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Sample records for habitat suitability curves

  1. Habitat Suitability Index Models and Instream Flow Suitability Curves: Paddlefish

    Hubert, Wayne A.; Anderson, Stanley H.; Southall, Peter D.; Crance, Johnie H.

    1984-01-01

    The original range of the paddlefish was the Mississippi River drainage and adjacent Gul f Coast dra i nage. It was once found in some of the Great Lakes (Carlson and Bonislawsky 1981). The paddlefish is generally an inhabitant of large rivers, but it occurs in reservoirs and natural lakes connected to large rivers. Much of the original range has been reduced due to habitat alterations: (1) destruction of spawning areas; (2) blockage of movements by dams; (3) channelization and elimination of backwater areas; (4) dewatering of streams; and (5) pollution (Carlson and Bonislawsky 1981). Several States officially consider the paddlefish as rare or endangered (Miller 1972). An indexed bibliography of all known paddlefish work was prepared by Graham and Bonislawsky (1978) and recently updated to include more than 480 citations (Graham and Bonislawsky, in press).

  2. Guidelines for using the Delphi Technique to develop habitat suitability index curves

    Crance, Johnie H.

    1987-01-01

    Habitat Suitability Index (SI) curves are one method of presenting species habitat suitability criteria. The curves are often used with the Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) and are necessary components of the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM) (Armour et al. 1984). Bovee (1986) described three categories of SI curves or habitat suitability criteria based on the procedures and data used to develop the criteria. Category I curves are based on professional judgment, with 1ittle or no empirical data. Both Category II (utilization criteria) and Category III (preference criteria) curves have as their source data collected at locations where target species are observed or collected. Having Category II and Category III curves for all species of concern would be ideal. In reality, no SI curves are available for many species, and SI curves that require intensive field sampling often cannot be developed under prevailing constraints on time and costs. One alternative under these circumstances is the development and interim use of SI curves based on expert opinion. The Delphi technique (Pill 1971; Delbecq et al. 1975; Linstone and Turoff 1975) is one method used for combining the knowledge and opinions of a group of experts. The purpose of this report is to describe how the Delphi technique may be used to develop expert-opinion-based SI curves.

  3. Habitat suitability index curves for paddlefish, developed by the delphi technique

    Crance, John H.

    1987-01-01

    A Delphi exercise conducted with a panel of 11 experts on paddlefish (Polyodon spathula) and an evaluator resulted in 14 riverine habitat suitability index curves associating various life stages or activities of paddlefish with four variables: velocity, depth, substrate type, and temperature. The panel reached a consensus on six of the curves and eight to 10 panelists agreed on the others. Several panelists reported that they found the Delphi exercise to be a good learning experience, and they believed the technique is an appropriate interim method for developing suitability index curves when available data are inadequate for more conventional statistical analyses. Documentation of good paddlefish spawning habitat was the data need most commonly identified by the panelists.

  4. 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...

  5. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Yellow perch

    Krieger, Douglas A.; Terrell, James W.; Nelson, Patrick C.

    1983-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop riverine and lacustrine habitat models for yellow perch (Perca flavescens). The models are scaled to produce an index of habitat suitability between 0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1 (optimally suitable habitat) for riverine, lacustrine, and palustrine habitat in the 48 contiguous United States. Habitat Suitability Indexes (HSI's) are designed for use with the Habitat Evaluation Procedures developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Also included are discussions of Suitability Index (SI) curves as used in the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM) and SI curves available for an IFIM analysis of yellow perch habitat.

  6. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Pronghorn

    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.

  7. Landscape habitat suitability index software

    William D. Dijak; Chadwick D. Rittenhouse; Michael A. Larson; Frank R. III Thompson; Joshua J. Millspaugh

    2007-01-01

    Habitat suitability index (HSI) models are traditionally used to evaluate habitat quality for wildlife at a local scale. Rarely have such models incorporated spatial relationships of habitat components. We introduce Landscape HSImodels, a new Microsoft Windowst (Microsoft, Redmond, WA)-based program that incorporates local habitat as well as landscape-scale attributes...

  8. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Marten

    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.

  9. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Veery

    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.

  10. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Muskellunge

    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.

  11. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Beaver

    Allen, Arthur W.

    1982-01-01

    Habitat preferences of the beaver (Castor canadensis) 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 beaver, followed by the development of the HSI model. The model is designed to provide information for use in impact assessment and habitat management activities, and should be used in conjunction with habitat evaluation procedures previously developed by the Fish and Wildlife Service. This revised model updates the original publication dated September 1982.

  12. Habitat suitability index models: Black crappie

    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.

  13. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Laughing gull

    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.

  14. Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, habitat suitability index model

    Waddle, J. Hardin

    2017-01-01

    The 2012 Coastal Master Plan utilized Habitat Suitability Indices (HSIs) to evaluate potential project effects on wildlife species. Even though HSIs quantify habitat condition, which may not directly correlate to species abundance, they remain a practical and tractable way to assess changes in habitat quality from various restoration actions. As part of the legislatively mandated five year update to the 2012 plan, the wildlife habitat suitability indices were updated and revised using literature and existing field data where available. The outcome of these efforts resulted in improved, or in some cases entirely new suitability indices. This report describes the development of the habitat suitability indices for the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis.

  15. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Snapping turtle

    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.

  16. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Eastern meadowlark

    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.

  17. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Pine warbler

    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.

  18. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Hairy woodpecker

    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.

  19. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Spotted owl

    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: Red king crab

    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: Mink

    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.).

  2. Evaluation of a habitat suitability index model

    Farmer, A.H.; Cade, B.S.; Stauffer, D.F.

    2002-01-01

    We assisted with development of a model for maternity habitat of the Indiana bat (Myotis soda/is), for use in conducting assessments of projects potentially impacting this endangered species. We started with an existing model, modified that model in a workshop, and evaluated the revised model, using data previously collected by others. Our analyses showed that higher indices of habitat suitability were associated with sites where Indiana bats were present and, thus, the model may be useful for identifying suitable habitat. Utility of the model, however, was based on a single component-density of suitable roost trees. Percentage of landscape in forest did not allow differentiation between sites occupied and not occupied by Indiana bats. Moreover, in spite of a general opinion by participants in the workshop that bodies of water were highly productive feeding areas and that a diversity of feeding habitats was optimal, we found no evidence to support either hypothesis.

  3. Regional prediction of basin-scale brown trout habitat suitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceola, S.; Pugliese, A.

    2014-09-01

    In this study we propose a novel method for the estimation of ecological indices describing the habitat suitability of brown trout (Salmo trutta). Traditional hydrological tools are coupled with an innovative regional geostatistical technique, aiming at the prediction of the brown trout habitat suitability index where partial or totally ungauged conditions occur. Several methods for the assessment of ecological indices are already proposed in the scientific literature, but the possibility of exploiting a geostatistical prediction model, such as Topological Kriging, has never been investigated before. In order to develop a regional habitat suitability model we use the habitat suitability curve, obtained from measured data of brown trout adult individuals collected in several river basins across the USA. The Top-kriging prediction model is then employed to assess the spatial correlation between upstream and downstream habitat suitability indices. The study area is the Metauro River basin, located in the central part of Italy (Marche region), for which both water depth and streamflow data were collected. The present analysis focuses on discharge values corresponding to the 0.1-, 0.5-, 0.9-empirical quantiles derived from flow-duration curves available for seven gauging stations located within the study area, for which three different suitability indices (i.e. ψ10, ψ50 and ψ90) are evaluated. The results of this preliminary analysis are encouraging showing Nash-Sutcliffe efficiencies equal to 0.52, 0.65, and 0.69, respectively.

  4. Arc Habitat Suitability Index computer software

    Thomas M. Juntti; Mark A. Rumble

    2006-01-01

    This user manual describes the Arc Habitat Suitability Index (ArcHSI), which is a geographical information system (GIS) model that estimates the ability of an area to meet the food and cover requirements of an animal species. The components and parameters of the model occur in tables and can be easily edited or otherwise modified. ArcHSI runs on personal computers with...

  5. Elk habitat suitability map for North Carolina

    Williams, Steven G.; Cobb, David T.; Collazo, Jaime A.

    2015-01-01

    Although eastern elk (Cervus elaphus canadensis) were extirpated from the eastern United States in the 19th century, they were successfully reintroduced in the North Carolina portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the early 2000s. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) is evaluating the prospect of reintroducing the species in other locations in the state to augment recreational opportunities. As a first step in the process, we created a state-wide elk habitat suitability map. We used medium-scale data sets and a two-component approach to iden- tify areas of high biological value for elk and exclude from consideration areas where elk-human conflicts were more likely. Habitats in the state were categorized as 66% unsuitable, 16.7% low, 17% medium, and <1% high suitability for elk. The coastal plain and Piedmont contained the most suitable habitat, but prospective reintroduction sites were largely excluded from consideration due to extensive agricultural activities and pervasiveness of secondary roads. We ranked 31 areas (≥ 500 km2) based on their suitability for reintroduction. The central region of the state contained the top five ranked areas. The Blue Ridge Mountains, where the extant population of elk occurs, was ranked 21st. Our work provides a benchmark for decision makers to evaluate potential consequences and trade-offs associated with the selection of prospective elk reintroduction sites.

  6. Proceedings of a workshop on fish habitat suitability index models

    Terrell, James W.

    1984-01-01

    One of the habitat-based methodologies for impact assessment currently in use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1980). HEP is based on the assumption that the quality of an area as wildlife habitat at a specified target year can be described by a single number, called a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI). An HSI of 1.0 represents optimum habitat: an HSI of 0.0 represents unsuitable habitat. The verbal or mathematical rules by which an HSI is assigned to an area are called an HSI model. A series of Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models, described by Schamberger et al. (1982), have been published to assist users in applying HEP. HSI model building approaches are described in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (1981). One type of HSI model described in detail requires the development of Suitability Index (SI) graphs for habitat variables believed to be important for the growth, survival, standing crop, or other measure of well-being for a species. Suitability indices range from 0 to 1.0, with 1.0 representing optimum conditions for the variable. When HSI models based on suitability indices are used, habitat variable values are measured, or estimated, and converted to SI's through the use of a Suitability Index graph for each variable. Individual SI's are aggregated into an HSI. Standard methods for testing this type of HSI model did not exist at the time the studies reported in this document were performed. A workshop was held in Fort Collins, Colorado, February 14-15, 1983, that brought together biologists experienced in the use, development, and testing of aquatic HSI models, in an effort to address the following objectives: (1) review the needs of HSI model users; (2) discuss and document the results of aquatic HSI model tests; and (3) provide recommendations for the future development, testing, modification, and use of HSI models. Individual presentations, group discussions, and group

  7. Pairing success of Kirtland's warblers in marginal vs. suitable habitat

    John R. Probst; Jack P. Hayes

    1987-01-01

    We compared pairing success of male Kirtland's Warblers (Dendroica kirtlandii) in different habitats to test the hypothesis that a lower proportion of males in marginal habitat are mated. Fewer than 60% of the males in marginal habitat were paired, but 95% of the males in suitable habitat were paired. We estimated the overall pairing success of...

  8. A Bayesian spawning habitat suitability model for American shad in southeastern United States rivers

    Hightower, Joseph E.; Harris, Julianne E.; Raabe, Joshua K.; Brownell, Prescott; Drew, C. Ashton

    2012-01-01

    Habitat suitability index models for American shad Alosa sapidissima were developed by Stier and Crance in 1985. These models, which were based on a combination of published information and expert opinion, are often used to make decisions about hydropower dam operations and fish passage. The purpose of this study was to develop updated habitat suitability index models for spawning American shad in the southeastern United States, building on the many field and laboratory studies completed since 1985. We surveyed biologists who had knowledge about American shad spawning grounds, assembled a panel of experts to discuss important habitat variables, and used raw data from published and unpublished studies to develop new habitat suitability curves. The updated curves are based on resource selection functions, which can model habitat selectivity based on use and availability of particular habitats. Using field data collected in eight rivers from Virginia to Florida (Mattaponi, Pamunkey, Roanoke, Tar, Neuse, Cape Fear, Pee Dee, St. Johns), we obtained new curves for temperature, current velocity, and depth that were generally similar to the original models. Our new suitability function for substrate was also similar to the original pattern, except that sand (optimal in the original model) has a very low estimated suitability. The Bayesian approach that we used to develop habitat suitability curves provides an objective framework for updating the model as new studies are completed and for testing the model's applicability in other parts of the species' range.

  9. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Diamondback terrapin (nesting) - Atlantic coast

    Palmer, William M.; Cordes, Carroll L.

    1988-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin). 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. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Red-winged blackbird

    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 red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus L.). 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.

  11. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Yellow-headed blackbird

    Schroeder, Richard L.

    1982-01-01

    Habitat preferences of the yellow-headed blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) 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 infomration on the species-habitat requirements of the species. Habitat use information is presented in a review of the literature, followed by the development of an HSI model, designed for use in impact assessment and habitat management activities.

  12. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Black-shouldered kite

    Faanes, Craig A.; Howard, Rebecca J.

    1987-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a model for evaluating black-shouldered kite habitat quality. The model is scaled to produce an index between 0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimal habitat). Habitat suitability index models are designed for use with the Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Guidelines for model application are provided.

  13. Habitat Suitability Index Models and Instream Flow Suitability Curves: Warmouth

    McMahon, Thomas E.; Gebhart, Glen; Maughan, O. Eugene; Nelson, Patrick C.

    1984-01-01

    The wa rmouth (Lepomi s gul osus) occurs naturally throughout the central and southeastern United States. It is distributed throughout Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri, north to southern Wisconsin, lower Michigan, Lake Erie, and western Pennsylvania, and south to Florida and west through the Gulf States to the Rio Grande (Hubbs and Lagler 1947; Larimore 1957). It has been introduced into California (Hubble 1966; Moyle 1976), Arizona (Minckley 1973), and other western states (Smith 1896).

  14. Mixtures of GAMs for habitat suitability analysis with overdispersed presence / absence data

    PubMed Central

    Pleydell, David R.J.; Chrétien, Stéphane

    2009-01-01

    A new approach to species distribution modelling based on unsupervised classification via a finite mixture of GAMs incorporating habitat suitability curves is proposed. A tailored EM algorithm is outlined for computing maximum likelihood estimates. Several submodels incorporating various parameter constraints are explored. Simulation studies confirm, that under certain constraints, the habitat suitability curves are recovered with good precision. The method is also applied to a set of real data concerning presence/absence of observable small mammal indices collected on the Tibetan plateau. The resulting classification was found to correspond to species-level differences in habitat preference described in previous ecological work. PMID:20401331

  15. A test of 3 models of Kirtland's warbler habitat suitability

    Mark D. Nelson; Richard R. Buech

    1996-01-01

    We tested 3 models of Kirtland's warbler (Dendroica kirtlandii) habitat suitability during a period when we believe there was a surplus of good quality breeding habitat. A jack pine canopy-cover model was superior to 2 jack pine stem-density models in predicting Kirtland's warbler habitat use and non-use. Estimated density of birds in high...

  16. Quantifying suitable habitat of the threatened western prairie fringed orchid

    Paige M. Wolken; Carolyn Hull Sieg; Stephen E. Williams

    2001-01-01

    Land managers need accurate and quick techniques to identify suitable habitat of species of interest. For species protected by federal or state laws, identification of suitable habitat is critical for developing a conservation strategy that includes reestablishing populations and altering management to address this need. In this research, we quantified vegetative and...

  17. Habitat suitability index models: Lark bunting

    Deborah M. Finch; Stanley H. Anderson; Wayne A. Hubert

    1987-01-01

    The lark bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys) breeds in native grassland and shrubsteppe habitat from southern Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba; south to northwestern Texas and New Mexico, and east to Nebraska (Bailey and Niedrach 1965; Baumgarten 1968). In the northern Great Plains, lark buntings reach high populations in a zone extending from southeastern South...

  18. From points to forecasts: Predicting invasive species habitat suitability in the near term

    Holcombe, Tracy R.; Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Jarnevich, Catherine S.

    2010-01-01

    We used near-term climate scenarios for the continental United States, to model 12 invasive plants species. We created three potential habitat suitability models for each species using maximum entropy modeling: (1) current; (2) 2020; and (3) 2035. Area under the curve values for the models ranged from 0.92 to 0.70, with 10 of the 12 being above 0.83 suggesting strong and predictable species-environment matching. Change in area between the current potential habitat and 2035 ranged from a potential habitat loss of about 217,000 km2, to a potential habitat gain of about 133,000 km2.

  19. Using habitat suitability models to target invasive plant species surveys.

    PubMed

    Crall, Alycia W; Jarnevich, Catherine S; Panke, Brendon; Young, Nick; Renz, Mark; Morisette, Jeffrey

    2013-01-01

    Managers need new tools for detecting the movement and spread of nonnative, invasive species. Habitat suitability models are a popular tool for mapping the potential distribution of current invaders, but the ability of these models to prioritize monitoring efforts has not been tested in the field. We tested the utility of an iterative sampling design (i.e., models based on field observations used to guide subsequent field data collection to improve the model), hypothesizing that model performance would increase when new data were gathered from targeted sampling using criteria based on the initial model results. We also tested the ability of habitat suitability models to predict the spread of invasive species, hypothesizing that models would accurately predict occurrences in the field, and that the use of targeted sampling would detect more species with less sampling effort than a nontargeted approach. We tested these hypotheses on two species at the state scale (Centaurea stoebe and Pastinaca sativa) in Wisconsin (USA), and one genus at the regional scale (Tamarix) in the western United States. These initial data were merged with environmental data at 30-m2 resolution for Wisconsin and 1-km2 resolution for the western United States to produce our first iteration models. We stratified these initial models to target field sampling and compared our models and success at detecting our species of interest to other surveys being conducted during the same field season (i.e., nontargeted sampling). Although more data did not always improve our models based on correct classification rate (CCR), sensitivity, specificity, kappa, or area under the curve (AUC), our models generated from targeted sampling data always performed better than models generated from nontargeted data. For Wisconsin species, the model described actual locations in the field fairly well (kappa = 0.51, 0.19, P < 0.01), and targeted sampling did detect more species than nontargeted sampling with less

  20. Using habitat suitability models to target invasive plant species surveys

    Crall, Alycia W.; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Panke, Brendon; Young, Nick; Renz, Mark; Morisette, Jeffrey

    2013-01-01

    Managers need new tools for detecting the movement and spread of nonnative, invasive species. Habitat suitability models are a popular tool for mapping the potential distribution of current invaders, but the ability of these models to prioritize monitoring efforts has not been tested in the field. We tested the utility of an iterative sampling design (i.e., models based on field observations used to guide subsequent field data collection to improve the model), hypothesizing that model performance would increase when new data were gathered from targeted sampling using criteria based on the initial model results. We also tested the ability of habitat suitability models to predict the spread of invasive species, hypothesizing that models would accurately predict occurrences in the field, and that the use of targeted sampling would detect more species with less sampling effort than a nontargeted approach. We tested these hypotheses on two species at the state scale (Centaurea stoebe and Pastinaca sativa) in Wisconsin (USA), and one genus at the regional scale (Tamarix) in the western United States. These initial data were merged with environmental data at 30-m2 resolution for Wisconsin and 1-km2 resolution for the western United States to produce our first iteration models. We stratified these initial models to target field sampling and compared our models and success at detecting our species of interest to other surveys being conducted during the same field season (i.e., nontargeted sampling). Although more data did not always improve our models based on correct classification rate (CCR), sensitivity, specificity, kappa, or area under the curve (AUC), our models generated from targeted sampling data always performed better than models generated from nontargeted data. For Wisconsin species, the model described actual locations in the field fairly well (kappa = 0.51, 0.19, P 2) = 47.42, P < 0.01). From these findings, we conclude that habitat suitability models can be

  1. Development and validation of a habitat suitability model for ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    We developed a spatially-explicit, flexible 3-parameter habitat suitability model that can be used to identify and predict areas at higher risk for non-native dwarf eelgrass (Zostera japonica) invasion. The model uses simple environmental parameters (depth, nearshore slope, and salinity) to quantitatively describe habitat suitable for Z. japonica invasion based on ecology and physiology from the primary literature. Habitat suitability is defined with values ranging from zero to one, where one denotes areas most conducive to Z. japonica and zero denotes areas not likely to support Z. japonica growth. The model was applied to Yaquina Bay, Oregon, USA, an area that has well documented Z. japonica expansion over the last two decades. The highest suitability values for Z. japonica occurred in the mid to upper portions of the intertidal zone, with larger expanses occurring in the lower estuary. While the upper estuary did contain suitable habitat, most areas were not as large as in the lower estuary, due to inappropriate depth, a steeply sloping intertidal zone, and lower salinity. The lowest suitability values occurred below the lower intertidal zone, within the Yaquina River channel. The model was validated by comparison to a multi-year time series of Z. japonica maps, revealing a strong predictive capacity. Sensitivity analysis performed to evaluate the contribution of each parameter to the model prediction revealed that depth was the most important factor. Sh

  2. Evaluation of habitat suitability index models for assessing biotic resources

    John C. Rennie; Joseph D. Clark; James M. Sweeney

    2000-01-01

    Existing habitat suitability index (HSI) models are evaluated for assessing the biotic resources on Champion International Corporation (CIC) lands with data from a standard and an expanded timber inventory. Forty HSI models for 34 species that occur in the Southern Appalachians have been identified from the literature. All of the variables for 14 models are provided (...

  3. Evaluating timber harvesting impacts on wildlife habitat suitability using FOREX

    Chris B. LeDoux

    1997-01-01

    Precommercial, commercial, and final harvesting operations can impact wildlife habitat suitability by altering the vegetation composition on a given site. Harvesting operations remove trees and many times provide the necessary perturbation to trigger successional conditions different from those that existed prior to the harvest. Although these new successional changes...

  4. A Tamarisk Habitat Suitability Map for the Continental US

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morisette, Jeffrey T.; Jernevich, Catherine S.; Ullah, Asad; Cai, Weijie; Pedelty, Jeffrey A.; Gentle, Jim; Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Schnase, John L.

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents a national-scale map of habitat suitability for a high-priority invasive species, Tamarisk (Tamarisk spp., salt cedar). We successfully integrate satellite data and tens of thousands of field sampling points through logistic regression modeling to create a habitat suitability map that is 90% accurate. This interagency effort uses field data collected and coordinated through the US Geological Survey and nation-wide environmental data layers derived from NASA s MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). We demonstrate the utilization of the map by ranking the lower 48 US states (and the District of Columbia) based upon their absolute, as well as proportional, areas of highly likely and moderately likely habitat for Tamarisk. The interagency effort and modeling approach presented here could be applied to map other harmful species in the US and globally.

  5. Habitat suitability and movement corridors of grey wolf (Canis lupus) in Northern Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Kabir, Muhammad; Hameed, Shoaib; Ali, Hussain; Bosso, Luciano; Din, Jaffar Ud; Bischof, Richard; Redpath, Steve; Nawaz, Muhammad Ali

    2017-01-01

    Habitat suitability models are useful to understand species distribution and to guide management and conservation strategies. The grey wolf (Canis lupus) has been extirpated from most of its historic range in Pakistan primarily due to its impact on livestock and livelihoods. We used non-invasive survey data from camera traps and genetic sampling to develop a habitat suitability model for C. lupus in northern Pakistan and to explore the extent of connectivity among populations. We detected suitable habitat of grey wolf using a maximum entropy approach (Maxent ver. 3.4.0) and identified suitable movement corridors using the Circuitscape 4.0 tool. Our model showed high levels of predictive performances, as seen from the values of area under curve (0.971±0.002) and true skill statistics (0.886±0.021). The main predictors for habitat suitability for C. lupus were distances to road, mean temperature of the wettest quarter and distance to river. The model predicted ca. 23,129 km2 of suitable areas for wolf in Pakistan, with much of suitable habitat in remote and inaccessible areas that appeared to be well connected through vulnerable movement corridors. These movement corridors suggest that potentially the wolf range can expand in Pakistan's Northern Areas. However, managing protected areas with stringent restrictions is challenging in northern Pakistan, in part due to heavy dependence of people on natural resources. The habitat suitability map provided by this study can inform future management strategies by helping authorities to identify key conservation areas.

  6. Habitat suitability and movement corridors of grey wolf (Canis lupus) in Northern Pakistan

    PubMed Central

    Kabir, Muhammad; Hameed, Shoaib; Ali, Hussain; Bosso, Luciano; Din, Jaffar Ud; Bischof, Richard; Redpath, Steve

    2017-01-01

    Habitat suitability models are useful to understand species distribution and to guide management and conservation strategies. The grey wolf (Canis lupus) has been extirpated from most of its historic range in Pakistan primarily due to its impact on livestock and livelihoods. We used non-invasive survey data from camera traps and genetic sampling to develop a habitat suitability model for C. lupus in northern Pakistan and to explore the extent of connectivity among populations. We detected suitable habitat of grey wolf using a maximum entropy approach (Maxent ver. 3.4.0) and identified suitable movement corridors using the Circuitscape 4.0 tool. Our model showed high levels of predictive performances, as seen from the values of area under curve (0.971±0.002) and true skill statistics (0.886±0.021). The main predictors for habitat suitability for C. lupus were distances to road, mean temperature of the wettest quarter and distance to river. The model predicted ca. 23,129 km2 of suitable areas for wolf in Pakistan, with much of suitable habitat in remote and inaccessible areas that appeared to be well connected through vulnerable movement corridors. These movement corridors suggest that potentially the wolf range can expand in Pakistan’s Northern Areas. However, managing protected areas with stringent restrictions is challenging in northern Pakistan, in part due to heavy dependence of people on natural resources. The habitat suitability map provided by this study can inform future management strategies by helping authorities to identify key conservation areas. PMID:29121089

  7. The Importance of Biologically Relevant Microclimates in Habitat Suitability Assessments

    PubMed Central

    Varner, Johanna; Dearing, M. Denise

    2014-01-01

    Predicting habitat suitability under climate change is vital to conserving biodiversity. However, current species distribution models rely on coarse scale climate data, whereas fine scale microclimate data may be necessary to assess habitat suitability and generate predictive models. Here, we evaluate disparities between temperature data at the coarse scale from weather stations versus fine-scale data measured in microhabitats required for a climate-sensitive mammal, the American pika (Ochotona princeps). We collected two years of temperature data in occupied talus habitats predicted to be suitable (high elevation) and unsuitable (low elevation) by the bioclimatic envelope approach. At low elevations, talus surface and interstitial microclimates drastically differed from ambient temperatures measured on-site and at a nearby weather station. Interstitial talus temperatures were frequently decoupled from high ambient temperatures, resulting in instantaneous disparities of over 30°C between these two measurements. Microhabitat temperatures were also highly heterogeneous, such that temperature measurements within the same patch of talus were not more correlated than measurements at distant patches. An experimental manipulation revealed that vegetation cover may cool the talus surface by up to 10°C during the summer, which may contribute to this spatial heterogeneity. Finally, low elevation microclimates were milder and less variable than typical alpine habitat, suggesting that, counter to species distribution model predictions, these seemingly unsuitable habitats may actually be better refugia for this species under climate change. These results highlight the importance of fine-scale microhabitat data in habitat assessments and underscore the notion that some critical refugia may be counterintuitive. PMID:25115894

  8. The importance of biologically relevant microclimates in habitat suitability assessments.

    PubMed

    Varner, Johanna; Dearing, M Denise

    2014-01-01

    Predicting habitat suitability under climate change is vital to conserving biodiversity. However, current species distribution models rely on coarse scale climate data, whereas fine scale microclimate data may be necessary to assess habitat suitability and generate predictive models. Here, we evaluate disparities between temperature data at the coarse scale from weather stations versus fine-scale data measured in microhabitats required for a climate-sensitive mammal, the American pika (Ochotona princeps). We collected two years of temperature data in occupied talus habitats predicted to be suitable (high elevation) and unsuitable (low elevation) by the bioclimatic envelope approach. At low elevations, talus surface and interstitial microclimates drastically differed from ambient temperatures measured on-site and at a nearby weather station. Interstitial talus temperatures were frequently decoupled from high ambient temperatures, resulting in instantaneous disparities of over 30 °C between these two measurements. Microhabitat temperatures were also highly heterogeneous, such that temperature measurements within the same patch of talus were not more correlated than measurements at distant patches. An experimental manipulation revealed that vegetation cover may cool the talus surface by up to 10 °C during the summer, which may contribute to this spatial heterogeneity. Finally, low elevation microclimates were milder and less variable than typical alpine habitat, suggesting that, counter to species distribution model predictions, these seemingly unsuitable habitats may actually be better refugia for this species under climate change. These results highlight the importance of fine-scale microhabitat data in habitat assessments and underscore the notion that some critical refugia may be counterintuitive.

  9. Evaluation of habitat suitability models for forest passerines using demographic data

    Chadwick D. Rittenhouse; Frank R., III Thompson; William D. Dijak; Joshua J. Millspaugh; Richard L. Clawson

    2010-01-01

    Habitat suitability is often used as a surrogate for demographic responses (i.e., abundance, survival, fecundity, or population viability) in the application of habitat suitability index (HSI) models. Whether habitat suitability actually relates to demographics, however, has rarely been evaluated. We validated HSI models of breeding habitat suitability for wood thrush...

  10. Modelling the habitat suitability of cetaceans: Example of the sperm whale in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Praca, Emilie; Gannier, Alexandre; Das, Krishna; Laran, Sophie

    2009-04-01

    Cetaceans are mobile and spend long periods underwater. Because of this, modelling their habitat could be subject to a serious problem of false absence. Furthermore, extensive surveys at sea are time and money consuming, and presence-absence data are difficult to apply. This study compares the ability of two presence-absence and two presence-only habitat modelling methods and uses the example of the sperm whale ( Physeter macrocephalus) in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. The data consist of summer visual and acoustical detections of sperm whales, compiled between 1998 and 2005. Habitat maps were computed using topographical and hydrological eco-geographical variables. Four methods were compared: principal component analysis (PCA), ecological niche factor analysis (ENFA), generalized linear model (GLM) and multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS). The evaluation of the models was achieved by calculating the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) of the models and their respective area under the curve (AUC). Presence-absence methods (GLM, AUC=0.70, and MARS, AUC=0.79) presented better AUC than presence-only methods (PCA, AUC=0.58, and ENFA, AUC=0.66), but this difference was not statistically significant, except between the MARS and the PCA models. The four models showed an influence of both topographical and hydrological factors, but the resulting habitat suitability maps differed. The core habitat on the continental slope was well highlighted by the four models, while GLM and MARS maps also showed a suitable habitat in the offshore waters. Presence-absence methods are therefore recommended for modelling the habitat suitability of cetaceans, as they seem more accurate to highlight complex habitat. However, the use of presence-only techniques, in particular ENFA, could be very useful for a first model of the habitat range or when important surveys at sea are not possible.

  11. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Northern Gulf of Mexico brown shrimp and white shrimp

    Turner, Robert Eugene; Brody, Michael S.

    1983-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop estuarine habitat models for brown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus) and white shrimp (Penaeus setiferus). The models are scaled to produce an index of habitat suitability between 0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1 (optimally suitable habitat) for estuarine areas of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Habitat suitability indexes are designed for use with the habitat evaluation procedures developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  12. Modeling mountain pine beetle habitat suitability within Sequoia National Park

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Andrew

    Understanding significant changes in climate and their effects on timber resources can help forest managers make better decisions regarding the preservation of natural resources and land management. These changes may to alter natural ecosystems dependent on historical and current climate conditions. Increasing mountain pine beetle (MBP) outbreaks within the southern Sierra Nevada are the result of these alterations. This study better understands MPB behavior within Sequoia National Park (SNP) and model its current and future habitat distribution. Variables contributing to MPB spread are vegetation stress, soil moisture, temperature, precipitation, disturbance, and presence of Ponderosa (Pinus ponderosa) and Lodgepole (Pinus contorta) pine trees. These variables were obtained using various modeled, insitu, and remotely sensed sources. The generalized additive model (GAM) was used to calculate the statistical significance of each variable contributing to MPB spread and also created maps identifying habitat suitability. Results indicate vegetation stress and forest disturbance to be variables most indicative of MPB spread. Additionally, the model was able to detect habitat suitability of MPB with a 45% accuracy concluding that a geospatial driven modeling approach can be used to delineate potential MPB spread within SNP.

  13. Summer and winter habitat suitability of Marco Polo argali in southeastern Tajikistan: A modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Salas, Eric Ariel L; Valdez, Raul; Michel, Stefan

    2017-11-01

    We modeled summer and winter habitat suitability of Marco Polo argali in the Pamir Mountains in southeastern Tajikistan using these statistical algorithms: Generalized Linear Model, Random Forest, Boosted Regression Tree, Maxent, and Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines. Using sheep occurrence data collected from 2009 to 2015 and a set of selected habitat predictors, we produced summer and winter habitat suitability maps and determined the important habitat suitability predictors for both seasons. Our results demonstrated that argali selected proximity to riparian areas and greenness as the two most relevant variables for summer, and the degree of slope (gentler slopes between 0° to 20°) and Landsat temperature band for winter. The terrain roughness was also among the most important variables in summer and winter models. Aspect was only significant for winter habitat, with argali preferring south-facing mountain slopes. We evaluated various measures of model performance such as the Area Under the Curve (AUC) and the True Skill Statistic (TSS). Comparing the five algorithms, the AUC scored highest for Boosted Regression Tree in summer (AUC = 0.94) and winter model runs (AUC = 0.94). In contrast, Random Forest underperformed in both model runs.

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Mapping marine habitat suitability and uncertainty of Bayesian networks: a case study using Pacific benthic macrofauna

    Andrea Havron; Chris Goldfinger; Sarah Henkel; Bruce G. Marcot; Chris Romsos; Lisa Gilbane

    2017-01-01

    Resource managers increasingly use habitat suitability map products to inform risk management and policy decisions. Modeling habitat suitability of data-poor species over large areas requires careful attention to assumptions and limitations. Resulting habitat suitability maps can harbor uncertainties from data collection and modeling processes; yet these limitations...

  16. A test of the habitat suitability model for Merriam's wild turkeys

    Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson

    1996-01-01

    An important research area regarding the wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is development of sound habitat models. Habitat models provide standardized methods to quantify wild turkey habitat and stimulate new research hypotheses. Habitat suitability index (HSI) models show species-habitat relationships on a scale of O-l, with 1 being optimum. A...

  17. Faecal corticosterone metabolite concentrations are not a good predictor of habitat suitability for common gartersnakes.

    PubMed

    Halliday, William D; Gilmour, Kathleen M; Blouin-Demers, Gabriel

    2015-01-01

    Measuring habitat suitability is important in conservation and in wildlife management. Measuring the abundance or presence-absence of a species in various habitats is not sufficient to measure habitat suitability because these metrics can be poor predictors of population success. Therefore, having some measure of population success is essential in assessing habitat suitability, but estimating population success is difficult. Identifying suitable proxies for population success could thus be beneficial. We examined whether faecal corticosterone metabolite (fCM) concentrations could be used as a proxy for habitat suitability in common gartersnakes (Thamnophis sirtalis). We conducted a validation study and confirmed that fCM concentrations indeed reflect circulating corticosterone concentrations. We estimated abundance, reproductive output and growth rate of gartersnakes in field and in forest habitat and we also measured fCM concentrations of gartersnakes from these same habitats. Common gartersnakes were more abundant and had higher reproductive outputs and higher growth rates in field habitat than in forest habitat, but fCM concentrations did not differ between the same two habitats. Our results suggest either that fCM concentrations are not a useful metric of habitat suitability in common gartersnakes or that the difference in suitability between the two habitats was too small to induce changes in fCM concentrations. Incorporating fitness metrics in estimates of habitat suitability is important, but these metrics of fitness have to be sensitive enough to vary between habitats.

  18. Development and evaluation of habitat suitability criteria for use in the instream flow incremental methodology

    Bovee, Ken D.

    1986-01-01

    The Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM) is a habitat-based tool used to evaluate the environmental consequences of various water and land use practices. As such, knowledge about the conditions that provide favorable habitat for a species, and those that do not, is necessary for successful implementation of the methodology. In the context of IFIM, this knowledge is defined as habitat suitability criteria: characteristic behavioral traits of a species that are established as standards for comparison in the decision-making process. Habitat suitability criteria may be expressed in a variety of types and formats. The type, or category, refers to the procedure used to develop the criteria. Category I criteria are based on professional judgment, with little or no empirical data. Category II criteria have as their source, microhabitat data collected at locations where target organisms are observed or collected. These are called “utilization” functions because they are based on observed locations that were used by the target organism. These functions tend to be biased by the environmental conditions that were available to the fish or invertebrates at the time they were observed. Correction of the utilization function for environmental availability creates category III, or “preference” criteria, which tend to be much less site specific than category II criteria. There are also several ways to express habitat suitability in graphical form. The binary format establishes a suitable range for each variable as it pertains to a life stage of interest, and is presented graphically as a step function. The quality rating for a variable is 1.0 if it falls within the range of the criteria, and 0.0 if it falls outside the range. The univariate curve format established both the usable range and the optimum range for each variable, with conditions of intermediate usability expressed along the portion between the tails and the peak of the curve. Multivariate probability

  19. Hydropower Production and Fish Habitat Suitability: Impact and Effectiveness of Environmental Flow Prescriptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceola, Serena; Pugliese, Alessio; Galeati, Giorgio; Castellarin, Attilio

    2017-04-01

    The anthropogenic alteration of the natural flow regime of a river for hydropower production can significantly modify the processes and functions associated with fluvial ecosystems. In order to preserve the fluvial habitat downstream of dams and diversion structures, environmental flows are commonly defined. Such environmental flows are generally computed from empirical methodologies, which are seldom based on site-specific studies, and may not be representative of local ecological and hydraulic conditions. Here we present the results of a quantitative analysis on the effectiveness of two alternative environmental flow scenarios prescribed in Central Italy (time-invariant experimental and empirically-based flow release versus time-variant hydrogeomorphologically-based flow release) and their impact on hydropower production and fish habitat suitability. The latter is examined by means of several models of habitat suitability curve, which is a well-known approach capable of analysing fluvial species preferences as a function of key eco-hydraulic features, such as water depth, flow velocity and river substrate. The results show an evident loss of hydropower production moving from the time-invariant experimental flow release to the hydrogeomorphological one (nearly 20% at the annual scale). Concerning the effects in terms of fish habitat suitability, our outcomes are less obvious, since they are species- and life stage-specific. The proposed analysis, which can be easily adapted to different riparian habitats and hydrological contexts, is a useful tool to guide the derivation of optimal water resource management strategies in order to ensure both hydropower production and fluvial ecosystem protection.

  20. Hydropower Production and Fish Habitat Suitability: Impact and Effectiveness of Environmental Flow Prescriptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castellarin, A.; Galeati, G.; Ceola, S.; Pugliese, A.; Ventura, M.; Montanari, A.

    2017-12-01

    The anthropogenic alteration of the natural flow regime of a river for hydropower production can significantly modify the processes and functions associated with fluvial ecosystems. In order to preserve the fluvial habitat downstream of dams and diversion structures, environmental flows are commonly defined. Such environmental flows are generally computed from empirical methodologies, which are seldom based on site-specific studies, and may not be representative of local ecological and hydraulic conditions. Here we present the results of a quantitative analysis on the effectiveness of two alternative environmental flow scenarios prescribed in Central Italy (time-invariant experimental and empirically-based flow release versus time-variant hydrogeomorphologically-based flow release) and their impact on hydropower production and fish habitat suitability. The latter is examined by means of several models of habitat suitability curve, which is a well-known approach capable of analysing fluvial species preferences as a function of key eco-hydraulic features, such as water depth, flow velocity and river substrate. The results show an evident loss of hydropower production moving from the time-invariant experimental flow release to the hydrogeomorphological one (nearly 20% at the annual scale). Concerning the effects in terms of fish habitat suitability, our outcomes are less obvious, since they are species- and life stage-specific. The proposed analysis, which can be easily adapted to different riparian habitats and hydrological contexts, is a useful tool to guide the derivation of optimal water resource management strategies in order to ensure both hydropower production and fluvial ecosystem protection.

  1. STREAM FISH HABITAT SUITABILITY AND THE RISK OF POPULATION DECLINE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Over half of the streams in the Mid-Atlantic Highlands have fish communities that are in fair or poor condition, and the EPA concluded that physical habitat alteration represents the greatest potential stressor across this region. A quantitative method for relating habitat quali...

  2. Assessing Habitat Suitability at Multiple Scales: A Landscape-Level Approach

    Kurt H. Riitters; R.V. O' Neill; K.B. Jones

    1997-01-01

    The distribution and abundance of many plants and animals are influenced by the spatial arrangement of suitable habitats across landscapes. We derived habitat maps from a digital land cover map of the ~178,000 km2 Chesapeake Bay Watershed by using a spatial filtering algorithm. The regional amounts and patterns of habitats were different for...

  3. Assessing ecoregional-scale habitat suitability index models for priority landbirds

    John M. Tirpak; D. Todd Jones-Farrand; Frank R. Thompson; Daniel J. Twedt; Charles K. Baxter; Jane A. Fitzgerald; William B. Uihlein

    2009-01-01

    Emerging methods in habitat and wildlife population modeling promise new horizons in conservation but only if these methods provide robust population-habitat linkages. We used Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data to verify and validate newly developed habitat suitability index (HSI) models for 40 priority landbird species in the Central Hardwoods and West Gulf Coastal Plain...

  4. A HABITAT SUITABILITY INDEX FOR THE BAY SCALLOP ARGOPECTEN IRRADIANS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Platform Presentation at a Scientific Meeting. A survey of Lagoon Pond, Martha's Vineyard, MA, USA was conducted in September 2005 to determine the combination of habitat factors most highly correlated with bay scallop (Argopecten irradians) abundance. A stratified random samplin...

  5. Evaluating habitat suitability models for nesting white-headed woodpeckers in unburned forest

    Quresh S. Latif; Victoria A. Saab; Kim Mellen-Mclean; Jonathan G. Dudley

    2015-01-01

    Habitat suitability models can provide guidelines for species conservation by predicting where species of interest are likely to occur. Presence-only models are widely used but typically provide only relative indices of habitat suitability (HSIs), necessitating rigorous evaluation often using independently collected presence-absence data. We refined and evaluated...

  6. ESTIMATING THE DISTRIBUTION OF HARVESTED ESTUARINE BIVALVES WITH NATURAL-HISTORY-BASED HABITAT SUITABILITY MODELS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Habitat suitability models are used to forecast how environmental change may affect the abundance or distribution of species of interest. The development of habitat suitability models may be used to estimate the vulnerability of this valued ecosystem good to natural or anthropog...

  7. Habitat suitability and nest survival of white-headed woodpeckers in unburned forests of Oregon

    Jeff P. Hollenbeck; Vicki Saab; Richard W. Frenzel

    2011-01-01

    We evaluated habitat suitability and nest survival of breeding white-headed woodpeckers (Picoides albolarvatus) in unburned forests of central Oregon, USA. Daily nest-survival rate was positively related to maximum daily temperature during the nest interval and to density of large-diameter trees surrounding the nest tree. We developed a niche-based habitat suitability...

  8. Variation in habitat suitability does not always relate to variation in species' plant functional traits

    PubMed Central

    Thuiller, Wilfried; Albert, Cécile H.; Dubuis, Anne; Randin, Christophe; Guisan, Antoine

    2010-01-01

    Habitat suitability models, which relate species occurrences to environmental variables, are assumed to predict suitable conditions for a given species. If these models are reliable, they should relate to change in plant growth and function. In this paper, we ask the question whether habitat suitability models are able to predict variation in plant functional traits, often assumed to be a good surrogate for a species' overall health and vigour. Using a thorough sampling design, we show a tight link between variation in plant functional traits and habitat suitability for some species, but not for others. Our contrasting results pave the way towards a better understanding of how species cope with varying habitat conditions and demonstrate that habitat suitability models can provide meaningful descriptions of the functional niche in some cases, but not in others. PMID:19793738

  9. Temporally dynamic habitat suitability predicts genetic relatedness among caribou.

    PubMed

    Yannic, Glenn; Pellissier, Loïc; Le Corre, Maël; Dussault, Christian; Bernatchez, Louis; Côté, Steeve D

    2014-10-07

    Landscape heterogeneity plays a central role in shaping ecological and evolutionary processes. While species utilization of the landscape is usually viewed as constant within a year, the spatial distribution of individuals is likely to vary in time in relation to particular seasonal needs. Understanding temporal variation in landscape use and genetic connectivity has direct conservation implications. Here, we modelled the daily use of the landscape by caribou in Quebec and Labrador, Canada and tested its ability to explain the genetic relatedness among individuals. We assessed habitat selection using locations of collared individuals in migratory herds and static occurrences from sedentary groups. Connectivity models based on habitat use outperformed a baseline isolation-by-distance model in explaining genetic relatedness, suggesting that variations in landscape features such as snow, vegetation productivity and land use modulate connectivity among populations. Connectivity surfaces derived from habitat use were the best predictors of genetic relatedness. The relationship between connectivity surface and genetic relatedness varied in time and peaked during the rutting period. Landscape permeability in the period of mate searching is especially important to allow gene flow among populations. Our study highlights the importance of considering temporal variations in habitat selection for optimizing connectivity across heterogeneous landscape and counter habitat fragmentation. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  10. Habitat suitability and nest survival of white-headed woodpeckers in unburned forests of Oregon

    Hollenbeck, Jeff P.; Saab, Victoria A.; Frenzel, Richard W.

    2011-01-01

    We evaluated habitat suitability and nest survival of breeding white-headed woodpeckers (Picoides albolarvatus) in unburned forests of central Oregon, USA. Daily nest-survival rate was positively related to maximum daily temperature during the nest interval and to density of large-diameter trees surrounding the nest tree. We developed a niche-based habitat suitability model (partitioned Mahalanobis distance) for nesting white-headed woodpeckers using remotely sensed data. Along with low elevation, high density of large trees, and low slope, our habitat suitability model suggested that interspersion–juxtaposition of low- and high-canopy cover ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) patches was important for nest-site suitability. Cross-validation suggested the model performed adequately for management planning at a scale >1 ha. Evaluation of mapped habitat suitability index (HSI) suggested that the maximum predictive gain (HSI = 0.36), where the number of nest locations are maximized in the smallest proportion of the modeled landscape, provided an objective initial threshold for identification of suitable habitat. However, managers can choose the threshold HSI most appropriate for their purposes (e.g., locating regions of low–moderate suitability that have potential for habitat restoration). Consequently, our habitat suitability model may be useful for managing dry coniferous forests for white-headed woodpeckers in central Oregon; however, model validation is necessary before our model could be applied to other locations.

  11. [Habitat suitability index model and minimum habitat area estimation of young Procypris rabaudi (Tchang): a simulation experiment in laboratory].

    PubMed

    Feng, Xian-Bin; Zhu, Yong-Jiu; Li, Xi; He, Yong-Feng; Zhao, Jian-Hua; Yang, De-Guo

    2013-01-01

    Under the conditions of simulated micro-habitat in laboratory, and by using experimental ecological methods, this paper evaluated the suitability index (HSI) of young Procypris rabaudi for habitat factors (substrate, light intensity and water depth). The habitat suitability models of the young P. rabaudi were established, and the minimum habitat area of the young P. rabaudi was estimated. The young P. rabaudi preferred the habitats with the gravel diameter from 10 to 15 cm, light intensity from 0.2 to 1.8 lx, and water depth from 0 to 15 cm (distance from the bottom of the tank). The three suitability index models of the substrate, light intensity and water depth for the young P. rabaudi were SI(s) = 1.7338e(-0.997x)(SI(S) is the suitability index of substrate, and x is the gravel diameter; R2 = 0.89, P < 0.01), SI(L) = 3.0121e(-1.339x)(SI(L) is the suitability index of light intensity, and x is the light intensity; R2 = 0.93, P < 0.01), and SI(W) = 2.4055e(-1.245x)(SI(W) is the suitability index of water depth, and x is the water depth; R2 = 0.97, P < 0.01), respectively. Arithmetic mean model HSI = (SI(S)+SI(L)+SI(W))/3 was most available for the estimation of the habitat suitability of young P. rabaudi. A total of seven groups of young P. rabaudi which established and maintained a relatively stable habitat area range were found. This habitat area ranged from 628 to 2015 cm2, with an average of 1114 cm2.

  12. The areal extent of brown shrimp habitat suitability in Mobile Bay, Alabama, USA: Targeting vegetated habitat restoration

    Smith, L.M.; Nestlerode, J.A.; Harwell, L.C.; Bourgeois, P.

    2010-01-01

    The availability of wetlands and shallow water habitats significantly influences Gulf of Mexico (GOM) penaeid shrimp fishery productivity. However, the GOM region has the highest rate of wetland loss in the USA. Protection and management of these vital GOM habitats are critical to sustainable shrimp fisheries. Brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus) are a major component of GOM fisheries. We present an approach for estimating the areal extent of suitable habitat for post-larval and juvenile brown shrimp in Mobile Bay, Alabama, using an existing habitat suitability index model for the northern GOM calculated from probabilistic survey of water quality and sediment data, land cover data, and submerged aquatic vegetation coverages. This estuarine scale approach is intended to support targeted protection and restoration of these habitats. These analyses indicate that approximately 60% of the area of Mobile Bay is categorized as suitable to near optimal for post-larval and juvenile shrimp and 38% of the area is marginally to minimally suitable. We identify potential units within Mobile Bay for targeted restoration to improve habitat suitability. ?? 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  13. Habitat Suitability Index Models: American black duck (wintering)

    Lewis, James C.; Garrison, Russell L.

    1984-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The American black duck, commonly known as the black duck, is migratory and has a wide geographic range. American black ducks breed from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, west to the Mississippi River and north through the eastern Canadian boreal forest (Bellrose 1976). The winter range extends from the Rio Grande River on the Texas coast, northeast to Lake Michigan, east to Nova Scotia, south to Florida, and west to Texas (Wright 1954). American black ducks arrive on their wintering habitats between September and early December and remain there until February to April (Bellrose 1976). Their preferred habitat varies considerably through the wintering range. Habitat use appears related to food availability, freedom from disturbance, weather, and often upon the presence of large bodies of open water. These interrelated elements are essential for meeting the energy demands and other nutritional requirements of black ducks in response to the rigors of cold weather and migration. In the Atlantic Flyway, winter populations of American black ducks concentrate in marine and estuarine wetlands (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1979). They use salt marshes and small tidal bays for feeding and loafing areas. In wintering areas north of Chesapeake Bay, American black ducks frequently feed on tidal flats and rest in emergent wetlands or on ice-free bays, rivers, and coastal reservoirs. In the Chesapeake bay area, migrant and wintering American black ducks occupy a wide variety of habitats (Stewart 1962). They strongly favor brackish bays with extensive adjacent agricultural lands. Estuarine bays, coastal salt marshes, tidal fresh marshes, and adjacent impoundments receive high usage. American black ducks also concentrate in forested wetlands in and adjacent to estuaries in the South Atlantic Flyway, especially in Virginia and North Carolina.

  14. Evaluation of osprey habitat suitability and interaction with contaminant exposure

    Toschik, P.C.; Christman, M.C.; Rattner, B.A.; Ottinger, M.A.

    2006-01-01

    Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) have been the focus of conservation efforts since their dramatic population decline attributed to dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and related chemicals in the 1960s. Several recent studies of ospreys nesting in the United States have indicated improved reproduction. However, the density of breeding ospreys varies greatly among locations, with some areas seemingly habitable but not occupied. Because of concerns about pollution in the highly industrialized portions of the Delaware River and Bay, USA, we evaluated contaminant exposure and productivity in ospreys nesting on the Delaware River and Bay in 2002. We characterized habitat in the coastal zone of Delaware, USA, and the area around the river in Pennsylvania, USA, using data we collected as well as extant information provided by state and federal sources. We characterized habitat based on locations of occupied osprey nests in Delaware and Pennsylvania. We evaluated water clarity, water depth, land use and land cover, nest availability, and contaminants in sediment for use in a nest-occupancy model. Our results demonstrated that the presence of occupied nests was associated with water depth, water clarity, distance to an occupied osprey nest, and presence of urban land use, whereas a companion study demonstrated that hatching success was associated with the principal components derived from organochlorine-contaminant concentrations in osprey eggs (total polychlorinated biphenyls, p,p'-dichlorodiphenylethylene, chlordane and metabolites, and heptachlor epoxide). Our study provides guidelines for resource managers and local conservation organizations in management of ospreys and in development of habitat models that are appropriate for other piscivorous and marsh-nesting birds.

  15. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Alewife and blueback herring

    Pardue, Garland B.

    1983-01-01

    Alewives and blueback herring are anadromous clupeids found along the Atlantic coast in marine, estuarine, and riverine habitats, depending upon life stage. Both are important commercial species, used fresh or salted for human consumption, and used as crab bait, fish meal (particularly in animal food manufacturing), and fish oil. Alewife and blueback herring are marketed collectively as 'river herring,' a term that will be used for both species in this report. River herring play important ecological roles. In marine, estuarine, and riverine food webs, they occupy a level between zooplankton, their principal food, and piscivores.

  16. Mapping anuran habitat suitability to estimate effects of grassland and wetland conservation programs

    Mushet, David M.; Euliss, Ned H.; Stockwell, Craig A.

    2012-01-01

    The conversion of the Northern Great Plains of North America to a landscape favoring agricultural commodity production has negatively impacted wildlife habitats. To offset impacts, conservation programs have been implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies to restore grassland and wetland habitat components. To evaluate effects of these efforts on anuran habitats, we used call survey data and environmental data in ecological niche factor analyses implemented through the program Biomapper to quantify habitat suitability for five anuran species within a 196 km2 study area. Our amphibian call surveys identified Northern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates pipiens), Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus), Boreal Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris maculata), Great Plains Toads (Anaxyrus cognatus), and Woodhouse’s Toads (Anaxyrus woodhousii) occurring within the study area. Habitat suitability maps developed for each species revealed differing patterns of suitable habitat among species. The most significant findings of our mapping effort were 1) the influence of deep-water overwintering wetlands on suitable habitat for all species encountered except the Boreal Chorus Frog; 2) the lack of overlap between areas of core habitat for both the Northern Leopard Frog and Wood Frog compared to the core habitat for both toad species; and 3) the importance of conservation programs in providing grassland components of Northern Leopard Frog and Wood Frog habitat. The differences in habitats suitable for the five species we studied in the Northern Great Plains, i.e., their ecological niches, highlight the importance of utilizing an ecosystem based approach that considers the varying needs of multiple species in the development of amphibian conservation and management plans.

  17. Predicted deep-sea coral habitat suitability for the U.S. West coast.

    PubMed

    Guinotte, John M; Davies, Andrew J

    2014-01-01

    Regional scale habitat suitability models provide finer scale resolution and more focused predictions of where organisms may occur. Previous modelling approaches have focused primarily on local and/or global scales, while regional scale models have been relatively few. In this study, regional scale predictive habitat models are presented for deep-sea corals for the U.S. West Coast (California, Oregon and Washington). Model results are intended to aid in future research or mapping efforts and to assess potential coral habitat suitability both within and outside existing bottom trawl closures (i.e. Essential Fish Habitat (EFH)) and identify suitable habitat within U.S. National Marine Sanctuaries (NMS). Deep-sea coral habitat suitability was modelled at 500 m×500 m spatial resolution using a range of physical, chemical and environmental variables known or thought to influence the distribution of deep-sea corals. Using a spatial partitioning cross-validation approach, maximum entropy models identified slope, temperature, salinity and depth as important predictors for most deep-sea coral taxa. Large areas of highly suitable deep-sea coral habitat were predicted both within and outside of existing bottom trawl closures and NMS boundaries. Predicted habitat suitability over regional scales are not currently able to identify coral areas with pin point accuracy and probably overpredict actual coral distribution due to model limitations and unincorporated variables (i.e. data on distribution of hard substrate) that are known to limit their distribution. Predicted habitat results should be used in conjunction with multibeam bathymetry, geological mapping and other tools to guide future research efforts to areas with the highest probability of harboring deep-sea corals. Field validation of predicted habitat is needed to quantify model accuracy, particularly in areas that have not been sampled.

  18. Predicted Deep-Sea Coral Habitat Suitability for the U.S. West Coast

    PubMed Central

    Guinotte, John M.; Davies, Andrew J.

    2014-01-01

    Regional scale habitat suitability models provide finer scale resolution and more focused predictions of where organisms may occur. Previous modelling approaches have focused primarily on local and/or global scales, while regional scale models have been relatively few. In this study, regional scale predictive habitat models are presented for deep-sea corals for the U.S. West Coast (California, Oregon and Washington). Model results are intended to aid in future research or mapping efforts and to assess potential coral habitat suitability both within and outside existing bottom trawl closures (i.e. Essential Fish Habitat (EFH)) and identify suitable habitat within U.S. National Marine Sanctuaries (NMS). Deep-sea coral habitat suitability was modelled at 500 m×500 m spatial resolution using a range of physical, chemical and environmental variables known or thought to influence the distribution of deep-sea corals. Using a spatial partitioning cross-validation approach, maximum entropy models identified slope, temperature, salinity and depth as important predictors for most deep-sea coral taxa. Large areas of highly suitable deep-sea coral habitat were predicted both within and outside of existing bottom trawl closures and NMS boundaries. Predicted habitat suitability over regional scales are not currently able to identify coral areas with pin point accuracy and probably overpredict actual coral distribution due to model limitations and unincorporated variables (i.e. data on distribution of hard substrate) that are known to limit their distribution. Predicted habitat results should be used in conjunction with multibeam bathymetry, geological mapping and other tools to guide future research efforts to areas with the highest probability of harboring deep-sea corals. Field validation of predicted habitat is needed to quantify model accuracy, particularly in areas that have not been sampled. PMID:24759613

  19. A habitat suitability model for Chinese sturgeon determined using the generalized additive method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yi, Yujun; Sun, Jie; Zhang, Shanghong

    2016-03-01

    The Chinese sturgeon is a type of large anadromous fish that migrates between the ocean and rivers. Because of the construction of dams, this sturgeon's migration path has been cut off, and this species currently is on the verge of extinction. Simulating suitable environmental conditions for spawning followed by repairing or rebuilding its spawning grounds are effective ways to protect this species. Various habitat suitability models based on expert knowledge have been used to evaluate the suitability of spawning habitat. In this study, a two-dimensional hydraulic simulation is used to inform a habitat suitability model based on the generalized additive method (GAM). The GAM is based on real data. The values of water depth and velocity are calculated first via the hydrodynamic model and later applied in the GAM. The final habitat suitability model is validated using the catch per unit effort (CPUEd) data of 1999 and 2003. The model results show that a velocity of 1.06-1.56 m/s and a depth of 13.33-20.33 m are highly suitable ranges for the Chinese sturgeon to spawn. The hydraulic habitat suitability indexes (HHSI) for seven discharges (4000; 9000; 12,000; 16,000; 20,000; 30,000; and 40,000 m3/s) are calculated to evaluate integrated habitat suitability. The results show that the integrated habitat suitability reaches its highest value at a discharge of 16,000 m3/s. This study is the first to apply a GAM to evaluate the suitability of spawning grounds for the Chinese sturgeon. The study provides a reference for the identification of potential spawning grounds in the entire basin.

  20. Ensemble modeling to predict habitat suitability for a large-scale disturbance specialist

    Quresh S. Latif; Victoria A. Saab; Jonathan G. Dudley; Jeff P. Hollenbeck

    2013-01-01

    To conserve habitat for disturbance specialist species, ecologists must identify where individuals will likely settle in newly disturbed areas. Habitat suitability models can predict which sites at new disturbances will most likely attract specialists. Without validation data from newly disturbed areas, however, the best approach for maximizing predictive accuracy can...

  1. Transferability of habitat suitability models for nesting woodpeckers associated with wildfire

    Quresh S. Latif; Vicki Saab; Jeff P. Hollenbeck; Jonathan G. Dudley

    2016-01-01

    Following wildfire, forest managers are challenged with meeting both socioeconomic demands (e.g., salvage logging) and mandates requiring habitat conservation for disturbance-associated wildlife (e.g., woodpeckers). Habitat suitability models for nesting woodpeckers can be informative, but tests of model transferability are needed to understand how broadly...

  2. Sex-specific habitat suitability models for Panthera tigris in Chitwan National Park, Nepal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battle, Curtis Scott

    Although research on wildlife species across taxa has shown that males and females differentially select habitat, sex-specific models of habitat suitability for endangered species are uncommon. Here, we developed such models for Bengal Tigers (Panthera tigris) based on camera trap data collected from 20 January to 22 March, 2010, within Chitwan National Park, Nepal, and its buffer zone. We compared these to a sex-indiscriminate habitat suitability model in order to identify information that is lost when occurrence data for both sexes are included in the same model, as well as to assess the benefits of a sex-specific approach to habitat suitability modelling. Our sex-specific models allowed us to produce more informative and detailed habitat suitability maps, highlighting key differences in the distribution of suitable habitats for males and females, preferences in vegetation structure, and habitat use near human settlements. In the context of global tiger conservation, such information is essential to fulfilling established conservation goals and population recovery targets.

  3. SMALL MAMMALS: CONSEQUENCES OF STOCHASTIC DATA VARIATION FOR MODELING INDICATORS OF HABITAT SUITABILITY FOR A WELL-STUDIED RESOURCE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Increasingly, models of physical habitat variables (i.e. vegetation, soil) are utilized as indicators of small mammal habitat suitability or quality. Presumably, use of physical habitat models indicating habitat suitability or quality would be improved and enhanced by the extens...

  4. Predicting habitat suitability for rare plants at local spatial scales using a species distribution model.

    PubMed

    Gogol-Prokurat, Melanie

    2011-01-01

    If species distribution models (SDMs) can rank habitat suitability at a local scale, they may be a valuable conservation planning tool for rare, patchily distributed species. This study assessed the ability of Maxent, an SDM reported to be appropriate for modeling rare species, to rank habitat suitability at a local scale for four edaphic endemic rare plants of gabbroic soils in El Dorado County, California, and examined the effects of grain size, spatial extent, and fine-grain environmental predictors on local-scale model accuracy. Models were developed using species occurrence data mapped on public lands and were evaluated using an independent data set of presence and absence locations on surrounding lands, mimicking a typical conservation-planning scenario that prioritizes potential habitat on unsurveyed lands surrounding known occurrences. Maxent produced models that were successful at discriminating between suitable and unsuitable habitat at the local scale for all four species, and predicted habitat suitability values were proportional to likelihood of occurrence or population abundance for three of four species. Unfortunately, models with the best discrimination (i.e., AUC) were not always the most useful for ranking habitat suitability. The use of independent test data showed metrics that were valuable for evaluating which variables and model choices (e.g., grain, extent) to use in guiding habitat prioritization for conservation of these species. A goodness-of-fit test was used to determine whether habitat suitability values ranked habitat suitability on a continuous scale. If they did not, a minimum acceptable error predicted area criterion was used to determine the threshold for classifying habitat as suitable or unsuitable. I found a trade-off between model extent and the use of fine-grain environmental variables: goodness of fit was improved at larger extents, and fine-grain environmental variables improved local-scale accuracy, but fine-grain variables

  5. Multi-criteria Decision Analysis to Model Ixodes ricinus Habitat Suitability.

    PubMed

    Rousseau, Raphaël; McGrath, Guy; McMahon, Barry J; Vanwambeke, Sophie O

    2017-09-01

    Tick-borne diseases present a major threat to both human and livestock health throughout Europe. The risk of infection is directly related to the presence of its vector. Thereby it is important to know their distribution, which is strongly associated with environmental factors: the presence and availability of a suitable habitat, of a suitable climate and of hosts. The present study models the habitat suitability for Ixodes ricinus in Ireland, where data on tick distribution are scarce. Tick habitat suitability was estimated at a coarse scale (10 km) with a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) method according to four different scenarios (depending on the variables used and on the weights granted to each of them). The western part of Ireland and the Wicklow mountains in the East were estimated to be the most suitable areas for I. ricinus in the island. There was a good level of agreement between results from the MCDA and recorded tick presence. The different scenarios did not affect the spatial outputs substantially. The current study suggests that tick habitat suitability can be mapped accurately at a coarse scale in a data-scarce context using knowledge-based methods. It can serve as a guideline for future countrywide sampling that would help to determine local risk of tick presence and refining knowledge on tick habitat suitability in Ireland.

  6. Habitat Suitability Index Models and Instream Flow Suitability Curves: American shad

    Stier, David J.; Crance, Johnie H.

    1985-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The American shad, an anadromous species, is the largest member of the herring family (Clupeidae) and is native to North America (Talbot and Sykes 1958; Hildebrand 1963; Walburg and Nichols 1967). Historically, the commercial fishery for American shad on the Atlantic coast was widespread and intense; in 1896 the estimated catch was 22.7 million kg (50 million lb). By 1960, however, the estimated catch had dropped to slightly more than 3.6 million kg (8 million lb), according to Walburg and Nichols (1967). Pollution, overfishing, and dams constructed across streams that prevent shad from reaching their spawning grounds have caused partial or total depletion of stocks (Hildebrand 1963). Several programs aimed at restoring American shad to their former range have been initiated by Federal and State agencies.

  7. Assessing range-wide habitat suitability for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken

    Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Holcombe, Tracy R.; Grisham, Blake A.; Timmer, Jennifer M.; Boal, Clint W.; Butler, Matthew; Pitman, James C.; Kyle, Sean; Klute, David; Beauprez, Grant M.; Janus, Allan; Van Pelt, William E.

    2016-01-01

    Population declines of many wildlife species have been linked to habitat loss incurred through land-use change. Incorporation of conservation planning into development planning may mitigate these impacts. The threatened Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) is experiencing loss of native habitat and high levels of energy development across its multijurisdictional range. Our goal was to explore relationships of the species occurrence with landscape characteristics and anthropogenic effects influencing its distribution through evaluation of habitat suitability associated with one particular habitat usage, lekking. Lekking has been relatively well-surveyed, though not consistently, in all jurisdictions. All five states in which Lesser Prairie-Chickens occur cooperated in development of a Maxent habitat suitability model. We created two models, one with state as a factor and one without state. When state was included it was the most important predictor, followed by percent of land cover consisting of known or suspected used vegetation classes within a 5000 m area around a lek. Without state, land cover was the most important predictor of relative habitat suitability for leks. Among the anthropogenic predictors, landscape condition, a measure of human impact integrated across several factors, was most important, ranking third in importance without state. These results quantify the relative suitability of the landscape within the current occupied range of Lesser Prairie-Chickens. These models, combined with other landscape information, form the basis of a habitat assessment tool that can be used to guide siting of development projects and targeting of areas for conservation.

  8. Suitability of Coastal Marshes as Whooping Crane Foraging Habitat in Southwest Louisiana, USA

    King, Sammy L.; Kang, Sung-Ryong

    2014-01-01

    Foraging habitat conditions (i.e., water depth, prey biomass, digestible energy density) can be a significant predictor of foraging habitat selection by wading birds. Potential foraging habitats of Whooping Cranes (Grus americana) using marshes include ponds and emergent marsh, but the potential prey and energy availability in these habitat types have rarely been studied. In this study, we estimated daily digestible energy density for Whooping Cranes in different marsh and microhabitat types (i.e., pond, flooded emergent marsh). Also, indicator metrics of foraging habitat suitability for Whooping Cranes were developed based on seasonal water depth, prey biomass, and digestible energy density. Seasonal water depth (cm), prey biomass (g wet weight m-2), and digestible energy density (kcal g-1m-2) ranged from 0.0 to 50.2 ± 2.8, 0.0 to 44.8 ± 22.3, and 0.0 to 31.0 ± 15.3, respectively. With the exception of freshwater emergent marsh in summer, all available habitats were capable of supporting one Whooping Crane per 0.1 ha per day. All habitat types in the marshes had relatively higher suitability in spring and summer than in fall and winter. Our study indicates that based on general energy availability, freshwater marshes in the region can support Whooping Cranes in a relatively small area, particularly in spring and summer. In actuality, the spatial density of ponds, the flood depth of the emergent marsh, and the habitat conditions (e.g., vegetation density) between adjacent suitable habitats will constrain suitable habitat and Whooping Crane numbers.

  9. Landscape-level connectivity in coastal southern California, USA, as assessed through carnivore habitat suitability

    Hunter, Richard D.; Fisher, Robert N.; Crooks, Kevin R.

    2003-01-01

    Although the fragmentation of the natural landscape of coastal southern California, USA, is accelerating, large-scale assessments of regional connectivity are lacking. Because of their large area requirements and long dispersal movements, mammalian carnivores can be effective focal species to use when evaluating landscape-level connectivity. Our goal was to make an initial assessment of the extent of landscape-level connectivity in coastal southern California using mountain lions (Felis concolor [Linnaeus]) and bobcats (Felis rufus [Shreber]) as focal species. We first characterized habitat preferences for mountain lions and bobcats from previously derived habitat relationship models for these species; the resulting maps provided a coarse view of habitat preferences for use at regional scales. We then constructed GIS models to evaluate the disturbance impact of roadways and development, major determinants of carnivore distribution and abundance in the south coast region. Finally, we combined the habitat relationship models with the disturbance impact models to characterize habitat connectivity for mountain lions and bobcats in the ecoregion. Habitat connectivity in the ecoregion appeared higher for bobcats than for mountain lions due in part to higher habitat suitability for bobcats in coastal lowland areas. Our models suggest that much of the key carnivore habitat in the coastal southern California is at risk; over 80% of high suitability habitat and over 90% of medium suitability habitat for carnivores is found in the least protected land management classes. Overall, these models allow for (1) identification of core habitat blocks for carnivores and key landscape connections between core areas, (2) evaluation of the level of protection of these areas, and (3) a regional framework within which to develop and coordinate local management and conservation plans.

  10. Shifts in the suitable habitat available for brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) under short-term climate change scenarios.

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Mas, R; Lopez-Nicolas, A; Martínez-Capel, F; Pulido-Velazquez, M

    2016-02-15

    The impact of climate change on the habitat suitability for large brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) was studied in a segment of the Cabriel River (Iberian Peninsula). The future flow and water temperature patterns were simulated at a daily time step with M5 models' trees (NSE of 0.78 and 0.97 respectively) for two short-term scenarios (2011-2040) under the representative concentration pathways (RCP 4.5 and 8.5). An ensemble of five strongly regularized machine learning techniques (generalized additive models, multilayer perceptron ensembles, random forests, support vector machines and fuzzy rule base systems) was used to model the microhabitat suitability (depth, velocity and substrate) during summertime and to evaluate several flows simulated with River2D©. The simulated flow rate and water temperature were combined with the microhabitat assessment to infer bivariate habitat duration curves (BHDCs) under historical conditions and climate change scenarios using either the weighted usable area (WUA) or the Boolean-based suitable area (SA). The forecasts for both scenarios jointly predicted a significant reduction in the flow rate and an increase in water temperature (mean rate of change of ca. -25% and +4% respectively). The five techniques converged on the modelled suitability and habitat preferences; large brown trout selected relatively high flow velocity, large depth and coarse substrate. However, the model developed with support vector machines presented a significantly trimmed output range (max.: 0.38), and thus its predictions were banned from the WUA-based analyses. The BHDCs based on the WUA and the SA broadly matched, indicating an increase in the number of days with less suitable habitat available (WUA and SA) and/or with higher water temperature (trout will endure impoverished environmental conditions ca. 82% of the days). Finally, our results suggested the potential extirpation of the species from the study site during short time spans. Copyright © 2015

  11. Mapping habitat suitability for at-risk plant species and its implications for restoration and reintroduction.

    PubMed

    Questad, Erin J; Kellner, James R; Kinney, Kealoha; Cordell, Susan; Asner, Gregory P; Thaxton, Jarrod; Diep, Jennifer; Uowolo, Amanda; Brooks, Sam; Inman-Narahari, Nikhil; Evans, Steven A; Tucker, Brian

    2014-03-01

    The conservation of species at risk of extinction requires data to support decisions at landscape to regional scales. There is a need for information that can assist with locating suitable habitats in fragmented and degraded landscapes to aid the reintroduction of at-risk plant species. In addition, desiccation and water stress can be significant barriers to the success of at-risk plant reintroduction programs. We examine how airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data can be used to model microtopographic features that reduce water stress and increase resource availability, providing information for landscape planning that can increase the success of reintroduction efforts for a dryland landscape in Hawaii. We developed a topographic habitat-suitability model (HSM) from LiDAR data that identifies topographic depressions that are protected from prevailing winds (high-suitability sites) and contrasts them with ridges and other exposed areas (low-suitability sites). We tested in the field whether high-suitability sites had microclimatic conditions that indicated better-quality habitat compared to low-suitability sites, whether plant-response traits indicated better growing conditions in high-suitability sites, whether the locations of individuals of existing at-risk plant species corresponded with our habitat-suitability classes, and whether the survival of planted individuals of a common native species was greater in high-suitability, compared to low-suitability, planting sites. Mean wind speed in a high-suitability field site was over five times lower than in a low-suitability site, and soil moisture and leaf wetness were greater, indicating less stress and greater resource availability in high-suitability areas. Plant height and leaf nutrient content were greater in high-suitability areas. Six at-risk species showed associations with high-suitability areas. The survival of planted individuals was less variable among high-suitability plots. These results

  12. Impact of alternative environmental flow prescriptions on hydropower production and fish habitat suitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceola, Serena; Pugliese, Alessio; Castellarin, Attilio; Galeati, Giorgio

    2015-04-01

    Anthropogenic activities along streams and rivers are increasingly recognised to be a major concern for fluvial ecosystems. The management of water resources, by means of e.g. flow diversions and dams, for industrial, agricultural, water-supply, hydropower production and flood protection purposes induces significant changes to the natural streamflow regime of a river. Indeed, the river flow regime is known to be a major abiotic factor influencing fluvial ecosystems. An established approach aimed at preserving the behaviour and distribution of fluvial species relies on the definition of minimum streamflow requirements (i.e., environmental flows) downstream of dams and diversion structures. Such environmental flows are normally identified through methodologies that have an empirical nature and may not be representative of local ecological and hydraulic conditions. While the effect of imposing a minimum discharge release is easily predictable in terms of e.g. loss of hydropower production, the advantages in terms of species preferences are often poorly understood and seldom assessed. To analyse the interactions between flow releases and the behaviour and distribution of fluvial species (i.e., from periphyton, to benthic invertebrate and fish), one may use a habitat suitability curve, which is a fundamental tool capable of describing species preferences influenced by any generic environmental variable. The outcomes of a real case study applied to several Italian rivers, located in the Marche administrative district in Central Italy (∽10000km2), in which we quantitatively assess the effects of alternative environmental flow scenarios on the existing hydropower network and on two fish species that are quite abundant in the study area (i.e., Leuciscus cephalus cabeda and Barbus barbus plebejus), will be presented and discussed. The proposed analysis, which can be easily adapted to different riparian habitats and hydrological contexts, is a useful tool to guide the

  13. Impact of Alternative Environmental Flow Prescriptions on Hydropower Production and Fish Habitat Suitability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castellarin, A.; Ceola, S.; Pugliese, A.; Galeati, G. A.

    2015-12-01

    Anthropogenic activities along streams and rivers are increasingly recognized to be a major concern for fluvial ecosystems. The management of water resources, by means of e.g. flow diversions and dams, for industrial, agricultural, water-supply, hydropower production and flood protection purposes induces significant changes to the natural streamflow regime of a river. Indeed, the river flow regime is known to be a major abiotic factor influencing fluvial ecosystems. An established approach aimed at preserving the behaviour and distribution of fluvial species relies on the definition of minimum streamflow requirements (i.e., environmental flows) downstream of dams and diversion structures. Such environmental flows are normally identified through methodologies that have an empirical nature and may not be representative of local ecological and hydraulic conditions. While the effect of imposing a minimum discharge release is easily predictable in terms of e.g. loss of hydropower production, the advantages in terms of species preferences are often poorly understood and seldom assessed. To analyze the interactions between flow releases and the behaviour and distribution of fluvial species (i.e., from periphyton, to benthic invertebrate and fish), one may use a habitat suitability curve, which is a fundamental tool capable of describing species preferences influenced by any generic environmental variable. The outcomes of a real case study applied to several Italian rivers, located in the Marche administrative district in Central Italy (∽10000km2), in which we quantitatively assess the effects of alternative environmental flow scenarios on the existing hydropower network and on two fish species that are quite abundant in the study area (i.e., Leuciscus cephalus cabeda and Barbus barbus plebejus), will be presented and discussed. The proposed analysis, which can be easily adapted to different riparian habitats and hydrological contexts, is a useful tool to guide the

  14. Increased sediment loads cause non-linear decreases in seagrass suitable habitat extent

    PubMed Central

    Atkinson, Scott; Klein, Carissa Joy; Weber, Tony; Possingham, Hugh P.

    2017-01-01

    Land-based activities, including deforestation, agriculture, and urbanisation, cause increased erosion, reduced inland and coastal water quality, and subsequent loss or degradation of downstream coastal marine ecosystems. Quantitative approaches to link sediment loads from catchments to metrics of downstream marine ecosystem state are required to calculate the cost effectiveness of taking conservation actions on land to benefits accrued in the ocean. Here we quantify the relationship between sediment loads derived from landscapes to habitat suitability of seagrass meadows in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. We use the following approach: (1) a catchment hydrological model generates sediment loads; (2) a statistical model links sediment loads to water clarity at monthly time-steps; (3) a species distribution model (SDM) factors in water clarity, bathymetry, wave height, and substrate suitability to predict seagrass habitat suitability at monthly time-steps; and (4) a statistical model quantifies the effect of sediment loads on area of seagrass suitable habitat in a given year. The relationship between sediment loads and seagrass suitable habitat is non-linear: large increases in sediment have a disproportionately large negative impact on availability of seagrass suitable habitat. Varying the temporal scale of analysis (monthly vs. yearly), or varying the threshold value used to delineate predicted seagrass presence vs. absence, both affect the magnitude, but not the overall shape, of the relationship between sediment loads and seagrass suitable habitat area. Quantifying the link between sediment produced from catchments and extent of downstream marine ecosystems allows assessment of the relative costs and benefits of taking conservation actions on land or in the ocean, respectively, to marine ecosystems. PMID:29125843

  15. Habitat suitability mapping of Anopheles darlingi in the surroundings of the Manso hydropower plant reservoir, Mato Grosso, Central Brazil.

    PubMed

    Zeilhofer, Peter; dos Santos, Emerson Soares; Ribeiro, Ana L M; Miyazaki, Rosina D; dos Santos, Marina Atanaka

    2007-03-07

    Hydropower plants provide more than 78 % of Brazil's electricity generation, but the country's reservoirs are potential new habitats for main vectors of malaria. In a case study in the surroundings of the Manso hydropower plant in Mato Grosso state, Central Brazil, habitat suitability of Anopheles darlingi was studied. Habitat profile was characterized by collecting environmental data. Remote sensing and GIS techniques were applied to extract additional spatial layers of land use, distance maps, and relief characteristics for spatial model building. Logistic regression analysis and ROC curves indicate significant relationships between the environment and presence of An. darlingi. Probabilities of presence strongly vary as a function of land cover and distance from the lake shoreline. Vector presence was associated with spatial proximity to reservoir and semi-deciduous forests followed by Cerrado woodland. Vector absence was associated with open vegetation formations such as grasslands and agricultural areas. We suppose that non-significant differences of vector incidences between rainy and dry seasons are associated with the availability of anthropogenic breeding habitat of the reservoir throughout the year. Satellite image classification and multitemporal shoreline simulations through DEM-based GIS-analyses consist in a valuable tool for spatial modeling of A. darlingi habitats in the studied hydropower reservoir area. Vector presence is significantly increased in forested areas near reservoirs in bays protected from wind and wave action. Construction of new reservoirs under the tropical, sub-humid climatic conditions should therefore be accompanied by entomologic studies to predict the risk of malaria epidemics.

  16. Application of GIS to predict malaria hotspots based on Anopheles arabiensis habitat suitability in Southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gwitira, Isaiah; Murwira, Amon; Zengeya, Fadzai M.; Shekede, Munyaradzi Davis

    2018-02-01

    Malaria remains a major public health problem and a principal cause of morbidity and mortality in most developing countries. Although malaria still presents health problems, significant successes have been recorded in reducing deaths resulting from the disease. As malaria transmission continues to decline, control interventions will increasingly depend on the ability to define high-risk areas known as malaria hotspots. Therefore, there is urgent need to use geospatial tools such as geographic information system to detect spatial patterns of malaria and delineate disease hot spots for better planning and management. Thus, accurate mapping and prediction of seasonality of malaria hotspots is an important step towards developing strategies for effective malaria control. In this study, we modelled seasonal malaria hotspots as a function of habitat suitability of Anopheles arabiensis (A. Arabiensis) as a first step towards predicting likely seasonal malaria hotspots that could provide guidance in targeted malaria control. We used Geographical information system (GIS) and spatial statistic methods to identify seasonal hotspots of malaria cases at the country level. In order to achieve this, we first determined the spatial distribution of seasonal malaria hotspots using the Getis Ord Gi* statistic based on confirmed positive malaria cases recorded at health facilities in Zimbabwe over four years (1996-1999). We then used MAXENT technique to model habitat suitability of A. arabiensis from presence data collected from 1990 to 2002 based on bioclimatic variables and altitude. Finally, we used autologistic regression to test the extent to which malaria hotspots can be predicted using A. arabiensis habitat suitability. Our results show that A. arabiensis habitat suitability consistently and significantly (p < 0.05) predicts malaria hotspots from 1996 to 1999. Overall, our results show that malaria hotspots can be predicted using A. arabiensis habitat suitability, suggesting

  17. Application and testing of a procedure to evaluate transferability of habitat suitability criteria

    Thomas, Jeff A.; Bovee, Ken D.

    1993-01-01

    A procedure designed to test the transferability of habitat suitability criteria was evaluated in the Cache la Poudre River, Colorado. Habitat suitability criteria were developed for active adult and juvenile rainbow trout in the South Platte River, Colorado. These criteria were tested by comparing microhabitat use predicted from the criteria with observed microhabitat use by adult rainbow trout in the Cache la Poudre River. A one-sided X2 test, using counts of occupied and unoccupied cells in each suitability classification, was used to test for non-random selection for optimum habitat use over usable habitat and for suitable over unsuitable habitat. Criteria for adult rainbow trout were judged to be transferable to the Cache la Poudre River, but juvenile criteria (applied to adults) were not transferable. Random subsampling of occupied and unoccupied cells was conducted to determine the effect of sample size on the reliability of the test procedure. The incidence of type I and type II errors increased rapidly as the sample size was reduced below 55 occupied and 200 unoccupied cells. Recommended modifications to the procedure included the adoption of a systematic or randomized sampling design and direct measurement of microhabitat variables. With these modifications, the procedure is economical, simple and reliable. Use of the procedure as a quality assurance device in routine applications of the instream flow incremental methodology was encouraged.

  18. Comparing Habitat Suitability and Connectivity Modeling Methods for Conserving Pronghorn Migrations

    PubMed Central

    Poor, Erin E.; Loucks, Colby; Jakes, Andrew; Urban, Dean L.

    2012-01-01

    Terrestrial long-distance migrations are declining globally: in North America, nearly 75% have been lost. Yet there has been limited research comparing habitat suitability and connectivity models to identify migration corridors across increasingly fragmented landscapes. Here we use pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) migrations in prairie habitat to compare two types of models that identify habitat suitability: maximum entropy (Maxent) and expert-based (Analytic Hierarchy Process). We used distance to wells, distance to water, NDVI, land cover, distance to roads, terrain shape and fence presence to parameterize the models. We then used the output of these models as cost surfaces to compare two common connectivity models, least-cost modeling (LCM) and circuit theory. Using pronghorn movement data from spring and fall migrations, we identified potential migration corridors by combining each habitat suitability model with each connectivity model. The best performing model combination was Maxent with LCM corridors across both seasons. Maxent out-performed expert-based habitat suitability models for both spring and fall migrations. However, expert-based corridors can perform relatively well and are a cost-effective alternative if species location data are unavailable. Corridors created using LCM out-performed circuit theory, as measured by the number of pronghorn GPS locations present within the corridors. We suggest the use of a tiered approach using different corridor widths for prioritizing conservation and mitigation actions, such as fence removal or conservation easements. PMID:23166656

  19. Comparing habitat suitability and connectivity modeling methods for conserving pronghorn migrations.

    PubMed

    Poor, Erin E; Loucks, Colby; Jakes, Andrew; Urban, Dean L

    2012-01-01

    Terrestrial long-distance migrations are declining globally: in North America, nearly 75% have been lost. Yet there has been limited research comparing habitat suitability and connectivity models to identify migration corridors across increasingly fragmented landscapes. Here we use pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) migrations in prairie habitat to compare two types of models that identify habitat suitability: maximum entropy (Maxent) and expert-based (Analytic Hierarchy Process). We used distance to wells, distance to water, NDVI, land cover, distance to roads, terrain shape and fence presence to parameterize the models. We then used the output of these models as cost surfaces to compare two common connectivity models, least-cost modeling (LCM) and circuit theory. Using pronghorn movement data from spring and fall migrations, we identified potential migration corridors by combining each habitat suitability model with each connectivity model. The best performing model combination was Maxent with LCM corridors across both seasons. Maxent out-performed expert-based habitat suitability models for both spring and fall migrations. However, expert-based corridors can perform relatively well and are a cost-effective alternative if species location data are unavailable. Corridors created using LCM out-performed circuit theory, as measured by the number of pronghorn GPS locations present within the corridors. We suggest the use of a tiered approach using different corridor widths for prioritizing conservation and mitigation actions, such as fence removal or conservation easements.

  20. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Djukic, Ika; Kitzler, Barbara; Kobler, Johannes; Mol-Dijkstra, Janet P.; Posch, Max; Reinds, Gert Jan; Schlutow, Angela; Starlinger, Franz; Wamelink, Wieger G. W.

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N) are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses) in the species potential distribution, but also N driven nutrient enrichment may threaten these habitats. We applied a dynamic geochemical soil model (VSD+) together with a novel niche-based plant response model (PROPS) to 5 forest habitat types (18 forest sites) protected under the EU Directive in Austria. We assessed how future climate change and N deposition might affect habitat suitability, defined as the capacity of a site to host its typical plant species. Our evaluation indicates that climate change will be the main driver of a decrease in habitat suitability in the future in Austria. The expected climate change will increase the occurrence of thermophilic plant species while decreasing cold-tolerant species. In addition to these direct impacts, climate change scenarios caused an increase of the occurrence probability of oligotrophic species due to a higher N immobilisation in woody biomass leading to soil N depletion. As a consequence, climate change did offset eutrophication from N deposition, even when no further reduction in N emissions was assumed. Our results show that climate change may have positive side-effects in forest habitats when multiple drivers of change are considered. PMID:28898262

  1. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Dirnböck, Thomas; Djukic, Ika; Kitzler, Barbara; Kobler, Johannes; Mol-Dijkstra, Janet P; Posch, Max; Reinds, Gert Jan; Schlutow, Angela; Starlinger, Franz; Wamelink, Wieger G W

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N) are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses) in the species potential distribution, but also N driven nutrient enrichment may threaten these habitats. We applied a dynamic geochemical soil model (VSD+) together with a novel niche-based plant response model (PROPS) to 5 forest habitat types (18 forest sites) protected under the EU Directive in Austria. We assessed how future climate change and N deposition might affect habitat suitability, defined as the capacity of a site to host its typical plant species. Our evaluation indicates that climate change will be the main driver of a decrease in habitat suitability in the future in Austria. The expected climate change will increase the occurrence of thermophilic plant species while decreasing cold-tolerant species. In addition to these direct impacts, climate change scenarios caused an increase of the occurrence probability of oligotrophic species due to a higher N immobilisation in woody biomass leading to soil N depletion. As a consequence, climate change did offset eutrophication from N deposition, even when no further reduction in N emissions was assumed. Our results show that climate change may have positive side-effects in forest habitats when multiple drivers of change are considered.

  2. Hydrologic and water-quality rehabilitation of environments for suitable fish habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, C. S.; Yang, S. T.; Xiang, H.; Liu, C. M.; Zhang, H. T.; Yang, Z. L.; Zhang, Y.; Sun, Y.; Mitrovic, S. M.; Yu, Q.; Lim, R. P.

    2015-11-01

    Aquatic ecological rehabilitation is attracting increasing public and research attention, but without knowledge of the responses of aquatic species to their habitats the success of habitat restoration is uncertain. Thus efficient study of species response to habitat, through which to prioritize the habitat factors influencing aquatic ecosystems, is highly important. However many current models have too high requirement for assemblage information and have great bias in results due to consideration of only the species' attribute of presence/absence, abundance or biomass, thus hindering the wider utility of these models. This paper, using fish as a case, presents a framework for identification of high-priority habitat factors based on the responses of aquatic species to their habitats, using presence/absence, abundance and biomass data. This framework consists of four newly developed sub-models aiming to determine weightings for the evaluation of species' contributions to their communities, to quantitatively calculate an integrated habitat suitability index for multi-species based on habitat factors, to assess the suitable probability of habitat factors and to assess the rehabilitation priority of habitat factors. The framework closely links hydrologic, physical and chemical habitat factors to fish assemblage attributes drawn from monitoring datasets on hydrology, water quality and fish assemblages at a total of 144 sites, where 5084 fish were sampled and tested. Breakpoint identification techniques based on curvature in cumulated dominance along with a newly developed weighting calculation model based on theory of mass systems were used to help identify the dominant fish, based on which the presence and abundance of multiple fish were normalized to estimate the integrated habitat suitability index along gradients of various factors, based on their variation with principal habitat factors. Then, the appropriate probability of every principal habitat factor was

  3. Predicting habitat suitability and geographic distribution of anchovy (Engraulis ringens) due to climate change in the coastal areas off Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva, Claudio; Andrade, Isabel; Yáñez, Eleuterio; Hormazabal, Samuel; Barbieri, María Ángela; Aranis, Antonio; Böhm, Gabriela

    2016-08-01

    The effects of climate change on ocean conditions will have impacts on fish stocks, primarily through physiological and behavioural effects, such as changes in growth, reproduction, mortality and distribution. Habitat and distribution predictions for marine fishery species under climate change scenarios are important for understanding the overall impacts of such global changes on the human society and on the ecosystem. In this study, we examine the impacts of climate change on anchovy fisheries off Chile using predicted changes in global models according to the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Climate System Model 3.0 (CCSM3) and IPCC high future CO2 emission scenario A2, habitat suitability index (HSI) models and satellite-based sea surface temperature (SST) and chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) estimates from high-resolution regional models for the simulation period 2015-2065. Predictions of SST from global climate models were regionalised using the Delta statistical downscaling technique. Predictions of chlorophyll-a were developed using historical Chl-a and SST (2003-2013) satellite data and applying a harmonic model. The results show an increase in SST of up to 2.5 °C by 2055 in the north and central-south area for an A2 scenario. The habitat suitability index model was developed using historical (2001-2011) monthly fisheries and environmental data. The catch per unit effort (CPUE) was used as an abundance index in developing the HSI models and was calculated as the total catch (ton) by hold capacity (m3) in a 10‧ × 10‧ fishing grid square of anchovy, integrated over one month of fishing activity. The environmental data included the distance to coast (DC), thermal (SST) and food availability (Chl-a) conditions. The HSI modelling consists of estimating SI curves based on available evidence regarding the optimum range of environmental conditions for anchovy and estimating an integrated HSI using the Arithmetic Mean Model (AMM) method. The

  4. Global habitat suitability for framework-forming cold-water corals.

    PubMed

    Davies, Andrew J; Guinotte, John M

    2011-04-15

    Predictive habitat models are increasingly being used by conservationists, researchers and governmental bodies to identify vulnerable ecosystems and species' distributions in areas that have not been sampled. However, in the deep sea, several limitations have restricted the widespread utilisation of this approach. These range from issues with the accuracy of species presences, the lack of reliable absence data and the limited spatial resolution of environmental factors known or thought to control deep-sea species' distributions. To address these problems, global habitat suitability models have been generated for five species of framework-forming scleractinian corals by taking the best available data and using a novel approach to generate high resolution maps of seafloor conditions. High-resolution global bathymetry was used to resample gridded data from sources such as World Ocean Atlas to produce continuous 30-arc second (∼1 km(2)) global grids for environmental, chemical and physical data of the world's oceans. The increased area and resolution of the environmental variables resulted in a greater number of coral presence records being incorporated into habitat models and higher accuracy of model predictions. The most important factors in determining cold-water coral habitat suitability were depth, temperature, aragonite saturation state and salinity. Model outputs indicated the majority of suitable coral habitat is likely to occur on the continental shelves and slopes of the Atlantic, South Pacific and Indian Oceans. The North Pacific has very little suitable scleractinian coral habitat. Numerous small scale features (i.e., seamounts), which have not been sampled or identified as having a high probability of supporting cold-water coral habitat were identified in all ocean basins. Field validation of newly identified areas is needed to determine the accuracy of model results, assess the utility of modelling efforts to identify vulnerable marine ecosystems for

  5. Effects of regulated river flows on habitat suitability for the robust redhorse

    Fisk, J. M.; Kwak, Thomas J.; Heise, R. J.

    2015-01-01

    The Robust Redhorse Moxostoma robustum is a rare and imperiled fish, with wild populations occurring in three drainages from North Carolina to Georgia. Hydroelectric dams have altered the species’ habitat and restricted its range. An augmented minimum-flow regime that will affect Robust Redhorse habitat was recently prescribed for Blewett Falls Dam, a hydroelectric facility on the Pee Dee River, North Carolina. Our objective was to quantify suitable spawning and nonspawning habitat under current and proposed minimum-flow regimes. We implanted radio transmitters into 27 adult Robust Redhorses and relocated the fish from spring 2008 to summer 2009, and we described habitat at 15 spawning capture locations. Nonspawning habitat consisted of deep, slow-moving pools (mean depth D 2.3 m; mean velocity D 0.23 m/s), bedrock and sand substrates, and boulders or coarse woody debris as cover. Spawning habitat was characterized as shallower, faster-moving water (mean depth D 0.84 m; mean velocity D 0.61 m/s) with gravel and cobble as substrates and boulders as cover associated with shoals. Telemetry relocations revealed two behavioral subgroups: a resident subgroup (linear range [mean § SE] D 7.9 § 3.7 river kilometers [rkm]) that remained near spawning areas in the Piedmont region throughout the year; and a migratory subgroup (linear range D 64.3 § 8.4 rkm) that migrated extensively downstream into the Coastal Plain region. Spawning and nonspawning habitat suitability indices were developed based on field microhabitat measurements and were applied to model suitable available habitat (weighted usable area) for current and proposed augmented minimum flows. Suitable habitat (both spawning and nonspawning) increased for each proposed seasonal minimum flow relative to former minimum flows, with substantial increases for spawning sites. Our results contribute to an understanding of how regulated flows affect available habitats for imperiled species. Flow managers can use these

  6. Climate change may threaten habitat suitability of threatened plant species within Chinese nature reserves

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Jizhong

    2016-01-01

    Climate change has the potential to alter the distributions of threatened plant species, and may therefore diminish the capacity of nature reserves to protect threatened plant species. Chinese nature reserves contain a rich diversity of plant species that are at risk of becoming more threatened by climate change. Hence, it is urgent to identify the extent to which future climate change may compromise the suitability of threatened plant species habitats within Chinese nature reserves. Here, we modelled the climate suitability of 82 threatened plant species within 168 nature reserves across climate change scenarios. We used Maxent modelling based on species occurrence localities and evaluated climate change impacts using the magnitude of change in climate suitability and the degree of overlap between current and future climatically suitable habitats. There was a significant relationship between overlap with current and future climate suitability of all threatened plant species habitats and the magnitude of changes in climate suitability. Our projections estimate that the climate suitability of more than 60 threatened plant species will decrease and that climate change threatens the habitat suitability of plant species in more than 130 nature reserves under the low, medium, and high greenhouse gas concentration scenarios by both 2050s and 2080s. Furthermore, future climate change may substantially threaten tree plant species through changes in annual mean temperature. These results indicate that climate change may threaten plant species that occur within Chinese nature reserves. Therefore, we suggest that climate change projections should be integrated into the conservation and management of threatened plant species within nature reserves. PMID:27326373

  7. Ensemble modeling to predict habitat suitability for a large-scale disturbance specialist

    PubMed Central

    Latif, Quresh S; Saab, Victoria A; Dudley, Jonathan G; Hollenbeck, Jeff P

    2013-01-01

    To conserve habitat for disturbance specialist species, ecologists must identify where individuals will likely settle in newly disturbed areas. Habitat suitability models can predict which sites at new disturbances will most likely attract specialists. Without validation data from newly disturbed areas, however, the best approach for maximizing predictive accuracy can be unclear (Northwestern U.S.A.). We predicted habitat suitability for nesting Black-backed Woodpeckers (Picoides arcticus; a burned-forest specialist) at 20 recently (≤6 years postwildfire) burned locations in Montana using models calibrated with data from three locations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. We developed 8 models using three techniques (weighted logistic regression, Maxent, and Mahalanobis D2 models) and various combinations of four environmental variables describing burn severity, the north–south orientation of topographic slope, and prefire canopy cover. After translating model predictions into binary classifications (0 = low suitability to unsuitable, 1 = high to moderate suitability), we compiled “ensemble predictions,” consisting of the number of models (0–8) predicting any given site as highly suitable. The suitability status for 40% of the area burned by eastside Montana wildfires was consistent across models and therefore robust to uncertainty in the relative accuracy of particular models and in alternative ecological hypotheses they described. Ensemble predictions exhibited two desirable properties: (1) a positive relationship with apparent rates of nest occurrence at calibration locations and (2) declining model agreement outside surveyed environments consistent with our reduced confidence in novel (i.e., “no-analogue”) environments. Areas of disagreement among models suggested where future surveys could help validate and refine models for an improved understanding of Black-backed Woodpecker nesting habitat relationships. Ensemble predictions presented here can

  8. Predictive habitat suitability models to aid conservation of elasmobranch diversity in the central Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-14

    Commercial fisheries have dramatically impacted elasmobranch populations worldwide. With high capture and bycatch rates, the abundance of many species is rapidly declining and around a quarter of the world's sharks and rays are threatened with extinction. At a regional scale this negative trend has also been evidenced in the central Mediterranean Sea, where bottom-trawl fisheries have affected the biomass of certain rays (e.g. Raja clavata) and sharks (e.g. Mustelus spp.). Detailed knowledge of elasmobranch habitat requirements is essential for biodiversity conservation and fisheries management, but this is often hampered by a poor understanding of their spatial ecology. Habitat suitability models were used to investigate the habitat preference of nine elasmobranch species and their overall diversity (number of species) in relation to five environmental predictors (i.e. depth, sea surface temperature, surface salinity, slope and rugosity) in the central Mediterranean Sea. Results showed that depth, seafloor morphology and sea surface temperature were the main drivers for elasmobranch habitat suitability. Predictive distribution maps revealed different species-specific patterns of suitable habitat while high assemblage diversity was predicted in deeper offshore waters (400-800 m depth). This study helps to identify priority conservation areas and diversity hot-spots for rare and endangered elasmobranchs in the Mediterranean Sea.

  9. Predictive habitat suitability models to aid conservation of elasmobranch diversity in the central Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lauria, V.; Gristina, M.; Attrill, M. J.; Fiorentino, F.; Garofalo, G.

    2015-08-01

    Commercial fisheries have dramatically impacted elasmobranch populations worldwide. With high capture and bycatch rates, the abundance of many species is rapidly declining and around a quarter of the world’s sharks and rays are threatened with extinction. At a regional scale this negative trend has also been evidenced in the central Mediterranean Sea, where bottom-trawl fisheries have affected the biomass of certain rays (e.g. Raja clavata) and sharks (e.g. Mustelus spp.). Detailed knowledge of elasmobranch habitat requirements is essential for biodiversity conservation and fisheries management, but this is often hampered by a poor understanding of their spatial ecology. Habitat suitability models were used to investigate the habitat preference of nine elasmobranch species and their overall diversity (number of species) in relation to five environmental predictors (i.e. depth, sea surface temperature, surface salinity, slope and rugosity) in the central Mediterranean Sea. Results showed that depth, seafloor morphology and sea surface temperature were the main drivers for elasmobranch habitat suitability. Predictive distribution maps revealed different species-specific patterns of suitable habitat while high assemblage diversity was predicted in deeper offshore waters (400-800 m depth). This study helps to identify priority conservation areas and diversity hot-spots for rare and endangered elasmobranchs in the Mediterranean Sea.

  10. Mapping habitat suitability for at-risk plants and its implications for restoration and reintroduction

    E. Questad; J.R. Kellner; K. Kinney; S. Cordell; G.P. Asner; J. Thaxton; J. Diep; A. Uowolo; S. Brooks; N. Inman-Narahari; S. Evans; B. Tucker

    2014-01-01

    The conservation of species at risk of extinction requires data to support decisions at landscape to regional scales. There is a need for information that can assist with locating suitable habitats in fragmented and degraded landscapes to aid the reintroduction of at-risk plant species. In addition, desiccation and water stress can be significant barriers to the...

  11. Habitat suitability models for cavity-nesting birds in a postfire landscape

    Robin E. Russell; Victoria A. Saab; Jonathan G. Dudley

    2007-01-01

    Models of habitat suitability in postfire landscapes are needed by land managers to make timely decisions regarding postfire timber harvest and other management activities. Many species of cavity-nesting birds are dependent on postfire landscapes for breeding and other aspects of their life history and are responsive to postfire management activities (e.g., timber...

  12. Models to predict suitable habitat for juvenile bull trout in Washington state

    Jason B. Dunham; G. L. Chandler

    2001-01-01

    This report describes results of research conducted in 2000 to develop models of suitable habitat for juvenile bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) in Washington State. The research is associated with a cooperative agreement (Agreement #134100H001) between U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research...

  13. Estimating the distribution of harvested estuarine bivalves with natural-history-based habitat suitability models

    EPA Science Inventory

    Habitat suitability models are useful to forecast how environmental change may affect the abundance or distribution of species of concern. In the case of harvested bivalves, those models may be used to estimate the vulnerability of this valued ecosystem good to natural or human-...

  14. Understanding the implications of a changing environment on harvested bivalve populations using habitat suitability models.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Habitat suitability models are useful to forecast how environmental change may affect the abundance or distribution of species of interest. In the case of harvested bivalves, those models may be used to estimate the vulnerability of this valued ecosystem good to stressors. Using ...

  15. Understanding the implications of a changing environment on harvested bivalve populations using habitat suitability models

    EPA Science Inventory

    Habitat suitability models are useful to forecast how environmental change may affect the abundance or distribution of species of interest. In the case of harvested bivalves, those models may be used to estimate the vulnerability of this valued ecosystem good to stressors. Using ...

  16. A GIS model of habitat suitability for Solanum conocarpum (Solanaceae) in St. John, US Virgin Islands

    Palumbo, Matthew D.; Fleming, Jonathan P.; Monsegur, Omar A.; Vilella, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    Solanum conocarpum (Solanaceae) (Marron Bacora) is a rare, dry-forest shrub endemic to the island of St. John, US Virgin Islands, considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Given its status as a species of conservation concern, we incorporated environmental characteristics of 3 observed populations and 5 additional known locations into a geographic information system (GIS) analysis to create a habitat-suitability model for the species on the island of St. John. Our model identified 1929.87 ha of highly suitable and moderately suitable habitat. Of these, 1161.20 ha (60.2%) occurred within the boundaries of Virgin Islands National Park. Our model provides spatial information on potential locations for future surveys and restoration sites for this endemic species of the US Virgin Islands.

  17. Simultaneous modeling of habitat suitability, occupancy, and relative abundance: African elephants in Zimbabwe

    Martin, Julien; Chamaille-Jammes, Simon; Nichols, James D.; Fritz, Herve; Hines, James E.; Fonnesbeck, Christopher J.; MacKenzie, Darryl I.; Bailey, Larissa L.

    2010-01-01

    The recent development of statistical models such as dynamic site occupancy models provides the opportunity to address fairly complex management and conservation problems with relatively simple models. However, surprisingly few empirical studies have simultaneously modeled habitat suitability and occupancy status of organisms over large landscapes for management purposes. Joint modeling of these components is particularly important in the context of management of wild populations, as it provides a more coherent framework to investigate the population dynamics of organisms in space and time for the application of management decision tools. We applied such an approach to the study of water hole use by African elephants in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. Here we show how such methodology may be implemented and derive estimates of annual transition probabilities among three dry-season states for water holes: (1) unsuitable state (dry water holes with no elephants); (2) suitable state (water hole with water) with low abundance of elephants; and (3) suitable state with high abundance of elephants. We found that annual rainfall and the number of neighboring water holes influenced the transition probabilities among these three states. Because of an increase in elephant densities in the park during the study period, we also found that transition probabilities from low abundance to high abundance states increased over time. The application of the joint habitat–occupancy models provides a coherent framework to examine how habitat suitability and factors that affect habitat suitability influence the distribution and abundance of organisms. We discuss how these simple models can further be used to apply structured decision-making tools in order to derive decisions that are optimal relative to specified management objectives. The modeling framework presented in this paper should be applicable to a wide range of existing data sets and should help to address important ecological

  18. Predicting the effects of proposed Mississippi River diversions on oyster habitat quality; application of an oyster habitat suitability index model

    Soniat, Thomas M.; Conzelmann, Craig P.; Byrd, Jason D.; Roszell, Dustin P.; Bridevaux, Joshua L.; Suir, Kevin J.; Colley, Susan B.

    2013-01-01

    In an attempt to decelerate the rate of coastal erosion and wetland loss, and protect human communities, the state of Louisiana developed its Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast. The master plan proposes a combination of restoration efforts including shoreline protection, marsh creation, sediment diversions, and ridge, barrier island, and hydrological restoration. Coastal restoration projects, particularly the large-scale diversions of fresh water from the Mississippi River, needed to supply sediment to an eroding coast potentially impact oyster populations and oyster habitat. An oyster habitat suitability index model is presented that evaluates the effects of a proposed sediment and freshwater diversion into Lower Breton Sound. Voluminous freshwater, needed to suspend and broadly distribute river sediment, will push optimal salinities for oysters seaward and beyond many of the existing reefs. Implementation and operation of the Lower Breton Sound diversion structure as proposed would render about 6,173 ha of hard bottom immediately east of the Mississippi River unsuitable for the sustained cultivation of oysters. If historical harvests are to be maintained in this region, a massive and unprecedented effort to relocate private leases and restore oyster bottoms would be required. Habitat suitability index model results indicate that the appropriate location for such efforts are to the east and north of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet.

  19. Modelling seasonal habitat suitability for wide-ranging species: Invasive wild pigs in northern Australia.

    PubMed

    Froese, Jens G; Smith, Carl S; Durr, Peter A; McAlpine, Clive A; van Klinken, Rieks D

    2017-01-01

    Invasive wildlife often causes serious damage to the economy and agriculture as well as environmental, human and animal health. Habitat models can fill knowledge gaps about species distributions and assist planning to mitigate impacts. Yet, model accuracy and utility may be compromised by small study areas and limited integration of species ecology or temporal variability. Here we modelled seasonal habitat suitability for wild pigs, a widespread and harmful invader, in northern Australia. We developed a resource-based, spatially-explicit and regional-scale approach using Bayesian networks and spatial pattern suitability analysis. We integrated important ecological factors such as variability in environmental conditions, breeding requirements and home range movements. The habitat model was parameterized during a structured, iterative expert elicitation process and applied to a wet season and a dry season scenario. Model performance and uncertainty was evaluated against independent distributional data sets. Validation results showed that an expert-averaged model accurately predicted empirical wild pig presences in northern Australia for both seasonal scenarios. Model uncertainty was largely associated with different expert assumptions about wild pigs' resource-seeking home range movements. Habitat suitability varied considerably between seasons, retracting to resource-abundant rainforest, wetland and agricultural refuge areas during the dry season and expanding widely into surrounding grassland floodplains, savanna woodlands and coastal shrubs during the wet season. Overall, our model suggested that suitable wild pig habitat is less widely available in northern Australia than previously thought. Mapped results may be used to quantify impacts, assess risks, justify management investments and target control activities. Our methods are applicable to other wide-ranging species, especially in data-poor situations.

  20. Future habitat suitability for coral reef ecosystems under global warming and ocean acidification

    PubMed Central

    Couce, Elena; Ridgwell, Andy; Hendy, Erica J

    2013-01-01

    Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are placing spatially divergent stresses on the world's tropical coral reefs through increasing ocean surface temperatures and ocean acidification. We show how these two stressors combine to alter the global habitat suitability for shallow coral reef ecosystems, using statistical Bioclimatic Envelope Models rather than basing projections on any a priori assumptions of physiological tolerances or fixed thresholds. We apply two different modeling approaches (Maximum Entropy and Boosted Regression Trees) with two levels of complexity (one a simplified and reduced environmental variable version of the other). Our models project a marked temperature-driven decline in habitat suitability for many of the most significant and bio-diverse tropical coral regions, particularly in the central Indo-Pacific. This is accompanied by a temperature-driven poleward range expansion of favorable conditions accelerating up to 40–70 km per decade by 2070. We find that ocean acidification is less influential for determining future habitat suitability than warming, and its deleterious effects are centered evenly in both hemispheres between 5° and 20° latitude. Contrary to expectations, the combined impact of ocean surface temperature rise and acidification leads to little, if any, degradation in future habitat suitability across much of the Atlantic and areas currently considered ‘marginal’ for tropical corals, such as the eastern Equatorial Pacific. These results are consistent with fossil evidence of range expansions during past warm periods. In addition, the simplified models are particularly sensitive to short-term temperature variations and their projections correlate well with reported locations of bleaching events. Our approach offers new insights into the relative impact of two global environmental pressures associated with rising atmospheric CO2 on potential future habitats, but greater understanding of past and current controls on

  1. Future habitat suitability for coral reef ecosystems under global warming and ocean acidification.

    PubMed

    Couce, Elena; Ridgwell, Andy; Hendy, Erica J

    2013-12-01

    Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are placing spatially divergent stresses on the world's tropical coral reefs through increasing ocean surface temperatures and ocean acidification. We show how these two stressors combine to alter the global habitat suitability for shallow coral reef ecosystems, using statistical Bioclimatic Envelope Models rather than basing projections on any a priori assumptions of physiological tolerances or fixed thresholds. We apply two different modeling approaches (Maximum Entropy and Boosted Regression Trees) with two levels of complexity (one a simplified and reduced environmental variable version of the other). Our models project a marked temperature-driven decline in habitat suitability for many of the most significant and bio-diverse tropical coral regions, particularly in the central Indo-Pacific. This is accompanied by a temperature-driven poleward range expansion of favorable conditions accelerating up to 40-70 km per decade by 2070. We find that ocean acidification is less influential for determining future habitat suitability than warming, and its deleterious effects are centered evenly in both hemispheres between 5° and 20° latitude. Contrary to expectations, the combined impact of ocean surface temperature rise and acidification leads to little, if any, degradation in future habitat suitability across much of the Atlantic and areas currently considered 'marginal' for tropical corals, such as the eastern Equatorial Pacific. These results are consistent with fossil evidence of range expansions during past warm periods. In addition, the simplified models are particularly sensitive to short-term temperature variations and their projections correlate well with reported locations of bleaching events. Our approach offers new insights into the relative impact of two global environmental pressures associated with rising atmospheric CO2 on potential future habitats, but greater understanding of past and current controls on coral

  2. Linking landscapes and habitat suitability scores for diadromous fish restoration in the susquehanna river basin

    Kocovsky, P.M.; Ross, R.M.; Dropkin, D.S.; Campbell, J.M.

    2008-01-01

    Dams within the Susquehanna River drainage, Pennsylvania, are potential barriers to migration of diadromous fishes, and many are under consideration for removal to facilitate fish passage. To provide useful input for prioritizing dam removal, we examined relations between landscape-scale factors and habitat suitability indices (HSIs) for native diadromous species of the Susquehanna River. We used two different methods (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service method: Stier and Crance [1985], Ross et al. [1993a, 1993b, 1997], and Pardue [1983]; Pennsylvania State University method: Carline et al. [1994]) to calculate HSIs for several life stages of American shad Alosa sapidissima, alewives Alosa pseudoharengus, and blueback herring Alosa aestivalis and a single HSI for American eels Anguilla rostrata based on habitat variables measured at transects spaced every 5 km on six major Susquehanna River tributaries. Using geographical information systems, we calculated land use and geologic variables upstream from each transect and associated those data with HSIs calculated at each transect. We then performed canonical correlation analysis to determine how HSIs were linked to geologic and land use factors. Canonical correlation analysis identified the proportion of watershed underlain by carbonate rock as a positive correlate of HSIs for all species and life stages except American eels and juvenile blueback herring. We hypothesize that potential mechanisms linking carbonate rock to habitat suitability include increased productivity and buffering capacity. No other consistent patterns of positive or negative correlation between landscape-scale factors and HSIs were evident. This analysis will be useful for prioritizing removal of dams in the Susquehanna River drainage, because it provides a broad perspective on relationships between habitat suitability for diadromous fishes and easily measured landscape factors. This approach can be applied elsewhere to elucidate relationships

  3. High Resolution Habitat Suitability Modelling For Restricted-Range Hawaiian Alpine Arthropod Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephenson, N. M.

    2016-12-01

    Mapping potentially suitable habitat is critical for effective species conservation and management but can be challenging in areas exhibiting complex heterogeneity. An approach that combines non-intrusive spatial data collection techniques and field data can lead to a better understanding of landscapes and species distributions. Nysius wekiuicola, commonly known as the wēkiu bug, is the most studied arthropod species endemic to the Maunakea summit in Hawai`i, yet details about its geographic distribution and habitat use remain poorly understood. To predict the geographic distribution of N. wekiuicola, MaxEnt habitat suitability models were generated from a diverse set of input variables, including fifteen years of species occurrence data, high resolution digital elevation models, surface mineralogy maps derived from hyperspectral remote sensing, and climate data. Model results indicate that elevation (78.2 percent), and the presence of nanocrystalline hematite surface minerals (13.7 percent) had the highest influence, with lesser contributions from aspect, slope, and other surface mineral classes. Climatic variables were not included in the final analysis due to auto-correlation and coarse spatial resolution. Biotic factors relating to predation and competition also likely dictate wēkiu bug capture patterns and influence our results. The wēkiu bug range and habitat suitability models generated as a result of this study will be directly incorporated into management and restoration goals for the summit region and can also be adapted for other arthropod species present, leading to a more holistic understanding of metacommunity dynamics. Key words: Microhabitat, Structure from Motion, Lidar, MaxEnt, Habitat Suitability

  4. Modelling seasonal habitat suitability for wide-ranging species: Invasive wild pigs in northern Australia

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Invasive wildlife often causes serious damage to the economy and agriculture as well as environmental, human and animal health. Habitat models can fill knowledge gaps about species distributions and assist planning to mitigate impacts. Yet, model accuracy and utility may be compromised by small study areas and limited integration of species ecology or temporal variability. Here we modelled seasonal habitat suitability for wild pigs, a widespread and harmful invader, in northern Australia. We developed a resource-based, spatially-explicit and regional-scale approach using Bayesian networks and spatial pattern suitability analysis. We integrated important ecological factors such as variability in environmental conditions, breeding requirements and home range movements. The habitat model was parameterized during a structured, iterative expert elicitation process and applied to a wet season and a dry season scenario. Model performance and uncertainty was evaluated against independent distributional data sets. Validation results showed that an expert-averaged model accurately predicted empirical wild pig presences in northern Australia for both seasonal scenarios. Model uncertainty was largely associated with different expert assumptions about wild pigs’ resource-seeking home range movements. Habitat suitability varied considerably between seasons, retracting to resource-abundant rainforest, wetland and agricultural refuge areas during the dry season and expanding widely into surrounding grassland floodplains, savanna woodlands and coastal shrubs during the wet season. Overall, our model suggested that suitable wild pig habitat is less widely available in northern Australia than previously thought. Mapped results may be used to quantify impacts, assess risks, justify management investments and target control activities. Our methods are applicable to other wide-ranging species, especially in data-poor situations. PMID:28472113

  5. Test of a habitat suitability index for black bears in the southern Appalachians

    Mitchell, M.S.; Zimmerman, J.W.; Powell, R.A.

    2002-01-01

    We present a habitat suitability index (HSI) model for black bears (Ursus americanus) living in the southern Appalachians that was developed a priori from the literature, then tested using location and home range data collected in the Pisgah Bear Sanctuary, North Carolina, over a 12-year period. The HSI was developed and initially tested using habitat and bear data collected over 2 years in the sanctuary. We increased number of habitat sampling sites, included data collected in areas affected by timber harvest, used more recent Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to create a more accurate depiction of the HSI for the sanctuary, evaluated effects of input variability on HSI values, and duplicated the original tests using more data. We found that the HSI predicted habitat selection by bears on population and individual levels and the distribution of collared bears were positively correlated with HSI values. We found a stronger relationship between habitat selection by bears and a second-generation HSI. We evaluated our model with criteria suggested by Roloff and Kernohan (1999) for evaluating HSI model reliability and concluded that our model was reliable and robust. The model's strength is that it was developed as an a priori hypothesis directly modeling the relationship between critical resources and fitness of bears and tested with independent data. We present the HSI spatially as a continuous fitness surface where potential contribution of habitat to the fitness of a bear is depicted at each point in space.

  6. Habitat suitability mapping of Anopheles darlingi in the surroundings of the Manso hydropower plant reservoir, Mato Grosso, Central Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Zeilhofer, Peter; Santos, Emerson Soares dos; Ribeiro, Ana LM; Miyazaki, Rosina D; Santos, Marina Atanaka dos

    2007-01-01

    Background Hydropower plants provide more than 78 % of Brazil's electricity generation, but the country's reservoirs are potential new habitats for main vectors of malaria. In a case study in the surroundings of the Manso hydropower plant in Mato Grosso state, Central Brazil, habitat suitability of Anopheles darlingi was studied. Habitat profile was characterized by collecting environmental data. Remote sensing and GIS techniques were applied to extract additional spatial layers of land use, distance maps, and relief characteristics for spatial model building. Results Logistic regression analysis and ROC curves indicate significant relationships between the environment and presence of An. darlingi. Probabilities of presence strongly vary as a function of land cover and distance from the lake shoreline. Vector presence was associated with spatial proximity to reservoir and semi-deciduous forests followed by Cerrado woodland. Vector absence was associated with open vegetation formations such as grasslands and agricultural areas. We suppose that non-significant differences of vector incidences between rainy and dry seasons are associated with the availability of anthropogenic breeding habitat of the reservoir throughout the year. Conclusion Satellite image classification and multitemporal shoreline simulations through DEM-based GIS-analyses consist in a valuable tool for spatial modeling of A. darlingi habitats in the studied hydropower reservoir area. Vector presence is significantly increased in forested areas near reservoirs in bays protected from wind and wave action. Construction of new reservoirs under the tropical, sub-humid climatic conditions should therefore be accompanied by entomologic studies to predict the risk of malaria epidemics. PMID:17343728

  7. Predicting habitat suitability for wildlife in southeastern Arizona using Geographic Information Systems: scaled quail, a case study

    Kirby D. Bristow; Susan R. Boe; Richard A. Ockenfels

    2005-01-01

    Studies have used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to evaluate habitat suitability for wildlife on a landscape scale, yet few have established the accuracy of these models. Based on documented habitat selection patterns of scaled quail (Callipepla squamata pallida), we produced GIS covers for several habitat parameters to create a map of...

  8. Tests of a habitat suitability model for black-capped chickadees

    Schroeder, Richard L.

    1990-01-01

    The black-capped chickadee (Parus atricapillus) Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model provides a quantitative rating of the capability of a habitat to support breeding, based on measures related to food and nest site availability. The model assumption that tree canopy volume can be predicted from measures of tree height and canopy closure was tested using data from foliage volume studies conducted in the riparian cottonwood habitat along the South Platte River in Colorado. Least absolute deviations (LAD) regression showed that canopy cover and over story tree height yielded volume predictions significantly lower than volume estimated by more direct methods. Revisions to these model relations resulted in improved predictions of foliage volume. The relation between the HSI and estimates of black-capped chickadee population densities was examined using LAD regression for both the original model and the model with the foliage volume revisions. Residuals from these models were compared to residuals from both a zero slope model and an ideal model. The fit model for the original HSI differed significantly from the ideal model, whereas the fit model for the original HSI did not differ significantly from the ideal model. However, both the fit model for the original HSI and the fit model for the revised HSI did not differ significantly from a model with a zero slope. Although further testing of the revised model is needed, its use is recommended for more realistic estimates of tree canopy volume and habitat suitability.

  9. Developing user-friendly habitat suitability tools from regional stream fish survey data

    Zorn, T.G.; Seelbach, P.; Wiley, M.J.

    2011-01-01

    We developed user-friendly fish habitat suitability tools (plots) for fishery managers in Michigan; these tools are based on driving habitat variables and fish population estimates for several hundred stream sites throughout the state. We generated contour plots to show patterns in fish biomass for over 60 common species (and for 120 species grouped at the family level) in relation to axes of catchment area and low-flow yield (90% exceedance flow divided by catchment area) and also in relation to axes of mean and weekly range of July temperatures. The plots showed distinct patterns in fish habitat suitability at each level of biological organization studied and were useful for quantitatively comparing river sites. We demonstrate how these plots can be used to support stream management, and we provide examples pertaining to resource assessment, trout stocking, angling regulations, chemical reclamation of marginal trout streams, indicator species, instream flow protection, and habitat restoration. These straightforward and effective tools are electronically available so that managers can easily access and incorporate them into decision protocols and presentations.

  10. Habitat suitability of the Carolina madtom, an imperiled, endemic stream fish

    Midway, S.R.; Kwak, Thomas J.; Aday, D.D.

    2010-01-01

    The Carolina madtom Noturus furiosus is an imperiled stream ictalurid that is endemic to the Tar and Neuse River basins in North Carolina. The Carolina madtom is listed as a threatened species by the state of North Carolina, and whereas recent distribution surveys have found that the Tar River basin population occupies a range similar to its historical range, the Neuse River basin population has shown recent significant decline. Quantification of habitat requirements and availability is critical for effective management and subsequent survival of the species. We investigated six reaches (three in each basin) to (1) quantify Carolina madtom microhabitat use, availability, and suitability; (2) compare suitable microhabitat availability between the two basins; and (3) examine use of an instream artificial cover unit. Carolina madtoms were located and their habitat was quantified at four of the six survey reaches. They most frequently occupied shallow to moderate depths of swift moving water over a sand substrate and used cobble for cover. Univariate and principal components analyses both showed that Carolina madtom use of instream habitat was selective (i.e., nonrandom). Interbasin comparisons suggested that suitable microhabitats were more prevalent in the impacted Neuse River basin than in the Tar River basin. We suggest that other physical or biotic effects may be responsible for the decline in the Neuse River basin population. We designed instream artificial cover units that were occupied by Carolina madtoms (25% of the time) and occasionally by other organisms. Carolina madtom abundance among all areas treated with the artificial cover unit was statistically higher than that in the control areas, demonstrating use of artificial cover when available. Microhabitat characteristics of occupied artificial cover units closely resembled those of natural instream microhabitat used by Carolina madtoms; these units present an option for conservation and restoration if

  11. Habitat suitability and ecological niche profile of major malaria vectors in Cameroon

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Suitability of environmental conditions determines a species distribution in space and time. Understanding and modelling the ecological niche of mosquito disease vectors can, therefore, be a powerful predictor of the risk of exposure to the pathogens they transmit. In Africa, five anophelines are responsible for over 95% of total malaria transmission. However, detailed knowledge of the geographic distribution and ecological requirements of these species is to date still inadequate. Methods Indoor-resting mosquitoes were sampled from 386 villages covering the full range of ecological settings available in Cameroon, Central Africa. Using a predictive species distribution modeling approach based only on presence records, habitat suitability maps were constructed for the five major malaria vectors Anopheles gambiae, Anopheles funestus, Anopheles arabiensis, Anopheles nili and Anopheles moucheti. The influence of 17 climatic, topographic, and land use variables on mosquito geographic distribution was assessed by multivariate regression and ordination techniques. Results Twenty-four anopheline species were collected, of which 17 are known to transmit malaria in Africa. Ecological Niche Factor Analysis, Habitat Suitability modeling and Canonical Correspondence Analysis revealed marked differences among the five major malaria vector species, both in terms of ecological requirements and niche breadth. Eco-geographical variables (EGVs) related to human activity had the highest impact on habitat suitability for the five major malaria vectors, with areas of low population density being of marginal or unsuitable habitat quality. Sunlight exposure, rainfall, evapo-transpiration, relative humidity, and wind speed were among the most discriminative EGVs separating "forest" from "savanna" species. Conclusions The distribution of major malaria vectors in Cameroon is strongly affected by the impact of humans on the environment, with variables related to proximity to human

  12. Habitat suitability and ecological niche profile of major malaria vectors in Cameroon.

    PubMed

    Ayala, Diego; Costantini, Carlo; Ose, Kenji; Kamdem, Guy C; Antonio-Nkondjio, Christophe; Agbor, Jean-Pierre; Awono-Ambene, Parfait; Fontenille, Didier; Simard, Frédéric

    2009-12-23

    Suitability of environmental conditions determines a species distribution in space and time. Understanding and modelling the ecological niche of mosquito disease vectors can, therefore, be a powerful predictor of the risk of exposure to the pathogens they transmit. In Africa, five anophelines are responsible for over 95% of total malaria transmission. However, detailed knowledge of the geographic distribution and ecological requirements of these species is to date still inadequate. Indoor-resting mosquitoes were sampled from 386 villages covering the full range of ecological settings available in Cameroon, Central Africa. Using a predictive species distribution modeling approach based only on presence records, habitat suitability maps were constructed for the five major malaria vectors Anopheles gambiae, Anopheles funestus, Anopheles arabiensis, Anopheles nili and Anopheles moucheti. The influence of 17 climatic, topographic, and land use variables on mosquito geographic distribution was assessed by multivariate regression and ordination techniques. Twenty-four anopheline species were collected, of which 17 are known to transmit malaria in Africa. Ecological Niche Factor Analysis, Habitat Suitability modeling and Canonical Correspondence Analysis revealed marked differences among the five major malaria vector species, both in terms of ecological requirements and niche breadth. Eco-geographical variables (EGVs) related to human activity had the highest impact on habitat suitability for the five major malaria vectors, with areas of low population density being of marginal or unsuitable habitat quality. Sunlight exposure, rainfall, evapo-transpiration, relative humidity, and wind speed were among the most discriminative EGVs separating "forest" from "savanna" species. The distribution of major malaria vectors in Cameroon is strongly affected by the impact of humans on the environment, with variables related to proximity to human settings being among the best

  13. 3-D habitat suitability of jack mackerel Trachurus murphyi in the Southeastern Pacific, a comprehensive study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bertrand, Arnaud; Habasque, Jérémie; Hattab, Tarek; Hintzen, Niels T.; Oliveros-Ramos, Ricardo; Gutiérrez, Mariano; Demarcq, Hervé; Gerlotto, François

    2016-08-01

    South Pacific jack mackerel, Trachurus murphyi, has an ocean-scale distribution, from the South American coastline to New Zealand and Tasmania. This fish, captured by Humans since the Holocene, is nowadays heavily exploited and its population has decreased substantially since the mid-1990s. The uncertainty associated to jack mackerel population structure currently hampers management. Several hypotheses have been proposed from a single population up to several discrete populations. Still no definitive answer was given. Determining how environmental conditions drive jack mackerel distribution can provide insights on its population structure. To do so, here we performed in three steps. First, we used satellite data to develop a statistical model of jack mackerel horizontal habitat suitability. Model predictions based on interaction between temperature and chlorophyll-a match the observed jack mackerel distribution, even during extreme El Niño event. Second, we studied the impact of oxygen and show that jack mackerel distribution and abundance is correlated to oxygen over a wide variety of scales and avoid low oxygen areas and periods. Third, on the basis of the above we built a conceptual 3D model of jack mackerel habitat in the Southeastern Pacific. We reveal the presence of a low suitable habitat along the Chilean and Peruvian coast, figuratively presenting a closed door caused by a gap in the horizontal habitat at ∼19-22°S and a shallow oxycline off south-centre Peru. This kind of situation likely occurs on a seasonal basis, in austral summer but also at longer temporal scales. A lack of exchanges at some periods/seasons partially isolate jack mackerel distributed off Peru. On the other hand the continuity in the habitat during most of the year explains why exchanges occur. We conclude that the more likely population structure for jack mackerel is a pelagic metapopulation.

  14. Habitat suitability and ecological niches of different plankton functional types in the global ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogt, Meike; Brun, Philipp; Payne, Mark R.; O'Brien, Colleen J.; Bednaršek, Nina; Buitenhuis, Erik T.; Doney, Scott C.; Leblanc, Karine; Le Quéré, Corinne; Luo, Yawei; Moriarty, Róisín; O'Brien, Todd D.; Schiebel, Ralf; Swan, Chantal

    2013-04-01

    Marine plankton play a central role in the biogeochemical cycling of important elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur. While our knowledge about marine ecosystem structure and functioning is still scarce and episodic, several recent observational studies confirm that marine ecosystems have been changing due to recent climate change, overfishing, and coastal eutrophication. In order to better understand marine ecosystem dynamics, the MAREDAT initiative has recently collected abundance and biomass data for 5 autotrophic (diatoms, Phaeocystis, coccolithophores, nitrogen fixers, picophytoplankton), and 6 heterotrophic plankton functional types (PFTs; bacteria, micro-, meso- and macrozooplankton, foraminifera and pteropods). Species distribution models (SDMs) are statistical tools that can be used to derive information about species habitats in space and time. They have been used extensively for a wide range of ecological applications in terrestrial ecosystems, but here we present the first global application in the marine realm, which was made possible by the MAREDAT data synthesis effort. We use a maximum entropy SDM to simulate global habitat suitability, habitat extent and ecological niches for different PFTs in the modern ocean. Present habitat suitability is derived from presence-only MAREDAT data and the observed annual and monthly mean levels of physiologically relevant variables such as SST, nutrient concentration or photosynthetic active radiation received in the mixed layer. This information can then be used to derive ecological niches for different species or taxa within each PFT, and to compare the ecological niches of different PFTs. While these results still need verification because data was not available for all ocean regions for all PFTs, they can give a first indication what present and future plankton habitats may look like, and what consequences we may have to expect for future marine ecosystem functioning and service provision in a warmer

  15. Distribution of the Habitat Suitability of the Main Malaria Vector in French Guiana Using Maximum Entropy Modeling.

    PubMed

    Moua, Yi; Roux, Emmanuel; Girod, Romain; Dusfour, Isabelle; de Thoisy, Benoit; Seyler, Frédérique; Briolant, Sébastien

    2017-05-01

    Malaria is an important health issue in French Guiana. Its principal mosquito vector in this region is Anopheles darlingi Root. Knowledge of the spatial distribution of this species is still very incomplete due to the extent of French Guiana and the difficulty to access most of the territory. Species distribution modeling based on the maximal entropy procedure was used to predict the spatial distribution of An. darlingi using 39 presence sites. The resulting model provided significantly high prediction performances (mean 10-fold cross-validated partial area under the curve and continuous Boyce index equal to, respectively, 1.11-with a level of omission error of 20%-and 0.42). The model also provided a habitat suitability map and environmental response curves in accordance with the known entomological situation. Several environmental characteristics that had a positive correlation with the presence of An. darlingi were highlighted: nonpermanent anthropogenic changes of the natural environment, the presence of roads and tracks, and opening of the forest. Some geomorphological landforms and high altitude landscapes appear to be unsuitable for An. darlingi. The species distribution modeling was able to reliably predict the distribution of suitable habitats for An. darlingi in French Guiana. Results allowed completion of the knowledge of the spatial distribution of the principal malaria vector in this Amazonian region, and identification of the main factors that favor its presence. They should contribute to the definition of a necessary targeted vector control strategy in a malaria pre-elimination stage, and allow extrapolation of the acquired knowledge to other Amazonian or malaria-endemic contexts. © The Authors 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-01

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

  17. Quantifying Florida Bay habitat suitability for fishes and invertebrates under climate change scenarios.

    PubMed

    Kearney, Kelly A; Butler, Mark; Glazer, Robert; Kelble, Christopher R; Serafy, Joseph E; Stabenau, Erik

    2015-04-01

    The Florida Bay ecosystem supports a number of economically important ecosystem services, including several recreational fisheries, which may be affected by changing salinity and temperature due to climate change. In this paper, we use a combination of physical models and habitat suitability index models to quantify the effects of potential climate change scenarios on a variety of juvenile fish and lobster species in Florida Bay. The climate scenarios include alterations in sea level, evaporation and precipitation rates, coastal runoff, and water temperature. We find that the changes in habitat suitability vary in both magnitude and direction across the scenarios and species, but are on average small. Only one of the seven species we investigate (Lagodon rhomboides, i.e., pinfish) sees a sizable decrease in optimal habitat under any of the scenarios. This suggests that the estuarine fauna of Florida Bay may not be as vulnerable to climate change as other components of the ecosystem, such as those in the marine/terrestrial ecotone. However, these models are relatively simplistic, looking only at single species effects of physical drivers without considering the many interspecific interactions that may play a key role in the adjustment of the ecosystem as a whole. More complex models that capture the mechanistic links between physics and biology, as well as the complex dynamics of the estuarine food web, may be necessary to further understand the potential effects of climate change on the Florida Bay ecosystem.

  18. Quantifying Florida Bay Habitat Suitability for Fishes and Invertebrates Under Climate Change Scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kearney, Kelly A.; Butler, Mark; Glazer, Robert; Kelble, Christopher R.; Serafy, Joseph E.; Stabenau, Erik

    2015-04-01

    The Florida Bay ecosystem supports a number of economically important ecosystem services, including several recreational fisheries, which may be affected by changing salinity and temperature due to climate change. In this paper, we use a combination of physical models and habitat suitability index models to quantify the effects of potential climate change scenarios on a variety of juvenile fish and lobster species in Florida Bay. The climate scenarios include alterations in sea level, evaporation and precipitation rates, coastal runoff, and water temperature. We find that the changes in habitat suitability vary in both magnitude and direction across the scenarios and species, but are on average small. Only one of the seven species we investigate ( Lagodon rhomboides, i.e., pinfish) sees a sizable decrease in optimal habitat under any of the scenarios. This suggests that the estuarine fauna of Florida Bay may not be as vulnerable to climate change as other components of the ecosystem, such as those in the marine/terrestrial ecotone. However, these models are relatively simplistic, looking only at single species effects of physical drivers without considering the many interspecific interactions that may play a key role in the adjustment of the ecosystem as a whole. More complex models that capture the mechanistic links between physics and biology, as well as the complex dynamics of the estuarine food web, may be necessary to further understand the potential effects of climate change on the Florida Bay ecosystem.

  19. Are mountain habitats becoming more suitable for generalist than cold-adapted lizards thermoregulation?

    PubMed

    Ortega, Zaida; Mencía, Abraham; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-01-01

    Mountain lizards are highly vulnerable to climate change, and the continuous warming of their habitats could be seriously threatening their survival. We aim to compare the thermal ecology and microhabitat selection of a mountain lizard, Iberolacerta galani, and a widely distributed lizard, Podarcis bocagei, in a montane area. Both species are currently in close syntopy in the study area, at 1,400 m above the sea level. We determined the precision, accuracy and effectiveness of thermoregulation, and the thermal quality of habitat for both species. We also compared the selection of thermal microhabitats between both species. Results show that I. galani is a cold-adapted thermal specialist with a preferred temperature range of 27.9-29.7 °C, while P. bocagei would be a thermal generalist, with a broader and higher preferred temperature range (30.1-34.5 °C). In addition, I. galani selects rocky substrates while P. bocagei selects warmer soil and leaf litter substrates. The thermal quality of the habitat is higher for P. bocagei than for I. galani. Finally, P. bocagei achieves a significantly higher effectiveness of thermoregulation (0.87) than I. galani (0.80). Therefore, these mountain habitat conditions seem currently more suitable for performance of thermophilic generalist lizards than for cold-specialist lizards.

  20. Are mountain habitats becoming more suitable for generalist than cold-adapted lizards thermoregulation?

    PubMed Central

    Mencía, Abraham; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín

    2016-01-01

    Mountain lizards are highly vulnerable to climate change, and the continuous warming of their habitats could be seriously threatening their survival. We aim to compare the thermal ecology and microhabitat selection of a mountain lizard, Iberolacerta galani, and a widely distributed lizard, Podarcis bocagei, in a montane area. Both species are currently in close syntopy in the study area, at 1,400 m above the sea level. We determined the precision, accuracy and effectiveness of thermoregulation, and the thermal quality of habitat for both species. We also compared the selection of thermal microhabitats between both species. Results show that I. galani is a cold-adapted thermal specialist with a preferred temperature range of 27.9–29.7 °C, while P. bocagei would be a thermal generalist, with a broader and higher preferred temperature range (30.1–34.5 °C). In addition, I. galani selects rocky substrates while P. bocagei selects warmer soil and leaf litter substrates. The thermal quality of the habitat is higher for P. bocagei than for I. galani. Finally, P. bocagei achieves a significantly higher effectiveness of thermoregulation (0.87) than I. galani (0.80). Therefore, these mountain habitat conditions seem currently more suitable for performance of thermophilic generalist lizards than for cold-specialist lizards. PMID:27280076

  1. Characterizing habitat suitability for a central-place forager in a dynamic marine environment.

    PubMed

    Briscoe, Dana K; Fossette, Sabrina; Scales, Kylie L; Hazen, Elliott L; Bograd, Steven J; Maxwell, Sara M; McHuron, Elizabeth A; Robinson, Patrick W; Kuhn, Carey; Costa, Daniel P; Crowder, Larry B; Lewison, Rebecca L

    2018-03-01

    Characterizing habitat suitability for a marine predator requires an understanding of the environmental heterogeneity and variability over the range in which a population moves during a particular life cycle. Female California sea lions ( Zalophus californianus ) are central-place foragers and are particularly constrained while provisioning their young. During this time, habitat selection is a function of prey availability and proximity to the rookery, which has important implications for reproductive and population success. We explore how lactating females may select habitat and respond to environmental variability over broad spatial and temporal scales within the California Current System. We combine near-real-time remotely sensed satellite oceanography, animal tracking data ( n  = 72) from November to February over multiple years (2003-2009) and Generalized Additive Mixed Models (GAMMs) to determine the probability of sea lion occurrence based on environmental covariates. Results indicate that sea lion presence is associated with cool ( <14°C ), productive waters, shallow depths, increased eddy activity, and positive sea-level anomalies. Predictive habitat maps generated from these biophysical associations suggest winter foraging areas are spatially consistent in the nearshore and offshore environments, except during the 2004-2005 winter, which coincided with an El Niño event. Here, we show how a species distribution model can provide broadscale information on the distribution of female California sea lions during an important life history stage and its implications for population dynamics and spatial management.

  2. Development of habitat suitability indices for the Candy Darter, with cross-scale validation across representative populations

    Dunn, Corey G.; Angermeier, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Understanding relationships between habitat associations for individuals and habitat factors that limit populations is a primary challenge for managers of stream fishes. Although habitat use by individuals can provide insight into the adaptive significance of selected microhabitats, not all habitat parameters will be significant at the population level, particularly when distributional patterns partially result from habitat degradation. We used underwater observation to quantify microhabitat selection by an imperiled stream fish, the Candy Darter Etheostoma osburni, in two streams with robust populations. We developed multiple-variable and multiple-life-stage habitat suitability indices (HSIs) from microhabitat selection patterns and used them to assess the suitability of available habitat in streams where Candy Darter populations were extirpated, localized, or robust. Next, we used a comparative framework to examine relationships among (1) habitat availability across streams, (2) projected habitat suitability of each stream, and (3) a rank for the likely long-term viability (robustness) of the population inhabiting each stream. Habitat selection was characterized by ontogenetic shifts from the low-velocity, slightly embedded areas used by age-0 Candy Darters to the swift, shallow areas with little fine sediment and complex substrate, which were used by adults. Overall, HSIs were strongly correlated with population rank. However, we observed weak or inverse relationships between predicted individual habitat suitability and population robustness for multiple life stages and variables. The results demonstrated that microhabitat selection by individuals does not always reflect population robustness, particularly when based on a single life stage or season, which highlights the risk of generalizing habitat selection that is observed during nonstressful periods or for noncritical resources. These findings suggest that stream fish managers may need to be cautious when

  3. Smartphone-based distributed data collection enables rapid assessment of shorebird habitat suitability

    Thieler, E. Robert; Zeigler, Sara; Winslow, Luke; Hines, Megan K.; Read, Jordan S.; Walker, Jordan I.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding and managing dynamic coastal landscapes for beach-dependent species requires biological and geological data across the range of relevant environments and habitats. It is difficult to acquire such information; data often have limited focus due to resource constraints, are collected by non-specialists, or lack observational uniformity. We developed an open-source smartphone application called iPlover that addresses these difficulties in collecting biogeomorphic information at piping plover (Charadrius melodus) nest sites on coastal beaches. This paper describes iPlover development and evaluates data quality and utility following two years of collection (n = 1799 data points over 1500 km of coast between Maine and North Carolina, USA). We found strong agreement between field user and expert assessments and high model skill when data were used for habitat suitability prediction. Methods used here to develop and deploy a distributed data collection system have broad applicability to interdisciplinary environmental monitoring and modeling.

  4. Smartphone-Based Distributed Data Collection Enables Rapid Assessment of Shorebird Habitat Suitability

    PubMed Central

    Zeigler, Sara L.; Winslow, Luke A.; Hines, Megan K.; Read, Jordan S.; Walker, Jordan I.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding and managing dynamic coastal landscapes for beach-dependent species requires biological and geological data across the range of relevant environments and habitats. It is difficult to acquire such information; data often have limited focus due to resource constraints, are collected by non-specialists, or lack observational uniformity. We developed an open-source smartphone application called iPlover that addresses these difficulties in collecting biogeomorphic information at piping plover (Charadrius melodus) nest sites on coastal beaches. This paper describes iPlover development and evaluates data quality and utility following two years of collection (n = 1799 data points over 1500 km of coast between Maine and North Carolina, USA). We found strong agreement between field user and expert assessments and high model skill when data were used for habitat suitability prediction. Methods used here to develop and deploy a distributed data collection system have broad applicability to interdisciplinary environmental monitoring and modeling. PMID:27828974

  5. Modeling the habitat suitability for the arbovirus vector Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in Germany.

    PubMed

    Koch, Lisa K; Cunze, Sarah; Werblow, Antje; Kochmann, Judith; Dörge, Dorian D; Mehlhorn, Heinz; Klimpel, Sven

    2016-03-01

    Climatic changes raise the risk of re-emergence of arthropod-borne virus outbreaks globally. These viruses are transmitted by arthropod vectors, often mosquitoes. Due to increasing worldwide trade and tourism, these vector species are often accidentally introduced into many countries beyond their former distribution range. Aedes albopictus, a well-known disease vector, was detected for the first time in Germany in 2007, but seems to have failed establishment until today. However, the species is known to occur in other temperate regions and a risk for establishment in Germany remains, especially in the face of predicted climate change. Thus, the goal of the study was to estimate the potential distribution of Ae. albopictus in Germany. We used ecological niche modeling in order to estimate the potential habitat suitability for this species under current and projected future climatic conditions. According to our model, there are already two areas in western and southern Germany that appear suitable for Ae. albopictus under current climatic conditions. One of these areas lies in Baden-Wuerttemberg, the other in North-Rhine Westphalia in the Ruhr region. Furthermore, projections under future climatic conditions show an increase of the modeled habitat suitability throughout Germany. Ae. albopictus is supposed to be better acclimated to colder temperatures than other tropical vectors and thus, might become, triggered by climate change, a serious threat to public health in Germany. Our modeling results can help optimizing the design of monitoring programs currently in place in Germany.

  6. Assessment of suitable habitat for Phragmites australis (common reed) in the Great Lakes coastal zone

    Carlson Mazur, Martha L.; Kowalski, Kurt P.; Galbraith, David

    2014-01-01

    In the Laurentian Great Lakes, the invasive form of Phragmites australis (common reed) poses a threat to highly productive coastal wetlands and shorelines by forming impenetrable stands that outcompete native plants. Large, dominant stands can derail efforts to restore wetland ecosystems degraded by other stressors. To be proactive, landscape-level management of Phragmites requires information on the current spatial distribution of the species and a characterization of areas suitable for future colonization. Using a recent basin-scale map of this invasive plant’s distribution in the U.S. coastal zone of the Great Lakes, environmental data (e.g., soils, nutrients, disturbance, climate, topography), and climate predictions, we performed analyses of current and predicted suitable coastal habitat using boosted regression trees, a type of species distribution modeling. We also investigated differential influences of environmental variables in the upper lakes (Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron) and lower lakes (Lakes St. Clair, Erie, and Ontario). Basin-wide results showed that the coastal areas most vulnerable to Phragmites expansion were in close proximity to developed lands and had minimal topographic relief, poorly drained soils, and dense road networks. Elevated nutrients and proximity to agriculture also influenced the distribution of Phragmites. Climate predictions indicated an increase in suitable habitat in coastal Lakes Huron and Michigan in particular. The results of this study, combined with a publicly available online decision support tool, will enable resource managers and restoration practitioners to target and prioritize Phragmites control efforts in the Great Lakes coastal zone.

  7. Hyperspectral Mapping of the Invasive Species Pepperweed and the Development of a Habitat Suitability Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nguyen, Andrew; Gole, Alexander; Randall, Jarom; Dlott, Glade; Zhang, Sylvia; Alfaro, Brian; Schmidt, Cindy; Skiles, J. W.

    2011-01-01

    Mapping and predicting the spatial distribution of invasive plant species is central to habitat management, however difficult to implement at landscape and regional scales. Remote sensing techniques can reduce the impact field campaigns have on these ecologically sensitive areas and can provide a regional and multi-temporal view of invasive species spread. Invasive perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) is now widespread in fragmented estuaries of the South San Francisco Bay, and is shown to degrade native vegetation in estuaries and adjacent habitats, thereby reducing forage and shelter for wildlife. The purpose of this study is to map the present distribution of pepperweed in estuarine areas of the South San Francisco Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project (Alviso, CA), and create a habitat suitability model to predict future spread. Pepperweed reflectance data were collected in-situ with a GER 1500 spectroradiometer along with 88 corresponding pepperweed presence and absence points used for building the statistical models. The spectral angle mapper (SAM) classification algorithm was used to distinguish the reflectance spectrum of pepperweed and map its distribution using an image from EO-1 Hyperion. To map pepperweed, we performed a supervised classification on an ASTER image with a resulting classification accuracy of 71.8%. We generated a weighted overlay analysis model within a geographic information system (GIS) framework to predict areas in the study site most susceptible to pepperweed colonization. Variables for the model included propensity for disturbance, status of pond restoration, proximity to water channels, and terrain curvature. A Generalized Additive Model (GAM) was also used to generate a probability map and investigate the statistical probability that each variable contributed to predict pepperweed spread. Results from the GAM revealed distance to channels, distance to ponds and curvature were statistically significant (p < 0.01) in determining

  8. Changing land use and its impact on the habitat suitability for wintering Anseriformes in China's Poyang Lake region.

    PubMed

    Tang, Xuguang; Li, Hengpeng; Xu, Xibao; Yang, Guishan; Liu, Guihua; Li, Xinyan; Chen, Dongqiang

    2016-07-01

    As an internationally important wetland for migratory waterbirds, China's Poyang Lake region has experienced substantial changes in land use during the past two decades owing to climate change and anthropogenic disturbances. Recent dam constructions on the Yangtze River and its tributaries for agriculture and hydroelectric power exert strong effects on the hydrological regimes of this lake. However, few studies have investigated how the land-use changes through time affect the habitat suitability for wintering Anseriformes-the largest community in this region. Thus, it is necessary to timely monitor changes in the habitat quality and understand the potential factors that alter it. In this study, three periods (1995, 2005 and 2014) of typical environmental indicators that have direct impacts on foraging and resting for the Anserformes, including proximity to water (density of lakes, rivers and ponds), human disturbances (density of residences and various road networks), preferred land cover types and food availability (NDVI), are integrated to develop a habitat suitability index model for habitat mapping. The results indicate that long-term lake shrinkage in low-water periods led to greatly expanded wetlands in these years, which provided more suitable habitat for migratory waterfowl. The amount of highly suitable habitat in 2014 was nearly twice as much as in 1995. Recent survey data from 1997 to 2013 also revealed an increase in the population size, and confirmed the improvement of habitat suitability in the Poyang Lake region. Spatial analysis revealed that land use changes contributed most to the improved habitat coverage between 1995 and 2014. However, the relative significances of these transformations for highly suitable and moderately suitable habitats are strikingly different. Increases in wetland and paddy field area are the main reasons for explaining these improvements, respectively. The framework model proposed in this study will help governments to

  9. Predicting suitable habitat of the Chinese monal (Lophophorus lhuysii) using ecological niche modeling in the Qionglai Mountains, China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bin; Xu, Yu; Ran, Jianghong

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the distribution and the extent of suitable habitats is crucial for wildlife conservation and management. Knowledge is limited regarding the natural habitats of the Chinese monal ( Lophophorus lhuysii ), which is a vulnerable Galliform species endemic to the high-montane areas of southwest China and a good candidate for being an umbrella species in the Qionglai Mountains. Using ecological niche modeling, we predicted current potential suitable habitats for the Chinese monal in the Qionglai Mountains with 64 presence points collected between 2005 and 2015. Suitable habitats of the Chinese monal were associated with about 31 mm precipitation of the driest quarter, about 15 °C of maximum temperature of the warmest month, and far from the nearest human residential locations (>5,000 m). The predicted suitable habitats of the Chinese monal covered an area of 2,490 km 2 , approximately 9.48% of the Qionglai Mountains, and was highly fragmented. 54.78% of the suitable habitats were under the protection of existing nature reserves and two conservation gaps were found. Based on these results, we provide four suggestions for the conservation management of the Chinese monal: (1) ad hoc surveys targeting potential suitable habitats to determine species occurrence, (2) more ecological studies regarding its dispersal capacity, (3) establishment of more corridors and green bridges across roads for facilitating species movement or dispersal, and (4) minimization of local disturbances.

  10. Global decline in suitable habitat for Angiostrongylus ( = Parastrongylus) cantonensis: the role of climate change.

    PubMed

    York, Emily M; Butler, Christopher J; Lord, Wayne D

    2014-01-01

    Climate change is implicated in the alteration of the ranges of species worldwide. Such shifts in species distributions may introduce parasites/pathogens, hosts, and vectors associated with disease to new areas. The parasite Angiostrongylus ( = Parastrongylus) cantonensis is an invasive species that causes eosinophilic meningitis in humans and neurological abnormalities in domestic/wild animals. Although native to southeastern Asia, A. cantonensis has now been reported from more than 30 countries worldwide. Given the health risks, it is important to describe areas with potentially favorable climate for the establishment of A. cantonensis, as well as areas where this pathogen might become established in the future. We used the program Maxent to develop an ecological niche model for A. cantonensis based on 86 localities obtained from published literature. We then modeled areas of potential A. cantonensis distribution as well as areas projected to have suitable climatic conditions under four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) scenarios by the 2050s and the 2070s. The best model contained three bioclimatic variables: mean diurnal temperature range, minimum temperature of coldest month and precipitation of warmest quarter. Potentially suitable habitat for A. cantonensis was located worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions. Under all climate change RCP scenarios, the center of the projected distribution shifted away from the equator at a rate of 68-152 km per decade. However, the extent of areas with highly suitable habitat (>50%) declined by 10.66-15.66% by the 2050s and 13.11-16.11% by the 2070s. These results conflict with previous studies, which have generally found that the prevalence of tropical pathogens will increase during the 21st century. Moreover, it is likely that A. cantonensis will continue to expand its current range in the near future due to introductions and host expansion, whereas climate change will reduce the total geographic area of

  11. Spatial Heterogeneity of Habitat Suitability for Rift Valley Fever Occurrence in Tanzania: An Ecological Niche Modelling Approach

    PubMed Central

    Sindato, Calvin; Stevens, Kim B.; Karimuribo, Esron D.; Mboera, Leonard E. G.; Paweska, Janusz T.; Pfeiffer, Dirk U.

    2016-01-01

    Background Despite the long history of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Tanzania, extent of its suitable habitat in the country remains unclear. In this study we investigated potential effects of temperature, precipitation, elevation, soil type, livestock density, rainfall pattern, proximity to wild animals, protected areas and forest on the habitat suitability for RVF occurrence in Tanzania. Materials and Methods Presence-only records of 193 RVF outbreak locations from 1930 to 2007 together with potential predictor variables were used to model and map the suitable habitats for RVF occurrence using ecological niche modelling. Ground-truthing of the model outputs was conducted by comparing the levels of RVF virus specific antibodies in cattle, sheep and goats sampled from locations in Tanzania that presented different predicted habitat suitability values. Principal Findings Habitat suitability values for RVF occurrence were higher in the northern and central-eastern regions of Tanzania than the rest of the regions in the country. Soil type and precipitation of the wettest quarter contributed equally to habitat suitability (32.4% each), followed by livestock density (25.9%) and rainfall pattern (9.3%). Ground-truthing of model outputs revealed that the odds of an animal being seropositive for RVFV when sampled from areas predicted to be most suitable for RVF occurrence were twice the odds of an animal sampled from areas least suitable for RVF occurrence (95% CI: 1.43, 2.76, p < 0.001). Conclusion/Significance The regions in the northern and central-eastern Tanzania were more suitable for RVF occurrence than the rest of the regions in the country. The modelled suitable habitat is characterised by impermeable soils, moderate precipitation in the wettest quarter, high livestock density and a bimodal rainfall pattern. The findings of this study should provide guidance for the design of appropriate RVF surveillance, prevention and control strategies which target areas with

  12. A comparative framework to infer landscape effects on population genetic structure: Are habitat suitability models effective in explaining gene flow?

    Maria C. Mateo-Sanchez; Niko Balkenhol; Samuel Cushman; Trinidad Perez; Ana Dominguez; Santiago Saura

    2015-01-01

    Most current methods to assess connectivity begin with landscape resistance maps. The prevailing resistance models are commonly based on expert opinion and, more recently, on a direct transformation of habitat suitability. However, habitat associations are not necessarily accurate indicators of dispersal, and thus may fail as a surrogate of resistance to...

  13. Habitat suitability index models: A low effort system for planned coolwater and coldwater reservoirs

    McConnell, William J.; Bergersen, Eric P.; Williamson, Kathryn L.

    1982-01-01

    A novel approach to reservoir habitat evaluation is described and habitat ratings are proposed for five fish species in coolwater and coldwater reservoirs. This approach has the advantages of procedural simplicity and ready availability of input data; consequently, it has potential utility as a screening tool in the early stages of the reservoir planning process.Habitat suitability is determined on the basis of a composite score for five "primary" reservoir attributes (temperature, turbidity, nonliving cover, drawdown, and shallow cove frequency). The va 1ue of each primary reservoi r attribute is determined from one or more "secondary" attributes, which are easily measured variables. Secondary attributes (for example, length of growing season or mean July air temperature) can be directly obtained, prior to construction, from published documents, maps, reservoir plans, and on-site inspections of the proposed reservoir basin.Evaluation criteria and ratings are presented for rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri), white sucker (Catostomus commersonii), yellow perch (Perca flavescens), common carp (Cyprinus carpio), and black crappie (PomoxTS nigromaculatus). These ratings were derived from literature reviews and from persona 1 experi ence and knowl edge of the authors; however, the system is easily adaptable to change upon further review, differences of opinion by experts, or evaluation of test results under diverse conditions.This technique can be used to evaluate the suitability of a proposed reservoir for different species and to compare the outcomes of alternative construction plans. It could also be expanded to include additional species, which will improve its utility. The system should be useful in determining losses relative to benefits, trade-offs, and potential mitigation measures in reservoir projects.

  14. Spatial multi-criteria decision analysis for modelling suitable habitats of Ornithodoros soft ticks in the Western Palearctic region.

    PubMed

    Vial, L; Ducheyne, E; Filatov, S; Gerilovych, A; McVey, D S; Sindryakova, I; Morgunov, S; Pérez de León, A A; Kolbasov, D; De Clercq, E M

    2018-01-15

    Ticks are economically and medically important ectoparasites due to the injuries inflicted through their bite, and their ability to transmit pathogens to humans, livestock, and wildlife. Whereas hard ticks have been intensively studied, little is known about soft ticks, even though they can also transmit pathogens, including African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) affecting domestic and wild suids or Borrelia bacteria causing tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF) in humans. We thus developed a regional model to identify suitable spatial areas for a community of nine Ornithodoros tick species (O. erraticus, O. sonrai, O. alactagalis, O. nereensis, O. tholozani, O. papillipes, O. tartakovskyi, O. asperus, O. verrucosus), which may be of medical and veterinary importance in the Western Palearctic region. Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis was used due to the relative scarcity of high-quality occurrence data. After an in-depth literature review on the ecological requirements of the selected tick community, five climate-related factors appeared critical for feeding activity and tick development: (i) a spring temperature exceeding 10°C to induce the end of winter soft tick quiescent period, (ii) a three-months summer temperature above 20°C to allow tick physiological activities, (iii) annual precipitation ranging from 60mm to 750mm and, in very arid areas, (iv) dry seasons interrupted by small rain showers to maintain minimum moisture inside their habitat along the year or (v) residual water provided by perennial rivers near habitats. We deliberately chose not to include biological factors such as host availability or vegetation patterns. A sensitivity analysis was done by performing multiple runs of the model altering the environmental variables, their suitability function, and their attributed weights. To validate the models, we used 355 occurrence data points, complemented by random points within sampled ecoregions. All models indicated suitable areas in the Mediterranean Basin

  15. Assessment of Effectiveness and Limitations of Habitat Suitability Models for Wetland Restoration

    Draugelis-Dale, Rassa O.

    2008-01-01

    Habitat suitability index (HSI) models developed for wildlife in the Louisiana Coastal Area Comprehensive Ecosystem Restoration Plan (LCA study) have been assessed for parameter and overall model quality. The success of the suitability models from the South Florida Water Management District for The Everglades restoration project and from the Spatially Explicit Species Index Models (SESI) of the Across Trophic Level System Simulation (ATLSS) Program of Florida warranted investigation with possible application of modeling theory to the current LCA study. General HSI models developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were also investigated. This report presents examinations of theoretical formulae and comparisons of the models, performed by using diverse hypothetical settings of hydrological/biological ecosystems to highlight weaknesses as well as strengths among the models, limited to the American alligator and selected wading bird species (great blue heron, great egret, and white ibis). Recommendations were made for the LCA study based on these assessments. An enhanced HSI model for the LCA study is proposed for the American alligator, and a new HSI model for wading birds is introduced for the LCA study. Performance comparisons of the proposed models with the other suitability models are made by using the aforementioned hypothetical settings.

  16. Evaluating Habitat Suitability for the Establishment of Monochamus spp. through Climate-Based Niche Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Estay, Sergio A.; Labra, Fabio A.; Sepulveda, Roger D.; Bacigalupe, Leonardo D.

    2014-01-01

    Pine sawyer beetle species of the genus Monochamus are vectors of the nematode pest Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. The introduction of these species into new habitats is a constant threat for those regions where the forestry industry depends on conifers, and especially on species of Pinus. To obtain information about the potential risk of establishment of these insects in Chile, we performed climate-based niche modeling using data for five North American and four Eurasian Monochamus species using a Maxent approach. The most important variables that account for current distribution of these species are total annual precipitation and annual and seasonal average temperatures, with some differences between North American and Eurasian species. Projections of potential geographic distribution in Chile show that all species could occupy at least 37% of the area between 30° and 53°S, where industrial plantations of P. radiata are concentrated. Our results indicated that Chile seems more suitable for Eurasian than for North American species. PMID:25019408

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

    Only a few studies have shown positive impacts of ecological compensation on species dynamics affected by human activities. We argue that this is due to inappropriate methods used to forecast required compensation in environmental impact assessments. These assessments are mostly descriptive and only valid at limited spatial and temporal scales. However, habitat suitability models developed to predict the impacts of environmental changes on potential species' distributions should provide rigorous science-based tools for compensation planning. Here we describe the two main classes of predictive models: correlative models and individual-based mechanistic models. We show how these models can be used alone or synoptically to improve compensation planning. While correlative models are easier to implement, they tend to ignore underlying ecological processes and lack accuracy. On the contrary, individual-based mechanistic models can integrate biological interactions, dispersal ability and adaptation. Moreover, among mechanistic models, those considering animal energy balance are particularly efficient at predicting the impact of foraging habitat loss. However, mechanistic models require more field data compared to correlative models. Hence we present two approaches which combine both methods for compensation planning, especially in relation to the spatial scale considered. We show how the availability of biological databases and software enabling fast and accurate population projections could be advantageously used to assess ecological compensation requirement efficiently in environmental impact assessments. © 2014 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  18. Modeling Habitat Suitability of Migratory Birds from Remote Sensing Images Using Convolutional Neural Networks

    PubMed Central

    Su, Jin-He; Piao, Ying-Chao; Luo, Ze; Yan, Bao-Ping

    2018-01-01

    Simple Summary The understanding of the spatio-temporal distribution of the species habitats would facilitate wildlife resource management and conservation efforts. Existing methods have poor performance due to the limited availability of training samples. More recently, location-aware sensors have been widely used to track animal movements. The aim of the study was to generate suitability maps of bar-head geese using movement data coupled with environmental parameters, such as remote sensing images and temperature data. Therefore, we modified a deep convolutional neural network for the multi-scale inputs. The results indicate that the proposed method can identify the areas with the dense goose species around Qinghai Lake. In addition, this approach might also be interesting for implementation in other species with different niche factors or in areas where biological survey data are scarce. Abstract With the application of various data acquisition devices, a large number of animal movement data can be used to label presence data in remote sensing images and predict species distribution. In this paper, a two-stage classification approach for combining movement data and moderate-resolution remote sensing images was proposed. First, we introduced a new density-based clustering method to identify stopovers from migratory birds’ movement data and generated classification samples based on the clustering result. We split the remote sensing images into 16 × 16 patches and labeled them as positive samples if they have overlap with stopovers. Second, a multi-convolution neural network model is proposed for extracting the features from temperature data and remote sensing images, respectively. Then a Support Vector Machines (SVM) model was used to combine the features together and predict classification results eventually. The experimental analysis was carried out on public Landsat 5 TM images and a GPS dataset was collected on 29 birds over three years. The results

  19. Evaluation of Limiting Climatic Factors and Simulation of a Climatically Suitable Habitat for Chinese Sea Buckthorn

    PubMed Central

    Li, Guoqing; Du, Sheng; Guo, Ke

    2015-01-01

    Chinese sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides subsp. sinensis) has considerable economic potential and plays an important role in reclamation and soil and water conservation. For scientific cultivation of this species across China, we identified the key climatic factors and explored climatically suitable habitat in order to maximize survival of Chinese sea buckthorn using MaxEnt and GIS tools, based on 98 occurrence records from herbarium and publications and 13 climatic factors from Bioclim, Holdridge life zone and Kria' index variables. Our simulation showed that the MaxEnt model performance was significantly better than random, with an average test AUC value of 0.93 with 10-fold cross validation. A jackknife test and the regularized gain change, which were applied to the training algorithm, showed that precipitation of the driest month (PDM), annual precipitation (AP), coldness index (CI) and annual range of temperature (ART) were the most influential climatic factors in limiting the distribution of Chinese sea buckthorn, which explained 70.1% of the variation. The predicted map showed that the core of climatically suitable habitat was distributed from the southwest to northwest of Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces, where the most influential climate variables were PDM of 1.0–7.0 mm, AP of 344.0–1089.0 mm, CI of -47.7–0.0°C, and ART of 26.1–45.0°C. We conclude that the distribution patterns of Chinese sea buckthorn are related to the northwest winter monsoon, the southwest summer monsoon and the southeast summer monsoon systems in China. PMID:26177033

  20. Evaluation of Limiting Climatic Factors and Simulation of a Climatically Suitable Habitat for Chinese Sea Buckthorn.

    PubMed

    Li, Guoqing; Du, Sheng; Guo, Ke

    2015-01-01

    Chinese sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides subsp. sinensis) has considerable economic potential and plays an important role in reclamation and soil and water conservation. For scientific cultivation of this species across China, we identified the key climatic factors and explored climatically suitable habitat in order to maximize survival of Chinese sea buckthorn using MaxEnt and GIS tools, based on 98 occurrence records from herbarium and publications and 13 climatic factors from Bioclim, Holdridge life zone and Kria' index variables. Our simulation showed that the MaxEnt model performance was significantly better than random, with an average test AUC value of 0.93 with 10-fold cross validation. A jackknife test and the regularized gain change, which were applied to the training algorithm, showed that precipitation of the driest month (PDM), annual precipitation (AP), coldness index (CI) and annual range of temperature (ART) were the most influential climatic factors in limiting the distribution of Chinese sea buckthorn, which explained 70.1% of the variation. The predicted map showed that the core of climatically suitable habitat was distributed from the southwest to northwest of Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces, where the most influential climate variables were PDM of 1.0-7.0 mm, AP of 344.0-1089.0 mm, CI of -47.7-0.0°C, and ART of 26.1-45.0°C. We conclude that the distribution patterns of Chinese sea buckthorn are related to the northwest winter monsoon, the southwest summer monsoon and the southeast summer monsoon systems in China.

  1. Predicting spatial and temporal distribution of Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans) in Biscayne Bay through habitat suitability modeling

    Bernal, Nicholas A.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Schofield, Pamela J.; Sullivan Sealey, Kathleen

    2014-01-01

    Invasive species may exhibit higher levels of growth and reproduction when environmental conditions are most suitable, and thus their effects on native fauna may be intensified. Understanding potential impacts of these species, especially in the nascent stages of a biological invasion, requires critical information concerning spatial and temporal distributions of habitat suitability. Using empirically supported environmental variables (e.g., temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, rugosity, and benthic substrate), our models predicted habitat suitability for the invasive lionfish (Pterois volitans) in Biscayne Bay, Florida. The use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a platform for the modeling process allowed us to quantify correlations between temporal (seasonal) fluctuations in the above variables and the spatial distribution of five discrete habitat quality classes, whose ranges are supported by statistical deviations from the apparent best conditions described in prior studies. Analysis of the resulting models revealed little fluctuation in spatial extent of the five habitat classes on a monthly basis. Class 5, which represented the area with environmental variables closest to the best conditions for lionfish, occupied approximately one-third of Biscayne Bay, with subsequent habitats declining in area. A key finding from this study was that habitat suitability increased eastward from the coastline, where higher quality habitats were adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean and displayed marine levels of ambient water quality. Corroboration of the models with sightings from the USGS-NAS database appeared to support our findings by nesting 79 % of values within habitat class 5; however, field testing (i.e., lionfish surveys) is necessary to confirm the relationship between habitat classes and lionfish distribution.

  2. 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

  3. An iterative and targeted sampling design informed by habitat suitability models for detecting focal plant species over extensive areas.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ophelia; Zachmann, Luke J; Sesnie, Steven E; Olsson, Aaryn D; Dickson, Brett G

    2014-01-01

    Prioritizing areas for management of non-native invasive plants is critical, as invasive plants can negatively impact plant community structure. Extensive and multi-jurisdictional inventories are essential to prioritize actions aimed at mitigating the impact of invasions and changes in disturbance regimes. However, previous work devoted little effort to devising sampling methods sufficient to assess the scope of multi-jurisdictional invasion over extensive areas. Here we describe a large-scale sampling design that used species occurrence data, habitat suitability models, and iterative and targeted sampling efforts to sample five species and satisfy two key management objectives: 1) detecting non-native invasive plants across previously unsampled gradients, and 2) characterizing the distribution of non-native invasive plants at landscape to regional scales. Habitat suitability models of five species were based on occurrence records and predictor variables derived from topography, precipitation, and remotely sensed data. We stratified and established field sampling locations according to predicted habitat suitability and phenological, substrate, and logistical constraints. Across previously unvisited areas, we detected at least one of our focal species on 77% of plots. In turn, we used detections from 2011 to improve habitat suitability models and sampling efforts in 2012, as well as additional spatial constraints to increase detections. These modifications resulted in a 96% detection rate at plots. The range of habitat suitability values that identified highly and less suitable habitats and their environmental conditions corresponded to field detections with mixed levels of agreement. Our study demonstrated that an iterative and targeted sampling framework can address sampling bias, reduce time costs, and increase detections. Other studies can extend the sampling framework to develop methods in other ecosystems to provide detection data. The sampling methods

  4. An Iterative and Targeted Sampling Design Informed by Habitat Suitability Models for Detecting Focal Plant Species over Extensive Areas

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ophelia; Zachmann, Luke J.; Sesnie, Steven E.; Olsson, Aaryn D.; Dickson, Brett G.

    2014-01-01

    Prioritizing areas for management of non-native invasive plants is critical, as invasive plants can negatively impact plant community structure. Extensive and multi-jurisdictional inventories are essential to prioritize actions aimed at mitigating the impact of invasions and changes in disturbance regimes. However, previous work devoted little effort to devising sampling methods sufficient to assess the scope of multi-jurisdictional invasion over extensive areas. Here we describe a large-scale sampling design that used species occurrence data, habitat suitability models, and iterative and targeted sampling efforts to sample five species and satisfy two key management objectives: 1) detecting non-native invasive plants across previously unsampled gradients, and 2) characterizing the distribution of non-native invasive plants at landscape to regional scales. Habitat suitability models of five species were based on occurrence records and predictor variables derived from topography, precipitation, and remotely sensed data. We stratified and established field sampling locations according to predicted habitat suitability and phenological, substrate, and logistical constraints. Across previously unvisited areas, we detected at least one of our focal species on 77% of plots. In turn, we used detections from 2011 to improve habitat suitability models and sampling efforts in 2012, as well as additional spatial constraints to increase detections. These modifications resulted in a 96% detection rate at plots. The range of habitat suitability values that identified highly and less suitable habitats and their environmental conditions corresponded to field detections with mixed levels of agreement. Our study demonstrated that an iterative and targeted sampling framework can address sampling bias, reduce time costs, and increase detections. Other studies can extend the sampling framework to develop methods in other ecosystems to provide detection data. The sampling methods

  5. Assessing the suitable habitat for reintroduction of brown trout (Salmo trutta forma fario) in a lowland river: A modeling approach.

    PubMed

    Boets, Pieter; Gobeyn, Sacha; Dillen, Alain; Poelman, Eddy; Goethals, Peter L M

    2018-05-01

    Huge efforts have been made during the past decades to improve the water quality and to restore the physical habitat of rivers and streams in western Europe. This has led to an improvement in biological water quality and an increase in fish stocks in many countries. However, several rheophilic fish species such as brown trout are still categorized as vulnerable in lowland streams in Flanders (Belgium). In order to support cost-efficient restoration programs, habitat suitability modeling can be used. In this study, we developed an ensemble of habitat suitability models using metaheuristic algorithms to explore the importance of a large number of environmental variables, including chemical, physical, and hydromorphological characteristics to determine the suitable habitat for reintroduction of brown trout in the Zwalm River basin (Flanders, Belgium), which is included in the Habitats Directive. Mean stream velocity, water temperature, hiding opportunities, and presence of pools or riffles were identified as the most important variables determining the habitat suitability. Brown trout mainly preferred streams with a relatively high mean reach stream velocity (0.2-1 m/s), a low water temperature (7-15°C), and the presence of pools. The ensemble of models indicated that most of the tributaries and headwaters were suitable for the species. Synthesis and applications . Our results indicate that this modeling approach can be used to support river management, not only for brown trout but also for other species in similar geographical regions. Specifically for the Zwalm River basin, future restoration of the physical habitat, removal of the remaining migration barriers and the development of suitable spawning grounds could promote the successful restoration of brown trout.

  6. The Areal Extent of Brown Shrimp Habitat Suitability in Mobile Bay, Alabama USA: Targeting Vegetated Habitat Restoration

    EPA Science Inventory

    The availability of wetlands and shallow water habitats significantly influences Gulf of Mexico (GOM) penaeid shrimp fishery productivity. However, the GOM region has the highest rate of wetland loss in the U.S. Protection and management of these vital GOM habitats are critical t...

  7. A Resource-Based Modelling Framework to Assess Habitat Suitability for Steppe Birds in Semiarid Mediterranean Agricultural Systems

    PubMed Central

    Cardador, Laura; De Cáceres, Miquel; Bota, Gerard; Giralt, David; Casas, Fabián; Arroyo, Beatriz; Mougeot, François; Cantero-Martínez, Carlos; Moncunill, Judit; Butler, Simon J.; Brotons, Lluís

    2014-01-01

    European agriculture is undergoing widespread changes that are likely to have profound impacts on farmland biodiversity. The development of tools that allow an assessment of the potential biodiversity effects of different land-use alternatives before changes occur is fundamental to guiding management decisions. In this study, we develop a resource-based model framework to estimate habitat suitability for target species, according to simple information on species’ key resource requirements (diet, foraging habitat and nesting site), and examine whether it can be used to link land-use and local species’ distribution. We take as a study case four steppe bird species in a lowland area of the north-eastern Iberian Peninsula. We also compare the performance of our resource-based approach to that obtained through habitat-based models relating species’ occurrence and land-cover variables. Further, we use our resource-based approach to predict the effects that change in farming systems can have on farmland bird habitat suitability and compare these predictions with those obtained using the habitat-based models. Habitat suitability estimates generated by our resource-based models performed similarly (and better for one study species) than habitat based-models when predicting current species distribution. Moderate prediction success was achieved for three out of four species considered by resource-based models and for two of four by habitat-based models. Although, there is potential for improving the performance of resource-based models, they provide a structure for using available knowledge of the functional links between agricultural practices, provision of key resources and the response of organisms to predict potential effects of changing land-uses in a variety of context or the impacts of changes such as altered management practices that are not easily incorporated into habitat-based models. PMID:24667825

  8. Spatially explicit feedbacks between seagrass meadow structure, sediment and light: Habitat suitability for seagrass growth

    Carr, Joel; D'Odorico, Paul; McGlathery, Karen; Wiberg, Patricia L.

    2016-01-01

    In shallow coastal bays where nutrient loading and riverine inputs are low, turbidity, and the consequent light environment are controlled by resuspension of bed sediments due to wind-waves and tidal currents. High sediment resuspension and low light environments can limit benthic primary productivity; however, both currents and waves are affected by the presence of benthic plants such as seagrass. This feedback between the presence of benthic primary producers such as seagrass and the consequent light environment has been predicted to induce bistable dynamics locally. However, these vegetated areas influence a larger area than they footprint, including a barren adjacent downstream area which exhibits reduced shear stresses. Here we explore through modeling how the patchy structure of seagrass meadows on a landscape may affect sediment resuspension and the consequent light environment due to the presence of this sheltered region. Heterogeneous vegetation covers comprising a mosaic of randomly distributed patches were generated to investigate the effect of patch modified hydrodynamics. Actual cover of vegetation on the landscape was used to facilitate comparisons across landscape realizations. Hourly wave and current shear stresses on the landscape along with suspended sediment concentration and light attenuation characteristics were then calculated and spatially averaged to examine how actual cover and mean water depth affect the bulk sediment and light environment. The results indicate that an effective cover, which incorporates the sheltering area, has important controls on the distributions of shear stress, suspended sediment, light environment, and consequent seagrass habitat suitability. Interestingly, an optimal habitat occurs within a depth range where, if actual cover is reduced past some threshold, the bulk light environment would no longer favor seagrass growth.

  9. Shaken but not stirred: Multiscale habitat suitability modeling of sympatric marten species (Martes martes and Martes foina) in the northern Iberian Peninsula

    Maria Vergara; Samuel A. Cushman; Fermin Urra; Aritz Ruiz-Gonzalez

    2016-01-01

    Multispecies and multiscale habitat suitability models (HSM) are important to identify the environmental variables and scales influencing habitat selection and facilitate the comparison of closely related species with different ecological requirements. Objectives This study explores the multiscale relationships of habitat suitability for the pine (Martes...

  10. Physiology-based modelling approaches to characterize fish habitat suitability: Their usefulness and limitations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teal, Lorna R.; Marras, Stefano; Peck, Myron A.; Domenici, Paolo

    2018-02-01

    Models are useful tools for predicting the impact of global change on species distribution and abundance. As ectotherms, fish are being challenged to adapt or track changes in their environment, either in time through a phenological shift or in space by a biogeographic shift. Past modelling efforts have largely been based on correlative Species Distribution Models, which use known occurrences of species across landscapes of interest to define sets of conditions under which species are likely to maintain populations. The practical advantages of this correlative approach are its simplicity and the flexibility in terms of data requirements. However, effective conservation management requires models that make projections beyond the range of available data. One way to deal with such an extrapolation is to use a mechanistic approach based on physiological processes underlying climate change effects on organisms. Here we illustrate two approaches for developing physiology-based models to characterize fish habitat suitability. (i) Aerobic Scope Models (ASM) are based on the relationship between environmental factors and aerobic scope (defined as the difference between maximum and standard (basal) metabolism). This approach is based on experimental data collected by using a number of treatments that allow a function to be derived to predict aerobic metabolic scope from the stressor/environmental factor(s). This function is then integrated with environmental (oceanographic) data of current and future scenarios. For any given species, this approach allows habitat suitability maps to be generated at various spatiotemporal scales. The strength of the ASM approach relies on the estimate of relative performance when comparing, for example, different locations or different species. (ii) Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) models are based on first principles including the idea that metabolism is organised in the same way within all animals. The (standard) DEB model aims to describe

  11. Climate Change, Northern Birds of Conservation Concern and Matching the Hotspots of Habitat Suitability with the Reserve Network

    PubMed Central

    Virkkala, Raimo; Heikkinen, Risto K.; Fronzek, Stefan; Leikola, Niko

    2013-01-01

    National reserve networks are one of the most important means of species conservation, but their efficiency may be diminished due to the projected climatic changes. Using bioclimatic envelope models and spatial data on habitats and conservation areas, we studied how efficient the reserve network will be in preserving 100 forest, mire, marshland, and alpine bird species of conservation concern in Finland in 2051–2080 under three different climate scenarios. The occurrences of the studied bird species were related to the amount of habitat preferred by each species in the different boreal zones. We employed a novel integrated habitat suitability index that takes into account both the species’ probability of occurrence from the bioclimatic models and the availability of suitable habitat. Using this suitability index, the distribution of the topmost 5% suitability squares (“hotspots”) in the four bird species groups in the period 1971–2000 and under the three scenarios were compared with the location of reserves with the highest amounts of the four habitats to study the efficiency of the network. In species of mires, marshlands, and Arctic mountains, a high proportion of protected habitat was included in the 5% hotspots in the scenarios in 2051–2080, showing that protected areas cover a high proportion of occurrences of bird species. In contrast, in forests in the southern and middle boreal zones, only a small proportion of the protected habitat was included in the 5% hotspots, indicating that the efficiency of the protected area network will be insufficient for forest birds in the future. In the northern boreal zone, the efficiency of the reserve network in forests was highly dependent on the strength of climate change varying between the scenarios. Overall, there is no single solution to preserving biodiversity in a changing climate, but several future pathways should be considered. PMID:23700420

  12. Climate change, northern birds of conservation concern and matching the hotspots of habitat suitability with the reserve network.

    PubMed

    Virkkala, Raimo; Heikkinen, Risto K; Fronzek, Stefan; Leikola, Niko

    2013-01-01

    National reserve networks are one of the most important means of species conservation, but their efficiency may be diminished due to the projected climatic changes. Using bioclimatic envelope models and spatial data on habitats and conservation areas, we studied how efficient the reserve network will be in preserving 100 forest, mire, marshland, and alpine bird species of conservation concern in Finland in 2051-2080 under three different climate scenarios. The occurrences of the studied bird species were related to the amount of habitat preferred by each species in the different boreal zones. We employed a novel integrated habitat suitability index that takes into account both the species' probability of occurrence from the bioclimatic models and the availability of suitable habitat. Using this suitability index, the distribution of the topmost 5% suitability squares ("hotspots") in the four bird species groups in the period 1971-2000 and under the three scenarios were compared with the location of reserves with the highest amounts of the four habitats to study the efficiency of the network. In species of mires, marshlands, and Arctic mountains, a high proportion of protected habitat was included in the 5% hotspots in the scenarios in 2051-2080, showing that protected areas cover a high proportion of occurrences of bird species. In contrast, in forests in the southern and middle boreal zones, only a small proportion of the protected habitat was included in the 5% hotspots, indicating that the efficiency of the protected area network will be insufficient for forest birds in the future. In the northern boreal zone, the efficiency of the reserve network in forests was highly dependent on the strength of climate change varying between the scenarios. Overall, there is no single solution to preserving biodiversity in a changing climate, but several future pathways should be considered.

  13. Predicting suitable habitat for the gold coral Savalia savaglia (Bertoloni, 1819) (Cnidaria, Zoantharia) in the South Tyrrhenian Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giusti, Michela; Innocenti, Carlo; Canese, Simonepietro

    2014-06-01

    The gold coral Savalia savaglia (Cnidaria, Zoantharia) is a rare component of the mesophotic zone of the Mediterranean Sea and northeastern Atlantic Ocean. During two field campaigns along the Italian coast in the South Tyrrhenian Sea, two populations of this species were discovered. The specimens were filmed and photographed by means of a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). To identify the role of local bathymetry and other derived variables on presence and distribution of S. savaglia we used a Habitat Suitability (HS) modeling technique based on Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA), utilizing high-resolution multibeam bathymetry and ROV data. Among the set of environmental variables derived from multibeam data, slope, rugosity, eastness and distance to rocks, appear to be the main variables involved in S. savaglia distribution, pointing out that the habitat differs considerably from the mean environmental conditions over the study area, and that S. savaglia ecological niche is significantly narrower than the available habitat. The HS map was developed to differentiate the sea floor into suitability classes. The comparison between suitability classes and presence data showed that the HS map is coherent with the observed spatial distribution of the species. The most suitable habitat for S. savaglia is characterized by a rough sea floor with rocks that is steeply sloped, oriented northeast, and within a water depth range of 34-77 m. Our study suggests that predictive modeling is an approach that can be applied to other deep coral species to locate areas with a suitable habitat. Considering the difficulties to reach the habitats in which these species live, this approach could be essential to planning further studies that help define areas where the species may be present.

  14. Modeling Habitat Suitability of Migratory Birds from Remote Sensing Images Using Convolutional Neural Networks.

    PubMed

    Su, Jin-He; Piao, Ying-Chao; Luo, Ze; Yan, Bao-Ping

    2018-04-26

    With the application of various data acquisition devices, a large number of animal movement data can be used to label presence data in remote sensing images and predict species distribution. In this paper, a two-stage classification approach for combining movement data and moderate-resolution remote sensing images was proposed. First, we introduced a new density-based clustering method to identify stopovers from migratory birds’ movement data and generated classification samples based on the clustering result. We split the remote sensing images into 16 × 16 patches and labeled them as positive samples if they have overlap with stopovers. Second, a multi-convolution neural network model is proposed for extracting the features from temperature data and remote sensing images, respectively. Then a Support Vector Machines (SVM) model was used to combine the features together and predict classification results eventually. The experimental analysis was carried out on public Landsat 5 TM images and a GPS dataset was collected on 29 birds over three years. The results indicated that our proposed method outperforms the existing baseline methods and was able to achieve good performance in habitat suitability prediction.

  15. Climate change jeopardizes the persistence of freshwater zooplankton by reducing both habitat suitability and demographic resilience.

    PubMed

    Pinceel, Tom; Buschke, Falko; Weckx, Margo; Brendonck, Luc; Vanschoenwinkel, Bram

    2018-01-24

    Higher temperatures and increased environmental variability under climate change could jeopardize the persistence of species. Organisms that rely on short windows of rainfall to complete their life-cycles, like desert annual plants or temporary pool animals, may be particularly at risk. Although some could tolerate environmental changes by building-up banks of propagules (seeds or eggs) that buffer against catastrophes, climate change will threaten this resilience mechanism if higher temperatures reduce propagule survival. Using a crustacean model species from temporary waters, we quantified experimentally the survival and dormancy of propagules under anticipated climate change and used these demographic parameters to simulate long term population dynamics. By exposing propagules to present-day and projected daily temperature cycles in an 8 month laboratory experiment, we showed how increased temperatures reduce survival rates in the propagule bank. Integrating these reduced survival rates into population models demonstrated the inability of the bank to maintain populations; thereby exacerbating extinction risk caused by shortened growing seasons. Overall, our study demonstrates that climate change could threaten the persistence of populations by both reducing habitat suitability and eroding life-history strategies that support demographic resilience.

  16. Characterizing the thermal suitability of instream habitat for salmonids: A cautionary example from the Rocky Mountains

    Al-Chokhachy, Robert K.; Wegner, Seth J.; Isaak, Daniel J.; Kershner, Jeffrey L.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding a species’ thermal niche is becoming increasingly important for management and conservation within the context of global climate change, yet there have been surprisingly few efforts to compare assessments of a species’ thermal niche across methods. To address this uncertainty, we evaluated the differences in model performance and interpretations of a species’ thermal niche when using different measures of stream temperature and surrogates for stream temperature. Specifically, we used a logistic regression modeling framework with three different indicators of stream thermal conditions (elevation, air temperature, and stream temperature) referenced to a common set of Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis distribution data from the Boise River basin, Idaho. We hypothesized that stream temperature predictions that were contemporaneous with fish distribution data would have stronger predictive performance than composite measures of stream temperature or any surrogates for stream temperature. Across the different indicators of thermal conditions, the highest measure of accuracy was found for the model based on stream temperature predictions that were contemporaneous with fish distribution data (percent correctly classified = 71%). We found considerable differences in inferences across models, with up to 43% disagreement in the amount of stream habitat that was predicted to be suitable. The differences in performance between models support the growing efforts in many areas to develop accurate stream temperature models for investigations of species’ thermal niches.

  17. Utilizing NASA Earth Observations to investigate habitat suitability of the Cape Vulture in the Western Cape Province of South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gray, D.; Estes, M. G., Jr.; Griffin, R.; Estes, S. M.

    2017-12-01

    As the global urban population rapidly increases, many wild species lose habitat to human development. The Western Cape of South Africa contains one of Earth's 35 biodiversity hotspots, with remarkably high levels of species richness and endemism. Understanding the relationship between anthropogenic changes and key species in this region is crucial for conservation of its threatened ecosystems. The objective of this research was to investigate the effect that climate change and urbanization each have on habitat suitability of the Cape Vulture. This research utilized NASA satellite data and crowdsourced species sightings to model past, current, and future habitat suitability for this key species in the Western Cape. Data used from NASA Earth Observations included: Landsat 8- derived Land Cover, Modis Land Surface Temperature, Digital Elevation Models from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, and precipitation data which integrated in-situ stations with Infrared data. Species observations were sourced from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility online database. A geospatial modelling framework was used to generate maps of present, past and future suitable habitats for analysis and comparison. Changes in precipitation and temperature may be a factor in the extreme loss of habitat since 1995, and predict even more drastic loss in the future. This research provides insights on anthropogenic effects on a species' range which may be used to inform discussions of conservation as an element of environmentally sustainable development.

  18. Environmental variables and definitive host distribution: a habitat suitability modelling for endohelminth parasites in the marine realm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhn, Thomas; Cunze, Sarah; Kochmann, Judith; Klimpel, Sven

    2016-08-01

    Marine nematodes of the genus Anisakis are common parasites of a wide range of aquatic organisms. Public interest is primarily based on their importance as zoonotic agents of the human Anisakiasis, a severe infection of the gastro-intestinal tract as result of consuming live larvae in insufficiently cooked fish dishes. The diverse nature of external impacts unequally influencing larval and adult stages of marine endohelminth parasites requires the consideration of both abiotic and biotic factors. Whereas abiotic factors are generally more relevant for early life stages and might also be linked to intermediate hosts, definitive hosts are indispensable for a parasite’s reproduction. In order to better understand the uneven occurrence of parasites in fish species, we here use the maximum entropy approach (Maxent) to model the habitat suitability for nine Anisakis species accounting for abiotic parameters as well as biotic data (definitive hosts). The modelled habitat suitability reflects the observed distribution quite well for all Anisakis species, however, in some cases, habitat suitability exceeded the known geographical distribution, suggesting a wider distribution than presently recorded. We suggest that integrative modelling combining abiotic and biotic parameters is a valid approach for habitat suitability assessments of Anisakis, and potentially other marine parasite species.

  19. Using Risk Assessment and Habitat Suitability Models to Prioritise Invasive Species for Management in a Changing Climate.

    PubMed

    Chai, Shauna-Lee; Zhang, Jian; Nixon, Amy; Nielsen, Scott

    2016-01-01

    Accounting for climate change in invasive species risk assessments improves our understanding of potential future impacts and enhances our preparedness for the arrival of new non-native species. We combined traditional risk assessment for invasive species with habitat suitability modeling to assess risk to biodiversity based on climate change. We demonstrate our method by assessing the risk for 15 potentially new invasive plant species to Alberta, Canada, an area where climate change is expected to facilitate the poleward expansion of invasive species ranges. Of the 15 species assessed, the three terrestrial invasive plant species that could pose the greatest threat to Alberta's biodiversity are giant knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis), tamarisk (Tamarix chinensis), and alkali swainsonpea (Sphaerophysa salsula). We characterise giant knotweed as 'extremely invasive', with 21 times the suitable habitat between baseline and future projected climate. Tamarisk is 'extremely invasive' with a 64% increase in suitable habitat, and alkali swainsonpea is 'highly invasive' with a 21% increase in suitable habitat. Our methodology can be used to predict and prioritise potentially new invasive species for their impact on biodiversity in the context of climate change.

  20. Using Risk Assessment and Habitat Suitability Models to Prioritise Invasive Species for Management in a Changing Climate

    PubMed Central

    Chai, Shauna-Lee; Zhang, Jian; Nixon, Amy; Nielsen, Scott

    2016-01-01

    Accounting for climate change in invasive species risk assessments improves our understanding of potential future impacts and enhances our preparedness for the arrival of new non-native species. We combined traditional risk assessment for invasive species with habitat suitability modeling to assess risk to biodiversity based on climate change. We demonstrate our method by assessing the risk for 15 potentially new invasive plant species to Alberta, Canada, an area where climate change is expected to facilitate the poleward expansion of invasive species ranges. Of the 15 species assessed, the three terrestrial invasive plant species that could pose the greatest threat to Alberta’s biodiversity are giant knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis), tamarisk (Tamarix chinensis), and alkali swainsonpea (Sphaerophysa salsula). We characterise giant knotweed as ‘extremely invasive’, with 21 times the suitable habitat between baseline and future projected climate. Tamarisk is ‘extremely invasive’ with a 64% increase in suitable habitat, and alkali swainsonpea is ‘highly invasive’ with a 21% increase in suitable habitat. Our methodology can be used to predict and prioritise potentially new invasive species for their impact on biodiversity in the context of climate change. PMID:27768758

  1. Environmental variables and definitive host distribution: a habitat suitability modelling for endohelminth parasites in the marine realm

    PubMed Central

    Kuhn, Thomas; Cunze, Sarah; Kochmann, Judith; Klimpel, Sven

    2016-01-01

    Marine nematodes of the genus Anisakis are common parasites of a wide range of aquatic organisms. Public interest is primarily based on their importance as zoonotic agents of the human Anisakiasis, a severe infection of the gastro-intestinal tract as result of consuming live larvae in insufficiently cooked fish dishes. The diverse nature of external impacts unequally influencing larval and adult stages of marine endohelminth parasites requires the consideration of both abiotic and biotic factors. Whereas abiotic factors are generally more relevant for early life stages and might also be linked to intermediate hosts, definitive hosts are indispensable for a parasite’s reproduction. In order to better understand the uneven occurrence of parasites in fish species, we here use the maximum entropy approach (Maxent) to model the habitat suitability for nine Anisakis species accounting for abiotic parameters as well as biotic data (definitive hosts). The modelled habitat suitability reflects the observed distribution quite well for all Anisakis species, however, in some cases, habitat suitability exceeded the known geographical distribution, suggesting a wider distribution than presently recorded. We suggest that integrative modelling combining abiotic and biotic parameters is a valid approach for habitat suitability assessments of Anisakis, and potentially other marine parasite species. PMID:27507328

  2. ESTIMATING THE DISTRIBUTION OF HARVESTED ESTUARINE BIVALVES WITH HABITAT SUITABILITY MODELS AND UNDERSTANDING THE IMPLICATIONS UNDER A CHANGING CLIMATE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Habitat suitability models are useful to forecast how environmental change may affect the abundance or distribution of species of interest. In the case of harvested bivalves, those models may be used to estimate the vulnerability of this valued ecosystem good to stressors. Usin...

  3. Predicting Potential Changes in Suitable Habitat and Distribution by 2100 for Tree Species of the Eastern United States

    Louis R Iverson; Anantha M. Prasad; Mark W. Schwartz; Mark W. Schwartz

    2005-01-01

    We predict current distribution and abundance for tree species present in eastern North America, and subsequently estimate potential suitable habitat for those species under a changed climate with 2 x CO2. We used a series of statistical models (i.e., Regression Tree Analysis (RTA), Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS), Bagging Trees (...

  4. Development and validation of a habitat suitability model for the non-indigenous seagrass Zostera japonica in North America

    EPA Science Inventory

    We developed a spatially-explicit, flexible 3-parameter habitat suitability model that can be used to identify and predict areas at higher risk for non-native dwarf eelgrass (Zostera japonica) invasion. The model uses simple environmental parameters (depth, nearshore slope, and s...

  5. Development of landscape-level habitat suitability models for ten wildlife species in the central hardwoods region

    Chadwick D. Rittenhouse; William D. Dijak; Frank R. III Thompson; Joshua J. Millspaugh

    2007-01-01

    Reports landscape-level habitat suitability models for 10 species in the Central Hardwoods Region of the Midwestern United States: American woodcock, cerulean warbler, Henslow's sparrow, Indiana bat, northern bobwhite, ruffed grouse, timber rattlesnake, wood thrush, worm-eating warbler, and yellow-breasted chat. All models included spatially explicit variables and...

  6. Habitat suitability index model of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka): A case study of Shandong Peninsula, China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhipeng; Zhou, Jian; Song, Jingjing; Wang, Qixiang; Liu, Hongjun; Tang, Xuexi

    2017-09-15

    A habitat suitability index (HSI) model for the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka) was established in the present study. Based on geographic information systems, the HSI model was used to identify potential sites around the Shandong Peninsula suitable for restoration of immature (<25g) and mature (>25g) A. japonicus. Six habitat factors were used as input variables for the HSI model: sediment classification, water temperature, salinity, water depth, pH and dissolved oxygen. The weighting of each habitat factor was defined through the Delphi method. Sediment classification was the most important condition affecting the HSI of A. japonicus in the different study areas, while water temperature was the most important condition in different seasons. The HSI of Western Laizhou Bay was relatively low, meaning the site was not suitable for aquaculture-based restoration of A. japonicus. In contrast, Xiaoheishan Island, Rongcheng Bay and Qingdao were preferable sites, suitable as habitats for restoration efforts. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Tree colonization by the Asian longhorn beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae): effect of habitat and tree suitability.

    PubMed

    Faccoli, Massimo; Favaro, Riccardo; Concheri, Giuseppe; Squartini, Andrea; Battisti, Andrea

    2016-04-01

    Tree colonization and feeding activity of the invasive wood-borer Asian longhorn beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis), an Asian pest introduced into North America and Europe, was studied in a newly invaded area in Italy. The hypothesis being tested was that the reproductive success of the insect depend on habitat type and tree suitability. Adult beetles were caged on branches of host and nonhost species, in both urban and forest habitats. Two months later, number and size of feeding patches on plant tissues, eggs laid, and surviving larvae were assessed. Bark concentration of C and N was also measured from the same trees. Results indicated that the mean area of plant tissues consumed by adult feeding was significantly larger on trees growing in forest than in urban habitat, although within the same habitat there were no differences between susceptible and nonsusceptible trees. ALB tree colonization, in terms of number of eggs laid and young larvae survival, was not affected by habitat while it was higher on susceptible trees. Although trees growing in forests had a lower nitrogen concentration, they allowed colonization rates similar to those of trees growing in the urban habitat. Hence, the amount of carbon and nitrogen did not fully explain tree suitability or habitat selection. We suggest compensatory feeding as a potential mechanism that might explain this peculiar situation, as supported by a more intensive feeding activity recorded on trees in the forest. Suitability of different trees may be due to other factors, such as secondary chemical compounds. © 2014 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  8. Predicting Species Distributions Using Record Centre Data: Multi-Scale Modelling of Habitat Suitability for Bat Roosts.

    PubMed

    Bellamy, Chloe; Altringham, John

    2015-01-01

    Conservation increasingly operates at the landscape scale. For this to be effective, we need landscape scale information on species distributions and the environmental factors that underpin them. Species records are becoming increasingly available via data centres and online portals, but they are often patchy and biased. We demonstrate how such data can yield useful habitat suitability models, using bat roost records as an example. We analysed the effects of environmental variables at eight spatial scales (500 m - 6 km) on roost selection by eight bat species (Pipistrellus pipistrellus, P. pygmaeus, Nyctalus noctula, Myotis mystacinus, M. brandtii, M. nattereri, M. daubentonii, and Plecotus auritus) using the presence-only modelling software MaxEnt. Modelling was carried out on a selection of 418 data centre roost records from the Lake District National Park, UK. Target group pseudoabsences were selected to reduce the impact of sampling bias. Multi-scale models, combining variables measured at their best performing spatial scales, were used to predict roosting habitat suitability, yielding models with useful predictive abilities. Small areas of deciduous woodland consistently increased roosting habitat suitability, but other habitat associations varied between species and scales. Pipistrellus were positively related to built environments at small scales, and depended on large-scale woodland availability. The other, more specialist, species were highly sensitive to human-altered landscapes, avoiding even small rural towns. The strength of many relationships at large scales suggests that bats are sensitive to habitat modifications far from the roost itself. The fine resolution, large extent maps will aid targeted decision-making by conservationists and planners. We have made available an ArcGIS toolbox that automates the production of multi-scale variables, to facilitate the application of our methods to other taxa and locations. Habitat suitability modelling has the

  9. Black-backed woodpecker habitat suitability mapping using conifer snag basal area estimated from airborne laser scanning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casas Planes, Á.; Garcia, M.; Siegel, R.; Koltunov, A.; Ramirez, C.; Ustin, S.

    2015-12-01

    Occupancy and habitat suitability models for snag-dependent wildlife species are commonly defined as a function of snag basal area. Although critical for predicting or assessing habitat suitability, spatially distributed estimates of snag basal area are not generally available across landscapes at spatial scales relevant for conservation planning. This study evaluates the use of airborne laser scanning (ALS) to 1) identify individual conifer snags and map their basal area across a recently burned forest, and 2) map habitat suitability for a wildlife species known to be dependent on snag basal area, specifically the black-backed woodpecker (Picoides arcticus). This study focuses on the Rim Fire, a megafire that took place in 2013 in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, creating large patches of medium- and high-severity burned forest. We use forest inventory plots, single-tree ALS-derived metrics and Gaussian processes classification and regression to identify conifer snags and estimate their stem diameter and basal area. Then, we use the results to map habitat suitability for the black-backed woodpecker using thresholds for conifer basal area from a previously published habitat suitability model. Local maxima detection and watershed segmentation algorithms resulted in 75% detection of trees with stem diameter larger than 30 cm. Snags are identified with an overall accuracy of 91.8 % and conifer snags are identified with an overall accuracy of 84.8 %. Finally, Gaussian process regression reliably estimated stem diameter (R2 = 0.8) using height and crown area. This work provides a fast and efficient methodology to characterize the extent of a burned forest at the tree level and a critical tool for early wildlife assessment in post-fire forest management and biodiversity conservation.

  10. Test and Modification of a Northern Bobwhite Habitat Suitability Index Model

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-04-01

    density. Patton (1984) presented a habitat capability model for the Abert squirrel (Sciurus aberti) that produced scores in 5 quality classes from...34. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 3:171-173. Patton, D. R. 1984. A model to evaluate Abert squirrel habitat in uneven-aged ponderosa pine. Wildl. Soc. Bull. 12:408...poor to optimum. Squirrel densities over 4 years on 9 plots were correlated with subsequently classed habitats (r - 0.96). Soniat and Brody (1988

  11. Regionalization of Habitat Suitability of Masson’s Pine based on geographic information system and Fuzzy Matter-Element Model

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Xiuteng; Zhao, Manxi; Zhou, Liangyun; Yang, Guang; Huang, Luqi; Yan, Cuiqi; Huang, Quanshu; Ye, Liang; Zhang, Xiaobo; Guo, Lanpin; Ke, Xiao; Guo, Jiao

    2016-01-01

    Pine needles have been widely used in the development of anti-hypertensive and anti-hyperlipidemic agents and health food. However, the widespread distribution of this tree poses great obstacles to the quality control and efficacy evaluation. To facilitate the effective and rational exploitation of Masson’s pine (Pinus massoniana Lamb), as well as ensure effective development of Masson’s pine needles as a medicinal agent, we investigated the spatial distribution of habitat suitability and evaluated the optimal ranges of ecological factors of P. massoniana with 280 samples collected from 12 provinces in China through the evaluation of four constituents known to be effective medicinally. The results of habitat suitability evaluation were also verified by Root Mean Square Error (RMSE). Finally, five ecological factors were chosen in the establishment of a habitat suitability evaluation system. The most suitable areas for P. massoniana growth were mainly concentrated in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River basin, such as Sichuan, Guizhou, and Jiangxi provinces, while the best quality needles were from Guizhou, Sichuan, and the junction area of Chongqing, Hunan, and Hubei provinces. This information revealed that suitable areas for effective constituent accumulation of Masson’s pine needles accounted for only 7.41% of its distribution area. PMID:27694967

  12. Regionalization of Habitat Suitability of Masson’s Pine based on geographic information system and Fuzzy Matter-Element Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Xiuteng; Zhao, Manxi; Zhou, Liangyun; Yang, Guang; Huang, Luqi; Yan, Cuiqi; Huang, Quanshu; Ye, Liang; Zhang, Xiaobo; Guo, Lanpin; Ke, Xiao; Guo, Jiao

    2016-10-01

    Pine needles have been widely used in the development of anti-hypertensive and anti-hyperlipidemic agents and health food. However, the widespread distribution of this tree poses great obstacles to the quality control and efficacy evaluation. To facilitate the effective and rational exploitation of Masson’s pine (Pinus massoniana Lamb), as well as ensure effective development of Masson’s pine needles as a medicinal agent, we investigated the spatial distribution of habitat suitability and evaluated the optimal ranges of ecological factors of P. massoniana with 280 samples collected from 12 provinces in China through the evaluation of four constituents known to be effective medicinally. The results of habitat suitability evaluation were also verified by Root Mean Square Error (RMSE). Finally, five ecological factors were chosen in the establishment of a habitat suitability evaluation system. The most suitable areas for P. massoniana growth were mainly concentrated in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River basin, such as Sichuan, Guizhou, and Jiangxi provinces, while the best quality needles were from Guizhou, Sichuan, and the junction area of Chongqing, Hunan, and Hubei provinces. This information revealed that suitable areas for effective constituent accumulation of Masson’s pine needles accounted for only 7.41% of its distribution area.

  13. Integrating animal movement with habitat suitability for estimating dynamic landscape connectivity

    van Toor, Mariëlle L.; Kranstauber, Bart; Newman, Scott H.; Prosser, Diann J.; Takekawa, John Y.; Technitis, Georgios; Weibel, Robert; Wikelski, Martin; Safi, Kamran

    2018-01-01

    Context High-resolution animal movement data are becoming increasingly available, yet having a multitude of empirical trajectories alone does not allow us to easily predict animal movement. To answer ecological and evolutionary questions at a population level, quantitative estimates of a species’ potential to link patches or populations are of importance. Objectives We introduce an approach that combines movement-informed simulated trajectories with an environment-informed estimate of the trajectories’ plausibility to derive connectivity. Using the example of bar-headed geese we estimated migratory connectivity at a landscape level throughout the annual cycle in their native range. Methods We used tracking data of bar-headed geese to develop a multi-state movement model and to estimate temporally explicit habitat suitability within the species’ range. We simulated migratory movements between range fragments, and calculated a measure we called route viability. The results are compared to expectations derived from published literature. Results Simulated migrations matched empirical trajectories in key characteristics such as stopover duration. The viability of the simulated trajectories was similar to that of the empirical trajectories. We found that, overall, the migratory connectivity was higher within the breeding than in wintering areas, corroborating previous findings for this species. Conclusions We show how empirical tracking data and environmental information can be fused for meaningful predictions of animal movements throughout the year and even outside the spatial range of the available data. Beyond predicting migratory connectivity, our framework will prove useful for modelling ecological processes facilitated by animal movement, such as seed dispersal or disease ecology.

  14. Habitat suitability criteria for assessment of instream flow needs of fish

    Crance, Johnie H.

    1989-01-01

    In the western portion of the United States, competition for stream water gas often been fierce. Water resource management agencies in the southeastern United States, where water has been relatively abundant, are not being faced with similar competing demands for water, and with increasing pressures to develop and defend recommendations for protecting fish and invertebrates in streams. Streamflow depletion at any time can result in severe long-term effects on fish populations(Peters, 1982). The allocation of stream water to any numerous instream or offstream uses is tied to the issues of water quantity, quality, and timing, which center on two critical questions: (1)when and how much water of an acceptable quality should be left in a stream, and (2) what happens if flow regimes are changed? Answers to these questions will probably be complex, but reliable answers are needed to protect instream and offstream values. If instream flow interests expect to compete with offstream uses for limited water supplies, they must be able to determine reliable and defensible methods for determining instream flow needs and demonstrate the environmental consequences of altered flow regimes. My objectives in this paper are: (a) to present an overview of the need, development, and use of stream habitat suitability criteria, and the use of these criteria for the assessment of instream flow needs; (b) to give a status report on the plan of the National Ecology Research Center (NERC) for expansion of instream flow research in the Southeast; and (c) to discuss the relevancy of the research to river corridor management.

  15. Habitat Suitability Model for the Distribution of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in Minnesota.

    PubMed

    Johnson, T L; Bjork, J K H; Neitzel, D F; Dorr, F M; Schiffman, E K; Eisen, R J

    2016-05-01

    Ixodes scapularis Say, the black-legged tick, is the primary vector in the eastern United States of several pathogens causing human diseases including Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis. Over the past two decades, I. scapularis-borne diseases have increased in incidence as well as geographic distribution. Lyme disease exists in two major foci in the United States, one encompassing northeastern states and the other in the Upper Midwest. Minnesota represents a state with an appreciable increase in counties reporting I. scapularis-borne illnesses, suggesting geographic expansion of vector populations in recent years. Recent tick distribution records support this assumption. Here, we used those records to create a fine resolution, subcounty-level distribution model for I. scapularis using variable response curves in addition to tests of variable importance. The model identified 19% of Minnesota as potentially suitable for establishment of the tick and indicated with high accuracy (AUC = 0.863) that the distribution is driven by land cover type, summer precipitation, maximum summer temperatures, and annual temperature variation. We provide updated records of established populations near the northwestern species range limit and present a model that increases our understanding of the potential distribution of I. scapularis in Minnesota. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America 2016. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  16. Habitat Suitability Model for the Distribution of Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in Minnesota

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, T. L.; Bjork, J. K. H.; Neitzel, D. F.; Dorr, F. M.; Schiffman, E. K.; Eisen, R. J.

    2016-01-01

    Ixodes scapularis Say, the black-legged tick, is the primary vector in the eastern United States of several pathogens causing human diseases including Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis. Over the past two decades, I. scapularis-borne diseases have increased in incidence as well as geographic distribution. Lyme disease exists in two major foci in the United States, one encompassing northeastern states and the other in the Upper Midwest. Minnesota represents a state with an appreciable increase in counties reporting I. scapularis-borne illnesses, suggesting geographic expansion of vector populations in recent years. Recent tick distribution records support this assumption. Here, we used those records to create a fine resolution, subcounty-level distribution model for I. scapularis using variable response curves in addition to tests of variable importance. The model identified 19% of Minnesota as potentially suitable for establishment of the tick and indicated with high accuracy (AUC = 0.863) that the distribution is driven by land cover type, summer precipitation, maximum summer temperatures, and annual temperature variation. We provide updated records of established populations near the northwestern species range limit and present a model that increases our understanding of the potential distribution of I. scapularis in Minnesota. PMID:27026161

  17. Linking population viability, habitat suitability, and landscape simulation models for conservation planning

    Michael A. Larson; Frank R., III Thompson; Joshua J. Millspaugh; William D. Dijak; Stephen R. Shifley

    2004-01-01

    Methods for habitat modeling based on landscape simulations and population viability modeling based on habitat quality are well developed, but no published study of which we are aware has effectively joined them in a single, comprehensive analysis. We demonstrate the application of a population viability model for ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapillus)...

  18. Chapter 15: Inland Habitat Suitability for the Marbled Murrelet in Southcentral Alaska

    Katherine J. Kuletz; Dennis K. Marks; Nancy L. Naslund; Nike J. Goodson; Mary B. Cody

    1995-01-01

    The majority of Marbled Murrelets (Brachyramphus marmoratus) nest in Alaska, where they sometimes nest on the ground, and their nesting habitat requirements are not well understood. The inland activity of murrelets was surveyed, and habitat features measured, between 1991 and 1993, in Prince William Sound, Kenai Fjords National Park and Afognak...

  19. Using forest inventory data to assess fisher resting habitat suitability in California.

    William J. Zielinski; Richard L. Truex; Jeffrey R. Dunk; Tom Gaman

    2006-01-01

    The fisher (Martes pennanti) is a forest-dwelling carnivore whose current distribution and association with late-seral forest conditions make it vulnerable to stand-altering human activities or natural disturbances. Fishers select a variety of structures for daily resting bouts. These habitat elements, together with foraging and reproductive (denning) habitat,...

  20. Mapping the climatic suitable habitat of oriental arborvitae (Platycladus orientalis) for introduction and cultivation at a global scale

    PubMed Central

    Li, Guoqing; Du, Sheng; Wen, Zhongming

    2016-01-01

    Oriental arborvitae (Platycladus orientalis) is an important afforestation and ornamental tree species, which is native in eastern Asian. Therefore, a global suitable habitat map for oriental arborvitae is urgently needed for global promotion and cultivation. Here, the potential habitat and climatic requirements of oriental arborvitae at global scale were simulated using herbariums data and 13 thermal-moisture variables as input data for maximum entropy model (MaxEnt). The simulation performance of MaxEnt is evaluated by ten-fold cross-validation and a jackknife procedure. Results show that the potential habitat and climate envelop of oriental arborvitae can be successfully simulated by MaxEnt at global scale, with a mean test AUC value of 0.93 and mean training AUC value of 0.95. Thermal factors play more important roles than moisture factors in controlling the distribution boundary of oriental arborvitae’s potential ranges. There are about 50 countries suitable for introduction and cultivation of oriental arborvitae with an area of 2.0 × 107 km2, which occupied 13.8% of land area on the earth. This unique study will provide valuable information and insights needed to identify new regions with climatically suitable habitats for cultivation and introduction of oriental arborvitae around the world. PMID:27443221

  1. Mapping the climatic suitable habitat of oriental arborvitae (Platycladus orientalis) for introduction and cultivation at a global scale.

    PubMed

    Li, Guoqing; Du, Sheng; Wen, Zhongming

    2016-07-21

    Oriental arborvitae (Platycladus orientalis) is an important afforestation and ornamental tree species, which is native in eastern Asian. Therefore, a global suitable habitat map for oriental arborvitae is urgently needed for global promotion and cultivation. Here, the potential habitat and climatic requirements of oriental arborvitae at global scale were simulated using herbariums data and 13 thermal-moisture variables as input data for maximum entropy model (MaxEnt). The simulation performance of MaxEnt is evaluated by ten-fold cross-validation and a jackknife procedure. Results show that the potential habitat and climate envelop of oriental arborvitae can be successfully simulated by MaxEnt at global scale, with a mean test AUC value of 0.93 and mean training AUC value of 0.95. Thermal factors play more important roles than moisture factors in controlling the distribution boundary of oriental arborvitae's potential ranges. There are about 50 countries suitable for introduction and cultivation of oriental arborvitae with an area of 2.0 × 10(7) km(2), which occupied 13.8% of land area on the earth. This unique study will provide valuable information and insights needed to identify new regions with climatically suitable habitats for cultivation and introduction of oriental arborvitae around the world.

  2. Using population viability analysis, genomics, and habitat suitability to forecast future population patterns of Little Owl Athene noctua across Europe.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Line Holm; Sunde, Peter; Pellegrino, Irene; Loeschcke, Volker; Pertoldi, Cino

    2017-12-01

    The agricultural scene has changed over the past decades, resulting in a declining population trend in many species. It is therefore important to determine the factors that the individual species depend on in order to understand their decline. The landscape changes have also resulted in habitat fragmentation, turning once continuous populations into metapopulations. It is thus increasingly important to estimate both the number of individuals it takes to create a genetically viable population and the population trend. Here, population viability analysis and habitat suitability modeling were used to estimate population viability and future prospects across Europe of the Little Owl Athene noctua , a widespread species associated with agricultural landscapes. The results show a high risk of population declines over the coming 100 years, especially toward the north of Europe, whereas populations toward the southeastern part of Europe have a greater probability of persistence. In order to be considered genetically viable, individual populations must count 1,000-30,000 individuals. As Little Owl populations of several countries count <30,000, and many isolated populations in northern Europe count <1,000 individuals, management actions resulting in exchange of individuals between populations or even countries are probably necessary to prevent losing <1% genetic diversity over a 100-year period. At a continental scale, a habitat suitability analysis suggested Little Owl to be affected positively by increasing temperatures and urban areas, whereas an increased tree cover, an increasing annual rainfall, grassland, and sparsely vegetated areas affect the presence of the owl negatively. However, the low predictive power of the habitat suitability model suggests that habitat suitability might be better explained at a smaller scale.

  3. Habitat Suitability analysis of Koklass (Pucrasia macrolopha) Pheasant in Churdhar Wildlife Sanctuary of Himachal Pradesh, India using Geospatial Technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eliza, K.; Sarma, K.

    2014-12-01

    Pheasants are at the brink of destruction due to degradation of forests, environmental pollution, climatic changes and extensive hunting of wild floras and faunas.The problem is more acute in the developing countries where wildlife and biodiversity conservation are often less prioritized due to more pressing demands of food security and poverty alleviation. Koklass Pheasant (Pucrasia macrolopha) species is distributed from Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east along the Himalayas to southeastern Tibet, western China and southeastern Mongolia.This species is grouped under endangered species in Red Data Book of Zoological Survey of India and also classified as least concern species according to IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.Conservation biologists and managers need a range of both classical analyses and specific modern tools to face the increasing threats to biodiversity. Among these tools, habitat-suitability modeling has recently emerged as a relevant technique to assess global impacts to define wide conservation priorities.The present study is carried out using remote sensing satellite imagery and GIS modeling technique for assessing habitat suitability of Koklass Pheasants and finding out the habitat factors influencing the Koklass distribution in Churdhar Wildlife Sanctuary, India. Effective management and conservation of wildlife populations and their habitats largely depend on our ability to understand and predict species-habitat interactions. Different thematic maps viz., land use/cover, forest types, drainage buffer, multiple ring buffers of sighting locations and multiple ring buffers of roads have been prepared to support the objective of the study. The Weighted Overlay Analysis model is used for identifying different potential areas of habitat for this endangered species. The most suitable area for Koklass Pheasant within the Wildlife Sanctuary is found to be about 23.8 percent of the total area which is due to favourable habitat conditions for the

  4. Pan-Arctic sea ice-algal chl a biomass and suitable habitat are largely underestimated for multiyear ice.

    PubMed

    Lange, Benjamin A; Flores, Hauke; Michel, Christine; Beckers, Justin F; Bublitz, Anne; Casey, John Alec; Castellani, Giulia; Hatam, Ido; Reppchen, Anke; Rudolph, Svenja A; Haas, Christian

    2017-11-01

    There is mounting evidence that multiyear ice (MYI) is a unique component of the Arctic Ocean and may play a more important ecological role than previously assumed. This study improves our understanding of the potential of MYI as a suitable habitat for sea ice algae on a pan-Arctic scale. We sampled sea ice cores from MYI and first-year sea ice (FYI) within the Lincoln Sea during four consecutive spring seasons. This included four MYI hummocks with a mean chl a biomass of 2.0 mg/m 2 , a value significantly higher than FYI and MYI refrozen ponds. Our results support the hypothesis that MYI hummocks can host substantial ice-algal biomass and represent a reliable ice-algal habitat due to the (quasi-) permanent low-snow surface of these features. We identified an ice-algal habitat threshold value for calculated light transmittance of 0.014%. Ice classes and coverage of suitable ice-algal habitat were determined from snow and ice surveys. These ice classes and associated coverage of suitable habitat were applied to pan-Arctic CryoSat-2 snow and ice thickness data products. This habitat classification accounted for the variability of the snow and ice properties and showed an areal coverage of suitable ice-algal habitat within the MYI-covered region of 0.54 million km 2 (8.5% of total ice area). This is 27 times greater than the areal coverage of 0.02 million km 2 (0.3% of total ice area) determined using the conventional block-model classification, which assigns single-parameter values to each grid cell and does not account for subgrid cell variability. This emphasizes the importance of accounting for variable snow and ice conditions in all sea ice studies. Furthermore, our results indicate the loss of MYI will also mean the loss of reliable ice-algal habitat during spring when food is sparse and many organisms depend on ice-algae. © 2017 The Authors. Global Change Biology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Development of tiger habitat suitability model using geospatial tools-a case study in Achankmar Wildlife Sanctuary (AMWLS), Chhattisgarh India.

    PubMed

    Singh, R; Joshi, P K; Kumar, M; Dash, P P; Joshi, B D

    2009-08-01

    Geospatial tools supported by ancillary geo-database and extensive fieldwork regarding the distribution of tiger and its prey in Anchankmar Wildlife Sanctuary (AMWLS) were used to build a tiger habitat suitability model. This consists of a quantitative geographical information system (GIS) based approach using field parameters and spatial thematic information. The estimates of tiger sightings, its prey sighting and predicted distribution with the assistance of contextual environmental data including terrain, road network, settlement and drainage surfaces were used to develop the model. Eight variables in the dataset viz., forest cover type, forest cover density, slope, aspect, altitude, and distance from road, settlement and drainage were seen as suitable proxies and were used as independent variables in the analysis. Principal component analysis and binomial multiple logistic regression were used for statistical treatments of collected habitat parameters from field and independent variables respectively. The assessment showed a strong expert agreement between the predicted and observed suitable areas. A combination of the generated information and published literature was also used while building a habitat suitability map for the tiger. The modeling approach has taken the habitat preference parameters of the tiger and potential distribution of prey species into account. For assessing the potential distribution of prey species, independent suitability models were developed and validated with the ground truth. It is envisaged that inclusion of the prey distribution probability strengthens the model when a key species is under question. The results of the analysis indicate that tiger occur throughout the sanctuary. The results have been found to be an important input as baseline information for population modeling and natural resource management in the wildlife sanctuary. The development and application of similar models can help in better management of the protected

  6. Production of fiberglass/metal composite material suitable for building habitat and manufacturing facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    The production of a fiberglass/metal composite material suitable for building habitats and manufacturing facilities was the project for Clemson. The concept and development of the knowledge necessary to produce glass fibers originated in the spring semester. During the summer, while at Johnson Space Center, fiberglass from a rock composition similar to ones found at the Apollo 16 site on the moon was successfully produced. The project this year was a continuation of last year's studies. We addressed the following problems which emerged as the work progressed: (1) Methods for coating the fibers with a metal were explored. We manufactured composites in two stages: Glass fibers without any coating on them; and fibers coated with metals as they were made. This proved to be a difficult process. Future activities include using a chemical vapor deposition process on fibers which have been made. (2) A glass furnace was developed which relies primarily on solar energy for melting the glass. The temperature of the melted glass is maintained by electrical means. The design is for 250 kg of glass per day. An electrical engineering student developed a scheme for controlling the melting and manufacturing process from the earth. This was done to minimize the human risk. Graphite refractories are relied on to contain the melt. (3) The glass composition chosen for the project is a relatively pure anorthite which is available in the highland regions of the lunar surface. A major problems with this material is that it melts at a comparatively high temperature. This problem will be solved by using graphite refractory materials for the furnace. The advantage of this glass composition is that it is very stable and does not tend to crystallize. (4) We have also refined the experimental furnace and fiber making machinery which we will be using at Johnson Space Center this summer. We believe that we will be able to draw and coat glass fibers in a vacuum for use in composites. We intend to

  7. Evaluating methods to establish habitat suitability criteria: A case study in the upper Delaware River Basin, USA

    Galbraith, Heather S.; Blakeslee, Carrie J.; Cole, Jeffrey C.; Talbert, Colin; Maloney, Kelly O.

    2016-01-01

    Defining habitat suitability criteria (HSC) of aquatic biota can be a key component to environmental flow science. HSC can be developed through numerous methods; however, few studies have evaluated the consistency of HSC developed by different methodologies. We directly compared HSC for depth and velocity developed by the Delphi method (expert opinion) and by two primary literature meta-analyses (literature-derived range and interquartile range) to assess whether these independent methods produce analogous criteria for multiple species (rainbow trout, brown trout, American shad, and shallow fast guild) and life stages. We further evaluated how these two independently developed HSC affect calculations of habitat availability under three alternative reservoir management scenarios in the upper Delaware River at a mesohabitat (main channel, stream margins, and flood plain), reach, and basin scale. In general, literature-derived HSC fell within the range of the Delphi HSC, with highest congruence for velocity habitat. Habitat area predicted using the Delphi HSC fell between the habitat area predicted using two literature-derived HSC, both at the basin and the site scale. Predicted habitat increased in shallow regions (stream margins and flood plain) using literature-derived HSC while Delphi-derived HSC predicted increased channel habitat. HSC generally favoured the same reservoir management scenario; however, no favoured reservoir management scenario was the most common outcome when applying the literature range HSC. The differences found in this study lend insight into how different methodologies can shape HSC and their consequences for predicted habitat and water management decisions. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  8. Multiscale habitat suitability index models for priority landbirds in the Central Hardwoods and West Gulf Coastal Plain/Ouachitas Bird Conservation Regions

    John M. Tirpak; D. Todd Jones-Farrand; Frank R., III Thompson; Daniel J. Twedt; William B., III Uihlein

    2009-01-01

    Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models were developed to assess habitat quality for 40 priority bird species in the Central Hardwoods and West Gulf Coastal Plain/Ouachitas Bird Conservation Regions. The models incorporated both site and landscape environmental variables from one of six nationally consistent datasets. Potential habitat was first defined from unique...

  9. INTERACTIVE HABITAT SUITABILITY MODELS FOR STREAM FISHES IN THE MID-ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Models that predict the presence of stream fish species based on habitat characteristics can be useful in watershed management. We developed such models for each of fourteen Mid-Atlantic Highlands stream fish species/groups.

  10. Range-wide assessment of habitat suitability for Roanoke logperch (Percina rex).

    DOT National Transportation Integrated Search

    2007-01-01

    The Roanoke logperch (Percina rex) is a federally endangered darter endemic to Virginia. Knowledge of its distribution and habitat requirements is limited. Before this study, it was known to occur in the Smith, Pigg, Roanoke and Nottoway river waters...

  11. Relative effects of road risk, habitat suitability, and connectivity on wildlife roadkills: the case of tawny owls (Strix aluco).

    PubMed

    Santos, Sara M; Lourenço, Rui; Mira, António; Beja, Pedro

    2013-01-01

    Despite its importance for reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions, there is still incomplete understanding of factors responsible for high road mortality. In particular, few empirical studies examined the idea that spatial variation in roadkills is influenced by a complex interplay between road-related factors, and species-specific habitat quality and landscape connectivity. In this study we addressed this issue, using a 7-year dataset of tawny owl (Strix aluco) roadkills recorded along 37 km of road in southern Portugal. We used a multi-species roadkill index as a surrogate of intrinsic road risk, and we used a Maxent distribution model to estimate habitat suitability. Landscape connectivity was estimated from least-cost paths between tawny owl territories, using habitat suitability as a resistance surface. We defined 10 alternative scenarios to compute connectivity, based on variation in potential movement patterns according to territory quality and dispersal distance thresholds. Hierarchical partitioning of a regression model indicated that independent variation in tawny owl roadkills was explained primarily by the roadkill index (70.5%) and, to a much lesser extent, by landscape connectivity (26.2%), while habitat suitability had minor effects (3.3%). Analysis of connectivity scenarios suggested that owl roadkills were primarily related to short range movements (<5 km) between high quality territories. Tawny owl roadkills were spatially autocorrelated, but the introduction of spatial filters in the regression model did not change the type and relative contribution of environmental variables. Overall, results suggest that road-related factors may have a dominant influence on roadkill patterns, particularly in areas like ours where habitat quality and landscape connectivity are globally high for the study species. Nevertheless, the study supported the view that functional connectivity should be incorporated whenever possible in roadkill models, as it may greatly

  12. Relative Effects of Road Risk, Habitat Suitability, and Connectivity on Wildlife Roadkills: The Case of Tawny Owls (Strix aluco)

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Sara M.; Lourenço, Rui; Mira, António; Beja, Pedro

    2013-01-01

    Background Despite its importance for reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions, there is still incomplete understanding of factors responsible for high road mortality. In particular, few empirical studies examined the idea that spatial variation in roadkills is influenced by a complex interplay between road-related factors, and species-specific habitat quality and landscape connectivity. Methodology/Principal Findings In this study we addressed this issue, using a 7-year dataset of tawny owl (Strix aluco) roadkills recorded along 37 km of road in southern Portugal. We used a multi-species roadkill index as a surrogate of intrinsic road risk, and we used a Maxent distribution model to estimate habitat suitability. Landscape connectivity was estimated from least-cost paths between tawny owl territories, using habitat suitability as a resistance surface. We defined 10 alternative scenarios to compute connectivity, based on variation in potential movement patterns according to territory quality and dispersal distance thresholds. Hierarchical partitioning of a regression model indicated that independent variation in tawny owl roadkills was explained primarily by the roadkill index (70.5%) and, to a much lesser extent, by landscape connectivity (26.2%), while habitat suitability had minor effects (3.3%). Analysis of connectivity scenarios suggested that owl roadkills were primarily related to short range movements (<5 km) between high quality territories. Tawny owl roadkills were spatially autocorrelated, but the introduction of spatial filters in the regression model did not change the type and relative contribution of environmental variables. Conclusions Overall, results suggest that road-related factors may have a dominant influence on roadkill patterns, particularly in areas like ours where habitat quality and landscape connectivity are globally high for the study species. Nevertheless, the study supported the view that functional connectivity should be incorporated

  13. Re-establishing the pecking order: Niche models reliably predict suitable habitats for the reintroduction of red-billed oxpeckers.

    PubMed

    Kalle, Riddhika; Combrink, Leigh; Ramesh, Tharmalingam; Downs, Colleen T

    2017-03-01

    Distributions of avian mutualists are affected by changes in biotic interactions and environmental conditions driven directly/indirectly by human actions. The range contraction of red-billed oxpeckers ( Buphagus erythrorhynchus ) in South Africa is partly a result of the widespread use of acaracides (i.e., mainly cattle dips), toxic to both ticks and oxpeckers. We predicted the habitat suitability of red-billed oxpeckers in South Africa using ensemble models to assist the ongoing reintroduction efforts and to identify new reintroduction sites for population recovery. The distribution of red-billed oxpeckers was influenced by moderate to high tree cover, woodland habitats, and starling density (a proxy for cavity-nesting birds) with regard to nest-site characteristics. Consumable resources (host and tick density), bioclimate, surface water body density, and proximity to protected areas were other influential predictors. Our models estimated 42,576.88-98,506.98 km 2 of highly suitable habitat (0.5-1) covering the majority of Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, a substantial portion of northern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and the Gauteng Province. Niche models reliably predicted suitable habitat in 40%-61% of the reintroduction sites where breeding is currently successful. Ensemble, boosted regression trees and generalized additive models predicted few suitable areas in the Eastern Cape and south of KZN that are part of the historic range. A few southern areas in the Northern Cape, outside the historic range, also had suitable sites predicted. Our models are a promising decision support tool for guiding reintroduction programs at macroscales. Apart from active reintroductions, conservation programs should encourage farmers and/or landowners to use oxpecker-compatible agrochemicals and set up adequate nest boxes to facilitate the population recovery of the red-billed oxpecker, particularly in human-modified landscapes. To ensure long-term conservation success, we suggest that

  14. Managing Environmental Flows for Impounded Rivers in Semi-Arid Regions- A Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) Approach for the Assessment of River Habitat for Salmonid Populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pai, H.; Sivakumaran, K.; Villamizar, S. R.; Flanagan, J.; Guo, Q.; Harmon, T. C.

    2013-12-01

    Balancing ecosystem health in water-scarce, agriculturally dominated river basins remains a challenge. In dry water years, maintaining conditions for restored and sustained indigenous fish populations (a frequently used indicator for ecosystem health) is particularly challenging. Competing human demands include urban and agricultural water supplies, hydropower, and flood control. In many semi-arid regions, increasing drought intensity and frequency under future climate scenarios will combine with population increases to water scarcity. The goal of this work is to better understand how reservoir releases affect fish habitat and overall river aquatic ecosystem quality. Models integrating a diverse array of physical and biological processes and system state are used to forecast the river ecosystem response to changing drivers. We propose a distributed parameter-based Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) approach for assessing fish habitat quality. Our river ecosystem HSI maps are based on a combination of the following: (1) In situ data describing stream flow and water quality conditions; (2) Spatial observations, including surveyed cross-sections, aerial imagery and digital elevation maps (DEM) of the river and its riparian corridor; and (3) Simulated spatially distributed water depths, flow velocities, and temperatures estimated from 1D and 2D river flow and temperature models (HEC-RAS and CE-QUAL-W2, respectively). With respect to (2), image processing schemes are used to classify and map key habitat features, namely riparian edge and shallow underwater vegetation. HSI maps can be modified temporally to address specific life cycle requirements of indicator fish species. Results are presented for several reaches associated with the San Joaquin River Restoration Project, focusing on several components of the Chinook salmon life cycle. HSI maps and interpretations are presented in the context of a range of prescribed reservoir release hydrographs linked to California water

  15. 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

  16. Modeling suitable habitat of invasive red lionfish Pterois volitans (Linnaeus, 1758) in North and South America’s coastal waters

    Evangelista, Paul H.; Young, Nicholas E.; Schofield, Pamela J.; Jarnevich, Catherine S.

    2016-01-01

    We used two common correlative species-distribution models to predict suitable habitat of invasive red lionfish Pterois volitans (Linnaeus, 1758) in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans. The Generalized Linear Model (GLM) and the Maximum Entropy (Maxent) model were applied using the Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling. We compared models developed using native occurrences, using non-native occurrences, and using both native and non-native occurrences. Models were trained using occurrence data collected before 2010 and evaluated with occurrence data collected from the invaded range during or after 2010. We considered a total of 22 marine environmental variables. Models built with non-native only or both native and non-native occurrence data outperformed those that used only native occurrences. Evaluation metrics based on the independent test data were highest for models that used both native and non-native occurrences. Bathymetry was the strongest environmental predictor for all models and showed increasing suitability as ocean floor depth decreased, with salinity ranking the second strongest predictor for models that used native and both native and non-native occurrences, indicating low habitat suitability for salinities <30. Our model results also suggest that red lionfish could continue to invade southern latitudes in the western Atlantic Ocean and may establish localized populations in the eastern Pacific Ocean. We reiterate the importance in the choice of the training data source (native, non-native, or native/non-native) used to develop correlative species distribution models for invasive species.

  17. Assessing shoreline exposure and oyster habitat suitability maximizes potential success for sustainable shoreline protection using restored oyster reefs

    LaPeyre, Megan K.; Serra, Kayla; Joyner, T. Andrew; Humphries, Austin T.

    2015-01-01

    Oyster reefs provide valuable ecosystem services that contribute to coastal resilience. Unfortunately, many reefs have been degraded or removed completely, and there are increased efforts to restore oysters in many coastal areas. In particular, much attention has recently been given to the restoration of shellfish reefs along eroding shorelines to reduce erosion. Such fringing reef approaches, however, often lack empirical data to identify locations where reefs are most effective in reducing marsh erosion, or fully take into account habitat suitability. Using monitoring data from 5 separate fringing reef projects across coastal Louisiana, we quantify shoreline exposure (fetch + wind direction + wind speed) and reef impacts on shoreline retreat. Our results indicate that fringing oyster reefs have a higher impact on shoreline retreat at higher exposure shorelines. At higher exposures, fringing reefs reduced marsh edge erosion an average of 1.0 m y−1. Using these data, we identify ranges of shoreline exposure values where oyster reefs are most effective at reducing marsh edge erosion and apply this knowledge to a case study within one Louisiana estuary. In Breton Sound estuary, we calculate shoreline exposure at 500 random points and then overlay a habitat suitability index for oysters. This method and the resulting visualization show areas most likely to support sustainable oyster populations as well as significantly reduce shoreline erosion. Our results demonstrate how site selection criteria, which include shoreline exposure and habitat suitability, are critical to ensuring greater positive impacts and longevity of oyster reef restoration projects.

  18. The ontogeny of tolerance curves: habitat quality vs. acclimation in a stressful environment.

    PubMed

    Nougué, Odrade; Svendsen, Nils; Jabbour-Zahab, Roula; Lenormand, Thomas; Chevin, Luis-Miguel

    2016-11-01

    Stressful environments affect life-history components of fitness through (i) instantaneous detrimental effects, (ii) historical (carry-over) effects and (iii) history-by-environment interactions, including acclimation effects. The relative contributions of these different responses to environmental stress are likely to change along life, but such ontogenic perspective is often overlooked in studies of tolerance curves, precluding a better understanding of the causes of costs of acclimation, and more generally of fitness in temporally fine-grained environments. We performed an experiment in the brine shrimp Artemia to disentangle these different contributions to environmental tolerance, and investigate how they unfold along life. We placed individuals from three clones of A. parthenogenetica over a range of salinities during a week, before transferring them to a (possibly) different salinity for the rest of their lives. We monitored individual survival at repeated intervals throughout life, instead of measuring survival or performance at a given point in time, as commonly done in acclimation experiments. We then designed a modified survival analysis model to estimate phase-specific hazard rates, accounting for the fact that individuals may share the same treatment for only part of their lives. Our approach allowed us to distinguish effects of salinity on (i) instantaneous mortality in each phase (habitat quality effects), (ii) mortality later in life (history effects) and (iii) their interaction. We showed clear effects of early salinity on late survival and interactions between effects of past and current environments on survival. Importantly, analysis of the ontogenetic dynamics of the tolerance curve reveals that acclimation affects different parts of the curve at different ages. Adopting a dynamical view of the ontogeny of tolerance curve should prove useful for understanding niche limits in temporally changing environments, where the full sequence of

  19. Projected future suitable habitat and productivity of Douglas-fir in western North America

    Aaron R. Weiskittel; Nicholas L. Crookston; Gerald E. Rehfeldt

    2012-01-01

    Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb.] Franco) is one of the most common and commercially important species in western North America. The species can occupy a range of habitats, is long-lived (up to 500 years), and highly productive. However, the future of Douglas-fir in western North America is highly uncertain due to the expected changes in climate conditions....

  20. Patterns of red tree vole distribution and habitat suitability: implications for surveys and conservation planning

    Daniel K. Rosenberg; Raymond J. Davis; Kelli J. Van Norman; Jeffrey R. Dunk; Eric D. Forsman; Robert D. Huff

    2016-01-01

    Environmental regulations often require wildlife surveys prior to habitat disturbance to avoid impacts or as the basis for planning mitigation, yet project-level surveys may not provide the insights needed to guide long-term management. Management of the red tree vole (Arborimus longicaudus) has largely been based on such surveys. As an alternative...

  1. A GIS-BASED WETLAND ASESSMENT MODEL FOR PREDICTING AVIAN HABITAT SUITABILITY UNDER UNCERTAINTY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Farmington Bay region of the Great Salt Lake is fringed with an array of wetland complexes providing critical avian habitat. Land use and hydrological changes resulting from projected urban population increases and combined with the low topographical relief of the lake basin...

  2. Mapping snags and understory shrubs for LiDAR based assessment of wildlife habitat suitability

    Sebastian Martinuzzi; Lee A. Vierling; William A. Gould; Michael J. Falkowski; Jeffrey S. Evans; Andrew T. Hudak; Kerri T. Vierling

    2009-01-01

    The lack of maps depicting forest three-dimensional structure, particularly as pertaining to snags and understory shrub species distribution, is a major limitation for managing wildlife habitat in forests. Developing new techniques to remotely map snags and understory shrubs is therefore an important need. To address this, we first evaluated the use of LiDAR data for...

  3. MAPPING THE DISTRIBUTION OF HARVESTED ESTUARINE BIVALVES WITH NATURAL HISTORY-BASED HABITAT SUITABILITY MODELS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Maps of harvested bivalve populations are invaluable for the management of fisheries species, yet the cost to produce them typically limits their availability. Here, we demonstrate a relatively low-cost approach to generate habitat maps for five species of bivalves found in many ...

  4. Minimum tailwater flows in relation to habitat suitability and sport-fish harvest

    Jacobs, K.E.; Swink, W.D.; Novotny, J.F.

    1987-01-01

    The instream flow needs of four sport fishes (rainbow trout Salmo gairdneri, channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus, smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieui, and white crappie Pomoxis annularis) were evaluated in the tailwater below Green River Lake, Kentucky. The Newcombe method, a simple procedure developed in British Columbia that is based on the distribution of water depths and velocities at various flows, was used to predict usable habitat at seven flows. Predicted usable habitat was two to six times greater for rainbow trout than for any of the other species at all flows. Angler harvest corresponded to the predicted abundance for rainbow trout and smallmouth bass, but the catch of channel catfish and white crappies was seasonally greater than expected. The presence of the dam and reservoir apparently disrupted the normal movement and feeding patterns of these species and periodically overrode the relation between usable habitat and abundance assumed in the Newcombe method. The year-round minimum flow of 4.6 m 3/s recommended for the tailwater would generally increase the amount of habitat available in the tailwater from April through October, and the minimum flow of 2.4 m3/s recommended for periods of drought would allow the maintenance of a trout fishery.

  5. Determination of suitable drying curve model for bread moisture loss during baking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soleimani Pour-Damanab, A. R.; Jafary, A.; Rafiee, S.

    2013-03-01

    This study presents mathematical modelling of bread moisture loss or drying during baking in a conventional bread baking process. In order to estimate and select the appropriate moisture loss curve equation, 11 different models, semi-theoretical and empirical, were applied to the experimental data and compared according to their correlation coefficients, chi-squared test and root mean square error which were predicted by nonlinear regression analysis. Consequently, of all the drying models, a Page model was selected as the best one, according to the correlation coefficients, chi-squared test, and root mean square error values and its simplicity. Mean absolute estimation error of the proposed model by linear regression analysis for natural and forced convection modes was 2.43, 4.74%, respectively.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Microdam Impoundments Provide Suitable Habitat for Larvae of Malaria Vectors: An Observational Study in Western Kenya.

    PubMed

    McCann, Robert S; Gimnig, John E; Bayoh, M Nabie; Ombok, Maurice; Walker, Edward D

    2018-05-04

    Impoundments formed by microdams in rural areas of Africa are important sources of water for people, but they provide potential larval habitats for Anopheles (Diptera: Culicidae) mosquitoes that are vectors of malaria. To study this association, the perimeters of 31 microdam impoundments in western Kenya were sampled for Anopheles larvae in three zones (patches of floating and emergent vegetation, shorelines of open water, and aggregations of cattle hoofprints) across dry and rainy seasons. Of 3,169 larvae collected, most (86.8%) were collected in the rainy season. Of 2,403 larvae successfully reared to fourth instar or adult, nine species were identified; most (80.2%) were Anopheles arabiensis Patton, sampled from hoofprint zones in the rainy season. Other species collected were Anopheles coustani Laveran, Anopheles gambiae s.s. Giles, Anopheles funestus Giles, and Anopheles rivulorum Leeson, Anopheles pharoensis Theobald, Anopheles squamosus Theobald, Anopheles rufipes (Gough), and Anopheles ardensis (Theobald). Larvae of An. funestus were uncommon (1.5%) in both dry and rainy seasons and were confined to vegetated zones, suggesting that microdam impoundments are not primary habitats for this important vector species, although microdams may provide a dry season refuge habitat for malaria vectors, contributing to population persistence through the dry season. In this study, microdam impoundments clearly provided habitat for the malaria vector An. arabiensis in the rainy season, most of which was within the shallow apron side of the impoundments where people brought cattle for watering, resulting in compacted soil with aggregations of water-filled hoofprints. This observation suggests a potential conflict between public health concerns about malaria and people's need for stable and reliable sources of water.

  9. Suitable Environmental Ranges for Potential Coral Reef Habitats in the Tropical Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Guan, Yi; Hohn, Sönke; Merico, Agostino

    2015-01-01

    Coral reefs are found within a limited range of environmental conditions or tolerance limits. Estimating these limits is a critical prerequisite for understanding the impacts of climate change on the biogeography of coral reefs. Here we used the diagnostic model ReefHab to determine the current environmental tolerance limits for coral reefs and the global distribution of potential coral reef habitats as a function of six factors: temperature, salinity, nitrate, phosphate, aragonite saturation state, and light. To determine these tolerance limits, we extracted maximum and minimum values of all environmental variables in corresponding locations where coral reefs are present. We found that the global, annually averaged tolerance limits for coral reefs are 21.7—29.6 °C for temperature, 28.7—40.4 psu for salinity, 4.51 μmol L-1 for nitrate, 0.63 μmol L-1 for phosphate, and 2.82 for aragonite saturation state. The averaged minimum light intensity in coral reefs is 450 μmol photons m-2 s-1. The global area of potential reef habitats calculated by the model is 330.5 × 103 km2. Compared with previous studies, the tolerance limits for temperature, salinity, and nutrients have not changed much, whereas the minimum value of aragonite saturation in coral reef waters has decreased from 3.28 to 2.82. The potential reef habitat area calculated with ReefHab is about 121×103 km2 larger than the area estimated from the charted reefs, suggesting that the growth potential of coral reefs is higher than currently observed. PMID:26030287

  10. Suitable environmental ranges for potential coral reef habitats in the tropical ocean.

    PubMed

    Guan, Yi; Hohn, Sönke; Merico, Agostino

    2015-01-01

    Coral reefs are found within a limited range of environmental conditions or tolerance limits. Estimating these limits is a critical prerequisite for understanding the impacts of climate change on the biogeography of coral reefs. Here we used the diagnostic model ReefHab to determine the current environmental tolerance limits for coral reefs and the global distribution of potential coral reef habitats as a function of six factors: temperature, salinity, nitrate, phosphate, aragonite saturation state, and light. To determine these tolerance limits, we extracted maximum and minimum values of all environmental variables in corresponding locations where coral reefs are present. We found that the global, annually averaged tolerance limits for coral reefs are 21.7-29.6 °C for temperature, 28.7-40.4 psu for salinity, 4.51 μmol L-1 for nitrate, 0.63 μmol L-1 for phosphate, and 2.82 for aragonite saturation state. The averaged minimum light intensity in coral reefs is 450 μmol photons m-2 s-1. The global area of potential reef habitats calculated by the model is 330.5 × 103 km2. Compared with previous studies, the tolerance limits for temperature, salinity, and nutrients have not changed much, whereas the minimum value of aragonite saturation in coral reef waters has decreased from 3.28 to 2.82. The potential reef habitat area calculated with ReefHab is about 121×103 km2 larger than the area estimated from the charted reefs, suggesting that the growth potential of coral reefs is higher than currently observed.

  11. Habitat suitability index model for brook trout in streams of the Southern Blue Ridge Province: surrogate variables, model evaluation, and suggested improvements

    Christoper J. Schmitt; A. Dennis Lemly; Parley V. Winger

    1993-01-01

    Data from several sources were collated and analyzed by correlation, regression, and principal components analysis to define surrrogate variables for use in the brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) habitat suitability index (HSI) model, and to evaluate the applicability of the model for assessing habitat in high elevation streams of the southern Blue Ridge Province (...

  12. Deep-sea benthic megafaunal habitat suitability modelling: A global-scale maximum entropy model for xenophyophores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashford, Oliver S.; Davies, Andrew J.; Jones, Daniel O. B.

    2014-12-01

    Xenophyophores are a group of exclusively deep-sea agglutinating rhizarian protozoans, at least some of which are foraminifera. They are an important constituent of the deep-sea megafauna that are sometimes found in sufficient abundance to act as a significant source of habitat structure for meiofaunal and macrofaunal organisms. This study utilised maximum entropy modelling (Maxent) and a high-resolution environmental database to explore the environmental factors controlling the presence of Xenophyophorea and two frequently sampled xenophyophore species that are taxonomically stable: Syringammina fragilissima and Stannophyllum zonarium. These factors were also used to predict the global distribution of each taxon. Areas of high habitat suitability for xenophyophores were highlighted throughout the world's oceans, including in a large number of areas yet to be suitably sampled, but the Northeast and Southeast Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, the Red Sea and deep-water regions of the Malay Archipelago represented particular hotspots. The two species investigated showed more specific habitat requirements when compared to the model encompassing all xenophyophore records, perhaps in part due to the smaller number and relatively more clustered nature of the presence records available for modelling at present. The environmental variables depth, oxygen parameters, nitrate concentration, carbon-chemistry parameters and temperature were of greatest importance in determining xenophyophore distributions, but, somewhat surprisingly, hydrodynamic parameters were consistently shown to have low importance, possibly due to the paucity of well-resolved global hydrodynamic datasets. The results of this study (and others of a similar type) have the potential to guide further sample collection, environmental policy, and spatial planning of marine protected areas and industrial activities that impact the seafloor, particularly those that overlap with aggregations of

  13. Evaluation of habitat suitability index models by global sensitivity and uncertainty analyses: a case study for submerged aquatic vegetation

    Zajac, Zuzanna; Stith, Bradley M.; Bowling, Andrea C.; Langtimm, Catherine A.; Swain, Eric D.

    2015-01-01

    Habitat suitability index (HSI) models are commonly used to predict habitat quality and species distributions and are used to develop biological surveys, assess reserve and management priorities, and anticipate possible change under different management or climate change scenarios. Important management decisions may be based on model results, often without a clear understanding of the level of uncertainty associated with model outputs. We present an integrated methodology to assess the propagation of uncertainty from both inputs and structure of the HSI models on model outputs (uncertainty analysis: UA) and relative importance of uncertain model inputs and their interactions on the model output uncertainty (global sensitivity analysis: GSA). We illustrate the GSA/UA framework using simulated hydrology input data from a hydrodynamic model representing sea level changes and HSI models for two species of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) in southwest Everglades National Park: Vallisneria americana (tape grass) and Halodule wrightii (shoal grass). We found considerable spatial variation in uncertainty for both species, but distributions of HSI scores still allowed discrimination of sites with good versus poor conditions. Ranking of input parameter sensitivities also varied spatially for both species, with high habitat quality sites showing higher sensitivity to different parameters than low-quality sites. HSI models may be especially useful when species distribution data are unavailable, providing means of exploiting widely available environmental datasets to model past, current, and future habitat conditions. The GSA/UA approach provides a general method for better understanding HSI model dynamics, the spatial and temporal variation in uncertainties, and the parameters that contribute most to model uncertainty. Including an uncertainty and sensitivity analysis in modeling efforts as part of the decision-making framework will result in better-informed, more robust

  14. Challenges of predicting the potential distribution of a slow-spreading invader: a habitat suitability map for an invasive riparian tree

    Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Reynolds, Lindsay V.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the potential spread of invasive species is essential for land managers to prevent their establishment and restore impacted habitat. Habitat suitability modeling provides a tool for researchers and managers to understand the potential extent of invasive species spread. Our goal was to use habitat suitability modeling to map potential habitat of the riparian plant invader, Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia). Russian olive has invaded riparian habitat across North America and is continuing to expand its range. We compiled 11 disparate datasets for Russian olive presence locations (n = 1,051 points and 139 polygons) in the western US and used Maximum entropy (Maxent) modeling to develop two habitat suitability maps for Russian olive in the western United States: one with coarse-scale water data and one with fine-scale water data. Our models were able to accurately predict current suitable Russian olive habitat (Coarse model: training AUC = 0.938, test AUC = 0.907; Fine model: training AUC = 0.923, test AUC = 0.885). Distance to water was the most important predictor for Russian olive presence in our coarse-scale water model, but it was only the fifth most important variable in the fine-scale model, suggesting that when water bodies are considered on a fine scale, Russian olive does not necessarily rely on water. Our model predicted that Russian olive has suitable habitat further west from its current distribution, expanding into the west coast and central North America. Our methodology proves useful for identifying potential future areas of invasion. Model results may be influenced by locations of cultivated individuals and sampling bias. Further study is needed to examine the potential for Russian olive to invade beyond its current range. Habitat suitability modeling provides an essential tool for enhancing our understanding of invasive species spread.

  15. Plant species dispersed by Galapagos tortoises surf the wave of habitat suitability under anthropogenic climate change

    PubMed Central

    Blake, Stephen; Soultan, Alaaeldin; Guézou, Anne; Cabrera, Fredy; Lötters, Stefan

    2017-01-01

    Native biodiversity on the Galapagos Archipelago is severely threatened by invasive alien species. On Santa Cruz Island, the abundance of introduced plant species is low in the arid lowlands of the Galapagos National Park, but increases with elevation into unprotected humid highlands. Two common alien plant species, guava (Psidium guajava) and passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) occur at higher elevations yet their seeds are dispersed into the lowlands by migrating Galapagos tortoises (Chelonoidis spp.). Tortoises transport large quantities of seeds over long distances into environments in which they have little or no chance of germination and survival under current climate conditions. However, climate change is projected to modify environmental conditions on Galapagos with unknown consequences for the distribution of native and introduced biodiversity. We quantified seed dispersal of guava and passion fruit in tortoise dung piles and the distribution of adult plants along two elevation gradients on Santa Cruz to assess current levels of ‘wasted’ seed dispersal. We computed species distribution models for both taxa under current and predicted future climate conditions. Assuming that tortoise migratory behaviour continues, current levels of “wasted” seed dispersal in lowlands were projected to decline dramatically in the future for guava but not for passion fruit. Tortoises will facilitate rapid range expansion for guava into lowland areas within the Galapagos National Park where this species is currently absent. Coupled with putative reduction in arid habitat for native species caused by climate change, tortoise driven guava invasion will pose a serious threat to local plant communities. PMID:28727747

  16. Plant species dispersed by Galapagos tortoises surf the wave of habitat suitability under anthropogenic climate change.

    PubMed

    Ellis-Soto, Diego; Blake, Stephen; Soultan, Alaaeldin; Guézou, Anne; Cabrera, Fredy; Lötters, Stefan

    2017-01-01

    Native biodiversity on the Galapagos Archipelago is severely threatened by invasive alien species. On Santa Cruz Island, the abundance of introduced plant species is low in the arid lowlands of the Galapagos National Park, but increases with elevation into unprotected humid highlands. Two common alien plant species, guava (Psidium guajava) and passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) occur at higher elevations yet their seeds are dispersed into the lowlands by migrating Galapagos tortoises (Chelonoidis spp.). Tortoises transport large quantities of seeds over long distances into environments in which they have little or no chance of germination and survival under current climate conditions. However, climate change is projected to modify environmental conditions on Galapagos with unknown consequences for the distribution of native and introduced biodiversity. We quantified seed dispersal of guava and passion fruit in tortoise dung piles and the distribution of adult plants along two elevation gradients on Santa Cruz to assess current levels of 'wasted' seed dispersal. We computed species distribution models for both taxa under current and predicted future climate conditions. Assuming that tortoise migratory behaviour continues, current levels of "wasted" seed dispersal in lowlands were projected to decline dramatically in the future for guava but not for passion fruit. Tortoises will facilitate rapid range expansion for guava into lowland areas within the Galapagos National Park where this species is currently absent. Coupled with putative reduction in arid habitat for native species caused by climate change, tortoise driven guava invasion will pose a serious threat to local plant communities.

  17. Modelization of the Current and Future Habitat Suitability of Rhododendron ferrugineum Using Potential Snow Accumulation

    PubMed Central

    Komac, Benjamin; Esteban, Pere; Trapero, Laura; Caritg, Roger

    2016-01-01

    Mountain areas are particularly sensitive to climate change. Species distribution models predict important extinctions in these areas whose magnitude will depend on a number of different factors. Here we examine the possible impact of climate change on the Rhododendron ferrugineum (alpenrose) niche in Andorra (Pyrenees). This species currently occupies 14.6 km2 of this country and relies on the protection afforded by snow cover in winter. We used high-resolution climatic data, potential snow accumulation and a combined forecasting method to obtain the realized niche model of this species. Subsequently, we used data from the high-resolution Scampei project climate change projection for the A2, A1B and B1 scenarios to model its future realized niche model. The modelization performed well when predicting the species’s distribution, which improved when we considered the potential snow accumulation, the most important variable influencing its distribution. We thus obtained a potential extent of about 70.7 km2 or 15.1% of the country. We observed an elevation lag distribution between the current and potential distribution of the species, probably due to its slow colonization rate and the small-scale survey of seedlings. Under the three climatic scenarios, the realized niche model of the species will be reduced by 37.9–70.1 km2 by the end of the century and it will become confined to what are today screes and rocky hillside habitats. The particular effects of climate change on seedling establishment, as well as on the species’ plasticity and sensitivity in the event of a reduction of the snow cover, could worsen these predictions. PMID:26824847

  18. Coupling habitat suitability and ecosystem health with AEHRA to estimate E-flows under intensive human activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, C. S.; Yang, S. T.; Zhang, H. T.; Liu, C. M.; Sun, Y.; Yang, Z. Y.; Zhang, Y.; Dong, B. E.; Lim, R. P.

    2017-08-01

    Sustaining adequate environmental flows (e-flows) is a key principle for maintaining river biodiversity and ecosystem health, and for supporting sustainable water resource management in basins under intensive human activities. But few methods could correctly relate river health to e-flows assessment at the catchment scale when they are applied to rivers highly impacted by human activities. An effective method is presented in this study to closely link river health to e-flows assessment for rivers at the catchment scale. Key fish species, as indicators of ecosystem health, were selected by using the foodweb model. A multi-species-based habitat suitability model (MHSI) was improved, and coupled with dominance of the key fish species as well as the Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) to enhance its accuracy in determining the fish-preferred key hydrologic habitat variables related to ecosystem health. Taking 5964 fish samples and concurrent hydrological habitat variables as the basis, the combination of key variables of flow-velocity and water-depth were determined and used to drive the Adapted Ecological Hydraulic Radius Approach (AEHRA) to study e-flows in a Chinese urban river impacted by intensive human activities. Results showed that upstream urbanization resulted in abnormal river-course geomorphology and consequently abnormal e-flows under intensive human activities. Selection of key species based on the foodweb and trophic levels of aquatic ecosystems can reflect a comprehensive requirement on e-flows of the whole aquatic ecosystem, which greatly increases its potential to be used as a guidance tool for rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems at large spatial scales. These findings have significant ramifications for catchment e-flows assessment under intensive human activities and for river ecohealth restoration in such rivers globally.

  19. Limacina helicina shell dissolution as an indicator of declining habitat suitability owing to ocean acidification in the California Current Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Bednaršek, N.; Feely, R. A.; Reum, J. C. P.; Peterson, B.; Menkel, J.; Alin, S. R.; Hales, B.

    2014-01-01

    Few studies to date have demonstrated widespread biological impacts of ocean acidification (OA) under conditions currently found in the natural environment. From a combined survey of physical and chemical water properties and biological sampling along the Washington–Oregon–California coast in August 2011, we show that large portions of the shelf waters are corrosive to pteropods in the natural environment. We show a strong positive correlation between the proportion of pteropod individuals with severe shell dissolution damage and the percentage of undersaturated water in the top 100 m with respect to aragonite. We found 53% of onshore individuals and 24% of offshore individuals on average to have severe dissolution damage. Relative to pre-industrial CO2 concentrations, the extent of undersaturated waters in the top 100 m of the water column has increased over sixfold along the California Current Ecosystem (CCE). We estimate that the incidence of severe pteropod shell dissolution owing to anthropogenic OA has doubled in near shore habitats since pre-industrial conditions across this region and is on track to triple by 2050. These results demonstrate that habitat suitability for pteropods in the coastal CCE is declining. The observed impacts represent a baseline for future observations towards understanding broader scale OA effects. PMID:24789895

  20. Limacina helicina shell dissolution as an indicator of declining habitat suitability owing to ocean acidification in the California Current Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Bednaršek, N; Feely, R A; Reum, J C P; Peterson, B; Menkel, J; Alin, S R; Hales, B

    2014-06-22

    Few studies to date have demonstrated widespread biological impacts of ocean acidification (OA) under conditions currently found in the natural environment. From a combined survey of physical and chemical water properties and biological sampling along the Washington-Oregon-California coast in August 2011, we show that large portions of the shelf waters are corrosive to pteropods in the natural environment. We show a strong positive correlation between the proportion of pteropod individuals with severe shell dissolution damage and the percentage of undersaturated water in the top 100 m with respect to aragonite. We found 53% of onshore individuals and 24% of offshore individuals on average to have severe dissolution damage. Relative to pre-industrial CO2 concentrations, the extent of undersaturated waters in the top 100 m of the water column has increased over sixfold along the California Current Ecosystem (CCE). We estimate that the incidence of severe pteropod shell dissolution owing to anthropogenic OA has doubled in near shore habitats since pre-industrial conditions across this region and is on track to triple by 2050. These results demonstrate that habitat suitability for pteropods in the coastal CCE is declining. The observed impacts represent a baseline for future observations towards understanding broader scale OA effects.

  1. Using maximum entropy to predict suitable habitat for the endangered dwarf wedgemussel in the Maryland Coastal Plain

    Campbell, Cara; Hilderbrand, Robert H.

    2017-01-01

    Species distribution modelling can be useful for the conservation of rare and endangered species. Freshwater mussel declines have thinned species ranges producing spatially fragmented distributions across large areas. Spatial fragmentation in combination with a complex life history and heterogeneous environment makes predictive modelling difficult.A machine learning approach (maximum entropy) was used to model occurrences and suitable habitat for the federally endangered dwarf wedgemussel, Alasmidonta heterodon, in Maryland's Coastal Plain catchments. Landscape-scale predictors (e.g. land cover, land use, soil characteristics, geology, flow characteristics, and climate) were used to predict the suitability of individual stream segments for A. heterodon.The best model contained variables at three scales: minimum elevation (segment scale), percentage Tertiary deposits, low intensity development, and woody wetlands (sub-catchment), and percentage low intensity development, pasture/hay agriculture, and average depth to the water table (catchment). Despite a very small sample size owing to the rarity of A. heterodon, cross-validated prediction accuracy was 91%.Most predicted suitable segments occur in catchments not known to contain A. heterodon, which provides opportunities for new discoveries or population restoration. These model predictions can guide surveys toward the streams with the best chance of containing the species or, alternatively, away from those streams with little chance of containing A. heterodon.Developed reaches had low predicted suitability for A. heterodon in the Coastal Plain. Urban and exurban sprawl continues to modify stream ecosystems in the region, underscoring the need to preserve existing populations and to discover and protect new populations.

  2. Back to the future: using historical climate variation to project near-term shifts in habitat suitable for coast redwood.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Miguel; Hamilton, Healy H; Kueppers, Lara M

    2015-11-01

    Studies that model the effect of climate change on terrestrial ecosystems often use climate projections from downscaled global climate models (GCMs). These simulations are generally too coarse to capture patterns of fine-scale climate variation, such as the sharp coastal energy and moisture gradients associated with wind-driven upwelling of cold water. Coastal upwelling may limit future increases in coastal temperatures, compromising GCMs' ability to provide realistic scenarios of future climate in these coastal ecosystems. Taking advantage of naturally occurring variability in the high-resolution historic climatic record, we developed multiple fine-scale scenarios of California climate that maintain coherent relationships between regional climate and coastal upwelling. We compared these scenarios against coarse resolution GCM projections at a regional scale to evaluate their temporal equivalency. We used these historically based scenarios to estimate potential suitable habitat for coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens D. Don) under 'normal' combinations of temperature and precipitation, and under anomalous combinations representative of potential future climates. We found that a scenario of warmer temperature with historically normal precipitation is equivalent to climate projected by GCMs for California by 2020-2030 and that under these conditions, climatically suitable habitat for coast redwood significantly contracts at the southern end of its current range. Our results suggest that historical climate data provide a high-resolution alternative to downscaled GCM outputs for near-term ecological forecasts. This method may be particularly useful in other regions where local climate is strongly influenced by ocean-atmosphere dynamics that are not represented by coarse-scale GCMs. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Assessment of fine-scale resource selection and spatially explicit habitat suitability modelling for a re-introduced tiger (Panthera tigris) population in central India.

    PubMed

    Sarkar, Mriganka Shekhar; Krishnamurthy, Ramesh; Johnson, Jeyaraj A; Sen, Subharanjan; Saha, Goutam Kumar

    2017-01-01

    Large carnivores influence ecosystem functions at various scales. Thus, their local extinction is not only a species-specific conservation concern, but also reflects on the overall habitat quality and ecosystem value. Species-habitat relationships at fine scale reflect the individuals' ability to procure resources and negotiate intraspecific competition. Such fine scale habitat choices are more pronounced in large carnivores such as tiger ( Panthera tigris ), which exhibits competitive exclusion in habitat and mate selection strategies. Although landscape level policies and conservation strategies are increasingly promoted for tiger conservation, specific management interventions require knowledge of the habitat correlates at fine scale. We studied nine radio-collared individuals of a successfully reintroduced tiger population in Panna Tiger Reserve, central India, focussing on the species-habitat relationship at fine scales. With 16 eco-geographical variables, we performed Manly's selection ratio and K-select analyses to define population-level and individual-level variation in resource selection, respectively. We analysed the data obtained during the exploratory period of six tigers and during the settled period of eight tigers separately, and compared the consequent results. We further used the settled period characteristics to model and map habitat suitability based on the Mahalanobis D 2 method and the Boyce index. There was a clear difference in habitat selection by tigers between the exploratory and the settled period. During the exploratory period, tigers selected dense canopy and bamboo forests, but also spent time near villages and relocated village sites. However, settled tigers predominantly selected bamboo forests in complex terrain, riverine forests and teak-mixed forest, and totally avoided human settlements and agriculture areas. There were individual variations in habitat selection between exploratory and settled periods. Based on threshold limits

  4. Assessment of fine-scale resource selection and spatially explicit habitat suitability modelling for a re-introduced tiger (Panthera tigris) population in central India

    PubMed Central

    Sarkar, Mriganka Shekhar; Johnson, Jeyaraj A.; Sen, Subharanjan

    2017-01-01

    Background Large carnivores influence ecosystem functions at various scales. Thus, their local extinction is not only a species-specific conservation concern, but also reflects on the overall habitat quality and ecosystem value. Species-habitat relationships at fine scale reflect the individuals’ ability to procure resources and negotiate intraspecific competition. Such fine scale habitat choices are more pronounced in large carnivores such as tiger (Panthera tigris), which exhibits competitive exclusion in habitat and mate selection strategies. Although landscape level policies and conservation strategies are increasingly promoted for tiger conservation, specific management interventions require knowledge of the habitat correlates at fine scale. Methods We studied nine radio-collared individuals of a successfully reintroduced tiger population in Panna Tiger Reserve, central India, focussing on the species-habitat relationship at fine scales. With 16 eco-geographical variables, we performed Manly’s selection ratio and K-select analyses to define population-level and individual-level variation in resource selection, respectively. We analysed the data obtained during the exploratory period of six tigers and during the settled period of eight tigers separately, and compared the consequent results. We further used the settled period characteristics to model and map habitat suitability based on the Mahalanobis D2 method and the Boyce index. Results There was a clear difference in habitat selection by tigers between the exploratory and the settled period. During the exploratory period, tigers selected dense canopy and bamboo forests, but also spent time near villages and relocated village sites. However, settled tigers predominantly selected bamboo forests in complex terrain, riverine forests and teak-mixed forest, and totally avoided human settlements and agriculture areas. There were individual variations in habitat selection between exploratory and settled periods

  5. [Habitat suitability index of larval Japanese Halfbeak (Hyporhamphus sajori) in Bohai Sea based on geographically weighted regression.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yang; Zhang, Xue Qing; Bian, Xiao Dong

    2018-01-01

    To investigate the early supplementary processes of fishre sources in the Bohai Sea, the geographically weighted regression (GWR) was introduced to the habitat suitability index (HSI) model. The Bohai Sea larval Japanese Halfbeak HSI GWR model was established with four environmental variables, including sea surface temperature (SST), sea surface salinity (SSS), water depth (DEP), and chlorophyll a concentration (Chl a). Results of the simulation showed that the four variables had different performances in August 2015. SST and Chl a were global variables, and had little impacts on HSI, with the regression coefficients of -0.027 and 0.006, respectively. SSS and DEP were local variables, and had larger impacts on HSI, while the average values of absolute values of their regression coefficients were 0.075 and 0.129, respectively. In the central Bohai Sea, SSS showed a negative correlation with HSI, and the most negative correlation coefficient was -0.3. In contrast, SSS was correlated positively but weakly with HSI in the three bays of Bohai Sea, and the largest correlation coefficient was 0.1. In particular, DEP and HSI were negatively correlated in the entire Bohai Sea, while they were more negatively correlated in the three bays of Bohai than in the central Bohai Sea, and the most negative correlation coefficient was -0.16 in the three bays. The Poisson regression coefficient of the HSI GWR model was 0.705, consistent with field measurements. Therefore, it could provide a new method for the research on fish habitats in the future.

  6. Assesment of future river habitat suitability under climate change scenarios in a mesoscale Alpine watershed of Italy (Serio River, Italian Alps)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Groppelli, B.; Confortola, G.; Soncini, A.; Bocchiola, D.; Rosso, R.

    2011-12-01

    We merge hydraulic river modelling, use of suitability functions for fish guild colonization and hydrological modelling of catchment response to investigate future (until 2100) hydrological cycle and fish habitat suitability for an Alpine catchment in Italy, Serio river (drainage area 450 Km2, average altitude 1300 m a.s.l., main channel length ca. 36 km). Based upon detailed river channel morphology data for 73 river sections and direct local investigation we then set up and tune a quasi 2-D (i.e. with floodplains) hydraulic model for in channel flows hydraulics, depending upon daily in stream discharge. We then evaluate distributed values of hydraulic variables and therein composite habitat suitability indexes CS for a representative target species (brown trout, Salmo Trutta Fario L.), resulting into usable wetted area WUA for fish colonization. We consider both juvenile JUV and adults AD, and we evaluate the frequency (days in a year/season) of yearly/seasonal, spatially distributed and bulk (whole stream) habitat quality. We then provide synthetic indicators of (yearly/seasonal) suitability level and duration within the river. We then set up a minimal (T, P), properly tuned hydrological model able to mimick Serio river's hydrological cycle. We then use downscaled future precipitation and temperature from three general circulation models, GCMs (PCM, CCSM3, and HadCM3) available within the IPCC's data base chosen for the purpose based upon previous studies, to feed our hydrological model and provide projected hydrological regime of the catchment, together with modified habitat suitability. We then comment upon modified flow regime, habitat suitability as obtained and related uncertainty. The proposed results may be of use for river managers and may provide a template for investigation about future river habitat quality pending climate change.

  7. Spatial transferability of habitat suitability models of Nephrops norvegicus among fished areas in the Northeast Atlantic: sufficiently stable for marine resource conservation?

    PubMed

    Lauria, Valentina; Power, Anne Marie; Lordan, Colm; Weetman, Adrian; Johnson, Mark P

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge of the spatial distribution and habitat associations of species in relation to the environment is essential for their management and conservation. Habitat suitability models are useful in quantifying species-environment relationships and predicting species distribution patterns. Little is known, however, about the stability and performance of habitat suitability models when projected into new areas (spatial transferability) and how this can inform resource management. The aims of this study were to model habitat suitability of Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus) in five fished areas of the Northeast Atlantic (Aran ground, Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, Scotland Inshore and Fladen ground), and to test for spatial transferability of habitat models among multiple regions. Nephrops burrow density was modelled using generalised additive models (GAMs) with predictors selected from four environmental variables (depth, slope, sediment and rugosity). Models were evaluated and tested for spatial transferability among areas. The optimum models (lowest AICc) for different areas always included depth and sediment as predictors. Burrow densities were generally greater at depth and in finer sediments, but relationships for individual areas were sometimes more complex. Aside from an inclusion of depth and sediment, the optimum models differed between fished areas. When it came to tests of spatial transferability, however, most of the models were able to predict Nephrops density in other areas. Furthermore, transferability was not dependent on use of the optimum models since competing models were also able to achieve a similar level of transferability to new areas. A degree of decoupling between model 'fitting' performance and spatial transferability supports the use of simpler models when extrapolating habitat suitability maps to different areas. Differences in the form and performance of models from different areas may supply further information on the processes shaping

  8. Species-area curves indicate the importance of habitats' contributions to regional biodiversity

    Chong, G.W.; Stohlgren, T.J.

    2007-01-01

    We examined species-area curves, species composition and similarity (Jaccard's coefficients), and species richness in 17 vegetation types to develop a composite index of a vegetation type's contribution to regional species richness. We collected data from 1 to 1000 m2 scales in 147 nested plots in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA to compare three species-area curve models' abilities to estimate the number of species observed in each vegetation type. The log(species)-log(area) curve had the largest adjusted coefficients of determination (r2 values) in 12 of the 17 types, followed by the species-log(area) curve with five of the highest values. When the slopes of the curves were corrected for species overlap among plots with Jaccard's coefficients, the species-log(area) curves estimated values closest to those observed. We combined information from species-area curves and measures of heterogeneity with information on the area covered by each vegetation type and found that the types making the greatest contributions to regional biodiversity covered the smallest areas. This approach may provide an accurate and relatively rapid way to rank hotspots of plant diversity within regions of interest.

  9. High-resolution assessment of land use impacts on biodiversity in life cycle assessment using species habitat suitability models.

    PubMed

    de Baan, Laura; Curran, Michael; Rondinini, Carlo; Visconti, Piero; Hellweg, Stefanie; Koellner, Thomas

    2015-02-17

    Agricultural land use is a main driver of global biodiversity loss. The assessment of land use impacts in decision-support tools such as life cycle assessment (LCA) requires spatially explicit models, but existing approaches are either not spatially differentiated or modeled at very coarse scales (e.g., biomes or ecoregions). In this paper, we develop a high-resolution (900 m) assessment method for land use impacts on biodiversity based on habitat suitability models (HSM) of mammal species. This method considers potential land use effects on individual species, and impacts are weighted by the species' conservation status and global rarity. We illustrate the method using a case study of crop production in East Africa, but the underlying HSMs developed by the Global Mammals Assessment are available globally. We calculate impacts of three major export crops and compare the results to two previously developed methods (focusing on local and regional impacts, respectively) to assess the relevance of the methodological innovations proposed in this paper. The results highlight hotspots of product-related biodiversity impacts that help characterize the links among agricultural production, consumption, and biodiversity loss.

  10. Hydro-power production and fish habitat suitability: Assessing impact and effectiveness of ecological flows at regional scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceola, Serena; Pugliese, Alessio; Ventura, Matteo; Galeati, Giorgio; Montanari, Alberto; Castellarin, Attilio

    2018-06-01

    Anthropogenic activities along streams and rivers may be of major concern for fluvial ecosystems, e.g. abstraction and impoundment of surface water resources may profoundly alter natural streamflow regimes. An established approach aimed at preserving the behavior and distribution of fluvial species relies on the definition of ecological flows (e-flows) downstream of dams and diversion structures. E-flow prescriptions are usually set by basin authorities at regional scale, often without a proper assessment of their impact and effectiveness. On the contrary, we argue that e-flows should be identified on the basis of (i) regional and (ii) quantitative assessments. We focus on central Italy and evaluate the effects on habitat suitability of two near-threatened fish species (i.e. Barbel and Chub) and an existing hydro-power network when shifting from the current time-invariant e-flow policy to a tighter and seasonally-varying soon-to-be-enforced one. Our example clearly shows that: (a) quantitative regional scale assessments are viable even when streamflow observations are entirely missing at study sites; (b) aprioristic e-flows policies may impose releases that exceed natural streamflows for significantly long time intervals (weeks, or months); (c) unduly tightening e-flow policies may heavily impact regional hydro-power productivity (15% and 42% losses on annual and seasonal basis, respectively), yet resulting in either marginal or negligible improvements of fluvial ecosystem.

  11. Habitat suitability of Anopheles vector species and association with human malaria in the Atlantic Forest in south-eastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Laporta, Gabriel Zorello; Ramos, Daniel Garkauskas; Ribeiro, Milton Cezar; Sallum, Maria Anice Mureb

    2011-08-01

    Every year, autochthonous cases of Plasmodium vivax malaria occur in low-endemicity areas of Vale do Ribeira in the south-eastern part of the Atlantic Forest, state of São Paulo, where Anopheles cruzii and Anopheles bellator are considered the primary vectors. However, other species in the subgenus Nyssorhynchus of Anopheles (e.g., Anopheles marajoara) are abundant and may participate in the dynamics of malarial transmission in that region. The objectives of the present study were to assess the spatial distribution of An. cruzii, An. bellator and An. marajoara and to associate the presence of these species with malaria cases in the municipalities of the Vale do Ribeira. Potential habitat suitability modelling was applied to determine both the spatial distribution of An. cruzii, An. bellator and An. marajoara and to establish the density of each species. Poisson regression was utilized to associate malaria cases with estimated vector densities. As a result, An. cruzii was correlated with the forested slopes of the Serra do Mar, An. bellator with the coastal plain and An. marajoara with the deforested areas. Moreover, both An. marajoara and An. cruzii were positively associated with malaria cases. Considering that An. marajoara was demonstrated to be a primary vector of human Plasmodium in the rural areas of the state of Amapá, more attention should be given to the species in the deforested areas of the Atlantic Forest, where it might be a secondary vector.

  12. Variability of Suitable Habitat of Western Winter-Spring Cohort for Neon Flying Squid in the Northwest Pacific under Anomalous Environments

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Wei; Chen, Xinjun; Yi, Qian; Chen, Yong; Zhang, Yang

    2015-01-01

    We developed a habitat suitability index (HSI) model to evaluate the variability of suitable habitat for neon flying squid (Ommastrephes bartramii) under anomalous environments in the Northwest Pacific Ocean. Commercial fisheries data from the Chinese squid-jigging vessels on the traditional fishing ground bounded by 35°-45°N and 150°-175°E from July to November during 1998-2009 were used for analyses, as well as the environmental variables including sea surface temperature (SST), chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration, sea surface height anomaly (SSHA) and sea surface salinity (SSS). Two empirical HSI models (arithmetic mean model, AMM; geometric mean model, GMM) were established according to the frequency distribution of fishing efforts. The AMM model was found to perform better than the GMM model. The AMM-based HSI model was further validated by the fishery and environmental data in 2010. The predicted HSI values in 1998 (high catch), 2008 (average catch) and 2009 (low catch) indicated that the squid habitat quality was strongly associated with the ENSO-induced variability in the oceanic conditions on the fishing ground. The La Niña events in 1998 tended to yield warm SST and favorable range of Chl-a concentration and SSHA, resulting in high-quality habitats for O. bartramii. While the fishing ground in the El Niño year of 2009 experienced anomalous cool waters and unfavorable range of Chl-a concentration and SSHA, leading to relatively low-quality squid habitats. Our findings suggest that the La Niña event in 1998 tended to result in more favorable habitats for O. bartramii in the Northwest Pacific with the gravity centers of fishing efforts falling within the defined suitable habitat and yielding high squid catch; whereas the El Niño event in 2009 yielded less favorable habitat areas with the fishing effort distribution mismatching the suitable habitat and a dramatic decline of the catch of O. bartramii. This study might provide some potentially valuable

  13. Variability of Suitable Habitat of Western Winter-Spring Cohort for Neon Flying Squid in the Northwest Pacific under Anomalous Environments.

    PubMed

    Yu, Wei; Chen, Xinjun; Yi, Qian; Chen, Yong; Zhang, Yang

    2015-01-01

    We developed a habitat suitability index (HSI) model to evaluate the variability of suitable habitat for neon flying squid (Ommastrephes bartramii) under anomalous environments in the Northwest Pacific Ocean. Commercial fisheries data from the Chinese squid-jigging vessels on the traditional fishing ground bounded by 35°-45°N and 150°-175°E from July to November during 1998-2009 were used for analyses, as well as the environmental variables including sea surface temperature (SST), chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration, sea surface height anomaly (SSHA) and sea surface salinity (SSS). Two empirical HSI models (arithmetic mean model, AMM; geometric mean model, GMM) were established according to the frequency distribution of fishing efforts. The AMM model was found to perform better than the GMM model. The AMM-based HSI model was further validated by the fishery and environmental data in 2010. The predicted HSI values in 1998 (high catch), 2008 (average catch) and 2009 (low catch) indicated that the squid habitat quality was strongly associated with the ENSO-induced variability in the oceanic conditions on the fishing ground. The La Niña events in 1998 tended to yield warm SST and favorable range of Chl-a concentration and SSHA, resulting in high-quality habitats for O. bartramii. While the fishing ground in the El Niño year of 2009 experienced anomalous cool waters and unfavorable range of Chl-a concentration and SSHA, leading to relatively low-quality squid habitats. Our findings suggest that the La Niña event in 1998 tended to result in more favorable habitats for O. bartramii in the Northwest Pacific with the gravity centers of fishing efforts falling within the defined suitable habitat and yielding high squid catch; whereas the El Niño event in 2009 yielded less favorable habitat areas with the fishing effort distribution mismatching the suitable habitat and a dramatic decline of the catch of O. bartramii. This study might provide some potentially valuable

  14. Silvicolous on a small scale: possibilities and limitations of habitat suitability models for small, elusive mammals in conservation management and landscape planning.

    PubMed

    Becker, Nina I; Encarnação, Jorge A

    2015-01-01

    Species distribution and endangerment can be assessed by habitat-suitability modelling. This study addresses methodical aspects of habitat suitability modelling and includes an application example in actual species conservation and landscape planning. Models using species presence-absence data are preferable to presence-only models. In contrast to species presence data, absences are rarely recorded. Therefore, many studies generate pseudo-absence data for modelling. However, in this study model quality was higher with null samples collected in the field. Next to species data the choice of landscape data is crucial for suitability modelling. Landscape data with high resolution and ecological relevance for the study species improve model reliability and quality for small elusive mammals like Muscardinus avellanarius. For large scale assessment of species distribution, models with low-detailed data are sufficient. For regional site-specific conservation issues like a conflict-free site for new wind turbines, high-detailed regional models are needed. Even though the overlap with optimally suitable habitat for M. avellanarius was low, the installation of wind plants can pose a threat due to habitat loss and fragmentation. To conclude, modellers should clearly state the purpose of their models and choose the according level of detail for species and environmental data.

  15. Silvicolous on a Small Scale: Possibilities and Limitations of Habitat Suitability Models for Small, Elusive Mammals in Conservation Management and Landscape Planning

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Species distribution and endangerment can be assessed by habitat-suitability modelling. This study addresses methodical aspects of habitat suitability modelling and includes an application example in actual species conservation and landscape planning. Models using species presence-absence data are preferable to presence-only models. In contrast to species presence data, absences are rarely recorded. Therefore, many studies generate pseudo-absence data for modelling. However, in this study model quality was higher with null samples collected in the field. Next to species data the choice of landscape data is crucial for suitability modelling. Landscape data with high resolution and ecological relevance for the study species improve model reliability and quality for small elusive mammals like Muscardinus avellanarius. For large scale assessment of species distribution, models with low-detailed data are sufficient. For regional site-specific conservation issues like a conflict-free site for new wind turbines, high-detailed regional models are needed. Even though the overlap with optimally suitable habitat for M. avellanarius was low, the installation of wind plants can pose a threat due to habitat loss and fragmentation. To conclude, modellers should clearly state the purpose of their models and choose the according level of detail for species and environmental data. PMID:25781894

  16. Downscaling Pest Risk Analyses: Identifying Current and Future Potentially Suitable Habitats for Parthenium hysterophorus with Particular Reference to Europe and North Africa

    PubMed Central

    Kriticos, Darren J.; Brunel, Sarah; Ota, Noboru; Fried, Guillaume; Oude Lansink, Alfons G. J. M.; Panetta, F. Dane; Prasad, T. V. Ramachandra; Shabbir, Asad; Yaacoby, Tuvia

    2015-01-01

    Pest Risk Assessments (PRAs) routinely employ climatic niche models to identify endangered areas. Typically, these models consider only climatic factors, ignoring the ‘Swiss Cheese’ nature of species ranges due to the interplay of climatic and habitat factors. As part of a PRA conducted for the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization, we developed a climatic niche model for Parthenium hysterophorus, explicitly including the effects of irrigation where it was known to be practiced. We then downscaled the climatic risk model using two different methods to identify the suitable habitat types: expert opinion (following the EPPO PRA guidelines) and inferred from the global spatial distribution. The PRA revealed a substantial risk to the EPPO region and Central and Western Africa, highlighting the desirability of avoiding an invasion by P. hysterophorus. We also consider the effects of climate change on the modelled risks. The climate change scenario indicated the risk of substantial further spread of P. hysterophorus in temperate northern hemisphere regions (North America, Europe and the northern Middle East), and also high elevation equatorial regions (Western Brazil, Central Africa, and South East Asia) if minimum temperatures increase substantially. Downscaling the climate model using habitat factors resulted in substantial (approximately 22–53%) reductions in the areas estimated to be endangered. Applying expert assessments as to suitable habitat classes resulted in the greatest reduction in the estimated endangered area, whereas inferring suitable habitats factors from distribution data identified more land use classes and a larger endangered area. Despite some scaling issues with using a globally conformal Land Use Systems dataset, the inferential downscaling method shows promise as a routine addition to the PRA toolkit, as either a direct model component, or simply as a means of better informing an expert assessment of the suitable habitat

  17. Predicting future thermal habitat suitability of competing native and invasive fish species: from metabolic scope to oceanographic modelling.

    PubMed

    Marras, Stefano; Cucco, Andrea; Antognarelli, Fabio; Azzurro, Ernesto; Milazzo, Marco; Bariche, Michel; Butenschön, Momme; Kay, Susan; Di Bitetto, Massimiliano; Quattrocchi, Giovanni; Sinerchia, Matteo; Domenici, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    Global increase in sea temperatures has been suggested to facilitate the incoming and spread of tropical invaders. The increasing success of these species may be related to their higher physiological performance compared with indigenous ones. Here, we determined the effect of temperature on the aerobic metabolic scope (MS) of two herbivorous fish species that occupy a similar ecological niche in the Mediterranean Sea: the native salema (Sarpa salpa) and the invasive marbled spinefoot (Siganus rivulatus). Our results demonstrate a large difference in the optimal temperature for aerobic scope between the salema (21.8°C) and the marbled spinefoot (29.1°C), highlighting the importance of temperature in determining the energy availability and, potentially, the distribution patterns of the two species. A modelling approach based on a present-day projection and a future scenario for oceanographic conditions was used to make predictions about the thermal habitat suitability (THS, an index based on the relationship between MS and temperature) of the two species, both at the basin level (the whole Mediterranean Sea) and at the regional level (the Sicilian Channel, a key area for the inflow of invasive species from the Eastern to the Western Mediterranean Sea). For the present-day projection, our basin-scale model shows higher THS of the marbled spinefoot than the salema in the Eastern compared with the Western Mediterranean Sea. However, by 2050, the THS of the marbled spinefoot is predicted to increase throughout the whole Mediterranean Sea, causing its westward expansion. Nevertheless, the regional-scale model suggests that the future thermal conditions of Western Sicily will remain relatively unsuitable for the invasive species and could act as a barrier for its spread westward. We suggest that metabolic scope can be used as a tool to evaluate the potential invasiveness of alien species and the resilience to global warming of native species.

  18. Evaluating the potential for ruffed grouse restoration in east-central Missouri by linking habitat suitability and population viability

    J.L. Isabelle; Frank R. Thompson; W.D. Dijak

    2016-01-01

    Ruffed grouse Bonasa umbellus (hereafter, grouse) are early-successional forest habitat (ESFH) specialists that prefer regenerating deciduous forests < 25 years-of-age for cover. Despite being historically present through-out much of Missouri, USA, grouse numbers declined rapidly during the early 1900s due to habitat loss and over-harvest....

  19. Climate change and tree-line ecosystems in the Sierra Nevada: Habitat suitability modelling to inform high-elevation forest dynamics monitoring

    Moore, Peggy E.; Alvarez, Otto; McKinney, Shawn T.; Li, Wenkai; Brooks, Matthew L.; Guo, Qinghua

    2017-01-01

    Whitebark pine and foxtail pine serve foundational roles in the subalpine zone of the Sierra Nevada. They provide the dominant structure in tree-line forests and regulate key ecosystem processes and community dynamics. Climate change models suggest that there will be changes in temperature regimes and in the timing and magnitude of precipitation within the current distribution of these species, and these changes may alter the species’ distributional limits. Other stressors include the non-native pathogen white pine blister rust and mountain pine beetle, which have played a role in the decline of whitebark pine throughout much of its range. The National Park Service is monitoring status and trends of these species. This report provides complementary information in the form of habitat suitability models to predict climate change impacts on the future distribution of these species within Sierra Nevada national parks.We used maximum entropy modeling to build habitat suitability models by relating species occurrence to environmental variables. Species occurrence was available from 328 locations for whitebark pine and 244 for foxtail pine across the species’ distributions within the parks. We constructed current climate surfaces for modeling by interpolating data from weather stations. Climate surfaces included mean, minimum, and maximum temperature and total precipitation for January, April, July, and October. We downscaled five general circulation models for the 2050s and the 2090s from ~125 km2 to 1 km2 under both an optimistic and an extreme climate scenario to bracket potential climatic change and its influence on projected suitable habitat. To describe anticipated changes in the distribution of suitable habitat, we compared, for each species, climate scenario, and time period, the current models with future models in terms of proportional change in habitat size, elevation distribution, model center points, and where habitat is predicted to expand or contract

  20. Shelf spawning habitat of Emmelichthys nitidus in south-eastern Australia - Implications and suitability for egg-based biomass estimation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neira, Francisco J.; Lyle, Jeremy M.; Keane, John P.

    2009-03-01

    The spawning habitat of Emmelichthys nitidus (Emmelichthyidae) in south-eastern Australia is described from vertical ichthyoplankton samples collected along the shelf region off eastern through to south-western Tasmania during peak spawning in October 2005-06. Surveys covered eastern waters in 2005 (38.8-43.5°S), and both eastern and southern waters in 2006 (40.5°S around to 43.5°S off the south-west). Eggs ( n = 10,393) and larvae ( n = 378) occurred along eastern Tasmania in both years but were rare along southern waters south and westwards of 43.5°S in 2006. Peak egg abundances (1950-2640 per m -2) were obtained off north-eastern Tasmania (40.5-41.5°S) between the shelf break and 2.5 nm inshore from the break. Eggs were up to 5-days old, while nearly 95% of larvae were at the early preflexion stage, i.e. close to newly emerged. Average abundances of aged eggs pooled across each survey declined steadily from day-1 to day-5 eggs both in 2005 (97-18) and 2006 (175-34). Moreover, day-1 egg abundances were significantly greater 2.5 nm at either side of the break, including at the break, than in waters ≥5 nm both inshore and offshore from the break. These results, complemented with egg and larval data obtained in shelf waters off New South Wales (NSW; 35.0-37.7°S) in October 2002-03, indicate that the main spawning area of E. nitidus in south-eastern Australia lies between 35.5°S off southern NSW and 43.5°S off south-eastern Tasmania, and that spawning activity declines abruptly south and westwards of 43.5°S around to the south-west coast. In addition, quotient analyses of day-1 egg abundances point to a preferred spawning habitat contained predominantly within a 5 nm corridor along the shelf break, where waters are 125-325 m deep and median temperatures 13.5-14.0 °C. Spawning off eastern Tasmania is timed with the productivity outburst typical of the region during the austral spring, and the temperature increase from the mixing between the southwards

  1. Combining dispersal, landscape connectivity and habitat suitability to assess climate-induced changes in the distribution of Cunningham's skink, Egernia cunninghami.

    PubMed

    Ofori, Benjamin Y; Stow, Adam J; Baumgartner, John B; Beaumont, Linda J

    2017-01-01

    The ability of species to track their climate niche is dependent on their dispersal potential and the connectivity of the landscape matrix linking current and future suitable habitat. However, studies modeling climate-driven range shifts rarely address the movement of species across landscapes realistically, often assuming "unlimited" or "no" dispersal. Here, we incorporate dispersal rate and landscape connectivity with a species distribution model (Maxent) to assess the extent to which the Cunningham's skink (Egernia cunninghami) may be capable of tracking spatial shifts in suitable habitat as climate changes. Our model was projected onto four contrasting, but equally plausible, scenarios describing futures that are (relative to now) hot/wet, warm/dry, hot/with similar precipitation and warm/wet, at six time horizons with decadal intervals (2020-2070) and at two spatial resolutions: 1 km and 250 m. The size of suitable habitat was projected to decline 23-63% at 1 km and 26-64% at 250 m, by 2070. Combining Maxent output with the dispersal rate of the species and connectivity of the intervening landscape matrix showed that most current populations in regions projected to become unsuitable in the medium to long term, will be unable to shift the distance necessary to reach suitable habitat. In particular, numerous populations currently inhabiting the trailing edge of the species' range are highly unlikely to be able to disperse fast enough to track climate change. Unless these populations are capable of adaptation they are likely to be extirpated. We note, however, that the core of the species distribution remains suitable across the broad spectrum of climate scenarios considered. Our findings highlight challenges faced by philopatric species and the importance of adaptation for the persistence of peripheral populations under climate change.

  2. Combining dispersal, landscape connectivity and habitat suitability to assess climate-induced changes in the distribution of Cunningham’s skink, Egernia cunninghami

    PubMed Central

    Stow, Adam J.; Baumgartner, John B.; Beaumont, Linda J.

    2017-01-01

    The ability of species to track their climate niche is dependent on their dispersal potential and the connectivity of the landscape matrix linking current and future suitable habitat. However, studies modeling climate-driven range shifts rarely address the movement of species across landscapes realistically, often assuming “unlimited” or “no” dispersal. Here, we incorporate dispersal rate and landscape connectivity with a species distribution model (Maxent) to assess the extent to which the Cunningham’s skink (Egernia cunninghami) may be capable of tracking spatial shifts in suitable habitat as climate changes. Our model was projected onto four contrasting, but equally plausible, scenarios describing futures that are (relative to now) hot/wet, warm/dry, hot/with similar precipitation and warm/wet, at six time horizons with decadal intervals (2020–2070) and at two spatial resolutions: 1 km and 250 m. The size of suitable habitat was projected to decline 23–63% at 1 km and 26–64% at 250 m, by 2070. Combining Maxent output with the dispersal rate of the species and connectivity of the intervening landscape matrix showed that most current populations in regions projected to become unsuitable in the medium to long term, will be unable to shift the distance necessary to reach suitable habitat. In particular, numerous populations currently inhabiting the trailing edge of the species’ range are highly unlikely to be able to disperse fast enough to track climate change. Unless these populations are capable of adaptation they are likely to be extirpated. We note, however, that the core of the species distribution remains suitable across the broad spectrum of climate scenarios considered. Our findings highlight challenges faced by philopatric species and the importance of adaptation for the persistence of peripheral populations under climate change. PMID:28873398

  3. Testing the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis with bird populations as habitat-specific environmental indicators: evidence from Canada.

    PubMed

    Lantz, Van; Martínez-Espiñeira, Roberto

    2008-04-01

    The traditional environmental Kuznets curve (EKC) hypothesis postulates that environmental degradation follows an inverted U-shaped relationship with gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. We tested the EKC hypothesis with bird populations in 5 different habitats as environmental quality indicators. Because birds are considered environmental goods, for them the EKC hypothesis would instead be associated with a U-shaped relationship between bird populations and GDP per capita. In keeping with the literature, we included other variables in the analysis-namely, human population density and time index variables (the latter variable captured the impact of persistent and exogenous climate and/or policy changes on bird populations over time). Using data from 9 Canadian provinces gathered over 37 years, we used a generalized least-squares regression for each bird habitat type, which accounted for the panel structure of the data, the cross-sectional dependence across provinces in the residuals, heteroskedasticity, and fixed- or random-effect specifications of the models. We found evidence that supports the EKC hypothesis for 3 of the 5 bird population habitat types. In addition, the relationship between human population density and the different bird populations varied, which emphasizes the complex nature of the impact that human populations have on the environment. The relationship between the time-index variable and the different bird populations also varied, which indicates there are other persistent and significant influences on bird populations over time. Overall our EKC results were consistent with those found for threatened bird species, indicating that economic prosperity does indeed act to benefit some bird populations.

  4. Predicted effects of future climate warming on thermal habitat suitability for Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens, Rafinesque, 1817) in rivers in Wisconsin, USA

    Lyons, John D.; Stewart, Jana S.

    2015-01-01

    The Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens, Rafinesque, 1817) may be threatened by future climate warming. The purpose of this study was to identify river reaches in Wisconsin, USA, where they might be vulnerable to warming water temperatures. In Wisconsin, A. fulvescens is known from 2291 km of large-river habitat that has been fragmented into 48 discrete river-lake networks isolated by impassable dams. Although the exact temperature tolerances are uncertain, water temperatures above 28–30°C are potentially less suitable for this coolwater species. Predictions from 13 downscaled global climate models were input to a lotic water temperature model to estimate amounts of potential thermally less-suitable habitat at present and for 2046–2065. Currently, 341 km (14.9%) of the known habitat are estimated to regularly exceed 28°C for an entire day, but only 6 km (0.3%) to exceed 30°C. In 2046–2065, 685–2164 km (29.9–94.5%) are projected to exceed 28°C and 33–1056 km (1.4–46.1%) to exceed 30°C. Most river-lake networks have cooler segments, large tributaries, or lakes that might provide temporary escape from potentially less suitable temperatures, but 12 short networks in the Lower Fox and Middle Wisconsin rivers totaling 93.6 km are projected to have no potential thermal refugia. One possible adaptation to climate change could be to provide fish passage or translocation so that riverine Lake Sturgeon might have access to more thermally suitable habitats.

  5. Present and Future Projections of Habitat Suitability of the Asian Tiger Mosquito, a Vector of Viral Pathogens, from Global Climate Simulations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Proestos, Y.; Christophides, G.; Erguler, K.; Tanarhte, M.; Waldock, J.; Lelieveld, J.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change can influence the transmission of vector borne diseases (VBDs) through altering the habitat suitability of insect vectors. Here we present global climate model simulations and evaluate the associated uncertainties in view of the main meteorological factors that may affect the distribution of the Asian Tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), which can transmit pathogens that cause Chikungunya, Dengue fever, yellow fever and various encephalitides. Using a general circulation model (GCM) at 50 km horizontal resolution to simulate mosquito survival variables including temperature, precipitation and relative humidity, we present both global and regional projections of the habitat suitability up to the middle of the 21st century. The model resolution of 50 km allows evaluation against previous projections for Europe and provides a basis for comparative analyses with other regions. Model uncertainties and performance are addressed in light of the recent CMIP5 ensemble climate model simulations for the RCP8.5 concentration pathway and using meteorological re-analysis data (ERA-Interim/ECMWF) for the recent past. Uncertainty ranges associated with the thresholds of meteorological variables that may affect the distribution of Ae. albopictus are diagnosed using fuzzy-logic methodology, notably to assess the influence of selected meteorological criteria and combinations of criteria that influence mosquito habitat suitability. From the climate projections for 2050, and adopting a habitat suitability index larger than 70%, we estimate that about 2.4 billion individuals in a land area of nearly 20 million square kilometres will potentially be exposed to Ae. albopictus. The synthesis of fuzzy-logic based on mosquito biology and climate change analysis provides new insights into the regional and global spreading of VBDs to support disease control and policy making.

  6. Effect of spatial and temporal scales on habitat suitability modeling: A case study of Ommastrephes bartramii in the northwest pacific ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Caixia; Chen, Xinjun; Gao, Feng; Tian, Siquan

    2014-12-01

    Temporal and spatial scales play important roles in fishery ecology, and an inappropriate spatio-temporal scale may result in large errors in modeling fish distribution. The objective of this study is to evaluate the roles of spatio-temporal scales in habitat suitability modeling, with the western stock of winter-spring cohort of neon flying squid ( Ommastrephes bartramii) in the northwest Pacific Ocean as an example. In this study, the fishery-dependent data from the Chinese Mainland Squid Jigging Technical Group and sea surface temperature (SST) from remote sensing during August to October of 2003-2008 were used. We evaluated the differences in a habitat suitability index model resulting from aggregating data with 36 different spatial scales with a combination of three latitude scales (0.5°, 1° and 2°), four longitude scales (0.5°, 1°, 2° and 4°), and three temporal scales (week, fortnight, and month). The coefficients of variation (CV) of the weekly, biweekly and monthly suitability index (SI) were compared to determine which temporal and spatial scales of SI model are more precise. This study shows that the optimal temporal and spatial scales with the lowest CV are month, and 0.5° latitude and 0.5° longitude for O. bartramii in the northwest Pacific Ocean. This suitability index model developed with an optimal scale can be cost-effective in improving forecasting fishing ground and requires no excessive sampling efforts. We suggest that the uncertainty associated with spatial and temporal scales used in data aggregations needs to be considered in habitat suitability modeling.

  7. Modeling amphibian energetics, habitat suitability, and movements of western toads, Anaxyrus (=Bufo) boreas, across present and future landscapes

    Bartelt, Paul E.; Klaver, Robert W.; Porter, Warren P.

    2010-01-01

    Effective conservation of amphibian populations requires the prediction of how amphibians use and move through a landscape. Amphibians are closely coupled to their physical environment. Thus an approach that uses the physiological attributes of amphibians, together with knowledge of their natural history, should be helpful. We used Niche Mapper™ to model the known movements and habitat use patterns of a population of Western toads (Anaxyrus (=Bufo) boreas) occupying forested habitats in southeastern Idaho. Niche Mapper uses first principles of environmental biophysics to combine features of topography, climate, land cover, and animal features to model microclimates and animal physiology and behavior across landscapes. Niche Mapper reproduced core body temperatures (Tc) and evaporation rates of live toads with average errors of 1.6 ± 0.4 °C and 0.8 ± 0.2 g/h, respectively. For four different habitat types, it reproduced similar mid-summer daily temperature patterns as those measured in the field and calculated evaporation rates (g/h) with an average error rate of 7.2 ± 5.5%. Sensitivity analyses indicate these errors do not significantly affect estimates of food consumption or activity. Using Niche Mapper we predicted the daily habitats used by free-ranging toads; our accuracy for female toads was greater than for male toads (74.2 ± 6.8% and 53.6 ± 15.8%, respectively), reflecting the stronger patterns of habitat selection among females. Using these changing to construct a cost surface, we also reconstructed movement paths that were consistent with field observations. The effect of climate warming on toads depends on the interaction of temperature and atmospheric moisture. If climate change occurs as predicted, results from Niche Mapper suggests that climate warming will increase the physiological cost of landscapes thereby limiting the activity for toads in different habitats.

  8. Abundance and Distribution Patterns of Thunnus albacares in Isla del Coco National Park through Predictive Habitat Suitability Models.

    PubMed

    Gonzáles-Andrés, Cristina; F M Lopes, Priscila; Cortés, Jorge; Sánchez-Lizaso, José Luis; Pennino, Maria Grazia

    2016-01-01

    Information on the distribution and habitat preferences of ecologically and commercially important species is essential for their management and protection. This is especially important as climate change, pollution, and overfishing change the structure and functioning of pelagic ecosystems. In this study, we used Bayesian hierarchical spatial-temporal models to map the Essential Fish Habitats of the Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) in the waters around Isla del Coco National Park, Pacific Costa Rica, based on independent underwater observations from 1993 to 2013. We assessed if observed changes in the distribution and abundance of this species are related with habitat characteristics, fishing intensity or more extreme climatic events, including the El Niño Southern Oscillation, and changes on the average sea surface temperature. Yellowfin tuna showed a decreasing abundance trend in the sampled period, whereas higher abundances were found in shallow and warmer waters, with high concentration of chlorophyll-a, and in surrounding seamounts. In addition, El Niño Southern Oscillation events did not seem to affect Yellowfin tuna distribution and abundance. Understanding the habitat preferences of this species, using approaches as the one developed here, may help design integrated programs for more efficient management of vulnerable species.

  9. Developing and testing a landscape habitat suitability model for the American marten (Martes americana) in the Cascades mountains of California

    Thomas A. Kirk; William J. Zielinski

    2009-01-01

    We used field surveys and Geographic Information System data to identify landscape-scale habitat associations of American martens (Martes americana) and to develop a model to predict their occurrence in northeastern California. Systematic surveys using primarily enclosed track plates, with 10-km spacing, were conducted across a 27,700 km

  10. Abundance and Distribution Patterns of Thunnus albacares in Isla del Coco National Park through Predictive Habitat Suitability Models

    PubMed Central

    Gonzáles-Andrés, Cristina; F. M. Lopes, Priscila; Cortés, Jorge; Sánchez-Lizaso, José Luis; Pennino, Maria Grazia

    2016-01-01

    Information on the distribution and habitat preferences of ecologically and commercially important species is essential for their management and protection. This is especially important as climate change, pollution, and overfishing change the structure and functioning of pelagic ecosystems. In this study, we used Bayesian hierarchical spatial-temporal models to map the Essential Fish Habitats of the Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) in the waters around Isla del Coco National Park, Pacific Costa Rica, based on independent underwater observations from 1993 to 2013. We assessed if observed changes in the distribution and abundance of this species are related with habitat characteristics, fishing intensity or more extreme climatic events, including the El Niño Southern Oscillation, and changes on the average sea surface temperature. Yellowfin tuna showed a decreasing abundance trend in the sampled period, whereas higher abundances were found in shallow and warmer waters, with high concentration of chlorophyll-a, and in surrounding seamounts. In addition, El Niño Southern Oscillation events did not seem to affect Yellowfin tuna distribution and abundance. Understanding the habitat preferences of this species, using approaches as the one developed here, may help design integrated programs for more efficient management of vulnerable species. PMID:27973538

  11. Chapter 13 Application of landscape and habitat suitability models to conservation: the Hoosier National Forest land-management plan

    Chadwick D. Rittenhouse; Stephen R. Shifley; William D. Dijak; Zhaofei Fan; Frank R., III Thompson; Joshua J. Millspaugh; Judith A. Perez; Cynthia M. Sandeno

    2011-01-01

    We demonstrate an approach to integrated land-management planning and quantify differences in vegetation and avian habitat conditions among 5 management alternatives as part of the Hoosier National Forest planning process. The alternatives differed in terms of the type, extent, magnitude, frequency, and location of management activities. We modeled ecological processes...

  12. Water-quality models to assess algal community dynamics, water quality, and fish habitat suitability for two agricultural land-use dominated lakes in Minnesota, 2014

    Smith, Erik A.; Kiesling, Richard L.; Ziegeweid, Jeffrey R.

    2017-07-20

    Fish habitat can degrade in many lakes due to summer blue-green algal blooms. Predictive models are needed to better manage and mitigate loss of fish habitat due to these changes. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, developed predictive water-quality models for two agricultural land-use dominated lakes in Minnesota—Madison Lake and Pearl Lake, which are part of Minnesota’s sentinel lakes monitoring program—to assess algal community dynamics, water quality, and fish habitat suitability of these two lakes under recent (2014) meteorological conditions. The interaction of basin processes to these two lakes, through the delivery of nutrient loads, were simulated using CE-QUAL-W2, a carbon-based, laterally averaged, two-dimensional water-quality model that predicts distribution of temperature and oxygen from interactions between nutrient cycling, primary production, and trophic dynamics.The CE-QUAL-W2 models successfully predicted water temperature and dissolved oxygen on the basis of the two metrics of mean absolute error and root mean square error. For Madison Lake, the mean absolute error and root mean square error were 0.53 and 0.68 degree Celsius, respectively, for the vertical temperature profile comparisons; for Pearl Lake, the mean absolute error and root mean square error were 0.71 and 0.95 degree Celsius, respectively, for the vertical temperature profile comparisons. Temperature and dissolved oxygen were key metrics for calibration targets. These calibrated lake models also simulated algal community dynamics and water quality. The model simulations presented potential explanations for persistently large total phosphorus concentrations in Madison Lake, key differences in nutrient concentrations between these lakes, and summer blue-green algal bloom persistence.Fish habitat suitability simulations for cool-water and warm-water fish indicated that, in general, both lakes contained a large

  13. Proceedings of a workshop on the development and evaluation of habitat suitability criteria: A compilation of papers and discussions presented at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, December 8-12, 1986

    Bovee, Ken; Zuboy, J.R.

    1988-01-01

    for developing and evaluating habitat suitability criteria. Participation in this workshop was largely by invitation only. The objective was to obtain insights into problems and possible solutions to criteria development, from the perspective of professionals closely involved with the subject. These proceedings of that workshop are intended to supplement the information contained in Instream Flow Information Paper 21, "Development and Evaluation of Habitat Suitability Criteria for Use in the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology." The workshop was closely arranged in five sessions, roughly following the outline of Information Paper 21. The first session dealt with various aspects of study design and how they can influence the outcome of a study. Session two investigated techniques for developing criteria from professional judgment, and some of the problems encountered when personal or agency prejudice enters the picture. Session three concentrated on field data collection procedures, whereas session four examined methods of converting field data into curves. Field verification studies were discussed in session five. Each presentation in the workshop was followed by a question and answer period of 15 to 30 minutes. These discussions were recorded, transcribed, and appended to the end of each paper in these proceedings. We have attempted to capture the essence of these discussions as accurately as possible, but hope that the reader can appreciate the difficulty in translating a free-ranging discussion (from a barely audible tape) to something that makes sense in print. These question and answer sessions constitute the peer review for each of the papers. This provides the reader with the unique opportunity to review the interactions between authors and reviewers.

  14. A presence-only model of suitable roosting habitat for the endangered Indiana bat in the southern Appalachians

    K.R. Hammond; J.M. O’Keefe; S.P. Aldrich; Susan Loeb

    2016-01-01

    We know little about how forest bats, which are cryptic and mobile, use roosts on a landscape scale. For widely distributed species like the endangered Indiana bat Myotis sodalis, identifying landscape-scale roost habitat associations will be important for managing the species in different regions where it occurs. For example, in the southern Appalachian Mountains, USA...

  15. Field Validation of Habitat Suitability Models for Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems in the South Pacific Ocean: Implications for the use of Broad-scale Models in Fisheries Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, O. F.; Guinotte, J. M.; Clark, M. R.; Rowden, A. A.; Mormede, S.; Davies, A. J.; Bowden, D.

    2016-02-01

    Spatial management of vulnerable marine ecosystems requires accurate knowledge of their distribution. Predictive habitat suitability modelling, using species presence data and a suite of environmental predictor variables, has emerged as a useful tool for inferring distributions outside of known areas. However, validation of model predictions is typically performed with non-independent data. In this study, we describe the results of habitat suitability models constructed for four deep-sea reef-forming coral species across a large region of the South Pacific Ocean using MaxEnt and Boosted Regression Tree modelling approaches. In order to validate model predictions we conducted a photographic survey on a set of seamounts in an un-sampled area east of New Zealand. The likelihood of habitat suitable for reef forming corals on these seamounts was predicted to be variable, but very high in some regions, particularly where levels of aragonite saturation, dissolved oxygen, and particulate organic carbon were optimal. However, the observed frequency of coral occurrence in analyses of survey photographic data was much lower than expected, and patterns of observed versus predicted coral distribution were not highly correlated. The poor performance of these broad-scale models is attributed to lack of recorded species absences to inform the models, low precision of global bathymetry models, and lack of data on the geomorphology and substrate of the seamounts at scales appropriate to the modelled taxa. This demonstrates the need to use caution when interpreting and applying broad-scale, presence-only model results for fisheries management and conservation planning in data poor areas of the deep sea. Future improvements in the predictive performance of broad-scale models will rely on the continued advancement in modelling of environmental predictor variables, refinements in modelling approaches to deal with missing or biased inputs, and incorporation of true absence data.

  16. Developing and testing a landscape habitat suitability model for fisher (Martes pennanti) in forests of interior northern California

    W.J. Zielinski; J. R. Dunk; J. S. Yaeger; D. W. LaPlante

    2010-01-01

    The fisher is warranted for protection under the Endangered Species Act in the western United States and, as such, it is especially important that conservation and management actions are based on sound scientific information. We developed a landscape-scale suitability model for interior northern California to predict the probability of detecting fishers and to identify...

  17. Land-use change reduces habitat suitability for supporting managed honey bee colonies in the Northern Great Plains

    Otto, Clint R.; Roth, Cali; Carlson, Benjamin; Smart, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Human reliance on insect pollination services continues to increase even as pollinator populations exhibit global declines. Increased commodity crop prices and federal subsidies for biofuel crops, such as corn and soybeans, have contributed to rapid land-use change in the US Northern Great Plains (NGP), changes that may jeopardize habitat for honey bees in a part of the country that supports >40% of the US colony stock. We investigated changes in biofuel crop production and grassland land covers surrounding ∼18,000 registered commercial apiaries in North and South Dakota from 2006 to 2014. We then developed habitat selection models to identify remotely sensed land-cover and land-use features that influence apiary site selection by Dakota beekeepers. Our study demonstrates a continual increase in biofuel crops, totaling 1.2 Mha, around registered apiary locations in North and South Dakota. Such crops were avoided by commercial beekeepers when selecting apiary sites in this region. Furthermore, our analysis reveals how grasslands that beekeepers target when selecting commercial apiary locations are becoming less common in eastern North and South Dakota, changes that may have lasting impact on pollinator conservation efforts. Our study highlights how land-use change in the NGP is altering the landscape in ways that are seemingly less conducive to beekeeping. Our models can be used to guide future conservation efforts highlighted in the US national pollinator health strategy by identifying areas that support high densities of commercial apiaries and that have exhibited significant land-use changes.

  18. Land-use change reduces habitat suitability for supporting managed honey bee colonies in the Northern Great Plains

    PubMed Central

    Otto, Clint R. V.; Roth, Cali L.; Carlson, Benjamin L.; Smart, Matthew D.

    2016-01-01

    Human reliance on insect pollination services continues to increase even as pollinator populations exhibit global declines. Increased commodity crop prices and federal subsidies for biofuel crops, such as corn and soybeans, have contributed to rapid land-use change in the US Northern Great Plains (NGP), changes that may jeopardize habitat for honey bees in a part of the country that supports >40% of the US colony stock. We investigated changes in biofuel crop production and grassland land covers surrounding ∼18,000 registered commercial apiaries in North and South Dakota from 2006 to 2014. We then developed habitat selection models to identify remotely sensed land-cover and land-use features that influence apiary site selection by Dakota beekeepers. Our study demonstrates a continual increase in biofuel crops, totaling 1.2 Mha, around registered apiary locations in North and South Dakota. Such crops were avoided by commercial beekeepers when selecting apiary sites in this region. Furthermore, our analysis reveals how grasslands that beekeepers target when selecting commercial apiary locations are becoming less common in eastern North and South Dakota, changes that may have lasting impact on pollinator conservation efforts. Our study highlights how land-use change in the NGP is altering the landscape in ways that are seemingly less conducive to beekeeping. Our models can be used to guide future conservation efforts highlighted in the US national pollinator health strategy by identifying areas that support high densities of commercial apiaries and that have exhibited significant land-use changes. PMID:27573824

  19. Change of niche in guanaco (Lama guanicoe): the effects of climate change on habitat suitability and lineage conservatism in Chile.

    PubMed

    Castillo, Andrea G; Alò, Dominique; González, Benito A; Samaniego, Horacio

    2018-01-01

    The main goal of this contribution was to define the ecological niche of the guanaco ( Lama guanicoe ), to describe potential distributional changes, and to assess the relative importance of niche conservatism and divergence processes between the two lineages described for the species ( L.g. cacsilensis and L.g. guanicoe ). We used maximum entropy to model lineage's climate niche from 3,321 locations throughout continental Chile, and developed future niche models under climate change for two extreme greenhouse gas emission scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5). We evaluated changes of the environmental niche and future distribution of the largest mammal in the Southern Cone of South America. Evaluation of niche conservatism and divergence were based on identity and background similarity tests. We show that: (a) the current geographic distribution of lineages is associated with different climatic requirements that are related to the geographic areas where these lineages are located; (b) future distribution models predict a decrease in the distribution surface under both scenarios; (c) a 3% decrease of areal protection is expected if the current distribution of protected areas is maintained, and this is expected to occur at the expense of a large reduction of high quality habitats under the best scenario; (d) current and future distribution ranges of guanaco mostly adhere to phylogenetic niche divergence hypotheses between lineages. Associating environmental variables with species ecological niche seems to be an important aspect of unveiling the particularities of, both evolutionary patterns and ecological features that species face in a changing environment. We report specific descriptions of how these patterns may play out under the most extreme climate change predictions and provide a grim outlook of the future potential distribution of guanaco in Chile. From an ecological perspective, while a slightly smaller distribution area is expected, this may come with an important

  20. Defining landscape resistance values in least-cost connectivity models for the invasive grey squirrel: a comparison of approaches using expert-opinion and habitat suitability modelling.

    PubMed

    Stevenson-Holt, Claire D; Watts, Kevin; Bellamy, Chloe C; Nevin, Owen T; Ramsey, Andrew D

    2014-01-01

    Least-cost models are widely used to study the functional connectivity of habitat within a varied landscape matrix. A critical step in the process is identifying resistance values for each land cover based upon the facilitating or impeding impact on species movement. Ideally resistance values would be parameterised with empirical data, but due to a shortage of such information, expert-opinion is often used. However, the use of expert-opinion is seen as subjective, human-centric and unreliable. This study derived resistance values from grey squirrel habitat suitability models (HSM) in order to compare the utility and validity of this approach with more traditional, expert-led methods. Models were built and tested with MaxEnt, using squirrel presence records and a categorical land cover map for Cumbria, UK. Predictions on the likelihood of squirrel occurrence within each land cover type were inverted, providing resistance values which were used to parameterise a least-cost model. The resulting habitat networks were measured and compared to those derived from a least-cost model built with previously collated information from experts. The expert-derived and HSM-inferred least-cost networks differ in precision. The HSM-informed networks were smaller and more fragmented because of the higher resistance values attributed to most habitats. These results are discussed in relation to the applicability of both approaches for conservation and management objectives, providing guidance to researchers and practitioners attempting to apply and interpret a least-cost approach to mapping ecological networks.

  1. Assessment of Habitat Suitability Is Affected by Plant-Soil Feedback: Comparison of Field and Garden Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Hemrová, Lucie; Knappová, Jana; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

    Background Field translocation experiments (i.e., the introduction of seeds or seedlings of different species into different localities) are commonly used to study habitat associations of species, as well as factors limiting species distributions and local abundances. Species planted or sown in sites where they naturally occur are expected to perform better or equally well compared to sites at which they do not occur or are rare. This, however, contrasts with the predictions of the Janzen-Connell hypothesis and commonly reported intraspecific negative plant-soil feedback. The few previous studies indicating poorer performance of plants at sites where they naturally occur did not explore the mechanisms behind this pattern. Aims and Methods In this study, we used field translocation experiments established using both seeds and seedlings to study the determinants of local abundance of four dominant species in grasslands. To explore the possible effects of intraspecific negative plant-soil feedback on our results, we tested the effect of local species abundance on the performance of the plants in the field experiment. In addition, we set up a garden experiment to explore the intensity of intraspecific as well as interspecific feedback between the dominants used in the experiment. Key Results In some cases, the distribution and local abundances of the species were partly driven by habitat conditions at the sites, and species performed better at their own sites. However, the prevailing pattern was that the local dominants performed worse at sites where they naturally occur than at any other sites. Moreover, the success of plants in the field experiment was lower in the case of higher intraspecific abundance prior to experimental setup. In the garden feedback experiment, two of the species performed significantly worse in soils conditioned by their species than in soils conditioned by the other species. In addition, the performance of the plants was significantly

  2. Assessment of Habitat Suitability Is Affected by Plant-Soil Feedback: Comparison of Field and Garden Experiment.

    PubMed

    Hemrová, Lucie; Knappová, Jana; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

    Field translocation experiments (i.e., the introduction of seeds or seedlings of different species into different localities) are commonly used to study habitat associations of species, as well as factors limiting species distributions and local abundances. Species planted or sown in sites where they naturally occur are expected to perform better or equally well compared to sites at which they do not occur or are rare. This, however, contrasts with the predictions of the Janzen-Connell hypothesis and commonly reported intraspecific negative plant-soil feedback. The few previous studies indicating poorer performance of plants at sites where they naturally occur did not explore the mechanisms behind this pattern. In this study, we used field translocation experiments established using both seeds and seedlings to study the determinants of local abundance of four dominant species in grasslands. To explore the possible effects of intraspecific negative plant-soil feedback on our results, we tested the effect of local species abundance on the performance of the plants in the field experiment. In addition, we set up a garden experiment to explore the intensity of intraspecific as well as interspecific feedback between the dominants used in the experiment. In some cases, the distribution and local abundances of the species were partly driven by habitat conditions at the sites, and species performed better at their own sites. However, the prevailing pattern was that the local dominants performed worse at sites where they naturally occur than at any other sites. Moreover, the success of plants in the field experiment was lower in the case of higher intraspecific abundance prior to experimental setup. In the garden feedback experiment, two of the species performed significantly worse in soils conditioned by their species than in soils conditioned by the other species. In addition, the performance of the plants was significantly correlated between the two experiments

  3. Change of niche in guanaco (Lama guanicoe): the effects of climate change on habitat suitability and lineage conservatism in Chile

    PubMed Central

    Castillo, Andrea G.; González, Benito A.

    2018-01-01

    Background The main goal of this contribution was to define the ecological niche of the guanaco (Lama guanicoe), to describe potential distributional changes, and to assess the relative importance of niche conservatism and divergence processes between the two lineages described for the species (L.g. cacsilensis and L.g. guanicoe). Methods We used maximum entropy to model lineage’s climate niche from 3,321 locations throughout continental Chile, and developed future niche models under climate change for two extreme greenhouse gas emission scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5). We evaluated changes of the environmental niche and future distribution of the largest mammal in the Southern Cone of South America. Evaluation of niche conservatism and divergence were based on identity and background similarity tests. Results We show that: (a) the current geographic distribution of lineages is associated with different climatic requirements that are related to the geographic areas where these lineages are located; (b) future distribution models predict a decrease in the distribution surface under both scenarios; (c) a 3% decrease of areal protection is expected if the current distribution of protected areas is maintained, and this is expected to occur at the expense of a large reduction of high quality habitats under the best scenario; (d) current and future distribution ranges of guanaco mostly adhere to phylogenetic niche divergence hypotheses between lineages. Discussion Associating environmental variables with species ecological niche seems to be an important aspect of unveiling the particularities of, both evolutionary patterns and ecological features that species face in a changing environment. We report specific descriptions of how these patterns may play out under the most extreme climate change predictions and provide a grim outlook of the future potential distribution of guanaco in Chile. From an ecological perspective, while a slightly smaller distribution area is

  4. Suitability of ponds formed by strip mining in eastern Oklahoma for public water supply, aquatic life, waterfowl habitat, livestock watering, irrigation, and recreation

    Parkhurst, Renee S.

    1994-01-01

    A study of coal ponds formed by strip mining in eastern Oklahoma included 25 ponds formed by strip mining from the Croweburg, McAlester, and Iron Post coal seams and 6 noncoal-mine ponds in the coal-mining area. Water-quality samples were collected in the spring and summer of 1985 to determine the suitability of the ponds for public water supply, aquatic life, waterfowl habitat, livestock watering, irrigation, and recreation. The rationale for water-quality criteria and the criteria used for each proposed use are discussed. The ponds were grouped by the coal seam mined or as noncoal-mine ponds, and the number of ponds from each group containing water that exceeded a given criterion is noted. Water in many of the ponds can be used for public water supplies if other sources are not available. Water in most of these ponds exceeds one or more secondary standards, but meets all primary standards. Water samples from the epilimnion (shallow strata as determined by temperature) of six ponds exceeded one or more primary standards, which are criteria protective of human health. Water samples from five of eight Iron Post ponds exceeded the selenium criterion. Water samples from all 31 ponds exceeded one or more secondary standards, which are for the protection of human welfare. The criteria most often exceeded were iron, manganese, dissolved solids, and sulfate, which are secondary standards. The criteria for iron and manganese were exceeded more frequently in the noncoal-mine ponds, whereas ponds formed by strip mining were more likely to exceed the criteria for dissolved solids and sulfate. The ponds are marginally suited for aquatic life. Water samples from the epilimnion of 18 ponds exceeded criteria protective of aquatic life. The criteria for mercury and iron were exceeded most often. Little difference was detected between mine ponds and noncoal-mine ponds. Dissolved oxygen concentrations in the hypolimnion (deepest strata) of all the ponds were less than the minimum

  5. Joint Ecosystem Modeling (JEM) ecological model documentation volume 2: roseate spoonbill (Platalea ajaja) landscape habitat suitability index v1.0.0

    Romañach, Stephanie S.; Conzelmann, Craig; Daugherty, Adam; Lorenz, Jerome J.; Hunnicutt, Christina; Mazzotti, Frank J.

    2011-01-01

    Ecological conditions in the Greater Everglades have changed due to human activities, including the construction of canals to divert water away from the core of the landscape. Current and planned restoration projects are designed to produce a natural sheetflow of water across the landscape. This restoration of water flow should provide an increase in freshwater needed to restore natural salinities to the fringing estuarine ecosystem. In this report, we describe a Landscape Habitat Suitability Index model designed to evaluate alternative restoration plans for the benefit of a key species, the roseate spoonbill (Platalea ajaja). Model output has shown to be a good indicator of areas capable of supporting spoonbills. Use of this model will allow examination of the potential response of this key species to water management proposed through the Greater Everglades restoration process.

  6. Development of computational fluid dynamics--habitat suitability (CFD-HSI) models to identify potential passage--Challenge zones for migratory fishes in the Penobscot River

    Haro, Alexander J.; Dudley, Robert W.; Chelminski, Michael

    2012-01-01

    A two-dimensional computational fluid dynamics-habitat suitability (CFD–HSI) model was developed to identify potential zones of shallow depth and high water velocity that may present passage challenges for five anadromous fish species in the Penobscot River, Maine, upstream from two existing dams and as a result of the proposed future removal of the dams. Potential depth-challenge zones were predicted for larger species at the lowest flow modeled in the dam-removal scenario. Increasing flows under both scenarios increased the number and size of potential velocity-challenge zones, especially for smaller species. This application of the two-dimensional CFD–HSI model demonstrated its capabilities to estimate the potential effects of flow and hydraulic alteration on the passage of migratory fish.

  7. Habitat suitability index model for brook trout in streams of the Southern Blue Ridge Province: Surrogate variables, model evaluation, and suggested improvements

    Schmitt, C.J.; Lemly, A.D.; Winger, P.V.

    1993-01-01

    Data from several sources were collated and analyzed by correlation, regression, and principal components analysis to define surrrogate variables for use in the brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) habitat suitability index (HSI) model, and to evaluate the applicability of the model for assessing habitat in high elevation streams of the southern Blue Ridge Province (SBRP). In all data sets examined, pH and alkalinity were highly correlated, and both declined with increasing elevation; however, the magnitude of the decline varied with underlying rock formations and other factors, thereby restricting the utility of elevation as a surrogate for pH. In the data sets that contained biological information, brook trout abundance (as biomass, density, or both) tended to increase with elevation and decrease with the abundance of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), and was not significantly correlated (P >0.05) with the abundance of most benthic macroinvertebrate taxa normally construed as important in the diet of brook trout. Using multiple linear regression, the authors formulated an alternative HSI model A? based on point estimates of gradient, pH, elevation, stream width, and rainbow trout density A? which explained 40 to 50 percent of the variance in brook trout density in 256 stream reaches. Although logically developed, the present U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service HSI model, proposed in 1982, seems deficient in several areas, especially when applied to SBRP streams. The authors recommend that the water quality component in the model be updated and reevaluated, focusing on the differential sensitivities of each life stage, the stochastic nature of the water quality variables, and the possible existence of habitat requirements that differ among brook trout strains.

  8. The Invasive Species Forecasting System (ISFS): An iRODS-Based, Cloud-Enabled Decision Support System for Invasive Species Habitat Suitability Modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gill, Roger; Schnase, John L.

    2012-01-01

    The Invasive Species Forecasting System (ISFS) is an online decision support system that allows users to load point occurrence field sample data for a plant species of interest and quickly generate habitat suitability maps for geographic regions of interest, such as a national park, monument, forest, or refuge. Target customers for ISFS are natural resource managers and decision makers who have a need for scientifically valid, model- based predictions of the habitat suitability of plant species of management concern. In a joint project involving NASA and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, ISFS has been used to model the potential distribution of Wavyleaf Basketgrass in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Maximum entropy techniques are used to generate predictive maps using predictor datasets derived from remotely sensed data and climate simulation outputs. The workflow to run a model is implemented in an iRODS microservice using a custom ISFS file driver that clips and re-projects data to geographic regions of interest, then shells out to perform MaxEnt processing on the input data. When the model completes, all output files and maps from the model run are registered in iRODS and made accessible to the user. The ISFS user interface is a web browser that uses the iRODS PHP client to interact with the ISFS/iRODS- server. ISFS is designed to reside in a VMware virtual machine running SLES 11 and iRODS 3.0. The ISFS virtual machine is hosted in a VMware vSphere private cloud infrastructure to deliver the online service.

  9. Operational Prediction of the Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) Distribution for Neon Flying Squid in Central North Pacific by Using FORA Dataset and a New Data Assimilation System SKUIDS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Igarashi, H.; Ishikawa, Y.; Wakamatsu, T.; Tanaka, Y.; Nishikawa, S.; Nishikawa, H.; Kamachi, M.; Kuragano, T.; Takatsuki, Y.; Fujii, Y.; Usui, N.; Toyoda, T.; Hirose, N.; Sakai, M.; Saitoh, S. I.; Imamura, Y.

    2016-02-01

    The neon flying squid (Ommastrephes bartramii) has a wide-spread distribution in subtropical and temperate waters in the North Pacific, which plays an important role in the pelagic ecosystem and is one of the major targets in Japanese squid fisheries. The main fishing areas for Japanese commercial vessels are located in the central North Pacific (35-45N, around the date line) in summer. In this study, we have developed several kinds of habitat suitability index (HSI) models of the neon flying squid for investigating the relationship between its potential habitat and the ocean state variations in the target area. For developing HSI models, we have used a new ocean reanalysis dataset FORA (4-dimensional variational Ocean Re-Analysis) produced by JAMSTEC/CEIST and MRI-JMA. The horizontal resolution is 0.1*0.1 degree of latitude and longitude with 54 vertical levels, which can provide realistic fields of 3-dimensional ocean circulation and environmental structures including meso-scale eddies. In addition, we have developed a new 4D-VAR (4-dimensional variational) ocean data assimilation system for predicting ocean environmental changes in the main fishing grounds. We call this system "SKUIDS" (Scalable Kit of Under-sea Information Delivery System). By using these prediction fields of temperature, salinity, sea surface height, horizontal current velocity, we produced daily HSI maps of the neon flying squid, and provided them to the Japanese commercial vessels in operation. Squid fishermen can access the web site for delivering the information of ocean environments in the fishing ground by using Inmarsat satellite communication on board, and show the predicted fields of subsurface temperatures and HSI. Here, we present the details of SKUIDS and the web-delivery system for squid fishery, and some preliminary results of the operational prediction.

  10. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Muskrat

    Allen, Arthur W.; Hoffman, Robert D.

    1984-01-01

    The muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) is the most valuable semi-aquatic furbearer in North America, with a total fur trade income in the millions of dollars (Willner et al. 1980). With the exception of Florida, and coastal Georgia and South Carol ina, native and introduced populations of muskrats occur throughout most of North America. Muskrats are an important component of the marsh ecosystem, serving as a food source for many predators (Wilson 1968), and can have a major impact on wetland vegetation (O'Neil 1949; Errington 1961, 1963; Weller and Spatcher 1965).

  11. Computational fluid dynamics-habitat suitability index (CFD-HSI) modelling as an exploratory tool for assessing passability of riverine migratory challenge zones for fish

    Haro, Alexander J.; Chelminski, Michael; Dudley, Robert W.

    2015-01-01

    We developed two-dimensional computational fluid hydraulics-habitat suitability index (CFD-HSI) models to identify and qualitatively assess potential zones of shallow water depth and high water velocity that may present passage challenges for five major anadromous fish species in a 2.63-km reach of the main stem Penobscot River, Maine, as a result of a dam removal downstream of the reach. Suitability parameters were based on distribution of fish lengths and body depths and transformed to cruising, maximum sustained and sprint swimming speeds. Zones of potential depth and velocity challenges were calculated based on the hydraulic models; ability of fish to pass a challenge zone was based on the percent of river channel that the contiguous zone spanned and its maximum along-current length. Three river flows (low: 99.1 m3 sec-1; normal: 344.9 m3 sec-1; and high: 792.9 m3 sec-1) were modelled to simulate existing hydraulic conditions and hydraulic conditions simulating removal of a dam at the downstream boundary of the reach. Potential depth challenge zones were nonexistent for all low-flow simulations of existing conditions for deeper-bodied fishes. Increasing flows for existing conditions and removal of the dam under all flow conditions increased the number and size of potential velocity challenge zones, with the effects of zones being more pronounced for smaller species. The two-dimensional CFD-HSI model has utility in demonstrating gross effects of flow and hydraulic alteration, but may not be as precise a predictive tool as a three-dimensional model. Passability of the potential challenge zones cannot be precisely quantified for two-dimensional or three-dimensional models due to untested assumptions and incomplete data on fish swimming performance and behaviours.

  12. An aerobic scope-based habitat suitability index for predicting the effects of multi-dimensional climate change stressors on marine teleosts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Del Raye, Gen; Weng, Kevin C.

    2015-03-01

    Climate change will expose many marine ecosystems to temperature, oxygen and CO2 conditions that have not been experienced for millennia. Predicting the impact of these changes on marine fishes is difficult due to the complexity of these disparate stressors and the inherent non-linearity of physiological systems. Aerobic scope (the difference between maximum and minimum aerobic metabolic rates) is a coherent, unifying physiological framework that can be used to examine all of the major environmental changes expected to occur in the oceans during this century. Using this framework, we develop a physiology-based habitat suitability model to forecast the response of marine fishes to simultaneous ocean acidification, warming and deoxygenation, including interactions between all three stressors. We present an example of the model parameterized for Thunnus albacares (yellowfin tuna), an important fisheries species that is likely to be affected by climate change. We anticipate that if embedded into multispecies ecosystem models, our model could help to more precisely forecast climate change impacts on the distribution and abundance of other high value species. Finally, we show how our model may indicate the potential for, and limits of, adaptation to chronic stressors.

  13. Common dolphins in the Alboran Sea: Facing a reduction in their suitable habitat due to an increase in Sea surface temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cañadas, A.; Vázquez, J. A.

    2017-07-01

    The short-beaked common dolphin Mediterranean subpopulation appears to have suffered a steep decline over recent decades and was listed in 2003 as 'Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Alboran Sea is the last region in the Mediterranean where it is still abundant. In this study, we relate features of this species' ecology to climate change, focusing on distribution and density. This work used a two decades-long dataset on the common dolphin in the Alboran Sea and a time series of environmental changes. Once established, these relationships were used in conjunction with some simulated scenarios of environmental change to predict the potential effects of further change on these species over the next 100 years. Two approaches were used: 1) projection from a regression line from local variation, and 2) a HadCM3 climate model with time-varying anthropogenic effects. Generalized Additive Models were used to model the relationship between density of the animals with SST and other environmental covariates. Results from both approaches were very similar. The predictions of density from the regression line fell within the ranges from the HadCM3 climate model, the first being based on local and locally, point to point, differentiated information, which lead us to consider the first approach as the best for this area. At the small spatial scale of the Alboran Sea and Gulf of Vera, an increase in SST will potentially yield a reduction in suitable habitat for common dolphins, with a progressive reduction in density from east to west.

  14. Using forest inventory and analysis data and the forest vegetation simulator to predict and monitor fisher (Martes pennanti) resting habitat suitability

    William J. Zielinski; Andrew N. Gray; Jeffrey R. Dunk; Joseph W. Sherlock; Gary E. Dixon

    2010-01-01

    New knowledge from wildlife-habitat relationship models is often difficult to implement in a management context. This can occur because researchers do not always consider whether managers have access to information about environmental covariates that permit the models to be applied. Moreover, ecosystem management requires knowledge about the condition of habitats over...

  15. Using a rule-based envelope model to predict the expansion of habitat suitability within New Zealand for the tick Haemaphysalis longicornis, with future projections based on two climate change scenarios.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, K E; Summers, S R; Heath, A C G; McFadden, A M J; Pulford, D J; Tait, A B; Pomroy, W E

    2017-08-30

    Haemaphysalis longicornis is the only species of tick present in New Zealand which infests livestock and is also the only competent vector for Theileria orientalis. Since 2012, New Zealand has suffered from an epidemic of infectious bovine anaemia associated with T. orientalis, an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite of cattle and buffaloes. The aim of this study was to predict the spatial distribution of habitat suitability of New Zealand for the tick H. longicornis using a simple rule-based climate envelope model, to validate the model against published data and use the validated model to project an expansion in habitat suitability for H. longicornis under two alternative climate change scenarios for the periods 2046-2065 and 2081-2100, relative to the climate of 1981-2010. A rule-based climate envelope model was developed based on the environmental requirements for off-host tick survival. The resulting model was validated against a maximum entropy environmental niche model of environmental suitability for T. orientalis transmission and against a H. longicornis occurrence map. Validation was completed using the I-similarity statistic and by linear regression. The H. longicornis climate envelope model predicted that 75% of cattle farms in the North Island, 3% of cattle farms in the South Island and 54% of cattle farms in New Zealand overall have habitats potentially suitable for the establishment of H. longicornis. The validation methods showed an acceptable level of agreement between the envelope model and published data. Both of the climate change scenarios, for each of the time periods, projected only slight to moderate increases in the average farm habitat suitability scores for all the South Island regions. However, only for the West Coast, Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson regions did these increases in environmental suitability translate into an increased proportion of cattle farms with low or high H. longicornis habitat suitability. These results will

  16. Geostatistics and remote sensing using NOAA-AVHRR satellite imagery as predictive tools in tick distribution and habitat suitability estimations for Boophilus microplus (Acari: Ixodidae) in South America. National Oceanographic and Atmosphere Administration-Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer.

    PubMed

    Estrada-Peña, A

    1999-02-01

    Remote sensing based on NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmosphere Administration) satellite imagery was used, together with geostatistics (cokriging) to model the correlation between the temperature and vegetation variables and the distribution of the cattle tick, Boophilus microplus (Canestrini), in the Neotropical region. The results were used to map the B. microplus habitat suitability on a continental scale. A database of B. microplus capture localities was used, which was tabulated with the AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) images from the NOAA satellite series. They were obtained at 10 days intervals between 1983 and 1994, with an 8 km resolution. A cokriging system was generated to extrapolate the results. The data for habitat suitability obtained through two vegetation and four temperature variables were strongly correlated with the known distribution of B. microplus (sensitivity 0.91; specificity 0.88) and provide a good estimation of the tick habitat suitability. This model could be used as a guide to the correct interpretation of the distribution limits of B. microplus. It can be also used to prepare eradication campaigns or to make predictions about the effects of global change on the distribution of the parasite.

  17. A multistage decision support framework to guide tree species management under climate change via habitat suitability and colonization models, and a knowledge-based scoring system

    Anantha M. Prasad; Louis R. Iverson; Stephen N. Matthews; Matthew P. Peters

    2016-01-01

    Context. No single model can capture the complex species range dynamics under changing climates--hence the need for a combination approach that addresses management concerns. Objective. A multistage approach is illustrated to manage forested landscapes under climate change. We combine a tree species habitat model--DISTRIB II, a species colonization model--SHIFT, and...

  18. MODELING WILDLIFE HABITAT SUITABILITY IN THE WILLAMETTE BASIN: A COMPARISON OF PAST, PRESENT AND A RANGE OF POSSIBLE FUTURES (CA. 2050)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The effects of three possible land use futures in the Willamette Basin are evaluated with respect to present and historic conditions of wildlife habitat. Basin wide land use/land cover maps were developed by the Pacific Northwest Ecosystem Research Consortium (PNW-ERC) in coopera...

  19. Habitat suitability under changing climatic conditions for the exotic ambrosia beetle, Cnestus mutilatus (Curculionidae: Scolytinae: Xyleborini) in the southeastern United States.

    Rabiu Olatinwo; Douglas Streett; Christopher Carlton

    2014-01-01

    The camphor shot borer, Cnestus mutilatus (Blandford) is a nonnative ambrosia beetle first reported in the United States in 1999 at Oktibbeha County in Mississippi. Although C. mutilatus is a major pest of several trees in its native habitat in Asia, it is not yet a major pest in the United States. However, the range expansion in recent years across the southeastern...

  20. Calculation of the capnographic index based on expiratory molar mass-volume-curves--a suitable tool to screen for cystic fibrosis lung disease.

    PubMed

    Fuchs, Susanne I; Junge, Sibylle; Ellemunter, Helmut; Ballmann, Manfred; Gappa, Monika

    2013-05-01

    Volumetric capnography reflecting the course of CO2-exhalation is used to assess ventilation inhomogeneity. Calculation of the slope of expiratory phase 3 and the capnographic index (KPIv) from expirograms allows quantification of extent and severity of small airway impairment. However, technical limitations have hampered more widespread use of this technique. Using expiratory molar mass-volume-curves sampled with a handheld ultrasonic flow sensor during tidal breathing is a novel approach to extract similar information from expirograms in a simpler manner possibly qualifying as a screening tool for clinical routine. The aim of the present study was to evaluate calculation of the KPIv based on molar mass-volume-curves sampled with an ultrasonic flow sensor in patients with CF and controls by assessing feasibility, reproducibility and comparability with the Lung Clearance Index (LCI) derived from multiple breath washout (MBW) used as the reference method. Measurements were performed in patients with CF and healthy controls during a single test occasion using the EasyOne Pro, MBW Module (ndd Medical Technologies, Switzerland). Capnography and MBW were performed in 87/96 patients with CF and 38/42 controls, with a success rate of 90.6% for capnography. Mean age (range) was 12.1 (4-25) years. Mean (SD) KPIv was 6.94 (3.08) in CF and 5.10 (2.06) in controls (p=0.001). Mean LCI (SD) was 8.0 (1.4) in CF and 6.2 (0.4) in controls (p=<0.001) and correlated significantly with the KPIv (p=<0.001). Calculation of the KPIv based on molar mass-volume-curves is feasible. KPIv is significantly different between patients with CF and controls and correlates with the LCI. However, individual data revealed a relevant overlap between patients and controls requiring further evaluation, before this method can be recommended for clinical use. Copyright © 2012 European Cystic Fibrosis Society. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Understanding Existing Salmonid Habitat Availability and Connectivity to Improve River Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duffin, J.; Yager, E.; Tonina, D.; Benjankar, R. M.

    2017-12-01

    In the Pacific Northwest river restoration is common for salmon conservation. Mangers need methods to help target restoration to problem areas in rivers to create habitat that meets a species' needs. Hydraulic models and habitat suitability curves provide basic information on habitat availability and overall quality, but these analyses need to be expanded to address habitat quality based on the accessibility of habitats required for multiple life stages. Scientists are starting to use connectivity measurements to understand the longitudinal proximity of habitat patches, which can be used to address the habitat variability of a reach. By evaluating the availability and quality of habitat and calculating the connectivity between complementary habitats, such as spawning and rearing habitats, we aim to identify areas that should be targeted for restoration. To meet these goals, we assessed Chinook salmon habitat on the Lemhi River in Idaho. The depth and velocity outputs from a 2D hydraulic model are used in conjunction with locally created habitat suitability curves to evaluate the availability and quality of habitat for multiple Chinook salmon life stages. To assess the variability of the habitat, connectivity between habitat patches necessary for different life stages is calculated with a proximity index. A spatial representation of existing habitat quality and connectivity between complimentary habitats can be linked to river morphology by the evaluation of local geomorphic characteristics, including sinuosity and channel units. The understanding of the current habitat availability for multiple life stage needs, the connectivity between these habitat patches, and their relationship with channel morphology can help managers better identify restoration needs and direct their limited resources.

  2. [Ecology suitability study of Ephedra intermedia].

    PubMed

    Ma, Xiao-Hui; Lu, You-Yuan; Huang, De-Dong; Zhu, Tian-Tian; Lv, Pei-Lin; Jin, Ling

    2017-06-01

    The study aims at predicting ecological suitability of Ephedra intermedia in China by using maximum entropy Maxent model combined with GIS, and finding the main ecological factors affecting the distribution of E. intermedia suitability in appropriate growth area. Thirty-eight collected samples of E. intermedia and E. intermedia and 116 distribution information from CVH information using ArcGIS technology were analyzed. MaxEnt model was applied to forecast the E. intermedia in our country's ecology. E. intermedia MaxEnt ROC curve model training data and testing data sets the AUC value was 0.986 and 0.958, respectively, which were greater than 0.9, tending to be 1.The calculated E. intermedia habitat suitability by the model showed a high accuracy and credibility, which indicated that MaxEnt model could well predict the potential distribution area of E. intermedia in China. Copyright© by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association.

  3. On-site evaluation of the suitability of a wetted instream habitat in the Middle Rio Grande, New Mexico, for the Rio Grande silvery minnow (Hybognathus amarus)

    2011-01-01

    Two in-situ exposure studies were conducted with the federally-listed endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow (Hybognathus amarus). One-year-old adults were exposed in cages deployed at three sites in the Middle Rio Grande, N. Mex., for 4 days to assess survival and for 26 days to evaluate survival, growth, overall health, and whole-body elemental composition. The test sites were located on the Pueblo of Isleta in the (1) main channel of the Middle Rio Grande, (2) 240-Wasteway irrigation return drain, and (3) wetted instream habitat created below the outfall of the 240-Wasteway irrigation return drain. During the cage exposures, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, and turbidity were monitored continuously (15-minute intervals) and common constituents, nutrients, carbons, metals, and pesticides were measured at discrete intervals. In both studies, there were statistical differences in several water-quality parameters among sites; and except for turbidity, these differences were small and were not considered to be biologically significant. The cages used in the 4-day exposure study were ineffective at preventing access to the fish by predators, and survival was highly variable (20 percent to 90 percent) across sites. In the 26-day chronic exposure study, weight and condition factor of caged-exposed fish at all sites were significantly lower than those at test initiation. After 26 days of exposure, there were no significant differences in survival, total length, weight, or condition factor of fish across sites, but absolute weight loss and relative reduction in condition factor were significantly greater in fish at the wetted instream habitat site compared to those at the Middle Rio Grande site. There were no statistical differences in health assessment indices, mesenteric fat indices, or prevalence of abnormalities in cage-exposed fish among sites. Cage-exposed fish had higher health assessment indices and prevalence of fin anomalies and a lower mesenteric

  4. An animal location-based habitat suitability model for bighorn sheep and wild horses in Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area and the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, Montana, and Wyoming

    Wockner, Gary; Singer, Francis J.; Schoenecker, Kathryn A.

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this habitat suitability model is to provide a tool that will help managers and researchers better manage bighorn sheep and wild horses in the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area (BICA) and Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range (PMWHR). A concern in the management of the Pryor Mountain wild horse population is whether or not the wild horses compete with bighorn sheep for available forage or available space. Two studies have been conducted that have shown no obvious, convincing competition between the two species. A study of diets and habitat-use of both species revealed substantial diet overlap only during some seasons, but there were considerable spatial and habitat separations between wild horses and bighorns during all seasons (Kissell and others, 1996). This empirical data was then used in a modeling exercise that predicted that neither the current (about 160 horses at the time of the analysis) nor larger numbers of wild horses on the area (e.g., about 200 horses) would result in reduced numbers or condition of bighorn sheep (Coughenour 1999). But competition is a very complex biological process to document. Bighorns might have already been spatially avoiding wild horses when these studies were conducted. A second concern for managers is that earlier studies suggest both species are not using many areas of the range that appear to be suitable (Gudorf and others, 1996; Kissell and others, 1996). A primary goal for the management of both species is to increase their numbers for purposes of genetic conservation and viability. The bighorn sheep population declined during the mid-1990’s from a peak of about 211 animals to ~ 100 animals at present. Absolute minimum goals for genetic viability in the bighorn sheep herd (genetic effective population size of N >50) suggest at least 150 animals should be present, while studies of persistence suggest populations of 250+ are e more likely to recover rapidly and persist should the population experience an

  5. A habitat overlap analysis derived from maxent for tamarisk and the south-western willow flycatcher

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    York, Patricia; Evangelista, Paul; Kumar, Sunil; Graham, James; Flather, Curtis; Stohlgren, Thomas

    2011-06-01

    Biologic control of the introduced and invasive, woody plant tamarisk ( Tamarix spp, saltcedar) in south-western states is controversial because it affects habitat of the federally endangered South-western Willow Flycatcher ( Empidonax traillii extimus). These songbirds sometimes nest in tamarisk where floodplain-level invasion replaces native habitats. Biologic control, with the saltcedar leaf beetle ( Diorhabda elongate), began along the Virgin River, Utah, in 2006, enhancing the need for comprehensive understanding of the tamarisk-flycatcher relationship. We used maximum entropy (Maxent) modeling to separately quantify the current extent of dense tamarisk habitat (>50% cover) and the potential extent of habitat available for E. traillii extimus within the studied watersheds. We used transformations of 2008 Landsat Thematic Mapper images and a digital elevation model as environmental input variables. Maxent models performed well for the flycatcher and tamarisk with Area Under the ROC Curve (AUC) values of 0.960 and 0.982, respectively. Classification of thresholds and comparison of the two Maxent outputs indicated moderate spatial overlap between predicted suitable habitat for E. traillii extimus and predicted locations with dense tamarisk stands, where flycatcher habitat will potentially change flycatcher habitats. Dense tamarisk habitat comprised 500 km2 within the study area, of which 11.4% was also modeled as potential habitat for E. traillii extimus. Potential habitat modeled for the flycatcher constituted 190 km2, of which 30.7% also contained dense tamarisk habitat. Results showed that both native vegetation and dense tamarisk habitats exist in the study area and that most tamarisk infestations do not contain characteristics that satisfy the habitat requirements of E. traillii extimus. Based on this study, effective biologic control of Tamarix spp. may, in the short term, reduce suitable habitat available to E. traillii extimus, but also has the potential

  6. Habitat suitability index models: redhead (wintering)

    Howard, Rebecca J.; Kantrud, Harold A.

    1983-01-01

    The redhead is a North American waterfowl species with economic as well as ecological importance. It is highly desired by hunters. Retrieved redhead kill in the United States averaged 143,000 birds during the three waterfowl seasons from 1975 to 1977 (U.S. Department of the Interior 1981a, 1981b). Populations on the principal breeding grounds of the redhead--the prairie and parkland region of south-central Canada and north-central United States--averaged 710,000 birds from 1955 to 1981 (Bellrose 1976; A. Novara, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [USFWS], Jamestown, North Dakota; pers. comm.). Redhead numbers began to decline in the 1960's. Killing redheads became illegal from 1960 to 1963, and strict bag limits were imposed after that (Bellrose 1976). A breeding population low of 387,000 birds occurred in 1963, but prairie populations began to recover after that time. Their numbers peaked in 1980 when 1,146,000 birds were recorded (A. Novara, pers. comm.). During the fall, over a third of the total redhead population uses the migration corridor that extends from the prairie breeding area to the Texas gulf coast. Another migration corridor extends from the second most important breeding area--the Great Salt Basin--to the Texas coast (Bellrose 1976). During the fall, over a third of the total redhead population uses the migration corridor that extends from the prairie breeding area to the Texas gulf coast. Another migration corridor extends from the second most important breeding area--the Great Salt Basin--to the Texas coast (Bellrose 1976).

  7. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Juvenile English sole

    Toole, Christopher L.; Barnhart, Roger A.; Onuf, Christopher P.

    1987-01-01

    English sole (Parophrys vetulus) is one of the major commercial groundfish species caught along the Pacific coast. Landings in the United States and Canada averaged 4,947 t/yr between 1975 and 1984, placing it third in importance among flatfish caught by Pacific coast trawlers (Pacific Marine Fisheries Commission 1985). Juvenile English sole are also among the most abundant fishes in many bays and estuaries along the Pacific (Westrheim 1955; Sopher 1974; Ambrose 1976; Rogers 1985). The English sole is not an important recreational species.

  8. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Pink shrimp

    Mulholland, Rosemarie

    1984-01-01

    Shrimp support the most valuable seafood industry in the United States (Roedel 1973; National Marine Fisheries Service 1983). The three most important commercial species are the white shrimp (Penaeus setiferus L.), brown shrimp (P. aztecus Ives), and pink shrimp (P. duorarum Burkenroad). Adult pink shdmp are caught "in commercial quantities throughout most of the geographic ranqe of the species (L indner 1957), and juveni les support a sizable bait shrimp industry along the Florida coast and throughout the Gulf of Mexico (Saloman 1965).

  9. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Mottled duck

    Rorabaugh, James C.; Zwank, Phillip J.

    1983-01-01

    The mottled duck is a mallard-like resident species of the Gulf of Mexico coast, from the marshes of Pearl River on the Lou i si ana-Ht ss t ss ipp i border to the Al varado Lagoon near Veracruz, Mexico (Bell rose 1976). The highest densities of nesting mottl ed ducks are found in brackish to fresh coastal marshes (H. Bateman, Louisiana Department of Wildl ife and Fisheries, Baton Rouge; pers , comm.). Mottled ducks also inhabit prairie land near prairie potholes in Texas and flooded rice fields in Texas (Engel ing 1950) and Louisiana (Linscombe 1972).

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

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

    1988-01-01

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

  11. Habitat Suitability Index models: White crappie

    Edwards, Elizabeth A.; Krieger, Douglas A.; Gebhart, Glen; Maughan, O. Eugene

    1982-01-01

    The white crappie (Pomoxis annularis) is native to freshwater lakes and streams from the southern Great Lakes, west to Nebraska, south to Texas and Alabama, east to North Carolina, then west of the Appalachian Mountains to New York. It has been widely introduced outside this range throughout North America (Hubbs and Lagler 1958; Goodson 1966; Scott and Crossman 1973).

  12. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Slough darter

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

    1982-01-01

    The native range of the slough darter (Etheostoma gracile) extends from western Alabama (Smith-Vaniz 1968) to central Texas and northward in the lowland areas of the former Mississippi Embayment and the Interior Low Plateau to central Illinois (Collette 1962) and southwestern Indiana (Gerking 1945). Its distribution also includes southeast Kansas (Metcalf 1959; Cross 1967) and northeast Oklahoma (Blair 1959). Natural hybridization with the blackside darter (Percina maculata) has been recorded (Page 1976).

  13. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Black bullhead

    Stuber, Robert J.

    1982-01-01

    The native range of the black bullhead (Ictalurus melas) extends from North Dakota eastward through southern Canada to the upper tributaries of the St. Lawrence River and southward and westward to Texas and northern Mexico (Trautman 1957; Hubbs and Lagler 1958: Scott and Crossman 1973). It has been wide ly introduced throughout temperate North America and parts of Europe (Scott and Crossman 1973; Wheeler 1978).

  14. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Western grebe

    Short, Henry L.

    1984-01-01

    The western grebe (Aechmophorus occi denta 1is) "breeds from southeastern Alaska, south-central British Columbia, central Alberta, central Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba south to southern Californi a, north-central Utah, southwestern Colorado, southwest~rn and northeastern New Mexico, western Nebraska, northwestern Iowa, and western Minnesota; and locally in Mexico from Chihuahua and Durango south to northern Guerrero, Puebla and San Luis Potosi" (American Ornithologists' Union 1983:10).

  15. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Juvenile Atlantic Croaker

    Diaz, Robert J.; Onuf, Christopher P.

    1982-01-01

    INTRODUCTION The Atlantic croaker is an important commercial and recreational species. In the 1940's, the foodfish catch of Atlantic croakers was concentrated in Chesapeake Bay; in the 1950's and early 1970's, the catch was concentrated in the Gulf of Mexico; and in the late 1970's, the catch was concentrated in the South Atlantic States (Wilk 1981). Industrial and recreational catches of Atlantic croakers have been concentrated in the Gulf of Mexico, where the Atlantic croaker is the most important species of bottomfish for industrial uses (Knudsen and Herke 1978), and has ranked first, second, or third in number caught by recreational anglers, depending on survey year (Nakamura 1981). Today, Virginia or Delaware is considered to be the northern extent of the species. During climatically warmer periods, such as the 1930's and 1940's, the croaker extended its range north at least to New York, where it was commercially fished. The southern extent of its range is Argentina.

  16. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Coho salmon

    McMahon, Thomas E.

    1983-01-01

    The coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) is native to the northern Pacific Ocean, spawning and rearing in streams from Monterey Bay, California, to Point Hope, Alaska, and southward along the Asiatic coast to Japan. Its center of abundance in North America is from Oregon to Alaska (Briggs 1953; Godfrey 1965; Hart 1973; Scott and Crossman 1973). Coho salmon have been successfully introduced into the Great Lakes and reservoirs and lakes throughout the United States to provide put-and-grow sport fishing (Scott and Crossman 1973; Wigglesworth and Rawson 1974). No subspecies of coho salmon have been described (Godfrey 1965).

  17. Geostatistics and remote sensing as predictive tools of tick distribution: a cokriging system to estimate Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) habitat suitability in the United States and Canada from advanced very high resolution radiometer satellite imagery.

    PubMed

    Estrada-Peña, A

    1998-11-01

    Geostatistics (cokriging) was used to model the cross-correlated information between satellite-derived vegetation and climate variables and the distribution of the tick Ixodes scapularis (Say) in the Nearctic. Output was used to map the habitat suitability for I. scapularis on a continental scale. A data base of the localities where I. scapularis was collected in the United States and Canada was developed from a total of 346 published and geocoded records. This data base was cross-correlated with satellite pictures from the advanced very high resolution radiometer sensor obtained from 1984 to 1994 on the Nearctic at 10-d intervals, with a resolution of 8 km per pixel. Eight climate and vegetation variables were tabulated from this imagery. A cokriging system was generated to exploit satellite-derived data and to estimate the distribution of I. scapularis. Results obtained using 2 vegetation (standard NDVI) and 4 temperature variables closely agreed with actual records of the tick, with a sensitivity of 0.97 and a specificity of 0.89, with 6 and 4% of false-positive and false-negative sites, respectively. Such statistical analysis can be used to guide field work toward the correct interpretation of the distribution limits of I. scapularis and can also be used to make predictions about the impact of global change on tick range.

  18. Evaulation of the Quality of an Aquatic Habitat on the Drietomica River

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stankoci, Ivan; Jariabková, Jana; Macura, Viliam

    2014-03-01

    The ecological status of a river is influenced by many factors, of which the most important are fauna and flora; in this paper they are defined as a habitat. During the years 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2011, research on the hydroecological quality of a habitat was evaluated in the reference section of the Drietomica River. Drietomica is a typical representative river of the Slovak flysch area and is located in the region of the White Carpathians in the northwestern part of Slovakia. In this article the results of modeling a microhabitat by means of the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM) are presented. For the one-dimensional modeling, the River Habitat Simulation System (RHABSIM) was used to analyse the interaction between a water flow, the morphology of a riverbed, and the biological components of the environment. The habitat ´s hydroecological quality was evaluated after detailed ichthyological, topographical and hydro-morphological surveys. The main step was assessing the biotic characteristics of the habitat through the suitability curves for the Brown trout (Salmo trutta m. fario). Suitability curves are a graphic representation of the main biotic and abiotic preferences of a microhabitat's components. The suitability curves were derived for the depth, velocity, fish covers and degree of the shading. For evaluating the quality of the aquatic habitat, 19 fish covers were closely monitored and evaluated. The results of the Weighted Usable Area (WUA = f (Q)) were evaluated from a comprehensive assessment of the referenced reach of the Drietomica River.

  19. Mouse Curve Biometrics

    SciT

    Schulz, Douglas A.

    2007-10-08

    A biometric system suitable for validating user identity using only mouse movements and no specialized equipment is presented. Mouse curves (mouse movements with little or no pause between them) are individually classied and used to develop classication histograms, which are representative of an individual's typical mouse use. These classication histograms can then be compared to validate identity. This classication approach is suitable for providing continuous identity validation during an entire user session.

  20. Fish thermal habitat current use and simulation of thermal habitat availability in lakes of the Argentine Patagonian Andes under climate change scenarios RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5.

    PubMed

    Vigliano, Pablo H; Rechencq, Magalí M; Fernández, María V; Lippolt, Gustavo E; Macchi, Patricio J

    2018-09-15

    Habitat use in relation to the thermal habitat availability and food source as a forcing factor on habitat selection and use of Percichthys trucha (Creole perch), Oncorhynchus mykiss (rainbow trout), Salmo trutta (brown trout) and Salvelinus fontinalis (brook trout) were determined as well as future potential thermal habitat availability for these species under climate change scenarios Representative Concentration Pathways 4.5 and 8.5. This study was conducted in three interconnected lakes of Northern Patagonia (Moreno Lake system). Data on fish abundance was obtained through gill netting and hydroacoustics, and thermal profiles and fish thermal habitat suitability index curves were used to identify current species-specific thermal habitat use. Surface air temperatures from the (NEX GDDP) database for RCP scenarios 4.5 and 8.5 were used to model monthly average temperatures of the water column up to the year 2099 for all three lakes, and to determine potential future habitat availability. In addition, data on fish diet were used to determine whether food could act as a forcing factor in current habitat selection. The four species examined do not use all the thermally suitable habitats currently available to them in the three lakes, and higher fish densities are not necessarily constrained to their "fundamental thermal niches" sensu Magnuson et al. (1979), as extensive use is made of less suitable habitats. This is apparently brought about by food availability acting as a major forcing factor in habitat selection and use. Uncertainties related to the multidimensionality inherent to habitat selection and climate change imply that fish resource management in Patagonia will not be feasible through traditional incremental policies and strategic adjustments based on short-term predictions, but will have to become highly opportunistic and adaptive. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. [Fish community structure and its seasonal change in subtidal sandy beach habitat off southern Gouqi Island].

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhen-Hua; Wang, Kai; Zhao, Jing; Zhang, Shou-Yu

    2011-05-01

    To understand the characteristics of fish community structure in sandy beach habitats of island reef water areas, and to evaluate the potential capacity of these habitats in local fish stock maintenance, fishes were monthly collected with multi-mesh trammel nets in 2009 from the subtidal sandy beach habitat off southern Gouqi Island, taking the adjacent rocky reef habitat as the control. alpha and beta species diversity indices, index of relative importance (IRI), relative catch rate, and dominance curve for abundance and biomass (ABC curve) were adopted to compare the fish species composition, diversity, and community pattern between the two habitats, and multivariate statistical analyses such as non-metric multidimensional scaling (nMDS) and cluster were conducted to discuss the fish assemblage patterns. A total of 63 fish species belonging to 11 orders, 38 families, and 56 genera were collected, of which, 46 fish species were appeared in the two habitats. Due to the appearance of more warm water species in sandy bottom, the fishes in subtidal sandy beach habitat showed much higher richness, and the abundance catch rate (ACR) from May to July was higher than that in rocky reef habitat. In most rest months, the ACR in subtidal sandy beach habitat also showed the similar trend. However, the species richness and diversity in spring and summer were significantly lower in subtidal sandy beach habitat than in rocky reef habitat, because of the high species dominance and low evenness in the sandy beach habitat. Japanese tonguefish (Paraplagusia japonica) was the indicator species in the sandy beach habitat, and dominated in early spring, later summer, autumn, and winter when the fishing pressure was not strong. In sandy bottom, a unique community structure was formed and kept in dynamic, due to the nursery use of sandy beach by Japanese anchovy (Engraulis japonicus) from May to July, the gathering of gray mullet (Mugil cephalus) in most months for feeding, and the large

  2. Predicting Greater Prairie-Chicken Lek Site Suitability to Inform Conservation Actions

    PubMed Central

    Hovick, Torre J.; Dahlgren, David K.; Papeş, Monica; Elmore, R. Dwayne; Pitman, James C.

    2015-01-01

    The demands of a growing human population dictates that expansion of energy infrastructure, roads, and other development frequently takes place in native rangelands. Particularly, transmission lines and roads commonly divide rural landscapes and increase fragmentation. This has direct and indirect consequences on native wildlife that can be mitigated through thoughtful planning and proactive approaches to identifying areas of high conservation priority. We used nine years (2003–2011) of Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido) lek locations totaling 870 unique leks sites in Kansas and seven geographic information system (GIS) layers describing land cover, topography, and anthropogenic structures to model habitat suitability across the state. The models obtained had low omission rates (<0.18) and high area under the curve scores (AUC >0.81), indicating high model performance and reliability of predicted habitat suitability for Greater Prairie-Chickens. We found that elevation was the most influential in predicting lek locations, contributing three times more predictive power than any other variable. However, models were improved by the addition of land cover and anthropogenic features (transmission lines, roads, and oil and gas structures). Overall, our analysis provides a hierarchal understanding of Greater Prairie-Chicken habitat suitability that is broadly based on geomorphological features followed by land cover suitability. We found that when land features and vegetation cover are suitable for Greater Prairie-Chickens, fragmentation by anthropogenic sources such as roadways and transmission lines are a concern. Therefore, it is our recommendation that future human development in Kansas avoid areas that our models identified as highly suitable for Greater Prairie-Chickens and focus development on land cover types that are of lower conservation concern. PMID:26317349

  3. Predicting Greater Prairie-Chicken Lek Site Suitability to Inform Conservation Actions.

    PubMed

    Hovick, Torre J; Dahlgren, David K; Papeş, Monica; Elmore, R Dwayne; Pitman, James C

    2015-01-01

    The demands of a growing human population dictates that expansion of energy infrastructure, roads, and other development frequently takes place in native rangelands. Particularly, transmission lines and roads commonly divide rural landscapes and increase fragmentation. This has direct and indirect consequences on native wildlife that can be mitigated through thoughtful planning and proactive approaches to identifying areas of high conservation priority. We used nine years (2003-2011) of Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido) lek locations totaling 870 unique leks sites in Kansas and seven geographic information system (GIS) layers describing land cover, topography, and anthropogenic structures to model habitat suitability across the state. The models obtained had low omission rates (<0.18) and high area under the curve scores (AUC >0.81), indicating high model performance and reliability of predicted habitat suitability for Greater Prairie-Chickens. We found that elevation was the most influential in predicting lek locations, contributing three times more predictive power than any other variable. However, models were improved by the addition of land cover and anthropogenic features (transmission lines, roads, and oil and gas structures). Overall, our analysis provides a hierarchal understanding of Greater Prairie-Chicken habitat suitability that is broadly based on geomorphological features followed by land cover suitability. We found that when land features and vegetation cover are suitable for Greater Prairie-Chickens, fragmentation by anthropogenic sources such as roadways and transmission lines are a concern. Therefore, it is our recommendation that future human development in Kansas avoid areas that our models identified as highly suitable for Greater Prairie-Chickens and focus development on land cover types that are of lower conservation concern.

  4. Habitat associated with Barred Owl (Strix varia) locations in southeastern Manitoba: a review of a habitat model

    James R. Duncan; Amy E. Kearns

    1997-01-01

    A Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model was developed for the Barred Owl (Strix varia) in southeastern Manitoba. An initial validation of the model was performed within three sizes of circular plots (314, 1,256, and 2,827 ha) centered on 28 Barred Owl locations. The model was able to predict suitable habitat at the 314 ha scale. Forest habitat...

  5. Developing management guidelines for cerulean warbler breeding habitat

    Paul B. Hamel; Kenneth V. Rosenberg

    2007-01-01

    Recovery activities for species of conservation concern may be directed to acquire and protect habitats known to contain the species, or to produce suitable habitats or locations suspected to be capable of supporting populations of the species. Management of those habitats ultimately becomes necessary, especially where production of additional habitats is deemed...

  6. 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.

  7. Modelling white-water rafting suitability in a hydropower regulated Alpine River.

    PubMed

    Carolli, Mauro; Zolezzi, Guido; Geneletti, Davide; Siviglia, Annunziato; Carolli, Fabiano; Cainelli, Oscar

    2017-02-01

    Cultural and recreational river ecosystem services and their relations with the flow regime are still poorly investigated. We develop a modelling-based approach to assess recreational flow requirements and the spatially distributed river suitability for white-water rafting, a typical service offered by mountain streams, with potential conflicts of interest with hydropower regulation. The approach is based on the principles of habitat suitability modelling using water depth as the main attribute, with preference curves defined through interviews with local rafting guides. The methodology allows to compute streamflow thresholds for conditions of suitability and optimality of a river reach in relation to rafting. Rafting suitability response to past, present and future flow management scenarios can be predicted on the basis of a hydrological model, which is incorporated in the methodology and is able to account for anthropic effects. Rafting suitability is expressed through a novel metric, the "Rafting hydro-suitability index" (RHSI) which quantifies the cumulative duration of suitable and optimal conditions for rafting. The approach is applied on the Noce River (NE Italy), an Alpine River regulated by hydropower production and affected by hydropeaking, which influences suitability at a sub-daily scale. A dedicated algorithm is developed within the hydrological model to resemble hydropeaking conditions with daily flow data. In the Noce River, peak flows associated with hydropeaking support rafting activities in late summer, highlighting the dual nature of hydropeaking in regulated rivers. Rafting suitability is slightly reduced under present, hydropower-regulated flow conditions compared to an idealized flow regime characterised by no water abstractions. Localized water abstractions for small, run-of-the-river hydropower plants are predicted to negatively affect rafting suitability. The proposed methodology can be extended to support decision making for flow

  8. Plant Habitat

    2018-03-12

    iss055e001961 (March 12, 2018) --- Astronaut Norishige Kanai, of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, holds dwarf wheat plants grown inside the Plant Habitat growth chamber located in Japan's Kibo laboratory module.

  9. Climate envelope predictions indicate an enlarged suitable wintering distribution for Great Bustards (Otis tarda dybowskii) in China for the 21st century.

    PubMed

    Mi, Chunrong; Falk, Huettmann; Guo, Yumin

    2016-01-01

    The rapidly changing climate makes humans realize that there is a critical need to incorporate climate change adaptation into conservation planning. Whether the wintering habitats of Great Bustards (Otis tarda dybowskii), a globally endangered migratory subspecies whose population is approximately 1,500-2,200 individuals in China, would be still suitable in a changing climate environment, and where this could be found, is an important protection issue. In this study, we selected the most suitable species distribution model for bustards using climate envelopes from four machine learning models, combining two modelling approaches (TreeNet and Random Forest) with two sets of variables (correlated variables removed or not). We used common evaluation methods area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUC) and the True Skill Statistic (TSS) as well as independent test data to identify the most suitable model. As often found elsewhere, we found Random Forest with all environmental variables outperformed in all assessment methods. When we projected the best model to the latest IPCC-CMIP5 climate scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5 in three Global Circulation Models (GCMs)), and averaged the project results of the three models, we found that suitable wintering habitats in the current bustard distribution would increase during the 21st century. The Northeast Plain and the south of North China were projected to become two major wintering areas for bustards. However, the models suggest that some currently suitable habitats will experience a reduction, such as Dongting Lake and Poyang Lake in the Middle and Lower Yangtze River Basin. Although our results suggested that suitable habitats in China would widen with climate change, greater efforts should be undertaken to assess and mitigate unstudied human disturbance, such as pollution, hunting, agricultural development, infrastructure construction, habitat fragmentation, and oil

  10. Climate envelope predictions indicate an enlarged suitable wintering distribution for Great Bustards (Otis tarda dybowskii) in China for the 21st century

    PubMed Central

    Mi, Chunrong; Falk, Huettmann

    2016-01-01

    The rapidly changing climate makes humans realize that there is a critical need to incorporate climate change adaptation into conservation planning. Whether the wintering habitats of Great Bustards (Otis tarda dybowskii), a globally endangered migratory subspecies whose population is approximately 1,500–2,200 individuals in China, would be still suitable in a changing climate environment, and where this could be found, is an important protection issue. In this study, we selected the most suitable species distribution model for bustards using climate envelopes from four machine learning models, combining two modelling approaches (TreeNet and Random Forest) with two sets of variables (correlated variables removed or not). We used common evaluation methods area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUC) and the True Skill Statistic (TSS) as well as independent test data to identify the most suitable model. As often found elsewhere, we found Random Forest with all environmental variables outperformed in all assessment methods. When we projected the best model to the latest IPCC-CMIP5 climate scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) 2.6, 4.5 and 8.5 in three Global Circulation Models (GCMs)), and averaged the project results of the three models, we found that suitable wintering habitats in the current bustard distribution would increase during the 21st century. The Northeast Plain and the south of North China were projected to become two major wintering areas for bustards. However, the models suggest that some currently suitable habitats will experience a reduction, such as Dongting Lake and Poyang Lake in the Middle and Lower Yangtze River Basin. Although our results suggested that suitable habitats in China would widen with climate change, greater efforts should be undertaken to assess and mitigate unstudied human disturbance, such as pollution, hunting, agricultural development, infrastructure construction, habitat fragmentation, and

  11. Microhabitat use by brook trout inhabiting small tributaries and a large river main stem: Implications for stream habitat restoration in the central Appalachians

    Hansbarger, Jeff L.; Petty, J. Todd; Mazik, Patricia M.

    2008-01-01

    Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) habitat restoration is needed across a range of stream sizes; however, studies quantifying brook trout habitat preferences in streams of differing sizes are rare. We used radio-telemetry to quantify adult brook trout microhabitat use in a central Appalachian watershed, the upper Shavers Fork of the Cheat River in eastern West Virginia. Our objectives were to: 1) quantify non-random microhabitat use by adult brook trout in the Shavers Fork main stem (drainage area = 32 km2) and an adjacent tributary, Rocky Run (drainage area = 7 km2); and 2) construct stream-specific habitat suitability curves (HSCs) for four important microhabitat variables (depth, average current velocity, maximum current velocity within one meter, and distance to cover). Brook trout used a subset of available microhabitats in both the main stem and Rocky Run: trout tended to occupy microhabitats that were deeper, higher velocity, and closer to cover than expected by chance alone. Although specific microhabitat values differed between the main stem and tributary populations, the overall patterns in brook trout microhabitat use were consistent regardless of stream size. Habitat suitability curves were constructed based on brook trout microhabitat use and will be used to design and monitor the effectiveness of future habitat restoration efforts in the Shavers Fork watershed. Our results suggest that habitat enhancement projects that increase the availability of deep, high velocity microhabitats adjacent to cover would benefit brook trout in both small tributaries and larger river main stems.

  12. Developing a top-down land-use management procedure for fish habitat enhancement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiang, Li-Chi; Lin, Yu-Pin; Wu, Chen-Huan

    2013-04-01

    Land-use change can influence stream ecosystem and alter instream physical, chemical and biological habitat. For example, urbanization usually contributes to increasing sediment loadings to streams and inappropriate agricultural management results in degradation of stream water quality. Watershed model is an effective way to forecast the watershed response to different land-use change scenarios. We developed a top-down approach from the watershed scale to the microscale by combining the habitat model, land-use change model and watershed hydrological model. This approach can assist land-use planner to make optimal decisions with fish habitat enhancement. The study was conducted in Datuan Stream, located in Tamsui District, New Taipei City and the target species is monk goby (Sicyopterus japonicus). The spatially explicit land-use change model, CLUE-s was first applied to project several future land-use scenarios and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was then applied to simulate streamflow for different land-use scenarios. The simulated streamflow were used as input data for simulating river habitat, where Habitat Suitability Analysis is one of the most important processes. The relationship between target species and multiple environmental factors of habitat was first developed using the Habitat suitability index (HSI). In this study, we used fish presence probabilities for each velocity and water depth to establish different HSI functions under 4 flow conditions (slack, riffle, pool and run) using genetic programming (GP). The physical habitat model, River 2D, was then applied to simulate the river section and calculate weighted usable area (WUA). Based on the WUA results for different land-use scenarios, we further evaluated the relationships between WUA and land-use/landscape patterns using a spatial pattern analysis program, Fragstats. The results showed that by using the habitat model for classified flows, the habitat suitability curve which reflects

  13. Fine-scale habitat preference of green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) within three spawning locations in the Sacramento River, California

    Wyman, Megan T.; Thomas, Michael J.; McDonald, Richard R.; Hearn, Alexander R.; Battleson, Ryan D.; Chapman, Eric D.; Kinzel, Paul J.; Minear, J. Tobey; Mora, Ethan A.; Nelson, Jonathan M.; Pagel, Matthew D.; Klimley, A. Peter

    2018-01-01

    Vast sections of the Sacramento River have been listed as critical habitat by the National Marine Fisheries Service for green sturgeon spawning (Acipenser medirostris), yet spawning is known to occur at only a few specific locations. This study reveals the range of physical habitat variables selected by adult green sturgeon during their spawning period. We integrated fine-scale fish positions, physical habitat characteristics, discharge, bathymetry, and simulated velocity and depth using a 2-dimensional hydraulic model (FaSTMECH). The objective was to create habitat suitability curves for depth, velocity, and substrate type within three known spawning locations over two years. An overall cumulative habitat suitability score was calculated that averaged the depth, velocity, and substrate scores over all fish, sites, and years. A weighted usable area (WUA) index was calculated throughout the sampling periods for each of the three sites. Cumulative results indicate that the microhabitat characteristics most preferred by green sturgeon in these three spawning locations were velocities between 1.0-1.1 m/s, depths of 8-9 m, and gravel and sand substrate. This study provides guidance for those who may in the future want to increase spawning habitat for green sturgeon within the Sacramento River.

  14. Clear Creek Watershed Flood Risk Management Habitat Assessments Using Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP): Analyses, Results and Documentation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-07-01

    endangered species and their associated habitats as an important goal of ecosystem restoration and management. There is no doubt the determination of...accounting process developed to appraise habitat suitability for fish and wildlife species in response to potential change (USFWS 1980a-c). HEP is an... habitat to a species is likely to exhibit strong thresholds below which the habitat is usually unsuitable and above which further changes in habitat

  15. Big game habitat use in southeastern Montana

    James G. MacCracken; Daniel W. Uresk

    1984-01-01

    The loss of suitable, high quality habitat is a major problem facing big game managers in the western United States. Agricultural, water, road and highway, housing, and recreational development have contributed to loss of natural big game habitat (Wallmo et al. 1976, Reed 1981). In the western United States, surface mining of minerals has great potential to adversely...

  16. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Southern and gulf flounders

    Enge, Kevin M.; Mulholland, Rosemarie

    1985-01-01

    Both the southern and gulf flounders (paralichthrS lethostigma, f. albi~utta) are important commercial and recreationa species. Catch statlstics for flounder do not differentiate between species; however, southern flounders are more common than gulf flounders except on the gulf coast of Florida (Topp and Hoff 1972). The commercial fishery consists of incidental catches by shrimp trawlers. A total of 853,162 kg (1,880,900 lb) of unclassified flounder worth $572,142 was caught from the Gulf of Mexico in 1976 (U.S. Dep. Commerce 1980). The sport fishery consists of both hook-and-line fishing and gigging.

  17. OYSTER HABITAT SUITABILITY AS A COMPONENT OF RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Economic and ecological issues have led resource managers to examine depletion of eastern oyster reefs along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coasts. Crassostrea virginica is a lucrative commercial species (over $60M in 2000) that also supports ecosystem integrity by providin...

  18. 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...

  19. Deep Space Habitat Concept Demonstrator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bookout, Paul S.; Smitherman, David

    2015-01-01

    This project will develop, integrate, test, and evaluate Habitation Systems that will be utilized as technology testbeds and will advance NASA's understanding of alternative deep space mission architectures, requirements, and operations concepts. Rapid prototyping and existing hardware will be utilized to develop full-scale habitat demonstrators. FY 2014 focused on the development of a large volume Space Launch System (SLS) class habitat (Skylab Gen 2) based on the SLS hydrogen tank components. Similar to the original Skylab, a tank section of the SLS rocket can be outfitted with a deep space habitat configuration and launched as a payload on an SLS rocket. This concept can be used to support extended stay at the Lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit to support the Asteroid Retrieval Mission and provide a habitat suitable for human missions to Mars.

  20. 76 FR 69601 - Suitability

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-11-09

    ... Federal Contractor Employee Fitness and Reinvestigating Individuals in Positions of Public Trust, to... governing suitability, or guidance related to fitness, as the Director determines appropriate.'' Finally... results of the background investigation and fitness determination (or later changes to that determination...

  1. Anatomical curve identification

    PubMed Central

    Bowman, Adrian W.; Katina, Stanislav; Smith, Joanna; Brown, Denise

    2015-01-01

    Methods for capturing images in three dimensions are now widely available, with stereo-photogrammetry and laser scanning being two common approaches. In anatomical studies, a number of landmarks are usually identified manually from each of these images and these form the basis of subsequent statistical analysis. However, landmarks express only a very small proportion of the information available from the images. Anatomically defined curves have the advantage of providing a much richer expression of shape. This is explored in the context of identifying the boundary of breasts from an image of the female torso and the boundary of the lips from a facial image. The curves of interest are characterised by ridges or valleys. Key issues in estimation are the ability to navigate across the anatomical surface in three-dimensions, the ability to recognise the relevant boundary and the need to assess the evidence for the presence of the surface feature of interest. The first issue is addressed by the use of principal curves, as an extension of principal components, the second by suitable assessment of curvature and the third by change-point detection. P-spline smoothing is used as an integral part of the methods but adaptations are made to the specific anatomical features of interest. After estimation of the boundary curves, the intermediate surfaces of the anatomical feature of interest can be characterised by surface interpolation. This allows shape variation to be explored using standard methods such as principal components. These tools are applied to a collection of images of women where one breast has been reconstructed after mastectomy and where interest lies in shape differences between the reconstructed and unreconstructed breasts. They are also applied to a collection of lip images where possible differences in shape between males and females are of interest. PMID:26041943

  2. [Prediction of the suitable distribution and responses to climate change of Elaeagnus mollis in Shanxi Province, China].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yin Bo; Gao, Chen Hong; Qin, Hao

    2018-04-01

    Understanding the responses of the habitats of endangered species to climate change is of great significance for biodiversity conservation and the maintenance of the integrity of ecosystem function. In this study, the potential suitable distribution habitats of Elaeagnus mollis in Shanxi Province was simulated by the maximum entropy model, based on 73 occurrence field records and 35 environmental factors under the current climate condition. Moreover, with the Fifth Assessment Report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the dynamics of distribution pattern was analyzed for E. mollis under different climate scenarios. The results showed that the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) value was 0.987, indicating that the data fitted the model very well and that the prediction was highly reliable. Results from the Jackknife test showed that the main environmental variables affecting the E. mollis distribution were the precipitation seasonality, the range of annual temperature, annual mean temperature, isothermality, annual precipitation, and pH of topsoil, with the cumulative contribution reaching 94.8%. At present, the potential suitable habitats of E. mollis are mainly located in two regions, the southern of Lyuliang Mountain and Zhongtiao Mountain in Shanxi Province. Under different climate scenarios, the total suitable area of E. mollis would shrink in 2070s. In RCP 2.6 the suitable area would firstly increase and then decrease, while in RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 it would response sensitively and first decrease and then increase. Its spatial distribution in two suitable regions would show divergent responses to climate change. The distribution in southern Lyuliang Mountain would fluctuate slightly in latitudinal direction, while that in Zhongtiao Mountain would migrate along elevation.

  3. The forest ecosystem of southeast Alaska: 3. Fish habitats.

    William R. Meehan

    1974-01-01

    The effects of logging and associated activities on fish habitat in southeastern Alaska are discussed, and fish habitat research applicable to southeast Alaska is summarized. Requirements of salmonids for suitable spawning and rearing areas are presented. Factors associated with timber harvest which may influence these habitats are discussed in detail; e.g., sediment,...

  4. 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.

  5. Magnetofluid dynamics in curved spacetime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharjee, Chinmoy; Das, Rupam; Mahajan, S. M.

    2015-03-01

    A grand unified field Mμ ν is constructed from Maxwell's field tensor and an appropriately modified flow field, both nonminimally coupled to gravity, to analyze the dynamics of hot charged fluids in curved background space-time. With a suitable 3 +1 decomposition, this new formalism of the hot fluid is then applied to investigate the vortical dynamics of the system. Finally, the equilibrium state for plasma with nonminimal coupling through Ricci scalar R to gravity is investigated to derive a double Beltrami equation in curved space-time.

  6. Using urban forest assessment tools to model bird habitat potential

    Lerman, Susannah B.; Nislow, Keith H.; Nowak, David J.; DeStefano, Stephen; King, David I.; Jones-Farrand, D. Todd

    2014-01-01

    The alteration of forest cover and the replacement of native vegetation with buildings, roads, exotic vegetation, and other urban features pose one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. As more land becomes slated for urban development, identifying effective urban forest wildlife management tools becomes paramount to ensure the urban forest provides habitat to sustain bird and other wildlife populations. The primary goal of this study was to integrate wildlife suitability indices to an existing national urban forest assessment tool, i-Tree. We quantified available habitat characteristics of urban forests for ten northeastern U.S. cities, and summarized bird habitat relationships from the literature in terms of variables that were represented in the i-Tree datasets. With these data, we generated habitat suitability equations for nine bird species representing a range of life history traits and conservation status that predicts the habitat suitability based on i-Tree data. We applied these equations to the urban forest datasets to calculate the overall habitat suitability for each city and the habitat suitability for different types of land-use (e.g., residential, commercial, parkland) for each bird species. The proposed habitat models will help guide wildlife managers, urban planners, and landscape designers who require specific information such as desirable habitat conditions within an urban management project to help improve the suitability of urban forests for birds.

  7. The global distribution of deep-water Antipatharia habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yesson, Chris; Bedford, Faye; Rogers, Alex D.; Taylor, Michelle L.

    2017-11-01

    Antipatharia are a diverse group of corals with many species found in deep water. Many Antipatharia are habitat for associates, have extreme longevity and some species can occur beyond 8500 m depth. As they are major constituents of'coral gardens', which are Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs), knowledge of their distribution and environmental requirements is an important pre-requisite for informed conservation planning particularly where the expense and difficulty of deep-sea sampling prohibits comprehensive surveys. This study uses a global database of Antipatharia distribution data to perform habitat suitability modelling using the Maxent methodology to estimate the global extent of black coral habitat suitability. The model of habitat suitability is driven by temperature but there is notable influence from other variables of topography, surface productivity and oxygen levels. This model can be used to predict areas of suitable habitat, which can be useful for conservation planning. The global distribution of Antipatharia habitat suitability shows a marked contrast with the distribution of specimen observations, indicating that many potentially suitable areas have not been sampled, and that sampling effort has been disproportionate to shallow, accessible areas inside marine protected areas (MPAs). Although 25% of Antipatharia observations are located in MPAs, only 7-8% of predicted suitable habitat is protected, which is short of the Convention on Biological Diversity target to protect 10% of ocean habitats by 2020.

  8. Defining environmental flows requirements at regional scale by using meso-scale habitat models and catchments classification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vezza, Paolo; Comoglio, Claudio; Rosso, Maurizio

    2010-05-01

    The alterations of the natural flow regime and in-stream channel modification due to abstraction from watercourses act on biota through an hydraulic template, which is mediated by channel morphology. Modeling channel hydro-morphology is needed in order to evaluate how much habitat is available for selected fauna under specific environmental conditions, and consequently to assist decision makers in planning options for regulated river management. Meso-scale habitat modeling methods (e.g., MesoHABSIM) offer advantages over the traditional physical habitat evaluation, involving a larger range of habitat variables, allowing longer length of surveyed rivers and enabling understanding of fish behavior at larger spatial scale. In this study we defined a bottom-up method for the ecological discharge evaluation at regional scale, focusing on catchments smaller than 50 km2, most of them located within mountainous areas of Apennines and Alps mountain range in Piedmont (NW Italy). Within the regional study domain we identified 30 representative catchments not affected by water abstractions in order to build up the habitat-flow relationship, to be used as reference when evaluating regulated watercourses or new projects. For each stream we chose a representative reach and obtained fish data by sampling every single functional habitat (i.e. meso-habitat) within the site, keeping separated each area by using nets. The target species were brown trout (Salmo trutta), marble trout (Salmo trutta marmoratus), bullhead (Cottus gobius), chub (Leuciscus cephalus), barbel (Barbus barbus), vairone (Leuciscus souffia) and other rheophilic Cyprinids. The fish habitat suitability criteria was obtained from the observation of habitat use by a selected organism described with a multivariate relationship between habitat characteristics and fish presence. Habitat type, mean slope, cover, biotic choriotop and substrate, stream depth and velocity, water pH, temperature and percentage of dissolved

  9. 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)

  10. Potential impacts of climate change on flow regime and fish habitat in mountain rivers of the south-western Balkans.

    PubMed

    Papadaki, Christina; Soulis, Konstantinos; Muñoz-Mas, Rafael; Martinez-Capel, Francisco; Zogaris, Stamatis; Ntoanidis, Lazaros; Dimitriou, Elias

    2016-01-01

    The climate change in the Mediterranean area is expected to have significant impacts on the aquatic ecosystems and particular in the mountain rivers and streams that often host important species such as the Salmo farioides, Karaman 1938. These impacts will most possibly affect the habitat availability for various aquatic species resulting to an essential alteration of the water requirements, either for dams or other water abstractions, in order to maintain the essential levels of ecological flow for the rivers. The main scope of this study was to assess potential climate change impacts on the hydrological patterns and typical biota for a south-western Balkan mountain river, the Acheloos. The altered flow regimes under different emission scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were estimated using a hydrological model and based on regional climate simulations over the study area. The Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) methodology was then used to assess the potential streamflow alterations in the studied river due to predicted climate change conditions. A fish habitat simulation method integrating univariate habitat suitability curves and hydraulic modeling techniques were used to assess the impacts on the relationships between the aquatic biota and hydrological status utilizing a sentinel species, the West Balkan trout. The most prominent effects of the climate change scenarios depict severe flow reductions that are likely to occur especially during the summer flows, changing the duration and depressing the magnitude of the natural low flow conditions. Weighted Usable Area-flow curves indicated the limitation of suitable habitat for the native trout. Finally, this preliminary application highlighted the potential of science-based hydrological and habitat simulation approaches that are relevant to both biological quality elements (fish) and current EU Water policy to serve as efficient tools for the estimation of possible climate

  11. Modelling riverine habitat for robust redhorse: assessment for reintroduction of an imperilled species

    Fisk, J. M.; Kwak, Thomas J.; Heise, R. J.

    2014-01-01

    A critical component of a species reintroduction is assessment of contemporary habitat suitability. The robust redhorse, Moxostoma robustum (Cope), is an imperilled catostomid that occupies a restricted range in the south-eastern USA. A remnant population persists downstream of Blewett Falls Dam, the terminal dam in the Pee Dee River, North Carolina. Reintroduction upstream of Blewett Falls Dam may promote long-term survival of this population. Tillery Dam is the next hydroelectric facility upstream, which includes a 30 rkm lotic reach. Habitat suitability indices developed in the Pee Dee River were applied to model suitable habitat for proposed minimum flows downstream of Tillery Dam. Modelling results indicate that the Tillery reach provides suitable robust redhorse habitat, with spawning habitat more abundant than non-spawning habitat. Sensitivity analyses suggested that suitable water depth and substrate were limiting physical habitat variables. These results can inform decisions on flow regulation and guide planning for reintroduction of the robust redhorse and other species.

  12. Assessing the impacts of river regulation on native bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) and westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi) habitats in the upper Flathead River, Montana, USA

    Muhlfeld, Clint C.; Jones, Leslie A.; Kotter, D.; Miller, William J.; Geise, Doran; Tohtz, Joel; Marotz, Brian

    2012-01-01

    Hungry Horse Dam on the South Fork Flathead River, Montana, USA, has modified the natural flow regimen for power generation, flood risk management and flow augmentation for anadromous fish recovery in the Columbia River. Concern over the detrimental effects of dam operations on native resident fishes prompted research to quantify the impacts of alternative flow management strategies on threatened bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) and westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi) habitats. Seasonal and life‐stage specific habitat suitability criteria were combined with a two‐dimensional hydrodynamic habitat model to assess discharge effects on usable habitats. Telemetry data used to construct seasonal habitat suitability curves revealed that subadult (fish that emigrated from natal streams to the river system) bull trout move to shallow, low‐velocity shoreline areas at night, which are most sensitive to flow fluctuations. Habitat time series analyses comparing the natural flow regimen (predam, 1929–1952) with five postdam flow management strategies (1953–2008) show that the natural flow conditions optimize the critical bull trout habitats and that the current strategy best resembles the natural flow conditions of all postdam periods. Late summer flow augmentation for anadromous fish recovery, however, produces higher discharges than predam conditions, which reduces the availability of usable habitat during this critical growing season. Our results suggest that past flow management policies that created sporadic streamflow fluctuations were likely detrimental to resident salmonids and that natural flow management strategies will likely improve the chances of protecting key ecosystem processes and help to maintain and restore threatened bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout populations in the upper Columbia River Basin.

  13. Benthic macrofauna habitat associations in Willapa Bay, Washington, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferraro, Steven P.; Cole, Faith A.

    2007-02-01

    critical habitats, prioritize habitats for environmental protection, index habitat suitability, assess habitat equivalency, and as habitat value criteria in ecological risk assessments in Willapa Bay.

  14. Lowland tapir distribution and habitat loss in South America.

    PubMed

    Cordeiro, Jose Luis Passos; Fragoso, José M V; Crawshaw, Danielle; Oliveira, Luiz Flamarion B

    2016-01-01

    The development of species distribution models (SDMs) can help conservation efforts by generating potential distributions and identifying areas of high environmental suitability for protection. Our study presents a distribution and habitat map for lowland tapir in South America. We also describe the potential habitat suitability of various geographical regions and habitat loss, inside and outside of protected areas network. Two different SDM approaches, MAXENT and ENFA, produced relative different Habitat Suitability Maps for the lowland tapir. While MAXENT was efficient at identifying areas as suitable or unsuitable, it was less efficient (when compared to the results by ENFA) at identifying the gradient of habitat suitability. MAXENT is a more multifaceted technique that establishes more complex relationships between dependent and independent variables. Our results demonstrate that for at least one species, the lowland tapir, the use of a simple consensual approach (average of ENFA and MAXENT models outputs) better reflected its current distribution patterns. The Brazilian ecoregions have the highest habitat loss for the tapir. Cerrado and Atlantic Forest account for nearly half (48.19%) of the total area lost. The Amazon region contains the largest area under protection, and the most extensive remaining habitat for the tapir, but also showed high levels of habitat loss outside protected areas, which increases the importance of support for proper management.

  15. Lowland tapir distribution and habitat loss in South America

    PubMed Central

    Fragoso, José M.V.; Crawshaw, Danielle; Oliveira, Luiz Flamarion B.

    2016-01-01

    The development of species distribution models (SDMs) can help conservation efforts by generating potential distributions and identifying areas of high environmental suitability for protection. Our study presents a distribution and habitat map for lowland tapir in South America. We also describe the potential habitat suitability of various geographical regions and habitat loss, inside and outside of protected areas network. Two different SDM approaches, MAXENT and ENFA, produced relative different Habitat Suitability Maps for the lowland tapir. While MAXENT was efficient at identifying areas as suitable or unsuitable, it was less efficient (when compared to the results by ENFA) at identifying the gradient of habitat suitability. MAXENT is a more multifaceted technique that establishes more complex relationships between dependent and independent variables. Our results demonstrate that for at least one species, the lowland tapir, the use of a simple consensual approach (average of ENFA and MAXENT models outputs) better reflected its current distribution patterns. The Brazilian ecoregions have the highest habitat loss for the tapir. Cerrado and Atlantic Forest account for nearly half (48.19%) of the total area lost. The Amazon region contains the largest area under protection, and the most extensive remaining habitat for the tapir, but also showed high levels of habitat loss outside protected areas, which increases the importance of support for proper management. PMID:27672509

  16. The impact of habitat fragmentation on tsetse abundance on the plateau of eastern Zambia.

    PubMed

    Ducheyne, E; Mweempwa, C; De Pus, C; Vernieuwe, H; De Deken, R; Hendrickx, G; Van den Bossche, P

    2009-09-01

    Tsetse-transmitted human or livestock trypanosomiasis is one of the major constraints to rural development in sub-Saharan Africa. The epidemiology of the disease is determined largely by tsetse fly density. A major factor, contributing to tsetse population density is the availability of suitable habitat. In large parts of Africa, encroachment of people and their livestock resulted in a destruction and fragmentation of such suitable habitat. To determine the effect of habitat change on tsetse density a study was initiated in a tsetse-infested zone of eastern Zambia. The study area represents a gradient of habitat change, starting from a zone with high levels of habitat destruction and ending in an area where livestock and people are almost absent. To determine the distribution and density of the fly, tsetse surveys were conducted throughout the study area in the dry and in the rainy season. Landsat ETM+ imagery covering the study area were classified into four land cover classes (munga, miombo, agriculture and settlements) and two auxiliary spectral classes (clouds and shadow) using a Gaussian Maximum Likelihood Classifier. The classes were regrouped into natural vegetation and agricultural zone. The binary images were overlaid with hexagons to obtain the spatial spectrum of spatial pattern. Hexagonal coverage was selected because of its compact and regular form. To identify scale-specific spatial patterns and associated entomological phenomena, the size of the hexagonal coverage was varied (250 and 500 m). Per coverage, total class area, mean patch size, number of patches and patch size standard deviation were used as fragmentation indices. Based on the fragmentation index values, the study zone was classified using a Partitioning Around Mediods (PAM) method. The number of classes was determined using the Wilks' lambda coefficient. To determine the impact of habitat fragmentation on tsetse abundance, the correlation between the fragmentation indices and the index

  17. Wetland Suitability and Connectivity for Trans-Saharan Migratory Waterbirds

    PubMed Central

    Teunen, Joachim; Saura, Santiago; Koedam, Nico

    2015-01-01

    To complete their life cycle waterbirds rely on patchily distributed and often ephemeral wetlands along their migration route in a vast unsuitable matrix. However, further loss and degradation of remaining wetland habitats might lead to a configuration and size of stopovers that is no longer sufficient to ensure long-term survival of waterbird populations. By identifying optimal conservation targets to maintain overall habitat availability en route, we can accommodate an as yet absent functional connectivity component in larger management frameworks for migratory waterbirds, such as the Ramsar Convention and the EU Natura 2000 Network. Using a graph-based habitat availability metric (Equivalent Connected Area) we determine the functional connectivity of wetland networks for seven migratory waterbirds with divergent habitat requirements. Analyses are performed at two spatial extents both spanning the Mediterranean Sea and centered around Greece (Balkan-Cyrenaica and Greece-Cyrenaica). We create species-specific suitable habitat maps and account for human disturbance by species-specific disturbance buffers, based on expert estimates of Flight Initiation Distances. At both spatial extents we quantitatively determine the habitat networks’ overall functional connectivity and identify wetland sites that are crucial for maintaining a well-connected network. We show that the wetland networks for both spatial extents are relatively well connected and identify several wetland sites in Greece and Libya as important for maintaining connectivity. The application of disturbance buffers results in wetland site-specific reduction of suitable habitat area (0.90–7.36%) and an overall decrease of the network’s connectivity (0.65–6.82%). In addition, we show that the habitat networks of a limited set of species can be combined into a single network which accounts for their autoecological requirements. We conclude that targeted management in few but specific wetland complexes

  18. GIS habitat analysis for lesser prairie-chickens in southeastern New Mexico.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Kristine; Neville, Teri B; Neville, Paul

    2006-12-04

    We conducted Geographic Information System (GIS) habitat analyses for lesser prairie-chicken (LPCH, Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) conservation planning. The 876,799 ha study area included most of the occupied habitat for the LPCH in New Mexico. The objectives were to identify and quantify: 1. suitable LPCH habitat in New Mexico, 2. conversion of native habitats, 3. potential for habitat restoration, and 4. unsuitable habitat available for oil and gas activities. We found 16% of suitable habitat (6% of the study area) distributed in 13 patches of at least 3,200 ha and 11% of suitable habitat (4% of the study area) distributed in four patches over 7,238 ha. The area converted from native vegetation types comprised 17% of the study area. Ninety-five percent of agricultural conversion occurred on private lands in the northeastern corner of the study area. Most known herbicide-related conversions (82%) occurred in rangelands in the western part of the study area, on lands managed primarily by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM). We identified 88,190 ha (10% of the study area) of habitats with reasonable restoration potential. Sixty-two percent of the primary population area (PPA) contained occupied, suitable, or potentially suitable habitat, leaving 38% that could be considered for oil and gas development. Although suitable LPCH habitat appears at first glance to be abundant in southeastern New Mexico, only a fraction of apparently suitable vegetation types constitute quality habitat. However, we identified habitat patches that could be restored through mesquite control or shin-oak reintroduction. The analysis also identified areas of unsuitable habitat with low restoration potential that could be targeted for oil and gas exploration, in lieu of occupied, high-quality habitats. Used in combination with GIS analysis and current LPCH population data, the habitat map represents a powerful conservation and management tool.

  19. GIS habitat analysis for lesser prairie-chickens in southeastern New Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Kristine; Neville, Teri B; Neville, Paul

    2006-01-01

    Background We conducted Geographic Information System (GIS) habitat analyses for lesser prairie-chicken (LPCH, Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) conservation planning. The 876,799 ha study area included most of the occupied habitat for the LPCH in New Mexico. The objectives were to identify and quantify: 1. suitable LPCH habitat in New Mexico, 2. conversion of native habitats, 3. potential for habitat restoration, and 4. unsuitable habitat available for oil and gas activities. Results We found 16% of suitable habitat (6% of the study area) distributed in 13 patches of at least 3,200 ha and 11% of suitable habitat (4% of the study area) distributed in four patches over 7,238 ha. The area converted from native vegetation types comprised 17% of the study area. Ninety-five percent of agricultural conversion occurred on private lands in the northeastern corner of the study area. Most known herbicide-related conversions (82%) occurred in rangelands in the western part of the study area, on lands managed primarily by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM). We identified 88,190 ha (10% of the study area) of habitats with reasonable restoration potential. Sixty-two percent of the primary population area (PPA) contained occupied, suitable, or potentially suitable habitat, leaving 38% that could be considered for oil and gas development. Conclusion Although suitable LPCH habitat appears at first glance to be abundant in southeastern New Mexico, only a fraction of apparently suitable vegetation types constitute quality habitat. However, we identified habitat patches that could be restored through mesquite control or shin-oak reintroduction. The analysis also identified areas of unsuitable habitat with low restoration potential that could be targeted for oil and gas exploration, in lieu of occupied, high-quality habitats. Used in combination with GIS analysis and current LPCH population data, the habitat map represents a powerful conservation and management tool. PMID:17144922

  20. Persistence in a Two-Dimensional Moving-Habitat Model.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Austin; Kot, Mark

    2015-11-01

    Environmental changes are forcing many species to track suitable conditions or face extinction. In this study, we use a two-dimensional integrodifference equation to analyze whether a population can track a habitat that is moving due to climate change. We model habitat as a simple rectangle. Our model quickly leads to an eigenvalue problem that determines whether the population persists or declines. After surveying techniques to solve the eigenvalue problem, we highlight three findings that impact conservation efforts such as reserve design and species risk assessment. First, while other models focus on habitat length (parallel to the direction of habitat movement), we show that ignoring habitat width (perpendicular to habitat movement) can lead to overestimates of persistence. Dispersal barriers and hostile landscapes that constrain habitat width greatly decrease the population's ability to track its habitat. Second, for some long-distance dispersal kernels, increasing habitat length improves persistence without limit; for other kernels, increasing length is of limited help and has diminishing returns. Third, it is not always best to orient the long side of the habitat in the direction of climate change. Evidence suggests that the kurtosis of the dispersal kernel determines whether it is best to have a long, wide, or square habitat. In particular, populations with platykurtic dispersal benefit more from a wide habitat, while those with leptokurtic dispersal benefit more from a long habitat. We apply our model to the Rocky Mountain Apollo butterfly (Parnassius smintheus).

  1. Estimating suitable environments for invasive plant species across large landscapes: a remote sensing strategy using Landsat 7 ETM+

    Young, Kendal E.; Abbott, Laurie B.; Caldwell, Colleen A.; Schrader, T. Scott

    2013-01-01

    The key to reducing ecological and economic damage caused by invasive plant species is to locate and eradicate new invasions before they threaten native biodiversity and ecological processes. We used Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus imagery to estimate suitable environments for four invasive plants in Big Bend National Park, southwest Texas, using a presence-only modeling approach. Giant reed (Arundo donax), Lehmann lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana), horehound (Marrubium vulgare) and buffelgrass (Pennisteum ciliare) were selected for remote sensing spatial analyses. Multiple dates/seasons of imagery were used to account for habitat conditions within the study area and to capture phenological differences among targeted species and the surrounding landscape. Individual species models had high (0.91 to 0.99) discriminative ability to differentiate invasive plant suitable environments from random background locations. Average test area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) ranged from 0.91 to 0.99, indicating that plant predictive models exhibited high discriminative ability to differentiate suitable environments for invasive plant species from random locations. Omission rates ranged from <1.0 to 18%. We demonstrated that useful models estimating suitable environments for invasive plants may be created with <50 occurrence locations and that reliable modeling using presence-only datasets can be powerful tools for land managers.

  2. Habitat quality influences population distribution, individual space use and functional responses in habitat selection by a large herbivore.

    PubMed

    Bjørneraas, Kari; Herfindal, Ivar; Solberg, Erling Johan; Sæther, Bernt-Erik; van Moorter, Bram; Rolandsen, Christer Moe

    2012-01-01

    Identifying factors shaping variation in resource selection is central for our understanding of the behaviour and distribution of animals. We examined summer habitat selection and space use by 108 Global Positioning System (GPS)-collared moose in Norway in relation to sex, reproductive status, habitat quality, and availability. Moose selected habitat types based on a combination of forage quality and availability of suitable habitat types. Selection of protective cover was strongest for reproducing females, likely reflecting the need to protect young. Males showed strong selection for habitat types with high quality forage, possibly due to higher energy requirements. Selection for preferred habitat types providing food and cover was a positive function of their availability within home ranges (i.e. not proportional use) indicating functional response in habitat selection. This relationship was not found for unproductive habitat types. Moreover, home ranges with high cover of unproductive habitat types were larger, and smaller home ranges contained higher proportions of the most preferred habitat type. The distribution of moose within the study area was partly related to the distribution of different habitat types. Our study shows how distribution and availability of habitat types providing cover and high-quality food shape ungulate habitat selection and space use.

  3. Distributions of occupied and vacant butterfly habitats in fragmented landscapes.

    PubMed

    Thomas, C D; Thomas, J A; Warren, M S

    1992-12-01

    We found several rare UK butterflies to be restricted to relatively large and non-isolated habitat patches, while small patches and those that are isolated from population sources remain vacant. These patterns of occurrence are generated by the dynamic processes of local extinction and colonization. Habitat patches act as terrestrial archipelagos in which long-term population persistence, and hence effective long-term conservation, rely on networks of suitable habitats, sufficiently close to allow natural dispersal.

  4. Bird population and habitat surveys in urban areas

    Richard M. DeGraaf; Aelred D. Geis; Patricia A. Healy

    1991-01-01

    Breeding bird populations in six habitats in Columbia. MD. were studied to develop procedures suitable for measuring bird use of residential areas and to identify habitat characteristics that define the distribution of various common bird species. A procedure to measure bird use based on 4-min transect counts on plots measuring 91 m × 91 m proved better than point...

  5. Multiresource Inventories: Techniques for Evaluating Nongame Bird Habitat

    Raymond M. Sheffield

    1981-01-01

    Procedures for evaluating the suitability of forest lands for the breeding habitat of individual nongame bird species and entire avian communities are presented. A multiresource inventory of South Carolina's forest resources, conducted by Renewable Resources Evaluation (formerly Forest Survey), provides the necessary habitat data. Nine nongame bird species,...

  6. Two-dimensional hydrologic modeling to evaluate aquatic habitat conditions

    Pamela Edwards; Frederica Wood; Michael Little; Peter Vila; Peter Vila

    2006-01-01

    We describe the modeling and mapping procedures used to examine aquatic habitat conditions and habitat suitability of a small river in north- central West Virginia where fish survival and reproduction in specific reaches are poor. The study includes: (1) surveying cross sections of streambed reaches and measuring discharges and corresponding water-surface elevations,...

  7. Understanding Peripheral Bat Populations Using Maximum-Entropy Suitability Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Barnhart, Paul R.; Gillam, Erin H.

    2016-01-01

    Individuals along the periphery of a species distribution regularly encounter more challenging environmental and climatic conditions than conspecifics near the center of the distribution. Due to these potential constraints, individuals in peripheral margins are expected to change their habitat and behavioral characteristics. Managers typically rely on species distribution maps when developing adequate management practices. However, these range maps are often too simplistic and do not provide adequate information as to what fine-scale biotic and abiotic factors are driving a species occurrence. In the last decade, habitat suitability modelling has become widely used as a substitute for simplistic distribution mapping which allows regional managers the ability to fine-tune management resources. The objectives of this study were to use maximum-entropy modeling to produce habitat suitability models for seven species that have a peripheral margin intersecting the state of North Dakota, according to current IUCN distributions, and determine the vegetative and climatic characteristics driving these models. Mistnetting resulted in the documentation of five species outside the IUCN distribution in North Dakota, indicating that current range maps for North Dakota, and potentially the northern Great Plains, are in need of update. Maximum-entropy modeling showed that temperature and not precipitation were the variables most important for model production. This fine-scale result highlights the importance of habitat suitability modelling as this information cannot be extracted from distribution maps. Our results provide baseline information needed for future research about how and why individuals residing in the peripheral margins of a species’ distribution may show marked differences in habitat use as a result of urban expansion, habitat loss, and climate change compared to more centralized populations. PMID:27935936

  8. Loss and modification of habitat

    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

  9. Bare ground as a crucial habitat feature for a rare terrestrially foraging farmland bird of Central Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tagmann-Ioset, Aline; Schaub, Michael; Reichlin, Thomas S.; Weisshaupt, Nadja; Arlettaz, Raphaël

    2012-02-01

    Most farmland birds have declined significantly throughout the world due to agricultural intensification. Agri-environmental policies could not halt the decline of ground-foraging insectivorous farmland birds in Europe, indicating a gap in knowledge of species' ecological requirements. This represents a major impediment to the development of efficient, evidence-based agri-environmental measures. Using radio-tracking we studied habitat selection by farmland Hoopoes, a rare terrestrially foraging bird in Central Europe, and assessed habitat preferences of their main prey (Molecrickets), with the aim to identify optimal foraging habitat profiles in order to guide farmland management. Hierarchical logistic regression modelling of habitat descriptors at actual foraging locations vs. random locations within the home ranges of 13 males showed that the availability of bare ground was the principal determinant of foraging activity, with an optimum of 60-70% bare ground at patch scale. This ideal habitat configuration, which facilitates birds' terrestrial hunting, was found primarily in intensively farmed fruit tree plantations which dominated the landscape matrix: this habitat offers extensive strips of bare ground due to systematic removal of ground vegetation along tree rows. In contrast, dense grassland and cropland were avoided. Another important habitat feature was the availability of nongravelly soil, which enabled Hoopoes to probe the earth with their long, curved bill in search of underground invertebrates. The role of Molecrickets, however, appeared secondary to foraging patch selection, suggesting that prey accessibility was per se more important than prey abundance. Creating patches of bare ground within modern farmland where sufficient supplies of suitable invertebrate prey exist will support Hoopoe populations.

  10. Bridging the gap between habitat-modeling research and bird conservation with dynamic landscape and population models

    Frank R., III Thompson

    2009-01-01

    Habitat models are widely used in bird conservation planning to assess current habitat or populations and to evaluate management alternatives. These models include species-habitat matrix or database models, habitat suitability models, and statistical models that predict abundance. While extremely useful, these approaches have some limitations.

  11. Scale dependence in habitat selection: The case of the endangered brown bear (Ursus arctos) in the Cantabrian Range (NW Spain)

    Maria C. Mateo Sanchez; Samuel A. Cushman; Santiago Saura

    2013-01-01

    Animals select habitat resources at multiple spatial scales. Thus, explicit attention to scale dependency in species-habitat relationships is critical to understand the habitat suitability patterns as perceived by organisms in complex landscapes. Identification of the scales at which particular environmental variables influence habitat selection may be as important as...

  12. Habitat features and predictive habitat modeling for the Colorado chipmunk in southern New Mexico

    Rivieccio, M.; Thompson, B.C.; Gould, W.R.; Boykin, K.G.

    2003-01-01

    Two subspecies of Colorado chipmunk (state threatened and federal species of concern) occur in southern New Mexico: Tamias quadrivittatus australis in the Organ Mountains and T. q. oscuraensis in the Oscura Mountains. We developed a GIS model of potentially suitable habitat based on vegetation and elevation features, evaluated site classifications of the GIS model, and determined vegetation and terrain features associated with chipmunk occurrence. We compared GIS model classifications with actual vegetation and elevation features measured at 37 sites. At 60 sites we measured 18 habitat variables regarding slope, aspect, tree species, shrub species, and ground cover. We used logistic regression to analyze habitat variables associated with chipmunk presence/absence. All (100%) 37 sample sites (28 predicted suitable, 9 predicted unsuitable) were classified correctly by the GIS model regarding elevation and vegetation. For 28 sites predicted suitable by the GIS model, 18 sites (64%) appeared visually suitable based on habitat variables selected from logistic regression analyses, of which 10 sites (36%) were specifically predicted as suitable habitat via logistic regression. We detected chipmunks at 70% of sites deemed suitable via the logistic regression models. Shrub cover, tree density, plant proximity, presence of logs, and presence of rock outcrop were retained in the logistic model for the Oscura Mountains; litter, shrub cover, and grass cover were retained in the logistic model for the Organ Mountains. Evaluation of predictive models illustrates the need for multi-stage analyses to best judge performance. Microhabitat analyses indicate prospective needs for different management strategies between the subspecies. Sensitivities of each population of the Colorado chipmunk to natural and prescribed fire suggest that partial burnings of areas inhabited by Colorado chipmunks in southern New Mexico may be beneficial. These partial burnings may later help avoid a fire

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. ESTUARINE HABITAT RESTORATION

    SciT

    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.

  16. Indicators: Physical Habitat Complexity

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Physical habitat complexity measures the amount and variety of all types of cove at the water’s edge in lakes. In general, dense and varied shoreline habitat is able to support more diverse communities of aquatic life.

  17. Plausible Martian Habitats

    2009-10-13

    Unfrozen brine in cryopegs and fracture networks provides habitats for the survival and growth of organisms both within and under frozen rocky materials on Earth and, by analogy, could provide habitats on Mars.

  18. Spatial Scaling of Environmental Variables Improves Species-Habitat Models of Fishes in a Small, Sand-Bed Lowland River

    PubMed Central

    Radinger, Johannes; Wolter, Christian; Kail, Jochem

    2015-01-01

    Habitat suitability and the distinct mobility of species depict fundamental keys for explaining and understanding the distribution of river fishes. In recent years, comprehensive data on river hydromorphology has been mapped at spatial scales down to 100 m, potentially serving high resolution species-habitat models, e.g., for fish. However, the relative importance of specific hydromorphological and in-stream habitat variables and their spatial scales of influence is poorly understood. Applying boosted regression trees, we developed species-habitat models for 13 fish species in a sand-bed lowland river based on river morphological and in-stream habitat data. First, we calculated mean values for the predictor variables in five distance classes (from the sampling site up to 4000 m up- and downstream) to identify the spatial scale that best predicts the presence of fish species. Second, we compared the suitability of measured variables and assessment scores related to natural reference conditions. Third, we identified variables which best explained the presence of fish species. The mean model quality (AUC = 0.78, area under the receiver operating characteristic curve) significantly increased when information on the habitat conditions up- and downstream of a sampling site (maximum AUC at 2500 m distance class, +0.049) and topological variables (e.g., stream order) were included (AUC = +0.014). Both measured and assessed variables were similarly well suited to predict species’ presence. Stream order variables and measured cross section features (e.g., width, depth, velocity) were best-suited predictors. In addition, measured channel-bed characteristics (e.g., substrate types) and assessed longitudinal channel features (e.g., naturalness of river planform) were also good predictors. These findings demonstrate (i) the applicability of high resolution river morphological and instream-habitat data (measured and assessed variables) to predict fish presence, (ii) the

  19. [Preliminary assessment of habitat of juvenile Collichthys lucidus in the Yangtze estuary].

    PubMed

    Yang, Gang; Zhang, Tao; Zhuang, Ping; Hou, Jun-Li; Wang, Yu; Song, Chao; Zhang, Long-Zhen

    2014-08-01

    To evaluate the choice preference of fish habitat in the Yangtze estuary, juvenile Collichthys lucidus which is the dominant species in spring was selected. The 4 indicator factors, including abundance of Pseudograpsus albus, salinity, substrate type and water depth, were selected from 19 environmental factors. Then, the indices of the habitat suitability curves of the 4 indicator factors were established, and the HSI of juvenile C. lucidus at each site was calculated. The results indicated that HSI was almost more than 0.5 in North Branch, and less than 0.2 in South Branch. It showed that the North Branch of Yangtze estuary was the main nursery area of C. lucidus. The most suitable growth sector was the area with salinity more than 14, mean grain size of substrate less than 29 μm and water depth 2 to 5 m, which was consistent with the distribution of HSI. The study demonstrated that biological factors could be characterized by the response of juvenile C. lucidus to the environment. Chemical oxygen demand, ammonium nitrogen, total phosphorus and volatile phenol did not have significant correlation with the fish abundance, with which nitrite nitrogen, nitrate nitrogen and total nitrogen had significant positive correlation. It suggested that the eutrophication of the survey area had not damaged the habitat of C. lucidus. However, copper ion and cadmium ion had significant negative correlation with the fish abundance, which indicated that the heavy metal pollution had harmed the growth and distribution of juvenile C. lucidus. It was inferred that the heavy metal pollution was the restrictive factor influencing the fish habitat in Yangtze estuary.

  20. 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…

  1. HABITAT ASSESSMENT METHODS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This chapter summarizes and evaluated the habitat assessment protocols of five agencies, USEPA/EMAP/SW, USGS/NAWQA, USEPA/RBP, Ohio EPA, and MDNR/MBSS. It begins with a description of the origin of the habitat indices most widely used by these agencies. Then the habitat assessmen...

  2. 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

  3. The energetic consequences of habitat structure for forest stream salmonids.

    PubMed

    Naman, Sean M; Rosenfeld, Jordan S; Kiffney, Peter M; Richardson, John S

    2018-05-08

    1.Increasing habitat availability (i.e. habitat suitable for occupancy) is often assumed to elevate the abundance or production of mobile consumers; however, this relationship is often nonlinear (threshold or unimodal). Identifying the mechanisms underlying these nonlinearities is essential for predicting the ecological impacts of habitat change, yet the functional forms and ultimate causation of consumer-habitat relationships are often poorly understood. 2.Nonlinear effects of habitat on animal abundance may manifest through physical constraints on foraging that restrict consumers from accessing their resources. Subsequent spatial incongruence between consumers and resources should lead to unimodal or saturating effects of habitat availability on consumer production if increasing the area of habitat suitable for consumer occupancy comes at the expense of habitats that generate resources. However, the shape of this relationship could be sensitive to cross-ecosystem prey subsidies, which may be unrelated to recipient habitat structure and result in more linear habitat effects on consumer production. 3.We investigated habitat-productivity relationships for juveniles of stream-rearing Pacific salmon and trout (Oncorhynchus spp.), which typically forage in low-velocity pool habitats, while their prey (drifting benthic invertebrates) are produced upstream in high-velocity riffles. However, juvenile salmonids also consume subsidies of terrestrial invertebrates that may be independent of pool-riffle structure. 4.We measured salmonid biomass production in 13 experimental enclosures each containing a downstream pool and upstream riffle, spanning a gradient of relative pool area (14-80% pool). Increasing pool relative to riffle habitat area decreased prey abundance, leading to a nonlinear saturating effect on fish production. We then used bioenergetics model simulations to examine how the relationship between pool area and salmonid biomass is affected by varying levels of

  4. CURV 3: Characteristics and mission applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perkins, W. W.; Brady, L. K.

    1984-03-01

    The Cable-Controlled Underwater Recovery Vehicle (CURV) program was begun by NOSC for the specific purpose of developing economical systems to recover test ordnance at NOSC's Long Beach and San Clemente Island test ranges. CURV 3 is the latest in this series of tethered, unmanned, remotely controlled vehicles and its present capabilities far exceed the original CURV 1. Originally conceived for use as a search and recovery vehicle, CURV has evolved into a versatile and easily adaptable multipurpose work vehicle capable of performing search and recovery tasks as well as pursuing test, evaluation, exploration, and work projects. Basically, CURV is a composite of integrated subsystems including such items as propulsion, search and navigation, optics, hydraulics, and tools. Because it is unmanned and does not require life support or other complex support systems, CURV is able to perform most undersea tasks more economically and efficiently than maned systems. Also, since it is powered and controlled from the surface, CURV has a continuous, unlimited operating capability. Under emergency conditions, the vehicle can operate to 10,000-foot depths. CURV can be easily transported to any spot in the world. Upon arrival of the vehicle, control van, cable, and support gear can be mounted on a suitable ship of opportunity.

  5. The airspace is habitat

    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.

  6. The effects of gypsy moth infestation on gray squirrel habitat and populations

    David E. Samuel; Rob Silvester

    1991-01-01

    The overall objective of this project was to determine the effects of defoliation on gray squirrel habitat. We will evaluate the existing Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) Model for gray squirrels on the University Forest and determine the effects of thinning on HSI values computed for thinned and unthinned stands. Habitat variables used in the U. S. Fish and Wildlife...

  7. Riverine habitat dynamics

    Jacobson, R.B.

    2013-01-01

    The physical habitat template is a fundamental influence on riverine ecosystem structure and function. Habitat dynamics refers to the variation in habitat through space and time as the result of varying discharge and varying geomorphology. Habitat dynamics can be assessed at spatial scales ranging from the grain (the smallest resolution at which an organism relates to its environment) to the extent (the broadest resolution inclusive of all space occupied during its life cycle). In addition to a potentially broad range of spatial scales, assessments of habitat dynamics may include dynamics of both occupied and nonoccupied habitat patches because of process interactions among patches. Temporal aspects of riverine habitat dynamics can be categorized into hydrodynamics and morphodynamics. Hydrodynamics refers to habitat variation that results from changes in discharge in the absence of significant change of channel morphology and at generally low sediment-transport rates. Hydrodynamic assessments are useful in cases of relatively high flow exceedance (percent of time a flow is equaled or exceeded) or high critical shear stress, conditions that are applicable in many studies of instream flows. Morphodynamics refers to habitat variation resulting from changes to substrate conditions or channel/floodplain morphology. Morphodynamic assessments are necessary when channel and floodplain boundary conditions have been significantly changed, generally by relatively rare flood events or in rivers with low critical shear stress. Morphodynamic habitat variation can be particularly important as disturbance mechanisms that mediate population growth or for providing conditions needed for reproduction, such as channel-migration events that erode cutbanks and provide new pointbar surfaces for germination of riparian trees. Understanding of habitat dynamics is increasing in importance as societal goals shift toward restoration of riverine ecosystems. Effective investment in restoration

  8. Long-term habitat changes in a protected area: Implications for herpetofauna habitat management and restoration.

    PubMed

    Markle, Chantel E; Chow-Fraser, Gillian; Chow-Fraser, Patricia

    2018-01-01

    Point Pelee National Park, located at the southern-most tip of Canada's mainland, historically supported a large number of herpetofauna species; however, despite nearly a century of protection, six snake and five amphibian species have disappeared, and remaining species-at-risk populations are thought to be in decline. We hypothesized that long-term changes in availability and distribution of critical habitat types may have contributed to the disappearance of herpetofauna. To track habitat changes we used aerial image data spanning 85 years (1931-2015) and manually digitized and classified image data using a standardized framework. Change-detection analyses were used to evaluate the relative importance of proportionate loss and fragmentation of 17 habitat types. Marsh habitat diversity and aquatic connectivity has declined since 1931. The marsh matrix transitioned from a graminoid and forb shallow marsh interspersed with water to a cattail dominated marsh, altering critical breeding, foraging, and overwintering habitat. Reduced diversity of marsh habitats appears to be linked to the expansion of invasive Phragmites australis, which invaded prior to 2000. Loss of open habitats such as savanna and meadow has reduced availability of high quality thermoregulation habitat for reptiles. Restoration of the northwestern region and tip of Point Pelee National Park to a mixed landscape of shallow wetlands (cattail, graminoid, forb, open water) and eradication of dense Phragmites stands should improve habitat diversity. Our results suggest that long-term landscape changes resulting from habitat succession and invasive species can negatively affect habitat suitability for herpetofauna and protection of land alone does not necessarily equate to protection of sensitive herpetofauna.

  9. Long-term habitat changes in a protected area: Implications for herpetofauna habitat management and restoration

    PubMed Central

    Chow-Fraser, Gillian; Chow-Fraser, Patricia

    2018-01-01

    Point Pelee National Park, located at the southern-most tip of Canada’s mainland, historically supported a large number of herpetofauna species; however, despite nearly a century of protection, six snake and five amphibian species have disappeared, and remaining species-at-risk populations are thought to be in decline. We hypothesized that long-term changes in availability and distribution of critical habitat types may have contributed to the disappearance of herpetofauna. To track habitat changes we used aerial image data spanning 85 years (1931–2015) and manually digitized and classified image data using a standardized framework. Change-detection analyses were used to evaluate the relative importance of proportionate loss and fragmentation of 17 habitat types. Marsh habitat diversity and aquatic connectivity has declined since 1931. The marsh matrix transitioned from a graminoid and forb shallow marsh interspersed with water to a cattail dominated marsh, altering critical breeding, foraging, and overwintering habitat. Reduced diversity of marsh habitats appears to be linked to the expansion of invasive Phragmites australis, which invaded prior to 2000. Loss of open habitats such as savanna and meadow has reduced availability of high quality thermoregulation habitat for reptiles. Restoration of the northwestern region and tip of Point Pelee National Park to a mixed landscape of shallow wetlands (cattail, graminoid, forb, open water) and eradication of dense Phragmites stands should improve habitat diversity. Our results suggest that long-term landscape changes resulting from habitat succession and invasive species can negatively affect habitat suitability for herpetofauna and protection of land alone does not necessarily equate to protection of sensitive herpetofauna. PMID:29444129

  10. Modeling potential habitats for alien species Dreissena polymorpha in continental USA

    Mingyang, Li; Yunwei, Ju; Kumar, Sunil; Stohlgren, Thomas J.

    2008-01-01

    The effective measure to minimize the damage of invasive species is to block the potential invasive species to enter into suitable areas. 1864 occurrence points with GPS coordinates and 34 environmental variables from Daymet datasets were gathered, and 4 modeling methods, i.e., Logistic Regression (LR), Classification and Regression Trees (CART), Genetic Algorithm for Rule-Set Prediction (GARP), and maximum entropy method (Maxent), were introduced to generate potential geographic distributions for invasive species Dreissena polymorpha in Continental USA. Then 3 statistical criteria of the area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve (AUC), Pearson correlation (COR) and Kappa value were calculated to evaluate the performance of the models, followed by analyses on major contribution variables. Results showed that in terms of the 3 statistical criteria, the prediction results of the 4 ecological niche models were either excellent or outstanding, in which Maxent outperformed the others in 3 aspects of predicting current distribution habitats, selecting major contribution factors, and quantifying the influence of environmental variables on habitats. Distance to water, elevation, frequency of precipitation and solar radiation were 4 environmental forcing factors. The method suggested in the paper can have some reference meaning for modeling habitats of alien species in China and provide a direction to prevent Mytilopsis sallei on the Chinese coast line.

  11. Tornado-Shaped Curves

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martínez, Sol Sáez; de la Rosa, Félix Martínez; Rojas, Sergio

    2017-01-01

    In Advanced Calculus, our students wonder if it is possible to graphically represent a tornado by means of a three-dimensional curve. In this paper, we show it is possible by providing the parametric equations of such tornado-shaped curves.

  12. Microhabitat suitability and niche breadth of common and imperiled Atlantic Slope freshwater mussels

    Pandolfo, Tamara J.; Kwak, Thomas J.; Cope, W. Gregory

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge of the habitat suitability of freshwater mussels (family Unionidae) is necessary for effective decision making in conservation and management. We empirically measured microhabitat use for 10 unionid mussel species, including the U.S. federally endangered Alasmidonta heterodon, at 20 sites in the Tar River basin, North Carolina, USA. We also quantified habitat availability at each site, and calculated habitat suitability for each mussel species. The majority of available habitat across all sites consisted of shallow, slow-moving water with penetrable silt or sand substrate. Among species, mean water depth of occupied habitats ranged 0.23 – 0.54 m, mean bottom velocity ranged 0.001 – 0.055 m/s, average mean-column velocity ranged 0 – 0.055 m/s, and mean substrate penetrability ranged 0.11 – 11.67 on an index scale. The most commonly measured dominant substrate materials were silt, sand, very coarse sand, pea gravel, and coarse gravel. The most common cover types were coarse woody debris and fine woody debris. These findings revealed a relationship between the niche breadth and conservation status of four species. Federally endangered A. heterodon consistently showed a narrower suite of suitable microhabitats than the common mussel Elliptio complanata. The range of suitable habitat characteristics for Fusconaia masoni and Villosa constricta, listed as North Carolina (USA) state endangered and special concern, respectively, was typically narrower than those of E. complanata and wider than those of A. heterodon. These habitat suitability criteria and relationships will be useful to guide identification of suitable sites for habitat protection, mussel relocation, or site restoration.

  13. Relations between habitat variability and population dynamics of bass in the Huron River, Michigan

    Bovee, Ken D.; Newcomb, Tammy J.; Coon, Thomas G.

    1994-01-01

    contention that the dynamics of bass populations are directly or indirectly related to habitat availability in coolwater streams. Our study also revealed several implications related to the operational application of the IFIM in coolwater streams: 1. Greater emphasis should be placed on the alleviation of habitat impacts to early life history phases of bass. 2. Effects of the thermal regime are important in some coolwater streams even if temperatures remain within nonlethal limits. Degree-day analyses should be routinely included in study plans for applications of the IFIM in coolwater streams. 3. The smallest amount of habitat occurring within or across years is not necessarily the most significant event affecting population dynamics. The timing of extreme events can be as important as their magnitude. 4. Population-related habitat limitations were associated with high flows more often than with low flows (although both occurred). Negotiations that focus only on minimum flows may preclude viable water management options and ignore significant biological events. This finding is particularly relevant to negotiations involving hydrospeaking operations. 5. IFIM users are advised to consider the use of binary criteria in place of conventional suitability index curves in microhabitat simulations. Criteria defining the optimal ranges of variables are preferable to broader rangers, and criteria that simply define suitable conditions should be avoided entirely.

  14. Seasonal variation in coastal marine habitat use by the European shag: Insights from fine scale habitat selection modeling and diet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michelot, Candice; Pinaud, David; Fortin, Matthieu; Maes, Philippe; Callard, Benjamin; Leicher, Marine; Barbraud, Christophe

    2017-07-01

    to suitable habitats and preys.

  15. 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.

  16. FBEYE: Analyzing Kepler light curves and validating flares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Emily; Davenport, James R. A.; Hawley, Suzanne L.

    2017-12-01

    FBEYE, the "Flares By-Eye" detection suite, is written in IDL and analyzes Kepler light curves and validates flares. It works on any 3-column light curve that contains time, flux, and error. The success of flare identification is highly dependent on the smoothing routine, which may not be suitable for all sources.

  17. Increase in quantity and quality of suitable areas for invasive species as climate changes.

    PubMed

    Bertelsmeier, Cleo; Luque, Gloria M; Courchamp, Franck

    2013-12-01

    As climatically suitable range projections become increasingly used to assess distributions of species, we recommend systematic assessments of the quality of habitat in addition to the classical binary classification of habitat. We devised a method to assess occurrence probability, captured by a climatic suitability index, through which we could determine variations in the quality of potential habitat. This relative risk assessment circumvents the use of an arbitrary suitability threshold. We illustrated our method with 2 case studies on invasive ant species. We estimated invasion potential of the destroyer ant (Monomorium destructor) and the European fire ant (Myrmica rubra) on a global scale currently and by 2080 with climate change. We found that 21.1% of the world's landmass currently has a suitable climate for the destroyer ant and 16% has a suitable climate for European fire ant. Our climatic suitability index showed that both ant species would benefit from climate change, but in different ways. The size of the potential distribution increased by 35.8% for the destroyer ant. Meanwhile, the total area of potential distribution remained the same for the European fire ant (>0.05%), but the level of climatic suitability within this range increased greatly and led to an improvement in habitat quality (i.e., of invasive species' establishment likelihood). Either through quantity or quality of suitable areas, both invasive ant species are likely to increase the extent of their invasion in the future, following global climate change. Our results show that species may increase their range if either more areas become suitable or if the available areas present improved suitability. Studies in which an arbitrary suitability threshold was used may overlook changes in area quality within climatically suitable areas and as a result reach incorrect predictions. Incremento de la Cantidad y Calidad de Áreas Idóneas para Especies Invasoras a Medida que Cambia el Clima.

  18. Stratification of habitats for identifying habitat selection by Merriam's turkeys

    Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson

    1992-01-01

    Habitat selection patterns of Merriam’s Turkeys were compared in hierarchical analyses of three levels of habitat stratification. Habitat descriptions in first-level analyses were based on dominant species of vegetation. Habitat descriptions in second-level analyses were based on dominant species of vegetation and overstory canopy cover. Habitat descriptions in third-...

  19. Determination of habitat requirements for Apache Trout

    Petre, Sally J.; Bonar, Scott A.

    2017-01-01

    The Apache Trout Oncorhynchus apache, a salmonid endemic to east-central Arizona, is currently listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Establishing and maintaining recovery streams for Apache Trout and other endemic species requires determination of their specific habitat requirements. We built upon previous studies of Apache Trout habitat by defining both stream-specific and generalized optimal and suitable ranges of habitat criteria in three streams located in the White Mountains of Arizona. Habitat criteria were measured at the time thought to be most limiting to juvenile and adult life stages, the summer base flow period. Based on the combined results from three streams, we found that Apache Trout use relatively deep (optimal range = 0.15–0.32 m; suitable range = 0.032–0.470 m) pools with slow stream velocities (suitable range = 0.00–0.22 m/s), gravel or smaller substrate (suitable range = 0.13–2.0 [Wentworth scale]), overhead cover (suitable range = 26–88%), and instream cover (large woody debris and undercut banks were occupied at higher rates than other instream cover types). Fish were captured at cool to moderate temperatures (suitable range = 10.4–21.1°C) in streams with relatively low maximum seasonal temperatures (optimal range = 20.1–22.9°C; suitable range = 17.1–25.9°C). Multiple logistic regression generally confirmed the importance of these variables for predicting the presence of Apache Trout. All measured variables except mean velocity were significant predictors in our model. Understanding habitat needs is necessary in managing for persistence, recolonization, and recruitment of Apache Trout. Management strategies such as fencing areas to restrict ungulate use and grazing and planting native riparian vegetation might favor Apache Trout persistence and recolonization by providing overhead cover and large woody debris to form pools and instream cover, shading streams and lowering temperatures.

  20. 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

  1. Defining landscapes suitable for restoration of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in Idaho

    Merrill, Troy; Mattson, D.J.; Wright, R.G.; Quigley, Howard B.

    1999-01-01

    Informed management of large carnivores depends on the timely and useful presentation of relevant information. We describe an approach to evaluating carnivore habitat that uses pre-existing qualitative and quantitative information on humans and carnivores to generate coarse-scale maps of habitat suitability, habitat productivity, potential reserves, and areas of potential conflict. We use information pertinent to the contemplated reintroduction of grizzly bears Ursus arctos horribilis into central Idaho to demonstrate our approach. The approach uses measures of human numbers, their estimated distribution, road and trail access, and abundance and quality of bear foods to create standardized indices that are analogues of death and birth rates, respectively; the first subtracted from the second indicates habitat suitability (HS). We calibrate HS to sightings of grizzly bears in two ecosystems in northern Idaho and develop an empirical model from these same sightings based on piece-wise treatment of the variables contained in HS. Depending on whether the empirical model or HS is used, we estimate that there is 14 800 km2 of suitable habitat in two blocks or 37 100 km2 in one block in central Idaho, respectively. Both approaches show suitable habitat in the current Evaluation Area and in an area of southeastern Idaho centered on the Palisades Reservoir. Areas of highly productive habitat are concentrated in northern and western Idaho and in the Palisades area. Future conflicts between humans and bears are most likely to occur on the western and northern margins of suitable habitat in central Idaho, rather than to the east, where opposition to reintroduction of grizzly bears is currently strongest.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-27

    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.

  3. 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

  4. Modelling the Influence of Long-Term Hydraulic Conditions on Juvenile Salmon Habitats in AN Upland Scotish River

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fabris, L.; Malcolm, I.; Millidine, K. J.; Buddendorf, B.; Tetzlaff, D.; Soulsby, C.

    2015-12-01

    Wild Atlantic salmon populations in Scottish rivers constitute an important economic and recreational resource, as well as being a key component of biodiversity. Salmon have very specific habitat requirements at different life stages and their distribution is therefore strongly influenced by a complex suite of biological and physical controls. Previous research has shown that stream hydrodynamics and channel morphology have a strong influence on the distribution and density of juvenile salmon. Here, we utilise a unique 20 year data set of spatially distributed juvenile salmon densities derived from annual electro-fishing surveys in an upland Scottish river. We examine to what extent the spatial and temporal variability of in-stream hydraulics regulates the spatial and temporal variability in the performance and density of juvenile salmon. A 2-D hydraulic model (River2D) is used to simulate water velocity and water depth under different flow conditions for seven different electro-fishing sites. The selected sites represent different hydromorphological environments including plane-bed, step-pool and pool riffle reaches. The bathymetry of each site was characterised using a total station providing an accurate DTM of the bed, and hydraulic simulations were driven by 20 year stream flow records. Habitat suitability curves, based on direct observations during electro-fishing surveys, were produced for a range of hydraulic indices for juvenile salmon. The hydraulic simulations showed marked spatial differences in juvenile habitat quality both within and between reaches. They also showed marked differences both within and between years. This is most evident in extreme years with wet summers when salmon feeding opportunities may be constrained. Integration of hydraulic habitat models, with fish preference curves and the long term hydrological data allows us to assess whether long-term changes in hydroclimate may be affecting juvenile salmonid populations in the study stream

  5. Wildlife habitat considerations

    Helen Y. Smith

    2000-01-01

    Fire, insects, disease, harvesting, and precommercial thinning all create mosaics on Northern Rocky Mountain landscapes. These mosaics are important for faunal habitat. Consequently, changes such as created openings or an increase in heavily stocked areas affect the water, cover, and food of forest habitats. The “no action” alternative in ecosystem management of low...

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. A spatial model of potential jaguar habitat in Arizona

    Hatten, J.R.; Averill-Murray, A.; van Pelt, W.E.

    2005-01-01

    The jaguar (Panthera onca) is an endangered species that occasionally visits the southwestern United States from Mexico. The number of jaguar sightings per decade has declined over the last 100 years in Arizona, USA, raising conservation concerns for the species at a local and national level. In 1997, state, federal, and local governments with land-management responsibilities agreed to characterize and identify potential jaguar habitat in Arizona and New Mexico. Specifically, the objectives of our analysis were 2-fold: (1) characterize potential jaguar habitat in Arizona from historic sighting records and (2) create a statewide habitat suitability map. We used a Geographic Information System (GIS) to characterize potential jaguar habitat by overlaying historic jaguar sightings (25) on landscape and habitat features believed important (e.g., vegetation biomes and series, elevation, terrain ruggedness, proximity to perennial or intermittent water sources, human density). The amount of Arizona (%) identified as potential jaguar habitat ranged from 21% to 30% depending on the input variables. Most jaguar sightings were in scrub grasslands between 1,220 and 1,829-m elevation in southeastern Arizona, in intermediately to extremely rugged terrain, and within 10 km of a water source. Conservation efforts should focus on protecting the most suitable jaguar habitat in southeastern Arizona (i.e., Santa Cruz, Pima, Cochise, Pinal, Graham counties), travel corridors within and outside Arizona, and jaguar habitat in the Sierra Madres of Sonora, Mexico.

  11. Detroit River habitat inventory

    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.

  12. Disease risk curves.

    PubMed

    Hughes, G; Burnett, F J; Havis, N D

    2013-11-01

    Disease risk curves are simple graphical relationships between the probability of need for treatment and evidence related to risk factors. In the context of the present article, our focus is on factors related to the occurrence of disease in crops. Risk is the probability of adverse consequences; specifically in the present context it denotes the chance that disease will reach a threshold level at which crop protection measures can be justified. This article describes disease risk curves that arise when risk is modeled as a function of more than one risk factor, and when risk is modeled as a function of a single factor (specifically the level of disease at an early disease assessment). In both cases, disease risk curves serve as calibration curves that allow the accumulated evidence related to risk to be expressed on a probability scale. When risk is modeled as a function of the level of disease at an early disease assessment, the resulting disease risk curve provides a crop loss assessment model in which the downside is denominated in terms of risk rather than in terms of yield loss.

  13. Discrete Jordan curve theorem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Li

    1999-09-01

    According to a general definition of discrete curves, surfaces, and manifolds (Li Chen, 'Generalized discrete object tracking algorithms and implementations, ' In Melter, Wu, and Latecki ed, Vision Geometry VI, SPIE Vol. 3168, pp 184 - 195, 1997.). This paper focuses on the Jordan curve theorem in 2D discrete spaces. The Jordan curve theorem says that a (simply) closed curve separates a simply connected surface into two components. Based on the definition of discrete surfaces, we give three reasonable definitions of simply connected spaces. Theoretically, these three definition shall be equivalent. We have proved the Jordan curve theorem under the third definition of simply connected spaces. The Jordan theorem shows the relationship among an object, its boundary, and its outside area. In continuous space, the boundary of an mD manifold is an (m - 1)D manifold. The similar result does apply to regular discrete manifolds. The concept of a new regular nD-cell is developed based on the regular surface point in 2D, and well-composed objects in 2D and 3D given by Latecki (L. Latecki, '3D well-composed pictures,' In Melter, Wu, and Latecki ed, Vision Geometry IV, SPIE Vol 2573, pp 196 - 203, 1995.).

  14. How Many Wolves (Canis lupus) Fit into Germany? The Role of Assumptions in Predictive Rule-Based Habitat Models for Habitat Generalists

    PubMed Central

    Fechter, Dominik; Storch, Ilse

    2014-01-01

    Due to legislative protection, many species, including large carnivores, are currently recolonizing Europe. To address the impending human-wildlife conflicts in advance, predictive habitat models can be used to determine potentially suitable habitat and areas likely to be recolonized. As field data are often limited, quantitative rule based models or the extrapolation of results from other studies are often the techniques of choice. Using the wolf (Canis lupus) in Germany as a model for habitat generalists, we developed a habitat model based on the location and extent of twelve existing wolf home ranges in Eastern Germany, current knowledge on wolf biology, different habitat modeling techniques and various input data to analyze ten different input parameter sets and address the following questions: (1) How do a priori assumptions and different input data or habitat modeling techniques affect the abundance and distribution of potentially suitable wolf habitat and the number of wolf packs in Germany? (2) In a synthesis across input parameter sets, what areas are predicted to be most suitable? (3) Are existing wolf pack home ranges in Eastern Germany consistent with current knowledge on wolf biology and habitat relationships? Our results indicate that depending on which assumptions on habitat relationships are applied in the model and which modeling techniques are chosen, the amount of potentially suitable habitat estimated varies greatly. Depending on a priori assumptions, Germany could accommodate between 154 and 1769 wolf packs. The locations of the existing wolf pack home ranges in Eastern Germany indicate that wolves are able to adapt to areas densely populated by humans, but are limited to areas with low road densities. Our analysis suggests that predictive habitat maps in general, should be interpreted with caution and illustrates the risk for habitat modelers to concentrate on only one selection of habitat factors or modeling technique. PMID:25029506

  15. Defining geo-habitats for groundwater ecosystem assessments: an example from England and Wales (UK)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weitowitz, Damiano C.; Maurice, Louise; Lewis, Melinda; Bloomfield, John P.; Reiss, Julia; Robertson, Anne L.

    2017-12-01

    Groundwater ecosystems comprising micro-organisms and metazoans provide an important contribution to global biodiversity. Their complexity depends on geology, which determines the physical habitat available, and the chemical conditions within it. Despite this, methods of classifying groundwater habitats using geological data are not well established and researchers have called for higher resolution habitat frameworks. A novel habitat typology for England and Wales (UK) is proposed, which distinguishes 11 geological habitats (geo-habitats) on hydrogeological principles and maps their distribution. Hydrogeological and hydrochemical data are used to determine the characteristics of each geo-habitat, and demonstrate their differences. Using these abiotic parameters, a new method to determine abiotic habitat quality is then developed. The geo-habitats had significantly different characteristics, validating the classification system. All geo-habitats were highly heterogeneous, containing both high quality habitat patches that are likely to be suitable for fauna, and areas of low quality that may limit faunal distributions. Karstic and porous habitats generally were higher quality than fractured habitats. Overall, 70% of England and Wales are covered by lower quality fractured habitats, with only 13% covered by higher quality habitats. The main areas of high quality habitats occur in central England as north-south trending belts, possibly facilitating dispersal along this axis. They are separated by low quality geo-habitats that may prevent east-west dispersal of fauna. In south-west England and Wales suitable geo-habitats occur as small isolated patches. Overall, this paper provides a new national-scale typology that is adaptable for studies in other geographic areas.

  16. Fitting Richards' curve to data of diverse origins

    Johnson, D.H.; Sargeant, A.B.; Allen, S.H.

    1975-01-01

    Published techniques for fitting data to nonlinear growth curves are briefly reviewed, most techniques require knowledge of the shape of the curve. A flexible growth curve developed by Richards (1959) is discussed as an alternative when the shape is unknown. The shape of this curve is governed by a specific parameter which can be estimated from the data. We describe in detail the fitting of a diverse set of longitudinal and cross-sectional data to Richards' growth curve for the purpose of determining the age of red fox (Vulpes vulpes) pups on the basis of right hind foot length. The fitted curve is found suitable for pups less than approximately 80 days old. The curve is extrapolated to pre-natal growth and shown to be appropriate only for about 10 days prior to birth.

  17. Modelling invasion for a habitat generalist and a specialist plant species

    Evangelista, P.H.; Kumar, S.; Stohlgren, T.J.; Jarnevich, C.S.; Crall, A.W.; Norman, J. B.; Barnett, D.T.

    2008-01-01

    Predicting suitable habitat and the potential distribution of invasive species is a high priority for resource managers and systems ecologists. Most models are designed to identify habitat characteristics that define the ecological niche of a species with little consideration to individual species' traits. We tested five commonly used modelling methods on two invasive plant species, the habitat generalist Bromus tectorum and habitat specialist Tamarix chinensis, to compare model performances, evaluate predictability, and relate results to distribution traits associated with each species. Most of the tested models performed similarly for each species; however, the generalist species proved to be more difficult to predict than the specialist species. The highest area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve values with independent validation data sets of B. tectorum and T. chinensis was 0.503 and 0.885, respectively. Similarly, a confusion matrix for B. tectorum had the highest overall accuracy of 55%, while the overall accuracy for T. chinensis was 85%. Models for the generalist species had varying performances, poor evaluations, and inconsistent results. This may be a result of a generalist's capability to persist in a wide range of environmental conditions that are not easily defined by the data, independent variables or model design. Models for the specialist species had consistently strong performances, high evaluations, and similar results among different model applications. This is likely a consequence of the specialist's requirement for explicit environmental resources and ecological barriers that are easily defined by predictive models. Although defining new invaders as generalist or specialist species can be challenging, model performances and evaluations may provide valuable information on a species' potential invasiveness.

  18. An artificial water body provides habitat for an endangered estuarine seahorse species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Claassens, Louw

    2016-10-01

    Anthropogenic development, especially the transformation of natural habitats to artificial, is a growing concern within estuaries and coastal areas worldwide. Thesen Islands marina, an artificial water body, added 25 ha of new estuarine habitat to the Knysna Estuary in South Africa, home to the Knysna seahorse. This study aimed to answer: (I) Can an artificial water body provide suitable habitat for an endangered seahorse species? And if so (II) what characteristics of this new habitat are important in terms of seahorse utilization? Four major habitat types were identified within the marina canals: (I) artificial reno mattress (wire baskets filled with rocks); (II) Codium tenue beds; (III) mixed vegetation on sediment; and (IV) barren canal floor. Seahorses were found throughout the marina system with significantly higher densities within the reno mattress habitat. The artificial water body, therefore, has provided suitable habitat for Hippocampus capensis, a noteworthy finding in the current environment of coastal development and the increasing shift from natural to artificial.

  19. The sales learning curve.

    PubMed

    Leslie, Mark; Holloway, Charles A

    2006-01-01

    When a company launches a new product into a new market, the temptation is to immediately ramp up sales force capacity to gain customers as quickly as possible. But hiring a full sales force too early just causes the firm to burn through cash and fail to meet revenue expectations. Before it can sell an innovative product efficiently, the entire organization needs to learn how customers will acquire and use it, a process the authors call the sales learning curve. The concept of a learning curve is well understood in manufacturing. Employees transfer knowledge and experience back and forth between the production line and purchasing, manufacturing, engineering, planning, and operations. The sales learning curve unfolds similarly through the give-and-take between the company--marketing, sales, product support, and product development--and its customers. As customers adopt the product, the firm modifies both the offering and the processes associated with making and selling it. Progress along the manufacturing curve is measured by tracking cost per unit: The more a firm learns about the manufacturing process, the more efficient it becomes, and the lower the unit cost goes. Progress along the sales learning curve is measured in an analogous way: The more a company learns about the sales process, the more efficient it becomes at selling, and the higher the sales yield. As the sales yield increases, the sales learning process unfolds in three distinct phases--initiation, transition, and execution. Each phase requires a different size--and kind--of sales force and represents a different stage in a company's production, marketing, and sales strategies. Adjusting those strategies as the firm progresses along the sales learning curve allows managers to plan resource allocation more accurately, set appropriate expectations, avoid disastrous cash shortfalls, and reduce both the time and money required to turn a profit.

  20. An index of reservoir habitat impairment

    Miranda, L.E.; Hunt, K.M.

    2011-01-01

    Fish habitat impairment resulting from natural and anthropogenic watershed and in-lake processes has in many cases reduced the ability of reservoirs to sustain native fish assemblages and fisheries quality. Rehabilitation of impaired reservoirs is hindered by the lack of a method suitable for scoring impairment status. To address this limitation, an index of reservoir habitat impairment (IRHI) was developed by merging 14 metrics descriptive of common impairment sources, with each metric scored from 0 (no impairment) to 5 (high impairment) by fisheries scientists with local knowledge. With a plausible range of 5 to 25, distribution of the IRHI scores ranged from 5 to 23 over 482 randomly selected reservoirs dispersed throughout the USA. The IRHI reflected five impairment factors including siltation, structural habitat, eutrophication, water regime, and aquatic plants. The factors were weakly related to key reservoir characteristics including reservoir area, depth, age, and usetype, suggesting that common reservoir descriptors are poor predictors of fish habitat impairment. The IRHI is rapid and inexpensive to calculate, provides an easily understood measure of the overall habitat impairment, allows comparison of reservoirs and therefore prioritization of restoration activities, and may be used to track restoration progress. The major limitation of the IRHI is its reliance on unstandardized professional judgment rather than standardized empirical measurements. ?? 2010 US Government.

  1. Environmental Suitability for Leasing Property

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This is a Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Defense, regarding the procedures to determine environmental suitability for leasing property available as a result of a base closure or realignment.

  2. IGMtransmission: Transmission curve computation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison, Christopher M.; Meiksin, Avery; Stock, David

    2015-04-01

    IGMtransmission is a Java graphical user interface that implements Monte Carlo simulations to compute the corrections to colors of high-redshift galaxies due to intergalactic attenuation based on current models of the Intergalactic Medium. The effects of absorption due to neutral hydrogen are considered, with particular attention to the stochastic effects of Lyman Limit Systems. Attenuation curves are produced, as well as colors for a wide range of filter responses and model galaxy spectra. Photometric filters are included for the Hubble Space Telescope, the Keck telescope, the Mt. Palomar 200-inch, the SUBARU telescope and UKIRT; alternative filter response curves and spectra may be readily uploaded.

  3. Designing the Alluvial Riverbeds in Curved Paths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macura, Viliam; Škrinár, Andrej; Štefunková, Zuzana; Muchová, Zlatica; Majorošová, Martina

    2017-10-01

    The paper presents the method of determining the shape of the riverbed in curves of the watercourse, which is based on the method of Ikeda (1975) developed for a slightly curved path in sandy riverbed. Regulated rivers have essentially slightly and smoothly curved paths; therefore, this methodology provides the appropriate basis for river restoration. Based on the research in the experimental reach of the Holeška Brook and several alluvial mountain streams the methodology was adjusted. The method also takes into account other important characteristics of bottom material - the shape and orientation of the particles, settling velocity and drag coefficients. Thus, the method is mainly meant for the natural sand-gravel material, which is heterogeneous and the particle shape of the bottom material is very different from spherical. The calculation of the river channel in the curved path provides the basis for the design of optimal habitat, but also for the design of foundations of armouring of the bankside of the channel. The input data is adapted to the conditions of design practice.

  4. [Customized and non-customized French intrauterine growth curves. II - Comparison with existing curves and benefits of customization].

    PubMed

    Ego, A; Prunet, C; Blondel, B; Kaminski, M; Goffinet, F; Zeitlin, J

    2016-02-01

    Our aim is to compare the new French EPOPé intrauterine growth curves, developed to address the guidelines 2013 of the French College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, with reference curves currently used in France, and to evaluate the consequences of their adjustment for fetal sex and maternal characteristics. Eight intrauterine and birthweight curves, used in France were compared to the EPOPé curves using data from the French Perinatal Survey 2010. The influence of adjustment on the rate of SGA births and the characteristics of these births was analysed. Due to their birthweight values and distribution, the selected intrauterine curves are less suitable for births in France than the new curves. Birthweight curves led to low rates of SGA births from 4.3 to 8.5% compared to 10.0% with the EPOPé curves. The adjustment for maternal and fetal characteristics avoids the over-representation of girls among SGA births, and reclassifies 4% of births. Among births reclassified as SGA, the frequency of medical and obstetrical risk factors for growth restriction, smoking (≥10 cigarettes/day), and neonatal transfer is higher than among non-SGA births (P<0.01). The EPOPé curves are more suitable for French births than currently used curves, and their adjustment improves the identification of mothers and babies at risk of growth restriction and poor perinatal outcomes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  5. Suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation.

    PubMed

    Germano, Jennifer M; Bishop, Phillip J

    2009-02-01

    Translocations are important tools in the field of conservation. Despite increased use over the last few decades, the appropriateness of translocations for amphibians and reptiles has been debated widely over the past 20 years. To provide a comprehensive evaluation of the suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation, we reviewed the results of amphibian and reptile translocation projects published between 1991 and 2006. The success rate of amphibian and reptile translocations reported over this period was twice that reported in an earlier review in 1991. Success and failure rates were independent of the taxonomic class (Amphibia or Reptilia) released. Reptile translocations driven by human-wildlife conflict mitigation had a higher failure rate than those motivated by conservation, and more recent projects of reptile translocations had unknown outcomes. The outcomes of amphibian translocations were significantly related to the number of animals released, with projects releasing over 1000 individuals being most successful. The most common reported causes of translocation failure were homing and migration of introduced individuals out of release sites and poor habitat. The increased success of amphibian and reptile translocations reviewed in this study compared with the 1991 review is encouraging for future conservation projects. Nevertheless, more preparation, monitoring, reporting of results, and experimental testing of techniques and reintroduction questions need to occur to improve translocations of amphibians and reptiles as a whole.

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

    Kirsch, Eileen M.

    1996-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Restricted cross-scale habitat selection by American beavers

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Jimmy D; Dibble, Eric; Strickland, Bronson; Petro, Vanessa M; Easterwood, Christine; Wang, Guiming

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Animal habitat selection, among other ecological phenomena, is spatially scale dependent. Habitat selection by American beavers Castor canadensis (hereafter, beaver) has been studied at singular spatial scales, but to date no research addresses multi-scale selection. Our objectives were to determine if beaver habitat selection was specialized to semiaquatic habitats and if variables explaining habitat selection are consistent between landscape and fine spatial scales. We built maximum entropy (MaxEnt) models to relate landscape-scale presence-only data to landscape variables, and used generalized linear mixed models to evaluate fine spatial scale habitat selection using global positioning system (GPS) relocation data. Explanatory variables between the landscape and fine spatial scale were compared for consistency. Our findings suggested that beaver habitat selection at coarse (study area) and fine (within home range) scales was congruent, and was influenced by increasing amounts of woody wetland edge density and shrub edge density, and decreasing amounts of open water edge density. Habitat suitability at the landscape scale also increased with decreasing amounts of grass frequency. As territorial, central-place foragers, beavers likely trade-off open water edge density (i.e., smaller non-forested wetlands or lodges closer to banks) for defense and shorter distances to forage and obtain construction material. Woody plants along edges and expanses of open water for predator avoidance may limit beaver fitness and subsequently determine beaver habitat selection. PMID:29492032

  9. Restricted cross-scale habitat selection by American beavers.

    PubMed

    Francis, Robert A; Taylor, Jimmy D; Dibble, Eric; Strickland, Bronson; Petro, Vanessa M; Easterwood, Christine; Wang, Guiming

    2017-12-01

    Animal habitat selection, among other ecological phenomena, is spatially scale dependent. Habitat selection by American beavers Castor canadensis (hereafter, beaver) has been studied at singular spatial scales, but to date no research addresses multi-scale selection. Our objectives were to determine if beaver habitat selection was specialized to semiaquatic habitats and if variables explaining habitat selection are consistent between landscape and fine spatial scales. We built maximum entropy (MaxEnt) models to relate landscape-scale presence-only data to landscape variables, and used generalized linear mixed models to evaluate fine spatial scale habitat selection using global positioning system (GPS) relocation data. Explanatory variables between the landscape and fine spatial scale were compared for consistency. Our findings suggested that beaver habitat selection at coarse (study area) and fine (within home range) scales was congruent, and was influenced by increasing amounts of woody wetland edge density and shrub edge density, and decreasing amounts of open water edge density. Habitat suitability at the landscape scale also increased with decreasing amounts of grass frequency. As territorial, central-place foragers, beavers likely trade-off open water edge density (i.e., smaller non-forested wetlands or lodges closer to banks) for defense and shorter distances to forage and obtain construction material. Woody plants along edges and expanses of open water for predator avoidance may limit beaver fitness and subsequently determine beaver habitat selection.

  10. The Axial Curve Rotator.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hunter, Walter M.

    This document contains detailed directions for constructing a device that mechanically produces the three-dimensional shape resulting from the rotation of any algebraic line or curve around either axis on the coordinate plant. The device was developed in response to student difficulty in visualizing, and thus grasping the mathematical principles…

  11. The Bacterial Growth Curve.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paulton, Richard J. L.

    1991-01-01

    A procedure that allows students to view an entire bacterial growth curve during a two- to three-hour student laboratory period is described. Observations of the lag phase, logarithmic phase, maximum stationary phase, and phase of decline are possible. A nonpathogenic, marine bacterium is used in the investigation. (KR)

  12. Curved Solids Nets

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen, Nitsa

    2003-01-01

    The transformation of a solid to its net is based on something quite different from simple perceptual impression. It is a mental operation performed by manipulating mental images. The aim of this study was to observe pre-service and in-service teachers' ability to visualize the transformation of a curved solid to its net and vice versa, and to try…

  13. Textbook Factor Demand Curves.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Joe C.

    1994-01-01

    Maintains that teachers and textbook graphics follow the same basic pattern in illustrating changes in demand curves when product prices increase. Asserts that the use of computer graphics will enable teachers to be more precise in their graphic presentation of price elasticity. (CFR)

  14. Graphing Polar Curves

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawes, Jonathan F.

    2013-01-01

    Graphing polar curves typically involves a combination of three traditional techniques, all of which can be time-consuming and tedious. However, an alternative method--graphing the polar function on a rectangular plane--simplifies graphing, increases student understanding of the polar coordinate system, and reinforces graphing techniques learned…

  15. Habitat split and the global decline of amphibians.

    PubMed

    Becker, Carlos Guilherme; Fonseca, Carlos Roberto; Haddad, Célio Fernando Baptista; Batista, Rômulo Fernandes; Prado, Paulo Inácio

    2007-12-14

    The worldwide decline in amphibians has been attributed to several causes, especially habitat loss and disease. We identified a further factor, namely "habitat split"-defined as human-induced disconnection between habitats used by different life history stages of a species-which forces forest-associated amphibians with aquatic larvae to make risky breeding migrations between suitable aquatic and terrestrial habitats. In the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, we found that habitat split negatively affects the richness of species with aquatic larvae but not the richness of species with terrestrial development (the latter can complete their life cycle inside forest remnants). This mechanism helps to explain why species with aquatic larvae have the highest incidence of population decline. These findings reinforce the need for the conservation and restoration of riparian vegetation.

  16. The peregrine falcon in Arizona: Habitat utilization and management recommendations

    Ellis, D.H.

    1982-01-01

    The peregrine falcon once bred in significant numbers in Arizona. Good documentation is available for specific breeding sites and an additional 20 general locations. This report, based on the published literature, an extensive personal contact survey, an aerial habitat inventory (over 124 hours air time), and ground visits to over 300 locations, provides information on habitat preferences and management practices which can contribute to the bird's survival. In seeking to identify the habitat preferences of the falcon, many site description factors were examined. Those traits which appeared common to most recent Arizona sites (and therefore most useful in evaluating habitat) were: elevation less than 9,000 feet, cliffs tall or very tall, cliffs extensive, topographic relief high, and surface water readily available. All recent sites are in extensive canyon systems or in extensive mountain ranges. Using a habitat evaluation key derived from the traits common to known breeding sites, all cliff regions in Arizona and the Navajo Indian Reservation were flown and evaluated for suitability. Nineteen falcon eyries located in subsequent ground visits were all in areas previously ranked acceptable or better. Many management alternatives are discussed: management of information on breeding sites, habitat preservation, controlling disruptive human activities, and enhancing productivity through the creation of suitable breeding ledges, providing pesticide free prey, or direct reintroductions. Given their privacy (and an increasingly pesticide free environment) the peregrine falcon will likely exist indefinitely in suitable areas across Arizona.

  17. Assessing juvenile salmon rearing habitat and associated predation risk in a lower Snake River reservoir

    Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Hatten, James R.; Trachtenbarg, David A

    2015-01-01

    Subyearling fall Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Columbia River basin exhibit a transient rearing strategy and depend on connected shoreline habitats during freshwater rearing. Impoundment has greatly reduced the amount of shallow-water rearing habitat that is exacerbated by the steep topography of reservoirs. Periodic dredging creates opportunities to strategically place spoils to increase the amount of shallow-water habitat for subyearlings while at the same time reducing the amount of unsuitable area that is often preferred by predators. We assessed the amount and spatial arrangement of subyearling rearing habitat in Lower Granite Reservoir on the Snake River to guide future habitat improvement efforts. A spatially explicit habitat assessment was conducted using physical habitat data, two-dimensional hydrodynamic modelling and a statistical habitat model in a geographic information system framework. We used field collections of subyearlings and a common predator [smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu)] to draw inferences about predation risk within specific habitat types. Most of the high-probability rearing habitat was located in the upper half of the reservoir where gently sloping landforms created low lateral bed slopes and shallow-water habitats. Only 29% of shorelines were predicted to be suitable (probability >0.5) for subyearlings, and the occurrence of these shorelines decreased in a downstream direction. The remaining, less suitable areas were composed of low-probability habitats in unmodified (25%) and riprapped shorelines (46%). As expected, most subyearlings were found in high-probability habitat, while most smallmouth bass were found in low-probability locations. However, some subyearlings were found in low-probability habitats, such as riprap, where predation risk could be high. Given their transient rearing strategy and dependence on shoreline habitats, subyearlings could benefit from habitat creation efforts in the lower

  18. The Scientific Basis for Modeling Northern Spotted Owl Habitat: A Response to Loehle, Irwin, Manly, and Merrill

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently revised the recovery plan (USFWS 2011) and designated Critical Habitat (USFWS 2012a) for the Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina). The Critical Habitat designation was based in part on a map of relative habitat suitability...

  19. The scientific basis for modeling Northern Spotted Owl habitat: A response to Loehle, Irwin, Manly, and Merrill

    Jeffrey R. Dunk; Brian Woodbridge; Elizabeth M. Glenn; Raymond J. Davis; Katherine Fitzgerald; Paul Henson; David W. LaPlante; Bruce G. Marcot; Barry R. Noon; Martin G. Raphael; Nathan H. Schumaker; Brendan White

    2015-01-01

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently revised the recovery plan (USFWS, 2011) and designated Critical Habitat (USFWS, 2012a) for the Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina). The Critical Habitat designation was based in part on a map of relative habitat suitability that was developed by USFWS (2011, 2012b) for this purpose. Loehle...

  20. Lyme borreliosis habitat assessment.

    PubMed

    Gray, J S; Kahl, O; Robertson, J N; Daniel, M; Estrada-Peña, A; Gettinby, G; Jaenson, T G; Jensen, P; Jongejan, F; Korenberg, E; Kurtenbach, K; Zeman, P

    1998-03-01

    Tick ecologists throughout Europe provided descriptions of Lyme borreliosis habitats according to a standardised format and data for 105 habitats in 16 countries were received. The data showed that high risk situations, as defined by the presence of large numbers of B. burgdorferi sensu lato-infected nymphal I. ricinus, occur in heterogeneous deciduous woodland, usually with a recreational function and with a diverse fauna, usually including deer. Large numbers of ticks occurred in some other habitats, but infection prevalence was usually low. The situation for adult I. ricinus was similar but less clearly defined. Tick infection rates were found to be lower in western Europe than in the east, and the infection rate in I. persulcatus, the most easterly vector species, was markedly higher than in I. ricinus. In the vast majority of habitats the infection rate in adult I. ricinus was greater than in nymphs. Larvae were rarely found to be infected.

  1. Plant Habitat Facility Clean

    2018-03-12

    iss055e001931 (Mar. 12, 2018) --- Dwarf wheat plants during routine cleaning in the Advanced Plant Habitat Facility, a facility to conduct plant bioscience research on the International Space Stations (ISS).

  2. The Hyper-Envelope Modeling Interface (HEMI): A Novel Approach Illustrated Through Predicting Tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) Habitat in the Western USA

    Graham, Jim; Young, Nick; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Newman, Greg; Evangelista, Paul; Stohlgren, Thomas J.

    2013-01-01

    Habitat suitability maps are commonly created by modeling a species’ environmental niche from occurrences and environmental characteristics. Here, we introduce the hyper-envelope modeling interface (HEMI), providing a new method for creating habitat suitability models using Bezier surfaces to model a species niche in environmental space. HEMI allows modeled surfaces to be visualized and edited in environmental space based on expert knowledge and does not require absence points for model development. The modeled surfaces require relatively few parameters compared to similar modeling approaches and may produce models that better match ecological niche theory. As a case study, we modeled the invasive species tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) in the western USA. We compare results from HEMI with those from existing similar modeling approaches (including BioClim, BioMapper, and Maxent). We used synthetic surfaces to create visualizations of the various models in environmental space and used modified area under the curve (AUC) statistic and akaike information criterion (AIC) as measures of model performance. We show that HEMI produced slightly better AUC values, except for Maxent and better AIC values overall. HEMI created a model with only ten parameters while Maxent produced a model with over 100 and BioClim used only eight. Additionally, HEMI allowed visualization and editing of the model in environmental space to develop alternative potential habitat scenarios. The use of Bezier surfaces can provide simple models that match our expectations of biological niche models and, at least in some cases, out-perform more complex approaches.

  3. Predictive modeling of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands.

    PubMed

    Thorne, Lesley H; Johnston, David W; Urban, Dean L; Tyne, Julian; Bejder, Lars; Baird, Robin W; Yin, Suzanne; Rickards, Susan H; Deakos, Mark H; Mobley, Joseph R; Pack, Adam A; Chapla Hill, Marie

    2012-01-01

    Predictive habitat models can provide critical information that is necessary in many conservation applications. Using Maximum Entropy modeling, we characterized habitat relationships and generated spatial predictions of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands. Spinner dolphins in Hawai'i exhibit predictable daily movements, using inshore bays as resting habitat during daylight hours and foraging in offshore waters at night. There are growing concerns regarding the effects of human activities on spinner dolphins resting in coastal areas. However, the environmental factors that define suitable resting habitat remain unclear and must be assessed and quantified in order to properly address interactions between humans and spinner dolphins. We used a series of dolphin sightings from recent surveys in the main Hawaiian Islands and a suite of environmental variables hypothesized as being important to resting habitat to model spinner dolphin resting habitat. The model performed well in predicting resting habitat and indicated that proximity to deep water foraging areas, depth, the proportion of bays with shallow depths, and rugosity were important predictors of spinner dolphin habitat. Predicted locations of suitable spinner dolphin resting habitat provided in this study indicate areas where future survey efforts should be focused and highlight potential areas of conflict with human activities. This study provides an example of a presence-only habitat model used to inform the management of a species for which patterns of habitat availability are poorly understood.

  4. Predictive Modeling of Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris) Resting Habitat in the Main Hawaiian Islands

    PubMed Central

    Thorne, Lesley H.; Johnston, David W.; Urban, Dean L.; Tyne, Julian; Bejder, Lars; Baird, Robin W.; Yin, Suzanne; Rickards, Susan H.; Deakos, Mark H.; Mobley, Joseph R.; Pack, Adam A.; Chapla Hill, Marie

    2012-01-01

    Predictive habitat models can provide critical information that is necessary in many conservation applications. Using Maximum Entropy modeling, we characterized habitat relationships and generated spatial predictions of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands. Spinner dolphins in Hawai'i exhibit predictable daily movements, using inshore bays as resting habitat during daylight hours and foraging in offshore waters at night. There are growing concerns regarding the effects of human activities on spinner dolphins resting in coastal areas. However, the environmental factors that define suitable resting habitat remain unclear and must be assessed and quantified in order to properly address interactions between humans and spinner dolphins. We used a series of dolphin sightings from recent surveys in the main Hawaiian Islands and a suite of environmental variables hypothesized as being important to resting habitat to model spinner dolphin resting habitat. The model performed well in predicting resting habitat and indicated that proximity to deep water foraging areas, depth, the proportion of bays with shallow depths, and rugosity were important predictors of spinner dolphin habitat. Predicted locations of suitable spinner dolphin resting habitat provided in this study indicate areas where future survey efforts should be focused and highlight potential areas of conflict with human activities. This study provides an example of a presence-only habitat model used to inform the management of a species for which patterns of habitat availability are poorly understood. PMID:22937022

  5. Global screening for Critical Habitat in the terrestrial realm.

    PubMed

    Brauneder, Kerstin M; Montes, Chloe; Blyth, Simon; Bennun, Leon; Butchart, Stuart H M; Hoffmann, Michael; Burgess, Neil D; Cuttelod, Annabelle; Jones, Matt I; Kapos, Val; Pilgrim, John; Tolley, Melissa J; Underwood, Emma C; Weatherdon, Lauren V; Brooks, Sharon E

    2018-01-01

    Critical Habitat has become an increasingly important concept used by the finance sector and businesses to identify areas of high biodiversity value. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) defines Critical Habitat in their highly influential Performance Standard 6 (PS6), requiring projects in Critical Habitat to achieve a net gain of biodiversity. Here we present a global screening layer of Critical Habitat in the terrestrial realm, derived from global spatial datasets covering the distributions of 12 biodiversity features aligned with guidance provided by the IFC. Each biodiversity feature is categorised as 'likely' or 'potential' Critical Habitat based on: 1. Alignment between the biodiversity feature and the IFC Critical Habitat definition; and 2. Suitability of the spatial resolution for indicating a feature's presence on the ground. Following the initial screening process, Critical Habitat must then be assessed in-situ by a qualified assessor. This analysis indicates that a total of 10% and 5% of the global terrestrial environment can be considered as likely and potential Critical Habitat, respectively, while the remaining 85% did not overlap with any of the biodiversity features assessed and was classified as 'unknown'. Likely Critical Habitat was determined principally by the occurrence of Key Biodiversity Areas and Protected Areas. Potential Critical Habitat was predominantly characterised by data representing highly threatened and unique ecosystems such as ever-wet tropical forests and tropical dry forests. The areas we identified as likely or potential Critical Habitat are based on the best available global-scale data for the terrestrial realm that is aligned with IFC's Critical Habitat definition. Our results can help businesses screen potential development sites at the early project stage based on a range of biodiversity features. However, the study also demonstrates several important data gaps and highlights the need to incorporate new and

  6. Global screening for Critical Habitat in the terrestrial realm

    PubMed Central

    Blyth, Simon; Bennun, Leon; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Hoffmann, Michael; Burgess, Neil D.; Cuttelod, Annabelle; Jones, Matt I.; Kapos, Val; Pilgrim, John; Tolley, Melissa J.; Underwood, Emma C.; Weatherdon, Lauren V.

    2018-01-01

    Critical Habitat has become an increasingly important concept used by the finance sector and businesses to identify areas of high biodiversity value. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) defines Critical Habitat in their highly influential Performance Standard 6 (PS6), requiring projects in Critical Habitat to achieve a net gain of biodiversity. Here we present a global screening layer of Critical Habitat in the terrestrial realm, derived from global spatial datasets covering the distributions of 12 biodiversity features aligned with guidance provided by the IFC. Each biodiversity feature is categorised as ‘likely’ or ‘potential’ Critical Habitat based on: 1. Alignment between the biodiversity feature and the IFC Critical Habitat definition; and 2. Suitability of the spatial resolution for indicating a feature’s presence on the ground. Following the initial screening process, Critical Habitat must then be assessed in-situ by a qualified assessor. This analysis indicates that a total of 10% and 5% of the global terrestrial environment can be considered as likely and potential Critical Habitat, respectively, while the remaining 85% did not overlap with any of the biodiversity features assessed and was classified as ‘unknown’. Likely Critical Habitat was determined principally by the occurrence of Key Biodiversity Areas and Protected Areas. Potential Critical Habitat was predominantly characterised by data representing highly threatened and unique ecosystems such as ever-wet tropical forests and tropical dry forests. The areas we identified as likely or potential Critical Habitat are based on the best available global-scale data for the terrestrial realm that is aligned with IFC’s Critical Habitat definition. Our results can help businesses screen potential development sites at the early project stage based on a range of biodiversity features. However, the study also demonstrates several important data gaps and highlights the need to incorporate

  7. Sage-grouse habitat selection during winter in Alberta

    Carpenter, Jennifer L.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Boyce, Mark S.

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Trends and habitat associations of waterbirds using the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, San Francisco Bay, California

    De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Smith, Lacy M.; Moskal, Stacy M.; Strong, Cheryl; Krause, John; Wang, Yiwei; Takekawa, John Y.

    2018-04-02

    Executive SummaryThe aim of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project (hereinafter “Project”) is to restore 50–90 percent of former salt evaporation ponds to tidal marsh in San Francisco Bay (SFB). However, hundreds of thousands of waterbirds use these ponds over winter and during fall and spring migration. To ensure that existing waterbird populations are supported while tidal marsh is restored in the Project area, managers plan to enhance the habitat suitability of ponds by adding islands and berms to change pond topography, manipulating water salinity and depth, and selecting appropriate ponds to maintain for birds. To help inform these actions, we used 13 years of monthly (October–April) bird abundance data from Project ponds to (1) assess trends in waterbird abundance since the inception of the Project, and (2) evaluate which pond habitat characteristics were associated with highest abundances of different avian guilds and species. For comparison, we also evaluated waterbird abundance trends in active salt production ponds using 10 years of monthly survey data.We assessed bird guild and species abundance trends through time, and created separate trend curves for Project and salt production ponds using data from every pond that was counted in a year. We divided abundance data into three seasons—fall (October–November), winter (December–February), and spring (March–April). We used the resulting curves to assess which periods had the highest bird abundance and to identify increasing or decreasing trends for each guild and species.

  9. Endangered winter-run Chinook salmon rely on diverse rearing habitats in a highly altered landscape

    DOE PAGES

    Phillis, Corey C.; Sturrock, Anna M.; Johnson, Rachel C.; ...

    2017-11-24

    Protecting habitats for imperiled species is central to conservation efforts. However, for migratory species, identifying juvenile habitats that confer success requires tracking individuals to reproduction. Here in this paper, we used otolith strontium isotope ratios ( 87Sr/ 86Sr) to reconstruct juvenile habitat use by endangered Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon that survived to adulthood. The isotope data revealed that 44–65% of surviving adults reared in non-natal habitats, most of which is not designated as critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act. Juveniles entered these non-natal habitats at small sizes, yet left freshwater at a similar size to those that rearedmore » in the mainstem Sacramento River, suggesting these alternate rearing habitats provide suitable growth conditions. These findings indicate Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon rely on rearing habitats across a broader geographic region than previously known, potentially opening up greater restoration and conservation opportunities for species recovery.« less

  10. Endangered winter-run Chinook salmon rely on diverse rearing habitats in a highly altered landscape

    SciT

    Phillis, Corey C.; Sturrock, Anna M.; Johnson, Rachel C.

    Protecting habitats for imperiled species is central to conservation efforts. However, for migratory species, identifying juvenile habitats that confer success requires tracking individuals to reproduction. Here in this paper, we used otolith strontium isotope ratios ( 87Sr/ 86Sr) to reconstruct juvenile habitat use by endangered Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon that survived to adulthood. The isotope data revealed that 44–65% of surviving adults reared in non-natal habitats, most of which is not designated as critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act. Juveniles entered these non-natal habitats at small sizes, yet left freshwater at a similar size to those that rearedmore » in the mainstem Sacramento River, suggesting these alternate rearing habitats provide suitable growth conditions. These findings indicate Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon rely on rearing habitats across a broader geographic region than previously known, potentially opening up greater restoration and conservation opportunities for species recovery.« less

  11. Principles of wildlife habitat management

    Ernie P. Wiggers

    1989-01-01

    Simply stated, habitat is where an animal lives and must include all the resources an animal needs to survive and reproduce. An animal's habitat has to provide five essential factors: food, cover, water, space, and interspersion. Habitat management is identifying which factors are scarce enough to limit populations, and then improving the habitat to remove the...

  12. Identifying Suitable Locations for Mesophotic Hard Corals Offshore of Maui, Hawai‘i

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Bryan; Kendall, Matthew S.; Parrish, Frank A.; Rooney, John; Boland, Raymond C.; Chow, Malia; Lecky, Joey; Montgomery, Anthony; Spalding, Heather

    2015-01-01

    Mesophotic hard corals (MHC) are increasingly threatened by a growing number of anthropogenic stressors, including impacts from fishing, land-based sources of pollution, and ocean acidification. However, little is known about their geographic distributions (particularly around the Pacific islands) because it is logistically challenging and expensive to gather data in the 30 to 150 meter depth range where these organisms typically live. The goal of this study was to begin to fill this knowledge gap by modelling and predicting the spatial distribution of three genera of mesophotic hard corals offshore of Maui in the Main Hawaiian Islands. Maximum Entropy modeling software was used to create separate maps of predicted probability of occurrence and uncertainty for: (1) Leptoseris, (2) Montipora, and (3) Porites. Genera prevalence was derived from the in situ presence/absence data, and used to convert relative habitat suitability to probability of occurrence values. Approximately 1,300 georeferenced records of the occurrence of MHC, and 34 environmental predictors were used to train the model ensembles. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) Area Under the Curve (AUC) values were between 0.89 and 0.97, indicating excellent overall model performance. Mean uncertainty and mean absolute error for the spatial predictions ranged from 0.006% to 0.05% and 3.73% to 17.6%, respectively. Depth, distance from shore, euphotic depth (mean and standard deviation) and sea surface temperature (mean and standard deviation) were identified as the six most influential predictor variables for partitioning habitats among the three genera. MHC were concentrated between Hanaka‘ō‘ō and Papawai Points offshore of western Maui most likely because this area hosts warmer, clearer and calmer water conditions almost year round. While these predictions helped to fill some knowledge gaps offshore of Maui, many information gaps remain in the Hawaiian Archipelago and Pacific Islands. This

  13. Identifying Suitable Locations for Mesophotic Hard Corals Offshore of Maui, Hawai'i.

    PubMed

    Costa, Bryan; Kendall, Matthew S; Parrish, Frank A; Rooney, John; Boland, Raymond C; Chow, Malia; Lecky, Joey; Montgomery, Anthony; Spalding, Heather

    2015-01-01

    Mesophotic hard corals (MHC) are increasingly threatened by a growing number of anthropogenic stressors, including impacts from fishing, land-based sources of pollution, and ocean acidification. However, little is known about their geographic distributions (particularly around the Pacific islands) because it is logistically challenging and expensive to gather data in the 30 to 150 meter depth range where these organisms typically live. The goal of this study was to begin to fill this knowledge gap by modelling and predicting the spatial distribution of three genera of mesophotic hard corals offshore of Maui in the Main Hawaiian Islands. Maximum Entropy modeling software was used to create separate maps of predicted probability of occurrence and uncertainty for: (1) Leptoseris, (2) Montipora, and (3) Porites. Genera prevalence was derived from the in situ presence/absence data, and used to convert relative habitat suitability to probability of occurrence values. Approximately 1,300 georeferenced records of the occurrence of MHC, and 34 environmental predictors were used to train the model ensembles. Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) Area Under the Curve (AUC) values were between 0.89 and 0.97, indicating excellent overall model performance. Mean uncertainty and mean absolute error for the spatial predictions ranged from 0.006% to 0.05% and 3.73% to 17.6%, respectively. Depth, distance from shore, euphotic depth (mean and standard deviation) and sea surface temperature (mean and standard deviation) were identified as the six most influential predictor variables for partitioning habitats among the three genera. MHC were concentrated between Hanaka'ō'ō and Papawai Points offshore of western Maui most likely because this area hosts warmer, clearer and calmer water conditions almost year round. While these predictions helped to fill some knowledge gaps offshore of Maui, many information gaps remain in the Hawaiian Archipelago and Pacific Islands. This approach

  14. Curved Surface Beam Splitter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Minott, P. O.

    1983-01-01

    Beam splitter with curved entrance and exit surfaces introduces less chromatic aberration and Seidel aberrations in some optical systems than traditional plate or block beam splitters. Spherical-surface beam splitter is used in Schmidt-type mirror objective to split converging image-forming beam so two images are formed. Small aberrations introduced are corrected by compensator plate located at or near aperture stop.

  15. LCC: Light Curves Classifier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vo, Martin

    2017-08-01

    Light Curves Classifier uses data mining and machine learning to obtain and classify desired objects. This task can be accomplished by attributes of light curves or any time series, including shapes, histograms, or variograms, or by other available information about the inspected objects, such as color indices, temperatures, and abundances. After specifying features which describe the objects to be searched, the software trains on a given training sample, and can then be used for unsupervised clustering for visualizing the natural separation of the sample. The package can be also used for automatic tuning parameters of used methods (for example, number of hidden neurons or binning ratio). Trained classifiers can be used for filtering outputs from astronomical databases or data stored locally. The Light Curve Classifier can also be used for simple downloading of light curves and all available information of queried stars. It natively can connect to OgleII, OgleIII, ASAS, CoRoT, Kepler, Catalina and MACHO, and new connectors or descriptors can be implemented. In addition to direct usage of the package and command line UI, the program can be used through a web interface. Users can create jobs for ”training” methods on given objects, querying databases and filtering outputs by trained filters. Preimplemented descriptors, classifier and connectors can be picked by simple clicks and their parameters can be tuned by giving ranges of these values. All combinations are then calculated and the best one is used for creating the filter. Natural separation of the data can be visualized by unsupervised clustering.

  16. Visualizing curved spacetime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jonsson, Rickard M.

    2005-03-01

    I present a way to visualize the concept of curved spacetime. The result is a curved surface with local coordinate systems (Minkowski systems) living on it, giving the local directions of space and time. Relative to these systems, special relativity holds. The method can be used to visualize gravitational time dilation, the horizon of black holes, and cosmological models. The idea underlying the illustrations is first to specify a field of timelike four-velocities uμ. Then, at every point, one performs a coordinate transformation to a local Minkowski system comoving with the given four-velocity. In the local system, the sign of the spatial part of the metric is flipped to create a new metric of Euclidean signature. The new positive definite metric, called the absolute metric, can be covariantly related to the original Lorentzian metric. For the special case of a two-dimensional original metric, the absolute metric may be embedded in three-dimensional Euclidean space as a curved surface.

  17. Determining Home Range and Preferred Habitat of Feral Horses on the Nevada National Security Site Using Geographic Information Systems

    SciT

    Burns, Ashley V.

    2014-05-30

    Feral horses (Equus caballus) are free-roaming descendants of domesticated horses and legally protected by the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which mandates how feral horses and burros should be managed and protected on federal lands. Using a geographic information system to determine the home range and suitable habitat of feral horses on the federally managed Nevada National Security Site can enable wildlife biologists in making best management practice recommendations. Home range was estimated at 88.1 square kilometers. Site suitability was calculated for elevation, forage, slope, water presence and horse observations. These variables were combined in successivemore » iterations into one polygon. Suitability rankings established that 85 square kilometers are most suitable habitat, with 2,052 square kilometers of good habitat 1,252 square kilometers of fair habitat and 122 square kilometers of least suitable habitat.« less

  18. Inter-annual variability of North Sea plaice spawning habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loots, C.; Vaz, S.; Koubbi, P.; Planque, B.; Coppin, F.; Verin, Y.

    2010-11-01

    Potential spawning habitat is defined as the area where environmental conditions are suitable for spawning to occur. Spawning adult data from the first quarter (January-March) of the International Bottom Trawl Survey have been used to study the inter-annual variability of the potential spawning habitat of North Sea plaice from 1980 to 2007. Generalised additive models (GAM) were used to create a model that related five environmental variables (depth, bottom temperature and salinity, seabed stress and sediment type) to presence-absence and abundance of spawning adults. Then, the habitat model was applied each year from 1970 to 2007 to predict inter-annual variability of the potential spawning habitat. Predicted responses obtained by GAM for each year were mapped using kriging. A hierarchical classification associated with a correspondence analysis was performed to cluster spawning suitable areas and to determine how they evolved across years. The potential spawning habitat was consistent with historical spawning ground locations described in the literature from eggs surveys. It was also found that the potential spawning habitat varied across years. Suitable areas were located in the southern part of the North Sea and along the eastern coast of England and Scotland in the eighties; they expanded further north from the nineties. Annual survey distributions did not show such northward expansion and remained located in the southern North Sea. This suggests that this species' actual spatial distribution remains stable against changing environmental conditions, and that the potential spawning habitat is not fully occupied. Changes in environmental conditions appear to remain within plaice environmental ranges, meaning that other factors may control the spatial distribution of plaice spawning habitat.

  19. Identifying regions vulnerable to habitat degradation under future irrigation scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terrado, Marta; Sabater, Sergi; Acuña, Vicenç

    2016-11-01

    The loss and degradation of natural habitats is a primary cause of biodiversity decline. The increasing impacts of climate and land use change affect water availability, ultimately decreasing agricultural production. Areas devoted to irrigation have been increased to compensate this reduction, causing habitat and biodiversity losses, especially in regions undergoing severe water stress. These effects might intensify under global change, probably contributing to a decrease in habitat quality. We selected four European river basins across a gradient of water scarcity and irrigation agriculture. The habitat quality in the basins was assessed as a function of habitat suitability and threats under current and future global change scenarios of irrigation. Results revealed that the most threatened regions under future scenarios of global change were among those suffering of water scarcity and with bigger areas devoted to irrigation. Loss of habitat quality reached 10% in terrestrial and 25% in aquatic ecosystems under climate change scenarios involving drier conditions. The aquatic habitats were the most degraded in all scenarios, since they were affected by threats from both the terrestrial and the aquatic parts of the basin. By identifying in advance the regions most vulnerable to habitat and biodiversity loss, our approach can assist decision makers in deciding the conservation actions to be prioritized for mitigation and adaptation to the effects of climate change, particularly front the development of irrigation plans.

  20. Habitat selection and management of the Hawaiian crow

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

    1987-01-01

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

  1. Test site suitability assessment for radiation measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borsero, M.; Nano, E.

    1980-04-01

    Field and attenuation methods for site suitability assessment for radiation measurements are presented. Attention is given to the IEC procedure for checking the suitability of radiation measurement site.

  2. White sturgeon spawning and rearing habitat in the lower Columbia River

    Parsley, Michael J.; Beckman, Lance G.

    1994-01-01

    Estimates of spawning habitat for white sturgeons Acipenser transmontanus in the tailraces of the four dams on the lower 470 km of the Columbia River were obtained by using the Physical Habitat Simulation System of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Instream Flow Incremental Methodology to identify areas with suitable water depths, water velocities, and substrates. Rearing habitat throughout the lower Columbia River was assessed by using a geographic information system to identify areas with suitable water depths and substrates. The lowering of spring and summer river discharges from hydropower system operation reduces the availability of spawning habitat for white sturgeons. The four dam tailraces in the study area differ in the amount and quality of spawning habitat available at various discharges; the differences are due to channel morphology. The three impoundments and the free-flowing Columbia River downstream from Bonneville Dam provide extensive areas that are physically suitable for rearing young-of-the-year and juvenile white sturgeons.

  3. Magnetism in curved geometries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Streubel, Robert; Fischer, Peter; Kronast, Florian; Kravchuk, Volodymyr P.; Sheka, Denis D.; Gaididei, Yuri; Schmidt, Oliver G.; Makarov, Denys

    2016-09-01

    Extending planar two-dimensional structures into the three-dimensional space has become a general trend in multiple disciplines, including electronics, photonics, plasmonics and magnetics. This approach provides means to modify conventional or to launch novel functionalities by tailoring the geometry of an object, e.g. its local curvature. In a generic electronic system, curvature results in the appearance of scalar and vector geometric potentials inducing anisotropic and chiral effects. In the specific case of magnetism, even in the simplest case of a curved anisotropic Heisenberg magnet, the curvilinear geometry manifests two exchange-driven interactions, namely effective anisotropy and antisymmetric exchange, i.e. Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya-like interaction. As a consequence, a family of novel curvature-driven effects emerges, which includes magnetochiral effects and topologically induced magnetization patterning, resulting in theoretically predicted unlimited domain wall velocities, chirality symmetry breaking and Cherenkov-like effects for magnons. The broad range of altered physical properties makes these curved architectures appealing in view of fundamental research on e.g. skyrmionic systems, magnonic crystals or exotic spin configurations. In addition to these rich physics, the application potential of three-dimensionally shaped objects is currently being explored as magnetic field sensorics for magnetofluidic applications, spin-wave filters, advanced magneto-encephalography devices for diagnosis of epilepsy or for energy-efficient racetrack memory devices. These recent developments ranging from theoretical predictions over fabrication of three-dimensionally curved magnetic thin films, hollow cylinders or wires, to their characterization using integral means as well as the development of advanced tomography approaches are in the focus of this review.

  4. Curved PVDF airborne transducer.

    PubMed

    Wang, H; Toda, M

    1999-01-01

    In the application of airborne ultrasonic ranging measurement, a partially cylindrical (curved) PVDF transducer can effectively couple ultrasound into the air and generate strong sound pressure. Because of its geometrical features, the ultrasound beam angles of a curved PVDF transducer can be unsymmetrical (i.e., broad horizontally and narrow vertically). This feature is desired in some applications. In this work, a curved PVDF air transducer is investigated both theoretically and experimentally. Two resonances were observed in this transducer. They are length extensional mode and flexural bending mode. Surface vibration profiles of these two modes were measured by a laser vibrometer. It was found from the experiment that the surface vibration was not uniform along the curvature direction for both vibration modes. Theoretical calculations based on a model developed in this work confirmed the experimental results. Two displacement peaks were found in the piezoelectric active direction of PVDF film for the length extensional mode; three peaks were found for the flexural bending mode. The observed peak positions were in good agreement with the calculation results. Transient surface displacement measurements revealed that vibration peaks were in phase for the length extensional mode and out of phase for the flexural bending mode. Therefore, the length extensional mode can generate a stronger ultrasound wave than the flexural bending mode. The resonance frequencies and vibration amplitudes of the two modes strongly depend on the structure parameters as well as the material properties. For the transducer design, the theoretical model developed in this work can be used to optimize the ultrasound performance.

  5. Magnetism in curved geometries

    DOE PAGES

    Streubel, Robert; Fischer, Peter; Kronast, Florian; ...

    2016-08-17

    Extending planar two-dimensional structures into the three-dimensional space has become a general trend in multiple disciplines, including electronics, photonics, plasmonics and magnetics. This approach provides means to modify conventional or to launch novel functionalities by tailoring the geometry of an object, e.g. its local curvature. In a generic electronic system, curvature results in the appearance of scalar and vector geometric potentials inducing anisotropic and chiral effects. In the specific case of magnetism, even in the simplest case of a curved anisotropic Heisenberg magnet, the curvilinear geometry manifests two exchange-driven interactions, namely effective anisotropy and antisymmetric exchange, i.e. Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya-like interaction. Asmore » a consequence, a family of novel curvature-driven effects emerges, which includes magnetochiral effects and topologically induced magnetization patterning, resulting in theoretically predicted unlimited domain wall velocities, chirality symmetry breaking and Cherenkov-like effects for magnons. The broad range of altered physical properties makes these curved architectures appealing in view of fundamental research on e.g. skyrmionic systems, magnonic crystals or exotic spin configurations. In addition to these rich physics, the application potential of three-dimensionally shaped objects is currently being explored as magnetic field sensorics for magnetofluidic applications, spin-wave filters, advanced magneto-encephalography devices for diagnosis of epilepsy or for energy-efficient racetrack memory devices. Finally, these recent developments ranging from theoretical predictions over fabrication of three-dimensionally curved magnetic thin films, hollow cylinders or wires, to their characterization using integral means as well as the development of advanced tomography approaches are in the focus of this review.« less

  6. Magnetism in curved geometries

    SciT

    Streubel, Robert; Fischer, Peter; Kronast, Florian

    Extending planar two-dimensional structures into the three-dimensional space has become a general trend in multiple disciplines, including electronics, photonics, plasmonics and magnetics. This approach provides means to modify conventional or to launch novel functionalities by tailoring the geometry of an object, e.g. its local curvature. In a generic electronic system, curvature results in the appearance of scalar and vector geometric potentials inducing anisotropic and chiral effects. In the specific case of magnetism, even in the simplest case of a curved anisotropic Heisenberg magnet, the curvilinear geometry manifests two exchange-driven interactions, namely effective anisotropy and antisymmetric exchange, i.e. Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya-like interaction. Asmore » a consequence, a family of novel curvature-driven effects emerges, which includes magnetochiral effects and topologically induced magnetization patterning, resulting in theoretically predicted unlimited domain wall velocities, chirality symmetry breaking and Cherenkov-like effects for magnons. The broad range of altered physical properties makes these curved architectures appealing in view of fundamental research on e.g. skyrmionic systems, magnonic crystals or exotic spin configurations. In addition to these rich physics, the application potential of three-dimensionally shaped objects is currently being explored as magnetic field sensorics for magnetofluidic applications, spin-wave filters, advanced magneto-encephalography devices for diagnosis of epilepsy or for energy-efficient racetrack memory devices. Finally, these recent developments ranging from theoretical predictions over fabrication of three-dimensionally curved magnetic thin films, hollow cylinders or wires, to their characterizatio