-specialist species and higher beta-diversity. Our study demonstrated the pervasive effect of forest reduction on bird communities in one of the most important hotspots for bird conservation and shows that many vulnerable species require extensive forest cover to persist.

  10. A Macroecological Analysis of SERA Derived Forest Heights and Implications for Forest Volume Remote Sensing

    PubMed Central

    Brolly, Matthew; Woodhouse, Iain H.; Niklas, Karl J.; Hammond, Sean T.

    2012-01-01

    Individual trees have been shown to exhibit strong relationships between DBH, height and volume. Often such studies are cited as justification for forest volume or standing biomass estimation through remote sensing. With resolution of common satellite remote sensing systems generally too low to resolve individuals, and a need for larger coverage, these systems rely on descriptive heights, which account for tree collections in forests. For remote sensing and allometric applications, this height is not entirely understood in terms of its location. Here, a forest growth model (SERA) analyzes forest canopy height relationships with forest wood volume. Maximum height, mean, H100, and Lorey's height are examined for variability under plant number density, resource and species. Our findings, shown to be allometrically consistent with empirical measurements for forested communities world-wide, are analyzed for implications to forest remote sensing techniques such as LiDAR and RADAR. Traditional forestry measures of maximum height, and to a lesser extent H100 and Lorey's, exhibit little consistent correlation with forest volume across modeled conditions. The implication is that using forest height to infer volume or biomass from remote sensing requires species and community behavioral information to infer accurate estimates using height alone. SERA predicts mean height to provide the most consistent relationship with volume of the height classifications studied and overall across forest variations. This prediction agrees with empirical data collected from conifer and angiosperm forests with plant densities ranging between 102–106 plants/hectare and heights 6–49 m. Height classifications investigated are potentially linked to radar scattering centers with implications for allometry. These findings may be used to advance forest biomass estimation accuracy through remote sensing. Furthermore, Lorey's height with its specific relationship to remote sensing physics is

  11. A macroecological analysis of SERA derived forest heights and implications for forest volume remote sensing.

    PubMed

    Brolly, Matthew; Woodhouse, Iain H; Niklas, Karl J; Hammond, Sean T

    2012-01-01

    Individual trees have been shown to exhibit strong relationships between DBH, height and volume. Often such studies are cited as justification for forest volume or standing biomass estimation through remote sensing. With resolution of common satellite remote sensing systems generally too low to resolve individuals, and a need for larger coverage, these systems rely on descriptive heights, which account for tree collections in forests. For remote sensing and allometric applications, this height is not entirely understood in terms of its location. Here, a forest growth model (SERA) analyzes forest canopy height relationships with forest wood volume. Maximum height, mean, H₁₀₀, and Lorey's height are examined for variability under plant number density, resource and species. Our findings, shown to be allometrically consistent with empirical measurements for forested communities world-wide, are analyzed for implications to forest remote sensing techniques such as LiDAR and RADAR. Traditional forestry measures of maximum height, and to a lesser extent H₁₀₀ and Lorey's, exhibit little consistent correlation with forest volume across modeled conditions. The implication is that using forest height to infer volume or biomass from remote sensing requires species and community behavioral information to infer accurate estimates using height alone. SERA predicts mean height to provide the most consistent relationship with volume of the height classifications studied and overall across forest variations. This prediction agrees with empirical data collected from conifer and angiosperm forests with plant densities ranging between 10²-10⁶ plants/hectare and heights 6-49 m. Height classifications investigated are potentially linked to radar scattering centers with implications for allometry. These findings may be used to advance forest biomass estimation accuracy through remote sensing. Furthermore, Lorey's height with its specific relationship to remote sensing

  12. The Future of Eurasian Boreal Forests: Ecological Modeling Projections in the Russian Federation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lutz, D.; Shugart, H.

    2008-12-01

    Ecological modeling is one of the primary methodologies for making predictions on future changes in forested ecosystems such as those occurring in Northern Eurasia and Siberia. In particular, combining ecological modeling with global circulation model simulation outputs is a method in which scientists can forecast the impact of climate change on biodiversity (Thuiller, 2007) as well as the forested landscape. Dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) have been designed for specifically this purpose, however, these vegetation models run at large spatial scales and as a result make predictions that are highly uncertain (Purves and Pacala, 2008). In previous papers, we discussed the FAREAST forest gap model and its ability to accurately predict boreal forest dynamics at smaller scales and higher resolution than DGVMs. This presentation investigates the use of the FAREAST gap model, modified for spatial expansion to cover the entire country of Russia, to predict future land cover trends under different warming scenarios. The poster provides the initial framework for the project, as well as some initial results. The collection of input variables needed by FAREAST to model the Russian continent will involve collaboration with the Russian Academy of Sciences (CEPF). Together we have developed a framework in which to amalgamate both original (temperature, precipitation, soil values) parameters as well as new parameters (fire probability, logging probability) into a GIS database that can be integrated with the FAREAST model. This framework will be capable of providing visual and graphical output for interpretation of large model runs. In order to ensure accuracy in FAREAST's ability to simulate the current environment, a run of the model under current-day conditions will be compared to recent remote sensing land cover maps. The GLC2000 land cover classification project (EU JRC) will be the primary validation method with additional validation through other biophysical

  13. Posttreatment Tree Mortality After Forest Ecological Restoration, Arizona, United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fulé, Peter Z.; Roccaforte, John P.; Covington, W. Wallace

    2007-10-01

    Pine oak forests are of high ecological importance worldwide, but many are threatened by uncharacteristically severe wildfire. Forest restoration treatments, including the reintroduction of a surface fire regime, are intended to decrease fire hazard and emulate historic ecosystem structure and function. Restoration has recently received much management attention and short-term study, but little is known about longer-term ecosystem responses. We remeasured a replicated experimental restoration site in the southwestern United States 5 years after treatments. Basal area, tree density, and canopy cover decreased in the treated units at a faster rate than in controls. Delayed mortality, not evident right after treatment, decreased density modestly (13% in treated units and 10% in controls) but disproportionately affected large trees (“large” ponderosa pines were those with diameter at breast height [dbh] ≥37.5 cm; other species dbh ≥20 cm). In treated units, 10.9 large trees ha 1 died, whereas 6.2 trees ha 1 died in control units. Compared with reference conditions, the experimental blocks remained higher in pine density and, in three of the four blocks, in basal area. Pine trees grew significantly faster in treated units than in controls, enough to reach the reference level of basal area in 6 years. Although mortality of large trees is a concern, the treated units have vigorous growth and low density, indicating that they will be relatively resistant to future drought and fire events. Similar treatments may be beneficial in many areas of the United States and in related pine-oak ecosystems elsewhere.

  14. BIRD COMMUNITIES AND HABITAT AS ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS OF FOREST CONDITION IN REGIONAL MONITORING

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ecological indicators for long-term monitoring programs are needed to detect and assess changing environmental conditions, We developed and tested community-level environmental indicators for monitoring forest bird populations and associated habitat. We surveyed 197 sampling plo...

  15. Ecological restoration of peatlands in steppe and forest-steppe areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minayeva, Tatiana; Sirin, Andrey; Dugarjav, Chultem

    2016-04-01

    Peatlands in the arid and semi-arid regions of steppe and forest steppe belt of Eurasia have some specific features. That demands the special approach to their management and restoration. The distribution of peatlands under conditions of dry climate is very limited and they are extremely vulnerable. Peatlands in those regions are found in the highlands where temperate conditions still present, in floodplains where they can get water from floods and springs, or in karst areas. Peatlands on watersheds present mainly remains from the more humid climate periods. Water and carbon storage as well as maintenance of the specific biodiversity are the key ecosystem natural functions of peatlands in the steppe and forest steppe. The performance of those functions has strong implications for people wellness and livelihood. Anyhow, peatlands are usually overlooked and poorly represented in the systems of natural protected areas. Land management plans, mitigation and restoration measures for ecosystems under use do not usually include special measures for peatlands. Peatlands'use depends on the traditional practices. Peat extraction is rather limited in subhumid regions but still act as one of the threats to peatlands. The most of peatlands are used as pastures and grasslands. In densely populated areas large part of peatlands are transformed to the arable lands. In many cases peatlands of piedmonts and highlands are affected by industrial developments: road construction, mining of subsoil resources (gold, etc.). Until now, the most of peatlands of steppe and forest steppe region are irreversibly lost, what also effects water regime, lands productivity, biodiversity status. To prevent further dramatic changes the ecological restoration approach should be introduced in the subhumid regions. The feasibility study to assess the potential for introducing ecological restoration techniques for peatlands in the arid and semi-arid conditions had been undertaken in steppe and forest

  16. [Ecological classification system of forest landscape in eastern mountainous region of Liaoning Province].

    PubMed

    Tang, Li-na; Wang, Qing-li; Dai, Li-min; Shao, Guo-fan

    2008-01-01

    Based on Digital Elevation Models (DEM) and satellite SPOT-5 data, and by using the spatial analysis function in Geographic Information System, a hierachical Ecological Classification System of forest landscape was developed for the eastern mountainous region of Liaoning Province, and the two lowest layers in the hierachical framework, Ecological Land Types (ELTs) and Ecological Land Type Phases (ELTPs), were mapped. The results indicated that there were 5 ELTs and 34 ELTPs. The boundaries of ELTs, which presented the potential vegetation distribution and potential forestry ecosystem productivity, were determined by environmental conditions quantified by DEM. ELTPs were classified by overlaying ELTs with forest vegetation data layers which were obtained from remotely sensed data, forest inventory data, and ground data. The ELTPs represented the divisions of land in terms of both natural and human-induced forest conditions, and therefore, were reliable units for forest inventories and management. ELTPs could function as conventional forest inventory sub-compartments. By this means, forestry departments could adjust forest management planning and forest management measures from the viewpoint of forest landscape scale to realize forest ecosystem management.

  17. Drought-induced forest decline: causes, scope and implications

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Vilalta, Jordi; Lloret, Francisco; Breshears, David D.

    2012-01-01

    A large number of episodes of forest mortality associated with drought and heat stress have been detected worldwide in recent decades, suggesting that some of the world's forested ecosystems may be already responding to climate change. Here, we summarize a special session titled ‘Drought-induced forest decline: causes, scope and implications’ within the 12th European Ecological Federation Congress, held in Ávila (Spain) from 25 to 29 September 2011. The session focused on the interacting causes and impacts of die-off episodes at the community and ecosystem levels, and highlighted recent events of drought- and heat-related tree decline, advances in understanding mechanisms and in predicting mortality events, and diverse consequences of forest decline. Talks and subsequent discussion noted a potentially important role of carbon that may be interrelated with plant hydraulics in the multi-faceted process leading to drought-induced mortality; a substantial and yet understudied capacity of many forests to cope with extreme climatic events; and the difficulty of separating climate effects from other anthropogenic changes currently shaping forest dynamics in many regions of the Earth. The need for standard protocols and multi-level monitoring programmes to track the spatio-temporal scope of forest decline globally was emphasized as critical for addressing this emerging environmental issue. PMID:22171020

  18. Carbon implications of forest restitution in post-socialist Romania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olofsson, P.; Kuemmerle, T.; Griffiths, P.; Knorn, J.; Baccini, A.; Gancz, V.; Blujdea, V.; Houghton, R. A.; Abrudan, I. V.; Woodcock, C. E.

    2011-10-01

    The collapse of socialism in 1989 triggered a phase of institutional restructuring in Central and Eastern Europe. Several countries chose to privatize forests or to return them to pre-socialist owners. Here, we assess the implications of forest restitution on the terrestrial carbon balance. New forest owners have strong incentives to immediately clearcut their forests, resulting in increased terrestrial emissions. On the other hand, logging generally decreased after 1989 and forests are expanding on unused or abandoned farmland, both of which may offset increased logging on restituted forests. We mapped changes in forest cover for the entire country of Romania using Landsat satellite images from 1990 to 2010. We use our satellite estimates, together with historic data on logging rates and changes in forest cover, to parameterize a carbon book-keeping model for estimating the terrestrial carbon flux (above and below ground) as a consequence of land use change and forest harvest. High logging rates during socialism resulted in substantial terrestrial carbon emissions and Romania was a net carbon source until the 1980s. After the collapse of the Soviet Union forest harvest rates decreased dramatically, but since restitution laws were implemented they have increased by 60% (from 15 122 ± 5397 ha y - 1 in 2000 to 23 884 ± 11 510 ha y - 1 in 2010), but still remain lower than prior to 1989. Romania currently remains a terrestrial carbon sink, offsetting 7.6% ± 2.5% of anthropogenic carbon emissions. A further increase in logging could result in net emissions from terrestrial ecosystems during the coming decades. However, forest expansion on degraded land and abandoned farmland offers great potential for carbon sequestration.

  19. Plant Traits Demonstrate That Temperate and Tropical Giant Eucalypt Forests Are Ecologically Convergent with Rainforest Not Savanna

    PubMed Central

    Tng, David Y. P.; Jordan, Greg J.; Bowman, David M. J. S.

    2013-01-01

    Ecological theory differentiates rainforest and open vegetation in many regions as functionally divergent alternative stable states with transitional (ecotonal) vegetation between the two forming transient unstable states. This transitional vegetation is of considerable significance, not only as a test case for theories of vegetation dynamics, but also because this type of vegetation is of major economic importance, and is home to a suite of species of conservation significance, including the world’s tallest flowering plants. We therefore created predictions of patterns in plant functional traits that would test the alternative stable states model of these systems. We measured functional traits of 128 trees and shrubs across tropical and temperate rainforest – open vegetation transitions in Australia, with giant eucalypt forests situated between these vegetation types. We analysed a set of functional traits: leaf carbon isotopes, leaf area, leaf mass per area, leaf slenderness, wood density, maximum height and bark thickness, using univariate and multivariate methods. For most traits, giant eucalypt forest was similar to rainforest, while rainforest, particularly tropical rainforest, was significantly different from the open vegetation. In multivariate analyses, tropical and temperate rainforest diverged functionally, and both segregated from open vegetation. Furthermore, the giant eucalypt forests overlapped in function with their respective rainforests. The two types of giant eucalypt forests also exhibited greater overall functional similarity to each other than to any of the open vegetation types. We conclude that tropical and temperate giant eucalypt forests are ecologically and functionally convergent. The lack of clear functional differentiation from rainforest suggests that giant eucalypt forests are unstable states within the basin of attraction of rainforest. Our results have important implications for giant eucalypt forest management. PMID:24358359

  20. [Substantiation of radio-ecological monitoring of forest ecosystems at various stages after the accident radioactive fallout].

    PubMed

    Perevolotskiĭ, A N; Perevolotskaia, T V

    2012-01-01

    This study analyzes the long-term dynamics of distribution ofradionuclides in forest ecosystems. Three stages in the formation of radio-ecological situation in the forests are distinguished. Proposals for optimization of sampling for radio-ecological monitoring of forest ecosystems at various periods after a radiation accident are formulated.

  1. Spatiotemporal dynamics of forest fragmentation and its potential implications for carbon dynamics in the Brazilian Amazon between 2001 and 2010

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Numata, I.; Cochrane, M.

    2012-12-01

    Vast tracts of Amazonian tropical rain forest have been converted to human land uses in recent decades as regional development proceeds. Large losses of forest cover are exacerbated because remaining forests are fragmented into smaller habitats. The current basin-wide status and implications of forest fragmentation on remnant forests and regional carbon dynamics are not well known. We performed a regional forest fragmentation analysis for the entire Brazilian Amazon between 2001 and 2010 using INPE PRODES data. During the past decade, the number of forest fragments doubled, nearly 125,000 fragments were formed, with more than 50% being smaller than 10 ha. Forest edges increased by 36,335 km/year on average over the study period. However, the rate was much greater from 2001-2005 (50,046 km/year) than 2006-2010 (25,365 km/year) when deforestation rates dropped drastically. In 2010, 55% of basin-wide forest edges were < 10 years old as a result of the creation of small forest fragments where intensive biological and ecological degradation is ongoing. We estimate that biomass collapse-related carbon fluxes from forests within100m of edges were between 126-221 Tg C for 2001-2010 in the Brazilian Amazon. Edge-released carbon accounted for 2.6-4.5% of deforestation-related carbon emissions. However, the relative importance of carbon emissions from forest fragmentation varied according to annual deforestation rates and increased from 1.7-3.0% to 3.3-5.6% of the respective deforestation emissions in 2001-2005 and 2006-2010, respectively. As of 2010, 17% of Amazonian forests are within 1km of forest edges, making them easily accessible and vulnerable to degradation. On the other hand, 51% of remaining forests across the basin are within protected areas and only 1.5% has been deforested within 1 km of a forest edge, while, unprotected forests, 1km-edge forests averaged 34% deforestation. The state of Rondônia, where 95% of unprotected forests are within 1km of edges in 2010

  2. Relationships Among Ecologically Important Dimensions of Plant Trait Variation in Seven Neotropical Forests

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Ian J.; Ackerly, David D.; Bongers, Frans; Harms, Kyle E.; Ibarra-Manriquez, Guillermo; Martinez-Ramos, Miguel; Mazer, Susan J.; Muller-Landau, Helene C.; Paz, Horacio; Pitman, Nigel C. A.; Poorter, Lourens; Silman, Miles R.; Vriesendorp, Corine F.; Webb, Cam O.; Westoby, Mark; Wright, S. Joseph

    2007-01-01

    Background and Aims When ecologically important plant traits are correlated they may be said to constitute an ecological ‘strategy’ dimension. Through identifying these dimensions and understanding their inter-relationships we gain insight into why particular trait combinations are favoured over others and into the implications of trait differences among species. Here we investigated relationships among several traits, and thus the strategy dimensions they represented, across 2134 woody species from seven Neotropical forests. Methods Six traits were studied: specific leaf area (SLA), the average size of leaves, seed and fruit, typical maximum plant height, and wood density (WD). Trait relationships were quantified across species at each individual forest as well as across the dataset as a whole. ‘Phylogenetic’ analyses were used to test for correlations among evolutionary trait-divergences and to ascertain whether interspecific relationships were biased by strong taxonomic patterning in the traits. Key Results The interspecific and phylogenetic analyses yielded congruent results. Seed and fruit size were expected, and confirmed, to be tightly related. As expected, plant height was correlated with each of seed and fruit size, albeit weakly. Weak support was found for an expected positive relationship between leaf and fruit size. The prediction that SLA and WD would be negatively correlated was not supported. Otherwise the traits were predicted to be largely unrelated, being representatives of putatively independent strategy dimensions. This was indeed the case, although WD was consistently, negatively related to leaf size. Conclusions The dimensions represented by SLA, seed/fruit size and leaf size were essentially independent and thus conveyed largely independent information about plant strategies. To a lesser extent the same was true for plant height and WD. Our tentative explanation for negative WD–leaf size relationships, now also known from other

  3. Quantifying the influences of various ecological factors on land surface temperature of urban forests.

    PubMed

    Ren, Yin; Deng, Lu-Ying; Zuo, Shu-Di; Song, Xiao-Dong; Liao, Yi-Lan; Xu, Cheng-Dong; Chen, Qi; Hua, Li-Zhong; Li, Zheng-Wei

    2016-09-01

    Identifying factors that influence the land surface temperature (LST) of urban forests can help improve simulations and predictions of spatial patterns of urban cool islands. This requires a quantitative analytical method that combines spatial statistical analysis with multi-source observational data. The purpose of this study was to reveal how human activities and ecological factors jointly influence LST in clustering regions (hot or cool spots) of urban forests. Using Xiamen City, China from 1996 to 2006 as a case study, we explored the interactions between human activities and ecological factors, as well as their influences on urban forest LST. Population density was selected as a proxy for human activity. We integrated multi-source data (forest inventory, digital elevation models (DEM), population, and remote sensing imagery) to develop a database on a unified urban scale. The driving mechanism of urban forest LST was revealed through a combination of multi-source spatial data and spatial statistical analysis of clustering regions. The results showed that the main factors contributing to urban forest LST were dominant tree species and elevation. The interactions between human activity and specific ecological factors linearly or nonlinearly increased LST in urban forests. Strong interactions between elevation and dominant species were generally observed and were prevalent in either hot or cold spots areas in different years. In conclusion, quantitative studies based on spatial statistics and GeogDetector models should be conducted in urban areas to reveal interactions between human activities, ecological factors, and LST.

  4. Shifting baselines on a tropical forest frontier: extirpations drive declines in local ecological knowledge.

    PubMed

    Kai, Zhang; Woan, Teoh Shu; Jie, Li; Goodale, Eben; Kitajima, Kaoru; Bagchi, Robert; Harrison, Rhett D

    2014-01-01

    The value of local ecological knowledge (LEK) to conservation is increasingly recognised, but LEK is being rapidly lost as indigenous livelihoods change. Biodiversity loss is also a driver of the loss of LEK, but quantitative study is lacking. In our study landscape in SW China, a large proportion of species have been extirpated. Hence, we were interested to understand whether species extirpation might have led to an erosion of LEK and the implications this might have for conservation. So we investigated peoples' ability to name a selection of birds and mammals in their local language from pictures. Age was correlated to frequency of forest visits as a teenager and is likely to be closely correlated to other known drivers of the loss of LEK, such as declining forest dependence. We found men were better at identifying birds overall and that older people were better able to identify birds to the species as compared to group levels (approximately equivalent to genus). The effect of age was also stronger among women. However, after controlling for these factors, species abundance was by far the most important parameter in determining peoples' ability to name birds. People were unable to name any locally extirpated birds at the species level. However, contrary to expectations, people were better able to identify extirpated mammals at the species level than extant ones. However, extirpated mammals tend to be more charismatic species and several respondents indicated they were only familiar with them through TV documentaries. Younger people today cannot experience the sights and sounds of forest animals that their parents grew up with and, consequently, knowledge of these species is passing from cultural memory. We suggest that engaging older members of the community and linking the preservation of LEK to biodiversity conservation may help generate support for conservation.

  5. Shifting Baselines on a Tropical Forest Frontier: Extirpations Drive Declines in Local Ecological Knowledge

    PubMed Central

    Kai, Zhang; Woan, Teoh Shu; Jie, Li; Goodale, Eben; Kitajima, Kaoru; Bagchi, Robert; Harrison, Rhett D.

    2014-01-01

    The value of local ecological knowledge (LEK) to conservation is increasingly recognised, but LEK is being rapidly lost as indigenous livelihoods change. Biodiversity loss is also a driver of the loss of LEK, but quantitative study is lacking. In our study landscape in SW China, a large proportion of species have been extirpated. Hence, we were interested to understand whether species extirpation might have led to an erosion of LEK and the implications this might have for conservation. So we investigated peoples' ability to name a selection of birds and mammals in their local language from pictures. Age was correlated to frequency of forest visits as a teenager and is likely to be closely correlated to other known drivers of the loss of LEK, such as declining forest dependence. We found men were better at identifying birds overall and that older people were better able to identify birds to the species as compared to group levels (approximately equivalent to genus). The effect of age was also stronger among women. However, after controlling for these factors, species abundance was by far the most important parameter in determining peoples' ability to name birds. People were unable to name any locally extirpated birds at the species level. However, contrary to expectations, people were better able to identify extirpated mammals at the species level than extant ones. However, extirpated mammals tend to be more charismatic species and several respondents indicated they were only familiar with them through TV documentaries. Younger people today cannot experience the sights and sounds of forest animals that their parents grew up with and, consequently, knowledge of these species is passing from cultural memory. We suggest that engaging older members of the community and linking the preservation of LEK to biodiversity conservation may help generate support for conservation. PMID:24466163

  6. Distribution and ecology of lesser pouched rat, Beamys hindei, in Tanzanian coastal forests.

    PubMed

    Sabuni, Christopher A; Sluydts, Vincent; Mulungu, Loth S; Maganga, Samwel L S; Makundi, Rhodes H; Leirs, Herwig

    2015-11-01

    The lesser pouched rat, Beamys hindei, is a small rodent that is patchily distributed in the Eastern Arc Mountains and coastal forests in East Africa. The ecology of this species and its current distribution in coastal forests is not well known. Therefore, we conducted a study in selected coastal forests to assess the current distribution of the species and to investigate the population ecology in terms of abundance fluctuations and demographic patterns. Assessments of the species distribution were conducted in 5 forests through trapping with Sherman live traps. Data on ecology were obtained from monthly capture-mark-recapture studies conducted for 5 consecutive nights per month in two 1 ha grids set in Zaraninge Forest over a 2-year period. The results indicate the presence of B. hindei in 3 forests where it was not previously recorded. The population abundance estimates ranged from 1 to 40 animals per month, with high numbers recorded during rainy seasons. Reproduction patterns and sex ratios did not differ between months. Survival estimates were not influenced by season, and recruitment was low, with growth rate estimates of 1 animal per month. These estimates suggest a stable population of B. hindei in Zaraninge Forest. Further studies are recommended to establish the home range, diet and burrowing behavior of the species in coastal forests in East Africa.

  7. Forest Productivity and Diversity: Using Ecological Theory and Landscape Models to Guide Sustainable Forest Management

    SciTech Connect

    Huston, M.A.

    1998-11-01

    Sustainable forest management requires maintaining or increasing ecosystem productivity, while preserving or restoring natural levels of biodiversity. Application of general concepts from ecological theory, along with use of mechanistic, landscape-based computer models, can contribute to the successful achievement of both of these objectives. Ecological theories based on the energetics and dynamics of populations can be used to predict the general distribution of individual species, the diversity of different types of species, ecosystem process rates and pool sizes, and patterns of spatial and temporal heterogeneity over a broad range of environmental conditions. This approach requires subdivision of total biodiversity into functional types of organisms, primarily because different types of organisms respond very differently to the spatial and temporal variation of environmental conditions on landscapes. The diversity of species of the same functional type (particularly among plants) tends to be highest at relatively low levels of net primary productivity, while the total number of different functional types (particularly among animals) tends to be highest at high levels of productivity (e.g., site index or potential net primary productivity). In general, the diversity of animals at higher trophic levels (e.g., predators) reaches its maximum at much higher levels of productivity than the diversity of lower trophic levels (e.g., plants). This means that a single environment cannot support high diversity of all types of organisms. Within the framework of the general patterns described above, the distributions, population dynamics, and diversity of organisms in specific regions can be predicted more precisely using a combination of computer simulation models and GIS data based on satellite information and ground surveys. Biophysical models that use information on soil properties, climate, and hydrology have been developed to predict how the abundance and spatial

  8. Ecology and management of a forested landscape: fifty years on the Savannah River Site.

    SciTech Connect

    Kilgo, John, C.; Blake, John, I.

    2005-07-01

    Kilgo, John, C., and John I. Blake. 2005. Ecology and management of a forested landscape; fifty years on the Savannah River Site. Island Press. Washington, DC. John C. Kilgo and John I. Blake, eds. 479 pp. Abstract: This book chronicles and catalogs the forest management and forest restoration practices over the last 50 years at the Savannah River Site. It includes a description of the land use history, physical environment, forest management, biotic communities, threatened and endangered species and harvestable natural resources of the area known today as the Savannah River Site, South Carolina.

  9. Ecological consequences of mountain pine beetle outbreaks for wildlife in western North American forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Saab, Victoria A.; Latif, Quresh S.; Rowland, Mary M.; Johnson, Tracey N.; Chalfoun, Anna D.; Buskirk, Steven W.; Heyward, Joslin E.; Dresser, Matthew A.

    2014-01-01

    Mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) (MPB) outbreaks are increasingly prevalent in western North America, causing considerable ecological change in pine (Pinus spp.) forests with important implications for wildlife. We reviewed studies examining wildlife responses to MPB outbreaks and postoutbreak salvage logging to inform forest management and guide future research. Our review included 16 studies describing MPB outbreak relationships with 89 bird species and 6 studies describing relationships with 11 mammalian species, but no studies of reptiles or amphibians. We included studies that compared wildlife response metrics temporally (before versus after the outbreak) and spatially (across sites that varied in severity of outbreak) in relation to beetle outbreaks. Outbreaks ranged in size from 20,600 to ≥107 ha and studies occurred 1‐30 years after the peak MPB outbreak, but most studies were conducted over the short-term (i.e., ≤6 years after the peak of MPB-induced tree mortality). Birds were the only taxa studied frequently; however, high variability existed among those studies to allow many inferences, although some patterns were evident. Avian studies concluded that cavity-nesting species responded more favorably to beetle-killed forests than species with open-cup nests, and species nesting in the shrub layer favored outbreak forests compared with ground and open-cup canopy nesters that generally showed mixed relationships. Bark-drilling species as a group clearly demonstrated a positive short-term association with MPB epidemics compared with that of other foraging assemblages. Cavity-nesting birds that do not consume bark beetles (i.e., secondary cavity-nesting species and nonbark-drilling woodpeckers) also exhibited some positive responses to MPB outbreaks, although not as pronounced or consistent as those of bark-drilling woodpeckers. Mammalian responses to MPB outbreaks were mixed. Studies consistently reported negative effects of MPB

  10. Using the Viability Theory to Assess the Flexibility of Forest Managers Under Ecological Intensification.

    PubMed

    Mathias, Jean-Denis; Bonté, Bruno; Cordonnier, Thomas; de Morogues, Francis

    2015-11-01

    Greater demand for wood material has converged with greater demand for biodiversity conservation to make balancing forest ecosystem services a key societal issue. Forest managers, owners, or policymakers need new approaches and methods to evaluate their ability to adapt to this dual objective. We analyze the ability of forest owners to define sustainable forest management options based on viability theory and a new flexibility index. This new indicator gauges the adaptive capacity of forest owners based on the number of sustainable actions available to them at a given time. Here we study a public forest owner who regulates harvest intensity and frequency in order to meet demand for timber wood at forest scale and to meet a biodiversity recommendation via a minimum permanently maintained volume of deadwood per hectare at stand scale. Dynamical systems theory was used to model uneven-aged forest dynamics-including deadwood dynamics-and the dynamics of timber wood demand and tree removals. Uneven-aged silver fir forest management in the "Quatre Montagnes region" (Vercors, France) is used as an illustrative example. The results explain situations where a joint increase in wood production and deadwood retention does not reduce the flexibility index more than increasing either one dimension alone, thus opening up ecological intensification options. To conclude, we discuss the value of the new flexibility index for addressing environmental management and ecological intensification issues.

  11. Using the Viability Theory to Assess the Flexibility of Forest Managers Under Ecological Intensification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathias, Jean-Denis; Bonté, Bruno; Cordonnier, Thomas; de Morogues, Francis

    2015-11-01

    Greater demand for wood material has converged with greater demand for biodiversity conservation to make balancing forest ecosystem services a key societal issue. Forest managers, owners, or policymakers need new approaches and methods to evaluate their ability to adapt to this dual objective. We analyze the ability of forest owners to define sustainable forest management options based on viability theory and a new flexibility index. This new indicator gauges the adaptive capacity of forest owners based on the number of sustainable actions available to them at a given time. Here we study a public forest owner who regulates harvest intensity and frequency in order to meet demand for timber wood at forest scale and to meet a biodiversity recommendation via a minimum permanently maintained volume of deadwood per hectare at stand scale. Dynamical systems theory was used to model uneven-aged forest dynamics—including deadwood dynamics—and the dynamics of timber wood demand and tree removals. Uneven-aged silver fir forest management in the "Quatre Montagnes region" (Vercors, France) is used as an illustrative example. The results explain situations where a joint increase in wood production and deadwood retention does not reduce the flexibility index more than increasing either one dimension alone, thus opening up ecological intensification options. To conclude, we discuss the value of the new flexibility index for addressing environmental management and ecological intensification issues.

  12. Experiences from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest: ecological findings and conservation initiatives.

    PubMed

    Joly, Carlos A; Metzger, Jean Paul; Tabarelli, Marcelo

    2014-11-01

    The Brazilian Atlantic Forest hosts one of the world's most diverse and threatened tropical forest biota. In many ways, its history of degradation describes the fate experienced by tropical forests around the world. After five centuries of human expansion, most Atlantic Forest landscapes are archipelagos of small forest fragments surrounded by open-habitat matrices. This 'natural laboratory' has contributed to a better understanding of the evolutionary history and ecology of tropical forests and to determining the extent to which this irreplaceable biota is susceptible to major human disturbances. We share some of the major findings with respect to the responses of tropical forests to human disturbances across multiple biological levels and spatial scales and discuss some of the conservation initiatives adopted in the past decade. First, we provide a short description of the Atlantic Forest biota and its historical degradation. Secondly, we offer conceptual models describing major shifts experienced by tree assemblages at local scales and discuss landscape ecological processes that can help to maintain this biota at larger scales. We also examine potential plant responses to climate change. Finally, we propose a research agenda to improve the conservation value of human-modified landscapes and safeguard the biological heritage of tropical forests.

  13. A global meta-analysis on the ecological drivers of forest restoration success

    PubMed Central

    Crouzeilles, Renato; Curran, Michael; Ferreira, Mariana S.; Lindenmayer, David B.; Grelle, Carlos E. V.; Rey Benayas, José M.

    2016-01-01

    Two billion ha have been identified globally for forest restoration. Our meta-analysis encompassing 221 study landscapes worldwide reveals forest restoration enhances biodiversity by 15–84% and vegetation structure by 36–77%, compared with degraded ecosystems. For the first time, we identify the main ecological drivers of forest restoration success (defined as a return to a reference condition, that is, old-growth forest) at both the local and landscape scale. These are as follows: the time elapsed since restoration began, disturbance type and landscape context. The time elapsed since restoration began strongly drives restoration success in secondary forests, but not in selectively logged forests (which are more ecologically similar to reference systems). Landscape restoration will be most successful when previous disturbance is less intensive and habitat is less fragmented in the landscape. Restoration does not result in full recovery of biodiversity and vegetation structure, but can complement old-growth forests if there is sufficient time for ecological succession. PMID:27193756

  14. Ecological and biogeographical analyses of Mediterranean forests of northern Morocco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ajbilou, Redouan; Marañón, Teodoro; Arroyo, Juan

    2006-01-01

    Mediterranean forests in northern Morocco have been studied. Tree species composition and abundance were investigated in 84 forest sites, distributed throughout the sandstone formation of the Tangier region. The relative abundance of 15 tree and arborescent shrub species was related, by ordination analysis, to altitude, disturbance by fire, and soil fertility. High-elevation forests were dominated by Cedrus atlantica, Quercus pyrenaica and Pinus pinaster. Sacred forests (protected as holy burial places) had a distinct stand structure, and were considered as refuges, for maintaining biodiversity at landscape scale. The evergreen oak Quercus suber and the semideciduous Quercus canariensis co-dominated the lowland forests. The mean basal area of the studied forests was 34 m 2 ha -1. The mean trunk size (dbh) for Q. suber was 24 cm and for Q. canariensis 36.5 cm; in both cases there were indications of declining regeneration at population level. A comparative biogeographical analysis with the equivalent region in southern Spain (separated by the Strait of Gibraltar; 14 km wide), indicated a possible biodiversity loss in the Moroccan forests.

  15. Temperate Forests. Habitat Ecology Learning Program (HELP). Teachers' Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, NY.

    The goal of this guide is to address a major environmental dilemma: worldwide habitat destruction and the disappearance of species. This guide is one of six that are included in the Habitat Ecology Learning Program (HELP), a holistic life science curriculum that involves students in an in-depth study of ecology. HELP includes six teaching guides…

  16. How livestock and flooding mediate the ecological integrity of working forests in Amazon River floodplains.

    PubMed

    Lucas, Christine M; Sheikh, Pervaze; Gagnon, Paul R; Mcgrath, David G

    2016-01-01

    The contribution of working forests to tropical conservation and development depends upon the maintenance of ecological integrity under ongoing land use. Assessment of ecological integrity requires an understanding of the structure, composition, and function and major drivers that govern their variability. Working forests in tropical river floodplains provide many goods and services, yet the data on the ecological processes that sustain these services is scant. In flooded forests of riverside Amazonian communities, we established 46 0.1-ha plots varying in flood duration, use by cattle and water buffalo, and time since agricultural abandonment (30-90 yr). We monitored three aspects of ecological integrity (stand structure, species composition, and dynamics of trees and seedlings) to evaluate the impacts of different trajectories of livestock activity (alleviation, stasis, and intensification) over nine years. Negative effects of livestock intensification were solely evident in the forest understory, and plots alleviated from past heavy disturbance increased in seedling density but had higher abundance of thorny species than plots maintaining low activity. Stand structure, dynamics, and tree species composition were strongly influenced by the natural pulse of seasonal floods, such that the defining characteristics of integrity were dependent upon flood duration (3-200 d). Forests with prolonged floods ≥ 140 d had not only lower species richness but also lower rates of recruitment and species turnover relative to forests with short floods <70 d. Overall, the combined effects of livestock intensification and prolonged flooding hindered forest regeneration, but overall forest integrity was largely related to the hydrological regime and age. Given this disjunction between factors mediating canopy and understory integrity, we present a subset of metrics for regeneration and recruitment to distinguish forest condition by livestock trajectory. Although our study design

  17. Social-Ecological Changes in a Quilombola Community in the Atlantic Forest of Southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Thorkildsen, Kjersti

    2014-01-01

    Through a combined adaptive cycle and political ecology approach, this article explores how the Afro-Brazilian Quilombolas of Bombas, living inside the protected area of PETAR, respond to and shape social-ecological changes in the Atlantic Forest. Field data reveal that both environmental restrictions and social policies of state transfer payments and food packages have contributed to decreased engagement in agricultural practices, loss of traditional knowledge, and reduced agro-biodiversity. The claim to land rights based on a Quilombola identity and recent negotiations with forest authorities insinuate a shift of this trend. Contrary to dominant conservation narratives, the findings indicate that small-scale shifting cultivation practices by the Quilombolas have the potential to increase structural ecological complexity of the Atlantic Forest. The article therefore argues that legalization of settlement and subsistence activities is important not only for livelihood security and social cohesion of Bombas inhabitants, but also possibly for biodiversity conservation.

  18. Quantitative retrieving forest ecological parameters based on remote sensing in Liping County of China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tian, Qingjiu; Chen, Jing M.; Zheng, Guang; Xia, Xueqi; Chen, Junying

    2006-09-01

    Forest ecosystem is an important component of terrestrial ecosystem and plays an important role in global changes. Aboveground biomass (AGB) of forest ecosystem is an important factor in global carbon cycle studies. The purpose of this study was to retrieve the yearly Net Primary Productivity (NPP) of forest from the 8-days-interval MODIS-LAI images of a year and produce a yearly NPP distribution map. The LAI, DBH (diameter at breast height), tree height, and tree age field were measured in different 80 plots for Chinese fir, Masson pine, bamboo, broadleaf, mix forest in Liping County. Based on the DEM image and Landsat TM images acquired on May 14th, 2000, the geometric correction and terrain correction were taken. In addition, the "6S"model was used to gain the surface reflectance image. Then the correlation between Leaf Area Index (LAI) and Reduced Simple Ratio (RSR) was built. Combined with the Landcover map, forest stand map, the LAI, aboveground biomass, tree age map were produced respectively. After that, the 8-days- interval LAI images of a year, meteorology data, soil data, forest stand image and Landcover image were inputted into the BEPS model to get the NPP spatial distribution. At last, the yearly NPP spatial distribution map with 30m spatial resolution was produced. The values in those forest ecological parameters distribution maps were quite consistent with those of field measurements. So it's possible, feasible and time-saving to estimate forest ecological parameters at a large scale by using remote sensing.

  19. Sleeping Sites and Latrines of Spider Monkeys in Continuous and Fragmented Rainforests: Implications for Seed Dispersal and Forest Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    González-Zamora, Arturo; Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor; Oyama, Ken; Sork, Victoria; Chapman, Colin A.; Stoner, Kathryn E.

    2012-01-01

    Spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) use sites composed of one or more trees for sleeping (sleeping sites and sleeping trees, respectively). Beneath these sites/trees they deposit copious amounts of dung in latrines. This behavior results in a clumped deposition pattern of seeds and nutrients that directly impacts the regeneration of tropical forests. Therefore, information on the density and spatial distribution of sleeping sites and latrines, and the characteristics (i.e., composition and structure) of sleeping trees are needed to improve our understanding of the ecological significance of spider monkeys in influencing forest composition. Moreover, since primate populations are increasingly forced to inhabit fragmented landscapes, it is important to assess if these characteristics differ between continuous and fragmented forests. We assessed this novel information from eight independent spider monkey communities in the Lacandona rainforest, Mexico: four continuous forest sites and four forest fragments. Both the density of sleeping sites and latrines did not differ between forest conditions. Latrines were uniformly distributed across sleeping sites, but the spatial distribution of sleeping sites within the areas was highly variable, being particularly clumped in forest fragments. In fact, the average inter-latrine distances were almost double in continuous forest than in fragments. Latrines were located beneath only a few tree species, and these trees were larger in diameter in continuous than fragmented forests. Because latrines may represent hotspots of seedling recruitment, our results have important ecological and conservation implications. The variation in the spatial distribution of sleeping sites across the forest indicates that spider monkeys likely create a complex seed deposition pattern in space and time. However, the use of a very few tree species for sleeping could contribute to the establishment of specific vegetation associations typical of the

  20. Sleeping sites and latrines of spider monkeys in continuous and fragmented rainforests: implications for seed dispersal and forest regeneration.

    PubMed

    González-Zamora, Arturo; Arroyo-Rodríguez, Víctor; Oyama, Ken; Sork, Victoria; Chapman, Colin A; Stoner, Kathryn E

    2012-01-01

    Spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) use sites composed of one or more trees for sleeping (sleeping sites and sleeping trees, respectively). Beneath these sites/trees they deposit copious amounts of dung in latrines. This behavior results in a clumped deposition pattern of seeds and nutrients that directly impacts the regeneration of tropical forests. Therefore, information on the density and spatial distribution of sleeping sites and latrines, and the characteristics (i.e., composition and structure) of sleeping trees are needed to improve our understanding of the ecological significance of spider monkeys in influencing forest composition. Moreover, since primate populations are increasingly forced to inhabit fragmented landscapes, it is important to assess if these characteristics differ between continuous and fragmented forests. We assessed this novel information from eight independent spider monkey communities in the Lacandona rainforest, Mexico: four continuous forest sites and four forest fragments. Both the density of sleeping sites and latrines did not differ between forest conditions. Latrines were uniformly distributed across sleeping sites, but the spatial distribution of sleeping sites within the areas was highly variable, being particularly clumped in forest fragments. In fact, the average inter-latrine distances were almost double in continuous forest than in fragments. Latrines were located beneath only a few tree species, and these trees were larger in diameter in continuous than fragmented forests. Because latrines may represent hotspots of seedling recruitment, our results have important ecological and conservation implications. The variation in the spatial distribution of sleeping sites across the forest indicates that spider monkeys likely create a complex seed deposition pattern in space and time. However, the use of a very few tree species for sleeping could contribute to the establishment of specific vegetation associations typical of the

  1. Ecological health of river basins in forested regions of eastern Washington and Oregon. Forest Service general technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Wissmar, R.C.; Smith, J.E.; McIntosh, B.A.; Li, H.W.; Reeves, G.H.

    1994-02-01

    A retrospective examination of the history of the cumulative influences of past land water uses on the ecological health of select river basins in forest regions of eastern Washington and Oregon indicates the loss of fish and riparian habitat diversity and quality since the 19th century. The study focuses on impacts of timber harvest, fire management, live stock grazing, mining and irrigation management practices on stream and riparian ecosystems. An examination of past environmental management approaches for assessing stream, riparian, and watershed conditions in forest regions shows numerous advantages and shortcomings. Rcommendations for ecosystem management with emphasis on monitoring and restoration activities are provided.

  2. Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of nine Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing teachers and students with informational reading on various ecological topics. The bulletins have these titles: Schoolyard Laboratories, Owls and Predators, The Forest Community, Life in Freshwater Marshes, Camouflage in the Animal World, Life in the Desert, The…

  3. Regional ecosystem structure and function: ecological insights from remote sensing of tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Chambers, Jeffrey Q; Asner, Gregory P; Morton, Douglas C; Anderson, Liana O; Saatchi, Sassan S; Espírito-Santo, Fernando D B; Palace, Michael; Souza, Carlos

    2007-08-01

    Ecological studies in tropical forests have long been plagued by difficulties associated with sampling the crowns of large canopy trees and large inaccessible regions, such as the Amazon basin. Recent advances in remote sensing have overcome some of these obstacles, enabling progress towards tackling difficult ecological problems. Breakthroughs have helped transform the dialog between ecology and remote sensing, generating new regional perspectives on key environmental gradients and species assemblages with ecologically relevant measures such as canopy nutrient and moisture content, crown area, leaf-level drought responses, woody tissue and surface litter abundance, phenological patterns, and land-cover transitions. Issues that we address here include forest response to altered precipitation regimes, regional disturbance and land-use patterns, invasive species and landscape carbon balance.

  4. Physiological Ecology and Ecohydrology of Coastal Forested Wetlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krauss, Ken W.

    2007-01-01

    The form, function, and productivity of wetland communities are influenced strongly by the hydrologic regime of an area. Wetland ecosystems persist by depending upon surpluses of rainfall, evapotranspiration, soil moisture, and frequency and amplitude of water-level fluctuations. Yet, wetland vegetation can also influence ecosystem water economy through conservative water- and carbon-use strategies at several organizational scales. Scientists have described leaf-level water-use efficiency in coastal mangrove forests as being among the highest of any ecosystem. These forested wetlands occur in intertidal areas and often persist under flooded saline conditions. Are these same strategies used by other types of coastal forested wetlands? Do conservative water-use strategies reflect a consequence of salt balance more than efficiency in water use per se? At what organizational scales do these strategies manifest? These are just a few of the questions being answered by physiological and landscape ecologists at the U.S. Geological Survey National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC).

  5. Ecological constraints increase the climatic debt in forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertrand, Romain; Riofrío-Dillon, Gabriela; Lenoir, Jonathan; Drapier, Jacques; de Ruffray, Patrice; Gégout, Jean-Claude; Loreau, Michel

    2016-08-01

    Biodiversity changes are lagging behind current climate warming. The underlying determinants of this climatic debt are unknown and yet critical to understand the impacts of climate change on the present biota and improve forecasts of biodiversity changes. Here we assess determinants of climatic debt accumulated in French forest herbaceous plant communities between 1987 and 2008 (that is, a 1.05 °C mean difference between the observed and bioindicated temperatures). We show that warmer baseline conditions predispose plant communities to larger climatic debts, and that climate warming exacerbates this response. Forest plant communities, however, are absorbing part of the temperature increase mainly through the species' ability to tolerate changing climate. As climate warming is expected to accelerate during the twenty-first century, plant migration and tolerance to climatic stresses probably will be insufficient to absorb this impact posing threats to the sustainability of forest plant communities.

  6. Ecological constraints increase the climatic debt in forests

    PubMed Central

    Bertrand, Romain; Riofrío-Dillon, Gabriela; Lenoir, Jonathan; Drapier, Jacques; de Ruffray, Patrice; Gégout, Jean-Claude; Loreau, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Biodiversity changes are lagging behind current climate warming. The underlying determinants of this climatic debt are unknown and yet critical to understand the impacts of climate change on the present biota and improve forecasts of biodiversity changes. Here we assess determinants of climatic debt accumulated in French forest herbaceous plant communities between 1987 and 2008 (that is, a 1.05 °C mean difference between the observed and bioindicated temperatures). We show that warmer baseline conditions predispose plant communities to larger climatic debts, and that climate warming exacerbates this response. Forest plant communities, however, are absorbing part of the temperature increase mainly through the species' ability to tolerate changing climate. As climate warming is expected to accelerate during the twenty-first century, plant migration and tolerance to climatic stresses probably will be insufficient to absorb this impact posing threats to the sustainability of forest plant communities. PMID:27561410

  7. Ecology of cultivable yeasts in pristine forests in northern Patagonia (Argentina) influenced by different environmental factors.

    PubMed

    Mestre, María Cecilia; Fontenla, Sonia; Rosa, Carlos A

    2014-06-01

    Environmental factors influencing the occurrence and community structure of soil yeasts in forests are not well studied. There are few studies dedicated to Southern Hemisphere soil yeasts populations and even fewer focused on temperate forests influenced by volcanic activity. The present work aimed to study the ecology of soil yeast communities from pristine forests influenced by different environmental factors (precipitation, physicochemical properties of soil, tree species, soil region, and season). The survey was performed in 4 northern Patagonian forests: 2 dominated by Nothofagus pumilio and 2 by Nothofagus antarctica. Yeast communities were described with ecological indices and species accumulation curves, and their association with environmental characteristics was assessed using multivariate analysis. Each forest site showed a particular arrangement of species as a result of environmental characteristics, such as dominant plant species, nutrient availability, and climatic characteristics. Cryptococcus podzolicus was most frequently isolated in nutrient-rich soils, Trichosporon porosum dominated cold mountain forests with low nutrient and water availability in soil, and capsulated yeasts such as Cryptococcus phenolicus dominated forest sites with low precipitation. The present work suggests that environmental factors affecting yeast communities may not be the current soil characteristics but the result of complex interactions of factors including natural disturbances like volcanic activity.

  8. Synergistic Ecoclimate Teleconnections from Forest Loss in Different Regions Structure Global Ecological Responses

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, Elizabeth S.; Swann, Abigail L. S.; Villegas, Juan C.; Breshears, David D.; Law, Darin J.; Saleska, Scott R.; Stark, Scott C.

    2016-01-01

    Forest loss in hotspots around the world impacts not only local climate where loss occurs, but also influences climate and vegetation in remote parts of the globe through ecoclimate teleconnections. The magnitude and mechanism of remote impacts likely depends on the location and distribution of forest loss hotspots, but the nature of these dependencies has not been investigated. We use global climate model simulations to estimate the distribution of ecologically-relevant climate changes resulting from forest loss in two hotspot regions: western North America (wNA), which is experiencing accelerated dieoff, and the Amazon basin, which is subject to high rates of deforestation. The remote climatic and ecological net effects of simultaneous forest loss in both regions differed from the combined effects of loss from the two regions simulated separately, as evident in three impacted areas. Eastern South American Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) increased due to changes in seasonal rainfall associated with Amazon forest loss and changes in temperature related to wNA forest loss. Eurasia’s GPP declined with wNA forest loss due to cooling temperatures increasing soil ice volume. Southeastern North American productivity increased with simultaneous forest loss, but declined with only wNA forest loss due to changes in VPD. Our results illustrate the need for a new generation of local-to-global scale analyses to identify potential ecoclimate teleconnections, their underlying mechanisms, and most importantly, their synergistic interactions, to predict the responses to increasing forest loss under future land use change and climate change. PMID:27851740

  9. Self-DNA inhibitory effects: Underlying mechanisms and ecological implications

    PubMed Central

    Cartenì, Fabrizio; Bonanomi, Giuliano; Giannino, Francesco; Incerti, Guido; Vincenot, Christian Ernest; Chiusano, Maria Luisa; Mazzoleni, Stefano

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT DNA is usually known as the molecule that carries the instructions necessary for cell functioning and genetic inheritance. A recent discovery reported a new functional role for extracellular DNA. After fragmentation, either by natural or artificial decomposition, small DNA molecules (between ∼50 and ∼2000 bp) exert a species specific inhibitory effect on individuals of the same species. Evidence shows that such effect occurs for a wide range of organisms, suggesting a general biological process. In this paper we explore the possible molecular mechanisms behind those findings and discuss the ecological implications, specifically those related to plant species coexistence. PMID:26950417

  10. Caatinga revisited: ecology and conservation of an important seasonal dry forest.

    PubMed

    de Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino; de Lima Araújo, Elcida; El-Deir, Ana Carla Asfora; de Lima, André Luiz Alves; Souto, Antonio; Bezerra, Bruna Martins; Ferraz, Elba Maria Nogueira; Maria Xavier Freire, Eliza; Sampaio, Everardo Valadares de Sá Barreto; Las-Casas, Flor Maria Guedes; de Moura, Geraldo Jorge Barbosa; Pereira, Glauco Alves; de Melo, Joabe Gomes; Alves Ramos, Marcelo; Rodal, Maria Jesus Nogueira; Schiel, Nicola; de Lyra-Neves, Rachel Maria; Alves, Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega; de Azevedo-Júnior, Severino Mendes; Telino Júnior, Wallace Rodrigues; Severi, William

    2012-01-01

    Besides its extreme climate conditions, the Caatinga (a type of tropical seasonal forest) hosts an impressive faunal and floristic biodiversity. In the last 50 years there has been a considerable increase in the number of studies in the area. Here we aimed to present a review of these studies, focusing on four main fields: vertebrate ecology, plant ecology, human ecology, and ethnobiology. Furthermore, we identify directions for future research. We hope that the present paper will help defining actions and strategies for the conservation of the biological diversity of the Caatinga.

  11. Caatinga Revisited: Ecology and Conservation of an Important Seasonal Dry Forest

    PubMed Central

    de Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino; de Lima Araújo, Elcida; El-Deir, Ana Carla Asfora; de Lima, André Luiz Alves; Souto, Antonio; Bezerra, Bruna Martins; Ferraz, Elba Maria Nogueira; Maria Xavier Freire, Eliza; Sampaio, Everardo Valadares de Sá Barreto; Las-Casas, Flor Maria Guedes; de Moura, Geraldo Jorge Barbosa; Pereira, Glauco Alves; de Melo, Joabe Gomes; Alves Ramos, Marcelo; Rodal, Maria Jesus Nogueira; Schiel, Nicola; de Lyra-Neves, Rachel Maria; Alves, Rômulo Romeu Nóbrega; de Azevedo-Júnior, Severino Mendes; Telino Júnior, Wallace Rodrigues; Severi, William

    2012-01-01

    Besides its extreme climate conditions, the Caatinga (a type of tropical seasonal forest) hosts an impressive faunal and floristic biodiversity. In the last 50 years there has been a considerable increase in the number of studies in the area. Here we aimed to present a review of these studies, focusing on four main fields: vertebrate ecology, plant ecology, human ecology, and ethnobiology. Furthermore, we identify directions for future research. We hope that the present paper will help defining actions and strategies for the conservation of the biological diversity of the Caatinga. PMID:22919296

  12. Variable selection with random forest: Balancing stability, performance, and interpretation in ecological and environmental modeling

    EPA Science Inventory

    Random forest (RF) is popular in ecological and environmental modeling, in part, because of its insensitivity to correlated predictors and resistance to overfitting. Although variable selection has been proposed to improve both performance and interpretation of RF models, it is u...

  13. SPATIAL FOREST SOIL PROPERTIES FOR ECOLOGICAL MODELING IN THE WESTERN OREGON CASCADES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ultimate objective of this work is to provide a spatially distributed database of soil properties to serve as inputs to model ecological processes in western forests at the landscape scale. The Central Western Oregon Cascades are rich in biodiversity and they are a fascinati...

  14. Geographic information analysis: An ecological approach for the management of wildlife on the forest landscape

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ripple, William J.

    1995-01-01

    This document is a summary of the project funded by NAGw-1460 as part of the Earth Observation Commericalization/Applications Program (EOCAP) directed by NASA's Earth Science and Applications Division. The goal was to work with several agencies to focus on forest structure and landscape characterizations for wildlife habitat applications. New analysis techniques were used in remote sensing and landscape ecology with geographic information systems (GIS). The development of GIS and the emergence of the discipline of landscape ecology provided us with an opportunity to study forest and wildlife habitat resources from a new perspective. New techniques were developed to measure forest structure across scales from the canopy to the regional level. This paper describes the project team, technical advances, and technology adoption process that was used. Reprints of related refereed journal articles are in the Appendix.

  15. Fuzzy logic merger of spectral and ecological information for improved montane forest mapping.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, Joseph D.; Running, Steven W.; Ryan, Kevin C.; Key, Carl H.

    2002-01-01

    Environmental data are often utilized to guide interpretation of spectral information based on context, however, these are also important in deriving vegetation maps themselves, especially where ecological information can be mapped spatially. A vegetation classification procedure is presented which combines a classification of spectral data from Landsat‐5 Thematic Mapper (TM) and environmental data based on topography and fire history. These data were combined utilizing fuzzy logic where assignment of each pixel to a single vegetation category was derived comparing the partial membership of each vegetation category within spectral and environmental classes. Partial membership was assigned from canopy cover for forest types measured from field sampling. Initial classification of spectral and ecological data produced map accuracies of less than 50% due to overlap between spectrally similar vegetation and limited spatial precision for predicting local vegetation types solely from the ecological information. Combination of environmental data through fuzzy logic increased overall mapping accuracy (70%) in coniferous forest communities of northwestern Montana, USA.

  16. Data Archive of the Harvard Forest, a Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Site

    DOE Data Explorer

    Since 1907 research and education have been the mission of the Harvard Forest is one of the oldest and most intensively studied forests in North America. Located in Petersham, Massachusetts, its 3000 acres of land have been a center of research and education since 1907. The Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program, established in 1988 and funded by the National Science Foundation, provides a framework for much of this activity. An understanding of forest responses to natural and human disturbance and environmental change over broad spatial and temporal scales pulls together research topics including biodiversity studies, the effects of invasive organisms, large experiments and permanent plot studies, historical and retrospective studies, soil nutrient dynamics, and plant population and community ecological interactions. Major research in forest-atmosphere exchange, hydrology, and regional studies places the work in regional and global context, aided by modeling tools. Conservation and management research and linkages to policy have been part of the Forest since its beginning, and the approaches used in New England can often apply to international studies. [Copied from http://harvardforest.fas.harvard.edu/research.html] In addition to more than 150 datasets, the Visual Information Access system at Harvard University Library makes nearly 900 images pertaining to Harvard Forest research available online to the public.

  17. Nut Production in Bertholletia excelsa across a Logged Forest Mosaic: Implications for Multiple Forest Use

    PubMed Central

    Rockwell, Cara A.; Guariguata, Manuel R.; Menton, Mary; Arroyo Quispe, Eriks; Quaedvlieg, Julia; Warren-Thomas, Eleanor; Fernandez Silva, Harol; Jurado Rojas, Edwin Eduardo; Kohagura Arrunátegui, José Andrés Hideki; Meza Vega, Luis Alberto; Revilla Vera, Olivia; Valera Tito, Jonatan Frank; Villarroel Panduro, Betxy Tabita; Yucra Salas, Juan José

    2015-01-01

    forests, when a buffer zone cannot be observed, low logging intensities should be implemented. The sustainability of this integrated management system will ultimately depend on a complex series of socioeconomic and ecological interactions. Yet we submit that our study provides an important initial step in understanding the compatibility of timber harvesting with a high value NTFP, potentially allowing for diversification of forest use strategies in Amazonian Perù. PMID:26271042

  18. Nut Production in Bertholletia excelsa across a Logged Forest Mosaic: Implications for Multiple Forest Use.

    PubMed

    Rockwell, Cara A; Guariguata, Manuel R; Menton, Mary; Arroyo Quispe, Eriks; Quaedvlieg, Julia; Warren-Thomas, Eleanor; Fernandez Silva, Harol; Jurado Rojas, Edwin Eduardo; Kohagura Arrunátegui, José Andrés Hideki; Meza Vega, Luis Alberto; Revilla Vera, Olivia; Quenta Hancco, Roger; Valera Tito, Jonatan Frank; Villarroel Panduro, Betxy Tabita; Yucra Salas, Juan José

    2015-01-01

    forests, when a buffer zone cannot be observed, low logging intensities should be implemented. The sustainability of this integrated management system will ultimately depend on a complex series of socioeconomic and ecological interactions. Yet we submit that our study provides an important initial step in understanding the compatibility of timber harvesting with a high value NTFP, potentially allowing for diversification of forest use strategies in Amazonian Perù.

  19. Ecological Knowledge Among Communities, Managers and Scientists: Bridging Divergent Perspectives to Improve Forest Management Outcomes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rist, Lucy; Shackleton, Charlie; Gadamus, Lily; Chapin, F. Stuart; Gowda, C. Made; Setty, Siddappa; Kannan, Ramesh; Shaanker, R. Uma

    2016-04-01

    Multiple actors are typically involved in forest management, namely communities, managers and researchers. In such cases, suboptimal management outcomes may, in addition to other factors, be symptomatic of a divergence in perspectives among these actors driven by fundamental differences in ecological knowledge. We examine the degree of congruence between the understandings of actors surrounding key issues of management concern in three case studies from tropical, subtropical and boreal forests. We identify commonly encountered points of divergence in ecological knowledge relating to key management processes and issues. We use these to formulate seven hypotheses about differences in the bodies of knowledge that frequently underlie communication and learning failures in forest management contexts where multiple actors are involved and outcomes are judged to be suboptimal. Finally, we present a set of propositions to acknowledge and narrow these differences. A more complete recognition of the full triangulation between all actors involved, and of the influence that fundamental differences in ecological knowledge can exert, may help lead to a more fruitful integration between local knowledge and practice, manager knowledge and practice, and contemporary science in forest management.

  20. Ecological Knowledge Among Communities, Managers and Scientists: Bridging Divergent Perspectives to Improve Forest Management Outcomes.

    PubMed

    Rist, Lucy; Shackleton, Charlie; Gadamus, Lily; Chapin, F Stuart; Gowda, C Made; Setty, Siddappa; Kannan, Ramesh; Shaanker, R Uma

    2016-04-01

    Multiple actors are typically involved in forest management, namely communities, managers and researchers. In such cases, suboptimal management outcomes may, in addition to other factors, be symptomatic of a divergence in perspectives among these actors driven by fundamental differences in ecological knowledge. We examine the degree of congruence between the understandings of actors surrounding key issues of management concern in three case studies from tropical, subtropical and boreal forests. We identify commonly encountered points of divergence in ecological knowledge relating to key management processes and issues. We use these to formulate seven hypotheses about differences in the bodies of knowledge that frequently underlie communication and learning failures in forest management contexts where multiple actors are involved and outcomes are judged to be suboptimal. Finally, we present a set of propositions to acknowledge and narrow these differences. A more complete recognition of the full triangulation between all actors involved, and of the influence that fundamental differences in ecological knowledge can exert, may help lead to a more fruitful integration between local knowledge and practice, manager knowledge and practice, and contemporary science in forest management.

  1. Emerging themes in the ecology and management of North American forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sharik, Terry L.; Adair, William; Baker, Fred A.; Battaglia, Michael; Comfort, Emily J.; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Delong, Craig; DeRose, R. Justin; Ducey, Mark J.; Harmon, Mark; Levy, Louise; Logan, Jesse A.; O'Brien, Joseph; Palik, Brian J.; Roberts, Scott D.; Rogers, Paul C.; Shinneman, Douglas J.; Spies, Thomas; Taylor, Sarah L.; Woodall, Christopher; Youngblood, Andrew

    2010-01-01

    The 7th North American Forest Ecology Workshop, consisting of 149 presentations in 16 oral sessions and a poster session, reflected a broad range of topical areas currently under investigation in forest ecology and management. There was an overarching emphasis on the role of disturbance, both natural and anthropogenic, in the dynamics of forest ecosystems, and the recognition that legacies from past disturbances strongly influence future trajectories. Climate was invoked as a major driver of ecosystem change. An emphasis was placed on application of research findings for predicting system responses to changing forest management initiatives. Several “needs” emerged from the discussions regarding approaches to the study of forest ecosystems, including (1) consideration of variable spatial and temporal scales, (2) long-term monitoring, (3) development of universal databases more encompassing of time and space to facilitate meta-analyses, (4) combining field studies and modeling approaches, (5) standardizing methods of measurement and assessment, (6) guarding against oversimplification or overgeneralization from limited site-specific results, (7) greater emphasis on plant-animal interactions, and (8) better alignment of needs and communication of results between researchers and managers.

  2. Ecological feedbacks following deforestation create the potential for a catastrophic ecosystem shift in tropical dry forest.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, Deborah; D'Odorico, Paolo; Diekmann, Lucy; Delonge, Marcia; Das, Rishiraj; Eaton, James

    2007-12-26

    The long-term ecological response to recurrent deforestation associated with shifting cultivation remains poorly investigated, especially in the dry tropics. We present a study of phosphorus (P) dynamics in the southern Yucatán, highlighting the possibility of abrupt shifts in biogeochemical cycling resulting from positive feedbacks between vegetation and its limiting resources. After three cultivation-fallow cycles, available soil P declines by 44%, and one-time P inputs from biomass burning decline by 76% from mature forest levels. Interception of dust-borne P ("canopy trapping") declines with lower plant biomass and leaf area, limiting deposition in secondary forest. Potential leaching losses are greater in secondary than in mature forest, but the difference is very small compared with the difference in P inputs. The decline in new P from atmospheric deposition creates a long-term negative ecosystem balance for phosphorus. The reduction in soil P availability will feed back to further limit biomass recovery and may induce a shift to sparser vegetation. Degradation induced by hydrological and biogeochemical feedbacks on P cycling under shifting cultivation will affect farmers in the near future. Without financial support to encourage the use of fertilizer, farmers could increase the fallow period, clear new land, or abandon agriculture for off-farm employment. Their response will determine the regional balance between forest loss and forest regrowth, as well as the frequency of use and rate of recovery at a local scale, further feeding back on ecological processes at multiple scales.

  3. Ecological feedbacks following deforestation create the potential for a catastrophic ecosystem shift in tropical dry forest

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, Deborah; D'Odorico, Paolo; Diekmann, Lucy; DeLonge, Marcia; Das, Rishiraj; Eaton, James

    2007-01-01

    The long-term ecological response to recurrent deforestation associated with shifting cultivation remains poorly investigated, especially in the dry tropics. We present a study of phosphorus (P) dynamics in the southern Yucatán, highlighting the possibility of abrupt shifts in biogeochemical cycling resulting from positive feedbacks between vegetation and its limiting resources. After three cultivation–fallow cycles, available soil P declines by 44%, and one-time P inputs from biomass burning decline by 76% from mature forest levels. Interception of dust-borne P (“canopy trapping”) declines with lower plant biomass and leaf area, limiting deposition in secondary forest. Potential leaching losses are greater in secondary than in mature forest, but the difference is very small compared with the difference in P inputs. The decline in new P from atmospheric deposition creates a long-term negative ecosystem balance for phosphorus. The reduction in soil P availability will feed back to further limit biomass recovery and may induce a shift to sparser vegetation. Degradation induced by hydrological and biogeochemical feedbacks on P cycling under shifting cultivation will affect farmers in the near future. Without financial support to encourage the use of fertilizer, farmers could increase the fallow period, clear new land, or abandon agriculture for off-farm employment. Their response will determine the regional balance between forest loss and forest regrowth, as well as the frequency of use and rate of recovery at a local scale, further feeding back on ecological processes at multiple scales. PMID:18093931

  4. From "Forest Fires" and "Hunting" to Disturbing "Habitats" and "Food Chains": Do Young Children Come Up with Any Ecological Interpretations of Human Interventions within a Forest?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ergazaki, Marida; Andriotou, Eirini

    2010-01-01

    This study aims at highlighting young children's reasoning about human interventions within a forest ecosystem. Our focus is particularly set on whether preschoolers are able to come up with any basic ecological interpretations of human actions upon forest plants or animals and how. Conducting individual, semi-structured interviews with 70…

  5. Mapping site index and volume increment from forest inventory, Landsat, and ecological variables in Tahoe National Forest, California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Huang, Shengli; Ramirez, Carlos; Conway, Scott; Kennedy, Kama; Kohler, Tanya; Liu, Jinxun

    2016-01-01

    High-resolution site index (SI) and mean annual increment (MAI) maps are desired for local forest management. We integrated field inventory, Landsat, and ecological variables to produce 30 m SI and MAI maps for the Tahoe National Forest (TNF) where different tree species coexist. We converted species-specific SI using adjustment factors. Then, the SI map was produced by (i) intensifying plots to expand the training sets to more climatic, topographic, soil, and forest reflective classes, (ii) using results from a stepwise regression to enable a weighted imputation that minimized the effects of outlier plots within classes, and (iii) local interpolation and strata median filling to assign values to pixels without direct imputations. The SI (reference age is 50 years) map had an R2 of 0.7637, a root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 3.60, and a mean absolute error (MAE) of 3.07 m. The MAI map was similarly produced with an R2 of 0.6882, an RMSE of 1.73, and a MAE of 1.20 m3·ha−1·year−1. Spatial patterns and trends of SI and MAI were analyzed to be related to elevation, aspect, slope, soil productivity, and forest type. The 30 m SI and MAI maps can be used to support decisions on fire, plantation, biodiversity, and carbon.

  6. After the forest. AIDs as ecological collapse in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Usher, A D

    1992-01-01

    Numerous parallels can be drawn between the systematic destruction of Thailand's forests and the emergence, in the same time period, of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) as an irreversible societal crisis. Both the disintegration of the body's defense system implicit in AIDS and the erosion of Thailand's ecosystem provoked by deforestation policies are examples of assaults by capitalist economic policies on previously self-regulating systems. Centralization and industrial development have driven a substantial proportion of young Thai villagers to the cities, where they sell their labor as sex workers (there may be as many as 2 million prostitutes in Thailand) or become heroin users. Conservative estimates project 1.6 million AIDS-infected Thais by the end of 1995. Just as generally benign conditions such as the common cold can annihilate a body ravaged by the AIDS virus, Thailand's ecosystem, degraded by unregulated logging and state-subsidized, for-profit rubber planting, is no longer able to absorb natural occurrences such as heavy rainfall. The loss of forestland--the traditional source of food, shelter, tools, and medicine and the repository of cultural icons--has forced villagers to obtain cash to meet their needs, and Thailand's sex industry offers one of the highest rates of remuneration. Legislation enacted in response to AIDS and deforestation shares an emphasis on the victims (e.g., the prostitutes and not their clients or the owners of sex establishments, and impoverished forest squatters rather than plantation companies and land speculators). A powerful, combative environmental movement is successfully resisting government attempts to destroy living communities. Needed as well is resistance on the part of women growing up in the age of AIDS to societal definitions that polarize females (virgins and prostitutes) and uphold one-sided monogamy.

  7. Interactions of aluminum with forest soils and vegetation: Implications for acid deposition

    SciTech Connect

    Maynard, A.A.

    1989-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that an important ecological consequence of acidic deposition is increased aluminum mobilization. There is concern that increased aluminum activity may produce toxic effects in forested ecosystems. My studies were concerned with the behavior of pedogenic and added aluminum in soils derived from chemically different parent material. Soil aluminum was related to the aluminum content of the vegetation found growing in the soils. In addition, aluminum levels of forest litter was compared to levels determined 40 years ago. Field, greenhouse, and laboratory investigations were conducted in which the effects of aluminum concentration on germination and early growth was determined. Soils were then used in greenhouse and laboratory studies to establish patterns of soil and plant aluminum behavior with implications to acid deposition. Results show that the amount of aluminum extracted was related to the pH value of the extracting solution and to the chemical characteristics of the soil. Some acid rain solutions extracted measurable amounts of aluminum from selected primary minerals. Germination and early growth of Pinus radiata was controlled by levels of aluminum in the soil or in solution. Field studies indicated that most forest species were sensitive to rising levels of aluminum in the soil. In general, ferns and fern allies were less sensitive to very high levels of aluminum in the soil, continuing to grow when more advanced dicots have disappeared. Aluminum tissue levels of all species were related to the concentration of aluminum in the soil as was the reappearance of species. Aluminum levels in leaf litter have risen at least 50% in the last 40 years. These values were consistent over 3 years. The implications to acid deposition were discussed.

  8. Ecology of phlebotomine sandflies (Diptera, Psychodidae) in Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

    PubMed

    Marcondes, C B; Santos-Neto, L G; Lozovei, A L

    2001-01-01

    The phlebotomine sandfly fauna of a primary forest reserve at Morretes (eastern Paraná State) was studied, using CDC-like light traps, one night per month, at canopy and ground level, between April 1995 and March 1996. A total of 3,106 insects were collected, identified as belonging to nine species. Lutzomyia ayrozai and Lu.geniculata were predominant, seven other species also being present. Monthly mean temperature, rainfall and the temperature of the collection night significantly influenced the numbers of Lu. ayrozai while the two first factors influenced the numbers of Lu. geniculata, besides the collected quantities of females of the two species. The influence of the factors on Lu. ayrozai numbers was more immediate than in those of Lu. geniculata. Numbers of both species and of the females of Lu. geniculata collected in different seasons, but not at the different heights, varied significantly. Differences between the behaviour of Lu. ayrozai in Morretes and in other regions could be attributed to environmental differences and/or to regional variations in the species, which could constitute species complexes. Hourly variations of collections were different in the species and seasons.

  9. Antelope Predation by Nigerian Forest Baboons: Ecological and Behavioural Correlates.

    PubMed

    Sommer, Volker; Lowe, Adriana; Jesus, Gonçalo; Alberts, Nienke; Bouquet, Yaëlle; Inglis, David M; Petersdorf, Megan; van Riel, Eelco; Thompson, James; Ross, Caroline

    2016-01-01

    Baboons are well studied in savannah but less so in more closed habitats. We investigated predation on mammals by olive baboons (Papio anubis) at a geographical and climatic outlier, Gashaka Gumti National Park (Nigeria), the wettest and most forested site so far studied. Despite abundant wildlife, meat eating was rare and selective. Over 16 years, baboons killed 7 bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus) and 3 red-flanked duiker (Cephalophus rufilatus), mostly still-lying 'parked' infants. Taking observation time into account, this is 1 predation per group every 3.3 months - far lower than at other sites. Some features of meat eating resemble those elsewhere; predation is opportunistic, adult males monopolize most prey, a targeted killing bite is lacking and begging or active sharing is absent. Carcass owners employ evasive tactics, as meat is often competed over, but satiated owners may tolerate others taking meat. Other features are unusual; this is only the second study site with predation records for bushbuck and the only one for red-flanked duiker. The atypical prey and rarity of eating mammals probably reflects the difficulty of acquiring prey animals when vegetation cover is dense. Our data support the general prediction of the socioecological model that environments shape behavioural patterns, while acknowledging their intraspecific or intrageneric plasticity.

  10. Functional groups show distinct differences in nitrogen cycling during early stand development: implications for forest management.

    SciTech Connect

    Aubrey, Doug, P.; Coyle, David, R. Coleman, Mark, D.

    2011-08-26

    Nutrient acquisition of forest stands is controlled by soil resource availability and belowground production, but tree species are rarely compared in this regard. Here, we examine ecological and management implications of nitrogen (N) dynamics during early forest stand development in productive commercial tree species with narrow (Populus deltoides Bartr. and Platanus occidentalis L.) and broad (Liquidambar styraciflua L. and Pinus taeda L.) site requirements while grown with a range of nutrient and water resources. We constructed N budgets by measuring N concentration ([N]) and N content (N{sub C}) of above- and belowground perennial and ephemeral tissues, determined N uptake (N{sub UP}), and calculated N use efficiency (NUE). Forest stands regulated [N] within species-specific operating ranges without clear temporal or treatment patterns, thus demonstrating equilibrium between tissue [N] and biomass accumulation. Forest stand N{sub C} and N{sub UP} increased with stand development and paralleled treatment patterns of biomass accumulation, suggesting productivity is tightly linked to N{sub UP}. Inclusion of above- and belowground ephemeral tissue turnover in N{sub UP} calculations demonstrated that maximum N demand for narrow-sites adapted species exceeded 200 kg N ha{sup -1} year{sup -1} while demand for broad-site adapted species was below this level. NUE was species dependent but not consistently influenced by N availability, suggesting relationships between NUE and resource availability were species dependent. Based on early stand development, species with broad site adaptability are favored for woody cropping systems because they maintain high above- and belowground productivity with minimal fertilization requirements due to higher NUE than narrow site adapted species.

  11. Restoring fish ecological quality in estuaries: Implication of interactive and cumulative effects among anthropogenic stressors.

    PubMed

    Teichert, Nils; Borja, Angel; Chust, Guillem; Uriarte, Ainhize; Lepage, Mario

    2016-01-15

    Estuaries are subjected to multiple anthropogenic stressors, which have additive, antagonistic or synergistic effects. Current challenges include the use of large databases of biological monitoring surveys (e.g. the European Water Framework Directive) to help environmental managers prioritizing restoration measures. This study investigated the impact of nine stressor categories on the fish ecological status derived from 90 estuaries of the North East Atlantic countries. We used a random forest model to: 1) detect the dominant stressors and their non-linear effects; 2) evaluate the ecological benefits expected from reducing pressure from stressors; and 3) investigate the interactions among stressors. Results showed that largest restoration benefits were expected when mitigating water pollution and oxygen depletion. Non-additive effects represented half of pairwise interactions among stressors, and antagonisms were the most common. Dredged sediments, flow changes and oxygen depletion were predominantly implicated in non-additive interactions, whereas the remainder stressors often showed additive impacts. The prevalence of interactive impacts reflects a complex scenario for estuaries management; hence, we proposed a step-by-step restoration scheme focusing on the mitigation of stressors providing the maximum of restoration benefits under a multi-stress context.

  12. Considerations of the ecological foundation of natural forest management in the American tropics

    SciTech Connect

    Putz, F.E.

    1993-01-01

    Natural forest management (NFM) is a land use in which commercially valuable forest products are extracted from forested areas in ways that allow retention of substantial canopy cover. This study identifies research needed to support NFM in the American tropics, with emphasis on silvicultural systems that encourage natural regeneration. The study first discusses the concept of natural resource sustainability and suggests ways in which it might be measured. Section two identifies several ecological areas critical to effective NFM in which, however, research has been slim: flower production and pollination; phenology; seed production; seed dispersal, predation, and germination; light and nutrient requirements, and responses to competition; harvesting schedules and yield estimates; seedling pathogens; susceptibility to mechanical damage; and cataclysmic disturbances.

  13. Regional industrial ecology: examples from regional economic systems of forest industry and energy supply in Finland.

    PubMed

    Korhonen, J

    2001-12-01

    Industrial ecology (IE) promotes the development of industrial systems based on recycling of matter and cascading of energy through cooperation. In this paper, the local/regional industrial ecosystem approach is reflected in two examples from Finland. The local forest industry system is based on renewable resources, waste materials and energy utilisation between forestry companies, a saw-mill, a pulp mill, a paper mill and a forest industry power plant. Waste energy from electricity production is used for production of heat and process steam. Regional city energy supply systems in Finland are also to a large extent arranged around power plants that utilise waste energy. The potential of combining the forest industry system with the energy supply systems of cities is considered and the conditions for success in the Finnish case are discussed.

  14. The ethnoecology of Caiçara metapopulations (Atlantic Forest, Brazil): ecological concepts and questions

    PubMed Central

    Begossi, Alpina

    2006-01-01

    The Atlantic Forest is represented on the coast of Brazil by approximately 7,5% of remnants, much of these concentrated on the country's SE coast. Within these southeastern remnants, we still find the coastal Caiçaras who descend from Native Indians and Portuguese Colonizers. The maintenance of such populations, and their existence in spite of the deforestation that occurred on the Atlantic Forest coast, deserves especial attention and analysis. In this study, I address, in particular, the Caiçaras who live on the coast of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro States, illustrating with examples of coastal inhabitants from other areas, such as Bahia State (NE coast) and of other forested areas (riverine caboclos of the Amazon). The major focus of this study, based on previous research, performed since 1986 in several populations or villages of the Atlantic Forest coast, is to understand the resilience of the Caiçaras, which is analyzed using ecological concepts, such as metapopulation, resilience and adaptive cycles. The Caiçara populations are located on islands (Búzios, Comprida, Grande, Ilhabela, Jaguanum, Gipóia) and on the coast (Bertioga, Puruba, Picinguaba, among others). Information gathered about the Caiçaras regarding the economic cycles of the local regions, along with ecological, historical and economic data available, are used to understand such resilience, and are complemented with comparative examples from the Brazilian Amazon and with variables such as the local restrictions imposed by environmental governmental agencies. PMID:17010204

  15. Advances in ecological genomics in forest trees and applications to genetic resources conservation and breeding.

    PubMed

    Holliday, Jason A; Aitken, Sally N; Cooke, Janice E K; Fady, Bruno; González-Martínez, Santiago C; Heuertz, Myriam; Jaramillo-Correa, Juan-Pablo; Lexer, Christian; Staton, Margaret; Whetten, Ross W; Plomion, Christophe

    2017-02-01

    Forest trees are an unparalleled group of organisms in their combined ecological, economic and societal importance. With widespread distributions, predominantly random mating systems and large population sizes, most tree species harbour extensive genetic variation both within and among populations. At the same time, demographic processes associated with Pleistocene climate oscillations and land-use change have affected contemporary range-wide diversity and may impinge on the potential for future adaptation. Understanding how these adaptive and neutral processes have shaped the genomes of trees species is therefore central to their management and conservation. As for many other taxa, the advent of high-throughput sequencing methods is expected to yield an understanding of the interplay between the genome and environment at a level of detail and depth not possible only a few years ago. An international conference entitled 'Genomics and Forest Tree Genetics' was held in May 2016, in Arcachon (France), and brought together forest geneticists with a wide range of research interests to disseminate recent efforts that leverage contemporary genomic tools to probe the population, quantitative and evolutionary genomics of trees. An important goal of the conference was to discuss how such data can be applied to both genome-enabled breeding and the conservation of forest genetic resources under land use and climate change. Here, we report discoveries presented at the meeting and discuss how the ecological genomic toolkit can be used to address both basic and applied questions in tree biology.

  16. The ethnoecology of Caiçara metapopulations (Atlantic Forest, Brazil): ecological concepts and questions.

    PubMed

    Begossi, Alpina

    2006-09-29

    The Atlantic Forest is represented on the coast of Brazil by approximately 7.5% of remnants, much of these concentrated on the country's SE coast. Within these southeastern remnants, we still find the coastal Caiçaras who descend from Native Indians and Portuguese Colonizers. The maintenance of such populations, and their existence in spite of the deforestation that occurred on the Atlantic Forest coast, deserves special attention and analysis. In this study, I address, in particular, the Caiçaras who live on the coast of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro States, illustrating with examples of coastal inhabitants from other areas, such as Bahia State (NE coast) and of other forested areas (riverine caboclos of the Amazon). The major focus of this study, based on previous research, performed since 1986 in several populations or villages of the Atlantic Forest coast, is to understand the resilience of the Caiçaras, which is analyzed using ecological concepts, such as metapopulation, resilience and adaptive cycles. The Caiçara populations are located on islands (Búzios, Comprida, Grande, Ilhabela, Jaguanum, Gipóia) and on the coast (Bertioga, Puruba, Picinguaba, among others). Information gathered about the Caiçaras regarding the economic cycles of the local regions, along with ecological, historical and economic data available, are used to understand such resilience, and are complemented with comparative examples from the Brazilian Amazon and with variables such as the local restrictions imposed by environmental governmental agencies.

  17. From ``Forest Fires'' and ``Hunting'' to Disturbing ``Habitats'' and ``Food Chains'': Do Young Children Come up with any Ecological Interpretations of Human Interventions Within a Forest?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ergazaki, Marida; Andriotou, Eirini

    2010-03-01

    This study aims at highlighting young children’s reasoning about human interventions within a forest ecosystem. Our focus is particularly set on whether preschoolers are able to come up with any basic ecological interpretations of human actions upon forest plants or animals and how. Conducting individual, semi-structured interviews with 70 preschoolers (age 4-5), we first tested their ability to consider the forest as a habitat and recognize simple food chains in it, and then we traced their reasoning about the consequences that human actions upon plants or certain forest animals may possibly have for other animals that also live in the forest. The analysis of our qualitative data with “NVivo” software does reveal an ecological aspect in preschoolers’ reasoning, which is thoroughly discussed in the paper.

  18. Disturbance ecology and forest management: A review of the literature. Forest Service general technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Rogers, P.

    1996-06-01

    This review highlights recent work in a broad array of studies related to disturbance ecology. This publication is a resource for managers and researchers interested in disturbance theory, specific disturbance agents, their interactions, and appropriate methods of inquiry for specific geographic regions.

  19. Ecological implications of metabolic compensation at low temperatures in salamanders

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Global warming is influencing the biology of the world’s biota. Temperature increases are occurring at a faster pace than that experienced by organisms in their evolutionary histories, limiting the organisms’ response to new conditions. Mechanistic models that include physiological traits can help predict species’ responses to warming. Changes in metabolism at high temperatures are often examined; yet many species are behaviorally shielded from high temperatures. Salamanders generally favor cold temperatures and are one of few groups of metazoans to be most species-rich in temperate regions. I examined variation in body temperature, behavioral activity, and temperature dependence of resting heart rate, used as a proxy for standard metabolic rate, in fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra). Over 26 years, I found that salamanders are behaviorally active at temperatures as low as 1 °C, and aestivate at temperatures above 16 °C. Infrared thermography indicates limited thermoregulation opportunities for these nocturnal amphibians. Temperature affects resting heart rate, causing metabolic depression above 11 °C, and metabolic compensation below 8 °C: heart rate at 3 °C is 224% the expected heart rate. Thus, salamanders operating at low temperatures during periods of peak behavioral activity are able to maintain a higher metabolic rate than the rate expected in absence of compensation. This compensatory mechanism has important ecological implications, because it increases estimated seasonal heart rates. Increased heart rate, and thus metabolism, will require higher caloric intake for field-active salamanders. Thus, it is important to consider a species performance breadth over the entire temperature range, and particularly low temperatures that are ecologically relevant for cold tolerant species such as salamanders. PMID:27257549

  20. Status of the Southern Carpathian forests in the long-term ecological research network.

    PubMed

    Badea, Ovidiu; Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Silaghi, Diana; Neagu, Stefan; Barbu, Ion; Iacoban, Carmen; Iacob, Corneliu; Guiman, Gheorghe; Preda, Elena; Seceleanu, Ioan; Oneata, Marian; Dumitru, Ion; Huber, Viorela; Iuncu, Horia; Dinca, Lucian; Leca, Stefan; Taut, Ioan

    2012-12-01

    Air pollution, bulk precipitation, throughfall, soil condition, foliar nutrients, as well as forest health and growth were studied in 2006-2009 in a long-term ecological research (LTER) network in the Bucegi Mountains, Romania. Ozone (O(3)) was high indicating a potential for phytotoxicity. Ammonia (NH(3)) concentrations rose to levels that could contribute to deposition of nutritional nitrogen (N) and could affect biodiversity changes. Higher that 50% contribution of acidic rain (pH < 5.5) contributed to increased acidity of forest soils. Foliar N concentrations for Norway spruce (Picea abies), Silver fir (Abies alba), Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), and European beech (Fagus sylvatica) were normal, phosphorus (P) was high, while those of potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), and especially of manganese (Mn) were significantly below the typical European or Carpathian region levels. The observed nutritional imbalance could have negative effects on forest trees. Health of forests was moderately affected, with damaged trees (crown defoliation >25%) higher than 30%. The observed crown damage was accompanied by the annual volume losses for the entire research forest area up to 25.4%. High diversity and evenness specific to the stand type's structures and local climate conditions were observed within the herbaceous layer, indicating that biodiversity of the vascular plant communities was not compromised.

  1. Ecological characterization of a tropical myxomycete assemblage--Maquipucuna Cloud Forest Reserve, Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Stephenson, Steven L; Schnittler, Martin; Lado, Carlos

    2004-01-01

    The assemblage of myxomycetes (plasmodial slime molds) associated with cloud forests of the Maquipucuna Cloud Forest Reserve in the western Andes was investigated. Within three study sites located along a gradient extending from 1200 to 2700 m above sea level, a clear pattern of decreasing myxomycete diversity and productivity with elevation was apparent. As such, these data conform to the pattern of "reverse diversity" for myxomycetes in the neotropics, with higher diversity for less mesic forest types than for more mesic forest types. Canonical correspondence analysis of myxomycete abundances in relation to microhabitat parameters revealed three major ecological assemblages: wood-, litter- and inflorescence-inhabiting species. All three assemblages include a number of specialized species, with the assemblage associated with litter being the most diverse and the one associated with inflorescences being the most distinctive. In addition, samples from the microhabitat represented by the cover of epiphyllic liverworts on living leaves regularly produce myxomycetes in moist chamber culture but with few sporocarps and no evidence of any specialized species. At least near ground level, bark-inhabiting (corticolous) myxomycetes are uncommon in the cloud forests sampled in the present study.

  2. Tropical Forests, Savannas and Grasslands: Bridging the Knowledge Gap Between Ecology and Dynamic Global Vegetation Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baudena, M.; Dekker, S. C.; van Bodegom, P. M.; Cuesta, B.; Higgins, S. I.; Lehsten, V.; Reick, C. H.; Rietkerk, M.; Scheiter, S.; Yin, Z.; Zavala, M. A.; Brovkin, V.

    2014-12-01

    Due to global climate change, tropical forest, savanna, and grassland biomes, and the transitions between them, are expected to undergo major changes in the future. Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs) are largely used to understand vegetation dynamics under present climate, and to predict its changes under future conditions. However, several DGVMs display high uncertainty in predicting vegetation in tropical areas. Here we present the results of a comparative analysis of three different DGVMs (JSBACH, LPJ-GUESS-SPITFIRE and aDGVM) with regard to their different representations of the ecological mechanisms and feedbacks that determine the forest, savanna and grassland biomes, in an attempt to bridge the knowledge gap between ecology and global modelling. We compared model outcomes to observed tree cover along a mean annual precipitation gradient in Africa. Through these comparisons, and by drawing on the large number of recent studies that have delivered new insights into the ecology of tropical ecosystems in general, and of savannas in particular, we identify two main mechanisms that need an improved representation in the DGVMs. The first mechanism encompasses water limitation to tree growth, and tree-grass competition for water, which are key factors in determining savanna occurrence in arid and semi-arid areas. The second is a grass-fire feedback, which maintains both forest and savannas in mesic areas. Grasses constitute the majority of the fuel load, and at the same time benefit from the openness of the landscape after fires, since they recover faster than trees. Additionally, these two mechanisms are better represented when the models also include tree life stages (adults and seedlings), and distinguish between fire-prone and shade-tolerant savanna trees, and fire-resistant and shade-intolerant forest trees. Including these basic elements could improve the predictive ability of the DGVMs, not only under current climate conditions but also and especially

  3. Forests, savannas, and grasslands: bridging the knowledge gap between ecology and Dynamic Global Vegetation Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baudena, M.; Dekker, S. C.; van Bodegom, P. M.; Cuesta, B.; Higgins, S. I.; Lehsten, V.; Reick, C. H.; Rietkerk, M.; Scheiter, S.; Yin, Z.; Zavala, M. A.; Brovkin, V.

    2015-03-01

    The forest, savanna, and grassland biomes, and the transitions between them, are expected to undergo major changes in the future due to global climate change. Dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) are very useful for understanding vegetation dynamics under the present climate, and for predicting its changes under future conditions. However, several DGVMs display high uncertainty in predicting vegetation in tropical areas. Here we perform a comparative analysis of three different DGVMs (JSBACH, LPJ-GUESS-SPITFIRE and aDGVM) with regard to their representation of the ecological mechanisms and feedbacks that determine the forest, savanna, and grassland biomes, in an attempt to bridge the knowledge gap between ecology and global modeling. The outcomes of the models, which include different mechanisms, are compared to observed tree cover along a mean annual precipitation gradient in Africa. By drawing on the large number of recent studies that have delivered new insights into the ecology of tropical ecosystems in general, and of savannas in particular, we identify two main mechanisms that need improved representation in the examined DGVMs. The first mechanism includes water limitation to tree growth, and tree-grass competition for water, which are key factors in determining savanna presence in arid and semi-arid areas. The second is a grass-fire feedback, which maintains both forest and savanna presence in mesic areas. Grasses constitute the majority of the fuel load, and at the same time benefit from the openness of the landscape after fires, since they recover faster than trees. Additionally, these two mechanisms are better represented when the models also include tree life stages (adults and seedlings), and distinguish between fire-prone and shade-tolerant forest trees, and fire-resistant and shade-intolerant savanna trees. Including these basic elements could improve the predictive ability of the DGVMs, not only under current climate conditions but also and

  4. Quantifying Forest Ecosystem Services Tradeoff—Coupled Ecological and Economic Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haff, P. K.; Ling, P. Y.

    2015-12-01

    Quantification of the effect of carbon-related forestland management activities on ecosystem services is difficult, because knowledge about the dynamics of coupled social-ecological systems is lacking. Different forestland management activities, such as various amount, timing, and methods of harvesting, and natural disturbances events, such as wind and fires, create shocks and uncertainties to the forest carbon dynamics. A spatially explicit model, Landis-ii, was used to model the forest succession for different harvest management scenarios at the Grandfather District, North Carolina. In addition to harvest, the model takes into account of the impact of natural disturbances, such as fire and insects, and species competition. The result shows the storage of carbon in standing biomass and in wood product for each species for each scenario. In this study, optimization is used to analyze the maximum profit and the number of tree species that each forest landowner can gain at different prices of carbon, roundwood, and interest rates for different harvest management scenarios. Time series of roundwood production of different types were estimated using remote sensing data. Econometric analysis is done to understand the possible interaction and relations between the production of different types of roundwood and roundwood prices, which can indicate the possible planting scheme that a forest owner may make. This study quantifies the tradeoffs between carbon sequestration, roundwood production, and forest species diversity not only from an economic perspective, but also takes into account of the forest succession mechanism in a species-diverse region. The resulting economic impact on the forest landowners is likely to influence their future planting decision, which in turn, will influence the species composition and future revenue of the landowners.

  5. Atmospheric deposition of mercury in Atlantic Forest and ecological risk to soil fauna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cristhy Buch, Andressa; Cabral Teixeira, Daniel; Fernandes Correia, Maria Elizabeth; Vieira Silva-Filho, Emmanoel

    2014-05-01

    The increasing levels of mercury (Hg) found in the atmosphere nowadays has a great contribution from anthropogenic sources and has been a great concern in the past two decades in industrialized countries. Brazil is the seventh country with the highest rate of mercury in the atmosphere. Certainly, the petroleum refineries have significant contribution, seen that 100 million m3 of crude oil are annually processed. These refineries contribute with low generation of solid waste; however, a large fraction of Hg can be emitted to the atmosphere. There are sixteen refineries in Brazil, three of them located in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The Hg is a toxic and hazardous trace element, naturally found in the earth crust. The major input of Hg to ecosystems is through atmospheric deposition (wet and dry), being transported in the atmosphere over large distances. The forest biomes are of great importance in the atmosphere/soil cycling of elemental Hg through foliar uptake and subsequent transfer to the soil through litterfall, which play an important role as Hg sink. The Atlantic Forest of Brazil is the greater contributor of fauna and flora biodiversity in the world and, according to recent studies, this biome has the highest concentrations of mercury in litter in the world, as well as in China, at Subtropical Forest. Ecotoxicological assessments can predict the potential ecological risk of Hg toxicity in the soil can lead to impact the soil fauna and indirectly other trophic levels of the food chain within one or more ecosystems. This study aims to determine mercury levels that represent risks to diversity and functioning of soil fauna in tropical forest soils. The study is conducted in two forest areas inserted into conservation units of Rio de Janeiro state. One area is located next to an important petroleum refinery in activity since fifty-two years ago, whereas the other one is located next to other refinery under construction (beginning activities in 2015), which will

  6. Ecological and evolutionary variation in community nitrogen use traits during tropical dry forest secondary succession.

    PubMed

    Bhaskar, Radika; Porder, Stephen; Balvanera, Patricia; Edwards, Erika J

    2016-05-01

    We assessed the role of ecological and evolutionary processes in driving variation in leaf and litter traits related to nitrogen (N) use among tropical dry forest trees in old-growth and secondary stands in western Mexico. Our expectation was that legumes (Fabaceae), a dominant component of the regional flora, would have consistently high leaf N and therefore structure phylogenetic variation in N-related traits. We also expected ecological selection during succession for differences in nitrogen use strategies, and corresponding shifts in legume abundance. We used phylogenetic analyses to test for trait conservatism in foliar and litter N, C:N, and N resorption. We also evaluated differences in N-related traits between old-growth and secondary forests. We found a weak phylogenetic signal for all traits, partly explained by wide variation within legumes. Across taxa we observed a positive relationship between leaf and litter N, but no shift in resorption strategies along the successional gradient. Despite species turnover, N-resorption, and N-related traits showed little change across succession, suggesting that, at least for these traits, secondary forests rapidly recover ecosystem function. Collectively, our results also suggest that legumes should not be considered a single functional group from a biogeochemical perspective.

  7. Monitoring the condition of the Canadian forest environment: The relevance of the concept of 'ecological indicators'.

    PubMed

    Kimmins, J P

    1990-11-01

    The Canadian forest environment is characterized by high spatial and temporal variability, especially in the west. Our forests vary according to climate, landform, and surficial geology, and according to the type, intensity, extent of, and the time since the last disturbance. Most Canadian forests have had a history of repeated acute, episodic disturbance from fire, insects, wind, diseases and/or logging, with a frequency of disturbance varying from a few decades to many centuries. These sources of variability have resulted in a complex and continually changing mosaic of forest conditions and stages of successional development.Monitoring the 'quality' of this dynamic forested landscape mosaic is extremely difficult, and in most cases the concept of a relatively simple index of forest ecosystem quality or condition (i.e. an 'ecological indicator') is probably inappropriate. Such ecological indicators are better suited for monitoring chronic anthropogenically induced disturbances that are continuous in their effect (e.g. 'acid rain', heavy metal pollution, air pollution, and the 'greenhouse effect') in ecosystems that, in the absence of such chronic disturbance, exhibit very slow directional change (e.g. lakes, higher order streams and rivers). Monitoring the effects of a chronic anthropogenic disturbance to forest ecosystems to determine if it is resulting in a sustained, directional alteration of environmental 'quality' will require a definition of the expected pattern of episodic disturbance and recovery therefrom (i.e. patterns of secondary succession in the absence of the chronic disturbance). Only when we have such a 'temporal fingerprint' of forest ecosystem condition for 'normal' patterns of disturbance and recovery can we determine if the ecosystem condition is being degraded by chronic human-induced alteration of the environment. Thus, degradation is assessed in terms of deviations from the expected temporal pattern of conditions rather than in terms of an

  8. Modeled effects of soil acidification on long-term ecological and economic outcomes for managed forests in the Adirondack region (USA).

    PubMed

    Caputo, Jesse; Beier, Colin M; Sullivan, Timothy J; Lawrence, Gregory B

    2016-09-15

    Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) is among the most ecologically and economically important tree species in North America, and its growth and regeneration is often the focus of silvicultural practices in northern hardwood forests. A key stressor for sugar maple (SM) is acid rain, which depletes base cations from poorly-buffered forest soils and has been associated with much lower SM vigor, growth, and recruitment. However, the potential interactions between forest management and soil acidification - and their implications for the sustainability of SM and its economic and cultural benefits - have not been investigated. In this study, we simulated the development of 50 extant SM stands in the western Adirondack region of NY (USA) for 100years under different soil chemical conditions and silvicultural prescriptions. We found that interactions between management prescription and soil base saturation will strongly shape the ability to maintain SM in managed forests. Below 12% base saturation, SM did not regenerate sufficiently after harvest and was replaced mainly by red maple (Acer rubrum) and American beech (Fagus grandifolia). Loss of SM on acid-impaired sites was predicted regardless of whether the shelterwood or diameter-limit prescriptions were used. On soils with sufficient base saturation, models predicted that SM will regenerate after harvest and be sustained for future rotations. We then estimated how these different post-harvest outcomes, mediated by acid impairment of forest soils, would affect the potential monetary value of ecosystem services provided by SM forests. Model simulations indicated that a management strategy focused on syrup production - although not feasible across the vast areas where acid impairment has occurred - may generate the greatest economic return. Although pollution from acid rain is declining, its long-term legacy in forest soils will shape future options for sustainable forestry and ecosystem stewardship in the northern hardwood

  9. Modeled effects of soil acidification on long-term ecological and economic outcomes for managed forests in the Adirondack region (USA)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Caputo, Jesse PhD.; Beier, Colin M.; Sullivan, Timothy J.; Lawrence, Gregory B.

    2016-01-01

    Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) is among the most ecologically and economically important tree species in North America, and its growth and regeneration is often the focus of silvicultural practices in northern hardwood forests. A key stressor for sugar maple (SM) is acid rain, which depletes base cations from poorly-buffered forest soils and has been associated with much lower SM vigor, growth, and recruitment. However, the potential interactions between forest management and soil acidification – and their implications for the sustainability of SM and its economic and cultural benefits – have not been investigated. In this study, we simulated the development of 50 extant SM stands in the western Adirondack region of NY (USA) for 100 years under different soil chemical conditions and silvicultural prescriptions. We found that interactions between management prescription and soil base saturation will strongly shape the ability to maintain SM in managed forests. Below 12% base saturation, SM did not regenerate sufficiently after harvest and was replaced mainly by red maple (Acer rubrum) and American beech (Fagus grandifolia). Loss of SM on acid-impaired sites was predicted regardless of whether the shelterwood or diameter-limit prescriptions were used. On soils with sufficient base saturation, models predicted that SM will regenerate after harvest and be sustained for future rotations. We then estimated how these different post-harvest outcomes, mediated by acid impairment of forest soils, would affect the potential monetary value of ecosystem services provided by SM forests. Model simulations indicated that a management strategy focused on syrup production – although not feasible across the vast areas where acid impairment has occurred – may generate the greatest economic return. Although pollution from acid rain is declining, its long-term legacy in forest soils will shape future options for sustainable forestry and ecosystem stewardship in the northern

  10. Ecology of Nitrogen Fixing, Nitrifying, and Denitrifying Microorganisms in Tropical Forest Soils

    PubMed Central

    Pajares, Silvia; Bohannan, Brendan J. M.

    2016-01-01

    Soil microorganisms play important roles in nitrogen cycling within forest ecosystems. Current research has revealed that a wider variety of microorganisms, with unexpected diversity in their functions and phylogenies, are involved in the nitrogen cycle than previously thought, including nitrogen-fixing bacteria, ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea, heterotrophic nitrifying microorganisms, and anammox bacteria, as well as denitrifying bacteria, archaea, and fungi. However, the vast majority of this research has been focused in temperate regions, and relatively little is known regarding the ecology of nitrogen-cycling microorganisms within tropical and subtropical ecosystems. Tropical forests are characterized by relatively high precipitation, low annual temperature fluctuation, high heterogeneity in plant diversity, large amounts of plant litter, and unique soil chemistry. For these reasons, regulation of the nitrogen cycle in tropical forests may be very different from that of temperate ecosystems. This is of great importance because of growing concerns regarding the effect of land use change and chronic-elevated nitrogen deposition on nitrogen-cycling processes in tropical forests. In the context of global change, it is crucial to understand how environmental factors and land use changes in tropical ecosystems influence the composition, abundance and activity of key players in the nitrogen cycle. In this review, we synthesize the limited currently available information regarding the microbial communities involved in nitrogen fixation, nitrification and denitrification, to provide deeper insight into the mechanisms regulating nitrogen cycling in tropical forest ecosystems. We also highlight the large gaps in our understanding of microbially mediated nitrogen processes in tropical forest soils and identify important areas for future research. PMID:27468277

  11. Ecological contingency in the effects of climatic warming on forest herb communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harrison, S.; Damschen, E.I.; Grace, J.B.

    2010-01-01

    Downscalingfromthe predictions ofgeneral climatemodels is critical to current strategies for mitigating species loss caused by climate change. A key impediment to this downscaling is that we lack a fully developed understanding of howvariation in physical, biological, or land-use characteristics mediates the effects of climate change on ecological communities within regions. We analyzed change in understory herb communities over a 60-y period (1949/1951-2007/ 2009) in a complexmontane landscape (the SiskiyouMountains, Oregon) where mean temperatures have increased 2 ??C since 1948, similar to projections for other terrestrial communities. Our 185 sites included primary and secondary-growth lower montane forests (500-1.200 m above sea level) and primary upper montane to subalpine forests (1,500-2,100 m above sea level). In lower montane forests, regardless of land-use history, we found multiple herbcommunity changes consistent with an effectively drier climate, including lower mean specific leaf area, lower relative cover by species of northern biogeographic affinity, and greater compositional resemblance to communities in southerly topographic positions. At higher elevations we found qualitatively different andmoremodest changes, including increases in herbs of northern biogeographic affinity and in forest canopy cover. Our results provide communitylevel validation of predicted nonlinearities in climate change effects.

  12. Ecological contingency in the effects of climatic warming on forest herb communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harrison, Susan; Damschen, Ellen Ingman; Grace, James B.

    2010-01-01

    Downscaling from the predictions of general climate models is critical to current strategies for mitigating species loss caused by climate change. A key impediment to this downscaling is that we lack a fully developed understanding of how variation in physical, biological, or land-use characteristics mediates the effects of climate change on ecological communities within regions. We analyzed change in understory herb communities over a 60-y period (1949/1951–2007/2009) in a complex montane landscape (the Siskiyou Mountains, Oregon) where mean temperatures have increased 2 °C since 1948, similar to projections for other terrestrial communities. Our 185 sites included primary and secondary-growth lower montane forests (500–1.200 m above sea level) and primary upper montane to subalpine forests (1,500–2,100 m above sea level). In lower montane forests, regardless of land-use history, we found multiple herb-community changes consistent with an effectively drier climate, including lower mean specific leaf area, lower relative cover by species of northern biogeographic affinity, and greater compositional resemblance to communities in southerly topographic positions. At higher elevations we found qualitatively different and more modest changes, including increases in herbs of northern biogeographic affinity and in forest canopy cover. Our results provide community-level validation of predicted nonlinearities in climate change effects.

  13. Ecological contingency in the effects of climatic warming on forest herb communities.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Susan; Damschen, Ellen I; Grace, James B

    2010-11-09

    Downscaling from the predictions of general climate models is critical to current strategies for mitigating species loss caused by climate change. A key impediment to this downscaling is that we lack a fully developed understanding of how variation in physical, biological, or land-use characteristics mediates the effects of climate change on ecological communities within regions. We analyzed change in understory herb communities over a 60-y period (1949/1951-2007/2009) in a complex montane landscape (the Siskiyou Mountains, Oregon) where mean temperatures have increased 2 °C since 1948, similar to projections for other terrestrial communities. Our 185 sites included primary and secondary-growth lower montane forests (500-1.200 m above sea level) and primary upper montane to subalpine forests (1,500-2,100 m above sea level). In lower montane forests, regardless of land-use history, we found multiple herb-community changes consistent with an effectively drier climate, including lower mean specific leaf area, lower relative cover by species of northern biogeographic affinity, and greater compositional resemblance to communities in southerly topographic positions. At higher elevations we found qualitatively different and more modest changes, including increases in herbs of northern biogeographic affinity and in forest canopy cover. Our results provide community-level validation of predicted nonlinearities in climate change effects.

  14. Remnants of an ancient forest provide ecological context for Early Miocene fossil apes.

    PubMed

    Michel, Lauren A; Peppe, Daniel J; Lutz, James A; Driese, Steven G; Dunsworth, Holly M; Harcourt-Smith, William E H; Horner, William H; Lehmann, Thomas; Nightingale, Sheila; McNulty, Kieran P

    2014-01-01

    The lineage of apes and humans (Hominoidea) evolved and radiated across Afro-Arabia in the early Neogene during a time of global climatic changes and ongoing tectonic processes that formed the East African Rift. These changes probably created highly variable environments and introduced selective pressures influencing the diversification of early apes. However, interpreting the connection between environmental dynamics and adaptive evolution is hampered by difficulties in locating taxa within specific ecological contexts: time-averaged or reworked deposits may not faithfully represent individual palaeohabitats. Here we present multiproxy evidence from Early Miocene deposits on Rusinga Island, Kenya, which directly ties the early ape Proconsul to a widespread, dense, multistoried, closed-canopy tropical seasonal forest set in a warm and relatively wet, local climate. These results underscore the importance of forested environments in the evolution of early apes.

  15. Book review: Conservation biology of Hawaiian forest birds: Implications for island avifauna

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Engstrom, R. Todd; van Riper, Charles

    2010-01-01

    Review info: Conservation Biology of Hawaiian Forest Birds: Implications for Island Avifauna. By Thane K. Pratt, Carter T. Atkinson, Paul C. Banko, James D. Jacobi, and Bethany L. Woodworth, Eds., 2009. ISBN 978-0300141085, 707 pp.

  16. Climate-driven disparities among ecological interactions threaten kelp forest persistence.

    PubMed

    Provost, Euan J; Kelaher, Brendan P; Dworjanyn, Symon A; Russell, Bayden D; Connell, Sean D; Ghedini, Giulia; Gillanders, Bronwyn M; Figueira, WillIAM; Coleman, Melinda A

    2017-01-01

    The combination of ocean warming and acidification brings an uncertain future to kelp forests that occupy the warmest parts of their range. These forests are not only subject to the direct negative effects of ocean climate change, but also to a combination of unknown indirect effects associated with changing ecological landscapes. Here, we used mesocosm experiments to test the direct effects of ocean warming and acidification on kelp biomass and photosynthetic health, as well as climate-driven disparities in indirect effects involving key consumers (urchins and rock lobsters) and competitors (algal turf). Elevated water temperature directly reduced kelp biomass, while their turf-forming competitors expanded in response to ocean acidification and declining kelp canopy. Elevated temperatures also increased growth of urchins and, concurrently, the rate at which they thinned kelp canopy. Rock lobsters, which are renowned for keeping urchin populations in check, indirectly intensified negative pressures on kelp by reducing their consumption of urchins in response to elevated temperature. Overall, these results suggest that kelp forests situated towards the low-latitude margins of their distribution will need to adapt to ocean warming in order to persist in the future. What is less certain is how such adaptation in kelps can occur in the face of intensifying consumptive (via ocean warming) and competitive (via ocean acidification) pressures that affect key ecological interactions associated with their persistence. If such indirect effects counter adaptation to changing climate, they may erode the stability of kelp forests and increase the probability of regime shifts from complex habitat-forming species to more simple habitats dominated by algal turfs.

  17. The delayed resurgence of equatorial forests after the permian-triassic ecologic crisis.

    PubMed

    Looy, C V; Brugman, W A; Dilcher, D L; Visscher, H

    1999-11-23

    In conjunction with the Permian-Triassic ecologic crisis approximately 250 million years ago, massive dieback of coniferous vegetation resulted in a degradation of terrestrial ecosystems in Europe. A 4- to 5-million-year period of lycopsid dominance followed, and renewed proliferation of conifers did not occur before the transition between Early and Middle Triassic. We document this delayed re-establishment of equatorial forests on the basis of palynological data. The reconstructed pattern of vegetational change suggests that habitat restoration, migration, and evolutionary processes acted synergistically, setting the stage for successional replacement of lycopsid dominants by conifers within a period of approximately 0.5 million years.

  18. The delayed resurgence of equatorial forests after the Permian–Triassic ecologic crisis

    PubMed Central

    Looy, C. V.; Brugman, W. A.; Dilcher, D. L.; Visscher, H.

    1999-01-01

    In conjunction with the Permian–Triassic ecologic crisis ≈250 million years ago, massive dieback of coniferous vegetation resulted in a degradation of terrestrial ecosystems in Europe. A 4- to 5-million-year period of lycopsid dominance followed, and renewed proliferation of conifers did not occur before the transition between Early and Middle Triassic. We document this delayed re-establishment of equatorial forests on the basis of palynological data. The reconstructed pattern of vegetational change suggests that habitat restoration, migration, and evolutionary processes acted synergistically, setting the stage for successional replacement of lycopsid dominants by conifers within a period of ≈0.5 million years. PMID:10570163

  19. Heavy metal contamination and ecological risk in Futian mangrove forest sediment in Shenzhen Bay, South China.

    PubMed

    Li, Rongyu; Li, Ruili; Chai, Minwei; Shen, Xiaoxue; Xu, Hualin; Qiu, Guoyu

    2015-12-15

    Surface sediments in the Futian mangrove forest (South China) were analyzed for heavy metals including cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn). The heavy metal distributions varied greatly in surface sediments, reflecting some sediment heterogeneity. The heavy metal concentrations decreased in the order of Zn>Cr>Pb>Cu>Cd. According to the mean probable effects level quotient, the combination of studied metals had a 21% probability of being toxic. The potential ecological risk index and geo-accumulation index also revealed high metal contamination. Cd was of primary concern due to its higher assessment values and potential for adverse biological effects. Multivariate analysis implied that clay and silt played a significant role in raising the levels of Cr, Cu and Zn. The percentage of mobile heavy metals was relatively higher, without considerable ecological risk to the biota based on the risk assessment code.

  20. Terrestriality in the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus morio) and implications for their ecology and conservation.

    PubMed

    Loken, Brent; Spehar, Stephanie; Rayadin, Yaya

    2013-11-01

    Aside from anecdotal evidence, terrestriality in orangutans (Pongo spp.) has not been quantified or subject to careful study and important questions remain about the extent and contexts of terrestrial behavior. Understanding the factors that influence orangutan terrestriality also has significant implications for their conservation. Here we report on a camera trapping study of terrestrial behavior in the northeastern Bornean orangutan, Pongo pygmaeus morio, in Wehea Forest, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. We used 78 non-baited camera traps set in 43 stations along roads, trails, and at mineral licks (sepans) to document the frequency of orangutan terrestriality. Habitat assessments were used to determine how terrestrial behavior was influenced by canopy connectivity. We compared camera trapping results for P. p. morio to those for a known terrestrial primate (Macaca nemestrina), and another largely arboreal species (Presbytis rubicunda) to assess the relative frequency of terrestrial behavior by P. p. morio. A combined sampling effort of 14,446 trap days resulted in photographs of at least 15 individual orangutans, with females being the most frequently recorded age sex class (N=32) followed by flanged males (N=26 records). P. p. morio represented the second most recorded primate (N=110 total records) of seven primate species recorded. Capture scores for M. nemestrina (0.270) and P. p. morio (0.237) were similar and almost seven times higher than for the next most recorded primate, P. rubicunda (0.035). In addition, our results indicate that for orangutans, there was no clear relationship between canopy connectivity and terrestriality. Overall, our data suggest that terrestriality is relatively common for the orangutans in Wehea Forest and represents a regular strategy employed by individuals of all age-sex classes. As Borneo and Sumatra increasingly become characterized by mixed-use habitats, understanding the ecological requirements and resilience in orangutans is

  1. A quantitative method for zoning of protected areas and its spatial ecological implications.

    PubMed

    Del Carmen Sabatini, María; Verdiell, Adriana; Rodríguez Iglesias, Ricardo M; Vidal, Marta

    2007-04-01

    Zoning is a key prescriptive tool for administration and management of protected areas. However, the lack of zoning is common for most protected areas in developing countries and, as a consequence, many protected areas are not effective in achieving the goals for which they were created. In this work, we introduce a quantitative method to expeditiously zone protected areas and we evaluate its ecological implications on hypothetical zoning cases. A real-world application is reported for the Talampaya National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Argentina. Our method is a modification of the zoning forest model developed by Bos [Bos, J., 1993. Zoning in forest management: a quadratic assignment problem solved by simulated annealing. Journal of Environmental Management 37, 127-145.]. Main innovations involve a quadratic function of distance between land units, non-reciprocal weights for adjacent land uses (mathematically represented by a non-symmetric matrix), and the possibility of imposing a connectivity constraint. Due to its intrinsic spatial dimension, the zoning problem belongs to the NP-hard class, i.e. a solution can only be obtained in non-polynomial time [Nemhausser, G., Wolsey, L., 1988. Integer and Combinatorial Optimization. John Wiley, New York.]. For that purpose, we applied a simulated annealing heuristic implemented as a FORTRAN language routine. Our innovations were effective in achieving zoning designs more compatible with biological diversity protection. The quadratic distance term facilitated the delineation of core zones for elements of significance; the connectivity constraint minimized fragmentation; non-reciprocal land use weightings contributed to better representing management decisions, and influenced mainly the edge and shape of zones. This quantitative method can assist the zoning process within protected areas by offering many zonation scheme alternatives with minimum cost, time and effort. This ability provides a new tool to

  2. Ecological and geochemical impacts of exotic earthworm dispersal in forest ecosystems of Eastern Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drouin, Melanie; Fugere, Martine; Lapointe, Line; Vellend, Mark; Bradley, Robert L.

    2016-04-01

    In Eastern Canada, native earthworm species did not survive the Wisconsin glaciation, which ended over 11,000 years ago. Accordingly, the 17 known Lumbricidae species in the province of Québec were introduced in recent centuries by European settlers. Given that natural migration rates are no more than 5-10 m yr-1, exotic earthworm dispersal across the landscape is presumed to be mediated by human activities, although this assertion needs further validation. In agroecosystems, earthworms have traditionally been considered beneficial soil organisms that facilitate litter decomposition, increase nutrient availability and improve soil structure. However, earthworm activities could also increase soil nutrient leaching and CO2 emissions. Furthermore, in natural forest ecosystems, exotic earthworms may reduce organic forest floors provoking changes in watershed hydrology and loss of habitat for some faunal species. Over the past decade, studies have also suggested a negative effect of exotic earthworms on understory plant diversity, but the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Finally, there are no studies to our knowledge that have tested the effects of Lumbricidae species on the production of N2O (an important greenhouse gas) in forest ecosystems. We report on a series of field, greenhouse and laboratory studies on the human activities responsible for the dispersal of exotic earthworms, and on their ecological / geochemical impacts in natural forest ecosystems. Our results show: (1) Car tire treads and bait discarded by fishermen are important human vectors driving the dispersal of earthworms into northern temperate forests; (2) Exotic earthworms significantly modify soil physicochemical properties, nutrient cycling, microbial community structure and biomass; (3) Earthworm abundances in the field correlate with a decrease in understory plant diversity; (4) Lumbricus terrestris, an anecic earthworm species and favorite bait of fishermen, reduces seed germination and

  3. Forest environmental investments and implications for climate change mitigation.

    PubMed

    Alig, Ralph J; Bair, Lucas S

    2006-01-01

    Forest environmental conditions are affected by climate change, but investments in forest environmental quality can be used as part of the climate change mitigation strategy. A key question involving the potential use of forests to store more carbon as part of climate change mitigation is the impact of forest investments on the timing and quantity of forest volumes that affect carbon storage. Using an economic optimization model, we project levels of U.S. forest volumes as indicators of carbon storage for a wide range of private forest investment scenarios. Results show that economic opportunities exist to further intensify timber management on some hectares and reduce the average timber rotation length such that the national volume of standing timber stocks could be reduced relative to projections reflecting historical trends. The national amount of timber volume is projected to increase over the next 50 yr, but then is projected to decline if private owners follow an economic optimization path, such as with more forest type conversions and shorter timber rotations. With perfect foresight, future forest investments can affect current timber harvest levels, with intertemporal linkages based on adjustments through markets. Forest investments that boost regenerated timber yields per hectare would act to enhance ecosystem services (e.g., forest carbon storage) if they are related to the rate of growth and extent of growing stock inventory.

  4. Ecological implications of the relative rarity of fossil hominins at Laetoli.

    PubMed

    Su, Denise F; Harrison, Terry

    2008-10-01

    Hominins are a very rare component of the large-mammal fauna at Laetoli. Although no equivalent data are available for Hadar, the much higher count and relative abundance of hominins suggests that they may have been more common at the latter site. The apparent relative rarity of hominins at Laetoli may have significant implications for understanding the ecology of Australopithecus afarensis. However, it is essential to first assess the extent to which taphonomic variables might have been a contributing factor. Using data from fossil ruminants, we show that the survivability of skeletal elements at Laetoli relates to the extent to which they can resist carnivore scavenging and their likelihood of being entirely buried by volcanic ashes and tuffaceous sediments. The rarity of hominins at Laetoli is probably due in part to the influence of these two taphonomic factors. However, these factors cannot account entirely for the difference in hominin relative abundance between these two sites, and ecological differences were probably a contributing factor. The highest population densities of chimpanzees today occur in forest and closed woodland, with reduced densities in open woodland. If similar levels of population-density variation characterized A. afarensis, the differences between Hadar and Laetoli may relate to the quality/optimality of the habitats. Hadar was, in general, much more densely wooded and mesic than Laetoli, with permanent and substantial bodies of water. In contrast, Laetoli was predominantly a woodland-shrubland-grassland mosaic supported only by ephemeral streams and ponds. The apparent greater relative abundance of hominins at Hadar compared with Laetoli suggests that, like chimpanzees, A. afarensis may have been more successful in more densely wooded habitats. Compared with Hadar, Laetoli probably represented a less optimal habitat for the foraging and dietary behavior of A. afarensis, and this is reflected in their inferred lower abundance, density

  5. [Ecological benefit evaluation of urban forests in Shenyang City based on QuickBird image and CITYgreen model].

    PubMed

    Liu, Chang-Fu; He, Xing-Yuan; Chen, Wei; Zhao, Gui-Ling; Li, Ling; Xu, Wen-Duo

    2008-09-01

    Based on the urban forest coverage data interpreted from QuickBird image (2006) and the CITYgreen model, the benefits of Shenyang urban forest types with different canopy closure in carbon fixation and pollutant removal were investigated by means of sampling strategy. The results showed that the total amount of carbon storage, annual carbon sequestration, annual air pollutant removal, and their corresponding values were 0.51 Tg, 6858.20 Mg x a-1), 556.04 Mg x a(-1) 1.26 x 10(8) Yuan, 1.72 x 10(6) Yuan, and 0.22 x 10(8) Yuan, respectively. Among the urban forest types in Shenyang City, ecological and public welfare forest (E) contributed most to the carbon fixation and air pollutant removal. The carbon density decreased in the order of S (subordinated forest) > L (landscape and relaxation forest) > P (production and management forest) > E > R (road forest), annual carbon sequestration was in the order of P > L > E > S > R, and annual air pollutant removal was in the order of P > L > S > E > R. The carbon density of different urban forest types was closely related to their structural complexity. For the forests with high canopy closure, both the annual carbon sequestration and the annual pollutant removal were high; while for those with lower canopy closure, these two characteristics were dependent on the structural complexity of the forests.

  6. Soil and water related forest ecosystem services and resilience of social ecological system in the Central Highlands of Ethiopia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tekalign, Meron; Muys, Bart; Nyssen, Jan; Poesen, Jean

    2014-05-01

    In the central highlands of Ethiopia, deforestation and forest degradation are occurring and accelerating during the last century. The high population pressure is the most repeatedly mentioned reason. However, in the past 30 years researchers agreed that the absence of institutions, which could define the access rights to particular forest resources, is another underlying cause of forest depletion and loss. Changing forest areas into different land use types is affecting the biodiversity, which is manifested through not proper functioning of ecosystem services. Menagesha Suba forest, the focus of this study has been explored from various perspectives. However the social dimension and its interaction with the ecology have been addressed rarely. This research uses a combined theoretical framework of Ecosystem Services and that of Resilience thinking for understanding the complex social-ecological interactions in the forest and its influence on ecosystem services. For understanding the history and extent of land use land cover changes, in-depth literature review and a GIS and remote sensing analysis will be made. The effect of forest conversion into plantation and agricultural lands on soil and above ground carbon sequestration, fuel wood and timber products delivery will be analyzed with the accounting of the services on five land use types. The four ecosystem services to be considered are Supporting, Provisioning, Regulating, and Cultural services as set by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. A resilience based participatory framework approach will be used to analyze how the social and ecological systems responded towards the drivers of change that occurred in the past. The framework also will be applied to predict future uncertainties. Finally this study will focus on the possible interventions that could contribute to the sustainable management and conservation of the forest. An ecosystem services trade-off analysis and an environmental valuation of the water

  7. Association of extinction risk of saproxylic beetles with ecological degradation of forests in Europe.

    PubMed

    Seibold, Sebastian; Brandl, Roland; Buse, Jörn; Hothorn, Torsten; Schmidl, Jürgen; Thorn, Simon; Müller, Jörg

    2015-04-01

    To reduce future loss of biodiversity and to allocate conservation funds effectively, the major drivers behind large-scale extinction processes must be identified. A promising approach is to link the red-list status of species and specific traits that connect species of functionally important taxa or guilds to resources they rely on. Such traits can be used to detect the influence of anthropogenic ecosystem changes and conservation efforts on species, which allows for practical recommendations for conservation. We modeled the German Red List categories as an ordinal index of extinction risk of 1025 saproxylic beetles with a proportional-odds linear mixed-effects model for ordered categorical responses. In this model, we estimated fixed effects for intrinsic traits characterizing species biology, required resources, and distribution with phylogenetically correlated random intercepts. The model also allowed predictions of extinction risk for species with no red-list category. Our model revealed a higher extinction risk for lowland and large species as well as for species that rely on wood of large diameter, broad-leaved trees, or open canopy. These results mirror well the ecological degradation of European forests over the last centuries caused by modern forestry, that is the conversion of natural broad-leaved forests to dense conifer-dominated forests and the loss of old growth and dead wood. Therefore, conservation activities aimed at saproxylic beetles in all types of forests in Central and Western Europe should focus on lowlands, and habitat management of forest stands should aim at increasing the amount of dead wood of large diameter, dead wood of broad-leaved trees, and dead wood in sunny areas.

  8. Social-Ecological Resilience and Environmental Education: Synopsis, Application, Implications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Plummer, Ryan

    2010-01-01

    The resilience approach is rooted in ecology and is being advanced as a means to understand change in social-ecological systems. How can resilience be applied to understanding change in social systems, including in environmental education? In probing this question the main resilience approaches are described, the manner in which they may be…

  9. Using ecological memory as an indicator to monitor the ecological restoration of four forest plantations in subtropical China.

    PubMed

    Sun, Zhongyu; Ren, Hai; Schaefer, Val; Guo, Qinfeng; Wang, Jun

    2014-12-01

    A large area of plantations has been established worldwide and especially in China. Evaluating the restoration status of these plantations is essential for their long-term management. Based on our previous work, we used an ecological memory (EM) approach to evaluate four 26-year-old plantations that represent four common kinds of plantations in subtropical China, i.e., mixed broad-leaved plantation (MBP), mixed coniferous plantation (MCP), eucalyptus plantation (EP), and mixed legume plantation (MLP). Comparing them with the regional climax community, i.e., monsoon evergreen broad-leaved forest (BF), all four plantations accumulated nearly the same pattern of EM during succession. EM was >50 % for soil minerals, light conditions, soil age, soil animals, and soil microbes. EM was about 25 % for soil pollen and 10 % for birds, soil seed bank, and plant species. The total EM value of the four plantations ranged from 50.96 to 52.54, which indicated that all four plantations were in the regional, natural trajectory of succession and between the early and medium successional stages. The results indicated that natural succession processes are unlikely to be accelerated by planting late-stage tree species without sufficient EM. The results also demonstrated that all four plantations were in positive successional trajectories, and the positive succession dynamics were greater in the MLP and MCP. We suggest that the entire natural succession trajectory be used to evaluate the restoration of a site and that the ultimate restoration target be divided into several milestones along the reference trajectory to monitor progress. Forest restoration may be accelerated by starting with a minimum dynamic unit supporting sufficient EM.

  10. The sensitivity of current and future forest managers to climate-induced changes in ecological processes.

    PubMed

    Seidl, Rupert; Aggestam, Filip; Rammer, Werner; Blennow, Kristina; Wolfslehner, Bernhard

    2016-05-01

    Climate vulnerability of managed forest ecosystems is not only determined by ecological processes but also influenced by the adaptive capacity of forest managers. To better understand adaptive behaviour, we conducted a questionnaire study among current and future forest managers (i.e. active managers and forestry students) in Austria. We found widespread belief in climate change (94.7 % of respondents), and no significant difference between current and future managers. Based on intended responses to climate-induced ecosystem changes, we distinguished four groups: highly sensitive managers (27.7 %), those mainly sensitive to changes in growth and regeneration processes (46.7 %), managers primarily sensitive to regeneration changes (11.2 %), and insensitive managers (14.4 %). Experiences and beliefs with regard to disturbance-related tree mortality were found to particularly influence a manager's sensitivity to climate change. Our findings underline the importance of the social dimension of climate change adaptation, and suggest potentially strong adaptive feedbacks between ecosystems and their managers.

  11. Ecological determinants of mean family age of angiosperm trees in forest communities in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qian, Hong; Chen, Shengbin

    2016-06-01

    Species assemblage in a local community is determined by the interplay of evolutionary and ecological processes. The Tropical Niche Conservatism hypothesis proposes mechanisms underlying patterns of biodiversity in biological communities along environmental gradients. This hypothesis predicts that, among other things, clades in areas with warm or wet environments are, on average, older than those in areas with cold or dry environments. Focusing on angiosperm trees in forests, this study tested the age-related prediction of the Tropical Niche Conservatism hypothesis. We related the mean family age of angiosperm trees in 57 local forests from across China with 23 current and paleo-environmental variables, which included all major temperature- and precipitation-related variables. Our study shows that the mean family age of angiosperm trees in local forests was positively correlated with temperature and precipitation. This finding is consistent with the age-related prediction of the Tropical Niche Conservatism hypothesis. Approximately 85% of the variance in the mean family age of angiosperm trees was explained by temperature-related variables, and 81% of the variance in the mean family age of angiosperm trees was explained by precipitation-related variables. Climatic conditions at the Last Glacial Maximum did not explain additional variation in mean family age after accounting for current environmental conditions.

  12. Nesting ecology and behavior of Broad-winged Hawks in moist karst forests of Puerto Rico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hengstenberg, D.W.; Vilella, F.J.

    2005-01-01

    The Puerto Rican Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus brunnescens) is an endemic and endangered subspecies inhabiting upland montane forests of Puerto Rico. The reproductive ecology, behavior, and nesting habitat of the Broad-winged Hawk were studied in Ri??o Abajo Forest, Puerto Rico, from 2001-02. We observed 158 courtship displays by Broad-winged Hawks. Also, we recorded 25 territorial interactions between resident Broad-winged Hawks and intruding Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis jamaicensis). Broad-winged Hawks displaced intruding Red-tailed Hawks from occupied territories (P = 0.009). Mayfield nest survival was 0.67 across breeding seasons (0.81 in 2001, N = 6; 0.51 in 2002, N = 4), and pairs averaged 1.1 young per nest (years combined). The birds nested in mixed species timber plantations and mature secondary forest. Nests were placed in the upper reaches of large trees emerging from the canopy. Nest tree DBH, understory stem density, and distance to karst cliff wall correctly classified (77.8%) nest sites. ?? 2005 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc.

  13. Across a macro-ecological gradient forest competition is strongest at the most productive sites.

    PubMed

    Prior, Lynda D; Bowman, David M J S

    2014-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis that the effect of forest basal area on tree growth interacts with macro-ecological gradients of primary productivity, using a large dataset of eucalypt tree growth collected across temperate and sub- tropical mesic Australia. To do this, we derived an index of inter-tree competition based on stand basal area (stand BA) relative to the climatically determined potential basal area. Using linear mixed effects modeling, we found that the main effects of climatic productivity, tree size, and competition explained 26.5% of the deviance in individual tree growth, but adding interactions to the model could explain a further 8.9%. The effect of competition on growth interacts with the gradient of climatic productivity, with negligible effect of competition in low productivity environments, but marked negative effects at the most productive sites. We also found a positive interaction between tree size and stand BA, which was most pronounced in the most productive sites. We interpret these patterns as reflecting intense competition for light amongst maturing trees on more productive sites, and below ground moisture limitation at low productivity sites, which results in open stands with little competition for light. These trends are consistent with the life history and stand development of eucalypt forests: in cool moist environments, light is the most limiting resource, resulting in size-asymmetric competition, while in hot, low rainfall environments are open forests with little competition for light but where the amount of tree regeneration is limited by water availability.

  14. Ecological determinants of mean family age of angiosperm trees in forest communities in China

    PubMed Central

    Qian, Hong; Chen, Shengbin

    2016-01-01

    Species assemblage in a local community is determined by the interplay of evolutionary and ecological processes. The Tropical Niche Conservatism hypothesis proposes mechanisms underlying patterns of biodiversity in biological communities along environmental gradients. This hypothesis predicts that, among other things, clades in areas with warm or wet environments are, on average, older than those in areas with cold or dry environments. Focusing on angiosperm trees in forests, this study tested the age-related prediction of the Tropical Niche Conservatism hypothesis. We related the mean family age of angiosperm trees in 57 local forests from across China with 23 current and paleo-environmental variables, which included all major temperature- and precipitation-related variables. Our study shows that the mean family age of angiosperm trees in local forests was positively correlated with temperature and precipitation. This finding is consistent with the age-related prediction of the Tropical Niche Conservatism hypothesis. Approximately 85% of the variance in the mean family age of angiosperm trees was explained by temperature-related variables, and 81% of the variance in the mean family age of angiosperm trees was explained by precipitation-related variables. Climatic conditions at the Last Glacial Maximum did not explain additional variation in mean family age after accounting for current environmental conditions. PMID:27354109

  15. Historical ecology and the conservation of large, hermaphroditic fishes in Pacific Coast kelp forest ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Braje, Todd J; Rick, Torben C; Szpak, Paul; Newsome, Seth D; McCain, Joseph M; Elliott Smith, Emma A; Glassow, Michael; Hamilton, Scott L

    2017-02-01

    The intensive commercial exploitation of California sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher) has become a complex, multimillion-dollar industry. The fishery is of concern because of high harvest levels and potential indirect impacts of sheephead removals on the structure and function of kelp forest ecosystems. California sheephead are protogynous hermaphrodites that, as predators of sea urchins and other invertebrates, are critical components of kelp forest ecosystems in the northeast Pacific. Overfishing can trigger trophic cascades and widespread ecological dysfunction when other urchin predators are also lost from the system. Little is known about the ecology and abundance of sheephead before commercial exploitation. Lack of a historical perspective creates a gap for evaluating fisheries management measures and marine reserves that seek to rebuild sheephead populations to historical baseline conditions. We use population abundance and size structure data from the zooarchaeological record, in concert with isotopic data, to evaluate the long-term health and viability of sheephead fisheries in southern California. Our results indicate that the importance of sheephead to the diet of native Chumash people varied spatially across the Channel Islands, reflecting modern biogeographic patterns. Comparing ancient (~10,000 calibrated years before the present to 1825 CE) and modern samples, we observed variability and significant declines in the relative abundance of sheephead, reductions in size frequency distributions, and shifts in the dietary niche between ancient and modern collections. These results highlight how size-selective fishing can alter the ecological role of key predators and how zooarchaeological data can inform fisheries management by establishing historical baselines that aid future conservation.

  16. Modelling the Ecological Vulnerability to Forest Fires in Mediterranean Ecosystems Using Geographic Information Technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duguy, Beatriz; Alloza, José Antonio; Baeza, M. Jaime; De la Riva, Juan; Echeverría, Maite; Ibarra, Paloma; Llovet, Juan; Cabello, Fernando Pérez; Rovira, Pere; Vallejo, Ramon V.

    2012-12-01

    Forest fires represent a major driver of change at the ecosystem and landscape levels in the Mediterranean region. Environmental features and vegetation are key factors to estimate the ecological vulnerability to fire; defined as the degree to which an ecosystem is susceptible to, and unable to cope with, adverse effects of fire (provided a fire occurs). Given the predicted climatic changes for the region, it is urgent to validate spatially explicit tools for assessing this vulnerability in order to support the design of new fire prevention and restoration strategies. This work presents an innovative GIS-based modelling approach to evaluate the ecological vulnerability to fire of an ecosystem, considering its main components (soil and vegetation) and different time scales. The evaluation was structured in three stages: short-term (focussed on soil degradation risk), medium-term (focussed on changes in vegetation), and coupling of the short- and medium-term vulnerabilities. The model was implemented in two regions: Aragón (inland North-eastern Spain) and Valencia (eastern Spain). Maps of the ecological vulnerability to fire were produced at a regional scale. We partially validated the model in a study site combining two complementary approaches that focused on testing the adequacy of model's predictions in three ecosystems, all very common in fire-prone landscapes of eastern Spain: two shrublands and a pine forest. Both approaches were based on the comparison of model's predictions with values of NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), which is considered a good proxy for green biomass. Both methods showed that the model's performance is satisfactory when applied to the three selected vegetation types.

  17. Historical ecology and the conservation of large, hermaphroditic fishes in Pacific Coast kelp forest ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Braje, Todd J.; Rick, Torben C.; Szpak, Paul; Newsome, Seth D.; McCain, Joseph M.; Elliott Smith, Emma A.; Glassow, Michael; Hamilton, Scott L.

    2017-01-01

    The intensive commercial exploitation of California sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher) has become a complex, multimillion-dollar industry. The fishery is of concern because of high harvest levels and potential indirect impacts of sheephead removals on the structure and function of kelp forest ecosystems. California sheephead are protogynous hermaphrodites that, as predators of sea urchins and other invertebrates, are critical components of kelp forest ecosystems in the northeast Pacific. Overfishing can trigger trophic cascades and widespread ecological dysfunction when other urchin predators are also lost from the system. Little is known about the ecology and abundance of sheephead before commercial exploitation. Lack of a historical perspective creates a gap for evaluating fisheries management measures and marine reserves that seek to rebuild sheephead populations to historical baseline conditions. We use population abundance and size structure data from the zooarchaeological record, in concert with isotopic data, to evaluate the long-term health and viability of sheephead fisheries in southern California. Our results indicate that the importance of sheephead to the diet of native Chumash people varied spatially across the Channel Islands, reflecting modern biogeographic patterns. Comparing ancient (~10,000 calibrated years before the present to 1825 CE) and modern samples, we observed variability and significant declines in the relative abundance of sheephead, reductions in size frequency distributions, and shifts in the dietary niche between ancient and modern collections. These results highlight how size-selective fishing can alter the ecological role of key predators and how zooarchaeological data can inform fisheries management by establishing historical baselines that aid future conservation. PMID:28164155

  18. Better Few than Hungry: Flexible Feeding Ecology of Collared Lemurs Eulemur collaris in Littoral Forest Fragments

    PubMed Central

    Donati, Giuseppe; Kesch, Kristina; Ndremifidy, Kelard; Schmidt, Stacey L.; Ramanamanjato, Jean-Baptiste; Borgognini-Tarli, Silvana M.; Ganzhorn, Joerg U.

    2011-01-01

    Background Frugivorous primates are known to encounter many problems to cope with habitat degradation, due to the fluctuating spatial and temporal distribution of their food resources. Since lemur communities evolved strategies to deal with periods of food scarcity, these primates are expected to be naturally adapted to fluctuating ecological conditions and to tolerate a certain degree of habitat changes. However, behavioral and ecological strategies adopted by frugivorous lemurs to survive in secondary habitats have been little investigated. Here, we compared the behavioral ecology of collared lemurs (Eulemur collaris) in a degraded fragment of littoral forest of south-east Madagascar, Mandena, with that of their conspecifics in a more intact habitat, Sainte Luce. Methodology/Principal Findings Lemur groups in Mandena and in Sainte Luce were censused in 2004/2007 and in 2000, respectively. Data were collected via instantaneous sampling on five lemur groups totaling 1,698 observation hours. The Shannon index was used to determine dietary diversity and nutritional analyses were conducted to assess food quality. All feeding trees were identified and measured, and ranging areas determined via the minimum convex polygon. In the degraded area lemurs were able to modify several aspects of their feeding strategies by decreasing group size and by increasing feeding time, ranging areas, and number of feeding trees. The above strategies were apparently able to counteract a clear reduction in both food quality and size of feeding trees. Conclusions/Significance Our findings indicate that collared lemurs in littoral forest fragments modified their behavior to cope with the pressures of fluctuating resource availability. The observed flexibility is likely to be an adaptation to Malagasy rainforests, which are known to undergo periods of fruit scarcity and low productivity. These results should be carefully considered when relocating lemurs or when selecting suitable areas for

  19. Relationship between forest clearing and biophysical factors in tropical environments: Implications for the design of a forest change monitoring approach. [Costa Rica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sader, S. A.; Joyce, A. T.

    1984-01-01

    The relationship between forest clearing, biophysical factors (e.g, ecological zones, slope gradient, soils), and transportation network in Costa Rica was analyzed. The location of forested areas at four reference datas (1940, 1950, 1961, and 1977) as derived from aerial photography and LANDSAT MSS data was digitilized and entered into a geographically-referenced data base. Ecological zones as protrayed by the Holdridge Life Zone Ecology System, and the location of roads and railways were also digitized from maps of the entire country as input to the data base. Information on slope gradient and soils was digitized from maps of a 21,000 square kilometer area. The total area of forest cleared over four decades are related to biophysical factors was analyzed within the data base and deforestation rates and trends were tabulated. The relatiohship between forest clearing and ecological zone and the influence of topography, sils, and transportation network are presented and discussed.

  20. Unexpected Ecological Resilience in Bornean Orangutans and Implications for Pulp and Paper Plantation Management

    PubMed Central

    Meijaard, Erik; Albar, Guillaume; Nardiyono; Rayadin, Yaya; Ancrenaz, Marc; Spehar, Stephanie

    2010-01-01

    Ecological studies of orangutans have almost exclusively focused on populations living in primary or selectively logged rainforest. The response of orangutans to severe habitat degradation remains therefore poorly understood. Most experts assume that viable populations cannot survive outside undisturbed or slightly disturbed forests. This is a concern because nearly 75% of all orangutans live outside protected areas, where degradation of natural forests is likely to occur, or where these are replaced by planted forests. To improve our understanding of orangutan survival in highly altered forest habitats, we conducted population density surveys in two pulp and paper plantation concessions in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. These plantations consist of areas planted with fast-growing exotics intermixed with stands of highly degraded forests and scrublands. Our rapid surveys indicate unexpectedly high orangutan densities in plantation landscapes dominated by Acacia spp., although it remains unclear whether such landscapes can maintain long-term viable populations. These findings indicate the need to better understand how plantation-dominated landscapes can potentially be incorporated into orangutan conservation planning. Although we emphasize that plantations have less value for overall biodiversity conservation than natural forests, they could potentially boost the chances of orangutan survival. Our findings are based on a relatively short study and various methodological issues need to be addressed, but they suggest that orangutans may be more ecologically flexible than previously thought. PMID:20877646

  1. Volcano ecology at Chaiten, Chile: geophysical processes interact with forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swanson, F. J.; Crisafulli, C.; Jones, J. A.; Lara, A.

    2010-12-01

    The May 2008 eruption of Chaiten Volcano (Chile) offers many insights into volcano ecology -ecological responses to volcanic and associated hydrologic processes and ecosystem development in post-eruption landscapes. Varied intensities of pyroclastic density currents (PDC) and thickness of tephra fall deposits (to 50+ cm) created strong gradients of disturbance in several hundred square kilometers of native forest in a sector north to southeast from the volcano. A gradient from tree removal to toppled forest to standing, scorched forest extends 1.5 km northward from the caldera rim along the trajectory of a PDC. Close to the vent (e.g., 2 km NE from rim) a rain of ca. 10 cm of gravel tephra stripped foliage and twigs from tree canopies; farther away (23 km SE) 10 cm of fine tephra loaded the canopy, causing extensive fall of limbs >8 cm diameter. Even in the severely disturbed, north-flank PDC zone, surviving bamboo, ferns, and other herbs sprouted from pre-eruption soil and other refugia; sprouts of new foliage appeared on the boles and major limbs of several species of toppled and scorched, standing trees; animals including vertebrates (rodents and amphibians) and terrestrial invertebrates (e.g., insects and arachnids) either survived or quickly recolonized; and a diverse fungal community began decomposing the vast dead wood resource. During the second growing season we documented the presence of some plant species that had colonized by seed. Within two years after the eruption secondary ecological disturbances resulting from channel change and overbank deposition of fluvially transported tephra created new patches of damaged forest in riparian zones of streams draining the north flank and along the Rio Rayas and Rio Chaiten. These features parallel observations in the intensively-studied, post-1980-eruption landscape of Mount St. Helens over a similar time period. However, several aspects of ecological response to the two eruptions differ because of differences

  2. Implications of land-use change on forest carbon stocks in the eastern United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puhlick, Joshua; Woodall, Christopher; Weiskittel, Aaron

    2017-02-01

    Given the substantial role that forests play in removing CO2 from the atmosphere, there has been a growing need to evaluate the carbon (C) implications of various forest management and land-use decisions. Although assessment of land-use change is central to national-level greenhouse gas monitoring guidelines, it is rarely incorporated into forest stand-level evaluations of C dynamics and trajectories. To better inform the assessment of forest stand C dynamics in the context of potential land-use change, we used a region-wide repeated forest inventory (n = 71 444 plots) across the eastern United States to assess forest land-use conversion and associated changes in forest C stocks. Specifically, the probability of forest area reduction between 2002–2006 and 2007–2012 on these plots was related to key driving factors such as proportion of the landscape in forest land use, distance to roads, and initial forest C. Additional factors influencing the actual reduction in forest area were then used to assess the risk of forest land-use conversion to agriculture, settlement, and water. Plots in forests along the Great Plains had the highest periodic (approximately 5 years) probability of land-use change (0.160 ± 0.075; mean ± SD) with forest conversion to agricultural uses accounting for 70.5% of the observed land-use change. Aboveground forest C stock change for plots with a reduction in forest area was ‑4.2 ± 17.7 Mg ha‑1 (mean ± SD). The finding that poorly stocked stands and/or those with small diameter trees had the highest probability of conversion to non-forest land uses suggests that forest management strategies can maintain the US terrestrial C sink not only in terms of increased net forest growth but also retention of forest area to avoid conversion. This study highlights the importance of considering land-use change in planning and policy decisions that seek to maintain or enhance regional C sinks.

  3. Different season, different strategies: Feeding ecology of two syntopic forest-dwelling salamanders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sebastiano, Salvidio; Antonio, Romano; Fabrizio, Oneto; Dario, Ottonello; Roberta, Michelon

    2012-08-01

    Trophic niche may be the most important ecological dimension for some vertebrate groups and in particular for terrestrial amphibians, that are important predators of soil invertebrates. In general, resource partitioning occurs between syntopic species with similar ecological niches, and coexistence patterns seem to be regulated by temporal resource variability. However most of the generalization on foraging strategies of terrestrial salamanders are extrapolated from studies on New World temperate species, thus we investigated the seasonal effect of resource variation in an European forest ecosystem, in which two ecologically similar but phylogenetically distinct salamander species are found. The diet of adult and juvenile cave salamanders (Speleomantes strinati), and of adult spectacled salamander (Salamandrina perspicillata) was obtained by stomach flushing, and results showed large seasonal changes both in prey availability and in salamander realised trophic niche. Values of trophic diversity were similar and niche overlaps were large among all salamander groups in spring, during high prey availability. Conversely in autumn, when a two-fold reduction in prey biomass was observed, there was a clear niche partitioning as the smaller S. perspicillata shifted from a generalist to a specialized trophic strategy. Juvenile Speleomantes strinatii, that largely overlapped in size with S. perspicillata, did not show any change in diet, suggesting that the feeding strategies were species-specific and not size-mediated. The observed patterns of variation in feeding ecology indicate that similar predators may react differently to changing prey availability to enhance niche partitioning. We also observed an increased energy intake during autumn for S perspicillata and S. strinatii juveniles, possibly related to differences in microhabitat use and activity patterns.

  4. Developing a Forest Health Index for public engagement and decision support using local climatic, ecological, and socioeconomic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnott, J. C.; Katzenberger, J.; Cundiff, J.

    2013-12-01

    Forest health is an oft-used term without a generally accepted definition. Nonetheless, the concept of forest health continues to permeate scientific, resource management, and public discourse, and it is viewed as a helpful communication device for engagement on issues of concern to forests and their surrounding communities. Notwithstanding the challenges associated with defining the concept of 'forest health,' we present a model for assessing forest health at a watershed scale. Utilizing the Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado--a mountain watershed of 640,000 forested acres--as a case study, we have created a Forest Health Index that integrates a range of climatic, ecological, and socioeconomic data into an assessment organized along a series of public goals including, 1) Ecosystem Services, 2) Public Health & Safety, 3) Sustainable Use & Management, and 4) Ecological Integrity. Methods for this index were adopted from an earlier effort called the Ocean Health Index by Halpern et al, 2012. Indicators that represent drivers of change, such as temperature and precipitation, as well as effects of change, such as primary productivity and phenology, were selected. Each indicator is assessed by comparing a current status of that indicator to a reference scenario obtained through one of the following methods: a) statistical analysis of baseline data from the indicator record, b) commonly accepted normals, thresholds, limits, concentrations, etc., and c) subjective expert judgment. The result of this assessment is a presentation of graphical data and accompanying ratings that combine to form an index of health for the watershed forest ecosystem. We find this product to have potential merit for communities working to assess the range of conditions affecting forest health as well as making sense of the outcomes of those affects. Here, we present a description of the index methodology, data results from engagement with forest watershed stakeholders, example results of data

  5. The Ecological Implications of Light at Night (LAN)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henshaw, Colin

    2015-08-01

    Summary: Light at night (LAN) is now an established environmental problem, not only for astronomers but for the population at large. It has serious ecological effects that are wide ranging, and its environmental effects may be more serious than ever imagined. The ecological and environmental consequences are examined and emphasis is stressed on resolving the problem before it is too late.Introduction: A casual glance at NASA images of the Earth at night1 reveals the lights of thousands of cities. The larger cities will contain millions of street lights, along with commercial, sports and decorative lighting. Most of these lights are on all night, every night, three hundred and sixty-five nights a year, (fig 1), so they must be having a measurable ecological and environmental effect. The most obvious effect of all this excessive lighting is the light pollution suffered by astronomers.

  6. Mixed-Forest Species Establishment in a Monodominant Forest in Central Africa: Implications for Tropical Forest Invasibility

    PubMed Central

    Peh, Kelvin S.-H.; Sonké, Bonaventure; Séné, Olivier; Djuikouo, Marie-Noël K.; Nguembou, Charlemagne K.; Taedoumg, Hermann; Begne, Serge K.; Lewis, Simon L.

    2014-01-01

    Background Traits of non-dominant mixed-forest tree species and their synergies for successful co-occurrence in monodominant Gilbertiodendron dewevrei forest have not yet been investigated. Here we compared the tree species diversity of the monodominant forest with its adjacent mixed forest and then determined which fitness proxies and life history traits of the mixed-forest tree species were most associated with successful co-existence in the monodominant forest. Methodology/Principal Findings We sampled all trees (diameter in breast height [dbh]≥10 cm) within 6×1 ha topographically homogenous areas of intact central African forest in SE Cameroon, three independent patches of G. dewevrei-dominated forest and three adjacent areas (450–800 m apart). Monodominant G. dewevrei forest had lower sample-controlled species richness, species density and population density than its adjacent mixed forest in terms of stems with dbh≥10 cm. Analysis of a suite of population-level characteristics, such as relative abundance and geographical distribution, and traits such as wood density, height, diameter at breast height, fruit/seed dispersal mechanism and light requirement–revealed after controlling for phylogeny, species that co-occur with G. dewevrei tend to have higher abundance in adjacent mixed forest, higher wood density and a lower light requirement. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that certain traits (wood density and light requirement) and population-level characteristics (relative abundance) may increase the invasibility of a tree species into a tropical closed-canopy system. Such knowledge may assist in the pre-emptive identification of invasive tree species. PMID:24844914

  7. Managing artisanal and small-scale mining in forest areas: perspectives from a poststructural political ecology.

    PubMed

    Hirons, Mark

    2011-01-01

    Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) is an activity intimately associated with social deprivation and environmental degradation, including deforestation. This paper examines ASM and deforestation using a broadly poststructural political ecology framework. Hegemonic discourses are shown to consistently influence policy direction, particularly in emerging approaches such as Corporate Social Responsibility and the Forest Stewardship Council. A review of alternative discourses reveals that the poststructural method is useful for critiquing the international policy arena but does not inform new approaches. Synthesis of the analysis leads to conclusions that echo a growing body of literature advocating for policies to become increasingly sensitive to local contexts, synergistic between actors at difference scales, and to be integrated across sectors.

  8. Forest trees in human modified landscapes: ecological and genetic drivers of recruitment failure in Dysoxylum malabaricum (Meliaceae).

    PubMed

    Ismail, Sascha A; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Ravikanth, Gudasalamani; Kushalappa, Cheppudira G; Uma Shaanker, Ramanan; Kettle, Chris J

    2014-01-01

    Tropical agro-forest landscapes are global priority areas for biodiversity conservation. Little is known about the ability of these landscapes to sustain large late successional forest trees upon which much forest biodiversity depends. These landscapes are subject to fragmentation and additional habitat degradation which may limit tree recruitment and thus compromise numerous ecosystem services including carbon storage and timber production. Dysoxylum malabaricum is a large canopy tree species in the Meliaceae, a family including many important tropical timber trees. This species is found in highly fragmented forest patches within a complex agro-forest landscape of the Western Ghats biodiversity hot spot, South India. In this paper we combined a molecular assessment of inbreeding with ecological and demographic data to explore the multiple threats to recruitment of this tree species. An evaluation of inbreeding, using eleven microsatellite loci in 297 nursery-reared seedlings collected form low and high density forest patches embedded in an agro-forest matrix, shows that mating between related individuals in low density patches leads to reduced seedling performance. By quantifying habitat degradation and tree recruitment within these forest patches we show that increasing canopy openness and the increased abundance of pioneer tree species lead to a general decline in the suitability of forest patches for the recruitment of D. malabaricum. We conclude that elevated inbreeding due to reduced adult tree density coupled with increased degradation of forest patches, limit the recruitment of this rare late successional tree species. Management strategies which maintain canopy cover and enhance local densities of adult trees in agro-forest mosaics will be required to ensure D. malabaricum persists in these landscapes. Our study highlights the need for a holistic understanding of the incipient processes that threaten populations of many important and rare tropical tree

  9. Hurricane Impacts on Ecological Services and Economic Values of Coastal Urban Forest: A Case Study of Pensacola, Florida

    EPA Science Inventory

    As urbanized areas continue to grow and green spaces dwindle, the importance of urban forests increases for both ecologically derived health benefits and for their potential to mitigate climate change. This study examined pre- and post- hurricane conditions of Pensacola's urban f...

  10. Climate and hydrological changes in the northeastern United States: recent trends and implications for forested and aquatic ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Huntington, Thomas G.; Richardson, Andrew D.; McGuire, Kevin J.; Hayhoe, Katharine

    2009-01-01

    We review twentieth century and projected twenty-first century changes in climatic and hydrologic conditions in the northeastern United States and the implications of these changes for forest ecosystems. Climate warming and increases in precipitation and associated changes in snow and hydrologic regimes have been observed over the last century, with the most pronounced changes occurring since 1970. Trends in specific climatic and hydrologic variables differ in their responses spatially (e.g., coastal vs. inland) and temporally (e.g., spring vs. summer). Trends can differ depending on the period of record analyzed, hinting at the role of decadal-scale climatic variation that is superimposed over the longer-term trend. Model predictions indicate that continued increases in temperature and precipitation across the northeastern United States can be expected over the next century. Ongoing increases in growing season length (earlier spring and later autumn) will most likely increase evapotranspiration and frequency of drought. In turn, an increase in the frequency of drought will likely increase the risk of fire and negatively impact forest productivity, maple syrup production, and the intensity of autumn foliage coloration. Climate and hydrologic changes could have profound effects on forest structure, composition, and ecological functioning in response to the changes discussed here and as described in related articles in this issue of the Journal.

  11. Aesthetic Implications of the New Paradigm in Ecology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simus, Jason Boaz

    2008-01-01

    The new paradigm in ecology emphasizes dynamic change, disturbance, and nonequilibrium in natural systems, and it presents some challenges for contemporary environmental aesthetics, one of which has to do with the thesis known as "scientific cognitivism." Scientific cognitivism holds that appropriate aesthetic appreciation of nature must be…

  12. Forest in My Neighborhood: An Exercise Using Aerial Photos to Engage Students in Forest Ecology & Land Use History

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matlack, Glenn R.; McEwan, Ryan W.

    2008-01-01

    Human activity has profoundly altered the deciduous forest of the eastern United States. Modern forest is a patchwork of stands of varying ages, sizes, and shapes reflecting a complex history of land use. Much modern forest is nestled in and around human communities, and faces the threat of imminent clearance for residential and commercial…

  13. Distribution, Fraction, and Ecological Assessment of Heavy Metals in Sediment-Plant System in Mangrove Forest, South China Sea.

    PubMed

    Li, Ruili; Chai, Minwei; Qiu, Guo Yu

    2016-01-01

    Overlying water, sediment, rhizosphere sediment and mangrove seedlings in the Futian mangrove forest were analyzed for heavy metals. The results showed that mangrove plant acidified sediment and increased organic matter contents. Except for chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni) and copper (Cu) in Aegiceras corniculatum sediment, heavy metals in all sediments were higher than in overlying water, rhizosphere sediment and mangrove root. Heavy metals in Avicennia marina sediments were higher than other sediments. The lower heavy metal biological concentration factors (BCFs) and translocation factors (TFs) indicated that mangrove plant adopted exclusion strategy. The geo-accumulation index, potential ecological risk index and risk assessment code (RAC) demonstrated that heavy metals have posed a considerable ecological risk, especially for cadmium (Cd). Heavy metals (Cr, Ni, Cu and Cd) mainly existed in the reducible fractions. These findings provide actual heavy metal accumulations in sediment-plant ecosystems in mangrove forest, being important in designing the long-term management and conservation policies for managers of mangrove forest.

  14. The Welfare Implications of Using Exotic Tortoises as Ecological Replacements

    PubMed Central

    Griffiths, Christine J.; Zuël, Nicolas; Tatayah, Vikash; Jones, Carl G.; Griffiths, Owen; Harris, Stephen

    2012-01-01

    Background Ecological replacement involves the introduction of non-native species to habitats beyond their historical range, a factor identified as increasing the risk of failure for translocations. Yet the effectiveness and success of ecological replacement rely in part on the ability of translocatees to adapt, survive and potentially reproduce in a novel environment. We discuss the welfare aspects of translocating captive-reared non-native tortoises, Aldabrachelys gigantea and Astrochelys radiata, to two offshore Mauritian islands, and the costs and success of the projects to date. Methodology/Principal Findings Because tortoises are long-lived, late-maturing reptiles, we assessed the progress of the translocation by monitoring the survival, health, growth, and breeding by the founders. Between 2000 and 2011, a total of 26 A. gigantea were introduced to Ile aux Aigrettes, and in 2007 twelve sexually immature A. gigantea and twelve male A. radiata were introduced to Round Island, Mauritius. Annual mortality rates were low, with most animals either maintaining or gaining weight. A minimum of 529 hatchlings were produced on Ile aux Aigrettes in 11 years; there was no potential for breeding on Round Island. Project costs were low. We attribute the success of these introductions to the tortoises’ generalist diet, habitat requirements, and innate behaviour. Conclusions/Significance Feasibility analyses for ecological replacement and assisted colonisation projects should consider the candidate species’ welfare during translocation and in its recipient environment. Our study provides a useful model for how this should be done. In addition to serving as ecological replacements for extinct Mauritian tortoises, we found that releasing small numbers of captive-reared A. gigantea and A. radiata is cost-effective and successful in the short term. The ability to release small numbers of animals is a particularly important attribute for ecological replacement projects since

  15. Feeding ecology of Saguinus bicolor bicolor (Callitrichidae: Primates) in a relict forest in Manaus, Brazilian Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Egler, S G

    1992-01-01

    This study is part of a long-term ecological study of habitat and dietary requirements of the pied bare-face tamarin (Saguinus bicolor bicolor). One group was studied for 11 months in an area of secondary forest in a suburb of Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil. Three main vegetation types occurred inside the group's home range (12 ha): capoeira, older secondary forest and campinarana (white sand forest). The tamarins ate fruits (21 species), flowers (1 species), exudates (4 species), and arthropods (insects and spiders). They spent 14.3% of total activity time seeking and eating animal prey, and 9.9% feeding on plant material, mostly fruits. In general, fruits consumed were ripe, small and succulent. Trees used for feeding were low and had small crown diameters. Three plant species (Protium aracouchinni, Myrcia cf. fallax, and Couma utilis) were used intensively during the three seasons covered by the study period. The concentrated use of 3 fruit species, each for an extended period (one fruiting species per season), provided the tamarins with a regular food supply. Tamarins consumed exudates from holes in the bark of trees of the families Anacardiaceae and Vochysiaceae, as well as gum exuded from seed pods of Mimosaceae. Exudates were exploited during the dry season and at the beginning of the wet season. Group travel was primarily based on routes connecting the fruiting trees exploited, with foraging for animal prey occurring during travel. Tamarins searched for arthropods on trunks, branches and leaves and in trunk holes. The foraging and feeding tactics displayed by S. b. bicolor are closely linked to morphological characteristics (small size and weight, claw-like nails) that allowed access to energy-rich resources (arthropods and plant exudates) in different strata of the vegetation.

  16. The Tropical Ecology, Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network: An early warning system for tropical rain forests.

    PubMed

    Rovero, Francesco; Ahumada, Jorge

    2017-01-01

    While there are well established early warning systems for a number of natural phenomena (e.g. earthquakes, catastrophic fires, tsunamis), we do not have an early warning system for biodiversity. Yet, we are losing species at an unprecedented rate, and this especially occurs in tropical rainforests, the biologically richest but most eroded biome on earth. Unfortunately, there is a chronic gap in standardized and pan-tropical data in tropical forests, affecting our capacity to monitor changes and anticipate future scenarios. The Tropical Ecology, Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network was established to contribute addressing this issue, as it generates real time data to monitor long-term trends in tropical biodiversity and guide conservation practice. We present the Network and focus primarily on the Terrestrial Vertebrates protocol, that uses systematic camera trapping to detect forest mammals and birds, and secondarily on the Zone of Interaction protocol, that measures changes in the anthroposphere around the core monitoring area. With over 3 million images so far recorded, and managed using advanced information technology, TEAM has created the most important data set on tropical forest mammals globally. We provide examples of site-specific and global analyses that, combined with data on anthropogenic disturbance collected in the larger ecosystem where monitoring sites are, allowed us to understand the drivers of changes of target species and communities in space and time. We discuss the potential of this system as a candidate model towards setting up an early warning system that can effectively anticipate changes in coupled human-natural system, trigger management actions, and hence decrease the gap between research and management responses. In turn, TEAM produces robust biodiversity indicators that meet the requirements set by global policies such as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Standardization in data collection and public sharing of data in near real time

  17. Satellite images as primers to target priority areas for field surveys of indicators of ecological sustainability in tropical forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aguilar-Amuchastegui, Naikoa

    Sustainable management of tropical forests has been identified as one of the main objectives for global conservation of carbon stocks. In order to achieve this, managers need tools to establish whether or not their management practices are sustainable. Several tool development initiatives have undertaken the creation of sets of criteria and indicators to aid managers to target, if not achieve, sustainability. The question of how to assess these indicators remains to be answered from an operational viewpoint, where logistical constraints become critical and priorization becomes necessary. The present dissertation sought to determine whether satellite imagery can be used, in conjunction with standard forest management data, to identify priority areas for field surveys of indicators of ecological sustainability of managed tropical forests. It presents a novel approach to the assessment of CIFOR indicator I.2.1.2: "The change in diversity of habitats as a result of human interventions is maintained within critical limits as defined by natural variation and/or regional conservation objectives" by means of semivariography of remote sensing data. It shows the Wide Dynamic Range Vegetation Index (WDRVI) is a good alternative for the detection and quantification of tropical forests structural heterogeneity and its dynamic change. The differences observed between forest management units and natural areas forest structural heterogeneity were used to identify priority areas for field survey of ecological sustainability indicators and evaluate how these priorities were reflected in dung beetles community structure and composition. The link between forest structural heterogeneity dynamic change, forest logging intensity and dung beetle community structure and composition is established. A logging intensity threshold of 4 trees per hectare is identified as the limit between significant or not significant differences in forest structure dynamic changes and dung beetles community

  18. Ecohydrological Implications of Drought for U.S. Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vose, J. M.; Miniat, C.; Luce, C.; Asbjornsen, H.; Caldwell, P. V.; Campbell, J. L.; Grant, G.; Isaak, D.; Sun, G.; Steven, L. I.

    2015-12-01

    The relationships among drought, surface water flow, and groundwater recharge are not straightforward for most forest ecosystems due to the strong role that vegetation plays in the forest water balance. Hydrologic responses to drought can be either mitigated or exacerbated by forest vegetation depending upon vegetation water use and how drought affects forest population dynamics. Because different species and functional groups vary in their ecophysiological traits that influence water use patterns, changes in species assemblages can alter hydrological processes from the stand to the watershed scales. Recent warming trends and more prolonged and frequent droughts have accelerated the spread and intensity of insect attacks in the western US that kill nearly all of the canopy trees within forest stands, changing the energy balance of the land surface and affecting many hydrologic processes. In contrast, some eastern forest tree species and size classes can tolerate drought better than others, suggesting the potential for drought-mediated shifts in both species composition and structure. Drought-related shifts in species composition may impact streamflow; however, predicting how these changes will impact hydrologic processes at larger spatial scales presents a considerable challenge. The biogeochemical consequences of drought are closely linked to changes in vegetation and hydrology. For example, droughts can have a concentrating effect on solutes in stream water due to the limited volume of water. As with other natural disturbances, droughts are difficult to prepare for because they are unpredictable. However, there are management options that may be implemented to minimize the impacts of drought on water quantity and quality. Examples include reducing leaf area by thinning and regenerating cut forests with species that consume less water.

  19. On the ecohydrologic implications of changing forests, climates and societies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tyler, Scott; Wheelock, Shawn; Grant, Gordon; Nadler, Cara; Sladek, Chris; Staudacher, Matt; Young, Dave; Adkins, Paula

    2014-05-01

    Management of forest resources in the 21st century face major challenges in the world as a result of population pressures, changing climate and changing perceptions on the role of forests in ecohydrology. In Mediterranean climates, forest management now significantly strives to reduce fire risk through reduction of fuel loads through the hot and dry summers. However, the impacts of these practices on the ecohydrologic response of forests and their biota show widely varying (in space and time) results. While tree removal at first glance, will decrease evapotranspiration and yield greater water for either runoff or infiltration; secondary impacts such as increased snow translocation/ablation and greater radiation to the snowpack may counteract these changes in the hydrologic budget. In this work, we present detailed soil, water and vegetative monitoring data from two of the most common modern forest management practices (selective thinning and group selection) in California to determine the impacts of these approaches on the annual water and energy budgets. In addition to traditional hydraulic and meteorological measurements, the site utilizes fiber-optic sensing to measure the daily evolution of snow storage, low-cost airborne photogrammetry via drones, simple remote photography, as well as wireless mesh and real time data transmission from the remote site.

  20. Carbon, biodiversity, and livelihoods in forest commons: synergies, trade-offs, and implications for REDD+

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newton, Peter; Oldekop, Johan A.; Brodnig, Gernot; Karna, Birendra K.; Agrawal, Arun

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the relationships and tradeoffs among management outcomes in forest commons has assumed new weight in the context of parallels between the objectives of community forest management and those of reduced emissions for deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) programs to reduce carbon emissions while supporting local livelihoods. We examine the association between biophysical, demographic, institutional and socio-economic variables and three distinct forest management outcomes of interest to both community forestry and REDD+ advocates—carbon storage, biodiversity conservation, and livelihood benefits—in 56 forest commons in Nepal. REDD+ programs aim foremost to increase forest carbon storage and sequestration, but also seek to improve forest biodiversity, and to contribute to local livelihood benefits. The success of REDD+ programs can therefore be defined by improvements in one or more of these dimensions, while satisfying the principle of ‘do no harm’ in the others. We find that each outcome is associated with a different set of independent variables. This suggests that there is a need for policy-makers to clearly define their desired outcomes and to target their interventions accordingly. Our research points to the complex ways in which different factors relate to forest outcomes and has implications for the large number of cases where REDD+ projects are being implemented in the context of community forestry.

  1. Changing Forest Land Use in the Pacific Northwest and Implications for Ecosystem Processes (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Law, B. E.; Hudiburg, T. W.; Yang, Z.

    2013-12-01

    Human use of forests in the Pacific Northwest US has evolved from underburning for wildlife habitat, to clearing for subsistence living, and an emphasis on timber production. In Oregon, forests older than 200 years now occupy less than 1 percent of private land that accounts for half the forest area, and ranges from 15 to almost 60 percent of public lands depending on the ecoregion. The Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) was implemented on public lands in 1993 as a region-wide forest management regime intended to conserve species at risk from extensive harvest of older forests. The result was an 82 percent reduction in harvest removals on public forest lands, and subsequently, public forestland became a carbon sink while private forest remained near carbon neutral. Currently, forest management on public lands in the PNW emphasizes widespread thinning of forests to reduce wildfire risk, and thinning and slash removal for bioenergy production. In addition, several states have set ambitious GHG reduction targets. These policies are being implemented even though many aspects have not been adequately assessed for the effects on forests. CLM4 simulations over Oregon show that by the year 2100, net carbon uptake increases by 32-68% depending on the climate and CO2 scenario, suggesting that enhanced productivity from a warmer climate and CO2 fertilization compensates for disturbance losses if business-as-usual management continues. Water cycle implications are also considered. Simulated repeat thinnings were applied in areas susceptible to fire to reduce mortality and fire emissions, and clearcut rotations were applied in productive forests to provide biomass for both wood products and bioenergy. CLM input to a Life Cycle Assessment, which tracks emissions off-site, shows that none of the scenarios reduce regional net CO2 emissions to the atmosphere by the end of the 21st century. Thinning dry forests to reduce potential fire emissions led to no net change in emissions from BAU

  2. An Ecological Framework for Cancer Communication: Implications for Research

    PubMed Central

    Intille, Stephen S; Zabinski, Marion F

    2005-01-01

    The field of cancer communication has undergone a major revolution as a result of the Internet. As recently as the early 1990s, face-to-face, print, and the telephone were the dominant methods of communication between health professionals and individuals in support of the prevention and treatment of cancer. Computer-supported interactive media existed, but this usually required sophisticated computer and video platforms that limited availability. The introduction of point-and-click interfaces for the Internet dramatically improved the ability of non-expert computer users to obtain and publish information electronically on the Web. Demand for Web access has driven computer sales for the home setting and improved the availability, capability, and affordability of desktop computers. New advances in information and computing technologies will lead to similarly dramatic changes in the affordability and accessibility of computers. Computers will move from the desktop into the environment and onto the body. Computers are becoming smaller, faster, more sophisticated, more responsive, less expensive, and—essentially—ubiquitous. Computers are evolving into much more than desktop communication devices. New computers include sensing, monitoring, geospatial tracking, just-in-time knowledge presentation, and a host of other information processes. The challenge for cancer communication researchers is to acknowledge the expanded capability of the Web and to move beyond the approaches to health promotion, behavior change, and communication that emerged during an era when language- and image-based interpersonal and mass communication strategies predominated. Ecological theory has been advanced since the early 1900s to explain the highly complex relationships among individuals, society, organizations, the built and natural environments, and personal and population health and well-being. This paper provides background on ecological theory, advances an Ecological Model of Internet

  3. Long-term colonization ecology of forest-dwelling species in a fragmented rural landscape – dispersal versus establishment

    PubMed Central

    Lõhmus, Kertu; Paal, Taavi; Liira, Jaan

    2014-01-01

    Species colonization in a new habitat patch is an efficiency indicator of biodiversity conservation. Colonization is a two-step process of dispersal and establishment, characterized by the compatibility of plant traits with landscape structure and habitat conditions. Therefore, ecological trait profiling of specialist species is initially required to estimate the relative importance of colonization filters. Old planted parks best satisfy the criteria of a newly created and structurally matured habitat for forest-dwelling plant species. We sampled species in 230 ancient deciduous forests (source habitat), 74 closed-canopy manor parks (target habitats), 151 linear wooded habitats (landscape corridors), and 97 open habitats (isolating matrix) in Estonia. We defined two species groups of interest: forest (107 species) and corridor specialists (53 species). An extra group of open habitat specialists was extracted for trait scaling. Differing from expectations, forest specialists have high plasticity in reproduction mechanisms: smaller seeds, larger dispersules, complementary selfing ability, and diversity of dispersal vectors. Forest specialists are shorter, less nutrient-demanding and mycorrhizal-dependent, stress-tolerant disturbance-sensitive competitors, while corridor specialists are large-seeded disturbance-tolerant competitors. About 40% of species from local species pools have immigrated into parks. The historic forest area, establishment-related traits, and stand quality enhance the colonization of forest specialists. The openness of landscape and mowing in the park facilitate corridor specialists. Species traits in parks vary between a forest and corridor specialist, except for earlier flowering and larger propagules. Forest species are not dispersal limited, but they continue to be limited by habitat properties even in the long term. Therefore, the shady parts of historic parks should be appreciated as important forest biodiversity-enhancing landscape

  4. Geotechnology and landscape ecology applied to the selection of potential forest fragments for seed harvesting.

    PubMed

    Santos, Alexandre Rosa Dos; Antonio Alvares Soares Ribeiro, Carlos; de Oliveira Peluzio, Telma Machado; Esteves Peluzio, João Batista; de Queiroz, Vagner Tebaldi; Figueira Branco, Elvis Ricardo; Lorenzon, Alexandre Simões; Domingues, Getulio Fonseca; Marcatti, Gustavo Eduardo; de Castro, Nero Lemos Martins; Teixeira, Thaisa Ribeiro; Dos Santos, Gleissy Mary Amaral Dino Alves; Santos Mota, Pedro Henrique; Ferreira da Silva, Samuel; Vargas, Rozimelia; de Carvalho, José Romário; Macedo, Leandro Levate; da Silva Araújo, Cintia; de Almeida, Samira Luns Hatum

    2016-12-01

    The Atlantic Forest biome is recognized for its biodiversity and is one of the most threatened biomes on the planet, with forest fragmentation increasing due to uncontrolled land use, land occupation, and population growth. The most serious aspect of the forest fragmentation process is the edge effect and the loss of biodiversity. In this context, the aim of this study was to evaluate the dynamics of forest fragmentation and select potential forest fragments with a higher degree of conservation for seed harvesting in the Itapemirim river basin, Espírito Santo State, Brazil. Image classification techniques, forest landscape ecology, and multi-criteria analysis were used to evaluate the evolution of forest fragmentation to develop the landscape metric indexes, and to select potential forest fragments for seed harvesting for the years 1985 and 2013. According to the results, there was a reduction of 2.55% of the occupancy of the fragments in the basin between the years 1985 and 2013. For the years 1985 and 2013, forest fragment units 2 and 3 were spatialized with a high potential for seed harvesting, representing 6.99% and 16.01% of the total fragments, respectively. The methodology used in this study has the potential to be used to support decisions for the selection of potential fragments for seed harvesting because selecting fragments in different environments by their spatial attributes provides a greater degree of conservation, contributing to the protection and conscious management of the forests. The proposed methodology can be adapted to other areas and different biomes of the world.

  5. Long-term colonization ecology of forest-dwelling species in a fragmented rural landscape - dispersal versus establishment.

    PubMed

    Lõhmus, Kertu; Paal, Taavi; Liira, Jaan

    2014-08-01

    Species colonization in a new habitat patch is an efficiency indicator of biodiversity conservation. Colonization is a two-step process of dispersal and establishment, characterized by the compatibility of plant traits with landscape structure and habitat conditions. Therefore, ecological trait profiling of specialist species is initially required to estimate the relative importance of colonization filters. Old planted parks best satisfy the criteria of a newly created and structurally matured habitat for forest-dwelling plant species. We sampled species in 230 ancient deciduous forests (source habitat), 74 closed-canopy manor parks (target habitats), 151 linear wooded habitats (landscape corridors), and 97 open habitats (isolating matrix) in Estonia. We defined two species groups of interest: forest (107 species) and corridor specialists (53 species). An extra group of open habitat specialists was extracted for trait scaling. Differing from expectations, forest specialists have high plasticity in reproduction mechanisms: smaller seeds, larger dispersules, complementary selfing ability, and diversity of dispersal vectors. Forest specialists are shorter, less nutrient-demanding and mycorrhizal-dependent, stress-tolerant disturbance-sensitive competitors, while corridor specialists are large-seeded disturbance-tolerant competitors. About 40% of species from local species pools have immigrated into parks. The historic forest area, establishment-related traits, and stand quality enhance the colonization of forest specialists. The openness of landscape and mowing in the park facilitate corridor specialists. Species traits in parks vary between a forest and corridor specialist, except for earlier flowering and larger propagules. Forest species are not dispersal limited, but they continue to be limited by habitat properties even in the long term. Therefore, the shady parts of historic parks should be appreciated as important forest biodiversity-enhancing landscape

  6. Chemical ecology of Xyleborus glabratus and implications for monitoring and management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Abstract Chemical ecology of Xyleborus glabratus and implications for monitoring and management Paul E. Kendra, Wayne S. Montgomery, Jerome Niogret, Elena Q. Schnell, and Nancy D. Epsky USDA-ARS, Subtropical Horticulture Research Station, 13601 Old Cutler Rd., Miami, FL 33158 The redbay ambrosia b...

  7. Mass and energy budgets of animals: Behavioral and ecological implications

    SciTech Connect

    Porter, W.P.

    1991-11-01

    The two major aims of our lab are as follows: First, to develop and field-test general mechanistic models that predict animal life history characteristics as influenced by climate and the physical, physiological behavioral characteristics of species. This involves: understanding how animal time and energy budgets are affected by climate and animal properties; predicting growth and reproductive potential from time and energy budgets; predicting mortality based on climate and time and energy budgets; and linking these individual based models to population dynamics. Second to conduct empirical studies of animal physiological ecology, particularly the effects of temperature on time and energy budgets. The physiological ecology of individual animals is the key link between the physical environment and population-level phenomena. We address the macroclimate to microclimate linkage on a broad spatial scale; address the links between individuals and population dynamics for lizard species; test the endotherm energetics and behavior model using beaver; address the spatial variation in climate and its effects on individual energetics, growth and reproduction; and address patchiness in the environment and constraints they may impose on individual energetics, growth and reproduction. These projects are described individually in the following section. 24 refs., 9 figs.

  8. Law No. 2 relating to the conservation, protection, and development of forests, their rational economic exploitation, and the preservation of the ecological equilibrium, 30 October 1987.

    PubMed

    1988-01-01

    This Law provides that the preservation and protection of forests constitute a issue of national interest to Romania and that the defense and improvement of the ecological equilibrium of the environment by preserving and protecting forests constitute a basic duty of state bodies, cooperatives, and all citizens. Among the methods of preserving the forests are the following: 1) the limitation of woodcutting; 2) the use of wood harvesting and collection techniques that do not affect the ecological equilibrium; 3) afforestation; and 4) the prevention of damage to forests and forest soil. The Law contains detailed chapters on the preservation and development of forests and the promotion of certain tree varieties and on the regeneration of forests. The Law also sets forth penalties for infractions.

  9. Strontium-90 at the Hanford Site and its ecological implications

    SciTech Connect

    RE Peterson; TM Poston

    2000-05-22

    Strontium-90, a radioactive contaminant from historical operations at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Hanford Site, enters the Columbia River at several locations associated with former plutonium production reactors at the Site. Strontium-90 is of concern to humans and the environment because of its moderately long half-life (29.1 years), its potential for concentrating in bone tissue, and its relatively high energy of beta decay. Although strontium-90 in the environment is not a new issue for the Hanford Site, recent studies of near-river vegetation along the shoreline near the 100 Areas raised public concern about the possibility of strontium-90-contaminated groundwater reaching the riverbed and fall chinook salmon redds. To address these concerns, DOE asked Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to prepare this report on strontium-90, its distribution in groundwater, how and where it enters the river, and its potential ecological impacts, particularly with respect to fall chinook salmon. The purpose of the report is to characterize groundwater contaminants in the near-shore environment and to assess the potential for ecological impact using salmon embryos, one of the most sensitive ecological indicators for aquatic organisms. Section 2.0 of the report provides background information on strontium-90 at the Hanford Site related to historical operations. Public access to information on strontium-90 also is described. Section 3.0 focuses on key issues associated with strontium-90 contamination in groundwater that discharges in the Hanford Reach. The occurrence and distribution of fall chinook salmon redds in the Hanford Reach and characteristics of salmon spawning are described in Section 4.0. Section 5.0 describes the regulatory standards and criteria used to set action levels for strontium-90. Recommendations for initiating additional monitoring and remedial action associated with strontium-90 contamination at the Hanford Site are presented in Section 6

  10. Management of Philippine tropical forests: Implications to global warming

    SciTech Connect

    Lasco, R.D.

    1997-12-31

    The first part of the paper presents the massive changes in tropical land management in the Philippines as a result of a {open_quotes}paradigm shift{close_quotes} in forestry. The second part of the paper analyzes the impacts of the above management strategies on global warming, in general, preserved forests are neither sinks not sources of greenhouse gasses (GHG). Reforestation activities are primarily net sinks of carbon specially the use of fast growing reforestation species. Estimates are given for the carbon-sequestering ability of some commonly used species. The last part of the paper policy recommendations and possible courses of action by the government to maximize the role of forest lands in the mitigation of global warming. Private sector initiatives are also explored.

  11. Tracing the first step to speciation: ecological and genetic differentiation of a salamander population in a small forest.

    PubMed

    Steinfartz, Sebastian; Weitere, Markus; Tautz, Diethard

    2007-11-01

    Mechanisms and processes of ecologically driven adaptive speciation are best studied in natural situations where the splitting process is still occurring, i.e. before complete reproductive isolation is achieved. Here, we present a case of an early stage of adaptive differentiation under sympatric conditions in the fire salamander, Salamandra salamandra, that allows inferring the underlying processes for the split. Larvae of S. salamandra normally mature in small streams until metamorphosis, but in an old, continuous forest area near Bonn (the Kottenforst), we found salamander larvae not only in small streams but also in shallow ponds, which are ecologically very different from small streams. Common-environment experiments with larvae from both habitat types reveal specific adaptations to these different ecological conditions. Mitochondrial and microsatellite analyses show that the two ecologically differentiated groups also show signs of genetic differentiation. A parallel analysis of animals from a neighbouring much larger forest area (the Eifel), in which larvae mature only in streams, shows no signs of genetic differentiation, indicating that gene flow between ecologically similar types can occur over large distances. Hence, geographical factors cannot explain the differential larval habitat adaptations in the Kottenforst, in particular since adult life and mating of S. salamandra is strictly terrestrial and not associated with larval habitats. We propose therefore that the evolution of these adaptations was coupled with the evolution of cues for assortative mating which would be in line with models of sympatric speciation that suggest a co-evolution of habitat adaptations and associated mating signals.

  12. Fire disturbance and climate change: implications for Russian forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shuman, Jacquelyn K.; Foster, Adrianna C.; Shugart, Herman H.; Hoffman-Hall, Amanda; Krylov, Alexander; Loboda, Tatiana; Ershov, Dmitry; Sochilova, Elena

    2017-03-01

    Change in the Russian boreal forest has the capacity to alter global carbon and climate dynamics. Fire disturbance is an integral determinant of the forest’s composition and structure, and changing climate conditions are expected to create more frequent and severe fires. Using the individual tree-based forest gap model UVAFME, along with an updated fire disturbance module that tracks mortality based on tree-species and –size level effects, biomass and species dynamics are simulated across Russia for multiple scenarios: with and without fire, and with and without altered climate. Historical fire return intervals and percent of forest stand mortality are calculated for the Russian eco-regions and applied to 31 010 simulation points across Russia. Simulation results from the scenarios are compared to assess changes in biomass, composition, and stand structure after 600 years of successional change following bare-ground initiation. Simulations that include fire disturbance show an increase in biomass across the region compared to equivalent simulations without fire. Fire disturbance allows the deciduous needle-leaved conifer larch to maintain dominance across much of the region due to their high growth rate and fire tolerance relative to other species. Larch remain dominant under the scenario of altered climate conditions with fire disturbance. The distribution of age cohorts shifts for the scenario of altered climate with fire disturbance, displaying a bimodal distribution with a peak of 280-year-old trees and another of 100-year-old cohorts. In these simulations, fire disturbance acts to increase the turnover rate and patterns of biomass accumulation, though species and tree size are also important factors in determining mortality and competitive success. These results reinforce the importance of the inclusion of complex competition at the species level in evaluating forest response to fire and climate.

  13. Onshore energetics in penguins: theory, estimation and ecological implications.

    PubMed

    Halsey, Lewis G; White, Craig R; Fahlman, Andreas; Handrich, Yves; Butler, Patrick J

    2007-08-01

    Penguins are known to have high pedestrian locomotory costs in comparison to other cursorial birds, but the ecological consequences of this difference have received limited attention. Here we present a method for the accurate estimation of onshore energetics based on measurements of body mass, simple morphometrics and distance moved. The method is shown to be similarly accurate to other field-based estimates of energy expenditure, but has the advantage of logistical simplicity. King penguins spend 30-50% of their time ashore and may walk distances of several kilometres to and from their breeding colonies. However, in such cases the total energetic cost of pedestrian locomotion is estimated to be only 1.0% of the energy expended whilst ashore. Thus, despite a high instantaneous cost, pedestrian locomotion is a small and possibly negligible component of total energy turnover in king penguins.

  14. Ecological implications of bovine tuberculosis in African Buffalo herds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Caron, Alex; Cross, Paul C.; Du Toit, J.T.

    2003-01-01

    Following the recent invasion of bovine tuberculosis (BTB) into the Kruger National Park, South Africa, we conducted a study on the maintenance host, African buffalo, to investigate associations between BTB prevalence and calf:cow ratio, age structure, body condition, and endoparasite load. Statistical analyses compared herds of zero, medium (1–40%), and high (>40%) BTB prevalence. To control for ecological variation across the park we collected data in northern, central, and southern regions and restricted some analyses to particular regions of the park. Body condition declined over the course of the 2001 dry season, and buffaloes in the southern region of the park, with the highest BTB prevalence, were in worse condition than buffaloes in the northern region (which receives less annual rainfall but is still virtually BTB-free). Herd-level analyses of the entire park, the south and central regions, and just the southern region all indicated that herds of higher BTB prevalence were in worse condition and lost condition faster through the dry season than herds of lower BTB prevalence. Fecal endoparasite egg counts increased during the dry season and were associated with both decreased body condition and increased BTB prevalence. Although we did not detect any obvious effect of BTB on the age structure of the buffalo population, our findings indicate early symptoms of wider scale BTB-related ecological disturbances: buffalo herds with high BTB prevalence appear more vulnerable to drought (because of a decrease in body condition and an increase in endoparasite load), and because lions selectively kill weak buffaloes their prey base is accumulating a disproportionately high prevalence of BTB, to which lions are susceptible.Rea10.1890/02-5266d More: http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs

  15. Feeding ecology of bonobos living in forest-savannah mosaics: Diet seasonal variation and importance of fallback foods.

    PubMed

    Serckx, Adeline; Kühl, Hjalmar S; Beudels-Jamar, Roseline C; Poncin, Pascal; Bastin, Jean-François; Huynen, Marie-Claude

    2015-05-13

    Primates along with many other animal taxa are forced to cope with large shifts in basic ecological conditions because of rapid anthropogenically induced changes of their habitats. One of the coping strategies for primates is to adjust their diet to these changes, and several studies have demonstrated the importance of fallback resources for this. Bonobos, like chimpanzees, might be particularly vulnerable to habitat fragmentation because of their high dependence on fruit availability. Little is known, however, about bonobo feeding ecology in fragmented habitats and their use of fallback resources. In this study, we investigate diet seasonal variation and the exploitation of preferred and fallback foods in a bonobo population living in forest-savannah mosaics. Results show that bonobos have adapted to this fragmented habitat by feeding on only a few fruit species, including an important number of non-tree species (liana, herb and savannah shrub), in comparison to populations living in dense forests. These non-tree plants have been defined as fallback and non-preferred foods, which are most probably consumed to maintain high frugivory. Interestingly, we identified that preferred foods are all typical of mature forests while fallback resources are mainly found in forest edges or disturbed areas. This finding indicates that bonobos prefer to use mature forests when feeding, as they do for nesting, but extend their range use to forest areas in close proximity to humans when the availability of preferred fruits is low. Finally, we show that bonobo diet relies heavily on two abundant fallback fruits: Musanga cecropioides and Marantochloa leucantha. Other studies have demonstrated that the selection of abundant fallback resources enables primates to subsist at high densities and to maintain cohesive groups, as observed at this study site. Our findings suggest that bonobos living in forest-savannah mosaics can be considered as staple fallback food consumers. Am. J

  16. Phylogenetic position of Guihaiothamnus (Rubiaceae): its evolutionary and ecological implications.

    PubMed

    Xie, Peiwu; Tu, Tieyao; Razafimandimbison, Sylvain G; Zhu, Chengjie; Zhang, Dianxiang

    2014-09-01

    Guihaiothamnus (Rubiaceae) is an enigmatic, monotypic genus endemic to southwestern China. Its generic status has never been doubted because it is morphologically unique by having rosette habit, showy, long-corolla-tubed flowers, and multi-seeded indehiscent berry-like fruits. The genus has been postulated to be a relict in the broad-leaved forests of China, and to be related to the genus Wendlandia, which was placed in the subfamily Cinchonoideae and recently classified in the tribe Augusteae of the subfamily Dialypetalanthoideae. Using combined evidence from palynology, cytology, and DNA sequences of nuclear ITS and four plastid markers (rps16, trnT-F, ndhF, rbcL), we assessed the phylogenetic position of Guihaiothamnus in Rubiaceae. Our molecular phylogenetic analyses placed the genus deeply nested within Wendlandia. This relationship is corroborated by evidence from palynology and cytology. Using a relaxed molecular clock method based on five fossil records, we dated the stem age of Wendlandia to be 17.46 my and, the split between G. acaulis and related Wendlandia species in southwestern China to be 2.11mya. This young age, coupled with the derived position in Wendlandia, suggests an evolutionary derivation rather than an evolutionary relict of G. acaulis. Its rosette habit and large showy flowers, which are very distinctive from other Wendlandias, are interpreted as a result of recent rapid adaptation to rock and cliff habitats.

  17. Big Cypress fox squirrel (Sciurus niger avicennia) ecology and habitat use in a cypress dome swamp-pine forest mosaic.

    PubMed

    Kellam, John O; Jansen, Deborah K; Johnson, Annette T; Arwood, Ralph W; Merrick, Melissa J; Koprowski, John L

    2016-01-20

    Forested wetlands are in decline, as are many species that are obligate residents. Big Cypress fox squirrels (BCFS; Sciurus niger avicennia) are a threatened endemic to wet pine and cypress forests in southwestern Florida. The region is characterized by development resulting in habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and hydrological change that influence the quality of these wet forests. Through radiotelemetry and field observations, we examined the ecology and habitat use of BCFS in a natural cypress dome-pine forest mosaic. BCFS selected cypress domes for food and nests throughout the year. Cypress dome habitats were the only habitat type to be used more than available; however, the availability of nearby pine forest was also important. Home ranges were large relative to other tree squirrels, with male home ranges exceeding female ranges. Males overlapped more females than males, while sharing similar food preferences and use patterns with females, suggesting that the sexual dimorphism in home range size is related to mate searching. Roads and oil extraction pads were used less frequently than expected and were incorporated into home ranges less than randomly generated features. The importance of cypress domes within the wet forests and grasslands of Big Cypress National Preserve demonstrates the value of maintaining this delicate mosaic.

  18. Big Cypress fox squirrel (Sciurus niger avicennia) ecology and habitat use in a cypress dome swamp-pine forest mosaic

    PubMed Central

    Kellam, John O.; Jansen, Deborah K.; Johnson, Annette T.; Arwood, Ralph W.; Merrick, Melissa J.; Koprowski, John L.

    2016-01-01

    Forested wetlands are in decline, as are many species that are obligate residents. Big Cypress fox squirrels (BCFS; Sciurus niger avicennia) are a threatened endemic to wet pine and cypress forests in southwestern Florida. The region is characterized by development resulting in habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and hydrological change that influence the quality of these wet forests. Through radiotelemetry and field observations, we examined the ecology and habitat use of BCFS in a natural cypress dome-pine forest mosaic. BCFS selected cypress domes for food and nests throughout the year. Cypress dome habitats were the only habitat type to be used more than available; however, the availability of nearby pine forest was also important. Home ranges were large relative to other tree squirrels, with male home ranges exceeding female ranges. Males overlapped more females than males, while sharing similar food preferences and use patterns with females, suggesting that the sexual dimorphism in home range size is related to mate searching. Roads and oil extraction pads were used less frequently than expected and were incorporated into home ranges less than randomly generated features. The importance of cypress domes within the wet forests and grasslands of Big Cypress National Preserve demonstrates the value of maintaining this delicate mosaic. PMID:26989265

  19. Mass and energy budgets of animals: Behavioral and ecological implications

    SciTech Connect

    Porter, W.P.

    1993-01-01

    The common goal of these diverse projects is to understand the mechanisms of how animal populations respond to the continual changes in their environment in both time and space. Our models are mechanistic allowing us to explore how a wide array of environmental variables may determine individual performance. Large scale climate change and its effect on animal populations can be seen as quantitative extensions of biological responses to smaller scales of environmental variability. Changes in developmental rates or reproductive levels of individuals, extension or contraction of geographic ranges, and modification of community organization have all been documented in response to previous changes in habitats. We know from our biophysical work that some changes in function are driven by microclimate conditions directly, and some are mediated indirectly through ecological parameters such as the food supply. Our research is guided by a comprehensive conceptual scheme of the interaction of an animal with its environment. The physical and physiological properties of the organism, and the range of available microclimates, set bounds on the performance of organismal function, such as growth, reproduction, storage, and behavior. To leave the most offspring over a lifetime, animals must perform those functions in a way that maximizes the amount of resources devoted to reproduction. Maximizing the total size of the budget and minimizing those budget items not devoted to reproduction are crucial. Animals trade off among expenditures for current and future reproduction. Both water and energy are important, potentially limiting resources. Projects described here include empirical studies and theoretical models.

  20. Environmental Escherichia coli: Ecology and public health implications - A review

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jang, Jeonghwan; Hur, Hor-Gil; Sadowsky, Michael J.; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara; Yan, Tao; Ishii, Satoshi

    2017-01-01

    Escherichia coli is classified as a rod-shaped, Gram-negative bacterium in the family Enterobacteriaceae. The bacterium mainly inhabits the lower intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals, including humans, and is often discharged into the environment through feces or wastewater effluent. The presence of E. coli in environmental waters has long been considered as an indicator of recent fecal pollution. However, numerous recent studies have reported that some specific strains of E. coli can survive for long periods of time, and potentially reproduce, in extra-intestinal environments. This indicates that E. coli can be integrated into indigenous microbial communities in the environment. This naturalization phenomenon calls into question the reliability of E. coli as a fecal indicator bacterium (FIB). Recently, many studies reported that E. coli populations in the environment are affected by ambient environmental conditions affecting their long-term survival. Large-scale studies of population genetics provide the diversity and complexity of E. coli strains in various environments, affected by multiple environmental factors. This review examines the current knowledge on the ecology of E. coli strains in various environments in regards to its role as a FIB and as a naturalized member of indigenous microbial communities. Special emphasis is given on the growth of pathogenic E. coli in the environment, and the population genetics of environmental members of the genus Escherichia. The impact of environmental E. coli on water quality and public health is also discussed.

  1. Untested pesticide mitigation requirements: ecological, agricultural, and legal implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vyas, Nimish B.

    2013-01-01

    Every pesticide sold in the United States must have a U.S. Environmental Agency approved label on its container. The label provides directions for the pesticide’s use and is legally enforceable under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. For a pesticide with high ecological risks, mitigation statements may be included on the label to reduce the pesticide’s risks and to support its registration. Many mitigation mandates are easy to implement and are effective, however, at times, well-intentioned but novel and untested mitigation requirements, though theoretically sound, may not be perceived by the pesticide users to be practical under operational settings. Courts of law recognize the pesticide label as a legal document, therefore it is imperative that the label mitigation mandates be achievable. I use the rodenticide Rozol label to illustrate how an untested risk mitigation mandate may be considered too burdensome by pesticide users whereby the mitigation action may not be implemented in the field, resulting in label violation and unreasonable risks to the environment.

  2. Ecological and evolutionary implications of food subsidies from humans.

    PubMed

    Oro, Daniel; Genovart, Meritxell; Tavecchia, Giacomo; Fowler, Mike S; Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro

    2013-12-01

    Human activities are the main current driver of global change. From hunter-gatherers through to Neolithic societies-and particularly in contemporary industrialised countries-humans have (voluntarily or involuntarily) provided other animals with food, often with a high spatio-temporal predictability. Nowadays, as much as 30-40% of all food produced in Earth is wasted. We argue here that predictable anthropogenic food subsidies (PAFS) provided historically by humans to animals has shaped many communities and ecosystems as we see them nowadays. PAFS improve individual fitness triggering population increases of opportunistic species, which may affect communities, food webs and ecosystems by altering processes such as competition, predator-prey interactions and nutrient transfer between biotopes and ecosystems. We also show that PAFS decrease temporal population variability, increase resilience of opportunistic species and reduce community diversity. Recent environmental policies, such as the regulation of dumps or the ban of fishing discards, constitute natural experiments that should improve our understanding of the role of food supply in a range of ecological and evolutionary processes at the ecosystem level. Comparison of subsidised and non-subsidised ecosystems can help predict changes in diversity and the related ecosystem services that have suffered the impact of other global change agents.

  3. Distribution, fraction, and ecological risk assesment of heavy metals in sediment-plant system in mangrove forest, South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    LI, R.; Shen, X.; Li, Y. H.; Chai, M. W.; Qiu, G. Y.

    2015-12-01

    Overlying water, sediment, rhizosphere sediment and mangrove seedlings in Futian mangrove forest were analyzed for heavy metals. The results showed that mangrove plant acidified sediment and increased organic matter contents. Except for chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni) and copper (Cu) in Aegiceras corniculatum sediment, heavy metals in all sediments were higher than in overlying water, rhizosphere sediment and mangrove root. Heavy metals in Avicennia marina sediments were higher than other sediments. The lower heavy metal biological concentration factors (BCFs) and translocation factors (TFs) indicated that mangrove plant adopted exclusion strategy. The geo-accumulation index, potential ecological risk index and risk assessment code (RAC) demonstrated that heavy metals have posed a considerable ecological risk, especially for cadmium (Cd). Heavy metals (Cr, Ni, Cu and Cd) mainly existed in the reducible fractions. The RAC values of heavy metals indicated that heavy metals have posed a considerable ecological risk to the biota, especially for Cd. These findings provide actual heavy metal accumulations in sediment-plant ecosystems in mangrove forest, being important in designing the long-term management and conservation policies for managers of mangrove forest.

  4. [Forest ecosystem services and their ecological valuation--a case study of tropical forest in Jianfengling of Hainan Island].

    PubMed

    Xiao, H; Ouyang, Z; Zhao, J; Wang, X

    2000-08-01

    This paper attempts to present forest ecosystem services and their indirect economic value of Jianfengling tropical forest in Hainan Island. The results show that average annual integrated ecosystem service value of Jianfengling tropical forest, which covers 44667.00 hm2, adds up to 664.38 million yuan(Chinese RMB), of which, about 71.64 million yuan is of the output of standing trees and other forest products, about 394.29 million yuan of water-holding, about 2.47 million yuan of soil conservation against erosion, about 13.16 million yuan of carbon fixation for reducing green house effect, about 4.29 million yuan of nutrient retention for N, P, K, Ca and Mg, about 178.53 million yuan of air purification.

  5. Climatic change and its ecological implications at a subantarctic island.

    PubMed

    Smith, V R; Steenkamp, Marianna

    1990-11-01

    Marion Island (47°S, 38°E) has one of the most oceanic climates on earth, with consistently low air temperatures, high precipitation, constantly high humidity, and low incident radiation. Since 1968 mean surface air temperature has increased significantly, by 0.025° C year(-1). This was strongly associated with corresponding changes in sea surface temperature but only weakly, or not at all, with variations in radiation and precipitation. We suggest that changing sealevel (atmospheric and oceanic) circulation patterns in the region underlie all of these changes. Sub-Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems are characterized by being species-poor and having a simple trophic structure. Marion Island is no exception and a scenario is presented of the implications of climatic change for the structure and functioning of its ecosystem. Primary production on the island is high and consequently the vegetation has a large annual requirement for nutrients. There are no macroherbivores and even the insects play only a small role as herbivores, so most of the energy and nutrients incorporated in primary production go through a detritus, rather than grazing, cycle. Ameliorating temperatures and increasing CO2 levels are expected to increase productivity and nutrient demand even further. However, most of the plant communities occur on soils which have especially low available levels of nutrients and nutrient mineralization from organic reserves is the main bottleneck in nutrient cycling and primary production. Increasing temperatures will not significantly enhance microbially-mediated mineralization rates since soil microbiological processes on the island are strongly limited by waterlogging, rather than by temperature. The island supports large numbers of soil macro-arthropods, which are responsible for most of the nutrient release from peat and litter. The activities of these animals are strongly temperature dependent and increasing temperature will result in enhanced nutrient

  6. Climate change implications of shifting forest management strategy in a boreal forest ecosystem of Norway.

    PubMed

    Bright, Ryan M; Antón-Fernández, Clara; Astrup, Rasmus; Cherubini, Francesco; Kvalevåg, Maria; Strømman, Anders H

    2014-02-01

    Empirical models alongside remotely sensed and station measured meteorological observations are employed to investigate both the local and global direct climate change impacts of alternative forest management strategies within a boreal ecosystem of eastern Norway. Stand-level analysis is firstly executed to attribute differences in daily, seasonal, and annual mean surface temperatures to differences in surface intrinsic biophysical properties across conifer, deciduous, and clear-cut sites. Relative to a conifer site, a slight local cooling of −0.13 °C at a deciduous site and −0.25 °C at a clear-cut site were observed over a 6-year period, which were mostly attributed to a higher albedo throughout the year. When monthly mean albedo trajectories over the entire managed forest landscape were taken into consideration, we found that strategies promoting natural regeneration of coniferous sites with native deciduous species led to substantial global direct climate cooling benefits relative to those maintaining current silviculture regimes – despite predicted long-term regional warming feedbacks and a reduced albedo in spring and autumn months. The magnitude and duration of the cooling benefit depended largely on whether management strategies jointly promoted an enhanced material supply over business-as-usual levels. Expressed in terms of an equivalent CO2 emission pulse at the start of the simulation, the net climate response at the end of the 21st century spanned −8 to −159 Tg-CO2-eq., depending on whether near-term harvest levels increased or followed current trends, respectively. This magnitude equates to approximately −20 to −300% of Norway's annual domestic (production) emission impact. Our analysis supports the assertion that a carbon-only focus in the design and implementation of forest management policy in boreal and other climatically similar regions can be counterproductive – and at best – suboptimal if boreal forests are to be used as a

  7. Hurricane Katrina-induced forest damage in relation to ecological factors at landscape scale.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fugui; Xu, Y Jun

    2009-09-01

    Forest stand stability to strong winds such as hurricanes has been found to be associated with a number of forest, soil and topography factors. In this study, through applying geographic information system (GIS) and logit regression, we assessed effects of forest characteristics and site conditions on pattern, severity and probability of Hurricane Katrina disturbance to forests in the Lower Pearl River Valley, USA. The factors included forest type, forest coverage, stand density, soil great group, elevation, slope, aspect, and stream buffer zone. Results showed that Hurricane Katrina damaged 60% of the total forested land in the region. The distribution and intensity of the hurricane disturbance varied across the landscape, with the bottomland hardwood forests on river floodplains most severely affected. All these factors had a variety of effects on vulnerability of the forests to the hurricane disturbance and thereby spatial patterns of the disturbance. Soil groups and stand factors including forest types, forest coverage and stand density contributed to 85% of accuracy in modeling the probability of the hurricane disturbance to forests in this region. Besides assessment of Katrina's damage, this study elucidates the great usefulness of remote sensing and GIS techniques combined with statistics modeling in assessment of large-scale risks of hurricane damage to coastal forests.

  8. Mass and energy budgets of animals: Behavioral and ecological implications

    SciTech Connect

    Porter, W.P.

    1989-08-01

    We are now beginning a long term exploration of environmental constraints on continent-wide growth and reproduction in ectotherms and endotherms. We have begun to study a new lizard species, Cnemidophorus sexlineatus, an active forager with a wide geographic distribution. Our state-of-the-art vacuum gas analysis system continues to function well, and we are using doubly labeled wear routinely in our research to test our first principle calculations of field metabolism and water loss. The computer controlled respirometer system routinely measures respiratory gases and body temperatures in small living mammals. We have just added two more species of mammals, Gerbillus allenbyi and Gerbillus pyramidum from Israel, to the list of 9 species of mammals and two species of birds for which we have successfully tested the dry fur model. We use gas respirometry in the laboratory and doubly labeled water in the field to verify the calculations of our models. We continue to focus on the dynamics of interactions between environmental and animal variance and their implications for growth and reproduction and the links between environmental effects on organisms and population dynamics. 9 refs., 14 figs.

  9. Can extractive reserves save the rain forest: A ecological and socioeconomic comparison of non-timber forest product extraction systems in Peten, Guatemala, and West Kalimantan, Indonesia

    SciTech Connect

    Salafsky, N.; Dugelby, B.L.; Terborgh, J.W.

    1992-04-01

    Extractive reserves in tropical rain forests, in which only non-timber products are harvested, have been heralded by some conservationists as a means of maintaining biodiversity while providing income for local people. The study of extraction systems in Peten, Guatemala, and in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, leads to a more tempered conclusion, for while the Peten program was quite successful, the Kalimantan program was not. The study finds the success of an extractive reserve to be contingent on: (1) ecological conditions, and (2) socioeconomic and political factors. Although the study focuses on market-oriented extractive reserves, many of the issues discussed apply as well to other land uses such as the collection of non-timber forest products for household consumption or small-scale timber extraction.

  10. Dry Season Rainfall Anomalies due to Deforestation in Northern Mesoamerica: Implications for Forest Sustainability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welch, R. M.; Ray, D. K.; Lawton, R. O.; Nair, U.

    2005-12-01

    life zones, estimated March rainfall deficits are >25 mm. Dry season deforested habitats tend to have higher daytime temperatures, are less cloudy, have lower estimated soil moisture and lower values of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) than do forested habitats in the same life zone. The result is hotter and drier air over deforested regions, with lower values of cloud formation and precipitation. The data suggest that deforestation is locally intensifying the dry season and increasing the risk of fire, especially for the long corridor connecting regions. In addition, forest regeneration in some parts of the MBC may not result in second-growth forest that is characteristic of that life zone but rather in forest regeneration more typical of drier conditions. The extent to which this would influence the conservation utility of any given corridor depends upon the ecological requirements of the organisms concerned.

  11. Ecological traits affect the response of tropical forest bird species to land-use intensity.

    PubMed

    Newbold, Tim; Scharlemann, Jörn P W; Butchart, Stuart H M; Sekercioğlu, Cağan H; Alkemade, Rob; Booth, Hollie; Purves, Drew W

    2013-01-07

    Land-use change is one of the main drivers of current and likely future biodiversity loss. Therefore, understanding how species are affected by it is crucial to guide conservation decisions. Species respond differently to land-use change, possibly related to their traits. Using pan-tropical data on bird occurrence and abundance across a human land-use intensity gradient, we tested the effects of seven traits on observed responses. A likelihood-based approach allowed us to quantify uncertainty in modelled responses, essential for applying the model to project future change. Compared with undisturbed habitats, the average probability of occurrence of bird species was 7.8 per cent and 31.4 per cent lower, and abundance declined by 3.7 per cent and 19.2 per cent in habitats with low and high human land-use intensity, respectively. Five of the seven traits tested affected the observed responses significantly: long-lived, large, non-migratory, primarily frugivorous or insectivorous forest specialists were both less likely to occur and less abundant in more intensively used habitats than short-lived, small, migratory, non-frugivorous/insectivorous habitat generalists. The finding that species responses to land use depend on their traits is important for understanding ecosystem functioning, because species' traits determine their contribution to ecosystem processes. Furthermore, the loss of species with particular traits might have implications for the delivery of ecosystem services.

  12. Morphology, secretion composition, and ecological aspects of stipular colleters in Rubiaceae species from tropical forest and savanna.

    PubMed

    Tresmondi, Fernanda; Nogueira, Anselmo; Guimarães, Elza; Machado, Silvia Rodrigues

    2015-12-01

    Colleters are secretory structures that produce and release mucilage or a mucilage-resin mixture protecting meristems and young structures against desiccation, herbivores, and pathogens. The secretions may vary in colleters of same or different types, indicating that the functionality of colleters may be more specific than previously thought. In this study, we compared 17 Rubiaceae species from savanna and forest environment focusing on colleter secretions and its ecological role. First, we evaluated the morphology, distribution, and histochemistry of stipular colleters using light and scanning electron microscopy. Additionally, we investigated the phenology, microclimate, and the proportion of damaged apices in the savanna and forest species. We recorded standard-type colleters, variable in distribution and size, in 14 of the 17 studied species. The secretion varied from predominantly hydrophilic, mixed to predominantly lipophilic. During the budding period, secretion covered the vegetative apices. Savanna species had a prevalence of lipid secretion in habitats with higher luminosity, which had a lower proportion of damaged apices. In contrast, forest species occurred in habitats with lower luminosity and had a higher proportion of damaged apices, in general with the absence of lipids in the colleters. These results highlight that colleters with similar morphology clearly differed in secretions among species, especially between species from savanna and forest, in which the colleters appear potentially associated with protection against irradiation in savanna, but not in the forest environment.

  13. Morphology, secretion composition, and ecological aspects of stipular colleters in Rubiaceae species from tropical forest and savanna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tresmondi, Fernanda; Nogueira, Anselmo; Guimarães, Elza; Machado, Silvia Rodrigues

    2015-12-01

    Colleters are secretory structures that produce and release mucilage or a mucilage-resin mixture protecting meristems and young structures against desiccation, herbivores, and pathogens. The secretions may vary in colleters of same or different types, indicating that the functionality of colleters may be more specific than previously thought. In this study, we compared 17 Rubiaceae species from savanna and forest environment focusing on colleter secretions and its ecological role. First, we evaluated the morphology, distribution, and histochemistry of stipular colleters using light and scanning electron microscopy. Additionally, we investigated the phenology, microclimate, and the proportion of damaged apices in the savanna and forest species. We recorded standard-type colleters, variable in distribution and size, in 14 of the 17 studied species. The secretion varied from predominantly hydrophilic, mixed to predominantly lipophilic. During the budding period, secretion covered the vegetative apices. Savanna species had a prevalence of lipid secretion in habitats with higher luminosity, which had a lower proportion of damaged apices. In contrast, forest species occurred in habitats with lower luminosity and had a higher proportion of damaged apices, in general with the absence of lipids in the colleters. These results highlight that colleters with similar morphology clearly differed in secretions among species, especially between species from savanna and forest, in which the colleters appear potentially associated with protection against irradiation in savanna, but not in the forest environment.

  14. Ecological Shifts in Mediterranean Coralligenous Assemblages Related to Gorgonian Forest Loss

    PubMed Central

    Ponti, Massimo; Perlini, Rossella Angela; Ventra, Vincenzo; Grech, Daniele; Abbiati, Marco; Cerrano, Carlo

    2014-01-01

    Mediterranean gorgonian forests are threatened by several human activities and are affected by climatic anomalies that have led to mass mortality events in recent decades. The ecological role of these habitats and the possible consequence of their loss are poorly understood. Effects of gorgonians on the recruitment of epibenthic organisms were investigated by manipulating presence of gorgonians on experimental panels at 24 m depth, for Eunicella cavolinii, and at 40 m depth, for Paramuricea clavata, at two sites: Tavolara Island (Tyrrhenian Sea) and Portofino Promontory (Ligurian Sea). After 4 months, the most abundant taxa on the panels were encrusting green algae, erect red algae and crustose coralline algae at 24 m depth and encrusting brown algae and erect red algae at 40 m depth. Assemblages on the panels were significantly affected by the presence of the gorgonians, although effects varied across sites and between gorgonian species. Species diversity and evenness were lower on panels with gorgonian branches. Growth of erect algae and recruitment of serpulid polychaetes were also affected by the presence of the gorgonians, primarily at Tavolara. Crustose coralline algae and erect sponges were more abundant on E. cavolinii panels at 24 m depth, while encrusting bryozoans were more abundant on P. clavata panels at 40 m depth. Effects of gorgonians on recruited assemblages could be due to microscale modification of hydrodynamics and sediment deposition rate, or by a shading effect reducing light intensity. Gorgonians may also intercept settling propagules, compete for food with the filter-feeders and/or for space by producing allelochemicals. Presence of gorgonians mainly limits the growth of erect algae and enhances the abundance of encrusting algae and sessile invertebrates. Therefore, the gorgonian disappearances may cause a shift from assemblages characterised by crustose coralline algae to filamentous algae assemblages, decreasing complexity and resilience

  15. Modeling the influence of dynamic zoning of forest harvesting on ecological succession in a northern hardwoods landscape.

    PubMed

    Zollner, Patrick A; Gustafson, Eric J; He, Hong S; Radeloff, Volker C; Mladenoff, David J

    2005-04-01

    Dynamic zoning (systematic alteration in the spatial and temporal allocation of even-aged forest management practices) has been proposed as a means to change the spatial pattern of timber harvest across a landscape to maximize forest interior habitat while holding timber harvest levels constant. Simulation studies have established that dynamic zoning strategies produce larger tracts of interior, closed canopy forest, thus increasing the value of these landscapes for interior-dependent wildlife. We used the simulation model LANDIS to examine how the implementation of a dynamic zoning strategy would change trajectories of ecological succession in the Great Divide Ranger District of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in northern Wisconsin over 500 years. The components of dynamic zoning strategies (number of zones in a scenario and the length of the hiatus between successive entries into zones) and their interaction had highly significant impacts on patterns of forest succession. Dynamic zoning scenarios with more zones and shorter hiatus lengths increased the average amount of the forest dominated by early successional aspen (Populus sp.). Dynamic zoning scenarios with two zones produced more late successional mature northern hardwoods than scenarios with four zones. Dynamic zoning scenarios with very short (30 years) or very long (120 years) hiatus lengths resulted in more late successional mature northern hardwoods than scenarios with intermediate hiatus lengths (60 and 90 years). However, none of the dynamic scenarios produced as much late successional mature northern hardwoods as the static alternative. Furthermore, the amounts of all habitat types in all dynamic zoning scenarios fluctuated greatly in time and space relative to static alternatives, which could negatively impact wildlife species that require a stable amount of habitat above some minimum critical threshold. Indeed, implementing dynamic zoning scenarios of different designs would have both

  16. Socio-ecological costs of Amazon nut and timber production at community household forests in the Bolivian Amazon

    PubMed Central

    Mohren, Frits; Ascarrunz, Nataly; Dressler, Wolfram; Peña-Claros, Marielos

    2017-01-01

    The Bolivian Amazon holds a complex configuration of people and forested landscapes in which communities hold secure tenure rights over a rich ecosystem offering a range of livelihood income opportunities. A large share of this income is derived from Amazon nut (Bertholletia excelsa). Many communities also have long-standing experience with community timber management plans. However, livelihood needs and desires for better living conditions may continue to place these resources under considerable stress as income needs and opportunities intensify and diversify. We aim to identify the socioeconomic and biophysical factors determining the income from forests, husbandry, off-farm and two keystone forest products (i.e., Amazon nut and timber) in the Bolivian Amazon region. We used structural equation modelling tools to account for the complex inter-relationships between socioeconomic and biophysical factors in predicting each source of income. The potential exists to increase incomes from existing livelihood activities in ways that reduce dependency upon forest resources. For example, changes in off-farm income sources can act to increase or decrease forest incomes. Market accessibility, social, financial, and natural and physical assets determined the amount of income community households could derive from Amazon nut and timber. Factors related to community households’ local ecological knowledge, such as the number of non-timber forest products harvested and the number of management practices applied to enhance Amazon nut production, defined the amount of income these households could derive from Amazon nut and timber, respectively. The (inter) relationships found among socioeconomic and biophysical factors over income shed light on ways to improve forest-dependent livelihoods in the Bolivian Amazon. We believe that our analysis could be applicable to other contexts throughout the tropics as well. PMID:28235090

  17. Socio-ecological costs of Amazon nut and timber production at community household forests in the Bolivian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Soriano, Marlene; Mohren, Frits; Ascarrunz, Nataly; Dressler, Wolfram; Peña-Claros, Marielos

    2017-01-01

    The Bolivian Amazon holds a complex configuration of people and forested landscapes in which communities hold secure tenure rights over a rich ecosystem offering a range of livelihood income opportunities. A large share of this income is derived from Amazon nut (Bertholletia excelsa). Many communities also have long-standing experience with community timber management plans. However, livelihood needs and desires for better living conditions may continue to place these resources under considerable stress as income needs and opportunities intensify and diversify. We aim to identify the socioeconomic and biophysical factors determining the income from forests, husbandry, off-farm and two keystone forest products (i.e., Amazon nut and timber) in the Bolivian Amazon region. We used structural equation modelling tools to account for the complex inter-relationships between socioeconomic and biophysical factors in predicting each source of income. The potential exists to increase incomes from existing livelihood activities in ways that reduce dependency upon forest resources. For example, changes in off-farm income sources can act to increase or decrease forest incomes. Market accessibility, social, financial, and natural and physical assets determined the amount of income community households could derive from Amazon nut and timber. Factors related to community households' local ecological knowledge, such as the number of non-timber forest products harvested and the number of management practices applied to enhance Amazon nut production, defined the amount of income these households could derive from Amazon nut and timber, respectively. The (inter) relationships found among socioeconomic and biophysical factors over income shed light on ways to improve forest-dependent livelihoods in the Bolivian Amazon. We believe that our analysis could be applicable to other contexts throughout the tropics as well.

  18. Forest ecosystem management: An ecological, economic, and social assessment. Report of the forest ecosystem management assessment team

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-07-01

    The objectives based on the President's mandate and principles are to identify management alternatives that attain the greatest economic and social contribution from the forests of the region and meet the requirements of the applicable laws and regulations, including the Endangered Species Act, the National Forest Management Act, the Federal Land Policy Management Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act. The Ecosystem Management Assessment working group should explore adaptive management and silvicultural techniques and base its work on the best technical and scientific information currently available.

  19. Fire dynamics and implications for nitrogen cycling in boreal forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harden, Jennifer W.; Mack, Michelle; Veldhuis, Hugo; Gower, S. T.

    2003-02-01

    We used a dynamic, long-term mass balance approach to track cumulative carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) losses to fire in boreal Manitoba over the 6500 years since deglaciation. Estimated C losses to decomposition and fire, combined with measurements of N pools in mature and burned forest floors, suggest that loss of N by combustion has likely resulted in a long-term loss that exceeds the amount of N stored in soil today by 2 to 3 times. These estimates imply that biological N fixation rates could be as high as 5 to 10 times atmospheric deposition rates in boreal regions. At the site scale, the amount of N lost is due to N content of fuels, which varies by stand type and fire severity, which in turn vary with climate and fire dynamics. The interplay of fire frequency, fire severity, and N partitioning during regrowth are important for understanding rates and sustainability of nutrient and carbon cycling over millenia and over broad regions.

  20. Fire dynamics and implications for nitrogen cycling in boreal forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harden, Jennifer W.; Mack, Michelle; Veldhuis, Hugo; Gower, S. T.

    2002-02-01

    We used a dynamic, long-term mass balance approach to track cumulative carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) losses to fire in boreal Manitoba over the 6500 years since deglaciation. Estimated C losses to decomposition and fire, combined with measurements of N pools in mature and burned forest floors, suggest that loss of N by combustion has likely resulted in a long-term loss that exceeds the amount of N stored in soil today by 2 to 3 times. These estimates imply that biological N fixation rates could be as high as 5 to 10 times atmospheric deposition rates in boreal regions. At the site scale, the amount of N lost is due to N content of fuels, which varies by stand type and fire severity, which in turn vary with climate and fire dynamics. The interplay of fire frequency, fire severity, and N partitioning during regrowth are important for understanding rates and sustainability of nutrient and carbon cycling over millenia and over broad regions.

  1. Fire dynamics and implications for nitrogen cycling in boreal forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harden, J.W.; Mack, M.; Veldhuis, H.; Gower, S.T.

    2003-01-01

    We used a dynamic, long-term mass balance approach to track cumulative carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) losses to fire in boreal Manitoba over the 6500 years since deglaciation. Estimated C losses to decomposition and fire, combined with measurements of N pools in mature and burned forest floors, suggest that loss of N by combustion has likely resulted in a long-term loss that exceeds the amount of N stored in soil today by 2 to 3 times. These estimates imply that biological N fixation rates could be as high as 5 to 10 times atmospheric deposition rates in boreal regions. At the site scale, the amount of N lost is due to N content of fuels, which varies by stand type and fire severity, which in turn vary with climate and fire dynamics. The interplay of fire frequency, fire severity, and N partitioning during regrowth are important for understanding rates and sustainability of nutrient and carbon cycling over millenia and over broad regions.

  2. Ecology and evolution of gall-forming insects. Forest Service general technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Price, P.W.; Mattson, W.J.; Baranchikov, Y.N.

    1994-09-21

    ;Partial Contents: Ecology and Population Dynamics; Effects of the Physical Environment on the Ecology of Gall Insects; Biodiversity and Distribution; Genetic Variation in Host Plant Resistance; Evolutionary Perspectives on Gall Insects.

  3. Proximity to forests drives bird conservation value of coffee plantations: implications for certification.

    PubMed

    Anand, Mandyam Osuri; Krishnaswamy, Jagdish; Das, Arundhati

    2008-10-01

    Widespread loss of primary habitat in the tropics has led to increased interest in production landscapes for biodiversity conservation. In the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot in India, shade coffee plantations are located in close proximity to sites of high conservation value: protected and unprotected forests. Coffee is grown here under a tree canopy that may be dominated by native tree species or by nonnative species, particularly silver oak (Grevillea robusta). We investigated the influence of properties at the local scale and the landscape scale in determining bird communities in coffee plantations, with particular emphasis on species of conservation priority. We used systematic point counts in 11 coffee plantation sites and analyzed data in a randomized linear modeling framework that addressed spatial autocorrelation. Greater proportion of silver oak at the local scale and distance to contiguous forests at the landscape scale were implicated as factors most strongly driving declines in bird species richness and abundance, while increased basal area of native tree species, a local-scale variable, was frequently related to increased bird species richness and abundance. The influence of local-scale variables increased at greater distances from the forest. Distance to forests emerged as the strongest predictor of declines in restricted-range species, with 92% reduction in the abundance of two commonly encountered restricted-range species (Pompadour Green Pigeon and Yellow-browed Bulbul) and a 43% reduction in richness of bird species restricted to Indian hill forests within 8 km of forests. Increase in proportion of silver oak from 33% to 55% was associated with 91% reduction in the abundance of one commonly encountered restricted-range species (Crimson-fronted Barbet). One conservation strategy is providing incentives to grow coffee in a biodiversity-friendly manner. One implication of our study is that plantations located at varying distances to the forest

  4. Can global navigation satellite system signals reveal the ecological attributes of forests?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jingbin; Hyyppä, Juha; Yu, Xiaowei; Jaakkola, Anttoni; Liang, Xinlian; Kaartinen, Harri; Kukko, Antero; Zhu, Lingli; Wang, Yunsheng; Hyyppä, Hannu

    2016-08-01

    Forests have important impacts on the global carbon cycle and climate, and they are also related to a wide range of industrial sectors. Currently, one of the biggest challenges in forestry research is effectively and accurately measuring and monitoring forest variables, as the exploitation potential of forest inventory products largely depends on the accuracy of estimates and on the cost of data collection. A low-cost crowdsourcing solution is needed for forest inventory to collect forest variables. Here, we propose global navigation satellite system (GNSS) signals as a novel type of observables for predicting forest attributes and show the feasibility of utilizing GNSS signals for estimating important attributes of forest plots, including mean tree height, mean diameter at breast height, basal area, stem volume and tree biomass. The prediction accuracies of the proposed technique were better in boreal forest conditions than those of the conventional techniques of 2D remote sensing. More importantly, this technique provides a novel, cost-effective way of collecting large-scale forest measurements in the crowdsourcing context. This technique can be applied by, for example, harvesters or persons hiking or working in forests because GNSS devices are widely used, and the field operation of this technique is simple and does not require professional forestry skills.

  5. Management of Sequoiadendron giganteum and Sequoia sempervirens forests in the reserves of California - considerations of ecology and conservation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graber, D.M.

    1997-01-01

    Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), also known as 'Bigtree' and 'Sierra Redwood', is entirely restricted to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the State of California, while coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) is restricted to coastal northern California, extending northward slightly into the State of Oregon. Both charismatic species, members of the family Taxodiaceae, have served as important cultural icons in America, and both have played important roles in the history of nature conservation. The two species share important ecological similarities as well as significant differences; these ecological factors have become increasingly important in effecting their conservation, and in developing successful strategies for the long-term sustainable management of the forest communities in which they occur. The bulk of giant sequoia groves occur in reserves protected from logging, while only a small proportion of coast redwoods are similarly protected. For most of its history in the 20th century, conservation has been concerned with protecting uncut 'old-growth' forest stands of giant trees. While this remains of great concern to the public, scientists and reserve managers have, in recent decades, extended their interest to what is known as 'ecosystem management,' which includes all aspects of the natural ecosystems in which coast redwoods and giant sequoias occur. For the first time, attempts are presently beginning - in those areas outside the national parks, state parks, and other reserves, to reconcile some levels of timber harvest with the long-term sustainable preservation of the character and biodiversity of giant sequoia and redwood forests.

  6. Distribution, Fraction, and Ecological Assessment of Heavy Metals in Sediment-Plant System in Mangrove Forest, South China Sea

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ruili; Chai, Minwei; Qiu, Guo Yu

    2016-01-01

    Overlying water, sediment, rhizosphere sediment and mangrove seedlings in the Futian mangrove forest were analyzed for heavy metals. The results showed that mangrove plant acidified sediment and increased organic matter contents. Except for chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni) and copper (Cu) in Aegiceras corniculatum sediment, heavy metals in all sediments were higher than in overlying water, rhizosphere sediment and mangrove root. Heavy metals in Avicennia marina sediments were higher than other sediments. The lower heavy metal biological concentration factors (BCFs) and translocation factors (TFs) indicated that mangrove plant adopted exclusion strategy. The geo-accumulation index, potential ecological risk index and risk assessment code (RAC) demonstrated that heavy metals have posed a considerable ecological risk, especially for cadmium (Cd). Heavy metals (Cr, Ni, Cu and Cd) mainly existed in the reducible fractions. These findings provide actual heavy metal accumulations in sediment-plant ecosystems in mangrove forest, being important in designing the long-term management and conservation policies for managers of mangrove forest. PMID:26800267

  7. Fiber 3.0: An ecological growth model for northeastern forest types. Forest Service general technical report (Final)

    SciTech Connect

    Solomon, D.S.; Herman, D.A.; Leak, W.B.

    1995-05-22

    Fiber, a stand projection growth model, simulates the growth and structural development of stands in the Northeast. The internal structure of the model is specified and constructed by the ecological type classifications of sugar maple--ash, beech--red maple, oad--white pine, spruce--fir, hemlock--spruce, and cedar--black spruce. Guidelines are provided on operational procedures for the major commercial species growing on these different ecologic land classifications for a range of even-aged and uneven-aged silvicultural treatments and harvesting schedules.

  8. Varying rotation lengths in northern production forests: Implications for habitats provided by retention and production trees.

    PubMed

    Felton, Adam; Sonesson, Johan; Nilsson, Urban; Lämås, Tomas; Lundmark, Tomas; Nordin, Annika; Ranius, Thomas; Roberge, Jean-Michel

    2017-04-01

    Because of the limited spatial extent and comprehensiveness of protected areas, an increasing emphasis is being placed on conserving habitats which promote biodiversity within production forest. For this reason, alternative silvicultural programs need to be evaluated with respect to their implications for forest biodiversity, especially if these programs are likely to be adopted. Here we simulated the effect of varied rotation length and associated thinning regimes on habitat availability in Scots pine and Norway spruce production forests, with high and low productivity. Shorter rotation lengths reduced the contribution made by production trees (trees grown for industrial use) to the availability of key habitat features, while concurrently increasing the contribution from retention trees. The contribution of production trees to habitat features was larger for high productivity sites, than for low productivity sites. We conclude that shortened rotation lengths result in losses of the availability of habitat features that are key for biodiversity conservation and that increased retention practices may only partially compensate for this. Ensuring that conservation efforts better reflect the inherent variation in stand rotation lengths would help improve the maintenance of key forest habitats in production forests.

  9. Catastrophic ecosystem shifts in dry tropical forest: evidence, mechanisms and implications for climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawrence, D.; D'Odorico, P.; Runyan, C.; Diekmann, L.; DeLonge, M. S.; Das, R.; Eaton, J.; Vandecar, K.; Schmook, B.

    2015-12-01

    Tropical dry forests have long been used by humans. Has it been sustainable? Not in the southern Yucatan. Biomass accumulation declines with each cycle of shifting cultivation with implications for both internal recycling of nutrients and external inputs of nutrients. We detail the evidence for a decline in P inputs from biomass burning (aboveground biomass, litter, and coarse woody debris), an increase in leaching losses from deep soils, and a decline in atmospheric inputs of new P from Saharan dust following the transition from mature to secondary forest. Canopy trapping of dust is critical to maintaining P balance in this system. Effective trapping is diminished by changes in the structure of secondary forest--loss of height, leaf area and basal area. Experimental studies show that it is atmospheric transport of dust, not microbial shedding or leaching from live tissues, that explains the difference between throughfall P and P in bulk deposition. Because of net losses in P, uptake of carbon during regrowth is slower with each cycle of shifting cultivation. As much of the tropics has moved beyond a mature forest frontier, the decline in carbon sequestration is likely widespread over both dry and wet forests. The terrestrial carbon sink in the tropics may be declining. The capacity to sequester carbon through afforestation, reforestation and restoration has certainly diminished over time, limiting the effectiveness of such efforts to help mitigate climate change.

  10. Implications of differing input data sources and approaches upon forest carbon stock estimation.

    PubMed

    Wulder, Michael A; White, Joanne C; Stinson, Graham; Hilker, Thomas; Kurz, Werner A; Coops, Nicholas C; St-Onge, Benôit; Trofymow, J A Tony

    2010-07-01

    Site index is an important forest inventory attribute that relates productivity and growth expectation of forests over time. In forest inventory programs, site index is used in conjunction with other forest inventory attributes (i.e., height, age) for the estimation of stand volume. In turn, stand volumes are used to estimate biomass (and biomass components) and enable conversion to carbon. In this research, we explore the implications and consequences of different estimates of site index on carbon stock characterization for a 2,500-ha Douglas-fir-dominated landscape located on Eastern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. We compared site index estimates from an existing forest inventory to estimates generated from a combination of forest inventory and light detection and ranging (LIDAR)-derived attributes and then examined the resultant differences in biomass estimates generated from a carbon budget model (Carbon Budget Model of the Canadian Forest Sector (CBM-CFS3)). Significant differences were found between the original and LIDAR-derived site indices for all species types and for the resulting 5-m site classes (p < 0.001). The LIDAR-derived site class was greater than the original site class for 42% of stands; however, 77% of stands were within +/-1 site class of the original class. Differences in biomass estimates between the model scenarios were significant for both total stand biomass and biomass per hectare (p < 0.001); differences for Douglas-fir-dominated stands (representing 85% of all stands) were not significant (p = 0.288). Overall, the relationship between the two biomass estimates was strong (R(2) = 0.92, p < 0.001), suggesting that in certain circumstances, LIDAR may have a role to play in site index estimation and biomass mapping.

  11. Assessing the utility WorldView-2 imagery for tree species mapping in South African subtropical humid forest and the conservation implications: Dukuduku forest patch as case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cho, Moses Azong; Malahlela, Oupa; Ramoelo, Abel

    2015-06-01

    Indigenous forest biome in South Africa is highly fragmented into patches of various sizes (most patches < 1 km2). The utilization of timber and non-timber resources by poor rural communities living around protected forest patches produce subtle changes in the forest canopy which can be hardly detected on a timely manner using traditional field surveys. The aims of this study were to assess: (i) the utility of very high resolution (VHR) remote sensing imagery (WorldView-2, 0.5-2 m spatial resolution) for mapping tree species and canopy gaps in one of the protected subtropical coastal forests in South Africa (the Dukuduku forest patch (ca.3200 ha) located in the province of KwaZulu-Natal) and (ii) the implications of the map products to forest conservation. Three dominant canopy tree species namely, Albizia adianthifolia, Strychnos spp. and Acacia spp., and canopy gap types including bushes (grass/shrubby), bare soil and burnt patches were accurately mapped (overall accuracy = 89.3 ± 2.1%) using WorldView-2 image and support vector machine classifier. The maps revealed subtle forest disturbances such as bush encroachment and edge effects resulting from forest fragmentation by roads and a power-line. In two stakeholders' workshops organised to assess the implications of the map products to conservation, participants generally agreed amongst others implications that the VHR maps provide valuable information that could be used for implementing and monitoring the effects of rehabilitation measures. The use of VHR imagery is recommended for timely inventorying and monitoring of the small and fragile patches of subtropical forests in Southern Africa.

  12. Implications of the spatial dynamics of fire spread for the bistability of savanna and forest.

    PubMed

    Schertzer, E; Staver, A C; Levin, S A

    2015-01-01

    The role of fire in expanding the global distribution of savanna is well recognized. Empirical observations and modeling suggest that fire spread has a threshold response to fuel-layer continuity, which sets up a positive feedback that maintains savanna-forest bistability. However, modeling has so far failed to examine fire spread as a spatial process that interacts with vegetation. Here, we use simple, well-supported assumptions about fire spread as an infection process and its effects on trees to ask whether spatial dynamics qualitatively change the potential for savanna-forest bistability. We show that the spatial effects of fire spread are the fundamental reason that bistability is possible: because fire spread is an infection process, it exhibits a threshold response to fuel continuity followed by a rapid increase in fire size. Other ecological processes affecting fire spread may also contribute including temporal variability in demography or fire spread. Finally, including the potential for spatial aggregation increases the potential both for savanna-forest bistability and for savanna and forest to coexist in a landscape mosaic.

  13. Global change and landscape structure in Ukraine: Ecological and socio-economic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shvidenko, Anatoly; Lakyda, Petro; Schepaschenko, Dmitry; Vasylyshyn, Roman; Marchuk, Yuiry

    2013-04-01

    The current land cover of Ukraine is very heterogeneous. While on average forest covers 15.9% of its land, substantial part of the country is basically forestless. The agricultural potential of Ukraine is high. However, in spite of the fact that 68% of the arable land in Ukraine consists of the famous Ukrainian black soils (chernozems), the quality of the country's arable land (69.5% of the total land) is not satisfactory. The country has the highest over the globe share of the tilled land (~80% of the agricultural land in the country) and processes of soil erosion impact about one third of arable land. Air pollution, soil and water contamination are widespread. Substantial problems are generated by the Chernobyl disaster. Overall, about half of the country is in the critical and pre-critical ecological situation. Climatic predictions suppose that the country will live in much warmer and drier climate by end of this century. Taking into account that major pat of Ukraine lies in the xeric belt, the expected climatic change generates divers risks for both environment and vegetation ecosystems of the country, particularly for forests and agriculture. The presentation considers the role of forests and trees outside of forests in transition to integrated ecosystem management and sustainable structure of landscapes within two scenarios of socio-economic development for the next 20 yeas. The "business-as-usual" scenario prolongs tendencies of dynamics of the land-use and forest sectors during the last 20 years. This scenario leads to further deterioration of quality of land and environment in Ukraine. The "progressive" scenario is considered as a crucial initial step of adaptation to climatic change and includes a system of pressing measures which are needed to decrease destructive processes that are observed at the landscape level. It is shown that it would require development of 1.62 M ha of protective forests including 0.62 M ha on unstable elements of landscapes

  14. The contrasting nature of woody plant species in different neotropical forest biomes reflects differences in ecological stability.

    PubMed

    Pennington, R Toby; Lavin, Matt

    2016-04-01

    A fundamental premise of this review is that distinctive phylogenetic and biogeographic patterns in clades endemic to different major biomes illuminate the evolutionary process. In seasonally dry tropical forests (SDTFs), phylogenies are geographically structured and multiple individuals representing single species coalesce. This pattern of monophyletic species, coupled with their old species stem ages, is indicative of maintenance of small effective population sizes over evolutionary timescales, which suggests that SDTF is difficult to immigrate into because of persistent resident lineages adapted to a stable, seasonally dry ecology. By contrast, lack of coalescence in conspecific accessions of abundant and often widespread species is more frequent in rain forests and is likely to reflect large effective population sizes maintained over huge areas by effective seed and pollen flow. Species nonmonophyly, young species stem ages and lack of geographical structure in rain forest phylogenies may reflect more widespread disturbance by drought and landscape evolution causing resident mortality that opens up greater opportunities for immigration and speciation. We recommend full species sampling and inclusion of multiple accessions representing individual species in phylogenies to highlight nonmonophyletic species, which we predict will be frequent in rain forest and savanna, and which represent excellent case studies of incipient speciation.

  15. Opposing resonses to ecological gradients structure amphibian and reptile communities across a temperate grassland-savanna-forest landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grundel, Ralph; Beamer, David; Glowacki, Gary A.; Frohnapple, Krystal; Pavlovic, Noel B.

    2014-01-01

    Temperate savannas are threatened across the globe. If we prioritize savanna restoration, we should ask how savanna animal communities differ from communities in related open habitats and forests. We documented distribution of amphibian and reptile species across an open-savanna–forest gradient in the Midwest U.S. to determine how fire history and habitat structure affected herpetofaunal community composition. The transition from open habitats to forests was a transition from higher reptile abundance to higher amphibian abundance and the intermediate savanna landscape supported the most species overall. These differences warn against assuming that amphibian and reptile communities will have similar ecological responses to habitat structure. Richness and abundance also often responded in opposite directions to some habitat characteristics, such as cover of bare ground or litter. Herpetofaunal community species composition changed along a fire gradient from infrequent and recent fires to frequent but less recent fires. Nearby (200-m) wetland cover was relatively unimportant in predicting overall herpetofaunal community composition while fire history and fire-related canopy and ground cover were more important predictors of composition, diversity, and abundance. Increased developed cover was negatively related to richness and abundance. This indicates the importance of fire history and fire related landscape characteristics, and the negative effects of development, in shaping the upland herpetofaunal community along the native grassland–forest continuum.

  16. Free-living and particle-associated prokaryote metabolism in giant kelp forests: Implications for carbon flux in a sub-Antarctic coastal area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schapira, Mathilde; McQuaid, Christopher D.; Froneman, Pierre W.

    2012-06-01

    -community and is mainly respired within the kelp forest. These results suggest the retention of particles within giant kelp forests. In controlling the metabolic activity of PA and FL prokaryotes, this retention will influence overall carbon flux around the archipelago. In particular, the observation of a common pattern across different M. pyrifera forests has important implications for the role of this species as an autogenic ecological engineer in coastal environments.

  17. Ecological filtering by a dominant herb selects for shade tolerance in the tree seedling community of coastal dune forest.

    PubMed

    Tsvuura, Zivanai; Griffiths, Megan E; Gunton, Richard M; Franks, Peter J; Lawes, Michael J

    2010-12-01

    The regeneration niche is commonly partitioned along a gradient from shade-tolerant to shade-intolerant species to explain plant community assembly in forests. We examined the shade tolerance of tree seedlings in a subtropical coastal forest to determine whether the ecological filtering effect of a dominant, synchronously monocarpic herb (Isoglossa woodii) selects for species at either end of the light response continuum during the herb's vegetative and reproductive phases. Photosynthetic characteristics of seedlings of 20 common tree species and the herb were measured. Seedlings were grown in the greenhouse at 12-14% irradiance, and their light compensation points measured using an open-flow gas exchange system. The light compensation points for the tree species were low, falling within a narrow range from 2.1 ± 0.8 μmol m(-2) s(-1) in Celtis africana to 6.4 ± 0.7 μmol m(-2) s(-1) in Allophylus natalensis, indicating general shade tolerance, consistent with a high and narrow range of apparent quantum yield among species (0.078 ± 0.002 mol CO(2) mol(-1) photon). Rates of dark respiration were significantly lower in a generalist pioneer species (Acacia karroo) than in a forest pioneer (C. africana), or in late successional phase forest species. We argue that the general shade tolerance, and phenotypic clustering of shade tolerance, in many tree species from several families in this system, is a result of ecological filtering by the prevailing low light levels beneath the I. woodii understorey, which excludes most light-demanding species from the seedling community.

  18. Reconciling Biodiversity Conservation and Timber Production in Mixed Uneven-Aged Mountain Forests: Identification of Ecological Intensification Pathways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lafond, Valentine; Cordonnier, Thomas; Courbaud, Benoît

    2015-11-01

    Mixed uneven-aged forests are considered favorable to the provision of multiple ecosystem services and to the conciliation of timber production and biodiversity conservation. However, some forest managers now plan to increase the intensity of thinning and harvesting operations in these forests. Retention measures or gap creation are considered to compensate potential negative impacts on biodiversity. Our objectives were to assess the effect of these management practices on timber production and biodiversity conservation and identify potential compensating effects between these practices, using the concept of ecological intensification as a framework. We performed a simulation study coupling Samsara2, a simulation model designed for spruce-fir uneven-aged mountain forests, an uneven-aged silviculture algorithm, and biodiversity models. We analyzed the effect of parameters related to uneven-aged management practices on timber production, biodiversity, and sustainability indicators. Our study confirmed that the indicators responded differently to management practices, leading to trade-offs situations. Increasing management intensity had negative impacts on several biodiversity indicators, which could be partly compensated by the positive effect of retention measures targeting large trees, non-dominant species, and deadwood. The impact of gap creation was more mitigated, with a positive effect on the diversity of tree sizes and deadwood but a negative impact on the spruce-fir mixing balance and on the diversity of the understory layer. Through the analysis of compensating effects, we finally revealed the existence of possible ecological intensification pathways, i.e., the possibility to increase management intensity while maintaining biodiversity through the promotion of nature-based management principles (gap creation and retention measures).

  19. Reconciling Biodiversity Conservation and Timber Production in Mixed Uneven-Aged Mountain Forests: Identification of Ecological Intensification Pathways.

    PubMed

    Lafond, Valentine; Cordonnier, Thomas; Courbaud, Benoît

    2015-11-01

    Mixed uneven-aged forests are considered favorable to the provision of multiple ecosystem services and to the conciliation of timber production and biodiversity conservation. However, some forest managers now plan to increase the intensity of thinning and harvesting operations in these forests. Retention measures or gap creation are considered to compensate potential negative impacts on biodiversity. Our objectives were to assess the effect of these management practices on timber production and biodiversity conservation and identify potential compensating effects between these practices, using the concept of ecological intensification as a framework. We performed a simulation study coupling Samsara2, a simulation model designed for spruce-fir uneven-aged mountain forests, an uneven-aged silviculture algorithm, and biodiversity models. We analyzed the effect of parameters related to uneven-aged management practices on timber production, biodiversity, and sustainability indicators. Our study confirmed that the indicators responded differently to management practices, leading to trade-offs situations. Increasing management intensity had negative impacts on several biodiversity indicators, which could be partly compensated by the positive effect of retention measures targeting large trees, non-dominant species, and deadwood. The impact of gap creation was more mitigated, with a positive effect on the diversity of tree sizes and deadwood but a negative impact on the spruce-fir mixing balance and on the diversity of the understory layer. Through the analysis of compensating effects, we finally revealed the existence of possible ecological intensification pathways, i.e., the possibility to increase management intensity while maintaining biodiversity through the promotion of nature-based management principles (gap creation and retention measures).

  20. Illinois Natural Heritage Conservation/Education Kit II. Special Theme: Forest Ecology and Management.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stone, Sally F.

    This instructional guide contains 16 activities designed to help teachers familiarize their students with the forest resources of Illinois. Each activity is ready to be copied and given to students. Topics of the activities, which vary in format, include: an overview of past and present Illinois forests; organization and mechanics of a forest…

  1. Civic Ecology Education and Resilient Societies: A Survey of Forest Fires in Greece

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Papaspiliou, Konstantina; Skanavis, Constantina; Giannoulis, Christos

    2014-01-01

    Forest fires, as all natural disasters, have the potential to seriously affect both the environment and the social structure of a local community. Unlike some of the natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornados and tsunamis which are unpredictable, the phenomenon of forest fires could be easily predicted and controlled, since the causes are…

  2. Long-term forest-savannah dynamics in the Bolivian Amazon: implications for conservation.

    PubMed

    Mayle, Francis E; Langstroth, Robert P; Fisher, Rosie A; Meir, Patrick

    2007-02-28

    The aim of this paper is to evaluate the respective roles of past changes in climate, geomorphology and human activities in shaping the present-day forest-savannah mosaic of the Bolivian Amazon, and consider how this palaeoecological perspective may help inform conservation strategies for the future. To this end, we review a suite of palaeoecological and archaeological data from two distinct forest-savannah environments in lowland Bolivia: Noel Kempff Mercado National Park (NKMNP) on the Precambrian Shield and the 'Llanos de Moxos' in the Beni basin. We show that they contain markedly contrasting legacies of past climatic, geomorphic and anthropogenic influences between the last glacial period and the Spanish Conquest. In NKMNP, increasing precipitation caused evergreen rainforest expansion, at the expense of semi-deciduous dry forest and savannahs, over the last three millennia. In contrast, pre-Hispanic indigenous cultures were instrumental in facilitating recent forest expansion in the Llanos de Moxos by building a vast network of earthworks. Insights from Mid-Holocene palaeodata, together with ecological observations and modelling studies, suggest that there will be progressive replacement of rainforest by dry forest and savannah in NKMNP over the twenty-first century in response to the increased drought predicted by general circulation models. Protection of the latitudinal landscape corridors may be needed to facilitate these future species reassortments. However, devising appropriate conservation strategies for the Llanos de Moxos will be more difficult due to its complex legacy of Palaeo-Indian impact. Without fully understanding the degree to which its current biota has been influenced by past native cultures, the type and intensity of human land use appropriate for this landscape in the future will be difficult to ascertain.

  3. Alaska's Changing Fire Regime - Implications for the Vulnerability of Its Boreal Forests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasischke, E. S.; Hoy, E. E.; Verbyla, D. L.; Rupp, T. S.; Duffy, P. A.; McGuire, A. D.; Murphy, K. A.; Jandt, R.; Barnes, J. L.; Calef, M.; Turetsky, M. R.

    2010-01-01

    A synthesis was carried out to examine Alaska s boreal forest fire regime. During the 2000s, an average of 767 000 ha/year burned, 50% higher than in any previous decade since the 1940s. Over the past 60 years, there was a decrease in the number of lightning-ignited fires, an increase in extreme lightning-ignited fire events, an increase in human-ignited fires, and a decrease in the number of extreme human-ignited fire events. The fraction of area burned from humanignited fires fell from 26% for the 1950s and 1960s to 5% for the 1990s and 2000s, a result from the change in fire policy that gave the highest suppression priorities to fire events that occurred near human settlements. The amount of area burned during late-season fires increased over the past two decades. Deeper burning of surface organic layers in black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP) forests occurred during late-growing-season fires and on more well-drained sites. These trends all point to black spruce forests becoming increasingly vulnerable to the combined changes of key characteristics of Alaska s fire regime, except on poorly drained sites, which are resistant to deep burning. The implications of these fire regime changes to the vulnerability and resilience of Alaska s boreal forests and land and fire management are discussed.

  4. Economic approach to assess the forest carbon implications of biomass energy.

    PubMed

    Daigneault, Adam; Sohngen, Brent; Sedjo, Roger

    2012-06-05

    There is widespread concern that biomass energy policy that promotes forests as a supply source will cause net carbon emissions. Most of the analyses that have been done to date, however, are biological, ignoring the effects of market adaptations through substitution, net imports, and timber investments. This paper uses a dynamic model of forest and land use management to estimate the impact of United States energy policies that emphasize the utilization of forest biomass on global timber production and carbon stocks over the next 50 years. We show that when market factors are included in the analysis, expanded demand for biomass energy increases timber prices and harvests, but reduces net global carbon emissions because higher wood prices lead to new investments in forest stocks. Estimates are sensitive to assumptions about whether harvest residues and new forestland can be used for biomass energy and the demand for biomass. Restricting biomass energy to being sourced only from roundwood on existing forestland can transform the policy from a net sink to a net source of emissions. These results illustrate the importance of capturing market adjustments and a large geographic scope when measuring the carbon implications of biomass energy policies.

  5. Alaska’s changing fire regime - Implications for the vulnerability of its boreal forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kasischke, Eric S.; Verbyla, David L.; Rupp, T. Scott; McGuire, Anthony; Murphy, Karen A.; Jandt, R.; Barnes, Jennifer L.; Hoy, E.; Duffy, Paul A; Calef, Monika; Turetsky, Merritt R.

    2010-01-01

    A synthesis was carried out to examine Alaska’s boreal forest fire regime. During the 2000s, an average of 767 000 ha·year–1 burned, 50% higher than in any previous decade since the 1940s. Over the past 60 years, there was a decrease in the number of lightning-ignited fires, an increase in extreme lightning-ignited fire events, an increase in human-ignited fires, and a decrease in the number of extreme human-ignited fire events. The fraction of area burned from human-ignited fires fell from 26% for the 1950s and 1960s to 5% for the 1990s and 2000s, a result from the change in fire policy that gave the highest suppression priorities to fire events that occurred near human settlements. The amount of area burned during late-season fires increased over the past two decades. Deeper burning of surface organic layers in black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP) forests occurred during late-growing-season fires and on more well-drained sites. These trends all point to black spruce forests becoming increasingly vulnerable to the combined changes of key characteristics of Alaska’s fire regime, except on poorly drained sites, which are resistant to deep burning. The implications of these fire regime changes to the vulnerability and resilience of Alaska’s boreal forests and land and fire management are discussed.

  6. Instream wood recruitment, channel complexity, and their relationship to stream ecology in forested headwater streams under alternative stable states

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livers, B.; Wohl, E.

    2015-12-01

    Human alteration to forests has had lasting effects on stream channels worldwide. Such land use changes affect how wood enters and is stored in streams as individual pieces and as logjams. Changes in wood recruitment affect the complexity and benefits wood can provide to the stream environment, such as zones of flow separation that store fine sediment and organic matter, increased nutrient processing, and greater habitat potential, which can enhance biota and cascade through stream-riparian ecosystems. Previous research in our study area shows that modern headwater streams flowing through old-growth, unmanaged forests have more wood than streams in young, managed forests, but does not explicitly evaluate how wood affects channel complexity or local ecology. 'Managed' refers to forests previously or currently exposed to human alteration. Alteration has long since ceased in some areas, but reduced wood loads in managed streams persist. Our primary objective was to quantify stream complexity metrics, with instream wood as a mediator, on streams across a gradient of management and disturbance histories in order to examine legacy effects of human alteration to forests. Data collected in the Southern Rocky Mountains include 24 2nd to 3rd order subalpine streams categorized into: old-growth unmanaged; younger, naturally disturbed unmanaged; and younger managed. We assessed instream wood loads and logjams and evaluated how they relate to channel complexity using a number of metrics, such as standard deviation of bed and banks, volume of pools, ratios of stream to valley lengths and stream to valley area, and diversity of substrate, gradient, and morphology. Preliminary results show that channel complexity is directly related to instream wood loads and is greatest in streams in old-growth. Related research in the field area indicates that streams with greater wood loads also have increased nutrient processing and greater abundance and diversity of aquatic insect predators.

  7. Rain Forests. Habitat Ecology Learning Program (H.E.L.P.), Teachers' Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, NY.

    The goal of this guide is to address a major environmental dilemma: worldwide habitat destruction and the disappearance of species. This guide is one of six that are included in the Habitat Ecology Learning Program (HELP), a holistic life science curriculum that involves students in an in-depth study of ecology. HELP includes six teaching guides…

  8. Attitudes and intentions of off-highway vehicle riders toward trail use: implications for forest managers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuehn, D.M.; D'Luhosch, P. D.; Luzadis, V.A.; Malmsheimer, R.W.; Schuster, R.M.

    2011-01-01

    Management of off-highway vehicles (OHV) in public forest areas requires up-to-date information about the attitudes and intentions of OHV riders toward trail use. A survey of 811 members of the New England Trail Riders Association was conducted in fall 2007; 380 questionnaires were completed and returned. Descriptive statistics and regressions were used to identify relationships between OHV rider attitudes, management preferences, and intentions toward two trail use-related behaviors (i.e., illegal use of trails by OHVs and the creation and/or use of unauthorized trails by OHV riders). Results reveal that the average responding association member has a negative attitude toward the two depreciative behaviors, intends to ride OHVs legally, and slightly prefers indirect over direct forms of management. Significant relationships between intentions and both attitudes and management preferences are identified. Policy and management implications and strategies are discussed. ?? 2011 by the Society of American Foresters.

  9. Charred Forests Increase Snow Albedo Decay: Watershed-Scale Implications of the Postfire Snow Albedo Effect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gleason, K. E.; Nolin, A. W.

    2014-12-01

    Recent work shows that after a high severity forest fire, approximately 60% more solar radiation reaches the snow surface due to the reduction in canopy density. Also, significant amounts of black carbon (BC) particles and larger burned woody debris (BWD) are shed from standing charred trees, which concentrate on the snowpack, darken its surface, and reduce snow albedo by 50% during ablation. The postfire forest environment drives a substantial increase in net shortwave radiation at the snowpack surface, driving earlier and more rapid melt, however hydrologic models do not explicitly incorporate forest fire disturbance effects to snowpack dynamics. In this study we characterized, parameterized, and validated the postfire snow albedo effect: how the deposition and concentration of charred forest debris decreases snow albedo, increases snow albedo decay rates, and drives an earlier date of snow disappearance. For three study sites in the Oregon High Cascade Mountains, a 2-yr old burned forest, a 10-yr burned forest, and a nearby unburned forest, we used a suite of empirical data to characterize the magnitude and duration of the postfire effect to snow albedo decay. For WY 2012, WY2013, and WY2014 we conducted spectral albedo measurements, snow surface sampling, in-situ snow and meteorological monitoring, and snow energy balance modeling. From these data we developed a new parameterization which represents the postfire effect to snow albedo decay as a function of days-since-snowfall. We validated our parameterization using a physically-based, spatially-distributed snow accumulation and melt model, in-situ snow monitoring, net snowpack radiation, and remote sensing data. We modeled snow dynamics across the extent of all burned area in the headwaters of the McKenzie River Basin and validated the watershed-scale implications of the postfire snow albedo effect using in-situ micrometeorological and remote sensing data. This research quantified the watershed scale postfire

  10. Evidence and implications of recent and projected climate change in Alaska's forest ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wolken, Jane M.; Hollingsworth, Teresa N.; Rupp, T. Scott; Chapin, Stuart III; Trainor, Sarah F.; Barrett, Tara M.; Sullivan, Patrick F.; McGuire, A. David; Euskirchen, Eugénie S.; Hennon, Paul E.; Beever, Erik A.; Conn, Jeff S.; Crone, Lisa K.; D'Amore, David V.; Fresco, Nancy; Hanley, Thomas A.; Kielland, Knut; Kruse, James J.; Patterson, Trista; Schuur, Edward A.G.; Verbyla, David L.; Yarie, John

    2011-01-01

    The structure and function of Alaska's forests have changed significantly in response to a changing climate, including alterations in species composition and climate feedbacks (e.g., carbon, radiation budgets) that have important regional societal consequences and human feedbacks to forest ecosystems. In this paper we present the first comprehensive synthesis of climate-change impacts on all forested ecosystems of Alaska, highlighting changes in the most critical biophysical factors of each region. We developed a conceptual framework describing climate drivers, biophysical factors and types of change to illustrate how the biophysical and social subsystems of Alaskan forests interact and respond directly and indirectly to a changing climate. We then identify the regional and global implications to the climate system and associated socio-economic impacts, as presented in the current literature. Projections of temperature and precipitation suggest wildfire will continue to be the dominant biophysical factor in the Interior-boreal forest, leading to shifts from conifer- to deciduous-dominated forests. Based on existing research, projected increases in temperature in the Southcentral- and Kenai-boreal forests will likely increase the frequency and severity of insect outbreaks and associated wildfires, and increase the probability of establishment by invasive plant species. In the Coastal-temperate forest region snow and ice is regarded as the dominant biophysical factor. With continued warming, hydrologic changes related to more rapidly melting glaciers and rising elevation of the winter snowline will alter discharge in many rivers, which will have important consequences for terrestrial and marine ecosystem productivity. These climate-related changes will affect plant species distribution and wildlife habitat, which have regional societal consequences, and trace-gas emissions and radiation budgets, which are globally important. Our conceptual framework facilitates

  11. Ecology of maritime forests of the southern Atlantic coast: A community profile

    SciTech Connect

    Bellis, V.J.

    1995-05-01

    Maritime forests dominated by broadleaved evergreen trees and shrubs occur in a discontinuous narrow band along the barrier islands and on the adjacent mainland from North Carolina to Florida. The flora and fauna of maritime forests typically consist of a distinctive subset of the regional biota that is particularly well adapted to survive the elevated salt content, limited availability of fresh water, soil erosion and dune migration, periodic seawater inundation, and wind damage associated with oceanic storms. Recent recognition of the relatively greater physical stability of maritime forests compared to the beachfront has resulted in intensified urban development within them. Maritime forests across the range have been increasingly impaired by clearing for roads and parking lots and fragmented by subdivision development.

  12. Effect of logging on rodent scatter-hoarding dynamics in tropical forests: implications for plant recruitment.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Granados, Gabriel

    2011-06-01

    The present study tested the hypothesis that logging affects the scatter-hoarding behavior of rodents, which, in turn, negatively affects the quantity and quality of Pouteria campechiana (Sapotaceae) seed dispersal. A series of seed stations was established in logged and unlogged forests of ejido Señor, Yucatan Peninsula, and comparisons were made between logged and unlogged forests in terms of: (i) seed removal; (ii) number of seeds hoarded; (iii) hoarding distance; and (iv) the number of recruits and the survival of hoarded seeds. The number of both hoarded and removed seeds was significantly higher in unlogged sites. Furthermore, the mean distance of hoarding was greater in unlogged compared with logged sites. Although recruitment and survival were present in both logged and unlogged sites, there were more surviving seedlings in unlogged sites. The data indicate that both the quantity and quality of seed dispersal are negatively affected by logging because of a change in the rodent scatter-hoarding dynamics. These changes suggest that plant-animal interactions are crucial to the understanding of the ecology and conservation of managed tropical forests.

  13. New international long-term ecological research on air pollution effects on the Carpathian Mountain forests, Central Europe.

    PubMed

    Bytnerowicz, Andrzej; Badea, Ovidiu; Barbu, Ion; Fleischer, Peter; Fraczek, Witold; Gancz, Vladimir; Godzik, Barbara; Grodzińska, Krystyna; Grodzki, Wojciech; Karnosky, David; Koren, Milan; Krywult, Marek; Krzan, Zbigniew; Longauer, Roman; Mankovska, Blanka; Manning, William J; McManus, Michael; Musselman, Robert C; Novotny, Julius; Popescu, Flaviu; Postelnicu, Daniela; Prus-Głowacki, Wiesław; Skawiński, Paweł; Skiba, Stefan; Szaro, Robert; Tamas, Stefan; Vasile, Cristian

    2003-06-01

    An international cooperative project on distribution of ozone in the Carpathian Mountains, Central Europe was conducted from 1997 to 1999. Results of that project indicated that in large parts of the Carpathian Mountains, concentrations of ozone were elevated and potentially phytotoxic to forest vegetation. That study led to the establishment of new long-term studies on ecological changes in forests and other ecosystems caused by air pollution in the Retezat Mountains, Southern Carpathians, Romania and in the Tatra Mountains, Western Carpathians on the Polish-Slovak border. Both of these important mountain ranges have the status of national parks and are Man & the Biosphere Reserves. In the Retezat Mountains, the primary research objective was to evaluate how air pollution may affect forest health and biodiversity. The main research objective in the Tatra Mountains was to evaluate responses of natural and managed Norway spruce forests to air pollution and other stresses. Ambient concentrations of ozone (O(3)), sulfur dioxide (SO(2)), nitrogen oxides (NO(x)) as well as forest health and biodiversity changes were monitored on densely distributed research sites. Initial monitoring of pollutants indicated low levels of O(3), SO(2), and NO(x) in the Retezat Mountains, while elevated levels of O(3) and high deposition of atmospheric sulfur (S) and nitrogen (N) have characterized the Tatra Mountains. In the Retezat Mountains, air pollution seems to have little effect on forest health; however, there was concern that over a long time, even low levels of pollution may affect biodiversity of this important ecosystem. In contrast, severe decline of Norway spruce has been observed in the Tatra Mountains. Although bark beetle seems to be the immediate cause of that decline, long-term elevated levels of atmospheric N and S depositions and elevated O(3) could predispose trees to insect attacks and other stresses. European and US scientists studied pollution deposition, soil and

  14. Assessment of ecological passages along road networks within the Mediterranean forest using GIS-based multi criteria evaluation approach.

    PubMed

    Gülci, Sercan; Akay, Abdullah Emin

    2015-12-01

    Major roads cause barrier effect and fragmentation on wildlife habitats that are suitable places for feeding, mating, socializing, and hiding. Due to wildlife collisions (Wc), human-wildlife conflicts result in lost lives and loss of biodiversity. Geographical information system (GIS)-based multi criteria evaluation (MCE) methods have been successfully used in short-term planning of road networks considering wild animals. Recently, wildlife passages have been effectively utilized as road engineering structures provide quick and certain solutions for traffic safety and wildlife conservation problems. GIS-based MCE methods provide decision makers with optimum location for ecological passages based on habitat suitability models (HSMs) that classify the areas based on ecological requirements of target species. In this study, ecological passages along Motorway 52 within forested areas in Mediterranean city of Osmaniye in Turkey were evaluated. Firstly, HSM coupled with nine eco-geographic decision variables were developed based on ecological requirements of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) that were chosen as target species. Then specified decision variables were evaluated using GIS-based weighted linear combination (WLC) method to estimate movement corridors and mitigation points along the motorway. In the solution process, two linkage nodes were evaluated for eco-passages which were determined based on the least-cost movement corridor intersecting with the motorway. One of the passages was identified as a natural wildlife overpass while the other was suggested as underpass construction. The results indicated that computer-based models provide accurate and quick solutions for positioning ecological passages to reduce environmental effects of road networks on wild animals.

  15. Climate change and European forests: what do we know, what are the uncertainties, and what are the implications for forest management?

    PubMed

    Lindner, Marcus; Fitzgerald, Joanne B; Zimmermann, Niklaus E; Reyer, Christopher; Delzon, Sylvain; van der Maaten, Ernst; Schelhaas, Mart-Jan; Lasch, Petra; Eggers, Jeannette; van der Maaten-Theunissen, Marieke; Suckow, Felicitas; Psomas, Achilleas; Poulter, Benjamin; Hanewinkel, Marc

    2014-12-15

    The knowledge about potential climate change impacts on forests is continuously expanding and some changes in growth, drought induced mortality and species distribution have been observed. However despite a significant body of research, a knowledge and communication gap exists between scientists and non-scientists as to how climate change impact scenarios can be interpreted and what they imply for European forests. It is still challenging to advise forest decision makers on how best to plan for climate change as many uncertainties and unknowns remain and it is difficult to communicate these to practitioners and other decision makers while retaining emphasis on the importance of planning for adaptation. In this paper, recent developments in climate change observations and projections, observed and projected impacts on European forests and the associated uncertainties are reviewed and synthesised with a view to understanding the implications for forest management. Current impact assessments with simulation models contain several simplifications, which explain the discrepancy between results of many simulation studies and the rapidly increasing body of evidence about already observed changes in forest productivity and species distribution. In simulation models uncertainties tend to cascade onto one another; from estimating what future societies will be like and general circulation models (GCMs) at the global level, down to forest models and forest management at the local level. Individual climate change impact studies should not be uncritically used for decision-making without reflection on possible shortcomings in system understanding, model accuracy and other assumptions made. It is important for decision makers in forest management to realise that they have to take long-lasting management decisions while uncertainty about climate change impacts are still large. We discuss how to communicate about uncertainty - which is imperative for decision making - without

  16. Interaction between forest biodiversity and people’s use of forest resources in Roviana, Solomon Islands: implications for biocultural conservation under socioeconomic changes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background In Solomon Islands, forests have provided people with ecological services while being affected by human use and protection. This study used a quantitative ethnobotanical analysis to explore the society–forest interaction and its transformation in Roviana, Solomon Islands. We compared local plant and land uses between a rural village and urbanized village. Special attention was paid to how local people depend on biodiversity and how traditional human modifications of forest contribute to biodiversity conservation. Methods After defining locally recognized land-use classes, vegetation surveys were conducted in seven forest classes. For detailed observations of daily plant uses, 15 and 17 households were randomly selected in the rural and urban villages, respectively. We quantitatively documented the plant species that were used as food, medicine, building materials, and tools. Results The vegetation survey revealed that each local forest class represented a different vegetative community with relatively low similarity between communities. Although commercial logging operations and agriculture were both prohibited in the customary nature reserve, local people were allowed to cut down trees for their personal use and to take several types of non-timber forest products. Useful trees were found at high frequencies in the barrier island’s primary forest (68.4%) and the main island’s reserve (68.3%). Various useful tree species were found only in the reserve forest and seldom available in the urban village. In the rural village, customary governance and control over the use of forest resources by the local people still functioned. Conclusions Human modifications of the forest created unique vegetation communities, thus increasing biodiversity overall. Each type of forest had different species that varied in their levels of importance to the local subsistence lifestyle, and the villagers’ behaviors, such as respect for forest reserves and the

  17. Improving inferences from short-term ecological studies with Bayesian hierarchical modeling: white-headed woodpeckers in managed forests.

    PubMed

    Linden, Daniel W; Roloff, Gary J

    2015-08-01

    Pilot studies are often used to design short-term research projects and long-term ecological monitoring programs, but data are sometimes discarded when they do not match the eventual survey design. Bayesian hierarchical modeling provides a convenient framework for integrating multiple data sources while explicitly separating sample variation into observation and ecological state processes. Such an approach can better estimate state uncertainty and improve inferences from short-term studies in dynamic systems. We used a dynamic multistate occupancy model to estimate the probabilities of occurrence and nesting for white-headed woodpeckers Picoides albolarvatus in recent harvest units within managed forests of northern California, USA. Our objectives were to examine how occupancy states and state transitions were related to forest management practices, and how the probabilities changed over time. Using Gibbs variable selection, we made inferences using multiple model structures and generated model-averaged estimates. Probabilities of white-headed woodpecker occurrence and nesting were high in 2009 and 2010, and the probability that nesting persisted at a site was positively related to the snag density in harvest units. Prior-year nesting resulted in higher probabilities of subsequent occurrence and nesting. We demonstrate the benefit of forest management practices that increase the density of retained snags in harvest units for providing white-headed woodpecker nesting habitat. While including an additional year of data from our pilot study did not drastically alter management recommendations, it changed the interpretation of the mechanism behind the observed dynamics. Bayesian hierarchical modeling has the potential to maximize the utility of studies based on small sample sizes while fully accounting for measurement error and both estimation and model uncertainty, thereby improving the ability of observational data to inform conservation and management strategies.

  18. Improving inferences from short-term ecological studies with Bayesian hierarchical modeling: white-headed woodpeckers in managed forests

    PubMed Central

    Linden, Daniel W; Roloff, Gary J

    2015-01-01

    Pilot studies are often used to design short-term research projects and long-term ecological monitoring programs, but data are sometimes discarded when they do not match the eventual survey design. Bayesian hierarchical modeling provides a convenient framework for integrating multiple data sources while explicitly separating sample variation into observation and ecological state processes. Such an approach can better estimate state uncertainty and improve inferences from short-term studies in dynamic systems. We used a dynamic multistate occupancy model to estimate the probabilities of occurrence and nesting for white-headed woodpeckers Picoides albolarvatus in recent harvest units within managed forests of northern California, USA. Our objectives were to examine how occupancy states and state transitions were related to forest management practices, and how the probabilities changed over time. Using Gibbs variable selection, we made inferences using multiple model structures and generated model-averaged estimates. Probabilities of white-headed woodpecker occurrence and nesting were high in 2009 and 2010, and the probability that nesting persisted at a site was positively related to the snag density in harvest units. Prior-year nesting resulted in higher probabilities of subsequent occurrence and nesting. We demonstrate the benefit of forest management practices that increase the density of retained snags in harvest units for providing white-headed woodpecker nesting habitat. While including an additional year of data from our pilot study did not drastically alter management recommendations, it changed the interpretation of the mechanism behind the observed dynamics. Bayesian hierarchical modeling has the potential to maximize the utility of studies based on small sample sizes while fully accounting for measurement error and both estimation and model uncertainty, thereby improving the ability of observational data to inform conservation and management strategies

  19. Ecology of subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests of Yunnan, southwestern China as compared to those of southwestern Japan.

    PubMed

    Tang, Cindy Q; Ohsawa, Masahiko

    2009-05-01

    Subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests of Yunnan, China, including mid-montane moist, monsoon, and semi-humid categories, were studied in terms of ecological attributes of pertinent species, diversity, structure, dynamics and succession, as compared with the subtropical/warm-temperate evergreen broad-leaved rain forest of southwestern (SW) Japan. The genera and species of the forests of Yunnan and SW Japan are East Asian elements and indicate a very close relationship between the respective floras, though different assemblages of species occur in the two regions. Diversity indices and numerical data on taxon richness at family, genus and species level were similar in both regions. Four types of gap-regeneration behaviors among the major tree species were recognized in the two areas. In both, as a result of long-term human activity, the plant communities ranged from pioneer deciduous broad-leaved and/or pioneer coniferous stands to late-successional evergreen broad-leaved stands. Succession in the two regions followed parallel paths, beginning with pioneer Alnus in Yunnan and Alnus, Mallotus and Styrax in Japan, accompanied by coniferous Pinus in the two areas, and with late-successional evergreen broad-leaved Cyclobalanopsis and Castanopsis as their final stage.

  20. Ecological effects of pipeline construction through deciduous forested wetlands, Midland County, Michigan. Topical report, October 1990--August 1992

    SciTech Connect

    Rastorfer, J.R.; Van Dyke, G.D.; Zellmer, S.D.; Wilkey, P.L.

    1995-04-01

    This study is designed to record vegetational changes induced by the construction of a large-diameter gas pipeline through deciduous forested wetlands. Two second-growth wetland sites mapped Lenawee soils were selected in Midland County, Michigan: Site 1, a younger stand subjected to recent selective logging, and Site 2, a more mature stand. The collection of ecological data to analyze plant succession on the right-of-way (ROW) and the effects of the developing ROW plant communities on adjacent forest communities was initiated in 1989. Cover class estimates were made for understory and ROW plant species on the basis of 1 {times} 1{minus}m quadrats. Individual stem diameters and species counts were recorded for overstory plants in 10{minus}m quadrats. Although long-term studies have not been completed, firm baseline data were established for comparative analyses with future sampling. Current data indicate that vegetation became well-established on the ROW within one year and subsequently increased in coverage. About 65% of the species were wetland indicators, and the dominants included seeded and natural invading species; nevertheless, some elements of the original flora regenerated and persist. The plants of the ecotone understories of both sites changed from their original composition as a result of the installation of the gas pipeline. Although some forest species persist at both sites, the ecotone of Site I was influenced more by the seeded species, whereas the natural invaders were more important at Site 2.

  1. Stem CO2 efflux in six co-occurring tree species: underlying factors and ecological implications.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Calcerrada, Jesús; López, Rosana; Salomón, Roberto; Gordaliza, Guillermo G; Valbuena-Carabaña, María; Oleksyn, Jacek; Gil, Luis

    2015-06-01

    Stem respiration plays a role in species coexistence and forest dynamics. Here we examined the intra- and inter-specific variability of stem CO2 efflux (E) in dominant and suppressed trees of six deciduous species in a mixed forest stand: Fagus sylvatica L., Quercus petraea [Matt.] Liebl, Quercus pyrenaica Willd., Prunus avium L., Sorbus aucuparia L. and Crataegus monogyna Jacq. We conducted measurements in late autumn. Within species, dominants had higher E per unit stem surface area (Es ) mainly because sapwood depth was higher than in suppressed trees. Across species, however, differences in Es corresponded with differences in the proportion of living parenchyma in sapwood and concentration of non-structural carbohydrates (NSC). Across species, Es was strongly and NSC marginally positively related with an index of drought tolerance, suggesting that slow growth of drought-tolerant trees is related to higher NSC concentration and Es . We conclude that, during the leafless period, E is indicative of maintenance respiration and is related with some ecological characteristics of the species, such as drought resistance; that sapwood depth is the main factor explaining variability in Es within species; and that the proportion of NSC in the sapwood is the main factor behind variability in Es among species.

  2. Cavity types and microclimate: implications for ecological, evolutionary, and conservation studies.

    PubMed

    Amat-Valero, M; Calero-Torralbo, M A; Václav, R; Valera, F

    2014-11-01

    The abiotic conditions of the immediate environment of organisms are key factors for a better understanding of ecological and evolutionary processes. Yet, information in this regard is biased towards some habitat types, landscapes, and organisms. Here, we present a 2-year comparative study of the microclimatic properties (temperature, relative humidity, and their fluctuation) of three cavity types (nest boxes, cavities in bridges, and burrows in sandy cliffs) in an arid environment. We found marked and consistent months-long differences in microclimate among the three cavity types. Nest boxes were colder than the other cavity types, with temperature oscillations being an order of magnitude higher than in other cavity types. In contrast, microclimate was very stable in burrows and cavities in bridges, the former being generally warmer and drier than the latter. We also discuss the biological implications of microclimatic conditions and its variation in different cavity types by presenting two case studies, namely the temperature-humidity index and water vapor pressure during the hatching period of an endotherm and the chilling period during the diapause of an ectotherm ectoparasite. We stress the need for comparative studies of the same organisms subjected to different microclimates given the important ecological, evolutionary, and conservation implications.

  3. Plant functional traits suggest a change in novel ecological strategies for dominant species in the stages of forest succession.

    PubMed

    Chai, Yongfu; Yue, Ming; Wang, Mao; Xu, Jinshi; Liu, Xiao; Zhang, Ruichang; Wan, Pengcheng

    2016-03-01

    In forest succession, the ecological strategies of the dominant species that are based on functional traits are important in the determination of both the mechanisms and the potential directions of succession. Thirty-one plots were established in the Loess Plateau region of northern Shaanxi in China. Fifteen leaf traits were measured for the 31 dominant species that represented the six stages of succession, and the traits included four that were related to morphology, seven to stoichiometry and four to physiological ecology. The species from the different successional stages had different patterns of distribution of the traits, and different key traits predicted the turnover of the species during succession. The ash and the cellulose contents were key regulatory factors of species turnover in the early successional communities, and the trait niche forces in sugar and leaf dry mass content might become more important with the progression of succession. When only the three herb stages were considered, a progressive replacement of the ruderal by the competitive-ruderal species occurred in the intermediate stages of succession, which was followed by the stress-tolerant-competitive or the competitive-stress tolerant-ruderal strategists late in the succession. Thus, the different species that occurred in the different stages of succession shared different trait-based ecological strategies. Additionally, these differences occurred concomitantly with a shift toward competitive-stress tolerant-ruderal strategies.

  4. The Coupled Nature of C and N Cycles in Forest Ecosystems: Evidence, Implications and Uncertainties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ollinger, S. V.; Aber, J. D.; Sievering, H.

    2001-12-01

    Cycles of carbon and nitrogen in forest ecosystems are mutually and interactively linked through a shared set of biological processes. A large number of field studies across diverse biomes have documented strong and generalizable relationships between foliar nitrogen concentrations and rates of net photosynthesis. This trend reflects the fact that the majority of N in plant canopies is found in the proteins responsible for CO2 capture (e.g. rubisco). In soils, the accumulation and availability of nitrogen is, in turn, affected by the quality and N content of litter inputs from vegetation. Taken together, these patterns reflect the broadly-coupled nature of terrestrial C and N cycles and suggest that human alteration of any aspect of one cycle can have important implications for the other. Nevertheless, the exact nature of C-N interactions in natural ecosystems can depend on a variety of factors including historical disturbance patterns, the effects of carbon quality on decomposition and N turnover, and the resulting differences in plant-soil feedbacks among species and functional groups. All of these factors greatly complicate efforts to characterize present-day patterns of C and N fluxes across real forested landscapes. Further, human-induced increases in atmospheric CO2 and N deposition hold the potential for either tightening the linkages between C and N cycles, or causing them to become uncoupled. This presentation will build on basic concepts to address several broad questions regarding C-N interactions in forests, both as they occur naturally and as they may be affected by elevated CO2 or N deposition: 1) What evidence is available from the field to demonstrate the coupled nature of C-N cycles in native forest ecosystems? 2) How are C-N interactions in forests influenced by the growth and allocation strategies of different species and/or functional groups? 3) To what degree are current C and N cycles reflected in the chemistry of forest foliage, and 4) Is

  5. Ecological distribution of leaf stomata and trichomes among tree species in a Malaysian lowland tropical rain forest.

    PubMed

    Ichie, Tomoaki; Inoue, Yuta; Takahashi, Narumi; Kamiya, Koichi; Kenzo, Tanaka

    2016-07-01

    The vertical structure of a tropical rain forest is complex and multilayered, with strong variation of micro-environment with height up to the canopy. We investigated the relation between morphological traits of leaf surfaces and tree ecological characteristics in a Malaysian tropical rain forest. The shapes and densities of stomata and trichomes on the abaxial leaf surfaces and their relation with leaf characteristics such as leaf area and leaf mass per area (LMA) were studied in 136 tree species in 35 families with different growth forms in the tropical moist forest. Leaf physiological properties were also measured in 50 canopy and emergent species. Most tree species had flat type (40.4 %) or mound type (39.7 %) stomata. In addition, 84 species (61.76 %) in 22 families had trichomes, including those with glandular (17.65 %) and non-glandular trichomes (44.11 %). Most leaf characteristics significantly varied among the growth form types: species in canopy and emergent layers and canopy gap conditions had higher stomatal density, stomatal pore index (SPI), trichome density and LMA than species in understory and subcanopy layers, though the relation of phylogenetically independent contrasts to each characteristic was not statistically significant, except for leaf stomatal density, SPI and LMA. Intrinsic water use efficiency in canopy and emergent tree species with higher trichome densities was greater than in species with lower trichome densities. These results suggest that tree species in tropical rain forests adapt to a spatial difference in their growth forms, which are considerably affected by phylogenetic context, by having different stomatal and trichome shapes and/or densities.

  6. The ecological and economic potential of carbon sequestration in forests: examples from South America.

    PubMed

    de Koning, Free; Olschewski, Roland; Veldkamp, Edzo; Benítez, Pablo; López-Ulloa, Magdalena; Schlichter, Tomás; de Urquiza, Mercedes

    2005-05-01

    Costs of reforestation projects determine their competitiveness with alternative measures to mitigate rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. We quantify carbon sequestration in above-ground biomass and soils of plantation forests and secondary forests in two countries in South America-Ecuador and Argentina-and calculate costs of temporary carbon sequestration. Costs per temporary certified emission reduction unit vary between 0.1 and 2.7 USD Mg(-1) CO2 and mainly depend on opportunity costs, site suitability, discount rates, and certification costs. In Ecuador, secondary forests are a feasible and cost-efficient alternative, whereas in Argentina reforestation on highly suitable land is relatively cheap. Our results can be used to design cost-effective sink projects and to negotiate fair carbon prices for landowners.

  7. From forest fires to fisheries management: anthropology, conservation biology, and historical ecology.

    PubMed

    Braje, Todd J; Rick, Torben C

    2013-01-01

    Human-environmental relationships have long been of interest to a variety of scientists, including ecologists, biologists, anthropologists, and many others. In anthropology, this interest was especially prevalent among cultural ecologists of the 1970s and earlier, who tended to explain culture as the result of techno-environmental constraints. More recently researchers have used historical ecology, an approach that focuses on the long-term dialectical relationship between humans and their environments, as well as long-term prehuman ecological datasets. An important contribution of anthropology to historical ecology is that anthropological datasets dealing with ethnohistory, traditional ecological knowledge, and human skeletal analysis, as well as archeological datasets on faunal and floral remains, artifacts, geochemistry, and stratigraphic analysis, provide a deep time perspective (across decades, centuries, and millennia) on the evolution of ecosystems and the place of people in those larger systems. Historical ecological data also have an applied component that can provide important information on the relative abundances of flora and fauna, changes in biogeography, alternations in food webs, landscape evolution, and much more.

  8. Ecological effects of pipeline construction through deciduous forested wetlands, Midland County, Michigan

    SciTech Connect

    Zellmer, S.D. ); Rastorfer, J.R. . Dept. of Biological Sciences ANL Van Dyke, G.D. . Dept. of Biology)

    1991-07-01

    Implementation of recent federal and state regulations promulgated to protect wetlands makes information on effects of gas pipeline rights-of-way (ROWs) in wetlands essential to the gas pipeline industry. This study is designed to record vegetational changes induced by the construction of a large-diameter gas pipeline through deciduous forested wetlands. Two second-growth forested wetland sites mapped as Lenawee soils, one mature and one subjected to recent selective logging, were selected in Midland County, Michigan. Changes in the adjacent forest and successional development on the ROW are being documented. Cover-class estimates are being made for understory and ROW plant species using 1 {times}1-m quadrats. Counts are also being made for all woody species with stems < 2 cm in diameter at breast height (dbh) in the same plots used for cover-class estimates. Individual stem diameters and species counts are being recorded for all woody understory and overstory plants with stems {ge}2 cm dbh in 10 {times} 10-m plots. Although analyses of the data have not been completed, preliminary analyses indicate that some destruction of vegetation at the ROW forest edge may have been avoidable during pipeline construction. Rapid regrowth of many native wetland plant species on the ROW occurred because remnants of native vegetation and soil-bearing propagules of existing species survived on the ROW after pipeline construction and seeding operations. 91 refs., 11 figs., 3 tabs.

  9. Eco-Kids Fly Off to the Forests. [Project ECOLogy ELE Pak, Bell Pak].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bell, Loretta

    This is one of a series of units for environmental education developed by the Highline Public Schools. This unit was designed for use with fourth-grade students; it focuses on three forest biomes. Each of the biomes has characteristics of its own. The unit includes eight lessons, as well as additional activities. The unit, which incorporates…

  10. Ecology of tidal freshwater forests in coastal deltaic Louisiana and northeastern South Carolina: Chapter 9

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conner, William H.; Krauss, Ken W.; Doyle, Thomas W.

    2007-01-01

    Tidal freshwater swamps in the southeastern United States are subjected to tidal hydroperiods ranging in amplitude from microtidal (<0.1 m) to mesotidal (2-4 m), both having different susceptibilities to anthropogenic change. Small alterations in flood patterns, for example, can switch historically microtidal swamps to permanently flooded forests, scrub-shrub stands, marsh, or open water but are less likely to convert mesotidal swamps. Changes to hydrological patterns tend to be more noticeable in Louisiana than do those in South Carolina.The majority of Louisiana’s coastal wetland forests are found in the Mississippi River deltaic plain region. Coastal wetland forests in the deltaic plain have been shaped by the sediments, water, and energy of the Mississippi River and its major distributaries. Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum [L.] L.C. Rich.) and water tupelo (Nyssa aquatica L.) are the primary tree species in the coastal swamp forests of Louisiana. Sites where these species grow usually hold water for most of the year; however, some of the more seaward sites were historically microtidal, especially where baldcypress currently dominates. In many other locations, baldcypress and water tupelo typically grow in more or less pure stands or as mixtures of the two with common associates such as black willow (Salix nigra Marsh.), red maple (Acer rubrum L.), water locust (Gleditsia aquatic Marsh.), overcup oak (Quercus lyrata Walt.), water hickory (Carya aquatica [Michx. f.] Nutt.), green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh.), pumpkin ash (F. profunda Bush.), and redbay (Persea borbonia [L.] Sprengel) (Brown and Montz 1986).The South Carolina coastal plain occupies about two-thirds of the state and rises gently to 150 m from the Atlantic Ocean up to the Piedmont plateau. Many rivers can be found in the Coastal Plain with swamps near the coast that extend inland along the rivers. Strongly tidal freshwater forests occur along the lower reaches of redwater rivers (Santee

  11. Seasonal controls of canopy chlorophyll content on forest carbon uptake: Implications for GPP modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Croft, H.; Chen, J. M.; Froelich, N. J.; Chen, B.; Staebler, R. M.

    2015-08-01

    Forested ecosystems represent an important part of the global carbon cycle, with accurate estimates of gross primary productivity (GPP) crucial for understanding ecosystem response to environmental controls and improving global carbon models. This research investigated the relationships between leaf area index (LAI) and leaf chlorophyll content (ChlLeaf) with forest carbon uptake. Ground measurements of LAI and ChlLeaf were taken approximately every 9 days across the 2013 growing season from day of year (DOY) 130 to 290 at Borden Forest, Ontario. These biophysical measurements were supported by on-site eddy covariance flux measurements. Differences in the temporal development of LAI and ChlLeaf were considerable, with LAI reaching maximum values within approximately 10 days of bud burst at DOY 141. In contrast, ChlLeaf accumulation only reached maximum values at DOY 182. This divergence has important implications for GPP models which use LAI to represent the fraction of light absorbed by a canopy (fraction of absorbed photosynthetic active radiation (fAPAR)). Daily GPP values showed the strongest relationship with canopy chlorophyll content (ChlCanopy; R2 = 0.69, p < 0.001), with the LAI and GPP relationship displaying nonlinearity at the start and end of the growing season (R2 = 0.55, p < 0.001). Modeled GPP derived from LAI × PAR and ChlCanopy × PAR was tested against measured GPP, giving R2 = 0.63, p < 0.001 and R2 = 0.82, p < 0.001, respectively. This work demonstrates the importance of considering canopy pigment status in deciduous forests, with models that use fAPARLAI rather than fAPARChl neglecting to account for the importance of leaf photosynthetic potential.

  12. Ecohydrologic implications of differences in throughfall between hemlock and deciduous forest plots, West Whately, MA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guswa, A. J.; Rhodes, A. L.; McNicholas, J.; Mehter, S.; Spence, C.

    2009-12-01

    Invasive pests, especially in conjunction with climate change, have the potential to transform the species composition of many forests. In the northeastern United States, the hemlock woolly adelgid poses a significant threat to eastern hemlock (Tsuga Canadensis), a tree known for its ecological role more than its timber value. To begin to assess the effect on the water cycle of converting hemlock to deciduous forest, we carried out a throughfall investigation in West Whately, MA during the summer of 2009. From 3 June to 25 July, we measured the volume and chemistry of throughfall in two forest plots: one dominated by hemlock (LAI = 5.6) and one comprising a variety of deciduous species (LAI = 4.7), including many saplings and sub-canopy trees. Over the period of the study, rainfall totaled 311 mm and throughfall amounted to 276 mm (89%) in the deciduous plot and 242 mm (78%) in the hemlock stand. When compared to open precipitation, throughfall from both plots showed significantly higher levels of acid neutralizing capacity, pH, and concentrations of K+, Ca2+, and Mg2+. On an event-by-event basis, the fraction of precipitation that shows up as throughfall increases with amount, and representing interception as a constant depth, Δ, provides a reasonable fit (Δdeciduous = 2.5 mm, R2 = 0.99; Δhemlock = 5 mm, R2 = 0.96). Analysis of variance and time-stability plots indicate a strong persistent effect of collector position on throughfall depth, leading to potential efficiencies in measurement strategies. In both stands, the spatial variability of throughfall depths is higher for lower intensity events, and the coefficient of variation has a value around 30% for larger events. The skewness of throughfall depths among collectors within the hemlock plot is generally small. Throughfall depths are positively skewed in the deciduous plot, and one collector consistently received throughfall equal to twice the incident rainfall. Should hemlock stands be eliminated and

  13. [Book review] Ecology, biogeography and management of Pinus halepensis and P. brutia forest ecosystems in the Mediterranean Basin, by G. Ne'eman and L. Trabaud

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keeley, J.E.

    2001-01-01

    Review of: Ne'eman, G. & Trabaud, L. Ecology, Biogeography and Management of Pinus halepensis and P. brutia Forest Ecosystems in the Mediterranean Basin. xii + 412 pp. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden. ISBN 90?5782-055-2 (hardcover). Price: USD 120.00.

  14. Low thermal tolerances of stream amphibians in the Pacific Northwest: Implications for riparian and forest management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bury, R.B.

    2008-01-01

    Temperature has a profound effect on survival and ecology of amphibians. In the Pacific Northwest, timber harvest is known to increase peak stream temperatures to 24??C or higher, which has potential to negatively impact cold-water stream amphibians. I determined the Critical Thermal Maxima (CT max) for two salamanders that are endemic to the Pacific Northwest. Rhyacotriton variegatus larvae acclimated at 10??C had mean CTmax of 26.7 ?? 0.7 SD??C and adults acclimated at 11??C had mean CT max of 27.9 ?? 1.1??C. These were among the lowest known values for any amphibian. Values were significantly higher for larval Dicamptodon tenebrosus acclimated at 14??C (x = 29.1 ?? 0.2??C). Although the smallest R. variegatus had some of the lowest values, size of larvae and adults did not influence CTmax in this species. Current forest practices retain riparian buffers along larger fish-bearing streams; however, such buffers along smaller headwaters and non-fish bearing streams may provide favorable habitat conditions for coldwater-associated species in the Pacific Northwest. The current study lends further evidence to the need for protection of Northwest stream amphibians from environmental perturbations. Forest guidelines that include riparian buffer zones and configurations of upland stands should be developed, while monitoring amphibian responses to determine their success. ?? 2008 Brill Academic Publishers.

  15. Ecological Resilience and Resistance in the Hyper Diverse Forests on the Eastern Andean Flank (Mera, Ecuador)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keen, H. F.; Gosling, W. D.; Montoya, E.; Sherlock, S.; Mothes, P. A.

    2014-12-01

    Today the Neotropics contain some of the world's most biodiverse and threatened ecosystems. Sediments obtained from two radiocarbon infinite (>48,000 years) stratigraphic sections on the eastern Andean flank, provide new insight into the relationship between biodiversity and disturbance during the Pleistocene (~200,000 years). Pollen analysis of modern and fossil material indicates that hyper diverse forest vegetation has been a feature of the Andean flank landscape for 100,000 years (pollen richness: modern = 44, fossil = 48). Correlation of past vegetation with disturbance events (volcanic and fluvial) indicates the response of hyper-diverse forest to past landscape scale change. Pollen records from near Mera (01°27 S, 78°06 W; 1117 m asl) indicate two major changes in the pollen assemblage, with forest communities dominated by: i) Hedyosmum-Alnus-Ilex, and ii) Combretaceae-Melastomataceae-Myrtaceae. These two pollen assemblages most closely resemble modern vegetation cloud forest (2500-3400m asl) and lower montane rain forest (700-2499 m asl) respectively. Sedimentary evidence suggests that at least 21 volcanic events and three changes in the local fluvial regime perturbed the regional landscape during the period of deposition. However, there is no evidence for volcanic or fluvial disturbance events causing a persistent change in vegetation community. Volcanic events (tephra deposits) are associated with increased fire (charcoal particles), and changes in vegetation (pollen grains); however, within ~50cm of sediment accumulation above each tephra, pollen assemblages revert to pre-deposition compositions. Increased fluvial influence (gravel deposits) is associated with elevated input of pollen from taxa today found at higher elevations (Podocarpus-Celtis). The input of high elevation taxa concomitant with fluvial deposits is most likely indicative of an increase in long-distance transport of pollen along water courses originating in the Andes. Our data indicate

  16. Nesting ecology of boreal forest birds following a massive outbreak of spruce beetles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Matsuoka, S.M.; Handel, C.M.

    2007-01-01

    We studied breeding dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis), yellow-rumped warblers (Dendroica coronata), and spruce-nesting birds from 1997 to 1998 among forests with different levels of spruce (Picea spp.) mortality following an outbreak of spruce beetles (Dendroctonus rufipennis) in Alaska, USA. We identified species using live and beetle-killed spruce for nest sites and monitored nests to determine how the outbreak influenced avian habitat selection and reproduction. We tested predictions that 1) nesting success of ground-nesting juncos would increase with spruce mortality due to proliferation of understory vegetation available to conceal nests from predators, 2) nesting success of canopy-nesting warblers would decrease with spruce mortality due to fewer live spruce in which to conceal nests, and 3) both species would alter nest-site selection in response to disturbance. Juncos did not benefit from changes in understory vegetation; nesting success in highly disturbed stands (46%) was comparable to that in undisturbed habitats throughout their range. In stands with low spruce mortality, nesting success of juncos was low (5%) and corresponded with high densities of red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus). Yellow-rumped warblers nested exclusively in spruce, but success did not vary with spruce mortality. As disturbance increased, nesting warblers switched from selecting forest patches with high densities of live white spruce (Picea glauca) to patches with beetle-killed spruce. Warblers also placed nests in large-diameter live or beetle-killed spruce, depending on which was more abundant in the stand, with no differences in nesting success. Five of the 12 other species of spruce-nesting birds also used beetle-killed spruce as nest sites. Because beetle-killed spruce can remain standing for >50 years, even highly disturbed stands provide an important breeding resource for boreal forest birds. We recommend that boreal forest managers preserve uncut blocks of infested

  17. Interpreting participatory Fuzzy Cognitive Maps as complex networks in the social-ecological systems of the Amazonian forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varela, Consuelo; Tarquis, Ana M.; Blanco-Gutiérrez, Irene; Estebe, Paloma; Toledo, Marisol; Martorano, Lucieta

    2015-04-01

    Social-ecological systems are linked complex systems that represent interconnected human and biophysical processes evolving and adapting across temporal and spatial scales. In the real world, social-ecological systems pose substantial challenges for modeling. In this regard, Fuzzy Cognitive Maps (FCMs) have proven to be a useful method for capturing the functioning of this type of systems. FCMs are a semi-quantitative type of cognitive map that represent a system composed of relevant factors and weighted links showing the strength and direction of cause-effects relationships among factors. Therefore, FCMs can be interpreted as complex system structures or complex networks. In this sense, recent research has applied complex network concepts for the analysis of FCMs that represent social-ecological systems. Key to FCM the tool is its potential to allow feedback loops and to include stakeholder knowledge in the construction of the tool. Also, previous research has demonstrated their potential to represent system dynamics and simulate the effects of changes in the system, such as policy interventions. For illustrating this analysis, we have developed a series of participatory FCM for the study of the ecological and human systems related to biodiversity conservation in two case studies of the Amazonian region, the Bolivia lowlands of Guarayos and the Brazil Tapajos National forest. The research is carried out in the context of the EU project ROBIN1 and it is based on the development of a series of stakeholder workshops to analyze the current state of the socio-ecological environment in the Amazonian forest, reflecting conflicts and challenges for biodiversity conservation and human development. Stakeholders included all relevant actors in the local case studies, namely farmers, environmental groups, producer organizations, local and provincial authorities and scientists. In both case studies we illustrate the use of complex networks concepts, such as the adjacency

  18. Infant-feeding practices among African American women: social-ecological analysis and implications for practice.

    PubMed

    Reeves, Elizabeth A; Woods-Giscombé, Cheryl L

    2015-05-01

    Despite extensive evidence supporting the health benefits of breastfeeding, significant disparities exist between rates of breastfeeding among African American women and women of other races. Increasing rates of breastfeeding among African American women can contribute to the improved health of the African American population by decreasing rates of infant mortality and disease and by enhancing cognitive development. Additionally, higher rates of breastfeeding among African American women could foster maternal-child bonding and could contribute to stronger families, healthier relationships, and emotionally healthier adults. The purpose of this article is twofold: (a) to use the social-ecological model to explore the personal, socioeconomic, psychosocial, and cultural factors that affect the infant feeding decision-making processes of African American women and (b) to discuss the implications of these findings for clinical practice and research to eliminate current disparities in rates of breastfeeding.

  19. Egg cases of the genus Apristurus (Chondrichthyes: Scyliorhinidae): phylogenetic and ecological implications.

    PubMed

    Flammang, Brooke E; Ebert, David A; Cailliet, Gregor M

    2007-01-01

    The genus Apristurus has been divided formerly into three species subgroups based on morphological and molecular phylogenies. Previous studies have agreed on the separation into distinct species groups, the largest two of which have been described as the brunneus and spongiceps groups. An examination of the egg cases produced by these oviparous catsharks corroborates the distinction in species groups: egg cases of the brunneus group have long fibrous and curly tendrils at either end, whereas egg cases of the spongiceps group lack tendrils. The egg cases of A. kampae, A. manis, A. spongiceps and Apristurus sp. D are described for the first time, and the egg cases of A. brunneus and A. riveri are re-described to include comparable morphological characteristics. The ecological implications of egg case morphology on oviposition and ventilation are also discussed.

  20. The community ecology of isoprene emissions from terrestrial plants and implications for other phytogenic volatiles (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lerdau, M.; Fuentes, J. D.; Shugart, H. H.

    2013-12-01

    In the 1960's Frits Went published some of the first English language descriptions of volatile organic carbon (VOC) emissions from plants. Within 15 years it was well understood that the dominant phytogenic VOC was isoprene (2-methyl-1,3-butadiene). The years that followed saw a host of studies on the physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology of isoprene emissions, and many of the most important controls at these scales have been elucidated and incorporated into large-scale models of isoprene emissions to the atmosphere. In addition, extensive surveys of isoprene emissions from high latitude, temperate, and tropical ecosystems have consistently found enormous variations in emissions across taxa, and the mechanisms underlying this variability remain the largest unknown in current models of isoprene emissions. We integrate community ecological modeling with isoprene emissions modeling to develop a predictive model of isoprene emissions across decadal to centennial time scales. The model combines an individual-based model of forest succession that includes architectural and biodiversity changes over succession after disturbance with a species-based canopy-scale emissions model. We parameterize this model for the southeastern United States, a region that is well studied both in terms of forests succession and in terms of isoprene emission. Our results highlight the sensitivity of isoprene emissions to successional stage and species composition. From this effort we predict that the largest impacts of global environmental change on isoprene emissions will occur through effects on community composition and structure rather than through direct impacts on primary and secondary metabolism. We also predict that land use and disturbance history will continue to have dramatic impacts on isoprene emissions from terrestrial ecosystems through their effects on canopy structure and community composition, even in the face of climate change and nutrient deposition. We suggest

  1. Mollusc grazing may constrain the ecological niche of the old forest lichen Pseudocyphellaria crocata.

    PubMed

    Gauslaa, Y

    2008-11-01

    This study reports on mollusc grazing of two epiphytic cyanobacterial lichens (Pseudocyphellaria crocata and Lobaria pulmonaria) transplanted within three Picea abies-dominated boreal rain forest stands (clear-cut, young and old forests) in west central Norway. Grazing was particularly high in transplants located in the old forest and was almost absent in clear-cut transplants. Grazing marks were absent on natural thalli on nearby spruce twigs (required creeping distance for mollusc from the ground >4 m). Transplantation of lichens from twigs to artificial transplantation frames reduced the creeping distance to 1.2 m, and caused a significant increase in grazing damage in P. crocata. Given a paired choice under transplantation, molluscs consistently preferred P. crocata and avoided L. pulmonaria, implying species-specific differences in herbivore defence. Pseudocyphellaria crocata has a much lower content of the medullary depsidones stictic and constictic acid than L. pulmonaria. Heavy grazing occurred in the P. crocata thalli lowest in these two depsidones. The upper part of the medulla hosting the photobiont was the preferred fodder for grazing molluscs. Molluscs avoided the yellow soralia in P. crocata (localised pulvinic acid), suggesting a role for pulvinic acid in preventing grazing of detached soredia and early establishment stages. The preference of P. crocata for thin spruce twigs is probably a result of a lower grazing pressure on twigs compared to e.g. deciduous stems that frequently support the better defended L. pulmonaria. Ongoing climate changes with increased annual rainfall and milder winters have presumably increased mollusc grazing, particularly in SW parts of Norway which have more species of lichen-feeding molluscs than the boreal sites studied. These temperate areas lacking natural spruce populations have recently experienced reported extinctions of the poorly defended P. crocata from rocks and deciduous stems prone to mollusc grazing. Lichen

  2. Final Environmental Assessment: Evaluation of Prescribed Burning for Ecological Restoration and Forest Management

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-01-01

    Barrens is linked to the karst topography and was once an area of tallgrass prairies . 3.4.3 Wildlife Species Wildlife species at Arnold AFB are...Rim. “Barrens” most often refers to grasslands similar to the Midwestern tallgrass prairie but may also be used to describe openings with scattered...canopy cover; woodlands are low-density forests with a well developed herbaceous understory. The pre-European burn interval for tallgrass prairie is

  3. Using historical ecology to reassess the conservation status of coniferous forests in Central Europe.

    PubMed

    Szabó, Péter; Kuneš, Petr; Svobodová-Svitavská, Helena; Švarcová, Markéta Gabriela; Křížová, Lucie; Suchánková, Silvie; Müllerová, Jana; Hédl, Radim

    2017-02-01

    Forests cover approximately one-third of Central Europe. Oak (Quercus) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica) are considered the natural dominants at low and middle elevations, respectively. Many coniferous forests (especially of Picea abies) occur primarily at midelevations, but these are thought to have resulted from forestry plantations planted over the past 200 years. Nature conservation and forestry policy seek to promote broadleaved trees over conifers. However, there are discrepancies between conservation guidelines (included in Natura 2000) and historical and palaeoecological data with regard to the distribution of conifers. Our aim was to bring new evidence to the debate on the conservation of conifers versus broadleaved trees at midelevations in Central Europe. We created a vegetation and land-cover model based on pollen data for a highland area of 11,300 km(2) in the Czech Republic and assessed tree species composition in the forests before the onset of modern forestry based on 18th-century archival sources. Conifers dominated the study region throughout the entire Holocene (approximately 40-60% of the area). Broadleaved trees were present in a much smaller area than envisaged by current ideas of natural vegetation. Rather than casting doubt on the principles of Central European nature conservation in general, our results highlight the necessity of detailed regional investigations and the importance of historical data in challenging established notions on the natural distribution of tree species.

  4. Forest response to CO{sub 2} enrichment: Physiology and ecology of loblolly pine

    SciTech Connect

    Strain, B.R.; Thomas, R.B.

    1997-03-10

    This report covers the results of a long-term project with the primary objective of developing and testing hypotheses on the environmental and physiological controls of loblolly pine response to atmospheric CO{sub 2} enrichment. Earlier research under DOE funding had provided information from loblolly pine and other plant species which allowed the development of specific hypotheses. Phase 1 of this research was a two year pot study of loblolly seedlings to determine the interaction of CO{sub 2} enrichment with soil nutrition. Phase 2 began with the enrichment of loblolly seedlings being grown in the ground, rather than pots, and continued through December 1995. Phase 3 began in April 1994 with the enrichment of undisturbed Piedmont North Carolina old field undergoing succession, including herbaceous annual plants, perennial grasses, and loblolly pine tree seedlings. Phase 3 was designed to gather preliminary information on a regenerating loblolly forest to be used for the development of hypotheses and measurement techniques for a long-term Free Air CO{sub 2} Enrichment (FACE) study of regenerating forest in Duke Forest.

  5. Forests trapped in nitrogen limitation – an ecological market perspective on ectomycorrhizal symbiosis

    PubMed Central

    Franklin, Oskar; Näsholm, Torgny; Högberg, Peter; Högberg, Mona N

    2014-01-01

    Ectomycorrhizal symbiosis is omnipresent in boreal forests, where it is assumed to benefit plant growth. However, experiments show inconsistent benefits for plants and volatility of individual partnerships, which calls for a re-evaluation of the presumed role of this symbiosis. We reconcile these inconsistencies by developing a model that demonstrates how mycorrhizal networking and market mechanisms shape the strategies of individual plants and fungi to promote symbiotic stability at the ecosystem level. The model predicts that plants switch abruptly from a mixed strategy with both mycorrhizal and nonmycorrhizal roots to a purely mycorrhizal strategy as soil nitrogen availability declines, in agreement with the frequency distribution of ectomycorrhizal colonization intensity across a wide-ranging data set. In line with observations in field-scale isotope labeling experiments, the model explains why ectomycorrhizal symbiosis does not alleviate plant nitrogen limitation. Instead, market mechanisms may generate self-stabilization of the mycorrhizal strategy via nitrogen depletion feedback, even if plant growth is ultimately reduced. We suggest that this feedback mechanism maintains the strong nitrogen limitation ubiquitous in boreal forests. The mechanism may also have the capacity to eliminate or even reverse the expected positive effect of rising CO2 on tree growth in strongly nitrogen-limited boreal forests. PMID:24824576

  6. Mechanisms of nonlethal predator effect on cohort size variation: ecological and evolutionary implications.

    PubMed

    Peacor, Scott D; Schiesari, Luis; Werner, Earl E

    2007-06-01

    Understanding the factors responsible for generating size variation in cohorts of organisms is important for predicting their population and evolutionary dynamics. We group these factors into two broad classes: those due to scaling relationships between growth and size (size-dependent factors), and those due to individual trait differences other than size (size-independent factors; e.g., morphology, behavior, etc.). We develop a framework predicting that the nonlethal presence of predators can have a strong effect on size variation, the magnitude and sign of which depend on the relative influence of both factors. We present experimental results showing that size-independent factors can strongly contribute to size variation in anuran larvae, and that the presence of a larval dragonfly predator reduced expression of these size-independent factors. Further, a review of a number of experiments shows that the effect of this predator on relative size variation of a cohort ranged from negative at low growth rates to positive at high growth rates. At high growth rates, effects of size-dependent factors predominate, and predator presence causes an increase in the scaling of growth rate with size (larger individuals respond less strongly to predator presence than small individuals). Thus predator presence led to an increase in size variation. In contrast, at low growth rates, size-independent factors were relatively more important, and predator presence reduced expression of these size-independent factors. Consequently, predator presence led to a decrease in size variation. Our results therefore indicate a further mechanism whereby nonlethal predator effects can be manifest on prey species performance. These results have strong implications for both ecological and evolutionary processes. Theoretical studies indicate that changes in cohort size variation can have profound effects on population dynamics and stability, and therefore the mere presence of a predator could have

  7. The refugee crisis in Africa and implications for health and disease: a political ecology approach.

    PubMed

    Kalipeni, E; Oppong, J

    1998-06-01

    Political violence in civil war and ethnic conflicts has generated millions of refugees across the African continent with unbelievable pictures of suffering and unnecessary death. Using a political ecology framework, this paper examines the geographies of exile and refugee movements and the associated implications for re-emerging and newly emerging infectious diseases in great detail. It examines how the political ecologic circumstances underlying the refugee crisis influences health services delivery and the problems of disease and health in refugee camps. It has four main themes, namely, an examination of the geography of the refugee crisis: the disruption of health services due to political ecologic forces that produce refugees; the breeding of disease in refugee camps due to the prevailing desperation and destitution; and the creation of an optimal environment for emergence and spread of disease due to the chaotic nature of war and violence that produces refugees. We argue in this paper that there is great potential of something more virulent than cholera and Ebola emerging and taking a big toll before being identified and controlled. We conclude by noting that once such a disease is out in the public rapid diffusion despite political boundaries is likely, a fact that has a direct bearing on global health. The extensive evidence presented in this paper of the overriding role of political factors in the refugee health problem calls for political reform and peace accords, engagement and empowerment of Pan-African organizations, foreign policy changes by Western governments and greater vigilance of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the allocation and distribution of relief aid.

  8. Transitions in Arctic ecosystems: Ecological implications of a changing hydrological regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wrona, Frederick J.; Johansson, Margareta; Culp, Joseph M.; Jenkins, Alan; Mârd, Johanna; Myers-Smith, Isla H.; Prowse, Terry D.; Vincent, Warwick F.; Wookey, Philip A.

    2016-03-01

    Numerous international scientific assessments and related articles have, during the last decade, described the observed and potential impacts of climate change as well as other related environmental stressors on Arctic ecosystems. There is increasing recognition that observed and projected changes in freshwater sources, fluxes, and storage will have profound implications for the physical, biogeochemical, biological, and ecological processes and properties of Arctic terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. However, a significant level of uncertainty remains in relation to forecasting the impacts of an intensified hydrological regime and related cryospheric change on ecosystem structure and function. As the terrestrial and freshwater ecology component of the Arctic Freshwater Synthesis, we review these uncertainties and recommend enhanced coordinated circumpolar research and monitoring efforts to improve quantification and prediction of how an altered hydrological regime influences local, regional, and circumpolar-level responses in terrestrial and freshwater systems. Specifically, we evaluate (i) changes in ecosystem productivity; (ii) alterations in ecosystem-level biogeochemical cycling and chemical transport; (iii) altered landscapes, successional trajectories, and creation of new habitats; (iv) altered seasonality and phenological mismatches; and (v) gains or losses of species and associated trophic interactions. We emphasize the need for developing a process-based understanding of interecosystem interactions, along with improved predictive models. We recommend enhanced use of the catchment scale as an integrated unit of study, thereby more explicitly considering the physical, chemical, and ecological processes and fluxes across a full freshwater continuum in a geographic region and spatial range of hydroecological units (e.g., stream-pond-lake-river-near shore marine environments).

  9. Ecological effects on streams from forest fertilization; literature review and conceptual framework for future study in the western Cascades

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, C.W.

    2002-03-19

    Studies of the responses of stream biota to fertilization have been rare and have targeted either immediate, toxicity-based responses or used methods insensitive to ongoing ecological processes. This report reviews water-quality studies following forest fertilizations, emphasizing Cascade streams in the Pacific Northwest and documented biological responses in those streams. A conceptual model predicting potential ecological response to fertilization, which includes effects on algal growth and primary production, is presented. In this model, applied fertilizer nitrogen reaching streams is mostly exported during winter. However, some nitrogen retained in soils or stream and riparian areas may become available to aquatic biota during spring and summer. Biological responses may be minimal in small streams nearest to application because of light limitation, but may be elevated downstream where light is sufficient to allow algal growth. Ultimately, algal response could be greatest in downstream reaches, although ambient nutrient concentrations remain low due to uptake and benthic nutrient recycling. Ground-water flow paths and hyporheic processing could be critical in determining the fate of applied nitrogen. A framework is provided for testing this response in the Little River watershed, a tributary to the North Umpqua River, Oregon, at basic and intensive levels of investigation.

  10. Ecological Misconceptions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munson, Bruce H.

    1994-01-01

    Presents a summary of the research literature on students' ecological conceptions and the implications of misconceptions. Topics include food webs, ecological adaptation, carrying capacity, ecosystem, and niche. (Contains 35 references.) (MKR)

  11. On the decline of ground lichen forests in the Swedish boreal landscape: Implications for reindeer husbandry and sustainable forest management.

    PubMed

    Sandström, Per; Cory, Neil; Svensson, Johan; Hedenås, Henrik; Jougda, Leif; Borchert, Nanna

    2016-05-01

    Lichens are a bottleneck resource for circumpolar populations of reindeer, and as such, for reindeer husbandry as an indigenous Sami land-use tradition in northern Sweden. This study uses ground lichen data and forest information collected within the Swedish National Forest Inventory since 1953, on the scale of northern Sweden. We found a 71 % decline in the area of lichen-abundant forests over the last 60 years. A decline was observed in all regions and age classes and especially coincided with a decrease of >60 year old, open pine forests, which was the primary explanatory factor in our model. The effects of reindeer numbers were inconclusive in explaining the decrease in lichen-abundant forest. The role that forestry has played in causing this decline can be debated, but forestry can have a significant role in reversing the trend and improving ground lichen conditions.

  12. [Structure of populations and ecological nishes of ectoparasites in the parasite communities of small forest mammals].

    PubMed

    Balashov, Iu S; Bochkov, A V; Vashchenok, V S; Grigor'eva, L A; Staniukovich, M K; Tret'iakov, K A

    2007-01-01

    The paper reports the results of eight-year investigations on the ectoparasites of rodents and insectivores carried out in southern taiga of the Ilmen-Volkhov lowland (Novgorod Region) and Kurgolovsky reserve (Leningrad Region). Twelve species of small mammals were captured including three dominate species--bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus (2722 specimens), common shrew Sorex araneus (1658 specimens), and wood mouse Apodemus uralensis (367 specimens). Parasite community of the bank vole comprises 34 species of mites, ticks, and insects, the community of common shrew comprises 25 species, and the community of A. uralensis includes 28 species. Taxonomic diversity of the ectoparasite communities was shown to be based on the diversity of types of parasitism and ecological nishes of the host body. Permanent ectoparasites are found to be represented by 2 species of lie and 14 species of acariform mites. The group of temporary parasites includes 13 species of fleas, 10 species of gamasid mites. 3 ixodid species and 1 Trombiculidae. There is a common pool of temporary parasites of small mammals in the ecological system of taiga. Significance of different shrew and rodent species as hosts were found to be dependent on the population density in possible hosts and many other factors. Species diversity in the parasite communities of different small mammal species is dependent on the number of possible ecological nishes in the host body. Actual infill of these nishes by ectoparasites is usually lesser than potential one. Species composition of temporary parasites, their occurrence and abundance changes according to season. Interspecific competition in the temporary parasite species can decrease because of the seasonal disjunction of their population peaks. Diversification of the ecological niches of ectoparasites allow simultaneous feeding of more parasite individuals on one host, than in the case of parasitising of single species or several species with similar ecological

  13. Enhanced accumulation and storage of mercury on subtropical evergreen forest floor: Implications on mercury budget in global forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xun; Lin, Che-Jen; Lu, Zhiyun; Zhang, Hui; Zhang, Yiping; Feng, Xinbin

    2016-08-01

    Forest ecosystems play an important role in the global cycling of mercury (Hg). In this study, we characterized the Hg cycling at a remote evergreen broadleaf (EB) forest site in southwest China (Mount Ailao). The annual Hg input via litterfall is estimated to be 75.0 ± 24.2 µg m-2 yr-1 at Mount Ailao. Such a quantity is up to 1 order of magnitude greater than those observed at remote temperate/boreal (T/B) forest sites. Production of litter biomass is found to be the most influential factor causing the high Hg input to the EB forest. Given their large areal coverage, Hg deposition through litterfall in EB forests is appropriately 9 ± 5 Mg yr-1 in China and 1086 ± 775 Mg yr-1 globally. The observed wet Hg deposition at Mount Ailao is 4.9 ± 4.5 µg m-2 yr-1, falling in the lower range of those observed at 49 T/B forest sites in North America and Europe. Given the data, the Hg deposition flux through litterfall is approximately 15 times higher than the wet Hg deposition at Mount Ailao. Steady Hg accumulation in decomposing litter biomass and Hg uptake from the environment were observed during 25 months of litter decomposition. The size of the Hg pool in the organic horizon of EB forest floors is estimated to be up to 2-10 times the typical pool size in T/B forests. This study highlights the importance of EB forest ecosystems in global Hg cycling, which requires further assessment when more data become available in tropical forests.

  14. Biochemical ecology of the forest tent caterpillar: responses to dietary protein and phenolic glycosides.

    PubMed

    Lindroth, Richard L; Bloomer, Mark S

    1991-05-01

    Interactions between quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) and the forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria) are likely to be influenced by leaf protein and phenolic glycoside levels, and insect detoxication activity. We investigated the direct and interactive effects of dietary protein and phenolic glycosides on larval performance and midgut enzyme activity of forest tent caterpillars. We conducted bioassays with six artificial diets, using both first and fourth stadium larvae. Four of the diets comprised a 2×2 factorial design-two levels of protein, each with and without phenolic glycosides. Additionally, we assayed high protein diets containing S,S,S-tributylphosphorotrithioate (DEF, an esterase inhibitor) and DEF plus phenolic glycosides. Enzyme solutions were prepared from midguts of sixth instars and assayed for β-glucosidase, esterase and glutathione transferase activities. First instar mortality and development times were higher for larvae on diets low in protein or containing phenolic glycosides. Effects of phenolic glycosides were especially pronounced at low protein levels and when administered with DEF. Fourth instar development times were prolonged, and growth rates reduced, in response to consumption of low protein diets. Effects of phenolic glycosides on growth were less pronounced, although the effect for larvae on the low protein diet was nearly significant. Activity of each of the enzyme systems was reduced in larvae reared on low protein diets, and esterase activity was induced in larvae fed phenolic glycosides. Our results suggest that larval performance may be strongly affected by levels of protein and phenolic glycosides commonly occurring in aspen foliage, and that these factors may play a role in differential defoliation of aspen by forest tent caterpillars.

  15. Spatial and temporal patterns of cloud cover and fog inundation in coastal California: Ecological implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rastogi, Bharat; Williams, A. Park; Fischer, Douglas T.; Iacobellis, Sam F.; McEachern, Kathryn; Carvalho, Leila; Jones, Charles Leslie; Baguskas, Sara A.; Still, Christopher J.

    2016-01-01

    The presence of low-lying stratocumulus clouds and fog has been known to modify biophysical and ecological properties in coastal California where forests are frequently shaded by low-lying clouds or immersed in fog during otherwise warm and dry summer months. Summer fog and stratus can ameliorate summer drought stress and enhance soil water budgets, and often have different spatial and temporal patterns. Here we use remote sensing datasets to characterize the spatial and temporal patterns of cloud cover over California’s northern Channel Islands. We found marine stratus to be persistent from May through September across the years 2001-2012. Stratus clouds were both most frequent and had the greatest spatial extent in July. Clouds typically formed in the evening, and dissipated by the following early afternoon. We present a novel method to downscale satellite imagery using atmospheric observations and discriminate patterns of fog from those of stratus and help explain patterns of fog deposition previously studied on the islands. The outcomes of this study contribute significantly to our ability to quantify the occurrence of coastal fog at biologically meaningful spatial and temporal scales that can improve our understanding of cloud-ecosystem interactions, species distributions and coastal ecohydrology.

  16. Soil Quality under Riparian Forest at Different Stages of Ecological Succession and Cultivated with Sugarcane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva, Luiz Gabriel; Casagrande, José Carlos; Colato, Alexandre; Soares, Marcio Roberto; Perissatto Meneghin, Silvana

    2014-05-01

    This work aimed at evaluating the quality of the soil through its chemical, physical and microbiological attributes, using additive pondered model, as well as studying the characteristics of the linear method of combination of data, figures of merit (FoMs), the process of assigning weights and standard score functions, using measurements collected in three areas (two riparian forests and a commercial crop of sugarcane) in two soil types (Oxisol and Podzol) located on the dam shores of Sugar Mill Saint Lucia-Araras/SP. The soil was sampled in the depths of 0-0.2 and 0.2-0.4m, and was determined some of its chemical attributes (nutrient content and organic matter, cationic exchange capacity - CEC, etc.), physical (particle size distribution, density and porosity) and microbiological (microbial biomass and basal respiration). Two models were built, one containing two hierarchical levels of FoMs (Mod1), and another containing three levels (Mod2), in order to try to isolate FoMs highly correlated from each other within a top-level FoM. At FoMs of Mod1 were assigned various combinations of weights, and those of Mod2 were assigned weights from three methods, distribution from fixed value, classification and pair-wise comparison. In the Mod1, in virtually all combinations of weights used, values of Soil Quality Index (SQI) were superior in older forests, while the most recent forest presented the lowest SQI, for both types of soil. The variation of SQI values obtained from the sets of weights used also differed between the combinations tested, with the set of values of the ancient forest showing smaller amplitude. It could also be observed that the sets of values of Oxisol showed higher SQI and lower amplitude in relation to that of Podzol. It was observed that these facts are due mainly to the soil organic matter content (MO), which differs between the vegetations and soil types, and influences many parameters used in the model. Thus, in the structures where MO had

  17. Spatiotemporal analysis of black spruce forest soils and implications for the fate of C

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harden, Jennifer W.; Manies, Kristen L.; O'Donnell, Jonathan; Johnson, Kristofer; Frolking, Steve; Fan, Zhaosheng

    2012-01-01

    Post-fire storage of carbon (C) in organic-soil horizons was measured in one Canadian and three Alaskan chronosequences in black spruce forests, together spanning stand ages of nearly 200 yrs. We used a simple mass balance model to derive estimates of inputs, losses, and accumulation rates of C on timescales of years to centuries. The model performed well for the surface and total organic soil layers and presented questions for resolving the dynamics of deeper organic soils. C accumulation in all study areas is on the order of 20–40 gC/m 2 / yr for stand ages up to $200 yrs. Much larger fluxes, both positive and negative, are detected using incremental changes in soil C stocks and by other studies using eddy covariance methods for CO 2 . This difference suggests that over the course of stand replacement, about 80% of all net primary production (NPP) is returned to the atmosphere within a fire cycle, while about 20% of NPP enters the organic soil layers and becomes available for stabilization or loss via decomposition, leaching, or combustion. Shifts toward more frequent and more severe burning and degradation of deep organic horizons would likely result in an acceleration of the carbon cycle, with greater CO 2 emissions from these systems overall., Spatiotemporal analysis of black spruce forest soils and implications for the fate of C.

  18. Vegetation composition and structure of southern coastal plain pine forests: An ecological comparison

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hedman, C.W.; Grace, S.L.; King, S.E.

    2000-01-01

    Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) ecosystems are characterized by a diverse community of native groundcover species. Critics of plantation forestry claim that loblolly (Pinus taeda) and slash pine (Pinus elliottii) forests are devoid of native groundcover due to associated management practices. As a result of these practices, some believe that ecosystem functions characteristic of longleaf pine are lost under loblolly and slash pine plantation management. Our objective was to quantify and compare vegetation composition and structure of longleaf, loblolly, and slash pine forests of differing ages, management strategies, and land-use histories. Information from this study will further our understanding and lead to inferences about functional differences among pine cover types. Vegetation and environmental data were collected in 49 overstory plots across Southlands Experiment Forest in Bainbridge, GA. Nested plots, i.e. midstory, understory, and herbaceous, were replicated four times within each overstory plot. Over 400 species were identified. Herbaceous species richness was variable for all three pine cover types. Herbaceous richness for longleaf, slash, and loblolly pine averaged 15, 13, and 12 species per m2, respectively. Longleaf pine plots had significantly more (p < 0.029) herbaceous species and greater herbaceous cover (p < 0.001) than loblolly or slash pine plots. Longleaf and slash pine plots were otherwise similar in species richness and stand structure, both having lower overstory density, midstory density, and midstory cover than loblolly pine plots. Multivariate analyses provided additional perspectives on vegetation patterns. Ordination and classification procedures consistently placed herbaceous plots into two groups which we refer to as longleaf pine benchmark (34 plots) and non-benchmark (15 plots). Benchmark plots typically contained numerous herbaceous species characteristic of relic longleaf pine/wiregrass communities found in the area. Conversely

  19. Evidence-based knowledge versus negotiated indicators for assessment of ecological sustainability: the Swedish Forest Stewardship Council standard as a case study.

    PubMed

    Angelstam, Per; Roberge, Jean-Michel; Axelsson, Robert; Elbakidze, Marine; Bergman, Karl-Olof; Dahlberg, Anders; Degerman, Erik; Eggers, Sönke; Esseen, Per-Anders; Hjältén, Joakim; Johansson, Therese; Müller, Jörg; Paltto, Heidi; Snäll, Tord; Soloviy, Ihor; Törnblom, Johan

    2013-03-01

    Assessing ecological sustainability involves monitoring of indicators and comparison of their states with performance targets that are deemed sustainable. First, a normative model was developed centered on evidence-based knowledge about (a) forest composition, structure, and function at multiple scales, and (b) performance targets derived by quantifying the habitat amount in naturally dynamic forests, and as required for presence of populations of specialized focal species. Second, we compared the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification standards' ecological indicators from 1998 and 2010 in Sweden to the normative model using a Specific, Measurable, Accurate, Realistic, and Timebound (SMART) indicator approach. Indicator variables and targets for riparian and aquatic ecosystems were clearly under-represented compared to terrestrial ones. FSC's ecological indicators expanded over time from composition and structure towards function, and from finer to coarser spatial scales. However, SMART indicators were few. Moreover, they poorly reflected quantitative evidence-based knowledge, a consequence of the fact that forest certification mirrors the outcome of a complex social negotiation process.

  20. Ecological importance of large-diameter trees in a temperate mixed-conifer forest.

    PubMed

    Lutz, James A; Larson, Andrew J; Swanson, Mark E; Freund, James A

    2012-01-01

    Large-diameter trees dominate the structure, dynamics and function of many temperate and tropical forests. Although both scaling theory and competition theory make predictions about the relative composition and spatial patterns of large-diameter trees compared to smaller diameter trees, these predictions are rarely tested. We established a 25.6 ha permanent plot within which we tagged and mapped all trees ≥1 cm dbh, all snags ≥10 cm dbh, and all shrub patches ≥2 m(2). We sampled downed woody debris, litter, and duff with line intercept transects. Aboveground live biomass of the 23 woody species was 507.9 Mg/ha, of which 503.8 Mg/ha was trees (SD = 114.3 Mg/ha) and 4.1 Mg/ha was shrubs. Aboveground live and dead biomass was 652.0 Mg/ha. Large-diameter trees comprised 1.4% of individuals but 49.4% of biomass, with biomass dominated by Abies concolor and Pinus lambertiana (93.0% of tree biomass). The large-diameter component dominated the biomass of snags (59.5%) and contributed significantly to that of woody debris (36.6%). Traditional scaling theory was not a good model for either the relationship between tree radii and tree abundance or tree biomass. Spatial patterning of large-diameter trees of the three most abundant species differed from that of small-diameter conspecifics. For A. concolor and P. lambertiana, as well as all trees pooled, large-diameter and small-diameter trees were spatially segregated through inter-tree distances <10 m. Competition alone was insufficient to explain the spatial patterns of large-diameter trees and spatial relationships between large-diameter and small-diameter trees. Long-term observations may reveal regulation of forest biomass and spatial structure by fire, wind, pathogens, and insects in Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forests. Sustaining ecosystem functions such as carbon storage or provision of specialist species habitat will likely require different management strategies when the functions are performed primarily by

  1. Ecological Importance of Large-Diameter Trees in a Temperate Mixed-Conifer Forest

    PubMed Central

    Lutz, James A.; Larson, Andrew J.; Swanson, Mark E.; Freund, James A.

    2012-01-01

    Large-diameter trees dominate the structure, dynamics and function of many temperate and tropical forests. Although both scaling theory and competition theory make predictions about the relative composition and spatial patterns of large-diameter trees compared to smaller diameter trees, these predictions are rarely tested. We established a 25.6 ha permanent plot within which we tagged and mapped all trees ≥1 cm dbh, all snags ≥10 cm dbh, and all shrub patches ≥2 m2. We sampled downed woody debris, litter, and duff with line intercept transects. Aboveground live biomass of the 23 woody species was 507.9 Mg/ha, of which 503.8 Mg/ha was trees (SD = 114.3 Mg/ha) and 4.1 Mg/ha was shrubs. Aboveground live and dead biomass was 652.0 Mg/ha. Large-diameter trees comprised 1.4% of individuals but 49.4% of biomass, with biomass dominated by Abies concolor and Pinus lambertiana (93.0% of tree biomass). The large-diameter component dominated the biomass of snags (59.5%) and contributed significantly to that of woody debris (36.6%). Traditional scaling theory was not a good model for either the relationship between tree radii and tree abundance or tree biomass. Spatial patterning of large-diameter trees of the three most abundant species differed from that of small-diameter conspecifics. For A. concolor and P. lambertiana, as well as all trees pooled, large-diameter and small-diameter trees were spatially segregated through inter-tree distances <10 m. Competition alone was insufficient to explain the spatial patterns of large-diameter trees and spatial relationships between large-diameter and small-diameter trees. Long-term observations may reveal regulation of forest biomass and spatial structure by fire, wind, pathogens, and insects in Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forests. Sustaining ecosystem functions such as carbon storage or provision of specialist species habitat will likely require different management strategies when the functions are performed primarily by a

  2. The ecology of energy and nutrient fluxes in hemlock forests invaded by hemlock woolly adelgid.

    PubMed

    Stadler, Bernhard; Müller, Thomas; Orwig, David

    2006-07-01

    The hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA, Adelges tsugae Annand) is currently causing a severe decline in vitality and survival of eastern hemlock in North American forests. We analyzed the effects of light HWA infestation on vertical energy and nutrient fluxes from the canopy to the forest floor. Canopy throughfall, litter lysimeters, and laboratory litter microcosms were used to examine the effects of HWA-affected and unaffected throughfall on litter type, leachate, and litter chemistry. Early in the season adelgid infestation caused higher dissolved organic carbon (DOC; +24.6%), dissolved organic nitrogen (DON; +28.5%), and K (+39.3%) fluxes and lower inorganic nitrogen fluxes (-39.8%) in throughfall and in adjacent litter solutions collected beneath infested compared to uninfested trees. Needle litter collected beneath uninfested hemlock had significantly lower N concentrations compared to needles collected beneath infested trees, while no difference in N concentrations was found in birch litter. Bacteria were significantly more abundant on hemlock and birch litter beneath infested trees, while yeasts and filamentous fungi showed no consistent response to HWA throughfall. Litter microcosms showed that less DOC was leaching from birch than from hemlock needles when exposed to HWA throughfall. Overall, NH4-N and DON leachate concentrations were higher from birch than from hemlock litter. Thus, HWA-affected throughfall leads to qualitative and quantitative differences in nitrogen export from the litter layer. The N concentration of hemlock litter did not change with time, but the N concentration in birch litter increased significantly during the course of the experiment, especially when HWA-affected throughfall was applied. We suggest a nonlinear conceptual model for the temporal and vertical transition of energy and nutrient fluxes relative to progressing HWA infestation from a pure hemlock to a birch/maple-dominated forest. Progressive needle loss and changes in needle

  3. Geomorphology and forest ecology of a mountain region in the central Appalachians

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hack, John Tilton; Goodlett, John C.

    1960-01-01

    The area studied, mostly in the headwaters of the Shenandoah River, Augusta and Rockingham Counties, Va., includes about 55 square miles of densely forested mountain land and has an average relief of about 1,500 feet. It is part of an area that in June 1949 was subjected to a violent cloudburst which damaged large tracts on slopes and bottom lands. Most of the area is underlain by flaggy arkosic sandstone and interbedded reddish shale of the Hampshire formation of Devonian age. The highest ridges are capped by massive sandstone of the Pocono formation of Mississippian age. In most of the area the rocks dip gently to the southeast but in the northwestern and southeastern parts they are folded into synclines that localize northeastward-trending ridges.

  4. Ecology and diagnosis of introduced avian malaria in Hawaiian forest birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Atkinson, Carter T.

    2005-01-01

    Avian malaria is a disease caused by species of protozoan parasites (Plasmodium) that infect birds. Related species commonly infect reptiles, birds and mammals in tropical and temperate regions of the world. Transmitted by mosquitoes, the parasites spend part of their lives in the red blood cells of birds (Figure 1). Avian malaria is common in continental areas, but is absent from the most isolated island archipelagos where mosquitoes do not naturally occur. More than 40 different species of avian Plasmodium have been described, but only one, P. relictum, has been introduced to the Hawaiian Islands. Because they evolved without natural exposure to avian malaria, native Hawaiian honeycreepers are extremely susceptible to this disease. Malaria currently limits the geographic distribution of native species, has population level impacts on survivorship, and is limiting the recovery of threatened and endangered species of forest birds.

  5. Valuing fire planning alternatives in forest restoration: using derived demand to integrate economics with ecological restoration.

    PubMed

    Rideout, Douglas B; Ziesler, Pamela S; Kernohan, Nicole J

    2014-08-01

    Assessing the value of fire planning alternatives is challenging because fire affects a wide array of ecosystem, market, and social values. Wildland fire management is increasingly used to address forest restoration while pragmatic approaches to assessing the value of fire management have yet to be developed. Earlier approaches to assessing the value of forest management relied on connecting site valuation with management variables. While sound, such analysis is too narrow to account for a broad range of ecosystem services. The metric fire regime condition class (FRCC) was developed from ecosystem management philosophy, but it is entirely biophysical. Its lack of economic information cripples its utility to support decision-making. We present a means of defining and assessing the deviation of a landscape from its desired fire management condition by re-framing the fire management problem as one of derived demand. This valued deviation establishes a performance metric for wildland fire management. Using a case study, we display the deviation across a landscape and sum the deviations to produce a summary metric. This summary metric is used to assess the value of alternative fire management strategies on improving the fire management condition toward its desired state. It enables us to identify which sites are most valuable to restore, even when they are in the same fire regime condition class. The case study site exemplifies how a wide range of disparate values, such as watershed, wildlife, property and timber, can be incorporated into a single landscape assessment. The analysis presented here leverages previous research on environmental capital value and non-market valuation by integrating ecosystem management, restoration, and microeconomics.

  6. Pathogen evolution across the agro-ecological interface: implications for disease management.

    PubMed

    Burdon, Jeremy J; Thrall, Peter H

    2008-02-01

    Infectious disease is a major causal factor in the demography of human, plant and animal populations. While it is generally accepted in medical, veterinary and agricultural contexts that variation in host resistance and pathogen virulence and aggressiveness is of central importance to understanding patterns of infection, there has been remarkably little effort to directly investigate causal links between population genetic structure and disease dynamics, and even less work on factors influencing host-pathogen coevolution. The lack of empirical evidence is particularly surprising, given the potential for such variation to not only affect disease dynamics and prevalence, but also when or where new diseases or pathotypes emerge. Increasingly, this lack of knowledge has led to calls for an integrated approach to disease management, incorporating both ecological and evolutionary processes. Here, we argue that plant pathogens occurring in agro-ecosystems represent one clear example where the application of evolutionary principles to disease management would be of great benefit, as well as providing model systems for advancing our ability to generalize about the long-term coevolutionary dynamics of host-pathogen systems. We suggest that this is particularly the case given that agro-ecological host-pathogen interactions represent a diversity of situations ranging from those that only involve agricultural crops through to those that also include weedy crop relatives or even unrelated native plant communities. We begin by examining some of the criteria that are important in determining involvement in agricultural pathogen evolution by noncrop plants. Throughout we use empirical examples to illustrate the fact that different processes may dominate in different systems, and suggest that consideration of life history and spatial structure are central to understanding dynamics and direction of the interaction. We then discuss the implications that such interactions have for

  7. Plant-insect interactions under bacterial influence: ecological implications and underlying mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Sugio, Akiko; Dubreuil, Géraldine; Giron, David; Simon, Jean-Christophe

    2015-02-01

    Plants and insects have been co-existing for more than 400 million years, leading to intimate and complex relationships. Throughout their own evolutionary history, plants and insects have also established intricate and very diverse relationships with microbial associates. Studies in recent years have revealed plant- or insect-associated microbes to be instrumental in plant-insect interactions, with important implications for plant defences and plant utilization by insects. Microbial communities associated with plants are rich in diversity, and their structure greatly differs between below- and above-ground levels. Microbial communities associated with insect herbivores generally present a lower diversity and can reside in different body parts of their hosts including bacteriocytes, haemolymph, gut, and salivary glands. Acquisition of microbial communities by vertical or horizontal transmission and possible genetic exchanges through lateral transfer could strongly impact on the host insect or plant fitness by conferring adaptations to new habitats. Recent developments in sequencing technologies and molecular tools have dramatically enhanced opportunities to characterize the microbial diversity associated with plants and insects and have unveiled some of the mechanisms by which symbionts modulate plant-insect interactions. Here, we focus on the diversity and ecological consequences of bacterial communities associated with plants and herbivorous insects. We also highlight the known mechanisms by which these microbes interfere with plant-insect interactions. Revealing such mechanisms in model systems under controlled environments but also in more natural ecological settings will help us to understand the evolution of complex multitrophic interactions in which plants, herbivorous insects, and micro-organisms are inserted.

  8. Experimental and Ecological Implications of Evening Bird Surveys in Stream-Riparian Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, S. Mažeika P.; Vierling, Kerri T.

    2009-10-01

    Stream-riparian ecosystems are dynamic and complex entities that can support high levels of bird assemblage abundance and diversity. The myriad patches (e.g., aquatic, floodplain, riparian) found in the riverscape habitat mosaic attract a unique mixture of aquatic, semiaquatic, riparian, and upland birds, each uniquely utilizing the river corridor. Whereas standard morning bird surveys are widely used across ecosystems, the variety of bird guilds and the temporal habitat partitioning that likely occur in stream-riparian ecosystems argue for the inclusion of evening surveys. At 41 stream reaches in Vermont and Idaho, USA, we surveyed bird assemblages using a combination of morning and evening fixed-width transect counts. Student’s paired t-tests showed that while bird abundance was not significantly different between morning and evening surveys, bird assemblage diversity (as measured by species richness, Shannon-Weiner’s index, and Simpson’s index) was significantly higher in the morning than in the evening. NMS ordinations of bird species and time (i.e., morning, evening) indicated that the structure of morning bird assemblages was different from that of evening assemblages. NMS further showed that a set of species was only found in evening surveys. The inclusion of evening counts in surveying bird assemblages in stream-riparian ecosystems has important experimental and ecological implications. Experimentally, the sole use of morning bird surveys may significantly underestimate the diversity and misrepresent the community composition of bird assemblages in these ecosystems. Ecologically, many of the birds detected in evening surveys were water-associated species that occupy high trophic levels and aerial insectivores that represent unique aquatic-terrestrial energy transfers.

  9. Southern Foresters' Perceptions of Climate Change: Implications for Educational Program Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boby, Leslie; Hubbard, William; Megalos, Mark; Morris, Hilary L. C.

    2016-01-01

    An understanding of foresters' perceptions of climate change is important for developing effective educational programs on adaptive forest management. We surveyed 1,398 foresters in the southern United States regarding their perceptions of climate change, observations and concerns about climatic and forest conditions, and knowledge of and interest…

  10. Forest area and distribution in the Mississippi alluvial valley: Implications for breeding bird conservation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Twedt, D.J.; Loesch, C.R.

    1999-01-01

    Knowing the current forest distribution and patch size characteristics is integral to the development of geographically defined, habitat-based conservation objectives for breeding birds. Towards this end, we classified 2.6 million ha of forest cover within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley using 1992 thematic mapper satellite imagery. Although historically this area, from southern Illinois to southern Louisiana, was dominated by forested wetlands, forest cover remains on less than 25% of the floodplain. Remaining forest cover is comprised of > 38,000 discrete forest patches > 2 ha. Mean patch area (64.1?5.2 ha; 0 ?SE) was highly skewed towards small fragment size. Larger patches had a higher proportion of more hydric forest cover classes than did smaller patches which had a higher proportion of less hydric forest cover classes. Public lands accounted for 16% of remaining forested wetlands. Fewer than 100 forest patches exceeded our hypothesized habitat objective (4000 ha minimum contiguous forest area) intended to support self-sustaining populations of forest breeding birds. To increase the number of forest patches exceeding 4000 ha contiguous area, and thereby increase the likelihood of successful forest bird conservation, we recommend afforestation adjoining existing forest fragments ?1012 ha and focused within designated Forest Bird Conservation Regions.

  11. A Framework for Long-term Ecological Monitoring in Olympic National Park: Prototype for the Coniferous Forest Biome

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jenkins, Kurt; Woodward, Andrea; Schreiner, Ed

    2003-01-01

    This report is the result of a five-year collaboration between scientists of the U.S. Geological Survey Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Olympic Field Station, and the natural resources staff of Olympic National Park to develop a comprehensive strategy for monitoring natural resources of Olympic National Park. Olympic National Park is the National Park Serviceʼs prototype monitoring park, representing parks in the coniferous forest biome. Under the umbrella of the National Park Serviceʼs prototype parks program, U.S. Geological Survey and Olympic National Park staffs are obligated to:develop strategies and designs for monitoring the long-term health and integrity of national park ecosystems with a significant coniferous forest component.design exportable monitoring protocols that can be used by other parks within the coniferous forest biome (i.e., parks having similar environments), andcreate a demonstration area and ʻcenter of excellenceʼ for assisting other parks in developing ecological monitoring programs.Olympic National Park is part of the North Coast and Cascades Network, a network of seven Pacific Northwestern park units created recently by the National Park Serviceʼs Inventory and Monitoring Program to extend the monitoring of ʻvital signsʼ of park health to all National Park Service units. It is our intent and hope that the monitoring strategies and conceptual models described here will meet the overall purpose of the prototype parks monitoring program in proving useful not only to Olympic National Park, but also to parks within the North Coast and Cascades Network and elsewhere. Part I contains the conceptual design and sampling framework for the prototype long-term monitoring program in Olympic National Park. In this section, we explore key elements of monitoring design that help to ensure the spatial, ecological, and temporal integration of monitoring program elements and discuss approaches used to design an ecosystem

  12. Assessing Vegetation Cover Dynamics Induced by Policy-Driven Ecological Restoration and Implication to Soil Erosion in Southern China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jien; Wang, Tianming; Ge, Jianping

    2015-01-01

    In the aftermath of the severe droughts and floods at the end of the 20th century, the Chinese government launched several ecological restoration projects, including the Natural Forest Protection Program in 1998 and the Grain-for-Green Program in 1999, to promote afforestation and reforestation to reduce surface runoff and consequent soil erosion nationwide. However, it is still unclear how vegetation has changed in southern China since the launch of these programs. In this study, we used the MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) to analyze the vegetation cover dynamics in southern China from 2000 to 2009 and evaluate the resulting effects of controlling soil erosion. Our observations indicate that 5.3% of the study area significantly increased and 0.98% significantly decreased in EVI value (p < 0.05). The spring EVI had largest increase in space. The conversions of croplands on steep slopes to forests resulting from national policies led to significant increases in EVI. The increase in EVI was not driven by annual average temperature and annual precipitation. By referencing ecological restoration statistical data and field observations, we showed that ecological restoration programs significantly improved vegetation cover in southern China. Increase in the area of farmland-converted forestlands has reduced soil erosion based upon monitoring sediment yields at hydrologic stations in the Yangtze River. This study displays the spatial patterns of trend in vegetation growth since the beginning of the 21st century in southern China and highlights the important role of China's afforestation program.

  13. Assessing Vegetation Cover Dynamics Induced by Policy-Driven Ecological Restoration and Implication to Soil Erosion in Southern China

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jien; Wang, Tianming; Ge, Jianping

    2015-01-01

    In the aftermath of the severe droughts and floods at the end of the 20th century, the Chinese government launched several ecological restoration projects, including the Natural Forest Protection Program in 1998 and the Grain-for-Green Program in 1999, to promote afforestation and reforestation to reduce surface runoff and consequent soil erosion nationwide. However, it is still unclear how vegetation has changed in southern China since the launch of these programs. In this study, we used the MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) to analyze the vegetation cover dynamics in southern China from 2000 to 2009 and evaluate the resulting effects of controlling soil erosion. Our observations indicate that 5.3% of the study area significantly increased and 0.98% significantly decreased in EVI value (p < 0.05). The spring EVI had largest increase in space. The conversions of croplands on steep slopes to forests resulting from national policies led to significant increases in EVI. The increase in EVI was not driven by annual average temperature and annual precipitation. By referencing ecological restoration statistical data and field observations, we showed that ecological restoration programs significantly improved vegetation cover in southern China. Increase in the area of farmland-converted forestlands has reduced soil erosion based upon monitoring sediment yields at hydrologic stations in the Yangtze River. This study displays the spatial patterns of trend in vegetation growth since the beginning of the 21st century in southern China and highlights the important role of China’s afforestation program. PMID:26115116

  14. The shiny cowbird Molothrus bonariensis in the West Indian region--Biogeographical and ecological implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cruz, A.; Wiley, J.W.; Nakamura, T.K.; Post, W.; Woods, C.A.

    1989-01-01

    The shiny cowbird (Molthrus bonariensis), an avian brood parasite, is endemic to South America, Trinidad, and Tobago, but during the last 100 years the species has spread through the West Indies. Successful colonization by the shiny cowbird depends on the availablitiy of suitable habitats and host species. As forest fragmentation increases in the West Indies, new hosts, particularly forest species, will be parasitied. Forest fragmentation creates small patches of forests surrounded by open habitat and increases the portion of forest habitat available to cowbirds.

  15. Economically and ecologically important plant communities in high altitude coniferous forest of Malam Jabba, Swat, Pakistan

    PubMed Central

    Sher, Hassan; Al_yemeni, Mohammad

    2010-01-01

    A study on the economically important plant communities was carried out during summer 2008 in various parts of Malam Jabba valley, Swat. The principal aim of the study was phytosociological evaluation with special reference to the occurrence of commercially important medicinal plant species in coniferous forest of the study area. Secondly to prepare ethnobotanical inventory of the plant resources of the area, as well as to evaluate the conservation status of important medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) through rapid vulnerable assessment (RVA) procedure. The study documented 90 species of ethnobotanical importance, out of these 71 spp used as medicinal plant, 20 spp fodder plant, 10 spp vegetables, 14 spp wild fruit, 18 spp fuel wood, 9 spp furniture and agricultural tools, 9 spp thatching, fencing and hedges, 4 spp honey bee, 2 spp evil eyes, 2 spp religious and 3 spp as poison. Phytosociologically six plant communities were found, comprising five herbs-shrubs-trees communities and one meadow community. Further study is, therefore, required to quantify the availability of species and to suggest suitable method for their production and conservation. Recommendations are also given in the spheres of training in identification, sustainable collection, value addition, trade monitoring and cooperative system of marketing. PMID:23961104

  16. Diversity and community ecology of forest epiphyte testate amoebae from European Russia.

    PubMed

    Payne, Richard J; Belyakova, Olga; Mazei, Yuri

    2015-10-01

    Testate amoebae are an abundant group of microorganisms which make a significant contribution to the diversity of protist life. Most of the world's potential habitats for testate amoebae have been barely studied and when such places are investigated they frequently reveal novel communities and species. Here we consider the testate amoeba communities associated with boreal forest epiphytes (mosses and lichens); an environment which we argue has been under-researched. We present a dataset of 165 samples from four regions of western Russia and analyse these data in relation to micro-habitat position and selected environmental data. The testate amoebae of epiphytes are abundant but dominated by ubiquitous species. We show that there are trends toward a lower species richness and test concentration with greater elevation on the trunk and in lichens compared to mosses. There are considerable differences in community composition between sampling regions. Of all measured environmental variables only moisture content showed a significant relationship with testate amoeba community structure. Our data highlight how little is known about testate amoeba communities of this habitat and call for greater research efforts, particularly in less-studied regions and biomes.

  17. Forest restoration as ecological succession: should we speed it up or slow it down?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hamel, P.B.; Twedt, D.J.; Nuttle, T.J.; Woodson, C.A.; Broerman, F.; Wahome, J.M.; Holland, Marjorie M.; Warren, Melvin L.; Stanturf, John A.

    2002-01-01

    Recent assessments of afforestation of agricultural lands in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley imply the importance of quickly developing vertical forest structure to benefit 'wildlife.' We examine this assumption and find that animal species of interest as targets of proactive management, as well as targets of control, occur through the full successional sere. Different species of mammals and birds respond positively to the structure available at different times during succession. Thus, managers must decide on the species and communities they wish to favor. Early successional species, particularly those avian communities occurring during winter, have been heretofore considered only in passing. However, because they occur in areas where herbaceous plants dominate vegetation structure, these communities include species otherwise rare or absent from the landscape. Extensive afforestation in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley provides ephemeral habitat for birds that winter in herbaceous areas. Managers may wish to consider maintaining large tracts in herbaceous vegetation similar to that occurring 3-7 years after cessation of farming activities, as habitat for such birds.

  18. Spatial ecology of krill, micronekton and top predators in the central California Current: Implications for defining ecologically important areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santora, Jarrod A.; Field, John C.; Schroeder, Isaac D.; Sakuma, Keith M.; Wells, Brian K.; Sydeman, William J.

    2012-11-01

    Marine spatial planning and ecosystem models that aim to predict and protect fisheries and wildlife benefit greatly from syntheses of empirical information on physical and biological partitioning of marine ecosystems. Here, we develop spatially-explicit oceanographic and ecological descriptions of the central California Current region. To partition this region, we integrate data from 20 years of shipboard surveys with satellite remote-sensing to characterize local seascapes of ecological significance, focusing on krill, other micronekton taxa, and top predators (seabirds and marine mammals). Specifically, we investigate if micronekton and predator assemblages co-vary spatially with mesoscale oceanographic conditions. The first principal component of environmental and micronekton seascapes indicates significant coupling between physics, primary productivity, and secondary and tertiary marine consumers. Subsequent principal components indicate latitudinal variability in niche-community space due to varying habitat characteristics between Monterey Bay (deep submarine canyon system) and the Gulf of the Farallones (extensive continental shelf), even though both of these sub-regions are located downstream from upwelling centers. Overall, we identified five ecologically important areas based on spatial integration of environmental and biotic features. These areas, characterized by proximity to upwelling centers, shallow pycnoclines, and high chlorophyll-a and krill concentrations, are potential areas of elevated trophic focusing for specific epipelagic and mesopelagic communities. This synthesis will benefit ecosystem-based management approaches for the central California Current, a region long-impacted by anthropogenic factors.

  19. Co-precipitation of phosphate and carbonate minerals: geological and ecological implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez-Román, Monica; McKenzie, Judith; Vasconcelos, Crisogono

    2015-04-01

    Microorganisms play an important role in natural environments by controlling the metal cations (e.g., Ca2+, Mg2+, Fe2+) and the anions (CO32-, NH4+, PO43-) that precipitate as biominerals (e.g., carbonates, phosphates). In contrast to phosphate minerals, precipitation of carbonate minerals by bacteria has been widely studied in culture experiments and in natural environments. Moreover, studies of sedimentary phosphate minerals and their geological and ecological implications are rare. Nevertheless, phosphate minerals frequently co-precipitate with carbonates in culture experiments and in natural systems. In the present work, we investigate how microorganisms control the mineralogy and geochemistry of phosphate and carbonate minerals. For this, culture experiments were performed to study the co-precipitation of phosphate and carbonate minerals using aerobic heterotrophic bacteria at sedimentary Earth's surface conditions. Ca-Mg carbonate (dolomite, Mg-calcite) and/or Mg-carbonate (hydromagnesite) precipitated with Mg-phosphate (struvite). In most of the cultures, phosphate was the dominant mineral phase found in the bacterial precipitates and carbonates precipitated after phosphate phases. Notably, in all the cultures, we found a mixture of phosphate and carbonate minerals. This study shines new light into the microbial diagenetic processes involved in the co-precipitation of phosphate and carbonate minerals and links the P and C cycles.

  20. Chronobiology of trematode cercarial emergence: from data recovery to epidemiological, ecological and evolutionary implications.

    PubMed

    Théron, André

    2015-04-01

    One major challenge for parasites with complex cycles consists to succeed in the transmission from one host to the next host. To maximize the probability of encountering the right host, numerous trematode species have selected various emergence rhythms occurring during the escape of the short-lived cercariae from the mollusc host. Cercarial shedding patterns are beautiful examples of adaptation of the parasite for a successful rendezvous with its subsequent host. In this review, after an analysis of the technical and statistical aspects specific to such studies, we compile the knowledge and unresolved issues we have about the synchronization of these rhythms, their genetic support and the role of the host physiology or activity. We are also interested on how cercarial rhythmicity influences cercarial densities in waters of transmission sites and then the risk of host infection in case of schistosomiasis. Ecological significance of the inter- and intra-specific diversity of these rhythms is emphasized as well as the evolutionary implication of new chronotypes resulting from the capture of new host species and promoting reproductive isolation and alloxenic speciation. Currently, genome sequence data now available for some trematodes such as the schistosomes provide an unprecedented resource for new research approaches that should contribute identification of the genes and mechanisms involved in determining the cercarial shedding rhythms observed.

  1. Ecological implications of anti-pathogen effects of tropical fungal endophytes and mycorrhizae.

    PubMed

    Herre, Edward Allen; Mejía, Luis C; Kyllo, Damond A; Rojas, Enith; Maynard, Zuleyka; Butler, Andre; Van Bael, Sunshine A

    2007-03-01

    We discuss studies of foliar endophytic fungi (FEF) and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) associated with Theobroma cacao in Panama. Direct, experimentally controlled comparisons of endophyte free (E-) and endophyte containing (E+) plant tissues in T. cacao show that foliar endophytes (FEF) that commonly occur in healthy host leaves enhance host defenses against foliar damage due to the pathogen (Phytophthora palmivora). Similarly, root inoculations with commonly occurring AMF also reduce foliar damage due to the same pathogen. These results suggest that endophytic fungi can play a potentially important mutualistic role by augmenting host defensive responses against pathogens. There are two broad classes of potential mechanisms by which endophytes could contribute to host protection: (1) inducing or increasing the expression of intrinsic host defense mechanisms and (2) providing additional sources of defense, extrinsic to those of the host (e.g., endophyte-based chemical antibiosis). The degree to which either of these mechanisms predominates holds distinct consequences for the evolutionary ecology of host-endophyte-pathogen relationships. More generally, the growing recognition that plants are composed of a mosaic of plant and fungal tissues holds a series of implications for the study of plant defense, physiology, and genetics.

  2. Ecological network analysis for economic systems: growth and development and implications for sustainable development.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jiali; Ulanowicz, Robert E

    2014-01-01

    The quantification of growth and development is an important issue in economics, because these phenomena are closely related to sustainability. We address growth and development from a network perspective in which economic systems are represented as flow networks and analyzed using ecological network analysis (ENA). The Beijing economic system is used as a case study and 11 input-output (I-O) tables for 1985-2010 are converted into currency networks. ENA is used to calculate system-level indices to quantify the growth and development of Beijing. The contributions of each direct flow toward growth and development in 2010 are calculated and their implications for sustainable development are discussed. The results show that during 1985-2010, growth was the main attribute of the Beijing economic system. Although the system grew exponentially, its development fluctuated within only a small range. The results suggest that system ascendency should be increased in order to favor more sustainable development. Ascendency can be augmented in two ways: (1) strengthen those pathways with positive contributions to increasing ascendency and (2) weaken those with negative effects.

  3. Ecological Network Analysis for Economic Systems: Growth and Development and Implications for Sustainable Development

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Jiali; Ulanowicz, Robert E.

    2014-01-01

    The quantification of growth and development is an important issue in economics, because these phenomena are closely related to sustainability. We address growth and development from a network perspective in which economic systems are represented as flow networks and analyzed using ecological network analysis (ENA). The Beijing economic system is used as a case study and 11 input–output (I-O) tables for 1985–2010 are converted into currency networks. ENA is used to calculate system-level indices to quantify the growth and development of Beijing. The contributions of each direct flow toward growth and development in 2010 are calculated and their implications for sustainable development are discussed. The results show that during 1985–2010, growth was the main attribute of the Beijing economic system. Although the system grew exponentially, its development fluctuated within only a small range. The results suggest that system ascendency should be increased in order to favor more sustainable development. Ascendency can be augmented in two ways: (1) strengthen those pathways with positive contributions to increasing ascendency and (2) weaken those with negative effects. PMID:24979465

  4. Browsing preference and ecological carrying capacity of sambar deer (Cervus unicolor brookei) on secondary vegetation in forest plantation.

    PubMed

    Ismail, Dahlan; Jiwan, Dawend

    2015-02-01

    The browsing preference and ecological carrying capacity (ECC) of sambar deer (Cervus unicolor brookei) in acacia plantations for management and conservation of the ecosystem were investigated at Sabal Forest Reserve in Sarawak, Malaysia. The identification of the species browsed by the sambar deer was based on an observation of the plant parts consumed. ECC estimation was based on body weight (BW) and the physiological stages of animals browsed in six fenced 4-ha paddocks. Sambar deer were found foraging on only 29 out of 42 species of secondary vegetation in the acacia plantation. The remaining species are too high for the deer to reach. Planted species, Shorea macrophylla are not palatable to the deer. This augurs well for the integration of sambar deer into shorea plantations. The most frequently exploited plants were Ficus spp. Sambar deer preferred woody species more than non-woody species and they are browser animals. By producing metabolizable energy of 19,000 to 27,000 MJ/ha, the ECC was five head/ha to 5.25 head/ha. Given its contribution to the conservation of wildlife and its capacity to sustain the ecosystem, the sambar deer integrated farming system offers a promising strategy for the future of tropical forestry management.

  5. Forests, food, and fuel in the tropics: the uneven social and ecological consequences of the emerging political economy of biofuels.

    PubMed

    Dauvergne, Peter; Neville, Kate J

    2010-01-01

    The global political economy of biofuels emerging since 2007 appears set to intensify inequalities among the countries and rural peoples of the global South. Looking through a global political economy lens, this paper analyses the consequences of proliferating biofuel alliances among multinational corporations, governments, and domestic producers. Since many major biofuel feedstocks - such as sugar, oil palm, and soy - are already entrenched in industrial agricultural and forestry production systems, the authors extrapolate from patterns of production for these crops to bolster their argument that state capacities, the timing of market entry, existing institutions, and historical state-society land tenure relations will particularly affect the potential consequences of further biofuel development. Although the impacts of biofuels vary by region and feedstock, and although some agrarian communities in some countries of the global South are poised to benefit, the analysis suggests that already-vulnerable people and communities will bear a disproportionate share of the costs of biofuel development, particularly for biofuels from crops already embedded in industrial production systems. A core reason, this paper argues, is that the emerging biofuel alliances are reinforcing processes and structures that increase pressures on the ecological integrity of tropical forests and further wrest control of resources from subsistence farmers, indigenous peoples, and people with insecure land rights. Even the development of so-called 'sustainable' biofuels looks set to displace livelihoods and reinforce and extend previous waves of hardship for such marginalised peoples.

  6. Emissions from prescribed fire in temperate forest in south-east Australia: implications for carbon accounting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Possell, M.; Jenkins, M.; Bell, T. L.; Adams, M. A.

    2014-09-01

    We estimated of emissions of carbon, as CO2-equivalents, from planned fire in four sites in a south-eastern Australian forest. Emission estimates were calculated using measurements of fuel load and carbon content of different fuel types, before and after burning, and determination of fuel-specific emission factors. Median estimates of emissions for the four sites ranged from 20 to 139 T CO2-e ha-1. Variability in estimates was a consequence of different burning efficiencies of each fuel type from the four sites. Higher emissions resulted from more fine fuel (twigs, decomposing matter, near-surface live and leaf litter) or coarse woody debris (CWD; > 25 mm diameter) being consumed. In order to assess the effect of estimating emissions when only a few fuel variables are known, Monte-Carlo simulations were used to create seven scenarios where input parameters values were replaced by probability density functions. Calculation methods were: (1) all measured data were constrained between measured maximum and minimum values for each variable, (2) as for (1) except the proportion of carbon within a fuel type was constrained between 0 and 1, (3) as for (2) but losses of mass caused by fire were replaced with burning efficiency factors constrained between 0 and 1; and (4) emissions were calculated using default values in the Australian National Greenhouse Accounts (NGA), National Inventory Report 2011, as appropriate for our sites. Effects of including CWD in calculations were assessed for calculation Method 1, 2 and 3 but not for Method 4 as the NGA does not consider this fuel type. Simulations demonstrate that the probability of estimating true median emissions declines strongly as the amount of information available declines. Including CWD in scenarios increased uncertainty in calculations because CWD is the most variable contributor to fuel load. Inclusion of CWD in scenarios generally increased the amount of carbon lost. We discuss implications of these simulations and

  7. Ecological processes dominate the 13C land disequilibrium in a Rocky Mountain subalpine forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowling, D. R.; Ballantyne, A. P.; Miller, J. B.; Burns, S. P.; Conway, T. J.; Menzer, O.; Stephens, B. B.; Vaughn, B. H.

    2014-04-01

    Fossil fuel combustion has increased atmospheric CO2 by ≈ 115 µmol mol-1 since 1750 and decreased its carbon isotope composition (δ13C) by 1.7-2‰ (the 13C Suess effect). Because carbon is stored in the terrestrial biosphere for decades and longer, the δ13C of CO2 released by terrestrial ecosystems is expected to differ from the δ13C of CO2 assimilated by land plants during photosynthesis. This isotopic difference between land-atmosphere respiration (δR) and photosynthetic assimilation (δA) fluxes gives rise to the 13C land disequilibrium (D). Contemporary understanding suggests that over annual and longer time scales, D is determined primarily by the Suess effect, and thus, D is generally positive (δR > δA). A 7 year record of biosphere-atmosphere carbon exchange was used to evaluate the seasonality of δA and δR, and the 13C land disequilibrium, in a subalpine conifer forest. A novel isotopic mixing model was employed to determine the δ13C of net land-atmosphere exchange during day and night and combined with tower-based flux observations to assess δA and δR. The disequilibrium varied seasonally and when flux-weighted was opposite in sign than expected from the Suess effect (D = -0.75 ± 0.21‰ or -0.88 ± 0.10‰ depending on method). Seasonality in D appeared to be driven by photosynthetic discrimination (Δcanopy) responding to environmental factors. Possible explanations for negative D include (1) changes in Δcanopy over decades as CO2 and temperature have risen, and/or (2) post-photosynthetic fractionation processes leading to sequestration of isotopically enriched carbon in long-lived pools like wood and soil.

  8. Potentials for win-win alliances among animal agriculture and forest products industries: application of the principles of industrial ecology and sustainable development.

    PubMed

    Cowling, Ellis B; Furiness, Cari S

    2005-09-01

    Commercial forests in many parts of the world are deficient in nitrogen and phosphorus. These nutrient-deficient forests often exist in close proximity to large animal feeding operations, meat processing and other food, textile, or other biomass-processing plants, and municipal waste treatment facilities. Many of these facilities produce large surpluses of nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic matter as gaseous ammonia, urea, uric acid, phosphorus compounds, bacterial sludges, and partially treated municipal wastewaters. These co-existing and substantial nutrient deficiencies and surpluses offer ready-made opportunities for discovery, demonstration, and commercial development of science-based, technology-facilitated, environmentally sound, economically viable, and socially acceptable "win-win alliances" among these major industries based on the principles of industrial ecology and sustainable development. The major challenge is to discover practical means to capture the surplus nutrients and put them to work in forest stands from which value-added products can be produced and sold at a profit.

  9. Potentials for win-win alliances among animal agriculture and forest products industries: application of the principles of industrial ecology and sustainable development.

    PubMed

    Cowling, Ellis B; Furiness, Carl S

    2005-12-01

    Commercial forests in many parts of the world are deficient in nitrogen and phosphorus. These nutrient-deficient forests often exist in close proximity to large animal feeding operations, meat processing and other food, textile, or other biomass-processing plants, and municipal waste treatment facilities. Many of these facilities produce large surpluses of nitrogen, phosphorus, and organic matter as gaseous ammonia, urea, uric acid, phosphorus compounds, bacterial sludges, and partially treated municipal wastewaters. These co-existing and substantial nutrient deficiencies and surpluses offer ready-made opportunities for discovery, demonstration, and commercial development of science-based, technology-facilitated, environmentally sound, economically viable, and socially acceptable "win-win alliances" among these major industries based on the principles of industrial ecology and sustainable development. The major challenge is to discover practical means to capture the surplus nutrients and put them to work in forest stands from which value-added products can be produced and sold at a profit.

  10. Ecological Importance of Small-Diameter Trees to the Structure, Diversity and Biomass of a Tropical Evergreen Forest at Rabi, Gabon

    PubMed Central

    Memiaghe, Hervé R.; Lutz, James A.; Korte, Lisa; Alonso, Alfonso; Kenfack, David

    2016-01-01

    Tropical forests have long been recognized for their biodiversity and ecosystem services. Despite their importance, tropical forests, and particularly those of central Africa, remain understudied. Until recently, most forest inventories in Central Africa have focused on trees ≥10 cm in diameter, even though several studies have shown that small-diameter tree population may be important to demographic rates and nutrient cycling. To determine the ecological importance of small-diameter trees in central African forests, we used data from a 25-ha permanent plot that we established in the rainforest of Gabon to study the diversity and dynamics of these forests. Within the plot, we censused 175,830 trees ≥1 cm dbh from 54 families, 192 genera, and 345 species. Average tree density was 7,026 trees/ha, basal area 31.64 m2/ha, and above-ground biomass 369.40 Mg/ha. Fabaceae, Ebenaceae and Euphorbiaceae were the most important families by basal area, density and above-ground biomass. Small-diameter trees (1 cm ≥ dbh <10 cm) comprised 93.7% of the total tree population, 16.5% of basal area, and 4.8% of the above-ground biomass. They also had diversity 18% higher at family level, 34% higher at genus level, and 42% higher at species level than trees ≥10 cm dbh. Although the relative contribution of small-diameter trees to biomass was comparable to other forests globally, their contribution to forest density, and diversity was disproportionately higher. The high levels of diversity within small-diameter classes may give these forests high levels of structural resilience to anthropogenic/natural disturbance and a changing climate. PMID:27186658

  11. Ecological Importance of Small-Diameter Trees to the Structure, Diversity and Biomass of a Tropical Evergreen Forest at Rabi, Gabon.

    PubMed

    Memiaghe, Hervé R; Lutz, James A; Korte, Lisa; Alonso, Alfonso; Kenfack, David

    2016-01-01

    Tropical forests have long been recognized for their biodiversity and ecosystem services. Despite their importance, tropical forests, and particularly those of central Africa, remain understudied. Until recently, most forest inventories in Central Africa have focused on trees ≥10 cm in diameter, even though several studies have shown that small-diameter tree population may be important to demographic rates and nutrient cycling. To determine the ecological importance of small-diameter trees in central African forests, we used data from a 25-ha permanent plot that we established in the rainforest of Gabon to study the diversity and dynamics of these forests. Within the plot, we censused 175,830 trees ≥1 cm dbh from 54 families, 192 genera, and 345 species. Average tree density was 7,026 trees/ha, basal area 31.64 m2/ha, and above-ground biomass 369.40 Mg/ha. Fabaceae, Ebenaceae and Euphorbiaceae were the most important families by basal area, density and above-ground biomass. Small-diameter trees (1 cm ≥ dbh <10 cm) comprised 93.7% of the total tree population, 16.5% of basal area, and 4.8% of the above-ground biomass. They also had diversity 18% higher at family level, 34% higher at genus level, and 42% higher at species level than trees ≥10 cm dbh. Although the relative contribution of small-diameter trees to biomass was comparable to other forests globally, their contribution to forest density, and diversity was disproportionately higher. The high levels of diversity within small-diameter classes may give these forests high levels of structural resilience to anthropogenic/natural disturbance and a changing climate.

  12. Hurricane impacts on a pair of coastal forested watersheds: implications of selective hurricane damage to forest structure and streamflow dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jayakaran, A. D.; Williams, T. M.; Ssegane, H.; Amatya, D. M.; Song, B.; Trettin, C. C.

    2013-09-01

    Hurricanes are infrequent but influential disruptors of ecosystem processes in the southeastern Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Every southeastern forested wetland has the potential to be struck by a tropical cyclone. We examined the impact of Hurricane Hugo on two paired coastal watersheds in South Carolina in terms of stream flow and vegetation dynamics, both before and after the hurricane's passage in 1989. The study objectives were to quantify the magnitude and timing of changes including a reversal in relative streamflow-difference between two paired watersheds, and to examine the selective impacts of a hurricane on the vegetative composition of the forest. We related these impacts to their potential contribution to change watershed hydrology through altered evapotranspiration processes. Using over thirty years of monthly rainfall and streamflow data we showed that there was a significant transformation in the hydrologic character of the two watersheds - a transformation that occurred soon after the hurricane's passage. We linked the change in the rainfall-runoff relationship to a catastrophic shift in forest vegetation due to selective hurricane damage. While both watersheds were located in the path of the hurricane, extant forest structure varied between the two watersheds as a function of experimental forest management techniques on the treatment watershed. We showed that the primary damage was to older pines, and to some extent larger hardwood trees. We believe that lowered vegetative water use impacted both watersheds with increased outflows on both watersheds due to loss of trees following hurricane impact. However, one watershed was able to recover to pre hurricane levels of canopy transpiration at a quicker rate due to the greater abundance of pine seedlings and saplings in that watershed.

  13. Hurricane impacts on a pair of coastal forested watersheds: implications of selective hurricane damage to forest structure and streamflow dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jayakaran, A. D.; Williams, T. M.; Ssegane, H.; Amatya, D. M.; Song, B.; Trettin, C. C.

    2014-03-01

    Hurricanes are infrequent but influential disruptors of ecosystem processes in the southeastern Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Every southeastern forested wetland has the potential to be struck by a tropical cyclone. We examined the impact of Hurricane Hugo on two paired coastal South Carolina watersheds in terms of streamflow and vegetation dynamics, both before and after the hurricane's passage in 1989. The study objectives were to quantify the magnitude and timing of changes including a reversal in relative streamflow difference between two paired watersheds, and to examine the selective impacts of a hurricane on the vegetative composition of the forest. We related these impacts to their potential contribution to change watershed hydrology through altered evapotranspiration processes. Using over 30 years of monthly rainfall and streamflow data we showed that there was a significant transformation in the hydrologic character of the two watersheds - a transformation that occurred soon after the hurricane's passage. We linked the change in the rainfall-runoff relationship to a catastrophic change in forest vegetation due to selective hurricane damage. While both watersheds were located in the path of the hurricane, extant forest structure varied between the two watersheds as a function of experimental forest management techniques on the treatment watershed. We showed that the primary damage was to older pines, and to some extent larger hardwood trees. We believe that lowered vegetative water use impacted both watersheds with increased outflows on both watersheds due to loss of trees following hurricane impact. However, one watershed was able to recover to pre hurricane levels of evapotranspiration at a quicker rate due to the greater abundance of pine seedlings and saplings in that watershed.

  14. Climate and Pest-Driven Geographic Shifts in Global Coffee Production: Implications for Forest Cover, Biodiversity and Carbon Storage

    PubMed Central

    Magrach, Ainhoa; Ghazoul, Jaboury

    2015-01-01

    Coffee is highly sensitive to temperature and rainfall, making its cultivation vulnerable to geographic shifts in response to a changing climate. This could lead to the establishment of coffee plantations in new areas and potential conflicts with other land covers including natural forest, with consequent implications for biodiversity and ecosystem services. We project areas suitable for future coffee cultivation based on several climate scenarios and expected responses of the coffee berry borer, a principle pest of coffee crops. We show that the global climatically-suitable area will suffer marked shifts from some current major centres of cultivation. Most areas will be suited to Robusta coffee, demand for which could be met without incurring forest encroachment. The cultivation of Arabica, which represents 70% of consumed coffee, can also be accommodated in the future, but only by incurring some natural forest loss. This has corresponding implications for carbon storage, and is likely to affect areas currently designated as priority areas for biodiversity. Where Arabica coffee does encroach on natural forests, we project average local losses of 35% of threatened vertebrate species. The interaction of climate and coffee berry borer greatly influences projected outcomes. PMID:26177201

  15. Climate and Pest-Driven Geographic Shifts in Global Coffee Production: Implications for Forest Cover, Biodiversity and Carbon Storage.

    PubMed

    Magrach, Ainhoa; Ghazoul, Jaboury

    2015-01-01

    Coffee is highly sensitive to temperature and rainfall, making its cultivation vulnerable to geographic shifts in response to a changing climate. This could lead to the establishment of coffee plantations in new areas and potential conflicts with other land covers including natural forest, with consequent implications for biodiversity and ecosystem services. We project areas suitable for future coffee cultivation based on several climate scenarios and expected responses of the coffee berry borer, a principle pest of coffee crops. We show that the global climatically-suitable area will suffer marked shifts from some current major centres of cultivation. Most areas will be suited to Robusta coffee, demand for which could be met without incurring forest encroachment. The cultivation of Arabica, which represents 70% of consumed coffee, can also be accommodated in the future, but only by incurring some natural forest loss. This has corresponding implications for carbon storage, and is likely to affect areas currently designated as priority areas for biodiversity. Where Arabica coffee does encroach on natural forests, we project average local losses of 35% of threatened vertebrate species. The interaction of climate and coffee berry borer greatly influences projected outcomes.

  16. Linking sediment-charcoal records and ecological modeling to understand causes of fire-regime change in boreal forests.

    PubMed

    Brubaker, Linda B; Higuera, Philip E; Rupp, T Scott; Olson, Mark A; Anderson, Patricia M; Hu, Feng Sheng

    2009-07-01

    Interactions between vegetation and fire have the potential to overshadow direct effects of climate change on fire regimes in boreal forests of North America. We develop methods to compare sediment-charcoal records with fire regimes simulated by an ecologica model, ALFRESCO (Alaskan Frame-based Ecosystem Code) and apply these methods to evaluate potential causes of a mid-Holocene fire-regime shift in boreal forests of the south-central Brooks Range, Alaska, U.S.A. Fire-return intervals (FRIs, number of years between fires) are estimated over the past 7000 calibrated 14C years (7-0 kyr BP [before present]) from short-term variations in charcoal accumulation rates (CHARs) at three lakes, and an index of area burned is inferred from long-term CHARs at these sites. ALFRESCO simulations of FRIs and annual area burned are based on prescribed vegetation and climate for 7-5 kyr BP and 5-0 kyr BP, inferred from pollen and stomata records and qualitative paleoclimate proxies. Two sets of experiments examine potential causes of increased burning between 7-5 and 5-0 kyr BP. (1) Static-vegetation scenarios: white spruce dominates with static mean temperature and total precipitation of the growing season for 7-0 kyr BP or with decreased temperature and/or increased precipitation for 5-0 kyr BP. (2) Changed-vegetation scenarios: black spruce dominates 5-0 kyr BP, with static temperature and precipitation or decreased temperature and/or increased precipitation. Median FRIs decreased between 7-5 and 5-0 kyr BP in empirical data and changed-vegetation scenarios but remained relatively constant in static-vegetation scenarios. Median empirical and simulated FRIs are not statistically different for 7-5 kyr BP and for two changed-vegetation scenarios (temperature decrease, precipitation increase) for 5-0 kyr BP. In these scenarios, cooler temperatures or increased precipitation dampened the effect of increased landscape flammability resulting from the increase in black spruce. CHAR

  17. Mapping Historic Gypsy Moth Defoliation with MODIS Satellite Data: Implications for Forest Threat Early Warning System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spurce, Joseph P.; Hargrove, William; Ryan, Robert E.; Smooth, James C.; Prados, Don; McKellip, Rodney; Sader, Steven A.; Gasser, Jerry; May, George

    2008-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews a project, the goal of which is to study the potential of MODIS data for monitoring historic gypsy moth defoliation. A NASA/USDA Forest Service (USFS) partnership was formed to perform the study. NASA is helping USFS to implement satellite data products into its emerging Forest Threat Early Warning System. The latter system is being developed by the USFS Eastern and Western Forest Threat Assessment Centers. The USFS Forest Threat Centers want to use MODIS time series data for regional monitoring of forest damage (e.g., defoliation) preferably in near real time. The study's methodology is described, and the results of the study are shown.

  18. Streamflow Responses and Ecological Implications of Climate Change in New York City Water Supply Watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pradhanang, S. M.; Mukundan, R.; Schneiderman, E.; Zion, M. S.; Swamy, A.; Pierson, D. C.; Frei, A.; Easton, Z. M.; Fuka, D. R.; Steenhuis, T. S.

    2011-12-01

    The impact of climate change in the North East United States is already observed in the form of shorter winter, higher annual average temperature, and more frequent extreme heat and precipitation events. These changes could have profound effects on the New York City (NYC) Water Supply and ecological integrity of the watersheds; and the implications of such changes are not well understood. The objective of this study is to examine how future changes in precipitation and air temperature may translate into changes in streamflow in the NYC Water Supply watershed using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool-Water Balance (SWAT-WB). A comparative analysis between simulated streamflow for baseline period (1964-2008) and future scenarios (2081-2100) was carried out for streamflow indicators that are important for understanding how river flow dynamics will impact the water supply, aquatic health, and physical structures in the stream corridor. We analyze the impacts of changes in the magnitude, timing, duration, frequency, and rate of hydrologic events using the Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) tool. Our results indicate that warming during the winter and the early spring diminishes snowpack and influence timing of snowmelt. The winter and spring streamflow are projected to increase but summer will be drier in future. Decreased flow during April and summer months will influence timing of fish spawning and their habitats. Low flows, hydrograph pulses, rise and fall rates are expected to increase due to climate change, potentially creating unfavorable conditions for native species and aquatic invertebrates inhabiting along river's edge, and affecting stream bank stability and physical structures.

  19. Hydraulic Geometry and Microtopography of Tidal Freshwater Forested Wetlands and Implications for Restoration, Columbia River, U.S.A.

    SciTech Connect

    Diefenderfer, Heida L.; Coleman, Andre M.; Borde, Amy B.; Sinks, Ian A.

    2008-01-01

    The hydrologic reconnection of tidal channels, riverine floodplains, and main stem channels are among responses by ecological restoration practitioners to the increasing fragmentation and land conversion occurring in coastal and riparian zones. Design standards and monitoring of such ecological restoration depend upon the characterization of reference sites that vary within and among regions. Few locales, such as the 235 km tidal portion of the Columbia River on the West Coast U.S.A., remain in which the reference conditions and restoration responses of tidal freshwater forested wetlands on temperate zone large river floodplains can be compared. This study developed hydraulic geometry relationships for Picea sitchensis (Sitka spruce) dominated tidal forests (swamps) in the vicinity of Grays Bay on the Columbia River some 37 km from the Pacific Coast using field surveys and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data. Scaling relationships between catchment area and the parameters of channel cross-sectional area at outlet and total channel length were comparable to tidally influenced systems of San Francisco Bay and the United Kingdom. Dike breaching, culvert replacement, and tide gate replacement all affected channel cross-sectional geometry through changes in the frequency of over-marsh flows. Radiocarbon dating of buried wood provided evidence of changes in sedimentation rates associated with diking, and restoration trajectories may be confounded by historical subsidence behind dikes rendering topographical relationships with water level incomparable to reference conditions. At the same time, buried wood is influencing the development of channel morphology toward characteristics resembling reference conditions. Ecological restoration goals and practices in tidal forested wetland regions of large river floodplains should reflect the interactions of these controlling factors.

  20. The AmazonFACE research program: assessing the effects of increasing atmospheric CO2 on the ecology and resilience of the Amazon forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapola, David; Quesada, Carlos; Norby, Richard; Araújo, Alessandro; Domingues, Tomas; Hartley, Iain; Kruijt, Bart; Lewin, Keith; Meir, Patrick; Ometto, Jean; Rammig, Anja

    2016-04-01

    The existence, magnitude and duration of a supposed "CO2 fertilization" effect in tropical forests remains largely undetermined, despite being suggested for nearly 20 years as a key knowledge gap for understanding the future resilience of Amazonian forests and its impact on the global carbon cycle. Reducing this uncertainty is critical for assessing the future of the Amazon region as well as its vulnerability to climate change. The AmazonFACE (Free-Air CO2 Enrichment) research program is an integrated model-experiment initiative of unprecedented scope in an old-growth Amazon forest near Manaus, Brazil - the first of its kind in tropical forest. The experimental treatment will simulate an atmospheric CO2 concentration [CO2] of the future in order to address the question: "How will rising atmospheric CO2 affect the resilience of the Amazon forest, the biodiversity it harbors, and the ecosystem services it provides, in light of projected climatic changes?" AmazonFACE is divided into three phases: (I) pre-experimental ecological characterization of the research site; (II) pilot experiment comprised of two 30-m diameter plots, with one treatment plot maintained at elevated [CO2] (ambient +200 ppmv), and the other control plot at ambient [CO2]; and (III) a fully-replicated long-term experiment comprised of four pairs of control/treatment FACE plots maintained for 10 years. A team of scientists from Brazil, USA, Australia and Europe will employ state-of-the-art methods to study the forest inside these plots in terms of carbon metabolism and cycling, water use, nutrient cycling, forest community composition, and interactions with environmental stressors. All project phases also encompass ecosystem-modeling activities in a way such that models provide hypothesis to be verified in the experiment, which in turn will feed models to ultimately produce more accurate projections of the environment. Resulting datasets and analyses will be a valuable resource for a broad community

  1. Ecological Meaning and Consideration of Economic Forest Carbon Sinks in China----Take Yan-Shan Chestnut for Example

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Z.; Li, H.; Zhang, W. W.; Liu, S. R.

    Along with our country scientific researchers' study on native forest carbon sinks as well as the summary of the increasing amount of China's forest carbon, With the deepening of our scientists on the study of the national forest carbon sinks, forest carbon sinks has become a favorable support for climate diplomacy. Currently, a lot of work has focused on the carbon cycle, the level of carbon sinks of forest ecosystems, but the characteristics of economic forest carbon sinks are in a blank state. Beijing chestnut is one of the national food strategic security stockpiles, and estimate the potential of economic forest carbon sinks has important scientific significance to the establishment of carbon sink function area, and expansion of sustainable economic and social development of response measures.

  2. Emissions from prescribed fires in temperate forest in south-east Australia: implications for carbon accounting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Possell, M.; Jenkins, M.; Bell, T. L.; Adams, M. A.

    2015-01-01

    implications of these simulations and how emissions from prescribed burns in temperate Australian forests could be improved.

  3. Conservation of the Ethiopian church forests: Threats, opportunities and implications for their management.

    PubMed

    Aerts, Raf; Van Overtveld, Koen; November, Eva; Wassie, Alemayehu; Abiyu, Abrham; Demissew, Sebsebe; Daye, Desalegn D; Giday, Kidane; Haile, Mitiku; TewoldeBerhan, Sarah; Teketay, Demel; Teklehaimanot, Zewge; Binggeli, Pierre; Deckers, Jozef; Friis, Ib; Gratzer, Georg; Hermy, Martin; Heyn, Moïra; Honnay, Olivier; Paris, Maxim; Sterck, Frank J; Muys, Bart; Bongers, Frans; Healey, John R

    2016-05-01

    In the central and northern highlands of Ethiopia, native forest and forest biodiversity is almost confined to sacred groves associated with churches. Local communities rely on these 'church forests' for essential ecosystem services including shade and fresh water but little is known about their region-wide distribution and conservation value. We (1) performed the first large-scale spatially-explicit assessment of church forests, combining remote-sensing and field data, to assess the number of forests, their size, shape, isolation and woody plant species composition, (2) determined their plant communities and related these to environmental variables and potential natural vegetation, (3) identified the main challenges to biodiversity conservation in view of plant population dynamics and anthropogenic disturbances, and (4) present guidelines for management and policy. The 394 forests identified in satellite images were on average ~2ha in size and generally separated by ~2km from the nearest neighboring forest. Shape complexity, not size, decreased from the northern to the central highlands. Overall, 148 indigenous tree, shrub and liana species were recorded across the 78 surveyed forests. Patch α-diversity increased with mean annual precipitation, but typically only 25 woody species occurred per patch. The combined results showed that >50% of tree species present in tropical northeast Africa were still present in the 78 studied church forests, even though individual forests were small and relatively species-poor. Tree species composition of church forests varied with elevation and precipitation, and resembled the potential natural vegetation. With a wide distribution over the landscape, these church forests have high conservation value. However, long-term conservation of biodiversity of individual patches and evolutionary potential of species may be threatened by isolation, small sizes of tree species populations and disturbance, especially when considering climate

  4. An analysis of the impact on land use and ecological vulnerability of the policy of returning farmland to forest in Yan'an, China.

    PubMed

    Hou, Kang; Li, Xuxiang; Wang, Jing Jing; Zhang, Jing

    2016-03-01

    During the past decades, land use change has taken place around the Loess Plateau at unprecedented rates. Due to the impact of existing land use policy, great changes have taken place in the land use types in this ecologically vulnerable area. Taking eight counties in Yan'an, Shaanxi province, China, as the study area, this study analyzed the long-term (from 1997 to 2011) changes in land use and ecological vulnerability. Based on thematic mapper (TM) images of Yan'an in 1997, 2004, and 2011, the dynamic changes in land use are analyzed with the application software for remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS) since the implementation of the policy of returning farmland to forest. Combined with the land use data, the local socio-economic data, and natural resources condition, ecological vulnerability is evaluated using the spatial principal component analysis (SPCA) model in Yan'an region. Using the natural breaks classification (NBC), the evaluation results are divided into five categories: potential, slight, light, medium, and heavy. The results show that although the regional land use types changed markedly, the ecological vulnerability in the study shows greater than average optimism, and the ecological vulnerability index of the southern four counties is lower than that of the northern four counties. In 1997-2011, the eco-environmental quality gradually improved in most areas. However, it gradually deteriorated in some regions.

  5. The Ecological basis of hunter-gatherer subsistence in African Rain Forests: the Mbuti of eastern Zaire

    SciTech Connect

    Hart, T.B.; Hart, J.A.

    1986-03-01

    The Mbuti pygmies, hunter-gathers of the Ituri Forest of Zaire, trade forest products and labor for agricultural foods. It has been assumed that the Mbuti lived independently in the equatorial forest prior to its penetration by shifting cultivators. We assessed forest food resources (plant and animal) to determine their adequacy to support a hunting and gathering economy. For five months of the year, essentially none of the calorically important forest fruits and seeds are available. Honey is not abundant during this season of scarcity. Wild game meat is available year round, but the main animals caught have low fat content. This makes them a poor substitute for starch-dense agricultural foods, now staples in Mbuti diet. In general, in the closed evergreen forest zone, edible wild plant species are more abundant in agriculturally derived secondary forest than in primary forest. Similarly, they are more common at the savanna ecotone and in gallery forests. We suggest that it is unlikely that hunter-gatherers would have lived independently in the forest interior with its precarious resource base, when many of the food species they exploit are more abundant toward the savanna border.

  6. The Everyday Ways That School Ecologies Facilitate Resilience: Implications for School Psychologists

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Theron, Linda C.

    2016-01-01

    From a socio-ecological perspective of resilience, social ecologies are crucial to children's functional outcomes in the face of adversity. Schools, in particular, are integral to the multiple social systems that children are embedded in. Consequently schools have a special responsibility towards meaningfully and routinely supporting children's…

  7. Genetic divergence in the common bush-tanager Chlorospingus ophthalmicus (Aves: Emberizidae) throughout Mexican cloud forests: The role of geography, ecology and Pleistocene climatic fluctuations.

    PubMed

    Maldonado-Sánchez, Denisse; Gutiérrez-Rodríguez, Carla; Ornelas, Juan Francisco

    2016-06-01

    By integrating mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), microsatellites and ecological niche modelling (ENM), we investigated the phylogeography of Mexican populations of the common bush-tanager Chlorospingus ophthalmicus to examine the relative role of geographical and ecological features, as well as Pleistocene climatic oscillations in driving the diversification. We sequenced mtDNA of individuals collected throughout the species range in Mexico and genotyped them at seven microsatellite loci. Phylogeographic, population genetics and coalescent methods were used to assess patterns of genetic structure, gene flow and demographic history. ENM was used to infer contractions and expansions at different time periods as well as differences in climatic conditions among lineages. The retrieved mitochondrial and microsatellite groups correspond with the fragmented cloud forest distribution in mountain ranges and morphotectonic provinces. Differing climatic conditions between mountain ranges were detected, and palaeodistribution modelling as well as demographic history analyses, indicated recent population expansions throughout the Sierra Madre Oriental (SMO). The marked genetic structure of C. ophthalmicus was promoted by the presence of ecological and geographical barriers that restricted the movement of individuals among mountain ranges. The SMO was mainly affected by Pleistocene climatic oscillations, with the moist forests model best fitting the displayed genetic patterns of populations in this mountain range.

  8. Biology, ecology, and social aspects of wild edible mushrooms in the forests of the Pacific northwest: A preface to managing commercial harvest. Forest Service general technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Molina, R.; O'Dell, T.; Luoma, D.; Amaranthus, M.; Costellano, M.

    1993-02-01

    The commercial harvest of edible, forest fungi has a multimillion dollar industry with several thousand tons harvested annually. The primary objectives of the overview paper are to provide information on the biology of forest fungi, describe the major edible fungi harvested in the Pacific Northwest, integrate a perspective on the social aspects of the mushroom harvest issue, summarize the development of the commercial mushroom industry, and suggest research and monitoring protocols for developing management guidelines.

  9. Prescribed burning consumes key forest structural components: implications for landscape heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Holland, Greg J; Clarke, Michael F; Bennett, Andrew F

    2016-12-19

    Prescribed burning to achieve management objectives is a common practice in fire-prone regions worldwide. Structural components of habitat that are combustible and slow to develop are particularly susceptible to change associated with prescribed burning. We used an experimental, "whole-landscape" approach to investigate the effect of differing patterns of prescribed burning on key habitat components (logs, stumps, dead trees, litter cover, litter depth, and understorey vegetation). Twenty-two landscapes (each ~100 ha) were selected in a dry forest ecosystem in southeast Australia. Experimental burns were conducted in 16 landscapes (stratified by burn extent) while six served as untreated controls. We measured habitat components prior to and after burning. Landscape burn extent ranged from 22% to 89% across the 16 burn treatments. With the exception of dead standing trees (no change), all measures of habitat components declined as a consequence of burning. The degree of loss increased as the extent to which a landscape was burned also increased. Prescribed burning had complex effects on the spatial heterogeneity (beta diversity) of structural components within landscapes. Landscapes that were more heterogeneous pre-fire were homogenized by burning, while those that were more homogenous pre-fire tended to display greater differentiation post-burning. Thus, the notion that patch mosaic burning enhances heterogeneity at the landscape-scale depends on prior conditions. These findings have important management implications. Where prescribed burns must be undertaken, effects on important resources can be moderated via control of burn characteristics (e.g., burn extent). Longer-term impacts of prescribed burning will be strongly influenced by the return interval, given the slow rate at which some structural components accumulate (decades to centuries). Management of habitat structural components is important given the critical role they play in (1) provision of habitat

  10. Establishing the boundaries and building bridges: a literature review on ecological theory: implications for research into the refugee parenting experience.

    PubMed

    Williams, Nombasa

    2010-03-01

    Currently an ecological model for conceptualizing and capturing the refugee parenting experience is lacking. After an extensive review of the literature related to the usages of Bronfenbrenner's ecological model of child development, a gap was found in knowledge and research centred on describing the environment of pre-resettlement (i.e. pre-flight, flight, migration, camp) contexts and their impact on refugee parents and carer experiences. The culture of the refugee parenting experience may be characterized by disruptions in and alterations to family structure and organization; values and norms; and gender roles. This paper begins by examining the definition and usages of existing ecological frameworks in the 20th and 21st century. Particular attention is drawn to the gaps in the existing literature and an ecological model is offered. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications for practice. The outcomes of this paper suggest the need for practitioners, policymakers and researchers to engage and develop culturally competent, relevant and appropriate interventions (i.e. reconciling differing beliefs and behaviours concerning child-rearing practices; affirming positive parenting practices of these families during engagement protocols and processes; adopting a strengths-based orientation) in the area of child protection whilst at the same time safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children within pre- and post-resettlement contexts.

  11. Spatial and ecological variation in dryland ecohydrological responses to climate change: implications for management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Palmquist, Kyle A.; Schlaepfer, Daniel R.; Bradford, John B.; Lauenroth, William K.

    2016-01-01

    Ecohydrological responses to climate change will exhibit spatial variability and understanding the spatial pattern of ecological impacts is critical from a land management perspective. To quantify climate change impacts on spatial patterns of ecohydrology across shrub steppe ecosystems in North America, we asked the following question: How will climate change impacts on ecohydrology differ in magnitude and variability across climatic gradients, among three big sagebrush ecosystems (SB-Shrubland, SB-Steppe, SB-Montane), and among Sage-grouse Management Zones? We explored these potential changes for mid-century for RCP8.5 using a process-based water balance model (SOILWAT) for 898 big sagebrush sites using site- and scenario-specific inputs. We summarize changes in available soil water (ASW) and dry days, as these ecohydrological variables may be helpful in guiding land management decisions about where to geographically concentrate climate change mitigation and adaptation resources. Our results suggest that during spring, soils will be wetter in the future across the western United States, while soils will be drier in the summer. The magnitude of those predictions differed depending on geographic position and the ecosystem in question: Larger increases in mean daily spring ASW were expected for high-elevation SB-Montane sites and the eastern and central portions of our study area. The largest decreases in mean daily summer ASW were projected for warm, dry, mid-elevation SB-Montane sites in the central and west-central portions of our study area (decreases of up to 50%). Consistent with declining summer ASW, the number of dry days was projected to increase rangewide, but particularly for SB-Montane and SB-Steppe sites in the eastern and northern regions. Collectively, these results suggest that most sites will be drier in the future during the summer, but changes were especially large for mid- to high-elevation sites in the northern half of our study area. Drier

  12. Ecological and genetic relationships of the Forest-M form among chromosomal and molecular forms of the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Yoosook; Cornel, Anthony J; Meneses, Claudio R; Fofana, Abdrahamane; Andrianarivo, Aurélie G; McAbee, Rory D; Fondjo, Etienne; Traoré, Sekou F; Lanzaro, Gregory C

    2009-01-01

    Background Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto, one of the principal vectors of malaria, has been divided into two subspecific groups, known as the M and S molecular forms. Recent studies suggest that the M form found in Cameroon is genetically distinct from the M form found in Mali and elsewhere in West Africa, suggesting further subdivision within that form. Methods Chromosomal, microsatellite and geographic/ecological evidence are synthesized to identify sources of genetic polymorphism among chromosomal and molecular forms of the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae s.s. Results Cytogenetically the Forest M form is characterized as carrying the standard chromosome arrangement for six major chromosomal inversions, namely 2La, 2Rj, 2Rb, 2Rc, 2Rd, and 2Ru. Bayesian clustering analysis based on molecular form and chromosome inversion polymorphisms as well as microsatellites describe the Forest M form as a distinct population relative to the West African M form (Mopti-M form) and the S form. The Forest-M form was the most highly diverged of the An. gambiae s.s. groups based on microsatellite markers. The prevalence of the Forest M form was highly correlated with precipitation, suggesting that this form prefers much wetter environments than the Mopti-M form. Conclusion Chromosome inversions, microsatellite allele frequencies and habitat preference all indicate that the Forest M form of An. gambiae is genetically distinct from the other recognized forms within the taxon Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto. Since this study covers limited regions of Cameroon, the possibility of gene flow between the Forest-M form and Mopti-M form cannot be rejected. However, association studies of important phenotypes, such as insecticide resistance and refractoriness against malaria parasites, should take into consideration this complex population structure. PMID:19383163

  13. Kyasanur forest disease virus breaking the endemic barrier: An investigation into ecological effects on disease emergence and future outlook.

    PubMed

    Ajesh, K; Nagaraja, B K; Sreejith, K

    2017-02-20

    Kyasanur Forest disease (KFD) is found in a limited range of India, but is epidemiologically understudied. The seasonal patterns of KFD are well known; however, the significant concern is on the extent to which changes in epidemiology happen especially under the influence of ecological destructions and by the eventual effects of resulting climate change. Presently, a southward and northward spread of the Kyasanur Forest disease virus (KFDV) along the Western Ghats has been reported in the adjoining states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Maharashtra. In this review, we investigate the cascade of factors that might have facilitated the resurgence of KFDV among the endemic regions in higher frequency and its recent emergence in the area previously not reported. Utilizing published data, we additionally endeavour to exhibit a portion of the impediments of control systems and embody the powerful option strategies for developing KFDV control.

  14. Perceptions of Forest Health among Preservice Educators and Implication for Teaching Youth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Monroe, Martha C.; Lauretta, Sarah

    2014-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to (a) determine preservice educators' perceptions of forest health, (b) define the experiences which may have influenced their understanding, and (c) identify the approaches they might use to convey forest health information. Twelve interviews were conducted with preservice science and agriculture education…

  15. TRANSITIONS IN FOREST FRAGMENTATION: IMPLICATIONS FOR RESTORATION OPPORTUNITIES AT REGIONAL SCALES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Where the potential natural vegetation is continuous forest (e.g., eastern US), a region can be divided into smaller units (e.g., counties, watersheds), and a graph of the proportion of forest in the largest patch versus the proportion in anthropogenic cover can be used as an ind...

  16. Avian community responses to post-fire forest structure: Implications for fire management in mixed conifer forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, Angela M.; Manley, Patricia N.; Tarbill, Gina; Richardson, T.L.; Russell, Robin E.; Safford, Hugh D.; Dobrowski, Solomon Z.

    2015-01-01

    Fire is a natural process and the dominant disturbance shaping plant and animal communities in many coniferous forests of the western US. Given that fire size and severity are predicted to increase in the future, it has become increasingly important to understand how wildlife responds to fire and post-fire management. The Angora Fire burned 1243 hectares of mixed conifer forest in South Lake Tahoe, California. We conducted avian point counts for the first 3 years following the fire in burned and unburned areas to investigate which habitat characteristics are most important for re-establishing or maintaining the native avian community in post-fire landscapes. We used a multi-species occurrence model to estimate how avian species are influenced by the density of live and dead trees and shrub cover. While accounting for variations in the detectability of species, our approach estimated the occurrence probabilities of all species detected including those that were rare or observed infrequently. Although all species encountered in this study were detected in burned areas, species-specific modeling results predicted that some species were strongly associated with specific post-fire conditions, such as a high density of dead trees, open-canopy conditions or high levels of shrub cover that occur at particular burn severities or at a particular time following fire. These results indicate that prescribed fire or managed wildfire which burns at low to moderate severity without at least some high-severity effects is both unlikely to result in the species assemblages that are unique to post-fire areas or to provide habitat for burn specialists. Additionally, the probability of occurrence for many species was associated with high levels of standing dead trees indicating that intensive post-fire harvest of these structures could negatively impact habitat of a considerable proportion of the avian community.

  17. Ficus insipida subsp. insipida (Moraceae) reveals the role of ecology in the phylogeography of widespread Neotropical rain forest tree species

    PubMed Central

    Honorio Coronado, Eurídice N; Dexter, Kyle G; Poelchau, Monica F; Hollingsworth, Peter M; Phillips, Oliver L; Pennington, R Toby; Carine, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Aim To examine the phylogeography of Ficus insipida subsp. insipida in order to investigate patterns of spatial genetic structure across the Neotropics and within Amazonia. Location Neotropics. Methods Plastid DNA (trnH–psbA; 410 individuals from 54 populations) and nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS; 85 individuals from 27 populations) sequences were sampled from Mexico to Bolivia, representing the full extent of the taxon's distribution. Divergence of plastid lineages was dated using a Bayesian coalescent approach. Genetic diversity was assessed with indices of haplotype and nucleotide diversities, and genetic structure was examined using spatial analysis of molecular variance (SAMOVA) and haplotype networks. Population expansion within Amazonia was tested using neutrality and mismatch distribution tests. Results trnH–psbA sequences yielded 19 haplotypes restricted to either Mesoamerica or Amazonia; six haplotypes were found among ITS sequences. Diversification of the plastid DNA haplotypes began c. 14.6 Ma. Haplotype diversity for trnH–psbA was higher in Amazonia. Seven genetically differentiated SAMOVA groups were described for trnH–psbA, of which two were also supported by the presence of unique ITS sequences. Population expansion was suggested for both markers for the SAMOVA group that contains most Amazonian populations. Main conclusions Our results show marked population genetic structure in F. insipida between Mesoamerica and Amazonia, implying that the Andes and seasonally dry areas of northern South America are eco-climatic barriers to its migration. This pattern is shared with other widespread pioneer species affiliated to wet habitats, indicating that the ecological characteristics of species may impact upon large-scale phylogeography. Ficus insipida also shows genetic structure in north-western Amazonia potentially related to pre-Pleistocene historical events. In contrast, evident population expansion elsewhere in Amazonia, in

  18. Seagrass meadows globally as a coupled social-ecological system: implications for human wellbeing.

    PubMed

    Cullen-Unsworth, Leanne C; Nordlund, Lina Mtwana; Paddock, Jessica; Baker, Susan; McKenzie, Len J; Unsworth, Richard K F

    2014-06-30

    Seagrass ecosystems are diminishing worldwide and repeated studies confirm a lack of appreciation for the value of these systems. In order to highlight their value we provide the first discussion of seagrass meadows as a coupled social-ecological system on a global scale. We consider the impact of a declining resource on people, including those for whom seagrass meadows are utilised for income generation and a source of food security through fisheries support. Case studies from across the globe are used to demonstrate the intricate relationship between seagrass meadows and people that highlight the multi-functional role of seagrasses in human wellbeing. While each case underscores unique issues, these examples simultaneously reveal social-ecological coupling that transcends cultural and geographical boundaries. We conclude that understanding seagrass meadows as a coupled social-ecological system is crucial in carving pathways for social and ecological resilience in light of current patterns of local to global environmental change.

  19. Soil data for a thermokarst bog and the surrounding permafrost plateau forest, located at Bonanza Creek Long Term Ecological Research Site, Interior Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Manies, Kristen L.; Fuller, Christopher C.; Jones, Miriam C.; Waldrop, Mark P.; McGeehin, John P.

    2017-01-19

    Peatlands play an important role in boreal ecosystems, storing a large amount of soil organic carbon. In northern ecosystems, collapse-scar bogs (also known as thermokarst bogs) often form as the result of ground subsidence following permafrost thaw. To examine how ecosystem carbon balance changes with the loss of permafrost, we measured carbon and nitrogen storage within a thermokarst bog and the surrounding forest, which continues to have permafrost. These sites are a part of the Bonanza Creek Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site and are located within Interior Alaska. Here, we report on methods used for core collection analysis as well as the cores’ physical, chemical, and descriptive properties.

  20. Multi-Temporal Monitoring Of Ecological Succession In Tropical Dry Forests Using Angular - Hyperspectral Data (Chris/Proba)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia Millan, V. E.

    2015-12-01

    The tropical dry forest is the largest and most threatened ecosystem in Latin America. Remote sensing can effectively contribute to the surveillance of conservation measurements and laws through the monitoring of natural protected areas, at the required temporal and spatial scales. CHRIS/PROBA is the only satellite that presents quasi-simultaneous multi-angular pointing and hyperspectral spectroscopy. These two characteristics permit the study of structural and compositional traces of successional stages within the tropical dry forest. The current study presents the results of mapping the succession of tropical dry forest in the Parque Estadual de la Mata-Seca, in Minas Gerais, Brazil, using a temporal analysis of CHRIS/PROBA images in a time frame of 7 years, between 2008 and 2014. For the purpose the -55° angle of observation has been used, which enhances spectral differences between successional stages. Spectral Angle Mapper has been used for mapping succession of tropical dry forest and afterwards Change Detection Analysis has been performed. Based on our observations, the tropical dry forest in the Parque Estadual de la Mataseca recovers at a fast rate, for the observed period (2008-2014). More than the 50% of the early and intermediate forests has been recovered to a mature forest. Significantly, around a 12% of old pastures have been converted into forest. The spatial analysis also reveals that the areas that recover most rapidly are located in the east of the Park, close to mature forests. The provision of seeds from these forests might be the cause for the fast recovery.

  1. Competition for water and light in closed-canopy forests: a tractable model of carbon allocation with implications for carbon sinks.

    PubMed

    Farrior, Caroline E; Dybzinski, Ray; Levin, Simon A; Pacala, Stephen W

    2013-03-01

    Abstract The dependence of forest productivity and community composition on rainfall is the result of complex interactions at multiple scales, from the physiology of carbon gain and water loss to competition among individuals and species. In an effort to understand the role of these multiscale interactions in the dependence of forest structure on rainfall, we build a tractable model of individual plant competition for water and light. With game-theoretic analyses, we predict the dominant plant allocation strategy, forest productivity, and carbon storage. We find that the amount and timing of rainfall are critical to forest structure. Comparing two forests that differ only in the total time plants spend in water saturation, the model predicts that the wetter forest has fewer fine roots, more leaves, and more woody biomass than the drier forest. In contrast, if two forests differ only in the amount of water available during water limitation, the model predicts that the wetter forest has more fine roots than the drier forest and equivalent leaves and woody biomass. The difference in these responses to increases in water availability has significant implications for potential carbon sinks with rising atmospheric CO2. We predict that enhanced productivity from increased leaf-level water-use efficiency during water limitation will be allocated to fine roots if plants respond competitively, producing only a small and short-lived carbon sink.

  2. Forest Health Detectives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bal, Tara L.

    2014-01-01

    "Forest health" is an important concept often not covered in tree, forest, insect, or fungal ecology and biology. With minimal, inexpensive equipment, students can investigate and conduct their own forest health survey to assess the percentage of trees with natural or artificial wounds or stress. Insects and diseases in the forest are…

  3. Planned burning vs. wildfire impact on soil methane flux - implications for forest fire management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fest, Benedikt; Wardlaw, Tim; Livesley, Stephen; Arndt, Stefan

    2014-05-01

    Soils in forests ecosystem represent the largest land based methane sink and therefore provide an important ecosystem service. Fire can alter soil properties linked to soil methane uptake potential but this has rarely been studied to date. We measured soil methane flux in a dry-sclerophyll eucalypt forest (Victoria, Australia) that had different planned burning frequency treatments applied (every 3 and 10 years) in the last 27 years. We also studied soil methane flux along a wildfire chronosequence spanning over 200 years (Tasmania, Australia). Our data show that planned fires and wildfires had contrasting effects on methane uptake of the forest soils. The repeated planned burning treatments did not alter methane flux patterns of forest soil. In the wildfire chronosequence the methane uptake capacity of the forest soil was closely related to structural changes during stand development likely linked to stand water use, with drier forest stands having greater methane uptake. Our data demonstrate that unmanaged wildfire can have substantial impact on the methane sink capacity of forest ecosystems in Australia while the less intense planned fires have little effect. The effects of fire were more related to changes in stand structure rather than impacts of fire on soils per se.

  4. Past and Prospective Carbon Stocks of United States Forests: Implications for Research Priorities and Mitigation Policies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birdsey, R.; Pan, Y.; McGuire, A. D.; Zhang, F.; Chen, J. M.

    2014-12-01

    United States forests and wood products have been a significant and persistent carbon sink of 100-200 million tons annually since 1950, currently offsetting about 12% of U.S. emissions of CO2. This carbon sink is caused by recovery of forest C stocks following timber harvest and abandonment of agricultural land over the last 150 years, and more recently the growth-enhancing effects of N deposition, increasing atmospheric CO2, and climate variability. The forest carbon sink would have been significantly larger if not for continued losses of forest to other land uses such as urban development, and increasing impacts from natural disturbances such as fire and insect outbreaks. Projections of the future U.S. C sink have raised concerns that it may disappear in a few decades because of slower growth, continued losses of forest area, and increasing demand for timber products especially bioenergy. However, continuing atmospheric and climate changes may delay this projected decline in the sink strength for another 50 years or longer. Research is urgently needed to improve projections of land-use changes and demand for timber, quantify the large-scale effects of atmospheric change and climate variability, and develop modeling approaches that can effectively integrate these multiple factors. Policy decisions to meet emissions reduction targets are partially dependent on assumptions about the magnitude of the future forest carbon sink; therefore, it is important to have convincing projections about how these various driving factors will affect forests in the future.

  5. Changes in winter conditions impact forest management in north temperate forests.

    PubMed

    Rittenhouse, Chadwick D; Rissman, Adena R

    2015-02-01

    Climate change may impact forest management activities with important implications for forest ecosystems. However, most climate change research on forests has focused on climate-driven shifts in species ranges, forest carbon, and hydrology. To examine how climate change may alter timber harvesting and forest operations in north temperate forests, we asked: 1) How have winter conditions changed over the past 60 years? 2) Have changes in winter weather altered timber harvest patterns on public forestlands? 3) What are the implications of changes in winter weather conditions for timber harvest operations in the context of the economic, ecological, and social goals of forest management? Using meteorological information from Climate Data Online and Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) models we document substantial changes in winter conditions in Wisconsin, including a two- to three-week shortening of frozen ground conditions from 1948 to 2012. Increases in minimum and mean soil temperatures were spatially heterogeneous. Analysis of timber harvest records identified a shift toward greater harvest of jack pine and red pine and less harvest of aspen, black spruce, hemlock, red maple, and white spruce in years with less frozen ground or snow duration. Interviews suggested that frozen ground is a mediating condition that enables low-impact timber harvesting. Climate change may alter frozen ground conditions with complex implications for forest management.

  6. Plant diversity patterns in neotropical dry forests and their conservation implications.

    PubMed

    Banda-R, Karina; Delgado-Salinas, Alfonso; Dexter, Kyle G; Linares-Palomino, Reynaldo; Oliveira-Filho, Ary; Prado, Darién; Pullan, Martin; Quintana, Catalina; Riina, Ricarda; Rodríguez M, Gina M; Weintritt, Julia; Acevedo-Rodríguez, Pedro; Adarve, Juan; Álvarez, Esteban; Aranguren B, Anairamiz; Arteaga, Julián Camilo; Aymard, Gerardo; Castaño, Alejandro; Ceballos-Mago, Natalia; Cogollo, Álvaro; Cuadros, Hermes; Delgado, Freddy; Devia, Wilson; Dueñas, Hilda; Fajardo, Laurie; Fernández, Ángel; Fernández, Miller Ángel; Franklin, Janet; Freid, Ethan H; Galetti, Luciano A; Gonto, Reina; González-M, Roy; Graveson, Roger; Helmer, Eileen H; Idárraga, Álvaro; López, René; Marcano-Vega, Humfredo; Martínez, Olga G; Maturo, Hernán M; McDonald, Morag; McLaren, Kurt; Melo, Omar; Mijares, Francisco; Mogni, Virginia; Molina, Diego; Moreno, Natalia Del Pilar; Nassar, Jafet M; Neves, Danilo M; Oakley, Luis J; Oatham, Michael; Olvera-Luna, Alma Rosa; Pezzini, Flávia F; Dominguez, Orlando Joel Reyes; Ríos, María Elvira; Rivera, Orlando; Rodríguez, Nelly; Rojas, Alicia; Särkinen, Tiina; Sánchez, Roberto; Smith, Melvin; Vargas, Carlos; Villanueva, Boris; Pennington, R Toby

    2016-09-23

    Seasonally dry tropical forests are distributed across Latin America and the Caribbean and are highly threatened, with less than 10% of their original extent remaining in many countries. Using 835 inventories covering 4660 species of woody plants, we show marked floristic turnover among inventories and regions, which may be higher than in other neotropical biomes, such as savanna. Such high floristic turnover indicates that numerous conservation areas across many countries will be needed to protect the full diversity of tropical dry forests. Our results provide a scientific framework within which national decision-makers can contextualize the floristic significance of their dry forest at a regional and continental scale.

  7. Impacts of local adaptation of forest trees on associations with herbivorous insects: implications for adaptive forest management

    PubMed Central

    Sinclair, Frazer H; Stone, Graham N; Nicholls, James A; Cavers, Stephen; Gibbs, Melanie; Butterill, Philip; Wagner, Stefanie; Ducousso, Alexis; Gerber, Sophie; Petit, Rémy J; Kremer, Antoine; Schönrogge, Karsten

    2015-01-01

    Disruption of species interactions is a key issue in climate change biology. Interactions involving forest trees may be particularly vulnerable due to evolutionary rate limitations imposed by long generation times. One mitigation strategy for such impacts is Climate matching – the augmentation of local native tree populations by input from nonlocal populations currently experiencing predicted future climates. This strategy is controversial because of potential cascading impacts on locally adapted animal communities. We explored these impacts using abundance data for local native gallwasp herbivores sampled from 20 provenances of sessile oak (Quercus petraea) planted in a common garden trial. We hypothesized that non-native provenances would show (i) declining growth performance with increasing distance between provenance origin and trial site, and (ii) phenological differences to local oaks that increased with latitudinal differences between origin and trial site. Under a local adaptation hypothesis, we predicted declining gallwasp abundance with increasing phenological mismatch between native and climate-matched trees. Both hypotheses for oaks were supported. Provenance explained significant variation in gallwasp abundance, but no gall type showed the relationship between abundance and phenological mismatch predicted by a local adaptation hypothesis. Our results show that climate matching would have complex and variable impacts on oak gall communities. PMID:26640522

  8. Health, safety, and ecological implications of using biobased floor-stripping products.

    PubMed

    Massawe, Ephraim; Geiser, Kenneth; Ellenbecker, Michael; Marshall, Jason

    2007-05-01

    The main objective of the study reported here was to investigate the ecological, health, and safety (EHS) implications of using biobased floor strippers as alternatives to solvent-based products such as Johnson Wax Professional (Pro Strip). The authors applied a quick EHS-scoring technique developed by the Surface Solution Laboratory (SSL) of the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) to some alternative, biobased products that had previously performed as well as or close to as well as the currently used product. The quick technique is considered an important step in EHS assessment, particularly for toxics use reduction planners and advocates who may not have the resources to subject many alternative products or processes at once to detailed EHS analysis. Taking this step narrows available options to a manageable number. (Technical-performance experiments were also conducted, but the results are not discussed or reported in this paper). The cost of switching to biobased floor strippers was assessed and compared with the cost of using the traditional product, both at full strength and at the dilution ratios recommended by the respective manufacturers. The EHS analysis was based on a framework consisting of five parameters: volatile organic compounds (VOCs); pH; global-warming potential (GWP); ozone depletion potential (ODP); and safety scores in areas such as flammability, stability, and special hazards, based on ratings from the Hazardous Material Classification System (HMIS) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Total EHS scores were calculated with data derived from the material safety data sheets. For most cleaning products previously investigated by the TURI SSL, the investigators have demonstrated that the five key parameters used in the study reported here can successfully be used for quick screening of the EHS impacts of cleaning alternatives. All eight biobased, or green, products evaluated in the study had better EHS-screening scores than did

  9. Comment on "The incidence of fire in Amazonian forests with implications for REDD".

    PubMed

    Balch, Jennifer K; Nepstad, Daniel C; Brando, Paulo M; Alencar, Ane

    2010-12-17

    Aragão and Shimabukuro (Reports, 4 June 2010, p. 1275) reported that fires increase in agricultural frontiers even as deforestation decreases and concluded that these fires lead to unaccounted carbon emissions under the United Nations climate treaty's tropical deforestation and forest degradation component. Emissions from post-deforestation management activities are, in fact, included in these estimates--but burning of standing forests is not.

  10. Intrapopulation variation in gray wolf isotope (delta(15)N and delta(13)C) profiles: implications for the ecology of individuals.

    PubMed

    Urton, Erin J M; Hobson, Keith A

    2005-09-01

    Trophic relationships among organisms in terrestrial boreal ecosystems define ecological communities and are important in determining dynamics of energy flow and ecosystem function. We examined trophic relationships between the gray wolf (Canis lupus) and 18 mammalian species from the boreal forest of central Saskatchewan, Canada, using delta(13)C and delta(15)N stable isotope values measured in guard hair samples. Variance in isotope values for wolves and other carnivores was investigated as a proxy for variation in diet among individuals. Isosource, an isotopic source partitioning model, quantified the relative range in proportions of five most-likely prey items in the diets of wolves. The distribution of feasible contributions from each source was dominated by elk (Cervus elaphus; mean: 48%, range:11-75%), followed by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus; mean: 21%, range: 0-54%), moose (Alces alces; mean:14%, range: 0-41%), beaver (Castor canadensis; mean: 8%, range:0-25%) and snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus; mean: 8%, range: 0-24%). Despite social foraging, our results indicate highly variable diets among individuals and we discuss this in terms of individual versus group ecology of boreal wolves.

  11. Applications and Implications of Neutral versus Non-neutral Markers in Molecular Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Kirk, Heather; Freeland, Joanna R.

    2011-01-01

    The field of molecular ecology has expanded enormously in the past two decades, largely because of the growing ease with which neutral molecular genetic data can be obtained from virtually any taxonomic group. However, there is also a growing awareness that neutral molecular data can provide only partial insight into parameters such as genetic diversity, local adaptation, evolutionary potential, effective population size, and taxonomic designations. Here we review some of the applications of neutral versus adaptive markers in molecular ecology, discuss some of the advantages that can be obtained by supplementing studies of molecular ecology with data from non-neutral molecular markers, and summarize new methods that are enabling researchers to generate data from genes that are under selection. PMID:21747718

  12. Ecological profiles of caddisfly larvae in Mediterranean streams: implications for bioassessment methods.

    PubMed

    Bonada, N; Zamora-Muñoz, C; Rieradevall, M; Prat, N

    2004-12-01

    Caddisflies are a well represented group with high species diversity in Mediterranean climate rivers. Although they are widely used in water quality assessment, little is known of the ecological profiles of families or species. We present a simple score for ecological profiles which measures intolerance to water quality. The ecological profiles of caddisflies are diverse and the degree of tolerance at the family level is related to species diversity and the tolerance of individual species to water quality. Comparisons with the scores used in the biotic index IBMWP show general agreement between the degree of intolerance of a family and its score in the IBMWP, with few exceptions. Studies on tolerance are required to elucidate the autecology of taxa, and to develop biological indices, especially in areas with high species diversity.

  13. The production of phytolith-occluded carbon in China's forests: implications to biogeochemical carbon sequestration.

    PubMed

    Song, Zhaoliang; Liu, Hongyan; Li, Beilei; Yang, Xiaomin

    2013-09-01

    The persistent terrestrial carbon sink regulates long-term climate change, but its size, location, and mechanisms remain uncertain. One of the most promising terrestrial biogeochemical carbon sequestration mechanisms is the occlusion of carbon within phytoliths, the silicified features that deposit within plant tissues. Using phytolith content-biogenic silica content transfer function obtained from our investigation, in combination with published silica content and aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) data of leaf litter and herb layer in China's forests, we estimated the production of phytolith-occluded carbon (PhytOC) in China's forests. The present annual phytolith carbon sink in China's forests is 1.7 ± 0.4 Tg CO2  yr(-1) , 30% of which is contributed by bamboo because the production flux of PhytOC through tree leaf litter for bamboo is 3-80 times higher than that of other forest types. As a result of national and international bamboo afforestation and reforestation, the potential of phytolith carbon sink for China's forests and world's bamboo can reach 6.8 ± 1.5 and 27.0 ± 6.1 Tg CO2  yr(-1) , respectively. Forest management practices such as bamboo afforestation and reforestation may significantly enhance the long-term terrestrial carbon sink and contribute to mitigation of global climate warming.

  14. Future Forest Cover Change Scenarios with Implications for Landslide Risk: An Example from Buzau Subcarpathians, Romania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malek, Žiga; Boerboom, Luc; Glade, Thomas

    2015-11-01

    This study focuses on future forest cover change in Buzau Subcarpathians, a landslide prone region in Romania. Past and current trends suggest that the area might expect a future increase in deforestation. We developed spatially explicit scenarios until 2040 to analyze the spatial pattern of future forest cover change and potential changes to landslide risk. First, we generated transition probability maps using the weights of evidence method, followed by a cellular automata allocation model. We performed expert interviews, to develop two future forest management scenarios. The Alternative scenario (ALT) was defined by 67 % more deforestation than the Business as Usual scenario (BAU). We integrated the simulated scenarios with a landslide susceptibility map. In both scenarios, most of deforestation was projected in areas where landslides are less likely to occur. Still, 483 (ALT) and 276 (BAU) ha of deforestation were projected on areas with a high-landslide occurrence likelihood. Thus, deforestation could lead to a local-scale increase in landslide risk, in particular near or adjacent to forestry roads. The parallel process of near 10 % forest expansion until 2040 was projected to occur mostly on areas with high-landslide susceptibility. On a regional scale, forest expansion could so result in improved slope stability. We modeled two additional scenarios with an implemented landslide risk policy, excluding high-risk zones. The reduction of deforestation on high-risk areas was achieved without a drastic decrease in the accessibility of the areas. Together with forest expansion, it could therefore be used as a risk reduction strategy.

  15. Future Forest Cover Change Scenarios with Implications for Landslide Risk: An Example from Buzau Subcarpathians, Romania.

    PubMed

    Malek, Žiga; Boerboom, Luc; Glade, Thomas

    2015-11-01

    This study focuses on future forest cover change in Buzau Subcarpathians, a landslide prone region in Romania. Past and current trends suggest that the area might expect a future increase in deforestation. We developed spatially explicit scenarios until 2040 to analyze the spatial pattern of future forest cover change and potential changes to landslide risk. First, we generated transition probability maps using the weights of evidence method, followed by a cellular automata allocation model. We performed expert interviews, to develop two future forest management scenarios. The Alternative scenario (ALT) was defined by 67% more deforestation than the Business as Usual scenario (BAU). We integrated the simulated scenarios with a landslide susceptibility map. In both scenarios, most of deforestation was projected in areas where landslides are less likely to occur. Still, 483 (ALT) and 276 (BAU) ha of deforestation were projected on areas with a high-landslide occurrence likelihood. Thus, deforestation could lead to a local-scale increase in landslide risk, in particular near or adjacent to forestry roads. The parallel process of near 10% forest expansion until 2040 was projected to occur mostly on areas with high-landslide susceptibility. On a regional scale, forest expansion could so result in improved slope stability. We modeled two additional scenarios with an implemented landslide risk policy, excluding high-risk zones. The reduction of deforestation on high-risk areas was achieved without a drastic decrease in the accessibility of the areas. Together with forest expansion, it could therefore be used as a risk reduction strategy.

  16. Ecological thresholds at the savanna-forest boundary: how plant traits, resources and fire govern the distribution of tropical biomes.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, William A; Geiger, Erika L; Gotsch, Sybil G; Rossatto, Davi R; Silva, Lucas C R; Lau, On Lee; Haridasan, M; Franco, Augusto C

    2012-07-01

    Fire shapes the distribution of savanna and forest through complex interactions involving climate, resources and species traits. Based on data from central Brazil, we propose that these interactions are governed by two critical thresholds. The fire-resistance threshold is reached when individual trees have accumulated sufficient bark to avoid stem death, whereas the fire-suppression threshold is reached when an ecosystem has sufficient canopy cover to suppress fire by excluding grasses. Surpassing either threshold is dependent upon long fire-free intervals, which are rare in mesic savanna. On high-resource sites, the thresholds are reached quickly, increasing the probability that savanna switches to forest, whereas low-resource sites are likely to remain as savanna even if fire is infrequent. Species traits influence both thresholds; saplings of savanna trees accumulate bark thickness more quickly than forest trees, and are more likely to become fire resistant during fire-free intervals. Forest trees accumulate leaf area more rapidly than savanna trees, thereby accelerating the transition to forest. Thus, multiple factors interact with fire to determine the distribution of savanna and forest by influencing the time needed to reach these thresholds. Future work should decipher multiple environmental controls over the rates of tree growth and canopy closure in savanna.

  17. Effects of Projected Transient Changes in Climate on Tennessee Forests

    SciTech Connect

    Dale, Virginia H; Tharp, M Lynn; Lannom, Karen O.; Hodges, Donald G.

    2010-01-01

    This study examines transient effects of projected climate change on the structure and species composition of forests in Tennessee. The climate change scenarios for 2030 and 2080 were provided by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) from three General Circulation Models (GCMs) that simulate the range of potential climate conditions for the state. The precipitation and temperature projections from the three GCMs for 2030 and 2080 were related to changes in the ecoregions by using the monthly record of temperature and precipitation from 1980 to 1997 for each 1 km cell across the state as aggregated into the five ecological provinces. Temperatures are projected to increase in all ecological provinces in all months for all three GCMs for both 2030 and 2080. Precipitation patterns are more complex with one model projecting wetter summers and two models projecting drier summers. The forest ecosystem model LINKAGES was used to simulate conditions in forest stands for the five ecological provinces of Tennessee from 1989 to 2300. These model runs suggest there will be a change in tree diversity and species composition in all ecological provinces with the greatest changes occurring in the Southern Mixed Forest province. Most projections show a decline in total tree biomass followed by recovery as species replacement occurs in stands. The changes in forest biomass and composition, as simulated in this study, are likely to have implications on forest economy, tourism, understory conditions, wildlife habitat, mast provisioning, and other services provided by forest systems.

  18. Implications of albedo changes following afforestation on the benefits of forests as carbon sinks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirschbaum, M. U. F.; Whitehead, D.; Dean, S. M.; Beets, P. N.; Shepherd, J. D.; Ausseil, A.-G. E.

    2011-12-01

    Increased carbon storage with afforestation leads to a decrease in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and thus decreases radiative forcing and cools the Earth. However, afforestation also changes the reflective properties of the surface vegetation from more reflective pasture to relatively less reflective forest cover. This increase in radiation absorption by the forest constitutes an increase in radiative forcing, with a warming effect. The net effect of decreased albedo and carbon storage on radiative forcing depends on the relative magnitude of these two opposing processes. We used data from an intensively studied site in New Zealand's Central North Island that has long-term, ground-based measurements of albedo over the full short-wave spectrum from a developing Pinus radiata forest. Data from this site were supplemented with satellite-derived albedo estimates from New Zealand pastures. The albedo of a well-established forest was measured as 13 % and pasture albedo as 20 %. We used these data to calculate the direct radiative forcing effect of changing albedo as the forest grew. We calculated the radiative forcing resulting from the removal of carbon from the atmosphere as a decrease in radiative forcing of -104 GJ tC-1 yr-1. We also showed that the observed change in albedo constituted a direct radiative forcing of 2759 GJ ha-1 yr-1. Thus, following afforestation, 26.5 tC ha-1 needs to be stored in a growing forest to balance the increase in radiative forcing resulting from the observed albedo change. Measurements of tree biomass and albedo were used to estimate the net change in radiative forcing as the newly planted forest grew. Albedo and carbon-storage effects were of similar magnitude for the first four to five years after tree planting, but as the stand grew older, the carbon storage effect increasingly dominated. Averaged over the whole length of the rotation, the changes in albedo negated the benefits from increased carbon storage by 17-24 %.

  19. Recent Changes in the Riparian Forest of a Large Regulated Mediterranean River: Implications for Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González, Eduardo; González-Sanchis, María; Cabezas, Álvaro; Comín, Francisco A.; Muller, Etienne

    2010-04-01

    The structure of the floodplain forests of the Middle Ebro River (NE Spain) was examined at patch and landscape scales along a three-step chronosequence defined according to the extent of flow regulation-induced hydrogeomorphic changes, with the ultimate purpose of producing baseline information to guide through management and restoration plans. At patch scale, a total of 6,891 stems within 39 plots were registered for species, diameter and health status. The stem density, size class distribution, canopy dieback and mortality were further compared by means of non-parametric tests. At landscape scale, the temporal evolution of the area occupied by forest stands of different ages in the floodplain along the chronosequence was evaluated using four sets of aerial photographs dated in 1927, 1957, 1981 and 2003. The within-patch structure of pioneer forests (<25-30 years old) was characterized by dense and healthy populations of pioneer species ( Populus nigra, Salix alba and Tamarix spp.), but the area occupied by these forest types has progressively decreased (up to 37%) since the intensification of river regulation (ca. 1957). In contrast, non-pioneer forests (>25-30 years old) were characterized by declining and sparse P. nigra- S. alba- Tamarix spp. stands, where late-seral species such as Ulmus minor and Fraxinus angustifolia were frequent, but only as small-size stems. At landscape scale, these type of senescent forests have doubled their surface after river regulation was intensified. Populus alba only appeared in the oldest plots recorded (colonized before 1957), suggesting sexual regeneration failure during the last five decades, but usually as healthy and dense stands. Based on these findings, measures principally aimed at recovering some hydrogeomorphic dynamism are recommended to guarantee the self-sustainability of the floodplain forest ecosystem.

  20. Drought tolerance in the equatorial Amazon forest: Implications for ecosystem models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harper, A. B.; Baker, I. T.; Denning, A.; Fisher, R. A.; Markewitz, D.; Meir, P.

    2011-12-01

    In the Amazon forest, transpiration and photosynthesis rates are often higher during the dry season than during the wet season. However, multiyear or particularly strong droughts affect ecosystem productivity and tree mortality, as indicated by recent droughts during 2005 and 2010. A majority of climate models predict decreased rainfall in tropical South America throughout the 21st century, especially during the dry season. Using observed meteorology from two rainfall exclusion experiments in the Amazon (Tapajós and Caxiuanã), we examine forest response to drought in an ecosystem model (SiB3 - the Simple Biosphere model). The exclusion experiments prevented ~50% of precipitation from reaching the forest floor. The observed forest was more resilient at Tapajós, but the simulations showed stronger resiliency at Caxiuanã. To explain the model-observation difference we focus on annual precipitation and seasonal cycle and depth to water table, which could influence deep root development. We run SiB3 with variable rooting depth, with improved simulations of the drought response in both cases (the default root depth in SiB3 is 10 m). These results suggest that a "one size fits all" approach to modeling tropical forest drought response is not adequate. We therefore define a "stress resilience index", which can be used to create a map of tropical forest root depth. The index is based on the results of SiB3 at the exclusion sites, precipitation climatology, and percent forest cover in a grid cell. Using spatially variable root depth in a global version of SiB3 results in an improved simulation of ecosystem drought response.

  1. Research on the Development of Ecological Concepts and Conceptual Systems: Implications for the Elementary Educator.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cothron, Julia H.; Thompson, Ertle

    Student variables which influence attainment of ecological concepts and conceptual systems were investigated. Researcher-designed paper/pencil and free-sort categorization tests were administered to 256 Science Curriculum Improvement Study (SCIS) students in grades 4-6. Findings are: (1) grade and ability, not sex, influenced concept attainment…

  2. The Education of "Ecological Man": Implications for Sport and Physical Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zeigler, Earle F.

    Physical education and recreation educators have a responsibility to inform their students about the dangers to the ecological system in an over-populated, over-industrialized, and polluted world. As a start, they can teach their students how to remain personally fit through exercise and proper diet. Secondarily, they can discuss social issues…

  3. The Ecology of Social Support and Older Adult Adaptation: A Review of Research and Educational Implications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schiamberg, Lawrence B.; Abler, William

    A detailed review of research was conducted on the relationship of social support of older adults to their general health and well being, and the findings were applied to educational outcomes and performance. The following dimensions of social support were examined: (1) an ecological framework or perspective of social support, (2) definitions and…

  4. Nitrogen Fixation by Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Its Implications for a New Ecological Niche▿

    PubMed Central

    Criminger, J. D.; Hazen, T. H.; Sobecky, P. A.; Lovell, C. R.

    2007-01-01

    A Vibrio parahaemolyticus strain isolated from the rhizosphere of the ecosystem dominant estuarine grass, Spartina alterniflora, was characterized and shown to carry nifH, the gene encoding the nitrogenase iron protein, and to fix N2. Nitrogen fixation may contribute substantially to the adaptability, niche breadth, and ecological significance of V. parahaemolyticus. PMID:17675440

  5. Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Global Environmental Change: Research findings and policy implications

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Baggethun, Erik; Corbera, Esteve; Reyes-García, Victoria

    2015-01-01

    This paper introduces the special feature of Ecology and Society entitled “Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Global Environmental Change. The special feature addresses two main research themes. The first theme concerns the resilience of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (hereafter TEK) and the conditions that might explain its loss or persistence in the face of global change. The second theme relates to new findings regarding the way in which TEK strengthens community resilience to respond to the multiple stressors of global environmental change. Those themes are analyzed using case studies from Africa, Asia, America and Europe. Theoretical insights and empirical findings from the studies suggest that despite the generalized worldwide trend of TEK erosion, substantial pockets of TEK persist in both developing and developed countries. A common trend on the studies presented here is hybridization, where traditional knowledge, practices, and beliefs are merged with novel forms of knowledge and technologies to create new knowledge systems. The findings also reinforce previous hypotheses pointing at the importance of TEK systems as reservoirs of experiential knowledge that can provide important insights for the design of adaptation and mitigation strategies to cope with global environmental change. Based on the results from papers in this feature, we discuss policy directions that might help to promote maintenance and restoration of living TEK systems as sources of social-ecological resilience. PMID:26097492

  6. Post-independence fledgling ecology in a migratory songbird: Implications for breeding-grounds conservation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Streby, H.M.; Peterson, S.M.; Kramer, G.R.; Anderson, D.E.

    2014-01-01

    For migratory songbirds, breeding-grounds conservation and management plans are generally focused on habitat associated with locations of singing males and sometimes nesting females. However, habitat structure is often different in areas used for raising fledglings compared with areas used for song territories, and very little is known about habitat use by fledglings after independence from adult care. From 2010 to 2012, we used radiotelemetry to monitor 68 fledgling golden-winged warblers Vermivora chrysoptera after independence from adult care in mixed managed forests of Minnesota, US and Manitoba, Canada. This species is of high conservation concern in the US, is listed as threatened in Canada and is listed as near threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. We assessed distance and orientation of independent fledgling movements and we used compositional analysis to test for selection among cover types. Fledglings of this species, commonly described as a shrubland specialist, selected mature forest (78% of locations) over all other cover types, and foraged in forest canopy and understory in mixed-species flocks. Fledgling golden-winged warbler movements were apparently associated with habitat optimization (although prioritizing foraging over predator avoidance), and likely not with commencement of migration, or scouting future breeding territories. Ten days after independence, fledglings were an average of 1238 m north of their nest, which may be related to homing-target formation and the species' northward range expansion. We conclude that consideration for independent fledgling habitat associations is necessary for developing full-fledged forest management plans on the breeding grounds of migratory songbirds.

  7. Within-stand variability of leaf phenology in deciduous tree species: characterization and ecological implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delpierre, N.; Cecchini, S.; Dufrêne, E.; Guillemot, J.; Nicolas, M.

    2014-12-01

    The vast majority of phenological studies address questions relative to the spatial or temporal variability of phenological timings integrated at the forest stand (i.e. tree population) scale. Within a forest stand, the inter-individual variability of phenological timings is expected to affect a range of tree functions among which the access to light, the use of carbon and nitrogen reserves, the absorption of minerals and the sensitivity to pathogens. Hence the individual's phenological traits are likely to be strongly selected, resulting in an adaptation of the population to local conditions, as evidenced by latitudinal and altitudinal clines observed in common garden experiments. Studies dedicated to the within-stand variability of the timing of phenophases have to date been mostly designed for contrasting the behaviours of understory versus overstory species or seedlings compared to their adult conspecifics. The few published papers studying the phenological timings among adult conspecifics revealed unclear patterns. We aimed at clarifying the understanding of the within-stand variability of tree phenology of three of the main European deciduous species (Quercus petraea, Quercus robur and Fagus sylvatica) through the analysis of a unique phenological database collected over 44 (28 Oak sites, 16 Beech stands) forest stands at the tree level for 4 years over France. We show that within a forest stand, individual trees have a distinct "phenological identity" resulting in a year to year conservation of (a) the individuals' spring and autumn phenological rankings and (b) the individuals' critical temperature sums required for budburst and senescence. The individual's spring "phenological identity" affects its functioning and, ultimately, its competitive ability: big trees burst earlier. Acknowledging that Angiosperms show low genetic diversity between populations, we show that the between-site variability of critical temperature sums needed for budburst or senescence

  8. Ecology and pathology of European chestnut (Castanea sativa) in the deciduous forests of the Caucasus Mountains in southern Russia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pridnya, M.V.; Cherpakov, V.V.; Paillet, Frederick L.

    1996-01-01

    Chestnut-dominated forests of the Caucasus Mountain area of Russia are very similar to former chestnut-dominated forests in eastern North America. The distribution, pathology, and reproductive status of European chestnut (Castanea sativa) in the Caucasus are described and compared to that of American chestnut (C. dentata). Chestnut forests are distributed continuously along the southern slope of the Caucasus mountains near the Black Sea, and are found in isolated populations on the north side of the Caucasus, at elevations ranging from 200 to 1300 meters. Chestnut blight was apparently introduced into the region after 1880 and continues to destroy chestnut forests today. Chestnut in the Caucasus is also infected by several other fungal and bacterial parasites and the joint infection of blight and bacteria may be especially dangerous for chestnut trees. Chestnut-dominated forests comprise only a few percent of total forest cover in the Caucasus Biosphere Preserve, and usually occur in mountain valleys or coves with deep brown soil. The age structure and reproductive status of chestnut in the Caucasus was investigated on six study plots in the Caucasus Biosphere Forest Preserve near the upper altitudinal limit of chestnut. Although chestnut is at least 70 percent of the overstory on these sites, there are very few trees less than 50 years old, and very few recent seedlings on any of the plots. Most large chestnut trees appear to have originated as basal spouts from previously established stems. Although chestnut seed production appears adequate, we suspect that competition with shrubs and other tree seedlings, and predation by herbivores and rodents, now prevent the establishment and survival of chestnut seedlings in the Biosphere Preserve.

  9. Effects of Siberian forest fires on air quality in East Asia during May 2003 and its climate implication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeong, Jaein I.; Park, Rokjin J.; Youn, Daeok

    In May 2003, intense forest fires occurred over Siberia, which were the largest fires in the past decade. In order to quantify the effects of these fires on regional air quality in East Asia, we used a global chemical transport model (CTM) with a biomass burning emission inventory constrained by satellite. Our focus was mainly on the enhancements of the ozone and aerosol concentrations due to these fires over East Asia. We first evaluated the model extensively by comparing the simulated and the observed ozone and aerosol concentrations at the EANET sites and found that the simulation reproduced the observed variability of those species. However, some discrepancies were found in the model when compared with the MODIS AOD observations. We tested the sensitivity of the model AOD to different injection heights of fire emissions and found that the model with an injection height of 4.5 km was in better agreement with the observations. We then used our model results to quantify the influences of Siberian forest fires on ozone and aerosols concentrations which were computed using the differences between the simulations with and without Siberian forest fire emissions. The peak increases in the surface PM 10 and ozone concentrations were up to 90 μg m -3 and 33 ppbv, respectively, over Siberia. In the downwind regions, the increases ranged from 5 to 30 μg m -3 and from 3 to 20 ppbv for PM 10 and ozone concentrations, respectively, having an important implication for air quality over East Asia. Finally, we computed the radiative forcing of aerosols and ozone from the Siberian forest fires as a measure of climate impact. Siberian forest fires were found to act mainly as a cooling agent resulting in a negative radiative forcing of -5.8 W m -2 at the surface over East Asia. The value at the TOA was -1.5 W m -2, indicating that a considerable absorption of radiation occurred in the atmosphere. This result implies that the Siberian forest fires may affect the regional climate

  10. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation: global land-use implications.

    PubMed

    Miles, Lera; Kapos, Valerie

    2008-06-13

    Recent climate talks in Bali have made progress toward action on deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, within the anticipated post-Kyoto emissions reduction agreements. As a result of such action, many forests will be better protected, but some land-use change will be displaced to other locations. The demonstration phase launched at Bali offers an opportunity to examine potential outcomes for biodiversity and ecosystem services. Research will be needed into selection of priority areas for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation to deliver multiple benefits, on-the-ground methods to best ensure these benefits, and minimization of displaced land-use change into nontarget countries and ecosystems, including through revised conservation investments.

  11. Atmospheric CO sub 2 concentrations within a mixed forest: Implications for seedling growth

    SciTech Connect

    Bazzaz, F.A.; Williams, W.E. )

    1991-02-01

    The authors studied carbon dioxide concentrations in a mixed deciduous forest in New England, US by making continuous measurements at 0.05, 0.2, 3, and 12m above the soil surface. The measurements began in early March and continued until the end of November 1985; therefore, they spanned the growing season and parts of the dormant seasons both before and afterwards. The data were compared with those from Mauna Loa Hawaii, which represent global atmospheric CO{sub 2} levels in the Northern Hemisphere. The results show strong seasonal and daily variations in CO{sub 2} concentrations at all heights in the forest. On average, during the growing season, CO{sub 2} levels were generally higher in the forest than in bulk air at Mauna Loa. The highest level of CO{sub 2} was found near the forest floor and the lowest at the 12-m level. Daily levels of CO{sub 2} were constant throughout the day in the dormant season and were the same for all heights in the forest. However, during the growing season, the Co{sub 2} concentrations were lowest during the middle of the day, especially at the 12m height. Thus, this study shows that the CO{sub 2} concentrations in the forest may be quite different than those in bulk air and that seedlings, saplings, and mature trees may experience different CO{sub 2} environments for which they may show different responses in photosynthesis, growth, and water use. Moreover, a tree may experience different CO{sub 2} environments as it grows towards the canopy, and different modules of an individual may also be growing in different CO{sub 2} atmospheres.

  12. Impact of Canopy Openness on Spider Communities: Implications for Conservation Management of Formerly Coppiced Oak Forests.

    PubMed

    Košulič, Ondřej; Michalko, Radek; Hula, Vladimír

    2016-01-01

    Traditional woodland management created a mosaic of differently aged patches providing favorable conditions for a variety of arthropods. After abandonment of historical ownership patterns and traditional management and the deliberate transformation to high forest after World War II, large forest areas became darker and more homogeneous. This had significant negative consequences for biodiversity. An important question is whether even small-scale habitat structures maintained by different levels of canopy openness in abandoned coppiced forest may constitute conditions suitable for forest as well as open habitat specialists. We investigated the effect of canopy openness in former traditionally coppiced woodlands on the species richness, functional diversity, activity density, conservation value, and degree of rareness of epigeic spiders. In each of the eight studied locations, 60-m-long transect was established consisting of five pitfall traps placed at regular 15 m intervals along the gradient. Spiders were collected from May to July 2012. We recorded 90 spider species, including high proportions of xeric specialists (40%) and red-listed threatened species (26%). The peaks of conservation indicators, as well as spider community abundance, were shifted toward more open canopies. On the other hand, functional diversity peaked at more closed canopies followed by a rapid decrease with increasing canopy openness. Species richness was highest in the middle of the canopy openness gradient, suggesting an ecotone effect. Ordinations revealed that species of conservation concern tended to be associated with sparse and partly opened canopy. The results show that the various components of biodiversity peaked at different levels of canopy openness. Therefore, the restoration and suitable forest management of such conditions will retain important diversification of habitats in formerly coppiced oak forest stands. We indicate that permanent presence of small-scale improvements

  13. Impact of Canopy Openness on Spider Communities: Implications for Conservation Management of Formerly Coppiced Oak Forests

    PubMed Central

    Košulič, Ondřej; Michalko, Radek; Hula, Vladimír

    2016-01-01

    Traditional woodland management created a mosaic of differently aged patches providing favorable conditions for a variety of arthropods. After abandonment of historical ownership patterns and traditional management and the deliberate transformation to high forest after World War II, large forest areas became darker and more homogeneous. This had significant negative consequences for biodiversity. An important question is whether even small-scale habitat structures maintained by different levels of canopy openness in abandoned coppiced forest may constitute conditions suitable for forest as well as open habitat specialists. We investigated the effect of canopy openness in former traditionally coppiced woodlands on the species richness, functional diversity, activity density, conservation value, and degree of rareness of epigeic spiders. In each of the eight studied locations, 60-m-long transect was established consisting of five pitfall traps placed at regular 15 m intervals along the gradient. Spiders were collected from May to July 2012. We recorded 90 spider species, including high proportions of xeric specialists (40%) and red-listed threatened species (26%). The peaks of conservation indicators, as well as spider community abundance, were shifted toward more open canopies. On the other hand, functional diversity peaked at more closed canopies followed by a rapid decrease with increasing canopy openness. Species richness was highest in the middle of the canopy openness gradient, suggesting an ecotone effect. Ordinations revealed that species of conservation concern tended to be associated with sparse and partly opened canopy. The results show that the various components of biodiversity peaked at different levels of canopy openness. Therefore, the restoration and suitable forest management of such conditions will retain important diversification of habitats in formerly coppiced oak forest stands. We indicate that permanent presence of small-scale improvements

  14. Causes and implications of the correlation between forest productivity and tree mortality rates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stephenson, Nathan L.; van Mantgem, Philip J.; Bunn, Andrew G.; Bruner, Howard; Harmon, Mark E.; O'Connell, Kari B.; Urban, Dean L.; Franklin, Jerry F.

    2011-01-01

    For only one of these four mechanisms, competition, can high mortality rates be considered to be a relatively direct consequence of high NPP. The remaining mechanisms force us to adopt a different view of causality, in which tree growth rates and probability of mortality can vary with at least a degree of independence along productivity gradients. In many cases, rather than being a direct cause of high mortality rates, NPP may remain high in spite of high mortality rates. The independent influence of plant enemies and other factors helps explain why forest biomass can show little correlation, or even negative correlation, with forest NPP.

  15. Floristic units and their predictors unveiled in part of the Atlantic Forest hotspot: implications for conservation planning.

    PubMed

    Saiter, Felipe Z; Eisenlohr, Pedro V; França, Glauco S; Stehmann, João R; Thomas, William W; De Oliveira-Filho, Ary T

    2015-01-01

    We submitted tree species occurrence and geoclimatic data from 59 sites in a river basin in the Atlantic Forest of southeastern Brazil to ordination, ANOVA, and cluster analyses with the goals of investigating the causes of phytogeographic patterns and determining whether the six recognized subregions represent distinct floristic units. We found that both climate and space were significantly (p ≤ 0.05) important in the explanation of phytogeographic patterns. Floristic variations follow thermal gradients linked to elevation in both coastal and inland subregions. A gradient of precipitation seasonality was found to be related to floristic variation up to 100 km inland from the ocean. The temperature of the warmest quarter and the precipitation during the coldest quarter were the main predictors. The subregions Sandy Coastal Plain, Coastal Lowland, Coastal Highland, and Central Depression were recognized as distinct floristic units. Significant differences were not found between the Inland Highland and the Espinhaço Range, indicating that these subregions should compose a single floristic unit encompassing all interior highlands. Because of their ecological peculiarities, the ferric outcrops within the Espinhaço Range may constitute a special unit. The floristic units proposed here will provide important information for wiser conservation planning in the Atlantic Forest hotspot.

  16. Reproductive Performance of a Declining Forest Passerine in Relation to Environmental and Social Factors: Implications for Species Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Grendelmeier, Alex; Arlettaz, Raphaël; Gerber, Michael; Pasinelli, Gilberto

    2015-01-01

    Identifying factors influencing a species' ecological niche and demography is a prerequisite for species conservation. However, our understanding of the interplay between demographic rates and biotic/abiotic factors is still poor for most species of conservation concern. We evaluated relevance of eight hypotheses relating to timing of breeding, temporal nest exposure, nest concealment, topography, tree structure, predation risk and disturbance, density dependence and weather for explaining variation in reproductive performance of the declining wood warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix in northern Switzerland. Reproductive performance was monitored with cameras at 136 nests from 2010 to 2012 and was associated to temporal exposure, timing of breeding and concealment of nests. Daily nest survival was positively related to the number of grass and sedge tussocks, nest concealment and nest age. Clutch size and number of fledglings decreased, the later in the season a nest was initiated. Nest survival over an average nesting period of 31 days was 46.9 ± 0.07% (mean ± SE), daily nest survival rate was 0.976 ± 0.002. As for many ground-breeding birds, nest predation was the principal cause of nest failure, accounting for 79% of all nest losses. Conservation measures should aim at increasing the area of relatively homogenous forest stands featuring suitable habitats characterized by abundant and accessible grass and sedge tussocks. In managed forests, such conditions can be found in stands of middle age (i.e. pole wood) with little to no shrub layer. PMID:26172954

  17. Ecological impacts and management implications of reef walking on a tropical reef flat community.

    PubMed

    Williamson, Jane E; Byrnes, Evan E; Clark, Jennalee A; Connolly, David M; Schiller, Sabine E; Thompson, Jessica A; Tosetto, Louise; Martinelli, Julieta C; Raoult, Vincent

    2017-01-30

    Continued growth of tourism has led to concerns about direct and indirect impacts on the ecology of coral reefs and ultimate sustainability of these environments under such pressure. This research assessed impacts of reef walking by tourists on a relatively pristine reef flat community associated with an 'ecoresort' on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Heavily walked areas had lower abundances of live hard coral but greater amounts of dead coral and sediment. Abundances of macroalgae were not affected between sites. Coral-associated butterflyfish were less abundant and less diverse in more trampled sites. A manipulative experiment showed handling holothurians on reef walks had lasting negative impacts. This is the first study to show potential impacts of such handling on holothurians. Ecological impacts of reef walking are weighed against sociocultural benefits of a first hand experience in nature.

  18. Using ecology to inform physiology studies: implications of high population density in the laboratory.

    PubMed

    Newman, Amy E M; Edmunds, Nicholas B; Ferraro, Shannon; Heffell, Quentin; Merritt, Gillian M; Pakkala, Jesse J; Schilling, Cory R; Schorno, Sarah

    2015-03-15

    Conspecific density is widely recognized as an important ecological factor across the animal kingdom; however, the physiological impacts are less thoroughly described. In fact, population density is rarely mentioned as a factor in physiological studies on captive animals and, when it is infrequently addressed, the animals used are reared and housed at densities far above those in nature, making the translation of results from the laboratory to natural systems difficult. We survey the literature to highlight this important ecophysiological gap and bring attention to the possibility that conspecific density prior to experimentation may be a critical factor influencing results. Across three taxa: mammals, birds, and fish, we present evidence from ecology that density influences glucocorticoid levels, immune function, and body condition with the intention of stimulating discussion and increasing consideration of population density in physiology studies. We conclude with several directives to improve the applicability of insights gained in the laboratory to organisms in the natural environment.

  19. Presettlement and modern disturbance regimes in coast redwood forests: Implications for the conservation of old-growth stands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorimer, Craig G.; Porter, Daniel J.; Madej, Mary Ann; Stuart, John D.; Veirs, Stephen D.; Norman, Steven P.; O'Hara, Kevin L.; Libby, William J.

    2009-01-01

    Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), a western North American conifer of ancient lineage, has a paradoxical combination of late-successional characteristics and strong adaptations to disturbance. Despite its shade tolerance and heavy dominance of the canopy on many sites, redwood saplings are uncommon in upland old-growth stands. Information needed to ensure the conservation of old-growth redwood forests has been limited. In this review paper, we integrate evidence on redwood biology with data on the historic and modern disturbance regimes to help clarify the degree to which key attributes of redwood forests may have been dependent upon periodic disturbance. Available evidence suggests that episodes of fire, flooding, and slope failure prior to European settlement were frequent but predominantly of low to moderate severity and extent, resulting in broadly uneven-aged forests. The majority of fires prior to European settlement were apparently of human origin. Frequency and severity of the major disturbance agents have been radically changed in modern times. Fires have been largely excluded, and flooding has been altered in ways that have often been detrimental to old-growth redwoods on alluvial terraces. However, because of the apparent anthropogenic origin of most presettlement fires, the long-term evolutionary role of fire for coast redwood is ecologically ambiguous. With fire exclusion, redwood possibly could be displaced to some extent on upland sites by increasing abundance of fire-sensitive competitors. Alternatively, redwood may be able to maintain dominance by vegetative sprouting and new seedling establishment on root-wad mounds, fallen logs, and on soil exposed by slope failure. Future research priorities are suggested that will help resolve some of the current ambiguities.

  20. Ecological Implications of Extreme Events: Footprints of the 2010 Earthquake along the Chilean Coast

    PubMed Central

    Jaramillo, Eduardo; Dugan, Jenifer E.; Hubbard, David M.; Melnick, Daniel; Manzano, Mario; Duarte, Cristian; Campos, Cesar; Sanchez, Roland

    2012-01-01

    Deciphering ecological effects of major catastrophic events such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, storms and fires, requires rapid interdisciplinary efforts often hampered by a lack of pre-event data. Using results of intertidal surveys conducted shortly before and immediately after Chile's 2010 Mw 8.8 earthquake along the entire rupture zone (ca. 34–38°S), we provide the first quantification of earthquake and tsunami effects on sandy beach ecosystems. Our study incorporated anthropogenic coastal development as a key design factor. Ecological responses of beach ecosystems were strongly affected by the magnitude of land-level change. Subsidence along the northern rupture segment combined with tsunami-associated disturbance and drowned beaches. In contrast, along the co-seismically uplifted southern rupture, beaches widened and flattened increasing habitat availability. Post-event changes in abundance and distribution of mobile intertidal invertebrates were not uniform, varying with land-level change, tsunami height and coastal development. On beaches where subsidence occurred, intertidal zones and their associated species disappeared. On some beaches, uplift of rocky sub-tidal substrate eliminated low intertidal sand beach habitat for ecologically important species. On others, unexpected interactions of uplift with man-made coastal armouring included restoration of upper and mid-intertidal habitat seaward of armouring followed by rapid colonization of mobile crustaceans typical of these zones formerly excluded by constraints imposed by the armouring structures. Responses of coastal ecosystems to major earthquakes appear to vary strongly with land-level change, the mobility of the biota and shore type. Our results show that interactions of extreme events with human-altered shorelines can produce surprising ecological outcomes, and suggest these complex responses to landscape alteration can leave lasting footprints in coastal ecosystems. PMID:22567101

  1. Alaska High School Students Integrate Forest Ecology, Glacial Landscape Dynamics, and Human Maritime History in a Field Mapping Course at Cape Decision Lighthouse, Kuiu Island, Southeast Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connor, C. L.; Carstensen, R.; Domke, L.; Donohoe, S.; Clark, A.; Cordero, D.; Otsea, C.; Hakala, M.; Parks, R.; Lanwermeyer, S.; Discover Design Research (Ddr)

    2010-12-01

    Alaskan 10th and 11th graders earned college credit at Cape Decision Lighthouse as part of a 12-day, summer field research experience. Students and faculty flew to the southern tip of Kuiu Island located 388 km south of Juneau. Kuiu is the largest uninhabited island in southeastern Alaska. This field-based, introduction-to-research course was designed to engage students in the sciences and give them skills in technology, engineering, and mathematics. Two faculty, a forest naturalist and a geologist, introduced the students to the use of hand held GPS receivers, GIS map making, field note-taking and documentary photography, increment borer use, and soil studies techniques. Daily surveys across the region, provided onsite opportunities for the faculty to introduce the high schoolers to the many dimensions of forest ecology and plant succession. Students collected tree cores using increment borers to determine “release dates” providing clues to past wind disturbance. They discovered the influence of landscape change on the forest by digging soil pits and through guided interpretation of bedrock outcrops. The students learned about glacially influenced hydrology in forested wetlands during peat bog hikes. They developed an eye for geomorphic features along coastal traverses, which helped them to understand the influences of uplift through faulting and isostatic rebound in this tectonically active and once glaciated area. They surveyed forest patches to distinguish between regions of declining yellow-cedar from wind-disturbed spruce forests. The students encountered large volumes of primarily plastic marine debris, now stratified by density and wave energy, throughout the southern Kuiu intertidal zone. They traced pre-European Alaska Native subsistence use of the area, 19th and 20th century Alaska Territorial Maritime history, and learned about the 21st century radio tracking of over 10,000 commercial vessels by the Marine Exchange of Alaska from its many stations

  2. Selected phenolic compounds in cultivated plants: ecologic functions, health implications, and modulation by pesticides.

    PubMed Central

    Daniel, O; Meier, M S; Schlatter, J; Frischknecht, P

    1999-01-01

    Phenolic compounds are widely distributed in the plant kingdom. Plant tissues may contain up to several grams per kilogram. External stimuli such as microbial infections, ultraviolet radiation, and chemical stressors induce their synthesis. The phenolic compounds resveratrol, flavonoids, and furanocoumarins have many ecologic functions and affect human health. Ecologic functions include defense against microbial pathogens and herbivorous animals. Phenolic compounds may have both beneficial and toxic effects on human health. Effects on low-density lipoproteins and aggregation of platelets are beneficial because they reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Mutagenic, cancerogenic, and phototoxic effects are risk factors of human health. The synthesis of phenolic compounds in plants can be modulated by the application of herbicides and, to a lesser extent, insecticides and fungicides. The effects on ecosystem functioning and human health are complex and cannot be predicted with great certainty. The consequences of the combined natural and pesticide-induced modulating effects for ecologic functions and human health should be further evaluated. PMID:10229712

  3. Folklore and traditional ecological knowledge of geckos in Southern Portugal: implications for conservation and science.

    PubMed

    Ceríaco, Luis M P; Marques, Mariana P; Madeira, Natália C; Vila-Viçosa, Carlos M; Mendes, Paula

    2011-09-05

    Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and folklore are repositories of large amounts of information about the natural world. Ideas, perceptions and empirical data held by human communities regarding local species are important sources which enable new scientific discoveries to be made, as well as offering the potential to solve a number of conservation problems. We documented the gecko-related folklore and TEK of the people of southern Portugal, with the particular aim of understanding the main ideas relating to gecko biology and ecology. Our results suggest that local knowledge of gecko ecology and biology is both accurate and relevant. As a result of information provided by local inhabitants, knowledge of the current geographic distribution of Hemidactylus turcicus was expanded, with its presence reported in nine new locations. It was also discovered that locals still have some misconceptions of geckos as poisonous and carriers of dermatological diseases. The presence of these ideas has led the population to a fear of and aversion to geckos, resulting in direct persecution being one of the major conservation problems facing these animals. It is essential, from both a scientific and conservationist perspective, to understand the knowledge and perceptions that people have towards the animals, since, only then, may hitherto unrecognized pertinent information and conservation problems be detected and resolved.

  4. Heterogeneity in ecological and evolutionary meta-analyses: its magnitude and implications.

    PubMed

    Senior, Alistair M; Grueber, Catherine E; Kamiya, Tsukushi; Lagisz, Malgorzata; O'Dwyer, Katie; Santos, Eduardo S A; Nakagawa, Shinichi

    2016-12-01

    Meta-analysis is the gold standard for synthesis in ecology and evolution. Together with estimating overall effect magnitudes, meta-analyses estimate differences between effect sizes via heterogeneity statistics. It is widely hypothesized that heterogeneity will be present in ecological/evolutionary meta-analyses due to the system-specific nature of biological phenomena. Despite driving recommended best practices, the generality of heterogeneity in ecological data has never been systematically reviewed. We reviewed 700 studies, finding 325 that used formal meta-analysis, of which total heterogeneity was reported in fewer than 40%. We used second-order meta-analysis to collate heterogeneity statistics from 86 studies. Our analysis revealed that the median and mean heterogeneity, expressed as I(2) , are 84.67% and 91.69%, respectively. These estimates are well above "high" heterogeneity (i.e., 75%), based on widely adopted benchmarks. We encourage reporting heterogeneity in the forms of I(2) and the estimated variance components (e.g., τ(2) ) as standard practice. These statistics provide vital insights in to the degree to which effect sizes vary, and provide the statistical support for the exploration of predictors of effect-size magnitude. Along with standard meta-regression techniques that fit moderator variables, multi-level models now allow partitioning of heterogeneity among correlated (e.g., phylogenetic) structures that exist within data.

  5. Folklore and traditional ecological knowledge of geckos in Southern Portugal: implications for conservation and science

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and folklore are repositories of large amounts of information about the natural world. Ideas, perceptions and empirical data held by human communities regarding local species are important sources which enable new scientific discoveries to be made, as well as offering the potential to solve a number of conservation problems. We documented the gecko-related folklore and TEK of the people of southern Portugal, with the particular aim of understanding the main ideas relating to gecko biology and ecology. Our results suggest that local knowledge of gecko ecology and biology is both accurate and relevant. As a result of information provided by local inhabitants, knowledge of the current geographic distribution of Hemidactylus turcicus was expanded, with its presence reported in nine new locations. It was also discovered that locals still have some misconceptions of geckos as poisonous and carriers of dermatological diseases. The presence of these ideas has led the population to a fear of and aversion to geckos, resulting in direct persecution being one of the major conservation problems facing these animals. It is essential, from both a scientific and conservationist perspective, to understand the knowledge and perceptions that people have towards the animals, since, only then, may hitherto unrecognized pertinent information and conservation problems be detected and resolved. PMID:21892925

  6. Tropical forests and the changing earth system

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Simon L

    2005-01-01

    Tropical forests are global epicentres of biodiversity and important modulators of the rate of climate change. Recent research on deforestation rates and ecological changes within intact forests, both areas of recent research and debate, are reviewed, and the implications for biodiversity (species loss) and climate change (via the global carbon cycle) addressed. Recent impacts have most likely been: (i) a large source of carbon to the atmosphere, and major loss of species, from deforestation and (ii) a large carbon sink within remaining intact forest, accompanied by accelerating forest dynamism and widespread biodiversity changes. Finally, I look to the future, suggesting that the current carbon sink in intact forests is unlikely to continue, and that the tropical forest biome may even become a large net source of carbon, via one or more of four plausible routes: changing photosynthesis and respiration rates, biodiversity changes in intact forest, widespread forest collapse via drought, and widespread forest collapse via fire. Each of these scenarios risks potentially dangerous positive feedbacks with the climate system that could dramatically accelerate and intensify climate change. Given that continued land-use change alone is already thought to be causing the sixth mass extinction event in Earth's history, should such feedbacks occur, the resulting biodiversity and societal consequences would be even more severe. PMID:16553317

  7. Tropical forests and the changing earth system.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Simon L

    2006-01-29

    Tropical forests are global epicentres of biodiversity and important modulators of the rate of climate change. Recent research on deforestation rates and ecological changes within intact forests, both areas of recent research and debate, are reviewed, and the implications for biodiversity (species loss) and climate change (via the global carbon cycle) addressed. Recent impacts have most likely been: (i) a large source of carbon to the atmosphere, and major loss of species, from deforestation and (ii) a large carbon sink within remaining intact forest, accompanied by accelerating forest dynamism and widespread biodiversity changes. Finally, I look to the future, suggesting that the current carbon sink in intact forests is unlikely to continue, and that the tropical forest biome may even become a large net source of carbon, via one or more of four plausible routes: changing photosynthesis and respiration rates, biodiversity changes in intact forest, widespread forest collapse via drought, and widespread forest collapse via fire. Each of these scenarios risks potentially dangerous positive feedbacks with the climate system that could dramatically accelerate and intensify climate change. Given that continued land-use change alone is already thought to be causing the sixth mass extinction event in Earth's history, should such feedbacks occur, the resulting biodiversity and societal consequences would be even more severe.

  8. Quantifying long-term plant community dynamics with movement models: implications for ecological resilience.

    PubMed

    Bagchi, Sumanta; Singh, Navinder J; Briske, David D; Bestelmeyer, Brandon T; McClaran, Mitchel P; Murthy, Karthik

    2017-03-31

    Quantification of rates and patterns of community dynamics is central for understanding the organization and function of ecosystems. These insights may support a greater empirical understanding of ecological resilience, and the application of resilience concepts toward ecosystem management. Distinct types of dynamics in natural communities can be used to interpret and apply resilience concepts, but quantitative methods that can systematically distinguish among them are needed. We develop a quantitative method to analyze long-term records of plant community dynamics using principles of movement ecology. We analyzed dissimilarity of species composition through time with linear and nonlinear statistical models to assign community change to four classes of movement trajectories. Compositional change in each sampled plot through time was classified into four classes: stability, abrupt nonlinear change, transient reversible change, and gradual linear drift -NDASH- each representing a different aspect of ecological resilience. These competing models were evaluated based on estimated coefficients, goodness-of-fit, and parsimony. We tested our method's accuracy and robustness through simulations, or the ability to distinguish among trajectories and classify them correctly. We simulated 16000 trajectories of four types, of which 94-100% were correctly classified. Next, we analyzed 13 long-term vegetation records from North American grasslands (annual grasslands with warm-season and cool-season communities, shortgrass, mixedgrass and tallgrass prairies, and sagebrush steppe), and a record of primary succession at Mt. St. Helens volcano. Collectively, we analyzed 14647 observations from 775 plots, between 1915 and 2012. Dynamics could be reliably assigned for 705 plots (91%), and overall statistical fit was high (goodness-of-fit, 0.77 ± 0.15 SD). Among the perennial grasslands, stability was most common (44% of all plots), followed by gradual linear (22%), abrupt nonlinear

  9. Sewage sludge fertiliser use: implications for soil and plant copper evolution in forest and agronomic soils.

    PubMed

    Ferreiro-Domínguez, Nuria; Rigueiro-Rodríguez, Antonio; Mosquera-Losada, M Rosa

    2012-05-01

    Fertilisation with sewage sludge may lead to crop toxicity and environmental degradation. This study aims to evaluate the effects of two types of soils (forest and agronomic), two types of vegetation (unsown (coming from soil seed bank) and sown), and two types of fertilisation (sludge fertilisation and mineral fertilisation, with a no fertiliser control) in afforested and treeless swards and in sown and unsown forestlands on the total and available Cu concentration in soil, the leaching of this element and the Cu levels in plant. The experimental design was completely randomised with nine treatments and three replicates. Fertilisation with sewage sludge increased the concentration of Cu in soil and plant, but the soil values never exceeded the maximum set by Spanish regulations. Sewage sludge inputs increased both the total and Mehlich 3 Cu concentrations in agronomic soils and the Cu levels in plant developed in agronomic and forest soils, with this effect pronounced in the unsown swards of forest soils. Therefore, the use of high quality sewage sludge as fertiliser may improve the global productivity of forest, agronomic and silvopastoral systems without creating environmental hazards.

  10. Implications of albedo changes following afforestation on the benefits of forests as carbon sinks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirschbaum, M. U. F.; Whitehead, D.; Dean, S. M.; Beets, P. N.; Shepherd, J. D.; Ausseil, A.-G. E.

    2011-08-01

    Increased carbon storage with afforestation leads to a decrease in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and thus decreases radiative forcing and cools the Earth. However, land-use change also changes the reflective properties of the surface vegetation from more reflective pasture to relatively less reflective forest cover. This increase in radiation absorption by the forest constitutes an increase in radiative forcing, with a warming effect. The net effect of decreased albedo and carbon storage on radiative forcing depends on the relative magnitude of these two opposing processes. We used data from an intensively studied site in New Zealand's Central North Island that has long-term, ground-based measurements of albedo over the full short-wave spectrum from a developing Pinus radiata forest. Data from this site were supplemented with satellite-derived albedo estimates from New Zealand pastures. The albedo of a well-established forest was measured as 13 % and pasture albedo as 20 %. We used these data to calculate the direct radiative forcing effect of changing albedo as the forest grew. We calculated the radiative forcing resulting from the removal of carbon from the atmosphere as a decrease in radiative forcing of -104 GJ tC-1 yr-1. We also showed that the observed change in albedo constituted a direct radiative forcing of 2759 GJ ha-1 yr-1. Thus, following afforestation, 26.5 tC ha-1 needs to be stored in a growing forest to balance the increase in radiative forcing resulting from the observed albedo change. Measurements of tree biomass and albedo were used to estimate the net change in radiative forcing as the newly planted forest grew. Albedo and carbon-storage effects were of similar magnitude for the first four to five years after tree planting, but as the stand grew older, the carbon storage effect increasingly dominated. Averaged over the whole length of the rotation, the changes in albedo negated the benefits from increased carbon storage by 17-24 %.

  11. Statistical Models of Temperature in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Under Climate-Change Scenarios and Ecological Implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wagner, R.W.; Stacey, M.; Brown, L.R.; Dettinger, M.

    2011-01-01

    Changes in water temperatures caused by climate change in California's Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will affect the ecosystem through physiological rates of fishes and invertebrates. This study presents statistical models that can be used to forecast water temperature within the Delta as a response to atmospheric conditions. The daily average model performed well (R2 values greater than 0.93 during verification periods) for all stations within the Delta and San Francisco Bay provided there was at least 1 year of calibration data. To provide long-term projections of Delta water temperature, we forced the model with downscaled data from climate scenarios. Based on these projections, the ecological implications for the delta smelt, a key species, were assessed based on temperature thresholds. The model forecasts increases in the number of days above temperatures causing high mortality (especially along the Sacramento River) and a shift in thermal conditions for spawning to earlier in the year. ?? 2011 The Author(s).

  12. Statistical models of temperature in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta under climate-change scenarios and ecological implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wagner, R. Wayne; Stacey, Mark; Brown, Larry R.; Dettinger, Mike

    2011-01-01

    Changes in water temperatures caused by climate change in California's Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta will affect the ecosystem through physiological rates of fishes and invertebrates. This study presents statistical models that can be used to forecast water temperature within the Delta as a response to atmospheric conditions. The daily average model performed well (R2 values greater than 0.93 during verification periods) for all stations within the Delta and San Francisco Bay provided there was at least 1 year of calibration data. To provide long-term projections of Delta water temperature, we forced the model with downscaled data from climate scenarios. Based on these projections, the ecological implications for the delta smelt, a key species, were assessed based on temperature thresholds. The model forecasts increases in the number of days above temperatures causing high mortality (especially along the Sacramento River) and a shift in thermal conditions for spawning to earlier in the year.

  13. Essential Oil Composition of Centaurea atropurpurea and Centaurea orientalis Inflorescences from the Central Balkans - Ecological Significance and Taxonomic Implications.

    PubMed

    Novaković, Jelica; Rajčević, Nemanja; Milanovici, Sretco; Marin, Petar D; Janaćković, Pedja

    2016-09-01

    The essential oil composition of Centaurea atropurpurea and Centaurea orientalis flowering heads (capitula) from Central Balkans have been determined by GC-FID and GC/MS analyses. In total, 121 compounds were identified, representing on average 97.7% of the oil composition. In all samples, sesquiterpenes were most abundant group, representing 53.9 - 74.0% of the total oil. Sesquiterpene hydrocarbons dominated in all studied populations of C. orientalis and C. atropurpurea, except C. atropurpurea f. flava in which essential oil was characterized with high level of oxygenated sesquiterpenes. The dominant components differed between species, and also between typical C. atropurpurea and C. atropurpurea f. flava. The most abundant compounds of essential oil of C. orientalis were germacrene D and α-cadinol. In C. atropuruprea, germacrene D and β-caryophyllene were the most abundant, while caryophyllene oxide and β-caryophyllene were dominant in C. atropurpurea f. flava oil. Taxonomical and ecological implications are further discussed.

  14. The variations of aluminium species in mountainous forest soils and its implications to soil acidification.

    PubMed

    Bradová, Monika; Tejnecký, Václav; Borůvka, Luboš; Němeček, Karel; Ash, Christopher; Šebek, Ondřej; Svoboda, Miroslav; Zenáhlíková, Jitka; Drábek, Ondřej

    2015-11-01

    Aluminium (Al) speciation is a characteristic that can be used as a tool for describing the soil acidification process. The question that was answered is how tree species (beech vs spruce) and type of soil horizon affect Al speciation. Our hypotesis is that spruce and beech forest vegetation are able to modify the chemical characteristics of organic horizon, hence the content of Al species. Moreover, these characteristics are seasonally dependent. To answer these questions, a detailed chromatographic speciation of Al in forest soils under contrasting tree species was performed. The Jizera Mountains area (Czech Republic) was chosen as a representative mountainous soil ecosystem. A basic forestry survey was performed on the investigated area. Soil and precipitation samples (throughfall, stemflow) were collected under both beech and spruce stands at monthly intervals from April to November during the years 2008-2011. Total aluminium content and Al speciation, pH, and dissolved organic carbon were determined in aqueous soil extracts and in precipitation samples. We found that the most important factors affecting the chemistry of soils, hence content of the Al species, are soil horizons and vegetation cover. pH strongly affects the amount of Al species under both forests. Fermentation (F) and humified (H) organic horizons contain a higher content of water extractable Al and Al(3+) compared to organo-mineral (A) and mineral horizons (B). With increasing soil profile depth, the amount of water extractable Al, Al(3+) and moisture decreases. The prevailing water-extractable species of Al in all studied soils and profiles under both spruce and beech forests were organically bound monovalent Al species. Distinct seasonal variations in organic and mineral soil horizons were found under both spruce and beech forests. Maximum concentrations of water-extractable Al and Al(3+) were determined in the summer, and the lowest in spring.

  15. Ecological Response to Extreme Flow Events in Streams and Rivers: Implications of Climate Change for Aquatic Biodiversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawkins, C. P.; Vander Laan, J. J.; Dhungel, S.; Tarboton, D. G.

    2014-12-01

    We used the USEPA's 2008-2009 National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA) data to assess the potential sensitivity of stream biodiversity to both spatial variation in measures of extreme flow and likely changes in extreme flows associated with projected climate change. The NRSA data consisted of macroinvertebrate samples collected at 1313 reference-quality sites. We characterized the hydrologic regimes at each of these sites by developing Random Forest empirical models from long-term (≥ 20 years) daily flow records obtained from 601 gaged USGS stations. These models described spatial variation in 16 flow variables as a function of climate and watershed attributes. Three of the models characterized aspects of extreme flow: the mean number of zero-flow events per year (ZeroDays), the mean number of high-flow events per year (HighDays = number of events per year that exceed the 95th percentile of mean annual flow), and the coefficient of variation of daily flows (CV). We used these models to predict the flow attributes expected at each of the 1313 sites with ecological data. We then built additional Random Forest models that related among-site differences in stream macroinvertebrate taxonomic composition, assemblage richness, and the likelihood of observing individual taxa to the 16 measures of flow regime and other environmental predictors. At the national level, ZeroDays was an important predictor of macroinvertebrate biodiversity: richness declined as ZeroDays increased. A similar pattern was observed when analyses were restricted to lowland and plains streams. For eastern highland streams, HighDays was a better predictor of stream biodiversity than aspects of low flow: richness declined as HighDays increased. For western streams, CV was a better predictor of biodiversity than either ZeroDays or HighDays: biodiversity decreased as CV increased. Empirical models that linked flow attributes to climate change projections imply that flow regime response to climate

  16. Quantifying geomorphic controls on riparian forest dynamics using a linked physical-biological model: implications for river corridor conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stella, J. C.; Harper, E. B.; Fremier, A. K.; Hayden, M. K.; Battles, J. J.

    2009-12-01

    In high-order alluvial river systems, physical factors of flooding and channel migration are particularly important drivers of riparian forest dynamics because they regulate habitat creation, resource fluxes of water, nutrients and light that are critical for growth, and mortality from fluvial disturbance. Predicting vegetation composition and dynamics at individual sites in this setting is challenging, both because of the stochastic nature of the flood regime and the spatial variability of flood events. Ecological models that correlate environmental factors with species’ occurrence and abundance (e.g., ’niche models’) often work well in infrequently-disturbed upland habitats, but are less useful in river corridors and other dynamic zones where environmental conditions fluctuate greatly and selection pressures on disturbance-adapted organisms are complex. In an effort to help conserve critical riparian forest habitat along the middle Sacramento River, CA, we are taking a mechanistic approach to quantify linkages between fluvial and biotic processes for Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii), a keystone pioneer tree in dryland rivers ecosystems of the U.S. Southwest. To predict the corridor-wide population effects of projected changes to the disturbance regime from flow regulation, climate change, and landscape modifications, we have coupled a physical model of channel meandering with a patch-based population model that incorporates the climatic, hydrologic, and topographic factors critical for tree recruitment and survival. We employed these linked simulations to study the relative influence of the two most critical habitat types--point bars and abandoned channels--in sustaining the corridor-wide cottonwood population over a 175-year period. The physical model uses discharge data and channel planform to predict the spatial distribution of new habitat patches; the population model runs on top of this physical template to track tree colonization and survival on

  17. Design and evaluation of primers targeting genes encoding NO-forming nitrite reductases: implications for ecological inference of denitrifying communities

    PubMed Central

    Bonilla-Rosso, Germán; Wittorf, Lea; Jones, Christopher M.; Hallin, Sara

    2016-01-01

    The detection of NO-forming nitrite reductase genes (nir) has become the standard when studying denitrifying communities in the environment, despite well-known amplification biases in available primers. We review the performance of 35 published and 121 newly designed primers targeting the nirS and nirK genes, against sequences from complete genomes and 47 metagenomes from three major habitats where denitrification is important. There were no optimal universal primer pairs for either gene, although published primers targeting nirS displayed up to 75% coverage. The alternative is clade-specific primers, which show a trade-off between coverage and specificity. The test against metagenomic datasets showed a distinct performance of primers across habitats. The implications of clade-specific nir primers choice and their performance for ecological inference when used for quantitative estimates and in sequenced-based community ecology studies are discussed and our phylogenomic primer evaluation can be used as a reference along with their environmental specificity as a guide for primer selection. Based on our results, we also propose a general framework for primer evaluation that emphasizes the testing of coverage and phylogenetic range using full-length sequences from complete genomes, as well as accounting for environmental range using metagenomes. This framework serves as a guideline to simplify primer performance comparisons while explicitly addressing the limitations and biases of the primers evaluated. PMID:27966627

  18. Uptake and impact of natural diet-derived small RNA in invertebrates: Implications for ecology and agriculture.

    PubMed

    Chan, Stephen Y; Snow, Jonathan W

    2016-10-20

    The putative transfer and gene regulatory activities of diet-derived small RNAs (sRNAs) in ingesting animals are still debated. The existence of natural uptake of diet-derived sRNA by invertebrate species could have significant implication for our understanding of ecological relationships and could synergize with efforts to use RNA interference (RNAi) technology in agriculture. Here, we synthesize information gathered from studies in invertebrates using natural or artificial dietary delivery of sRNA and from studies of sRNA in vertebrate animals and plants to review our current understanding of uptake and impact of natural diet-derived sRNA on invertebrates. Our understanding has been influenced and sometimes confounded by the diversity of invertebrates and ingested plants studied, our limited insights into how gene expression may be modulated by dietary sRNAs at the mechanistic level, and the paucity of studies focusing directly on natural uptake of sRNA. As such, we suggest 2 strategies to investigate this phenomenon more comprehensively and thus facilitate the realization of its potentially broad impact on ecology and agriculture in the future.

  19. Dynamics and ecological consequences of the 2013−2014 koa moth outbreak at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Banko, Paul C.; Peck, Robert W.; Yelenik, Stephanie G.; Paxton, Eben; Bonaccorso, Frank J.; Montoya-Aiona, Kristina; Foote, David

    2014-01-01

    A massive outbreak of the koa moth (Geometridea: Scotorythra paludicola) defoliated more than a third of the koa (Acacia koa) forest on Hawai‘i Island during 2013−2014. This was the largest koa moth outbreak ever recorded and the first on the island since 1953. The outbreak spread to sites distributed widely around the island between 800−2,000 m elevation and in wet rainforest to dry woodland habitats. We monitored the outbreak at two windward forest sites (Laupāhoehoe and Saddle Road Kīpuka) and one leeward forest site (Kona), and we studied the dynamics of the outbreak and its impacts on the forest ecosystem at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, our higher elevation windward site. Study sites at Hakalau included two stands of koa that were planted (reforestation stands) in former cattle pastureland about 20 years earlier and two stands of koa that were dominated by ‘ōhi‘a (Metrosideros polymorpha) and that were naturally recovering from cattle grazing (forest stands). We observed one outbreak at Hakalau, multiple outbreaks at the two other windward sites, but no outbreak at the leeward site. Caterpillars at Hakalau reached peak estimated abundances of more than 250,000 per tree and 18,000,000 per hectare, and they removed between 64−93% of the koa canopy in managed forest stands. Defoliation was more extensive in naturally recovering forest, where ‘ōhi‘a dominated and koa was less abundant, compared to the planted stands, where koa density was high. Koa trees were still growing new foliage six months after being defoliated, and leaves were produced in greater proportion to phyllodes, especially by small koa (≤ 8 cm dbh) and by larger trees in forest stands, where light levels may have remained relatively low after defoliation due to the high cover of ‘ōhi‘a. Small branches of many trees apparently died, and canopy regrowth was absent or low in 9% of koa trees and seedlings, which indicates the likely level of mortality. Between 2

  20. Nitrogen saturation, soil acidification, and ecological effects in a subtropical pine forest on acid soil in southwest China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Yongmei; Kang, Ronghua; Mulder, Jan; Zhang, Ting; Duan, Lei

    2015-11-01

    Elevated anthropogenic nitrogen (N) deposition has caused nitrate (NO3-) leaching, an indication of N saturation, in several temperate and boreal forests across the Northern Hemisphere. So far, the occurrence of N saturation in subtropical forests and its effects on the chemistry of the typically highly weathered soils, forest growth, and biodiversity have received little attention. Here we investigated N saturation and the effects of chronically high N inputs on soil and vegetation in a typical, subtropical Masson pine (Pinus massoniana) forest at Tieshanping, southwest China. Seven years of N flux data obtained in ambient conditions and in response to field manipulation, including a doubling of N input either as ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) or as sodium nitrate (NaNO3) solution, resulted in a unique set of N balance data. Our data showed extreme N saturation with near-quantitative leaching of NO3-, by far the dominant form of dissolved inorganic N in soil water. Even after 7 years, NH4+, added as NH4NO3, was nearly fully converted to NO3-, thus giving rise to a major acid input into the soil. Despite the large acid input, the decrease in soil pH was insignificant, due to pH buffering caused by Al3+ mobilization and enhanced SO42- adsorption. In response to the NH4NO3-induced increase in soil acidification and N availability, ground vegetation showed significant reduction of abundance and diversity, while Masson pine growth further declined. By contrast, addition of NaNO3 did not cause soil acidification. The comparison of NH4NO3 treatment and NaNO3 treatment indicated that pine growth decline was mainly attributed to acidification-induced nutrient imbalance, while the loss in abundance of major ground species was the combining effect of N saturation and acidification. Therefore, N emission control is of primary importance to curb further acidification and eutrophication of forest soils in much of subtropical south China.

  1. Ecological stoichiometric characteristics and element reserves of three stands in a closed forest on the Chinese loess plateau.

    PubMed

    Cao, Yuanbo; Wang, Baitian; Wei, Tingting; Ma, Hua

    2016-02-01

    Populus davidiana, Leuchtenbergia principis, and Pinus tabulaeformis are important greening tree species with a cosmopolitan distribution. However, the stoichiometric characteristics and element reserves of stands of these three species are not particularly clear. In this study, we conducted a plot-level investigation of forest stands of these species in the loess area; these have been closed forest stands more than 28 years. Trees were sampled from an area of 50 m × 20 m (in 6, 8, and 9 plots, respectively), which was sufficient for shrub (2 m × 2 m), herbal species, and litter (1 m × 1 m) investigations. The C, N, and P concentrations and the C:N:P stoichiometry in five different soil layers (0-10 cm, 10-20 cm, 20-30 cm, 30-50 cm, and 50-100 cm) and in the leaves, stems, branches, and roots of the plants were examined. The soil element concentrations and density were affected by soil depth. The element content had a significantly negative correlation with soil depth, and element density differed significantly among the soil layers. A particular element in a particular organ differed significantly between the forest stands, and the same element in different organs of the same stand was also significantly different. The C, N, and P element reserves in the soil were considerably higher than in the plants. Our results indicate that there are different stoichiometric characteristics and element reserves of the three stands in a closed forest on the Chinese loess plateau, which may provide a reference when we develop and optimize the structure of forest stands.

  2. An ecological paradox: high species diversity and low position of the upper forest line in the Andean Depression

    PubMed Central

    Peters, Thorsten; Braeuning, Achim; Muenchow, Jannes; Richter, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Systematic investigations of the upper forest line (UFL) primarily concentrate on mid and high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, whereas studies of Neotropical UFLs are still fragmentary. This article outlines the extraordinary high tree diversity at the UFL within the Andean Depression and unravels the links between the comparatively low position of the local UFL, high tree-species diversity, and climate. On the basis of Gentry′s rapid inventory methodology for the tropics, vegetation sampling was conducted at 12 UFL sites, and local climate (temperature, wind, precipitation, and soil moisture) was investigated at six sites. Monotypic forests dominated by Polylepis were only found at the higher located margins of the Andean Depression while the lower situated core areas were characterized by a species-rich forest, which lacked the elsewhere dominant tree-species Polylepis. In total, a remarkably high tree-species number of 255 tree species of 40 different plant families was found. Beta-diversity was also high with more than two complete species turnovers. A non-linear relationship between the floristic similarity of the investigated study sites and elevation was detected. Temperatures at the investigated study sites clearly exceeded 5.5°C, the postulated threshold value for the upper tree growth limit in the tropics. Instead, quasi-permanent trade winds, high precipitation amounts, and high soil water contents affect the local position of the UFL in a negative way. Interestingly, most of the above-mentioned factors are also contributing to the high species richness. The result is a combination of a clearly marked upper forest line depression combined with an extraordinary forest line complexity, which was an almost unknown paradox. PMID:25360255

  3. Participatory Action Research and Environmental Learning: Implications for Resilient Forests and Communities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ballard, Heidi L.; Belsky, Jill M.

    2010-01-01

    How can a participatory approach to research promote environmental learning and enhance social-ecological systems resilience? Participatory action research (PAR) is an approach to research that its' supporters claim can foster new knowledge, learning, and action to support positive social and environmental change through reorienting the standard…

  4. The Ecology of Youth Participation in Work Settings: Implications for Linking Home, School, and Work for Facilitating Communication Between Youth and Adults. Summary.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coleman, Deborah Dye; Beckman, Carol A.

    A study explored how an ecological perspective in human development, as conceptualized by Urie Bronfenbrenner, could be used as an analytic framework for discerning patterns of relationships among the environments of home, school, and work and resulting implications for youth development. Three hypotheses were tested regarding how linking youth…

  5. The Ecology of Youth Participation in Work Settings: Implications for Linking Home, School, and Work for Facilitating Communication Between Youth and Adults. Technical Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coleman, Deborah Dye; Beckman, Carol A.

    This technical report details all phases of a study to explore how an ecological perspective in human development, as conceptualized by Urie Bronfenbrenner, could be used as an analytic framework for discerning patterns of relationships among the environments of home, school, and work and resulting implications for youth development. (A summary is…

  6. The implications of using large ensembles of climate scenarios for the management of river ecology in an English chalk stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fung, C. F.; Lopez, A.; New, M.

    2009-04-01

    Climate change is likely to impact on freshwater ecology, the delivery of regulatory commitments to ecological status and the management of water resources. It is becoming increasingly important for European environment agencies to use and develop methods to aid planning and abstraction licensing procedures and policies in the face of climate change and with the introduction of the Water Framework Directive. Studies have been carried out in the past to investigate the implications of climate change for biodiversity. However, predicting the future is fraught with uncertainty, an area which has not been dealt with in great depth in the past. This study has been undertaken to draw on the results of new methodologies to address the uncertainties inherent in modelling future climate and assess their usability for decision-making in water resources allocations specifically in considering interactions between flow and invertebrate communities The River Itchen was chosen as the case study catchment on the strength of having a long-term coupled ecological and flow dataset and having been an area of intensive study in the past. It is a chalk stream located in the south of England and a candidate Special Area of Conservation. It has also been designated a Special Site of Scientific Interest achieved due to the number of rare species, and the richness of the macro-invertebrate community in the river catchment. An ensemble of 246 transient simulations for future climate was obtained from ClimatePrediction.net which were then used to drive a rainfall-runoff model. In order to link the modelled river flow to ecology, the Lotic Invertebrate Flow Evaluation score has been used where the invertebrate community is linked to flow largely through sensitivity to water velocity and siltation, driven by flow variability at sites with fixed channel dimensions The large ensemble of climate scenarios and thereby flow and ecological indices allows the exploration of the risk of the river of

  7. A conceptual framework to describe the ecology of fragmented landscapes and implications for conservation and management.

    PubMed

    del Castillo, Rafael F

    2015-09-01

    The study of the ecology of fragmented landscapes has been dominated by two assumptions: the unique unidirectional path from larger to smaller fragments and the negligible role of fragment species on fragment properties. An accurate conceptualization of fragmented landscapes requires consideration of the age and origin of the fragments, i.e., direct fragmentation or reverse fragmentation (generation or increase of vegetated fragments by colonization), and the habitat modifications of fragment species (autogenic processes). Colonization and autogenic processes alter the fragments' composition and function. Fragment metrics affect colonization. Autogenic processes are antagonized by disturbances and modulated by abiotic inputs. Fragment alterations by autogenic processes may explain the continuous species substitution detected in some fragments or the species persistence in others. Reverse fragmentation, a natural process in commonly disturbed landscapes, challenges the avoidance-of-habitat disturbance as the ultimate strategy for biodiversity conservation and stresses the importance of pioneer species that promote succession as resilience elements in fragmented landscapes. Among-fragment diversity, generated by local disturbances, can be essential for the resilience of fragmented landscapes, suggesting that conservation and habitat utilization can be complementary processes. Traditional agroforestry systems that depend on disturbance, fragmentation, colonization, and autogenic processes may provide important insights into fragmentation ecology.

  8. Nutritional ecology of ursids: A review of newer methods and management implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robbins, Charles T.; Schwartz, Charles C.; Felicetti, L.A.

    2004-01-01

    The capability to understand the nutritional ecology of free-ranging bears has increased dramatically in the last 20 years. Advancements have occurred because (1) managers and biologists recognized the need to link habitat quality, productivity, and variability with bear movements, home ranges, and demographic parameters like reproductive output, survival, and population growth, and (2) several research teams are using new methods to build on the results of earlier field studies. Our ability to couple new field methods and empirical field research with controlled experiments using captive bears has been central to our increased understanding of bear nutrition. Newer methods include the use of stable isotopes to quantify assimilated diet and nutrient flows within ecosystems, bioelectrical impedance to measure body composition, and naturally occurring mercury to estimate fish intake. Controlled experiments using captive bears have been integral to developing methods, isolating specific variables by controlling the environment, and providing additional nutritional understanding necessary to interpret field observations. We review new methods and apply our increased understanding of bear nutritional ecology to 3 management issues: (1) the importance of salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) to brown bears (Ursus arctos) in the Pacific Northwest, (2) the consequences of the closure of the Yellowstone garbage dumps to grizzly bears, and (3) the relocation of problem bears.

  9. Lions as Bone Accumulators? Paleontological and Ecological Implications of a Modern Bone Assemblage from Olduvai Gorge

    PubMed Central

    Arriaza, Mari Carmen; Domínguez-Rodrigo, Manuel; Yravedra, José; Baquedano, Enrique

    2016-01-01

    Analytic models have been developed to reconstruct early hominin behaviour, especially their subsistence patterns, revealed mainly through taphonomic analyses of archaeofaunal assemblages. Taphonomic research is used to discern which agents (carnivores, humans or both) generate the bone assemblages recovered at archaeological sites. Taphonomic frameworks developed during the last decades show that the only large-sized carnivores in African biomes able to create bone assemblages are leopards and hyenas. A carnivore-made bone assemblage located in the short-grassland ecological unit of the Serengeti (within Olduvai Gorge) was studied. Taphonomic analyses of this assemblage including skeletal part representation, bone density, breakage patterns and anatomical distribution of tooth marks, along with an ecological approach to the prey selection made by large carnivores of the Serengeti, were carried out. The results show that this bone assemblage may be the first lion-accumulated assemblage documented, although other carnivores (namely spotted hyenas) may have also intervened through postdepositional ravaging. This first faunal assemblage potentially created by lions constitutes a new framework for neotaphonomic studies. Since lions may accumulate carcasses under exceptional circumstances, such as those documented at the site reported here, this finding may have important consequences for interpretations of early archaeological and paleontological sites, which provide key information about human evolution. PMID:27144649

  10. Lions as Bone Accumulators? Paleontological and Ecological Implications of a Modern Bone Assemblage from Olduvai Gorge.

    PubMed

    Arriaza, Mari Carmen; Domínguez-Rodrigo, Manuel; Yravedra, José; Baquedano, Enrique

    2016-01-01

    Analytic models have been developed to reconstruct early hominin behaviour, especially their subsistence patterns, revealed mainly through taphonomic analyses of archaeofaunal assemblages. Taphonomic research is used to discern which agents (carnivores, humans or both) generate the bone assemblages recovered at archaeological sites. Taphonomic frameworks developed during the last decades show that the only large-sized carnivores in African biomes able to create bone assemblages are leopards and hyenas. A carnivore-made bone assemblage located in the short-grassland ecological unit of the Serengeti (within Olduvai Gorge) was studied. Taphonomic analyses of this assemblage including skeletal part representation, bone density, breakage patterns and anatomical distribution of tooth marks, along with an ecological approach to the prey selection made by large carnivores of the Serengeti, were carried out. The results show that this bone assemblage may be the first lion-accumulated assemblage documented, although other carnivores (namely spotted hyenas) may have also intervened through postdepositional ravaging. This first faunal assemblage potentially created by lions constitutes a new framework for neotaphonomic studies. Since lions may accumulate carcasses under exceptional circumstances, such as those documented at the site reported here, this finding may have important consequences for interpretations of early archaeological and paleontological sites, which provide key information about human evolution.

  11. Extracting Forest Canopy Characteristics from Remote Sensing Imagery: Implications for Sentinel-2 Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gholizadeh, Asa; Kopaekova, Veronika; Rogass, Christian; Mielke, Christian; Misurec, Jan

    2016-08-01

    Systematic quantification and monitoring of forest biophysical and biochemical variables is required to assess the response of ecosystems to climate change. Remote sensing has been introduced as a time and cost- efficient way to carry out large scale monitoring of vegetation parameters. Red-Edge Position (REP) is a hyperspectrally detectable parameter which is sensitive to vegetation Chl. In the current study, REP was modelled for the Norway spruce forest canopy resampled to HyMap and Sentinel-2 spectral resolution as well as calculated from the real HyMap and Sentinel-2 simulated data. Different REP extraction methods (4PLI, PF, LE, 4PLIH and 4PLIS) were assessed. The study showed the way for effective utilization of the forthcoming hyper and superspectral remote sensing sensors from orbit to monitor vegetation attributes.

  12. Geostatistical modeling of riparian forest microclimate and its implications for sampling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eskelson, B.N.I.; Anderson, P.D.; Hagar, J.C.; Temesgen, H.

    2011-01-01

    Predictive models of microclimate under various site conditions in forested headwater stream - riparian areas are poorly developed, and sampling designs for characterizing underlying riparian microclimate gradients are sparse. We used riparian microclimate data collected at eight headwater streams in the Oregon Coast Range to compare ordinary kriging (OK), universal kriging (UK), and kriging with external drift (KED) for point prediction of mean maximum air temperature (Tair). Several topographic and forest structure characteristics were considered as site-specific parameters. Height above stream and distance to stream were the most important covariates in the KED models, which outperformed OK and UK in terms of root mean square error. Sample patterns were optimized based on the kriging variance and the weighted means of shortest distance criterion using the simulated annealing algorithm. The optimized sample patterns outperformed systematic sample patterns in terms of mean kriging variance mainly for small sample sizes. These findings suggest methods for increasing efficiency of microclimate monitoring in riparian areas.

  13. Implications for local and global climate of alternative forest management strategies in Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bright, Ryan M.; Antón-Fernández, Clara; Astrup, Rasmus; Cherubini, Francesco; Kvalevåg, Maria; Hammer Strømman, Anders

    2014-05-01

    We applied a mix of observation and empirical models to evaluate both local and global climate effects of three realistic alternative forest management scenarios in the boreal forests of Norway's largest logging region. The alternative management scenarios embraced strategies aimed at increasing harvest intensities and allowing harvested conifer sites to regenerate naturally with broadleaved species. Stand-level analysis was firstly executed to attribute differences in daily, seasonal, and annual mean surface temperatures to differences in surface intrinsic biophysical properties across coniferous, deciduous, and clear-cut sites. Relative to a coniferous site, we observed a slight local cooling of 0.13 °C at a deciduous site and 0.25 °C at a clear-cut site over a 6-year period which was mostly attributed to a higher albedo throughout the year. When monthly mean albedo trajectories over the entire managed forest landscape were taken into consideration, we found that strategies promoting natural regeneration of coniferous sites with native deciduous species led to substantial global direct climate cooling benefits relative to those maintaining current silviculture regimes - despite predicted long-term regional warming feedbacks and a reduced albedo in spring and autumn months. The magnitude and duration of the cooling benefit depended largely on whether management strategies simultaneously promoted an enhanced material supply over business-as-usual levels. While additional climate impact linked to changes in life-cycle emissions and to changes in the global supply and demand of timber products ought to be factored into any mitigation-oriented climate policy involving the forestry sector, our analysis demonstrates that - within the boundaries of the managed forest ecosystem - excluding important biogeophysical considerations like surface albedo change may lead to sub-optimal climate policy.

  14. Soil carbon and nitrogen erosion in forested catchments: implications for erosion-induced terrestrial carbon sequestration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stacy, E. M.; Hart, S. C.; Hunsaker, C. T.; Johnson, D. W.; Berhe, A. A.

    2015-08-01

    Lateral movement of organic matter (OM) due to erosion is now considered an important flux term in terrestrial carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) budgets, yet most published studies on the role of erosion focus on agricultural or grassland ecosystems. To date, little information is available on the rate and nature of OM eroded from forest ecosystems. We present annual sediment composition and yield, for water years 2005-2011, from eight catchments in the southern part of the Sierra Nevada, California. Sediment was compared to soil at three different landform positions from the source slopes to determine if there is selective transport of organic matter or different mineral particle size classes. Sediment export varied from 0.4 to 177 kg ha-1, while export of C in sediment was between 0.025 and 4.2 kg C ha-1 and export of N in sediment was between 0.001 and 0.04 kg N ha-1. Sediment yield and composition showed high interannual variation. In our study catchments, erosion laterally mobilized OM-rich litter material and topsoil, some of which enters streams owing to the catchment topography where steep slopes border stream channels. Annual lateral sediment export was positively and strongly correlated with stream discharge, while C and N concentrations were both negatively correlated with stream discharge; hence, C : N ratios were not strongly correlated to sediment yield. Our results suggest that stream discharge, more than sediment source, is a primary factor controlling the magnitude of C and N export from upland forest catchments. The OM-rich nature of eroded sediment raises important questions about the fate of the eroded OM. If a large fraction of the soil organic matter (SOM) eroded from forest ecosystems is lost during transport or after deposition, the contribution of forest ecosystems to the erosion-induced C sink is likely to be small (compared to croplands and grasslands).

  15. Doubling of the Russian Fire Return Interval: Implications for Forest Biomass and Composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shuman, J. K.; Foster, A.; Shugart, H. H., Jr.; Hoffman-Hall, A.; Loboda, T. V.

    2015-12-01

    The Russian boreal forest has experienced significant warming over the past several decades and this trend is expected to continue. This warming has the capacity to alter dominant vegetation and biomass dynamics through shifts in competition dynamics, a change in treeline and an increased fire disturbance regime. Historical fire return interval is calculated for the Russian ecoregions and applied to 31,010 points of a 22 x 22 km2 grid. Using an individual tree based forest gap model, UVAFME, biomass and species dynamics are simulated for multiple scenarios: without fire, with historical fire probabilities, a doubling of probabilities across the region, and the combined effect of fire with an altered climate. Fire disturbance within the model is a randomly occurring event with a variable intensity that alters the seedling bank and kills trees according to unique species fire tolerance parameters. Results from the simulation scenarios are compared to assess changes in biomass, species composition, and age structure 500 years after bare ground initiation. At the end of simulation, results which include fire disturbance show an increase in biomass across the region compared to simulation without fire. This increase in biomass in the simulations with fire disturbance is associated with an overall decrease in the age of the forest to younger more productive stands. The doubling of the fire return interval maintains a higher percentage of the needle leaf deciduous larch across Siberia. With altered climate, the region experiences an overall decrease in biomass and a shift in composition towards early successional deciduous species. These results reinforce the importance of the inclusion of complex competition and age structure in evaluating forest response to disturbance and changing climate.

  16. Forest to agriculture conversion in southern Belize: Implications for migrant land birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spruce, J.P.; Dowell, B.A.; Robbins, C.S.; Sader, S.A.; Doyle, Jamie K.; Schelhas, John

    1993-01-01

    Central America offers a suite of neotropical habitats vital to overwintering migrant land birds. The recent decline of many forest dwelling avian migrants is believed to be related in part to neotropical deforestation and land use change. However, spatio-temporal trends in neotropical habitat availability and avian migrant habitat use are largely unknown. Such information is needed to assess the impact of agriculture conversion on migrant land birds. In response, the USDI Fish and Wildlife Service and the University of Maine began a cooperative study in 1988 which applies remote sensing and field surveys to determine current habitat availability and avian migrant habitat use. Study sites include areas in Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala and southern Mexico. Visual assessment of Landsat TM imagery indicates southern Belize forests are fragmented by various agricultural systems. Shifting agriculture is predominant in some areas, while permanent agriculture (citrus and mixed animal crops) is the primary system in others. This poster focuses on efforts to monitor forest to agriculture conversion in southern Belize using remote sensing, field surveys and GIS techniques. Procedures and avian migrant use of habitat are summarized.

  17. Increasing elevation of fire in the Sierra Nevada and implications for forest change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schwartz, Mark W.; Butt, Nathalie; Dolanc, Christopher R.; Holguin, Andrew; Moritz, Max A.; North, Malcolm P.; Safford, Hugh D.; Stephenson, Nathan L.; Thorne, James H.; van Mantgem, Phillip J.

    2015-01-01

    Fire in high-elevation forest ecosystems can have severe impacts on forest structure, function and biodiversity. Using a 105-year data set, we found increasing elevation extent of fires in the Sierra Nevada, and pose five hypotheses to explain this pattern. Beyond the recognized pattern of increasing fire frequency in the Sierra Nevada since the late 20th century, we find that the upper elevation extent of those fires has also been increasing. Factors such as fire season climate and fuel build up are recognized potential drivers of changes in fire regimes. Patterns of warming climate and increasing stand density are consistent with both the direction and magnitude of increasing elevation of wildfire. Reduction in high elevation wildfire suppression and increasing ignition frequencies may also contribute to the observed pattern. Historical biases in fire reporting are recognized, but not likely to explain the observed patterns. The four plausible mechanistic hypotheses (changes in fire management, climate, fuels, ignitions) are not mutually exclusive, and likely have synergistic interactions that may explain the observed changes. Irrespective of mechanism, the observed pattern of increasing occurrence of fire in these subalpine forests may have significant impacts on their resilience to changing climatic conditions.

  18. Streamwater chemistry and nutrient budgets for forested watersheds in New England: Variability and management implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hornbeck, J.W.; Bailey, S.W.; Buso, D.C.; Shanley, J.B.

    1997-01-01

    Chemistry of precipitation and streamwater and resulting input-output budgets for nutrient ions were determined concurrently for three years on three upland, forested watersheds located within an 80 km radius in central New England. Chemistry of precipitation and inputs of nutrients via wet deposition were similar among the three watersheds and were generally typical of central New England. In contrast, chemistry and nutrient outputs in streamwater varied dramatically between watersheds, with chemistries ranging from acidic to alkaline. Comparisons with data reported for 159 other upland, forested watersheds in central New England show that our study watersheds span the regional range likely to be encountered in stream chemistry. The regional variability stems in part from past natural disturbances such as wildfire, and variations in source of soil parent material. An approach is presented for predicting the important influence of glacial till on stream chemistry, including acid-base relationships, aluminum content, and nutrient outputs. Knowledge of streamwater chemistry and controlling factors can serve as an index of how terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems will respond to forest management activities and atmospheric deposition.

  19. Analysis of nitrogen saturation potential in Rocky Mountain tundra and forest: implications for aquatic systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baron, Jill S.; Ojima, Dennis S.; Holland, Elisabeth A.; Parton, William J.

    1994-01-01

    We employed grass and forest versions of the CENTURY model under a range of N deposition values (0.02–1.60 g N m−2 y−1) to explore the possibility that high observed lake and stream N was due to terrestrial N saturation of alpine tundra and subalpine forest in Loch Vale Watershed, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Model results suggest that N is limiting to subalpine forest productivity, but that excess leachate from alpine tundra is sufficient to account for the current observed stream N. Tundra leachate, combined with N leached from exposed rock surfaces, produce high N loads in aquatic ecosystems above treeline in the Colorado Front Range. A combination of terrestrial leaching, large N inputs from snowmelt, high watershed gradients, rapid hydrologic flushing and lake turnover times, and possibly other nutrient limitations of aquatic organisms constrain high elevation lakes and streams from assimilating even small increases in atmospheric N. CENTURY model simulations further suggest that, while increased N deposition will worsen the situation, nitrogen saturation is an ongoing phenomenon.

  20. Fire-BGC: A mechanistic ecological process model for simulating fire succession on coniferous forest landscapes of the northern Rocky Mountains. Forest Service research paper

    SciTech Connect

    Keane, R.E.; Morgan, P.; Running, S.W.

    1996-03-01

    An ecological process model of vegetation dynamics mechanistically simulates long-term stand dynamics on coniferous landscapes of the Northern Rocky Mountains. This model is used to investigate and evaluate cumulative effects of various fire regimes, including prescribed burning and fire exclusion, on the vegetation and fuel complex of a simulation landscape composed of many stands. Detailed documentation of the model FIRE-BGC (a FIRE BioGeoChemical succession model) with complete discussion of all model parameters is followed with results of an application of the FIRE-BGC to a whitebark pine landscape in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. Simulation results of several management scenarios are contrasted to predict the fate of whitebark pine over 200 years. Model testing reveals predictions within 10 to 30 percent of observed values.

  1. Risk communication discourse among ecological risk assessment professionals and its implications for communication with nonexperts.

    PubMed

    Hunka, Agnieszka D; Palmqvist, Annemette; Thorbek, Pernille; Forbes, Valery E

    2013-10-01

    Risk communication, especially to the general public and end users of plant protection products, is an important challenge. Currently, much of the risk communication the general public receives is via the popular press, and risk managers face the challenge of presenting their decisions and their scientific basis to the general public in an understandable way. Therefore, we decided to explore the obstacles in risk communication, as done by expert risk assessors and managers. Using the discourse analysis framework and readability tests, we studied perspectives of 3 stakeholder groups-regulators, industry representatives, and academics across Europe. We conducted 30 confidential interviews (10 participants in each group), with part of the interview guide focused on communication of pesticide risk to the general public and the ideas experts in the field of risk assessment and management hold of the public perception of pesticides. We used the key informant approach in recruiting our participants. They were first identified as key stakeholders in ecological risk assessment of pesticides and then sampled by means of a snowball sampling technique. In the analysis, first we identified main motifs (themes) in each group, and then we moved to studying length of the sentences and grammar and to uncovering discourses present in the text data. We also used the Flesch Reading Ease test to determine the comprehension difficulty of transcribed interviews. The test is commonly used as a standard for estimating the readability of technical documents. Our results highlight 3 main obstacles standing in the way of effective communication with wider audiences. First of all, ecological risk assessment as a highly technical procedure uses the specific language of ecological risk assessment, which is also highly specialized and might be difficult to comprehend by nonexperts. Second, the idea of existing "expert-lay discrepancy," a phenomenon described in risk perception studies is visibly

  2. Using ecological function to develop recovery criteria for depleted species: sea otters and kelp forests in the Aleutian archipelago

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Estes, James A.; Tinker, M. Tim; Bodkin, James L.

    2010-01-01

    Recovery criteria for depleted species or populations normally are based on demographic measures, the goal being to maintain enough individuals over a sufficiently large area to assure a socially tolerable risk of future extinction. Such demographically based recovery criteria may be insufficient to restore the functional roles of strongly interacting species. We explored the idea of developing a recovery criterion for sea otters (Enhydra lutris) in the Aleutian archipelago on the basis of their keystone role in kelp forest ecosystems. We surveyed sea otters and rocky reef habitats at 34 island-time combinations. The system nearly always existed in either a kelp-dominated or deforested phase state, which was predictable from sea otter density. We used a resampling analysis of these data to show that the phase state at any particular island can be determined at 95% probability of correct classification with information from as few as six sites. When sea otter population status (and thus the phase state of the kelp forest) was allowed to vary randomly among islands, just 15 islands had to be sampled to estimate the true proportion that were kelp dominated (within 10%) with 90% confidence. We conclude that kelp forest phase state is a more appropriate, sensitive, and cost-effective measure of sea otter recovery than the more traditional demographically based metrics, and we suggest that similar approaches have broad potential utility in establishing recovery criteria for depleted populations of other functionally important species.

  3. Using ecological function to develop recovery criteria for depleted species: sea otters and kelp forests in the Aleutian archipelago.

    PubMed

    Estes, James A; Tinker, M Tim; Bodkin, James L

    2010-06-01

    Recovery criteria for depleted species or populations normally are based on demographic measures, the goal being to maintain enough individuals over a sufficiently large area to assure a socially tolerable risk of future extinction. Such demographically based recovery criteria may be insufficient to restore the functional roles of strongly interacting species. We explored the idea of developing a recovery criterion for sea otters (Enhydra lutris) in the Aleutian archipelago on the basis of their keystone role in kelp forest ecosystems. We surveyed sea otters and rocky reef habitats at 34 island-time combinations. The system nearly always existed in either a kelp-dominated or deforested phase state, which was predictable from sea otter density. We used a resampling analysis of these data to show that the phase state at any particular island can be determined at 95% probability of correct classification with information from as few as six sites. When sea otter population status (and thus the phase state of the kelp forest) was allowed to vary randomly among islands, just 15 islands had to be sampled to estimate the true proportion that were kelp dominated (within 10%) with 90% confidence. We conclude that kelp forest phase state is a more appropriate, sensitive, and cost-effective measure of sea otter recovery than the more traditional demographically based metrics, and we suggest that similar approaches have broad potential utility in establishing recovery criteria for depleted populations of other functionally important species.

  4. Fine-scale habitat use by orang-utans in a disturbed peat swamp forest, central Kalimantan, and implications for conservation management.

    PubMed

    Morrogh-Bernard, Helen C; Husson, Simon J; Harsanto, Fransiskus A; Chivers, David J

    2014-01-01

    This study was conducted to see how orang-utans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) were coping with fine-scale habitat disturbance in a selectively logged peat swamp forest in Central Kalimantan, Borneo. Seven habitat classes were defined, and orang-utans were found to use all of these, but were selective in their preference for certain classes over others. Overall, the tall forest classes (≥20 m) were preferred. They were preferred for feeding, irrespective of canopy connectivity, whereas classes with a connected canopy (canopy cover ≥75%), irrespective of canopy height, were preferred for resting and nesting, suggesting that tall trees are preferred for feeding and connected canopy for security and protection. The smaller forest classes (≤10 m high) were least preferred and were used mainly for travelling from patch to patch. Thus, selective logging is demonstrated here to be compatible with orang-utan survival as long as large food trees and patches of primary forest remain. Logged forest, therefore, should not automatically be designated as 'degraded'. These findings have important implications for forest management, forest classification and the designation of protected areas for orang-utan conservation.

  5. Tadpole nutritional ecology and digestive physiology: Implications for captive rearing of larval anurans.

    PubMed

    Pryor, Gregory S

    2014-01-01

    The adaptive tadpole stage allows anurans to exploit food resources in two vastly different environments, and the transition from aquatic larvae to terrestrial carnivores is both dramatic and complex. As seen in many other members of the freshwater aquatic community, the nutritional requirements and characteristic feeding strategies of anuran larvae (tadpoles) are extremely diverse, ranging from herbivory to carnivory and including predation and cannibalism, oophagy, coprophagy, filter-feeding, and hindgut microbial fermentation. Whereas tadpoles as a group are commonly considered herbivorous or omnivorous, many are specialists; understanding species-specific dietary habits is critical for captive rearing projects in zoos and amphibian habitat conservation efforts. Practical applications of this review also encompass studies of amphibian declines, herpetoculture, ecology and evolution, and comparative gastrointestinal morphology and physiology.

  6. A Theoretical Reassessment of Microbial Maintenance and Implications for Microbial Ecology Modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Gangsheng; Post, Wilfred M

    2012-01-01

    We attempted to reconcile three microbial maintenance models (Herbert, Pirt, and Compromise) through a critical reassessment. We provided a rigorous proof that the true growth yield coefficient (YG) is the ratio of the specific maintenance rate (a in Herbert) to the maintenance coefficient (m in Pirt). Other findings from this study include: (1) the Compromise model is identical to the Herbert for computing microbial growth and substrate consumption, but it expresses the dependence of maintenance on both microbial biomass and substrate; (2) the maximum specific growth rate in the Herbert ( max,H) is higher than those in the other two models ( max,P and max,C), and the difference is the physiological maintenance factor (mq = a); and (3) the overall maintenance coefficient (mT) is more sensitive to mq than to the specific growth rate ( G) and YG. Our critical reassessment of microbial maintenance provides a new approach for quantifying some important components in soil microbial ecology models.

  7. Biodiversity and Habitat Markets—Policy, Economic, and Ecological implications of Market-Based Conservation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pindilli, Emily; Casey, Frank

    2015-10-26

    This report is a primer on market-like and market-based mechanisms designed to conserve biodiversity and habitat. The types of markets and market-based approaches that were implemented or are emerging to benefit biodiversity and habitat in the United States are examined. The central approaches considered in this report include payments for ecosystem services, conservation banks, habitat exchanges, and eco-labels. Based on literature reviews and input from experts and practitioners, the report characterizes each market-based approach including policy context and structure; the theoretical basis for applying market-based approaches; the ecological effectiveness of practices and tools for measuring performance; and the future outlook for biodiversity and habitat markets. This report draws from previous research and serves as a summary of pertinent information associated with biodiversity and habitat markets while providing references to materials that go into greater detail on specific topics.

  8. New Ediacara fossils preserved in marine limestone and their ecological implications.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhe; Zhou, Chuanming; Xiao, Shuhai; Wang, Wei; Guan, Chengguo; Hua, Hong; Yuan, Xunlai

    2014-02-25

    Ediacara fossils are central to our understanding of animal evolution on the eve of the Cambrian explosion, because some of them likely represent stem-group marine animals. However, some of the iconic Ediacara fossils have also been interpreted as terrestrial lichens or microbial colonies. Our ability to test these hypotheses is limited by a taphonomic bias that most Ediacara fossils are preserved in sandstones and siltstones. Here we report several iconic Ediacara fossils and an annulated tubular fossil (reconstructed as an erect epibenthic organism with uniserial arranged modular units), from marine limestone of the 551-541 Ma Dengying Formation in South China. These fossils significantly expand the ecological ranges of several key Ediacara taxa and support that they are marine organisms rather than terrestrial lichens or microbial colonies. Their close association with abundant bilaterian burrows also indicates that they could tolerate and may have survived moderate levels of bioturbation.

  9. Age-associated changes in the ecological niche: implications for mesenchymal stem cell aging.

    PubMed

    Asumda, Faizal Z

    2013-05-14

    Adult stem cells are critical for organ-specific regeneration and self-renewal with advancing age. The prospect of being able to reverse tissue-specific post-injury sequelae by harvesting, culturing and transplanting a patient's own stem and progenitor cells is exciting. Mesenchymal stem cells have emerged as a reliable stem cell source for this treatment modality and are currently being tested in numerous ongoing clinical trials. Unfortunately, the fervor over mesenchymal stem cells is mitigated by several lines of evidence suggesting that their efficacy is limited by natural aging. This article discusses the mechanisms and manifestations of age-associated deficiencies in mesenchymal stem cell efficacy. A consideration of recent experimental findings suggests that the ecological niche might be responsible for mesenchymal stem cell aging.

  10. Age-associated changes in the ecological niche: implications for mesenchymal stem cell aging

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Adult stem cells are critical for organ-specific regeneration and self-renewal with advancing age. The prospect of being able to reverse tissue-specific post-injury sequelae by harvesting, culturing and transplanting a patient’s own stem and progenitor cells is exciting. Mesenchymal stem cells have emerged as a reliable stem cell source for this treatment modality and are currently being tested in numerous ongoing clinical trials. Unfortunately, the fervor over mesenchymal stem cells is mitigated by several lines of evidence suggesting that their efficacy is limited by natural aging. This article discusses the mechanisms and manifestations of age-associated deficiencies in mesenchymal stem cell efficacy. A consideration of recent experimental findings suggests that the ecological niche might be responsible for mesenchymal stem cell aging. PMID:23673056

  11. Biotic response to late Quaternary rapid climate switches in Santa Barbara Basin: Ecological and evolutionary implications

    SciTech Connect

    Cannariato, K.G.; Kennett, J.P.; Behl, R.J.

    1999-01-01

    Benthic foraminiferal assemblages from Santa Barbara Basin exhibit major faunal and ecological switches associated with late Quaternary millennial- to decadal-scale global climate oscillations. Repeated turnovers of entire faunas occurred rapidly (<40--400 yr) without extinction or speciation in conjunction with Dansgaard-Oeschger shifts in thermohaline circulation, ventilation, and climate, confirming evolutionary model predictions of Roy et al. Consistent faunal successions of dysoxic taxa during successive interstadials reflect the extreme sensitivity and adaptation of the benthic ecosystem to the rapid environmental changes that marked the late Quaternary and possibly other transitional intervals in the history of the Earth`s ocean-atmosphere-cryosphere system. These data support the hypothesis that broad segments of the biosphere are well adapted to rapid climate change.

  12. Largest bird from the Early Cretaceous and its implications for the earliest avian ecological diversification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Zhonghe; Zhang, Fucheng

    2002-01-01

    With only one known exception, early Cretaceous birds were smaller than their closest theropod dinosaur relatives. Here we report on a new bird from the Early Cretaceous feathered-dinosaur-bearing continental deposits of Liaoning, northeast China, which is not only larger than Archaeopteryx but is nearly twice as large as the basal dromaeosaur Microraptor. The new taxon, Sapeornis chaoyangensis gen. et sp. nov. , has a more basal phylogenetic position than all other birds except for Archaeopteryx. Its exceptionally long forelimbs, well-developed deltoid crest of the humerus, proximally fused metacarpals, relatively short hindlimbs and short pygostyle indicate powerful soaring capability and further suggest that by the Early Cretaceous ecological diversification of early birds was greater than previously assumed. Electronic supplementary material to this paper can be obtained by using the Springer LINK server located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00114-001-0276-9.

  13. New Ediacara fossils preserved in marine limestone and their ecological implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Zhe; Zhou, Chuanming; Xiao, Shuhai; Wang, Wei; Guan, Chengguo; Hua, Hong; Yuan, Xunlai

    2014-02-01

    Ediacara fossils are central to our understanding of animal evolution on the eve of the Cambrian explosion, because some of them likely represent stem-group marine animals. However, some of the iconic Ediacara fossils have also been interpreted as terrestrial lichens or microbial colonies. Our ability to test these hypotheses is limited by a taphonomic bias that most Ediacara fossils are preserved in sandstones and siltstones. Here we report several iconic Ediacara fossils and an annulated tubular fossil (reconstructed as an erect epibenthic organism with uniserial arranged modular units), from marine limestone of the 551-541 Ma Dengying Formation in South China. These fossils significantly expand the ecological ranges of several key Ediacara taxa and support that they are marine organisms rather than terrestrial lichens or microbial colonies. Their close association with abundant bilaterian burrows also indicates that they could tolerate and may have survived moderate levels of bioturbation.

  14. Herbicide impact on non-target plant reproduction: what are the toxicological and ecological implications?

    PubMed

    Boutin, C; Strandberg, B; Carpenter, D; Mathiassen, S K; Thomas, P J

    2014-02-01

    Declining plant diversity and abundance have been widely reported in agro-ecosystems of North America and Europe. Intensive use of herbicides within cropfields and the associated drift in adjacent habitats are partly responsible for this change. The objectives of this work were to quantify the phenological stages of non-target plants in in-situ field situations during herbicide spray and to compare plant susceptibility at different phenological stages. Results demonstrated that a large number of non-target plants had reached reproductive stages during herbicide spray events in woodlots and hedgerows, both in Canada and Denmark where vegetation varies considerably. In addition, delays in flowering and reduced seed production occurred widely on plants sprayed at the seedling stage or at later reproductive periods, with plants sprayed at reproductive stages often exhibiting more sensitivity than those sprayed as seedlings. Ecological risk assessments need to include reproductive endpoints.

  15. Critical PO2 is size-independent in insects: implications for the metabolic theory of ecology.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Jon F; Klok, C J; Waters, James S

    2014-10-01

    Insects, and all animals, exhibit hypometric scaling of metabolic rate, with larger species having lower mass-specific metabolic rates. The metabolic theory of ecology (MTE) is based on models ascribing hypometric scaling of metabolic rate to constrained O2 supply systems in larger animals. We compiled critical PO2 of metabolic and growth rates for more than 40 insect species with a size range spanning four orders of magnitude. Critical PO2 values vary from far below 21kPa for resting animals to near 21kPa for growing or flying animals and are size-independent, demonstrating that supply capacity matches oxygen demand. These data suggest that hypometric scaling of resting metabolic rate in insects is not driven by constraints on oxygen availability.

  16. New Ediacara fossils preserved in marine limestone and their ecological implications

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Zhe; Zhou, Chuanming; Xiao, Shuhai; Wang, Wei; Guan, Chengguo; Hua, Hong; Yuan, Xunlai

    2014-01-01

    Ediacara fossils are central to our understanding of animal evolution on the eve of the Cambrian explosion, because some of them likely represent stem-group marine animals. However, some of the iconic Ediacara fossils have also been interpreted as terrestrial lichens or microbial colonies. Our ability to test these hypotheses is limited by a taphonomic bias that most Ediacara fossils are preserved in sandstones and siltstones. Here we report several iconic Ediacara fossils and an annulated tubular fossil (reconstructed as an erect epibenthic organism with uniserial arranged modular units), from marine limestone of the 551–541 Ma Dengying Formation in South China. These fossils significantly expand the ecological ranges of several key Ediacara taxa and support that they are marine organisms rather than terrestrial lichens or microbial colonies. Their close association with abundant bilaterian burrows also indicates that they could tolerate and may have survived moderate levels of bioturbation. PMID:24566959

  17. Ecological Filtering and Plant Traits Variation Across Quarry Geomorphological Surfaces: Implication for Restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilardelli, Federica; Sgorbati, Sergio; Armiraglio, Stefano; Citterio, Sandra; Gentili, Rodolfo

    2015-05-01

    Revegetation patterns after quarry abandonment have been widely studied from several ecological points of view, but a trait-based approach is still lacking. The aim of this study was to characterise the plant species assemblages and the associated functional traits filtered on different geomorphological surfaces in abandoned limestone quarry areas: artificial cliffs, embankments, and platforms. We then verified if species with certain traits were better able to overcome the dispersal and environmental filters necessary for establishment. To this aim, we analyzed 113 vegetation plots and collected data on 25 morphological, ecological, and dispersal traits to detect species adaptaions across these man-made environments. As a case study, we investigated the extraction basin of Botticino (Lombardy, Italy), the second largest in Italy. The results obtained by SIMPER and CCA analyses showed that rockiness, stoniness, slope, elevation, and time of surfaces are the main filters that varied across quarries and affected plant assemblages at the macro-scale level. Across the three geomorphological surfaces (meso-scale) of quarries, more specific abiotic filters selecting species were found. In turn, traits differentiation according to the three main geomorphological surfaces of quarry emphasized that further filters acting at the micro-scale imply differences in dispersal mechanisms and resource availability. This work highlighted the utility to study species assemblages and environmental filters to address quarry restoration according to the type of geomorphological surface. The investigation of some traits (chorological form, life forms, seed dispersal,s and plant height) can furnish some interesting indications for practice individuating further abiotic filters acting at the micro-scale.

  18. Effects of Tropical Forest Conversion on Hydrologic Response: Process Implications for Potable Water and Sediment Budgets in Karstic Uplands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chandler, D. G.

    2003-12-01

    Conversion forest to agricultural land has been attended by marked hydrological and ecological responses and has arguably made a considerable contribution to global change. These changes have been less well studied in the tropics than in temperate climates, yet the impact of such changes is more immediate for rural landholders in the tropic than for western, industrialized societies, who rely on infrastructure to buffer the effects of global change. The most immediate concern of upland farmers in Leyte, Philippines was the decreasing availability of water, both for household and agricultural use. They attributed the changes in hydrology to deforestation, but were unclear about the hydrologic processes involved. The primary goal of development organizations conducting projects in the region was soil conservation, through implementation of erosion control practices. This study was conducted to identify the mechanisms governing hydrologic change and soil loss in a succession of land uses. Forest removal was found to have less dramatic impacts on surface runoff than did subsequent changes in the soil associated with agricultural use. Soil erosion was more strongly associated with soil disturbance than with extent of surface runoff. The interplay between the shift in hydrologic processes and disturbance frequency for the agricultural land uses resulted in the proposed conservation practice exacerbating the erosion rates within the catchments. Although on site erosion for the pasture catchment was minimal, this treatment was found to have the lowest infiltration capacity and likely contributed greatly to the loss of perennial springs in the uplands and erosion of lowland rice paddies. These results suggest that land uses and agricultural practices that maintain soil infiltration capacity will have the greatest success in maintaining local potable water sources and reducing soil erosion.

  19. [Attributes of forest infrastructure].

    PubMed

    Gao, Jun-kai; Jin, Ying-shan

    2007-06-01

    This paper discussed the origin and evolution of the conception of ecological infrastructure, the understanding of international communities about the functions of forest, the important roles of forest in China' s economic development and ecological security, and the situations and challenges to the ongoing forestry ecological restoration programs. It was suggested that forest should be defined as an essential infrastructure for national economic and social development in a modern society. The critical functions of forest infrastructure played in the transition of forestry ecological development were emphasized. Based on the synthesis of forest ecosystem features, it was considered that the attributes of forest infrastructure are distinctive, due to the fact that it is constructed by living biological material and diversified in ownership. The forestry ecological restoration program should not only follow the basic principles of infrastructural construction, but also take the special characteristics of forests into consideration in studying the managerial system of the programs. Some suggestions for the ongoing programs were put forward: 1) developing a modern concept of ecosystem where man and nature in harmony is the core, 2) formulating long-term stable investments for forestry ecological restoration programs, 3) implementing forestry ecological restoration programs based on infrastructure construction principles, and 4) managing forests according to the principles of infrastructural construction management.

  20. Twenty years of invasion: a review of round goby Neogobius melanostomus biology, spread and ecological implications.

    PubMed

    Kornis, M S; Mercado-Silva, N; Vander Zanden, M J

    2012-02-01

    are presented; most pressing are evaluating the economic effects of N. melanostomus invasion, determining long-term population level effects of egg predation on game-fish recruitment and comparing several variables (density, ecological effects morphology and life history) among invaded ecosystems. This review provides a central reference as researchers continue studying N. melanostomus, often as examples for advancing basic ecology and invasion biology.

  1. Myanmar Ecological Forecasting: Utilizing NASA Earth Observations to Monitor, Map, and Analyze Mangrove Forests in Myanmar for Enhanced Conservation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weber, Samuel J.; Keddell, Louis; Kemal, Mohammed

    2014-01-01

    Mangroves supply many essential environmental amenities, such as preventing soil erosion, filtering water pollution, and protecting shorelines from harmful waves, floods, storms and winds. The Mangroves in Myanmar not only provide citizens with a food source, but they also offer firewood, charcoal, and construction materials. The depletion of mangroves is threatening more than the biodiversity however; Myanmar's fiscal livelihood is also in harm's way. Mangroves are valued at $100,000 to $277,000 per square kilometer and if managed in a sustainable fashion, can infuse constant income to the emerging Myanmarese economy. This study analyzed three coastline regions, the Ayeyarwady Delta, Rakhine and Tanintharyi, and mapped the spatial extent of mangrove forest during the dry season in 2000 and 2013. The classifications were derived from Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) and Landsat 8 Operation Land Imager (OLI) imagery, as well as the Terra Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) digital elevation model information. This data was atmospherically corrected, mosaicked, masked and classified in ENVI, followed by ArcGIS to perform raster calculations and create final products. Forest degradation collected from 2000 to 2013 was later used to forecast the density and health of Mangroves in the year 2030. These results were subsequently presented to project partners Dr. Peter Leimgruber and Ellen Aiken at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, VA. After the presentation of the project to the partners, these organizations formally passed on to the Myanmar Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Forestry for policy makers and forest managers to utilize in order to protect the Myanmar mangrove ecosystem while sustaining a healthy economy.

  2. Linking Topographic, Hydrologic, Climatic, and Ecologic Processes in Semi-arid Forests: an investigation of a