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Sample records for habitat size brushtail

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

    PubMed

    Amundrud, Sarah L; Srivastava, Diane S

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Amundrud, Sarah L; Srivastava, Diane S

    2015-07-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McGregor, Walter L.

    2006-01-01

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

  4. Repeated Habitat Disturbances by Fire Decrease Local Effective Population Size.

    PubMed

    Schrey, Aaron W; Ragsdale, Alexandria K; McCoy, Earl D; Mushinsky, Henry R

    2016-07-01

    Effective population size is a fundamental parameter in population genetics, and factors that alter effective population size will shape the genetic characteristics of populations. Habitat disturbance may have a large effect on genetic characteristics of populations by influencing immigration and gene flow, particularly in fragmented habitats. We used the Florida Sand Skink (Plestiodon reynoldsi) to investigate the effect of fire-based habitat disturbances on the effective population size in the highly threatened, severely fragmented, and fire dependent Florida scrub habitat. We screened 7 microsatellite loci in 604 individuals collected from 12 locations at Archbold Biological Station. Archbold Biological Station has an active fire management plan and detailed records of fires dating to 1967. Our objective was to determine how the timing, number, and intervals between fires affect effective population size, focusing on multiple fires in the same location. Effective population size was higher in areas that had not been burned for more than 10 years and decreased with number of fires and shorter time between fires. A similar pattern was observed in abundance: increasing abundance with time-since-fire and decreasing abundance with number of fires. The ratio of effective population size to census size was higher at sites with more recent fires and tended to decrease with time-since-last-fire. These results suggest that habitat disturbances, such as fire, may have a large effect in the genetic characteristics of local populations and that Florida Sand Skinks are well adapted to the natural fire dynamics required to maintain Florida scrub.

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

    PubMed

    Munguia, Pablo; Miller, Thomas E

    2008-11-01

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

  6. Predicting summer site occupancy for an invasive species, the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), in an urban environment.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species are often favoured in fragmented, highly-modified, human-dominated landscapes such as urban areas. Because successful invasive urban adapters can occupy habitat that is quite different from that in their original range, effective management programmes for invasive species in urban areas require an understanding of distribution, habitat and resource requirements at a local scale that is tailored to the fine-scale heterogeneity typical of urban landscapes. The common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is one of New Zealand's most destructive invasive pest species. As brushtail possums traditionally occupy forest habitat, control in New Zealand has focussed on rural and forest habitats, and forest fragments in cities. However, as successful urban adapters, possums may be occupying a wider range of habitats. Here we use site occupancy methods to determine the distribution of brushtail possums across five distinguishable urban habitat types during summer, which is when possums have the greatest impacts on breeding birds. We collected data on possum presence/absence and habitat characteristics, including possible sources of supplementary food (fruit trees, vegetable gardens, compost heaps), and the availability of forest fragments from 150 survey locations. Predictive distribution models constructed using the programme PRESENCE revealed that while occupancy rates were highest in forest fragments, possums were still present across a large proportion of residential habitat with occupancy decreasing as housing density increased and green cover decreased. The presence of supplementary food sources was important in predicting possum occupancy, which may reflect the high nutritional value of these food types. Additionally, occupancy decreased as the proportion of forest fragment decreased, indicating the importance of forest fragments in determining possum distribution. Control operations to protect native birds from possum predation in cities should

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species are often favoured in fragmented, highly-modified, human-dominated landscapes such as urban areas. Because successful invasive urban adapters can occupy habitat that is quite different from that in their original range, effective management programmes for invasive species in urban areas require an understanding of distribution, habitat and resource requirements at a local scale that is tailored to the fine-scale heterogeneity typical of urban landscapes. The common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is one of New Zealand’s most destructive invasive pest species. As brushtail possums traditionally occupy forest habitat, control in New Zealand has focussed on rural and forest habitats, and forest fragments in cities. However, as successful urban adapters, possums may be occupying a wider range of habitats. Here we use site occupancy methods to determine the distribution of brushtail possums across five distinguishable urban habitat types during summer, which is when possums have the greatest impacts on breeding birds. We collected data on possum presence/absence and habitat characteristics, including possible sources of supplementary food (fruit trees, vegetable gardens, compost heaps), and the availability of forest fragments from 150 survey locations. Predictive distribution models constructed using the programme PRESENCE revealed that while occupancy rates were highest in forest fragments, possums were still present across a large proportion of residential habitat with occupancy decreasing as housing density increased and green cover decreased. The presence of supplementary food sources was important in predicting possum occupancy, which may reflect the high nutritional value of these food types. Additionally, occupancy decreased as the proportion of forest fragment decreased, indicating the importance of forest fragments in determining possum distribution. Control operations to protect native birds from possum predation in cities should

  8. Predicting summer site occupancy for an invasive species, the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), in an urban environment.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

    Invasive species are often favoured in fragmented, highly-modified, human-dominated landscapes such as urban areas. Because successful invasive urban adapters can occupy habitat that is quite different from that in their original range, effective management programmes for invasive species in urban areas require an understanding of distribution, habitat and resource requirements at a local scale that is tailored to the fine-scale heterogeneity typical of urban landscapes. The common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is one of New Zealand's most destructive invasive pest species. As brushtail possums traditionally occupy forest habitat, control in New Zealand has focussed on rural and forest habitats, and forest fragments in cities. However, as successful urban adapters, possums may be occupying a wider range of habitats. Here we use site occupancy methods to determine the distribution of brushtail possums across five distinguishable urban habitat types during summer, which is when possums have the greatest impacts on breeding birds. We collected data on possum presence/absence and habitat characteristics, including possible sources of supplementary food (fruit trees, vegetable gardens, compost heaps), and the availability of forest fragments from 150 survey locations. Predictive distribution models constructed using the programme PRESENCE revealed that while occupancy rates were highest in forest fragments, possums were still present across a large proportion of residential habitat with occupancy decreasing as housing density increased and green cover decreased. The presence of supplementary food sources was important in predicting possum occupancy, which may reflect the high nutritional value of these food types. Additionally, occupancy decreased as the proportion of forest fragment decreased, indicating the importance of forest fragments in determining possum distribution. Control operations to protect native birds from possum predation in cities should

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  11. Chinook salmon use of spawning patches: relative roles of habitat quality, size, and connectivity.

    PubMed

    Isaak, Daniel J; Thurow, Russell F; Rieman, Bruce E; Dunham, Jason B

    2007-03-01

    Declines in many native fish populations have led to reassessments of management goals and shifted priorities from consumptive uses to species preservation. As management has shifted, relevant environmental characteristics have evolved from traditional metrics that described local habitat quality to characterizations of habitat size and connectivity. Despite the implications this shift has for how habitats may be prioritized for conservation, it has been rare to assess the relative importance of these habitat components. We used an information-theoretic approach to select the best models from sets of logistic regressions that linked habitat quality, size, and connectivity to the occurrence of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) nests. Spawning distributions were censused annually from 1995 to 2004, and data were complemented with field measurements that described habitat quality in 43 suitable spawning patches across a stream network that drained 1150 km2 in central Idaho. Results indicated that the most plausible models were dominated by measures of habitat size and connectivity, whereas habitat quality was of minor importance. Connectivity was the strongest predictor of nest occurrence, but connectivity interacted with habitat size, which became relatively more important when populations were reduced. Comparison of observed nest distributions to null model predictions confirmed that the habitat size association was driven by a biological mechanism when populations were small, but this association may have been an area-related sampling artifact at higher abundances. The implications for habitat management are that the size and connectivity of existing habitat networks should be maintained whenever possible. In situations where habitat restoration is occurring, expansion of existing areas or creation of new habitats in key areas that increase connectivity may be beneficial. Information about habitat size and connectivity also could be used to strategically

  12. Chinook salmon use of spawning patches: Relative roles of habitat quality, size, and connectivity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Isaak, D.J.; Thurow, R.F.; Rieman, B.E.; Dunham, J.B.

    2007-01-01

    Declines in many native fish populations have led to reassessments of management goals and shifted priorities from consumptive uses to species preservation. As management has shifted, relevant environmental characteristics have evolved from traditional metrics that described local habitat quality to characterizations of habitat size and connectivity. Despite the implications this shift has for how habitats may be prioritized for conservation, it has been rare to assess the relative importance of these habitat components. We used an information-theoretic approach to select the best models from sets of logistic regressions that linked habitat quality, size, and connectivity to the occurrence of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) nests. Spawning distributions were censused annually from 1995 to 2004, and data were complemented with field measurements that described habitat quality in 43 suitable spawning patches across a stream network that drained 1150 km 2 in central Idaho. Results indicated that the most plausible models were dominated by measures of habitat size and connectivity, whereas habitat quality was of minor importance. Connectivity was the strongest predictor of nest occurrence, but connectivity interacted with habitat size, which became relatively more important when populations were reduced. Comparison of observed nest distributions to null model predictions confirmed that the habitat size association was driven by a biological mechanism when populations were small, but this association may have been an area-related sampling artifact at higher abundances. The implications for habitat management are that the size and connectivity of existing habitat networks should be maintained whenever possible. In situations where habitat restoration is occurring, expansion of existing areas or creation of new habitats in key areas that increase connectivity may be beneficial. Information about habitat size and connectivity also could be used to strategically

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  15. Territory size variation in the ovenbird: the role of habitat structure. [Seiurus aurocapillus

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, T.M.; Shugart, H.H.

    1987-06-01

    The hypothesis that structural habitat cues are the proximate factor determining territory size was tested by examining the relationships among habitat structure, prey abundance, and intrapopulation variation in territory size in Ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapillus). Territory size was negatively correlated with prey abundance, with territory size decreasing as prey abundance per unit area increased. In addition, there was a significant difference in prey abundance per unit area between territory sites and areas of the study site not occupied by ovenbirds. A regression of prey abundance with variables describing the habitat structure of territory sites was significant, with habitat structure accounting for 73% of the variation in prey abundance among territories. This regression analysis, in combination with an additional discriminant function analysis of habitat occupancy, suggested a gradient of habitat quality as a function of vegetation structure that is related to both habitat selection and variation in territory size. To determine the possible mechanisms responsible for the inverse relationship between prey abundance and territory size, several hypotheses were considered. A partial correlation analysis of territory size with prey abundance and predicted prey abundance supported a structural cues hypothesis, with variation in territory size being related to structural features of the habitat rather than prey abundance per se.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2001-12-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  19. Photoreceptor topography and spectral sensitivity in the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula).

    PubMed

    Vlahos, Lisa M; Knott, Ben; Valter, Krisztina; Hemmi, Jan M

    2014-10-15

    Marsupials are believed to be the only non-primate mammals with both trichromatic and dichromatic color vision. The diversity of color vision systems present in marsupials remains mostly unexplored. Marsupials occupy a diverse range of habitats, which may have led to considerable variation in the presence, density, distribution, and spectral sensitivity of retinal photoreceptors. In this study we analyzed the distribution of photoreceptors in the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). Immunohistochemistry in wholemounts revealed three cone subpopulations recognized within two spectrally distinct cone classes. Long-wavelength sensitive (LWS) single cones were the largest cone subgroup (67-86%), and formed a weak horizontal visual streak (peak density 2,106 ± 435/mm2) across the central retina. LWS double cones were strongly concentrated ventrally (569 ± 66/mm2), and created a "negative" visual streak (134 ± 45/mm2) in the central retina. The strong regionalization between LWS cone topographies suggests differing visual functions. Short-wavelength sensitive (SWS) cones were present in much lower densities (3-10%), mostly located ventrally (179 ± 101/mm2). A minority population of cones (0-2.4%) remained unlabeled by both SWS- and LWS-specific antibodies, and may represent another cone population. Microspectrophotometry of LWS cone and rod visual pigments shows peak spectral sensitivities at 544 nm and 500 nm, respectively. Cone to ganglion cell convergences remain low and constant across the retina, thereby maintaining good visual acuity, but poor contrast sensitivity during photopic vision. Given that brushtail possums are so strongly nocturnal, we hypothesize that their acuity is set by the scotopic visual system, and have minimized the number of cones necessary to serve the ganglion cells for photopic vision. PMID:24737644

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Habitat richness affects home range size in a monogamous large rodent.

    PubMed

    Lovari, Sandro; Sforzi, Andrea; Mori, Emiliano

    2013-10-01

    In monogamous species, after pair formation, the main reason for ranging movements is not searching for a mate, but for other important resources e.g. food. We monitored a total of 20 radio-tagged adult, paired crested porcupines in four areas of different habitat richness. No sexual size dimorphism was assessed. Body mass and habitat richness showed collinearity. For both sexes, home range size was correlated to habitat richness, with a significant inverse exponential regression. Opposite to natural foragers, living in poor habitats, crop foragers had smaller home ranges, with their dens significantly closer to cultivations. Both availability of food resources and den sites are key variables to determine home range size. PMID:23796772

  3. Habitat richness affects home range size in a monogamous large rodent.

    PubMed

    Lovari, Sandro; Sforzi, Andrea; Mori, Emiliano

    2013-10-01

    In monogamous species, after pair formation, the main reason for ranging movements is not searching for a mate, but for other important resources e.g. food. We monitored a total of 20 radio-tagged adult, paired crested porcupines in four areas of different habitat richness. No sexual size dimorphism was assessed. Body mass and habitat richness showed collinearity. For both sexes, home range size was correlated to habitat richness, with a significant inverse exponential regression. Opposite to natural foragers, living in poor habitats, crop foragers had smaller home ranges, with their dens significantly closer to cultivations. Both availability of food resources and den sites are key variables to determine home range size.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  6. Home-range Size and Habitat Used by the Northern Myotis (Myotis septentrionalis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Owen, S.F.; Menzel, M.A.; Ford, W.M.; Chapman, B.R.; Miller, K.V.; Edwards, J.W.; Wood, P.B.

    2003-01-01

    We examined home range size and habitat use of nine female northern myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) within an intensively managed forest in the central Appalachians of West Virginia. Using the 95% adaptive kernel method, we calculated a mean home range of 65 ha. Northern myotis used recent diameter-limit harvests and road corridors more than expected based on availability of these habitats. Intact forest stands and more open deferment harvested stands were used less than expected based on the availability of these habitats, although intact forest stands still constituted the overall majority of habitat used. Partial timber harvests that leave a relatively closed canopy appear to promote or improve northern myotis foraging habitat in heavily forested landscapes. However, the long-term ecological impacts on bats and other biota from this silviculturally unacceptable practice are unclear.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  9. Habitat complexity does not promote coexistence in a size-structured intraguild predation system.

    PubMed

    Reichstein, Birte; Schröder, Arne; Persson, Lennart; De Roos, André M

    2013-01-01

    Size-dependent interactions and habitat complexity have been identified as important factors affecting the persistence of intraguild predation (IGP) systems. Habitat complexity has been suggested to promote intraguild (IG) prey and intraguild predator coexistence through weakening trophic interactions particularly the predation link. Here, we experimentally investigate the effects of habitat complexity on coexistence and invasion success of differently sized IG-predators in a size-structured IGP system consisting of the IG-predator Poecilia reticulata and a resident Heterandria formosa IG-prey population. The experiments included medium-long and long-term invasion experiments, predator-prey experiments and competition experiments to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the effect of prey refuges. Habitat complexity did not promote the coexistence of IG-predator and IG-prey, although the predation link was substantially weakened. However, the presence of habitat structure affected the invasion success of large IG-predators negatively and the invasion success of small IG-predators positively. The effect of refuges on size-dependent invasion success could be related to a major decrease in the IG-predator's capture rate and a shift in the size distribution of IG-predator juveniles. In summary, habitat complexity had two main effects: (i) the predation link was diminished, resulting in a more competition driven system and (ii) the overall competitive abilities of the two species were equalized, but coexistence was not promoted. Our results suggest that in a size-structured IGP system, individual level mechanisms may gain in importance over species level mechanisms in the presence of habitat complexity. PMID:23004014

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cienciala, P.; Hassan, M. A.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Robles, Hugo; Ciudad, Carlos

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Robles, Hugo; Ciudad, Carlos

    2012-04-01

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

  15. 'Prudent habitat choice': a novel mechanism of size-assortative mating.

    PubMed

    Taborsky, B; Guyer, L; Demus, P

    2014-06-01

    Assortative mating, an ubiquitous form of nonrandom mating, strongly impacts Darwinian fitness and can drive biological diversification. Despite its ecological and evolutionary importance, the behavioural processes underlying assortative mating are often unknown, and in particular, mechanisms not involving mate choice have been largely ignored so far. Here, we propose that assortative mating can arise from 'prudent habitat choice', a general mechanism that acts under natural selection, and that it can occur despite a complete mixing of phenotypes. We show that in the cichlid Eretmodus cyanostictus size-assortative mating ensues, because individuals of weaker competitive ability ignore high-quality but strongly competed habitat patches. Previous studies showed that in E. cyanostictus, size-based mate preferences are absent. By field and laboratory experiments, here we showed that (i) habitat quality and body size are correlated in this species; (ii) territories with more stone cover are preferred by both sexes in the absence of competition; and (iii) smaller fish prudently occupy vacant territories of worse quality than do larger fish. Prudent habitat choice is likely to be a widespread mechanism of assortative mating, as both preferences for and dominance-based access to high-quality habitats are generic phenomena in animals.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Starr, James C.; Torgersen, Christian

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kaczka, Levi J.; Miranda, Leandro E.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  1. Prevalence and genetic characterization of Cryptosporidium isolates from common brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) adapted to urban settings.

    PubMed

    Hill, Nichola J; Deane, Elizabeth M; Power, Michelle L

    2008-09-01

    The common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is one of the most abundant native marsupials in urban Australia, having successfully adapted to utilize anthropogenic resources. The habituation of possums to food and shelter available in human settlements has facilitated interaction with people, pets, and zoo animals, increasing the potential for transmission of zoonotic Cryptosporidium pathogens. This study sought to examine the identity and prevalence of Cryptosporidium species occurring in possums adapted to urban settings compared to possums inhabiting remote woodlands far from urban areas and to characterize the health of the host in response to oocyst shedding. Findings indicated that both populations were shedding oocysts of the same genotype (brushtail possum 1 [BTP1]) that were genetically and morphologically distinct from zoonotic species and genotypes and most closely related to Cryptosporidium species from marsupials. The urban population was shedding an additional five Cryptosporidium isolates that were genetically distinct from BTP1 and formed a sister clade with Cryptosporidium parvum and Cryptosporidium hominis. Possums that were shedding oocysts showed no evidence of pathogenic changes, including elevated levels of white blood cells, diminished body condition (body mass divided by skeletal body length), or reduced nutritional state, suggesting a stable host-parasite relationship typical of Cryptosporidium species that are adapted to the host. Overall, Cryptosporidium occurred with a higher prevalence in possums from urban habitat (11.3%) than in possums from woodland habitat (5.6%); however, the host-specific nature of the genotypes may limit spillover infection in the urban setting. This study determined that the coexistence of possums with sympatric populations of humans, pets, and zoo animals in the urban Australian environment is unlikely to present a threat to public health safety.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Distribution and size of benthic marine habitats in Dominica, Lesser Antilles.

    PubMed

    Steiner, Sascha Claus Christoff; Willette, Demian Alexander

    2010-06-01

    Surveys of benthic marine habitats encompassing 1814.7 ha and lining 90% of Dominica's shoreline were carried out to build the first composite picture of the distribution and size of the island's near-shore sublittoral habitats, and the epibenthic communities they harbor. Field survey sites covered areas ranging from 1425 to 29.6 ha, lining the shore in bands ranging between 50 and 250 m in width, in waters no deeper than 30 m. Thus a total of 755 ha of benthos were surveyed in October and November of 2007. The benthic habitat composition of an additional 1059.7 ha was inferred with the help of unpublished data and satellite imagery. Seagrass beds were the most widespread organism-built habitat type with 265 ha. Coral reefs covered 72.2 ha. Both of these habitats were predominantly established along the West and North coasts, which included the island's most habitat-diverse regions. Rocky environments (911.5 ha) dominated the East and South coast and together with sandy areas (566 ha) constituted 81% of the island's marine benthos. It is apparent that seagrass beds, which include four native and one invasive seagrass species, had not been surveyed as previous distribution reports could not be confirmed. Similarly, the benthic cover of Dominica's coral reefs is evidently far below the previously reported 7000 ha. Such discrepancies highlight the advantage of environmental assessments based on field surveys and systematic data compilation, particularly in cases like Dominica where a narrow island shelf stages marginal marine resources in spatial proximity to each other and human settlements. This study has demonstrated how low-tech field methods can be applied on an island-wide scale to build an inventory of marine resources in the form of habitat maps and data repositories publicly accessible for future use. In the absence of such efforts, the development of conservation measures and status reports will remain ill founded.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Drought survival is a threshold function of habitat size and population density in a fish metapopulation.

    PubMed

    White, Richard S A; McHugh, Peter A; McIntosh, Angus R

    2016-10-01

    Because smaller habitats dry more frequently and severely during droughts, habitat size is likely a key driver of survival in populations during climate change and associated increased extreme drought frequency. Here, we show that survival in populations during droughts is a threshold function of habitat size driven by an interaction with population density in metapopulations of the forest pool dwelling fish, Neochanna apoda. A mark-recapture study involving 830 N. apoda individuals during a one-in-seventy-year extreme drought revealed that survival during droughts was high for populations occupying pools deeper than 139 mm, but declined steeply in shallower pools. This threshold was caused by an interaction between increasing population density and drought magnitude associated with decreasing habitat size, which acted synergistically to increase physiological stress and mortality. This confirmed two long-held hypotheses, firstly concerning the interactive role of population density and physiological stress, herein driven by habitat size, and secondly, the occurrence of drought survival thresholds. Our results demonstrate how survival in populations during droughts will depend strongly on habitat size and highlight that minimum habitat size thresholds will likely be required to maximize survival as the frequency and intensity of droughts are projected to increase as a result of global climate change. PMID:26929393

  13. Drought survival is a threshold function of habitat size and population density in a fish metapopulation.

    PubMed

    White, Richard S A; McHugh, Peter A; McIntosh, Angus R

    2016-10-01

    Because smaller habitats dry more frequently and severely during droughts, habitat size is likely a key driver of survival in populations during climate change and associated increased extreme drought frequency. Here, we show that survival in populations during droughts is a threshold function of habitat size driven by an interaction with population density in metapopulations of the forest pool dwelling fish, Neochanna apoda. A mark-recapture study involving 830 N. apoda individuals during a one-in-seventy-year extreme drought revealed that survival during droughts was high for populations occupying pools deeper than 139 mm, but declined steeply in shallower pools. This threshold was caused by an interaction between increasing population density and drought magnitude associated with decreasing habitat size, which acted synergistically to increase physiological stress and mortality. This confirmed two long-held hypotheses, firstly concerning the interactive role of population density and physiological stress, herein driven by habitat size, and secondly, the occurrence of drought survival thresholds. Our results demonstrate how survival in populations during droughts will depend strongly on habitat size and highlight that minimum habitat size thresholds will likely be required to maximize survival as the frequency and intensity of droughts are projected to increase as a result of global climate change.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Genome size evolution in Ontario ferns (Polypodiidae): evolutionary correlations with cell size, spore size, and habitat type and an absence of genome downsizing.

    PubMed

    Henry, Thomas A; Bainard, Jillian D; Newmaster, Steven G

    2014-10-01

    Genome size is known to correlate with a number of traits in angiosperms, but less is known about the phenotypic correlates of genome size in ferns. We explored genome size variation in relation to a suite of morphological and ecological traits in ferns. Thirty-six fern taxa were collected from wild populations in Ontario, Canada. 2C DNA content was measured using flow cytometry. We tested for genome downsizing following polyploidy using a phylogenetic comparative analysis to explore the correlation between 1Cx DNA content and ploidy. There was no compelling evidence for the occurrence of widespread genome downsizing during the evolution of Ontario ferns. The relationship between genome size and 11 morphological and ecological traits was explored using a phylogenetic principal component regression analysis. Genome size was found to be significantly associated with cell size, spore size, spore type, and habitat type. These results are timely as past and recent studies have found conflicting support for the association between ploidy/genome size and spore size in fern polyploid complexes; this study represents the first comparative analysis of the trend across a broad taxonomic group of ferns.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Fish otoliths: do sizes correlate with taxonomic group, habitat and/or luminescence?

    PubMed Central

    Paxton, J R

    2000-01-01

    Otoliths are dense structures in the ears of fishes that function in hearing and gravity perception. Otolith (sagitta) diameters, as percentages of standard length (% SL), are calculated for 247 marine fish species in 147 families and compared by taxonomic group (usually order), habitat and presence or absence of luminescence. Otolith sizes range from 0.4-31.4 mm and 0.08-11.2% SL. The eel and spiny eel orders Anguilliformes and Notacanthiformes have small to very small otoliths, as do the triggerfish order Tetraodontiformes, pipefish order Gasterosteiformes, billfish suborder Scombroidei and many of the dragonfish order Stomiiformes. The soldierfish order Beryciformes has moderate to very large otoliths. The perch order Perciformes has a wide range of otolith sizes but most have small to moderate otoliths 2-5% SL. Only 16 out of the 247 species have the relatively largest otoliths, over 7% SL. Seven out of these 16 species are also luminous from a variety of habitats. Luminous species have slightly to much larger otoliths than non-luminous species in the same family Both beryciforms and luminous fishes live in low-light environments, where acute colour vision is probably impossible. Most fishes of the epipelagic surface waters have very small otoliths, perhaps due to background noise and/or excessive movement of heavy otoliths in rough seas. Bathypelagic species usually have small otoliths and regressed or absent swimbladders. Other habitats have species with a range of otolith sizes. While the relationship between hearing ability and otolith length is unknown, at least some groups with modified swim-bladders have larger otoliths, which may be associated with more acute hearing. PMID:11079419

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. The minimal habitat size for spreading in a weak competition system with two free boundaries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Chang-Hong

    2015-08-01

    In this paper, we focus on the dynamics for a Lotka-Volterra type weak competition system with two free boundaries, where free boundaries which may intersect each other as time evolves are used to describe the spreading of two competing species, respectively. In the weak competition case, the dynamics of this model can be classified into four cases, which forms a spreading-vanishing quartering. The notion of the minimal habitat size for spreading is introduced to determine if species can always spread. Some sufficient conditions for spreading and vanishing are established. Also, when spreading occurs, some rough estimates for spreading speed and the long-time behavior of solutions are established.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Climate-driven habitat size determines the latitudinal diversity gradient in temporary ponds.

    PubMed

    Kneitel, Jamie M

    2016-04-01

    The latitudinal diversity gradient (LDG) has been one of the most documented patterns in ecology, typically showing decreasing species diversity with increasing latitude. Studies of these patterns also used different spatial scales and dispersal traits to better understand the underpinning ecological factors. Seasonal freshwater ecosystems are less studied and may exhibit different patterns because they are more sensitive to climatic variation, which result in an inundation-desiccation cycle. In California, precipitation increases and temperature decreases with increasing latitude and thus the LDG pattern may be associated with this climatic gradient. Using collected data and United States Fish and Wildlife Service reports across seven degrees of latitude, analysis of California vernal pool invertebrate community (total richness and richness of passive and active dispersers) was conducted using correlations (Spearman rank and partial). Alpha diversity (total and passive dispersers) increased and beta diversity (passive dispersers) decreased with increasing latitude. Vernal pool surface area was correlated with active disperser alpha and passive disperser beta diversity. This suggests that climate-driven habitat size influences alpha and beta diversity patterns depending on dispersal ability. Active dispersers and predators exhibited higher beta diversity than passive dispersers and prey, respectively. Species composition differed among counties and some of these differences were correlated with pool depth and temperature. These results suggest that seasonal habitats will have diversity patterns strongly associated with local scale characteristics (habitat size and hydroperiod) determined by climate variation along the latitudinal gradient. Understanding these diversity patterns along the gradient will also contribute to management and restoration of these ecosystems with high endemism and diversity. PMID:27220212

  5. Intraspecific variation in group size in the blackbuck antelope: the roles of habitat structure and forage at different spatial scales.

    PubMed

    Isvaran, Kavita

    2007-11-01

    The main ecological factors that are hypothesized to explain the striking variation in the size of social groups among large herbivores are habitat structure, predation, and forage abundance and distribution; however, their relative roles in wild populations are not well understood. I combined analyses of ecological correlates of spatial variation in group size with analyses of individual behaviour in groups of different sizes to investigate factors maintaining variation in group size in an Indian antelope, the blackbuck Antilope cervicapra. I measured group size, habitat structure, forage, and the occurrence of predators in ten blackbuck populations, and, at a smaller spatial scale, within an intensively studied population. To examine the processes by which these ecological factors influence group size, I used behavioural observations and an experiment to estimate the shape of the relationship between group size and potential costs and benefits to individuals. Group size varied extensively both among and within populations. Analyses of spatial variation in group size suggested that both forage and habitat structure influence group size: large-scale, among-population variation in group size was primarily related to habitat structure, while small-scale, within-population variation was most closely related to forage abundance. Analyses of individual behaviour suggested that larger groups incur greater travel costs while foraging. However, individuals in larger groups appeared to experience greater benefits, namely the earlier detection of a "predator", a reduction in vigilance, and an increase in the time spent feeding. Overall, these findings suggest that individuals in groups experience a trade-off between predation-related benefits and costs arising from feeding competition. Habitat structure and forage likely influence the nature of this trade-off; thus, variation in these ecological factors may maintain variation in group size. The role of predation pressure and

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Nonlinearity and seasonal bias in an index of brushtail possum abundance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Forsyth, D.M.; Link, W.A.; Webster, R.; Nugent, G.; Warburton, B.

    2005-01-01

    Introduced brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) are a widespread pest of conservation and agriculture in New Zealand, and considerable effort has been expended controlling populations to low densities. A national protocol for monitoring the abundance of possums, termed trap catch index (TCI), was adopted in 1996. The TCI requires that lines of leghold traps set at 20-m spacing are randomly located in a management area. The traps are set for 3 fine nights and checked daily, and possums are killed and traps reset. The TCI is the mean percentage of trap nights that possums were caught, corrected for sprung traps and nontarget captures, with trap line as the sampling unit. We studied I forest and I farmland area in the North Island, New Zealand, to address concerns that TCI estimates may not be readily comparable because of seasonal changes in the capture probability of possums. We located blocks of 6 trap lines at each area and randomly trapped I line in each block in 3 seasons (summer, winter, and spring) in 2000 and 2001. We developed a model to allow for variation in local population size and nightly capture probability, and fitted the model using the Bayesian analysis software BUGS. Capture probability declined with increasing abundance of possums, generating a nonlinear TCI. Capture probability in farmland was lower during spring relative to winter and summer, and to forest during summer. In the absence of a proven and cost-effective alternative, our results support the continued use of the TCI for monitoring the abundance of possums in New Zealand. Seasonal biases in the TCI should be minimized by conducting repeat sampling in the same season.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiley, J.W.

    2003-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Size structure of marine soft-bottom macrobenthic communities across natural habitat gradients: implications for productivity and ecosystem function.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    Size distributions of biotic assemblages are important modifiers of productivity and function in marine sediments. We investigated the distribution of proportional organic biomass among logarithmic size classes (2(-6)J to 2(16)J) in the soft-bottom macrofaunal communities of the Strait of Georgia, Salish Sea on the west coast of Canada. The study examines how size structure is influenced by 3 fundamental habitat descriptors: depth, sediment percent fines, and organic flux (modified by quality). These habitat variables are uncorrelated in this hydrographically diverse area, thus we examine their effects in combination and separately. Cluster analyses and cumulative biomass size spectra reveal clear and significant responses to each separate habitat variable. When combined, habitat factors result in three distinct assemblages: (1) communities with a high proportion of biomass in small organisms, typical of shallow areas (<10 m) with coarse sediments (<10% fines) and low accumulation of organic material (<3.0 gC/m(2)/yr/δ(15)N); (2) communities with high proportion of biomass in the largest organisms found in the Strait, typical of deep, fine sediments with high modified organic flux (>3 g C/m(2)/yr/δ(15)N) from the Fraser River; and (3) communities with biomass dominated by moderately large organisms, but lacking the smallest and largest size classes, typical of deep, fine sediments experiencing low modified organic flux (<3.0 gC/m(2)/yr/δ(15)N). The remaining assemblages had intermediate habitat types and size structures. Sediment percent fines and flux appear to elicit threshold responses in size structure, whereas depth has the most linear influence on community size structure. The ecological implications of size structure in the Strait of Georgia relative to environmental conditions, secondary production and sediment bioturbation are discussed. PMID:22911694

  11. Size structure of marine soft-bottom macrobenthic communities across natural habitat gradients: implications for productivity and ecosystem function.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    Size distributions of biotic assemblages are important modifiers of productivity and function in marine sediments. We investigated the distribution of proportional organic biomass among logarithmic size classes (2(-6)J to 2(16)J) in the soft-bottom macrofaunal communities of the Strait of Georgia, Salish Sea on the west coast of Canada. The study examines how size structure is influenced by 3 fundamental habitat descriptors: depth, sediment percent fines, and organic flux (modified by quality). These habitat variables are uncorrelated in this hydrographically diverse area, thus we examine their effects in combination and separately. Cluster analyses and cumulative biomass size spectra reveal clear and significant responses to each separate habitat variable. When combined, habitat factors result in three distinct assemblages: (1) communities with a high proportion of biomass in small organisms, typical of shallow areas (<10 m) with coarse sediments (<10% fines) and low accumulation of organic material (<3.0 gC/m(2)/yr/δ(15)N); (2) communities with high proportion of biomass in the largest organisms found in the Strait, typical of deep, fine sediments with high modified organic flux (>3 g C/m(2)/yr/δ(15)N) from the Fraser River; and (3) communities with biomass dominated by moderately large organisms, but lacking the smallest and largest size classes, typical of deep, fine sediments experiencing low modified organic flux (<3.0 gC/m(2)/yr/δ(15)N). The remaining assemblages had intermediate habitat types and size structures. Sediment percent fines and flux appear to elicit threshold responses in size structure, whereas depth has the most linear influence on community size structure. The ecological implications of size structure in the Strait of Georgia relative to environmental conditions, secondary production and sediment bioturbation are discussed.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Size distributions of biotic assemblages are important modifiers of productivity and function in marine sediments. We investigated the distribution of proportional organic biomass among logarithmic size classes (2−6J to 216J) in the soft-bottom macrofaunal communities of the Strait of Georgia, Salish Sea on the west coast of Canada. The study examines how size structure is influenced by 3 fundamental habitat descriptors: depth, sediment percent fines, and organic flux (modified by quality). These habitat variables are uncorrelated in this hydrographically diverse area, thus we examine their effects in combination and separately. Cluster analyses and cumulative biomass size spectra reveal clear and significant responses to each separate habitat variable. When combined, habitat factors result in three distinct assemblages: (1) communities with a high proportion of biomass in small organisms, typical of shallow areas (<10 m) with coarse sediments (<10% fines) and low accumulation of organic material (<3.0 gC/m2/yr/δ15N); (2) communities with high proportion of biomass in the largest organisms found in the Strait, typical of deep, fine sediments with high modified organic flux (>3 g C/m2/yr/δ15N) from the Fraser River; and (3) communities with biomass dominated by moderately large organisms, but lacking the smallest and largest size classes, typical of deep, fine sediments experiencing low modified organic flux (<3.0 gC/m2/yr/δ15N). The remaining assemblages had intermediate habitat types and size structures. Sediment percent fines and flux appear to elicit threshold responses in size structure, whereas depth has the most linear influence on community size structure. The ecological implications of size structure in the Strait of Georgia relative to environmental conditions, secondary production and sediment bioturbation are discussed. PMID:22911694

  13. Quality of coastal and estuarine essential fish habitats: estimations based on the size of juvenile common sole ( Solea solea L.)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Pape, O.; Holley, J.; Guérault, D.; Désaunay, Y.

    2003-12-01

    Survival and growth of early fish stages are maximal in coastal and estuarine habitats where natural shallow areas serve as nurseries for a variety of widely distributed species on the continental shelf. Processes occurring in these nursery grounds during the juvenile stage affect growth and may be important in regulating the year-class strength of fishes and population size. The need, therefore, exists to protect these essential fish habitats hence to develop indicators to estimate their quality. The purpose of the present study was to use the growth of juvenile sole as a means of comparing the quality of coastal and estuarine nursery habitats in the Bay of Biscay (France). These sole nurseries were clearly identified from studies based on trawl surveys carried out during the last two decades. The size of 1-group juveniles at the end of their second summer, as estimated from these surveys, is an indicator of growth in these habitats during the juvenile phase and can be used to compare habitat quality. A model taking into account the role of seawater temperature in spatial and interannual variations of juvenile size was developed to compare growth performance in the different nursery sectors. This study shows that the size of juvenile sole after two summers of life is not density-dependent, probably because the size of the population adapts to habitat capacity after high mortality during early-juvenile stages. Size is on one hand positively related to temperature and on the other hand higher in estuarine than in non-estuarine habitats. This high growth potential of juvenile fish in estuarine areas confirms the very important role played by estuaries as nursery grounds and the essential ecological interest of these limited areas in spite of their low water quality. If a general conclusion on habitat quality is to be reached about studies based on the growth of juvenile fish, it is necessary to use not only an integrative indicator of growth, like size

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Mitochondrial genomes of a bandicoot and a brushtail possum confirm the monophyly of australidelphian marsupials.

    PubMed

    Phillips, M J; Lin, Y H; Harrison, G L; Penny, D

    2001-07-22

    Recent molecular analyses suggest that the position of bandicoots is the major difficulty in determining the root of the tree of extant marsupials. To resolve this, we analyse mitochondrial genome sequences of a bandicoot (Isoodon macrourus) and a brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) together with the previously available marsupial mitochondrial genomes, the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) and the wallaroo (Macropus robustus). Analyses of mitochondrial protein-coding and RNA genes strongly support the bandicoot as sister to the wallaroo and the brushtail possum. This result, combined with other recent molecular analyses, confirms the monophyly of Australidelphia (Australasian marsupials plus Dromiciops from South America). Further, RY coding was found to nullify AGCT coding nucleotide composition bias. PMID:11454299

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curreri, Peter A.; Detweiler, Michael

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

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

  7. Effect of dietary terpenes on glucuronic acid excretion and ascorbic acid turnover in the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula).

    PubMed

    Dash, J A

    1988-01-01

    1. Glucuronic acid was excreted in the urine of the brushtail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula, in response to dietary terpenes (essential oils found in Eucalyptus foliage). 2. The relationship between urinary glucuronic acid and the estimated terpene content of the diet was not equimolar, but varied from 1-17%, with levels of 5-39% found in animals maintained on terpenes or eucalypt leaves for several weeks. 3. Blood levels of ascorbate and the turnover rate of ascorbate were increased in the brushtail possum in response to dietary terpenes. 4. The presence of an active glucuronic acid pathway and associated glucose-ascorbate-glucose cycle was postulated for the brushtail possum and the other arboreal marsupials, Pseudocheirus peregrinus (common ringtail possum) and Petauroides volans (greater glider). 5. By means of these pathways these animals may utilise the high ascorbate content of Eucalyptus leaves to conserve glucose required for synthesis of glucuronic acid used for conjugation of dietary terpenes. PMID:3356132

  8. Higher mobility of butterflies than moths connected to habitat suitability and body size in a release experiment

    PubMed Central

    Kuussaari, Mikko; Saarinen, Matias; Korpela, Eeva-Liisa; Pöyry, Juha; Hyvönen, Terho

    2014-01-01

    Mobility is a key factor determining lepidopteran species responses to environmental change. However, direct multispecies comparisons of mobility are rare and empirical comparisons between butterflies and moths have not been previously conducted. Here, we compared mobility between butterflies and diurnal moths and studied species traits affecting butterfly mobility. We experimentally marked and released 2011 butterfly and 2367 moth individuals belonging to 32 and 28 species, respectively, in a 25 m × 25 m release area within an 11-ha, 8-year-old set-aside field. Distance moved and emigration rate from the release habitat were recorded by species. The release experiment produced directly comparable mobility data in 18 butterfly and 9 moth species with almost 500 individuals recaptured. Butterflies were found more mobile than geometroid moths in terms of both distance moved (mean 315 m vs. 63 m, respectively) and emigration rate (mean 54% vs. 17%, respectively). Release habitat suitability had a strong effect on emigration rate and distance moved, because butterflies tended to leave the set-aside, if it was not suitable for breeding. In addition, emigration rate and distance moved increased significantly with increasing body size. When phylogenetic relatedness among species was included in the analyses, the significant effect of body size disappeared, but habitat suitability remained significant for distance moved. The higher mobility of butterflies than geometroid moths can largely be explained by morphological differences, as butterflies are more robust fliers. The important role of release habitat suitability in butterfly mobility was expected, but seems not to have been empirically documented before. The observed positive correlation between butterfly size and mobility is in agreement with our previous findings on butterfly colonization speed in a long-term set-aside experiment and recent meta-analyses on butterfly mobility. PMID:25614794

  9. Higher mobility of butterflies than moths connected to habitat suitability and body size in a release experiment.

    PubMed

    Kuussaari, Mikko; Saarinen, Matias; Korpela, Eeva-Liisa; Pöyry, Juha; Hyvönen, Terho

    2014-10-01

    Mobility is a key factor determining lepidopteran species responses to environmental change. However, direct multispecies comparisons of mobility are rare and empirical comparisons between butterflies and moths have not been previously conducted. Here, we compared mobility between butterflies and diurnal moths and studied species traits affecting butterfly mobility. We experimentally marked and released 2011 butterfly and 2367 moth individuals belonging to 32 and 28 species, respectively, in a 25 m × 25 m release area within an 11-ha, 8-year-old set-aside field. Distance moved and emigration rate from the release habitat were recorded by species. The release experiment produced directly comparable mobility data in 18 butterfly and 9 moth species with almost 500 individuals recaptured. Butterflies were found more mobile than geometroid moths in terms of both distance moved (mean 315 m vs. 63 m, respectively) and emigration rate (mean 54% vs. 17%, respectively). Release habitat suitability had a strong effect on emigration rate and distance moved, because butterflies tended to leave the set-aside, if it was not suitable for breeding. In addition, emigration rate and distance moved increased significantly with increasing body size. When phylogenetic relatedness among species was included in the analyses, the significant effect of body size disappeared, but habitat suitability remained significant for distance moved. The higher mobility of butterflies than geometroid moths can largely be explained by morphological differences, as butterflies are more robust fliers. The important role of release habitat suitability in butterfly mobility was expected, but seems not to have been empirically documented before. The observed positive correlation between butterfly size and mobility is in agreement with our previous findings on butterfly colonization speed in a long-term set-aside experiment and recent meta-analyses on butterfly mobility.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  11. Pattern and dynamics of biomass stock in old growth forests: The role of habitat and tree size

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Zuoqiang; Gazol, Antonio; Wang, Xugao; Lin, Fei; Ye, Ji; Zhang, Zhaochen; Suo, YanYan; Kuang, Xu; Wang, Yunyun; Jia, Shihong; Hao, Zhanqing

    2016-08-01

    Forest ecosystems play a fundamental role in the global carbon cycle. However, how stand-level changes in tree age and structure influence biomass stock and dynamics in old-growth forests is a question that remains unclear. In this study, we quantified the aboveground biomass (AGB) standing stock, the coarse woody productivity (CWP), and the change in biomass over ten years (2004-2014) in a 25 ha unmanaged broad-leaved Korean pine mixed forest in northeastern China. In addition, we quantified how AGB stock and change (tree growth, recruitment and mortality) estimations are influenced by the variation in habitat heterogeneity, tree size structure and subplot size. Our analysis indicated that Changbai forest had AGB of 265.4 Mg ha-1 in 2004, and gained1.36 Mg ha-1 y-1 between 2004 and 2014. Despite recruitment having better performance in nutrient rich habitat, we found that there is a directional tree growth trend independent of habitat heterogeneity for available nutrients in this old growth forest. The observed increases in AGB stock (∼70%) are mainly attributed to the growth of intermediate size trees (30-70 cm DBH), indicating that this forest is still reaching its mature stage. Meanwhile, we indicated that biomass loss due to mortality reduces living biomass, not increment, may be the primary factor to affect forest biomass dynamics in this area. Also, spatial variation in forest dynamics is large for small sizes (i.e. coefficient of variation in 20 × 20 m subplots is 53.2%), and more than 90 percent of the inherent variability of these coefficients was predicted by a simple model including plot size. Our result provides a mean by which to estimate within-plot variability at a local scale before inferring any directional change in forest dynamics at a regional scale, and information about the variability of forest structure and dynamics are fundamental to design effective sampling strategies in future study.

  12. Habitat specialization, body size, and family identity explain lepidopteran density–area relationships in a cross-continental comparison

    PubMed Central

    Hambäck, Peter A.; Summerville, Keith S.; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Krauss, Jochen; Englund, Göran; Crist, Thomas O.

    2007-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation may strongly affect species density, species interactions, and the rate of ecosystem processes. It is therefore important to understand the observed variability among species responses to fragmentation and the underlying mechanisms. In this study, we compare density–area relationships (DARs) for 344 lepidopteran species belonging to 22 families (butterflies and moths). This analysis suggested that the DARslope is generally positive for moths and negative for butterflies. The differences are suggested to occur because moths are largely olfactory searchers, whereas most butterflies are visual searchers. The analysis also suggests that DARs vary as a function of habitat specialization and body size. In butterflies, generalist species had a more negative DARslope than specialist species because of a lower patch size threshold. In moths, the differences in DARslope between forest and open habitat species were large for small species but absent for large species. This difference is argued to occur because the DARslope in large species mainly reflects their search mode, which does not necessarily vary between moth groups, whereas the slope in small species reflects population growth rates. PMID:17485669

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  14. How well can common brushtail possums regulate their intake of Eucalyptus toxins?

    PubMed

    Stapley, J; Foley, W J; Cunningham, R; Eschler, B

    2000-05-01

    We studied factors affecting the ability of common brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) to regulate their intake of a dietary toxin, jensenone, extracted from Eucalyptus leaves. Increasing concentrations of jensenone in the diet led to a dose-dependent decrease in food intake best described as an exponential decay. Animals that had not previously been exposed to jensenone ate significantly more when first offered food containing the compound than on subsequent days. However, when offered the same amount of food in a number of portions throughout the night, naive animals ate significantly less than animals offered the total meal at once. When offered food containing jensenone over a 13-day period, the animals' intake varied cyclically with relatively high food intakes followed by relatively low intakes. Furthermore, animals that were exposed to cold conditions (4 degrees C) ate more than those maintained at 18 degrees C but this difference was abolished when jensenone was included in the diet. We interpret these results as showing that regulation of toxin intake by common brushtail possums depends on learned responses that can override other important influences on feeding.

  15. Immunocontraception of Eastern Grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) with recombinant brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) ZP3 protein.

    PubMed

    Kitchener, Anne L; Harman, Amanda; Kay, David J; McCartney, Carmen A; Mate, Karen E; Rodger, John C

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the potential of a recombinant marsupial zona pellucida 3 protein as a contraceptive vaccine for the Eastern Grey kangaroo, a marsupial that is locally overabundant in several regions of eastern Australia. First, a pilot study using porcine zona pellucidae (PZP) demonstrated that ZP proteins, primarily the ZP3 component of PZP, are highly immunogenic in the grey kangaroo and produce a long-lasting humoral response to a single immunisation, as found in other marsupials. Immunisation with 300 microg of a non-glycosylated recombinant brushtail possum ZP3 (recBP-ZP3) protein in complete Freund's adjuvant produced a similar, significant and sustained antibody response, and none of the immunised kangaroos (n=7) produced offspring during the following breeding season compared with four out of the six control animals. An epitope analysis of the B-cell response to recBP-ZP3 using a brushtail possum ZP3 identified numerous B-cell epitope regions clustered around the N- and C-terminal regions of the protein. Two regions of interest for further fertility vaccine development based on their immunogenicity and fertility trials and functional studies in other species were found to be immunogenic. These results suggest that immunocontraception based on targeting the ZP3 protein within the zona pellucida may be an effective strategy for fertility reduction in Eastern Grey kangaroos.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  17. Release and bioactivity of PACA nanoparticles containing D-Lys⁶-GnRH for brushtail possum fertility control.

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-10

    Poly(ethylcyanoacrylate) (PECA) nanoparticles containing the chemical sterilitant D-Lys⁶-GnRH were prepared by an in situ interfacial polymerization technique. Their potential as a peroral delivery system for biocontrol of the brushtail possum, a major pest species in New Zealand, was evaluated. Peptide release from resulting particles was studied in vitro in artificial gastric juice (AGJ), simulated intestinal fluids (SIF) and brushtail possum plasma. The nanoparticles released a small fraction of bioactive over 6h in AGJ and SIF (<5%), while staying intact and retaining fractions of intact D-Lys⁶-GnRH. In contrast, 60% of D-Lys⁶-GnRH was released after 1h in possum plasma. The nanoparticles were also administered in vivo into the caecum of brushtail possums. A significant biological response, measured as an increase in plasma luteinizing hormone (LH), was evident 10 min after administration. This demonstrates not only that PECA nanoparticles were able to facilitate the uptake of D-Lys⁶-GnRH from the caecum into systemic circulation but also that sufficient bioactive peptide reached the pituitary to exert a significant LH response following GnRH receptor mediated endocytosis. Hence, it can be concluded that PECA nanoparticles comprise a promising formulation strategy for the peroral delivery of the chemical sterilitant D-Lys⁶-GnRH to the brushtail possum in New Zealand.

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

    PubMed

    Ling, S D; Johnson, C R

    2012-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ling, S D; Johnson, C R

    2012-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  3. Size-dependent distribution and feeding habits of Terebralia palustris in mangrove habitats of Gazi Bay, Kenya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pape, Ellen; Muthumbi, Agnes; Kamanu, Chomba Peter; Vanreusel, Ann

    2008-03-01

    The gastropod Terebralia palustris often dominates the surface of muddy to sandy substrates of intertidal mudflats and mangrove forests, where they clearly destabilize the sediment. In the present study, it was investigated whether and to what extent the behaviour of juvenile and adult snails differs among habitats (mudflat vs. mangrove stand) in a Sonneratia alba mangal at Gazi Bay, Kenya. For this purpose we: (1) examined their distribution along three land-sea transects; and (2) applied stable isotope analysis to determine the feeding patterns of different-sized snails from the mangrove and mudflat habitats. Additionally, we investigated if these gastropods exert an impact on microphytobenthic (diatom) biomass, and whether this is size-dependent. The latter objective was met by either enclosing or excluding different-sized snails from experimental cages on the intertidal mudflat and the subsequent assessment of a change in pigment concentration of the sediment surface. In agreement with several previous studies conducted in other mangroves and geographical locations, a spatial segregation was demonstrated between juveniles (more common on the mudflat) and adults (more common in the mangrove forest). On the intertidal mudflat juveniles avoided sediment patches characterized by highly saline water in intertidal pools and a high mud content, while adults tended to dwell on substrates covered by a high amount of leaf litter. Stable carbon isotope analysis of the foot tissue of snails sampled from the S. alba stand and the mudflat indicated a transition in food source when a shell length of 51 mm is reached. Considering the δ13C value of juveniles, it seems they might be selecting for microphytobenthos, which might explain their preference for the mudflat. The diet of size classes found in both habitats did not differ significantly, although juveniles inhabiting the mangrove forest were slightly more depleted in 13C compared to those residing on the mudflat

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harris, Julianne E.; Hightower, Joseph E.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  7. cDNA cloning of luteinizing hormone subunits from brushtail possum and red kangaroo.

    PubMed

    Harrison, G A; Deane, E M; Cooper, D W

    1998-08-01

    Luteinizing hormone (LH) plays an important role in the reproductive cycles of all mammals. There is a large amount of both nucleotide and amino acid sequence data available for LH from eutherian mammals, but little is known about the primary structure of LH in marsupials. We have used consensus PCR primers to generate specific probes for screening pituitary cDNA libraries and report the cloning of the cDNAs encoding the alpha-subunit of LH (also shared by a number of other glycoprotein hormones) and the LH-specific beta-subunit, from the common brushtail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula, and the red kangaroo, Macropus rufus. Southern blotting experiments indicated that both genes are probably present as single copies. Comparison of the deduced marsupial protein sequences with homologous sequences from other vertebrates revealed a high degree of conservation, especially for the alpha-subunit. These sequences represent the first complete primary structures for a marsupial glycoprotein hormone to have been elucidated.

  8. The hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis and manipulations of the oestrous cycle in the brushtail possum.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Janet L; McLeod, Bernie J; Eckery, Douglas C

    2011-02-01

    The main purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive update on what is known about the regulatory mechanisms of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis in the brushtail possum, and to report on the outcomes of attempts made to manipulate by hormonal means, these processes in the possum. Over the last 15 years, several unique features of possum reproductive physiology have been discovered. These include an extended follicular phase despite elevated concentrations of FSH during the luteal phase, and early expression of LH receptors on granulosa cells of small antral follicles, suggesting a different mechanism for the selection of a dominant follicle. The use of routine synchronisation protocols that are effective in eutherians has failed to be effective in possums, and so the ability to reliably synchronise oestrus in this species remains a challenge.

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

    PubMed Central

    Baillie, Gregory J.; Wilkins, Richard J.

    2001-01-01

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

  10. Peritoneal inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor in a brush-tailed porcupine (Atherurus macrourus).

    PubMed

    Liu, Chen-Hsuan; Chen, I-Ping; Chen, An; Chang, Chih-Hua

    2005-06-01

    An 8-yr-old, male brush-tailed porcupine (Atherurus macrourus) presented for necropsy examination in good nutritional status. It had received treatment for Strongylus spp. infection 1 yr earlier, and it had a short episode of diarrhea 2 days before death. Postmortem examination revealed disseminated, variably discrete, soft to firm, white-gray nodules over the omentum, mesentery, intestinal serosa, and at the liver surface. Histologically, these tumors were mainly arranged as proliferating spindle cells growing in interlacing fascicles or in a storiform pattern associated with ropy collagenous stroma and vascularization. Inflammatory cells, consisting of lymphocytes, plasma cells, and macrophages, infiltrated between the tumor cells. Cytoplasmic immunoreactivity of antibodies to alpha-smooth muscle actin and vimentin was observed in the tumor cells. Antidesmin immunoreactivity varied with area. The morphologic features, the presence of inflammatory infiltrates, and the immunohistochemical expression were consistent with a diagnosis of inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor as reported in humans, horses, and cats. PMID:17323585

  11. Assessing stability of body weight in the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula).

    PubMed

    Cameron, Kristie E; Bizo, Lewis A; Starkey, Nicola J

    2015-01-01

    When conducting controlled laboratory studies with non-traditional laboratory animals it is important that methods for determining body weight stability are reliable. This helps ensure the health and welfare of animals when they are maintained during periods of free feeding or food restriction. This study compared different methods for determining body weight stability in six common brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) maintained on a free-feeding diet under laboratory conditions. A criterion of five consecutive weighings with less than ±2.5% change across days and no more than two consecutive days of weight loss or weight gain was judged to be the most suitable criteria for determining stability. It is important to study non-traditional animals, especially endangered or pest species, under controlled laboratory conditions and to have robust methods for establishing body weight stability.

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

    PubMed

    Emura, Shoichi; Okumura, Toshihiko; Chen, Huayue

    2014-01-01

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

  13. A study of the topography of the lymphatic system of the Australian brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula).

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, R; Morris, R S

    1996-01-01

    The superficial and deep lymphatic systems of the Australian brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) are described. In common with other marsupials studied to date and in contrast with most eutherians, there were no popliteal lymph nodes and efferent drainage from the inguinal lymph centre passed directly to the deep axillary group of lymph nodes via an inguinoaxillary trunk. Efferent vessels from the tonsil passed directly to the deep cervical lymph node, which was drained by the tracheal trunk. The mandibular and parotid lymph nodes drained independently to the superficial cervical lymph node. All subcutaneous lymph drainage passed either through the superficial cervical or the axillary lymph centres before entering the venous system, an arrangement which is also found in kangaroos. The significance of the patterns of lesion distributions in possums with naturally occurring tuberculosis caused by Mycobacterium bovis is discussed. PMID:8763477

  14. Habitat-specific size structure variations in periwinkle populations ( Littorina littorea) caused by biotic factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eschweiler, Nina; Molis, Markus; Buschbaum, Christian

    2009-06-01

    Shell size distribution patterns of marine gastropod populations may vary considerably across different environments. We investigated the size and density structure of genetically continuous periwinkle populations ( Littorina littorea) on an exposed rocky and a sheltered sedimentary environment on two nearby islands in the south-eastern North Sea (German Bight). On the sedimentary shore, periwinkle density (917 ± 722 individuals m-2) was about three times higher than on the rocky shore (296 ± 168 individuals m-2). Mean (9.8 ± 3.9 mm) and maximum (22 mm) shell size of L. littorea on the sedimentary shore were smaller than on the rocky shore (21.5 ± 4.2 and 32 mm, respectively), where only few small snails were found. Additionally, periwinkle shells were thicker and stronger on the rocky than on the sedimentary shore. To ascertain mechanisms responsible for differences in population structures, we examined periwinkles in both environments for growth rate, predation pressure, infection with a shell boring polychaete ( Polydora ciliata) and parasitic infestation by trematodes. A crosswise transplantation experiment revealed better growth conditions on the sedimentary than on the rocky shore. However, crab abundance and prevalence of parasites and P. ciliata in adult snails were higher on the sedimentary shore. Previous investigations showed that crabs prefer large periwinkles infested with P. ciliata. Thus, we suggest that parasites and shell boring P. ciliata in conjunction with an increased crab predation pressure are responsible for low abundances of large periwinkles on the sedimentary shore while high wave exposure may explain low densities of juvenile L. littorea on the rocky shore. We conclude that biotic factors may strongly contribute to observed differences in size structure of the L. littorea populations studied on rocky and sedimentary shores.

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

    PubMed Central

    Griffin, L R; Thomas, C J

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  17. Oral vaccination reduces the incidence of tuberculosis in free-living brushtail possums

    PubMed Central

    Tompkins, D. M.; Ramsey, D. S. L.; Cross, M. L.; Aldwell, F. E.; de Lisle, G. W.; Buddle, B. M.

    2009-01-01

    Bovine tuberculosis (Tb) caused by Mycobacterium bovis has proved refractory to eradication from domestic livestock in countries with wildlife disease reservoirs. Vaccination of wild hosts offers a way of controlling Tb in livestock without wildlife culling. This study was conducted in a Tb-endemic region of New Zealand, where the introduced Australian brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is the main wildlife reservoir of Tb. Possums were trapped and vaccinated using a prototype oral-delivery system to deliver the Tb vaccine bacille Calmette–Guerin. Vaccinated and control possums were matched according to age, sex and location, re-trapped bimonthly and assessed for Tb status by palpation and lesion aspiration; the site was depopulated after 2 years and post-mortem examinations were conducted to further identify clinical Tb cases and subclinical infection. Significantly fewer culture-confirmed Tb cases were recorded in vaccinated possums (1/51) compared with control animals (12/71); the transition probability from susceptible to infected was significantly reduced in both males and females by vaccination. Vaccine efficacy was estimated at 95 per cent (87–100%) for females and 96 per cent (82–99%) for males. Hence, this trial demonstrates that orally delivered live bacterial vaccines can significantly protect wildlife against natural disease exposure, indicating that wildlife vaccination, along with existing control methods, could be used to eradicate Tb from domestic animals. PMID:19493904

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hill, N J; Dubey, J P; Vogelnest, L; Power, M L; Deane, E M

    2008-04-15

    To investigate the possible role of common brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) in the transmission of Toxoplasma gondii within a zoo environment, a serological survey of a free-ranging population resident within Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia was undertaken using the modified agglutination test (MAT). For comparison, the seroprevalence of T. gondii antibodies was also assessed in a possum population inhabiting a felid-free, non-urban woodland habitat. Six of 126 possums (4.8%) from the zoo population had antibodies to T. gondii with a MAT titre of 25 or higher, while in contrast, all of the 17 possums from woodland were seronegative. These observations suggest that possums were at a higher risk of exposure to the parasite as a consequence of co-existing with domestic, stray and captive felids associated with urbanisation. Screening of captive felids at the zoo indicated 16 of 23 individuals (67%) and all 6 species were seropositive for T. gondii, implicating them as a possible source of the parasite within the zoo setting. In addition captive, non-felid carnivores including the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), dingo (Canis lupis) and leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx) were tested for the presence of T. gondii antibodies as these species predate and are a leading cause of death amongst zoo possums. In total, 5 of 23 individuals (22%) were seropositive, representing 2 of the 4 carnivorous species; the dingo and chimpanzee. These data suggest that carnivory was not a highly efficient pathway for the transmission of T. gondii and the free-ranging possum population posed minimal threat to the health of zoo animals.

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

    PubMed

    Hill, N J; Dubey, J P; Vogelnest, L; Power, M L; Deane, E M

    2008-04-15

    To investigate the possible role of common brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) in the transmission of Toxoplasma gondii within a zoo environment, a serological survey of a free-ranging population resident within Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia was undertaken using the modified agglutination test (MAT). For comparison, the seroprevalence of T. gondii antibodies was also assessed in a possum population inhabiting a felid-free, non-urban woodland habitat. Six of 126 possums (4.8%) from the zoo population had antibodies to T. gondii with a MAT titre of 25 or higher, while in contrast, all of the 17 possums from woodland were seronegative. These observations suggest that possums were at a higher risk of exposure to the parasite as a consequence of co-existing with domestic, stray and captive felids associated with urbanisation. Screening of captive felids at the zoo indicated 16 of 23 individuals (67%) and all 6 species were seropositive for T. gondii, implicating them as a possible source of the parasite within the zoo setting. In addition captive, non-felid carnivores including the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), dingo (Canis lupis) and leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx) were tested for the presence of T. gondii antibodies as these species predate and are a leading cause of death amongst zoo possums. In total, 5 of 23 individuals (22%) were seropositive, representing 2 of the 4 carnivorous species; the dingo and chimpanzee. These data suggest that carnivory was not a highly efficient pathway for the transmission of T. gondii and the free-ranging possum population posed minimal threat to the health of zoo animals. PMID:18281157

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Lipid-formulated bcg as an oral-bait vaccine for tuberculosis: vaccine stability, efficacy, and palatability to brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Cross, Martin L; Henderson, Ray J; Lambeth, Matthew R; Buddle, Bryce M; Aldwell, Frank E

    2009-07-01

    Bovine tuberculosis (Tb), due to infection with virulent Mycobacterium bovis, represents a threat to New Zealand agriculture due to vectorial transmission from wildlife reservoir species, principally the introduced Australian brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). An oral-delivery wildlife vaccine has been developed to immunize possums against Tb, based on formulation of the human Tb vaccine (M. bovis BCG) in edible lipid matrices. Here BCG bacilli were shown to be stable in lipid matrix formulation for over 8 mo in freezer storage, for 7 wk under room temperature conditions, and for 3-5 wk under field conditions in a forest/pasture margin habitat (when maintained in weatherproof bait-delivery sachets). Samples of the lipid matrix were flavored and offered to captive possums in a bait-preference study: a combination of 10% chocolate powder with anise oil was identified as the most effective attractant/palatability combination. In a replicated field study, 85-100% of wild possums were shown to access chocolate-flavored lipid pellets, when baits were applied to areas holding approximately 600-800 possums/km(2). Finally, in a controlled vaccination/challenge study, chocolate-flavored lipid vaccine samples containing 10(8) BCG bacilli were fed to captive possums, which were subsequently challenged via aerosol exposure to virulent M. bovis: vaccine immunogenicity was confirmed, and protection was identified by significantly reduced postchallenge weight loss in vaccinated animals compared to nonvaccinated controls. These studies indicate that, appropriately flavored, lipid delivery matrices may form effective bait vaccines for the control of Tb in wildlife.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1995-01-01

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

  7. The Size of Winter-Flooded Paddy Fields No Longer Limits the Foraging Habitat Use of the Endangered Crested Ibis (Nipponia nippon) in Winter.

    PubMed

    Hu, Can-Shi; Song, Xiao; Ding, Chang-Qing; Ye, Yuan-Xing; Qing, Bao-Ping; Wang, Chao

    2016-08-01

    Paddy fields have traditionally been viewed as the key foraging habitats for the endangered crested ibis (Nipponia nippon). With the population of this species now increasing, its distribution has expanded to both lowland areas and outside the nature reserve. However, little is known about the current foraging habitat preferences of these birds, especially during winter. In this research, a total of 54 used sites and 50 unused sites were investigated during winter from December 2011 to January 2012. The results of logistic regression analysis indicate that soil softness, human disturbance, and distance to the nearest road were important factors. For the site plots of winter-flooded paddy fields, the birds prefer the paddy fields with higher coverage of vegetation, except softer foraging sites and lower human-related disturbance. In lowland areas, the size of winter-flooded paddy fields was not a limiting factor, due to the availability of other wetlands capable of providing abundant food. The micro-habitat characteristics were important indicators of foraging habitat quality rather than the size of winter-flooded paddy fields, and the food accessibility may play an important role in the process of foraging habitat use. We suggest the improvement of the foraging micro-habitat and environmental characteristics would be effective in ensuring the availability of food in the dispersed lowland areas. The local people still needed to be encouraged and compensated by their single-cropping cultivation, ploughed the paddy fields after harvesting and irrigated them with shallow water flooded in the original core areas of the nature reserve.

  8. The Size of Winter-Flooded Paddy Fields No Longer Limits the Foraging Habitat Use of the Endangered Crested Ibis (Nipponia nippon) in Winter.

    PubMed

    Hu, Can-Shi; Song, Xiao; Ding, Chang-Qing; Ye, Yuan-Xing; Qing, Bao-Ping; Wang, Chao

    2016-08-01

    Paddy fields have traditionally been viewed as the key foraging habitats for the endangered crested ibis (Nipponia nippon). With the population of this species now increasing, its distribution has expanded to both lowland areas and outside the nature reserve. However, little is known about the current foraging habitat preferences of these birds, especially during winter. In this research, a total of 54 used sites and 50 unused sites were investigated during winter from December 2011 to January 2012. The results of logistic regression analysis indicate that soil softness, human disturbance, and distance to the nearest road were important factors. For the site plots of winter-flooded paddy fields, the birds prefer the paddy fields with higher coverage of vegetation, except softer foraging sites and lower human-related disturbance. In lowland areas, the size of winter-flooded paddy fields was not a limiting factor, due to the availability of other wetlands capable of providing abundant food. The micro-habitat characteristics were important indicators of foraging habitat quality rather than the size of winter-flooded paddy fields, and the food accessibility may play an important role in the process of foraging habitat use. We suggest the improvement of the foraging micro-habitat and environmental characteristics would be effective in ensuring the availability of food in the dispersed lowland areas. The local people still needed to be encouraged and compensated by their single-cropping cultivation, ploughed the paddy fields after harvesting and irrigated them with shallow water flooded in the original core areas of the nature reserve. PMID:27498793

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) were trained to press a right lever when a tone was presented (a tone-on trial) and a left lever when a tone was not presented (a tone-off trial) to gain access to food. During training the tone was set at 80 dB(A), with a frequency of 0.88 kH for 3 possums and of 4 kH for the other 2. Once accuracy was over 90% correct across five consecutive sessions, a test session was conducted where the intensity of the tone was reduced by 8 dB(A) over blocks of 20 trials until accuracy over a block fell below 60%. After each test session, training sessions were reintroduced and continued until accuracy was again over 90%, when another test session was conducted. This process continued until there were at least five test sessions at that tone frequency. The same procedure was then used with frequencies of 0.20, 0.88, 2, 4, 10, 12.5, 15, 20, 30, and 35 kHz. Percentage correct and d′ decreased approximately linearly for all possums as tone intensity reduced. Both sets of lines were shallowest at the higher frequencies and steepest at the lower frequencies. Hit and false alarm rates mirrored each other at high frequencies but were asymmetric at lower frequencies. Equal d′ contours showed that sensitivity increased from 2 to 15 kHz and continued to be high over 20 to 35 kHz. The possums remained sensitive to the 20 to 35 kHz tones even at low intensities. The present study is the first to report the abilities of possum to detect tones over this range of frequencies and its results support the findings of a microelectrode mapping survey of possums' auditory cortex. PMID:21765549

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-01-01

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

  11. Conflicting demands on detoxification pathways influence how common brushtail possums choose their diets.

    PubMed

    Marsh, Karen J; Wallis, Ian R; McLean, Stuart; Sorensen, Jennifer S; Foley, William J

    2006-08-01

    Most herbivores eat more and survive better when they have access to a variety of foods. One explanation involves the detoxification of plant secondary metabolites (PSMs). By feeding from a variety of plants that contain different classes of PSMs, animals can use multiple detoxification pathways and presumably consume more food. Although popular, this theory is difficult to test because it requires knowledge of the detoxification pathways of each PSM in the diet. We established that common brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) use various combinations of oxidation, hydrolysis, and conjugation with glucuronic acid (GA) or glycine to detoxify six PSMs. Compared to their ingestion of a single PSM, possums ate more when offered a choice between two diets containing PSMs that require apparently independent detoxification pathways (benzoate and 1,8-cineole, benzoate and p-cymene, benzoate and orcinol, benzoate and salicin, or orcinol and 1,8-cineole). However, possums still did not eat as much of these diets as they did of a basal diet free of PSMs. This suggests that detoxification pathways are never independent, but are separated instead by degrees. In contrast, possums offered a choice of two PSMs that require competing detoxification pathways (1,8-cineole and p-cymene, 1,8-cineole and salicin, or orcinol and salicin) ate no more than when offered diets containing one of the compounds. There was an exception: even though both rutin and orcinol are detoxified via conjugation with GA, the feeding behavior of possums did not suggest competition for detoxification pathways. This implies that the supply of GA is not limiting. This study provides the first convincing evidence that herbivorous mammals can eat more by selecting mixed diets with a diversity of PSMs that make full use of their detoxification potential. It also emphasizes that other behavioral and physiological factors, such as transient food aversions, influence feeding behavior.

  12. Inferring Evolution of Habitat Usage and Body Size in Endangered, Seasonal Cynopoeciline Killifishes from the South American Atlantic Forest through an Integrative Approach (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae).

    PubMed

    Costa, Wilson J E M

    2016-01-01

    Cynopoecilines comprise a diversified clade of small killifishes occurring in the Atlantic Forest, one of the most endangered biodiversity hotspots in the world. They are found in temporary pools of savannah-like and dense forest habitats, and most of them are highly threatened with extinction if not already extinct. The greatest gap in our knowledge of cynopoecilines stems from the absence of an integrative approach incorporating molecular phylogenetic data of species still found in their habitats with phylogenetic data taken from the rare and possibly extinct species without accessible molecular information. An integrative analysis combining 115 morphological characters with a multigene dataset of 2,108 bp comprising three nuclear loci (GLYT1, ENC1, Rho), provided a robust phylogeny of cynopoeciline killifishes, which was herein used to attain an accurate phylogenetic placement of nearly extinct species. The analysis indicates that the most recent common ancestor of the Cynopoecilini lived in open vegetation habitats of the Atlantic Forest of eastern Brazil and was a miniature species, reaching between 25 and 28 mm of standard length. The rare cases of cynopoecilines specialized in inhabiting pools within dense forests are interpreted as derived from four independent evolutionary events. Shifts in habitat usage and biogeographic patterns are tentatively associated to Cenozoic paleogeographic events, but the evolutionary history of cynopoecilines may be partially lost by a combination of poor past sampling and recent habitat decline. A sharp evolutionary shift directed to increased body size in a clade encompassing the genera Campellolebias and Cynopoecilus may be related to a parallel acquisition of an internally-fertilizing reproductive strategy, unique among aplocheiloid killifishes. This study reinforces the importance of adding morphological information to molecular databases as a tool to understand the biological complexity of organisms under intense

  13. Inferring Evolution of Habitat Usage and Body Size in Endangered, Seasonal Cynopoeciline Killifishes from the South American Atlantic Forest through an Integrative Approach (Cyprinodontiformes: Rivulidae)

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Wilson J. E. M.

    2016-01-01

    Cynopoecilines comprise a diversified clade of small killifishes occurring in the Atlantic Forest, one of the most endangered biodiversity hotspots in the world. They are found in temporary pools of savannah-like and dense forest habitats, and most of them are highly threatened with extinction if not already extinct. The greatest gap in our knowledge of cynopoecilines stems from the absence of an integrative approach incorporating molecular phylogenetic data of species still found in their habitats with phylogenetic data taken from the rare and possibly extinct species without accessible molecular information. An integrative analysis combining 115 morphological characters with a multigene dataset of 2,108 bp comprising three nuclear loci (GLYT1, ENC1, Rho), provided a robust phylogeny of cynopoeciline killifishes, which was herein used to attain an accurate phylogenetic placement of nearly extinct species. The analysis indicates that the most recent common ancestor of the Cynopoecilini lived in open vegetation habitats of the Atlantic Forest of eastern Brazil and was a miniature species, reaching between 25 and 28 mm of standard length. The rare cases of cynopoecilines specialized in inhabiting pools within dense forests are interpreted as derived from four independent evolutionary events. Shifts in habitat usage and biogeographic patterns are tentatively associated to Cenozoic paleogeographic events, but the evolutionary history of cynopoecilines may be partially lost by a combination of poor past sampling and recent habitat decline. A sharp evolutionary shift directed to increased body size in a clade encompassing the genera Campellolebias and Cynopoecilus may be related to a parallel acquisition of an internally-fertilizing reproductive strategy, unique among aplocheiloid killifishes. This study reinforces the importance of adding morphological information to molecular databases as a tool to understand the biological complexity of organisms under intense

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  15. Exploring the role of vision in social foraging: what happens to group size, vigilance, spacing, aggression and habitat use in birds and mammals that forage at night?

    PubMed

    Beauchamp, Guy

    2007-08-01

    I examined the role of vision in social foraging by contrasting group size, vigilance, spacing, aggression and habitat use between day and night in many species of birds and mammals. The literature review revealed that the rate of predation/disturbance was often reduced at night while food was considered more available. Social foraging at night was prevalent in many species suggesting that low light levels at night are not sufficient to prevent the formation and cohesion of animal groups. Group sizes were similar or larger at night than during the day in more than half the bird populations and in the majority of mammal populations. Factors such as calls, feeding noises or smells may contribute to the formation and cohesion of groups at night. Larger numbers of foragers at night may also facilitate the aggregation of more foragers. Vigilance levels were usually lower at night perhaps as a response to the lower predation risk or to the decreased value of scanning for predators that are difficult to locate. Low light levels may also make visual cues that promote aggression less conspicuous, which may be a factor in the lower levels of aggression documented at night. Spacing varied as a function of time of day in response to changes in foraging mode or food availability. Habitats that are avoided during the day were often used at night. Foraging at night presents birds and mammals with a new set of constraints that influence group size, time budgeting and habitat use.

  16. Reproductive functional anatomy and oestrous cycle pattern of the female brush-tailed porcupine (Atherurus africanus, Gray 1842) from Gabon.

    PubMed

    Mayor, P; López-Béjar, M; Jori, F; Fenech, M; López-Gatius, F

    2003-07-15

    In the present study, we examined certain features of the functional anatomy of the female genital tract of the wild brush-tailed porcupine (Atherurus africanus) to obtain data on the reproductive biology of this African forest rodent. Two consecutive experiments were performed. The aim of the first was to establish macroscopic and microscopic features of the genital organs, and to explore correlations between predominant ovarian structures and vaginal contents in 20 wild, mature females. In the second experiment, we inspected the external genitalia and vaginal smears of a further 10 females in captivity on a daily basis for 90 days. The uterus of the brush-tailed porcupine is bicornuate and composed of two separated uterine horns, a uterine body and cervix. The genital tract does not present a vaginal vestibule. Thus, there is no portion common to genital and urinary tracts. Females in the follicular phase of the oestrous cycle showed increased cornification of the vaginal epithelium and a high density of eosinophilic cells in vaginal smears. The vulva and vaginal opening were open, reddish and tumefacted. In luteal phase or in pregnancy, epithelial cornification and eosinophilic features were notably reduced and the vagina presented a pale, non-tumefacted vulva and a vaginal closure membrane. Females in captivity showed spontaneous cycles, a polyoestrous reproduction pattern and, based on features of the external genitalia and vaginal smears, their oestrous cycle length was 27.1+/-6.4 days (n=12).

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  19. Infracommunity structure of parasites of Hemigymnus melapterus (Pisces: Labridae) from Lizard Island, Australia: the importance of habitat and parasite body size.

    PubMed

    Muñoz, Gabriela; Cribb, Thomas H

    2005-02-01

    This study describes the community of all metazoan parasites from 14 individuals of thicklip wrasse, Hemigymnus melapterus, from Lizard Island, Australia. All fish were parasitized, and 4,649 parasite individuals were found. Twenty-six parasite species were identified although only 6 species were abundant and prevalent: gnathiid isopods, the copepod Hatschekia hemigymni, the digenean Callohelmis pichelinae, and 3 morphotypes of tetraphyllidean cestode larvae. We analyzed whether the body size and microhabitat of the parasites and size of the host affected understanding of the structure of the parasite community. We related the abundance, biovolume, and density of parasites with the host body size and analyzed the abundances and volumetric densities of some parasite species within microhabitats. Although the 2 most abundant species comprised 75% of all parasite individuals, 4 species, each in similar proportion, comprised 85% of the total biovolume. Although larger host individuals had higher richness, abundance, and biovolume of parasites than smaller individuals, overall parasite volumetric density actually decreased with the host body size. Moreover, parasites exhibited abundances and densities significantly different among microhabitats; some parasite species depended on the area available, whereas others selected a specific microhabitat. Parasite and habitat size exhibited interesting relationships that should be considered more frequently. Considerations of these parameters improve understanding of parasite community structure and how the parasites use their habitats.

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

    PubMed Central

    Biernaskie, Jay M; Gegear, Robert J

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Myburgh, Angus Macgregor; Daniels, Savel R

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Myburgh, Angus Macgregor; Daniels, Savel R

    2015-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kostova, T; Carlsen, T

    2004-12-13

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

  4. The relative importance of factors determining genetic drift: mating system, spatial genetic structure, habitat and census size in Arabidopsis lyrata.

    PubMed

    Willi, Yvonne; Määttänen, Kirsti

    2011-03-01

    • The mating system, dispersal and census size are predicted to determine the magnitude of genetic drift, but little is known about their relative importance in nature. • We estimated the contributions of several population-level features to genetic drift in 18 populations of Arabidopsis lyrata. The factors were outcrossing rate, within-population spatial genetic structure, census size and substrate type. The expected heterozygosity (H(E)) at 10 microsatellite loci was taken to reflect the effective population size (N(e)) and the strength of genetic drift. • The mating system explained most of the variation in H(E) (60%), followed by substrate (10%), genetic structure (9%) and census size (6%). The most outcrossing population had a +0.32 higher predicted H(E) than the most selfing population; the estimated N(e) of selfing populations was less than half that of outcrossing populations. Rocky outcrops supported populations with a +0.14 higher H(E) than did sandy substrates. The most structured population had a +0.24 higher H(E) than the least structured population, and the largest population had a +0.18 higher H(E) than the smallest population. • This study illustrates the importance of outcrossing, genetic structure and the physical environment--together with census size--in maintaining H(E), and suggests that multiple population-level characteristics influence N(e) and the action of genetic drift.

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

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Russell; Olsen, Brian

    2010-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Russell; Olsen, Brian

    2010-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hall, Lenwood W; Anderson, Ronald D

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Virgós, Emilio; García, Francisco J.

    2002-08-01

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

  10. Effects of sample size and sampling frequency on studies of brown bear home ranges and habitat use

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arthur, Steve M.; Schwartz, Charles C.

    1999-01-01

    We equipped 9 brown bears (Ursus arctos) on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, with collars containing both conventional very-high-frequency (VHF) transmitters and global positioning system (GPS) receivers programmed to determine an animal's position at 5.75-hr intervals. We calculated minimum convex polygon (MCP) and fixed and adaptive kernel home ranges for randomly-selected subsets of the GPS data to examine the effects of sample size on accuracy and precision of home range estimates. We also compared results obtained by weekly aerial radiotracking versus more frequent GPS locations to test for biases in conventional radiotracking data. Home ranges based on the MCP were 20-606 km2 (x = 201) for aerial radiotracking data (n = 12-16 locations/bear) and 116-1,505 km2 (x = 522) for the complete GPS data sets (n = 245-466 locations/bear). Fixed kernel home ranges were 34-955 km2 (x = 224) for radiotracking data and 16-130 km2 (x = 60) for the GPS data. Differences between means for radiotracking and GPS data were due primarily to the larger samples provided by the GPS data. Means did not differ between radiotracking data and equivalent-sized subsets of GPS data (P > 0.10). For the MCP, home range area increased and variability decreased asymptotically with number of locations. For the kernel models, both area and variability decreased with increasing sample size. Simulations suggested that the MCP and kernel models required >60 and >80 locations, respectively, for estimates to be both accurate (change in area <1%/additional location) and precise (CV < 50%). Although the radiotracking data appeared unbiased, except for the relationship between area and sample size, these data failed to indicate some areas that likely were important to bears. Our results suggest that the usefulness of conventional radiotracking data may be limited by potential biases and variability due to small samples. Investigators that use home range estimates in statistical tests should consider the

  11. Effects of habitat fragmentation, population size and demographic history on genetic diversity: the Cross River gorilla in a comparative context.

    PubMed

    Bergl, Richard A; Bradley, Brenda J; Nsubuga, Anthony; Vigilant, Linda

    2008-09-01

    In small and fragmented populations, genetic diversity may be reduced owing to increased levels of drift and inbreeding. This reduced diversity is often associated with decreased fitness and a higher threat of extinction. However, it is difficult to determine when a population has low diversity except in a comparative context. We assessed genetic variability in the critically endangered Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli), a small and fragmented population, using 11 autosomal microsatellite loci. We show that levels of diversity in the Cross River population are not evenly distributed across the three genetically identified subpopulations, and that one centrally located subpopulation has higher levels of variability than the others. All measures of genetic variability in the Cross River population were comparable to those of the similarly small mountain gorilla (G. beringei beringei) populations (Bwindi and Virunga). However, for some measures both the Cross River and mountain gorilla populations show lower levels of diversity than a sample from a large, continuous western gorilla population (Mondika, G. gorilla gorilla). Finally, we tested for the genetic signature of a bottleneck in each of the four populations. Only Cross River showed strong evidence of a reduction in population size, suggesting that the reduction in size of this population was more recent or abrupt than in the two mountain gorilla populations. These results emphasize the need for maintaining connectivity in fragmented populations and highlight the importance of allowing small populations to expand. PMID:18521886

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Experimental infections of brush-tailed possums, common wombats and water rats with Leptospira interrogans serovars balcanica and hardjo.

    PubMed

    Durfee, P T; Presidente, P J

    1979-06-01

    Of 12 brush-tailed possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) inoculated with Leptospira interrogans serovar balcanica 11 developed migroagglutination (MA) antibody to jardjo antigen by 14 days postincubation (PI). Leptospiruria was observed in 2 possums 117 to 145 days PI. Of 6 possums inoculated with serovar hardjo 4 developed low short-lived titres by day 18 PI. Two of 3 wombats (Vombatus ursinus) inoculated with balcanica had high MA titres (greater than or equal to 1:128) by day 16 PI and leptospiruria occurred by day 16. One wombat inoculated with hardjo developed a low MA titre. Low transitory MA titres to hardjo were found in 1 of 3 water rats (Hydromys chrysogaster) after inoculation with balcanica and 1 of 2 given hardjo. Histopathological examination of kidneys revealed mild to moderately severe focal interstitial nephritis in 4 of 8 possums, in 2 wombats and in 2 water rats following experimental infection with balcanica. Similar lesions were observed in 2 of 4 possums, 1 wombat and 2 water rats following experimental infection with hardjo. PMID:533478

  14. Concurrent progressive-ratio and fixed-ratio schedule performance under geometric and arithmetic progressions by brushtail possums.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Kristie E; Clarke, Katrina H; Bizo, Lewis A; Starkey, Nicola J

    2016-05-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the demand for food under concurrent progressive- and fixed-ratio schedules. Twelve brushtail possums participated in 16 conditions where schedule, progression and food type were varied. An incrementing schedule increased the fixed-ratio requirement within and across sessions and was arranged as either a geometric sequence (base 2), or an arithmetic sequence (step 5). Two foods were tested: a flaked barley and coco-pop(®) mix versus rolled oats. Overall, performance was similar for most possums in the within- and across-session incrementing schedules. An analysis of the estimates of essential value and break point produced the same account of demand for foods under the geometric or arithmetic progressions and within- and across-session procedures for 8 of 12 possums. Six possums showed higher demand for rolled oats compared to flaked barley, and two possums showed higher demand for flaked barley compared to rolled oats. Incrementing ratios within, rather than between sessions using an arithmetic progression was demonstrated to be a time efficient procedure for investigating demand for different food types without affecting conclusions about the relative demand for those foods.

  15. Experimental infections of brush-tailed possums, common wombats and water rats with Leptospira interrogans serovars balcanica and hardjo.

    PubMed

    Durfee, P T; Presidente, P J

    1979-06-01

    Of 12 brush-tailed possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) inoculated with Leptospira interrogans serovar balcanica 11 developed migroagglutination (MA) antibody to jardjo antigen by 14 days postincubation (PI). Leptospiruria was observed in 2 possums 117 to 145 days PI. Of 6 possums inoculated with serovar hardjo 4 developed low short-lived titres by day 18 PI. Two of 3 wombats (Vombatus ursinus) inoculated with balcanica had high MA titres (greater than or equal to 1:128) by day 16 PI and leptospiruria occurred by day 16. One wombat inoculated with hardjo developed a low MA titre. Low transitory MA titres to hardjo were found in 1 of 3 water rats (Hydromys chrysogaster) after inoculation with balcanica and 1 of 2 given hardjo. Histopathological examination of kidneys revealed mild to moderately severe focal interstitial nephritis in 4 of 8 possums, in 2 wombats and in 2 water rats following experimental infection with balcanica. Similar lesions were observed in 2 of 4 possums, 1 wombat and 2 water rats following experimental infection with hardjo.

  16. Concurrent progressive-ratio and fixed-ratio schedule performance under geometric and arithmetic progressions by brushtail possums.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Kristie E; Clarke, Katrina H; Bizo, Lewis A; Starkey, Nicola J

    2016-05-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the demand for food under concurrent progressive- and fixed-ratio schedules. Twelve brushtail possums participated in 16 conditions where schedule, progression and food type were varied. An incrementing schedule increased the fixed-ratio requirement within and across sessions and was arranged as either a geometric sequence (base 2), or an arithmetic sequence (step 5). Two foods were tested: a flaked barley and coco-pop(®) mix versus rolled oats. Overall, performance was similar for most possums in the within- and across-session incrementing schedules. An analysis of the estimates of essential value and break point produced the same account of demand for foods under the geometric or arithmetic progressions and within- and across-session procedures for 8 of 12 possums. Six possums showed higher demand for rolled oats compared to flaked barley, and two possums showed higher demand for flaked barley compared to rolled oats. Incrementing ratios within, rather than between sessions using an arithmetic progression was demonstrated to be a time efficient procedure for investigating demand for different food types without affecting conclusions about the relative demand for those foods. PMID:27032293

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1999-02-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  20. Sex difference in the survival rate of wild brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) experimentally challenged with bovine tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Rouco, Carlos; Richardson, Kyle S; Buddle, Bryce M; French, Nigel P; Tompkins, Daniel M

    2016-08-01

    The main wildlife reservoir of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in New Zealand is the introduced brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), with spillover of infection from possums to livestock being regarded as the largest barrier to eradicating TB from the country. Past studies have experimentally challenged possums with Mycobacterium bovis (the causative agent of TB) to quantify infection parameters. However, the challenge models used are invariably non-representative of natural infection due to their resulting in much faster rates, and different clinical patterns of disease progression. We monitored the survival of 16 wild free-living possums, fitted with VHF mortality collars and experimentally challenged with a new model, out to six months post-challenge. The aim was to assess whether the new model does indeed result in an ongoing pathogenesis trajectory that is more reflective of natural TB in possums. The mean survival period of challenged possums (~4.6months) did not differ from that estimated for wild free-living possums with naturally acquired TB. In addition, and unexpectedly, infected males survived on average for five weeks longer than females. This significant difference has not been previously observed in experimental trials with other TB/possum challenge models. If this is reflective of natural disease (as is the survival period produced by the percutaneous challenge model), TB infected males in the wild may be generating more secondary cases of infection than infected females. This insight has important implications for understanding the dynamics of, and managing, the disease in its New Zealand wildlife reservoir. PMID:27473982

  1. Detroit River habitat inventory

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Manny, Bruce A.

    2003-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Habitat automation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swab, Rodney E.

    1992-01-01

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

  6. Prolactin acts on the hypothalamic-pituitary axis to modulate follicle-stimulating hormone gene expression in the female brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula).

    PubMed

    Crawford, J L; Mester, B; Thomson, B; Lawrence, S B; Eckery, D C

    2011-03-01

    Brushtail possums exhibit a distinct preovulatory pattern of prolactin (Prl) secretion suggesting that Prl is involved in normal reproductive function. In some mammals, Prl is essential for corpus luteum (CL) function and/or modulation of steroidal effects on hypothalamic-pituitary activity. The aim of this study was to test the effects of biologically active recombinant possum Prl (recPosPrl) on both pituitary gland and CL function in possums. To confirm biological activity, administration of recPosPrl-N2C1 (10 μg) resulted in an 18-fold stimulation (P<0.05) of progesterone (P(4)) production by possum granulosa cells in vitro. Based on these findings, minipumps containing either recPosPrl-N2C1 (n=10) or saline (n=8) were inserted into lactating female possums. The expression levels of pituitary-derived PRL, LHB, FSHB and GNRHR and CL-derived LHR mRNA were quantified. Following a resumption of reproductive activity, no differences in ovulation incidence or plasma Prl concentrations were observed. Plasma Prl levels were less variable (P<0.001) in Prl-treated possums, confirming a self-regulatory role for Prl in this species. There was a marked down-regulation (P<0.001) of FSHB mRNA at the mid-luteal stage in Prl-treated possums, whereas mean PRL, LHB, GNRHR and LHR mRNA expression levels were not different between experimental groups. Plasma P(4) concentrations were not different (P=0.05) in Prl-treated possums, although tended to be higher in the peri-ovulatory and early-luteal phase. We conclude in the brushtail possum that Prl is self-regulated via a short-feedback loop common to all mammals studied and is able to modulate FSHB expression probably at the level of the hypothalamus and/or pituitary gland.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Occupancy in continuous habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Efford, Murray G.; Dawson, Deanna K.

    2012-01-01

    The probability that a site has at least one individual of a species ('occupancy') has come to be widely used as a state variable for animal population monitoring. The available statistical theory for estimation when detection is imperfect applies particularly to habitat patches or islands, although it is also used for arbitrary plots in continuous habitat. The probability that such a plot is occupied depends on plot size and home-range characteristics (size, shape and dispersion) as well as population density. Plot size is critical to the definition of occupancy as a state variable, but clear advice on plot size is missing from the literature on the design of occupancy studies. We describe models for the effects of varying plot size and home-range size on expected occupancy. Temporal, spatial, and species variation in average home-range size is to be expected, but information on home ranges is difficult to retrieve from species presence/absence data collected in occupancy studies. The effect of variable home-range size is negligible when plots are very large (>100 x area of home range), but large plots pose practical problems. At the other extreme, sampling of 'point' plots with cameras or other passive detectors allows the true 'proportion of area occupied' to be estimated. However, this measure equally reflects home-range size and density, and is of doubtful value for population monitoring or cross-species comparisons. Plot size is ill-defined and variable in occupancy studies that detect animals at unknown distances, the commonest example being unlimited-radius point counts of song birds. We also find that plot size is ill-defined in recent treatments of "multi-scale" occupancy; the respective scales are better interpreted as temporal (instantaneous and asymptotic) rather than spatial. Occupancy is an inadequate metric for population monitoring when it is confounded with home-range size or detection distance.

  9. WILDLIFE HABITAT

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  10. Habitat Demonstration Unit (HDU) Vertical Cylinder Habitat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Habitat Design Optimization and Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1985-01-01

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

  14. Chronic exposure to polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons in natal habitats leads to decreased equilibrium size, growth, and stability of pink salmon populations.

    PubMed

    Heintz, Ron A

    2007-07-01

    The immediate and delayed effects of embryonic exposure to low levels of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been shown to reduce survival to maturity by 50% in exposed pink salmon populations. This suggests that chronically exposed populations could be extirpated over relatively few generations, but the effect of density dependence on extirpation rate is unknown. This study examines the interaction of PAH effects and randomly varying density dependence on a simulated population. The simulation derives from 70 years of observations made on a single pink salmon population and toxicity studies involving a hatchery population in the same watershed. Results from simulations involving exposure of 100% of the population to effects consistent with an aqueous PAH concentration of 18 nL/L indicate an 80% decrease in population productivity and an 11% probability of extinction after 35 generations. In contrast, population growth rate declined by only 5%. Further decreases in survival relative to that of observed PAH effects rapidly increase the probability of extinction. Data from these simulations demonstrate that, at low levels of exposure, density dependence can compensate for reduced population size and buffer the population against extinction. However, if equilibrium size is depressed sufficiently, random environmental variation overcomes the buffering effect of density dependence and extinction probability increases. These data demonstrate that extinction probability and population size are more sensitive measures of population effects than growth rate for wild populations regulated by density dependence.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  16. Mars habitat

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

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

  17. Seasonal changes in RFamide-related peptide-3 neurons in the hypothalamus of a seasonally breeding marsupial species, the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula).

    PubMed

    Harbid, Anan A; McLeod, Bernie J; Caraty, Alain; Anderson, Greg M

    2013-09-01

    RFamide-related peptide-3 (RFRP-3) neurons have been shown to inhibit gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neuronal activity and hence reproduction in birds and eutherian mammals. They have also been proposed to have a direct hypophysiotropic effect on pituitary gonadotropin release. We used a new RFRP-3 antibody to characterize the cell body distribution and fiber projections of RFRP-3 neurons in the adult female brushtail possum brain. RFRP-3-immunoreactive cell bodies were found scattered within the dorsomedial hypothalamus and the dorsomedial half of the ventromedial hypothalamus, while GnRH neurons were observed scattered rostrocaudally along the lateral septum, rostral to the medial septum. There was a significant 2-fold increase in the RFRP-3 cell body number during the nonbreeding season (summer) compared to the breeding season (winter). Immunoreactive RFRP-3 fibers were distributed throughout the thalamus, preoptic area, and hypothalamus. Very few fibers were observed in the median eminence, especially in the external zone. Intraperitoneal injection of the retrograde tracer Fluoro-Gold resulted in the labeling of 40% of hypophysiotropic tuberoinfundibular dopaminergic (tyrosine hydroxylase-positive) neurons; however, <10% of zona incerta dopaminergic neurons (which are not hypophysiotropic) or RFRP-3 neurons were labeled with this tracer. These observations suggest that RFRP-3 exhibits a seasonal fluctuation in cell numbers, as seen in sheep and birds, which is consistent with an increased inhibitory tone during the nonbreeding season. The lack of RFRP-3 fibers in the median eminence and of Fluoro-Gold uptake from the periphery imply that the actions of this peptide occur primarily centrally rather than at the anterior pituitary gland.

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

    PubMed Central

    Nugent, G; Buddle, BM; Knowles, G

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Biodiversity in urban habitat patches.

    PubMed

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

    2006-05-01

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

  1. The Habitat Connection.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naturescope, 1987

    1987-01-01

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

  2. Habitat Demonstration Unit - Deep Space Habitat Configuration

    NASA Video Gallery

    This animated video shows the process of transporting, assembling and testing the Habitat Demonstration Unit - Deep Space Habitat (HDU DSH) configuration, which will be deployed during the 2011 Des...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  6. Fuzzy modelling of Atlantic salmon physical habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  7. A quantitative study of the morphological development and bacterial colonisation of the gut of the tammar wallaby Macropus eugenii eugenii and brushtail possum Trichosurus vulpecula during in-pouch development.

    PubMed

    Lentle, R G; Dey, D; Hulls, C; Mellor, D J; Moughan, P J; Stafford, K J; Nicholas, K

    2006-11-01

    We compared the rates of change of various morphological parameters of the stomach, small intestine, caecum and colon of tammar wallabies and brushtail possums with body mass during in-pouch development. These were correlated with changes in the numbers of bacterial species in the various gut segments. In the pouch-young of both species, the wet tissue masses of all gut segments increased with body mass in a positively allometric manner (i.e. with a body mass exponent > 1), suggesting that the mass of each component was disproportionately low at birth, but increased disproportionately rapidly postnatally. However, the lengths of the wallaby stomach and small intestine scaled isometrically with respect to body mass (i.e. with a body mass exponent around 0.33), which may indicate that the shape of these components changes to the adult form during early neonatal development. Conversely, the length of the caecum and colon of both wallabies and possums scaled in a positively allometric manner with respect to body mass, showing area to volume compensation. This may indicate a more general pattern of disproportionately rapid postnatal enlargement in areas that are distal to the principal sites of neonatal digestion (i.e. the stomach). The numbers of bacterial species present in the various gastrointestinal segments of both species were low in animals aged 100 days or less but there was a significant increase in microbial diversity in the caecum of brushtail possums aged over 100 days. The possum caecum also showed the greatest rate of increase in wet tissue mass relative to body mass. It is postulated that caecal development may act as a nidus for establishment of communities of commensal microflora in the developing marsupial. PMID:16819652

  8. ESTUARINE HABITAT RESTORATION

    SciTech Connect

    Thom, Ronald M.; Borde, Amy B.

    2015-09-01

    Restoring estuarine habitats generally means repairing damages caused by humans and natural forces. Because of the extensive human occupation, development, and use of coastal areas for centuries, the extensive estuarine habitats have been either destroyed or significantly impaired.

  9. Predictive Seagrass Habitat Model

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  10. MODELING PHYSICAL HABITAT PARAMETERS

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  11. Biodiversity: Habitat Suitability

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  12. Urban Areas. Habitat Pac.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

  13. The airspace is habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Diehl, Robert H.

    2013-01-01

    A preconception concerning habitat persists and has gone unrecognized since use of the term first entered the lexicon of ecological and evolutionary biology many decades ago. Specifically, land and water are considered habitats, while the airspace is not. This might at first seem a reasonable, if unintended, demarcation, since years of education and personal experience as well as limits to perception predispose a traditional view of habitat. Nevertheless, the airspace satisfies the definition and functional role of a habitat, and its recognition as habitat may have implications for policy where expanding anthropogenic development of airspace could impact the conservation of species and subject parts of the airspace to formalized legal protection.

  14. Surface Habitat Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kennedy, Kriss J.

    2009-01-01

    The Surface Habitat Systems (SHS) Focused Investment Group (FIG) is part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC) effort to provide a focused direction and funding to the various projects that are working on human surface habitat designs and technologies for the planetary exploration missions. The overall SHS-FIG effort focuses on directing and guiding those projects that: 1) develop and demonstrate new surface habitat system concepts, innovations, and technologies to support human exploration missions, 2) improve environmental systems that interact with human habitats, 3) handle and emplace human surface habitats, and 4) focus on supporting humans living and working in habitats on planetary surfaces. The activity areas of the SHS FIG described herein are focused on the surface habitat project near-term objectives as described in this document. The SHS-FIG effort focuses on mitigating surface habitat risks (as identified by the Lunar Surface Systems Project Office (LSSPO) Surface Habitat Element Team; and concentrates on developing surface habitat technologies as identified in the FY08 gap analysis. The surface habitat gap assessment will be updated annually as the surface architecture and surface habitat definition continues to mature. These technologies are mapped to the SHS-FIG Strategic Development Roadmap. The Roadmap will bring to light the areas where additional innovative efforts are needed to support the development of habitat concepts and designs and the development of new technologies to support of the LSSPO Habitation Element development plan. Three specific areas of development that address Lunar Architecture Team (LAT)-2 and Constellation Architecture Team (CxAT) Lunar habitat design issues or risks will be focused on by the SHS-FIG. The SHS-FIG will establish four areas of development that will help the projects prepare in their planning for surface habitat systems development. Those development areas are

  15. Advanced Plant Habitat (APH)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richards, Stephanie E. (Compiler); Levine, Howard G.; Reed, David W.

    2016-01-01

    The Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) hardware will be a large growth volume plant habitat, capable of hosting multigenerational studies, in which environmental variables (e.g., temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide level light intensity and spectral quality) can be tracked and controlled in support of whole plant physiological testing and Bio-regenerative Life Support System investigations.

  16. Schoolyard Habitat Project Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mason, Rich

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

  17. Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Handbook.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

  18. The Habitat Project

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hein, Annamae J.

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Habitat Specialization in Tropical Continental Shelf Demersal Fish Assemblages

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Habitat specialization in tropical continental shelf demersal fish assemblages.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Testing Geomorphic Controls on Salmonid Spawning Habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pfeiffer, A.; Finnegan, N. J.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Lunar Habitat Optimization Using Genetic Algorithms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. The age of island-like habitats impacts habitat specialist species richness.

    PubMed

    Horsák, Michal; Hájek, Michal; Spitale, Daniel; Hájková, Petra; Díte, Daniel; Nekola, Jeffrey C

    2012-05-01

    While the effects of contemporaneous local environment on species richness have been repeatedly documented, much less is known about historical effects, especially over large temporal scales. Using fen sites in the Western Carpathian Mountains with known radiocarbon-dated ages spanning Late Glacial to modern times (16 975-270 cal years before 2008), we have compiled richness data from the same plots for three groups of taxa with contrasting dispersal modes: (1) vascular plants, which have macroscopic propagules possessing variable, but rather low, dispersal abilities; (2) bryophytes, which have microscopic propagules that are readily transported long distances by air; and (3) terrestrial and freshwater mollusks, which have macroscopic individuals with slow active migration rates, but which also often possess high passive dispersal abilities. Using path analysis we tested the relationships between species richness and habitat age, area, isolation, and altitude for these groups. When only matrix-derived taxa were considered, no significant positive relation was noted between species richness and habitat size or age. When only calcareous-fen specialists were considered, however, habitat age was found to significantly affect vascular plant richness and, marginally, also bryophyte richness, whereas mollusk richness was significantly affected by habitat area. These results suggest that in inland insular systems only habitat specialist (i.e., interpatch disperser and/or relict species) richness is influenced by habitat age and/or area, with habitat age becoming more important as species dispersal ability decreases.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Simplified method for wetland habitat assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cable, Ted T.; Brack, Virgil; Holmes, Virgil R.

    1989-03-01

    This article presents a wetland habitat assessment technique (HAT) using birds as indicators of habitat quality. The technique is quick, simple, inexpensive, and lends itself to screening large numbers of wetlands. HAT can provide input to more extensive evaluation techniques. Measures of species diversity and rarity are used to assess the quality of the wetland. By applying the notion of ecologically optimum size, the technique addresses the issue of economic efficiency. Results of field testing HAT on 11 tidally influenced wetlands are presented to illustrate HAT's utility. Application of HAT in a variety of situations is discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-01

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

  15. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Pronghorn

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1984-01-01

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

  16. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Muskellunge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cook, Mark F.; Solomon, R. Charles

    1987-01-01

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

  17. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Bobcat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyle, Katherine A.; Fendley, Timothy T.

    1987-01-01

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

  18. Habitat, topographical, and geographical components structuring shrubsteppe bird communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

    Landscapes available to birds to select for breeding locations are arrayed along multiple dimensions. Identifying the primary gradients structuring shrubsteppe bird communities in the western United States is important because widespread habitat loss and alteration are shifting the environmental template on which these birds depend. We integrated field habitat surveys, GIS coverages, and bird counts from 61 Breeding Bird Survey routes located in shrubsteppe habitats across a >800 000 km2 region to determine the gradients of habitat, topography, and geography underlying bird communities. A small set of habitat features dominated the primary environmental gradients in a canonical ordination; the 13 species in the shrubsteppe bird community were closely packed along the first two axes. Using hierarchical variance partitioning, we identified habitat as the most important pure (31% explained variation) or shared component. Topography (9%) and geography (4%) were minor components but each shared a larger contribution with habitat (habitat-topography 21%; habitat-geography 22%) in explaining the organization of the bird community. In a second tier partition of habitat structure, pure composition (% land cover) was more important (45%) than configuration (patch size and edge) (7%); the two components shared 27% of the explained variation in the bird community axes. Local (9%), community (14%), and landscape (10%) levels contributed equally. Adjacent organizational levels had a larger shared contribution (local-community 26%; community-landscape 27%) than more separated local-landscape levels (21%). Extensive conversion of shrubsteppe habitats to agriculture, exotic annual grasslands, or pinyon (Pinus spp.)-juniper (Juniperus spp.) woodlands is occurring along the primary axes of habitat structure. Because the shrubsteppe bird community was organized along short gradients dominated by habitat features, relatively small shifts in their available environment will exert a

  19. Habitat goes green

    SciTech Connect

    Kriescher, P.; Smith, M.

    1999-12-01

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

  20. Comparative habitat use in a juniper woodland bird community

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

    We compared vegetation structure used by 14 bird species during the 1998 and 1999 breeding seasons to determine what habitat features best accounted for habitat division and community organization in Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma) woodlands of southwestern Wyoming. Habitat use was quantified by measuring 24 habitat variables in 461 bird-centered quadrats, each 0.04 ha in size. Using discriminant function analysis, we differentiated between habitat used by 14 bird species along 3 habitat dimensions: (1) variation in shrub cover, overstory juniper cover, mature tree density, understory height, and decadent tree density; (2) a gradient composed of elevation and forb cover; and (3) variation in grass cover, tree height, seedling/sapling cover, and bare ground/rock cover. Of 14 species considered, 9 exhibited substantial habitat partitioning: Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura), Bewick's Wren (Thryomanes bewickii), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea), Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides), Plumbeous Vireo (Vireo plumbeus), Green-tailed Towhee (Pipilo chlorurus), Brewer's Sparrow (Spizella breweri), Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis), and Cassin's Finch (Carpodacus cassinii). Our results indicate juniper bird communities of southwestern Wyoming are organized along a 3-dimensional habitat gradient composed of woodland maturity, elevation, and juniper recruitment. Because juniper birds partition habitat along successional and altitudinal gradients, indiscriminate woodland clearing as well as continued fire suppression will alter species composition. Restoration efforts should ensure that all successional stages of juniper woodland are present on the landscape.

  1. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Marten

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, Arthur W.

    1982-01-01

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

  2. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Veery

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sousa, Patrick J.

    1982-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

  5. Managing harvest and habitat as integrated components

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  9. Movements and habitat use of mallard broods in northeastern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mauser, D.M.; Jarvis, R.L.; Gilmer, D.S.

    1994-01-01

    To increase recruitment of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), wildlife managers must understand the habitat and space needs of mallard broods. During 1989-90, we examined the movements, home range, and habitat use of 27 radio-marked mallard broods on Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, California. Twelve of the 27 broods made 22 relocation movements (>1,000 m in 24 hr) in the first week (n = 6) and after the fourth (n = 16) week of life. Mean home range size was 0.93 km2 (SE = 0.25) and did not differ between years (P = 0.26). Brood-rearing females selected seasonally flooded wetlands with a cover component and avoided open or permanently flooded habitats. In 1989, broods hatched in permanent wetlands were less successful in fledging (P = 0.006) radio-marked ducklings than broods from seasonal wetlands, suggesting habitat availability or movement to preferred habitats may affect duckling survival.

  10. Comparing quality of estuarine and nearshore intertidal habitats for Carcinus maenas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amaral, Valter; Cabral, Henrique N.; Jenkins, Stuart; Hawkins, Stephen; Paula, José

    2009-06-01

    Estuarine and nearshore marine areas are vital habitats for several fish and benthic invertebrates. The shore crab Carcinus maenas (Crustacea: Brachyura: Portunidae) inhabits a variety of coastal, estuarine and lagoon habitats. At low tide, habitat structural complexity may be most important for crabs in the intertidal, providing refuge from predation and desiccation. The quality of different vegetated and nonvegetated estuarine and rocky shore habitats in SW Portugal and SW England was evaluated for intertidal C. maenas populations. We estimated population density, size-structure, and potential growth (RNA/DNA ratios) to investigate habitat quality. Vegetated estuarine habitats supported higher crab densities, than nonvegetated estuarine and rocky shore habitats. Investigation of population size-structure revealed that all habitats seem important recruitment and nursery areas although estuarine habitats in SW Portugal appeared to support higher densities of new recruits than equivalent habitats in SW England. Significant variation was found in RNA/DNA ratios among habitats. Ratios were highest in the rocky shore suggesting a high quality habitat where growth potential is high. We speculate that competition from other top-predators ( Pachygrapsus spp.) rather than low habitat quality may limit the occurrence of C. maenas in intertidal rocky shore habitats in SW Portugal. In estuarine environments RNA/DNA ratios were significantly higher in the vegetated than in the nonvegetated estuarine habitats in SW Portugal but not in SW England, suggesting geographic differences in the extent to which highly structure habitats represent high quality. Our results challenge the current paradigm that structured habitats are necessarily those of higher quality for C. maenas.

  11. Habitat planning, maintenance and management working group

    SciTech Connect

    1997-03-01

    The Gulf of Mexico (GOM), called {open_quotes}America`s Sea,{close_quotes} is actually a small ocean basin covering over 1.5 million square kilometers. Because of the multiple uses, diversity, and size of the Gulf`s resources, management is shared by a number of governmental agencies including the Minerals Management Service, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, National Marine Fisheries Service, the US Coast Guard, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the five Gulf states fisheries agencies. All of these entities share a common goal of achieving optimum sustainable yield to maximize geological, biological, social, and economic benefits from these resources. These entities also share a common theme that the successful management of the northern GOM requires maintenance and enhancement of both the quantity and quality of habitats. A closer look at the GOM shows the sediment to be clearly dominated by vast sand and mud plains. These soft bottom habitats are preferred by many groundfish and shrimp species and, thus, have given rise to large commercial fisheries on these stocks. Hard bottom and reef habitats, on the other hand, are limited to approximately 1.6% of the total area of the Gulf, so that, while there are high demands by commercial and recreational fishermen for reef associated species, the availability of habitat for these stocks is limited. The thousands of oil and gas structures placed in the Gulf have added significant amounts of new hard substrate. The rigs-to-reefs concept was a common sense idea with support from environmental user groups and the petroleum industry for preserving a limited but valuable habitat type. As long as maximizing long-term benefits from the Gulf s resources for the greatest number of users remains the goal, then programs such as Rigs-to-Reefs will remain an important tool for fisheries and habitat managers in the Gulf.

  12. Measuring acoustic habitats

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Understanding the Habitat Needs of the Declining Western Yellow-Billed Cuckoo

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Matthew J.

    2009-01-01

    The western yellow-billed cuckoo, once common along the streams and rivers of the American West, is now a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act. Most of the remaining breeding pairs are found in Arizona, California, and New Mexico. Research to understand the cuckoos' habitat needs by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Northern Arizona University scientists has shown that cuckoos in Arizona prefer breeding habitat dominated by native tree species, especially cottonwood-willow habitat bordered by mesquite bosque habitat. This research also revealed that the size of habitat patches matters - breeding cuckoos were found only in large, continuous areas of riparian habitat. These findings and the development of spatially explicit habitat models by USGS scientists will help resource managers conserve and manage riparian habitats needed to ensure the survival of the western yellow-billed cuckoo.

  15. Linking habitat mosaics and connectivity in a coral reef seascape.

    PubMed

    McMahon, Kelton W; Berumen, Michael L; Thorrold, Simon R

    2012-09-18

    Tropical marine ecosystems are under mounting anthropogenic pressure from overfishing and habitat destruction, leading to declines in their structure and function on a global scale. Although maintaining connectivity among habitats within a seascape is necessary for preserving population resistance and resilience, quantifying movements of individuals within seascapes remains challenging. Traditional methods of identifying and valuing potential coral reef fish nursery habitats are indirect, often relying on visual surveys of abundance and correlations of size and biomass among habitats. We used compound-specific stable isotope analyses to determine movement patterns of commercially important fish populations within a coral reef seascape. This approach allowed us to quantify the relative contributions of individuals from inshore nurseries to reef populations and identify migration corridors among important habitats. Our results provided direct measurements of remarkable migrations by juvenile snapper of over 30 km, between nurseries and reefs. We also found significant plasticity in juvenile nursery residency. Although a majority of individuals on coastal reefs had used seagrass nurseries as juveniles, many adults on oceanic reefs had settled directly into reef habitats. Moreover, seascape configuration played a critical but heretofore unrecognized role in determining connectivity among habitats. Finally, our approach provides key quantitative data necessary to estimate the value of distinctive habitats to ecosystem services provided by seascapes.

  16. Linking habitat mosaics and connectivity in a coral reef seascape

    PubMed Central

    McMahon, Kelton W.; Berumen, Michael L.; Thorrold, Simon R.

    2012-01-01

    Tropical marine ecosystems are under mounting anthropogenic pressure from overfishing and habitat destruction, leading to declines in their structure and function on a global scale. Although maintaining connectivity among habitats within a seascape is necessary for preserving population resistance and resilience, quantifying movements of individuals within seascapes remains challenging. Traditional methods of identifying and valuing potential coral reef fish nursery habitats are indirect, often relying on visual surveys of abundance and correlations of size and biomass among habitats. We used compound-specific stable isotope analyses to determine movement patterns of commercially important fish populations within a coral reef seascape. This approach allowed us to quantify the relative contributions of individuals from inshore nurseries to reef populations and identify migration corridors among important habitats. Our results provided direct measurements of remarkable migrations by juvenile snapper of over 30 km, between nurseries and reefs. We also found significant plasticity in juvenile nursery residency. Although a majority of individuals on coastal reefs had used seagrass nurseries as juveniles, many adults on oceanic reefs had settled directly into reef habitats. Moreover, seascape configuration played a critical but heretofore unrecognized role in determining connectivity among habitats. Finally, our approach provides key quantitative data necessary to estimate the value of distinctive habitats to ecosystem services provided by seascapes. PMID:22949665

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howard, Robert L.

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Dispersal depression with habitat fragmentation in the bog fritillary butterfly.

    PubMed

    Schtickzelle, Nicolas; Mennechez, Gwénaëlle; Baguette, Michel

    2006-04-01

    Habitat fragmentation is expected to impose strong selective pressures on dispersal rates. However, evolutionary responses of dispersal are not self-evident, since various selection pressures act in opposite directions. Here we disentangled the components of dispersal behavior in a metapopulation context using the Virtual Migration model, and we linked their variation to habitat fragmentation in the specialist butterfly Proclossiana eunomia. Our study provided a nearly unique opportunity to study how habitat fragmentation modifies dispersal at the landscape scale, as opposed to microlandscapes or simulation studies. Indeed, we studied the same species in four landscapes with various habitat fragmentation levels, in which large amounts of field data were collected and analyzed using similar methodologies. We showed the existence of quantitative variations in dispersal behavior correlated with increased fragmentation. Dispersal propensity from habitat patches (for a given patch size), and mortality during dispersal (for a given patch connectivity) were lower in more fragmented landscapes. We suggest that these were the consequences of two different evolutionary responses of dispersal behavior at the individual level: (1) when fragmentation increased, the reluctance of individuals to cross habitat patch boundaries also increased; (2) when individuals dispersed, they flew straighter in the matrix, which is the best strategy to improve dispersal success. Such evolutionary responses could generate complex nonlinear patterns of dispersal changes at the metapopulation level according to habitat fragmentation. Due to the small size and increased isolation of habitat patches in fragmented landscapes, overall emigration rate and mortality during dispersal remained high. As a consequence, successful dispersal at the metapopulation scale remained limited. Therefore, to what extent the selection of individuals with a lower dispersal propensity and a higher survival during

  4. Plant Habitat (PH)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Onate, Bryan

    2016-01-01

    The International Space Station (ISS) will soon have a platform for conducting fundamental research of Large Plants. Plant Habitat (PH) is designed to be a fully controllable environment for high-quality plant physiological research. PH will control light quality, level, and timing, temperature, CO2, relative humidity, and irrigation, while scrubbing ethylene. Additional capabilities include leaf temperature and root zone moisture and oxygen sensing. The light cap will have red (630 nm), blue (450 nm), green (525 nm), far red (730 nm) and broad spectrum white LEDs. There will be several internal cameras (visible and IR) to monitor and record plant growth and operations.

  5. Habitat heterogeneity reflected in mesophotic reef sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  7. Vacant habitats in the Universe.

    PubMed

    Cockell, Charles S

    2011-02-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. A Wildlife Habitat Improvement Plan.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogers, S. Elaine

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

  12. Clay Animals and Their Habitats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adamson, Kay

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Food technology in space habitats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Karel, M.

    1979-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Headwater Stream Management Dichotomies: Local Amphibian Habitat vs. Downstream Fish Habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, C. R.

    2002-12-01

    Small headwater streams in mountainous areas of the Pacific Northwest often do not harbor fish populations because of low water depth and high gradients. Rather, these streams provide habitat for dense assemblages of stream-dwelling amphibians. A variety of management goals have been suggested for such streams such as encouraging large woody debris recruitment to assist in sediment trapping and valley floor formation, encouraging large woody debris recruitment to provide downstream wood when debris flows occur, providing continuous linear stream buffers within forest harvest areas to provide shade and bank stability, etc. A basic problem with analying the geomorphic or biotic benefits of any of these strategies is the lack of explicit management goals for such streams. Should managers strive to optimize downstream fish habitat, local amphibian habitat, or both? Through observational data and theoretical considerations, it will be shown that these biotic goals will lead to very different geomorphic management recommendations. For instance, woody debris greater than 60 cm diameter may assist in valley floor development, but it is likely to create subsurface channel flow of unknown value to amphibians. Trapping and retention of fine sediments within headwater streams may improve downstream spawning gravels, but degrades stream-dwelling amphibian habitat. In response to the need for descriptive information on habitat and channel morphology specific to small, non-fish-bearing streams in the Pacific Northwest, morphologies and wood frequencies in forty-two first- and second-order forested streams less than four meters wide were surveyed. Frequencies and size distributions of woody debris were compared between small streams and larger fish-bearing streams as well as between second-growth and virgin timber streams. Statistical models were developed to explore dominant factors affecting channel morphology and habitat. Findings suggest geomorphological relationships

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Contrasting effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on coral-associated reef fishes.

    PubMed

    Bonin, Mary C; Almany, Glenn R; Jones, Geoffrey P

    2011-07-01

    Disturbance can result in the fragmentation and/or loss of suitable habitat, both of which can have important consequences for survival, species interactions, and resulting patterns of local diversity. However, effects of habitat loss and fragmentation are typically confounded during disturbance events, and previous attempts to determine their relative significance have proved ineffective. Here we experimentally manipulated live coral habitats to examine the potential independent and interactive effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on survival, abundance, and species richness of recruitment-stage, coral-associated reef fishes. Loss of 75% of live coral from experimental reefs resulted in low survival of a coral-associated damselfish and low abundance and richness of other recruits 16 weeks after habitat manipulations. In contrast, fragmentation had positive effects on damselfish survival and resulted in greater abundance and species richness of other recruits. We hypothesize that spacing of habitat through fragmentation weakens competition within and among species. Comparison of effect sizes over the course of the study period revealed that, in the first six weeks following habitat manipulations, the positive effects of fragmentation were at least four times stronger than the effects of habitat loss. This initial positive effect of fragmentation attenuated considerably after 16 weeks, whereas the negative effects of habitat loss increased in strength over time. There was little indication that the amount of habitat influenced the magnitude of the habitat fragmentation effect. Numerous studies have reported dramatic declines in coral reef fish abundance and diversity in response to disturbances that cause the loss and fragmentation of coral habitats. Our results suggest that these declines occur as a result of habitat loss, not habitat fragmentation. Positive fragmentation effects may actually buffer against the negative effects of habitat loss and contribute

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

    PubMed

    Berner, D; Thibert-Plante, X

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Berner, Daniel

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Pileated woodpecker

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schroeder, Richard L.

    1983-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sedgwick, James A.; Knopf, Fritz L.

    1992-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  3. Scale considerations in monitoring greater sage-grouse ( Centrocercus urophasianus) vegetation structure and habitat suitability within nesting habitat in western Wyoming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zabihi Afratakhti, Khodabakhsh

    Disturbance of nesting habitat associated with energy development has contributed to population declines of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in western Wyoming. Greater sage-grouse, rely on sagebrush ecosystems during all of their life stages. Specific criteria for suitable nesting habitat for the species includes both amount and distribution of sagebrush and herbaceous cover. Loss of suitable sagebrush habitat makes the identification of remaining suitable habitat critical for long-term management of the species. This research documents spatial patterns of vegetation structure within greater sage-grouse nesting habitat to compare shrub configuration (shrub patchiness) between nest and random non-nest locations at very fine scales. Additionally, we examine the applicability of gap intercept techniques to quantify shrub structural characteristics (shrub height and patchiness). Finally, the suitability of nesting habitats was mapped using biophysical features and anthropogenic disturbances at fine to broad scales. Spatial vegetation patterns vary with scale, and spatial homogeneity of sagebrush stands declines with increasing shrub height. Canopy gap intercept techniques reliably quantify composition, configuration, and height of shrub cover. The proportion of shrub cover and non-shrub gaps can be used as a compositional attribute that characterizes nesting habitat at the broad scale (across kilometers). In addition, variation in gap sizes within shrub cover, or shrub patchiness is a habitat characteristic that differentiates nesting and non-nest habitat at fine scales. Shrub cover-to-gap proportion, shrub spatial configuration, and mean shrub heights are important vegetative traits that characterize sage-grouse nesting habitat. At broad scales, habitat suitability for nesting is related to both anthropogenic disturbances and the suitability of biophysical features (e.g., slope, aspect, vegetation type and composition). Information about habitat

  4. Space habitat contamination model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morgenthaler, George W.

    1990-01-01

    When one considers the missions that are involved in Space Exploration Initiative (SEI), a continuous Lunar Base at which astronauts will perform scientific experiments as well as being the center for Lunar resource exploitation, a human visit to the surface of Mars, and, later, the development of a Mars base, one recognizes that we have entered a new realm of space exploration activity. During the SEI era, human beings who are involved in such missions will be away from Earth for extended periods of time, even for years. For example, the classical Hohmann transfer round trip mission to Mars would involve a flight of 31 months, including the stay time in the vicinity of Mars. Of course, other Mars trips such as the Venus Fly-By mission (22 months) and the Mars Sprint mission (15 months) pose much less taxing problems, but still problems which put human space presence in a domain where human survival has not yet been tested and thoroughly understood. Humans have never before been placed into an isolated, low-gravity, hermetically sealed, contaminant-prone environment for periods well in excess of one year and then been expected to function normally upon return to Earth. This presentation develops a systems model to help analyze the space habitat containment growth problem and to indicate the thresholds of astronaut risk, astronaut operational impairment, and methods of risk mitigation. The model inputs were discussed with toxicology experts at the University of Colorado Health Services Center and the University of Rochester.

  5. When sources become sinks: migrational meltdown in heterogeneous habitats.

    PubMed

    Ronce, O; Kirkpatrick, M

    2001-08-01

    We consider the evolution of ecological specialization in a landscape with two discrete habitat types connected by migration, for example, a plant-insect system with two plant hosts. Using a quantitative genetic approach. we study the joint evolution of a quantitative character determining performance in each habitat together with the changes in the population density. We find that specialization on a single habitat evolves with intermediate migration rates, whereas a generalist species evolves with both very low and very large rates of movement between habitats. There is a threshold at which a small increase in the connectivity of the two habitats will result in dramatic decrease in the total population size and the nearly complete loss of use of one of the two habitats through a process of "migrational meltdown." In some situations, equilibria corresponding to a specialist and a generalist species are simultaneously stable. Analysis of our model also shows cases of hysteresis in which small transient changes in the landscape structure or accidental demographic disturbances have irreversible effects on the evolution of specialization.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

  7. Life history strategy influences parasite responses to habitat fragmentation.

    PubMed

    Froeschke, Götz; van der Mescht, Luther; McGeoch, Melodie; Matthee, Sonja

    2013-12-01

    Anthropogenic habitat use is a major threat to biodiversity and is known to increase the abundance of generalist host species such as rodents, which are regarded as potential disease carriers. Parasites have an intimate relationship with their host and the surrounding environment and it is expected that habitat fragmentation will affect parasite infestation levels. We investigated the effect of habitat fragmentation on the ecto- and endoparasitic burdens of a broad niche small mammal, Rhabdomys pumilio, in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. Our aim was to look at the effects of fragmentation on different parasite species with diverse life history characteristics and to determine whether general patterns can be found. Sampling took place within pristine lowland (Fynbos/Renosterveld) areas and at fragmented sites surrounded and isolated by agricultural activities. All arthropod ectoparasites and available gastrointestinal endoparasites were identified. We used conditional autoregressive models to investigate the effects of habitat fragmentation on parasite species richness and abundance of all recovered parasites. Host density and body size were larger in the fragments. Combined ecto- as well as combined endoparasite taxa showed higher parasite species richness in fragmented sites. Parasite abundance was generally higher in the case of R. pumilio individuals in fragmented habitats but it appears that parasites that are more permanently associated with the host's body and those that are host-specific show the opposite trend. Parasite life history is an important factor that needs to be considered when predicting the effects of habitat fragmentation on parasite and pathogen transmission.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Avian habitat relationships in pinyon-juniper woodland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sedgwick, James A.

    1987-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

  11. Ecological determinism increases with organism size.

    PubMed

    Farjalla, Vinicius F; Srivastava, Diane S; Marino, Nicholas A C; Azevedo, Fernanda D; Dib, Viviane; Lopes, Paloma M; Rosado, Alexandre S; Bozelli, Reinaldo L; Esteves, Francisco A

    2012-07-01

    After much debate, there is an emerging consensus that the composition of many ecological communities is determined both by species traits, as proposed by niche theory, as well as by chance events. A critical question for ecology is, therefore, which attributes of species predict the dominance of deterministic or stochastic processes. We outline two hypotheses by which organism size could determine which processes structure ecological communities, and we test these hypotheses by comparing the community structure in bromeliad phytotelmata of three groups of organisms (bacteria, zooplankton, and macroinvertebrates) that encompass a 10 000-fold gradient in body size, but live in the same habitat. Bacteria had no habitat associations, as would be expected from trait-neutral stochastic processes, but still showed exclusion among species pairs, as would be expected from niche-based processes. Macroinvertebrates had strong habitat and species associations, indicating niche-based processes. Zooplankton, with body size between bacteria and macroinvertebrates, showed intermediate habitat associations. We concluded that a key niche process, habitat filtering, strengthened with organism size, possibly because larger organisms are both less plastic in their fundamental niches and more able to be selective in dispersal. These results suggest that the relative importance of deterministic and stochastic processes may be predictable from organism size.

  12. Habitat-specific foraging of prothonotary warblers: Deducing habitat quality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lyons, J.E.

    2005-01-01

    Foraging behavior often reflects food availability in predictable ways. For example, in habitats where food availability is high, predators should attack prey more often and move more slowly than in habitats where food availability is low. To assess relative food availability and habitat quality, I studied the foraging behavior of breeding Prothonotary Warblers (Protonotaria citrea) in two forest habitat types, cypress-gum swamp forest and coastal-plain levee forest. I quantified foraging behavior with focal animal sampling and continuous recording during foraging bouts. I measured two aspects of foraging behavior: 1) prey attack rate (attacks per minute), using four attack maneuvers (glean, sally, hover, strike), and 2) foraging speed (movements per minute), using three types of movement (hop, short flight [???1 m], long flight [>1 m]). Warblers attacked prey more often in cypress-gum swamp forest than in coastal-plain levee forest. Foraging speed, however, was not different between habitats. I also measured foraging effort (% time spent foraging) and relative frequency of attack maneuvers employed in each habitat; neither of these variables was influenced by forest type. I conclude that Prothonotary Warblers encounter more prey when foraging in cypress-gum swamps than in coastal-plain levee forest, and that greater food availability results in higher density and greater reproductive success for birds breeding in cypress-gum swamp.

  13. Class Size.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Thomas I.

    1985-01-01

    After a brief introduction identifying current issues and trends in research on class size, this brochure reviews five recent studies bearing on the relationship of class size to educational effectiveness. Part 1 is a review of two interrelated and highly controversial "meta-analyses" or statistical integrations of research findings on class size,…

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  15. Subcellular Size

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Wallace F.

    2016-01-01

    All of the same conceptual questions about size in organisms apply equally at the level of single cells. What determines the size, not only of the whole cell, but of all its parts? What ensures that subcellular components are properly proportioned relative to the whole cell? How does alteration in organelle size affect biochemical function? Answering such fundamental questions requires us to understand how the size of individual organelles and other cellular structures is determined. Knowledge of organelle biogenesis and dynamics has advanced rapidly in recent years. Does this knowledge give us enough information to formulate reasonable models for organelle size control, or are we still missing something? PMID:25957302

  16. Habitat classification modeling with incomplete data: Pushing the habitat envelope

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zarnetske, P.L.; Edwards, T.C.; Moisen, G.G.

    2007-01-01

    Habitat classification models (HCMs) are invaluable tools for species conservation, land-use planning, reserve design, and metapopulation assessments, particularly at broad spatial scales. However, species occurrence data are often lacking and typically limited to presence points at broad scales. This lack of absence data precludes the use of many statistical techniques for HCMs. One option is to generate pseudo-absence points so that the many available statistical modeling tools can be used. Traditional techniques generate pseudoabsence points at random across broadly defined species ranges, often failing to include biological knowledge concerning the species-habitat relationship. We incorporated biological knowledge of the species-habitat relationship into pseudo-absence points by creating habitat envelopes that constrain the region from which points were randomly selected. We define a habitat envelope as an ecological representation of a species, or species feature's (e.g., nest) observed distribution (i.e., realized niche) based on a single attribute, or the spatial intersection of multiple attributes. We created HCMs for Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis atricapillus) nest habitat during the breeding season across Utah forests with extant nest presence points and ecologically based pseudo-absence points using logistic regression. Predictor variables were derived from 30-m USDA Landfire and 250-m Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) map products. These habitat-envelope-based models were then compared to null envelope models which use traditional practices for generating pseudo-absences. Models were assessed for fit and predictive capability using metrics such as kappa, thresholdindependent receiver operating characteristic (ROC) plots, adjusted deviance (Dadj2), and cross-validation, and were also assessed for ecological relevance. For all cases, habitat envelope-based models outperformed null envelope models and were more ecologically relevant, suggesting

  17. Maladaptive habitat selection of a migratory passerine bird in a human-modified landscape.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    In human-altered environments, organisms may preferentially settle in poor-quality habitats where fitness returns are lower relative to available higher-quality habitats. Such ecological trapping is due to a mismatch between the cues used during habitat selection and the habitat quality. Maladaptive settlement decisions may occur when organisms are time-constrained and have to rapidly evaluate habitat quality based on incomplete knowledge of the resources and conditions that will be available later in the season. During a three-year study, we examined settlement decision-making in the long-distance migratory, open-habitat bird, the Red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio), as a response to recent land-use changes. In Northwest Europe, the shrikes typically breed in open areas under a management regime of extensive farming. In recent decades, Spruce forests have been increasingly managed with large-size cutblocks in even-aged plantations, thereby producing early-successional vegetation areas that are also colonised by the species. Farmland and open areas in forests create mosaics of two different types of habitats that are now occupied by the shrikes. We examined redundant measures of habitat preference (order of settlement after migration and distribution of dominant individuals) and several reproductive performance parameters in both habitat types to investigate whether habitat preference is in line with habitat quality. Territorial males exhibited a clear preference for the recently created open areas in forests with higher-quality males settling in this habitat type earlier. Reproductive performance was, however, higher in farmland, with higher nest success, offspring quantity, and quality compared to open areas in forests. The results showed strong among-year consistency and we can therefore exclude a transient situation. This study demonstrates a case of maladaptive habitat selection in a farmland bird expanding its breeding range to human-created open habitats in

  18. The ecology of urban habitats

    SciTech Connect

    Gilbert, O.L.

    1989-01-01

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

  19. Geopressured habitat: A literature review

    SciTech Connect

    Negus-de Wys, Jane

    1992-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ormiston, B.G.

    1984-07-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirsch, Eileen M.

    1996-01-01

    . Proportion of terns using each habitat was similar to proportion of available sand on each habitat. The distribution of nest initiation dates and rates of colony-site turnover also were similar on both habitats. Productivity did not differ between habitats but varied significantly among sites. Nest success, fledging success, and fledglings per pair averaged 0.54, 0.28, and 0.47, respectively. Key factor analysis revealed that chick survival had a greater influence on production of fledglings (on both sandbars and sandpits) than did failure to produce a maximum clutch size or egg mortality. Most egg mortality was caused by predation on sandpits and by flooding on sandbars. Predation was suspected as the major cause of loss for chicks on both habitats. Path analysis revealed no strong or consistent correlations among mortality, numbers of nests and chicks, track trails of intruders into colonies, and habitat variables at colonies on either habitat. Theoretically, terns should not prefer a habitat when habitats are equally suitable if terns have had time to respond to habitat changes. Although sandbars and sandpits appeared equally suitable and terns did not prefer either habitat, local productivity will not support this population unless annual postfledging survival is higher than current estimates for the species. Population trend estimated with fledglings per pair = 0.50 was negative for all but the highest (ca 0.90) rates of annual postfledging survival. Furthermore, deterministic models like the one used in this study overstimate trend. Productivity insufficient to support the local population, in spite of habitat use that reflects habitat suitability, could be due to increased predation caused by habitat alteration adjacent to the river that may have changed the predator community. Alternatively, terns in this area could persist in spite of prevailing low productivity because they are relatively long-lived birds, if highly productive years occasionally occur or if this

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

    SciTech Connect

    Bumgarner, Joseph D.

    1999-03-01

    The Asotin Creek Model Watershed Master Plan was completed 1994. The plan was developed by a landowner steering committee for the Asotin County Conservation District (ACCD), with technical support from the various Federal, State and local entities. Actions identified within the plan to improve the Asotin Creek ecosystem fall into four main categories, (1) Stream and Riparian, (2) Forestland, (3) Rangeland, and (4) Cropland. Specific actions to be carried out within the stream and in the riparian area to improve fish habitat were, (a) create more pools, (b) increase the amount of large organic debris (LOD), (c) increase the riparian buffer zone through tree planting, and (d) increase fencing to limit livestock access; additionally, the actions are intended to stabilize the river channel, reduce sediment input, and protect private property. Fish species of main concern in Asotin Creek are summer steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss), spring chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), and bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus). Spring chinook in Asotin Creek are considered extinct (Bumgarner et al. 1998); bull trout and summer steelhead are below historical levels and are currently as ''threatened'' under the ESA. In 1998, 16 instream habitat projects were planned by ACCD along with local landowners. The ACCD identified the need for a more detailed analysis of these instream projects to fully evaluate their effectiveness at improving fish habitat. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's (WDFW) Snake River Lab (SRL) was contracted by the ACCD to take pre-construction measurements of the existing habitat (pools, LOD, width, depth, etc.) within each identified site, and to eventually evaluate fish use within these sites. All pre-construction habitat measurements were completed between 6 and 14 July, 1998. 1998 was the first year that this sort of evaluation has occurred. Post construction measurements of habitat structures installed in 1998, and fish usage evaluation, will be

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, James H.; Nack, Christopher C.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  9. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Bigmouth buffalo

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Edwards, Elizabeth A.

    1983-01-01

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

  10. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Eastern brown pelican

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Smoothey, Amy F.

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Habitat-associations of turban snails on intertidal and subtidal rocky reefs.

    PubMed

    Smoothey, Amy F

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Flathead Catfish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, Lawrence A.; Terrell, James W.

    1987-01-01

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

  14. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Largemouth bass

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1982-01-01

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

  15. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Cactus Wren

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Short, Henry L.

    1985-01-01

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

  16. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Eastern Wild Turkey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schroeder, Richard L.

    1985-01-01

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

  17. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Snapping turtle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graves, Brent M.; Anderson, Stanley H.

    1987-01-01

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

  18. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Marsh wren

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gutzwiller, Kevin J.; Anderson, Stanley H.

    1987-01-01

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

  19. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Spotted owl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1985-01-01

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

  20. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Cactus wren

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Short, Henry L.

    1985-01-01

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

  1. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Swamp rabbit

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, Arthur W.

    1985-01-01

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

  2. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Eastern wild turkey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schroeder, Richard L.

    1985-01-01

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

  3. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Hairy Woodpecker

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sousa, Patrick J.

    1987-01-01

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

  4. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Swamp Rabbit

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, Arthur W.

    1985-01-01

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

  5. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Slider turtle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morreale, Stephen J.; Gibbons, J. Whitfield

    1986-01-01

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

  6. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Eastern meadowlark

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schroeder, Richard L.; Sousa, Patrick J.

    1982-01-01

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

  7. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Pine warbler

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schroeder, Richard L.

    1982-01-01

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

  8. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Barred Owl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, Arthur W.

    1987-01-01

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

  9. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Spotted Owl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1985-01-01

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

  10. Size Matters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gehring, John

    2004-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  13. Conservation planning and monitoring avian habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Twedt, D.J.; Loesch, C.R.; Bonney, Rick; Pashley, David N.; Cooper, Robert; Niles, Larry

    2000-01-01

    Migratory bird conservation plans should not only develop population goals, they also should establish attainable objectives for optimizing avian habitats. Meeting population goals is of paramount importance, but progress toward established habitat objectives can generally be monitored more easily than can progress toward population goals. Additionally, local or regional habitat objectives can be attained regardless of perturbations to avian populations that occur outside the geographic area covered by conservation plans. Assessments of current avian habitats, obtained from remotely sensed data, and the historical distribution of habitats should be used in establishing habitat objectives. Habitat planning and monitoring are best conducted using a geographic information system. Habitat objectives are assigned to three categories: maintaining existing habitat, restoring habitat, and creating new or alternative habitat. Progress toward meeting habitat objectives can be monitored through geographic information systems by incorporating georeferenced information on public lands, private lands under conservation easements, corporate lands under prescribed management, habitat restoration areas, and private lands under alternative management to enhance wildlife values. We recommend that the area and distribution of habitats within the area covered by conservation plans be reassessed from remotely sensed imagery at intervals appropriate to detect predicted habitat changes.

  14. Critical thresholds associated with habitat loss: a review of the concepts, evidence, and applications.

    PubMed

    Swift, Trisha L; Hannon, Susan J

    2010-02-01

    A major conservation concern is whether population size and other ecological variables change linearly with habitat loss, or whether they suddenly decline more rapidly below a "critical threshold" level of habitat. The most commonly discussed explanation for critical threshold responses to habitat loss focus on habitat configuration. As habitat loss progresses, the remaining habitat is increasingly fragmented or the fragments are increasingly isolated, which may compound the effects of habitat loss. In this review we also explore other possible explanations for apparently nonlinear relationships between habitat loss and ecological responses, including Allee effects and time lags, and point out that some ecological variables will inherently respond nonlinearly to habitat loss even in the absence of compounding factors. In the literature, both linear and nonlinear ecological responses to habitat loss are evident among simulation and empirical studies, although the presence and value of critical thresholds is influenced by characteristics of the species (e.g. dispersal, reproduction, area/edge sensitivity) and landscape (e.g. fragmentation, matrix quality, rate of change). With enough empirical support, such trends could be useful for making important predictions about species' responses to habitat loss, to guide future research on the underlying causes of critical thresholds, and to make better informed management decisions. Some have seen critical thresholds as a means of identifying conservation targets for habitat retention. We argue that in many cases this may be misguided, and that the meaning (and utility) of a critical threshold must be interpreted carefully and in relation to the response variable and management goal. Despite recent interest in critical threshold responses to habitat loss, most studies have not used any formal statistical methods to identify their presence or value. Methods that have been used include model comparisons using Akaike

  15. Use of sand wave habitats by silver hake

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Auster, P.J.; Lindholm, J.; Schaub, S.; Funnell, G.; Kaufman, L.S.; Valentine, P.C.

    2003-01-01

    Silver hake Merluccius bilinearis are common members of fish communities in sand wave habitats on Georges Bank and on Stellwagen Bank in the Gulf of Maine. Observations of fish size v. sand wave period showed that silver hake are not randomly distributed within sand wave landscapes. Regression analyses showed a significant positive relationship between sand wave period and fish length. Correlation coefficients, however, were low, suggesting other interactions with sand wave morphology, the range of current velocities, and available prey may also influence their distribution. Direct contact with sand wave habitats varied over diel periods, with more fish resting on the seafloor during daytime than at night. Social foraging, in the form of polarized groups of fish swimming in linear formations during crepuscular and daytime periods, was also observed. Sand wave habitats may provide shelter from current flows and mediate fish-prey interactions. ?? 2003 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  16. Synergistic impacts of habitat loss and fragmentation on model ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Bartlett, Lewis J; Newbold, Tim; Purves, Drew W; Tittensor, Derek P; Harfoot, Michael B J

    2016-09-28

    Habitat loss and fragmentation are major threats to biodiversity, yet separating their effects is challenging. We use a multi-trophic, trait-based, and spatially explicit general ecosystem model to examine the independent and synergistic effects of these processes on ecosystem structure. We manipulated habitat by removing plant biomass in varying spatial extents, intensities, and configurations. We found that emergent synergistic interactions of loss and fragmentation are major determinants of ecosystem response, including population declines and trophic pyramid shifts. Furthermore, trait-mediated interactions, such as a disproportionate sensitivity of large-sized organisms to fragmentation, produce significant effects in shaping responses. We also show that top-down regulation mitigates the effects of land use on plant biomass loss, suggesting that models lacking these interactions-including most carbon stock models-may not adequately capture land-use change impacts. Our results have important implications for understanding ecosystem responses to environmental change, and assessing the impacts of habitat fragmentation.

  17. Concepts for manned lunar habitats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dettmers, Randy; Bart, Jonathan

    1999-01-01

    models was evaluated with an independent data set. Our tests showed that the models performed better than random at identifying where the birds occurred and provided useful information for predicting the amount and spatial distribution of good habitat for the birds we studied. In addition, we generally found positive correlations between the amount of habitat, as predicted by the models, and the number of territories within a given area. This added component provides the possibility, ultimately, of being able to estimate population sizes. Our models represent useful tools for resource managers who are interested in assessing the impacts of alternative management plans that could alter or remove habitat for these birds.

  1. Spatial Heterogeneity of Rana boylii Habitat: Quantification and Ecological Meaningfulness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yarnell, S. M.

    2005-05-01

    Analysis of the heterogeneity of stream habitat and how biological communities respond to that complexity are fundamental components of ecosystem analysis that are often inadequately addressed in watershed assessments and restoration practices. Many aquatic species, such as the Foothill Yellow-legged Frog (Rana boylii), known to associate with certain physical habitats at various times throughout their lifecycle may require some degree of habitat complexity at a larger reach scale for a population to persist. Recent research in the field of landscape ecology has expanded the use of spatial heterogeneity indices to other fields of ecology as an objective method to quantify variability in habitat. Provided that indices are used in an appropriate context and are shown to be ecologically meaningful, they provide a potentially useful tool for quantifying the variability in riverine habitat for aquatic species such as R. boylii. This study evaluated whether stream reaches with a high heterogeneity of geomorphic features, as measured by several key spatial heterogeneity indices, correlated with a greater relative abundance of R. boylii. R. boylii habitat associations were quantified throughout a single season to obtain further insight into the local hydraulic and geomorphic conditions preferred by each lifestage. The two best predictors of habitat associations by lifestage were velocity and substrate size, two key characteristics of geomorphic units such as riffles and pools. The heterogeneity of geomorphic units was then quantified and measured at the reach scale using a variety of spatial indices. Indices of spatial composition, such as Shannon's Diversity Index, were found to correlate well with frog abundance, while indices of spatial configuration, such as Contagion, were not significant. These findings indicate R. boylii may select stream reaches with increased geomorphic complexity that potentially provide habitats suitable to each lifestage with multiple functions

  2. Accuracy of stream habitat interpolations across spatial scales

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sheehan, Kenneth R.; Welsh, Stuart

    2013-01-01

    Stream habitat data are often collected across spatial scales because relationships among habitat, species occurrence, and management plans are linked at multiple spatial scales. Unfortunately, scale is often a factor limiting insight gained from spatial analysis of stream habitat data. Considerable cost is often expended to collect data at several spatial scales to provide accurate evaluation of spatial relationships in streams. To address utility of single scale set of stream habitat data used at varying scales, we examined the influence that data scaling had on accuracy of natural neighbor predictions of depth, flow, and benthic substrate. To achieve this goal, we measured two streams at gridded resolution of 0.33 × 0.33 meter cell size over a combined area of 934 m2 to create a baseline for natural neighbor interpolated maps at 12 incremental scales ranging from a raster cell size of 0.11 m2 to 16 m2 . Analysis of predictive maps showed a logarithmic linear decay pattern in RMSE values in interpolation accuracy for variables as resolution of data used to interpolate study areas became coarser. Proportional accuracy of interpolated models (r2 ) decreased, but it was maintained up to 78% as interpolation scale moved from 0.11 m2 to 16 m2 . Results indicated that accuracy retention was suitable for assessment and management purposes at various scales different from the data collection scale. Our study is relevant to spatial modeling, fish habitat assessment, and stream habitat management because it highlights the potential of using a single dataset to fulfill analysis needs rather than investing considerable cost to develop several scaled datasets.

  3. Loss and modification of habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lemckert, Francis; Hecnar, Stephen; Pilliod, David S.; Wilkinson, John W.; Heatwole, Harold

    2012-01-01

    Amphibians live in a wide variety of habitats around the world, many of which have been modified or destroyed by human activities. Most species have unique life history characteristics adapted to specific climates, habitats (e.g., lentic, lotic, terrestrial, arboreal, fossorial, amphibious), and local conditions that provide suitable areas for reproduction, development and growth, shelter from environmental extremes, and predation, as well as connectivity to other populations or habitats. Although some species are entirely aquatic or terrestrial, most amphibians, as their name implies, lead a dual life and require a mosaic of habitats in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. With over 6 billion people on Earth, most species are now persisting in habitats that have been directly or indirectly influenced by human activities. Some species have disappeared where their habitats have been completely destroyed, reduced, or rendered unsuitable. Habitat loss and degradation are widely considered by most researchers as the most important causes of amphibian population decline globally (Barinaga 1990; Wake and Morowitz 1991; Alford and Richards 1999). In this chapter, a background on the diverse habitat requirements of amphibians is provided, followed by a discussion of the effects of urbanization, agriculture, livestock grazing, timber production and harvesting, fire and hazardous fuel management, and roads on amphibians and their habitats. Also briefly discussed is the influence on amphibian habitats of natural disturbances, such as extreme weather events and climate change, given the potential for human activities to impact climate in the longer term. For amphibians in general, microhabitats are of greater importance than for other vertebrates. As ectotherms with a skin that is permeable to water and with naked gelatinous eggs, amphibians are physiologically constrained to be active during environmental conditions that provide appropriate body temperatures and adequate

  4. Umatilla Basin Habitat Improvement Project.

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, Timothy D.

    1990-01-01

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

  5. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Mink

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, Arthur W.

    1983-01-01

    The mink (Mustela vison) is a predatory, semiaquatic mammal that is generally associated with stream and river banks, lake shores, fresh and saltwater marshes, and marine shore habitats (Gerell 1970).  Mink are chiefly nocturnal and remain active throughout the year (Marshall 1936); Gerell 1969; Burgess 1978).  The species is adaptable in its use of habitat, modifying daily habits according to environmental conditions, particularly prey availability (Wise et al. 1981; Linn and Birds 1981; Birks and Linn 1982).  The species is tolerant of human activity and will inhabit suboptimum habitats as long as an adequate food source is available; however, mink will be more mobile and change home ranges more frequently under such conditions (Linn pers. comm.).

  6. Lunar Habitat Airlock/Suitlock

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griffin, Brand Norman

    2008-01-01

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

  7. Macrofaunal communities associated with chemosynthetic habitats from the U.S. Atlantic margin: A comparison among depth and habitat types

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bourque, Jill R.; Robertson, Craig M.; Brooke, Sandra; Demopoulos, Amanda

    2016-01-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps support distinct benthic communities capable of tolerating extreme environmental conditions and utilizing reduced chemical compounds for nutrition. In recent years, several locations of methane seepage have been mapped along the U.S. Atlantic continental slope. In 2012 and 2013, two newly discovered seeps were investigated in this region: a shallow site near Baltimore Canyon (BCS, 366–412 m) and a deep site near Norfolk Canyon (NCS, 1467–1602 m), with both sites containing extensive chemosynthetic mussel bed and microbial mat habitats. Sediment push cores, suction samples, and Ekman box cores were collected to quantify the abundance, diversity, and community structure of benthic macrofauna (>300 μm) in mussel beds, mats, and slope habitats at both sites. Community data from the deep site were also assessed in relation to the associated sediment environment (organic carbon and nitrogen, stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes, grain size, and depth). Infaunal assemblages and densities differed both between depths and among habitat types. Macrofaunal densities in microbial mats were four times greater than those present in mussel beds and slope sediments and were dominated by the annelid families Dorvilleidae, Capitellidae, and Tubificidae, while mussel habitats had higher proportions of crustaceans. Diversity was lower in BCS microbial mat habitats, but higher in mussel and slope sediments compared to NCS habitats. Multivariate statistical analysis revealed specific sediment properties as important for distinguishing the macrofaunal communities, including larger grain sizes present within NCS microbial mat habitats and depleted stable carbon isotopes (δ13C) in sediments present at mussel beds. These results suggest that habitat differences in the quality and source of organic matter are driving the observed patterns in the infaunal assemblages, including high β diversity and high variability in the macrofaunal community composition. This

  8. Habitat use affects morphological diversification in dragon lizards

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Monitoring nekton as a bioindicator in shallow estuarine habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Raposa, K.B.; Roman, C.T.; Heltshe, J.F.

    2003-01-01

    Long-term monitoring of estuarine nekton has many practical and ecological benefits but efforts are hampered by a lack of standardized sampling procedures. This study provides a rationale for monitoring nekton in shallow (< 1 m), temperate, estuarine habitats and addresses some important issues that arise when developing monitoring protocols. Sampling in seagrass and salt marsh habitats is emphasized due to the susceptibility of each habitat to anthropogenic stress and to the abundant and rich nekton assemblages that each habitat supports. Extensive sampling with quantitative enclosure traps that estimate nekton density is suggested. These gears have a high capture efficiency in most habitats and are small enough (e.g., 1 m(2)) to permit sampling in specific microhabitats. Other aspects of nekton monitoring are discussed, including spatial and temporal sampling considerations, station selection, sample size estimation, and data collection and analysis. Developing and initiating long-term nekton monitoring programs will help evaluate natural and human-induced changes in estuarine nekton over time and advance our understanding of the interactions between nekton and the dynamic estuarine environment.

  10. Tundra swan habitat preferences during migration in North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Earnst, S.L.

    1994-01-01

    I studied tundra swan (Cygnus columbianus columbianus) habitat preference in North Dakota during autumn migration, 1988-89. Many thousand tundra swans stop in the Prairie Pothole region during autumn migration, but swan resource use has not been quantified. I examined habitat preference in relation to an index of sago pondweed (Potamogeton pectinatus) presence, extent of open water, and wetland size. I compared habitat preference derived from counts of all swans to those derived from foraging swans only and cygnets only. Foraging swans preferred wetlands with sago pondweed (P = 0.03); the number of foraging swans per wetland was >4 times higher on wetlands with sago pondweed than on wetlands without sago. In contrast, nonforaging swans did not prefer wetlands with sago pondweed (P = 0.85) but preferred large wetlands (P = 0.02) and those with a high proportion of contiguous open water (P < 0.01). Thus, conclusions about habitat preference derived from counts of all swans, most of which were nonforaging, would not have revealed the importance of sago pondweed. Cygnets were more likely to be feeding than adults (P = 0.03) and occurred proportionately more often in smaller flocks (P = 0.04), but cygnets and adults had similar habitat preferences.

  11. Habitat suitability index models: Black crappie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1982-01-01

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

  12. The relative influence of habitat loss and fragmentation: do tropical mammals meet the temperate paradigm?

    PubMed

    Thornton, Daniel H; Branch, Lyn C; Sunquist, Melvin E

    2011-09-01

    The relative influence of habitat loss vs. habitat fragmentation per se (the breaking apart of habitat) on species distribution and abundance is a topic of debate. Although some theoretical studies predict a strong negative effect of fragmentation, consensus from empirical studies is that habitat fragmentation has weak effects compared with habitat loss and that these effects are as likely to be positive as negative. However, few empirical investigations of this issue have been conducted on tropical or wide-ranging species that may be strongly influenced by changes in patch size and edge that occur with increasing fragmentation. We tested the relative influence of habitat loss and fragmentation by examining occupancy of forest patches by 20 mid- and large-sized Neotropical mammal species in a fragmented landscape of northern Guatemala. We related patch occupancy of mammals to measures of habitat loss and fragmentation and compared the influence of these two factors while controlling for patch-level variables. Species responded strongly to both fragmentation and loss, and response to fragmentation generally was negative. Our findings support previous assumptions that conservation of large mammals in the tropics will require conservation strategies that go beyond prevention of habitat loss to also consider forest cohesion or other aspects of landscape configuration.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Earnst, Susan L.; Rothe, T.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Habitat selection by breeding red-winged blackbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Albers, P.H.

    1978-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  19. Integrating terrestrial laser scanning and repeat field measurements to quantify habitat changes during baseflow recession

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woelfle-Erskine, C. A.; Thompson, S. E.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding stream habitat heterogeneity is essential for evaluating stream habitat quality for salmonids, but the variability in pool sizes, groundwater sources, and the associated water quality makes characterization of habitat challenging. Habitat volume and stream connectivity are key drivers of ecosystem processes in spatially-intermittent streams, and strongly influence survival of juvenile salmonids in coastal California. Stream disconnection creates heterogeneous habitats, as disconnected pools are fed by distinct groundwater and hyporheic sources of water containing different concentrations of carbon, oxygen and nutrients. These distinct biogeochemical regimes drive production of benthic macroinvertebrates (salmonids' primary food source) and dissolved oxygen levels, which in turn govern salmonid metabolism. In this study, we use terrestrial laser scans of the streambed, topographic surveys of wetted pools, and repeat field measurements of pool depth to develop a timeseries of finely resolved pool volumes and dry riffle lengths. We overlay repeat water quality measurements onto this surface to visualize how cessation of flow creates heterogeneous habitats influenced by groundwater flux and geomorphic setting. By coupling terrestrial laser scans with traditional surveys, we create high-resolution facies surfaces that can be integrated with timeseries measurements of other biogeochemical data to characterize changes in habitat conditions during baseflow recession. Compared with traditional survey methods, this method yields improved qualitative descriptions of habitat fragmentation via visualizations and spatially and temporally explicit quantification of aquatic and riparian habitat characteristics that drive salmonid over-summer survival.

  20. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Red king crab

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jewett, Stephen C.; Onuf, Christopher P.

    1988-01-01

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

  1. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Laughing Gull

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zale, Alexander V.; Mulholland, Rosemarie

    1985-01-01

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

  2. Microbial Habitat on Kilimanjaro's Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ponce, A.; Beaty, S. M.; Lee, C.; Lee, C.; Noell, A. C.; Stam, C. N.; Connon, S. A.

    2011-03-01

    Kilimanjaro glaciers captured a history of microbial diversity and abundance of supraglacial habitats. We show that a majority of bacterial clones, as determined by bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequencing, are most closely related to those isolated from cold-water environments.

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

    PubMed

    Scott, Robert S; Barr, W Andrew

    2014-08-01

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

  4. Contributions of Estuarine Habitats to Major Fisheries

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  5. FUTURE SCENARIOS OF CHANGE IN WILDLIFE HABITAT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Studies in Pennsylvania, Iowa, California, and Oregon show varying losses of terrestrial wildlife habitat in scenarios based on different assumptions about future human land use patterns. Retrospective estimates of losses of habitat since Euro-American settlement in several stud...

  6. Functional morphology of the bovid astragalus in relation to habitat: controlling phylogenetic signal in ecomorphology.

    PubMed

    Barr, W Andrew

    2014-11-01

    Bovid astragali are one of the most commonly preserved bones in the fossil record. Accordingly, astragali are an important target for studies seeking to predict the habitat preferences of fossil bovids based on bony anatomy. However, previous work has not tested functional hypotheses linking astragalar morphology with habitat while controlling for body size and phylogenetic signal. This article presents a functional framework relating the morphology of the bovid astragalus to habitat-specific locomotor ecology and tests four hypotheses emanating from this framework. Highly cursorial bovids living in structurally open habitats are hypothesized to differ from their less cursorial closed-habitat dwelling relatives in having (1) relatively short astragali to maintain rotational speed throughout the camming motion of the rotating astragalus, (2) a greater range of angular excursion at the hock, (3) relatively larger joint surface areas, and (4) a more pronounced "spline-and-groove" morphology promoting lateral joint stability. A diverse sample of 181 astragali from 50 extant species was scanned using a Next Engine laser scanner. Species were assigned to one of four habitat categories based on the published ecological literature. A series of 11 linear measurements and three joint surface areas were measured on each astragalus. A geometric mean body size proxy was used to size-correct the measurement data. Phylogenetic generalized least squares (PGLS) was used to test for differences between habitat categories while controlling for body size differences and phylogenetic signal. Statistically significant PGLS results support Hypotheses 1 and 2 (which are not mutually exclusive) as well as Hypothesis 3. No support was found for Hypothesis 4. These findings confirm that the morphology of the bovid astragalus is related to habitat-specific locomotor ecology, and that this relationship is statistically significant after controlling for body size and phylogeny. Thus, this study

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

    PubMed

    Turner, Sara M; Limburg, Karin E

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Turner, Sara M; Limburg, Karin E

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Exploring Size.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brand, Judith, Ed.

    1995-01-01

    "Exploring" is a magazine of science, art, and human perception that communicates ideas museum exhibits cannot demonstrate easily by using experiments and activities for the classroom. This issue concentrates on size, examining it from a variety of viewpoints. The focus allows students to investigate and discuss interconnections among apparently…

  10. Experimental evidence for the effect of habitat loss on the dynamics of migratory networks.

    PubMed

    Betini, Gustavo S; Fitzpatrick, Mark J; Norris, D Ryan

    2015-06-01

    Migratory animals present a unique challenge for understanding the consequences of habitat loss on population dynamics because individuals are typically distributed over a series of interconnected breeding and non-breeding sites (termed migratory network). Using replicated breeding and non-breeding populations of Drosophila melanogaster and a mathematical model, we investigated three hypotheses to explain how habitat loss influenced the dynamics of populations in networks with different degrees of connectivity between breeding and non-breeding seasons. We found that habitat loss increased the degree of connectivity in the network and influenced population size at sites that were not directly connected to the site where habitat loss occurred. However, connected networks only buffered global population declines at high levels of habitat loss. Our results demonstrate why knowledge of the patterns of connectivity across a species range is critical for predicting the effects of environmental change and provide empirical evidence for why connected migratory networks are commonly found in nature.

  11. Habitat use by Swainson's Warblers in a managed bottomland forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Somershoe, S.G.; Hudman, S.P.; Chandler, C.R.

    2003-01-01

    The Swainson's Warbler (Limnothlypis swainsonii) is a locally distributed and relatively uncommon Neotropical migrant songbird that breeds in the bottomland forests of the southeastern United States and spends the nonbreeding season in the Caribbean Basin. Populations of Swainson's Warblers have declined during recent decades as bottomland forests have come under increasingly intensive management and large areas have been converted to other land uses. We examined the habitat around song perches used by male Swainson's Warblers at Big Hammock Wildlife Management Area, a managed bottomland forest along the Altamaha River in Tattnall County, Georgia. We quantified 20 features of habitat structure in areas occupied by Swainson's Warblers (occupied plots) and two sets of controls: unoccupied plots adjacent to occupied plots (adjacent control plots) and unoccupied plots throughout the management area (general control plots). Occupied plots and adjacent control plots both differed in structure from the general control plots. We detected no significant differences, however, in vegetation structure between occupied plots and adjacent control plots. General control plots tended to have a greater number of trees, greater basal area, and a complete canopy, whereas occupied and adjacent control plots had high densities of small stems, cane, herbaceous ground cover, and leaf litter; this latter pattern is typical of documented Swainson's Warbler breeding habitat. Lack of significant differences in vegetation structure may be due to great variation in habitat structure around song perches, small sample size, or scarcity of Swainson's Warblers. Future research should focus on quantifying habitat characteristics around nest sites, song perches, and feeding areas. Our results suggest that management of bottomland habitats by thinning forests and encouraging regeneration of canebrakes is needed for successful conservation of Swainson's Warblers.

  12. Correlated percolation models of structured habitat in ecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  13. Hydroacoustic habitat mapping in Potter Cove (King George Island, Antarctica)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hass, H. Christian; Wölfl, Anne-Cathrin; Kuhn, Gerhard; Jerosch, Kerstin; Scharf, Frauke; Abele, Doris

    2016-04-01

    Climate change increasingly affects the coastal areas off Antarctica. Strongest environmental response occurs in the transition zones that mediate between the polar and subpolar latitudes. Potter Cove, a minor fjord at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula is significantly affected by rising temperatures and retreating ice sheets. Large amounts of turbid meltwaters affect both, the seafloor and the water column and cause stress for many biota. There is an increasing demand to monitor the ongoing change and to work out means for comparison with similar coastal ecosystems under pressure. Marine habitat maps provide information on the seafloor characteristics that allow to describe and evaluate the status of the recent coastal ecosystem and to predict its future development. We used a RoxAnn acoustic ground discrimination system, a sidescan sonar, grab samples (grain size and TOC) and underwater video footage to gain habitat information. Supervised and unsupervised classification routines (including fuzzy k-means clustering and LDA) were employed to calculate models ranging from two classes (soft bottom habitat, stone habitat) to 7 classes (including classes of rocks with and without macroalgae as well as classes of gravels, sands and silts). Including organic carbon in the database allowed to identify a carbon-depleted class proximal to the glacier front. Potter Cove reveals features that are related to the climate-controlled environmental change: very rough seafloor topography in a small basin close to the fjord head which was cleared by the retreating tidewater glacier through the past two decades. The increasing distance to the glacier down-fjord causes existing habitats to smooth and mature and new habitats to form. This process will change the terrestrial and marine face of Potter Cove until the ongoing climatic change stops or even reverses. It becomes apparent that the final interpretation of the results benefits significantly from the different

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

  15. JUVENILE BAY SCALLOP (ARGOPECTEN IRRADIANS) HABITAT PREFERENCES

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  16. 75 FR 71325 - Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-11-23

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

  17. Habitats: Making Homes for Animals and Plants.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hickman, Pamela M.

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

  18. Geomorphic, flood, and groundwater-flow characteristics of Bayfield Peninsula streams, Wisconsin, and implications for brook-trout habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fitzpatrick, Faith A.; Peppler, Marie C.; Saad, David A.; Pratt, Dennis M.; Lenz, Bernard N.

    2015-01-01

    Available brook-trout habitat is dependent on the locations of groundwater upwellings, the sizes of flood peaks, and sediment loads. Management practices that focus on reducing or slowing runoff from upland areas and increasing channel roughness have potential to reduce flood peaks, erosion, and sedimentation and improve brook-trout habitat in all Bayfield Peninsula streams.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Transport Infrastructure Shapes Foraging Habitat in a Raptor Community

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Simulation of Flow Regimes to Reduce Habitat for T. tubifex

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Milhous, Robert T.

    2008-01-01

    Whirling disease has had a significant impact on trout fisheries of the American west by reducing the numbers and quality of rainbow trout in infected streams. A critical factor in the life cycle of the whirling disease parasite is the fine sediment that provides the optimum habitat for Tubifex tubifex, an oligochaete worm that acts as an intermediate host for the disease. This report presents a model for the simulation of flushing flows required to remove undesirable fines and sand from a pool. Undesirable fines may also need to be flushed from runs, the surface layer, and backwater areas. Well-defined links of specific particle sizes to oligochaete worm abundance is needed to justify the use of flushing flows to move sediment. An analytical method for estimating the streamflows needed to remove the fine sediment is demonstrated herein. The overall steps to follow in removing fines from a stream are: Step 1. Determine size of the sediment that is the habitat for oligochaete worms. Step 2. Determine location of the sediment that is the habitat for oligochaete worms. Step 3. Determine streamflows needed to flush (remove) the sediment that is the habitat for oligochaete worms. The case study approach is used to present the method and to demonstrate its application. The case is derived from the sediment and oligochaete worm habitat of Willow Creek, a tributary of the Upper Colorado River located in Grand County, Colo. Willow Creek Reservoir (an element of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project) controls the streamflows of the creek and is just above the study site.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Garabedian, James E.

    2014-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  5. Subsurface microbial habitats on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  6. Quantifying consistent individual differences in habitat selection.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  7. Quantifying consistent individual differences in habitat selection.

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  8. Integration Process for the Habitat Demonstration Unit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

    The Habitat Demonstration Unit (HDU) is an experimental exploration habitat technology and architecture test platform designed for analog demonstration activities. The HDU previously served as a test bed for testing technologies and sub-systems in a terrestrial surface environment. in 2010 in the Pressurized Excursion Module (PEM) configuration. Due to the amount of work involved to make the HDU project successful, the HDU project has required a team to integrate a variety of contributions from NASA centers and outside collaborators The size of the team and number of systems involved With the HDU makes Integration a complicated process. However, because the HDU shell manufacturing is complete, the team has a head start on FY--11 integration activities and can focus on integrating upgrades to existing systems as well as integrating new additions. To complete the development of the FY-11 HDU from conception to rollout for operations in July 2011, a cohesive integration strategy has been developed to integrate the various systems of HDU and the payloads. The highlighted HDU work for FY-11 will focus on performing upgrades to the PEM configuration, adding the X-Hab as a second level, adding a new porch providing the astronauts a larger work area outside the HDU for EVA preparations, and adding a Hygiene module. Together these upgrades result in a prototype configuration of the Deep Space Habitat (DSH), an element under evaluation by NASA's Human Exploration Framework Team (HEFT) Scheduled activates include early fit-checks and the utilization of a Habitat avionics test bed prior to installation into HDU. A coordinated effort to utilize modeling and simulation systems has aided in design and integration concept development. Modeling tools have been effective in hardware systems layout, cable routing, sub-system interface length estimation and human factors analysis. Decision processes on integration and use of all new subsystems will be defined early in the project to

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

    SciTech Connect

    McCorquodale, S.M. )

    1991-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Estimating functional connectivity of wildlife habitat and its relevance to ecological risk assessment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, A.R.; Allen, C.R.; Simpson, K.A.N.

    2004-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation is a major threat to the viability of wildlife populations and the maintenance of biodiversity. Fragmentation relates to the sub-division of habitat intq disjunct patches. Usually coincident with fragmentation per se is loss of habitat, a reduction in the size of the remnant patches, and increasing distance between patches. Natural and anthropogenic processes leading to habitat fragmentation occur at many spatial scales, and their impacts on wildlife depend on the scales at which species interact with the landscape. The concept of functional connectivity captures this organism-based view of the relative ease of movement or degree of exchange between physically disjunct habitat patches. Functional connectivity of a given habitat arrangement for a given wildlife species depends on details of the organism's life history and behavioral ecology, but, for broad categories of species, quantities such as home range size and dispersal distance scale allometrically with body mass. These relationships can be incorporated into spatial analyses of functional connectivity, which can be quantified by indices or displayed graphically in maps. We review indices and GIS-based approaches to estimating functional connectivity, presenting examples from the literature and our own work on mammalian distributions. Such analyses can be readily incorporated within an ecological risk framework. Estimates of functional connectivity may be useful in a screening-level assessment of the impact of habitat fragmentation relative to other stressors, and may be crucial in detailed population modeling and viability analysis.

  12. Importance of early successional habitat to ruffed grouse and American woodcock

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dessecker, D.R.; McAuley, D.G.

    2001-01-01

    Ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) and American woodcock (Scolopax minor) provide millions of days of recreation each year for people in the eastern United States (U.S). These popular game birds depend on early successional forest habitats throughout much of the year. Ruffed grouse and woodcock populations are declining in the eastern United States as an abundance of shrub-dominated and young forest habitats decrease in most of the region. Continued decreases in early successional forest habitats are likely on nonindustrial private forest lands as ownership fragmentation increases and tract size decreases and on public forest lands due to societal attitudes toward proactive forest management, especially even-age treatments.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Use of habitats by female norther pintails wintering in southwestern Louisiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cox, R.R.; Afton, A.D.

    1997-01-01

    The breeding population of norther pintails (Anas acuta) in 1996 was 39% below the long-term average. Because winter habitat quality may influence subsequent breeding population size in pintails, identification of habitats used by wintering pintails and factors influencing use of habitats may be important for managing for population increase. We examined variation in diel use of habitats by radiotagged female pintails (n = 272) in southwestern Louisiana in relation to age (imm and ad), winter (1991-92 and 1992-93), and time period within winters (pre-hunting season, first hunting season, time between split hunting seasons, second hunting season, and post-hunting season). Diurnal use of refuges was significantly greater during hunting seasons than during immediately preceding or succeeding nonhunting seasons. Consequently, we reject Tamissier's (1976) hypothesis that high diurnal use of refuges by pintails in southwestern Louisiana occurs later in winters. Time-period differences in diurnal and nocturnal use of habitats (large permanent pools, marsh, rice, fallow [idle], and other agriculture [primarily soybeans]) were not consistent between winters. Diel use of refuges or habitats did not differ in relation to female age. Females used fallow and ice agriculture extensively, particularly at night, and these habitats collectively accounted for 68-93% of nocturnal use. Differential use of habitats between winters was related to annual differences in relative abundance of rice and fallow agriculture. Proximity of refuges to agricultural areas should be an important management consideration for wintering pintails and other waterfowl.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Descent Assisted Split Habitat Lunar Lander Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

    streamflow-gaging stations were used to characterize the flow regime: North Fork Shenandoah River at Cootes Store, Va. (1925-2002), North Fork Shenandoah River at Mount Jackson, Va. (1943-2002), and North Fork Shenandoah River near Strasburg, Va. (1925-2002). The predominant mesohabitat types (14 percent riffle, 67.3 percent run, and 18.7 percent pool) were classified along the entire river (100 miles) to assist in the selection of reaches for hydraulic and fish community data collection. The upper section has predominantly particle substrate, ranging in size from sand to boulders, and the shortest habitat units. The middle section is a transitional section with increased bedrock substrate and habitat unit length. The lower section has predominantly bedrock substrate and the longest habitat units in the river. The model simulations show that weighted usable-habitat area in the upper management section is highest at flows higher than the 25-percent exceedance flow for July, August, and September. During these three months, total weighted usable-habitat area in this section is often less than the simulated maximum weighted usable-habitat area. Habitat area in the middle management section is highest at flows between the 25- and 75-percent exceedance flows for July, August, and September. In the middle section during these months, both the actual weighted usable-habitat area and the simulated maximum weighted usable-habitat area are associated with this flow range. Weighted usable-habitat area in the lower management section is highest at flows lower than the 75-percent exceedance flow for July, August, and September. In the lower section during these three months, some weighted usable-habitat area is available, but the normal range of flows does not include the simulated maximum weighted usable-habitat area. A time-series habitat analysis associated with the historic streamflow, zero water withdrawals, and doubled water withdrawals was completed. During s

  20. Potential intertidal habitat restoration sites in the Duwamish River estuary

    SciTech Connect

    Tanner, C.D.

    1991-12-01

    Restoration of wetland habitats in highly urbanized areas is generally constrained by scarcity of opportunity, adverse impacts of surrounding land use, and cost. Although areal wetland losses approach 98% in Seattle's Duwamish River estuary, the system continues to support important salmonid runs, as well as a variety of bird and mammal species. Estuarine-dependent organisms are likely limited by quality and quantity of intertidal habitat in the system. Because the long-range, estuary-wide benefit of site-specific mitigation and restoration projects is limited, it is imperative to develop estuary-wide restoration plans. Towards this end, an inventory and analysis of potential intertidal habitat restoration sites has been completed for the Duwamish River estuary. Twenty-four sites, ranging in size from 0.8 to 25 acres were identified and comparative functional potential assessed. The majority of these sites (18) occur in the upper estuary. Two sites are located in Elliott Bay, and four are located near the historic mouth of the river in the vicinity of Harbor Island. Spatial data have been developed in geographic information system (GIS) format. Other site-specific data relative to habitat restoration has also been assembled.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

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

  2. Effectiveness of voluntary habitat stewardship in conserving grassland: case of operation burrowing owl in Saskatchewan.

    PubMed

    Warnock, Robert G; Skeel, Margaret A

    2004-03-01

    There have been no published performance evaluations of nongovernmental, voluntary habitat stewardship programs. The Operation Burrowing Owl (OBO) stewardship program, initiated in 1987, was evaluated for its effectiveness in conservation of grassland habitat during 1986-1993. The 108 OBO sites from 1987 to 88 and 98 randomly selected non-OBO sites that were grassland in 1986 in the Regina-Weyburn, Saskatchewan study area were classified by size and agricultural soil suitability. By 1993, 41 (38%) of the 108 OBO sites had been withdrawn from the program. The 1986 area of grassland was compared with grassland area calculated from digitized 1993 LANDSAT imagery. A correction for satellite inaccuracies was determined. Grassland retention in 1993 was significantly higher at OBO sites (66%) than at random sites (49%), demonstrating that the OBO voluntary program effectively conserved habitat. Also, grassland retention was significantly lower on sites with better agricultural soils, and for sites <12 ha in size. Site type (OBO or random), size and their interaction, followed by agricultural soil suitability, had the greatest effects on grassland retention. During an era of accelerated grassland loss, OBO strongly and positively (statistically significant) affected conservation of grassland sites most at risk: sites <12 ha in size and with good to excellent agricultural soils. This suggests that grassland conservation efforts focus on vulnerable sites (small size and/or good agricultural soils) to provide nesting habitat for burrowing owls. Our study demonstrates that a voluntary stewardship program can significantly increase conservation of habitat. PMID:15037954

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Geomorphic, flood, and groundwater-flow characteristics of Bayfield Peninsula streams, Wisconsin, and implications for brook-trout habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fitzpatrick, Faith A.; Peppler, Marie C.; Saad, David A.; Pratt, Dennis M.; Lenz, Bernard N.

    2015-01-01

    Available brook-trout habitat is dependent on the locations of groundwater upwellings, the sizes of flood peaks, and sediment loads. Management practices that focus on reducing or slowing runoff from upland areas a

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Otis, D.L.

    1997-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Falcy, Matthew R

    2015-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-10-01

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

  10. Ontogenetic shifts in fishes between vegetated and unvegetated tidepools: assessing the effect of physical structure on fish habitat selection.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, R R de S; Macieira, R M; Giarrizzo, T

    2016-07-01

    The aim of this study of tidepool fishes was analyse variation in their use of intertidal habitats (rocky shore, mangrove and salt marsh). Specimens were collected during wet and dry periods from 18 tidepools in the three habitats. A total of 7690 specimens, belonging to 19 families and 30 species, was captured. The fish assemblage in rocky shore pools was clearly distinct from that of vegetated habitats (mangrove and salt marshes). The rocky shore fauna was dominated by permanent resident species, whereas pools in mangrove and salt marsh habitats were inhabited primarily by opportunistic and transient species. Habitat segregation by ontogenetic stage (e.g. smaller individuals in mangroves, intermediate size classes in salt marsh and sub-adults/adults on rocky shores) indicates age-related migration in response to the physical structure of these habitats and to the natural history of each fish species. These findings are important for the development of effective conservation and management plans for intertidal fishes.

  11. Data Collection and Simulation of Ecological Habitat and Recreational Habitat in the Shenandoah River, Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krstolic, Jennifer L.

    2015-01-01

    Time-series analyses were used to investigate changes in habitat availability with increased water withdrawals of 10, 20, and almost 50 percent (48.6 percent) up to the 2040 amounts projected by local water supply plans. Adult and sub-adult smallmouth bass frequently had habitat availability outside the normal range for habitat conditions during drought years, yet 10- or 20-percent increases in withdrawals did not contribute to a large reduction in habitat. When withdrawals were increased by 50 percent, there was an additional decrease in habitat. During 2002 drought scenarios, reduced habitat availability for sub-adult redbreast sunfish or river chub was only slightly evident with 50-percent increased withdrawal scenarios. Recreational habitat represented by canoeing decreased lower than normal during the 2002 drought. For a recent normal year, like 2012, increased water-withdrawal scenarios did not affect habitat availability for fish such as adult and sub-adult smallmouth bass, sub-adult redbreast sunfish, or river chub. Canoeing habitat availability was within the normal range most of 2012, and increased water-withdrawal scenarios showed almost no affect. For both ecological fish habitat and recreational canoeing habitat, the antecedent conditions (habitat within normal range of habitat or below normal) appear to govern whether additional water withdrawals will affect habitat availability. As human populations and water demands increase, many of the ecological or recreational stresses may be lessened by managing the timing of water withdrawals from the system.

  12. Environmental adaptation in stomatal size independent of the effects of genome size

    PubMed Central

    Jordan, Gregory J; Carpenter, Raymond J; Koutoulis, Anthony; Price, Aina; Brodribb, Timothy J

    2015-01-01

    Cell sizes are linked across multiple tissues, including stomata, and this variation is closely correlated with genome size. These associations raise the question of whether generic changes in cell size cause suboptimal changes in stomata, requiring subsequent evolution under selection for stomatal size. We tested the relationships among guard cell length, genome size and vegetation type using phylogenetically independent analyses on 67 species of the ecologically and structurally diverse family, Proteaceae. We also compared how genome and stomatal sizes varied at ancient (among genera) and more recent (within genus) levels. The observed 60-fold range in genome size in Proteaceae largely reflected the mean chromosome size. Compared with variation among genera, genome size varied much less within genera (< 6% of total variance) than stomatal size, implying evolution in stomatal size subsequent to changes in genome size. Open vegetation and closed forest had significantly different relationships between stomatal and genome sizes. Ancient changes in genome size clearly influenced stomatal size in Proteaceae, but adaptation to habitat strongly modified the genome–stomatal size relationship. Direct adaptation to the environment in stomatal size argues that new proxies for past concentrations of atmospheric CO2 that incorporate stomatal size are superior to older models based solely on stomatal frequency. PMID:25266914

  13. Invasions in heterogeneous habitats in the presence of advection.

    PubMed

    Vergni, Davide; Iannaccone, Sandro; Berti, Stefano; Cencini, Massimo

    2012-05-21

    We investigate invasions from a biological reservoir to an initially empty, heterogeneous habitat in the presence of advection. The habitat consists of a periodic alternation of favorable and unfavorable patches. In the latter the population dies at fixed rate. In the former it grows either with the logistic or with an Allee effect type dynamics, where the population has to overcome a threshold to grow. We study the conditions for successful invasions and the speed of the invasion process, which is numerically and analytically investigated in several limits. Generically advection enhances the downstream invasion speed but decreases the population size of the invading species, and can even inhibit the invasion process. Remarkably, however, the rate of population increase, which quantifies the invasion efficiency, is maximized by an optimal advection velocity. In models with Allee effect, differently from the logistic case, above a critical unfavorable patch size the population localizes in a favorable patch, being unable to invade the habitat. However, we show that advection, when intense enough, may activate the invasion process.

  14. Effects of habitat fragmentation on the fitness of two common wetland species, Carex davalliana and Succisa pratensis.

    PubMed

    Hooftman, Danny A P; van Kleunen, Mark; Diemer, Matthias

    2003-02-01

    Small habitat size and spatial isolation may cause plant populations to suffer from genetic drift and inbreeding, leading to a reduced fitness of individual plants. We examined the germination, establishment, growth, and reproductive capacity of two characteristic species of mown fen meadows, Carex davalliana, and Succisa pratensis, common in Switzerland. Plants were grown from seeds, which were collected in 18 habitat islands, differing in size and in degree of isolation. We used both common garden and reciprocal transplant experiments to assess effects of habitat fragmentation. In the common garden, plants of Carex originating from small habitat islands yielded 35% less biomass, 30% fewer tillers, and 45% fewer flowering tillers than plants from larger ones. In contrast, plants of Succisa originating from small habitat islands yielded 19% more biomass, 14% more flower heads and 35% more flowers per flower head than plants from larger ones. Moreover, plants of Succisa from small isolated habitats yielded 32% more rosettes than did plants from small connected islands. Reciprocally transplanted plants of Succisa originating from small habitat islands produced 7% more rosettes than plants from larger ones. There was no effect of small habitat size and isolation on germination and establishment of both species in the field. Our results document genetic differences in performance attributable to habitat fragmentation in both species. We suggest that fitness loss in Carex is caused by inbreeding depression, whereas in Succisa the differences in fitness are more likely caused by genetic differentiation. Our study implies that habitat fragmentation affects common habitat-specific species, such as Carex and Succisa, as well as rare ones.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Spatial patterns of aquatic habitat richness in the Upper Mississippi River floodplain, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    De Jager, Nathan R.; Rohweder, Jason J.

    2012-01-01

    Interactions among hydrology and geomorphology create shifting mosaics of aquatic habitat patches in large river floodplains (e.g., main and side channels, floodplain lakes, and shallow backwater areas) and the connectivity among these habitat patches underpins high levels of biotic diversity and productivity. However, the diversity and connectivity among the habitats of most floodplain rivers have been negatively impacted by hydrologic and structural modifications that support commercial navigation and control flooding. We therefore tested the hypothesis that the rate of increase in patch richness (# of types) with increasing scale reflects anthropogenic modifications to habitat diversity and connectivity in a large floodplain river, the Upper Mississippi River (UMR). To do this, we calculated the number of aquatic habitat patch types within neighborhoods surrounding each of the ≈19 million 5-m aquatic pixels of the UMR for multiple neighborhood sizes (1–100 ha). For all of the 87 river-reach focal areas we examined, changes in habitat richness (R) with increasing neighborhood length (L, # pixels) were characterized by a fractal-like power function R = Lz (R2 > 0.92 (P z) measures the rate of increase in habitat richness with neighborhood size and is related to a fractal dimension. Variation in z reflected fundamental changes to spatial patterns of aquatic habitat richness in this river system. With only a few exceptions, z exceeded the river-wide average of 0.18 in focal areas where side channels, contiguous floodplain lakes, and contiguous shallow-water areas exceeded 5%, 5%, and 10% of the floodplain respectively. In contrast, z was always less than 0.18 for focal areas where impounded water exceeded 40% of floodplain area. Our results suggest that rehabilitation efforts that target areas with <5% of the floodplain in side channels, <5% in floodplain lakes, and/or <10% in shallow-water areas could improve habitat diversity across multiple scales in the UMR.

  19. The effects of habitat fragmentation on the social kin structure and mating system of the agile antechinus, Antechinus agilis.

    PubMed

    Banks, S C; Ward, S J; Lindenmayer, D B; Finlayson, G R; Lawson, S J; Taylor, A C

    2005-05-01

    Habitat fragmentation is one of the major contributors to the loss of biodiversity worldwide. However, relatively little is known about its more immediate impacts on within-patch population processes such as social structure and mating systems, whose alteration may play an important role in extinction risk. We investigated the impacts of habitat fragmentation due to the establishment of an exotic softwood plantation on the social kin structure and breeding system of the Australian marsupial carnivore, Antechinus agilis. Restricted dispersal by males in fragmented habitat resulted in elevated relatedness among potential mates in populations in fragments, potentially increasing the risk of inbreeding. Antechinus agilis nests communally in tree hollows; these nests are important points for social contact between males and females in the mating season. In response to elevated relatedness among potential mates in fragmented habitat, A. agilis significantly avoided sharing nests with opposite-sex relatives in large fragment sites (but not in small ones, possibly due to limited nest locations and small population sizes). Because opposite-sex individuals shared nests randomly with respect to relatedness in unfragmented habitat, we interpreted the phenomenon in fragmented habitat as a precursor to inbreeding avoidance via mate choice. Despite evidence that female A. agilis at high inbreeding risk selected relatively unrelated mates, there was no overall increased avoidance of related mates by females in fragmented habitats compared to unfragmented habitats. Simulations indicated that only dispersal, and not nonrandom mating, contributed to inbreeding avoidance in either habitat context. However, habitat fragmentation did influence the mating system in that the degree of multiple paternity was reduced due to the reduction in population sizes and population connectivity. This, in turn, reduced the number of males available to females in the breeding season. This suggests that

  20. Density-dependent home-range size revealed by spatially explicit capture–recapture

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Efford, M.G.; Dawson, Deanna K.; Jhala, Y.V.; Qureshi, Q.

    2016-01-01

    The size of animal home ranges often varies inversely with population density among populations of a species. This fact has implications for population monitoring using spatially explicit capture–recapture (SECR) models, in which both the scale of home-range movements σ and population density D usually appear as parameters, and both may vary among populations. It will often be appropriate to model a structural relationship between population-specific values of these parameters, rather than to assume independence. We suggest re-parameterizing the SECR model using kp = σp √Dp, where kp relates to the degree of overlap between home ranges and the subscript p distinguishes populations. We observe that kp is often nearly constant for populations spanning a range of densities. This justifies fitting a model in which the separate kp are replaced by the single parameter k and σp is a density-dependent derived parameter. Continuous density-dependent spatial variation in σ may also be modelled, using a scaled non-Euclidean distance between detectors and the locations of animals. We illustrate these methods with data from automatic photography of tigers (Panthera tigris) across India, in which the variation is among populations, from mist-netting of ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapilla) in Maryland, USA, in which the variation is within a single population over time, and from live-trapping of brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) in New Zealand, modelling spatial variation within one population. Possible applications and limitations of the methods are discussed. A model in which kp is constant, while density varies, provides a parsimonious null model for SECR. The parameter k of the null model is a concise summary of the empirical relationship between home-range size and density that is useful in comparative studies. We expect deviations from this model, particularly the dependence of kp on covariates, to be biologically interesting.

  1. Sandy beach surf zones: An alternative nursery habitat for 0-age Chinook salmon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marin Jarrin, J. R.; Miller, J. A.

    2013-12-01

    The role of each habitat fish use is of great importance to the dynamics of populations. During their early marine residence, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), an anadromous fish species, mostly inhabit estuaries but also use sandy beach surf zones and the coastal ocean. However, the role of surf zones in the early life history of Chinook salmon is unclear. We hypothesized that surf zones serve as an alternative nursery habitat, defined as a habitat that consistently provides a proportion of a population with foraging and growth rates similar to those experienced in the primary nursery. First, we confirmed that juvenile Chinook salmon cohorts are simultaneously using both habitats by combining field collections with otolith chemical and structural analysis to directly compare size and migration patterns of juveniles collected in two Oregon (USA) estuaries and surf zones during three years. We then compared juvenile catch, diet and growth in estuaries and surf zones. Juveniles were consistently caught in both habitats throughout summer. Catches were significantly higher in estuaries (average ± SD = 34.3 ± 19.7 ind. 100 m-2) than surf zones (1.0 ± 1.5 ind. 100 m-2) and were positively correlated (r = 0.92). Size at capture (103 ± 15 mm fork length, FL), size at marine entry (76 ± 13 mm FL), stomach fullness (2 ± 2% body weight) and growth rates (0.4 ± 0.0 mm day-1) were similar between habitats. Our results suggest that when large numbers of 0-age Chinook salmon inhabit estuaries, juveniles concurrently use surf zones, which serve as an alternative nursery habitat. Therefore, surf zones expand the available rearing habitat for Chinook salmon during early marine residence, a critical period in the life history.

  2. Habitat use and deconstruction of richness patterns in Cerrado birds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blamires, Daniel; de Oliveira, Guilherme; de Souza Barreto, Bruno; Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre Felizola

    2008-01-01

    At lower spatial scales, richness spatial patterns probably lead to more complex ecological-evolutionary interactions. In this paper, we used a "deconstruction" approach to evaluate the Cerrado breeding bird's richness, according to their habitat use categories (independent, semi-dependent and dependent on forest habitats). Six environmental variables and current human population size were used as predictors of species richness. Moran's I coefficients revealed strong spatial autocorrelation in ordinary least squares multiple regression residuals, and thus a Principal Coordinate of Neighbour Matrices (PCNM) was used to evaluate the influence of richness predictors, minimizing the problems caused by spatial autocorrelation. Models generated for total richness and for species richness by habitat categories were compared. We showed that, despite the total richness being more concentrated in south and southeast regions of Cerrado, these patterns changed when analysing semi-dependent and dependent forest habitat species, demonstrating a spatial variation in richness for these categories. The PCNM analyses demonstrated that, for total species richness, only partial coefficients of AET and temperature were significant. For independent forest richness, significant partial regression coefficients were found for AET, PET, TEMP and PREC, whereas for semi-dependent forest habitats richness, only AET was significant. On the other hand, for dependent of forest richness, a significant positive coefficient was found for precipitation and for human population. Most spatial variation in richness can be explained by joined effects of geographic structure and environmental predictors. These analyses reveal that deconstruction can be a step to a more effective understanding of richness patterns and their environmental drivers.

  3. Conservation of species in dynamic landscapes: divergent fates of Silene tatarica populations in riparian habitats.

    PubMed

    Jäkäläniemi, Anne; Tuomi, Juha; Siikamäki, Pirkko

    2006-06-01

    In transient environments, where local extinctions occur as a result of destruction or deterioration of the local habitat, the long-term persistence of a species requires successful colonizations at new, suitable sites. This kind of habitat tracking should be associated with the asynchronous dynamics of local populations, and it can be especially important for the conservation of rare plant species in riparian habitats. We determined spatiotemporal variation in the demography of the perennial Silene tatarica (L.) Pers. in 15 populations (1998-2003) located in periodically disturbed riparian habitats. The habitats differed according to their morphology (flat shores, slopes) and the amount of bare ground (open, intermediate, closed) along a successional gradient. We used elasticity and life-table response analyses and stochastic simulations to study the variation in population demography. Finite population growth rate was higher in intermediate habitats than in open and closed habitats. In stochastic simulations population size increased in most cases, but four populations were projected to become extinct within 12-70 years. The viability of local populations depended most on the survival and growth of juvenile individuals and on the fecundity of large fertile individuals. On a regional scale, the persistence of this species will require a viable network of local populations as protection against local extinctions caused by natural disturbances and succession. Accordingly, the long-term persistence of riparian species may depend on habitat changes; thus, their conservation requires maintenance of natural disturbance dynamics. Along regulated rivers, management activities such as the creation of open habitats for new colonization should be implemented. Similarly, these activities can be rather general requirements for the conservation of endangered species dependent on transient habitats along successional gradients.

  4. Effects of frugivore preferences and habitat heterogeneity on seed rain: a multi-scale analysis.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Pérez, Javier; Larrinaga, Asier R; Santamaría, Luis

    2012-01-01

    Seed rain mediated by frugivores is influenced by (1) the seed-deposition distances following fruit ingestion, (2) the disperser activity, as determined by its behaviour and habitat preferences, and (3) the structure of the habitat within the landscape. Here, we evaluated such components using the fleshy-fruited shrub Ephedra fragilis and the frugivorous Balearic lizard Podarcis lilfordi. We estimated seed-deposition patterns based on the displacements and habitat preferences of lizards, derived from visual surveys and telemetry data. The influence of variables potentially determining lizard habitat preference (i.e., height, slope, four measures of habitat abundance and four measures of habitat fragmentation) was evaluated at three spatial scales: 'home-range' (c. 2.5-10*10(3) m(2); telemetry data), 'within home-range' (c. 100 m(2); telemetry data) and 'microhabitat' (<100 m(2); visual survey). Cumulative lizard displacement (from each telemetric location to the initial capture point) saturated before the peak of seed defecation (seed-retention time), indicating that lizard home-range size and habitat preferences were the main determinants of the spread and shape of seed shadows. Shrub cover was positively correlated with habitat preference at the three scales of analysis, whereas slope was negatively correlated at the home-range scale. Model scenarios indicated that spatially-aggregated seed rain emerged when we incorporated the joint effect of habitat preference at the two largest (home-range and within home-range) scales. We conclude that, in order to predict seed rain in animal dispersed plants, it is important to consider the multi-scale effects of habitat preference by frugivores.

  5. Influence of habitat amount, arrangement, and use on population trend estimates of male Kirtland's warblers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

    Kirtland's warblers (Dendroica kirtlandii) persist in a naturally patchy environment of young, regenerating jack pine forests (i.e., 5-23 years old) created after wildfires and human logging activities. We examined how changing landscape structure from 26 years of forest management and wildfire disturbances influenced population size and spatial dispersion of male Kirtland's warblers within their restricted breeding range in northern Lower Michigan, USA. The male Kirtland's warbler population was six times larger in 2004 (1,322) compared to 1979 (205); the change was nonlinear with 1987 and 1994 identified as significant points of change. In 1987, the population trend began increasing after a slowly declining trend prior to 1987, and the rate of increase appeared to slow after 1994. Total amount of suitable habitat and the relative area of wildfire-regenerated habitat were the most important factors explaining population trend. Suitable habitat increased 149% primarily due to increasing plantations from forest management. The relative amount and location of wildfire-regenerated habitat modified the distribution of males among various habitat types, and the spatial variation in their abundance across the primary breeding range. These findings indicate that the Kirtland's warbler male population shifted its use of habitat types temporally and spatially as the population increased and as the relative availability of habitats changed through time. We demonstrate that researchers and managers need to consider not only habitat quality, but the temporal and the spatial context of habitat availability and population levels when making habitat restoration decisions. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  6. Effects of Frugivore Preferences and Habitat Heterogeneity on Seed Rain: A Multi-Scale Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Pérez, Javier; Larrinaga, Asier R.; Santamaría, Luis

    2012-01-01

    Seed rain mediated by frugivores is influenced by (1) the seed-deposition distances following fruit ingestion, (2) the disperser activity, as determined by its behaviour and habitat preferences, and (3) the structure of the habitat within the landscape. Here, we evaluated such components using the fleshy-fruited shrub Ephedra fragilis and the frugivorous Balearic lizard Podarcis lilfordi. We estimated seed-deposition patterns based on the displacements and habitat preferences of lizards, derived from visual surveys and telemetry data. The influence of variables potentially determining lizard habitat preference (i.e., height, slope, four measures of habitat abundance and four measures of habitat fragmentation) was evaluated at three spatial scales: ‘home-range’ (c. 2.5–10*103 m2; telemetry data), ‘within home-range’ (c. 100 m2; telemetry data) and ‘microhabitat’ (<100 m2; visual survey). Cumulative lizard displacement (from each telemetric location to the initial capture point) saturated before the peak of seed defecation (seed-retention time), indicating that lizard home-range size and habitat preferences were the main determinants of the spread and shape of seed shadows. Shrub cover was positively correlated with habitat preference at the three scales of analysis, whereas slope was negatively correlated at the home-range scale. Model scenarios indicated that spatially-aggregated seed rain emerged when we incorporated the joint effect of habitat preference at the two largest (home-range and within home-range) scales. We conclude that, in order to predict seed rain in animal dispersed plants, it is important to consider the multi-scale effects of habitat preference by frugivores. PMID:22438902

  7. Differential Habitat Use or Intraguild Interactions: What Structures a Carnivore Community?

    PubMed

    Gompper, Matthew E; Lesmeister, Damon B; Ray, Justina C; Malcolm, Jay R; Kays, Roland

    2016-01-01

    Differential habitat use and intraguild competition are both thought to be important drivers of animal population sizes and distributions. Habitat associations for individual species are well-established, and interactions between particular pairs of species have been highlighted in many focal studies. However, community-wide assessments of the relative strengths of these two factors have not been conducted. We built multi-scale habitat occupancy models for five carnivore taxa of New York's Adirondack landscape and assessed the relative performance of these models against ones in which co-occurrences of potentially competing carnivore species were also incorporated. Distribution models based on habitat performed well for all species. Black bear (Ursus americanus) and fisher (Martes pennanti) distribution was similar in that occupancy of both species was negatively associated with paved roads. However, black bears were also associated with larger forest fragments and fishers with smaller forest fragments. No models with habitat features were more supported than the null habitat model for raccoons (Procyon lotor). Martens (Martes americana) were most associated with increased terrain ruggedness and elevation. Weasel (Mustela spp.) occupancy increased with the cover of deciduous forest. For most species dyads habitat-only models were more supported than those models with potential competitors incorporated. The exception to this finding was for the smallest carnivore taxa (marten and weasel) where habitat plus coyote abundance models typically performed better than habitat-only models. Assessing this carnivore community as whole, we conclude that differential habitat use is more important than species interactions in maintaining the distribution and structure of this carnivore guild.

  8. Differential Habitat Use or Intraguild Interactions: What Structures a Carnivore Community?

    PubMed Central

    Gompper, Matthew E.; Lesmeister, Damon B.; Ray, Justina C.; Malcolm, Jay R.; Kays, Roland

    2016-01-01

    Differential habitat use and intraguild competition are both thought to be important drivers of animal population sizes and distributions. Habitat associations for individual species are well-established, and interactions between particular pairs of species have been highlighted in many focal studies. However, community-wide assessments of the relative strengths of these two factors have not been conducted. We built multi-scale habitat occupancy models for five carnivore taxa of New York’s Adirondack landscape and assessed the relative performance of these models against ones in which co-occurrences of potentially competing carnivore species were also incorporated. Distribution models based on habitat performed well for all species. Black bear (Ursus americanus) and fisher (Martes pennanti) distribution was similar in that occupancy of both species was negatively associated with paved roads. However, black bears were also associated with larger forest fragments and fishers with smaller forest fragments. No models with habitat features were more supported than the null habitat model for raccoons (Procyon lotor). Martens (Martes americana) were most associated with increased terrain ruggedness and elevation. Weasel (Mustela spp.) occupancy increased with the cover of deciduous forest. For most species dyads habitat-only models were more supported than those models with potential competitors incorporated. The exception to this finding was for the smallest carnivore taxa (marten and weasel) where habitat plus coyote abundance models typically performed better than habitat-only models. Assessing this carnivore community as whole, we conclude that differential habitat use is more important than species interactions in maintaining the distribution and structure of this carnivore guild. PMID:26731404

  9. Climate change expands the spatial extent and duration of preferred thermal habitat for lake Superior fishes.

    PubMed

    Cline, Timothy J; Bennington, Val; Kitchell, James F

    2013-01-01

    Climate change is expected to alter species distributions and habitat suitability across the globe. Understanding these shifting distributions is critical for adaptive resource management. The role of temperature in fish habitat and energetics is well established and can be used to evaluate climate change effects on habitat distributions and food web interactions. Lake Superior water temperatures are rising rapidly in response to climate change and this is likely influencing species distributions and interactions. We use a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model that captures temperature changes in Lake Superior over the last 3 decades to investigate shifts in habitat size and duration of preferred temperatures for four different fishes. We evaluated habitat changes in two native lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) ecotypes, siscowet and lean lake trout, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), and walleye (Sander vitreus). Between 1979 and 2006, days with available preferred thermal habitat increased at a mean rate of 6, 7, and 5 days per decade for lean lake trout, Chinook salmon, and walleye, respectively. Siscowet lake trout lost 3 days per decade. Consequently, preferred habitat spatial extents increased at a rate of 579, 495 and 419 km(2) per year for the lean lake trout, Chinook salmon, and walleye while siscowet lost 161 km(2) per year during the modeled period. Habitat increases could lead to increased growth and production for three of the four fishes. Consequently, greater habitat overlap may intensify interguild competition and food web interactions. Loss of cold-water habitat for siscowet, having the coldest thermal preference, could forecast potential changes from continued warming. Additionally, continued warming may render more suitable conditions for some invasive species.

  10. Differential Habitat Use or Intraguild Interactions: What Structures a Carnivore Community?

    PubMed

    Gompper, Matthew E; Lesmeister, Damon B; Ray, Justina C; Malcolm, Jay R; Kays, Roland

    2016-01-01

    Differential habitat use and intraguild competition are both thought to be important drivers of animal population sizes and distributions. Habitat associations for individual species are well-established, and interactions between particular pairs of species have been highlighted in many focal studies. However, community-wide assessments of the relative strengths of these two factors have not been conducted. We built multi-scale habitat occupancy models for five carnivore taxa of New York's Adirondack landscape and assessed the relative performance of these models against ones in which co-occurrences of potentially competing carnivore species were also incorporated. Distribution models based on habitat performed well for all species. Black bear (Ursus americanus) and fisher (Martes pennanti) distribution was similar in that occupancy of both species was negatively associated with paved roads. However, black bears were also associated with larger forest fragments and fishers with smaller forest fragments. No models with habitat features were more supported than the null habitat model for raccoons (Procyon lotor). Martens (Martes americana) were most associated with increased terrain ruggedness and elevation. Weasel (Mustela spp.) occupancy increased with the cover of deciduous forest. For most species dyads habitat-only models were more supported than those models with potential competitors incorporated. The exception to this finding was for the smallest carnivore taxa (marten and weasel) where habitat plus coyote abundance models typically performed better than habitat-only models. Assessing this carnivore community as whole, we conclude that differential habitat use is more important than species interactions in maintaining the distribution and structure of this carnivore guild. PMID:26731404

  11. Activities and preliminary results of nearshore benthic habitat mapping in southern California, 1998

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cochrane, Guy R.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2000-01-01

    The nearshore benthic habitat of the Santa Barbara coast and Channel Islands supports a diversity of marine life that are commercially, recreationally, and intrinsically valuable. Some of these resources are known to be endangered including a variety of rockfish and the White Abalone. State and National agencies have been mandated to preserve and enhance these resources and require detailed habitat characterization in order to do so. This project will characterize and map the benthic habitat in areas that have been selected because they have been set aside as National Sanctuaries or State Preserves, or are areas of ongoing or planned fish population studies. Various management strategies are being developed to protect marine resources in the Santa Barbara Channel Islands Region. One approach under investigation is to implement no-take marine reserves (Agardy, T., 1997; Bohnsack, 1998; Roberts, 1997). One small reserve presently exists on Anacapa Island and there is a growing momentum to add additional reserves to form a reserve network (Lafferty et al., 2000). Reserves may provide relatively pristine marine communities in a wild state for study and appreciation. In addition, they may buffer some species from over-fishing. A key feature of marine reserve design is to protect a representation of the existing habitats in a region (Roberts, 1997). Unfortunately, the distribution of habitats is not well known in this area since the underwater equivalent of soils and vegetation maps that are widely available for terrestrial systems do not yet exist. Managers need habitat maps to help determine the most appropriate boundaries for reserves in a network in order to meet various criteria and goals (such as habitat representation, reserve size, habitat heterogeneity, reserve spacing, inclusion of sensitive habitats, etc.). Another use for habitat mapping is to better understand the distribution of those habitats that are particularly important to fished species or sensitive

  12. Evolution of extreme body size disparity in monitor lizards (Varanus).

    PubMed

    Collar, David C; Schulte, James A; Losos, Jonathan B

    2011-09-01

    Many features of species' biology, including life history, physiology, morphology, and ecology are tightly linked to body size. Investigation into the causes of size divergence is therefore critical to understanding the factors shaping phenotypic diversity within clades. In this study, we examined size evolution in monitor lizards (Varanus), a clade that includes the largest extant lizard species, the Komodo dragon (V. komodoensis), as well as diminutive species that are nearly four orders of magnitude smaller in adult body mass. We demonstrate that the remarkable body size disparity of this clade is a consequence of different selective demands imposed by three major habitat use patterns-arboreality, terrestriality, and rock-dwelling. We reconstructed phylogenetic relationships and ancestral habitat use and applied model selection to determine that the best-fitting evolutionary models for species' adult size are those that infer oppositely directed adaptive evolution associated with terrestriality and rock-dwelling, with terrestrial lineages evolving extremely large size and rock-dwellers becoming very small. We also show that habitat use affects the evolution of several ecologically important morphological traits independently of body size divergence. These results suggest that habitat use exerts a strong, multidimensional influence on the evolution of morphological size and shape disparity in monitor lizards.

  13. Evolution of extreme body size disparity in monitor lizards (Varanus).

    PubMed

    Collar, David C; Schulte, James A; Losos, Jonathan B

    2011-09-01

    Many features of species' biology, including life history, physiology, morphology, and ecology are tightly linked to body size. Investigation into the causes of size divergence is therefore critical to understanding the factors shaping phenotypic diversity within clades. In this study, we examined size evolution in monitor lizards (Varanus), a clade that includes the largest extant lizard species, the Komodo dragon (V. komodoensis), as well as diminutive species that are nearly four orders of magnitude smaller in adult body mass. We demonstrate that the remarkable body size disparity of this clade is a consequence of different selective demands imposed by three major habitat use patterns-arboreality, terrestriality, and rock-dwelling. We reconstructed phylogenetic relationships and ancestral habitat use and applied model selection to determine that the best-fitting evolutionary models for species' adult size are those that infer oppositely directed adaptive evolution associated with terrestriality and rock-dwelling, with terrestrial lineages evolving extremely large size and rock-dwellers becoming very small. We also show that habitat use affects the evolution of several ecologically important morphological traits independently of body size divergence. These results suggest that habitat use exerts a strong, multidimensional influence on the evolution of morphological size and shape disparity in monitor lizards. PMID:21884063

  14. 50 CFR 622.302 - Minimum mesh size.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... Sargassum Habitat of the South Atlantic Region § 622.302 Minimum mesh size. (a) The minimum allowable mesh size for a net used to fish for pelagic sargassum in the South Atlantic EEZ is 4.0 inches (10.2 cm... possess any pelagic sargassum. (b)...

  15. 50 CFR 622.302 - Minimum mesh size.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... Sargassum Habitat of the South Atlantic Region § 622.302 Minimum mesh size. (a) The minimum allowable mesh size for a net used to fish for pelagic sargassum in the South Atlantic EEZ is 4.0 inches (10.2 cm... possess any pelagic sargassum. (b)...

  16. The Habitat Demonstration Unit Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kennedy, Kriss J.; Gill, Tracy; Tri, Terry; Howe, Scott

    2009-01-01

    This paper will describe an overview of the NASA-led multi-center Habitat Demonstration Unit (HDU) Project. The HDU project is a technology-pull project that integrates technologies and innovations from numerous NASA centers. This project will be used to investigate and validate surface architectures, operations concepts, and requirements definition. The HDU project will be part of the 2010 Desert Research and Technologies Simulations (DRATS). The purpose of this project is to develop, integrate, test, and evaluate a HDU in the context of the mission architectures and surface operation concepts. This HDU is based on the Constellation Architecture Scenario 12.1 concept of a vertically oriented habitat module. A multi-center approach with be utilized to build, integrate, and test the HDU project through a shared collaborative effort of multiple NASA centers. This project is part of the strategic plan from the ESMD Directorate Integration Office (DIO) and the Lunar Surface Systems Project Office (LSSPO) to test surface elements in a surface analog environment which includes two Lunar Electric Rovers and the HDU during the 2010 analog field test. This paper will describe the overall objectives, its various configurations, strategic plan, and technology integration as it pertains to the 2010 and 2011 field analog tests.

  17. Transmission loss in manatee habitats.

    PubMed

    Miksis-Olds, Jennifer L; Miller, James H

    2006-10-01

    The Florida manatee is regularly exposed to high volumes of vessel traffic and other human-related noise because of its coastal distribution. Quantifying specific aspects of the manatee's acoustic environment will allow for a better understanding of how these animals respond to both natural and human-induced changes in their environment. Transmission loss measurements were made in 24 sampling sites that were chosen based on the frequency of manatee presence. The Monterey-Miami Parabolic Equation model was used to relate environmental parameters to transmission loss in two extremely shallow water environments: seagrass beds and dredged habitats. Model accuracy was verified by field tests at all modeled sites. Results indicated that high-use grassbeds have higher levels of transmission loss for frequencies above 2 kHz compared to low-use sites of equal food species composition and density. This also happens to be the range of most efficient sound propagation inside the grassbed habitat and includes the dominant frequencies of manatee vocalizations. The acoustic environment may play a more important role in manatee grassbed selection than seagrass coverage or species composition, as linear regression analysis showed no significant correlation between usage and either total grass coverage, individual species coverage, or aerial pattern. PMID:17069327

  18. Habitats of North American sea ducks.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Derksen, Dirk V.; Petersen, Margaret R.; Savard, Jean-Pierre L.

    2015-01-01

    Breeding, molting, fall and spring staging, and wintering habitats of the sea duck tribe Mergini are described based on geographic locations and distribution in North America, geomorphology, vegetation and soil types, and fresh water and marine characteristics. The dynamics of habitats are discussed in light of natural and anthropogenic events that shape areas important to sea ducks. Strategies for sea duck habitat management are outlined and recommendations for international collaboration to preserve key terrestrial and aquatic habitats are advanced. We follow the definition of habitat advanced by Odum (1971), which is the place or space where an organism lives. Weller (1999) emphasized that habitats for waterbirds required presence of sufficient resources (i.e., food, water, cover, space) for maintenance during a portion of their annual cycle. Habitats exploited by North American sea ducks are diverse, widespread across the continent and adjacent marine waters and until recently, most were only superficially known. Even following a 15-year-long effort through the Sea Duck Joint Venture and U.S. and Canadian Endangered/Threatened Species programs to fund research focused on sea duck habitats there are still important gaps in our understanding of key elements required by some species during various life stages. Importantly, many significant habitats, especially staging and wintering sites, have been and continue to be destroyed or altered, largely as a result of anthropogenic effects. Our goal here is to develop a comprehensive summary of marine, freshwater, and terrestrial habitats and their characteristics by considering sea duck species with similar needs as groups (e.g., eiders) within the tribe Mergini. Additionally, this chapter will examine threats and changes to sea duck habitats from human-caused and natural events. Finally, we will evaluate conservation and management programs underway or available for maintenance and enhancement of habitats critical for

  19. 50 CFR 17.94 - Critical habitats.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Critical habitats. 17.94 Section 17.94... habitats. (a) The areas listed in § 17.95 (fish and wildlife) and § 17.96 (plants) and referred to in the lists at §§ 17.11 and 17.12 have been determined by the Director to be Critical Habitat. All...

  20. 50 CFR 17.94 - Critical habitats.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Critical habitats. 17.94 Section 17.94... habitats. (a) The areas listed in § 17.95 (fish and wildlife) and § 17.96 (plants) and referred to in the lists at §§ 17.11 and 17.12 have been determined by the Director to be Critical Habitat. All...

  1. 50 CFR 17.94 - Critical habitats.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Critical habitats. 17.94 Section 17.94... habitats. (a) The areas listed in § 17.95 (fish and wildlife) and § 17.96 (plants) and referred to in the lists at §§ 17.11 and 17.12 have been determined by the Director to be Critical Habitat. All...

  2. 50 CFR 17.94 - Critical habitats.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Critical habitats. 17.94 Section 17.94... habitats. (a) The areas listed in § 17.95 (fish and wildlife) and § 17.96 (plants) and referred to in the lists at §§ 17.11 and 17.12 have been determined by the Director to be Critical Habitat. All...

  3. 50 CFR 17.94 - Critical habitats.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Critical habitats. 17.94 Section 17.94... habitats. (a) The areas listed in § 17.95 (fish and wildlife) and § 17.96 (plants) and referred to in the lists at §§ 17.11 and 17.12 have been determined by the Director to be Critical Habitat. All...

  4. Does body size affect a bird's sensitivity to patch size and landscape structure?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winter, M.; Johnson, D.H.; Shaffer, J.A.

    2006-01-01

    Larger birds are generally more strongly affected by habitat loss and fragmentation than are smaller ones because they require more resources and thus larger habitat patches. Consequently, conservation actions often favor the creation or protection of larger over smaller patches. However, in grassland systems the boundaries between a patch and the surrounding landscape, and thus the perceived size of a patch, can be indistinct. We investigated whether eight grassland bird species with different body sizes perceived variation in patch size and landscape structure in a consistent manner. Data were collected from surveys conducted in 44 patches of northern tallgrass prairie during 1998-2001. The response to patch size was very similar among species regardless of body size (density was little affected by patch size), except in the Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido), which showed a threshold effect and was not found in patches smaller than 140 ha. In landscapes containing 0%-30% woody vegetation, smaller species responded more negatively to increases in the percentage of woody vegetation than larger species, but above an apparent threshold of 30%, larger species were not detected. Further analyses revealed that the observed variation in responses to patch size and landscape structure among species was not solely due to body size per se, but to other differences among species. These results indicate that a stringent application of concepts requiring larger habitat patches for larger species appears to limit the number of grassland habitats that can be protected and may not always be the most effective conservation strategy. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2006.

  5. Measuring individuality in habitat use across complex landscapes: approaches, constraints, and implications for assessing resource specialization.

    PubMed

    Fodrie, F Joel; Yeager, Lauren A; Grabowski, Jonathan H; Layman, Craig A; Sherwood, Graham D; Kenworthy, Matthew D

    2015-05-01

    Many mobile marine species are presumed to utilize a broad spectrum of habitats, but this seemingly generalist life history may arise from conspecifics specializing on distinct habitat alternatives to exploit foraging, resting/refuge, or reproductive opportunities. We acoustically tagged 34 red drum, and mapped sand, seagrass, marsh, or oyster (across discrete landscape contexts) use by each uniquely coded individual. Using 144,000 acoustic detections, we recorded differences in habitat use among red drum: proportional use of seagrass habitat ranged from 0 to 100%, and use of oyster-bottom types also varied among fish. WIC/TNW and IS metrics (previously applied vis-à-vis diet specialization) consistently indicated that a typical red drum overlapped >70% with population-level niche exploitation. Monte Carlo permutations showed these values were lower than expected had fish drawn from a common habitat-use distribution, but longitudinal comparisons did not provide evidence of temporally consistent individuality, suggesting that differences among individuals were plastic and not reflective of true specialization. Given the range of acoustic detections we captured (from tens to 1,000s per individual), which are substantially larger sample sizes than in many diet studies, we extended our findings by serially reducing or expanding our data in simulations to evaluate sample-size effects. We found that the results of null hypothesis testing for specialization were highly dependent on sample size, with thresholds in the relationship between sample size and associated P-values. These results highlight opportunities and potential caveats in exploring individuality in habitat use. More broadly, exploring individual specialization in fine-scale habitat use suggests that, for mobile marine species, movement behaviors over shorter (≤weeks), but not longer (≥months), timescales may serve as an underlying mechanism for other forms of resource specialization. PMID:25669451

  6. Measuring individuality in habitat use across complex landscapes: approaches, constraints, and implications for assessing resource specialization.

    PubMed

    Fodrie, F Joel; Yeager, Lauren A; Grabowski, Jonathan H; Layman, Craig A; Sherwood, Graham D; Kenworthy, Matthew D

    2015-05-01

    Many mobile marine species are presumed to utilize a broad spectrum of habitats, but this seemingly generalist life history may arise from conspecifics specializing on distinct habitat alternatives to exploit foraging, resting/refuge, or reproductive opportunities. We acoustically tagged 34 red drum, and mapped sand, seagrass, marsh, or oyster (across discrete landscape contexts) use by each uniquely coded individual. Using 144,000 acoustic detections, we recorded differences in habitat use among red drum: proportional use of seagrass habitat ranged from 0 to 100%, and use of oyster-bottom types also varied among fish. WIC/TNW and IS metrics (previously applied vis-à-vis diet specialization) consistently indicated that a typical red drum overlapped >70% with population-level niche exploitation. Monte Carlo permutations showed these values were lower than expected had fish drawn from a common habitat-use distribution, but longitudinal comparisons did not provide evidence of temporally consistent individuality, suggesting that differences among individuals were plastic and not reflective of true specialization. Given the range of acoustic detections we captured (from tens to 1,000s per individual), which are substantially larger sample sizes than in many diet studies, we extended our findings by serially reducing or expanding our data in simulations to evaluate sample-size effects. We found that the results of null hypothesis testing for specialization were highly dependent on sample size, with thresholds in the relationship between sample size and associated P-values. These results highlight opportunities and potential caveats in exploring individuality in habitat use. More broadly, exploring individual specialization in fine-scale habitat use suggests that, for mobile marine species, movement behaviors over shorter (≤weeks), but not longer (≥months), timescales may serve as an underlying mechanism for other forms of resource specialization.

  7. Habitat patterns in a small mammal community

    SciTech Connect

    Kitchings, J.T.; Levy, D.J.

    1981-11-01

    Microhabitat relationships between four sympatric small mammal species (Peromyscus leucopus, Ochrotomys nuttalli, Blarina brevicauda, and Tamias striatus) were examined to determine if their discriminant analysis of small mammal habitat represented a unique habitat utilization pattern for a specific small mammal community. The authors concluded that habitat is only one of many dimensions to be considered when studying the interactions of sympatric species. Reproductive strategy, activity patterns, and other factors make up the n-dimensional hyperspace of an animal's niche. Thus differences in habitat usage alone cannot be used to determine niche overlap and competition between species. (JMT)

  8. Elevation Derivatives for Mojave Desert Tortoise Habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Gass, Leila

    2008-01-01

    This report describes the methods used to derive various elevation-derivative grids that were inputted to the Mojave Desert Tortoise Habitat model (L. Gass and others, unpub. data). These grids, which capture information on surface roughness and topographic characteristics, are a subset of the environmental datasets evaluated for the tortoise habitat model. This habitat model is of major importance to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is charged with management of this threatened population, including relocating displaced tortoises to areas identified as suitable habitat.

  9. Habitat stability, predation risk and 'memory syndromes'.

    PubMed

    Dalesman, S; Rendle, A; Dall, S R X

    2015-05-27

    Habitat stability and predation pressure are thought to be major drivers in the evolutionary maintenance of behavioural syndromes, with trait covariance only occurring within specific habitats. However, animals also exhibit behavioural plasticity, often through memory formation. Memory formation across traits may be linked, with covariance in memory traits (memory syndromes) selected under particular environmental conditions. This study tests whether the pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, demonstrates consistency among memory traits ('memory syndrome') related to threat avoidance and foraging. We used eight populations originating from three different habitat types: i) laboratory populations (stable habitat, predator-free); ii) river populations (fairly stable habitat, fish predation); and iii) ditch populations (unstable habitat, invertebrate predation). At a population level, there was a negative relationship between memories related to threat avoidance and food selectivity, but no consistency within habitat type. At an individual level, covariance between memory traits was dependent on habitat. Laboratory populations showed no covariance among memory traits, whereas river populations showed a positive correlation between food memories, and ditch populations demonstrated a negative relationship between threat memory and food memories. Therefore, selection pressures among habitats appear to act independently on memory trait covariation at an individual level and the average response within a population.

  10. Extreme contagion in global habitat clearance.

    PubMed

    Boakes, Elizabeth H; Mace, Georgina M; McGowan, Philip J K; Fuller, Richard A

    2010-04-01

    Habitat clearance remains the major cause of biodiversity loss, with consequences for ecosystem services and for people. In response to this, many global conservation schemes direct funds to regions with high rates of recent habitat destruction, though some also emphasize the conservation of remaining large tracts of intact habitat. If the pattern of habitat clearance is highly contagious, the latter approach will help prevent destructive processes gaining a foothold in areas of contiguous intact habitat. Here, we test the strength of spatial contagion in the pattern of habitat clearance. Using a global dataset of land-cover change at 50 x 50 km resolution, we discover that intact habitat areas in grid cells are refractory to clearance only when all neighbouring cells are also intact. The likelihood of loss increases dramatically as soon as habitat is cleared in just one neighbouring cell, and remains high thereafter. This effect is consistent for forests and grassland, across biogeographic realms and over centuries, constituting a coherent global pattern. Our results show that landscapes become vulnerable to wholesale clearance as soon as threatening processes begin to penetrate, so actions to prevent any incursions into large, intact blocks of natural habitat are key to their long-term persistence.

  11. Habitat fragmentation effects on birds in grasslands and wetlands: A critique of our knowledge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, D.H.

    2001-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation exacerbates the problem of habitat loss for grassland and wetland birds. Remaining patches of grasslands and wetlands may be too small, too isolated, and too influenced by edge effects to maintain viable populations of some breeding birds. Knowledge of the effects of fragmentation on bird populations is critically important for decisions about reserve design, grassland and wetland management, and implementation of cropland set-aside programs that benefit wildlife. In my review of research that has been conducted on habitat fragmentation, I found at least five common problems in the methodology used. The results of many studies are compromised by these problems: passive sampling (sampling larger areas in larger patches), confounding effects of habitat heterogeneity, consequences of inappropriate pooling of data from different species, artifacts associated with artificial nest data, and definition of actual habitat patches. As expected, some large-bodied birds with large territorial requirements, such as the northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), appear area sensitive. In addition, some small species of grassland birds favor patches of habitat far in excess of their territory size, including the Savannah (Passerculus sandwichensis), grasshopper (Ammodramus savannarum) and Henslow's (A. henslowii) sparrows, and the bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). Other species may be area sensitive as well, but the data are ambiguous. Area sensitivity among wetland birds remains unknown since virtually no studies have been based on solid methodologies. We need further research on grassland bird response to habitat that distinguishes supportable conclusions from those that may be artifactual.

  12. The relative influence of habitat amount and configuration on genetic structure across multiple spatial scales

    PubMed Central

    Millette, Katie L; Keyghobadi, Nusha

    2015-01-01

    Despite strong interest in understanding how habitat spatial structure shapes the genetics of populations, the relative importance of habitat amount and configuration for patterns of genetic differentiation remains largely unexplored in empirical systems. In this study, we evaluate the relative influence of, and interactions among, the amount of habitat and aspects of its spatial configuration on genetic differentiation in the pitcher plant midge, Metriocnemus knabi. Larvae of this species are found exclusively within the water-filled leaves of pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea) in a system that is naturally patchy at multiple spatial scales (i.e., leaf, plant, cluster, peatland). Using generalized linear mixed models and multimodel inference, we estimated effects of the amount of habitat, patch size, interpatch distance, and patch isolation, measured at different spatial scales, on genetic differentiation (FST) among larval samples from leaves within plants, plants within clusters, and clusters within peatlands. Among leaves and plants, genetic differentiation appears to be driven by female oviposition behaviors and is influenced by habitat isolation at a broad (peatland) scale. Among clusters, gene flow is spatially restricted and aspects of both the amount of habitat and configuration at the focal scale are important, as is their interaction. Our results suggest that both habitat amount and configuration can be important determinants of genetic structure and that their relative influence is scale dependent. PMID:25628865

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zelt, R.B.

    1996-01-01

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

  15. How much habitat management is needed to meet mallard production objectives?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cowardin, L.M.; Shaffer, T.L.; Kraft, K.M.

    1995-01-01

    We used results from simulation models to demonstrate the benefit-cost ratios of habitat management to increase the number of mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) recruits produced. The models were applied to hypothetical 2-habitat landscapes comprised of managed and unmanaged habitat. Managed habitats were predator barrier fencing and CRP cover; unmanaged habitat was grassland. As the amount of managed cover increased, the production curve rose rapidly and leveled off. If 2 managed habitats are added to a landscape, the cover can compete for available nesting hens, thus negating the benefits of 1 of the covers. After converting benefits and costs to dollars, we determined the point at which maximum net benefit occurs. We present an equation that can be used to determine the maximum net benefit of a management treatment given the size of the breeding population and the values of costs and benefits. Our examples demonstrate that, on local areas, it is inefficient to spend money for habitat management once maximum net benefit has been attained. If desired production can not be attained efficiently on an area, the manager can invest effort on alternative areas with greater management potential. If recruitment is inadequate to maintain a stable population, managers should manage to increase recruitment before attempting to attract additional breeding pairs. If recruitment more than maintains the breeding population, managers should attempt to attract additional breeding pairs to the area.

  16. Stable Isotope Models Predict Foraging Habitat of Northern Fur Seals (Callorhinus ursinus) in Alaska.

    PubMed

    Zeppelin, T K; Johnson, D S; Kuhn, C E; Iverson, S J; Ream, R R

    2015-01-01

    We developed models to predict foraging habitat of adult female northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) using stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope values from plasma and red blood cells. Binomial generalized linear mixed models were developed using blood isotope samples collected from 35 adult female fur seals on three breeding colonies in Alaska during July-October 2006. Satellite location and dive data were used to define habitat use in terms of the proportion of time spent or dives made in different oceanographic/bathymetric domains. For both plasma and red blood cells, the models accurately predicted habitat use for animals that foraged exclusively off or on the continental shelf. The models did not perform as well in predicting habitat use for animals that foraged in both on- and off-shelf habitat; however, sample sizes for these animals were small. Concurrently collected scat, fatty acid, and dive data confirmed that the foraging differences predicted by isotopes were associated with diet differences. Stable isotope samples, dive data, and GPS location data collected from an additional 15 females during August-October 2008 validated the effective use of the models across years. Little within year variation in habitat use was indicated from the comparison between stable isotope values from plasma (representing 1-2 weeks) and red blood cells (representing the prior few months). Constructing predictive models using stable isotopes provides an effective means to assess habitat use at the population level, is inexpensive, and can be applied to other marine predators.

  17. Response of the agile antechinus to habitat edge, configuration and condition in fragmented forest.

    PubMed

    Johnstone, Christopher P; Lill, Alan; Reina, Richard D

    2011-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation and degradation seriously threaten native animal communities. We studied the response of a small marsupial, the agile antechinus Antechinus agilis, to several environmental variables in anthropogenically fragmented Eucalyptus forest in south-east Australia. Agile antechinus were captured more in microhabitats dominated by woody debris than in other microhabitats. Relative abundances of both sexes were positively correlated with fragment core area. Male and female mass-size residuals were smaller in larger fragments. A health status indicator, haemoglobin-haematocrit residuals (HHR), did not vary as a function of any environmental variable in females, but male HHR indicated better health where sites' microhabitats were dominated by shrubs, woody debris and trees other than Eucalyptus. Females were trapped less often in edge than interior fragment habitat and their physiological stress level, indicated by the neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio in peripheral blood, was higher where fragments had a greater proportion of edge habitat. The latter trend was potentially due to lymphopoenia resulting from stress hormone-mediated leukocyte trafficking. Using multiple indicators of population condition and health status facilitates a comprehensive examination of the effects of anthropogenic disturbances, such as habitat fragmentation and degradation, on native vertebrates. Male agile antechinus' health responded negatively to habitat degradation, whilst females responded negatively to the proportion of edge habitat. The health and condition indicators used could be employed to identify conservation strategies that would make habitat fragments less stressful for this or similar native, small mammals.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Numerically exploring habitat fragmentation effects on populations using cell-based coupled map lattices.

    PubMed

    Bevers, M; Flather, C H

    1999-02-01

    We examine habitat size, shape, and arrangement effects on populations using a discrete reaction-diffusion model. Diffusion is modeled passively and applied to a cellular grid of territories forming a coupled map lattice. Dispersal mortality is proportional to the amount of nonhabitat and fully occupied habitat surrounding a given cell, with distance decay. After verifying that our model produces the results expected for single patches of uniform habitat, we investigate heterogeneous and fragmented model landscapes. In heterogeneous single-patch systems near critical patch size, populations approach Gaussian spatial distributions with total population constrained by the capacity of the most limiting cell. In fragmented habitat landscapes, threshold effects are more complex and parametrically sensitive. The results from our experiments suggest the following: the ability to achieve persistence in hyperdispersed patchy habitats by adding similarly fragmented patches requires meeting threshold reproduction rates; persistent metapopulations in which no local population is individually persistent appear when dispersal distances and reproduction rates are both high, but only within narrow parameter ranges that are close to extinction thresholds; successful use of stepping-stone patches to support metapopulation systems appears unlikely for passively diffusing species; elongated patches offer early colonization advantages, but blocky patches offer greater population resilience near extinction thresholds. A common theme running through our findings is that population viability estimates may depend on our ability to determine when population and habitat systems are approaching extinction threshold conditions. PMID:9925809

  20. Habitat structure, trophic structure and ecosystem function: interactive effects in a bromeliad-insect community.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, Diane S

    2006-09-01

    Although previous studies have shown that ecosystem functions are affected by either trophic structure or habitat structure, there has been little consideration of their combined effects. Such interactions may be particularly important in systems where habitat and trophic structure covary. I use the aquatic insects in bromeliads to examine the combined effects of trophic structure and habitat structure on a key ecosystem function: detrital processing. In Costa Rican bromeliads, trophic structure naturally covaries with both habitat complexity and habitat size, precluding any observational analysis of interactions between factors. I therefore designed mesocosms that allowed each factor to be manipulated separately. Increases in mesocosm complexity reduced predator (damselfly larva) efficiency, resulting in high detritivore abundances, indirectly increasing detrital processing rates. However, increased complexity also directly reduced the per capita foraging efficiency of the detritivores. Over short time periods, these trends effectively cancelled each other out in terms of detrital processing. Over longer time periods, more complex patterns emerged. Increases in mesocosm size also reduced both predator efficiency and detritivore efficiency, leading to no net effect on detrital processing. In many systems, ecosystem functions may be impacted by strong interactions between trophic structure and habitat structure, cautioning against examining either effect in isolation.

  1. 75 FR 34975 - Notice of Estuary Habitat Restoration Council's Intent to Revise its Estuary Habitat Restoration...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-21

    ... the Final Estuary Habitat Restoration Strategy (67 FR 71942). Section 106(f) of the Act authorizes the... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XX00 Notice of Estuary Habitat Restoration Council's Intent to Revise its Estuary Habitat Restoration Strategy; Request for Public Comment...

  2. Habitat Loss other than Fragmentation per se Decreased Nuclear and Chloroplast Genetic Diversity in a Monoecious Tree

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Dong-Wei; Chen, Xiao-Yong

    2012-01-01

    Generally, effect of fragmentation per se on biodiversity has not been separated from the effect of habitat loss. In this paper, using nDNA and cpDNA SSRs, we studied genetic diversity of Castanopsis sclerophylla (Lindl. & Paxton) Schotty populations and decoupled the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation per se. We selected seven nuclear and six cpDNA microsatellite loci and genotyped 460 individuals from mainland and island populations, which were located in the impoundment created in 1959. Number of alleles per locus of populations in larger habitats was significantly higher than that in smaller habitats. There was a significant relationship between the number of alleles per locus and habitat size. Based on this relationship, the predicted genetic diversity of an imaginary population of size equaling the total area of the islands was lower than that of the global population on the islands. Re-sampling demonstrated that low genetic diversity of populations in small habitats was caused by unevenness in sample size. Fisher's α index was similar among habitat types. These results indicate that the decreased nuclear and chloroplast genetic diversity of populations in smaller habitats was mainly caused by habitat loss. For nuclear and chloroplast microsatellite loci, values of FST were 0.066 and 0.893, respectively, and the calculated pollen/seed dispersal ratio was 162.2. When separated into pre-and post-fragmentation cohorts, pollen/seed ratios were 121.2 and 189.5, respectively. Our results suggest that habitat loss explains the early decrease in genetic diversity, while fragmentation per se may play a major role in inbreeding and differentiation among fragmented populations and later loss of genetic diversity. PMID:22723951

  3. Structural Definition and Mass Estimation of Lunar Surface Habitats for the Lunar Architecture Team Phase 2 (LAT-2) Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dorsey, John T.; Wu, K, Chauncey; Smith, Russell W.

    2008-01-01

    The Lunar Architecture Team Phase 2 study defined and assessed architecture options for a Lunar Outpost at the Moon's South Pole. The Habitation Focus Element Team was responsible for developing concepts for all of the Habitats and pressurized logistics modules particular to each of the architectures, and defined the shapes, volumes and internal layouts considering human factors, surface operations and safety requirements, as well as Lander mass and volume constraints. The Structures Subsystem Team developed structural concepts, sizing estimates and mass estimates for the primary Habitat structure. In these studies, the primary structure was decomposed into a more detailed list of components to be sized to gain greater insight into concept mass contributors. Structural mass estimates were developed that captured the effect of major design parameters such as internal pressure load. Analytical and empirical equations were developed for each structural component identified. Over 20 different hard-shell, hybrid expandable and inflatable soft-shell Habitat and pressurized logistics module concepts were sized and compared to assess structural performance and efficiency during the study. Habitats were developed in three categories; Mini Habs that are removed from the Lander and placed on the Lunar surface, Monolithic habitats that remain on the Lander, and Habitats that are part of the Mobile Lander system. Each category of Habitat resulted in structural concepts with advantages and disadvantages. The same modular shell components could be used for the Mini Hab concept, maximizing commonality and minimizing development costs. Larger Habitats had higher volumetric mass efficiency and floor area than smaller Habitats (whose mass was dominated by fixed items such as domes and frames). Hybrid and pure expandable Habitat structures were very mass-efficient, but the structures technology is less mature, and the ability to efficiently package and deploy internal subsystems

  4. Habitat loss other than fragmentation per se decreased nuclear and chloroplast genetic diversity in a monoecious tree.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xin; Shi, Miao-Miao; Shen, Dong-Wei; Chen, Xiao-Yong

    2012-01-01

    Generally, effect of fragmentation per se on biodiversity has not been separated from the effect of habitat loss. In this paper, using nDNA and cpDNA SSRs, we studied genetic diversity of Castanopsis sclerophylla (Lindl. & Paxton) Schotty populations and decoupled the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation per se. We selected seven nuclear and six cpDNA microsatellite loci and genotyped 460 individuals from mainland and island populations, which were located in the impoundment created in 1959. Number of alleles per locus of populations in larger habitats was significantly higher than that in smaller habitats. There was a significant relationship between the number of alleles per locus and habitat size. Based on this relationship, the predicted genetic diversity of an imaginary population of size equaling the total area of the islands was lower than that of the global population on the islands. Re-sampling demonstrated that low genetic diversity of populations in small habitats was caused by unevenness in sample size. Fisher's α index was similar among habitat types. These results indicate that the decreased nuclear and chloroplast genetic diversity of populations in smaller habitats was mainly caused by habitat loss. For nuclear and chloroplast microsatellite loci, values of F(ST) were 0.066 and 0.893, respectively, and the calculated pollen/seed dispersal ratio was 162.2. When separated into pre-and post-fragmentation cohorts, pollen/seed ratios were 121.2 and 189.5, respectively. Our results suggest that habitat loss explains the early decrease in genetic diversity, while fragmentation per se may play a major role in inbreeding and differentiation among fragmented populations and later loss of genetic diversity. PMID:22723951

  5. Habitat loss other than fragmentation per se decreased nuclear and chloroplast genetic diversity in a monoecious tree.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xin; Shi, Miao-Miao; Shen, Dong-Wei; Chen, Xiao-Yong

    2012-01-01

    Generally, effect of fragmentation per se on biodiversity has not been separated from the effect of habitat loss. In this paper, using nDNA and cpDNA SSRs, we studied genetic diversity of Castanopsis sclerophylla (Lindl. & Paxton) Schotty populations and decoupled the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation per se. We selected seven nuclear and six cpDNA microsatellite loci and genotyped 460 individuals from mainland and island populations, which were located in the impoundment created in 1959. Number of alleles per locus of populations in larger habitats was significantly higher than that in smaller habitats. There was a significant relationship between the number of alleles per locus and habitat size. Based on this relationship, the predicted genetic diversity of an imaginary population of size equaling the total area of the islands was lower than that of the global population on the islands. Re-sampling demonstrated that low genetic diversity of populations in small habitats was caused by unevenness in sample size. Fisher's α index was similar among habitat types. These results indicate that the decreased nuclear and chloroplast genetic diversity of populations in smaller habitats was mainly caused by habitat loss. For nuclear and chloroplast microsatellite loci, values of F(ST) were 0.066 and 0.893, respectively, and the calculated pollen/seed dispersal ratio was 162.2. When separated into pre-and post-fragmentation cohorts, pollen/seed ratios were 121.2 and 189.5, respectively. Our results suggest that habitat loss explains the early decrease in genetic diversity, while fragmentation per se may play a major role in inbreeding and differentiation among fragmented populations and later loss of genetic diversity.

  6. An Initial Mars Habitat (IMH)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gutierrez, D. J.

    1993-01-01

    As long duration, manned missions to Mars are studied for feasibility, the requirements to maintain a crew for two years in hostile environments while allowing productive and necessary work to occur, quickly becomes a driving force. Based on a mission scenario developed in the Explorations Program Office at the Johnson Space, the Initial Mars Habitat (IMH) explores one solution to providing a six person crew with the necessary hardware, logistics and environment to support a 500 day Martian surface stay. Many key issues drove the development of this initial concept; crew safety, logistics resupply, crew productivity and several critical mission element assumptions such as the limitations of a surface lander. Consideration of expansion beyond the first mission to an enhanced capability base was also integrated into the development of the IMH.

  7. Relationships between nesting populations of wading birds and habitat features along the Atlantic Coast

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erwin, R.M.; Spendelow, J.A.; Geissler, P.H.; Williams, B.K.; Whitman, William R.; Meredith, William H.

    1987-01-01

    Using previously published atlas data for 122 mixed-species wading bird colonies on islands along the Atlantic coast (Maine to Florida, 1976-77), we examined relationships between population sizes of 11 species of egrets, herons, ibises, and wood storks (Mycteria americana) and nine habitat variables. On nautical charts, we measured four island characteristics (area, length, width, shape), three isolation factors (distances to nearest island, mainland, and a water barrier),, and two variables related to potential feeding habitat within 5 km of the center of the colony (wetland area and land-water interface, i.e., the linear distance between the marsh/upland and all water bodies within the same 5-km radius). One univariable and five multivariable .procedures were used to determine which habitat features were best related to population size .(all species combined). Multicollinearity problems among the variables limited interpretation for most procedures. Both univariable and the multivariable procedures indicated that land-water interface was the most important of the nine variables, but for all models, less than 10% of the total variance was explained (rz is less than 0.10). The size of the colony was not related to the amount of wetland area (within 5-km).per se. Colony data showed better 'structure' when examined on the basis of geographic and disturbance gradients. Population sizes of colonies near man-altered habitats were compared with those surrounded by relatively natural habitats in three geographic zones: north, middle, and south. Significant differences were found in colony size among the three zones (south largest) and between disturbance types. Surprisingly, in all three zones, colonies near man-altered areas were larger on average than those near more natural habitats in this region. A possible reason for this difference is suggested.

  8. Measuring and modeling the spatial pattern of understory bamboo across landscapes: Implications for giant panda habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linderman, Marc Alan

    We examined an approach to classifying understory bamboo, the staple food of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), from remote sensing imagery in the Wolong Nature Reserve, China. We also used these data to estimate the landscape-scale distribution of giant panda habitat, and model the human effects on forest cover and the spatio-temporal dynamics of bamboo and the resulting implications for giant panda habitat. The spatial distribution of understory bamboo was mapped using an artificial neural network and leaf-on remote sensing data. Training on a limited set of ground truth data and using widely available Landsat TM data as input, a non-linear artificial neural network achieved a classification accuracy of 80% despite the presence of co-occurring mid-story and understory vegetation. Using information on the spatial distribution of bamboo in Wolong, we compared the results of giant panda habitat analyses with and without bamboo information. Total amount of habitat decreased by 29--56% and overall habitat patch size decreased by 16--48% after bamboo information was incorporated into the analyses. The decreases in the quantity of panda habitat and increases in habitat fragmentation resulted in decreases of 41--60% in carrying capacity. Using a spatio-temporal model of bamboo dynamics and human activities, we found that local fuelwood collection and household creation will likely reduce secondary habitat relied upon by pandas. Human impacts would likely contribute up to an additional 16% loss of habitat. Furthermore, these impacts primarily occur in the habitat relied upon by giant pandas during past bamboo die-offs. Decreased total area of habitat and increased fragmentation from human activities will likely make giant pandas increasingly sensitive to natural disturbances such as cyclical bamboo die-offs. Our studies suggest that it is necessary to further examine approaches to monitor understory vegetation and incorporate understory information into wildlife

  9. Effects of Climate Change on Habitat Availability and Configuration for an Endemic Coastal Alpine Bird

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Michelle M.; Gergel, Sarah E.; Martin, Kathy

    2015-01-01

    North America’s coastal mountains are particularly vulnerable to climate change, yet harbour a number of endemic species. With little room “at the top” to track shifting climate envelopes, alpine species may be especially negatively affected by climate-induced habitat fragmentation. We ask how climate change will affect the total amount, mean patch size, and number of patches of suitable habitat for Vancouver Island White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura saxatilis; VIWTP), a threatened, endemic alpine bird. Using a Random Forest model and a unique dataset consisting of citizen science observations combined with field surveys, we predict the distribution and configuration of potential suitable summer habitat for VIWTP under baseline and future (2020s, 2050s, and 2080s) climates using three general circulation models and two greenhouse gas scenarios. VIWTP summer habitat is predicted to decline by an average of 25%, 44%, and 56% by the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s, respectively, under the low greenhouse gas scenario and 27%, 59%, and 74% under the high scenario. Habitat patches are predicted to become fragmented, with a 52–79% reduction in mean patch size. The average elevation of suitable habitat patches is expected to increase, reflecting a loss of patches at lower elevations. Thus ptarmigan are in danger of being “squeezed off the mountain”, as their remaining suitable habitat will be increasingly confined to mountaintops in the center of the island. The extent to which ptarmigan will be able to persist in increasingly fragmented habitat is unclear. Much will depend on their ability to move throughout a more heterogeneous landscape, utilize smaller breeding areas, and survive increasingly variable climate extremes. Our results emphasize the importance of continued monitoring and protection for high elevation specialist species, and suggest that White-tailed Ptarmigan should be considered an indicator species for alpine ecosystems in the face of climate

  10. Effects of Climate Change on Habitat Availability and Configuration for an Endemic Coastal Alpine Bird.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Michelle M; Gergel, Sarah E; Martin, Kathy

    2015-01-01

    North America's coastal mountains are particularly vulnerable to climate change, yet harbour a number of endemic species. With little room "at the top" to track shifting climate envelopes, alpine species may be especially negatively affected by climate-induced habitat fragmentation. We ask how climate change will affect the total amount, mean patch size, and number of patches of suitable habitat for Vancouver Island White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura saxatilis; VIWTP), a threatened, endemic alpine bird. Using a Random Forest model and a unique dataset consisting of citizen science observations combined with field surveys, we predict the distribution and configuration of potential suitable summer habitat for VIWTP under baseline and future (2020s, 2050s, and 2080s) climates using three general circulation models and two greenhouse gas scenarios. VIWTP summer habitat is predicted to decline by an average of 25%, 44%, and 56% by the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s, respectively, under the low greenhouse gas scenario and 27%, 59%, and 74% under the high scenario. Habitat patches are predicted to become fragmented, with a 52-79% reduction in mean patch size. The average elevation of suitable habitat patches is expected to increase, reflecting a loss of patches at lower elevations. Thus ptarmigan are in danger of being "squeezed off the mountain", as their remaining suitable habitat will be increasingly confined to mountaintops in the center of the island. The extent to which ptarmigan will be able to persist in increasingly fragmented habitat is unclear. Much will depend on their ability to move throughout a more heterogeneous landscape, utilize smaller breeding areas, and survive increasingly variable climate extremes. Our results emphasize the importance of continued monitoring and protection for high elevation specialist species, and suggest that White-tailed Ptarmigan should be considered an indicator species for alpine ecosystems in the face of climate change. PMID

  11. Effects of Climate Change on Habitat Availability and Configuration for an Endemic Coastal Alpine Bird.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Michelle M; Gergel, Sarah E; Martin, Kathy

    2015-01-01

    North America's coastal mountains are particularly vulnerable to climate change, yet harbour a number of endemic species. With little room "at the top" to track shifting climate envelopes, alpine species may be especially negatively affected by climate-induced habitat fragmentation. We ask how climate change will affect the total amount, mean patch size, and number of patches of suitable habitat for Vancouver Island White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura saxatilis; VIWTP), a threatened, endemic alpine bird. Using a Random Forest model and a unique dataset consisting of citizen science observations combined with field surveys, we predict the distribution and configuration of potential suitable summer habitat for VIWTP under baseline and future (2020s, 2050s, and 2080s) climates using three general circulation models and two greenhouse gas scenarios. VIWTP summer habitat is predicted to decline by an average of 25%, 44%, and 56% by the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s, respectively, under the low greenhouse gas scenario and 27%, 59%, and 74% under the high scenario. Habitat patches are predicted to become fragmented, with a 52-79% reduction in mean patch size. The average elevation of suitable habitat patches is expected to increase, reflecting a loss of patches at lower elevations. Thus ptarmigan are in danger of being "squeezed off the m