Science.gov

Sample records for heterogeneous tropical habitats

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

    PubMed

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

    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.

  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. Predation and infanticide influence ideal free choice by a parrot occupying heterogeneous tropical habitats.

    PubMed

    Bonebrake, Timothy C; Beissinger, Steven R

    2010-06-01

    The ideal free distribution (IFD) predicts that organisms will disperse to sites that maximize their fitness based on availability of resources. Habitat heterogeneity underlies resource variation and influences spatial variation in demography and the distribution of populations. We relate nest site productivity at multiple scales measured over a decade to habitat quality in a box-nesting population of Forpus passerinus (green-rumped parrotlets) in Venezuela to examine critical IFD assumptions. Variation in reproductive success at the local population and neighborhood scales had a much larger influence on productivity (fledglings per nest box per year) than nest site or female identity. Habitat features were reliable cues of nest site quality. Nest sites with less vegetative cover produced greater numbers of fledglings than sites with more cover. However, there was also a competitive cost to nesting in high-quality, low-vegetative cover nest boxes, as these sites experienced the most infanticide events. In the lowland local population, water depth and cover surrounding nest sites were related with F. passerinus productivity. Low vegetative cover and deeper water were associated with lower predation rates, suggesting that predation could be a primary factor driving habitat selection patterns. Parrotlets also demonstrated directional dispersal. Pairs that changed nest sites were more likely to disperse from poor-quality nest sites to high-quality nest sites rather than vice versa, and juveniles were more likely to disperse to, or remain in, the more productive of the two local populations. Parrotlets exhibited three characteristics fundamental to the IFD: habitat heterogeneity within and between local populations, reliable habitat cues to productivity, and active dispersal to sites of higher fitness.

  4. Predation and infanticide influence ideal free choice by a parrot occupying heterogeneous tropical habitats

    PubMed Central

    Beissinger, Steven R.

    2010-01-01

    The ideal free distribution (IFD) predicts that organisms will disperse to sites that maximize their fitness based on availability of resources. Habitat heterogeneity underlies resource variation and influences spatial variation in demography and the distribution of populations. We relate nest site productivity at multiple scales measured over a decade to habitat quality in a box-nesting population of Forpus passerinus (green-rumped parrotlets) in Venezuela to examine critical IFD assumptions. Variation in reproductive success at the local population and neighborhood scales had a much larger influence on productivity (fledglings per nest box per year) than nest site or female identity. Habitat features were reliable cues of nest site quality. Nest sites with less vegetative cover produced greater numbers of fledglings than sites with more cover. However, there was also a competitive cost to nesting in high-quality, low-vegetative cover nest boxes, as these sites experienced the most infanticide events. In the lowland local population, water depth and cover surrounding nest sites were related with F. passerinus productivity. Low vegetative cover and deeper water were associated with lower predation rates, suggesting that predation could be a primary factor driving habitat selection patterns. Parrotlets also demonstrated directional dispersal. Pairs that changed nest sites were more likely to disperse from poor-quality nest sites to high-quality nest sites rather than vice versa, and juveniles were more likely to disperse to, or remain in, the more productive of the two local populations. Parrotlets exhibited three characteristics fundamental to the IFD: habitat heterogeneity within and between local populations, reliable habitat cues to productivity, and active dispersal to sites of higher fitness. PMID:20135326

  5. Habitat availability and heterogeneity and the indo-pacific warm pool as predictors of marine species richness in the tropical Indo-Pacific.

    PubMed

    Sanciangco, Jonnell C; Carpenter, Kent E; Etnoyer, Peter J; Moretzsohn, Fabio

    2013-01-01

    Range overlap patterns were observed in a dataset of 10,446 expert-derived marine species distribution maps, including 8,295 coastal fishes, 1,212 invertebrates (crustaceans and molluscs), 820 reef-building corals, 50 seagrasses, and 69 mangroves. Distributions of tropical Indo-Pacific shore fishes revealed a concentration of species richness in the northern apex and central region of the Coral Triangle epicenter of marine biodiversity. This pattern was supported by distributions of invertebrates and habitat-forming primary producers. Habitat availability, heterogeneity, and sea surface temperatures were highly correlated with species richness across spatial grains ranging from 23,000 to 5,100,000 km(2) with and without correction for autocorrelation. The consistent retention of habitat variables in our predictive models supports the area of refuge hypothesis which posits reduced extinction rates in the Coral Triangle. This does not preclude support for a center of origin hypothesis that suggests increased speciation in the region may contribute to species richness. In addition, consistent retention of sea surface temperatures in models suggests that available kinetic energy may also be an important factor in shaping patterns of marine species richness. Kinetic energy may hasten rates of both extinction and speciation. The position of the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool to the east of the Coral Triangle in central Oceania and a pattern of increasing species richness from this region into the central and northern parts of the Coral Triangle suggests peripheral speciation with enhanced survival in the cooler parts of the Coral Triangle that also have highly concentrated available habitat. These results indicate that conservation of habitat availability and heterogeneity is important to reduce extinction of marine species and that changes in sea surface temperatures may influence the evolutionary potential of the region.

  6. Habitat Availability and Heterogeneity and the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool as Predictors of Marine Species Richness in the Tropical Indo-Pacific

    PubMed Central

    Sanciangco, Jonnell C.; Carpenter, Kent E.; Etnoyer, Peter J.; Moretzsohn, Fabio

    2013-01-01

    Range overlap patterns were observed in a dataset of 10,446 expert-derived marine species distribution maps, including 8,295 coastal fishes, 1,212 invertebrates (crustaceans and molluscs), 820 reef-building corals, 50 seagrasses, and 69 mangroves. Distributions of tropical Indo-Pacific shore fishes revealed a concentration of species richness in the northern apex and central region of the Coral Triangle epicenter of marine biodiversity. This pattern was supported by distributions of invertebrates and habitat-forming primary producers. Habitat availability, heterogeneity, and sea surface temperatures were highly correlated with species richness across spatial grains ranging from 23,000 to 5,100,000 km2 with and without correction for autocorrelation. The consistent retention of habitat variables in our predictive models supports the area of refuge hypothesis which posits reduced extinction rates in the Coral Triangle. This does not preclude support for a center of origin hypothesis that suggests increased speciation in the region may contribute to species richness. In addition, consistent retention of sea surface temperatures in models suggests that available kinetic energy may also be an important factor in shaping patterns of marine species richness. Kinetic energy may hasten rates of both extinction and speciation. The position of the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool to the east of the Coral Triangle in central Oceania and a pattern of increasing species richness from this region into the central and northern parts of the Coral Triangle suggests peripheral speciation with enhanced survival in the cooler parts of the Coral Triangle that also have highly concentrated available habitat. These results indicate that conservation of habitat availability and heterogeneity is important to reduce extinction of marine species and that changes in sea surface temperatures may influence the evolutionary potential of the region. PMID:23457533

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Tropical tree communities are shaped by local-scale habitat heterogeneity in the form of topographic and edaphic variation, but the life-history stage at which habitat associations develop remains poorly understood. This is due, in part, to the fact that previous studies have not accounted for the widely disparate sample sizes (number of stems) that result when trees are divided into size classes. We demonstrate that the observed habitat structuring of a community is directly related to the number of individuals in the community. We then compare the relative importance of habitat heterogeneity to tree community structure for saplings, juveniles and adult trees within seven large (24–50 ha) tropical forest dynamics plots while controlling for sample size. Changes in habitat structuring through tree life stages were small and inconsistent among life stages and study sites. Where found, these differences were an order of magnitude smaller than the findings of previous studies that did not control for sample size. Moreover, community structure and composition were very similar among tree sub-communities of different life stages. We conclude that the structure of these tropical tree communities is established by the time trees are large enough to be included in the census (1 cm diameter at breast height), which indicates that habitat filtering occurs during earlier life stages. PMID:23843384

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-07

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

  9. Habitat heterogeneity reflected in mesophotic reef sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  10. Habitat complexity, environmental change and personality: A tropical perspective.

    PubMed

    Pamela Delarue, Emma Michelle; Kerr, Sarah Emily; Lee Rymer, Tasmin

    2015-11-01

    Tropical rainforests are species-rich, complex ecosystems. They are increasingly being negatively affected by anthropogenic activity, which is rapidly and unpredictably altering their structure and complexity. These changes in habitat state may expose tropical animals to novel and unpredictable conditions, potentially increasing their extinction risk. However, an animal's ability to cope with environmental change may be linked to its personality. While numerous studies have investigated environmental influences on animal personalities, few are focused on tropical species. In this review, we consider how behavioural syndromes in tropical species might facilitate coping under, and adapting to, increasing disturbance. Given the complexity of tropical rainforests, we first discuss how habitat complexity influences personality traits and physiological stress in general. We then explore the ecological and evolutionary implications of personality in the tropics in the context of behavioural flexibility, range expansion and speciation. Finally, we discuss the impact that anthropogenic environmental change may have on the ecological integrity of tropical rainforests, positing scenarios for species persistence. Maintaining tropical rainforest complexity is crucial for driving behavioural flexibility and personality type, both of which are likely to be key factors facilitating long term persistence in disturbed habitats. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Habitat heterogeneity favors asexual reproduction in natural populations of grassthrips

    PubMed Central

    Lavanchy, Guillaume; Strehler, Marie; Llanos Roman, Maria Noemi; Lessard‐Therrien, Malie; Humbert, Jean‐Yves; Dumas, Zoé; Jalvingh, Kirsten; Ghali, Karim; Fontcuberta García‐Cuenca, Amaranta; Zijlstra, Bart; Arlettaz, Raphaël; Schwander, Tanja

    2016-01-01

    Explaining the overwhelming success of sex among eukaryotes is difficult given the obvious costs of sex relative to asexuality. Different studies have shown that sex can provide benefits in spatially heterogeneous environments under specific conditions, but whether spatial heterogeneity commonly contributes to the maintenance of sex in natural populations remains unknown. We experimentally manipulated habitat heterogeneity for sexual and asexual thrips lineages in natural populations and under seminatural mesocosm conditions by varying the number of hostplants available to these herbivorous insects. Asexual lineages rapidly replaced the sexual ones, independently of the level of habitat heterogeneity in mesocosms. In natural populations, the success of sexual thrips decreased with increasing habitat heterogeneity, with sexual thrips apparently only persisting in certain types of hostplant communities. Our results illustrate how genetic diversity‐based mechanisms can favor asexuality instead of sex when sexual lineages co‐occur with genetically variable asexual lineages. PMID:27346066

  12. Tropical amphibian populations experience higher disease risk in natural habitats.

    PubMed

    Becker, C Guilherme; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2011-06-14

    Habitat loss and disease are main drivers of global amphibian declines, yet the interaction between them remains largely unexplored. Here we show that paradoxically, habitat loss is negatively associated with occurrence, prevalence, and infection intensity of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in amphibian populations in the tropics. At a large spatial scale, increased habitat loss predicted lower disease risk in amphibian populations across Costa Rica and eastern Australia, even after jointly considering the effect of potential biotic and abiotic correlates. Lower host-species richness and suboptimal microclimates for Bd in disturbed habitats are potential mechanisms underlying this pattern. Furthermore, we found that anthropogenic deforestation practices biased to lowlands and natural vegetation remaining in inaccessible highlands explain increased Bd occurrence at higher elevations. At a smaller spatial scale, holding constant elevation, latitude, and macroclimate, we also found a negative relationship between habitat loss, and both Bd prevalence and infection intensity in frog populations in two landscapes of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Our results indicate that amphibians will be disproportionately affected by emerging diseases in pristine environments, and that, paradoxically, disturbed habitats may act as shelters from disease, but only for the very few species that can tolerate deforestation. Thus, tropical amphibian faunas are threatened both by destruction of natural habitats as well as increased disease in pristine forests. To curb further extinctions and develop effective mitigation and restoration programs we must look to interactions between habitat loss and disease, the two main factors at the root of global amphibian declines.

  13. Tropical amphibian populations experience higher disease risk in natural habitats

    PubMed Central

    Becker, C. Guilherme; Zamudio, Kelly R.

    2011-01-01

    Habitat loss and disease are main drivers of global amphibian declines, yet the interaction between them remains largely unexplored. Here we show that paradoxically, habitat loss is negatively associated with occurrence, prevalence, and infection intensity of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in amphibian populations in the tropics. At a large spatial scale, increased habitat loss predicted lower disease risk in amphibian populations across Costa Rica and eastern Australia, even after jointly considering the effect of potential biotic and abiotic correlates. Lower host-species richness and suboptimal microclimates for Bd in disturbed habitats are potential mechanisms underlying this pattern. Furthermore, we found that anthropogenic deforestation practices biased to lowlands and natural vegetation remaining in inaccessible highlands explain increased Bd occurrence at higher elevations. At a smaller spatial scale, holding constant elevation, latitude, and macroclimate, we also found a negative relationship between habitat loss, and both Bd prevalence and infection intensity in frog populations in two landscapes of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Our results indicate that amphibians will be disproportionately affected by emerging diseases in pristine environments, and that, paradoxically, disturbed habitats may act as shelters from disease, but only for the very few species that can tolerate deforestation. Thus, tropical amphibian faunas are threatened both by destruction of natural habitats as well as increased disease in pristine forests. To curb further extinctions and develop effective mitigation and restoration programs we must look to interactions between habitat loss and disease, the two main factors at the root of global amphibian declines. PMID:21628560

  14. Fine-scale habitat structure complexity determines insectivorous bird diversity in a tropical forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castaño-Villa, Gabriel J.; Ramos-Valencia, Santiago A.; Fontúrbel, Francisco E.

    2014-11-01

    Habitat complexity in reforested stands has been acknowledged as a key factor that influences habitat use by birds, being especially critical for habitat disturbance-sensitive species such as tropical understory insectivorous birds. Most studies regarding the relationship between forest structure and species diversity were conducted at the landscape scale, but different diversity patterns may emerge at a finer scale (i.e., within a habitat patch). We examined a tropical reforested area (State of Caldas, Colombia), hypothesizing that insectivorous bird richness, abundance, and foraging guild abundance would increase as intra-habitat complexity increases. We established 40 monitoring plots within a reforested area, measured their structural features, and determined their relationships with species richness, total abundance, and foraging guild abundance, using Generalized Additive Models. We found that the increasing variation in basal area, stem diameter, and number of stems was positively correlated with species richness, total abundance, and foraging guild abundance. Relationships between richness or abundance and structural features were not lineal, but showing curvilinear responses and thresholds. Our results show that heterogeneity on basal area, stem diameter, and the number of stems was more correlated to insectivorous bird richness and abundance than the average of those structural features. Promoting structural variation on reforested areas by planting species with different growth rates may contribute to increase the richness and abundance of a tropical vulnerable group of species such as the understory insectivorous birds.

  15. Changes in habitat heterogeneity alter marine sessile benthic communities.

    PubMed

    Munguia, Pablo; Osman, Richard W; Hamilton, John; Whitlatch, Robert; Zajac, Roman

    2011-04-01

    Habitat heterogeneity is considered an important mechanism influencing diversity patterns in spatially structured habitats. However, spatial heterogeneity is not static and it can change along temporal scales. These changes, whether gradual or rapid, have the potential of forcing species extinctions or facilitating the introduction of nonnative species. Here, we present modeling results that show how changes in spatial heterogeneity over several generations can produce strong changes in benthic species composition residing in eastern Long Island Sound, USA. For many benthic species, hard substrate is a limiting resource which can vary in availability among different coastal areas. We modeled gradual changes from a heterogeneous landscape (mimicking patches of natural hard and soft substrate) to a homogenous one (analogous to a fully developed coast with hard, manmade substrate) and followed the abundance and distribution patterns of species possessing four different life histories. We also modeled changes from homogeneous to heterogeneous landscapes. We found that as regions become more homogeneous, species extinctions become more frequent and poor dispersers dominate locally. In contrast, as habitats become more heterogeneous, species distributing across localities leads to regional species coexistence and fewer extinctions. These results suggest that focusing on changing habitat heterogeneity can be a useful management strategy to prevent poor dispersing species, such as invasive ascidians, from driving communities to monocultures.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Habitat Specialization in Tropical Continental Shelf Demersal Fish Assemblages

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Tropical coastal habitats as surrogates of fish community structure, grazing, and fisheries value.

    PubMed

    Harborne, Alastair R; Mumby, Peter J; Kappel, Carrie V; Dahlgren, Craig P; Micheli, Fiorenza; Holmes, Katherine E; Brumbaugh, Daniel R

    2008-10-01

    Habitat maps are frequently invoked as surrogates of biodiversity to aid the design of networks of marine reserves. Maps are used to maximize habitat heterogeneity in reserves because this is likely to maximize the number of species protected. However, the technique's efficacy is limited by intra-habitat variability in the species present and their abundances. Although communities are expected to vary among patches of the same habitat, this variability is poorly documented and rarely incorporated into reserve planning. To examine intra-habitat variability in coral-reef fishes, we generated a data set from eight tropical coastal habitats and six islands in the Bahamian archipelago using underwater visual censuses. Firstly, we provide further support for habitat heterogeneity as a surrogate of biodiversity as each predefined habitat type supported a distinct assemblage of fishes. Intra-habitat variability in fish community structure at scales of hundreds of kilometers (among islands) was significant in at least 75% of the habitats studied, depending on whether presence/absence, density, or biomass data were used. Intra-habitat variability was positively correlated with the mean number of species in that habitat when density and biomass data were used. Such relationships provide a proxy for the assessment of intra-habitat variability when detailed quantitative data are scarce. Intra-habitat variability was examined in more detail for one habitat (forereefs visually dominated by Montastraea corals). Variability in community structure among islands was driven by small, demersal families (e.g., territorial pomacentrid and labrid fishes). Finally, we examined the ecological and economic significance of intra-habitat variability in fish assemblages on Montastraea reefs by identifying how this variability affects the composition and abundances of fishes in different functional groups, the key ecosystem process of parrotfish grazing, and the ecosystem service of value of

  19. Monsoon circulations and tropical heterogeneous chlorine chemistry in the stratosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solomon, Susan; Kinnison, Doug; Garcia, Rolando R.; Bandoro, Justin; Mills, Michael; Wilka, Catherine; Neely, Ryan R.; Schmidt, Anja; Barnes, John E.; Vernier, Jean-Paul; Höpfner, Michael

    2016-12-01

    Model simulations presented in this paper suggest that transport processes associated with the summer monsoons bring increased abundances of hydrochloric acid into contact with liquid sulfate aerosols in the cold tropical lowermost stratosphere, leading to heterogeneous chemical activation of chlorine species. The calculations indicate that the spatial and seasonal distributions of chlorine monoxide and chlorine nitrate near the monsoon regions of the northern hemisphere tropical and subtropical lowermost stratosphere could provide indicators of heterogeneous chlorine processing. In the model, these processes impact the local ozone budget and decrease ozone abundances, implying a chemical contribution to longer-term northern tropical ozone profile changes at 16-19 km.

  20. Roles of Clonal Integration in both Heterogeneous and Homogeneous Habitats

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Haijie; Liu, Fenghong; Wang, Renqing; Liu, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Many studies have shown that clonal integration can promote the performance of clonal plants in heterogeneous habitats, but the roles of clonal integration in both heterogeneous and homogeneous habitats were rarely studied simultaneously. Ramet pairs of Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb were placed in two habitats either heterogeneous or homogeneous in soil nutrient availability, with stolon connections left intact or severed. Total biomass, total length of stolons, and number of new ramets of distal (relatively young) ramets located in low-nutrient environments were significantly greater when the distal ramets were connected to than when they were disconnected from proximal (relatively old) ramets located in high-nutrient environments. Total length of stolons of proximal ramets growing in low-nutrient environments was significantly higher when the proximal ramets were connected to than when they were disconnected from the distal ramets growing in high-nutrient environments, but stolon connection did not affect total biomass or number of new ramets of the proximal ramets. Stolon severing also did not affect the growth of the whole ramet pairs in heterogeneous environments. In homogeneous high-nutrient environments stolon severing promoted the growth of the proximal ramets and the ramet pairs, but in homogeneous low-nutrient environments it did not affect the growth of the proximal or distal ramets. Hence, for A. philoxeroides, clonal fragmentation appears to be more advantageous than clonal integration in resource-rich homogeneous habitats, and clonal integration becomes beneficial in heterogeneous habitats. Our study contributes to revealing roles of clonal integration in both heterogeneous and homogeneous habitats and expansion patterns of invasive clonal plants such as A. philoxeroides in multifarious habitats. PMID:27200026

  1. The Vulnerability of Tropical Ectotherms to Warming Is Modulated by the Microclimatic Heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Pincebourde, Sylvain; Suppo, Christelle

    2016-07-01

    Most tropical ectotherms live near their physiological limits for temperature. Substantial ecological effects of global change are predicted in the tropics despite the low amplitude of temperature change. These predictions assume that tropical ectotherms experience air temperature as measured by weather stations or predicted by global circulation models. The body temperature of ectotherms, however, can deviate from ambient air when the organism samples the mosaic of microclimates at fine scales. The thermal heterogeneity of tropical landscapes has been quantified only rarely in comparison to temperate habitats, limiting our ability to infer the vulnerability to warming of tropical ectotherms. Here, we used thermal imaging to quantify the heterogeneity in surface temperatures across spatial scales, from the micro- up to landscape scale, at the top of an Inselberg in French Guiana. We measured the thermal heterogeneity at the scale of Clusia nemorosa leaves, by categorizing leaves in full sun versus leaves in the shade to quantify the microclimatic variance available to phytophagous insects. Then, we measured the thermal heterogeneity at the scales of the single shrub and the landscape, for several sites differing in their orientation toward the sun to quantify the microclimatic heterogeneity available for larger ectotherms. All measurements were made three times per day over four consecutive days. There was a high level of thermal heterogeneity at all spatial scales. The thermal variance varied between scales, increasing from the within-leaf surface to the landscape scale. It also shifted across the day in different ways depending on the spatial scale. Then, using a set of published data, we compared the critical temperature (CTmax) of neo-tropical ectotherms and temperature distributions. The portion of space above the CTmax varied substantially depending on spatial scale and taxa. Insects were particularly at risk at the surface of leaves exposed to solar

  2. Tropical seaweed beds are important habitats for mobile invertebrate epifauna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tano, Stina; Eggertsen, M.; Wikström, S. A.; Berkström, C.; Buriyo, A. S.; Halling, C.

    2016-12-01

    Marine macrophyte habitats in temperate regions provide productive habitats for numerous organisms, with their abundant and diverse invertebrate epifaunal assemblages constituting important linkages between benthic primary production and higher trophic levels. While it is commonly also recognized that certain vegetated habitats in the tropics, such as seagrass meadows, can harbour diverse epifaunal assemblages and may constitute important feeding grounds to fish, little is known about the epifaunal assemblages associated with tropical seaweed beds. We investigated the abundance, biomass and taxon richness of the mobile epifaunal community (≥1 mm) of tropical East African seaweed beds, as well as the abundance of invertivorous fishes, and compared it with that of closely situated seagrass meadows, to establish the ecological role of seaweed beds as habitat for epifauna as well as potential feeding grounds for fish. The results showed that seaweed beds had a higher abundance of mobile epifauna (mean ± SD: 10,600 ± 6000 vs 3700 ± 2800 per m2) than seagrass meadows, as well as a higher invertebrate biomass (35.9 ± 46.8 vs 1.9 ± 2.1 g per m2) and taxon richness (32.7 ± 11.8 vs 19.1 ± 6.3 taxa per sample), despite having a lower macrophyte biomass. Additionally, the high abundance of invertivorous fishes found in seaweed beds indicates that they act as important feeding grounds to several fish species in the region.

  3. Habitat heterogeneity hypothesis and edge effects in model metacommunities.

    PubMed

    Hamm, Michaela; Drossel, Barbara

    2017-08-07

    Spatial heterogeneity is an inherent property of any living environment and is expected to favour biodiversity due to a broader niche space. Furthermore, edges between different habitats can provide additional possibilities for species coexistence. Using computer simulations, this study examines metacommunities consisting of several trophic levels in heterogeneous environments in order to explore the above hypotheses on a community level. We model heterogeneous landscapes by using two different sized resource pools and evaluate the combined effect of dispersal and heterogeneity on local and regional species diversity. This diversity is obtained by running population dynamics and evaluating the robustness (i.e., the fraction of surviving species). The main results for regional robustness are in agreement with the habitat heterogeneity hypothesis, as the largest robustness is found in heterogeneous systems with intermediate dispersal rates. This robustness is larger than in homogeneous systems with the same total amount of resources. We study the edge effect by arranging the two types of resources in two homogeneous blocks. Different edge responses in diversity are observed, depending on dispersal strength. Local robustness is highest for edge habitats that contain the smaller amount of resource in combination with intermediate dispersal. The results show that dispersal is relevant to correctly identify edge responses on community level. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Habitat heterogeneity favors asexual reproduction in natural populations of grassthrips.

    PubMed

    Lavanchy, Guillaume; Strehler, Marie; Llanos Roman, Maria Noemi; Lessard-Therrien, Malie; Humbert, Jean-Yves; Dumas, Zoé; Jalvingh, Kirsten; Ghali, Karim; Fontcuberta García-Cuenca, Amaranta; Zijlstra, Bart; Arlettaz, Raphaël; Schwander, Tanja

    2016-08-01

    Explaining the overwhelming success of sex among eukaryotes is difficult given the obvious costs of sex relative to asexuality. Different studies have shown that sex can provide benefits in spatially heterogeneous environments under specific conditions, but whether spatial heterogeneity commonly contributes to the maintenance of sex in natural populations remains unknown. We experimentally manipulated habitat heterogeneity for sexual and asexual thrips lineages in natural populations and under seminatural mesocosm conditions by varying the number of hostplants available to these herbivorous insects. Asexual lineages rapidly replaced the sexual ones, independently of the level of habitat heterogeneity in mesocosms. In natural populations, the success of sexual thrips decreased with increasing habitat heterogeneity, with sexual thrips apparently only persisting in certain types of hostplant communities. Our results illustrate how genetic diversity-based mechanisms can favor asexuality instead of sex when sexual lineages co-occur with genetically variable asexual lineages. © 2016 The Author(s) Evolution published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  5. Tropicalization strengthens consumer pressure on habitat-forming seaweeds.

    PubMed

    Zarco-Perello, Salvador; Wernberg, Thomas; Langlois, Tim J; Vanderklift, Mathew A

    2017-04-11

    Ocean warming is driving species poleward, causing a 'tropicalization' of temperate ecosystems around the world. Increasing abundances of tropical herbivores on temperate reefs could accelerate declines in habitat-forming seaweeds with devastating consequences for these important marine ecosystems. Here we document an expansion of rabbitfish (Siganus fuscescens), a tropical herbivore, on temperate reefs in Western Australia following a marine heatwave and demonstrate their impact on local kelp forests (Ecklonia radiata). Before the heatwave there were no rabbitfish and low rates of kelp herbivory but after the heatwave rabbitfish were common at most reefs and consumption of kelp was high. Herbivory increased 30-fold and kelp abundance decreased by 70% at reefs where rabbitfish had established. In contrast, where rabbitfish were absent, kelp abundance and herbivory did not change. Video-analysis confirmed that rabbitfish were the main consumers of kelp, followed by silver drummers (Kyphosus sydneyanus), a temperate herbivore. These results represent a likely indirect effect of the heatwave beyond its acute impacts, and they provide evidence that range-shifting tropical herbivores can contribute to declines in habitat-forming seaweeds within a few years of their establishment.

  6. Monsoon Circulations and Tropical Heterogeneous Chlorine Chemistry in the Stratosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinnison, Doug; Solomon, Susan; Garcia, Rolando; Bandoro, Justin; Wilka, Catherine; Neeley, Ryan, III; Schmidt, Anja; Barnes, John; Vernier, Jean-Paul; Höpfner, Michael; Mills, Michael

    2017-04-01

    Heterogeneous chlorine chemistry on and in liquid polar stratospheric particles is thought to play a significant role in polar and subpolar ozone depletion. Previous studies have not provided evidence for heterogeneous chlorine chemistry occurring in the tropical stratosphere. Using the current best understanding of liquid stratospheric particle chemistry in a state-of-the-art numerical model, we examine whether such processes should be expected to affect tropical composition, particularly at and slightly above the cold tropical tropopause, in association with the Asian and North American summer (June-July-August) monsoons. The Specified Dynamics version of the Community Earth System Model version 1 (CESM1) Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM) is used in this study. This model is nudged to externally specified dynamical fields for temperature, zonal and meridional winds, and surface pressure fields from the NASA Modern Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA). Model simulations suggest that transport processes associated with the summer monsoons bring increased abundances of hydrochloric acid (HCl) into contact with liquid sulfate aerosols in the cold tropical lowermost stratosphere, leading to heterogeneous chemical activation of chlorine species. The calculations indicate that the spatial and seasonal distributions of chlorine monoxide (ClO) and chlorine nitrate (ClONO2) near the monsoon regions of the northern hemisphere tropical and subtropical lowermost stratosphere could provide indicators of heterogeneous chlorine processing. In the model, these processes impact the local ozone budget and decrease ozone abundances, implying a chemical contribution to longer-term northern tropical ozone profile changes at 16-19 km.

  7. Measuring habitat heterogeneity reveals new insights into bird community composition.

    PubMed

    Stirnemann, Ingrid A; Ikin, Karen; Gibbons, Philip; Blanchard, Wade; Lindenmayer, David B

    2015-03-01

    Fine-scale vegetation cover is a common variable used to explain animal occurrence, but we know less about the effects of fine-scale vegetation heterogeneity. Theoretically, fine-scale vegetation heterogeneity is an important driver of biodiversity because it captures the range of resources available in a given area. In this study we investigated how bird species richness and birds grouped by various ecological traits responded to vegetation cover and heterogeneity. We found that both fine-scale vegetation cover (of tall trees, medium-sized trees and shrubs) and heterogeneity (of tall trees, and shrubs) were important predictors of bird richness, but the direction of the response of bird richness to shrub heterogeneity differed between sites with different proportions of tall tree cover. For example, bird richness increased with shrub heterogeneity in sites with high levels of tall tree cover, but declined in sites with low levels of tall tree cover. Our findings indicated that an increase in vegetation heterogeneity will not always result in an increase in resources and niches, and associated higher species richness. We also found birds grouped by traits responded in a predictable way to vegetation heterogeneity. For example, we found small birds benefited from increased shrub heterogeneity supporting the textual discontinuity hypothesis and non-arboreal (ground or shrub) nesting species were associated with high vegetation cover (low heterogeneity). Our results indicated that focusing solely on increasing vegetation cover (e.g. through restoration) may be detrimental to particular animal groups. Findings from this investigation can help guide habitat management for different functional groups of birds.

  8. Beaver dams maintain fish biodiversity by increasing habitat heterogeneity throughout a low-gradient stream network

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, Joseph M.; Mather, Martha E.

    2013-01-01

    In summary, within a stream network, beaver dams maintained fish biodiversity by altering in-stream habitat and increasing habitat heterogeneity. Understanding the relationship between habitat heterogeneity and biodiversity can advance basic freshwater ecology and provide science-based support for applied aquatic conservation

  9. Multi- and hyperspectral remote sensing of tropical marine benthic habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mishra, Deepak R.

    Tropical marine benthic habitats such as coral reef and associated environments are severely endangered because of the environmental degradation coupled with hurricanes, El Nino events, coastal pollution and runoff, tourism, and economic development. To monitor and protect this diverse environment it is important to not only develop baseline maps depicting their spatial distribution but also to document their changing conditions over time. Remote sensing offers an important means of delineating and monitoring coral reef ecosystems. Over the last twenty years the scientific community has been investigating the use and potential of remote sensing techniques to determine the conditions of the coral reefs by analyzing their spectral characteristics from space. One of the problems in monitoring coral reefs from space is the effect of the water column on the remotely sensed signal. When light penetrates water its intensity decreases exponentially with increasing depth. This process, known as water column attenuation, exerts a profound effect on remotely sensed data collected over water bodies. The approach presented in this research focuses on the development of semi-analytical models that resolves the confounding influence water column attenuation on substrate reflectance to characterize benthic habitats from high resolution remotely sensed imagery on a per-pixel basis. High spatial resolution satellite and airborne imagery were used as inputs in the models to derive water depth and water column optical properties (e.g., absorption and backscattering coefficients). These parameters were subsequently used in various bio-optical algorithms to deduce bottom albedo and then to classify the benthos, generating a detailed map of benthic habitats. IKONOS and QuickBird multispectral satellite data and AISA Eagle hyperspectral airborne data were used in this research for benthic habitat mapping along the north shore of Roatan Island, Honduras. The AISA Eagle classification was

  10. Sensitivity of Heterogeneous Marine Benthic Habitats to Subtle Stressors

    PubMed Central

    Rodil, Iván F.; Lohrer, Andrew M.; Thrush, Simon F.

    2013-01-01

    It is important to understand the consequences of low level disturbances on the functioning of ecological communities because of the pervasiveness and frequency of this type of environmental change. In this study we investigated the response of a heterogeneous, subtidal, soft-sediment habitat to small experimental additions of organic matter and calcium carbonate to examine the sensitivity of benthic ecosystem functioning to changes in sediment characteristics that relate to the environmental threats of coastal eutrophication and ocean acidification. Our results documented significant changes between key biogeochemical and sedimentary variables such as gross primary production, ammonium uptake and dissolved reactive phosphorus flux following treatment additions. Moreover, the application of treatments affected relationships between macrofauna communities, sediment characteristics (e.g., chlorophyll a content) and biogeochemical processes (oxygen and nutrient fluxes). In this experiment organic matter and calcium carbonate showed persistent opposing effects on sedimentary processes, and we demonstrated that highly heterogeneous sediment habitats can be surprisingly sensitive to subtle perturbations. Our results have important biological implications in a world with relentless anthropogenic inputs of atmospheric CO2 and nutrients in coastal waters. PMID:24312332

  11. Invasions in heterogeneous habitats in the presence of advection.

    PubMed

    Vergni, Davide; Iannaccone, Sandro; Berti, Stefano; Cencini, Massimo

    2012-05-21

    We investigate invasions from a biological reservoir to an initially empty, heterogeneous habitat in the presence of advection. The habitat consists of a periodic alternation of favorable and unfavorable patches. In the latter the population dies at fixed rate. In the former it grows either with the logistic or with an Allee effect type dynamics, where the population has to overcome a threshold to grow. We study the conditions for successful invasions and the speed of the invasion process, which is numerically and analytically investigated in several limits. Generically advection enhances the downstream invasion speed but decreases the population size of the invading species, and can even inhibit the invasion process. Remarkably, however, the rate of population increase, which quantifies the invasion efficiency, is maximized by an optimal advection velocity. In models with Allee effect, differently from the logistic case, above a critical unfavorable patch size the population localizes in a favorable patch, being unable to invade the habitat. However, we show that advection, when intense enough, may activate the invasion process. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Habitat fragmentation lowers survival of a tropical forest bird.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Gutiérrez, Viviana; Gavin, Thomas A; Dhondt, André A

    2008-06-01

    Population ecology research has long been focused on linking environmental features with the viability of populations. The majority of this work has largely been carried out in temperate systems and, until recently, has examined the effects of habitat fragmentation on survival. In contrast, we looked at the effect of forest fragmentation on apparent survival of individuals of the White-ruffed Manakin (Corapipo altera) in southern Costa Rica. Survival and recapture rates were estimated using mark-recapture analyses, based on capture histories from 1993 to 2006. We sampled four forest patches ranging in size from 0.9 to 25 ha, and four sites in the larger 227-ha Las Cruces Biological Station Forest Reserve (LCBSFR). We found a significant difference in annual adult apparent survival rates for individuals marked and recaptured in forest fragments vs. individuals marked and recaptured in the larger LCBSFR. Contrary to our expectation, survival and recapture probabilities did not differ between male and female manakins. Also, there was no support for the existence of annual variation in survival within each study site. Our results suggest that forest fragmentation is likely having an effect on population dynamics for the White-ruffed Manakin in this landscape. Therefore, populations that appear to be persisting in fragmented landscapes might still be at risk of local extinction, and conservation action for tropical birds should be aimed at identifying and reducing sources of adult mortality. Future studies in fragmentation effects on reproductive success and survival, across broad geographical scales, will be needed before it is possible to achieve a clear understanding of the effects of habitat fragmentation on populations for both tropical and temperate regions.

  13. The relationship between the spectral diversity of satellite imagery, habitat heterogeneity, and plant species richness

    Treesearch

    Steven D. Warren; Martin Alt; Keith D. Olson; Severin D. H. Irl; Manuel J. Steinbauer; Anke Jentsch

    2014-01-01

    Assessment of habitat heterogeneity and plant species richness at the landscape scale is often based on intensive and extensive fieldwork at great cost of time and money. We evaluated the use of satellite imagery as a quantitativemeasure of the relationship between the spectral diversity of satellite imagery, habitat heterogeneity, and plant species richness. A 16 km2...

  14. Microclimate and habitat heterogeneity as the major drivers of beetle diversity in dead wood

    Treesearch

    Sebastian Seibold; Claus Bassler; Roland Brandl; Boris Buche; Alexander Szallies; Simon Thorn; Michael D. Ulyshen; Jorg Muller; Christopher Baraloto

    2016-01-01

    1. Resource availability and habitat heterogeneity are principle drivers of biodiversity, but their individual roles often remain unclear since both factors are usually correlated. The biodiversity of species dependent on dead wood could be driven by either resource availability represented by dead-wood amount or habitat heterogeneity characterized by dead-wood...

  15. Microhabitat Selection by Marine Mesoconsumers in a Thermally Heterogeneous Habitat: Behavioral Thermoregulation or Avoiding Predation Risk?

    PubMed Central

    Vaudo, Jeremy J.; Heithaus, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    Habitat selection decisions by consumers has the potential to shape ecosystems. Understanding the factors that influence habitat selection is therefore critical to understanding ecosystem function. This is especially true of mesoconsumers because they provide the link between upper and lower tropic levels. We examined the factors influencing microhabitat selection of marine mesoconsumers – juvenile giant shovelnose rays (Glaucostegus typus), reticulate whiprays (Himantura uarnak), and pink whiprays (H. fai) – in a coastal ecosystem with intact predator and prey populations and marked spatial and temporal thermal heterogeneity. Using a combination of belt transects and data on water temperature, tidal height, prey abundance, predator abundance and ray behavior, we found that giant shovelnose rays and reticulate whiprays were most often found resting in nearshore microhabitats, especially at low tidal heights during the warm season. Microhabitat selection did not match predictions derived from distributions of prey. Although at a course scale, ray distributions appeared to match predictions of behavioral thermoregulation theory, fine-scale examination revealed a mismatch. The selection of the shallow nearshore microhabitat at low tidal heights during periods of high predator abundance (warm season) suggests that this microhabitat may serve as a refuge, although it may come with metabolic costs due to higher temperatures. The results of this study highlight the importance of predators in the habitat selection decisions of mesoconsumers and that within thermal gradients, factors, such as predation risk, must be considered in addition to behavioral thermoregulation to explain habitat selection decisions. Furthermore, increasing water temperatures predicted by climate change may result in complex trade-offs that might have important implications for ecosystem dynamics. PMID:23593501

  16. Landscape Context Mediates Avian Habitat Choice in Tropical Forest Restoration

    PubMed Central

    Reid, J. Leighton; Mendenhall, Chase D.; Rosales, J. Abel; Zahawi, Rakan A.; Holl, Karen D.

    2014-01-01

    Birds both promote and prosper from forest restoration. The ecosystem functions birds perform can increase the pace of forest regeneration and, correspondingly, increase the available habitat for birds and other forest-dependent species. The aim of this study was to learn how tropical forest restoration treatments interact with landscape tree cover to affect the structure and composition of a diverse bird assemblage. We sampled bird communities over two years in 13 restoration sites and two old-growth forests in southern Costa Rica. Restoration sites were established on degraded farmlands in a variety of landscape contexts, and each included a 0.25-ha plantation, island treatment (trees planted in patches), and unplanted control. We analyzed four attributes of bird communities including frugivore abundance, nectarivore abundance, migrant insectivore richness, and compositional similarity of bird communities in restoration plots to bird communities in old-growth forests. All four bird community variables were greater in plantations and/or islands than in control treatments. Frugivore and nectarivore abundance decreased with increasing tree cover in the landscape surrounding restoration plots, whereas compositional similarity to old-growth forests was greatest in plantations embedded in landscapes with high tree cover. Migrant insectivore richness was unaffected by landscape tree cover. Our results agree with previous studies showing that increasing levels of investment in active restoration are positively related to bird richness and abundance, but differences in the effects of landscape tree cover on foraging guilds and community composition suggest that trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and bird-mediated ecosystem functioning may be important for prioritizing restoration sites. PMID:24595233

  17. Landscape context mediates avian habitat choice in tropical forest restoration.

    PubMed

    Reid, J Leighton; Mendenhall, Chase D; Rosales, J Abel; Zahawi, Rakan A; Holl, Karen D

    2014-01-01

    Birds both promote and prosper from forest restoration. The ecosystem functions birds perform can increase the pace of forest regeneration and, correspondingly, increase the available habitat for birds and other forest-dependent species. The aim of this study was to learn how tropical forest restoration treatments interact with landscape tree cover to affect the structure and composition of a diverse bird assemblage. We sampled bird communities over two years in 13 restoration sites and two old-growth forests in southern Costa Rica. Restoration sites were established on degraded farmlands in a variety of landscape contexts, and each included a 0.25-ha plantation, island treatment (trees planted in patches), and unplanted control. We analyzed four attributes of bird communities including frugivore abundance, nectarivore abundance, migrant insectivore richness, and compositional similarity of bird communities in restoration plots to bird communities in old-growth forests. All four bird community variables were greater in plantations and/or islands than in control treatments. Frugivore and nectarivore abundance decreased with increasing tree cover in the landscape surrounding restoration plots, whereas compositional similarity to old-growth forests was greatest in plantations embedded in landscapes with high tree cover. Migrant insectivore richness was unaffected by landscape tree cover. Our results agree with previous studies showing that increasing levels of investment in active restoration are positively related to bird richness and abundance, but differences in the effects of landscape tree cover on foraging guilds and community composition suggest that trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and bird-mediated ecosystem functioning may be important for prioritizing restoration sites.

  18. Guild-specific responses of avian species richness to LiDAR-derived habitat heterogeneity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weisberg, Peter J.; Dilts, Thomas E.; Becker, Miles E.; Young, Jock S.; Wong-Kone, Diane C.; Newton, Wesley E.; Ammon, Elisabeth M.

    2014-08-01

    Ecological niche theory implies that more heterogeneous habitats have the potential to support greater biodiversity. Positive heterogeneity-diversity relationships have been found for most studies investigating animal taxa, although negative relationships also occur and the scale dependence of heterogeneity-diversity relationships is little known. We investigated multi-scale, heterogeneity-diversity relationships for bird communities in a semi-arid riparian landscape, using airborne LiDAR data to derive key measures of structural habitat complexity. Habitat heterogeneity-diversity relationships were generally positive, although the overall strength of relationships varied across avian life history guilds (R2 range: 0.03-0.41). Best predicted were the species richness indices of cavity nesters, habitat generalists, woodland specialists, and foliage foragers. Heterogeneity-diversity relationships were also strongly scale-dependent, with strongest associations at the 200-m scale (4 ha) and weakest associations at the 50-m scale (0.25 ha). Our results underscore the value of LiDAR data for fine-grained quantification of habitat structure, as well as the need for biodiversity studies to incorporate variation among life-history guilds and to simultaneously consider multiple guild functional types (e.g. nesting, foraging, habitat). Results suggest that certain life-history guilds (foliage foragers, cavity nesters, woodland specialists) are more susceptible than others (ground foragers, ground nesters, low nesters) to experiencing declines in local species richness if functional elements of habitat heterogeneity are lost. Positive heterogeneity-diversity relationships imply that riparian conservation efforts need to not only provide high-quality riparian habitat locally, but also to provide habitat heterogeneity across multiple scales.

  19. Guild-specific responses of avian species richness to LiDAR-derived habitat heterogeneity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weisberg, Peter J.; Dilts, Thomas E.; Becker, Miles E.; Young, Jock S.; Wong-Kone, Diane C.; Newton, Wesley E.; Ammon, Elisabeth M.

    2014-01-01

    Ecological niche theory implies that more heterogeneous habitats have the potential to support greater biodiversity. Positive heterogeneity-diversity relationships have been found for most studies investigating animal taxa, although negative relationships also occur and the scale dependence of heterogeneity-diversity relationships is little known. We investigated multi-scale, heterogeneity-diversity relationships for bird communities in a semi-arid riparian landscape, using airborne LiDAR data to derive key measures of structural habitat complexity. Habitat heterogeneity-diversity relationships were generally positive, although the overall strength of relationships varied across avian life history guilds (R2 range: 0.03–0.41). Best predicted were the species richness indices of cavity nesters, habitat generalists, woodland specialists, and foliage foragers. Heterogeneity-diversity relationships were also strongly scale-dependent, with strongest associations at the 200-m scale (4 ha) and weakest associations at the 50-m scale (0.25 ha). Our results underscore the value of LiDAR data for fine-grained quantification of habitat structure, as well as the need for biodiversity studies to incorporate variation among life-history guilds and to simultaneously consider multiple guild functional types (e.g. nesting, foraging, habitat). Results suggest that certain life-history guilds (foliage foragers, cavity nesters, woodland specialists) are more susceptible than others (ground foragers, ground nesters, low nesters) to experiencing declines in local species richness if functional elements of habitat heterogeneity are lost. Positive heterogeneity-diversity relationships imply that riparian conservation efforts need to not only provide high-quality riparian habitat locally, but also to provide habitat heterogeneity across multiple scales.

  20. Spatio-temporal change in the relationship between habitat heterogeneity and species diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González-Megías, Adela; Gómez, José María; Sánchez-Piñero, Francisco

    2011-05-01

    Beta diversity plays an important role in mediating species diversity and therefore improves our understanding of species-diversity patterns. One principal theoretical framework exists for such patterns, the "habitat-heterogeneity hypothesis (HHH)", which postulates a positive relationship between species diversity and habitat heterogeneity. Although HHH is widely accepted, spatial and temporal variability has been found in the relationship between diversity and heterogeneity. Species turnover has been proposed as the main factor explaining spatial variation in the relationship between species diversity and habitat heterogeneity. In this study, we tested the role of species turnover in explaining spatial and temporal variability on diversity-heterogeneity relationship in a Mediterranean ecosystem, using beetles as the study organisms. A hierarchical design including different habitats and years was used to test our hypothesis. Using different multivariate analyses, we tested for spatial and temporal variability in beta diversity, and in the beetle diversity-heterogeneity relationship using two diversity indices. Our study showed that beetle composition changed spatially and temporally, although temporal change was evident only between sampling periods but not between years. Notably, there was spatial and temporal change in the relationship between habitat descriptors and beetle diversity. Nevertheless, there was no correlation between the changes in beetle composition with the changes in the habitat-heterogeneity relationships. In this Mediterranean system, spatial and temporal changes in the diversity-heterogeneity relationships cannot be predicted by species turnover, and other mechanisms need to be explored to satisfactorily explain this variability.

  1. Scale dependent drivers of wild bee diversity in tropical heterogeneous agricultural landscapes.

    PubMed

    Basu, Parthiba; Parui, Arpan Kumar; Chatterjee, Soumik; Dutta, Aditi; Chakraborty, Pushan; Roberts, Stuart; Smith, Barbara

    2016-10-01

    affect wild bee diversity at the scale of landscape and patch in heterogeneous tropical agricultural systems. The differential response of bee functional groups to agricultural intensification underpins the need for guild-specific management strategies for wild bee conservation. Less intensively farmed areas support more rare species and are vulnerable to disturbance; consequently, these areas should be prioritized for conservation to maintain heterogeneity in the landscape. It is important to conserve and restore seminatural habitats to maintain complexity in the landscapes through participatory processes and to regulate synthetic chemical pesticides in farm operations to conserve the species and functional diversity of wild bees.

  2. Soil phosphorus heterogeneity promotes tree species diversity and phylogenetic clustering in a tropical seasonal rainforest.

    PubMed

    Xu, Wumei; Ci, Xiuqin; Song, Caiyun; He, Tianhua; Zhang, Wenfu; Li, Qiaoming; Li, Jie

    2016-12-01

    The niche theory predicts that environmental heterogeneity and species diversity are positively correlated in tropical forests, whereas the neutral theory suggests that stochastic processes are more important in determining species diversity. This study sought to investigate the effects of soil nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) heterogeneity on tree species diversity in the Xishuangbanna tropical seasonal rainforest in southwestern China. Thirty-nine plots of 400 m(2) (20 × 20 m) were randomly located in the Xishuangbanna tropical seasonal rainforest. Within each plot, soil nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) availability and heterogeneity, tree species diversity, and community phylogenetic structure were measured. Soil phosphorus heterogeneity and tree species diversity in each plot were positively correlated, while phosphorus availability and tree species diversity were not. The trees in plots with low soil phosphorus heterogeneity were phylogenetically overdispersed, while the phylogenetic structure of trees within the plots became clustered as heterogeneity increased. Neither nitrogen availability nor its heterogeneity was correlated to tree species diversity or the phylogenetic structure of trees within the plots. The interspecific competition in the forest plots with low soil phosphorus heterogeneity could lead to an overdispersed community. However, as heterogeneity increase, more closely related species may be able to coexist together and lead to a clustered community. Our results indicate that soil phosphorus heterogeneity significantly affects tree diversity in the Xishuangbanna tropical seasonal rainforest, suggesting that deterministic processes are dominant in this tropical forest assembly.

  3. Morphological and physiological differentiation of seedlings between dry and wet habitats in a tropical dry forest.

    PubMed

    Pineda-García, Fernando; Paz, Horacio; Tinoco-Ojanguren, Clara

    2011-09-01

    A common observation in tropical dry forests is the habitat preference of tree species along spatial soil water gradients. This pattern of habitat partitioning might be a result of species differentiation in their strategy for using water, along with competing functions such as maximizing water exploitation and tolerating soil water stress. We tested whether species from drier soil conditions exhibited a tolerance strategy compared with that of wet-habitat species. In a comparison of 12 morphophysiological traits in seedlings of 10 closely related dry and wet-habitat species pairs, we explored what trade-offs guide differentiation between habitats and species. Contrary to our expectations, dry-habitat species showed mostly traits associated with an exploitation strategy (higher carbon assimilation capacity, specific leaf area and leaf-specific conductivity and lower water-use efficiency). Strikingly, dry-habitat species tended to retain their leaves longer during drought. Additionally, we detected multiple strategies to live within each habitat, in part due to variation of strategies among lineages, as well as functional differentiation along the water storage capacity-stem density (xylem safety) trade-off. Our results suggest that fundamental trade-offs guide functional niche differentiation among tree species expressed both within and between soil water habitats in a tropical dry forest.

  4. Spatial heterogeneity can resolve the nitrogen paradox of tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Menge, Duncan N L; Levin, Simon A

    2017-01-10

    Many tropical forests are characterized by large losses of plant-available forms of nitrogen (N), indicating that they are N-rich, and by an abundance of plants capable of symbiotic N fixation. These N-fixing plants can fix enough N to drive N-richness. However, biological N fixation (BNF) is more expensive than using plant-available N, so sustained BNF in N-rich soils appears to be a paradox. Here, we use spatially explicit ecosystem models to analyze the conditions under which spatial heterogeneity can induce simultaneous BNF and loss of plant-available N (hereafter, we call this combination "N-rich BNF"). Spatial movement of litter to neighboring plants' rooting zones can maintain N-rich BNF under a variety of conditions. For example, when N-fixers have higher N demand than non-fixers, N-fixers export N-rich litter to non-fixers, inducing large losses of plant-available N from the ecosystem, and receive N-poor litter from non-fixers, inducing BNF. BNF and N loss fluxes increase in proportion to the ratio of N-fixer litter N:P to non-fixer litter N:P, and also in proportion to the fraction of litter transferred out of a tree's rooting zone. Stoichiometric variability augments N-rich BNF, as does increasing the fraction of the landscape occupied by N-fixers, at least when they are rare. On the contrary, greater root overlap between neighbors and clumping of N-fixers diminish N-rich BNF. Finally, we examined how spatial litter transfer interacts with another mechanism that can sustain N-rich BNF, incomplete down-regulation of BNF. Spatial transfer and incomplete down-regulation can both sustain N-rich BNF, but they are compensatory rather than additive. These mechanisms can be distinguished by examining where N losses occur. Incomplete down-regulation of BNF leads to greater N loss under N-fixing trees, whereas spatial litter transfer leads to greater N loss under non-fixing trees. Along with time lags in regulating BNF, these results comprise a series of

  5. Fine-Scale Habitat Heterogeneity Influences Occupancy in Terrestrial Mammals in a Temperate Region of Australia

    PubMed Central

    Stirnemann, Ingrid; Mortelliti, Alessio; Gibbons, Philip; Lindenmayer, David B.

    2015-01-01

    Vegetation heterogeneity is an inherent feature of most ecosystems, characterises the structure of habitat, and is considered an important driver of species distribution patterns. However, quantifying fine-scale heterogeneity of vegetation cover can be time consuming, and therefore it is seldom measured. Here, we determine if heterogeneity is worthwhile measuring, in addition to the amount of cover, when examining species distribution patterns. Further, we investigated the effect of the surrounding landscape heterogeneity on species occupancy. We tested the effect of cover and heterogeneity of trees and shrubs, and the context of the surrounding landscape (number of habitats and distance to an ecotone) on site occupancy of three mammal species (the black wallaby [Wallabia bicolor], the long-nosed bandicoot [Perameles nasuta], and the bush rat [Rattus fuscipes]) within a naturally heterogeneous landscape in a temperate region of Australia. We found that fine-scale heterogeneity of vegetation attributes is an important driver of mammal occurrence of two of these species. Further, we found that, although all three species responded positively to vegetation heterogeneity, different mammals vary in their response to different types of vegetation heterogeneity measurement. For example, the black wallaby responded to the proximity of an ecotone, and the bush rat and the long-nosed bandicoot responded to fine-scale heterogeneity of small tree cover, whereas none of the mammals responded to broad scale heterogeneity (i.e., the number of habitat types). Our results highlight the influence of methodological decisions, such as how heterogeneity vegetation is measured, in quantifying species responses to habitat structures. The findings confirm the importance of choosing meaningful heterogeneity measures when modelling the factors influencing occupancy of the species of interest. PMID:26394327

  6. Fine-Scale Habitat Heterogeneity Influences Occupancy in Terrestrial Mammals in a Temperate Region of Australia.

    PubMed

    Stirnemann, Ingrid; Mortelliti, Alessio; Gibbons, Philip; Lindenmayer, David B

    2015-01-01

    Vegetation heterogeneity is an inherent feature of most ecosystems, characterises the structure of habitat, and is considered an important driver of species distribution patterns. However, quantifying fine-scale heterogeneity of vegetation cover can be time consuming, and therefore it is seldom measured. Here, we determine if heterogeneity is worthwhile measuring, in addition to the amount of cover, when examining species distribution patterns. Further, we investigated the effect of the surrounding landscape heterogeneity on species occupancy. We tested the effect of cover and heterogeneity of trees and shrubs, and the context of the surrounding landscape (number of habitats and distance to an ecotone) on site occupancy of three mammal species (the black wallaby [Wallabia bicolor], the long-nosed bandicoot [Perameles nasuta], and the bush rat [Rattus fuscipes]) within a naturally heterogeneous landscape in a temperate region of Australia. We found that fine-scale heterogeneity of vegetation attributes is an important driver of mammal occurrence of two of these species. Further, we found that, although all three species responded positively to vegetation heterogeneity, different mammals vary in their response to different types of vegetation heterogeneity measurement. For example, the black wallaby responded to the proximity of an ecotone, and the bush rat and the long-nosed bandicoot responded to fine-scale heterogeneity of small tree cover, whereas none of the mammals responded to broad scale heterogeneity (i.e., the number of habitat types). Our results highlight the influence of methodological decisions, such as how heterogeneity vegetation is measured, in quantifying species responses to habitat structures. The findings confirm the importance of choosing meaningful heterogeneity measures when modelling the factors influencing occupancy of the species of interest.

  7. Spatial patterns of primary productivity derived from the Dynamic Habitat Indices predict patterns of species richness and distributions in the tropics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suttidate, Naparat

    Humans are changing the Earth's ecosystems, which has profound consequences for biodiversity. To understand how species respond to these changes, biodiversity science requires accurate assessments of biodiversity. However, biodiversity assessments are still limited in tropical regions. The Dynamic Habitat Indices (DHIs), derived from satellite data, summarize dynamic patterns of annual primary productivity: (a) cumulative annual productivity, (b) minimum annual productivity, and (c) seasonal variation in productivity. The DHIs have been successfully used in temperate regions, but not yet in the tropics. My goal was to evaluate the importance of primary productivity measured via the DHIs for assessing patterns of species richness and distributions in Thailand. First, I assessed the relationships between the DHIs and tropical bird species richness. I also evaluated the complementarity of the DHIs and topography, climate, latitudinal gradients, habitat heterogeneity, and habitat area in explaining bird species richness. I found that among three DHIs, cumulative annual productivity was the most important factor in explaining bird species richness and that the DHIs outperformed other environmental variables. Second, I developed texture measures derive from DHI cumulative annual productivity, and compared them to habitat composition and fragmentation as predictors of tropical forest bird distributions. I found that adding texture measures to habitat composition and fragmentation models improved the prediction of tropical bird distributions, especially area- and edge-sensitive tropical forest bird species. Third, I predicted the effects of trophic interactions between primary productivity, prey, and predators in relation to habitat connectivity for Indochinese tigers (Panthera tigris). I found that including trophic interactions improved habitat suitability models for tigers. However, tiger habitat is highly fragmented with few dispersal corridors. I also identified

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

    PubMed

    Ronce, O; Kirkpatrick, M

    2001-08-01

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

  9. Seasonal change in tropical habitat quality and body condition for a declining migratory songbird.

    PubMed

    McKinnon, Emily A; Rotenberg, James A; Stutchbury, Bridget J M

    2015-10-01

    Many migratory songbirds spend their non-breeding season in tropical humid forests, where climate change is predicted to increase the severity and frequency of droughts and decrease rainfall. For conservation of these songbirds, it is critical to understand how resources during the non-breeding season are affected by seasonal patterns of drying, and thereby predict potential long-term effects of climate change. We studied habitat quality for a declining tropical forest-dwelling songbird, the wood thrush (Hylocichla mustelina), and tested the hypothesis that habitat moisture and arthropod abundance are drivers of body condition during the overwintering period. We examined habitat moisture, abundance of arthropods and fruit, and condition of individual birds (n = 418) in three habitat types--mature forest, mature forest with increased presence of human activity, and riparian scrub--from October to April. We found a strong pattern of habitat drying from October (wet season) to March (prior to spring migration) in all habitats, with concurrent declines in arthropod and fruit abundance. Body condition of birds also declined (estimated ~5 % decline over the wintering period), with no significant difference by habitat. Relatively poor condition (low body condition index, low fat and pectoral muscles scores) was equally apparent in all habitat types in March. Climate change is predicted to increase the severity of dry seasons in Central America, and our results suggest that this could negatively affect the condition of individual wood thrushes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

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

  11. Carrying capacity in a heterogeneous environment with habitat connectivity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhang, Bo; Kula, Alex; Mack, Keenan M.L.; Zhai, Lu; Ryce, Arrix L.; Ni, Wei-Ming; DeAngelis, Don; Van Dyken, J. David

    2017-01-01

    A large body of theory predicts that populations diffusing in heterogeneous environments reach higher total size than if non-diffusing, and, paradoxically, higher size than in a corresponding homogeneous environment. However, this theory and its assumptions have not been rigorously tested. Here, we extended previous theory to include exploitable resources, proving qualitatively novel results, which we tested experimentally using spatially diffusing laboratory populations of yeast. Consistent with previous theory, we predicted and experimentally observed that spatial diffusion increased total equilibrium population abundance in heterogeneous environments, with the effect size depending on the relationship between r and K. Refuting previous theory, however, we discovered that homogeneously distributed resources support higher total carrying capacity than heterogeneously distributed resources, even with species diffusion. Our results provide rigorous experimental tests of new and old theory, demonstrating how the traditional notion of carrying capacity is ambiguous for populations diffusing in spatially heterogeneous environments.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

  13. The influence of habitat heterogeneity on freshwater bacterial community composition and dynamics.

    PubMed

    Shade, Ashley; Jones, Stuart E; McMahon, Katherine D

    2008-04-01

    Multiple forces structure natural microbial communities, but the relative roles and interactions of these drivers are poorly understood. Gradients of physical and chemical parameters can be especially influential. In traditional ecological theory, variability in environmental conditions across space and time represents habitat heterogeneity, which may shape communities. Here we used aquatic microbial communities as a model to investigate the relationship between habitat heterogeneity and community composition and dynamics. We defined spatial habitat heterogeneity as vertical temperature and dissolved oxygen (DO) gradients in the water column, and temporal habitat heterogeneity as variation throughout the open-water season in these environmental parameters. Seasonal lake mixing events contribute to temporal habitat heterogeneity by destroying and re-creating these gradients. Because of this, we selected three lakes along a range of annual mixing frequency (polymictic, dimictic, meromictic) for our study. We found that bacterial community composition (BCC) was distinct between the epilimnion and hypolimnion within stratified lakes, and also more variable within the epilimnia through time. We found stark differences in patterns of epilimnion and hypolimnion dynamics over time and across lakes, suggesting that specific drivers have distinct relative importance for each community.

  14. Habitat specialization predicts genetic response to fragmentation in tropical birds.

    PubMed

    Khimoun, Aurélie; Eraud, Cyril; Ollivier, Anthony; Arnoux, Emilie; Rocheteau, Vincent; Bely, Marine; Lefol, Emilie; Delpuech, Martin; Carpentier, Marie-Laure; Leblond, Gilles; Levesque, Anthony; Charbonnel, Anaïs; Faivre, Bruno; Garnier, Stéphane

    2016-08-01

    Habitat fragmentation is one of the most severe threats to biodiversity as it may lead to changes in population genetic structure, with ultimate modifications of species evolutionary potential and local extinctions. Nonetheless, fragmentation does not equally affect all species and identifying which ecological traits are related to species sensitivity to habitat fragmentation could help prioritization of conservation efforts. Despite the theoretical link between species ecology and extinction proneness, comparative studies explicitly testing the hypothesis that particular ecological traits underlies species-specific population structure are rare. Here, we used a comparative approach on eight bird species, co-occurring across the same fragmented landscape. For each species, we quantified relative levels of forest specialization and genetic differentiation among populations. To test the link between forest specialization and susceptibility to forest fragmentation, we assessed species responses to fragmentation by comparing levels of genetic differentiation between continuous and fragmented forest landscapes. Our results revealed a significant and substantial population structure at a very small spatial scale for mobile organisms such as birds. More importantly, we found that specialist species are more affected by forest fragmentation than generalist ones. Finally, our results suggest that even a simple habitat specialization index can be a satisfying predictor of genetic and demographic consequences of habitat fragmentation, providing a reliable practical and quantitative tool for conservation biology. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Habitat Heterogeneity Determines Climate Impact on Zooplankton Community Structure and Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Otto, Saskia A.; Diekmann, Rabea; Flinkman, Juha; Kornilovs, Georgs; Möllmann, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Understanding and predicting species distribution in space and time and consequently community structure and dynamics is an important issue in ecology, and particularly in climate change research. A crucial factor determining the composition and dynamics of animal populations is habitat heterogeneity, i.e., the number of structural elements in a given locality. In the marine pelagic environment habitat heterogeneity is represented by the distribution of physical oceanographic parameters such as temperature, salinity and oxygen that are closely linked to atmospheric conditions. Little attention has been given, however, to the role of habitat heterogeneity in modulating the response of animal communities to external climate forcing. Here we investigate the long-term dynamics of Acartia spp., Temora longicornis, and Pseudocalanus acuspes, three dominant zooplankton species inhabiting different pelagic habitats in the Central Baltic Sea (CBS). We use the three copepods as indicator species for changes in the CBS zooplankton community and apply non-linear statistical modeling techniques to compare spatial population trends and to identify their drivers. We demonstrate that effects of climate variability and change depend strongly on species-specific habitat utilization, being more direct and pronounced at the upper water layer. We propose that the differential functional response to climate-related drivers in relation to strong habitat segregation is due to alterations of the species’ environmental niches. We stress the importance of understanding how anticipated climate change will affect ecological niches and habitats in order to project spatio-temporal changes in species abundance and distribution. PMID:24614110

  16. Heterogeneity in predator micro-habitat use and the maintenance of Müllerian mimetic diversity.

    PubMed

    Gompert, Zachariah; Willmott, Keith; Elias, Marianne

    2011-07-21

    Müllerian mimicry, where groups of chemically defended species display a common warning color pattern and thereby share the cost of educating predators, is one of the most striking examples of ecological adaptation. Classic models of Müllerian mimicry predict that all unpalatable species of a similar size and form within a community should converge on a single mimetic pattern, but instead communities of unpalatable species often display a remarkable diversity of mimetic patterns (e.g. neotropical ithomiine butterflies). It has been suggested that this apparent paradox may be explained if different suites of predators and species belonging to different mimicry groups utilize different micro-habitats within the community. We developed a stochastic individual-based model for a community of unpalatable mimetic prey species and their predators to evaluate this hypothesis and to examine the effect of predator heterogeneity on prey micro-habitat use. We found that community-level mimetic diversity was higher in simulations with heterogeneous predator micro-habitat use than in simulations with homogeneous predator micro-habitat use. Regardless of the form of predation, mimicry pattern-based assortative mating caused community-level mimetic diversity to persist. Heterogeneity in predator micro-habitat use led to an increased association between mimicry pattern and prey micro-habitat use relative to homogeneous predator micro-habitat use. This increased association was driven, at least in part, by evolutionary convergence of prey micro-habitat use when predators displayed heterogeneous micro-habitat use. These findings provide a theoretical explanation for an important question in evolutionary biology: how is community-level Müllerian mimetic diversity maintained in the face of selection against rare phenotypes? Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Grazer diversity interacts with biogenic habitat heterogeneity to accelerate intertidal algal succession.

    PubMed

    Whalen, Matthew A; Aquilino, Kristin M; Stachowicz, John J

    2016-08-01

    Environmental heterogeneity contributes to coexistence by allowing species with different traits to persist when different species perform best at different times or places. This interaction between niche differences and environmental variability may also help explain relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, but few data are available to rigorously evaluate this hypothesis. We assessed how a biologically relevant aspect of environmental heterogeneity interacts with species diversity to determine ecosystem processes in a natural rocky intertidal community. We used field removals to factorially manipulate biogenic habitat heterogeneity (barnacles, bare rock, and plots that were 50/50 mixes of the two habitat types) and gastropod grazer species richness and then tracked algal community succession and recovery over the course of 1 yr. We found that herbivore diversity, substrate heterogeneity, and their interaction played unique roles in the peak abundance and timing of occurrence of different algal functional groups. Early successional microalgae were most heavily grazed in diverse herbivore assemblages and those with barnacles present, which was likely due to complementary feeding strategies among all three grazers. In contrast, late successional macroalgae were strongly influenced by the presence of a habitat generalist limpet. In this herbivore's absence, heterogeneous habitats (i.e., mixtures of bare rock and barnacles) experienced the greatest algal accumulation, which was partly a result of complementary habitat use by the remaining herbivores. The complex way habitat identity and heterogeneity altered grazer-algal interactions in our study suggests species' differences and environmental heterogeneity both separately and interactively contribute to the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functions. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  18. [Modified-habitat use by tropical forest-dependent birds in the Caribbean region of Guatemala].

    PubMed

    Cerezo, Alexis; Robbins, Chandler S; Dowell, Barbara

    2009-01-01

    Modified-habitat use by tropical forest-dependent birds in the Caribbean region of Guatemala. As natural areas are reduced into isolated remnants, the importance of secondary habitats for species conservation will increase. Consequently, the conservation value of human-modified or created secondary habitats must be determined. In this study, we evaluated the conservation potential of three habitats associated to cattle ranching (riparian forest, live fence, and pasture) for tropical forest birds in the Caribbean region of Guatemala. We studied the bird communities of five tropical forest and riparian forest (henceforth river) sites, three live fence sites and four pasture sites, in five cattle ranches in the region, and compared the four habitats based on the following parameters: species richness, number of individuals, species composition and an index of conservation importance. A 10-point series was sampled (six repetitions of each series) in each habitat site using the point-count method, in march and april of 1998 and 1999. Although forest, river and live fence had similar mean species numbers, considering all species (111, 96 and 94 species, respectively), and river and live fence surpassed the forest in mean number of individuals (80 and 72 compared to 56 individuals), river and live fence had significantly fewer mean numbers of interior-forest resident species and individuals (56, 21 and 15 species, and 61, 19 and eight individuals in forest, river and live fence, respectively). River and live fence, when compared to forest, had no significant differences in the number of resident forest-edge species and individuals, but their edge-species composition was significantly different from forest. Those resident edge species that were relatively abundant in forest had very low abundances in the modified habitats, and those that were abundant in river and live fence were rare or absent in forest sites. With respect to migratory species, both river and live fence

  19. Spatial Heterogeneity of Leaf Litter Decomposition in a Complex Mosaic of Floodplain Habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langhans, S. D.; Tockner, K.

    2005-05-01

    Dynamic floodplains comprise complex mosaics of aquatic, amphibious, and terrestrial habitats that are expected to mediate input, storage and transformation of organic matter. We examined leaf litter breakdown heterogeneity in a complex floodplain ecosystem (Tagliamento, NE Italy), separated the differential effects of microbes and shredding macroinvertebrates on leaf breakdown, and identified key habitats of leaf litter transformation. We employed a leaf-bag approach, using coarse and fine mesh bags, designed to allow or exclude feeding by stream invertebrates. Bags were exposed in eight habitat types, representing the dominant range of floodplain habitats. Breakdown rates varied by an order-of-magnitude, ranging from k = -0.0013 to k = -0.0129 day -1. Results showed that leaf breakdown in coarse mesh bags differed significantly among channels, ponds, and terrestrial habitat types. In fine mesh bags, however, only channels had significantly higher leaf breakdown rates. Leaf decomposition was similar in all terrestrial habitat types despite extensive variability in environmental conditions. Our study emphasizes that floodplain habitats display a remarkable heterogeneity in their ability to process organic matter, whereas lotic and lentic habitats were clearly identified as "hot spots" of leaf litter transformation.

  20. Effects of spatial habitat heterogeneity on habitat selection and annual fecundity for a migratory forest songbird

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cornell, K.L.; Donovan, T.M.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding how spatial habitat patterns influence abundance and dynamics of animal populations is a primary goal in landscape ecology. We used an information-theoretic approach to investigate the association between habitat patterns at multiple spatial scales and demographic patterns for black-throated blue warblers (Dendroica caerulescens) at 20 study sites in west-central Vermont, USA from 2002 to 2005. Sites were characterized by: (1) territory-scale shrub density, (2) patch-scale shrub density occurring within 25 ha of territories, and (3) landscape-scale habitat patterns occurring within 5 km radius extents of territories. We considered multiple population parameters including abundance, age ratios, and annual fecundity. Territory-scale shrub density was most important for determining abundance and age ratios, but landscape-scale habitat structure strongly influenced reproductive output. Sites with higher territory-scale shrub density had higher abundance, and were more likely to be occupied by older, more experienced individuals compared to sites with lower shrub density. However, annual fecundity was higher on sites located in contiguously forested landscapes where shrub density was lower than the fragmented sites. Further, effects of habitat pattern at one spatial scale depended on habitat conditions at different scales. For example, abundance increased with increasing territory-scale shrub density, but this effect was much stronger in fragmented landscapes than in contiguously forested landscapes. These results suggest that habitat pattern at different spatial scales affect demographic parameters in different ways, and that effects of habitat patterns at one spatial scale depends on habitat conditions at other scales. ?? Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.

  1. Habitat heterogeneity, disturbance, and productivity work in concert to regulate biodiversity in deep submarine canyons.

    PubMed

    McClain, Craig R; Barry, James P

    2010-04-01

    Habitat heterogeneity is a major structuring agent of ecological assemblages promoting beta diversity and ultimately contributing to overall higher global diversity. The exact processes by which heterogeneity increases diversity are scale dependent and encompass variation in other well-known processes, e.g., productivity, disturbance, and temperature. Thus, habitat heterogeneity likely triggers multiple and cascading diversity effects through ecological assemblages. Submarine canyons, a pervasive feature of the world's oceans, likely increase habitat heterogeneity at multiple spatial scales similar to their terrestrial analogues. However, our understanding of how processes regulating diversity, and the potential for cascading effects within these important topographic features, remains incomplete. Utilizing remote-operated vehicles (ROVs) for coring and video transects, we quantified faunal turnover in the deep-sea benthos at a rarely examined scale (1 m-1 km). Macrofaunal community structure, megafaunal density, carbon flux, and sediment characteristics were analyzed for the soft-bottom benthos at the base of cliff faces in Monterey Canyon (northeast Pacific Ocean) at three depths. We documented a remarkable degree of faunal turnover and changes in overall community structure at scales < 100 m, and often < 10 m, related to geographic features of a canyon complex. Ultimately, our findings indicated that multiple linked processes related to habitat heterogeneity, ecosystem engineering, and bottom-up dynamics are important to deep-sea biodiversity.

  2. Methods for Characterizing the Co-development of Biofilm and Habitat Heterogeneity

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiaobao; Song, Jisun L.; Culotti, Alessandro; Zhang, Wei; Chopp, David L.; Lu, Nanxi; Packman, Aaron I.

    2015-01-01

    Biofilms are surface-attached microbial communities that have complex structures and produce significant spatial heterogeneities. Biofilm development is strongly regulated by the surrounding flow and nutritional environment. Biofilm growth also increases the heterogeneity of the local microenvironment by generating complex flow fields and solute transport patterns. To investigate the development of heterogeneity in biofilms and interactions between biofilms and their local micro-habitat, we grew mono-species biofilms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and dual-species biofilms of P. aeruginosa and Escherichia coli under nutritional gradients in a microfluidic flow cell. We provide detailed protocols for creating nutrient gradients within the flow cell and for growing and visualizing biofilm development under these conditions. We also present protocols for a series of optical methods to quantify spatial patterns in biofilm structure, flow distributions over biofilms, and mass transport around and within biofilm colonies. These methods support comprehensive investigations of the co-development of biofilm and habitat heterogeneity. PMID:25866914

  3. Tropical Deforestation and Habitat Fragmentation in the Amazon: Satellite Data from 1978 to 1988

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skole, David; Tucker, Compton

    1993-06-01

    Landsat satellite imagery covering the entire forested portion of the Brazilian Amazon Basin was used to measure, for 1978 and 1988, deforestation, fragmented forest, defined as areas less than 100 square kilometers surrounded by deforestation, and edge effects of 1 kilometer into forest from adjacent areas of deforestation. Tropical deforestation increased from 78,000 square kilometers in 1978 to 230,000 square kilometers in 1988 while tropical forest habitat, severely affected with respect to biological diversity, increased from 208,000 to 588,000 square kilometers. Although this rate of deforestation is lower than previous estimates, the effect on biological diversity is greater.

  4. Tropical deforestation and habitat fragmentation in the Amazon - Satellite data from 1978 to 1988

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Skole, David; Tucker, Compton

    1993-01-01

    Landsat satellite imagery covering the entire forested portion of the Brazilian Amazon Basin was used to measure, for 1978 and 1988, deforestation, fragmented forest, defined as areas less than 100 square kilometers surrounded by deforestation, and edge effects of 1 kilometer into forest from adjacent areas of deforestation. Tropical deforestation increased from 78,000 square kilometers in 1978 to 230,000 square kilometers in 1988 while tropical forest habitat, severely affected with respect to biological diversity, increased from 208,000 to 588,000 square kilometers. Although this rate of deforestation is lower than previous estimates, the effect on biological diversity is greater.

  5. Tropical deforestation and habitat fragmentation in the Amazon - Satellite data from 1978 to 1988

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Skole, David; Tucker, Compton

    1993-01-01

    Landsat satellite imagery covering the entire forested portion of the Brazilian Amazon Basin was used to measure, for 1978 and 1988, deforestation, fragmented forest, defined as areas less than 100 square kilometers surrounded by deforestation, and edge effects of 1 kilometer into forest from adjacent areas of deforestation. Tropical deforestation increased from 78,000 square kilometers in 1978 to 230,000 square kilometers in 1988 while tropical forest habitat, severely affected with respect to biological diversity, increased from 208,000 to 588,000 square kilometers. Although this rate of deforestation is lower than previous estimates, the effect on biological diversity is greater.

  6. Plant species coexistence at local scale in temperate swamp forest: test of habitat heterogeneity hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Douda, Jan; Doudová-Kochánková, Jana; Boublík, Karel; Drašnarová, Alena

    2012-06-01

    It has been suggested that a heterogeneous environment enhances species richness and allows for the coexistence of species. However, there is increasing evidence that environmental heterogeneity can have no effect or even a negative effect on plant species richness and plant coexistence at a local scale. We examined whether plant species richness increases with local heterogeneity in the water table depth, microtopography, pH and light availability in a swamp forest community at three local spatial scales (grain: 0.6, 1.2 and 11.4 m). We also used the variance partitioning approach to assess the relative contributions of niche-based and other spatial processes to species occurrence. We found that heterogeneity in microtopography and light availability positively correlated with species richness, in accordance with the habitat heterogeneity hypothesis. However, we recorded different heterogeneity-diversity relationships for particular functional species groups. An increase in the richness of bryophytes and woody plant species was generally related to habitat heterogeneity at all measured spatial scales, whereas a low impact on herbaceous species richness was recorded only at the 11.4 m scale. The distribution of herbaceous plants was primarily explained by other spatial processes, such as dispersal, in contrast to the occurrence of bryophytes, which was better explained by environmental factors. Our results suggest that both niche-based and other spatial processes are important determinants of the plant composition and species turnover at local spatial scales in swamp forests.

  7. Habitat heterogeneity and activity of an omnivorous ecosystem engineer control stream community dynamics.

    PubMed

    Brown, Bryan L; Lawson, Raven L

    2010-06-01

    All communities vary through time. This variability originates from both intrinsic and extrinsic sources. Intrinsic sources are due to actions of organisms in a community, i.e., population dynamics and species interactions, while extrinsic variability is variability created by elements of habitat or environmental change. There is a growing appreciation that these two sources may interact, producing patterns of community variability that cannot be predicted or explained by focusing on a single source. We performed a field experiment that simultaneously manipulated trophic structure (intrinsic) and habitat heterogeneity (extrinsic) in order to examine the interaction between sources of variability in a South Carolina (USA) stream macroinvertebrate community. To manipulate trophic structure, we experimentally altered local abundances of crayfish which are keystone species and ecosystem engineers, while our manipulation of habitat was to alter stream substrate heterogeneity. We focused on two types of community variability as responses to our manipulations: aggregate variability (i.e., variability of summed species) and compositional variability (i.e., variability in relative abundances of species) by monitoring community composition through a 10-week experiment. We found that community dynamics shifted from patterns in variability indicative of synchrony (high aggregate variability + low compositional) to variability indicative of compensation (low aggregate variability + high compositional) along a gradient of increasing habitat heterogeneity. However, the shift in community dynamics only occurred when crayfish were present in the community. Supporting evidence from the experiment suggested that sediment engineering effects of crayfish acted as a community-wide perturbation in low-heterogeneity habitat creating synchronous dynamics. However, in high-heterogeneity enclosures, crayfish effects were moderated by refugia provided by a more complex substratum. The switch

  8. Environmental effects on vertebrate species richness: testing the energy, environmental stability and habitat heterogeneity hypotheses.

    PubMed

    Luo, Zhenhua; Tang, Songhua; Li, Chunwang; Fang, Hongxia; Hu, Huijian; Yang, Ji; Ding, Jingjing; Jiang, Zhigang

    2012-01-01

    Explaining species richness patterns is a central issue in biogeography and macroecology. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the mechanisms driving biodiversity patterns, but the causes of species richness gradients remain unclear. In this study, we aimed to explain the impacts of energy, environmental stability, and habitat heterogeneity factors on variation of vertebrate species richness (VSR), based on the VSR pattern in China, so as to test the energy hypothesis, the environmental stability hypothesis, and the habitat heterogeneity hypothesis. A dataset was compiled containing the distributions of 2,665 vertebrate species and eleven ecogeographic predictive variables in China. We grouped these variables into categories of energy, environmental stability, and habitat heterogeneity and transformed the data into 100 × 100 km quadrat systems. To test the three hypotheses, AIC-based model selection was carried out between VSR and the variables in each group and correlation analyses were conducted. There was a decreasing VSR gradient from the southeast to the northwest of China. Our results showed that energy explained 67.6% of the VSR variation, with the annual mean temperature as the main factor, which was followed by annual precipitation and NDVI. Environmental stability factors explained 69.1% of the VSR variation and both temperature annual range and precipitation seasonality had important contributions. By contrast, habitat heterogeneity variables explained only 26.3% of the VSR variation. Significantly positive correlations were detected among VSR, annual mean temperature, annual precipitation, and NDVI, whereas the relationship of VSR and temperature annual range was strongly negative. In addition, other variables showed moderate or ambiguous relations to VSR. The energy hypothesis and the environmental stability hypothesis were supported, whereas little support was found for the habitat heterogeneity hypothesis.

  9. Role of circulation scales and water mass distributions on larval fish habitats in the Eastern Tropical Pacific off Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    León-Chávez, Cristina A.; Beier, Emilio; Sánchez-Velasco, Laura; Barton, Eric Desmond; Godínez, Victor M.

    2015-06-01

    On the basis of five oceanographic cruises carried out in the Eastern Tropical Pacific off Mexico, relationships between the larval fish habitats (areas inhabited by larval fish assemblages) and the environmental circulation scales (mesoscale, seasonal, and interannual) were examined. Analysis of in situ data over a grid of hydrographic stations and oblique zooplankton hauls with bongo net (505 µm) was combined with orthogonal robust functions decomposition applied to altimetry anomalies obtained from satellite. During both cool (March and June) and warm (August and November) periods, Bray-Curtis dissimilarity Index defined three recurrent larval fish habitats which varied in species composition and extent as a function of the environmental scales. The variability of the Tropical larval fish habitat (characterized by high species richness, and dominated by Vinciguerria lucetia, Diogenichthys laternatus, and Diaphus pacificus) was associated with the seasonal changes. The Transitional-California Current larval fish habitat (dominated by V. lucetia and D. laternatus, with lower mean abundance and lower species richness than in the Tropical habitat) and Coastal-and-Upwelling larval fish habitat (dominated by Bregmaceros bathymaster) was associated mainly with mesoscale activity induced by eddies and with coastal upwelling. During February 2010, the Tropical larval fish habitat predominated offshore and the Transitional-California Current larval fish habitat was not present, which we attribute to the effect of El Niño conditions. Thus, the mesoscale, seasonal, and interannual environmental scales affect the composition and extension of larval fish habitats.

  10. Bromeliad Catchments as Habitats for Methanogenesis in Tropical Rainforest Canopies

    PubMed Central

    Goffredi, Shana K.; Jang, Gene E.; Woodside, Walter T.; Ussler, William

    2011-01-01

    Tropical epiphytic plants within the family Bromeliaceae are unusual in that they possess foliage capable of retaining water and impounded material. This creates an acidic (pH 3.5–6.5) and anaerobic (<1 ppm O2) environment suspended in the canopy. Results from a Costa Rican rainforest show that most bromeliads (n = 75/86) greater than ~20 cm in plant height or ~4–5 cm tank depth, showed presence of methanogens within the lower anoxic horizon of the tank. Archaea were dominated by methanogens (77–90% of recovered ribotypes) and community structure, although variable, was generally comprised of a single type, closely related to either hydrogenotrophic Methanoregula or Methanocella, a specific clade of aceticlastic Methanosaeta, or Methanosarcina. Juvenile bromeliads, or those species, such as Guzmania, with shallow tanks, generally did not possess methanogens, as assayed by polymerase chain reaction specific for methanogen 16S rRNA genes, nor did artificial catchments (~100 ml volume), in place 6–12 months prior to sample collection. Methanogens were not detected in soil (n = 20), except in one case, in which the dominant ribotype was different from nearby bromeliads. Recovery of methyl coenzyme M reductase genes supported the occurrence of hydrogenotrophic and aceticlastic methanogens within bromeliad tanks, as well as the trend, via QPCR analysis of mcrA, of increased methanogenic capacity with increased plant height. Methane production rates of up to 300 nmol CH4 ml tank water−1 day−1 were measured in microcosm experiments. These results suggest that bromeliad-associated archaeal communities may play an important role in the cycling of carbon in neotropical forests. PMID:22207867

  11. Habitat heterogeneity and associated microbial community structure in a small-scale floodplain hyporheic flow path.

    PubMed

    Lowell, Jennifer L; Gordon, Nathan; Engstrom, Dale; Stanford, Jack A; Holben, William E; Gannon, James E

    2009-10-01

    The Nyack floodplain is located on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River, an unregulated, pristine, fifth-order stream in Montana, USA, bordering Glacier National Park. The hyporheic zone is a nutritionally heterogeneous floodplain component harboring a diverse array of microbial assemblages essential in fluvial biogeochemical cycling, riverine ecosystem productivity, and trophic interactions. Despite these functions, microbial community structure in pristine hyporheic systems is not well characterized. The current study was designed to assess whether physical habitat heterogeneity within the hyporheic zone of the Nyack floodplain was sufficient to drive bacterial beta diversity between three different hyporheic flow path locations. Habitat heterogeneity was assessed by measuring soluble reactive phosphorous, nitrate, dissolved organic carbon, dissolved oxygen, and soluble total nitrogen levels seasonally at surface water infiltration, advection, and exfiltration zones. Significant spatial differences were detected in dissolved oxygen and nitrate levels, and seasonal differences were detected in dissolved oxygen, nitrate, and dissolved organic carbon levels. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and cell counts indicated that bacterial diversity increased with abundance, and DGGE fingerprints covaried with nitrate levels where water infiltrated the hyporheic zone. The ribosomal gene phylogeny revealed that hyporheic habitat heterogeneity was sufficient to drive beta diversity between bacterial assemblages. Phylogenetic (P) tests detected sequence disparity between the flow path locations. Small distinct lineages of Firmicutes, Actinomycetes, Planctomycetes, and Acidobacteria defined the infiltration zone and alpha- and beta-proteobacterial lineages delineated the exfiltration and advection zone communities. These data suggest that spatial habitat heterogeneity drives hyporheic microbial community development and that attempts to understand functional

  12. Tropical Agroecosystems: These habitats are misunderstood by the temperate zones, mismanaged by the tropics.

    PubMed

    Janzen, D H

    1973-12-21

    I have listed some of the ways in which the lowland tropics are not such a warm and wonderful place for the farmer, some of the reasons why it may be unreasonable to expect him to cope with the problems, and some of the ways in which the temperate zones make his task more difficult. The tropics are very close to being a tragedy of the commons on a global scale (69, 103), and it is the temperate zone's shepherds and sheep who are among the greatest offenders (31). Given that the temperate zones have some limited amount of resources with which they are willing to repay the tropics, how can these resources best be spent? The first answer, without doubt, is education, and the incorporation of what is already known about the tropics into that education. Second should be the generation of secure psychological and physical resources for governments that show they are enthusiastic about the development of an SYTA. Third should be support of intensive research needed to generate the set of site-specific rules for specific, clearly identified SYTA's. The subject matter of youths' cultural programming is presumably determined by what they will need during the rest of their lives. A major component of this programming should be the teaching of the socioeconomic rules of a sustained-yield, nonexpanding economy, tuned to the concept of living within the carrying capacity of the country's or region's resources. Incorporating such a process into tropical school systems will cause a major upheaval, if for no other reason than that it will involve an evaluation of the country's resources, what standard of living is to be accepted by those living on them, and who is presently harvesting them. Of even greater impact, it will have to evaluate resources in terms of their ability to raise the standard of living by Y amount for X proportion of the people in the region, rather than in terms of their cash value on the world market. For such a change to be technologically successful, it will

  13. [Coexistence mechanism of ant community in lac plantation under habitat heterogeneity].

    PubMed

    Wang, Si-ming; Chen, You-qing; Lu, Zhi-xing; Liu, Chun-ju; Guo, Zu-xue

    2010-10-01

    In order to reveal the coexistence mechanism of ant community in lac plantation, an investigation was made on the ant community composition and the ability of ant species in discovering and holding food resources in a lac plantation in Yayi Town of Mojiang County, Yunnan Province, with the relationships between ant body size and its ability of finding food under habitat heterogeneity probed. There were six dominant ant species in the plantation, i. e., Tetraponera allaborans (Walker), Crematogaster macaoensis Wheeler, Crematogasterferrarii Emery, Dolichoderus thoracicus (Smith), Polyrhachis proxima Roger, and Camponotus parius Emery. The hind leg length (y) of the six ant species increased allometrically with their head width (x), and the regression equation was y = 0.56 + 1.02x + 5.97x2 - 10.85x3. Different ant species had significant differences in their actual and relative frequency in discovering food resources in different habitats, but habitat type had no significant effects on the actual frequency in holding food resources by the ant species. The ant species with bigger head width and bigger body size index could discover more food resources in simple habitat. In contrast, the ant species with smaller head width, shorter hind leg length, and smaller body size index could discover more food resources in complex habitat. The heterogeneity of habitat caused the coexistence of ants: the smaller ant species lived in complex habitat, while the larger ones lived in simple habitat. In addition, numerically dominant ant species were unable to possess all resources, and thereby, could provide the opportunity to other ant species for resources acquisition, making the species coexistence come true.

  14. Expansion of oxygen minimum zones may reduce available habitat for tropical pelagic fishes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stramma, Lothar; Prince, Eric D.; Schmidtko, Sunke; Luo, Jiangang; Hoolihan, John P.; Visbeck, Martin; Wallace, Douglas W. R.; Brandt, Peter; Körtzinger, Arne

    2012-01-01

    Climate model predictions and observations reveal regional declines in oceanic dissolved oxygen, which are probably influenced by global warming. Studies indicate ongoing dissolved oxygen depletion and vertical expansion of the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) in the tropical northeast Atlantic Ocean. OMZ shoaling may restrict the usable habitat of billfishes and tunas to a narrow surface layer. We report a decrease in the upper ocean layer exceeding 3.5mll-1 dissolved oxygen at a rate of <=1myr-1 in the tropical northeast Atlantic (0-25°N, 12-30°W), amounting to an annual habitat loss of ~5.95×1013m3, or 15% for the period 1960-2010. Habitat compression and associated potential habitat loss was validated using electronic tagging data from 47 blue marlin. This phenomenon increases vulnerability to surface fishing gear for billfishes and tunas, and may be associated with a 10-50% worldwide decline of pelagic predator diversity. Further expansion of the Atlantic OMZ along with overfishing may threaten the sustainability of these valuable pelagic fisheries and marine ecosystems.

  15. Habitat heterogeneity influences restoration efficacy: Implications of a habitat-specific management regime for an invaded marsh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Long; Gao, Yang; Wang, Cheng-Huan; Li, Bo; Chen, Jia-Kuan; Zhao, Bin

    2013-07-01

    Invasive species have to be managed to prevent adverse consequences. Spartina alterniflora has invaded many marshes where salinity and inundation are often key factors affecting vegetation. The former was surface clipped twice and native Phragmites australis was planted in invaded zones to examine the effects of habitat properties on the efficacy of invader control and native restoration. The results showed that two clipping treatments almost eliminated S. alterniflora in the zones with long inundation periods of 80 h/15 d but stimulated compensatory growth of S. alterniflora in the zones with short inundation periods. Transplanted P. australis performed better over time in zones with low salinity (<10.5 psu) but performed poorly in high-salinity zones, indicating that the efficacy of invader management and native restoration activities changes significantly along habitat gradients. With a progression from the dyke to the seaward side of the studied marsh, there was a long then short then long inundation period whereas salinity increased consistently. The study indicates that the high-frequency removal of the above-ground parts of S. alterniflora should be used only in the middle tidal zones and that native vegetation should be planted in zones above the mean high water level while the others zones in the saltmarsh should be restored to mud flats. Usually, invasive plants can flourish in highly heterogeneous habitats, which can influence management efficacy by influencing the re-growth of treated invaders and the performance of restored native species. Therefore, habitat-specific management regimes for invasive species can be expected to be more efficient because of their dependence on specific habitats.

  16. Spatial heterogeneity of methane ebullition in a large tropical reservoir.

    PubMed

    DelSontro, Tonya; Kunz, Manuel J; Kempter, Tim; Wüest, Alfred; Wehrli, Bernhard; Senn, David B

    2011-12-01

    Tropical reservoirs have been identified as important methane (CH(4)) sources to the atmosphere, primarily through turbine and downstream degassing. However, the importance of ebullition (gas bubbling) remains unclear. We hypothesized that ebullition is a disproportionately large CH(4) source from reservoirs with dendritic littoral zones because of ebullition hot spots occurring where rivers supply allochthonous organic material. We explored this hypothesis in Lake Kariba (Zambia/Zimbabwe; surface area >5000 km(2)) by surveying ebullition in bays with and without river inputs using an echosounder and traditional surface chambers. The two techniques yielded similar results, and revealed substantially higher fluxes in river deltas (∼10(3) mg CH(4) m(-2) d(-1)) compared to nonriver bays (<100 mg CH(4) m(-2) d(-1)). Hydroacoustic measurements resolved at 5 m intervals showed that flux events varied over several orders of magnitude (up to 10(5) mg CH(4) m(-2) d(-1)), and also identified strong differences in ebullition frequency. Both factors contributed to emission differences between all sites. A CH(4) mass balance for the deepest basin of Lake Kariba indicated that hot spot ebullition was the largest atmospheric emission pathway, suggesting that future greenhouse gas budgets for tropical reservoirs should include a spatially well-resolved analysis of ebullition hot spots.

  17. Responses to mineral nutrient availability and heterogeneity in physiologically integrated sedges from contrasting habitats.

    PubMed

    D'Hertefeldt, T; Falkengren-Grerup, U; Jónsdóttir, I S

    2011-05-01

    Clonal plants from poor habitats benefit less from morphologically plastic responses to heterogeneity than plants from more productive sites. In addition, physiological integration has been suggested to either increase or decrease the foraging efficiency of clonal plants. We tested the capacity for biomass production and morphological response in two closely related, rhizomatous species from habitats that differ in resource availability, Carex arenaria (from poor sand dunes) and C. disticha (from nutrient-richer, moister habitats). We expected lower total biomass production and reduced morphological plasticity in C. arenaria, and that both species would produce more ramets in high nutrient patches, either in response to signals transported through physiological integration, or by locally determined responses to nutrient availability. To investigate mineral nutrient heterogeneity, plants were grown in boxes divided into two compartments with homogeneous or heterogeneous supply of high (H) or low (L) nutrient levels, resulting in four treatments, H-H, H-L, L-H and L-L. Both C. arenaria and C. disticha produced similar biomass in high nutrient treatments. C. disticha responded to high nutrients by increased biomass production and branching of the young parts and by altering root:shoot ratio and rhizome lengths, while C. arenaria showed localised responses to high nutrients in terms of local biomass and branch production in high nutrient patches. The results demonstrated that although it has a conservative morphology, C. arenaria responded to nutrient heterogeneity through morphological plasticity. An analysis of costs and benefits of integration on biomass production showed that young ramets of both species benefited significantly from physiological integration, but no corresponding costs were found. This suggests that plants from resource-poor but dynamic habitats like sand dunes respond morphologically to high nutrient patches. The two species responded to nutrient

  18. [Bud population dynamics of Phragmites australis in heterogeneous habitats of Northeast grassland, China].

    PubMed

    2015-02-01

    To adapt ecological environment, typical clonal plants can occur continuously by means of buds. The changes in the bud bank and bud flow in the heterogeneous habitats become the foundation for deep understanding the characteristics of vegetative propagation. By sampling soil from the unit area, a comparative analysis was performed for rhizome bud population dynamics of Phragmites australis community in both meadow soil and saline-alkali soil habitats in meadow grassland of Northeast China. The one-age class rhizome buds formed in the current year were used as input, with the other age classes rhizome buds as output, counting the dormancy buds and death buds. The results showed that the storage, input, output, dormancy, death and the input rates of P. australis rhizome bud populations in meadow soil habitat were significantly higher than that in saline-alkali habitat. There was no significant difference in output rate between the two habitats. The dormant rate in saline-alkali habitat was significantly greater than that in meadow soil habitat. The death rates remained at relatively low levels in both, less than 2%. With the going of growing season, the input buds and input rate of bud bank increased in the two habitats, while the output buds remained relatively stable. The output rate increased first and decreased later, the dormancy buds and dormant rate decreased. Bud bank and bud flow were positively related to soil moisture, soil organic matter and soil available nitrogen content. However, they were negatively related to soil pH value and soil available phosphorus content. Bud bank and bud flow had a similar seasonal variation. Constantly for both habitats, P. australis populations generated new rhizome buds supplied to the bud bank and kept a stable output to maintain their vegetative propagation.

  19. Tropical coral reef habitat in a geoengineered, high-CO2 world

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Couce, E.; Irvine, P. J.; Gregorie, L. J.; Ridgwell, A.; Hendy, E. J.

    2013-05-01

    Continued anthropogenic CO2 emissions are expected to impact tropical coral reefs by further raising sea surface temperatures (SST) and intensifying ocean acidification (OA). Although geoengineering by means of solar radiation management (SRM) may mitigate temperature increases, OA will persist, raising important questions regarding the impact of different stressor combinations. We apply statistical Bioclimatic Envelope Models to project changes in shallow water tropical coral reef habitat as a single niche (without resolving biodiversity or community composition) under various representative concentration pathway and SRM scenarios, until 2070. We predict substantial reductions in habitat suitability centered on the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool under net anthropogenic radiative forcing of ≥3.0 W/m2. The near-term dominant risk to coral reefs is increasing SSTs; below 3 W/m2 reasonably favorable conditions are maintained, even when achieved by SRM with persisting OA. "Optimal" mitigation occurs at 1.5 W/m2 because tropical SSTs overcool in a fully geoengineered (i.e., preindustrial global mean temperature) world.

  20. Relationships between meiofaunal biodiversity and prokaryotic heterotrophic production in different tropical habitats and oceanic regions.

    PubMed

    Pusceddu, Antonio; Gambi, Cristina; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Scopa, Mariaspina; Danovaro, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    Tropical marine ecosystems are among the most diverse of the world oceans, so that assessing the linkages between biodiversity and ecosystem functions (BEF) is a crucial step to predict consequences of biodiversity loss. Most BEF studies in marine ecosystems have been carried out on macrobenthic diversity, whereas the influence of the meiofauna on ecosystem functioning has received much less attention. We compared meiofaunal and nematode biodiversity and prokaryotic heterotrophic production across seagrass, mangrove and reef sediments in the Caribbean, Celebes and Red Seas. For all variables we report the presence of differences among habitats within the same region, and among regions within the same habitat. In all regions, the richness of meiofaunal taxa in reef and seagrass sediments is higher than in mangrove sediments. The sediments of the Celebes Sea show the highest meiofaunal biodiversity. The composition of meiofaunal assemblages varies significantly among habitats in the same region. The nematode beta diversity among habitats within the same region is higher than the beta diversity among regions. Although one site per habitat was considered in each region, these results suggest that the composition of meiofaunal assemblages varies primarily among biogeographic regions, whereas the composition of nematode assemblages varies more considerably among habitats. Meiofauna and nematode biodiversity and prokaryotic heterotrophic production, even after the removal of covariate effects linked with longitude and the quantity and nutritional quality of organic matter, are positively and linearly linked both across regions and within each habitat type. Our results confirm that meiofauna and nematode biodiversity may influence benthic prokaryotic activity, which, in turn, implies that diversity loss could have negative impacts on ecosystem functioning in these systems.

  1. Pervasive Local-Scale Tree-Soil Habitat Association in a Tropical Forest Community

    PubMed Central

    Allié, Elodie; Pélissier, Raphaël; Engel, Julien; Petronelli, Pascal; Freycon, Vincent; Deblauwe, Vincent; Soucémarianadin, Laure; Weigel, Jean; Baraloto, Christopher

    2015-01-01

    related to dispersal limitation, biotic interactions and environmental filtering from species-habitat associations. Moreover, they provide a framework to generalize across tropical forest sites. PMID:26535570

  2. Relationships between Meiofaunal Biodiversity and Prokaryotic Heterotrophic Production in Different Tropical Habitats and Oceanic Regions

    PubMed Central

    Pusceddu, Antonio; Gambi, Cristina; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Scopa, Mariaspina; Danovaro, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    Tropical marine ecosystems are among the most diverse of the world oceans, so that assessing the linkages between biodiversity and ecosystem functions (BEF) is a crucial step to predict consequences of biodiversity loss. Most BEF studies in marine ecosystems have been carried out on macrobenthic diversity, whereas the influence of the meiofauna on ecosystem functioning has received much less attention. We compared meiofaunal and nematode biodiversity and prokaryotic heterotrophic production across seagrass, mangrove and reef sediments in the Caribbean, Celebes and Red Seas. For all variables we report the presence of differences among habitats within the same region, and among regions within the same habitat. In all regions, the richness of meiofaunal taxa in reef and seagrass sediments is higher than in mangrove sediments. The sediments of the Celebes Sea show the highest meiofaunal biodiversity. The composition of meiofaunal assemblages varies significantly among habitats in the same region. The nematode beta diversity among habitats within the same region is higher than the beta diversity among regions. Although one site per habitat was considered in each region, these results suggest that the composition of meiofaunal assemblages varies primarily among biogeographic regions, whereas the composition of nematode assemblages varies more considerably among habitats. Meiofauna and nematode biodiversity and prokaryotic heterotrophic production, even after the removal of covariate effects linked with longitude and the quantity and nutritional quality of organic matter, are positively and linearly linked both across regions and within each habitat type. Our results confirm that meiofauna and nematode biodiversity may influence benthic prokaryotic activity, which, in turn, implies that diversity loss could have negative impacts on ecosystem functioning in these systems. PMID:24603709

  3. Pervasive Local-Scale Tree-Soil Habitat Association in a Tropical Forest Community.

    PubMed

    Allié, Elodie; Pélissier, Raphaël; Engel, Julien; Petronelli, Pascal; Freycon, Vincent; Deblauwe, Vincent; Soucémarianadin, Laure; Weigel, Jean; Baraloto, Christopher

    2015-01-01

    related to dispersal limitation, biotic interactions and environmental filtering from species-habitat associations. Moreover, they provide a framework to generalize across tropical forest sites.

  4. Enhancing the area-isolation paradigm: habitat heterogeneity and metapopulation dynamics of a rare wetland mammal.

    PubMed

    Schooley, Robert L; Branch, Lyn C

    2009-10-01

    Conservation of species in fragmented landscapes often is guided by spatially realistic metapopulation theory. However, convincing cases of metapopulation dynamics are uncommon, especially for vertebrates. Moreover, there is concern that the patch area and isolation paradigm for metapopulations is an oversimplification for heterogeneous landscapes. We tested predictions from metapopulation theory for a rare wetland mammal (round-tailed muskrat, Neofiber alleni) and asked whether it was necessary to use a habitat-informed version of the area-isolation paradigm that included patch quality and matrix heterogeneity. In each of two years, we surveyed 457 isolated wetlands in central Florida, USA, for presence-absence of Neofiber and evaluated logistic regression models of patch occupancy, extinction, and colonization. We documented metapopulation dynamics in which patch occupancy was constant between years (26% of patches occupied) due to balanced local extinctions (n = 45) and recolonizations (n = 46). Neofiber was both habitat and dispersal limited. Local extinctions were related negatively to patch area, patch quality (cover of maidencane grass, Panicum hemitomon), and distance to nearest roadside ditch. Patch colonization depended on patch area, patch quality, and spatial connectivity to potential source wetlands. Despite the importance of patch quality, Neofiber did not exhibit a habitat-tracking metapopulation on an annual time scale. Cost-distance modeling suggested effective distances that included high costs for moving through forested matrix habitats generally were better than Euclidean distances for predicting patch colonization and occupancy. Two dominant land uses were tied to turnover dynamics: cattle grazing decreased habitat quality of wetlands, and presence of pine (Pinus spp.) plantations decreased functional connectivity. The simple area-isolation paradigm was not adequate for characterizing spatial dynamics of the Neofiber metapopulation

  5. Do tropical cyclones shape shorebird habitat patterns? Biogeoclimatology of snowy plovers in Florida.

    PubMed

    Convertino, Matteo; Elsner, James B; Muñoz-Carpena, Rafael; Kiker, Gregory A; Martinez, Christopher J; Fischer, Richard A; Linkov, Igor

    2011-01-12

    The Gulf coastal ecosystems in Florida are foci of the highest species richness of imperiled shoreline dependent birds in the USA. However environmental processes that affect their macroecological patterns, like occupancy and abundance, are not well unraveled. In Florida the Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) is resident along northern and western white sandy estuarine/ocean beaches and is considered a state-threatened species. Here we show that favorable nesting areas along the Florida Gulf coastline are located in regions impacted relatively more frequently by tropical cyclones. The odds of Snowy Plover nesting in these areas during the spring following a tropical cyclone impact are seven times higher compared to the odds during the spring following a season without a cyclone. The only intensity of a tropical cyclone does not appear to be a significant factor affecting breeding populations. Nevertheless a future climate scenario featuring fewer, but more extreme cyclones could result in a decrease in the breeding Snowy Plover population and its breeding range. This is because the spatio-temporal frequency of cyclone events was found to significantly affect nest abundance. Due to the similar geographic range and habitat suitability, and no decrease in nest abundance of other shorebirds in Florida after the cyclone season, our results suggest a common bioclimatic feedback between shorebird abundance and tropical cyclones in breeding areas which are affected by cyclones.

  6. Do Tropical Cyclones Shape Shorebird Habitat Patterns? Biogeoclimatology of Snowy Plovers in Florida

    PubMed Central

    Convertino, Matteo; Elsner, James B.; Muñoz-Carpena, Rafael; Kiker, Gregory A.; Martinez, Christopher J.; Fischer, Richard A.; Linkov, Igor

    2011-01-01

    Background The Gulf coastal ecosystems in Florida are foci of the highest species richness of imperiled shoreline dependent birds in the USA. However environmental processes that affect their macroecological patterns, like occupancy and abundance, are not well unraveled. In Florida the Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) is resident along northern and western white sandy estuarine/ocean beaches and is considered a state-threatened species. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we show that favorable nesting areas along the Florida Gulf coastline are located in regions impacted relatively more frequently by tropical cyclones. The odds of Snowy Plover nesting in these areas during the spring following a tropical cyclone impact are seven times higher compared to the odds during the spring following a season without a cyclone. The only intensity of a tropical cyclone does not appear to be a significant factor affecting breeding populations. Conclusions/Significance Nevertheless a future climate scenario featuring fewer, but more extreme cyclones could result in a decrease in the breeding Snowy Plover population and its breeding range. This is because the spatio-temporal frequency of cyclone events was found to significantly affect nest abundance. Due to the similar geographic range and habitat suitability, and no decrease in nest abundance of other shorebirds in Florida after the cyclone season, our results suggest a common bioclimatic feedback between shorebird abundance and tropical cyclones in breeding areas which are affected by cyclones. PMID:21264268

  7. Phenotypic plasticity of the basidiomata of Thelephora sp. (Thelephoraceae) in tropical forest habitats.

    PubMed

    Ramirez-Lópezl, Itzel; Ríos, Margarita Villegas; Cano-Santana, Zenón

    2013-03-01

    Phenotypic plasticity in macroscopic fungi has been poorly studied in comparison to plants or animals and only general aspects of these changes have been described. In this work, the phenotypic variation in the basidiomata of Thelephora sp. (Thelephoraceae) was examined, as well as some aspects of its ecology and habitat, using 24 specimens collected in the tropical forests of the Chamela Biological Station, Jalisco, Mexico. Our observations showed that this taxon has clavarioid basidiomata that can become resupinate during development and growth if they are in contact with rocks, litter or live plants, establishing in the latter only an epiphytic relationship. This tropical species may form groups of up to 139 basidiomata over an area of 32.2m2, and in both types of vegetation (tropical sub-evergreen and deciduous forest) were primarily located on steep (>20 degree) South-facing slopes. It is found under closed canopy in both tropical forests, but its presence in sub-evergreen forests is greater than expected.

  8. Remotely sensed indicators of habitat heterogeneity and biological diversity: A preliminary report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Imhoff, Marc; Sisk, Thomas; Milne, Anthony; Morgan, Garth; Orr, Tony

    1995-01-01

    The relationship between habitat area, spatial dynamics of the landscape, and species diversity is an important theme in population and conservation biology. Of particular interest is how populations of various species are affected by increasing habitat edges due to fragmentation. Over the last decade, assumptions regarding the effects of habitat edges on biodiversity have fluctuated wildly, from the belief that they have a positive effect to the belief that they have a clearly negative effect. This change in viewpoint has been brought about by an increasing recognition of the importance of geographic scale and a reinterpretation of natural history observations. In this preliminary report from an ongoing project, we explore the use of remote sensing technology and geographic information systems to further our understanding of how species diversity and population density are affected by habitat heterogeneity and landscape composition. A primary feature of this study is the investigation of SAR for making more rigorous investigations of habitat structure by exploiting the interaction between radar backscatter and vegetation structure and biomass. A major emphasis will be on the use of SAR data to define relative structural types based on measures of structural consolidation using the vegetation surface area to volume ratio (SA/V). Past research has shown that SAR may be sensitive to this form of structural expression which may affect biodiversity.

  9. Unravelling tumour heterogeneity using next-generation imaging: radiomics, radiogenomics, and habitat imaging.

    PubMed

    Sala, E; Mema, E; Himoto, Y; Veeraraghavan, H; Brenton, J D; Snyder, A; Weigelt, B; Vargas, H A

    2017-01-01

    Tumour heterogeneity in cancers has been observed at the histological and genetic levels, and increased levels of intra-tumour genetic heterogeneity have been reported to be associated with adverse clinical outcomes. This review provides an overview of radiomics, radiogenomics, and habitat imaging, and examines the use of these newly emergent fields in assessing tumour heterogeneity and its implications. It reviews the potential value of radiomics and radiogenomics in assisting in the diagnosis of cancer disease and determining cancer aggressiveness. This review discusses how radiogenomic analysis can be further used to guide treatment therapy for individual tumours by predicting drug response and potential therapy resistance and examines its role in developing radiomics as biomarkers of oncological outcomes. Lastly, it provides an overview of the obstacles in these emergent fields today including reproducibility, need for validation, imaging analysis standardisation, data sharing and clinical translatability and offers potential solutions to these challenges towards the realisation of precision oncology.

  10. Factors affecting seasonal habitat use, and predicted range of two tropical deer in Indonesian rainforest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahman, Dede Aulia; Gonzalez, Georges; Haryono, Mohammad; Muhtarom, Aom; Firdaus, Asep Yayus; Aulagnier, Stéphane

    2017-07-01

    There is an urgent recognized need for conservation of tropical forest deer. In order to identify some environmental factors affecting conservation, we analyzed the seasonal habitat use of two Indonesian deer species, Axis kuhlii in Bawean Island and Muntiacus muntjak in south-western Java Island, in response to several physical, climatic, biological, and anthropogenic variables. Camera trapping was performed in different habitat types during both wet and dry season to record these elusive species. The highest number of photographs was recorded in secondary forest and during the dry season for both Bawean deer and red muntjac. In models, anthropogenic and climatic variables were the main predictors of habitat use. Distances to cultivated area and to settlement were the most important for A. kuhlii in the dry season. Distances to cultivated area and annual rainfall were significant for M. muntjak in both seasons. Then we modelled their predictive range using Maximum entropy modelling (Maxent). We concluded that forest landscape is the fundamental scale for deer management, and that secondary forests are potentially important landscape elements for deer conservation. Important areas for conservation were identified accounting of habitat transformation in both study areas.

  11. Horizontal and vertical species turnover in tropical birds in habitats with differing land use.

    PubMed

    Sreekar, Rachakonda; Corlett, Richard T; Dayananda, Salindra; Goodale, Uromi Manage; Kilpatrick, Adam; Kotagama, Sarath W; Koh, Lian Pin; Goodale, Eben

    2017-05-01

    Large tracts of tropical rainforests are being converted into intensive agricultural lands. Such anthropogenic disturbances are known to reduce species turnover across horizontal distances. But it is not known if they can also reduce species turnover across vertical distances (elevation), which have steeper climatic differences. We measured turnover in birds across horizontal and vertical sampling transects in three land-use types of Sri Lanka: protected forest, reserve buffer and intensive-agriculture, from 90 to 2100 m a.s.l. Bird turnover rates across horizontal distances were similar across all habitats, and much less than vertical turnover rates. Vertical turnover rates were not similar across habitats. Forest had higher turnover rates than the other two habitats for all bird species. Buffer and intensive-agriculture had similar turnover rates, even though buffer habitats were situated at the forest edge. Therefore, our results demonstrate the crucial importance of conserving primary forest across the full elevational range available. © 2017 The Author(s).

  12. Spatial heterogeneity and scale-dependent habitat selection for two sympatric raptors in mixed-grass prairie.

    PubMed

    Atuo, Fidelis Akunke; O'Connell, Timothy John

    2017-08-01

    Sympatric predators are predicted to partition resources, especially under conditions of food limitation. Spatial heterogeneity that influences prey availability might play an important role in the scales at which potential competitors select habitat. We assessed potential mechanisms for coexistence by examining the role of heterogeneity in resource partitioning between sympatric raptors overwintering in the southern Great Plains. We conducted surveys for wintering Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) and Northern Harrier (Circus cyanea) at two state wildlife management areas in Oklahoma, USA. We used information from repeated distance sampling to project use locations in a GIS. We applied resource selection functions to model habitat selection at three scales and analyzed for niche partitioning using the outlying mean index. Habitat selection of the two predators was mediated by spatial heterogeneity. The two predators demonstrated significant fine-scale discrimination in habitat selection in homogeneous landscapes, but were more sympatric in heterogeneous landscapes. Red-tailed hawk used a variety of cover types in heterogeneous landscapes but specialized on riparian forest in homogeneous landscapes. Northern Harrier specialized on upland grasslands in homogeneous landscapes but selected more cover types in heterogeneous landscapes. Our study supports the growing body of evidence that landscapes can affect animal behaviors. In the system we studied, larger patches of primary land cover types were associated with greater allopatry in habitat selection between two potentially competing predators. Heterogeneity within the scale of raptor home ranges was associated with greater sympatry in use and less specialization in land cover types selected.

  13. Long-term demographic consequences of habitat fragmentation to a tropical understory bird community

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Korfanta, N.M.; Newmark, W.D.; Kauffman, M.J.

    2012-01-01

    Tropical deforestation continues to cause population declines and local extinctions in centers of avian diversity and endemism. Although local species extinctions stem from reductions in demographic rates, little is known about how habitat fragmentation influences survival of tropical bird populations or the relative importance of survival and fecundity in ultimately shaping communities. We analyzed 22 years of mark-recapture data to assess how fragmentation influenced apparent survival, recruitment, and realized population growth rate within 22 forest understory bird species in the Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. This represents the first such effort, in either tropical or temperate systems, to characterize the effect of deforestation on avian survival across such a broad suite of species. Long-term demographic analysis of this suite of species experiencing the same fragmented environment revealed considerable variability in species' responses to fragmentation, in addition to general patterns that emerged from comparison among species. Across the understory bird community as a whole, we found significantly lower apparent survival and realized population growth rate in small fragments relative to large, demonstrating fragmentation effects to demographic rates long after habitat loss. Demographic rates were depressed across five feeding guilds, suggesting that fragmentation sensitivity was not limited to insectivores. Seniority analyses, together with a positive effect of fragmentation on recruitment, indicated that depressed apparent survival was the primary driver of population declines and observed extinctions. We also found a landscape effect, with lower vital rates in one mountain range relative to another, suggesting that fragmentation effects may add to other large-scale drivers of population decline. Overall, realized population growth rate (λ) estimates were < 1 for most species, suggesting that future population persistence even within large forest

  14. Long-term demographic consequences of habitat fragmentation to a tropical understory bird community.

    PubMed

    Korfanta, Nicole M; Newmark, William D; Kauffman, Matthew J

    2012-12-01

    Tropical deforestation continues to cause population declines and local extinctions in centers of avian diversity and endemism. Although local species extinctions stem from reductions in demographic rates, little is known about how habitat fragmentation influences survival of tropical bird populations or the relative importance of survival and fecundity in ultimately shaping communities. We analyzed 22 years of mark-recapture data to assess how fragmentation influenced apparent survival, recruitment, and realized population growth rate within 22 forest understory bird species in the Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. This represents the first such effort, in either tropical or temperate systems, to characterize the effect of deforestation on avian survival across such a broad suite of species. Long-term demographic analysis of this suite of species experiencing the same fragmented environment revealed considerable variability in species' responses to fragmentation, in addition to general patterns that emerged from comparison among species. Across the understory bird community as a whole, we found significantly lower apparent survival and realized population growth rate in small fragments relative to large, demonstrating fragmentation effects to demographic rates long after habitat loss, Demographic rates were depressed across five feeding guilds, suggesting that fragmentation sensitivity was not limited to insectivores. Seniority analyses, together with a positive effect of fragmentation on recruitment, indicated that depressed apparent survival was the primary driver of population declines and observed extinctions. We also found a landscape effect, with lower vital rates in one mountain range relative to another, suggesting that fragmentation effects may add to other large-scale drivers of population decline. Overall, realized population growth rate (lambda) estimates were < 1 for most species, suggesting that future population persistence, even within large forest

  15. Habitat heterogeneity and connectivity shape microbial communities in South American peatlands

    PubMed Central

    Oloo, Felix; Valverde, Angel; Quiroga, María Victoria; Vikram, Surendra; Cowan, Don; Mataloni, Gabriela

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria play critical roles in peatland ecosystems. However, very little is known of how habitat heterogeneity affects the structure of the bacterial communities in these ecosystems. Here, we used amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA and nifH genes to investigate phylogenetic diversity and bacterial community composition in three different sub-Antarctic peat bog aquatic habitats: Sphagnum magellanicum interstitial water, and water from vegetated and non-vegetated pools. Total and putative nitrogen-fixing bacterial communities from Sphagnum interstitial water differed significantly from vegetated and non-vegetated pool communities (which were colonized by the same bacterial populations), probably as a result of differences in water chemistry and biotic interactions. Total bacterial communities from pools contained typically aquatic taxa, and were more dissimilar in composition and less species rich than those from Sphagnum interstitial waters (which were enriched in taxa typically from soils), probably reflecting the reduced connectivity between the former habitats. These results show that bacterial communities in peatland water habitats are highly diverse and structured by multiple concurrent factors. PMID:27162086

  16. Predicting faunal fire responses in heterogeneous landscapes: the role of habitat structure.

    PubMed

    Swan, Matthew; Christie, Fiona; Sitters, Holly; York, Alan; Di Stefano, Julian

    2015-12-01

    Predicting the effects of fire on biota is important for biodiversity conservation in fire-prone landscapes. Time since fire is often used to predict the occurrence of fauna, yet for many species, it is a surrogate variable and it is temporal change in resource availability to which animals actually respond. Therefore prediction of fire-fauna relationships will be uncertain if time since fire is not strongly related to resources. In this study, we used a space-for-time substitution across a large diverse landscape to investigate interrelationships between the occurrence of ground-dwelling mammals, time since fire, and structural resources. We predicted that much variation in habitat structure would remain unexplained by time since fire and that habitat structure would predict species' occurrence better than time since fire. In line with predictions, we found that time since fire was moderately correlated with habitat structure yet was a poor surrogate for mammal occurrence. Variables representing habitat structure were better predictors of occurrence than time since fire for all species considered. Our results suggest that time since fire is unlikely to be a useful surrogate for ground-dwelling mammals in heterogeneous landscapes. Faunal conservation in fire-prone landscapes will benefit from a combined understanding of fauna-resource relationships and the ways in which fire (including planned fires and wildfires) alters the spatial and temporal distribution of faunal resources.

  17. Habitat heterogeneity and connectivity shape microbial communities in South American peatlands.

    PubMed

    Oloo, Felix; Valverde, Angel; Quiroga, María Victoria; Vikram, Surendra; Cowan, Don; Mataloni, Gabriela

    2016-05-10

    Bacteria play critical roles in peatland ecosystems. However, very little is known of how habitat heterogeneity affects the structure of the bacterial communities in these ecosystems. Here, we used amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA and nifH genes to investigate phylogenetic diversity and bacterial community composition in three different sub-Antarctic peat bog aquatic habitats: Sphagnum magellanicum interstitial water, and water from vegetated and non-vegetated pools. Total and putative nitrogen-fixing bacterial communities from Sphagnum interstitial water differed significantly from vegetated and non-vegetated pool communities (which were colonized by the same bacterial populations), probably as a result of differences in water chemistry and biotic interactions. Total bacterial communities from pools contained typically aquatic taxa, and were more dissimilar in composition and less species rich than those from Sphagnum interstitial waters (which were enriched in taxa typically from soils), probably reflecting the reduced connectivity between the former habitats. These results show that bacterial communities in peatland water habitats are highly diverse and structured by multiple concurrent factors.

  18. Evolution in African tropical trees displaying ploidy-habitat association: The genus Afzelia (Leguminosae).

    PubMed

    Donkpegan, Armel S L; Doucet, Jean-Louis; Migliore, Jérémy; Duminil, Jérôme; Dainou, Kasso; Piñeiro, Rosalía; Wieringa, Jan J; Champluvier, Dominique; Hardy, Olivier J

    2017-02-01

    Polyploidy has rarely been documented in rain forest trees but it has recently been found in African species of the genus Afzelia (Leguminosae), which is composed of four tetraploid rain forest species and two diploid dry forest species. The genus Afzelia thus provides an opportunity to examine how and when polyploidy and habitat shift occurred in Africa, and whether they are associated. In this study, we combined three plastid markers (psbA, trnL, ndhF), two nuclear markers (ribosomal ITS and the single-copy PEPC E7 gene), plastomes (obtained by High Throughput Sequencing) and morphological traits, with an extensive taxonomic and geographic sampling to explore the evolutionary history of Afzelia. Both nuclear DNA and morphological vegetative characters separated diploid from tetraploid lineages. Although the two African diploid species were well differentiated genetically and morphologically, the relationships among the tetraploid species were not resolved. In contrast to the nuclear markers, plastid markers revealed that one of the diploid species forms a well-supported clade with the tetraploids, suggesting historical hybridisation, possibly in relation with genome duplication (polyploidization) and habitat shift from dry to rain forests. Molecular dating based on fossil-anchored gene phylogenies indicates that extant Afzelia started diverging c. 14.5 or 20Ma while extant tetraploid species started diverging c. 7.0 or 9.4Ma according to plastid and nuclear DNA, respectively. Additional studies of tropical polyploid plants are needed to assess whether the ploidy-habitat association observed in African Afzelia would reflect a role of polyploidization in niche divergence in the tropics.

  19. Estimating Species Richness and Modelling Habitat Preferences of Tropical Forest Mammals from Camera Trap Data

    PubMed Central

    Rovero, Francesco; Martin, Emanuel; Rosa, Melissa; Ahumada, Jorge A.; Spitale, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Medium-to-large mammals within tropical forests represent a rich and functionally diversified component of this biome; however, they continue to be threatened by hunting and habitat loss. Assessing these communities implies studying species’ richness and composition, and determining a state variable of species abundance in order to infer changes in species distribution and habitat associations. The Tropical Ecology, Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) network fills a chronic gap in standardized data collection by implementing a systematic monitoring framework of biodiversity, including mammal communities, across several sites. In this study, we used TEAM camera trap data collected in the Udzungwa Mountains of Tanzania, an area of exceptional importance for mammal diversity, to propose an example of a baseline assessment of species’ occupancy. We used 60 camera trap locations and cumulated 1,818 camera days in 2009. Sampling yielded 10,647 images of 26 species of mammals. We estimated that a minimum of 32 species are in fact present, matching available knowledge from other sources. Estimated species richness at camera sites did not vary with a suite of habitat covariates derived from remote sensing, however the detection probability varied with functional guilds, with herbivores being more detectable than other guilds. Species-specific occupancy modelling revealed novel ecological knowledge for the 11 most detected species, highlighting patterns such as ‘montane forest dwellers’, e.g. the endemic Sanje mangabey (Cercocebus sanjei), and ‘lowland forest dwellers’, e.g. suni antelope (Neotragus moschatus). Our results show that the analysis of camera trap data with account for imperfect detection can provide a solid ecological assessment of mammal communities that can be systematically replicated across sites. PMID:25054806

  20. Estimating species richness and modelling habitat preferences of tropical forest mammals from camera trap data.

    PubMed

    Rovero, Francesco; Martin, Emanuel; Rosa, Melissa; Ahumada, Jorge A; Spitale, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Medium-to-large mammals within tropical forests represent a rich and functionally diversified component of this biome; however, they continue to be threatened by hunting and habitat loss. Assessing these communities implies studying species' richness and composition, and determining a state variable of species abundance in order to infer changes in species distribution and habitat associations. The Tropical Ecology, Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) network fills a chronic gap in standardized data collection by implementing a systematic monitoring framework of biodiversity, including mammal communities, across several sites. In this study, we used TEAM camera trap data collected in the Udzungwa Mountains of Tanzania, an area of exceptional importance for mammal diversity, to propose an example of a baseline assessment of species' occupancy. We used 60 camera trap locations and cumulated 1,818 camera days in 2009. Sampling yielded 10,647 images of 26 species of mammals. We estimated that a minimum of 32 species are in fact present, matching available knowledge from other sources. Estimated species richness at camera sites did not vary with a suite of habitat covariates derived from remote sensing, however the detection probability varied with functional guilds, with herbivores being more detectable than other guilds. Species-specific occupancy modelling revealed novel ecological knowledge for the 11 most detected species, highlighting patterns such as 'montane forest dwellers', e.g. the endemic Sanje mangabey (Cercocebus sanjei), and 'lowland forest dwellers', e.g. suni antelope (Neotragus moschatus). Our results show that the analysis of camera trap data with account for imperfect detection can provide a solid ecological assessment of mammal communities that can be systematically replicated across sites.

  1. Canopy cover negatively affects arboreal ant species richness in a tropical open habitat.

    PubMed

    Queiroz, A C M; Ribas, C R

    2016-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis of a negative relationship between vegetation characteristics and ant species richness in a Brazilian open vegetation habitat, called candeial. We set up arboreal pitfalls to sample arboreal ants and measured the following environmental variables, which were used as surrogate of environmental heterogeneity: tree richness, tree density, tree height, circumference at the base of the plants, and canopy cover. Only canopy cover had a negative effect on the arboreal ant species richness. Vegetation characteristics and plant species composition are probably homogeneous in candeial, which explains the lack of relationship between other environmental variables and ant richness. Open vegetation habitats harbor a large number of opportunistic and generalist species, besides specialist ants from habitats with high temperatures. An increase in canopy cover decreases sunlight incidence and may cause local microclimatic differences, which negatively affect the species richness of specialist ants from open areas. Canopy cover regulates the richness of arboreal ants in open areas, since only few ant species are able to colonize sites with dense vegetation; most species are present in sites with high temperature and luminosity. Within open vegetation habitats the relationship between vegetation characteristics and species richness seems to be the opposite from closed vegetation areas, like forests.

  2. Effect of habitat complexity on population density and species richness in tropical intertidal predatory gastropod assemblages.

    PubMed

    Kohn, Alan J; Leviten, Paul J

    1976-09-01

    Structural complexity of the habitat significantly increases population density and number of species in assemblages of predatory gastropod molluscs (families Conidae, Muricidae, Mitridae and Vasidae) on intertidal, generally smooth, horizontal limestone platforms fringing tropical Pacific islands. The important topographic features are physical (depressions partly filled with coral rubble) and biotic (thick algal turf binding sand). Higher population density and species richness in areas with than without such natural refuges, and following experimental addition of artificial refuges on portions of habitat lacking them support this hypothesis. Two species of Drupa differ from the other species present in not utilizing refuges during times of physical stress; this is attributed to their depressed shell and broad, tenacious foot. Highest gastropod densities occur in steep-sided depressions and those containing much coral rubble and sand, suggesting that these are important qualities of refuges. We believe this is the first demonstration of how specific environmental factors affect population density and species diversity of benthic invertebrates in a coral reef-associated habitat.

  3. The vesicomyid bivalve habitat at cold seeps supports heterogeneous and dynamic macrofaunal assemblages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillon, Erwan; Menot, Lénaïck; Decker, Carole; Krylova, Elena; Olu, Karine

    2017-02-01

    The high biodiversity found at cold seeps, despite elevated concentrations of methane and hydrogen sulfide, is attributed to multiple sources of habitat heterogeneity. In addition to geological and geochemical processes, biogenic habitats formed by large symbiont-bearing taxa, such as bivalves and siboglinid tubeworms, or by microbial mats drive the biodiversity of small-sized fauna. However, because these habitat-forming species also depend on geochemical gradients, the respective influence of abiotic and biotic factors in structuring associated macrofaunal communities is often unresolved. The giant pockmark Regab located at 3200 m depth on the Congo margin is characterized by different fluid-flow regimes, providing a mosaic of the most common biogenic habitats encountered at seeps: microbial mats, mussel beds, and vesicomyid clam beds; the latter being distributed along a gradient of environmental conditions from the center to the periphery of the pockmark. Here, we examined the structure of macrofaunal communities in biogenic habitats formed in soft sediment to (1) determine the influence of the habitats on the associated macrofaunal communities (inter-habitat comparison), (2) describe how macrofaunal communities vary among vesicomyid clam beds (intra-habitat comparison) and (3) assess the inter-annual variation in vesicomyid beds based on repeated sampling at a three-year interval. The highest densities were found in the microbial mat communities in intermediate fluid-flow areas, but they had low diversity - also observed in the sediment close to mussel beds. In contrast, vesicomyid beds harbored the highest diversity. The vesicomyid beds did not show a homogeneous macrofaunal community across sampled areas; instead, density and composition of macrofauna varied according to the location of the beds inside the pockmark. The clam bed sampled in the most active, central part of the pockmark resembled bacterial mat communities by the presence of highly sulfide

  4. Cool habitats support darker and bigger butterflies in Australian tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Xing, Shuang; Bonebrake, Timothy C; Tang, Chin Cheung; Pickett, Evan J; Cheng, Wenda; Greenspan, Sasha E; Williams, Stephen E; Scheffers, Brett R

    2016-11-01

    Morphology mediates the relationship between an organism's body temperature and its environment. Dark organisms, for example, tend to absorb heat more quickly than lighter individuals, which could influence their responses to temperature. Therefore, temperature-related traits such as morphology may affect patterns of species abundance, richness, and community assembly across a broad range of spatial scales. In this study, we examined variation in color lightness and body size within butterfly communities across hot and cool habitats in the tropical woodland-rainforest ecosystems of northeast Queensland, Australia. Using thermal imaging, we documented the absorption of solar radiation relative to color lightness and wingspan and then built a phylogenetic tree based on available sequences to analyze the effects of habitat on these traits within a phylogenetic framework. In general, darker and larger individuals were more prevalent in cool, closed-canopy rainforests than in immediately adjacent and hotter open woodlands. In addition, darker and larger butterflies preferred to be active in the shade and during crepuscular hours, while lighter and smaller butterflies were more active in the sun and midday hours-a pattern that held after correcting for phylogeny. Our ex situ experiment supported field observations that dark and large butterflies heated up faster than light and small butterflies under standardized environmental conditions. Our results show a thermal consequence of butterfly morphology across habitats and how environmental factors at a microhabitat scale may affect the distribution of species based on these traits. Furthermore, this study highlights how butterfly species might differentially respond to warming based on ecophysiological traits and how thermal refuges might emerge at microclimatic and habitat scales.

  5. The role of habitat heterogeneity in structuring the community of intertidal free-living marine nematodes.

    PubMed

    Gingold, Ruth; Mundo-Ocampo, Manuel; Holovachov, Oleksandr; Rocha-Olivares, Axayácatl

    2010-01-01

    The role of habitat complexity has been widely neglected in the study of meiofaunal community patterns. We studied the intertidal nematode community of a structurally complex macrotidal beach exhibiting contrasting microhabitats (sandbars and runnels) to understand the influence of environmental gradients and habitat heterogeneity in the community structure. We tested whether topographical complexity affected (1) the zonation pattern in terms of abundance and diversity, and (2) local diversity by promoting compartmentalization into distinct faunal groups. Our analyses revealed three major faunal assemblages along the exposure gradient associated to differences in mean grain size and chlorophyll a. Diversity patterns involved a mid-intertidal peak, consistent with the intermediate disturbance hypothesis, and another peak at the limit with the subtidal region, consistent with the transition zone. These results highlight the predominance of environmental gradients in establishing intertidal zonation. However, microhabitats differed in environmental conditions and possessed significantly distinct nematofaunal communities. Runnels featured higher levels of taxonomic and functional diversity, many unique genera, and the community differed from the assemblage at the limit to the subtidal, stressing their role as distinct microhabitats. The nematofauna of the structurally complex beach was more diverse than the one from a homogeneous beach nearby, supporting the hypothesis that structural heterogeneity promotes diversity by compartmentalization and highlighting the importance of microhabitats in the assessment of biodiversity. Contrary to previous predictions, our results indicate potentially high regional marine nematode diversity in the Upper Gulf of California.

  6. Disentangling vegetation diversity from climate–energy and habitat heterogeneity for explaining animal geographic patterns

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jimenez-Alfaro, Borja; Chytry, Milan; Mucina, Ladislav; Grace, James B.; Rejmanek, Marcel

    2016-01-01

    Broad-scale animal diversity patterns have been traditionally explained by hypotheses focused on climate–energy and habitat heterogeneity, without considering the direct influence of vegetation structure and composition. However, integrating these factors when considering plant–animal correlates still poses a major challenge because plant communities are controlled by abiotic factors that may, at the same time, influence animal distributions. By testing whether the number and variation of plant community types in Europe explain country-level diversity in six animal groups, we propose a conceptual framework in which vegetation diversity represents a bridge between abiotic factors and animal diversity. We show that vegetation diversity explains variation in animal richness not accounted for by altitudinal range or potential evapotranspiration, being the best predictor for butterflies, beetles, and amphibians. Moreover, the dissimilarity of plant community types explains the highest proportion of variation in animal assemblages across the studied regions, an effect that outperforms the effect of climate and their shared contribution with pure spatial variation. Our results at the country level suggest that vegetation diversity, as estimated from broad-scale classifications of plant communities, may contribute to our understanding of animal richness and may be disentangled, at least to a degree, from climate–energy and abiotic habitat heterogeneity.

  7. Disentangling vegetation diversity from climate-energy and habitat heterogeneity for explaining animal geographic patterns.

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Alfaro, Borja; Chytrý, Milan; Mucina, Ladislav; Grace, James B; Rejmánek, Marcel

    2016-03-01

    Broad-scale animal diversity patterns have been traditionally explained by hypotheses focused on climate-energy and habitat heterogeneity, without considering the direct influence of vegetation structure and composition. However, integrating these factors when considering plant-animal correlates still poses a major challenge because plant communities are controlled by abiotic factors that may, at the same time, influence animal distributions. By testing whether the number and variation of plant community types in Europe explain country-level diversity in six animal groups, we propose a conceptual framework in which vegetation diversity represents a bridge between abiotic factors and animal diversity. We show that vegetation diversity explains variation in animal richness not accounted for by altitudinal range or potential evapotranspiration, being the best predictor for butterflies, beetles, and amphibians. Moreover, the dissimilarity of plant community types explains the highest proportion of variation in animal assemblages across the studied regions, an effect that outperforms the effect of climate and their shared contribution with pure spatial variation. Our results at the country level suggest that vegetation diversity, as estimated from broad-scale classifications of plant communities, may contribute to our understanding of animal richness and may be disentangled, at least to a degree, from climate-energy and abiotic habitat heterogeneity.

  8. MODELING THE DYNAMICS OF THREE FUNCTIONAL GROUPS OF MACROALGAE IN TROPICAL SEAGRASS HABITATS. (R828677C004)

    EPA Science Inventory

    A model of three functional groups of macroalgae, drift algae, rhizophytic calcareous algae, and seagrass epiphytes, was developed to complement an existing seagrass production model for tropical habitats dominated by Thalassia testudinum (Turtle-grass). The current modeling e...

  9. Importance of Habitat Heterogeneity in Richness and Diversity of Moths (Lepidoptera) in Brazilian Savanna.

    PubMed

    Braga, Laura; Diniz, Ivone Rezende

    2015-06-01

    Moths exhibit different levels of fidelity to habitat, and some taxa are considered as bioindicators for conservation because they respond to habitat quality, environmental change, and vegetation types. In this study, we verified the effect of two phytophysiognomies of the Cerrado, savanna and forest, on the diversity distribution of moths of Erebidae (Arctiinae), Saturniidae, and Sphingidae families by using a hierarchical additive partitioning analysis. This analysis was based on two metrics: species richness and Shannon diversity index. The following questions were addressed: 1) Does the beta diversity of moths between phytophysiognomies add more species to the regional diversity than the beta diversity between sampling units and between sites? 2) Does the distribution of moth diversity differ among taxa? Alpha and beta diversities were compared with null models. The additive partitioning of species richness for the set of three Lepidoptera families identified beta diversity between phytophysiognomies as the component that contributed most to regional diversity, whereas the Shannon index identified alpha diversity as the major contributor. According to both species richness and the Shannon index, beta diversity between phytophysiognomies was significantly higher than expected by chance. Therefore, phytophysiognomies are the most important component in determining the richness and composition of the community. Additive partitioning also indicated that individual families of moths respond differently to the effect of habitat heterogeneity. The integrity of the Cerrado mosaic of phytophysiognomies plays a crucial role in maintaining moth biodiversity in the region.

  10. Differential performance of tropical soda apple and its biological control agent Gratiana boliviana (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in open and shaded habitats.

    PubMed

    Diaz, Rodrigo; Aguirre, Carlos; Wheeler, Gregory S; Lapointe, Stephen L; Rosskopf, Erin; Overholt, William A

    2011-12-01

    The leaf feeding beetle Gratiana boliviana Spaeth has been released since 2003 in the southeastern United States for biological control of tropical soda apple, Solanum viarum Dunal. In Florida, G. boliviana can be found on tropical soda apple growing in open pastures as well as in shady wooded areas. The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of light intensity on the performance of tropical soda apple and G. boliviana under greenhouse conditions, and to determine the abundance and mortality of G. boliviana in open and shaded habitats. Leaves growing in the shade were less tough, had higher water and nitrogen content, lower soluble sugars, and less dense and smaller glandular trichomes compared with leaves growing in the open. Plants grew slightly taller and wider under shaded conditions but total biomass was significantly reduced compared with plants grown in the open. In the greenhouse, G. boliviana had higher immature survival, greater folivory, larger adult size, and higher fecundity when reared on shaded plants compared with open plants. Sampling of field populations revealed that the overall abundance of G. boliviana was lower but leaf feeding damage was higher in shaded habitats compared with the open habitats. The percentage of eggs surviving to adult was greater in shaded compared with open habitats. The abundance of predators was higher in the open pasture and was positively correlated with the abundance of G. boliviana. These results indicate that not only plant quality but also habitat structure are important to the performance of weed biological control agents.

  11. Regional differences in the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of oceanographic habitat used by Steller sea lions.

    PubMed

    Lander, Michelle E; Loughlin, Thomas R; Logsdon, Miles G; VanBlaricom, Glenn R; Fadely, Brian S; Fritz, Lowell W

    2009-09-01

    Over the past three decades, the decline and altered spatial distribution of the western stock of Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) in Alaska have been attributed to changes in the distribution or abundance of their prey due to the cumulative effects of fisheries and environmental perturbations. During this period, dietary prey occurrence and diet diversity were related to population decline within metapopulation regions of the western stock of Steller sea lions, suggesting that environmental conditions may be variable among regions. The objective of this study, therefore, was to examine regional differences in the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of oceanographic habitat used by Steller sea lions within the context of recent measures of diet diversity and population trajectories. Habitat use was assessed by deploying satellite-depth recorders and satellite relay data loggers on juvenile Steller sea lions (n = 45) over a five-year period (2000-2004) within four regions of the western stock, including the western, central, and eastern Aleutian Islands, and central Gulf of Alaska. Areas used by sea lions during summer months (June, July, and August) were demarcated using satellite telemetry data and characterized by environmental variables (sea surface temperature [SST] and chlorophyll a [chl a]), which possibly serve as proxies for environmental processes or prey. Spatial patterns of SST diversity and Steller sea lion population trends among regions were fairly consistent with trends reported for diet studies, possibly indicating a link between environmental diversity, prey diversity, and distribution or abundance of Steller sea lions. Overall, maximum spatial heterogeneity coupled with minimal temporal variability of SST appeared to be beneficial for Steller sea lions. In contrast, these patterns were not consistent for chl a, and there appeared to be an ecological threshold. Understanding how Steller sea lions respond to measures of environmental

  12. Estimated communication range and energetic cost of bottlenose dolphin whistles in a tropical habitat.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Frants H; Beedholm, Kristian; Wahlberg, Magnus; Bejder, Lars; Madsen, Peter T

    2012-01-01

    Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) depend on frequency-modulated whistles for many aspects of their social behavior, including group cohesion and recognition of familiar individuals. Vocalization amplitude and frequency influences communication range and may be shaped by many ecological and physiological factors including energetic costs. Here, a calibrated GPS-synchronized hydrophone array was used to record the whistles of bottlenose dolphins in a tropical shallow-water environment with high ambient noise levels. Acoustic localization techniques were used to estimate the source levels and energy content of individual whistles. Bottlenose dolphins produced whistles with mean source levels of 146.7 ± 6.2 dB re. 1 μPa(RMS). These were lower than source levels estimated for a population inhabiting the quieter Moray Firth, indicating that dolphins do not necessarily compensate for the high noise levels found in noisy tropical habitats by increasing their source level. Combined with measured transmission loss and noise levels, these source levels provided estimated median communication ranges of 750 m and maximum communication ranges up to 5740 m. Whistles contained less than 17 mJ of acoustic energy, showing that the energetic cost of whistling is small compared to the high metabolic rate of these aquatic mammals, and unlikely to limit the vocal activity of toothed whales. © 2012 Acoustical Society of America.

  13. Habitat heterogeneity - biological association relationships in the asphalt volcano, SW Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Escobar, E.; Gaytan, A.

    2007-05-01

    A new class of cold seep, named asphalt volcano, was discovered in the Campeche Knolls region of the southern Gulf of Mexico, supporting chemosynthetic communities alike those lying at similar depth on the Angolan margin and the Barbados Prism suggesting an interesting longitudinal connectivity in the faunal components. The discovery of this novel deep-sea habitat has raised questions about diversity and process dynamics in this novel poorly described milieu. Results from two previous cruises jointly sponsored by German, US and Mexican funding agencies have allowed us to recognize the presence of large densities of background benthic megafauna, mainly represented by sea-cucumbers and galatheid crabs, which occupy diverse habitats in asphalt volcano and feed on microbial assemblages on the asphalt covering extended area. Asphalt displays different degrees of hardness suggesting ongoing activity of asphalt extrusion in the site that is reflected in biological benthic communities in different states succession and complexity. The fresh asphalt and the immediately surrounding soft sediment are colonized by mats of complex microbial assemblages where both background benthic megafauna and chemosynthetic tube worms and mussels aggregate. Our results focus on the diversity of the habitats associated with methane seepage through the example of geological structures in the asphalt volcano considering the small scale with the analysis of the relationships between biological assemblages and habitat heterogeneity assessing the role of the geological structure on biological communities. Bubbling of gas, oil and the content of thermogenic gas and gas hydrate in the asphalt suggests that the asphalt plays an important role as a reservoir of methane in this marginal deep sea.

  14. Targeted reforestation could reverse declines in connectivity for understory birds in a tropical habitat corridor.

    PubMed

    Fagan, Matthew E; DeFries, Ruth S; Sesnie, Steven E; Arroyo-Mora, J Pablo; Chazdon, Robin L

    2016-07-01

    Re-establishing connectivity between protected areas isolated by habitat clearing is a key conservation goal in the humid tropics. In northeastern Costa Rica, payments for environmental services (PES) and a government ban on deforestation have subsidized forest protection and reforestation in the San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor (SJLSBC), resulting in a decline in mature forest loss and the expansion of tree plantations. We use field studies and graph models to assess how conservation efforts have altered functional connectivity over the last 25 years for four species of insectivorous understory birds. Field playback studies assessed how reforestation habitat quality affected the willingness of Myrmeciza exsul, Henicorhina leucosticta, Thamnophilus atrinucha, and Glyphorynchus spirurus to travel outside forest habitat for territorial defense. Observed travel distances were greatest in nonnative and native tree plantations with high understory stem density, regardless of overstory composition. In contrast, tree plantations with low stem density had travel responses comparable to open pasture for three of the four bird species. We modeled landscape connectivity for each species using graph models based on varying possible travel distances in tree plantations, gallery forests, and pastures. From 1986 to 2011, connectivity for all species declined in the SJLSBC landscape (5825 km(2) ) by 14% to 21% despite only a 4.9% net loss in forest area and the rapid expansion of tree plantations over 2% of the landscape. Plantation placement in the landscape limited their potential facilitation of connectivity because they were located either far from forest cover or within already contiguous forest areas. We mapped current connectivity bottlenecks and identified priority areas for future reforestation. We estimate that reforestation of priority areas could improve connectivity by 2% with only a 1% gain in forest cover, an impressive gain given the small area reforested

  15. Beta diversity along environmental gradients: implications of habitat specialization in tropical montane landscapes.

    PubMed

    Jankowski, Jill E; Ciecka, Anna L; Meyer, Nola Y; Rabenold, Kerry N

    2009-03-01

    1. Understanding how species in a diverse regional pool are spatially distributed with respect to habitat types is a longstanding problem in ecology. Tropical species are expected to be specialists along environmental gradients, and this should result in rapid compositional change (high beta diversity) across landscapes, particularly when alpha diversity is a small fraction of regional diversity. Corollary challenges are then to identify controlling environmental variables and to ask whether species cluster into discrete community types along a gradient. 2. We investigated patterns of avian species' distributions in the Tilarán mountains of Costa Rica between 1000 m and 1700 m elevation where a strong moisture gradient exists. High beta diversity was found with both auditory counts adjusted for detectability and extensive capture data, revealing nearly complete change in community composition over a few kilometres on the Pacific slope. As predicted, this beta diversity was roughly twice as high as on temperate mountainsides. 3. Partial Mantel analyses and canonical correspondence analysis indicate that change in species composition is highly correlated with change in moisture (and correlated epiphyte cover) at different distances from the continental divide on the Pacific slope. Altitude was not a good predictor of change in species composition, as species composition varies substantially among sites at the same elevation. 4. Detrended correspondence analysis and cluster analysis revealed a zone of rapid transition separating a distinct cloud forest community from rainshadow forest. On the Caribbean slope, where a shallower moisture gradient was predicted to result in lower beta diversity, we found lower rates of compositional change and more continuous species turnover. 5. Results suggest that habitat specialization of birds is likely a strong ecological force generating high beta diversity in montane landscapes. Despite overall rapid rates of species turnover

  16. Immigration rates and species niche characteristics affect the relationship between species richness and habitat heterogeneity in modeled meta-communities.

    PubMed

    Bar-Massada, Avi

    2015-01-01

    The positive relationship between habitat heterogeneity and species richness is a cornerstone of ecology. Recently, it was suggested that this relationship should be unimodal rather than linear due to a tradeoff between environmental heterogeneity and population sizes. Increased environmental heterogeneity will decrease effective habitat sizes, which in turn will increase the rate of local species extinctions. The occurrence of the unimodal richness-heterogeneity relationship at the habitat scale was confirmed in both empirical and theoretical studies. However, it is unclear whether it can occur at broader spatial scales, for meta-communities in diverse and patchy landscapes. Here, I used a spatially explicit meta-community model to quantify the roles of two species-level characteristics, niche width and immigration rates, on the type of the richness-heterogeneity relationship at the landscape scale. I found that both positive and unimodal richness-heterogeneity relationships can occur in meta-communities in patchy landscapes. The type of the relationship was affected by the interactions between inter-patch immigration rates and species' niche widths. Unimodal relationships were prominent in meta-communities comprising species with wide niches but low inter-patch immigration rates. In contrast, meta-communities consisting of species with narrow niches and high immigration rates exhibited positive relationships. Meta-communities comprising generalist species are therefore likely to exhibit unimodal richness-heterogeneity relationships as long as low immigration rates prevent rescue effects and patches are small. The richness-heterogeneity relationship at the landscape scale is dictated by species' niche widths and inter-patch immigration rates. These immigration rates, in turn, depend on the interaction between species dispersal capabilities and habitat connectivity, highlighting the roles of both species traits and landscape structure in generating the richness-heterogeneity

  17. Multispecies coexistence of trees in tropical forests: spatial signals of topographic niche differentiation increase with environmental heterogeneity

    PubMed Central

    Brown, C.; Burslem, D. F. R. P.; Illian, J. B.; Bao, L.; Brockelman, W.; Cao, M.; Chang, L. W.; Dattaraja, H. S.; Davies, S.; Gunatilleke, C. V. S.; Gunatilleke, I. A. U. N.; Huang, J.; Kassim, A. R.; LaFrankie, J. V.; Lian, J.; Lin, L.; Ma, K.; Mi, X.; Nathalang, A.; Noor, S.; Ong, P.; Sukumar, R.; Su, S. H.; Sun, I. F.; Suresh, H. S.; Tan, S.; Thompson, J.; Uriarte, M.; Valencia, R.; Yap, S. L.; Ye, W.; Law, R.

    2013-01-01

    Neutral and niche theories give contrasting explanations for the maintenance of tropical tree species diversity. Both have some empirical support, but methods to disentangle their effects have not yet been developed. We applied a statistical measure of spatial structure to data from 14 large tropical forest plots to test a prediction of niche theory that is incompatible with neutral theory: that species in heterogeneous environments should separate out in space according to their niche preferences. We chose plots across a range of topographic heterogeneity, and tested whether pairwise spatial associations among species were more variable in more heterogeneous sites. We found strong support for this prediction, based on a strong positive relationship between variance in the spatial structure of species pairs and topographic heterogeneity across sites. We interpret this pattern as evidence of pervasive niche differentiation, which increases in importance with increasing environmental heterogeneity. PMID:23782876

  18. Multispecies coexistence of trees in tropical forests: spatial signals of topographic niche differentiation increase with environmental heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Brown, C; Burslem, D F R P; Illian, J B; Bao, L; Brockelman, W; Cao, M; Chang, L W; Dattaraja, H S; Davies, S; Gunatilleke, C V S; Gunatilleke, I A U N; Huang, J; Kassim, A R; Lafrankie, J V; Lian, J; Lin, L; Ma, K; Mi, X; Nathalang, A; Noor, S; Ong, P; Sukumar, R; Su, S H; Sun, I F; Suresh, H S; Tan, S; Thompson, J; Uriarte, M; Valencia, R; Yap, S L; Ye, W; Law, R

    2013-08-07

    Neutral and niche theories give contrasting explanations for the maintenance of tropical tree species diversity. Both have some empirical support, but methods to disentangle their effects have not yet been developed. We applied a statistical measure of spatial structure to data from 14 large tropical forest plots to test a prediction of niche theory that is incompatible with neutral theory: that species in heterogeneous environments should separate out in space according to their niche preferences. We chose plots across a range of topographic heterogeneity, and tested whether pairwise spatial associations among species were more variable in more heterogeneous sites. We found strong support for this prediction, based on a strong positive relationship between variance in the spatial structure of species pairs and topographic heterogeneity across sites. We interpret this pattern as evidence of pervasive niche differentiation, which increases in importance with increasing environmental heterogeneity.

  19. Joint Effects of Habitat Heterogeneity and Species’ Life-History Traits on Population Dynamics in Spatially Structured Landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Xinping; Skidmore, Andrew K.; Wang, Tiejun

    2014-01-01

    Both habitat heterogeneity and species’ life-history traits play important roles in driving population dynamics, yet there is little scientific consensus around the combined effect of these two factors on populations in complex landscapes. Using a spatially explicit agent-based model, we explored how interactions between habitat spatial structure (defined here as the scale of spatial autocorrelation in habitat quality) and species life-history strategies (defined here by species environmental tolerance and movement capacity) affect population dynamics in spatially heterogeneous landscapes. We compared the responses of four hypothetical species with different life-history traits to four landscape scenarios differing in the scale of spatial autocorrelation in habitat quality. The results showed that the population size of all hypothetical species exhibited a substantial increase as the scale of spatial autocorrelation in habitat quality increased, yet the pattern of population increase was shaped by species’ movement capacity. The increasing scale of spatial autocorrelation in habitat quality promoted the resource share of individuals, but had little effect on the mean mortality rate of individuals. Species’ movement capacity also determined the proportion of individuals in high-quality cells as well as the proportion of individuals experiencing competition in response to increased spatial autocorrelation in habitat quality. Positive correlations between the resource share of individuals and the proportion of individuals experiencing competition indicate that large-scale spatial autocorrelation in habitat quality may mask the density-dependent effect on populations through increasing the resource share of individuals, especially for species with low mobility. These findings suggest that low-mobility species may be more sensitive to habitat spatial heterogeneity in spatially structured landscapes. In addition, localized movement in combination with spatial

  20. Enhancement of habitat heterogeneity and species richness on rocky shores inundated by sand.

    PubMed

    McQuaid, Christopher D; Dower, Katherine M

    1990-08-01

    Many rocky shores are subject to periodic inundation by sand, which is often thought to reduce species richness by eliminating organisms intolerant of sand scour or sand smothering. However, regular disturbance (e.g. inundation) should promote richness by preventing the development of low diversity climax communities. A study of faunal richness on 10 regularly inundated shores showed that inundation does promote richness, but by increasing habitat heterogeneity. Some species are excluded from parts of the shore by sand, but because of the patchiness of sand deposits they are rarely excluded from the entire shore. Other species are found only on rocks associated with sand, while typically sandy shore animals occur in the sand deposits themselves. Total richness (281 species) was greater than for local noninundated shores and sandy beaches combined.

  1. Water-energy dynamics, habitat heterogeneity, history, and broad-scale patterns of mammal diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrer-Castán, Dolores; Morales-Barbero, Jennifer; Vetaas, Ole R.

    2016-11-01

    Numerous hypotheses on diversity patterns are often presented as if they were mutually exclusive. However, because of multicollinearity, correlational analyses are not able to distinguish the causal effects of different factors on these patterns. For this reason, we examine the interrelationships among current climate, habitat heterogeneity and evolutionary history by partitioning the variation in both total and non-volant mammal species richness in the Iberian Peninsula. Thus, it is possible to determine the variation accounted for by each one of these three components that is not shared by the others, and the respective overlaps. More specifically, we hypothesize that (H1) in warm temperate zones, a small increase in the available energy has strong negative effects on mammal richness if water availability is limiting; (H2) there are functional relationships between woody plant species richness (WOOD) and the richness of mammal species; (H3) there is a signal of evolutionary history in contemporary patterns of species richness, and (H4) mammal richness and the historical variable mean root distance (MRD) respond to the same driving forces. Additionally, we also test for spatial autocorrelation. We found a sharp nonlinear decrease in mammal richness with increasing energy and a monotonic increase with increasing water availability. Moreover, an interaction term between these two climate factors appeared to be statistically significant, so H1 could not be rejected. WOOD remained significant after partialling out both current climate and MRD at the family level (MRDf), supporting H2. The relationship between mammal diversity and MRD averaged by species richness was found to be spurious, but there appeared a significant historical signal using MRDf (this supports H3). The overlaps among these factors are consistent with H4 and suggest that water-energy dynamics have probably been active drivers throughout evolutionary history with habitat heterogeneity, and biotic

  2. Within-lake habitat heterogeneity mediates community response to warming trends.

    PubMed

    Hovel, Rachel A; Thorson, James T; Carter, Jackie L; Quinn, Thomas P

    2017-09-01

    Climate change is rapidly altering many aquatic systems, and life history traits and physiological diversity create differences in organism responses. In addition, habitat diversity may be expressed on small spatial scales, and it is therefore necessary to account for variation among both species and locations when evaluating climate impacts on biological communities. Here, we investigated the effects of temperature and spatial heterogeneity on long-term community composition in a large boreal lake. We used a five-decade time series of water temperature and relative abundance of fish species captured in the littoral zone throughout the summer at 10 discrete locations around the lake. We applied a spatial dynamic factor analysis (SDFA) model to this time series, which estimates the sensitivity of each species to changing water temperature while accounting for spatiotemporal variation. This analysis described the trend in community composition at each sampling location in the lake, given their different trends in temperature over time. The SDFA indicated different magnitude and direction of species responses to temperature; some species increased while others decreased in abundance. The model also identified five unique trends in species abundance across sites and time, indicating residual dynamics in abundance after accounting for temperature effects. Thus, different regions in the lake have experienced different trajectories in community change associated with different rates of temperature change. These results highlight the importance of considering habitat heterogeneity in explaining and predicting future species abundances, and our model provides a means of visualizing spatially-explicit temporal variation in species' dynamics. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  3. Breeding dispersal in a heterogeneous landscape: the influence of habitat and nesting success in greater snow geese.

    PubMed

    Lecomte, Nicolas; Gauthier, Gilles; Giroux, Jean-François

    2008-02-01

    Despite numerous studies on breeding dispersal, it is still unclear how habitat heterogeneity and previous nesting success interact to determine nest-site fidelity at various spatial scales. In this context, we investigated factors affecting breeding dispersal in greater snow geese (Anser caerulescens atlanticus), an Arctic breeding species nesting in two contrasting habitats (wetlands and mesic tundra) with variable pattern of snowmelt at the time of settlement in spring. From 1994 to 2005, we monitored the nesting success and breeding dispersal of individually marked females. We found that snow geese showed a moderate amount of nest-site fidelity and considerable individual variability in dispersal distance over consecutive nesting attempts. This variability can be partly accounted for by the annual timing of snowmelt. Despite this environmental constraint, habitat differences at the colony level consistently affected nesting success and settlement patterns. Females nesting in wetlands had higher nesting success than those nesting in mesic tundra. Moreover, geese responded adaptively to spatial heterogeneity by showing fidelity to their nesting habitat, independently of snowmelt pattern. From year to year, geese were more likely to move from mesic to high-quality wetland habitat, regardless of previous nesting success and without cost on their subsequent nesting performance. The unpredictability of snowmelt and the low cost of changing site apparently favour breeding-site dispersal although habitat quality promotes fidelity at the scale of habitat patches.

  4. Response of megabenthic assemblages to different scales of habitat heterogeneity on the Mauritanian slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Daniel O. B.; Brewer, Michael E.

    2012-09-01

    The topographically complex deep seabed on the Mauritanian slope, from 990 to 1460 m water depth, was imaged with video in an extensive quantitative survey of 17,199 m2 of seafloor using a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV). This study investigated the influence of habitat heterogeneity at two scales on the megafaunal assemblages observed by ROV. Changes in megafaunal assemblages on the Mauritanian slope were assessed at a broad scale, within depth zones, and at a finer scale, in response to changes in local geomorphology associated with submarine landslides. Geomorphology was determined by classification of habitat parameters (slope, aspect, bathymetric position, curvature, fractal dimension and ruggedness) derived from an autonomous underwater vehicle-based multibeam bathymetry survey. Habitat parameters were classified by Iterative Self Organizing Clustering into six major geomorphological groups, four of which were assessed in the ROV video survey. A total of 29 megafaunal taxa were observed along the entire survey, with an overall average faunal density of 0.344 ind m-2. Megafaunal assemblage density, species richness and evenness varied significantly across the depth range of the survey in the most common geomorphological zone (sedimentary plains of low slope and complexity). Characteristic species inhabited the shallow areas (asteroid, ophiuroid, anemone, small macrourid), intermediate areas (Benthothuria funabris, black cerianthid, squat lobster) and deeper areas (the holothurians Enypniastes eximia and Elipidia echinata). Megafaunal density, species richness and evenness were not significantly different between geomorphogical groups within one depth zone (1300-1400 m). However, the steepest zone, on the edge of a major headwall feature, had four unique taxa (Parapagurus pilosimanus, a comatulid crinoid, a gorgonian and its associated ophiuroid).

  5. Using a Data-Constrained Model of Home Range Establishment to Predict Abundance in Spatially Heterogeneous Habitats

    PubMed Central

    Vanderwel, Mark C.; Malcolm, Jay R.; Caspersen, John P.

    2012-01-01

    Mechanistic modelling approaches that explicitly translate from individual-scale resource selection to the distribution and abundance of a larger population may be better suited to predicting responses to spatially heterogeneous habitat alteration than commonly-used regression models. We developed an individual-based model of home range establishment that, given a mapped distribution of local habitat values, estimates species abundance by simulating the number and position of viable home ranges that can be maintained across a spatially heterogeneous area. We estimated parameters for this model from data on red-backed vole (Myodes gapperi) abundances in 31 boreal forest sites in Ontario, Canada. The home range model had considerably more support from these data than both non-spatial regression models based on the same original habitat variables and a mean-abundance null model. It had nearly equivalent support to a non-spatial regression model that, like the home range model, scaled an aggregate measure of habitat value from local associations with habitat resources. The home range and habitat-value regression models gave similar predictions for vole abundance under simulations of light- and moderate-intensity partial forest harvesting, but the home range model predicted lower abundances than the regression model under high-intensity disturbance. Empirical regression-based approaches for predicting species abundance may overlook processes that affect habitat use by individuals, and often extrapolate poorly to novel habitat conditions. Mechanistic home range models that can be parameterized against abundance data from different habitats permit appropriate scaling from individual- to population-level habitat relationships, and can potentially provide better insights into responses to disturbance. PMID:22815772

  6. Coyotes demonstrate how habitat specialization by individuals of a generalist species can diversify populations in a heterogeneous ecoregion.

    PubMed

    Sacks, Benjamin N; Bannasch, Danika L; Chomel, Bruno B; Ernest, Holly B

    2008-07-01

    The tendency for individuals to disperse into habitat similar to their natal habitat has been observed in a wide range of species, although its population genetic consequences have received little study. Such behavior could lead to discrete habitat-specific population subdivisions even in the absence of physical dispersal barriers or habitat gaps. Previous studies of coyotes have supported this hypothesis in a small region of California, but its evolutionary significance ultimately depends on the extent and magnitude of habitat-specific subdivision. Here, we investigated these questions using autosomal, Y chromosome, and mitochondrial markers and >2,000 coyotes from a broad region, including 2 adjacent ecoregions with contrasting levels of habitat heterogeneity--the California Floristic Province (CFP) (heterogeneous landscape) and the Desert-Prairie ecoregion (DPE) (homogeneous landscape). Consistent with predictions, we found a close correspondence between population genetic structure and habitat subdivisions throughout the CFP and virtual panmixia over the larger DPE. Conversely, although genetic diversity was similar in these 2 ecoregions overall, it was lower within sites of the CFP, as would be the expected consequence of greater genetic drift within subregions. The magnitude of habitat-specific genetic subdivisions (i.e., genetic distance) in the CFP varied considerably, indicating complexity (e.g., asymmetric gene flow or extinction/recolonization), but, in general, was higher than that due to geographic distance or recent human-related barriers. Because habitat-specific structure can enhance a species' adaptive potential and resilience to changing environments, these findings suggest the CFP may constitute an evolutionarily important portion of the range for coyotes and sympatric species exhibiting habitat-specific population structure.

  7. Spatial Heterogeneity of Water Quality in a Highly Degraded Tropical Freshwater Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zambrano, Luis; Contreras, Victoria; Mazari-Hiriart, Marisa; Zarco-Arista, Alba E.

    2009-02-01

    Awareness of environmental heterogeneity in ecosystems is critical for management and conservation. We used the Xochimilco freshwater system to describe the relationship between heterogeneity and human activities. This tropical aquatic ecosystem south of Mexico City is comprised of a network of interconnected canals and lakes that are influenced by agricultural and urban activities. Environmental heterogeneity was characterized by spatially extensive surveys within four regions of Xochimilco during rainy and dry seasons over 2 years. These surveys revealed a heterogeneous system that was shallow (1.1 m, SD = 0.4 ), warm (17°C, SD = 2.9), well oxygenated (5.0 mg l-1, SD = 3), turbid (45.7 NTU SD = 26.96), and extremely nutrient-rich (NO3-N = 15.9 mg l-1, SD=13.7; NH4-N = 2.88 mg l-1, SD = 4.24; and PO4-P = 8.3 mg l-1, SD = 2.4). Most of the variables were not significantly different between years, but did differ between seasons, suggesting a dynamic system within a span of a year but with a high resilience over longer periods of time. Maps were produced using interpolations to describe distributions of all variables. There was no correlation between individual variables and land use. Consequently, we searched for relationships using all variables together by generating a combined water quality index. Significant differences in the index were apparent among the four regions. Index values also differed within individual region and individual water bodies (e.g., within canals), indicating that Xochimilco has high local heterogeneity. Using this index on a map helped to relate water quality to human activities and provides a simple and clear tool for managers and policymakers.

  8. Spatial heterogeneity of water quality in a highly degraded tropical freshwater ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Zambrano, Luis; Contreras, Victoria; Mazari-Hiriart, Marisa; Zarco-Arista, Alba E

    2009-02-01

    Awareness of environmental heterogeneity in ecosystems is critical for management and conservation. We used the Xochimilco freshwater system to describe the relationship between heterogeneity and human activities. This tropical aquatic ecosystem south of Mexico City is comprised of a network of interconnected canals and lakes that are influenced by agricultural and urban activities. Environmental heterogeneity was characterized by spatially extensive surveys within four regions of Xochimilco during rainy and dry seasons over 2 years. These surveys revealed a heterogeneous system that was shallow (1.1 m, SD=0.4 ), warm (17 degrees C, SD=2.9), well oxygenated (5.0 mg l(-1), SD=3), turbid (45.7 NTU SD = 26.96), and extremely nutrient-rich (NO(3)-N=15.9 mg l(-1), SD=13.7; NH(4)-N=2.88 mg l(-1), SD=4.24; and PO(4)-P=8.3 mg l(-1), SD=2.4). Most of the variables were not significantly different between years, but did differ between seasons, suggesting a dynamic system within a span of a year but with a high resilience over longer periods of time. Maps were produced using interpolations to describe distributions of all variables. There was no correlation between individual variables and land use. Consequently, we searched for relationships using all variables together by generating a combined water quality index. Significant differences in the index were apparent among the four regions. Index values also differed within individual region and individual water bodies (e.g., within canals), indicating that Xochimilco has high local heterogeneity. Using this index on a map helped to relate water quality to human activities and provides a simple and clear tool for managers and policymakers.

  9. Organismal responses to habitat change: herbivore performance, climate and leaf traits in regenerating tropical dry forests.

    PubMed

    Agosta, Salvatore J; Hulshof, Catherine M; Staats, Ethan G

    2017-05-01

    The ecological effects of large-scale climate change have received much attention, but the effects of the more acute form of climate change that results from local habitat alteration have been less explored. When forest is fragmented, cut, thinned, cleared or otherwise altered in structure, local climates and microclimates change. Such changes can affect herbivores both directly (e.g. through changes in body temperature) and indirectly (e.g. through changes in host plant traits). We advance an eco-physiological framework to understand the effects of changing forests on herbivorous insects. We hypothesize that if tropical forest caterpillars are climate and resource specialists, then they should have reduced performance outside of mature forest conditions. We tested this hypothesis with a field experiment contrasting the performance of Rothschildia lebeau (Saturniidae) caterpillars feeding on the host plant Casearia nitida (Salicaceae) in two different aged and structured tropical dry forests in Area de Conservación Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Compared to more mature closed-canopy forest, in younger secondary forest we found that: (1) ambient conditions were hotter, drier and more variable; (2) caterpillar growth and development were reduced; and (3) leaves were tougher, thicker and drier. Furthermore, caterpillar growth and survival were negatively correlated with these leaf traits, suggesting indirect host-mediated effects of climate on herbivores. Based on the available evidence, and relative to mature forest, we conclude that reduced herbivore performance in young secondary forest could have been driven by changes in climate, leaf traits (which were likely climate induced) or both. However, additional studies will be needed to provide more direct evidence of cause-and-effect and to disentangle the relative influence of these factors on herbivore performance in this system. © 2017 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2017 British Ecological Society.

  10. Linking movement and reproductive history of brook trout to assess habitat connectivity in a heterogeneous stream network

    Treesearch

    Yoichiro Kanno; Benjamin H. Letcher; Jason A. Coombs; Keith H. Nislow; Andrew R. Whiteley

    2014-01-01

    Defining functional connectivity between habitats in spatially heterogeneous landscapes is a particular challenge for small-bodied aquatic species. Traditional approaches (e.g. mark-recapture studies) preclude an assessment of animal movement over the life cycle (birth to reproduction), and movement of individuals may not represent the degree of gene movement for...

  11. Beyond habitat structure: Landscape heterogeneity explains the monito del monte (Dromiciops gliroides) occurrence and behavior at habitats dominated by exotic trees.

    PubMed

    Salazar, Daniela A; Fontúrbel, Francisco E

    2016-09-01

    Habitat structure determines species occurrence and behavior. However, human activities are altering natural habitat structure, potentially hampering native species due to the loss of nesting cavities, shelter or movement pathways. The South American temperate rainforest is experiencing an accelerated loss and degradation, compromising the persistence of many native species, and particularly of the monito del monte (Dromiciops gliroides Thomas, 1894), an arboreal marsupial that plays a key role as seed disperser. Aiming to compare 2 contrasting habitats (a native forest and a transformed habitat composed of abandoned Eucalyptus plantations and native understory vegetation), we assessed D. gliroides' occurrence using camera traps and measured several structural features (e.g. shrub and bamboo cover, deadwood presence, moss abundance) at 100 camera locations. Complementarily, we used radio telemetry to assess its spatial ecology, aiming to depict a more complete scenario. Moss abundance was the only significant variable explaining D. gliroides occurrence between habitats, and no structural variable explained its occurrence at the transformed habitat. There were no differences in home range, core area or inter-individual overlapping. In the transformed habitats, tracked individuals used native and Eucalyptus-associated vegetation types according to their abundance. Diurnal locations (and, hence, nesting sites) were located exclusively in native vegetation. The landscape heterogeneity resulting from the vicinity of native and Eucalyptus-associated vegetation likely explains D. gliroides occurrence better than the habitat structure itself, as it may be use Eucalyptus-associated vegetation for feeding purposes but depend on native vegetation for nesting. © 2016 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  12. Birds and butterflies respond to soil-induced habitat heterogeneity in experimental plantings of tallgrass prairie species managed as agroenergy feedstocks in Iowa, USA

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The positive association between habitat heterogeneity and species diversity has been well-documented for many taxa at various spatial and temporal scales, and the maintenance of habitat heterogeneity in agricultural landscapes has been promoted as a key strategy in efforts to conserve biodiversity....

  13. Benthic Crustacea from tropical and temperate reef locations: differences in assemblages and their relationship with habitat structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kramer, Michael J.; Bellwood, David R.; Taylor, Richard B.; Bellwood, Orpha

    2017-09-01

    Tropical and temperate marine habitats have long been recognised as fundamentally different system, yet comparative studies are rare, particularly for small organisms such as Crustacea. This study investigates the ecological attributes (abundance, biomass and estimated productivity) of benthic Crustacea in selected microhabitats from a tropical and a temperate location, revealing marked differences in the crustacean assemblages. In general, microhabitats from the tropical location (dead coral, the epilithic algal matrix [algal turfs] and sand) supported high abundances of small individuals (mean length = 0.53 mm vs. 0.96 mm in temperate microhabitats), while temperate microhabitats (the brown seaweed Carpophyllum sp., coralline turf and sand) had substantially greater biomasses of crustaceans and higher estimated productivity rates. In both locations, the most important microhabitats for crustaceans (per unit area) were complex structures: tropical dead coral and temperate Carpophyllum sp. It appears that the differences between microhabitats are largely driven by the size and relative abundance of key crustacean groups. Temperate microhabitats have a higher proportion of relatively large Peracarida (Amphipoda and Isopoda), whereas tropical microhabitats are dominated by small detrital- and microalgal-feeding crustaceans (harpacticoid copepods and ostracods). These differences highlight the vulnerability of tropical and temperate systems to the loss of complex benthic structures and their associated crustacean assemblages.

  14. Tropical forest heterogeneity from TanDEM-X InSAR and lidar observations in Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Grandi, Elsa Carla; Mitchard, Edward

    2016-10-01

    Fires exacerbated during El Niño Southern Oscillation are a serious threat in Indonesia leading to the destruction and degradation of tropical forests and emissions of CO2 in the atmosphere. Forest structural changes which occurred due to the 1997-1998 El Niño Southern Oscillation in the Sungai Wain Protection Forest (East Kalimantan, Indonesia), a previously intact forest reserve have led to the development of a range of landcover from secondary forest to areas dominated by grassland. These structural differences can be appreciated over large areas by remote sensing instruments such as TanDEM-X and LiDAR that provide information that are sensitive to vegetation vertical and horizontal structure. One-point statistics of TanDEM-X coherence (mean and CV) and LiDAR CHM (mean, CV) and derived metrics such as vegetation volume and canopy cover were tested for the discrimination between 4 landcover classes. Jeffries-Matusita (JM) separability was high between forest classes (primary or secondary forest) and non-forest (grassland) while, primary and secondary forest were not separable. The study tests the potential and the importance of potential of TanDEM-X coherence and LiDAR observations to characterize structural heterogeneity based on one-point statistics in tropical forest but requires improved characterization using two-point statistical measures.

  15. Diversity, heterogeneity and consumer pressure in a tropical rocky intertidal community.

    PubMed

    Menge, Bruce A; Lubchenco, Jane; Ashkenas, Linda R

    1985-02-01

    Previous studies indicated that at Taboguilla Island (Gulf of Panama), persistence of many intertidal organisms depended on holes and crevices in the rock as refuges from both vertebrate (fishes) and invertebrate (crabs, gastropods, chitons) consumers. Here, we evaluate the influences of substratum heterogeneity and consumers on patterns of diversity of sessile organisms in this habitat. Local substratum topography is highly variable, ranging from smooth to irregular surfaces. Algal crusts typically dominate all low zone rock surfaces, and most other sessile spegies (invertebrates and foliose algae) occur in holes and crevices. Number (S) and diversity (H') of sessile species is lower on homogeneous surfaces than on heterogeneous surfaces. Rate of increase in S with area sampled is positively correlated with substratum heterogeneity; number of species sampled per transect at a homogeneous site would be about 10 vs 30 to 60 on a heterogeneous site. Large fishes and crabs forage intensively over both substratum types, but cannot enter holes and crevices to eat prey. Gastropods, chitons, limpets, and small crabs feed on both substrata but vary in abundance from hole to hole. Prey mortality is thus intense and constant on open surfaces, but variable in space and time in holes and crevices. When consumers are excluded from the general rock surface, algal crusts are settled upon and overgrown by foliose algae, hydrozoans, and sessile invertebrates, particularly bivalves. Both S and H' first increase, as sessile species invade and become more abundant, and then decrease as the rock oyster Chama echinata begins to outcompete other species and dominate primary space. Hence, consumers normally keep local diversity low by removing most sessile prey from open surfaces.In these experiments, a consumer pressure gradient was established by removing 0, 1, 2, 3, and all of 4 distinct groups of consumers. As predicted by the intermediate disturbance hypothesis, lowest diversity

  16. Perch-height specific predation on tropical lizard clay models: implications for habitat selection in mainland neotropical lizards.

    PubMed

    Steffen, John E

    2009-09-01

    Predation has been hypothesized to be a strong selective force structuring communities of tropical lizards. Comparisons of perch height and size-based predation frequencies can provide a unique window into understanding how predation might shape habitat selection and morphological patterns in lizards, especially anoles. Here I use plasticine clay models, placed on the trunks of trees and suspended in the canopy to show that predation frequency on clay models differs primarily according to habitat (canopy vs. trunk-ground), but not according to size. These data are discussed in light of observed lizard abundances in the lowland forests of Costa Rica, and are presented as partial explanation for why fewer lizards are found in tree canopies, and more lizards are found on ground-trunk habitats.

  17. Should I Change or Should I Go? Phenotypic Plasticity and Matching Habitat Choice in the Adaptation to Environmental Heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Edelaar, Pim; Jovani, Roger; Gomez-Mestre, Ivan

    2017-10-01

    It can be challenging for organisms to achieve a good match between their phenotypic characteristics and environmental requirements that vary in space and time. The evolution of adaptive phenotypes can result from genetic differentiation at the population level. Individuals, however, could also change their phenotype (adaptive plasticity) or select an environment because it matches with their phenotype (matching habitat choice). It is poorly known under which conditions these different solutions to environmental heterogeneity evolve and whether they operate together. Using an individual-based simulation model, we assessed which solutions evolved depending on degree of temporal variation, costs of multiple underlying traits, and order of dispersal and development. Population genetic divergence was superseded by plasticity or matching habitat choice as temporal variation increased. Plasticity and matching habitat choice were limited by their trait costs, even when this involved only a part of the underlying traits. Independent of the order of dispersal and development, plasticity evolved more commonly than matching habitat choice, in part because the match a phenotype can achieve by matching habitat choice is limited by the types of environments available. Our results explain the apparent relative rarity of matching habitat choice in nature. At the same time, our results can be used to look for matching habitat choice in those biological systems where the conditions for other solutions seem unfavorable.

  18. Shallow ponds are heterogeneous habitats within a temperate salt marsh ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spivak, Amanda C.; Gosselin, Kelsey; Howard, Evan; Mariotti, Giulio; Forbrich, Inke; Stanley, Rachel; Sylva, Sean P.

    2017-06-01

    Integrating spatial heterogeneity into assessments of salt marsh biogeochemistry is becoming increasingly important because disturbances that reduce plant productivity and soil drainage may contribute to an expansion of shallow ponds. These permanently inundated and sometimes prominent landscape features can exist for decades, yet little is known about pond biogeochemistry or their role in marsh ecosystem functioning. We characterized three ponds in a temperate salt marsh (MA, USA) over alternating periods of tidal isolation and flushing, during summer and fall, by evaluating the composition of plant communities and organic matter pools and measuring surface water oxygen, temperature, and conductivity. The ponds were located in the high marsh and had similar depths, temperatures, and salinities. Despite this, they had different levels of suspended particulate, dissolved, and sediment organic matter and abundances of phytoplankton, macroalgae, and Ruppia maritima. Differences in plant communities were reflected in pond metabolism rates, which ranged from autotrophic to heterotrophic. Integrating ponds into landcover-based estimates of marsh metabolism resulted in slower rates of net production (-8.1 ± 0.3 to -15.7 ± 0.9%) and respiration (-2.9 ± 0.5 to -10.0 ± 0.4%), compared to rates based on emergent grasses alone. Seasonality had a greater effect on pond water chemistry, organic matter pools, and algal abundances than tidal connectivity. Alternating stretches of tidal isolation and flushing did not affect pond salinities or algal communities, suggesting that exchange between ponds and nearby creeks was limited. Overall, we found that ponds are heterogeneous habitats and future expansion could reduce landscape connectivity and the ability of marshes to capture and store carbon.

  19. Genetic heterogeneity among intertidal habitats in the flat periwinkle, Littorina obtusata.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Paul S; Phifer-Rixey, Megan; Taylor, Graeme M; Christner, John

    2007-06-01

    Comparisons among patterns exhibited by functionally distinct genetic markers have been widely used to infer the impacts of demography and selection in structuring genetic variation in natural populations. However, such multilocus comparisons remain an indirect evaluation of selection at particular candidate loci; ideally, the identification of a candidate gene by comparative genetic methodologies should be complemented by functional analyses and experimental manipulations of genotypes in the laboratory or field. We examined genotype frequency variation among replicated intertidal habitats at two spatial scales in the grazing snail Littorina obtusata. Both of the candidate allozyme markers varied predictably with environment, and these patterns were consistent at both spatial scales. Three of four reference loci were spatially homogeneous, but one microsatellite exhibited significant structure at both geographical and mesoscales. To initiate a direct examination of whether the observed genotype frequency variation at one of the candidate markers, mannose-6-phosphate isomerase (MPI), was impacted by differential survivorship of genotypes, we conducted a series of laboratory-based thermal stress assays using snails from two geographically disparate source populations. When snails were exposed to bouts of thermal/desiccation stress, patterns of mortality were nonrandom with respect to MPI genotype. Furthermore, patterns of mortality in the laboratory manipulation coincided with the observed distribution of genotypes in the field. The data suggest the operation of selection at the Mpi or a linked locus, but functional studies and further experimentation are required to establish the relationship between MPI genotype and fitness across heterogeneous intertidal environments.

  20. High Bee and Wasp Diversity in a Heterogeneous Tropical Farming System Compared to Protected Forest

    PubMed Central

    Schüepp, Christof; Rittiner, Sarah; Entling, Martin H.

    2012-01-01

    It is a globally important challenge to meet increasing demands for resources and, at the same time, protect biodiversity and ecosystem services. Farming is usually regarded as a major threat to biodiversity due to its expansion into natural areas. We compared biodiversity of bees and wasps between heterogeneous small-scale farming areas and protected forest in northern coastal Belize, Central America. Malaise traps operated for three months during the transition from wet to dry season. Farming areas consisted of a mosaic of mixed crop types, open habitat, secondary forest, and agroforestry. Mean species richness per site (alpha diversity), as well as spatial and temporal community variation (beta diversity) of bees and wasps were equal or higher in farming areas compared to protected forest. The higher species richness and community variation in farmland was due to additional species that did not occur in the forest, whereas most species trapped in forest were also found in farming areas. The overall regional species richness (gamma diversity) increased by 70% with the inclusion of farming areas. Our results suggest that small-scale farming systems adjacent to protected forest may not only conserve, but even favour, biodiversity of some taxonomic groups. We can, however, not exclude possible declines of bee and wasp diversity in more intensified farmland or in landscapes completely covered by heterogeneous farming systems. PMID:23300598

  1. High bee and wasp diversity in a heterogeneous tropical farming system compared to protected forest.

    PubMed

    Schüepp, Christof; Rittiner, Sarah; Entling, Martin H

    2012-01-01

    It is a globally important challenge to meet increasing demands for resources and, at the same time, protect biodiversity and ecosystem services. Farming is usually regarded as a major threat to biodiversity due to its expansion into natural areas. We compared biodiversity of bees and wasps between heterogeneous small-scale farming areas and protected forest in northern coastal Belize, Central America. Malaise traps operated for three months during the transition from wet to dry season. Farming areas consisted of a mosaic of mixed crop types, open habitat, secondary forest, and agroforestry. Mean species richness per site (alpha diversity), as well as spatial and temporal community variation (beta diversity) of bees and wasps were equal or higher in farming areas compared to protected forest. The higher species richness and community variation in farmland was due to additional species that did not occur in the forest, whereas most species trapped in forest were also found in farming areas. The overall regional species richness (gamma diversity) increased by 70% with the inclusion of farming areas. Our results suggest that small-scale farming systems adjacent to protected forest may not only conserve, but even favour, biodiversity of some taxonomic groups. We can, however, not exclude possible declines of bee and wasp diversity in more intensified farmland or in landscapes completely covered by heterogeneous farming systems.

  2. Locally dispersing populations in heterogeneous dynamic landscapes with spatiotemporal correlations. II. Habitat driven by voter dynamics.

    PubMed

    Hiebeler, David E; Hill, Jack L

    2016-10-21

    We examine a spatially explicit population model on a dynamic landscape with suitable and unsuitable habitat driven by voter or contagion dynamics. We consider four cases, consisting of all combinations of local and global interactions for both population dispersal and habitat dynamics. For both local and global population dispersal, using local habitat dynamics always increases population density relative to the case with global habitat dynamics, due to the resulting segregation of habitat turnover, decrease in effective habitat turnover rate, and presence of stable habitat corridors. With global habitat dynamics, a population using local dispersal exhibits lower density than one with global dispersal due to local crowding as well as frequent disturbance due to habitat transitions. On the other hand, with local habitat dynamics, a population using local dispersal can exploit suitable habitat patches and use dynamic corridors to colonize new regions. The latter effect is not seen with static landscapes, where clustered habitat can lead to the isolation of suitable patches due to surrounding unsuitable habitat. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Satellite-based remote sensing of running water habitats at large riverscape scales: Tools to analyze habitat heterogeneity for river ecosystem management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hugue, F.; Lapointe, M.; Eaton, B. C.; Lepoutre, A.

    2016-01-01

    We illustrate an approach to quantify patterns in hydraulic habitat composition and local heterogeneity applicable at low cost over very large river extents, with selectable reach window scales. Ongoing developments in remote sensing and geographical information science massively improve efficiencies in analyzing earth surface features. With the development of new satellite sensors and drone platforms and with the lowered cost of high resolution multispectral imagery, fluvial geomorphology is experiencing a revolution in mapping streams at high resolution. Exploiting the power of aerial or satellite imagery is particularly useful in a riverscape research framework (Fausch et al., 2002), where high resolution sampling of fluvial features and very large coverage extents are needed. This study presents a satellite remote sensing method that requires very limited field calibration data to estimate over various scales ranging from 1 m to many tens or river kilometers (i) spatial composition metrics for key hydraulic mesohabitat types and (ii) reach-scale wetted habitat heterogeneity indices such as the hydromorphological index of diversity (HMID). When the purpose is hydraulic habitat characterization applied over long river networks, the proposed method (although less accurate) is much less computationally expensive and less data demanding than two dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Here, we illustrate the tools based on a Worldview 2 satellite image of the Kiamika River, near Mont Laurier, Quebec, Canada, specifically over a 17-km river reach below the Kiamika dam. In the first step, a high resolution water depth (D) map is produced from a spectral band ratio (calculated from the multispectral image), calibrated with limited field measurements. Next, based only on known river discharge and estimated cross section depths at time of image capture, empirical-based pseudo-2D hydraulic rules are used to rapidly generate a two-dimensional map of flow velocity

  4. Different leaf cost–benefit strategies of ferns distributed in contrasting light habitats of sub-tropical forests

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Shi-Dan; Li, Rong-Hua; Song, Juan; He, Peng-Cheng; Liu, Hui; Berninger, Frank; Ye, Qing

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims Ferns are abundant in sub-tropical forests in southern China, with some species being restricted to shaded understorey of natural forests, while others are widespread in disturbed, open habitats. To explain this distribution pattern, we hypothesize that ferns that occur in disturbed forests (FDF) have a different leaf cost–benefit strategy compared with ferns that occur in natural forests (FNF), with a quicker return on carbon investment in disturbed habitats compared with old-growth forests. Methods We chose 16 fern species from contrasting light habitats (eight FDF and eight FNF) and studied leaf functional traits, including leaf life span (LLS), specific leaf area (SLA), leaf nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations (N and P), maximum net photosynthetic rates (A), leaf construction cost (CC) and payback time (PBT), to conduct a leaf cost–benefit analysis for the two fern groups. Key Results The two groups, FDF and FNF, did not differ significantly in SLA, leaf N and P, and CC, but FDF had significantly higher A, greater photosynthetic nitrogen- and phosphorus-use efficiencies (PNUE and PPUE), and shorter PBT and LLS compared with FNF. Further, across the 16 fern species, LLS was significantly correlated with A, PNUE, PPUE and PBT, but not with SLA and CC. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that leaf cost–benefit analysis contributes to understanding the distribution pattern of ferns in contrasting light habitats of sub-tropical forests: FDF employing a quick-return strategy can pre-empt resources and rapidly grow in the high-resource environment of open habitats; while a slow-return strategy in FNF allows their persistence in the shaded understorey of old-growth forests. PMID:26684751

  5. Different leaf cost-benefit strategies of ferns distributed in contrasting light habitats of sub-tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Shi-Dan; Li, Rong-Hua; Song, Juan; He, Peng-Cheng; Liu, Hui; Berninger, Frank; Ye, Qing

    2016-03-01

    Ferns are abundant in sub-tropical forests in southern China, with some species being restricted to shaded understorey of natural forests, while others are widespread in disturbed, open habitats. To explain this distribution pattern, we hypothesize that ferns that occur in disturbed forests (FDF) have a different leaf cost-benefit strategy compared with ferns that occur in natural forests (FNF), with a quicker return on carbon investment in disturbed habitats compared with old-growth forests. We chose 16 fern species from contrasting light habitats (eight FDF and eight FNF) and studied leaf functional traits, including leaf life span (LLS), specific leaf area (SLA), leaf nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations (N and P), maximum net photosynthetic rates (A), leaf construction cost (CC) and payback time (PBT), to conduct a leaf cost-benefit analysis for the two fern groups. The two groups, FDF and FNF, did not differ significantly in SLA, leaf N and P, and CC, but FDF had significantly higher A, greater photosynthetic nitrogen- and phosphorus-use efficiencies (PNUE and PPUE), and shorter PBT and LLS compared with FNF. Further, across the 16 fern species, LLS was significantly correlated with A, PNUE, PPUE and PBT, but not with SLA and CC. Our results demonstrate that leaf cost-benefit analysis contributes to understanding the distribution pattern of ferns in contrasting light habitats of sub-tropical forests: FDF employing a quick-return strategy can pre-empt resources and rapidly grow in the high-resource environment of open habitats; while a slow-return strategy in FNF allows their persistence in the shaded understorey of old-growth forests. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  6. Mapping tropical dry forest habitats integrating landsat NDVI, Ikonos imagery, and topographic information in the Caribbean island of Mona.

    PubMed

    Martinuzzi, Sebastiáin; Gould, William A; Ramos Gonzalez, Olga M; Martinez Robles, Alma; Calle Maldonado, Paulina; Pérez-Buitrago, Néstor; Fumero Caban, José J

    2008-06-01

    Assessing the status of tropical dry forest habitats using remote sensing technologies is one of the research priorities for Neotropical forests. We developed a simple method for mapping vegetation and habitats in a tropical dry forest reserve, Mona Island, Puerto Rico, by integrating the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from Landsat, topographic information, and high-resolution Ikonos imagery. The method was practical for identifying vegetation types in areas with a great variety of plant communities and complex relief, and can be adapted to other dry forest habitats of the Caribbean Islands. NDVI was useful for identifying the distribution of forests, woodlands, and shrubland, providing a natural representation of the vegetation patterns on the island. The use of Ikonos imagery allowed increasing the number of land cover classes. As a result, sixteen land-cover types were mapped over the 5500 ha area, with a kappa coefficient of accuracy equal to 79%. This map is a central piece for modeling vertebrate species distribution and biodiversity patterns by the Puerto Rico Gap Analysis Project, and it is of great value for assisting research and management actions in the island.

  7. Broad-scale patterns of avian biodiversity in response to habitat heterogeneity in a semi-arid landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    St-Louis, Veronique

    The rapid decline in biodiversity makes urgent the need to understand the distribution of species over broad spatial extents. Traditionally-used classified imagery-based approaches have limited usefulness for this because they may overlook important within-habitat components in highly heterogeneous ecosystems. The main objective of my dissertation was to develop remote sensing and statistical approaches, informed by ecological theory, for mapping and understanding patterns of avian biodiversity in a semi-arid ecosystem. The study area was the McGregor Range of Fort Bliss Army Reserve in the northern Chihuahuan Desert. In the first three chapters I tested different remote sensing approaches for understanding the ecological factors that influence bird species richness and guild abundance. I used image texture measures as proxies for habitat heterogeneity and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index as a proxy for habitat productivity for modeling species richness. I subsequently used spectral mixture analysis to calculate proportions of discrete habitat components within each 30 m pixel of a given study plot. My results emphasize that habitat heterogeneity is a main determinant of bird species richness and the abundance of some guilds in that ecosystem. My fourth chapter addressed the ecological factors that affect the occurrence and fitness of the Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus). While I found significant statistical relationships between bird occurrence and habitat variables such as NDVI texture, I found no significant relationship between the habitat variables measured and measures of fitness. These results suggest a greater need for understanding what limits individual bird fitness in that ecosystem. My fifth chapter stems from my M.S. in biometry, and focused on testing the usefulness of Bayesian Model Averaging for building predictive models in ecology. I found that the choice of model prior influences the accuracy of the predictions and that the

  8. Habitat use and spatial segregation of adult spottail sharks Carcharhinus sorrah in tropical nearshore waters.

    PubMed

    Knip, D M; Heupel, M R; Simpfendorfer, C A

    2012-04-01

    An array of acoustic receivers deployed in Cleveland Bay, north Queensland, Australia, passively tracked 20 adult spottail sharks Carcharhinus sorrah over 2 years (2009-2010) to define patterns in movement and habitat use. Individuals were present in the study site for long periods, ranging from 8 to 408 days (mean = 185). Size and location of home ranges did not vary over time. A high level of segregation occurred among C. sorrah, with individuals using different types of habitat and showing strong attachment to specific regions. The depth of habitat individuals used varied between sexes. Males tended to use a narrow range of habitat depths within the study site (2·8-6·0 m), whereas females used shallower habitats (1·4-6·2 m) and displayed a seasonal shift in the depth of habitat used. Mean monthly habitat depth used varied by as much as 2 m for females, with individuals using shallower habitats during the winter months. Long-term presence and consistent home ranges suggest that Cleveland Bay provides important habitat for C. sorrah. By defining patterns in the use of nearshore habitats for C. sorrah, this study improves the understanding of the movement and habitat use of smaller-bodied coastal sharks and may help provide guidance for the management of their populations.

  9. Combining Methods to Describe Important Marine Habitats for Top Predators: Application to Identify Biological Hotspots in Tropical Waters

    PubMed Central

    Thiers, Laurie; Louzao, Maite; Ridoux, Vincent; Le Corre, Matthieu; Jaquemet, Sébastien; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2014-01-01

    In tropical waters resources are usually scarce and patchy, and predatory species generally show specific adaptations for foraging. Tropical seabirds often forage in association with sub-surface predators that create feeding opportunities by bringing prey close to the surface, and the birds often aggregate in large multispecific flocks. Here we hypothesize that frigatebirds, a tropical seabird adapted to foraging with low energetic costs, could be a good predictor of the distribution of their associated predatory species, including other seabirds (e.g. boobies, terns) and subsurface predators (e.g., dolphins, tunas). To test this hypothesis, we compared distribution patterns of marine predators in the Mozambique Channel based on a long-term dataset of both vessel- and aerial surveys, as well as tracking data of frigatebirds. By developing species distribution models (SDMs), we identified key marine areas for tropical predators in relation to contemporaneous oceanographic features to investigate multi-species spatial overlap areas and identify predator hotspots in the Mozambique Channel. SDMs reasonably matched observed patterns and both static (e.g. bathymetry) and dynamic (e.g. Chlorophyll a concentration and sea surface temperature) factors were important explaining predator distribution patterns. We found that the distribution of frigatebirds included the distributions of the associated species. The central part of the channel appeared to be the best habitat for the four groups of species considered in this study (frigatebirds, brown terns, boobies and sub-surface predators). PMID:25494047

  10. Understanding spatial heterogeneity in soil carbon and nitrogen cycling in regenerating tropical dry forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waring, B. G.; Powers, J. S.; Branco, S.; Adams, R.; Schilling, E.

    2015-12-01

    Tropical dry forests (TDFs) currently store significant amounts of carbon in their biomass and soils, but these highly seasonal ecosystems may be uniquely sensitive to altered climates. The ability to quantitatively predict C cycling in TDFs under global change is constrained by tremendous spatial heterogeneity in soil parent material, land-use history, and plant community composition. To explore this variation, we examined soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics in 18 permanent plots spanning orthogonal gradients of stand age and soil fertility. Soil C and N pools, microbial biomass, and microbial extracellular enzyme activities were most variable at small (m2) spatial scales. However, the ratio of organic vs. inorganic N cycling was consistently higher in forest stands dominated by slow-growing, evergreen trees that associate with ectomycorrhizal fungi. Similarly, although bulk litter stocks and turnover rates varied greatly among plots, litter decomposition tended to be slower in ectomycorrhizae-dominated stands. Soil N cycling tended to be more conservative in older plots, although the relationship between stand age and element cycling was weak. Our results emphasize that microscale processes, particularly interactions between mycorrhizal fungi and free-living decomposers, are important controls on ecosystem-scale element cycling.

  11. Higher β-diversity observed for herbs over woody plants is driven by stronger habitat filtering in a tropical understory.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Stephen J; Salpeter, Kara; Comita, Liza S

    2016-08-01

    Herbaceous plants are a key component of tropical forests. Previous work indicates that herbs contribute substantially to the species richness of tropical plant communities. However, the processes structuring tropical herb diversity, and how they contrast with woody communities, have been underexplored. Within the understory of a 50-ha forest dynamics plot in central Panama, we compared the diversity, distribution, and abundance of vascular herbaceous plants with woody seedlings (i.e., tree and lianas <1 cm DBH and ≥20 cm tall). Beta-diversity was calculated for each community using a null model approach. We then assessed the similarity in alpha and beta-diversity among herbs, tree seedlings, and liana seedlings. Strengths of habitat associations were measured using permutational ANOVA among topographic habitat-types. Variance partitioning was then used to quantify the amount of variation in species richness and composition explained by spatial and environmental variables (i.e., topography, soils, and shade) for each growth form. Species richness and diversity were highest for tree seedlings, followed by liana seedlings and then herbs. In contrast, beta-diversity was 16-127% higher for herbs compared to woody seedlings, indicating higher spatial variation in this stratum. We observed no correlation between local richness or compositional uniqueness of herbs and woody seedlings across sites, indicating that different processes control the spatial patterns of woody and herbaceous diversity and composition. Habitat associations were strongest for herbs, as indicated by greater compositional dissimilarity among habitat types. Likewise, environmental variables explained a larger proportion of the variation in species richness and composition for herbs than for woody seedlings (richness = 25%, 14%, 12%; composition = 25%, 9%, 6%, for herbs, trees, and lianas, respectively). These differences between strata did not appear to be due to differences in lifespan alone

  12. Nowhere to run: the role of habitat openness and refuge use in defining patterns of morphological and performance evolution in tropical lizards.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Brett A

    2009-07-01

    For species from open habitats with little cover and few refugia, selection should favour morphologies that enhance performance at tasks that enable rapid movement across open areas. Similarly, selection should also favour traits that enable rapid access and movement within suitable refugia. This study examined the relationship between habitat openness, refuge use, morphology and performance of 19 species representing 23 populations of tropical Lygosomine skink. Species from this group occupy a wide array of habitats from open forest and open rocky intertidal zones to high-altitude heaths and dense, closed forests. Species that occupied open habitats were faster at sprinting, climbing and had better cling ability than species from more cluttered, closed habitats. In addition, species from habitats that used rock crevices as refuges had enhanced sprinting ability. This study shows the importance of both habitat openness and refuge type in the evolution of both the morphology and performance in lizards.

  13. A Few Meters Matter: Local Habitats Drive Reproductive Cycles in a Tropical Lizard.

    PubMed

    Otero, Luisa M; Huey, Raymond B; Gorman, George C

    2015-09-01

    Reproductive phenology often varies geographically within species, driven by environmental gradients that alter growth and reproduction. However, environments can differ between adjacent habitats at single localities. In lowland Puerto Rico, both open (sunny, warm) and forested (shady, cool) habitats may be only meters apart. The lizard Anolis cristatellus lives in both habitats: it thermoregulates carefully in the open but is a thermoconformer in the forest. To determine whether reproduction differs between habitats, we compared reproductive cycles of females in open versus forest habitats at two localities for over 2 years. Open females were more likely than forest females to be reproductive throughout the year, probably because open females were able to bask and thereby achieve warmer body temperatures. These between-habitat differences in reproduction were especially marked in cool months and are equivalent in magnitude to those between populations separated by elevation. Thus, environmental differences (even on a microlandscape scale) matter to reproduction and probably to demography.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ormiston, B.G.

    1984-07-01

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

  15. Do Epigeal Termite Mounds Increase the Diversity of Plant Habitats in a Tropical Rain Forest in Peninsular Malaysia?

    PubMed Central

    Beaudrot, Lydia; Du, Yanjun; Rahman Kassim, Abdul; Rejmánek, Marcel; Harrison, Rhett D.

    2011-01-01

    The extent to which environmental heterogeneity can account for tree species coexistence in diverse ecosystems, such as tropical rainforests, is hotly debated, although the importance of spatial variability in contributing to species co-existence is well recognized. Termites contribute to the micro-topographical and nutrient spatial heterogeneity of tropical forests. We therefore investigated whether epigeal termite mounds could contribute to the coexistence of plant species within a 50 ha plot at Pasoh Forest Reserve, Malaysia. Overall, stem density was significantly higher on mounds than in their immediate surroundings, but tree species diversity was significantly lower. Canonical correspondence analysis showed that location on or off mounds significantly influenced species distribution when stems were characterized by basal area. Like studies of termite mounds in other ecosystems, our results suggest that epigeal termite mounds provide a specific microhabitat for the enhanced growth and survival of certain species in these species-rich tropical forests. However, the extent to which epigeal termite mounds facilitate species coexistence warrants further investigation. PMID:21625558

  16. Do epigeal termite mounds increase the diversity of plant habitats in a tropical rain forest in peninsular Malaysia?

    PubMed

    Beaudrot, Lydia; Du, Yanjun; Rahman Kassim, Abdul; Rejmánek, Marcel; Harrison, Rhett D

    2011-01-01

    The extent to which environmental heterogeneity can account for tree species coexistence in diverse ecosystems, such as tropical rainforests, is hotly debated, although the importance of spatial variability in contributing to species co-existence is well recognized. Termites contribute to the micro-topographical and nutrient spatial heterogeneity of tropical forests. We therefore investigated whether epigeal termite mounds could contribute to the coexistence of plant species within a 50 ha plot at Pasoh Forest Reserve, Malaysia. Overall, stem density was significantly higher on mounds than in their immediate surroundings, but tree species diversity was significantly lower. Canonical correspondence analysis showed that location on or off mounds significantly influenced species distribution when stems were characterized by basal area. Like studies of termite mounds in other ecosystems, our results suggest that epigeal termite mounds provide a specific microhabitat for the enhanced growth and survival of certain species in these species-rich tropical forests. However, the extent to which epigeal termite mounds facilitate species coexistence warrants further investigation.

  17. Effects of frugivore preferences and habitat heterogeneity on seed rain: a multi-scale analysis.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Pérez, Javier; Larrinaga, Asier R; Santamaría, Luis

    2012-01-01

    Seed rain mediated by frugivores is influenced by (1) the seed-deposition distances following fruit ingestion, (2) the disperser activity, as determined by its behaviour and habitat preferences, and (3) the structure of the habitat within the landscape. Here, we evaluated such components using the fleshy-fruited shrub Ephedra fragilis and the frugivorous Balearic lizard Podarcis lilfordi. We estimated seed-deposition patterns based on the displacements and habitat preferences of lizards, derived from visual surveys and telemetry data. The influence of variables potentially determining lizard habitat preference (i.e., height, slope, four measures of habitat abundance and four measures of habitat fragmentation) was evaluated at three spatial scales: 'home-range' (c. 2.5-10*10(3) m(2); telemetry data), 'within home-range' (c. 100 m(2); telemetry data) and 'microhabitat' (<100 m(2); visual survey). Cumulative lizard displacement (from each telemetric location to the initial capture point) saturated before the peak of seed defecation (seed-retention time), indicating that lizard home-range size and habitat preferences were the main determinants of the spread and shape of seed shadows. Shrub cover was positively correlated with habitat preference at the three scales of analysis, whereas slope was negatively correlated at the home-range scale. Model scenarios indicated that spatially-aggregated seed rain emerged when we incorporated the joint effect of habitat preference at the two largest (home-range and within home-range) scales. We conclude that, in order to predict seed rain in animal dispersed plants, it is important to consider the multi-scale effects of habitat preference by frugivores.

  18. Effects of Frugivore Preferences and Habitat Heterogeneity on Seed Rain: A Multi-Scale Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Pérez, Javier; Larrinaga, Asier R.; Santamaría, Luis

    2012-01-01

    Seed rain mediated by frugivores is influenced by (1) the seed-deposition distances following fruit ingestion, (2) the disperser activity, as determined by its behaviour and habitat preferences, and (3) the structure of the habitat within the landscape. Here, we evaluated such components using the fleshy-fruited shrub Ephedra fragilis and the frugivorous Balearic lizard Podarcis lilfordi. We estimated seed-deposition patterns based on the displacements and habitat preferences of lizards, derived from visual surveys and telemetry data. The influence of variables potentially determining lizard habitat preference (i.e., height, slope, four measures of habitat abundance and four measures of habitat fragmentation) was evaluated at three spatial scales: ‘home-range’ (c. 2.5–10*103 m2; telemetry data), ‘within home-range’ (c. 100 m2; telemetry data) and ‘microhabitat’ (<100 m2; visual survey). Cumulative lizard displacement (from each telemetric location to the initial capture point) saturated before the peak of seed defecation (seed-retention time), indicating that lizard home-range size and habitat preferences were the main determinants of the spread and shape of seed shadows. Shrub cover was positively correlated with habitat preference at the three scales of analysis, whereas slope was negatively correlated at the home-range scale. Model scenarios indicated that spatially-aggregated seed rain emerged when we incorporated the joint effect of habitat preference at the two largest (home-range and within home-range) scales. We conclude that, in order to predict seed rain in animal dispersed plants, it is important to consider the multi-scale effects of habitat preference by frugivores. PMID:22438902

  19. Predictions and retrodictions of the hierarchical representation of habitat in heterogeneous environments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kolasa, Jurek; Allen, Craig R.; Sendzimir, Jan; Stow, Craig A.

    2012-01-01

    Interaction between habitat and species is central in ecology. Habitat structure may be conceived as being hierarchical, where larger, more diverse, portions or categories contain smaller, more homogeneous portions. When this conceptualization is combined with the observation that species have different abilities to relate to portions of the habitat that differ in their characteristics, a number of known patterns can be derived and new patterns hypothesized. We propose a quantitative form of this habitat–species relationship by considering species abundance to be a function of habitat specialization, habitat fragmentation, amount of habitat, and adult body mass. The model reproduces and explains patterns such as variation in rank–abundance curves, greater variation and extinction probabilities of habitat specialists, discontinuities in traits (abundance, ecological range, pattern of variation, body size) among species sharing a community or area, and triangular distribution of body sizes, among others. The model has affinities to Holling's textural discontinuity hypothesis and metacommunity theory but differs from both by offering a more general perspective. In support of the model, we illustrate its general potential to capture and explain several empirical observations that historically have been treated independently.

  20. Balancing Energy Budget in a Central-Place Forager: Which Habitat to Select in a Heterogeneous Environment?

    PubMed Central

    Patenaude-Monette, Martin; Bélisle, Marc; Giroux, Jean-François

    2014-01-01

    Foraging animals are influenced by the distribution of food resources and predation risk that both vary in space and time. These constraints likely shape trade-offs involving time, energy, nutrition, and predator avoidance leading to a sequence of locations visited by individuals. According to the marginal-value theorem (MVT), a central-place forager must either increase load size or energy content when foraging farther from their central place. Although such a decision rule has the potential to shape movement and habitat selection patterns, few studies have addressed the mechanisms underlying habitat use at the landscape scale. Our objective was therefore to determine how Ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis) select their foraging habitats while nesting in a colony located in a heterogeneous landscape. Based on locations obtained by fine-scale GPS tracking, we used resource selection functions (RSFs) and residence time analyses to identify habitats selected by gulls for foraging during the incubation and brood rearing periods. We then combined this information to gull survey data, feeding rates, stomach contents, and calorimetric analyses to assess potential trade-offs. Throughout the breeding season, gulls selected landfills and transhipment sites that provided higher mean energy intake than agricultural lands or riparian habitats. They used landfills located farther from the colony where no deterrence program had been implemented but avoided those located closer where deterrence measures took place. On the other hand, gulls selected intensively cultured lands located relatively close to the colony during incubation. The number of gulls was then greater in fields covered by bare soil and peaked during soil preparation and seed sowing, which greatly increase food availability. Breeding Ring-billed gulls thus select habitats according to both their foraging profitability and distance from their nest while accounting for predation risk. This supports the

  1. Does Habitat Heterogeneity in a Multi-Use Landscape Influence Survival Rates and Density of a Native Mesocarnivore?

    PubMed Central

    Gese, Eric M.; Thompson, Craig M.

    2014-01-01

    The relationships between predators, prey, and habitat have long been of interest to applied and basic ecologists. As a native Great Plains mesocarnivore of North America, swift foxes (Vulpes velox) depended on the historic disturbance regime to maintain open grassland habitat. With a decline in native grasslands and subsequent impacts to prairie specialists, notably the swift fox, understanding the influence of habitat on native predators is paramount to future management efforts. From 2001 to 2004, we investigated the influence of vegetation structure on swift fox population ecology (survival and density) on and around the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site, southeastern Colorado, USA. We monitored 109 foxes on 6 study sites exposed to 3 different disturbance regimes (military training, grazing, unused). On each site we evaluated vegetation structure based on shrub density, basal coverage, vegetation height, and litter. Across all sites, annual fox survival rates ranged from 0.50 to 0.92 for adults and 0.27 to 0.78 for juveniles. Among sites, population estimates ranged from 1 to 7 foxes per 10 km transect. Fox density or survival was not related to the relative abundance of prey. A robust model estimating fox population size and incorporating both shrub density and percent basal cover as explanatory variables far outperformed all other models. Our results supported the idea that, in our region, swift foxes were shortgrass prairie specialists and also indicated a relationship between habitat quality and landscape heterogeneity. We suggest the regulation of swift fox populations may be based on habitat quality through landscape-mediated survival, and managers may effectively use disturbance regimes to create or maintain habitat for this native mesocarnivore. PMID:24963713

  2. Macrofaunal responses to edges are independent of habitat-heterogeneity in experimental landscapes.

    PubMed

    Matias, Miguel G; Coleman, Ross A; Hochuli, Dieter F; Underwood, Antony J

    2013-01-01

    Despite edges being common features of many natural habitats, there is little general understanding of the ways assemblages respond to them. Every edge between two contrasting habitats has characteristics governed by the composition of adjoining habitats and/or by the nature of any transitions between them. To develop better explanatory theory, we examined the extent to which edges act independently of the composition of the surrounding landscape and to which transitions between different types of habitats affect assemblages. Using experimental landscapes, we measured the responses of assemblages of marine molluscs colonising different experimental landscapes constructed with different compositions (i.e. different types of habitats within the landscape) and different types of transitions between habitats (i.e. sharp vs gradual). Edge effects (i.e. proximity to the edge of the landscape) were independent of the internal composition of experimental landscape; fewer species were found near the edges of landscapes. These reductions may be explained by differences in differential larval settlement between edges and interiors of experimental landscapes. We also found that the sharpness of transitions influenced the magnitude of interactions in the different types of habitats in experimental landscapes, most probably due to the increased number of species in areas of transition between two habitats. Our experiments allowed the effects of composition and transitions between habitats to be disentangled from those of proximity to edges of landscapes. Understanding and making predictions about the responses by species to edges depends on understanding not only the nature of transitions across boundaries, but also the landscape in which the edges are embedded.

  3. Taxonomic scale-dependence of habitat niche partitioning and biotic neighbourhood on survival of tropical tree seedlings.

    PubMed

    Queenborough, Simon A; Burslem, David F R P; Garwood, Nancy C; Valencia, Renato

    2009-12-07

    In order to differentiate between mechanisms of species coexistence, we examined the relative importance of local biotic neighbourhood, abiotic habitat factors and species differences as factors influencing the survival of 2330 spatially mapped tropical tree seedlings of 15 species of Myristicaceae in two separate analyses in which individuals were identified first to species and then to genus. Using likelihood methods, we selected the most parsimonious candidate models as predictors of 3 year seedling survival in both sets of analyses. We found evidence for differential effects of abiotic niche and neighbourhood processes on individual survival between analyses at the genus and species levels. Niche partitioning (defined as an interaction of taxonomic identity and abiotic neighbourhood) was significant in analyses at the genus level, but did not differentiate among species in models of individual seedling survival. By contrast, conspecific and congeneric seedling and adult density were retained in the minimum adequate models of seedling survival at species and genus levels, respectively. We conclude that abiotic niche effects express differences in seedling survival among genera but not among species, and that, within genera, community and/or local variation in adult and seedling abundance drives variation in seedling survival. These data suggest that different mechanisms of coexistence among tropical tree taxa may function at different taxonomic or phylogenetic scales. This perspective helps to reconcile perceived differences of importance in the various non-mutually exclusive mechanisms of species coexistence in hyper-diverse tropical forests.

  4. Taxonomic scale-dependence of habitat niche partitioning and biotic neighbourhood on survival of tropical tree seedlings

    PubMed Central

    Queenborough, Simon A.; Burslem, David F. R. P.; Garwood, Nancy C.; Valencia, Renato

    2009-01-01

    In order to differentiate between mechanisms of species coexistence, we examined the relative importance of local biotic neighbourhood, abiotic habitat factors and species differences as factors influencing the survival of 2330 spatially mapped tropical tree seedlings of 15 species of Myristicaceae in two separate analyses in which individuals were identified first to species and then to genus. Using likelihood methods, we selected the most parsimonious candidate models as predictors of 3 year seedling survival in both sets of analyses. We found evidence for differential effects of abiotic niche and neighbourhood processes on individual survival between analyses at the genus and species levels. Niche partitioning (defined as an interaction of taxonomic identity and abiotic neighbourhood) was significant in analyses at the genus level, but did not differentiate among species in models of individual seedling survival. By contrast, conspecific and congeneric seedling and adult density were retained in the minimum adequate models of seedling survival at species and genus levels, respectively. We conclude that abiotic niche effects express differences in seedling survival among genera but not among species, and that, within genera, community and/or local variation in adult and seedling abundance drives variation in seedling survival. These data suggest that different mechanisms of coexistence among tropical tree taxa may function at different taxonomic or phylogenetic scales. This perspective helps to reconcile perceived differences of importance in the various non-mutually exclusive mechanisms of species coexistence in hyper-diverse tropical forests. PMID:19740886

  5. Habitat Fragmentation and Ecological Traits Influence the Prevalence of Avian Blood Parasites in a Tropical Rainforest Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Laurance, Susan G. W.; Jones, Dean; Westcott, David; Mckeown, Adam; Harrington, Graham; Hilbert, David W.

    2013-01-01

    In the tropical rainforests of northern Australia, we investigated the effects of habitat fragmentation and ecological parameters on the prevalence of blood-borne parasites (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) in bird communities. Using mist-nets on forest edges and interiors, we sampled bird communities across six study sites: 3 large fragments (20–85 ha) and 3 continuous-forest sites. From 335 mist-net captures, we recorded 28 bird species and screened 299 bird samples with PCR to amplify and detect target DNA. Of the 28 bird species sampled, 19 were infected with Plasmodium and/or Haemoproteus and 9 species were without infection. Over one third of screened birds (99 individuals) were positive for Haemoproteus and/or Plasmodium. In forest fragments, bird capture rates were significantly higher than in continuous forests, but bird species richness did not differ. Unexpectedly, we found that the prevalence of the dominant haemosporidian infection, Haemoproteus, was significantly higher in continuous forest than in habitat fragments. Further, we found that ecological traits such as diet, foraging height, habitat specialisation and distributional ranges were significantly associated with blood-borne infections. PMID:24124541

  6. Habitat fragmentation and ecological traits influence the prevalence of avian blood parasites in a tropical rainforest landscape.

    PubMed

    Laurance, Susan G W; Jones, Dean; Westcott, David; McKeown, Adam; Harrington, Graham; Hilbert, David W

    2013-01-01

    In the tropical rainforests of northern Australia, we investigated the effects of habitat fragmentation and ecological parameters on the prevalence of blood-borne parasites (Plasmodium and Haemoproteus) in bird communities. Using mist-nets on forest edges and interiors, we sampled bird communities across six study sites: 3 large fragments (20-85 ha) and 3 continuous-forest sites. From 335 mist-net captures, we recorded 28 bird species and screened 299 bird samples with PCR to amplify and detect target DNA. Of the 28 bird species sampled, 19 were infected with Plasmodium and/or Haemoproteus and 9 species were without infection. Over one third of screened birds (99 individuals) were positive for Haemoproteus and/or Plasmodium. In forest fragments, bird capture rates were significantly higher than in continuous forests, but bird species richness did not differ. Unexpectedly, we found that the prevalence of the dominant haemosporidian infection, Haemoproteus, was significantly higher in continuous forest than in habitat fragments. Further, we found that ecological traits such as diet, foraging height, habitat specialisation and distributional ranges were significantly associated with blood-borne infections.

  7. Stage-dependent responses to emergent habitat heterogeneity: consequences for a predatory insect population in a coffee agroecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Liere, Heidi; Perfecto, Ivette; Vandermeer, John

    2014-01-01

    Interactions among members of biological communities can create spatial patterns that effectively generate habitat heterogeneity for other members in the community, and this heterogeneity might be crucial for their persistence. For example, stage-dependent vulnerability of a predatory lady beetle to aggression of the ant, Azteca instabilis, creates two habitat types that are utilized differently by the immature and adult life stages of the beetle. Due to a mutualistic association between A. instabilis and the hemipteran Coccus viridis – which is A. orbigera main prey in the area – only plants around ant nests have high C. viridis populations. Here, we report on a series of surveys at three different scales aimed at detecting how the presence and clustered distribution of ant nests affect the distribution of the different life stages of this predatory lady beetle in a coffee farm in Chiapas, Mexico. Both beetle adults and larvae were more abundant in areas with ant nests, but adults were restricted to the peripheries of highest ant activity and outside the reach of coffee bushes containing the highest densities of lady beetle larvae. The abundance of adult beetles located around trees with ants increased with the size of the ant nest clusters but the relationship is not significant for larvae. Thus, we suggest that A. orbigera undergoes an ontogenetic niche shift, not through shifting prey species, but through stage-specific vulnerability differences against a competitor that renders areas of abundant prey populations inaccessible for adults but not for larvae. Together with evidence presented elsewhere, this study shows how an important predator is not only dependent on the existence of two qualitatively distinct habitat types, but also on the spatial distribution of these habitats. We suggest that this dependency arises due to the different responses that the predator's life stages have to this emergent spatial pattern. PMID:25473473

  8. Stage-dependent responses to emergent habitat heterogeneity: consequences for a predatory insect population in a coffee agroecosystem.

    PubMed

    Liere, Heidi; Perfecto, Ivette; Vandermeer, John

    2014-08-01

    Interactions among members of biological communities can create spatial patterns that effectively generate habitat heterogeneity for other members in the community, and this heterogeneity might be crucial for their persistence. For example, stage-dependent vulnerability of a predatory lady beetle to aggression of the ant, Azteca instabilis, creates two habitat types that are utilized differently by the immature and adult life stages of the beetle. Due to a mutualistic association between A. instabilis and the hemipteran Coccus viridis - which is A. orbigera main prey in the area - only plants around ant nests have high C. viridis populations. Here, we report on a series of surveys at three different scales aimed at detecting how the presence and clustered distribution of ant nests affect the distribution of the different life stages of this predatory lady beetle in a coffee farm in Chiapas, Mexico. Both beetle adults and larvae were more abundant in areas with ant nests, but adults were restricted to the peripheries of highest ant activity and outside the reach of coffee bushes containing the highest densities of lady beetle larvae. The abundance of adult beetles located around trees with ants increased with the size of the ant nest clusters but the relationship is not significant for larvae. Thus, we suggest that A. orbigera undergoes an ontogenetic niche shift, not through shifting prey species, but through stage-specific vulnerability differences against a competitor that renders areas of abundant prey populations inaccessible for adults but not for larvae. Together with evidence presented elsewhere, this study shows how an important predator is not only dependent on the existence of two qualitatively distinct habitat types, but also on the spatial distribution of these habitats. We suggest that this dependency arises due to the different responses that the predator's life stages have to this emergent spatial pattern.

  9. Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) habitat preference in a heterogeneous, urban, coastal environment

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Limited information is available regarding the habitat preference of the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) in South Australian estuarine environments. The need to overcome this paucity of information is crucial for management and conservation initiatives. This preliminary study investigates the space-time patterns of habitat preference by the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin in the Port Adelaide River-Barker Inlet estuary, a South Australian, urbanised, coastal environment. More specifically, the study aim was to identify a potential preference between bare sand substrate and seagrass beds, the two habitat types present in this environment, through the resighting frequency of recognisable individual dolphins. Results Photo-identification surveys covering the 118 km2 sanctuary area were conducted over 2 survey periods May to August 2006 and from March 2009 to February 2010. Sighting frequency of recognisable individual Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins established a significant preference for the bare sand habitat. More specifically, 72 and 18% of the individuals sighted at least on two occasions were observed in the bare sand and seagrass habitats respectively. This trend was consistently observed at both seasonal and annual scales, suggesting a consistency in the distinct use of these two habitats. Conclusions It is anticipated that these results will benefit the further development of management and conservation strategies. PMID:23369354

  10. Effects of habitat heterogeneity at multiple spatial scales on fish community assembly.

    PubMed

    Yeager, Lauren A; Layman, Craig A; Allgeier, Jacob E

    2011-09-01

    Habitat variability at multiple spatial scales may affect community structure within a given habitat patch, even within seemingly homogenous landscapes. In this context, we tested the importance of habitat variables at two spatial scales (patch and landscape) in driving fish community assembly using experimental artificial reefs constructed across a gradient of seagrass cover in a coastal bay of The Bahamas. We found that species richness and benthic fish abundance increased over time, but eventually reached an asymptote. The correlation between habitat variables and community structure strengthened over time, suggesting deterministic processes were detectable in community assembly. Abundance of benthic fishes, as well as overall community structure, were predicted by both patch- and landscape-scale variables, with the cover of seagrass at the landscape-scale emerging as the most important explanatory variable. Results of this study indicate that landscape features can drive differences in community assembly even within a general habitat type (i.e., within seagrass beds). A primary implication of this finding is that human activities driving changes in seagrass cover may cause significant shifts in faunal community structure well before complete losses of seagrass habitat.

  11. [Habitat heterogeneity, richness and structure of assemblages of dung beetles (Scarabaeidae: Scarabaeinae) in areas of cerrado in the Chapada dos Parecis, Mato Grosso state, Brazil].

    PubMed

    Silva, Ricardo J da; Diniz, Soraia; Vaz-de-Mello, Fernando Z

    2010-01-01

    Ecological theory of habitat heterogeneity and limited niche-similarity assumes that more heterogeneous environments provide a greater amount and diversity of resources than simple environments, resulting in a greater diversity of species. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of the habitat heterogeneity on the richness of dung beetles and to examine the spatial patterns of assemblage structure in relation to patterns of habitat heterogeneity. Dung beetles were collected using pitfall traps without bait in 30 points distributed in an area of cerrado sensu lato, in the region of Tangará da Serra, MT, Brazil, including areas of cerrado sensu stricto, campo sujo, cerradão and gallery forest. A total of 1,291 dung beetles were collected, distributed in 16 genera and 29 species. Overall habitat heterogeneity exerted a negative effect on patterns of dung beetles richness. Higher levels of species richness were observed in areas of cerrado campo sujo, while the areas of gallery forest were the most species poor. Regarding assembly structure, it was found that the dung beetles were separated into two major groups, one formed by the presence of specialized species in forest areas and other composed of species that occurred predominantly in cerrado. In conclusion, it was found that habitat complexity influenced the distribution of dung beetles, but the level of turnover in species composition along the heterogeneity gradient was relatively weak.

  12. Cyanobacterial diversity in the hot spring, pelagic and benthic habitats of a tropical soda lake.

    PubMed

    Dadheech, Pawan K; Glöckner, Gernot; Casper, Peter; Kotut, Kiplagat; Mazzoni, Camila Junqueira; Mbedi, Susan; Krienitz, Lothar

    2013-08-01

    Hot springs and saline-alkaline lakes of East Africa are extreme habitats regarding temperature, or salinity and pH, respectively. This study examines whether divergent habitats of Lake Bogoria, Kenya, impacts cyanobacterial community structure. Samples from the hot springs, pelagic zone and sediment were analysed by light microscopy, multilocus 454-amplicons sequencing and metagenomics to compare the cyanobacterial diversity. Most of the phylogenetic lineages of Cyanobacteria occurred exclusively in the Bogoria hot springs suggesting a high degree of endemism. The prevalent phylotypes were mainly members of the Oscillatoriales (Leptolyngbya, Spirulina, Oscillatoria-like and Planktothricoides). The Chroococcales were represented by different clades of Synechococcus but not a single phylotype clustered with any of the lineages described earlier from different continents. In contrast, we found that the pelagic zone and the sediments were inhabited by only a few taxa, dominated by Arthrospira and Anabaenopsis. Arthrospira, the main food base of Lesser Flamingo, was detected in all three habitats by amplicons pyrosequencing, indicating its resilience and key role as a primary producer. Despite the close connection between the three habitats studied, the cyanobacterial communities in the hot springs and lake differed considerably, suggesting that they are unable to adapt to the extreme conditions of the neighbouring habitat.

  13. Three-dimensional distribution of larval fish habitats in the shallow oxygen minimum zone in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean off Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, S. M.; Sánchez-Velasco, L.; Beier, E.; Godínez, Victor M.; Barton, Eric D.; Tamayo, A.

    2015-07-01

    Three-dimensional distribution of larval fish habitats was analyzed, from the upper limit of the shallow oxygen minimum zone (~0.2 mL/L) to the sea surface, in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean off Mexico in February 2010. The upper limit rises from ~250 m depth in the entrance of the Gulf of California to ~80 m depth off Cabo Corrientes. Three larval fish habitats were defined statistically: (i) a Gulf of California habitat dominated by Anchoa spp. larvae (epipelagic species), constrained to the oxygenated surface layer (>3.5 mL/L) in and above the thermocline (~60 m depth), and separated by a salinity front from the Tropical Pacific habitat; (ii) a Tropical Pacific habitat, dominated by Vinciguerria lucetia larvae (mesopelagic species), located throughout the sampled water column, but with the highest abundance in the oxygenated upper layer above the thermocline; (iii) an Oxygen Minimum habitat defined mostly below the thermocline in hypoxic (<1 mL/L; ~70 m depth) and anoxic (<0.2 mL/L; ~80 m depth) water off Cabo Corrientes. This subsurface hypoxic habitat had the highest species richness and larval abundance, with dominance of Bregmaceros bathymaster, an endemic neritic pelagic species; which was an unexpected result. This may be associated with the shoaling of the upper limit of the shallow oxygen minimum zone near the coast, a result of the strong costal upwelling detected by the Bakun Index. In this region of strong and semi-continuous coastal upwelling in the eastern tropical Pacific off Mexico, the shallow hypoxic water does not have dramatic effects on the total larval fish abundance but appears to affect species composition.

  14. Predicting Impacts of tropical cyclones and sea-Level rise on beach mouse habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chen, Qin; Wang, Hongqing; Wang, Lixia; Tawes, Robert; Rollman, Drew

    2014-01-01

    Alabama beach mouse (ABM) (Peromyscus polionotus ammobates) is an important component of the coastal dune ecosystem along the Gulf of Mexico. Due to habitat loss and degradation, ABM is federally listed as an endangered species. In this study, we examined the impacts of storm surge and wind waves, which are induced by hurricanes and sea-level rise (SLR), on the ABM habitat on Fort Morgan Peninsula, Alabama, using advanced storm surge and wind wave models and spatial analysis tools in geographic information systems (GIS). Statistical analyses of the long-term historical data enabled us to predict the extreme values of winds, wind waves, and water levels in the study area at different return periods. We developed a series of nested domains for both wave and surge modeling and validated the models using field observations of surge hydrographs and high watermarks of Hurricane Ivan (2004). We then developed wave atlases and flood maps corresponding to the extreme wind, surge and waves without SLR and with a 0.5 m of SLR by coupling the wave and surge prediction models. The flood maps were then merged with a map of ABM habitat to determine the extent and location of habitat impacted by the 100-year storm with and without SLR. Simulation results indicate that more than 82% of ABM habitat would be inundated in such an extreme storm event, especially under SLR, making ABM populations more vulnerable to future storm damage. These results have aided biologists, community planners, and other stakeholders in the identification, restoration and protection of key beach mouse habitat in Alabama. Methods outlined in this paper could also be used to assist in the conservation and recovery of imperiled coastal species elsewhere.

  15. Thermal niche predicts tolerance to habitat conversion in tropical amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Frishkoff, Luke O; Hadly, Elizabeth A; Daily, Gretchen C

    2015-11-01

    Habitat conversion is a major driver of the biodiversity crisis, yet why some species undergo local extinction while others thrive under novel conditions remains unclear. We suggest that focusing on species' niches, rather than traits, may provide the predictive power needed to forecast biodiversity change. We first examine two Neotropical frog congeners with drastically different affinities to deforestation and document how thermal niche explains deforestation tolerance. The more deforestation-tolerant species is associated with warmer macroclimates across Costa Rica, and warmer microclimates within landscapes. Further, in laboratory experiments, the more deforestation-tolerant species has critical thermal limits, and a jumping performance optimum, shifted ~2 °C warmer than those of the more forest-affiliated species, corresponding to the ~3 °C difference in daytime maximum temperature that these species experience between habitats. Crucially, neither species strictly specializes on either habitat - instead habitat use is governed by regional environmental temperature. Both species track temperature along an elevational gradient, and shift their habitat use from cooler forest at lower elevations to warmer deforested pastures upslope. To generalize these conclusions, we expand our analysis to the entire mid-elevational herpetological community of southern Costa Rica. We assess the climatological affinities of 33 amphibian and reptile species, showing that across both taxonomic classes, thermal niche predicts presence in deforested habitat as well as or better than many commonly used traits. These data suggest that warm-adapted species carry a significant survival advantage amidst the synergistic impacts of land-use conversion and climate change.

  16. Phylogeography of Cephalotaxus oliveri (Cephalotaxaceae) in relation to habitat heterogeneity, physical barriers and the uplift of the Yungui Plateau.

    PubMed

    Wang, C B; Wang, T; Su, Y J

    2014-11-01

    Habitat heterogeneity, physical barriers, and the uplift of the Yungui Plateau were found to deeply affect the phylogeographic pattern and evolutionary history of Cephalotaxus oliveri, a perennial conifer endemic to China. In this study, we explored the phylogeography using three chloroplast sequences (trnL-trnF, trnT-trnD and atpB-rbcL) in 22 natural populations of C. oliveri distributed throughout its range. The Yungui Plateau populations of C. oliveri were revealed to origin ca. 9.15Ma by molecular clock estimation, which is consistent with rapid uplift of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) ca. 8-10Ma. Additionally, geological effects of the Yungui Plateau were suggested to promote the rapid intra-specific differentiation of C. oliveri in the Pliocene and Early Pleistocene. The relatively low level of genetic diversity (h=0.719, θ=1.17×10(-3)) and high population differentiation (NST=0.771 and GST=0.642) implied restricted gene flow among populations, which was confirmed by the Nested Clade Analysis (NCA). Mismatch distribution and haplotypes network provided evidences of recent demographic population expansion. Furthermore, the statistical dispersal-vicariance analysis indicated that the center of origin was in Central China. The comparison of haplotype distribution patterns indicated that the regions of HNHPS and HBLD were the potential refugia during the Pleistocene ice ages. Our results highlighted that habitat heterogeneity and physical barriers presenting in a species range can predict genetic patterns.

  17. Chapter 4: The ferruginous pygmy-owl in the tropics and at the northern end of its range: Habitat relations and requirements

    Treesearch

    Jean-Luc E. Cartron; Scott H. Stoleson; Stephen M. Russell; Glenn A. Proudfoot; W. Scott Richardson

    2000-01-01

    The habitat needs of the ferruginous pygmy-owl (Glaucidium brasilianum) are poorly understood. In the tropics, this common bird of prey inhabits many distinct vegetation communities or environments (e.g., Monroe 1968, Meyer de Schauensee 1970, Stiles and Skutch 1989, Sick 1993). A resident of woodlands and open forests, it is also found in the open,...

  18. Habitat heterogeneity and intraguild interactions modify distribution and injury rates in two coexisting genera of damselflies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Witt, Jonathan W.; Forkner, Rebecca E.; Kraus, Richard T.

    2013-01-01

    4. The relative importance of factors hypothesised to structure odonate communities varied between coexisting Enallagma and Ischnura. Distinctive distributions and patterns of injury for each genus provided new insights on the potential for intraguild interactions to modify habitat associations in tidal freshwater ecosystems.

  19. Habitat heterogeneity and intraguild interactions modify distribution and injury rates in two coexisting genera of damselflies

    EPA Science Inventory

    1. Sublethal effects of predation can affect both population and community structure. Despite this, little is known about how the frequency of injury varies in relation to habitat, aquatic community characteristics or between trophically similar, coexisting taxa. 2. In a tidal ...

  20. Habitat heterogeneity and intraguild interactions modify distribution and injury rates in two coexisting genera of damselflies

    EPA Science Inventory

    1. Sublethal effects of predation can affect both population and community structure. Despite this, little is known about how the frequency of injury varies in relation to habitat, aquatic community characteristics or between trophically similar, coexisting taxa. 2. In a tidal ...

  1. Defining the Habitat of Pacific Tuna of the Eastern Tropical Pacific from Satellite Imagery, Climatologies, and a Global Circulation Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiefer, D. A.; Hinton, M. G.; Armstrong, E. M.; Harrison, D. P.; Menemenlis, D.; Hu, C.

    2016-02-01

    With support from NASA's Ecological Forecasting program, we have developed a Tuna Stock Assessment Support System, which merges time series of satellite imagery, a global ocean circulation model, climatology from field surveys, and fisheries data on catch and effort. The purpose of this software is to extract information on the habitat of skipjack, bigeye, and yellowfin tuna in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. The support system is based upon a 50-year record of catch and effort from long-line and purse seine vessels provide by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission. This database, which covers thousands of kilometers of ocean surface, provides monthly information at a 1 degree spatial resolution for the purse seine fleet and 5 degree resolution for the long line fishery. This data is then merged in time and space with satellite imagery of sea surface temperature, chlorophyll, and height, as well as NODC climatologies of oxygen concentration and temperature, and output from NASA's ECCO-2 global circulation model, which provides 3-dimensional simulations of water density, current velocity, mixed layer depth, and sea surface height. Our analyses have yielded a broad range of understanding of the habitat and dynamics both the fish and the fisherman. The purse seine ground, which targets younger tuna, is constrained to waters where the hypoxic layer is shallow. The longline fishery, which targets older tuna, is not constrained by the hypoxic layer and has a much larger distribution. We have characterized the preferences of each species to environmental variables including the depth of the hypoxic layer, the depth of the water column, as well as sea surface height, temperature, and chlorophyll concentration. Finally, the analyses have revealed information on local depletion by fishing, the size distribution of the schools of younger fish, and the impact of ENSO on fishing activities.

  2. Comparison of neotropical migrant landbird populations wintering in tropical forest, isolated forest fragments, and agricultural habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robbins, C.S.; Dowell, B.A.; Dawson, D.K.; Colon, J.A.; Estrada, R.; Sutton, A.; Sutton, R.; Weyer, D.; Hagan, John M.; Johnston, David W.

    1992-01-01

    Neotropical migrant bird populations were sampled at 76 sites in seven countries by using mist nets and point counts during a six-winter study. Populations in major agricultural habitats were compared with those in extensive forest and isolated forest fragments. Certain Neotropical migrants, such as the Northern Parula, American Redstart, and the Black-throated Blue, Magnolia, Black-and-white, and Hooded warblers, were present in arboreal agricultural habitats such as pine, cacao, citrus, and shade coffee plantations in relatively large numbers. Many north temperate zone shrub-nesting species, such as the Gray Catbird, White-eyed Vireo, Tennessee Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, and Indigo Bunting, also used agricultural habitats in winter, as did resident hummingbirds and migrant orioles. Ground-foraging migrants, such as thrushes and Kentucky Warblers, were rarely found in the agricultural habitats sampled. Although many Neotropical migrants use some croplands, this use might be severely limited by overgrazing by cattle, by intensive management (such as removal of ground cover in an orchard), or by heavy use of insecticides, herbicides, or fungicides.

  3. Heterogeneous Sensitivity of Tropical Precipitation Extremes during Growth and Mature Phases of Atmospheric Warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parhi, P.; Giannini, A.; Lall, U.; Gentine, P.

    2016-12-01

    Assessing and managing risks posed by climate variability and change is challenging in the tropics, from both a socio-economic and a scientific perspective. Most of the vulnerable countries with a limited climate adaptation capability are in the tropics. However, climate projections, particularly of extreme precipitation, are highly uncertain there. The CMIP5 (Coupled Model Inter- comparison Project - Phase 5) inter-model range of extreme precipitation sensitivity to the global temperature under climate change is much larger in the tropics as compared to the extra-tropics. It ranges from nearly 0% to greater than 30% across models (O'Gorman 2012). The uncertainty is also large in historical gauge or satellite based observational records. These large uncertainties in the sensitivity of tropical precipitation extremes highlight the need to better understand how tropical precipitation extremes respond to warming. We hypothesize that one of the factors explaining the large uncertainty is due to differing sensitivities during different phases of warming. We consider the `growth' and `mature' phases of warming under climate variability case- typically associated with an El Niño event. In the remote tropics (away from tropical Pacific Ocean), the response of the precipitation extremes during the two phases can be through different pathways: i) a direct and fast changing radiative forcing in an atmospheric column, acting top-down due to the tropospheric warming, and/or ii) an indirect effect via changes in surface temperatures, acting bottom-up through surface water and energy fluxes. We also speculate that the insights gained here might be useful in interpreting the large sensitivity under climate change scenarios, since the physical mechanisms during the two warming phases under climate variability case, have some correspondence with an increasing and stabilized green house gas emission scenarios.

  4. Connectivity, habitat heterogeneity, and population persistence in Ranunculus nodiflorus, an endangered species in France.

    PubMed

    Noel, Florence; Porcher, Emmanuelle; Moret, Jacques; Machon, Nathalie

    2006-01-01

    Here, we explore the role of habitat spatial structure in the maintenance of metapopulations of Ranunculus nodiflorus. This rare species grows in puddles that can be connected occasionally by flooded corridors. We monitored five locations in the Fontainebleau forest, France, since 2002 and recorded the presence of corridors among puddles and evaluated their impact on puddle demography and plant fitness. We showed that connections increased population size, by increasing both the number of puddles occupied by the species and the density of individuals within puddles, but seemed to have no direct influence on plant fitness. We found no evidence of a large persistent soil seed bank. Natural corridors are likely to decrease the extinction probability of the populations, most probably by allowing recolonization of empty puddles after extinctions. Therefore, the preservation of corridors appears crucial for the conservation of R. nodiflorus in its natural habitat.

  5. Ants of three adjacent habitats of a transition region between the cerrado and caatinga biomes: the effects of heterogeneity and variation in canopy cover.

    PubMed

    Neves, F S; Queiroz-Dantas, K S; da Rocha, W D; Delabie, J H C

    2013-06-01

    Habitat heterogeneity and complexity associated with variations in climatic conditions are important factors determining the structure of ant communities in different terrestrial ecosystems. The objective of this study was to describe the horizontal and vertical distribution patterns of the ant community associated with three adjacent habitats in a transition area between the Cerrado and Caatinga biomes at the Pandeiros River, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. We tested the following hypotheses: (1) the richness and composition of ant species and functional group structure changes between different habitats and strata; (2) habitats with higher tree species richness and density support higher ant species richness; and (3) habitats with lower variation in canopy cover support higher ant species richness. Sampling was conducted in three adjacent habitats and at three vertical strata. Ant species richness was significantly different among vertical strata. Ant species composition was different among both habitats and vertical strata and functional group structure was divergent among habitats. Partitioning of the diversity revealed that the diversity for the three components was statistically different from the one expected by the null model; α and β 2 were higher and β 1 was lower than the values expected by chance. Tree density and variation in canopy cover negatively affected ant species richness. The occurrence of different species and the changing of functional group structures in different habitats and strata suggest an ecological-evolutionary relationship between ants and their habitats and emphasize the need to implement local conservation strategies in the ecotones between biomes.

  6. Habitat, density and group size of primates in a Brazilian tropical forest.

    PubMed

    Pinto, L P; Costa, C M; Strier, K B; da Fonseca, G A

    1993-01-01

    Habitats, population densities and group sizes of 5 primate species (Callithrix flaviceps, Callicebus personatus personatus, Cebus apella nigritus, Alouatta fusca clamitans, and Brachyteles arachnoides) were estimated, using the method of repeated transect sampling, in an area of montane pluvial forest in eastern Brazil (Atlantic forest). A. fusca and C. apella had the highest densities in terms of groups and individuals per square kilometer, respectively, while B. arachnoides was least abundant. The highest primate densities were observed in areas of secondary vegetation. Both group sizes and population densities for the 5 species were generally lower at the Reserva Biologica Augusto Ruschi than those reported in other areas of Atlantic forest. Hunting pressure and the different carrying capacity of the habitat are suggested as possible causes for the low number of sightings registered for these species.

  7. Extent of Night Warming and Spatially Heterogeneous Cloudiness Differentiate Temporal Trend of Greenness in Mountainous Tropics in the New Century

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Mei; Gao, Qiong; Gao, Chunxiao; Wang, Chao

    2017-01-01

    Tropical forests have essential functions in global C dynamics but vulnerable to changes in land cover land use (LCLUC) and climate. The tropics of Caribbean are experiencing warming and drying climate and diverse LCLUC. However, large-scale studies to detect long-term trends of C and mechanisms behind are still rare. Using MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), we investigated greenness trend in the Greater Antilles Caribbean during 2000–2015, and analyzed trend of vegetation patches without LCLUC to give prominence to climate impacts. We hypothesized that night warming and heavy cloudiness would reduce EVI in this mountainous tropical region. Over the 15 years, EVI decreased significantly in Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, but increased in Cuba partly due to its strong reforestation. Haiti had the largest decreasing trend because of continuous deforestation for charcoals. After LCLUC was excluded, EVI trend still varied greatly, decreasing in the windward but increasing in the leeward of Puerto Rico. Nighttime warming reinforced by spatially heterogeneous cloudiness was found to significantly and negatively correlate with EVI trend, and explained the spatial pattern of the latter. Although cooled daytime and increased rainfall might enhance EVI, nighttime warming dominated the climate impacts and differentiated the EVI trend. PMID:28120949

  8. Extent of Night Warming and Spatially Heterogeneous Cloudiness Differentiate Temporal Trend of Greenness in Mountainous Tropics in the New Century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Mei; Gao, Qiong; Gao, Chunxiao; Wang, Chao

    2017-01-01

    Tropical forests have essential functions in global C dynamics but vulnerable to changes in land cover land use (LCLUC) and climate. The tropics of Caribbean are experiencing warming and drying climate and diverse LCLUC. However, large-scale studies to detect long-term trends of C and mechanisms behind are still rare. Using MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), we investigated greenness trend in the Greater Antilles Caribbean during 2000-2015, and analyzed trend of vegetation patches without LCLUC to give prominence to climate impacts. We hypothesized that night warming and heavy cloudiness would reduce EVI in this mountainous tropical region. Over the 15 years, EVI decreased significantly in Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, but increased in Cuba partly due to its strong reforestation. Haiti had the largest decreasing trend because of continuous deforestation for charcoals. After LCLUC was excluded, EVI trend still varied greatly, decreasing in the windward but increasing in the leeward of Puerto Rico. Nighttime warming reinforced by spatially heterogeneous cloudiness was found to significantly and negatively correlate with EVI trend, and explained the spatial pattern of the latter. Although cooled daytime and increased rainfall might enhance EVI, nighttime warming dominated the climate impacts and differentiated the EVI trend.

  9. Extent of Night Warming and Spatially Heterogeneous Cloudiness Differentiate Temporal Trend of Greenness in Mountainous Tropics in the New Century.

    PubMed

    Yu, Mei; Gao, Qiong; Gao, Chunxiao; Wang, Chao

    2017-01-25

    Tropical forests have essential functions in global C dynamics but vulnerable to changes in land cover land use (LCLUC) and climate. The tropics of Caribbean are experiencing warming and drying climate and diverse LCLUC. However, large-scale studies to detect long-term trends of C and mechanisms behind are still rare. Using MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), we investigated greenness trend in the Greater Antilles Caribbean during 2000-2015, and analyzed trend of vegetation patches without LCLUC to give prominence to climate impacts. We hypothesized that night warming and heavy cloudiness would reduce EVI in this mountainous tropical region. Over the 15 years, EVI decreased significantly in Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, but increased in Cuba partly due to its strong reforestation. Haiti had the largest decreasing trend because of continuous deforestation for charcoals. After LCLUC was excluded, EVI trend still varied greatly, decreasing in the windward but increasing in the leeward of Puerto Rico. Nighttime warming reinforced by spatially heterogeneous cloudiness was found to significantly and negatively correlate with EVI trend, and explained the spatial pattern of the latter. Although cooled daytime and increased rainfall might enhance EVI, nighttime warming dominated the climate impacts and differentiated the EVI trend.

  10. Habitat Heterogeneity Affects Plant and Arthropod Species Diversity and Turnover in Traditional Cornfields

    PubMed Central

    Martínez, Eliana; Rös, Matthias; Bonilla, María Argenis; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-01-01

    The expansion of the agricultural frontier by the clearing of remnant forests has led to human-dominated landscape mosaics. Previous studies have evaluated the effect of these landscape mosaics on arthropod diversity at local spatial scales in temperate and tropical regions, but little is known about fragmentation effects in crop systems, such as the complex tropical traditional crop systems that maintain a high diversity of weeds and arthropods in low-Andean regions. To understand the factors that influence patterns of diversity in human-dominated landscapes, we investigate the effect of land use types on plant and arthropod diversity in traditionally managed cornfields, via surveys of plants and arthropods in twelve traditional cornfields in the Colombian Andes. We estimated alpha and beta diversity to analyze changes in diversity related to land uses within a radius of 100 m to 1 km around each cornfield. We observed that forests influenced alpha diversity of plants, but not of arthropods. Agricultural lands had a positive relationship with plants and herbivores, but a negative relationship with predators. Pastures positively influenced the diversity of plants and arthropods. In addition, forest cover seemed to influence changes in plant species composition and species turnover of herbivore communities among cornfields. The dominant plant species varied among fields, resulting in high differentiation of plant communities. Predator communities also exhibited high turnover among cornfields, but differences in composition arose mainly among rare species. The crop system evaluated in this study represents a widespread situation in the tropics, therefore, our results can be of broad significance. Our findings suggest that traditional agriculture may not homogenize biological communities, but instead could maintain the regional pool of species through high beta diversity. PMID:26197473

  11. Habitat Heterogeneity Affects Plant and Arthropod Species Diversity and Turnover in Traditional Cornfields.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Eliana; Rös, Matthias; Bonilla, María Argenis; Dirzo, Rodolfo

    2015-01-01

    The expansion of the agricultural frontier by the clearing of remnant forests has led to human-dominated landscape mosaics. Previous studies have evaluated the effect of these landscape mosaics on arthropod diversity at local spatial scales in temperate and tropical regions, but little is known about fragmentation effects in crop systems, such as the complex tropical traditional crop systems that maintain a high diversity of weeds and arthropods in low-Andean regions. To understand the factors that influence patterns of diversity in human-dominated landscapes, we investigate the effect of land use types on plant and arthropod diversity in traditionally managed cornfields, via surveys of plants and arthropods in twelve traditional cornfields in the Colombian Andes. We estimated alpha and beta diversity to analyze changes in diversity related to land uses within a radius of 100 m to 1 km around each cornfield. We observed that forests influenced alpha diversity of plants, but not of arthropods. Agricultural lands had a positive relationship with plants and herbivores, but a negative relationship with predators. Pastures positively influenced the diversity of plants and arthropods. In addition, forest cover seemed to influence changes in plant species composition and species turnover of herbivore communities among cornfields. The dominant plant species varied among fields, resulting in high differentiation of plant communities. Predator communities also exhibited high turnover among cornfields, but differences in composition arose mainly among rare species. The crop system evaluated in this study represents a widespread situation in the tropics, therefore, our results can be of broad significance. Our findings suggest that traditional agriculture may not homogenize biological communities, but instead could maintain the regional pool of species through high beta diversity.

  12. [Environmental factors associated with habitat preferences by caddisfly larvae in tropical dry forest watersheds (Tolima, Colombia)].

    PubMed

    Vásquez-Ramos, Jesús M; Guevara-Cardona, Giovany; Reinoso-Flórez, Gladys

    2014-04-01

    River ecosystems, mainly those draining tropical dry forests, are among the most endangered tropical ecosystems and a major conservation priority in South America, as elsewhere. In this study, we assessed the influence of environmental factors (e.g., precipitation) and riparian vegetation on Trichoptera larval assemblages colonizing four substrates (rock, gravel, sand, and litter) in the Venadillo and Opia watersheds (Tolima, Colombia). In each river, five 20m reaches nested into two 100m segments (one at -550 and another at -250masl), were surveyed for benthic invertebrates in the above mentioned substrates. In addition, water samples were collected for physicochemical analyses and the QBR index ("qualitat del bosc de ribera" or riparian forest quality) was applied in both rivers. A total of 6,282 larvae were collected, belonging to 11 families and 22 genera, representing 73.30% and 43.13% of the Trichoptera fauna reported to Colombia, respectively. The most abundant families were Hydropsychidae (49.86%) and Philopotamidae (25.44%) and the least abundant Odontoceridae (0.16%) and Hydrobiosidae (0.06%). The genera Smicridea, Chimarra, Protoptila, Neotrichia, and Leptonema, were common during dry and rainy seasons. The main factors related to changes in composition, richness, and abundance of larval Trichoptera were seasonality and riparian vegetation, which can influence organic matter supply, availability and stability of substrates, and colonization and population dynamics. Trichoptera assemblages showed no significant differences among substrates. However sampling points located at high elevation and in non-urbanized areas offered the largest variety of substrates and richness. Our results indicate that Trichoptera larvae are an important biotic element in freshwater ecosystems and that they are sensitive to environmental changes. Hence, our study suggests that caddisflies may be used as potential organisms for the biomonitoring of tropical dry forest rivers

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Habitat quality and heterogeneity influence distribution and behavior in African buffalo (Syncerus caffer).

    PubMed

    Winnie, John A; Cross, Paul; Getz, Wayne

    2008-05-01

    Top-down effects of predators on prey behavior and population dynamics have been extensively studied. However, some populations of very large herbivores appear to be regulated primarily from the bottom up. Given the importance of food resources to these large herbivores, it is reasonable to expect that forage heterogeneity (variation in quality and quantity) affects individual and group behaviors as well as distribution on the landscape. Forage heterogeneity is often strongly driven by underlying soils, so substrate characteristics may indirectly drive herbivore behavior and distribution. Forage heterogeneity may further interact with predation risk to influence prey behavior and distribution. Here we examine differences in spatial distribution, home range size, and grouping behaviors of African buffalo as they relate to geologic substrate (granite and basalt) and variation in food quality and quantity. In this study, we use satellite imagery, forage quantity data, and three years of radio-tracking data to assess how forage quality, quantity, and heterogeneity affect the distribution and individual and herd behavior of African buffalo. We found that buffalo in an overall poorer foraging environment keyed-in on exceptionally high-quality areas, whereas those foraging in a more uniform, higher-quality area used areas of below-average quality. Buffalo foraging in the poorer-quality environment had smaller home range sizes, were in smaller groups, and tended to be farther from water sources than those foraging in the higher-quality environment. These differences may be due to buffalo creating or maintaining nutrient hotspots (small, high-quality foraging areas) in otherwise low-quality foraging areas, and the location of these hotspots may in part be determined by patterns of predation risk.

  16. Tropical anvil characteristics and water vapor of the tropical tropopause layer: Impact of heterogeneous and homogeneous freezing parameterizations

    SciTech Connect

    Fan, Jiwen; Comstock, Jennifer M.; Ovchinnikov, Mikhail; McFarlane, Sally A.; McFarquhar, Greg; Allen, Grant

    2010-06-16

    Abstract Two isolated deep convective clouds (DCCs) that developed in clean-humid and polluted-dry air masses, observed during the TWP-ICE and ACTIVE campaigns, are simulated using a 3-dimensional cloud-resolving model with size-resolved aerosol and cloud microphysics. We examine the impacts of different homogeneous and immersion freezing parameterizations on the anvil characteristics and the water vapor content (WVC) in the Tropical Tropopause Layer (TTL) for the two DCCs that developed in contrasting environments. The modeled cloud properties such as liquid/ice water path and precipitation generally agree with the available radar and satellite retrievals and in situ aircraft measurements. We find that anvil size and anvil microphysical properties such as ice number concentration and ice effective radius (rei) are much more sensitive to the homogeneous freezing parameterization (HomFP) under the polluted-dry condition, while the strength of anvil convection is more sensitive to HomFP under the clean-humid condition. Specifically, the cloud anvil with the Koop et al. (2000) (KOOP) relative humidity dependent scheme has up to 2 and 4 times lower ice number than those with other schemes (temperature dependent) for the clean humid and polluted-dry cases, respectively. Consequently, the rei is increased in both cases, with a larger increase in the polluted-dry case. As a result, extinction coefficient of cloud anvils is reduced by over 25% for the polluted-dry case. Anvil size and evolution are also much affected by HomFPs in the polluted-dry case. Higher immersion-freezing rates leads to a stronger convective cloud, with higher precipitation and ice water path under both humid and dry conditions. As a result, homogeneous freezing rates are enhanced by over 20%. Also, the higher immersion-freezing rate results in stronger convection in cloud anvils, much larger anvil size (up to 3 times) and longer lifetime. The moistening effect of deep convection on the WVC in the

  17. Tropical species at the northern limit of their range: composition and distribution in Bermuda's benthic habitats in relation to depth and light availability.

    PubMed

    Manuel, Sarah A; Coates, Kathryn A; Kenworthy, W Judson; Fourqurean, James W

    2013-08-01

    Surveys were undertaken on the shallow Bermuda marine platform between 2006 and 2008 to provide a baseline of the distribution, condition and environmental characteristics of benthic communities. Bermuda is located in temperate latitudes but coral reefs, tropical seagrasses and calcareous green algae are common in the shallow waters of the platform. The dominant organisms of these communities are all living at or near their northern latitudinal range limits in the Atlantic Ocean. Among the major benthic autotrophs surveyed, seagrasses were most restricted by light availability. We found that the relatively slow-growing and long-lived seagrass Thalassia testudinum is restricted to habitats with much higher light availability than in the tropical locations where this species is commonly found. In contrast, the faster growing tropical seagrasses in Bermuda, Syringodium filiforme, Halodule sp. and Halophila decipiens, had similar ecological compensation depths (ECD) as in tropical locations. Increasing sea surface temperatures, concomitant with global climate change, may either drive or allow the poleward extensions of the ranges of such tropical species. However, due to latitudinal light limitations at least one abundant and common tropical autotroph, T. testudinum, is able to occupy only shallower depths at the more temperate latitudes of Bermuda. We hypothesize that the poleward shift of seagrass species ranges would be accompanied by restrictions to even shallower depths of T. testudinum and by very different seagrass community structures than in tropical locations. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Thermoregulation and microhabitat use in mountain butterflies of the genus Erebia: importance of fine-scale habitat heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Kleckova, Irena; Konvicka, Martin; Klecka, Jan

    2014-04-01

    Mountain butterflies have evolved efficient thermoregulation strategies enabling their survival in marginal conditions with short flight season and unstable weather. Understanding the importance of their behavioural thermoregulation by habitat use can provide novel information for predicting the fate of alpine Lepidoptera and other insects under ongoing climate change. We studied the link between microhabitat use and thermoregulation in adults of seven species of a butterfly genus Erebia co-occurring in the Austrian Alps. We captured individuals in the field and measured their body temperature in relation to microhabitat and air temperature. We asked whether closely related species regulate their body temperature differently, and if so, what is the effect of behaviour, species traits and individual traits on body to air and body to microhabitat temperature differences. Co-occurring species differed in mean body temperature. These differences were driven by active microhabitat selection by individuals and also by species-specific habitat preferences. Species inhabiting grasslands and rocks utilised warmer microclimates to maintain higher body temperature than woodland species. Under low air temperatures, species of rocky habitats heated up more effectively than species of grasslands and woodlands which allowed them to stay active in colder weather. Species morphology and individual traits play rather minor roles in the thermoregulatory differences; although large species and young individuals maintained higher body temperature. We conclude that diverse microhabitat conditions at small spatial scales probably contribute to sympatric occurrence of closely related species with different thermal demands and that preserving heterogeneous conditions in alpine landscapes might mitigate detrimental consequences of predicted climate change. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Ecophysiology of seed germination of wild Dahlia coccinea (Asteraceae) in a spatially heterogeneous fire-prone habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vivar-Evans, Susana; Barradas, Víctor L.; Sánchez-Coronado, María E.; Gamboa de Buen, Alicia; Orozco-Segovia, Alma

    2006-03-01

    Dahlia coccinea grows on fire-prone xerophilous shrubland, on a lava field located in Mexico City. Two kinds of experiments were performed to test the role of fire and environmental heterogeneity on germination. The first experiment tested the effect of environmental conditions (constant and alternating temperatures, cold stratification and light). The second one tested the effects of fire and high temperatures (dry and moist heat) on germination. Seeds of Dahlia were indifferent to light. The seeds showed physiological dormancy, which was lost by after-ripening or by gibberellins. During simulated fires, dry seeds tolerated high temperatures of short duration and also withstood prolonged exposure to 60 °C. Dry heat treatment reduced the mechanical restriction for embryo growth in dormant seeds. Ash and prolonged exposure to moist heat inhibited germination. Exogenous gibberellins reversed the deleterious effects of prolonged exposure to moist heat. The effect of cold stratification was related to the seeds' physiological stage and to light conditions; stratification in the dark reduced germination. Seeds of D. coccinea could tolerate, evade, or be slightly favored by the effects of low intensity fires occurring in their habitat. Seed responses to treatments suggest that the spatially heterogeneous lava field could provide a wide variety of micro-sites where physiological dormancy could be broken and during fires seeds could maintain their viability and subsequently germinate and/or develop a seed bank.

  20. Small but not isolated: a population genetic survey of the tropical tree Cariniana estrellensis (Lecythidaceae) in a highly fragmented habitat

    PubMed Central

    Guidugli, M C; Nazareno, A G; Feres, J M; Contel, E P B; Mestriner, M A; Alzate-Marin, A L

    2016-01-01

    Here, we explore the mating pattern and genetic structure of a tropical tree species, Cariniana estrellensis, in a small population in which progeny arrays (n=399), all adults (n=28) and all seedlings (n=39) were genotyped at nine highly informative microsatellite loci. From progeny arrays we were able to identify the source tree for at least 78% of pollination events. The gene immigration rates, mainly attributable to pollen, were high, varying from 23.5 to 53%. Although gene dispersal over long distance was observed, the effective gene dispersal distances within the small population were relatively short, with mean pollination distances varying from 69.9 to 146.9 m, and seed dispersal distances occurring up to a mean of 119.6 m. Mating system analyses showed that C. estrellensis is an allogamous species (tm=0.999), with both biparental inbreeding (tm−ts=−0.016) and selfing rates (s=0.001) that are not significantly different from zero. Even though the population is small, the presence of private alleles in both seedlings and progeny arrays and the elevated rates of gene immigration indicate that the C. estrellensis population is not genetically isolated. However, genetic diversity expressed by allelic richness was significantly lower in postfragmentation life stages. Although there was a loss of genetic diversity, indicating susceptibility of C. estrellensis to habitat fragmentation, no evidence of inbreeding or spatial genetic structure was observed across generations. Overall, C. estrellensis showed some resilience to negative genetic effects of habitat fragmentation, but conservation strategies are needed to preserve the remaining genetic diversity of this population. PMID:26732014

  1. High genetic diversity in a potentially vulnerable tropical tree species despite extreme habitat loss.

    PubMed

    Noreen, Annika M E; Webb, Edward L

    2013-01-01

    Over the last 150 years, Singapore's primary forest has been reduced to less than 0.2% of its previous area, resulting in extinctions of native flora and fauna. Remaining species may be threatened by genetic erosion and inbreeding. We surveyed >95% of the remaining primary forest in Singapore and used eight highly polymorphic microsatellite loci to assess genetic diversity indices of 179 adults (>30 cm stem diameter), 193 saplings (>1 yr), and 1,822 seedlings (<1 yr) of the canopy tree Koompassia malaccensis (Fabaceae). We tested hypotheses relevant to the genetic consequences of habitat loss: (1) that the K. malaccensis population in Singapore experienced a genetic bottleneck and a reduction in effective population size, and (2) K. malaccensis recruits would exhibit genetic erosion and inbreeding compared to adults. Contrary to expectations, we detected neither a population bottleneck nor a reduction in effective population size, and high genetic diversity in all age classes. Genetic diversity indices among age classes were not significantly different: we detected overall high expected heterozygosity (He = 0.843-0.854), high allelic richness (R = 16.7-19.5), low inbreeding co-efficients (FIS = 0.013-0.076), and a large proportion (30.1%) of rare alleles (i.e. frequency <1%). However, spatial genetic structure (SGS) analyses showed significant differences between the adults and the recruits. We detected significantly greater SGS intensity, as well as higher relatedness in the 0-10 m distance class, for seedlings and saplings compared to the adults. Demographic factors for this population (i.e. <200 adult trees) are a cause for concern, as rare alleles could be lost due to stochastic factors. The high outcrossing rate (tm = 0.961), calculated from seedlings, may be instrumental in maintaining genetic diversity and suggests that pollination by highly mobile bee species in the genus Apis may provide resilience to acute habitat loss.

  2. Using Knowledge of Chemical and Structural Defenses of Seaweeds to Develop a Standardized Measure of Herbivory in Tropical and Subtropical Habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul, V. J.

    2016-02-01

    Herbivory is an important process determining the structure and function of marine ecosystems, and this is especially true on coral reefs and in associated tropical and subtropical habitats where grazing by fishes can be intense. As reef degradation is occurring on a global scale, and overfishing can contribute to this problem, rates of herbivory can be an important indicator of reef function and resilience. Our goal was to develop a standardized herbivory assay that can be deployed globally to measure the impact of herbivorous fishes across multiple habitat types. Many tropical and subtropical seaweeds contain chemical and structural defenses that can protect them from herbivores, and this information was key to selecting a range of marine plants that are differentially palatable to herbivorous fishes for these assays. We present method development and experimental results from extensive deployment of these herbivory assays at Carrie Bow Cay, Belize.

  3. Four New Vining Species of Solanum (Dulcamaroid Clade) from Montane Habitats in Tropical America

    PubMed Central

    Knapp, Sandra

    2010-01-01

    Background Solanum (Solanaceae), with approximately 1500 species, is one of the largest genera of flowering plants, and has a centre of diversity in the New World tropics. The genus is divided into 13 major clades, of which two, the Dulcamaroid clade and the “African Non-Spiny” clade, exhibit vine morphology with twining petioles. I am currently preparing a worldwide monograph of these two groups, comprising some 70 species. Methods I formally describe here four new species of Solanum from montane Mexico and South America all belonging to the Dulcamaroid clade (including the traditionally recognised section Jasminosolanum Bitter). Descriptions, discussions of closely related species and preliminary conservation assessments are provided for all species; all species are illustrated. This paper is also a test case for the electronic publication of new names in flowering plants. Conclusions These new species are all relatively rare, but not currently of conservation concern. Solanum aspersum sp. nov. is distributed in Colombia and Ecuador, S. luculentum sp. nov. in Colombia and Venezuela, S. sanchez-vegae sp. nov. is endemic to northern Peru and S. sousae sp. nov. to southern Mexico. Solanum luculentum has the morphology of a dioecious species; this is the first report of this breeding system in the Dulcamaroid clade. PMID:20463921

  4. Utilization of Sugarcane Habitat by Feral Pig (Sus scrofa) in Northern Tropical Queensland: Evidence from the Stable Isotope Composition of Hair

    PubMed Central

    Wurster, Christopher M.; Robertson, Jack; Westcott, David A.; Dryden, Bart; Zazzo, Antoine; Bird, Michael I.

    2012-01-01

    Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are an invasive species that disrupt ecosystem functioning throughout their introduced range. In tropical environments, feral pigs are associated with predation and displacement of endangered species, modification of habitat, and act as a vector for the spread of exotic vegetation and disease. Across many parts of their introduced range, the diet of feral pigs is poorly known. Although the remote location and difficult terrain of far north Queensland makes observing feral pig behavior difficult, feral pigs are perceived to seek refuge in World Heritage tropical rainforests and seasonally ‘crop raid’ into lowland sugarcane crops. Thus, identifying how feral pigs are using different components of the landscape is important to the design of management strategies. We used the stable isotope composition of captured feral pigs to determine the extent of rainforest and sugarcane habitat usage. Recently grown hair (basal hair) from feral pigs captured in remote rainforest indicated pigs met their dietary needs solely within this habitat. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values of basal hair from feral pigs captured near sugarcane plantations were more variable, with some individuals estimated to consume over 85% of their diet within a sugarcane habitat, while a few consumed as much as 90% of their diet from adjacent forested environments. We estimated whether feral pigs switch habitats by sequentially sampling δ13C and δ15N values of long tail hair from a subset of seven captured animals, and demonstrate that four of these individuals moved between habitats. Our results indicate that feral pigs utilize both sugarcane and forest habitats, and can switch between these resources. PMID:22957029

  5. Causes and consequences of change rates in the habitat of the threatened tropical porcupine, Sphiggurus mexicanus (Rodentia: Erethizontidae) in Oaxaca, Mexico: implications for its conservation.

    PubMed

    Lorenzo, Consuelo; Sántiz, Eugenia C; Navarrete, Darío A; Bolaños, Jorge

    2014-12-01

    Land use changes by human activities have been the main causes of habitats and wildlife population degradation. In the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Oaxaca, the tropical habitat of the porcupine Sphiggurus mexicanus has been subject to vegetation and land use changes, causing its reduction and fragmentation. In this study, we estimated vegetation cover and land use (δn) change rates and assessed habitat availability and potential cor- ridors for possible porcupine movements to avoid its isolation. In the study area, the type of vegetation with the most change rate value was the savanna (δn = -2.9), transformed into induced grasslands. Additionally, we have observed the porcupine (since 2011) in semi-deciduous (δn = -0.87) and tropical dry (δn = -0.89) forests that have been transformed in temporal agriculture and mesquite and induced grasslands. The vegetation inhabited by the porcupine resulted in recording a total of 64 plant species (44 trees, nine vines, seven herbs, four shrubs), of which the vine Bunchosia lanceolata showed the highest importance value (41.85) followed by the trees Guazuma ulmifolia (22.71), Dalbergia glabra (18.05), and Enterolobium cyclocarpum (17.02). The habitat evaluation and potential corridor analysis showed that only 1 501.93ha could be considered as suitable habitats with optimum structural conditions (coverage, surface, and distances to transformed areas) to maintain viable populations of S. mexicanus, and 293.6 ha as corridors. An increasing destruction of the porcupines' habitat has been observed in the study area due to excessive logging, and actions for this species and its habitat conserva- tion and management have to be taken urgently.

  6. High Genetic Diversity in a Potentially Vulnerable Tropical Tree Species Despite Extreme Habitat Loss

    PubMed Central

    Noreen, Annika M. E.; Webb, Edward L.

    2013-01-01

    Over the last 150 years, Singapore’s primary forest has been reduced to less than 0.2% of its previous area, resulting in extinctions of native flora and fauna. Remaining species may be threatened by genetic erosion and inbreeding. We surveyed >95% of the remaining primary forest in Singapore and used eight highly polymorphic microsatellite loci to assess genetic diversity indices of 179 adults (>30 cm stem diameter), 193 saplings (>1 yr), and 1,822 seedlings (<1 yr) of the canopy tree Koompassia malaccensis (Fabaceae). We tested hypotheses relevant to the genetic consequences of habitat loss: (1) that the K. malaccensis population in Singapore experienced a genetic bottleneck and a reduction in effective population size, and (2) K. malaccensis recruits would exhibit genetic erosion and inbreeding compared to adults. Contrary to expectations, we detected neither a population bottleneck nor a reduction in effective population size, and high genetic diversity in all age classes. Genetic diversity indices among age classes were not significantly different: we detected overall high expected heterozygosity (He = 0.843–0.854), high allelic richness (R = 16.7–19.5), low inbreeding co-efficients (FIS = 0.013–0.076), and a large proportion (30.1%) of rare alleles (i.e. frequency <1%). However, spatial genetic structure (SGS) analyses showed significant differences between the adults and the recruits. We detected significantly greater SGS intensity, as well as higher relatedness in the 0–10 m distance class, for seedlings and saplings compared to the adults. Demographic factors for this population (i.e. <200 adult trees) are a cause for concern, as rare alleles could be lost due to stochastic factors. The high outcrossing rate (tm = 0.961), calculated from seedlings, may be instrumental in maintaining genetic diversity and suggests that pollination by highly mobile bee species in the genus Apis may provide resilience to acute habitat loss. PMID

  7. Habitat heterogeneities versus spatial type frequency variances as driving forces of dispersal evolution.

    PubMed

    Novak, Sebastian

    2014-12-01

    Understanding the evolution of dispersal is essential for understanding and predicting the dynamics of natural populations. Two main factors are known to influence dispersal evolution: spatio-temporal variation in the environment and relatedness between individuals. However, the relation between these factors is still poorly understood, and they are usually treated separately. In this article, I present a theoretical framework that contains and connects effects of both environmental variation and relatedness, and reproduces and extends their known features. Spatial habitat variation selects for balanced dispersal strategies, whereby the population is kept at an ideal free distribution. Within this class of dispersal strategies, I explain how increased dispersal is promoted by perturbations to the dispersal type frequencies. An explicit formula shows the magnitude of the selective advantage of increased dispersal in terms of the spatial variability in the frequencies of the different dispersal strategies present. These variances are capable of capturing various sources of stochasticity and hence establish a common scale for their effects on the evolution of dispersal. The results furthermore indicate an alternative approach to identifying effects of relatedness on dispersal evolution.

  8. Resource seeking strategies of zoosporic true fungi in heterogeneous soil habitats at the microscale level

    PubMed Central

    Gleason, Frank H.; Crawford, John W.; Neuhauser, Sigrid; Henderson, Linda E.; Lilje, Osu

    2012-01-01

    Zoosporic true fungi have frequently been identified in samples from soil and freshwater ecosystems using baiting and molecular techniques. In fact some species can be components of the dominant groups of microorganisms in particular soil habitats. Yet these microorganisms have not yet been directly observed growing in soil ecosystems. Significant physical characteristics and features of the three-dimensional structures of soils which impact microorganisms at the microscale level are discussed. A thorough knowledge of soil structures is important for studying the distribution of assemblages of these fungi and understanding their ecological roles along spatial and temporal gradients. A number of specific adaptations and resource seeking strategies possibly give these fungi advantages over other groups of microorganisms in soil ecosystems. These include chemotactic zoospores, mechanisms for adhesion to substrates, rhizoids which can penetrate substrates in small spaces, structures which are resistant to environmental extremes, rapid growth rates and simple nutritional requirements. These adaptations are discussed in the context of the characteristics of soils ecosystems. Recent advances in instrumentation have led to the development of new and more precise methods for studying microorganisms in three-dimensional space. New molecular techniques have made identification of microbes possible in environmental samples. PMID:22308003

  9. Fire spatial heterogeneity, fire seasonality and burned area mapping accuracy in the tropical savannas of Northern Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliveira, Sofia L. J.; Campagnolo, Manuel L.; Pereira, Jose M. C.; Russell-Smith, Jeremy

    2013-04-01

    Accurate burned area mapping from remotely sensed data should be able to identify spatial heterogeneity within a fire perimeter, for an improved representation of fire effects as experienced by plants and animals. In order to derive a very high spatial resolution characterization of fire patterns in the tropical savannas of the Northern Territory, Australia, we walked 38.2km of line transects, sampling the presence/absence of burning evidence at 1m intervals, in 35 different fires that occurred between 2009 and 2011. Transects were sampled in the early and in the late dry season, and in five dominant vegetation classes. We used lacunarity analysis and spatial autocorrelation to assess the dominant scale of burned area patches, which turns out to be approximately 200m. Lacunarity analysis also suggests that burnt areas exhibit a clustered pattern and that fire heterogeneity is more pronounced in the early dry season. This is consistent with our observation that patches in the late dry season tend to be smaller and more randomly distributed. Finally, we used our high resolution data date to simulate remote sensing detection of burnt areas for a range of spatial resolutions. We quantify the omission error for each sensor and conclude that if resolution is lower than the dominant scale, then the error tends to be small. Our results also suggest that sensors with spatial resolution higher than the dominant scale have similar omission errors over a broad range of resolution values. The forthcoming Sentinel-2 satellites, which combine 5-day revisit, and systematic acquisition of all land surfaces at 10-20 m spatial resolution, with a large number of spectral bands, ought to allow for very accurate and timely mapping of fire heterogeneity, for improved assessment of fire impacts on biodiversity and pyrogenic emissions.

  10. Effects of local biotic neighbors and habitat heterogeneity on tree and shrub seedling survival in an old-growth temperate forest.

    PubMed

    Bai, Xuejiao; Queenborough, Simon A; Wang, Xugao; Zhang, Jian; Li, Buhang; Yuan, Zuoqiang; Xing, Dingliang; Lin, Fei; Ye, Ji; Hao, Zhanqing

    2012-11-01

    Seedling dynamics play a crucial role in determining species distributions and coexistence. Exploring causes of variation in seedling dynamics can therefore provide key insights into the factors affecting these phenomena. We examined the relative importance of biotic neighborhood processes and habitat heterogeneity using survival data for 5,827 seedlings in 39 tree and shrub species over 2 years from an old-growth temperate forest in northeastern China. We found significant negative density-dependence effects on survival of tree seedlings, and limited effects of habitat heterogeneity (edaphic and topographic variables) on survival of shrub seedlings. The importance of negative density dependence on young tree seedling survival was replaced by habitat in tree seedlings ≥ 4 years old. As expected, negative density dependence was more apparent in gravity-dispersed species compared to wind-dispersed and animal-dispersed species. Moreover, we found that a community compensatory trend existed for trees. Therefore, although negative density dependence was not as pervasive as in other forest communities, it is an important mechanism for the maintenance of community diversity in this temperate forest. We conclude that both negative density dependence and habitat heterogeneity drive seedling survival, but their relative importance varies with seedling age classes and species traits.

  11. Canopy tree species drive local heterogeneity in soil nitrogen availability in a lowland tropical forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osborne, B. B.; Nasto, M.; Asner, G. P.; Balzotti, C.; Cleveland, C. C.; Taylor, P.; Townsend, A. R.; Porder, S.

    2016-12-01

    The high phylogenetic and functional diversity of tree species in lowland tropical forests make field-based investigations of organismal influences on soil nutrient cycling challenging. Here, we used remotely-detected canopy nitrogen (N) data from the Carnegie Airborne Observatory to identify and characterize ¼ ha plots of a mature forest with either high or low canopy N on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. Specifically we were interested in mechanisms by which foliar N might influence soil N, or the reverse. A non-dimensional scaling analysis suggested that high and low canopy N plots differ in their emergent (≥40 cm DBH) tree communities, though there were few putative N fixers in any of the plots. We found litterfall mass was similar beneath all canopies. However, mean DOC solubility of litter was 0.40% of dry biomass in low canopy N plots compared to 0.26% in high N plots. Additionally, litter leachate C:N was twice as high in litter from the low canopy N plots (61±1.4) compared with litter from the high N plots (30±1.4). We found strong positive correlations between canopy N and concentrations of soil KCl-extractable soil NO3- and net nitrification and net N mineralization rates (N=5; P<0.0001 in all cases). Under high canopy N, mean NO3-N concentrations were roughly an order of magnitude higher than beneath low N canopies (2.7±0.39 and 0.19±0.05, respectively). We hypothesize that differences in litter chemistry lead to differences in leachate quality that promote high soil N under canopies with high foliar N. Our findings suggest that remote sensing of foliar characteristics may offer an effective way to study spatial patterns in soil biogeochemistry in diverse tropical forests.

  12. The influence of habitat heterogeneity and latitude on gamma diversity of the Nearctic Simuliidae, a ubiquitous group of stream-dwelling insects.

    PubMed

    McCreadie, John W; Williams, Rachel H; Stutsman, Sam; Finn, Debra S; Adler, Peter H

    2017-01-20

    Among the most prominent, large-scale patterns of species richness are the increases in richness with decreasing latitude and with increasing habitat heterogeneity. Using the stream-dwelling larval and pupal stages of North American black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae), we address three broad questions about species richness: (i) Does a significant latitude-richness relationship exist? (ii) How does habitat heterogeneity influence gamma diversity? (iii) What is the sign (positive or negative) of the latitude-richness and the heterogeneity-richness relationships? We found no evidence that habitat heterogeneity influences gamma diversity. The estimated peak species richness for black flies in North America was at 50-53°N, which also corresponds with peak generic richness. All plesiomorphic, extant lineages of the Simuliidae in the Western Hemisphere are found in cool mountainous environments of North America, suggesting that peak richness at 50-53°N might be a signature of this phylogenetic pattern and a reflection of underlying historical processes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  13. Spatial scale-dependent habitat heterogeneity influences submarine canyon macrofaunal abundance and diversity off the Main and Northwest Hawaiian Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Leo, Fabio C.; Vetter, Eric W.; Smith, Craig R.; Rowden, Ashley A.; McGranaghan, Matthew

    2014-06-01

    The mapping of biodiversity on continental margins on landscape scales is highly relevant to marine spatial planning and conservation. Submarine canyons are widespread topographic features on continental and island margins that enhance benthic biomass across a range of oceanic provinces and productivity regimes. However, it remains unclear whether canyons enhance faunal biodiversity on landscape scales relevant to marine protected area (MPA) design. Furthermore, it is not known which physical attributes and heterogeneity metrics can provide good surrogates for large-scale mapping of canyon benthic biodiversity. To test mechanistic hypotheses evaluating the role of different canyon-landscape attributes in enhancing benthic biodiversity at different spatial scales we conducted 34 submersible dives in six submarine canyons and nearby slopes in the Hawaiian archipelago, sampling infaunal macrobenthos in a depth-stratified sampling design. We employed multivariate multiple regression models to evaluate sediment and topographic heterogeneity, canyon transverse profiles, and overall water mass variability as potential drivers of macrobenthic community structure and species richness. We find that variables related to habitat heterogeneity at medium (0.13 km2) and large (15-33 km2) spatial scales such as slope, backscatter reflectivity and canyon transverse profiles are often good predictors of macrobenthic biodiversity, explaining 16-30% of the variance. Particulate organic carbon (POC) flux and distance from shore are also important variables, implicating food supply as a major predictor of canyon biodiversity. Canyons off the high Main Hawaiian Islands (Oahu and Moloka'i) are significantly affected by organic enrichment, showing enhanced infaunal macrobenthos abundance, whereas this effect is imperceptible around the low Northwest Hawaiian Islands (Nihoa and Maro Reef). Variable canyon alpha-diversity and high rates of species turnover (beta-diversity), particularly for

  14. Assessing diversity and phytoremediation potential of seagrass in tropical region

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Seagrass ecosystem is one of the most important resources in the coastal areas. Seagrasses support and provide habitats for many coastal organisms in tropical region. Seagrasses are specialized marine flowering plants that have adapted to the nearshore environment with heterogeneous landscape struct...

  15. Epibenthic amphipod abundance and predation efficiency of the pink shrimp Farfantepenaeus duorarum (Burkenroad, 1939) in habitats with different physical complexity in a tropical estuarine system.

    PubMed

    Corona; Soto; Sánchez

    2000-10-05

    Amphipod abundance and biomass were determined in soft-bottom substrates (SBS), monospecific Thalassia testudinum patches and T. testudinum with attached macroalgae (SAV) from Términos Lagoon. Amphipods were absent in SBS, and their density and biomass were higher in SAV (3351 individualsm(-2), 1718 mg AFDWm(-2)) than in T. testudinum (1220 indm(-2), 625 mg AFDWm(-2)). Although macroalgae and seagrasses are recognised as an alternative refuge against predation for amphipods, the high abundance of amphipods in SAV suggests that macroalgae represent a habitat that provides greater food availability. Pink shrimp Farfantepenaeus duorarum (Burkenroad, 1939) consumption rate (Mo) of epibenthic amphipods was experimentally evaluated. Mo intensifies as prey density increases and varied from 0.39 to 2.39 mg AFDWh(-1). Predation efficiency of F. duorarum on epibenthic amphipods was also evaluated in four artificial habitats with different physical complexity: soft-bottom substrates (SBS), small woody debris (SWD), seagrasses with densities of 300 and 1200 shootsm(-2) (S300 and S1200, respectively), macroalgae (MA), and at two prey densities (962 and 2406 indm(-2)). Amphipod consumption rate by F. duorarum varied from 1.20 to 2.07 indh(-1) in S1200 and MA, respectively. Habitat complexity had a significant effect on consumption rate, but prey density did not. Habitat physical complexity and predation efficiency maintained an inverse and a non-linear relationship. Presumably, the decrease in predation efficiency in association with the habitat complexity is due to the differential refuge value of these habitats. However, predation efficiency may also be influenced by either the microhabitat use by amphipods, the shrimp's dependence on seagrasses, or by differences in habitat value caused by the diel behavioural distribution pattern of amphipods and shrimp. Both field and experimental results highlight the importance of evaluating the relative value of tropical estuarine

  16. Species composition and biomasses of fishes in different habitats of a tropical Northern Australian estuary: Their occurrence in the adjoining sea and estuarine dependence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blaber, S. J. M.; Brewer, D. T.; Salini, J. P.

    1989-12-01

    The fish communities of the five habitats comprising the Embley estuary in tropical north-east Australia were studied for two and a half years. The fish faunas of each habitat were significantly different in both biomass and species composition. Mean biomasses were estimated as 7·1 g m -2 to 16·1 g m -2 for open water channels, 5·0 g m -2 for sandy mud beaches, 0·5 to 1·8 g m -2 for seagrass areas, 8·2 g m -2 for small mangrove creeks and inlets, and 70·6 g m -2 for intertidal mudflats adjacent to mangroves. The species composition and biomass of the fish population in the estuary were compared with those of offshore waters in adjoining Albatross Bay. Of the 197 species recorded in the estuary, 91 were also recorded in the bay. They fell into six species categories: (1) juveniles found only in the estuary, (2) juveniles found only offshore, (3) juveniles that live both in the estuary and offshore, (4) adults found only in the estuary, (5) adults that live only offshore, and (6) adults that occur in both areas. Of the 106 species caught only inside the estuary, 59 also occur in shallow marine areas, which could not be sampled by trawling. This estuarine/shallow marine component formed at least one-third of the biomass in all estuarine habitats. The juveniles of 17 species of this group were found only in the estuary. Thirty species from the Embley (17 of which were Gobiidae) were considered truly estuarine. The number of species recorded, the biomasses in the various habitats and the differences between the fish faunas of the habitats are compared with published data from other tropical estuaries. The relatively high number of species from the Embley and the variations in biomasses and communities emphasize the importance of adequate sampling of all estuarine habitats. The results are also discussed in relation to the concepts of 'estuarine dependence' and 'estuarine opportunism'. We concluded that 'estuarine dependence' is a valid concept and that at least

  17. Differential performance of tropical soda apple and its biological control agent Gratiana boliviana (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in open and shaded habitats

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The leaf feeding beetle Gratiana boliviana Spaeth has been released since 2003 in the southeastern United States for biological control of tropical soda apple, Solanum viarum Dunal. In Florida, G. boliviana can be found on tropical soda apple growing in open pastures as well as in shady wooded areas...

  18. The relative importance of vertical soil nutrient heterogeneity, and mean and depth-specific soil nutrient availabilities for tree species richness in tropical forests and woodlands.

    PubMed

    Shirima, Deo D; Totland, Ørjan; Moe, Stein R

    2016-11-01

    The relative importance of resource heterogeneity and quantity on plant diversity is an ongoing debate among ecologists, but we have limited knowledge on relationships between tree diversity and heterogeneity in soil nutrient availability in tropical forests. We expected tree species richness to be: (1) positively related to vertical soil nutrient heterogeneity; (2) negatively related to mean soil nutrient availability; and (3) more influenced by nutrient availability in the upper than lower soil horizons. Using a data set from 60, 20 × 40-m plots in a moist forest, and 126 plots in miombo woodlands in Tanzania, we regressed tree species richness against vertical soil nutrient heterogeneity, both depth-specific (0-15, 15-30, and 30-60 cm) and mean soil nutrient availability, and soil physical properties, with elevation and measures of anthropogenic disturbance as co-variables. Overall, vertical soil nutrient heterogeneity was the best predictor of tree species richness in miombo but, contrary to our prediction, the relationships between tree species richness and soil nutrient heterogeneity were negative. In the moist forest, mean soil nutrient availability explained considerable variations in tree species richness, and in line with our expectations, these relationships were mainly negative. Soil nutrient availability in the top soil layer explained more of the variation in tree species richness than that in the middle and lower layers in both vegetation types. Our study shows that vertical soil nutrient heterogeneity and mean availability can influence tree species richness at different magnitudes in intensively utilized tropical vegetation types.

  19. Long-term effects of habitat fragmentation on mating patterns and gene flow of a tropical dry forest tree, Ceiba aesculifolia (Malvaceae: Bombacoideae).

    PubMed

    Quesada, Mauricio; Herrerías-Diego, Yvonne; Lobo, Jorge A; Sánchez-Montoya, Gumersindo; Rosas, Fernando; Aguilar, Ramiro

    2013-06-01

    Tropical forest loss and fragmentation isolate and reduce the size of remnant populations with negative consequences for mating patterns and genetic structure of plant species. In a 4-yr study, we determined the effect of fragmentation on mating patterns and pollen pool genetic structure of the tropical tree Ceiba aesculifolia in two habitat conditions: isolated trees in disturbed areas (≤3 trees/ha), and trees (≥6 trees/ha) in undisturbed mature forest. • Using six allozyme loci, we estimated the outcrossing rate (tm), the mean relatedness of progeny (rp) within and between fruits, the degree of genetic structure of pollen pools (Φft), and the effective number of pollen donors (Nep). • The outcrossing rates reflected a strict self-incompatible species. Relatedness of progeny within fruits was similar for all populations, revealing single sires within fruits. However, relatedness of progeny between fruits within trees was consistently greater for trees in fragmented conditions across 4 yr. We found high levels of genetic structure of pollen pools in all populations with more structure in isolated trees. The effective number of pollen donors was greater for trees in undisturbed forest than in disturbed conditions. • Our study showed that the progeny produced by isolated trees in disturbed habitats are sired by a fraction of the diversity of pollen donors found in conserved forests. The foraging behavior of bats limits the exchange of pollen between trees, causing higher levels of progeny relatedness in isolated trees.

  20. Long-term monitoring of tropical alpine habitat change, Andean anurans, and chytrid fungus in the Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru: Results from a decade of study.

    PubMed

    Seimon, Tracie A; Seimon, Anton; Yager, Karina; Reider, Kelsey; Delgado, Amanda; Sowell, Preston; Tupayachi, Alfredo; Konecky, Bronwen; McAloose, Denise; Halloy, Stephan

    2017-03-01

    The Cordillera Vilcanota in southern Peru is the second largest glacierized range in the tropics and home to one of the largest high-alpine lakes, Sibinacocha (4,860 m). Here, Telmatobius marmoratus (marbled water frog), Rhinella spinulosa (Andean toad), and Pleurodema marmoratum (marbled four-eyed frog) have expanded their range vertically within the past century to inhabit newly formed ponds created by ongoing deglaciation. These anuran populations, geographically among the highest (5,200-5,400 m) recorded globally, are being impacted by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and the disease it causes, chytridiomycosis. In this study, we report results from over a decade of monitoring these three anuran species, their habitat, and Bd infection status. Our observations reveal dynamic changes in habitat including ongoing rapid deglaciation (18.4 m/year widening of a corridor between retreating glaciers from 2005 to 2015), new pond formation, changes in vegetation in amphibian habitat, and widespread occurrence of Bd in amphibians in seven sites. Three of these sites have tested positive for Bd over a 9- to 12-year period. In addition, we observed a widespread reduction in T. marmoratus encounters in the Vilcanota in 2008, 2009, and 2012, while encounters increased in 2013 and 2015. Despite the rapid and dynamic changes in habitat under a warming climate, continued presence of Bd in the environment for over a decade, and a reduction in one of three anuran species, we document that these anurans continue to breed and survive in this high Andean environment. High variability in anuran encounters across sites and plasticity in these populations across habitats, sites, and years are all factors that could favor repopulation postdecline. Preserving the connectivity of wetlands in the Cordillera Vilcanota is therefore essential in ensuring that anurans continue to breed and adapt as climate change continues to reshape the environment.

  1. A preliminary study of habitat and resource partitioning among co-occurring tropical dolphins around Mayotte, southwest Indian Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, Alexandra; Kiszka, Jeremy; Van Canneyt, Olivier; Richard, Pierre; Ridoux, Vincent

    2009-09-01

    Mayotte in the southwest Indian Ocean is characterized by high dolphin diversity. They may coexist within a fairly small area around the island because they exploit neither the same preferential habitats nor the same resources. This preliminary study aimed to investigate ecological niche segregation among these delphinid communities: the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops aduncus, the pantropical spotted dolphin, Stenella attenuata, the spinner dolphin, Stenella longirostris, and the melon-headed whale, Peponocephala electra. Two approaches were used. Habitat preferences were investigated by analysing dolphin sighting data and associated physiographical characteristics. Resource partitioning was explored by analysing C and N stable isotopes in skin and blubber biopsies. Only T. aduncus, which showed clear association with coastal habitats in the lagoon, differed from the others in terms of habitat preferences, characterised by shallow depth and slope, and proximity to the coast. All other species shared similar oceanic habitats immediately outside the lagoon, these being of higher depth and slope, greater distance from the coast and were not discernable by discriminant analysis. The two Stenella species and the melon-headed whale displayed very high overlap in habitat physiographic variables. The analysis of stable isotopes confirmed the ecological isolation of T. aduncus and revealed a clear segregation of P. electra compared to the two Stenella that was not apparent in the habitat analysis. This may reflect ecological differences that were not observable from diurnal surface observations.

  2. Linking movement and reproductive history of brook trout to assess habitat connectivity in a heterogeneous stream network

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kanno, Yoichiro; Letcher, Benjamin H.; Coombs, Jason A.; Nislow, Keith H.; Whiteley, Andrew R.

    2013-01-01

    This study highlighted the importance of characterising animal movement over the life cycle for inferring habitat connectivity accurately. Such movements of individuals can contribute to substantial gene movements in a fecund species characterised by high variation in reproductive success.

  3. Habitat fragmentation has some impacts on aspects of ecosystem functioning in a sub-tropical seagrass bed.

    PubMed

    Sweatman, Jennifer L; Layman, Craig A; Fourqurean, James W

    2017-05-01

    Habitat fragmentation impacts ecosystem functioning in many ways, including reducing the availability of suitable habitat for animals and altering resource dynamics. Fragmentation in seagrass ecosystems caused by propeller scarring is a major source of habitat loss, but little is known about how scars impact ecosystem functioning. Propeller scars were simulated in seagrass beds of Abaco, Bahamas, to explore potential impacts. To determine if plant-herbivore interactions were altered by fragmentation, amphipod grazers were excluded from half the experimental plots, and epiphyte biomass and community composition were compared between grazer control and exclusion plots. We found a shift from light limitation to phosphorus limitation at seagrass patch edges. Fragmentation did not impact top-down control on epiphyte biomass or community composition, despite reduced amphipod density in fragmented habitats. Seagrass and amphipod responses to propeller scarring suggest that severely scarred seagrass beds could be subject to changes in internal nutrient stores and amphipod distribution. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Predicting Cetacean Habitats from Their Energetic Needs and the Distribution of Their Prey in Two Contrasted Tropical Regions

    PubMed Central

    Lambert, Charlotte; Mannocci, Laura; Lehodey, Patrick; Ridoux, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    To date, most habitat models of cetaceans have relied on static and oceanographic covariates, and very few have related cetaceans directly to the distribution of their prey, as a result of the limited availability of prey data. By simulating the distribution of six functional micronekton groups between the surface and ≃1,000 m deep, the SEAPODYM model provides valuable insights into prey distributions. We used SEAPODYM outputs to investigate the habitat of three cetacean guilds with increasing energy requirements: sperm and beaked whales, Globicephalinae and Delphininae. We expected High Energy Requirements cetaceans to preferentially forage in habitats of high prey biomass and/or production, where they might easily meet their high energetic needs, and Low Energy Requirements cetaceans to forage in habitats of either high or low prey biomass and/or production. Cetacean sightings were collected from dedicated aerial surveys in the South West Indian Ocean (SWIO) and French Polynesia (FP). We examined cetacean densities in relation to simulated distributions of their potential prey using Generalised Additive Models and predicted their habitats in both regions. Results supported their known diving abilities, with Delphininae mostly related to prey present in the upper layers of the water column, and Globicephalinae and sperm and beaked whales also related to prey present in deeper layers. Explained deviances ranged from 9% for sperm and beaked whales in the SWIO to 47% for Globicephalinae in FP. Delphininae and Globicephalinae appeared to select areas where high prey biomass and/or production were available at shallow depths. In contrast, sperm and beaked whales showed less clear habitat selection. Using simulated prey distributions as predictors in cetacean habitat models is crucial to understand their strategies of habitat selection in the three dimensions of the ocean. PMID:25162643

  5. Predicting cetacean habitats from their energetic needs and the distribution of their prey in two contrasted tropical regions.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Charlotte; Mannocci, Laura; Lehodey, Patrick; Ridoux, Vincent

    2014-01-01

    To date, most habitat models of cetaceans have relied on static and oceanographic covariates, and very few have related cetaceans directly to the distribution of their prey, as a result of the limited availability of prey data. By simulating the distribution of six functional micronekton groups between the surface and ≃1,000 m deep, the SEAPODYM model provides valuable insights into prey distributions. We used SEAPODYM outputs to investigate the habitat of three cetacean guilds with increasing energy requirements: sperm and beaked whales, Globicephalinae and Delphininae. We expected High Energy Requirements cetaceans to preferentially forage in habitats of high prey biomass and/or production, where they might easily meet their high energetic needs, and Low Energy Requirements cetaceans to forage in habitats of either high or low prey biomass and/or production. Cetacean sightings were collected from dedicated aerial surveys in the South West Indian Ocean (SWIO) and French Polynesia (FP). We examined cetacean densities in relation to simulated distributions of their potential prey using Generalised Additive Models and predicted their habitats in both regions. Results supported their known diving abilities, with Delphininae mostly related to prey present in the upper layers of the water column, and Globicephalinae and sperm and beaked whales also related to prey present in deeper layers. Explained deviances ranged from 9% for sperm and beaked whales in the SWIO to 47% for Globicephalinae in FP. Delphininae and Globicephalinae appeared to select areas where high prey biomass and/or production were available at shallow depths. In contrast, sperm and beaked whales showed less clear habitat selection. Using simulated prey distributions as predictors in cetacean habitat models is crucial to understand their strategies of habitat selection in the three dimensions of the ocean.

  6. Herbivory among habitats on the Neotropical tree Cnidoscolus quercifolius Pohl. in a seasonally deciduous forest.

    PubMed

    Coelho, M S; Belmiro, M S; Santos, J C; Fernandes, G W

    2012-08-01

    Our goal was to identify herbivory patterns from two insect guilds associated with Cnidoscolus quercifolius in a tropical deciduous forest in northeastern Brazil. We sampled four different habitats: (1) forest edge, (2) mesic (near to the perennial water source), (3) forest interior and (4) rupestrian fields. Habitat edge had lower leaf damage than rupestrian, mesic and forest interior habitats. Nevertheless, abundance of galls at the edge habitat was higher than at mesic, forest interior and/or rupestrian habitats. There was no difference in gall mortality by natural enemies among the four habitats sampled, demonstrating the absence of any influence of top-down controls related to abundance of galls. Trophic relationships were not related to the patterns of distribution among habitats of two insect herbivorous guilds associated with C. quercifolius. Our results demonstrated that environmental heterogeneity of dry forests can significantly alter important ecological interactions and experimental studies are needed to better understand the mechanisms responsible for differences in herbivory among habitats.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

    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. 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. 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). 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 these characteristics.

  9. Seasonal and spatial ontogenetic movements of Gerreidae in a Brazilian tropical estuarine ecocline and its application for nursery habitat conservation.

    PubMed

    Ramos, J A A; Barletta, M; Dantas, D V; Costa, M F

    2016-07-01

    The density and biomass of different ontogenetic phases (juvenile, sub-adult and adult) of the two most important sympatric Gerreidae species in the Goiana Estuary, north-east Brazil, are described in order to determine the patterns of estuarine habitat use and to identify nursery grounds. Eugerres brasilianus and Eucinostomus melanopterus were the most abundant gerreids in the main channel and adjacent estuarine beach habitats. Eugerres brasilianus is abundant in the main channel, whereas E. melanopterus is most common in the beach habitats. Significant interaction in density and biomass of juvenile and sub-adult size classes of E. brasilianus was found between season and area. In addition, E. brasilianus adults and E. melanopterus sub-adults differed significantly in density and biomass between areas of the estuary. Both the upper estuary, during the late dry season, and the middle estuary, during the early rainy season, functioned as nursery habitats for E. brasilianus. During the early rainy season and dry season, the beaches were a nursery for the E. melanopterus. The concentration of these ontogenetic phases was mainly related to the dissolved oxygen and salinity gradients of the estuary, which drive not only gerreid movement between estuarine habitats but also moves the habitats. This study reinforces the importance of conserving the habitats of the Goiana Estuary so that species such as gerreids can complete their life cycle in the face of pressure from anthropogenic activities, such as mangrove forest deforestation, overfishing, fish contamination by plastic ingestion and domestic effluent disposal. © 2016 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  10. Stand-level forest structure and avian habitat: Scale dependencies in predicting occurrence in a heterogeneous forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, K.M.; Keeton, W.S.; Donovan, T.M.; Mitchell, B.

    2008-01-01

    We explored the role of stand-level forest structure and spatial extent of forest sampling in models of avian occurrence in northern hardwood-conifer forests for two species: black-throated blue warbler (Dendroica caerulescens) and ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus). We estimated site occupancy from point counts at 20 sites and characterized the forest structure at these sites at three spatial extents (0.2, 3.0, and 12.0 ha). Weight of evidence was greatest for habitat models using forest stand structure at the 12.0-ha extent and diminished only slightly at the 3.0-ha extent, a scale that was slightly larger than the average territory size of both species. Habitat models characterized at the 0.2-ha extent had low support, yet are the closest in design to those used in many of the habitat studies we reviewed. These results suggest that the role of stand-level vegetation may have been underestimated in the past, which will be of interest to land managers who use habitat models to assess the suitability of habitat for species of concern. Copyright ?? 2008 by the Society of American Foresters.

  11. Discrimination efficacy of fecal pollution detection in different aquatic habitats of a high-altitude tropical country, using presumptive coliforms, Escherichia coli, and Clostridium perfringens spores.

    PubMed

    Byamukama, Denis; Mach, Robert L; Kansiime, Frank; Manafi, Mohamad; Farnleitner, Andreas H

    2005-01-01

    The performance of rapid and practicable techniques that presumptively identify total coliforms (TC), fecal coliforms (FC), Escherichia coli, and Clostridium perfringens spores (CP) by testing them on a pollution gradient in differing aquatic habitats in a high-altitude tropical country was evaluated during a 12-month period. Site selection was based on high and low anthropogenic influence criteria of paired sites including six spring, six stream, and four lakeshore sites spread over central and eastern parts of Uganda. Unlike the chemophysical water quality, which was water source type dependent (i.e., spring, lake, or stream), fecal indicators were associated with the anthropogenic influence status of the respective sites. A total of 79% of the total variability, including all the determined four bacteriological and five chemophysical parameters, could be assigned to either a pollution, a habitat, or a metabolic activity component by principal-component analysis. Bacteriological indicators revealed significant correlations to the pollution component, reflecting that anthropogenic contamination gradients were followed. Discrimination sensitivity analysis revealed high ability of E. coli to differentiate between high and low levels of anthropogenic influence. CP also showed a reasonable level of discrimination, although FC and TC were found to have worse discrimination efficacy. Nonpoint influence by soil erosion could not be detected during the study period by correlation analysis, although a theoretical contamination potential existed, as investigated soils in the immediate surroundings often contained relevant concentrations of fecal indicators. The outcome of this study indicates that rapid techniques for presumptive E. coli and CP determination may be reliable for fecal pollution monitoring in high-altitude tropical developing countries such as those of Eastern Africa.

  12. Discrimination Efficacy of Fecal Pollution Detection in Different Aquatic Habitats of a High-Altitude Tropical Country, Using Presumptive Coliforms, Escherichia coli, and Clostridium perfringens Spores

    PubMed Central

    Byamukama, Denis; Mach, Robert L.; Kansiime, Frank; Manafi, Mohamad; Farnleitner, Andreas H.

    2005-01-01

    The performance of rapid and practicable techniques that presumptively identify total coliforms (TC), fecal coliforms (FC), Escherichia coli, and Clostridium perfringens spores (CP) by testing them on a pollution gradient in differing aquatic habitats in a high-altitude tropical country was evaluated during a 12-month period. Site selection was based on high and low anthropogenic influence criteria of paired sites including six spring, six stream, and four lakeshore sites spread over central and eastern parts of Uganda. Unlike the chemophysical water quality, which was water source type dependent (i.e., spring, lake, or stream), fecal indicators were associated with the anthropogenic influence status of the respective sites. A total of 79% of the total variability, including all the determined four bacteriological and five chemophysical parameters, could be assigned to either a pollution, a habitat, or a metabolic activity component by principal-component analysis. Bacteriological indicators revealed significant correlations to the pollution component, reflecting that anthropogenic contamination gradients were followed. Discrimination sensitivity analysis revealed high ability of E. coli to differentiate between high and low levels of anthropogenic influence. CP also showed a reasonable level of discrimination, although FC and TC were found to have worse discrimination efficacy. Nonpoint influence by soil erosion could not be detected during the study period by correlation analysis, although a theoretical contamination potential existed, as investigated soils in the immediate surroundings often contained relevant concentrations of fecal indicators. The outcome of this study indicates that rapid techniques for presumptive E. coli and CP determination may be reliable for fecal pollution monitoring in high-altitude tropical developing countries such as those of Eastern Africa. PMID:15640171

  13. Sorbitol-fermenting Bifidobacteria are indicators of very recent human faecal pollution in streams and groundwater habitats in urban tropical lowlands

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Sorbitol-fermenting Bifidobacteria (SFB) proved to be an excellent indicator of very recent human faecal pollution (hours to days) in the investigated tropical stream and groundwater habitats. SFB were recovered from human faeces and sources potentially contaminated with human excreta. SFB were undetectable in animal faeces and environmental samples not contaminated with human faeces. Microcosm studies demonstrated a rapid die-off rate in groundwater (T90 value 0.6 days) and stream water (T90 value 0.9–1.7 days). Discrimination sensitivity analysis, including E. coli, faecal coliforms, total coliforms and Clostridium perfringens spores, revealed high ability of SFB to distinguish differing levels of faecal pollution especially for streams although high background levels of interfering bacteria can complicate its recovery on the used medium. Due to its faster die-off, as compared to many waterborne pathogens, SFB cannot replace microbiological standard parameters for routine water quality monitoring but it is highly recommendable as a specific and complementary tool when human faecal pollution has to be localized or verified. Because of its exclusive faecal origin and human specificity it seems also worthwhile to include SFB in future risk evaluation studies at tropical water resources in order to evaluate under which situations risks of infection may be indicated. PMID:20375476

  14. Bulk and Compound Specific Isotope Analysis Provide Insights into Habitat Use and Diet Variability Among Female Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus) from the Eastern Tropical Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zupcic-Moore, J. R.; Ruiz-Cooley, R. I.; McCarthy, M. D.; Koch, P. L.

    2016-02-01

    Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) have a strong social structure and females form sympatric clans that span thousands of kilometers and encompass thousands of whales. We investigated variability in foraging habitat and diet through the life history of ten female sperm whales from the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP), using coupled bulk and compound specific amino acid stable isotope measurements made on annual tooth growth layers. We identified three broad temporal patterns in annual records of bulk nitrogen (δ15N) and carbon (δ13C) isotope values in sub-groups of individuals: 1) constant, 2) increasing, and 3) decreasing isotopic values between ca.1930 and 1960. These different isotopic patterns suggest that whales sampled may belong to different clans. In addition, average bulk δ15N and δ13C values differed among individuals and appear to be group-specific. This suggests that whales from different sub-groups foraged in different habitats and/or had differing diets. To differentiate between these interpretations, we conducted compound specific amino acid isotope analysis on dentin samples from six whales. Amino acid proxies for baseline δ15N values indicate that bulk variability among whales is due to δ15N differences at the base of the food web, indicating different feeding areas. The δ13C values of essential amino acids, which are positively correlated to bulk δ13C values, support this conclusion. Together, the compound specific and bulk annual records suggest that whales with higher isotopic values likely foraged in regions closer to the coast throughout their lives, while whales with lower isotopic values likely foraged further offshore. Overall, our data suggest clear spatial segregation of clans within a similar ocean region. Since molecular analysis cannot yet distinguish genetic variability among whale clans, we suggest that stable isotope analysis can help to identify clans and their foraging ecology, based on habitat use.

  15. Hantavirus seropositivity in rodents in relation to habitat heterogeneity in human-shaped landscapes of Southeast Asia.

    PubMed

    Blasdell, Kim; Morand, Serge; Henttonen, Heikki; Tran, Annelise; Buchy, Philippe

    2016-05-01

    To establish how the conversion of natural habitats for agricultural purposes may impact the distribution of hantaviruses in Southeast Asia, we tested how habitat structure affects hantavirus infection prevalence of common murine rodents that inhabit human-dominated landscapes in this region. For this, we used geo-referenced data of rodents analysed for hantavirus infection and land cover maps produced for the seven study sites in Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR where they were collected. Rodents were tested by serological methods that detect several hantaviruses, including pathogenic ones. Rodents with a seropositive status were more likely to be found near to agriculture on steep land, and also in environments with a high proportion of agriculture on steep land. These results suggest that in Southeast Asia, hantaviruses, which are often associated with generalist rodent species with a preference for agricultural land, may benefit from land conversion to agriculture.

  16. Habitat selection by green turtles in a spatially heterogeneous benthic landscape in Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

    We examined habitat selection by green turtles Chelonia mydas at Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USA. We tracked 15 turtles (6 females and 9 males) using platform transmitter terminals (PTTs); 13 of these turtles were equipped with additional acoustic transmitters. Location data by PTTs comprised periods of 40 to 226 d in varying months from 2009 to 2012. Core areas were concentrated in shallow water (mean bathymetry depth of 7.7 m) with a comparably dense coverage of seagrass; however, the utilization distribution overlap index indicated a low degree of habitat sharing. The probability of detecting a turtle on an acoustic receiver was inversely associated with the distance from the receiver to turtle capture sites and was lower in shallower water. The estimated daily detection probability of a single turtle at a given acoustic station throughout the acoustic array was small (<0.1 in any year), and that of multiple turtle detections was even smaller. However, the conditional probability of multiple turtle detections, given at least one turtle detection at a receiver, was much higher despite the small number of tagged turtles in each year (n = 1 to 5). Also, multiple detections of different turtles at a receiver frequently occurred within a few minutes (40%, or 164 of 415, occurred within 1 min). Our numerical estimates of core area overlap, co-occupancy probabilities, and habitat characterization for green turtles could be used to guide conservation of the area to sustain the population of this species.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wightman, C.; Fuller, Mark R.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  19. Response of a tropical tree to non-timber forest products harvest and reduction in habitat size

    PubMed Central

    Kouagou, M’Mouyohoun; Natta, Armand K.; Gado, Choukouratou

    2017-01-01

    Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) are widely harvested by local people for their livelihood. Harvest often takes place in human disturbed ecosystems. However, our understanding of NTFPs harvesting impacts in fragmented habitats is limited. We assessed the impacts of fruit harvest, and reduction in habitat size on the population structures of Pentadesma butyracea Sabine (Clusiaceae) across two contrasting ecological regions (dry vs. moist) in Benin. In each region, we selected three populations for each of the three fruit harvesting intensities (low, medium and high). Harvesting intensities were estimated as the proportion of fruits harvested per population. Pentadesma butyracea is found in gallery forests along rivers and streams. We used the width of gallery forests as a measure of habitat size. We found negative effects of fruit harvest on seedling and adult density but no significant effect on population size class distribution in both ecological regions. The lack of significant effect of fruit harvest on population structure may be explained by the ability of P. butyracea to compensate for the negative effect of fruit harvesting by increasing clonal reproduction. Our results suggest that using tree density and population structure to assess the ecological impacts of harvesting clonal plants should be done with caution. PMID:28850624

  20. Hemosporidian blood parasites in seabirds—a comparative genetic study of species from Antarctic to tropical habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quillfeldt, Petra; Martínez, Javier; Hennicke, Janos; Ludynia, Katrin; Gladbach, Anja; Masello, Juan F.; Riou, Samuel; Merino, Santiago

    2010-09-01

    Whereas some bird species are heavily affected by blood parasites in the wild, others reportedly are not. Seabirds, in particular, are often free from blood parasites, even in the presence of potential vectors. By means of polymerase chain reaction, we amplified a DNA fragment from the cytochrome b gene to detect parasites of the genera Plasmodium, Leucocytozoon, and Haemoproteus in 14 seabird species, ranging from Antarctica to the tropical Indian Ocean. We did not detect parasites in 11 of these species, including one Antarctic, four subantarctic, two temperate, and four tropical species. On the other hand, two subantarctic species, thin-billed prions Pachyptila belcheri and dolphin gulls Larus scoresbii, were found infected. One of 28 thin-billed prions had a Plasmodium infection whose DNA sequence was identical to lineage P22 of Plasmodium relictum, and one of 20 dolphin gulls was infected with a Haemoproteus lineage which appears phylogenetically clustered with parasites species isolated from passeriform birds such as Haemoproteus lanii, Haemoproteus magnus, Haemoproteus fringillae, Haemoproteus sylvae, Haemoproteus payevskyi, and Haemoproteus belopolskyi. In addition, we found a high parasite prevalence in a single tropical species, the Christmas Island frigatebird Fregata andrewsi, where 56% of sampled adults were infected with Haemoproteus. The latter formed a monophyletic group that includes a Haemoproteus line from Eastern Asian black-tailed gulls Larus crassirostris. Our results are in agreement with those showing that (a) seabirds are poor in hemosporidians and (b) latitude could be a determining factor to predict the presence of hemosporidians in birds. However, further studies should explore the relative importance of extrinsic and intrinsic factors on parasite prevalence, in particular using phylogenetically controlled comparative analyses, systematic sampling and screening of vectors, and within-species comparisons.

  1. Effects of Habitat Structure and Fragmentation on Diversity and Abundance of Primates in Tropical Deciduous Forests in Bolivia

    PubMed Central

    Büntge, Anna B. S.; Herzog, Sebastian K.; Kessler, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Habitat structure and anthropogenic disturbance are known to affect primate diversity and abundance. However, researchers have focused on lowland rain forests, whereas endangered deciduous forests have been neglected. We aimed to investigate the relationships between primate diversity and abundance and habitat parameters in 10 deciduous forest fragments southeast of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. We obtained primate data via line-transect surveys and visual and acoustic observations. In addition, we assessed the vegetation structure (canopy height, understory density), size, isolation time, and surrounding forest area of the fragments. We interpreted our results in the context of the historical distribution data for primates in the area before fragmentation and interviews with local people. We detected 5 of the 8 historically observed primate species: Alouatta caraya, Aotus azarae boliviensis, Callithrix melanura, Callicebus donacophilus, and Cebus libidinosus juruanus. Total species number and detection rates decreased with understory density. Detection rates also negatively correlated with forest areas in the surroundings of a fragment, which may be due to variables not assessed, i.e., fragment shape, distance to nearest town. Observations for Alouatta and Aotus were too few to conduct further statistics. Cebus and Callicebus were present in 90% and 70% of the sites, respectively, and their density did not correlate with any of the habitat variables assessed, signaling high ecological plasticity and adaptability to anthropogenic impact in these species. Detections of Callithrix were higher in areas with low forest strata. Our study provides baseline data for future fragmentation studies in Neotropical dry deciduous forests and sets a base for specific conservation measures. PMID:20949116

  2. Effects of Habitat Structure and Fragmentation on Diversity and Abundance of Primates in Tropical Deciduous Forests in Bolivia.

    PubMed

    Pyritz, Lennart W; Büntge, Anna B S; Herzog, Sebastian K; Kessler, Michael

    2010-10-01

    Habitat structure and anthropogenic disturbance are known to affect primate diversity and abundance. However, researchers have focused on lowland rain forests, whereas endangered deciduous forests have been neglected. We aimed to investigate the relationships between primate diversity and abundance and habitat parameters in 10 deciduous forest fragments southeast of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. We obtained primate data via line-transect surveys and visual and acoustic observations. In addition, we assessed the vegetation structure (canopy height, understory density), size, isolation time, and surrounding forest area of the fragments. We interpreted our results in the context of the historical distribution data for primates in the area before fragmentation and interviews with local people. We detected 5 of the 8 historically observed primate species: Alouatta caraya, Aotus azarae boliviensis, Callithrix melanura, Callicebus donacophilus, and Cebus libidinosus juruanus. Total species number and detection rates decreased with understory density. Detection rates also negatively correlated with forest areas in the surroundings of a fragment, which may be due to variables not assessed, i.e., fragment shape, distance to nearest town. Observations for Alouatta and Aotus were too few to conduct further statistics. Cebus and Callicebus were present in 90% and 70% of the sites, respectively, and their density did not correlate with any of the habitat variables assessed, signaling high ecological plasticity and adaptability to anthropogenic impact in these species. Detections of Callithrix were higher in areas with low forest strata. Our study provides baseline data for future fragmentation studies in Neotropical dry deciduous forests and sets a base for specific conservation measures.

  3. Context-dependent effects of feather corticosterone on growth rate and fledging success of wild passerine nestlings in heterogeneous habitat.

    PubMed

    Lodjak, Jaanis; Mägi, Marko; Rooni, Uku; Tilgar, Vallo

    2015-12-01

    Life history theory seeks answers to questions about how suites of traits, like growth rate, body mass and survival, have coevolved to maximize the fitness of individuals. In stochastic environments, individual fitness may be closely linked to environmental conditions experienced early in life. When conditions deteriorate, animals have to adapt physiologically to avoid detrimental effects to growth and survival. Hormones such as glucocorticoids are potentially important mediators of developmental plasticity, although their function is quite poorly understood in free-living animals to date. In this study, we used brood-size manipulation in wild great tits (Parus major) to see whether resource (e.g. food) availability can change feather corticosterone levels, somatic growth and fledging success in nestlings raised in habitats of different quality. Recent studies suggest that feather corticosterone offers a long-term hormonal measure for the main avian glucocorticoid by integrating the plasma levels of corticosterone over the whole nestling period. We showed that feather corticosterone, growth rate and fledging success were significantly affected by the treatment only in coniferous forests where growth conditions had a tendency to be poorer than in deciduous forests. We also found that feather corticosterone was negatively related to fledging success, and this effect was more pronounced in coniferous habitat. Our results suggest that feather corticosterone could offer an important physiological measure for nestling performance, mediated by a context-dependent developmental trade-off between immediate and future survival.

  4. Living in Heterogeneous Woodlands – Are Habitat Continuity or Quality Drivers of Genetic Variability in a Flightless Ground Beetle?

    PubMed Central

    Marcus, Tamar; Boch, Steffen; Durka, Walter; Fischer, Markus; Gossner, Martin M.; Müller, Jörg; Schöning, Ingo; Weisser, Wolfgang W.

    2015-01-01

    Although genetic diversity is one of the key components of biodiversity, its drivers are still not fully understood. While it is known that genetic diversity is affected both by environmental parameters as well as habitat history, these factors are not often tested together. Therefore, we analyzed 14 microsatellite loci in Abax parallelepipedus, a flightless, forest dwelling ground beetle, from 88 plots in two study regions in Germany. We modeled the effects of historical and environmental variables on allelic richness, and found for one of the regions, the Schorfheide-Chorin, a significant effect of the depth of the litter layer, which is a main component of habitat quality, and of the sampling effort, which serves as an inverse proxy for local population size. For the other region, the Schwäbische Alb, none of the potential drivers showed a significant effect on allelic richness. We conclude that the genetic diversity in our study species is being driven by current local population sizes via environmental variables and not by historical processes in the studied regions. This is also supported by lack of genetic differentiation between local populations sampled from ancient and from recent woodlands. We suggest that the potential effects of former fragmentation and recolonization processes have been mitigated by the large and stable local populations of Abax parallelepipedus in combination with the proximity of the ancient and recent woodlands in the studied landscapes. PMID:26641644

  5. Heterogeneities of the malaria vectorial system in tropical Africa and their significance in malaria epidemiology and control

    PubMed Central

    Coluzzi, Mario

    1984-01-01

    The most important units of the malaria vectorial system in tropical Africa are included in the Linnaean taxon Anopheles gambiae, which has been split into six sibling species recognized by the application of genetic techniques. More recent studies have shown further complexities involving chromosomal inversion polymorphism in some vector populations as well as incipient speciation processes. The significance for field research in malaria of the splitting of a morphological taxon into genetically defined units and subunits is discussed. PMID:6335681

  6. Heterogeneous sources of oxygenated hydrocarbons in the tropical free troposphere: Field evidence for a biogeochemical cycle of marine organic carbon?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volkamer, R.; Apel, E. C.; Baidar, S.; Coburn, S.; Dix, B. K.; Hornbrook, R. S.; Pierce, R.; Ortega, I.; Romashkin, P.; Wang, S.

    2013-12-01

    Oceans cover 70% of the Earth surface, and the amount of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) contained in the world's oceans is comparable to that of atmospheric CO2. Yet oceans are currently believed to be a net-receptor for organic carbon that is emitted over land. Recent our observations of very short-lived and very water soluble oxygenated hydrocarbons, like glyoxal, in the remote marine boundary layer (MBL) above the Pacific Ocean (Sinreich et al., 2010, ACP) remain as of yet unexplained by atmospheric models. Organic carbon is relevant in the atmosphere because it influences the reactive chemical removal pathways of climate active gases (i.e., ozone, methane, dimethyl-sulfide), and can modify aerosols (e.g., secondary organic aerosol, SOA). This presentation provides a comprehensive field evidence that small oxygenated molecules (glyoxal, methyl ethyl ketone, butanal) from marine sources are widespread also in the tropical free troposphere. The data were collected as part of the Tropical Ocean tRoposphere Exchange experiment TORERO during Jan/Feb 2012 by means of an innovative payload of optical spectroscopic-, mass spectrometric-, and remote sensing instruments aboard the NSF/NCAR GV aircraft (HIAPER), and aboard a NOAA ship. We have measured oxygenated hydrocarbons, and volatile organic compounds (some 50+ species), aerosol size distributions, photolysis frequencies and other parameters over the full tropospheric air column (0-15km altitude) between 40N to 40S latitude over the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. We investigate the source mechanism, present source estimates of the organic carbon flux, and compare it with other sources of organic carbon from marine sources. We also present results from numerical models that suggest a strong impact of these molecules on the oxidative capacity of the tropical free troposphere, where most of tropospheric ozone mass resides, 60-80% of the global methane destruction occurs, and mercury oxidation rates are accelerated at

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Habitat moisture is an important driver of patterns of sap flow and water balance in tropical montane cloud forest epiphytes.

    PubMed

    Darby, Alexander; Draguljić, Danel; Glunk, Andrew; Gotsch, Sybil G

    2016-10-01

    Microclimate in the tropical montane cloud forest (TMCF) is variable on both spatial and temporal scales and can lead to large fluctuations in both leaf-level transpiration and whole plant water use. While variation in transpiration has been found in TMCFs, the influence of different microclimatic drivers on plant water relations in this ecosystem has been relatively understudied. Within the TMCF, epiphytes may be particularly affected by natural variation in microclimate due to their partial or complete disassociation from soil resources. In this study, we examined the effects of seasonal microclimate on whole plant water balance in epiphytes in both an observational and a manipulative experiment. We also evaluated the effects of different microclimatic drivers using three hierarchical linear (mixed) models. On average, 31 % of total positive sap flow was recovered via foliar water uptake (FWU) over the course of the study. We found that precipitation was the greatest driver of foliar water uptake and nighttime sap flow in our study species and that both VPD and precipitation were important drivers to daytime sap flow. We also found that despite adaptations to withstand seasonal drought, an extended dry period caused severe desiccation in most plants despite a large reduction in leaf-level and whole plant transpiration. Our results indicate that the epiphytes studied rely on FWU to maintain positive water balance in the dry season and that increases in dry periods in the TMCF may be detrimental to these common members of the epiphyte community.

  9. Three new genera representing novel lineages of Sordariomycetidae (Sordariomycetes, Ascomycota) from tropical freshwater habitats in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Ferrer, Astrid; Miller, Andrew N; Sarmiento, Carolina; Shearer, Carol A

    2012-01-01

    Three new genera are established in the Sordariomycetidae based on morphological and molecular data (SSU and LSU nrDNA) to accommodate five ascomycete species collected from submerged woody debris in freshwater habitats from Costa Rica. The genus Bullimyces contains three new species, B. communis, B. costaricensis and B. aurisporus. Bullimyces is characterized by globose to subglobose, membranous, black, ostiolate ascomata; deliquescent, hyaline, globose cells that fill the center of the centrum; unitunicate asci that deliquesce early in some species; and septate, thick-walled ascospores with or without gelatinous sheaths or appendages. Bullimyces species form a well supported clade with 100% bootstrap support, but the position of the genus in the Sordariomycetidae remains unclear. The second genus, Riomyces, is represented by a single species, R. rotundus. Riomyces is characterized by globose to subglobose, membranous, black, ostiolate ascomata, unitunicate, cylindrical asci, hyaline, globose cells that fill the hamathecium and septate, thick-walled ascospores with a gelatinous sheath. Although Riomyces is morphologically similar to Bullimyces, the two genera did not group together with support in any analysis. The third genus, Hydromelitis, is represented by a single species, H. pulchella. Hydromelitis is characterized by pyriform, membranous, black, ostiolate ascomata, unitunicate asci lacking an apical structure, simple, thin-walled, septate paraphyses and hyaline to golden yellow, multiseptate, thick-walled ascospores with a gelatinous sheath. Bullimyces, Riomyces and Hydromelitis were nested within an unsupported clade consisting of members of the Ophiostomatales, Magnaporthales and freshwater Annulatacaceae sensu lato and sensu stricto.

  10. Detectability in Audio-Visual Surveys of Tropical Rainforest Birds: The Influence of Species, Weather and Habitat Characteristics.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Alexander S; Marques, Tiago A; Shoo, Luke P; Williams, Stephen E

    2015-01-01

    Indices of relative abundance do not control for variation in detectability, which can bias density estimates such that ecological processes are difficult to infer. Distance sampling methods can be used to correct for detectability, but in rainforest, where dense vegetation and diverse assemblages complicate sampling, information is lacking about factors affecting their application. Rare species present an additional challenge, as data may be too sparse to fit detection functions. We present analyses of distance sampling data collected for a diverse tropical rainforest bird assemblage across broad elevational and latitudinal gradients in North Queensland, Australia. Using audio and visual detections, we assessed the influence of various factors on Effective Strip Width (ESW), an intuitively useful parameter, since it can be used to calculate an estimate of density from count data. Body size and species exerted the most important influence on ESW, with larger species detectable over greater distances than smaller species. Secondarily, wet weather and high shrub density decreased ESW for most species. ESW for several species also differed between summer and winter, possibly due to seasonal differences in calling behavior. Distance sampling proved logistically intensive in these environments, but large differences in ESW between species confirmed the need to correct for detection probability to obtain accurate density estimates. Our results suggest an evidence-based approach to controlling for factors influencing detectability, and avenues for further work including modeling detectability as a function of species characteristics such as body size and call characteristics. Such models may be useful in developing a calibration for non-distance sampling data and for estimating detectability of rare species.

  11. Detectability in Audio-Visual Surveys of Tropical Rainforest Birds: The Influence of Species, Weather and Habitat Characteristics

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Alexander S.; Marques, Tiago A.; Shoo, Luke P.; Williams, Stephen E.

    2015-01-01

    Indices of relative abundance do not control for variation in detectability, which can bias density estimates such that ecological processes are difficult to infer. Distance sampling methods can be used to correct for detectability, but in rainforest, where dense vegetation and diverse assemblages complicate sampling, information is lacking about factors affecting their application. Rare species present an additional challenge, as data may be too sparse to fit detection functions. We present analyses of distance sampling data collected for a diverse tropical rainforest bird assemblage across broad elevational and latitudinal gradients in North Queensland, Australia. Using audio and visual detections, we assessed the influence of various factors on Effective Strip Width (ESW), an intuitively useful parameter, since it can be used to calculate an estimate of density from count data. Body size and species exerted the most important influence on ESW, with larger species detectable over greater distances than smaller species. Secondarily, wet weather and high shrub density decreased ESW for most species. ESW for several species also differed between summer and winter, possibly due to seasonal differences in calling behavior. Distance sampling proved logistically intensive in these environments, but large differences in ESW between species confirmed the need to correct for detection probability to obtain accurate density estimates. Our results suggest an evidence-based approach to controlling for factors influencing detectability, and avenues for further work including modeling detectability as a function of species characteristics such as body size and call characteristics. Such models may be useful in developing a calibration for non-distance sampling data and for estimating detectability of rare species. PMID:26110433

  12. Shelf habitat distribution as a legacy of Late Quaternary marine transgressions: A case study from a tropical carbonate province

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nichol, Scott L.; Brooke, Brendan P.

    2011-11-01

    The legacy of multiple marine transgressions is preserved in a complex morphology of ridges, mounds and reefs on the Carnarvon continental shelf, Western Australia. High-resolution multibeam sonar mapping, underwater photography and sampling across a 280 km 2 area seaward of the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area shows that these raised features provide hardground habitat for modern coral and sponge communities. Prominent among these features is a 20 m high and 15 km long shore-parallel ridge at 60 m water depth. This ridge preserves the largely unaltered form of a fringing reef and is interpreted as the predecessor to modern Ningaloo Reef. Landward of the drowned reef, the inner shelf is covered by hundreds of mounds (bommies) up to 5 m high and linear ridges up to 1.5 km long and 16 m high. The ridges are uniformly oriented to the north-northeast and several converge at their landward limit. On the basis of their shape and alignment, these ridges are interpreted as relict long-walled parabolic dunes. Their preservation is attributed to cementation of calcareous sands to form aeolianite, prior to the post-glacial marine transgression. Some dune ridges abut areas of reef that rise to sea level and are highly irregular in outline but maintain a broad shore-parallel trend. These are tentatively interpreted as Last Interglacial in age. The mid-shelf and outer shelf are mostly sediment covered with relatively low densities of epibenthic biota and have patches of low-profile ridges that may also be relict reef shorelines. An evolutionary model for the Carnarvon shelf is proposed that relates the formation of drowned fringing reefs and aeolian dunes to Late Quaternary eustatic sea level.

  13. Population regulation of a tropical damselfly in the larval stage by food limitation, cannibalism, intraguild predation and habitat drying.

    PubMed

    Fincke, Ola M

    1994-11-01

    experimentally prevented, competition for food reduced the growth of one or both larvae relative to controls. Holes that were watered during the dry season supported larval densities similar to those in the wet season. Thus, dry season mortality could not be attributed to a decrease in available prey. Rather, M. coerulatus larvae could not survive more than 1 month of complete drying. Because the dry season typically lasts more than 6 weeks, habitat drying is a secondary source of mortality, affecting second- or third-generation larvae that fail to emerge before tree holes dry out completely.

  14. An agent-based model driven by tropical rainfall to understand the spatio-temporal heterogeneity of a chikungunya outbreak.

    PubMed

    Dommar, Carlos J; Lowe, Rachel; Robinson, Marguerite; Rodó, Xavier

    2014-01-01

    Vector-borne diseases, such as dengue, malaria and chikungunya, are increasing across their traditional ranges and continuing to infiltrate new, previously unaffected, regions. The spatio-temporal evolution of these diseases is determined by the interaction of the host and vector, which is strongly dependent on social structures and mobility patterns. We develop an agent-based model (ABM), in which each individual is explicitly represented and vector populations are linked to precipitation estimates in a tropical setting. The model is implemented on both scale-free and regular networks. The spatio-temporal transmission of chikungunya is analysed and the presence of asymptomatic silent spreaders within the population is investigated in the context of implementing travel restrictions during an outbreak. Preventing the movement of symptomatic individuals is found to be an insufficient mechanism to halt the spread of the disease, which can be readily carried to neighbouring nodes via sub-clinical individuals. Furthermore, the impact of topology structure vs. precipitation levels is assessed and precipitation is found to be the dominant factor driving spatio-temporal transmission. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Structural and functional study of the nematode community from the Indian western continental margin with reference to habitat heterogeneity and oxygen minimum zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, R.; Ingole, B. S.

    2015-07-01

    We studied patterns of nematode distribution along the western Indian continental margin to determine the influence of habitat heterogeneity and oxygen minimum on the community's taxonomic and functional structure. A single transect, perpendicular to the coast at 14° N latitude was sampled from 34 to 2546 m depth for biological and environmental variables during August 2007. Nematodes were identified to species and classified according to biological/functional traits. A total of 110 nematode species belonging to 24 families were found along the transect. Mean nematode density was higher on the shelf (176 ind 10 cm-2, 34 m depth) than on the slope (124 ind 10 cm-2) or in the basin 62.9 ind 10 cm-2). Across the entire study area, the dominant species were Terschellingia longicaudata, (15.2 %), Desmodora sp 1, Sphaerolaimus gracilis, and Theristus ensifer; their maximum density was at shelf stations. Multidimensional scaling ordination (nMDS) of the nematode species abundance data indicated the effect of different zones (ANOSIM; Global R = 0.607; P = 0.028), but it was not the same in case of functional traits. Only seven species were found exclusively in the oxygen minimum zone: Pselionema sp 1, Choanolaimus sp 2, Halichoanolaimus sp 1, Cobbia dentata, Daptonema sp 1, Trissonchulus sp 1, and Minolaimus sp 1. Moreover, in our study, species diversity was higher on the shelf than on the slope or in the basin. The distinctive features of all three zones as based on nematofaunal abundance were also reflected in the functional traits (feeding types, body shape, tail shape, and life history strategy). Correlation with a number of environmental variables indicated that food quality (measured as the organic carbon content and chlorophyll content) and oxygen level were the major factors that influenced the nematode community (structural and functional).

  16. The effects of river inflow and retention time on the spatial heterogeneity of chlorophyll and water-air CO2 fluxes in a tropical hydropower reservoir

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pacheco, F. S.; Soares, M. C. S.; Assireu, A. T.; Curtarelli, M. P.; Abril, G.; Stech, J. L.; Alvalá, P. C.; Ometto, J. P.

    2015-01-01

    Abundant research has been devoted to understanding the complexity of the biogeochemical and physical processes that are responsible for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from hydropower reservoirs. These systems may have spatially complex and heterogeneous GHG emissions due to flooded biomass, river inflows, primary production and dam operation. In this study, we investigated the relationships between the water-air CO2 fluxes and the phytoplanktonic biomass in the Funil Reservoir, which is an old, stratified tropical reservoir that exhibits intense phytoplankton blooms and a low partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2). Our results indicated that the seasonal and spatial variability of chlorophyll concentrations (Chl) and pCO2 in the Funil Reservoir are related more to changes in the river inflow over the year than to environmental factors such as air temperature and solar radiation. Field data and hydro-dynamic simulations revealed that river inflow contributes to increased heterogeneity during the dry season due to variations in the reservoir retention time and river temperature. Contradictory conclusions could be drawn if only temporal data collected near the dam were considered without spatial data to represent CO2 fluxes throughout the reservoir. During periods of high retention, the average CO2 fluxes were 10.3 mmol m-2 d-1 based on temporal data near the dam versus -7.2 mmol m-2 d-1 with spatial data from along the reservoir surface. In this case, the use of solely temporal data to calculate CO2 fluxes results in the reservoir acting as a CO2 source rather than a sink. This finding suggests that the lack of spatial data in reservoir C budget calculations can affect regional and global estimates. Our results support the idea that the Funil Reservoir is a dynamic system where the hydrodynamics represented by changes in the river inflow and retention time are potentially a more important force driving both the Chl and pCO2 spatial variability than the in-system ecological

  17. Global habitat preferences of commercially valuable tuna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arrizabalaga, Haritz; Dufour, Florence; Kell, Laurence; Merino, Gorka; Ibaibarriaga, Leire; Chust, Guillem; Irigoien, Xabier; Santiago, Josu; Murua, Hilario; Fraile, Igaratza; Chifflet, Marina; Goikoetxea, Nerea; Sagarminaga, Yolanda; Aumont, Olivier; Bopp, Laurent; Herrera, Miguel; Marc Fromentin, Jean; Bonhomeau, Sylvain

    2015-03-01

    In spite of its pivotal role in future implementations of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management, current knowledge about tuna habitat preferences remains fragmented and heterogeneous, because it relies mainly on regional or local studies that have used a variety of approaches making them difficult to combine. Therefore in this study we analyse data from six tuna species in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans in order to provide a global, comparative perspective of habitat preferences. These data are longline catch per unit effort from 1958 to 2007 for albacore, Atlantic bluefin, southern bluefin, bigeye, yellowfin and skipjack tunas. Both quotient analysis and Generalised Additive Models were used to determine habitat preference with respect to eight biotic and abiotic variables. Results confirmed that, compared to temperate tunas, tropical tunas prefer warm, anoxic, stratified waters. Atlantic and southern bluefin tuna prefer higher concentrations of chlorophyll than the rest. The two species also tolerate most extreme sea surface height anomalies and highest mixed layer depths. In general, Atlantic bluefin tuna tolerates the widest range of environmental conditions. An assessment of the most important variables determining fish habitat is also provided.

  18. Habitat heterogeneity: importance of salt marsh pools and high marsh surfaces to fish production in two Gulf of Maine salt marshes

    Treesearch

    R.A. MacKenzie; M. Dionne

    2008-01-01

    Both permanent high marsh pools and the intertidal surfaces of Spartina patens high marshes in southern Maine, USA, proved to be important habitat for resident mummichog Fundulus heteroclitus production. Manipulations of fish movement onto high marsh Surfaces revealed similar growth rates and production among fish that were (1) restricted to pools, (2) had access to...

  19. Vertical and Horizontal Vegetation Structure across Natural and Modified Habitat Types at Mount Kilimanjaro

    PubMed Central

    Rutten, Gemma; Ensslin, Andreas; Hemp, Andreas; Fischer, Markus

    2015-01-01

    In most habitats, vegetation provides the main structure of the environment. This complexity can facilitate biodiversity and ecosystem services. Therefore, measures of vegetation structure can serve as indicators in ecosystem management. However, many structural measures are laborious and require expert knowledge. Here, we used consistent and convenient measures to assess vegetation structure over an exceptionally broad elevation gradient of 866–4550m above sea level at Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Additionally, we compared (human)-modified habitats, including maize fields, traditionally managed home gardens, grasslands, commercial coffee farms and logged and burned forests with natural habitats along this elevation gradient. We distinguished vertical and horizontal vegetation structure to account for habitat complexity and heterogeneity. Vertical vegetation structure (assessed as number, width and density of vegetation layers, maximum canopy height, leaf area index and vegetation cover) displayed a unimodal elevation pattern, peaking at intermediate elevations in montane forests, whereas horizontal structure (assessed as coefficient of variation of number, width and density of vegetation layers, maximum canopy height, leaf area index and vegetation cover) was lowest at intermediate altitudes. Overall, vertical structure was consistently lower in modified than in natural habitat types, whereas horizontal structure was inconsistently different in modified than in natural habitat types, depending on the specific structural measure and habitat type. Our study shows how vertical and horizontal vegetation structure can be assessed efficiently in various habitat types in tropical mountain regions, and we suggest to apply this as a tool for informing future biodiversity and ecosystem service studies. PMID:26406985

  20. Vertical and Horizontal Vegetation Structure across Natural and Modified Habitat Types at Mount Kilimanjaro.

    PubMed

    Rutten, Gemma; Ensslin, Andreas; Hemp, Andreas; Fischer, Markus

    2015-01-01

    In most habitats, vegetation provides the main structure of the environment. This complexity can facilitate biodiversity and ecosystem services. Therefore, measures of vegetation structure can serve as indicators in ecosystem management. However, many structural measures are laborious and require expert knowledge. Here, we used consistent and convenient measures to assess vegetation structure over an exceptionally broad elevation gradient of 866-4550 m above sea level at Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Additionally, we compared (human)-modified habitats, including maize fields, traditionally managed home gardens, grasslands, commercial coffee farms and logged and burned forests with natural habitats along this elevation gradient. We distinguished vertical and horizontal vegetation structure to account for habitat complexity and heterogeneity. Vertical vegetation structure (assessed as number, width and density of vegetation layers, maximum canopy height, leaf area index and vegetation cover) displayed a unimodal elevation pattern, peaking at intermediate elevations in montane forests, whereas horizontal structure (assessed as coefficient of variation of number, width and density of vegetation layers, maximum canopy height, leaf area index and vegetation cover) was lowest at intermediate altitudes. Overall, vertical structure was consistently lower in modified than in natural habitat types, whereas horizontal structure was inconsistently different in modified than in natural habitat types, depending on the specific structural measure and habitat type. Our study shows how vertical and horizontal vegetation structure can be assessed efficiently in various habitat types in tropical mountain regions, and we suggest to apply this as a tool for informing future biodiversity and ecosystem service studies.

  1. Trees as templates for tropical litter arthropod diversity.

    PubMed

    Donoso, David A; Johnston, Mary K; Kaspari, Michael

    2010-09-01

    Increased tree species diversity in the tropics is associated with even greater herbivore diversity, but few tests of tree effects on litter arthropod diversity exist. We studied whether tree species influence patchiness in diversity and abundance of three common soil arthropod taxa (ants, gamasid mites, and oribatid mites) in a Panama forest. The tree specialization hypothesis proposes that tree-driven habitat heterogeneity maintains litter arthropod diversity. We tested whether tree species differed in resource quality and quantity of their leaf litter and whether more heterogeneous litter supports more arthropod species. Alternatively, the abundance-extinction hypothesis states that arthropod diversity increases with arthropod abundance, which in turn tracks resource quantity (e.g., litter depth). We found little support for the hypothesis that tropical trees are templates for litter arthropod diversity. Ten tree species differed in litter depth, chemistry, and structural variability. However, the extent of specialization of invertebrates on particular tree taxa was low and the more heterogeneous litter between trees failed to support higher arthropod diversity. Furthermore, arthropod diversity did not track abundance or litter depth. The lack of association between tree species and litter arthropods suggests that factors other than tree species diversity may better explain the high arthropod diversity in tropical forests.

  2. Spatial extent of potential habitats of the Mesophotic Coral Ecosystem (MCE, 20-80 m) in the tropical North Atlantic (TNA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ginsburg, R. N.

    2012-12-01

    The Mesophotic Coral Ecosystem is the deeper-water extension of the much-studied, shallow reef community. It occurs on steep slopes and shelf areas, in the TNA off Belize, the Bahamas, the US Virgin Islands, and the Flower Garden Banks. Framework-building corals at these depths are primarily platy montastraeids and agariciids, with lesser amounts of massive encrusting species. The closely-spaced, platy colonies, expanding up to nearly two meters in diameter have up to 50% live coral cover. The colonies are elevated above the substrate. Their growth creates a thicket-like structure with large, open spaces for mobile species (fish and crustaceans) and extensive habitat for attached and grazing invertebrates. The MCE includes genera or species of zooxanthellate corals, invertebrates and fish, some of which are the same as those in shallow water. Given, the widespread, recent declines of TNA coral communities at depth less than 20 m, it is essential to know the total regional extent of the MCE. To determine the likely depth locations of these deeper coral communities we used methods pioneered by REEFS AT RISK,1998 that incorporates data from the Danish Hydrological Institute (DHI), "MIKE C-MAP" depth points and data on coastline location *NASA, "Sea WiFS" and NIMA, "VMAP," 1997. The results for the larger areas of reef development and for shelf areas are below:Potential MCE shelf habitats.t; Potential MCE platform margin habitats.t;

  3. The utility of contemporary and historical estimates of dispersal in determining response to habitat fragmentation in a tropical forest-dependent bird community.

    PubMed

    Bowie, Rauri C K

    2011-05-01

    It is often assumed that species which exhibit a greater propensity for dispersal are less susceptible to the impacts of habitat fragmentation; however, a growing body of literature suggests that such generalizations should be carefully evaluated as not all species appear to be equally sensitive to fragmentation. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Callens et al. (2011) take an innovative approach to compare contemporary estimates of dispersal from an extensive mark-recapture and patch occupancy data set with historical estimates derived from multilocus population genetic models for seven sympatric forest-dependent species in the Taita Hills, Africa. As has been observed for forest-dependent species from the Amazon, populations of sedentary species were more strongly differentiated and clustered when compared to those of more dispersive taxa. The most intriguing result recovered though, was that the five species with similar historical estimates of gene flow (dispersal) differed substantially in their contemporary dispersal rates, suggesting that for some species the propensity for dispersal has decreased over time. As a consequence, the authors suggest that post-fragmentation estimates of dispersal on their own may not be the best predictors of how habitat fragmentation could affect forest-dependent animal communities.This work significantly advances our understanding of the dynamics of habitat fragmentation and makes a strong case for the need to integrate data on historical processes with contemporary data. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  4. An experimental study of habitat selection by birds in a coffee plantation.

    PubMed

    Cruz-Angón, Andrea; Sillett, T Scott; Greenberg, Russell

    2008-04-01

    Unique components of tropical habitats, such as abundant vascular epiphytes, influence the distribution of species and can contribute to the high diversity of many animal groups in the tropics. However, the role of such features in habitat selection and demography of individual species has not been established. Understanding the mechanisms of habitat selection requires both experimental manipulation of habitat structure and detailed estimation of the behavioral and demographic response of animals, e.g., changes in movement patterns and survival probabilities. Such studies have not been conducted in natural tropical forest, perhaps because of high habitat heterogeneity, high species diversity, and low abundances of potential target species. Agroforestry systems support a less diverse flora, with greater spatial homogeneity which, in turn, harbors lower overall species diversity with greater numerical dominance of common species, than natural forests. Furthermore, agroforestry systems are already extensively managed and lend themselves easily to larger scale habitat manipulations than protected natural forest. Thus, agroforestry systems provide a good model environment for beginning to understand processes underlying habitat selection in tropical forest animals. Here, we use multistate, capture-recapture models to investigate how the experimental removal of epiphytes affected monthly movement and survival probabilities of two resident bird species (Common Bush-Tanager [Chlorospingus ophthalmicus] and Golden-crowned Warbler [Basileuterus culicivorus]) in a Mexican shade coffee plantation. We established two paired plots of epiphyte removal and control. We found that Bush-Tanagers were at least five times more likely to emigrate from plots where epiphytes were removed compared to control plots. Habitat-specific movement patterns were not detected in the warbler. However, unlike the Golden-crowned Warbler, Common Bush-Tanagers depend upon epiphytes for nest sites and

  5. Overcoming the challenges of mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) sampling in remote localities: a comparison of CO2 attractants on mosquito communities in three tropical forest habitats.

    PubMed

    Steiger, D B Meyer; Ritchie, S A; Laurance, S G W

    2014-01-01

    Emerging infectious diseases are on the rise with future outbreaks predicted to occur in frontier regions of tropical countries. Disease surveillance in these hotspots is challenging because sampling techniques often rely on vector attractants that are either unavailable in remote localities or difficult to transport. We examined whether a novel method for producing CO2 from yeast and sugar produces similar mosquito species captures compared with a standard attractant such as dry ice. Across three different vegetation communities, we found traps baited with dry ice frequently captured more mosquitoes than yeast-baited traps; however, there was little effect on mosquito community composition. Based on our preliminary experiments, we find that this method of producing CO2 is a realistic alternative to dry ice and would be highly suitable for remote field work.

  6. Improved dissolved oxygen status following removal of exotic weed mats in important fish habitat lagoons of the tropical Burdekin River floodplain, Australia.

    PubMed

    Perna, Colton; Burrows, Damien

    2005-01-01

    The Burdekin delta floodplain, north Queensland, is highly modified for agricultural purposes. Riparian condition is very poor and exotic aquatic weeds dominate waterways. Historically, most streams and lagoons were highly seasonal, but those now used for the delivery of irrigation water maintain elevated flows and increased turbidity and nutrient loading. These factors have aided exotic weed growth and many major lagoons are covered by dense water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) mats which greatly reduce dissolved oxygen levels, one of the most important water quality variables for aquatic fauna. Mechanical harvesting of water hyacinth from several of these lagoons resulted in rapid and substantial increases in dissolved oxygen saturation, and improved suitability of the habitat to support fish species. Decrease in dissolved oxygen as water passes sequentially through weed-infested lagoons, justified the approach of harvesting upstream lagoons first, however, the channels that connect these lagoons remain weed-infested and are still impacting upon downstream oxygen levels.

  7. Outcompeted by an invader? Interference and exploitative competition between tropical house gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia) and Barbados leaf-toed gecko (Phyllodactylus pulcher) for diurnal refuges in anthropogenic coastal habitats.

    PubMed

    Williams, Robert; Pernetta, Angelo P; Horrocks, Julia A

    2016-05-01

    House geckos in the genus Hemidactylus are highly successful colonizers of regions beyond their native range, with colonization often resulting in displacement of native gecko species through competitive interactions for daytime refuge (crevices) and prey resources. We report on data collected from nighttime surveys undertaken in April-May 2014 on Barbados, West Indies, that focused on the distribution and abundance of the endemic Barbados leaf-toed gecko (Phyllodactylus pulcher) and the introduced tropical house gecko (Hemidactylus mabouia) along unlit coastal walls and among boulders in the grounds of a hotel resort. In contrast to patterns of displacement of native species by H. mabouia seen elsewhere, P. pulcher was more abundant than H. mabouia on coastal walls, whereas the latter was found in greater numbers using boulders at this site. Walls and boulders differed with regard to availability of diurnal refugia suitable for geckos, with the walls having high frequency of small crevices with openings <20 mm, and boulders offering very little cover other than the underside of the boulder itself. To investigate whether this niche separation was a result of differences in diurnal refuge use between the species, we conducted experimental trials in which geckos were allowed to select between refugia with different characteristics. Both species selected for narrower and warmer refugia, and refugia that had been previously occupied by the other species. These shared preferences for refugia type suggest that other factors underlie the niche separation observed in the field. In supporting high densities of P. pulcher, coastal walls could offer important secondary habitat by augmenting the natural cliff side habitat of this endemic gecko, a finding that could be exploited for the conservation of this candidate species for Critically Endangered classification.

  8. Influence of habitat heterogeneity on the community structure of deep-sea harpacticoid communities from a canyon and an escarpment site on the continental rise off California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thistle, David; Sedlacek, Linda; Carman, Kevin R.; Barry, James P.

    2017-05-01

    The sediment-covered deep-sea floor was initially thought to be environmentally homogeneous. Recent work has shown otherwise, and deep-sea ecologists have been searching for ecologically important environmental heterogeneities on different spatial and temporal scales, with particular interest in canyons. Here we report results for harpacticoid copepods from a site at 3262 m depth in the axis of Monterey Canyon and one on an escarpment 46 km away at 3090 m depth. Multivariate community analyses revealed significant differences between sites in community structure. Absolute abundance, the ratio of subadult copepodites to adults, species density, the proportion of the harpacticoid individuals that emerged, and the proportion that lived in tubes were significantly lower at the canyon site than at the escarpment site. The proportion of the harpacticoid individuals that belonged to the surface-dweller life-style group was significantly higher than at the escarpment site. These marked differences imply that ecologically important environmental heterogeneities exist. We speculate that differences between the sites in food conditions and sediment grain-size distributions are among them.

  9. Ecosystem services capacity across heterogeneous forest types: understanding the interactions and suggesting pathways for sustaining multiple ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Alamgir, Mohammed; Turton, Stephen M; Macgregor, Colin J; Pert, Petina L

    2016-10-01

    As ecosystem services supply from tropical forests is declining due to deforestation and forest degradation, much effort is essential to sustain ecosystem services supply from tropical forested landscapes, because tropical forests provide the largest flow of multiple ecosystem services among the terrestrial ecosystems. In order to sustain multiple ecosystem services, understanding ecosystem services capacity across heterogeneous forest types and identifying certain ecosystem services that could be managed to leverage positive effects across the wider bundle of ecosystem services are required. We sampled three forest types, tropical rainforests, sclerophyll forests, and rehabilitated plantation forests, over an area of 32,000m(2) from Wet Tropics bioregion, Australia, aiming to compare supply and evaluate interactions and patterns of eight ecosystem services (global climate regulation, air quality regulation, erosion regulation, nutrient regulation, cyclone protection, habitat provision, energy provision, and timber provision). On average, multiple ecosystem services were highest in the rainforests, lowest in sclerophyll forests, and intermediate in rehabilitated plantation forests. However, a wide variation was apparent among the plots across the three forest types. Global climate regulation service had a synergistic impact on the supply of multiple ecosystem services, while nutrient regulation service was found to have a trade-off impact. Considering multiple ecosystem services, most of the rehabilitated plantation forest plots shared the same ordination space with rainforest plots in the ordination analysis, indicating that rehabilitated plantation forests may supply certain ecosystem services nearly equivalent to rainforests. Two synergy groups and one trade-off group were identified. Apart from conserving rainforests and sclerophyll forests, our findings suggest two additional integrated pathways to sustain the supply of multiple ecosystem services from a

  10. A multi-locus phylogeny reveals a complex pattern of diversification related to climate and habitat heterogeneity in southern African white-eyes.

    PubMed

    Oatley, Graeme; Voelker, Gary; Crowe, Timothy M; Bowie, Rauri C K

    2012-09-01

    The recent, rapid radiation of Zosteropidae, coupled with their high levels of colonizing ability and phenotypic diversity, makes species delimitation within this family problematic. Given these problems, challenges to establish the mechanisms driving diversity and speciation within this group have arisen. Four morphologically distinct southern African Zosterops taxa, with a contentious taxonomic past, provide such a challenge. Here, supplemented with morphological and environmental analytical techniques, a combination of mitochondrial and nuclear markers were analyzed using Bayesian and Likelihood methods to determine their speciation patterns and to establish the phylogenetic relationships of these four morphologically diverse southern African Zosterops taxa. Nearly all individuals were phenotypically diagnosable, even those individuals collected in areas of contact between taxa. Localities where two or more taxa co-occur appear to possess intermediate environmental characteristics. Initial Bayesian and Likelihood mitochondrial DNA analyses and Bayesian structure analyses of the combined nuclear markers indicated levels of hybridization in areas of sympatry. A combined mtDNA and nuclear DNA analysis and a species tree analysis (with hybrids excluded) placed Z. pallidus as sister to the other southern African taxa, with Z. senegalensis the putative sister taxon to a clade comprising Z. capensis and Z. virens. The grouping of taxon-specific sampling localities and the apparent intermediate nature of birds from areas of sympatry points toward an influence of habitat type and the associated climatic conditions in driving Zosterops diversification in southern Africa. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Evaluate the Relative Importance of Subsurface Lateral Energy Exchange to Ground Heat Flux and Energy Balance over the Heterogeneous Surface of a Sub-tropical Wetland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    CUI, W.; Chui, T. F. M.

    2016-12-01

    Subsurface lateral water and energy exchanges are often ignored in methods involving a surface energy balance under the homogeneity assumption, which may affect the estimation of evapotranspiration over a heterogeneous surface. Wetlands, however, are heterogeneous with vegetated areas and open water, making it difficult to accurately measure and estimate evapotranspiration. This study estimated the subsurface lateral energy exchange between the reed bed and shallow open water of a wetland within Mai Po Nature Reserve in Hong Kong, and further discussed its relative importance to the ground heat flux and energy balance over the wetland surface. An array of water level and temperature sensors were installed in the reed bed and the adjacent water, together with an eddy covariance system. The results suggested that the lateral energy exchange was over 30% of ground heat flux for half of the monitoring period, and should therefore be accounted for during the measurement of ground heat flux. However, the lateral energy exchange could not explain the energy balance disclosure at the site, as the variation was in phase with the residual of energy budget during the summer but was out of phase during the winter. Furthermore, this study developed a convolution model to estimate the lateral energy exchange based on air temperature which is readily available at many sites worldwide. This study overall enhanced our understanding of the subsurface lateral energy exchange, and possibly our estimation of evapotranspiration in heterogeneous environment.

  12. The contribution of edaphic heterogeneity to the evolution and diversity of Burseraceae trees in the western Amazon.

    PubMed

    Fine, Paul V A; Daly, Douglas C; Villa Muñoz, Gorky; Mesones, Italo; Cameron, Kenneth M

    2005-07-01

    Environmental heterogeneity in the tropics is thought to lead to specialization in plants and thereby contribute to the diversity of the tropical flora. We examine this idea with data on the habitat specificity of 35 western Amazonian species from the genera Protium, Crepidospermum, and Tetragastris in the monophyletic tribe Protieae (Burseraceae) mapped on a molecular-based phylogeny. We surveyed three edaphic habitats that occur throughout terra firme Amazonia: white-sand, clay, and terrace soils in eight forests across more than 2000 km in the western Amazon. Twenty-six of the 35 species were found to be associated with only one of three soil types, and no species was associated with all three habitats; this pattern of edaphic specialization was consistent across the entire region. Habitat association mapped onto the phylogenetic tree shows association with terrace soils to be the probable ancestral state in the group, with subsequent speciation events onto clay and white-sand soils. The repeated gain of clay association within the clade likely coincides with the emergence of large areas of clay soils in the Miocene deposited during the Andean uplift. Character optimizations revealed that soil association was not phylogenetically clustered for white-sand and clay specialists, suggesting repeated independent evolution of soil specificity is common within the Protieae. This phylogenetic analysis also showed that multiple cases of putative sister taxa with parapatric distributions differ in their edaphic associations, suggesting that edaphic heterogeneity was an important driver of speciation in the Protieae in the Amazon basin.

  13. Disentangling how landscape spatial and temporal heterogeneity affects Savanna birds.

    PubMed

    Price, Bronwyn; McAlpine, Clive A; Kutt, Alex S; Ward, Doug; Phinn, Stuart R; Ludwig, John A

    2013-01-01

    In highly seasonal tropical environments, temporal changes in habitat and resources are a significant determinant of the spatial distribution of species. This study disentangles the effects of spatial and mid to long-term temporal heterogeneity in habitat on the diversity and abundance of savanna birds by testing four competing conceptual models of varying complexity. Focussing on sites in northeast Australia over a 20 year time period, we used ground cover and foliage projected cover surfaces derived from a time series of Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery, rainfall data and site-level vegetation surveys to derive measures of habitat structure at local (1-100 ha) and landscape (100-1000s ha) scales. We used generalised linear models and an information theoretic approach to test the independent effects of spatial and temporal influences on savanna bird diversity and the abundance of eight species with different life-history behaviours. Of four competing models defining influences on assemblages of savanna birds, the most parsimonious included temporal and spatial variability in vegetation cover and site-scale vegetation structure, suggesting savanna bird species respond to spatial and temporal habitat heterogeneity at both the broader landscape scale and at the fine-scale. The relative weight, strength and direction of the explanatory variables changed with each of the eight species, reflecting their different ecology and behavioural traits. This study demonstrates that variations in the spatial pattern of savanna vegetation over periods of 10 to 20 years at the local and landscape scale strongly affect bird diversity and abundance. Thus, it is essential to monitor and manage both spatial and temporal variability in avian habitat to achieve long-term biodiversity outcomes.

  14. Disentangling How Landscape Spatial and Temporal Heterogeneity Affects Savanna Birds

    PubMed Central

    Price, Bronwyn; McAlpine, Clive A.; Kutt, Alex S.; Ward, Doug; Phinn, Stuart R.; Ludwig, John A.

    2013-01-01

    In highly seasonal tropical environments, temporal changes in habitat and resources are a significant determinant of the spatial distribution of species. This study disentangles the effects of spatial and mid to long-term temporal heterogeneity in habitat on the diversity and abundance of savanna birds by testing four competing conceptual models of varying complexity. Focussing on sites in northeast Australia over a 20 year time period, we used ground cover and foliage projected cover surfaces derived from a time series of Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery, rainfall data and site-level vegetation surveys to derive measures of habitat structure at local (1–100 ha) and landscape (100–1000s ha) scales. We used generalised linear models and an information theoretic approach to test the independent effects of spatial and temporal influences on savanna bird diversity and the abundance of eight species with different life-history behaviours. Of four competing models defining influences on assemblages of savanna birds, the most parsimonious included temporal and spatial variability in vegetation cover and site-scale vegetation structure, suggesting savanna bird species respond to spatial and temporal habitat heterogeneity at both the broader landscape scale and at the fine-scale. The relative weight, strength and direction of the explanatory variables changed with each of the eight species, reflecting their different ecology and behavioural traits. This study demonstrates that variations in the spatial pattern of savanna vegetation over periods of 10 to 20 years at the local and landscape scale strongly affect bird diversity and abundance. Thus, it is essential to monitor and manage both spatial and temporal variability in avian habitat to achieve long-term biodiversity outcomes. PMID:24066138

  15. [Rapid ecological assessment of tropical fish communities in a gold mine area of Costa Rica].

    PubMed

    Espinoza Mendiola, Mario

    2008-12-01

    Gold mining impacts have generated a great concern regarding aquatic systems and habitat fragmentation. Anthropogenic disturbances on the structure and heterogeneity of a system can have an important effect on aquatic community stability. Ecological rapid assessments (1996, 2002, and 2007) were employed to determine the structure, composition and distribution of tropical fish communities in several rivers and smaller creeks from a gold mining area in Cerro Crucitas, Costa Rica. In addition, species composition and relative abundance were related with habitat structure. A total of 35 species were registered, among which sardine Astyanax aeneus (Characidae) and livebearer Alfaro cultratus (Poeciliidae) were the most abundant fish (71%). The highest species richness was observed in Caño Crucitas (s=19) and Minas Creek (s=18). Significant differences in fish communities structure and composition from Infiernillo river and Minas creek were observed (lamda = 0.0, F(132, 66) = 2.24, p < 0.001). Presence and/or absence of certain species such as Dormitor gobiomorus, Rhamdia nicaraguensis, Parachromis loiseillei and Atractosteus tropicus explained most of the spatial variation among sites. Habitat structure also contributed to explain differences among sites (lamda = 0.004, F(60.183) = 5.52, p < 0.001). Substratum (soft and hard bottom types) and habitat attributes (elevation, width and depth) explained most of the variability observed in Infiernillo River, Caño Crucitas and Tamagá Creek. In addition, a significant association between fish species and habitat structure was observed. This study reveals a high complexity in tropical fish communities that inhabit a gold mine area. Furthermore, it highlights the importance of habitat heterogeneity in fish community dynamics. The loss and degradation of aquatic systems in Cerro Crucitas can have a strong negative effect on fish community structure and composition of local species. A better understanding of the use of specific

  16. Thermal adaptation and diversity in tropical ecosystems: evidence from cicadas (Hemiptera, Cicadidae).

    PubMed

    Sanborn, Allen F; Heath, James E; Phillips, Polly K; Heath, Maxine S; Noriega, Fernando G

    2011-01-01

    The latitudinal gradient in species diversity is a central problem in ecology. Expeditions covering approximately 16°54' of longitude and 21°4' of latitude and eight Argentine phytogeographic regions provided thermal adaptation data for 64 species of cicadas. We test whether species diversity relates to the diversity of thermal environments within a habitat. There are general patterns of the thermal response values decreasing in cooler floristic provinces and decreasing maximum potential temperature within a habitat except in tropical forest ecosystems. Vertical stratification of the plant communities leads to stratification in species using specific layers of the habitat. There is a decrease in thermal tolerances in species from the understory communities in comparison to middle level or canopy fauna. The understory Herrera umbraphila Sanborn & Heath is the first diurnally active cicada identified as a thermoconforming species. The body temperature for activity in H. umbraphila is less than and significantly different from active body temperatures of all other studied species regardless of habitat affiliation. These data suggest that variability in thermal niches within the heterogeneous plant community of the tropical forest environments permits species diversification as species adapt their physiology to function more efficiently at temperatures different from their potential competitors.

  17. Thermal Adaptation and Diversity in Tropical Ecosystems: Evidence from Cicadas (Hemiptera, Cicadidae)

    PubMed Central

    Sanborn, Allen F.; Heath, James E.; Phillips, Polly K.; Heath, Maxine S.; Noriega, Fernando G.

    2011-01-01

    The latitudinal gradient in species diversity is a central problem in ecology. Expeditions covering approximately 16°54′ of longitude and 21°4′ of latitude and eight Argentine phytogeographic regions provided thermal adaptation data for 64 species of cicadas. We test whether species diversity relates to the diversity of thermal environments within a habitat. There are general patterns of the thermal response values decreasing in cooler floristic provinces and decreasing maximum potential temperature within a habitat except in tropical forest ecosystems. Vertical stratification of the plant communities leads to stratification in species using specific layers of the habitat. There is a decrease in thermal tolerances in species from the understory communities in comparison to middle level or canopy fauna. The understory Herrera umbraphila Sanborn & Heath is the first diurnally active cicada identified as a thermoconforming species. The body temperature for activity in H. umbraphila is less than and significantly different from active body temperatures of all other studied species regardless of habitat affiliation. These data suggest that variability in thermal niches within the heterogeneous plant community of the tropical forest environments permits species diversification as species adapt their physiology to function more efficiently at temperatures different from their potential competitors. PMID:22242117

  18. Landscape constraints on functional diversity of birds and insects in tropical agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    Tscharntke, Teja; Sekercioglu, Cagan H; Dietsch, Thomas V; Sodhi, Navjot S; Hoehn, Patrick; Tylianakis, Jason M

    2008-04-01

    In this paper, we analyze databases [corrected] on birds and insects to assess patterns of functional diversity in human-dominated landscapes in the tropics. A perspective from developed landscapes is essential for understanding remnant natural ecosystems, because most species experience their surroundings at spatial scales beyond the plot level, and spillover between natural and managed ecosystems is common. Agricultural bird species have greater habitat and diet breadth than forest species. Based on a global data base, bird assemblages in tropical agroforest ecosystems were composed of disproportionately more frugivorous and nectarivorous, but fewer insectivorous bird species compared with forest. Similarly, insect predators of plant-feeding arthropods were more diverse in Ecuadorian agroforest and forest compared with rice and pasture, while, in Indonesia, bee diversity was also higher in forested habitats. Hence, diversity of insectivorous birds and insect predators as well as bee pollinators declined with agricultural transformation. In contrast, with increasing agricultural intensification, avian pollinators and seed dispersers initially increase then decrease in proportion. It is well established that the proximity of agricultural habitats to forests has a strong influence on the functional diversity of agroecosystems. Community similarity is higher among agricultural systems than in natural habitats and higher in simple than in complex landscapes for both birds and insects, so natural communities, low-intensity agriculture, and heterogeneous landscapes appear to be critical in the preservation of beta diversity. We require a better understanding of the relative role of landscape composition and the spatial configuration of landscape elements in affecting spillover of functionally important species across managed and natural habitats. This is important for data-based management of tropical human-dominated landscapes sustaining the capacity of communities to

  19. Tropical ecotoxicology: The state of the environment in the tropics

    SciTech Connect

    Lacher, T.E. Jr. |; Goldstein, M.I.

    1995-12-31

    Ecotoxicology has focused almost exclusively on temperate zone countries and ecosystems. Tropical ecosystems, including rain forest, tropical dry forest, savanna, wetlands and freshwater ecosystems, have been neglected. These ecosystems combined might contain as much as 75% of global biodiversity. Tropical ecosystems are under increasing threat of development and alteration. The major causes of habitat degradation in the tropics include population growth and urbanization, agricultural expansion, deforestation, and mining. Some of these activities (in particular agriculture, mining, and the manufacturing and chemical industries) also lead to the release of toxic substances into the environment. Little research in ecotoxicology has been done in tropical environments and techniques and procedures developed for temperate environments are often applied, even though physical and chemical environmental parameters in the tropics can be very different. The regulatory environment also varies from country to country. The authors present an extensive literature review of tropical ecotoxicology, with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean. Most research has focused on water quality and aquatic toxicology. Virtually no research has been done on the effects of toxic substance on tropical wildlife. They present a protocol for tropical ecotoxicology that addresses the special problems associated with doing ecotoxicological research in the tropics. The authors discuss the issue of adapting temperate zone principles and methods to tropical environments. Finally, they discuss priority areas for immediate research. These include large scale agricultural activities, especially bananas, pineapples, and soybeans and gold mining with the associated heavy use of mercury. The authors also present a prioritization of tropical wildlife that appear to be at highest risk of exposure to toxic substances.

  20. Tropical malabsorption

    PubMed Central

    Ramakrishna, B S; Venkataraman, S; Mukhopadhya, A

    2006-01-01

    Malabsorption is an important clinical problem both in visitors to the tropics and in native residents of tropical countries. Infections of the small intestine are the most important cause of tropical malabsorption. Protozoal infections cause malabsorption in immunocompetent hosts, but do so more commonly in the setting of immune deficiency. Helminth infections occasionally cause malabsorption or protein‐losing enteropathy. Intestinal tuberculosis, chronic pancreatitis and small‐bowel bacterial overgrowth are important causes of tropical malabsorption. In recent years, inflammatory bowel disease and coeliac disease have become major causes of malabsorption in the tropics. Sporadic tropical sprue is still an important cause of malabsorption in adults and in children in South Asia. Investigations to exclude specific infective, immunological or inflammatory causes are important before considering tropical sprue as a diagnosis. This article briefly reviews the management of tropical sprue and presents an algorithm for its investigation and management. PMID:17148698

  1. Tropical Rainforests.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nigh, Ronald B.; Nations, James D.

    1980-01-01

    Presented is a summary of scientific knowledge about the rainforest environment, a tropical ecosystem in danger of extermination. Topics include the current state of tropical rainforests, the causes of rainforest destruction, and alternatives of rainforest destruction. (BT)

  2. Tropical Rainforests.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nigh, Ronald B.; Nations, James D.

    1980-01-01

    Presented is a summary of scientific knowledge about the rainforest environment, a tropical ecosystem in danger of extermination. Topics include the current state of tropical rainforests, the causes of rainforest destruction, and alternatives of rainforest destruction. (BT)

  3. Tropical malabsorption.

    PubMed

    Ramakrishna, B S; Venkataraman, S; Mukhopadhya, A

    2006-12-01

    Malabsorption is an important clinical problem both in visitors to the tropics and in native residents of tropical countries. Infections of the small intestine are the most important cause of tropical malabsorption. Protozoal infections cause malabsorption in immunocompetent hosts, but do so more commonly in the setting of immune deficiency. Helminth infections occasionally cause malabsorption or protein-losing enteropathy. Intestinal tuberculosis, chronic pancreatitis and small-bowel bacterial overgrowth are important causes of tropical malabsorption. In recent years, inflammatory bowel disease and coeliac disease have become major causes of malabsorption in the tropics. Sporadic tropical sprue is still an important cause of malabsorption in adults and in children in South Asia. Investigations to exclude specific infective, immunological or inflammatory causes are important before considering tropical sprue as a diagnosis. This article briefly reviews the management of tropical sprue and presents an algorithm for its investigation and management.

  4. Earthworm invasions in the tropics

    Treesearch

    Grizelle Gonzalez; Ching Yu Huang; Xiaoming Zou; Carlos Rodriguez

    2006-01-01

    The effects and implications of invasive species in belowground terrestrial ecosystems are not well known in comparison with aboveground terrestrial and marine environments. The study of earthworm invasions in the tropics is limited by a lack of taxonomic knowledge and the potential for loss of species in native habitats due to anthropogenic land use change. Alteration...

  5. Diversity patterns of selected Andean plant groups correspond to topography and habitat dynamics, not orogeny

    PubMed Central

    Mutke, Jens; Jacobs, Rana; Meyers, Katharina; Henning, Tilo; Weigend, Maximilian

    2014-01-01

    The tropical Andes are a hotspot of biodiversity, but detailed altitudinal and latitudinal distribution patterns of species are poorly understood. We compare the distribution and diversity patterns of four Andean plant groups on the basis of georeferenced specimen data: the genus Nasa (Loasaceae), the two South American sections of Ribes (sect. Parilla and sect. Andina, Grossulariaceae), and the American clade of Urtica (Urticaceae). In the tropical Andes, these often grow together, especially in (naturally or anthropogenically) disturbed or secondary vegetation at middle to upper elevations. The climatic niches of the tropical groups studied here are relatively similar in temperature and temperature seasonality, but do differ in moisture seasonality. The Amotape–Huancabamba Zone (AHZ) between 3 and 8° S shows a clear diversity peak of overall species richness as well as for narrowly endemic species across the groups studied. For Nasa, we also show a particular diversity of growth forms in the AHZ. This can be interpreted as proxy for a high diversity of ecological niches based on high spatial habitat heterogeneity in this zone. Latitudinal ranges are generally larger toward the margins of overall range of the group. Species number and number of endemic species of our taxa peak at elevations of 2,500–3,500 m in the tropical Andes. Altitudinal diversity patterns correspond well with the altitudinal distribution of slope inclination. We hypothesize that the likelihood and frequency of landslides at steeper slopes translate into temporal habitat heterogeneity. The frequency of landslides may be causally connected to diversification especially for the numerous early colonizing taxa, such as Urtica and annual species of Nasa. In contrast to earlier hypotheses, uplift history is not reflected in the pattern here retrieved, since the AHZ is the area of the most recent Andean uplift. Similarly, a barrier effect of the low-lying Huancabamba depression is not retrieved

  6. Habitat automation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swab, Rodney E.

    1992-01-01

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

  7. Assessing habitat quality for a migratory songbird wintering in natural and agricultural habitats.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Matthew D; Sherry, Thomas W; Holmes, Richard T; Marra, Peter P

    2006-10-01

    As tropical forests are cleared, a greater proportion of migratory songbirds are forced to winter in agricultural and disturbed habitats, which, if poorer in quality than natural forests, could contribute to population declines. We compared demographic indicators of habitat quality for a focal species, the American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla), wintering in Jamaican citrus orchards and shade coffee plantations with those in four natural habitats: mangrove, coastal scrub, coastal palm, and dry limestone forests. Demographic measures of habitat quality included density, age and sex ratio, apparent survival, and changes in body mass. Measures of habitat quality for redstarts in citrus and coffee habitats were generally intermediate between the highest (mangrove) and lowest (dry limestone) measurements from natural habitats. The decline in mean body mass over the winter period was a strong predictor of annual survival rate among habitats, and we suggest that measures of body condition coupled with survival data provide the best measures of habitat quality for nonbreeding songbirds. Density, which is far easier to estimate, was correlated with these more labor-intensive measures, particularly in the late winter when food is likely most limiting. Thus, local density may be useful as an approximation of habitat quality for wintering migrant warblers. Our findings bolster those of previous studies based on bird abundance that suggest arboreal agricultural habitats in the tropics can be useful for the conservation of generalist, insectivorous birds, including many migratory passerines such as redstarts.

  8. Tropical Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fountain, Andrew

    The term "tropical glacier" calls to mind balmy nights and palm trees on one hand and cold, blue ice on the other. Certainly author Gabriel Garcia Marqez exploited this contrast in One Hundred Years of Solitude. We know that tropical fish live in warm, Sun-kissed waters and tropical plants provide lush, dense foliage populated by colorful tropical birds. So how do tropical glaciers fit into this scene? Like glaciers everywhere, tropical glaciers form where mass accumulation—usually winter snow—exceeds mass loss, which is generally summer melt. Thus, tropical glaciers exist at high elevations where precipitation can occur as snowfall exceeds melt and sublimation losses, such as the Rwenzori Mountains in east Africa and the Maoke Range of Irian Jaya.

  9. Limited Dispersal and Significant Fine - Scale Genetic Structure in a Tropical Montane Parrot Species.

    PubMed

    Klauke, Nadine; Schaefer, H Martin; Bauer, Michael; Segelbacher, Gernot

    2016-01-01

    Tropical montane ecosystems are biodiversity hotspots harbouring many endemics that are confined to specific habitat types within narrow altitudinal ranges. While deforestation put these ecosystems under threat, we still lack knowledge about how heterogeneous environments like the montane tropics promote population connectivity and persistence. We investigated the fine-scale genetic structure of the two largest subpopulations of the endangered El Oro parakeet (Pyrrhura orcesi) endemic to the Ecuadorian Andes. Specifically, we assessed the genetic divergence between three sites separated by small geographic distances but characterized by a heterogeneous habitat structure. Although geographical distances between sites are small (3-17 km), we found genetic differentiation between all sites. Even though dispersal capacity is generally high in parrots, our findings indicate that dispersal is limited even on this small geographic scale. Individual genotype assignment revealed similar genetic divergence across a valley (~ 3 km distance) compared to a continuous mountain range (~ 13 km distance). Our findings suggest that geographic barriers promote genetic divergence even on small spatial scales in this endangered endemic species. These results may have important implications for many other threatened and endemic species, particularly given the upslope shift of species predicted from climate change.

  10. Limited Dispersal and Significant Fine - Scale Genetic Structure in a Tropical Montane Parrot Species

    PubMed Central

    Klauke, Nadine; Schaefer, H. Martin; Bauer, Michael; Segelbacher, Gernot

    2016-01-01

    Tropical montane ecosystems are biodiversity hotspots harbouring many endemics that are confined to specific habitat types within narrow altitudinal ranges. While deforestation put these ecosystems under threat, we still lack knowledge about how heterogeneous environments like the montane tropics promote population connectivity and persistence. We investigated the fine-scale genetic structure of the two largest subpopulations of the endangered El Oro parakeet (Pyrrhura orcesi) endemic to the Ecuadorian Andes. Specifically, we assessed the genetic divergence between three sites separated by small geographic distances but characterized by a heterogeneous habitat structure. Although geographical distances between sites are small (3–17 km), we found genetic differentiation between all sites. Even though dispersal capacity is generally high in parrots, our findings indicate that dispersal is limited even on this small geographic scale. Individual genotype assignment revealed similar genetic divergence across a valley (~ 3 km distance) compared to a continuous mountain range (~ 13 km distance). Our findings suggest that geographic barriers promote genetic divergence even on small spatial scales in this endangered endemic species. These results may have important implications for many other threatened and endemic species, particularly given the upslope shift of species predicted from climate change. PMID:28033364

  11. Sources and sinks of methane and nitrous oxide in the tropical Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teh, Y. A.; Diem, T.; Jones, S.; Oliver, V.; Baggs, E.; Smith, P.; Richards, M.; Meir, P.

    2012-04-01

    contribution of methane to overall global warming potential across the elevation gradient was less important because forests - which accounted for most of the land cover - were largely methane sinks. High elevation grasslands, wetlands, and lakes were methane sources during the wet season and weak sinks during dry periods. These data suggest that one of the key challenges of incorporating montane tropical environments into bottom-up inventories of methane and nitrous oxide fluxes is the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of fluxes from these diverse habitats.

  12. Tropical myelopathies.

    PubMed

    Román, Gustavo C

    2014-01-01

    A large number of causal agents produce spinal cord lesions in the tropics. Most etiologies found in temperate regions also occur in the tropics including trauma, herniated discs, tumors, epidural abscess, and congenital malformations. However, infectious and nutritional disorders occur with higher prevalence in tropical regions. Among the most common infectious etiologies are tuberculous Pott's disease, brucellosis, and neuroborreliosis. Parasitic diseases such as schistosomiasis, neurocysticercosis, and eosinophilic meningitis are frequent causes of nontraumatic paraplegia. The retrovirus HTLV-1 is a cause of tropical spastic paraparesis. Nutritional causes of paraparesis include deficiencies of vitamin B12 and folate; endemic clusters of konzo and tropical ataxic myeloneuropathy are associated in Africa with malnutrition and excessive consumption of cyanide-containing bitter cassava. Other toxic etiologies of tropical paraplegia include lathyrism and fluorosis. Nutritional forms of myelopathy are associated often with optic and sensory neuropathy, hence the name tropical myeloneuropathies. Acute transverse myelopathy is seen in association with vaccination, infections, and fibrocartilaginous embolism of the nucleus pulposus. Multiple sclerosis and optic myelopathy occur in the tropics but with lesser prevalence than in temperate regions. The advent of modern imaging in the tropics, including computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, has allowed better diagnosis and treatment of these conditions that are a frequent cause of death and disability.

  13. Variegated tropical landscapes conserve diverse dung beetle communities

    PubMed Central

    Louzada, Julio

    2017-01-01

    Background Conserving biodiversity in tropical landscapes is a major challenge to scientists and conservationists. Current rates of deforestation, fragmentation, and land use intensification are producing variegated landscapes with undetermined values for the conservation of biological communities and ecosystem functioning. Here, we investigate the importance of tropical variegated landscapes to biodiversity conservation, using dung beetle as focal taxa. Methods The study was carried out in 12 variegated landscapes where dung beetles were sampled using six pitfall traps, 30 m apart from each other, along a transect in each studied landscape use and cover classes—LUCC (forest fragment and corridor, coffee plantation, and pasture). We baited each pitfall trap with 30 g of human feces and left open for a 48 h period. We also measured three environmental variables reflecting structural differences among the studied classes: canopy cover, local vegetation heterogeneity and soil sand content. Results We collected 52 species and 2,695 individuals of dung beetles. We observed significant differences in the mean species richness, abundance and biomass among classes, with forest fragments presenting the highest values, forest corridors and coffee plantations presenting intermediate values, and pastures the lowest values. Regarding community structure, we also found significant differences among classes. Canopy cover was the only variable explaining variation in dung beetle species richness, abundance, biomass, and community structure. The relative importance of spatial turnover was greater than nestedness-resultant component in all studied landscapes. Discussion This study evaluated the ecological patterns of dung beetle communities in variegated tropical landscapes highlighting the importance of these landscapes for conservation of tropical biodiversity. However, we encourage variegation for the management of landscapes that have already been fragmented or as a

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. Saving Wild Species through Habitat Protection.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bohlen, Janet

    1980-01-01

    Describes the conservation approach adopted by World Wildlife Fund which focuses on habitat protection to save wild plant and animal species. Priority attention to tropical forests is explained. Examples are given of techniques (e.g., radiotelemetry and aerial survey) for studying ecological behavior patterns of specific animals. (CS)

  17. Saving Wild Species through Habitat Protection.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bohlen, Janet

    1980-01-01

    Describes the conservation approach adopted by World Wildlife Fund which focuses on habitat protection to save wild plant and animal species. Priority attention to tropical forests is explained. Examples are given of techniques (e.g., radiotelemetry and aerial survey) for studying ecological behavior patterns of specific animals. (CS)

  18. Movement trajectories and habitat partitioning of small mammals in logged and unlogged rain forests on Borneo.

    PubMed

    Wells, Konstans; Pfeiffer, Martin; Lakim, Maklarin B; Kalko, Elisabeth K V

    2006-09-01

    1. Non-volant animals in tropical rain forests differ in their ability to exploit the habitat above the forest floor and also in their response to habitat variability. It is predicted that specific movement trajectories are determined both by intrinsic factors such as ecological specialization, morphology and body size and by structural features of the surrounding habitat such as undergrowth and availability of supportive structures. 2. We applied spool-and-line tracking in order to describe movement trajectories and habitat segregation of eight species of small mammals from an assemblage of Muridae, Tupaiidae and Sciuridae in the rain forest of Borneo where we followed a total of 13,525 m path. We also analysed specific changes in the movement patterns of the small mammals in relation to habitat stratification between logged and unlogged forests. Variables related to climbing activity of the tracked species as well as the supportive structures of the vegetation and undergrowth density were measured along their tracks. 3. Movement patterns of the small mammals differed significantly between species. Most similarities were found in congeneric species that converged strongly in body size and morphology. All species were affected in their movement patterns by the altered forest structure in logged forests with most differences found in Leopoldamys sabanus. However, the large proportions of short step lengths found in all species for both forest types and similar path tortuosity suggest that the main movement strategies of the small mammals were not influenced by logging but comprised generally a response to the heterogeneous habitat as opposed to random movement strategies predicted for homogeneous environments. 4. Overall shifts in microhabitat use showed no coherent trend among species. Multivariate (principal component) analysis revealed contrasting trends for convergent species, in particular for Maxomys rajah and M. surifer as well as for Tupaia longipes and T

  19. Beekeeping practices and geographic distance, not land use, drive gene flow across tropical bees.

    PubMed

    Jaffé, Rodolfo; Pope, Nathaniel; Acosta, André L; Alves, Denise A; Arias, Maria C; De la Rúa, Pilar; Francisco, Flávio O; Giannini, Tereza C; González-Chaves, Adrian; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera L; Tavares, Mara G; Jha, Shalene; Carvalheiro, Luísa G

    2016-11-01

    Across the globe, wild bees are threatened by ongoing natural habitat loss, risking the maintenance of plant biodiversity and agricultural production. Despite the ecological and economic importance of wild bees and the fact that several species are now managed for pollination services worldwide, little is known about how land use and beekeeping practices jointly influence gene flow. Using stingless bees as a model system, containing wild and managed species that are presumed to be particularly susceptible to habitat degradation, here we examine the main drivers of tropical bee gene flow. We employ a novel landscape genetic approach to analyse data from 135 populations of 17 stingless bee species distributed across diverse tropical biomes within the Americas. Our work has important methodological implications, as we illustrate how a maximum-likelihood approach can be applied in a meta-analysis framework to account for multiple factors, and weight estimates by sample size. In contrast to previously held beliefs, gene flow was not related to body size or deforestation, and isolation by geographic distance (IBD) was significantly affected by management, with managed species exhibiting a weaker IBD than wild ones. Our study thus reveals the critical importance of beekeeping practices in shaping the patterns of genetic differentiation across bee species. Additionally, our results show that many stingless bee species maintain high gene flow across heterogeneous landscapes. We suggest that future efforts to preserve wild tropical bees should focus on regulating beekeeping practices to maintain natural gene flow and enhancing pollinator-friendly habitats, prioritizing species showing a limited dispersal ability.

  20. Tropical forest soil microbial communities couple iron and carbon biogeochemistry

    Treesearch

    Eric A. Dubinsky; Whendee L. Silver; Mary K. Firestone

    2010-01-01

    We report that iron-reducing bacteria are primary mediators of anaerobic carbon oxidation in upland tropical soils spanning a rainfall gradient (3500–5000 mm/yr) in northeast Puerto Rico. The abundant rainfall and high net primary productivity of these tropical forests provide optimal soil habitat for iron-reducing and iron-oxidizing bacteria. Spatially and temporally...

  1. Plate tectonics drive tropical reef biodiversity dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Leprieur, Fabien; Descombes, Patrice; Gaboriau, Théo; Cowman, Peter F.; Parravicini, Valeriano; Kulbicki, Michel; Melián, Carlos J.; de Santana, Charles N.; Heine, Christian; Mouillot, David; Bellwood, David R.; Pellissier, Loïc

    2016-01-01

    The Cretaceous breakup of Gondwana strongly modified the global distribution of shallow tropical seas reshaping the geographic configuration of marine basins. However, the links between tropical reef availability, plate tectonic processes and marine biodiversity distribution patterns are still unknown. Here, we show that a spatial diversification model constrained by absolute plate motions for the past 140 million years predicts the emergence and movement of diversity hotspots on tropical reefs. The spatial dynamics of tropical reefs explains marine fauna diversification in the Tethyan Ocean during the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic, and identifies an eastward movement of ancestral marine lineages towards the Indo-Australian Archipelago in the Miocene. A mechanistic model based only on habitat-driven diversification and dispersal yields realistic predictions of current biodiversity patterns for both corals and fishes. As in terrestrial systems, we demonstrate that plate tectonics played a major role in driving tropical marine shallow reef biodiversity dynamics. PMID:27151103

  2. Plate tectonics drive tropical reef biodiversity dynamics.

    PubMed

    Leprieur, Fabien; Descombes, Patrice; Gaboriau, Théo; Cowman, Peter F; Parravicini, Valeriano; Kulbicki, Michel; Melián, Carlos J; de Santana, Charles N; Heine, Christian; Mouillot, David; Bellwood, David R; Pellissier, Loïc

    2016-05-06

    The Cretaceous breakup of Gondwana strongly modified the global distribution of shallow tropical seas reshaping the geographic configuration of marine basins. However, the links between tropical reef availability, plate tectonic processes and marine biodiversity distribution patterns are still unknown. Here, we show that a spatial diversification model constrained by absolute plate motions for the past 140 million years predicts the emergence and movement of diversity hotspots on tropical reefs. The spatial dynamics of tropical reefs explains marine fauna diversification in the Tethyan Ocean during the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic, and identifies an eastward movement of ancestral marine lineages towards the Indo-Australian Archipelago in the Miocene. A mechanistic model based only on habitat-driven diversification and dispersal yields realistic predictions of current biodiversity patterns for both corals and fishes. As in terrestrial systems, we demonstrate that plate tectonics played a major role in driving tropical marine shallow reef biodiversity dynamics.

  3. Plate tectonics drive tropical reef biodiversity dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leprieur, Fabien; Descombes, Patrice; Gaboriau, Théo; Cowman, Peter F.; Parravicini, Valeriano; Kulbicki, Michel; Melián, Carlos J.; de Santana, Charles N.; Heine, Christian; Mouillot, David; Bellwood, David R.; Pellissier, Loïc

    2016-05-01

    The Cretaceous breakup of Gondwana strongly modified the global distribution of shallow tropical seas reshaping the geographic configuration of marine basins. However, the links between tropical reef availability, plate tectonic processes and marine biodiversity distribution patterns are still unknown. Here, we show that a spatial diversification model constrained by absolute plate motions for the past 140 million years predicts the emergence and movement of diversity hotspots on tropical reefs. The spatial dynamics of tropical reefs explains marine fauna diversification in the Tethyan Ocean during the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic, and identifies an eastward movement of ancestral marine lineages towards the Indo-Australian Archipelago in the Miocene. A mechanistic model based only on habitat-driven diversification and dispersal yields realistic predictions of current biodiversity patterns for both corals and fishes. As in terrestrial systems, we demonstrate that plate tectonics played a major role in driving tropical marine shallow reef biodiversity dynamics.

  4. Ecological Drivers of Shark Distributions along a Tropical Coastline

    PubMed Central

    Yates, Peter M.; Heupel, Michelle R.; Tobin, Andrew J.; Simpfendorfer, Colin A.

    2015-01-01

    As coastal species experience increasing anthropogenic pressures there is a growing need to characterise the ecological drivers of their abundance and habitat use, and understand how they may respond to changes in their environment. Accordingly, fishery-independent surveys were undertaken to investigate shark abundance along approximately 400 km of the tropical east coast of Australia. Generalised linear models were used to identify ecological drivers of the abundance of immature blacktip Carcharhinus tilstoni/Carcharhinus limbatus, pigeye Carcharhinus amboinensis, and scalloped hammerhead Sphyrna lewini sharks. Results indicated general and species-specific patterns in abundance that were characterised by a range of abiotic and biotic variables. Relationships with turbidity and salinity were similar across multiple species, highlighting the importance of these variables in the functioning of communal shark nurseries. In particular, turbid environments were especially important for all species at typical oceanic salinities. Mangrove proximity, depth, and water temperature were also important; however, their influence varied between species. Ecological drivers may promote spatial diversity in habitat use along environmentally heterogeneous coastlines and may therefore have important implications for population resilience. PMID:25853657

  5. Ecological drivers of shark distributions along a tropical coastline.

    PubMed

    Yates, Peter M; Heupel, Michelle R; Tobin, Andrew J; Simpfendorfer, Colin A

    2015-01-01

    As coastal species experience increasing anthropogenic pressures there is a growing need to characterise the ecological drivers of their abundance and habitat use, and understand how they may respond to changes in their environment. Accordingly, fishery-independent surveys were undertaken to investigate shark abundance along approximately 400 km of the tropical east coast of Australia. Generalised linear models were used to identify ecological drivers of the abundance of immature blacktip Carcharhinus tilstoni/Carcharhinus limbatus, pigeye Carcharhinus amboinensis, and scalloped hammerhead Sphyrna lewini sharks. Results indicated general and species-specific patterns in abundance that were characterised by a range of abiotic and biotic variables. Relationships with turbidity and salinity were similar across multiple species, highlighting the importance of these variables in the functioning of communal shark nurseries. In particular, turbid environments were especially important for all species at typical oceanic salinities. Mangrove proximity, depth, and water temperature were also important; however, their influence varied between species. Ecological drivers may promote spatial diversity in habitat use along environmentally heterogeneous coastlines and may therefore have important implications for population resilience.

  6. 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.

  7. Mapping tropical dry forest height, foliage height profiles and disturbance type and age with a time series of cloud-cleared Landsat and ALI image mosaics to characterize avian habitat

    Treesearch

    E.H. Helmer; Thomas S. Ruzycki; Jr. Joseph M. Wunderle; Shannon Vogesser; Bonnie Ruefenacht; Charles Kwit; Thomas J. Brandeis; David N. Ewert

    2010-01-01

    Remote sensing of forest vertical structure is possible with lidar data, but lidar is not widely available. Here we map tropical dry forest height (RMSE=0.9 m, R2=0.84, range 0.6–7 m), and we map foliage height profiles, with a time series of Landsat and Advanced Land Imager (ALI) imagery on the island of Eleuthera, The Bahamas, substituting time for vertical canopy...

  8. Protostelids and myxomycetes isolated from aquatic habitats.

    PubMed

    Lindley, Lora A; Stephenson, Steven L; Spiegel, Frederick W

    2007-01-01

    Protostelids and myxomycetes have been isolated from dead plant parts in many different habitats, including tropical rain forests and deserts. However underwater habitats largely have been overlooked. The purpose of this study was to determine whether protostelids do occur in aquatic habitats and to survey the myxomycetes associated with these habitats. Protostelids and myxomycetes were isolated from substrates collected from just above and just below the surface of the water. Several species of both groups were present, and their distributions above and below the water were different. It is not surprising that the trophic cells of slime molds occur in ponds because they are known to grow in films of water. However these findings are significant because this is the first study to demonstrate clearly the occurrence of protostelids in underwater environments and one of the few surveys of myxomycetes from aquatic systems.

  9. Tropical Deforestation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raven, Peter H.

    1988-01-01

    Outlines the deforestation problem and some efforts for solving the problem. Considers the impact of population growth, poverty, and ignorance. Includes a discussion of the current rapid decline in tropical forests, the consequences of destruction, and an outlook for the future. (YP)

  10. Tropical Deforestation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raven, Peter H.

    1988-01-01

    Outlines the deforestation problem and some efforts for solving the problem. Considers the impact of population growth, poverty, and ignorance. Includes a discussion of the current rapid decline in tropical forests, the consequences of destruction, and an outlook for the future. (YP)

  11. Heterogeneous Catalysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miranda, R.

    1989-01-01

    Described is a heterogeneous catalysis course which has elements of materials processing embedded in the classical format of catalytic mechanisms and surface chemistry. A course outline and list of examples of recent review papers written by students are provided. (MVL)

  12. Heterogeneous Catalysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miranda, R.

    1989-01-01

    Described is a heterogeneous catalysis course which has elements of materials processing embedded in the classical format of catalytic mechanisms and surface chemistry. A course outline and list of examples of recent review papers written by students are provided. (MVL)

  13. Heterogeneous catalysis.

    PubMed

    Schlögl, Robert

    2015-03-09

    A heterogeneous catalyst is a functional material that continually creates active sites with its reactants under reaction conditions. These sites change the rates of chemical reactions of the reactants localized on them without changing the thermodynamic equilibrium between the materials.

  14. Resource stoichiometry and availability modulate species richness and biomass of tropical litter macro-invertebrates.

    PubMed

    Jochum, Malte; Barnes, Andrew D; Weigelt, Patrick; Ott, David; Rembold, Katja; Farajallah, Achmad; Brose, Ulrich

    2017-09-01

    High biodiversity and biomass of soil communities are crucial for litter decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems such as tropical forests. However, the leaf litter that these communities consume is of particularly poor quality as indicated by elemental stoichiometry. The impact of resource quantity, quality and other habitat parameters on species richness and biomass of consumer communities is often studied in isolation, although much can be learned from simultaneously studying both community characteristics. Using a dataset of 780 macro-invertebrate consumer species across 32 sites in tropical lowland rain forest and agricultural systems on Sumatra, Indonesia, we investigated the effects of basal resource stoichiometry (C:X ratios of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Na, S in local leaf litter), litter mass (basal resource quantity and habitat space), plant species richness (surrogate for litter habitat heterogeneity), and soil pH (acidity) on consumer species richness and biomass across different consumer groups (i.e. 3 feeding guilds and 10 selected taxonomic groups). In order to distinguish the most important predictors of consumer species richness and biomass, we applied a standardised model averaging approach investigating the effects of basal resource stoichiometry, litter mass, plant species richness and soil pH on both consumer community characteristics. This standardised approach enabled us to identify differences and similarities in the magnitude and importance of such effects on consumer species richness and biomass. Across consumer groups, we found litter mass to be the most important predictor of both species richness and biomass. Resource stoichiometry had a more pronounced impact on consumer species richness than on their biomass. As expected, taxonomic groups differed in which resource and habitat parameters (basal resource stoichiometry, litter mass, plant species richness and pH) were most important for modulating their community characteristics. The importance

  15. 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)

  16. 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)

  17. Habitat Demonstration Unit - Deep Space Habitat Configuration

    NASA Image and Video Library

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

  18. Temperate macroalgae impacts tropical fish recruitment at forefronts of range expansion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beck, H. J.; Feary, D. A.; Nakamura, Y.; Booth, D. J.

    2017-06-01

    Warming waters and changing ocean currents are increasing the supply of tropical fish larvae to temperature regions where they are exposed to novel habitats, namely temperate macroalgae and barren reefs. Here, we use underwater surveys on the temperate reefs of south-eastern (SE) Australia and western Japan ( 33.5°N and S, respectively) to investigate how temperate macroalgal and non-macroalgal habitats influence recruitment success of a range of tropical fishes. We show that temperate macroalgae strongly affected recruitment of many tropical fish species in both regions and across three recruitment seasons in SE Australia. Densities and richness of recruiting tropical fishes, primarily planktivores and herbivores, were over seven times greater in non-macroalgal than macroalgal reef habitat. Species and trophic diversity ( K-dominance) were also greater in non-macroalgal habitat. Temperate macroalgal cover was a stronger predictor of tropical fish assemblages than temperate fish assemblages, reef rugosities or wave exposure. Tropical fish richness, diversity and density were greater on barren reef than on reef dominated by turfing algae. One common species, the neon damselfish ( Pomacentrus coelestis), chose non-macroalgal habitat over temperate macroalgae for settlement in an aquarium experiment. This study highlights that temperate macroalgae may partly account for spatial variation in recruitment success of many tropical fishes into higher latitudes. Hence, habitat composition of temperate reefs may need to be considered to accurately predict the geographic responses of many tropical fishes to climate change.

  19. Macroecology of habitat choice in long-distance migratory birds.

    PubMed

    Böhning-Gaese, Katrin; Oberrath, Reik

    2003-10-01

    Patterns of habitat choice in ecological communities are not only influenced by present-day selective forces but also by historical processes, such as the biogeographical history of the lineages they are composed of. Nevertheless, it has been very difficult to test historical factors. The possible tropical origin of long-distance migratory birds provides an opportunity for such a test. If habitat choice of long-distance migrants is inherited from their tropical ancestors then Nearctic long-distance migrants might have acquired their habitat choice from Neotropical forest species and European long-distance migrants from African savannah species. Here we use a macroecological approach to show that this hypothesis can be confirmed. Long-distance migrants in the Nearctic are found in forested habitat types, while those in Europe are found in open ones. In comparison, the habitat choice of residents and short-distance migrants (in genera without long-distance migration) does not differ between the Nearctic and Europe. These results demonstrate that habitat choice in temperate bird communities can be explained by the tropical history of long-distance migrants. Thus, habitat choice seems to be shaped not only by local mechanisms, but also by processes acting on much larger spatial and temporal scales.

  20. Can animal habitat use patterns influence their vulnerability to extreme climate events? An estuarine sportfish case study.

    PubMed

    Boucek, Ross E; Heithaus, Michael R; Santos, Rolando; Stevens, Philip; Rehage, Jennifer S

    2017-10-01

    Global climate forecasts predict changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme climate events (ECEs). The capacity for specific habitat patches within a landscape to modulate stressors from extreme climate events, and animal distribution throughout habitat matrices during events, could influence the degree of population level effects following the passage of ECEs. Here, we ask (i) does the intensity of stressors of an ECE vary across a landscape? And (ii) Do habitat use patterns of a mobile species influence their vulnerability to ECEs? Specifically, we measured how extreme cold spells might interact with temporal variability in habitat use to affect populations of a tropical, estuarine-dependent large-bodied fish Common Snook, within Everglades National Park estuaries (FL US). We examined temperature variation across the estuary during cold disturbances with different degrees of severity, including an extreme cold spell. Second, we quantified Snook distribution patterns when the passage of ECEs is most likely to occur from 2012 to 2016 using passive acoustic tracking. Our results revealed spatial heterogeneity in the intensity of temperature declines during cold disturbances, with some habitats being consistently 3-5°C colder than others. Surprisingly, Snook distributions during periods of greatest risk to experience an extreme cold event varied among years. During the winters of 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 a greater proportion of Snook occurred in the colder habitats, while the winters of 2012-2013 and 2015-2016 featured more Snook observed in the warmest habitats. This study shows that Snook habitat use patterns could influence vulnerability to extreme cold events, however, whether Snook habitat use increases or decreases their vulnerability to disturbance depends on the year, creating temporally dynamic vulnerability. Faunal global change research should address the spatially explicit nature of extreme climate events and animal habitat use patterns to identify

  1. Quantile regression reveals hidden bias and uncertainty in habitat models

    Treesearch

    Brian S. Cade; Barry R. Noon; Curtis H. Flather

    2005-01-01

    We simulated the effects of missing information on statistical distributions of animal response that covaried with measured predictors of habitat to evaluate the utility and performance of quantile regression for providing more useful intervals of uncertainty in habitat relationships. These procedures were evaulated for conditions in which heterogeneity and hidden bias...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aguilar-Amuchastegui, Naikoa

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

  3. Phenotypic plasticity to light of two congeneric trees from contrasting habitats: Brazilian Atlantic Forest versus cerrado (savanna).

    PubMed

    Barros, F de V; Goulart, M F; Telles, S B Sá; Lovato, M B; Valladares, F; de Lemos-Filho, J P

    2012-01-01

    The Brazilian Atlantic Forest is a typically multi-layer tropical forest, while cerrado (savanna) is a patchy habitat with different physiognomy. Despite these differences, both habitats have high light heterogeneity. Functional traits of Dalbergia nigra and D. miscolobium from the Atlantic Forest and cerrado, respectively, were evaluated under shade (25% of full sunlight) and full sunlight in a nursery experiment. We hypothesised that both species should benefit from high phenotypic plasticity in relation to light. Plasticity was estimated using the relative distance phenotypic index (RDPI). D. miscolobium had lower shoot growth under both light conditions, suggesting it has low competitive capacity in the forest environment, which could explain its limited ability to expand over areas of Atlantic Forest. The studied species exhibited photoprotection strategies under high light and improved light capture under low light. Stomatal conductance, ETR(max) (maximum electron transport rate), PPFD(sat) (saturating photosynthetically active photon flux density), chlorophyll and carotenoid content had higher RDPI than stem morphological traits. Although both species showed considerable phenotypic plasticity, D. miscolobium had higher RDPI for eight of 11 evaluated traits. This high plasticity could be one of the factors that explain the occurrence of this species in a wide range of environmental conditions, from open grassland to dense woodlands, and it could also reflect its adaptation to high light. D. nigra also had considerable plasticity and good growth performance in both shade and full sunlight, but its absence in areas of cerrado suggests that factors other than light limit its occurrence in these habitats.

  4. Western habitats - Session summary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Titus, K.; Fuller, M.R.; Pendleton, Beth Giron

    1989-01-01

    Determining the status of all habitats in the nine western states considered in this symposium is a difficult task. The authors of habitat status papers commented that the diversity of habitat classification systems limited their ability to relate habitat status to raptors. Differences of scale, objectives and survey design have hindered integration of habitat classification methods used by land managers with the habitat relationships understood by wildlife biologists, but examples now exist for successful integration of these methods. We suggest that land managers and wildlife biologists use common survey and classification schemes so that data can be combined and that results will be applicable over broader areas.

  5. Tropical Convection's Roles in Tropical Tropopause Cirrus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boehm, Matthew T.; Starr, David OC.; Verlinde, Johannes; Lee, Sukyoung

    2002-01-01

    The results presented here show that tropical convection plays a role in each of the three primary processes involved in the in situ formation of tropopause cirrus. First, tropical convection transports moisture from the surface into the upper troposphere. Second, tropical convection excites Rossby waves that transport zonal momentum toward the ITCZ, thereby generating rising motion near the equator. This rising motion helps transport moisture from where it is detrained from convection to the cold-point tropopause. Finally, tropical convection excites vertically propagating tropical waves (e.g. Kelvin waves) that provide one source of large-scale cooling near the cold-point tropopause, leading to tropopause cirrus formation.

  6. Application of SAR Remote Sensing in Land Surface Processes Over Tropical region

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saatchi, Sasan S.

    1996-01-01

    This paper outlines the potential applications of polarimetric SAR systems over tropical regions such as mapping land use and deforestation, forest regeneration, wetland and inundation studies, and mapping land cover types for biodiversity and habitat conservation studies.

  7. Importance of environmental factors on the richness and distribution of benthic macroinvertebrates in tropical headwater streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    It is essential to understand the interactions between local environmental factors (e.g., physical habitat and water quality) and aquatic assemblages to conserve biodiversity in tropical and subtropical headwater streams. Therefore, we evaluated the relative importance of multipl...

  8. Importance of environmental factors on the richness and distribution of benthic macroinvertebrates in tropical headwater streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    It is essential to understand the interactions between local environmental factors (e.g., physical habitat and water quality) and aquatic assemblages to conserve biodiversity in tropical and subtropical headwater streams. Therefore, we evaluated the relative importance of multipl...

  9. Beta-Diversity in Tropical Forest Trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Condit, Richard; Pitman, Nigel; Leigh, Egbert G.; Chave, Jérôme; Terborgh, John; Foster, Robin B.; Núñez V., Percy; Aguilar, Salomón; Valencia, Renato; Villa, Gorky; Muller-Landau, Helene C.; Losos, Elizabeth; Hubbell, Stephen P.

    2002-01-01

    The high alpha-diversity of tropical forests has been amply documented, but beta-diversity-how species composition changes with distance-has seldom been studied. We present quantitative estimates of beta-diversity for tropical trees by comparing species composition of plots in lowland terra firme forest in Panama, Ecuador, and Peru. We compare observations with predictions derived from a neutral model in which habitat is uniform and only dispersal and speciation influence species turnover. We find that beta-diversity is higher in Panama than in western Amazonia and that patterns in both areas are inconsistent with the neutral model. In Panama, habitat variation appears to increase species turnover relative to Amazonia, where unexpectedly low turnover over great distances suggests that population densities of some species are bounded by as yet unidentified processes. At intermediate scales in both regions, observations can be matched by theory, suggesting that dispersal limitation, with speciation, influences species turnover.

  10. Tropical Fishes Dominate Temperate Reef Fish Communities within Western Japan

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Yohei; Feary, David A.; Kanda, Masaru; Yamaoka, Kosaku

    2013-01-01

    Climate change is resulting in rapid poleward shifts in the geographical distribution of tropical and subtropical fish species. We can expect that such range shifts are likely to be limited by species-specific resource requirements, with temperate rocky reefs potentially lacking a range of settlement substrates or specific dietary components important in structuring the settlement and success of tropical and subtropical fish species. We examined the importance of resource use in structuring the distribution patterns of range shifting tropical and subtropical fishes, comparing this with resident temperate fish species within western Japan (Tosa Bay); the abundance, diversity, size class, functional structure and latitudinal range of reef fishes utilizing both coral reef and adjacent rocky reef habitat were quantified over a 2 year period (2008–2010). This region has undergone rapid poleward expansion of reef-building corals in response to increasing coastal water temperatures, and forms one of the global hotspots for rapid coastal changes. Despite the temperate latitude surveyed (33°N, 133°E) the fish assemblage was both numerically, and in terms of richness, dominated by tropical fishes. Such tropical faunal dominance was apparent within both coral, and rocky reef habitats. The size structure of the assemblage suggested that a relatively large number of tropical species are overwintering within both coral and rocky habitats, with a subset of these species being potentially reproductively active. The relatively high abundance and richness of tropical species with obligate associations with live coral resources (i.e., obligate corallivores) shows that this region holds the most well developed temperate-located tropical fish fauna globally. We argue that future tropicalisation of the fish fauna in western Japan, associated with increasing coral habitat development and reported increasing shifts in coastal water temperatures, may have considerable positive economic

  11. Tropical fishes dominate temperate reef fish communities within western Japan.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Yohei; Feary, David A; Kanda, Masaru; Yamaoka, Kosaku

    2013-01-01

    Climate change is resulting in rapid poleward shifts in the geographical distribution of tropical and subtropical fish species. We can expect that such range shifts are likely to be limited by species-specific resource requirements, with temperate rocky reefs potentially lacking a range of settlement substrates or specific dietary components important in structuring the settlement and success of tropical and subtropical fish species. We examined the importance of resource use in structuring the distribution patterns of range shifting tropical and subtropical fishes, comparing this with resident temperate fish species within western Japan (Tosa Bay); the abundance, diversity, size class, functional structure and latitudinal range of reef fishes utilizing both coral reef and adjacent rocky reef habitat were quantified over a 2 year period (2008-2010). This region has undergone rapid poleward expansion of reef-building corals in response to increasing coastal water temperatures, and forms one of the global hotspots for rapid coastal changes. Despite the temperate latitude surveyed (33°N, 133°E) the fish assemblage was both numerically, and in terms of richness, dominated by tropical fishes. Such tropical faunal dominance was apparent within both coral, and rocky reef habitats. The size structure of the assemblage suggested that a relatively large number of tropical species are overwintering within both coral and rocky habitats, with a subset of these species being potentially reproductively active. The relatively high abundance and richness of tropical species with obligate associations with live coral resources (i.e., obligate corallivores) shows that this region holds the most well developed temperate-located tropical fish fauna globally. We argue that future tropicalisation of the fish fauna in western Japan, associated with increasing coral habitat development and reported increasing shifts in coastal water temperatures, may have considerable positive economic

  12. Dynamics of Adaptation in Spatially Heterogeneous Metapopulations

    PubMed Central

    Papaïx, Julien; David, Olivier; Lannou, Christian; Monod, Hervé

    2013-01-01

    The selection pressure experienced by organisms often varies across the species range. It is hence crucial to characterise the link between environmental spatial heterogeneity and the adaptive dynamics of species or populations. We address this issue by studying the phenotypic evolution of a spatial metapopulation using an adaptive dynamics approach. The singular strategy is found to be the mean of the optimal phenotypes in each habitat with larger weights for habitats present in large and well connected patches. The presence of spatial clusters of habitats in the metapopulation is found to facilitate specialisation and to increase both the level of adaptation and the evolutionary speed of the population when dispersal is limited. By showing that spatial structures are crucial in determining the specialisation level and the evolutionary speed of a population, our results give insight into the influence of spatial heterogeneity on the niche breadth of species. PMID:23424618

  13. Genetic rescue of remnant tropical trees by an alien pollinator.

    PubMed

    Dick, C W

    2001-11-22

    Habitat fragmentation is thought to lower the viability of tropical trees by disrupting their mutualisms with native pollinators. However, in this study, Dinizia excelsa (Fabaceae), a canopy-emergent tree, was found to thrive in Amazonian pastures and forest fragments even in the absence of native pollinators. Canopy observations indicated that African honeybees (Apis mellifera scutellata) were the predominant floral visitors in fragmented habitats and replaced native insects in isolated pasture trees. Trees in habitat fragments produced, on average, over three times as many seeds as trees in continuous forest, and microsatellite assays of seed arrays showed that genetic diversity was maintained across habitats. A paternity analysis further revealed gene flow over as much as 3.2 km of pasture, the most distant pollination precisely recorded for any plant species. Usually considered only as dangerous exotics, African honeybees have become important pollinators in degraded tropical forests, and may alter the genetic structure of remnant populations through frequent long-distance gene flow.

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. Plausible Martian Habitats

    NASA Image and Video Library

    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.

  17. ESTUARINE HABITAT RESTORATION

    SciTech Connect

    Thom, Ronald M.; Borde, Amy B.

    2015-09-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. High density of tree-cavities and snags in tropical dry forest of western Mexico raises questions for a latitudinal gradient.

    PubMed

    Vázquez, Leopoldo; Renton, Katherine

    2015-01-01

    It has been suggested that a latitudinal gradient exists of a low density of snags and high density of naturally-formed tree-cavities in tropical vs. temperate forests, though few cavities may have characteristics suitable for nesting by birds. We determined snag and cavity density, characteristics, and suitability for birds in a tropical dry forest biome of western Mexico, and evaluated whether our data fits the trend of snag and cavity density typically found in tropical moist and wet forests. We established five 0.25-ha transects to survey and measure tree-cavities and snags in each of three vegetation types of deciduous, semi-deciduous, and mono-dominant Piranhea mexicana forest, comprising a total of 3.75 ha. We found a high density of 77 cavities/ha, with 37 cavities suitable for birds/ha, where density, and characteristics of cavities varied significantly among vegetation types. Lowest abundance of cavities occurred in deciduous forest, and these were in smaller trees, at a lower height, and with a narrower entrance diameter. Only 8.6% of cavities were excavated by woodpeckers, and only 11% of cavities were occupied, mainly by arthropods, though 52% of all cavities were unsuitable for birds. We also found a high density of 56 snags/ha, with greatest density in deciduous forest (70 snags/ha), though these were of significantly smaller diameter, and snags of larger diameter were more likely to contain cavities. The Chamela-Cuixmala tropical dry forest had the highest density of snags recorded for any tropical or temperate forest, and while snag density was significantly correlated with mean snag dbh, neither latitude nor mean dbh predicted snag density in ten forest sites. The high spatial aggregation of snag and cavity resources in tropical dry forest may limit their availability, particularly for large-bodied cavity adopters, and highlights the importance of habitat heterogeneity in providing resources for primary and secondary cavity-nesters.

  2. High Density of Tree-Cavities and Snags in Tropical Dry Forest of Western Mexico Raises Questions for a Latitudinal Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Vázquez, Leopoldo; Renton, Katherine

    2015-01-01

    It has been suggested that a latitudinal gradient exists of a low density of snags and high density of naturally-formed tree-cavities in tropical vs. temperate forests, though few cavities may have characteristics suitable for nesting by birds. We determined snag and cavity density, characteristics, and suitability for birds in a tropical dry forest biome of western Mexico, and evaluated whether our data fits the trend of snag and cavity density typically found in tropical moist and wet forests. We established five 0.25-ha transects to survey and measure tree-cavities and snags in each of three vegetation types of deciduous, semi-deciduous, and mono-dominant Piranhea mexicana forest, comprising a total of 3.75 ha. We found a high density of 77 cavities/ha, with 37 cavities suitable for birds/ha, where density, and characteristics of cavities varied significantly among vegetation types. Lowest abundance of cavities occurred in deciduous forest, and these were in smaller trees, at a lower height, and with a narrower entrance diameter. Only 8.6% of cavities were excavated by woodpeckers, and only 11% of cavities were occupied, mainly by arthropods, though 52% of all cavities were unsuitable for birds. We also found a high density of 56 snags/ha, with greatest density in deciduous forest (70 snags/ha), though these were of significantly smaller diameter, and snags of larger diameter were more likely to contain cavities. The Chamela-Cuixmala tropical dry forest had the highest density of snags recorded for any tropical or temperate forest, and while snag density was significantly correlated with mean snag dbh, neither latitude nor mean dbh predicted snag density in ten forest sites. The high spatial aggregation of snag and cavity resources in tropical dry forest may limit their availability, particularly for large-bodied cavity adopters, and highlights the importance of habitat heterogeneity in providing resources for primary and secondary cavity-nesters. PMID:25615612

  3. 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…

  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. 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...

  6. Habitat mapping of the Brazilian Pantanal using synthetic aperture radar imagery and object based image analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Teresa Lynne

    The Brazilian Pantanal, a continuous tropical wetland located in the center of South America, has been recognized as one of the largest and most important wetland ecosystems globally. The Pantanal exhibits a high biodiversity of flora and fauna species, and many threatened habitats. The spatial distribution of these habitats influence the distribution, abundance and interactions of animal species, and the change or destruction of habitat may cause alteration of key biological processes. The Pantanal may be divided into several distinct subregions based on geology and hydrology: flooding in these subregions is distinctly seasonal, but the timing, amplitude and duration of inundation vary considerably as a result of both the delayed release of floodwaters and regional rainfall patterns. Given the ecological importance of the Pantanal wetland ecosystem, the primary goal of this research was to utilize a dual season set of L-band (ALOS/PALSAR) and C-band (RADARSAT-2 and ENVISAT/ASAR) imagery, a comprehensive set of ground reference data, and a hierarchical object-oriented approach. This primary goal was achieved through two main research tasks. The first task was to define the diverse habitats of the Lower Nhecolândia subregion of the Pantanal at both a fine spatial resolution (12.5 m), and a relatively medium spatial resolution (50 m), thus evaluating the accuracy of the differing spatial resolutions for land cover classification of the highly spatially heterogeneous subregion. The second task was to define on a regional scale, using the 50 m spatial resolution imagery, the wetland habitats of each of the hydrological subregions of the Pantanal, thereby producing a final product covering the entire Pantanal ecosystem. The final classification maps of the Lower Nhecolândia subregion resulted in overall accuracies of 83% and 72% for the 12.5 m and 50 m spatial resolutions, respectively, and defined seven land cover classes. In general, the highest degree of confusion

  7. Evolution of body size, vision, and biodiversity of coral-associated organisms: evidence from fossil crustaceans in cold-water coral and tropical coral ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Klompmaker, Adiël A; Jakobsen, Sten L; Lauridsen, Bodil W

    2016-06-16

    Modern cold-water coral and tropical coral environments harbor a highly diverse and ecologically important macrofauna of crustaceans that face elevated extinction risks due to reef decline. The effect of environmental conditions acting on decapod crustaceans comparing these two habitats is poorly understood today and in deep time. Here, we compare the biodiversity, eye socket height as a proxy for eye size, and body size of decapods in fossil cold-water and tropical reefs that formed prior to human disturbance. We show that decapod biodiversity is higher in fossil tropical reefs from The Netherlands, Italy, and Spain compared to that of the exceptionally well-preserved Paleocene (Danian) cold-water reef/mound ecosystem from Faxe (Denmark), where decapod diversity is highest in a more heterogeneous, mixed bryozoan-coral habitat instead of in coral and bryozoan-dominated facies. The relatively low diversity at Faxe was not influenced substantially by the preceding Cretaceous/Paleogene extinction event that is not apparent in the standing diversity of decapods in our analyses, or by sampling, preservation, and/or a latitudinal diversity gradient. Instead, the lower availability of food and fewer hiding places for decapods may explain this low diversity. Furthermore, decapods from Faxe are larger than those from tropical waters for half of the comparisons, which may be caused by a lower number of predators, the delayed maturity, and the increased life span of crustaceans in deeper, colder waters. Finally, deep-water specimens of the benthic crab Caloxanthus from Faxe exhibit a larger eye socket size compared to congeneric specimens from tropical reefs, suggesting that dim light conditions favored the evolution of relatively large eyes. The results suggest a strong habitat control on the biodiversity of crustaceans in coral-associated environments and that the diversity difference between deep, cold-water reefs and tropical reefs evolved at least ~63 million years ago

  8. The airspace is habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Diehl, Robert H.

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Population assessment of tropical tuna based on their associative behavior around floating objects.

    PubMed

    Capello, M; Deneubourg, J L; Robert, M; Holland, K N; Schaefer, K M; Dagorn, L

    2016-11-03

    Estimating the abundance of pelagic fish species is a challenging task, due to their vast and remote habitat. Despite the development of satellite, archival and acoustic tagging techniques that allow the tracking of marine animals in their natural environments, these technologies have so far been underutilized in developing abundance estimations. We developed a new method for estimating the abundance of tropical tuna that employs these technologies and exploits the aggregative behavior of tuna around floating objects (FADs). We provided estimates of abundance indices based on a simulated set of tagged fish and studied the sensitivity of our method to different association dynamics, FAD numbers, population sizes and heterogeneities of the FAD-array. Taking the case study of yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) acoustically-tagged in Hawaii, we implemented our approach on field data and derived for the first time the ratio between the associated and the total population. With more extensive and long-term monitoring of FAD-associated tunas and good estimates of the numbers of fish at FADs, our method could provide fisheries-independent estimates of populations of tropical tuna. The same approach can be applied to obtain population assessments for any marine and terrestrial species that display associative behavior and from which behavioral data have been acquired using acoustic, archival or satellite tags.

  10. Population assessment of tropical tuna based on their associative behavior around floating objects

    PubMed Central

    Capello, M.; Deneubourg, J. L.; Robert, M.; Holland, K. N.; Schaefer, K. M.; Dagorn, L.

    2016-01-01

    Estimating the abundance of pelagic fish species is a challenging task, due to their vast and remote habitat. Despite the development of satellite, archival and acoustic tagging techniques that allow the tracking of marine animals in their natural environments, these technologies have so far been underutilized in developing abundance estimations. We developed a new method for estimating the abundance of tropical tuna that employs these technologies and exploits the aggregative behavior of tuna around floating objects (FADs). We provided estimates of abundance indices based on a simulated set of tagged fish and studied the sensitivity of our method to different association dynamics, FAD numbers, population sizes and heterogeneities of the FAD-array. Taking the case study of yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) acoustically-tagged in Hawaii, we implemented our approach on field data and derived for the first time the ratio between the associated and the total population. With more extensive and long-term monitoring of FAD-associated tunas and good estimates of the numbers of fish at FADs, our method could provide fisheries-independent estimates of populations of tropical tuna. The same approach can be applied to obtain population assessments for any marine and terrestrial species that display associative behavior and from which behavioral data have been acquired using acoustic, archival or satellite tags. PMID:27808175

  11. Ecological speciation in tropical reef fishes

    PubMed Central

    Rocha, Luiz A; Robertson, D. Ross; Roman, Joe; Bowen, Brian W

    2005-01-01

    The high biodiversity in tropical seas provides a long-standing challenge to allopatric speciation models. Physical barriers are few in the ocean and larval dispersal is often extensive, a combination that should reduce opportunities for speciation. Yet coral reefs are among the most species-rich habitats in the world, indicating evolutionary processes beyond conventional allopatry. In a survey of mtDNA sequences of five congeneric west Atlantic reef fishes (wrasses, genus Halichoeres) with similar dispersal potential, we observed phylogeographical patterns that contradict expectations of geographical isolation, and instead indicate a role for ecological speciation. In Halichoeres bivittatus and the species pair Halichoeres radiatus/brasiliensis, we observed strong partitions (3.4% and 2.3% divergence, respectively) between adjacent and ecologically distinct habitats, but high genetic connectivity between similar habitats separated by thousands of kilometres. This habitat partitioning is maintained even at a local scale where H. bivittatus lineages are segregated between cold- and warm-water habitats in both Bermuda and Florida. The concordance of evolutionary partitions with habitat types, rather than conventional biogeographical barriers, indicates parapatric ecological speciation, in which adaptation to alternative environmental conditions in adjacent locations overwhelms the homogenizing effect of dispersal. This mechanism can explain the long-standing enigma of high biodiversity in coral reef faunas. PMID:15817431

  12. Evidence for ecological divergence across a mosaic of soil types in an Amazonian tropical tree: Protium subserratum (Burseraceae).

    PubMed

    Misiewicz, Tracy M; Fine, Paul V A

    2014-05-01

    Soil heterogeneity is an important driver of divergent natural selection in plants. Neotropical forests have the highest tree diversity on earth, and frequently, soil specialist congeners are distributed parapatrically. While the role of edaphic heterogeneity in the origin and maintenance of tropical tree diversity is unknown, it has been posited that natural selection across the patchwork of soils in the Amazon rainforest is important in driving and maintaining tree diversity. We examined genetic and morphological differentiation among populations of the tropical tree Protium subserratum growing parapatrically on the mosaic of white-sand, brown-sand and clay soils found throughout western Amazonia. Nuclear microsatellites and leaf morphology were used to (i) quantify the extent of phenotypic and genetic divergence across habitat types, (ii) assess the importance of natural selection vs. drift in population divergence, (iii) determine the extent of hybridization and introgression across habitat types, (iv) estimate migration rates among populations. We found significant morphological variation correlated with soil type. Higher levels of genetic differentiation and lower migration rates were observed between adjacent populations found on different soil types than between geographically distant populations on the same soil type. PST -FST comparisons indicate a role for natural selection in population divergence among soil types. A small number of hybrids were detected suggesting that gene flow among soil specialist populations may occur at low frequencies. Our results suggest that edaphic specialization has occurred multiple times in P. subserratum and that divergent natural selection across edaphic boundaries may be a general mechanism promoting and maintaining Amazonian tree diversity.

  13. Accelerating Tropicalization and the Transformation of Temperate Seagrass Meadows.

    PubMed

    Hyndes, Glenn A; Heck, Kenneth L; Vergés, Adriana; Harvey, Euan S; Kendrick, Gary A; Lavery, Paul S; McMahon, Kathryn; Orth, Robert J; Pearce, Alan; Vanderklift, Mathew; Wernberg, Thomas; Whiting, Scott; Wilson, Shaun

    2016-11-01

    Climate-driven changes are altering production and functioning of biotic assemblages in terrestrial and aquatic environments. In temperate coastal waters, rising sea temperatures, warm water anomalies and poleward shifts in the distribution of tropical herbivores have had a detrimental effect on algal forests. We develop generalized scenarios of this form of tropicalization and its potential effects on the structure and functioning of globally significant and threatened seagrass ecosystems, through poleward shifts in tropical seagrasses and herbivores. Initially, we expect tropical herbivorous fishes to establish in temperate seagrass meadows, followed later by megafauna. Tropical seagrasses are likely to establish later, delayed by more limited dispersal abilities. Ultimately, food webs are likely to shift from primarily seagrass-detritus to more direct-consumption-based systems, thereby affecting a range of important ecosystem services that seagrasses provide, including their nursery habitat role for fishery species, carbon sequestration, and the provision of organic matter to other ecosystems in temperate regions.

  14. Accelerating Tropicalization and the Transformation of Temperate Seagrass Meadows

    PubMed Central

    Hyndes, Glenn A.; Heck, Kenneth L.; Vergés, Adriana; Harvey, Euan S.; Kendrick, Gary A.; Lavery, Paul S.; McMahon, Kathryn; Orth, Robert J.; Pearce, Alan; Vanderklift, Mathew; Wernberg, Thomas; Whiting, Scott; Wilson, Shaun

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Climate-driven changes are altering production and functioning of biotic assemblages in terrestrial and aquatic environments. In temperate coastal waters, rising sea temperatures, warm water anomalies and poleward shifts in the distribution of tropical herbivores have had a detrimental effect on algal forests. We develop generalized scenarios of this form of tropicalization and its potential effects on the structure and functioning of globally significant and threatened seagrass ecosystems, through poleward shifts in tropical seagrasses and herbivores. Initially, we expect tropical herbivorous fishes to establish in temperate seagrass meadows, followed later by megafauna. Tropical seagrasses are likely to establish later, delayed by more limited dispersal abilities. Ultimately, food webs are likely to shift from primarily seagrass-detritus to more direct-consumption-based systems, thereby affecting a range of important ecosystem services that seagrasses provide, including their nursery habitat role for fishery species, carbon sequestration, and the provision of organic matter to other ecosystems in temperate regions. PMID:28533562

  15. Riverine habitat dynamics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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

  16. Tropical birds have a slow pace of life

    PubMed Central

    Wiersma, Popko; Muñoz-Garcia, Agustí; Walker, Amy; Williams, Joseph B.

    2007-01-01

    Tropical birds are relatively long-lived and produce few offspring, which develop slowly and mature relatively late in life, the slow end of the life-history axis, whereas temperate birds lie at the opposite end of this continuum. We tested the hypothesis that tropical birds have evolved a reduced basal metabolic rate (BMR). We measured BMR of 69 species of tropical birds, the largest data set amassed on metabolic rates of tropical birds, and compared these measurements with 59 estimates of BMR for temperate birds. Our analyses included conventional least squares regression, regressions based on phylogenetic independent contrasts, and a comparison of BMR of 13 phylogenetically matched pairs, one species from the tropics and one from northerly temperate areas. Our triptych showed that tropical birds had a reduced BMR, compelling evidence for a connection between the life history of tropical birds and a slow pace of life. Further, tropical migrants breeding in temperate habitats had a lower BMR than did temperate residents, suggesting that these migrants have physiological traits consistent with a slow pace of life. In addition, we determined that tropical birds had a lower cold-induced peak metabolic rate and thermogenic metabolic scope than temperate species, a finding that is consistent with the hypothesis that their environment has not selected for high levels of thermogenesis, or alternatively, that a slow pace of life may be incompatible with high thermogenic capacity. We conclude that physiological function correlates with the suite of life-history traits. PMID:17517640

  17. Do spatially-implicit estimates of neutral migration comply with seed dispersal data in tropical forests?

    PubMed

    Munoz, François; Beeravolu, Champak R; Pélissier, Raphaël; Couteron, Pierre

    2013-01-01

    Neutral community models have shown that limited migration can have a pervasive influence on the taxonomic composition of local communities even when all individuals are assumed of equivalent ecological fitness. Notably, the spatially implicit neutral theory yields a single parameter I for the immigration-drift equilibrium in a local community. In the case of plants, seed dispersal is considered as a defining moment of the immigration process and has attracted empirical and theoretical work. In this paper, we consider a version of the immigration parameter I depending on dispersal limitation from the neighbourhood of a community. Seed dispersal distance is alternatively modelled using a distribution that decreases quickly in the tails (thin-tailed Gaussian kernel) and another that enhances the chance of dispersal events over very long distances (heavily fat-tailed Cauchy kernel). Our analysis highlights two contrasting situations, where I is either mainly sensitive to community size (related to ecological drift) under the heavily fat-tailed kernel or mainly sensitive to dispersal distance under the thin-tailed kernel. We review dispersal distances of rainforest trees from field studies and assess the consistency between published estimates of I based on spatially-implicit models and the predictions of the kernel-based model in tropical forest plots. Most estimates of I were derived from large plots (10-50 ha) and were too large to be accounted for by a Cauchy kernel. Conversely, a fraction of the estimates based on multiple smaller plots (1 ha) appeared too small to be consistent with reported ranges of dispersal distances in tropical forests. Very large estimates may reflect within-plot habitat heterogeneity or estimation problems, while the smallest estimates likely imply other factors inhibiting migration beyond dispersal limitation. Our study underscores the need for interpreting I as an integrative index of migration limitation which, besides the limited seed

  18. Terrestrial habitat selection and strong density-dependent mortality in recently metamorphosed amphibians.

    PubMed

    Patrick, David A; Harper, Elizabeth B; Hunter, Malcolm L; Calhoun, Aram J K

    2008-09-01

    To predict the effects of terrestrial habitat change on amphibian populations, we need to know how amphibians respond to habitat heterogeneity, and whether habitat choice remains consistent throughout the life-history cycle. We conducted four experiments to evaluate how the spatial distribution of juvenile wood frogs, Rana sylvatica (including both overall abundance and localized density), was influenced by habitat choice and habitat structure, and how this relationship changed with spatial scale and behavioral phase. The four experiments included (1) habitat manipulation on replicated 10-ha landscapes surrounding breeding pools; (2) short-term experiments with individual frogs emigrating through a manipulated landscape of 1 m wide hexagonal patches; and habitat manipulations in (3) small (4-m2); and (4) large (100-m2) enclosures with multiple individuals to compare behavior both during and following emigration. The spatial distribution of juvenile wood frogs following emigration resulted from differences in the scale at which juvenile amphibians responded to habitat heterogeneity during active vs. settled behavioral phases. During emigration, juvenile wood frogs responded to coarse-scale variation in habitat (selection between 2.2-ha forest treatments) but not to fine-scale variation. After settling, however, animals showed habitat selection at much smaller scales (2-4 m2). This resulted in high densities of animals in small patches of suitable habitat where they experienced rapid mortality. No evidence of density-dependent habitat selection was seen, with juveniles typically choosing to remain at extremely high densities in high-quality habitat, rather than occupying low-quality habitat. These experiments demonstrate how prediction of the terrestrial distribution of juvenile amphibians requires understanding of the complex behavioral responses to habitat heterogeneity. Understanding these patterns is important, given that human alterations to amphibian habitats

  19. Linking occurrence and fitness to persistence: Habitat-based approach for endangered Greater Sage-Grouse

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Aldridge, C.L.; Boyce, M.S.

    2007-01-01

    Detailed empirical models predicting both species occurrence and fitness across a landscape are necessary to understand processes related to population persistence. Failure to consider both occurrence and fitness may result in incorrect assessments of habitat importance leading to inappropriate management strategies. We took a two-stage approach to identifying critical nesting and brood-rearing habitat for the endangered Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in Alberta at a landscape scale. First, we used logistic regression to develop spatial models predicting the relative probability of use (occurrence) for Sage-Grouse nests and broods. Secondly, we used Cox proportional hazards survival models to identify the most risky habitats across the landscape. We combined these two approaches to identify Sage-Grouse habitats that pose minimal risk of failure (source habitats) and attractive sink habitats that pose increased risk (ecological traps). Our models showed that Sage-Grouse select for heterogeneous patches of moderate sagebrush cover (quadratic relationship) and avoid anthropogenic edge habitat for nesting. Nests were more successful in heterogeneous habitats, but nest success was independent of anthropogenic features. Similarly, broods selected heterogeneous high-productivity habitats with sagebrush while avoiding human developments, cultivated cropland, and high densities of oil wells. Chick mortalities tended to occur in proximity to oil and gas developments and along riparian habitats. For nests and broods, respectively, approximately 10% and 5% of the study area was considered source habitat, whereas 19% and 15% of habitat was attractive sink habitat. Limited source habitats appear to be the main reason for poor nest success (39%) and low chick survival (12%). Our habitat models identify areas of protection priority and areas that require immediate management attention to enhance recruitment to secure the viability of this population. This novel

  20. Linking occurrence and fitness to persistence: habitat-based approach for endangered greater sage-grouse.

    PubMed

    Aldridge, Cameron L; Boyce, Mark S

    2007-03-01

    Detailed empirical models predicting both species occurrence and fitness across a landscape are necessary to understand processes related to population persistence. Failure to consider both occurrence and fitness may result in incorrect assessments of habitat importance leading to inappropriate management strategies. We took a two-stage approach to identifying critical nesting and brood-rearing habitat for the endangered Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in Alberta at a landscape scale. First, we used logistic regression to develop spatial models predicting the relative probability of use (occurrence) for Sage-Grouse nests and broods. Secondly, we used Cox proportional hazards survival models to identify the most risky habitats across the landscape. We combined these two approaches to identify Sage-Grouse habitats that pose minimal risk of failure (source habitats) and attractive sink habitats that pose increased risk (ecological traps). Our models showed that Sage-Grouse select for heterogeneous patches of moderate sagebrush cover (quadratic relationship) and avoid anthropogenic edge habitat for nesting. Nests were more successful in heterogeneous habitats, but nest success was independent of anthropogenic features. Similarly, broods selected heterogeneous high-productivity habitats with sagebrush while avoiding human developments, cultivated cropland, and high densities of oil wells. Chick mortalities tended to occur in proximity to oil and gas developments and along riparian habitats. For nests and broods, respectively, approximately 10% and 5% of the study area was considered source habitat, whereas 19% and 15% of habitat was attractive sink habitat. Limited source habitats appear to be the main reason for poor nest success (39%) and low chick survival (12%). Our habitat models identify areas of protection priority and areas that require immediate management attention to enhance recruitment to secure the viability of this population. This novel

  1. Reproductive consequences of farmland heterogeneity in little owls (Athene noctua).

    PubMed

    Michel, Vanja T; Naef-Daenzer, Beat; Keil, Herbert; Grüebler, Martin U

    2017-04-01

    The amount of high-quality habitat patches, their distribution, and the resource accessibility therein play a key role in regulating habitat effects on reproductive success. Heterogeneous habitats offer non-substitutable resources (e.g. nest sites and food) and substitutable resources (e.g. different types of food) in close proximity, thereby facilitating landscape complementation and supplementation. However, it remains poorly understood how spatial resource separation in homogeneous agricultural landscapes affects reproductive success. To fill this gap, we investigated the relationships between farmland heterogeneity and little owl (Athene noctua) reproductive success, including potential indirect effects of the heterogeneity-dependent home-range size on reproduction. Little owl home-ranges were related to field heterogeneity in summer and to structural heterogeneity in winter. Clutch size was correlated with the amount of food-rich habitat close to the nest irrespective of female home-range size, suggesting importance of landscape complementation. Nestling survival was positively correlated with male home-range size, suggesting importance of landscape supplementation. At the same time, fledgling condition was negatively correlated with male home-range size. We conclude that decreasing farmland heterogeneity constrains population productivity by two processes: increasing separation of food resources from nest or roost sites results in low landscape complementation, and reduction of alternative food resources limits landscape supplementation. Our results suggest that structural heterogeneity affects landscape complementation, whereas the heterogeneity and management of farmland fields affect landscape supplementation. Thus, to what extent a reduction of the heterogeneity within agricultural landscapes results in species-specific habitat degradation depends on the ecological processes (i.e. landscape complementation or supplementation) which are affected.

  2. Effects of land-use change on community composition of tropical amphibians and reptiles in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Wanger, Thomas C; Iskandar, Djoko T; Motzke, Iris; Brook, Barry W; Sodhi, Navjot S; Clough, Yann; Tscharntke, Teja

    2010-06-01

    Little is known about the effects of anthropogenic land-use change on the amphibians and reptiles of the biodiverse tropical forests of Southeast Asia. We studied a land-use modification gradient stretching from primary forest, secondary forest, natural-shade cacao agroforest, planted-shade cacao agroforest to open areas in central Sulawesi, Indonesia. We determined species richness, abundance, turnover, and community composition in all habitat types and related these to environmental correlates, such as canopy heterogeneity and thickness of leaf litter. Amphibian species richness decreased systematically along the land-use modification gradient, but reptile richness and abundance peaked in natural-shade cacao agroforests. Species richness and abundance patterns across the disturbance gradient were best explained by canopy cover and leaf-litter thickness in amphibians and by canopy heterogeneity and cover in reptiles. Amphibians were more severely affected by forest disturbance in Sulawesi than reptiles. Heterogeneous canopy cover and thick leaf litter should be maintained in cacao plantations to facilitate the conservation value for both groups. For long-term and sustainable use of plantations, pruned shade trees should be permanently kept to allow rejuvenation of cacao and, thus, to prevent repeated forest encroachment.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-18

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

  4. Stratification of habitats for identifying habitat selection by Merriam's turkeys

    Treesearch

    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-...

  5. Landscape heterogeneity-biodiversity relationship: effect of range size.

    PubMed

    Katayama, Naoki; Amano, Tatsuya; Naoe, Shoji; Yamakita, Takehisa; Komatsu, Isamu; Takagawa, Shin-ichi; Sato, Naoto; Ueta, Mutsuyuki; Miyashita, Tadashi

    2014-01-01

    The importance of landscape heterogeneity to biodiversity may depend on the size of the geographic range of species, which in turn can reflect species traits (such as habitat generalization) and the effects of historical and contemporary land covers. We used nationwide bird survey data from Japan, where heterogeneous landscapes predominate, to test the hypothesis that wide-ranging species are positively associated with landscape heterogeneity in terms of species richness and abundance, whereas narrow-ranging species are positively associated with landscape homogeneity in the form of either open or forest habitats. We used simultaneous autoregressive models to explore the effects of climate, evapotranspiration, and landscape heterogeneity on the richness and abundance of breeding land-bird species. The richness of wide-ranging species and the total species richness were highest in heterogeneous landscapes, where many wide-ranging species showed the highest abundance. In contrast, the richness of narrow-ranging species was not highest in heterogeneous landscapes; most of those species were abundant in either open or forest landscapes. Moreover, in open landscapes, narrow-ranging species increased their species richness with decreasing temperature. These results indicate that heterogeneous landscapes are associated with rich bird diversity but that most narrow-ranging species prefer homogeneous landscapes--particularly open habitats in colder regions, where grasslands have historically predominated. There is a need to reassess the generality of the heterogeneity-biodiversity relationship, with attention to the characteristics of species assemblages determined by environments at large spatiotemporal scales.

  6. Life on the rocks: habitat use drives morphological and performance evolution in lizards.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Brett A; Miles, Donald B; Schwarzkopf, Lin

    2008-12-01

    As a group, lizards occupy a vast array of habitats worldwide, yet there remain relatively few cases where habitat use (ecology), morphology, and thus, performance, are clearly related. The best known examples include: increased limb length in response to increased arboreal perch diameter in anoles and increased limb length in response to increased habitat openness for some skinks. Rocky habitats impose strong natural selection on specific morphological characteristics, which differs from that imposed on terrestrial species, because moving about on inclined substrates of irregular sizes and shapes constrains locomotor performance in predictable ways. We quantified habitat use, morphology, and performance of 19 species of lizards (family Scincidae, subfamily Lygosominae) from 23 populations in tropical Australia. These species use habitats with considerable variation in rock availability. Comparative phylogenetic analyses revealed that occupation of rock-dominated habitats correlated with the evolution of increased limb length, compared to species from forest habitats that predominantly occupied leaf litter. Moreover, increased limb length directly affected performance, with species from rocky habitats having greater sprinting, climbing, and clinging ability than their relatives from less rocky habitats. Thus, we found that the degree of rock use is correlated with both morphological and performance evolution in this group of tropical lizards.

  7. Changes in the apparent survival of a tropical bird in response to the El Niño Southern Oscillation in mature and young forest in Costa Rica

    Treesearch

    J.D. Wolfe; C.J. Ralph; P. Elizondo

    2015-01-01

    The effects of habitat alteration and climatic instability have resulted in the loss of bird populations throughout the globe. Tropical birds in particular may be sensitive to climate and habitat change because of their niche specialization, often sedentary nature, and unique life-cycle phenologies. Despite the potential influence of habitat and climatic interactions...

  8. Global habitat suitability models of terrestrial mammals.

    PubMed

    Rondinini, Carlo; Di Marco, Moreno; Chiozza, Federica; Santulli, Giulia; Baisero, Daniele; Visconti, Piero; Hoffmann, Michael; Schipper, Jan; Stuart, Simon N; Tognelli, Marcelo F; Amori, Giovanni; Falcucci, Alessandra; Maiorano, Luigi; Boitani, Luigi

    2011-09-27

    Detailed large-scale information on mammal distribution has often been lacking, hindering conservation efforts. We used the information from the 2009 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as a baseline for developing habitat suitability models for 5027 out of 5330 known terrestrial mammal species, based on their habitat relationships. We focused on the following environmental variables: land cover, elevation and hydrological features. Models were developed at 300 m resolution and limited to within species' known geographical ranges. A subset of the models was validated using points of known species occurrence. We conducted a global, fine-scale analysis of patterns of species richness. The richness of mammal species estimated by the overlap of their suitable habitat is on average one-third less than that estimated by the overlap of their geographical ranges. The highest absolute difference is found in tropical and subtropical regions in South America, Africa and Southeast Asia that are not covered by dense forest. The proportion of suitable habitat within mammal geographical ranges correlates with the IUCN Red List category to which they have been assigned, decreasing monotonically from Least Concern to Endangered. These results demonstrate the importance of fine-resolution distribution data for the development of global conservation strategies for mammals.

  9. Global habitat suitability models of terrestrial mammals

    PubMed Central

    Rondinini, Carlo; Di Marco, Moreno; Chiozza, Federica; Santulli, Giulia; Baisero, Daniele; Visconti, Piero; Hoffmann, Michael; Schipper, Jan; Stuart, Simon N.; Tognelli, Marcelo F.; Amori, Giovanni; Falcucci, Alessandra; Maiorano, Luigi; Boitani, Luigi

    2011-01-01

    Detailed large-scale information on mammal distribution has often been lacking, hindering conservation efforts. We used the information from the 2009 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as a baseline for developing habitat suitability models for 5027 out of 5330 known terrestrial mammal species, based on their habitat relationships. We focused on the following environmental variables: land cover, elevation and hydrological features. Models were developed at 300 m resolution and limited to within species' known geographical ranges. A subset of the models was validated using points of known species occurrence. We conducted a global, fine-scale analysis of patterns of species richness. The richness of mammal species estimated by the overlap of their suitable habitat is on average one-third less than that estimated by the overlap of their geographical ranges. The highest absolute difference is found in tropical and subtropical regions in South America, Africa and Southeast Asia that are not covered by dense forest. The proportion of suitable habitat within mammal geographical ranges correlates with the IUCN Red List category to which they have been assigned, decreasing monotonically from Least Concern to Endangered. These results demonstrate the importance of fine-resolution distribution data for the development of global conservation strategies for mammals. PMID:21844042

  10. 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

  11. Does long-distance pollen dispersal preclude inbreeding in tropical trees? Fragmentation genetics of Dysoxylum malabaricum in an agro-forest landscape.

    PubMed

    Ismail, S A; Ghazoul, J; Ravikanth, G; Shaanker, R Uma; Kushalappa, C G; Kettle, C J

    2012-11-01

    Tropical trees often display long-distance pollen dispersal, even in highly fragmented landscapes. Understanding how patterns of spatial isolation influence pollen dispersal and interact with background patterns of fine-scale spatial genetic structure (FSGS) is critical for evaluating the genetic consequences of habitat fragmentation. In the endangered tropical timber tree Dysoxylum malabaricum (Meliaceae), we apply eleven microsatellite markers with paternity and parentage analysis to directly estimate historic gene flow and contemporary pollen dispersal across a large area (216 km(2)) in a highly fragmented agro-forest landscape. A comparison of genetic diversity and genetic structure in adult and juvenile life stages indicates an increase in differentiation and FSGS over time. Paternity analysis and parentage analysis demonstrate high genetic connectivity across the landscape by pollen dispersal. A comparison between mother trees in forest patches with low and high densities of adult trees shows that the frequency of short-distance mating increases, as does average kinship among mates in low-density stands. This indicates that there are potentially negative genetic consequences of low population density associated with forest fragmentation. Single isolated trees, in contrast, frequently receive heterogeneous pollen from distances exceeding 5 km. We discuss the processes leading to the observed patterns of pollen dispersal and the implications of this for conservation management of D. malabaricum and tropical trees more generally.

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Wildlife habitat considerations

    Treesearch

    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...

  16. Schoolyard Habitat Project Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mason, Rich

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

  17. 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…

  18. Prominent effect of soil network heterogeneity on microbial invasion.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Reche, F J; Taraskin, S N; Otten, W; Viana, M P; Costa, L da F; Gilligan, C A

    2012-08-31

    Using a network representation for real soil samples and mathematical models for microbial spread, we show that the structural heterogeneity of the soil habitat may have a very significant influence on the size of microbial invasions of the soil pore space. In particular, neglecting the soil structural heterogeneity may lead to a substantial underestimation of microbial invasion. Such effects are explained in terms of a crucial interplay between heterogeneity in microbial spread and heterogeneity in the topology of soil networks. The main influence of network topology on invasion is linked to the existence of long channels in soil networks that may act as bridges for transmission of microorganisms between distant parts of soil.

  19. Detroit River habitat inventory

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Manny, Bruce A.

    2003-01-01

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

  20. Modelling biological invasions: species traits, species interactions, and habitat heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Cannas, Sergio A; Marco, Diana E; Páez, Sergio A

    2003-05-01

    In this paper we explore the integration of different factors to understand, predict and control ecological invasions, through a general cellular automaton model especially developed. The model includes life history traits of several species in a modular structure interacting multiple cellular automata. We performed simulations using field values corresponding to the exotic Gleditsia triacanthos and native co-dominant trees in a montane area. Presence of G. triacanthos juvenile bank was a determinant condition for invasion success. Main parameters influencing invasion velocity were mean seed dispersal distance and minimum reproductive age. Seed production had a small influence on the invasion velocity. Velocities predicted by the model agreed well with estimations from field data. Values of population density predicted matched field values closely. The modular structure of the model, the explicit interaction between the invader and the native species, and the simplicity of parameters and transition rules are novel features of the model.

  1. Habitat and social factors shape individual decisions and emergent group structure during baboon collective movement.

    PubMed

    Strandburg-Peshkin, Ariana; Farine, Damien R; Crofoot, Margaret C; Couzin, Iain D

    2017-01-31

    For group-living animals traveling through heterogeneous landscapes, collective movement can be influenced by both habitat structure and social interactions. Yet research in collective behavior has largely neglected habitat influences on movement. Here we integrate simultaneous, high-resolution, tracking of wild baboons within a troop with a 3-dimensional reconstruction of their habitat to identify key drivers of baboon movement. A previously unexplored social influence - baboons' preference for locations that other troop members have recently traversed - is the most important predictor of individual movement decisions. Habitat is shown to influence movement over multiple spatial scales, from long-range attraction and repulsion from the troop's sleeping site, to relatively local influences including road-following and a short-range avoidance of dense vegetation. Scaling to the collective level reveals a clear association between habitat features and the emergent structure of the group, highlighting the importance of habitat heterogeneity in shaping group coordination.

  2. Habitat type and ambient temperature contribute to bill morphology

    PubMed Central

    Luther, David; Greenberg, Russell

    2014-01-01

    Avian bills are iconic structures for the study of ecology and evolution, with hypotheses about the morphological structure of bills dating back to Darwin. Several ecological and physiological hypotheses have been developed to explain the evolution of the morphology of bill shape. Here, we test some of these hypotheses such as the role of habitat, ambient temperature, body size, intraspecific competition, and ecological release on the evolution of bill morphology. Bill morphology and tarsus length were measured from museum specimens of yellow warblers, and grouped by habitat type, sex, and subspecies. We calculated the mean maximum daily temperature for the month of July, the hottest month for breeding specimens at each collecting location. Analysis of covariance models predicted total bill surface area as a function of sex, habitat type, body size, and temperature, and model selection techniques were used to select the best model. Habitat, mangrove forests compared with inland habitats, and climate had the largest effects on bill size. Coastal wetland habitats and island populations of yellow warblers had similar bill morphology, both of which are larger than mainland inland populations. Temperate but not tropical subspecies exhibited sexual dimorphism in bill morphology. Overall, this study provides evidence that multiple environmental factors, such as temperature and habitat, contribute to the evolution of bill morphology. PMID:24683453

  3. Habitat type and ambient temperature contribute to bill morphology.

    PubMed

    Luther, David; Greenberg, Russell

    2014-03-01

    Avian bills are iconic structures for the study of ecology and evolution, with hypotheses about the morphological structure of bills dating back to Darwin. Several ecological and physiological hypotheses have been developed to explain the evolution of the morphology of bill shape. Here, we test some of these hypotheses such as the role of habitat, ambient temperature, body size, intraspecific competition, and ecological release on the evolution of bill morphology. Bill morphology and tarsus length were measured from museum specimens of yellow warblers, and grouped by habitat type, sex, and subspecies. We calculated the mean maximum daily temperature for the month of July, the hottest month for breeding specimens at each collecting location. Analysis of covariance models predicted total bill surface area as a function of sex, habitat type, body size, and temperature, and model selection techniques were used to select the best model. Habitat, mangrove forests compared with inland habitats, and climate had the largest effects on bill size. Coastal wetland habitats and island populations of yellow warblers had similar bill morphology, both of which are larger than mainland inland populations. Temperate but not tropical subspecies exhibited sexual dimorphism in bill morphology. Overall, this study provides evidence that multiple environmental factors, such as temperature and habitat, contribute to the evolution of bill morphology.

  4. 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

  5. How does habitat filtering affect the detection of conspecific and phylogenetic density dependence?

    PubMed

    Wu, Junjie; Swenson, Nathan G; Brown, Calum; Zhang, Caicai; Yang, Jie; Ci, Xiuqin; Li, Jie; Sha, Liqing; Cao, Min; Lin, Luxiang

    2016-05-01

    Conspecific negative density dependence (CNDD) has been recognized as a key mechanism underlying species coexistence, especially in tropical forests. Recently, some studies have reported that seedling survival is also negatively correlated with the phylogenetic relatedness between neighbors and focal individuals, termed phylogenetic negative density dependence (PNDD). In contrast to CNDD or PNDD, shared habitat requirements between closely related individuals are thought to be a cause of observed positive effects of closely related neighbors, which may affect the strength and detectability of CNDD or PNDD. In order to investigate the relative importance of these mechanisms for tropical tree seedling survival, we used generalized linear mixed models to analyze how the survival of more than 10 000 seedlings of woody plant species related to neighborhood and habitat variables in a tropical rainforest in southwest China. By comparing models with and without habitat variables, we tested how habitat filtering affected the detection of CNDD and PNDD. The best-fitting model suggested that CNDD and habitat filtering played key roles in seedling survival; but that, contrary to our expectations, phylogenetic positive density dependence (PPDD) had a distinct and important effect. While habitat filtering affected the detection of CNDD by decreasing its apparent strength, it did not explain the positive effects of closely related neighbors. Our results demonstrate that a failure to control for habitat variables and phylogenetic relationships may obscure the importance of conspecific and heterospecific neighbor densities for seedling survival.

  6. Defaunation affects carbon storage in tropical forests

    PubMed Central

    Bello, Carolina; Galetti, Mauro; Pizo, Marco A.; Magnago, Luiz Fernando S.; Rocha, Mariana F.; Lima, Renato A. F.; Peres, Carlos A.; Ovaskainen, Otso; Jordano, Pedro

    2015-01-01

    Carbon storage is widely acknowledged as one of the most valuable forest ecosystem services. Deforestation, logging, fragmentation, fire, and climate change have significant effects on tropical carbon stocks; however, an elusive and yet undetected decrease in carbon storage may be due to defaunation of large seed dispersers. Many large tropical trees with sizeable contributions to carbon stock rely on large vertebrates for seed dispersal and regeneration, however many of these frugivores are threatened by hunting, illegal trade, and habitat loss. We used a large data set on tree species composition and abundance, seed, fruit, and carbon-related traits, and plant-animal interactions to estimate the loss of carbon storage capacity of tropical forests in defaunated scenarios. By simulating the local extinction of trees that depend on large frugivores in 31 Atlantic Forest communities, we found that defaunation has the potential to significantly erode carbon storage even when only a small proportion of large-seeded trees are extirpated. Although intergovernmental policies to reduce carbon emissions and reforestation programs have been mostly focused on deforestation, our results demonstrate that defaunation, and the loss of key ecological interactions, also poses a serious risk for the maintenance of tropical forest carbon storage. PMID:26824067

  7. Defaunation affects carbon storage in tropical forests.

    PubMed

    Bello, Carolina; Galetti, Mauro; Pizo, Marco A; Magnago, Luiz Fernando S; Rocha, Mariana F; Lima, Renato A F; Peres, Carlos A; Ovaskainen, Otso; Jordano, Pedro

    2015-12-01

    Carbon storage is widely acknowledged as one of the most valuable forest ecosystem services. Deforestation, logging, fragmentation, fire, and climate change have significant effects on tropical carbon stocks; however, an elusive and yet undetected decrease in carbon storage may be due to defaunation of large seed dispersers. Many large tropical trees with sizeable contributions to carbon stock rely on large vertebrates for seed dispersal and regeneration, however many of these frugivores are threatened by hunting, illegal trade, and habitat loss. We used a large data set on tree species composition and abundance, seed, fruit, and carbon-related traits, and plant-animal interactions to estimate the loss of carbon storage capacity of tropical forests in defaunated scenarios. By simulating the local extinction of trees that depend on large frugivores in 31 Atlantic Forest communities, we found that defaunation has the potential to significantly erode carbon storage even when only a small proportion of large-seeded trees are extirpated. Although intergovernmental policies to reduce carbon emissions and reforestation programs have been mostly focused on deforestation, our results demonstrate that defaunation, and the loss of key ecological interactions, also poses a serious risk for the maintenance of tropical forest carbon storage.

  8. Tropical Cyclone Report, 1993

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-01-01

    Office of Naval Research (;rant AN00014-914J1721 STAFF JOINT TYPHOON WARNING CENTER LCDR ANTHONY A. MARTINEZ USN TDO. DEPUTY DIRECTOR LCDR TERESA M...OEJFN TDA. GRAPHICS AGAN ANDRESG.GRANT USN TDA, GRAPHICS UNIVERSITY OF GUAM / JTWC RESEARCH LIAISON DR MARK A. LANDER TROPICAL CYCLONE RESEARCH MR...CHARLES P. GUARD TROPICAL CYCLONE RESEARCH * TRANSFERRED DURING 1993 ** ACTIVE DUTY TRAINING S~ii FOREWORD The Annual Tropical Cyclone Report is past four

  9. Spillover of functionally important organisms between managed and natural habitats

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Land use intensification has led to a mosaic landscape which juxtaposes human-managed and natural areas. In such human-dominated and heterogeneous landscapes spillover across habitat types, especially in systems which differ in resource availability, may be an important ecological process structuri...

  10. Enhancements of the "eHabitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santoro, M.; Dubois, G.; Schulz, M.; Skøien, J. O.; Nativi, S.; Peedell, S.; Boldrini, E.

    2012-04-01

    The number of interoperable research infrastructures has increased significantly with the growing awareness of the efforts made by the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). One of the Social Benefit Areas (SBA) that is benefiting most from GEOSS is biodiversity, given the costs of monitoring the environment and managing complex information, from space observations to species records including their genetic characteristics. But GEOSS goes beyond the simple sharing of the data as it encourages the connectivity of models (the GEOSS Model Web), an approach easing the handling of often complex multi-disciplinary questions such as understanding the impact of environmental and climatological factors on ecosystems and habitats. In the context of GEOSS Architecture Implementation Pilot - Phase 3 (AIP-3), the EC-funded EuroGEOSS and GENESIS projects have developed and successfully demonstrated the "eHabitat" use scenario dealing with Climate Change and Biodiversity domains. Based on the EuroGEOSS multidisciplinary brokering infrastructure and on the DOPA (Digital Observatory for Protected Areas, see http://dopa.jrc.ec.europa.eu/), this scenario demonstrated how a GEOSS-based interoperability infrastructure can aid decision makers to assess and possibly forecast the irreplaceability of a given protected area, an essential indicator for assessing the criticality of threats this protected area is exposed to. The "eHabitat" use scenario was advanced in the GEOSS Sprint to Plenary activity; the advanced scenario will include the "EuroGEOSS Data Access Broker" and a new version of the eHabitat model in order to support the use of uncertain data. The multidisciplinary interoperability infrastructure which is used to demonstrate the "eHabitat" use scenario is composed of the following main components: a) A Discovery Broker: this component is able to discover resources from a plethora of different and heterogeneous geospatial services, presenting them on a single and

  11. Methane Emission from Tropical Rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sawakuchi, H. O.; Rasera, M. F. F. L.; Krusche, A. V.; Ballester, M. V. R.

    2012-04-01

    Inland water is already known as an important source of methane to atmosphere. Methane is produced in anaerobic environments usually find in lakes and floodplain bottom sediment. It is the main reason that almost all information regarding methane flux come from this environments. However, while floodplain dries during low water season reducing methanogenesis, rivers keep the capacity to emit methane throughout the year. Here we present preliminary results of CH4 flux measurements done in 6 large tropical rivers within the Amazon basin. We measured 17 areas using floating chamber during dry (low water) season, between September and November of 2011, in Amazon river mainstem, Araguaia, Xingu, Tapajós, Madeira, and Negro Rivers. Measured fluxes of all rivers ranged from 59.3 to 2974.4 mmol m-2 yr-1. Geomorphologic structure of channels is one important factor that contributes to this high heterogeneity due to development of low flow velocity depositional settings allowing formation of anoxic zones in rivers. Hydraulic and sediment barriers in the confluence of river channels promote the generation of natural dams which function as a trap for the suspension load favoring the deposition of organic rich muds. This kind of environment is very different from common river channels and has a stronger potential of methane emission. Average values of our flux measurements for this two river environments show that depositional areas can have much higher fluxes than the main channel, 1089.6 and 163.1 mmol m-2 yr-1, respectively. Hence, CH4 flux from these depositional zones is similar to some tropical floodplain lakes and reservoirs. Although the low flux from channel, the area covered by water is very large resulting in a significant contribution to the regional methane emission to the atmosphere. Moreover, mapping the area of these depositional river zones will give us a better idea of the magnitude of methane flux from tropical rivers.

  12. 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.

    2017-07-01

    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.

  13. Estimation of tiger densities in the tropical dry forests of Panna, Central India, using photographic capture-recapture sampling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Karanth, K.Ullas; Chundawat, Raghunandan S.; Nichols, James D.; Kumar, N. Samba

    2004-01-01

    Tropical dry-deciduous forests comprise more than 45% of the tiger (Panthera tigris) habitat in India. However, in the absence of rigorously derived estimates of ecological densities of tigers in dry forests, critical baseline data for managing tiger populations are lacking. In this study tiger densities were estimated using photographic capture–recapture sampling in the dry forests of Panna Tiger Reserve in Central India. Over a 45-day survey period, 60 camera trap sites were sampled in a well-protected part of the 542-km2 reserve during 2002. A total sampling effort of 914 camera-trap-days yielded photo-captures of 11 individual tigers over 15 sampling occasions that effectively covered a 418-km2 area. The closed capture–recapture model Mh, which incorporates individual heterogeneity in capture probabilities, fitted these photographic capture history data well. The estimated capture probability/sample, p̂= 0.04, resulted in an estimated tiger population size and standard error (N̂(SÊN̂)) of 29 (9.65), and a density (D̂(SÊD̂)) of 6.94 (3.23) tigers/100 km2. The estimated tiger density matched predictions based on prey abundance. Our results suggest that, if managed appropriately, the available dry forest habitat in India has the potential to support a population size of about 9000 wild tigers.

  14. Benthic invertebrate density, biomass, and instantaneous secondary production along a fifth-order human-impacted tropical river.

    PubMed

    Aguiar, Anna Carolina Fornero; Gücker, Björn; Brauns, Mario; Hille, Sandra; Boëchat, Iola Gonçalves

    2015-07-01

    The aim of this study was to assess land use effects on the density, biomass, and instantaneous secondary production (IP) of benthic invertebrates in a fifth-order tropical river. Invertebrates were sampled at 11 stations along the Rio das Mortes (upper Rio Grande, Southeast Brazil) in the dry and the rainy season 2010/2011. Invertebrates were counted, determined, and measured to estimate their density, biomass, and IP. Water chemical characteristics, sediment heterogeneity, and habitat structural integrity were assessed in parallel. Total invertebrate density, biomass, and IP were higher in the dry season than those in the rainy season, but did not differ significantly among sampling stations along the river. However, taxon-specific density, biomass, and IP differed similarly among sampling stations along the river and between seasons, suggesting that these metrics had the same bioindication potential. Variability in density, biomass, and IP was mainly explained by seasonality and the percentage of sandy sediment in the riverbed, and not directly by urban or agricultural land use. Our results suggest that the consistently high degradation status of the river, observed from its headwaters to mouth, weakened the response of the invertebrate community to specific land use impacts, so that only local habitat characteristics and seasonality exerted effects.

  15. Heterogeneous movement of insectivorous Amazonian birds through primary and secondary forest: A case study using multistate models with radiotelemetry data

    Treesearch

    Luke L. Powell; Jared D. Wolfe; Erik I. Johnson; James E. Hines; James D. Nichols; Philip C Stouffer

    2015-01-01

    Given rates of deforestation, disturbance, and secondary forest accumulation in tropical rainforests, there is a great need to quantify habitat use and movement among different habitats. This need is particularly pronounced for animals most sensitive to disturbance, such as insectivorous understory birds. Here we use multistate capture–recapture models with...

  16. Habitat-Specific Population Growth of a Farmland Bird

    PubMed Central

    Arlt, Debora; Forslund, Pär; Jeppsson, Tobias; Pärt, Tomas

    2008-01-01

    Background To assess population persistence of species living in heterogeneous landscapes, the effects of habitat on reproduction and survival have to be investigated. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a matrix population model to estimate habitat-specific population growth rates for a population of northern wheatears Oenanthe oenanthe breeding in farmland consisting of a mosaic of distinct habitat (land use) types. Based on extensive long-term data on reproduction and survival, habitats characterised by tall field layers (spring- and autumn-sown crop fields, ungrazed grasslands) displayed negative stochastic population growth rates (log λs: −0.332, −0.429, −0.168, respectively), that were markedly lower than growth rates of habitats characterised by permanently short field layers (pastures grazed by cattle or horses, and farmyards, log λs: −0.056, +0.081, −0.059). Although habitats differed with respect to reproductive performance, differences in habitat-specific population growth were largely due to differences in adult and first-year survival rates, as shown by a life table response experiment (LTRE). Conclusions/Significance Our results show that estimation of survival rates is important for realistic assessments of habitat quality. Results also indicate that grazed grasslands and farmyards may act as source habitats, whereas crop fields and ungrazed grasslands with tall field layers may act as sink habitats. We suggest that the strong decline of northern wheatears in Swedish farmland may be linked to the corresponding observed loss of high quality breeding habitat, i.e. grazed semi-natural grasslands. PMID:18714351

  17. Primary forests are irreplaceable for sustaining tropical biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Gibson, Luke; Lee, Tien Ming; Koh, Lian Pin; Brook, Barry W; Gardner, Toby A; Barlow, Jos; Peres, Carlos A; Bradshaw, Corey J A; Laurance, William F; Lovejoy, Thomas E; Sodhi, Navjot S

    2011-09-14

    Human-driven land-use changes increasingly threaten biodiversity, particularly in tropical forests where both species diversity and human pressures on natural environments are high. The rapid conversion of tropical forests for agriculture, timber production and other uses has generated vast, human-dominated landscapes with potentially dire consequences for tropical biodiversity. Today, few truly undisturbed tropical forests exist, whereas those degraded by repeated logging and fires, as well as secondary and plantation forests, are rapidly expanding. Here we provide a global assessment of the impact of disturbance and land conversion on biodiversity in tropical forests using a meta-analysis of 138 studies. We analysed 2,220 pairwise comparisons of biodiversity values in primary forests (with little or no human disturbance) and disturbed forests. We found that biodiversity values were substantially lower in degraded forests, but that this varied considerably by geographic region, taxonomic group, ecological metric and disturbance type. Even after partly accounting for confounding colonization and succession effects due to the composition of surrounding habitats, isolation and time since disturbance, we find that most forms of forest degradation have an overwhelmingly detrimental effect on tropical biodiversity. Our results clearly indicate that when it comes to maintaining tropical biodiversity, there is no substitute for primary forests.

  18. The future of tropical species on a warmer planet.

    PubMed

    Wright, S Joseph; Muller-Landau, Helene C; Schipper, Jan

    2009-12-01

    Modern global temperature and land cover and projected future temperatures suggest that tropical forest species will be particularly sensitive to global warming. Given a moderate greenhouse gas emissions scenario, fully 75% of the tropical forests present in 2000 will experience mean annual temperatures in 2100 that are greater than the highest mean annual temperature that supports closed-canopy forest today. Temperature-sensitive species might extend their ranges to cool refuges, defined here as areas where temperatures projected for 2100 match 1960s temperatures in the modern range. Distances to such cool refuges are greatest for equatorial species and are particularly large for key tropical forest areas including the Amazon and Congo River Basins, West Africa, and the upper elevations of many tropical mountains. In sum, tropical species are likely to be particularly sensitive to global warming because they are adapted to limited geographic and seasonal variation in temperature, already lived at or near the highest temperatures on Earth before global warming began, and are often isolated from cool refuges. To illustrate these three points, we examined the distributions and habitat associations of all extant mammal species. The distance to the nearest cool refuge exceeded 1000 km for more than 20% of the tropical and less than 4% of the extratropical species with small ranges. The biological impact of global warming is likely to be as severe in the tropics as at temperate and boreal latitudes.

  19. A global model of the response of tropical and sub-tropical forest biodiversity to anthropogenic pressures.

    PubMed

    Newbold, Tim; Hudson, Lawrence N; Phillips, Helen R P; Hill, Samantha L L; Contu, Sara; Lysenko, Igor; Blandon, Abigayil; Butchart, Stuart H M; Booth, Hollie L; Day, Julie; De Palma, Adriana; Harrison, Michelle L K; Kirkpatrick, Lucinda; Pynegar, Edwin; Robinson, Alexandra; Simpson, Jake; Mace, Georgina M; Scharlemann, Jörn P W; Purvis, Andy

    2014-10-07

    Habitat loss and degradation, driven largely by agricultural expansion and intensification, present the greatest immediate threat to biodiversity. Tropical forests harbour among the highest levels of terrestrial species diversity and are likely to experience rapid land-use change in the coming decades. Synthetic analyses of observed responses of species are useful for quantifying how land use affects biodiversity and for predicting outcomes under land-use scenarios. Previous applications of this approach have typically focused on individual taxonomic groups, analysing the average response of the whole community to changes in land use. Here, we incorporate quantitative remotely sensed data about habitats in, to our knowledge, the first worldwide synthetic analysis of how individual species in four major taxonomic groups--invertebrates, 'herptiles' (reptiles and amphibians), mammals and birds--respond to multiple human pressures in tropical and sub-tropical forests. We show significant independent impacts of land use, human vegetation offtake, forest cover and human population density on both occurrence and abundance of species, highlighting the value of analysing multiple explanatory variables simultaneously. Responses differ among the four groups considered, and--within birds and mammals--between habitat specialists and habitat generalists and between narrow-ranged and wide-ranged species.

  20. A global model of the response of tropical and sub-tropical forest biodiversity to anthropogenic pressures

    PubMed Central

    Newbold, Tim; Hudson, Lawrence N.; Phillips, Helen R. P.; Hill, Samantha L. L.; Contu, Sara; Lysenko, Igor; Blandon, Abigayil; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Booth, Hollie L.; Day, Julie; De Palma, Adriana; Harrison, Michelle L. K.; Kirkpatrick, Lucinda; Pynegar, Edwin; Robinson, Alexandra; Simpson, Jake; Mace, Georgina M.; Scharlemann, Jörn P. W.; Purvis, Andy

    2014-01-01

    Habitat loss and degradation, driven largely by agricultural expansion and intensification, present the greatest immediate threat to biodiversity. Tropical forests harbour among the highest levels of terrestrial species diversity and are likely to experience rapid land-use change in the coming decades. Synthetic analyses of observed responses of species are useful for quantifying how land use affects biodiversity and for predicting outcomes under land-use scenarios. Previous applications of this approach have typically focused on individual taxonomic groups, analysing the average response of the whole community to changes in land use. Here, we incorporate quantitative remotely sensed data about habitats in, to our knowledge, the first worldwide synthetic analysis of how individual species in four major taxonomic groups—invertebrates, ‘herptiles’ (reptiles and amphibians), mammals and birds—respond to multiple human pressures in tropical and sub-tropical forests. We show significant independent impacts of land use, human vegetation offtake, forest cover and human population density on both occurrence and abundance of species, highlighting the value of analysing multiple explanatory variables simultaneously. Responses differ among the four groups considered, and—within birds and mammals—between habitat specialists and habitat generalists and between narrow-ranged and wide-ranged species. PMID:25143038

  1. Ability of crassulacean acid metabolism plants to overcome interacting stresses in tropical environments.

    PubMed

    Lüttge, Ulrich

    2010-01-01

    Single stressors such as scarcity of water and extreme temperatures dominate the struggle for life in severely dry desert ecosystems or cold polar regions and at high elevations. In contrast, stress in the tropics typically arises from a dynamic network of interacting stressors, such as availability of water, CO(2), light and nutrients, temperature and salinity. This requires more plastic spatio-temporal responsiveness and versatility in the acquisition and defence of ecological niches. The mode of photosynthesis of crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is described and its flexible expression endows plants with powerful strategies for both acclimation and adaptation. Thus, CAM plants are able to inhabit many diverse habitats in the tropics and are not, as commonly thought, successful predominantly in dry, high-insolation habitats. Typical tropical CAM habitats or ecosystems include exposed lava fields, rock outcrops of inselbergs, salinas, savannas, restingas, high-altitude páramos, dry forests and moist forests. Morphotypical and physiotypical plasticity of CAM phenotypes allow a wide ecophysiological amplitude of niche occupation in the tropics. Physiological and biochemical plasticity appear more responsive by having more readily reversible variations in performance than do morphological adaptations. This makes CAM plants particularly fit for the multi-factor stressor networks of tropical forests. Thus, while the physiognomy of semi-deserts outside the tropics is often determined by tall succulent CAM plants, tropical forests house many more CAM plants in terms of quantity (biomass) and quality (species diversity).

  2. Deep-water kelp refugia as potential hotspots of tropical marine diversity and productivity.

    PubMed

    Graham, Michael H; Kinlan, Brian P; Druehl, Louis D; Garske, Lauren E; Banks, Stuart

    2007-10-16

    Classic marine ecological paradigms view kelp forests as inherently temperate-boreal phenomena replaced by coral reefs in tropical waters. These paradigms hinge on the notion that tropical surface waters are too warm and nutrient-depleted to support kelp productivity and survival. We present a synthetic oceanographic and ecophysiological model that accurately identifies all known kelp populations and, by using the same criteria, predicts the existence of >23,500 km(2) unexplored submerged (30- to 200-m depth) tropical kelp habitats. Predicted tropical kelp habitats were most probable in regions where bathymetry and upwelling resulted in mixed-layer shoaling above the depth of minimum annual irradiance dose for kelp survival. Using model predictions, we discovered extensive new deep-water Eisenia galapagensis populations in the Galápagos that increased in abundance with increasing depth to >60 m, complete with cold-water flora and fauna of temperate affinities. The predictability of deep-water kelp habitat and the discovery of expansive deep-water Galápagos kelp forests validate the extent of deep-water tropical kelp refugia, with potential implications for regional productivity and biodiversity, tropical food web ecology, and understanding of the resilience of tropical marine systems to climate change.

  3. Deep-water kelp refugia as potential hotspots of tropical marine diversity and productivity

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Michael H.; Kinlan, Brian P.; Druehl, Louis D.; Garske, Lauren E.; Banks, Stuart

    2007-01-01

    Classic marine ecological paradigms view kelp forests as inherently temperate-boreal phenomena replaced by coral reefs in tropical waters. These paradigms hinge on the notion that tropical surface waters are too warm and nutrient-depleted to support kelp productivity and survival. We present a synthetic oceanographic and ecophysiological model that accurately identifies all known kelp populations and, by using the same criteria, predicts the existence of >23,500 km2 unexplored submerged (30- to 200-m depth) tropical kelp habitats. Predicted tropical kelp habitats were most probable in regions where bathymetry and upwelling resulted in mixed-layer shoaling above the depth of minimum annual irradiance dose for kelp survival. Using model predictions, we discovered extensive new deep-water Eisenia galapagensis populations in the Galápagos that increased in abundance with increasing depth to >60 m, complete with cold-water flora and fauna of temperate affinities. The predictability of deep-water kelp habitat and the discovery of expansive deep-water Galápagos kelp forests validate the extent of deep-water tropical kelp refugia, with potential implications for regional productivity and biodiversity, tropical food web ecology, and understanding of the resilience of tropical marine systems to climate change. PMID:17913882

  4. Landscape habitat suitability index software

    Treesearch

    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...

  5. Principles of wildlife habitat management

    Treesearch

    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...

  6. The spreading front of invasive species in favorable habitat or unfavorable habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lei, Chengxia; Lin, Zhigui; Zhang, Qunying

    2014-07-01

    Spatial heterogeneity and habitat characteristic are shown to determine the asymptotic profile of the solution to a reaction-diffusion model with free boundary, which describes the moving front of the invasive species. A threshold value R0Fr(D,t) is introduced to determine the spreading and vanishing of the invasive species. We prove that if R0Fr(D,t0)⩾1 for some t0⩾0, the spreading must happen; while if R0Fr(D,0)<1, the spreading is also possible. Our results show that the species in the favorable habitat can establish itself if the diffusion is slow or the occupying habitat is large. In an unfavorable habitat, the species dies out if the initial value of the species is small. However, big initial number of the species is benefit for the species to survive. When the species spreads in the whole habitat, the asymptotic spreading speed is given. Some implications of these theoretical results are also discussed.

  7. Range expansion and habitat shift triggered elevated diversification of the rice genus (Oryza, Poaceae) during the Pleistocene.

    PubMed

    Lin, Li; Tang, Liang; Bai, Yun-Jun; Tang, Zhi-Yao; Wang, Wei; Chen, Zhi-Duan

    2015-09-03

    The rice genus (Oryza) contains many wild genetic resources that are vital to the well-being of humans. However, little is known about the process by which the genus diversified or the factors that drove its speciation. Here, we integrated the phylogenetic, molecular dating and biogeographic methods to investigate the spatial-temporal patterns of Oryza diversification, and used a series of model tests to examine whether intercontinental migrations and/or key innovations were associated with significant changes in diversification rates in the genus. Oryza became differentiated in tropical Asia in the Miocene. There were two migrations from the ancestral area into Africa and Australia during the Miocene. We inferred at least 10 migration events out of tropical Asia since the Pleistocene, mainly involving the species adapting open habitat. A rapid increase in diversification rates of the whole Oryza occurred during the Pleistocene. Intercontinental migrations from tropical Asia to other tropical regions were positively correlated with shift in habitat, but not with changes in life history. A habitat preference shift from shade tolerant to open habitat predated the burst in diversification rates. Rice species may have been pre-adapted to invade open habitat. Significant increase in diversification rates occurred during the Pleistocene and is associated with range expansion and habitat shift, but not with life history. The rice genus provides an excellent case supporting the idea that range expansion and invasion of novel habitats can drive the diversification of a group.

  8. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Fallfish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Trial, Joan G.; Wade, Charles S.; Stanley, Jon G.; Nelson, Patrick C.

    1983-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop riverine and lacustrine habitat models for fallfish (Semotilis corporalis), a freshwater species. The models are scaled to produce an index of habitat suitability between 0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1 (optimally suitable habitat) for freshwater, marine and estuarine areas of the continental 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 Fallfish habitat.

  9. [Vacation and tropical dermatoses].

    PubMed

    Fischer, M; Reinel, D

    2012-05-01

    Besides fever and diarrhea, skin diseases are the third most common cause of morbidity in returning travelers after a stay in a tropical country. Approximately one- quarter of these dermatological symptoms can be referred to a classical tropical disease. The majority are of infectious origin. Often only the clinical appearance leads to the diagnosis of a tropical disease as myiasis, cutaneous larva migrans, tungiasis or cutaneous leishmaniasis. Not infrequently the dermatological symptoms lead to the diagnosis of a primarily systemic tropical disease. For example, an eschar with or without a rash might lead to the diagnosis of a South African tick bite fever caused by Rickettsia africae days before serology may turn positive. Less common tropical skin diseases such as lymphatic filariasis and loiasis need to be considered in returning long-term travelers and immigrants.

  10. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Bullfrog

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graves, Brent M.; Anderson, Stanley H.

    1987-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana). 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: Bobcat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boyle, Katherine A.; Fendley, Timothy T.

    1987-01-01

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

  12. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Pronghorn

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1984-01-01

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

  13. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Osprey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vana-Miller, Sandra L.

    1987-01-01

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

  14. The effect of habitat fragmentation on cyclic population dynamics: a numerical study.

    PubMed

    Strohm, S; Tyson, R

    2009-08-01

    Through four spatially explicit models, we investigate how habitat fragmentation affects cyclic predator-prey population dynamics. We use a Partial Differential Equation (PDE) framework to describe the dispersal of predators and prey in a heterogeneous landscape made of high quality and low quality habitat patches, subject to increasing fragmentation through habitat separation and/or habitat loss. Our results show that habitat fragmentation decreases the amplitude of the predator-prey population cycles while average population density is not as strongly affected in general. Beyond these simple trends however, the four models show differing responses to fragmentation, indicating that when making predictions about population survival and persistence in the face of habitat fragmentation, the choice of model is important. Our results may inform conservation efforts in fragmented habitats for cyclic species such as the snowshoe hare and Canada lynx.

  15. Propagule Limitation, Disparate Habitat Quality, and Variation in Phenotypic Selection at a Local Species Range Boundary

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Kara A.; Stanton, Maureen L.

    2014-01-01

    Adaptation to novel conditions beyond current range boundaries requires the presence of suitable sites within dispersal range, but may be impeded when emigrants encounter poor habitat and sharply different selection pressures. We investigated fine-scale spatial heterogeneity in ecological dynamics and selection at a local population boundary of the annual plant Gilia tricolor. In two years, we planted G. tricolor seeds in core habitat, margin habitat at the edge of the local range, and exterior habitat in order to measure spatial and temporal variation in habitat quality, opportunity for selection, and selection on phenotypic traits. We found a striking decline in average habitat quality with distance from the population core, yet some migrant seeds were successful in suitable, unoccupied microsites at and beyond the range boundary. Total and direct selection on four out of five measured phenotypic traits varied across habitat zones, as well as between years. Moreover, the margin habitat often exerted unique selection pressures that were not intermediate between core and exterior habitats. This study reveals that a combination of ecological and evolutionary forces, including propagule limitation, variation in habitat quality and spatial heterogeneity in phenotypic selection may reduce opportunities for adaptive range expansion, even across a very local population boundary. PMID:24717472

  16. Propagule limitation, disparate habitat quality, and variation in phenotypic selection at a local species range boundary.

    PubMed

    Moore, Kara A; Stanton, Maureen L

    2014-01-01

    Adaptation to novel conditions beyond current range boundaries requires the presence of suitable sites within dispersal range, but may be impeded when emigrants encounter poor habitat and sharply different selection pressures. We investigated fine-scale spatial heterogeneity in ecological dynamics and selection at a local population boundary of the annual plant Gilia tricolor. In two years, we planted G. tricolor seeds in core habitat, margin habitat at the edge of the local range, and exterior habitat in order to measure spatial and temporal variation in habitat quality, opportunity for selection, and selection on phenotypic traits. We found a striking decline in average habitat quality with distance from the population core, yet some migrant seeds were successful in suitable, unoccupied microsites at and beyond the range boundary. Total and direct selection on four out of five measured phenotypic traits varied across habitat zones, as well as between years. Moreover, the margin habitat often exerted unique selection pressures that were not intermediate between core and exterior habitats. This study reveals that a combination of ecological and evolutionary forces, including propagule limitation, variation in habitat quality and spatial heterogeneity in phenotypic selection may reduce opportunities for adaptive range expansion, even across a very local population boundary.

  17. Reanalyzing Tropical Cyclone Intensities with Citizen Scientists

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schreck, C. J.; Hennon, C. C.; Knapp, K.; Stevens, S. E.

    2012-12-01

    Tropical cyclones are among the most destructive weather phenomena. Whenever possible, the intensities of these storms have been determined from in situ data or aircraft reconnaissance. More often, however, they are estimated subjectively from satellite data using the Dvorak technique. Heterogeneities are introduced into the historical record with the evolution of operational procedures, personnel, and observing platforms. In some cases, multiple agencies even arrive at different estimates for the same storm. These uncertainties impede our ability to identify the relationship between tropical cyclone intensities and climate change. NOAA's NCDC has produced a 30-year (1979-2008) homogeneous dataset (HURSAT) of tropical cyclone imagery from geostationary satellites. This dataset has the potential to address some of the uncertainties in the recent tropical cyclone record. However, it would take nearly 40 years for a trained expert, working nonstop, to apply the Dvorak technique to all 200,000 images. Harnessing the power of thousands of Citizen Scientists, the same task can be completed in a matter of months. This presentation will explain how the Dvorak technique was adapted for Citizen Scientists, and how their skill will be evaluated relative to the operational analyses by trained experts.

  18. Ocean acidification limits temperature-induced poleward expansion of coral habitats around Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yara, Y.; Vogt, M.; Fujii, M.; Yamano, H.; Hauri, C.; Steinacher, M.; Gruber, N.; Yamanaka, Y.

    2012-06-01

    Using results from four coupled global carbon cycle-climate models combined with in situ observations, we estimate the combined effects of future global warming and ocean acidification on potential habitats for tropical/subtropical and temperate coral communities in the seas around Japan. The suitability of the coral habitats are identified primarily on the basis of the currently observed ranges for temperature and saturation states Ω with regard to aragonite (Ωarag). We find that under the "business as usual" SRES A2 scenario, coral habitats will expand northward by several hundred kilometers by the end of this century. At the same time, coral habitats are projected to become sandwiched between the tropical regions, where the frequency of coral bleaching will increase, and the temperate-to-subpolar latitudes, where Ωarag will become too low to support sufficiently high calcification rates. As a result, the area of coral habitats around Japan that is suitable to tropical-subtropical communities will be reduced by half by the 2020s to 2030s, and is projected to disappear by the 2030s to 2040s. The suitable habitats for the temperate coral communities are also becoming smaller, although at a less pronounced rate due to their higher tolerance for low Ωarag.

  19. Assessing habitat utilization by neotropical primates: a new approach.

    PubMed

    Warner, Mark D

    2002-01-01

    This study aims to ascertain habitat utilization, in relation to forest structural variation, by a multi-species group of primates in tropical lowland rainforest in Southeast Peru during dry season. A new approach to assessing habitat utilization was used. Habitat variation was described by structural and indicator variables collected in quadrats along transects through a study area within Terra Firme and Floodplain forest. Variables were grouped into 'factors' accounting for most of the variation by means of a Principal Components Analysis (PCA). Presence or absence of the primates within the quadrats, assessed by repeat transect surveys, was taken to indicate habitat preferences. Discrimination between the habitat and forest structure in areas of primate presence as opposed to absence was carried out by means of Discriminant Function Analysis (DFA). This highlighted patterns in most utilized habitat. Vertical utilization of the forest was also assessed along with presence in bamboo and general activity on encounter. Suggestions of habitat preference and utilization are made for each of the six sympatric species studied, based on significantly discriminating habitat factors, vertical stratification on encounter and relationships with bamboo. Saguinus fuscicollis and Cebus moloch appeared as habitat generalists. Cebus apella, Saimiri sciureus, and Aotus spp., exhibited varying degrees of preference for habitat factors suggesting disturbed forest, Cebus albifrons was more generalistic but with a possible association with primary, naturally disturbed forest. C. apella was encountered in Terra Firme forest significantly more than in Floodplain. For S. sciureus, C. moloch, and C. apella, upper understory was the most utilized forest layer, for C. albifrons, middle canopy and for S. sciureus and Aotus spp., lower understory. Both positive and negative relationships with bamboo were highlighted. Significant positive relationships between Aotus spp., and bamboo suggest

  20. Cape Lookout, North Carolina, 2012 National Wetlands Inventory Habitat Classification

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spear, Kathryn A.; Jones, William R.

    2016-01-01

    In the face of sea level rise and as climate change conditions increase the frequency and intensity of tropical storms along the north-Atlantic Coast, coastal areas will become increasingly vulnerable to storm damage, and the decline of already-threatened species could be exacerbated. Predictions about response of coastal birds to effects of hurricanes will be essential for anticipating and countering environmental impacts. This project will assess coastal bird populations, behavior, and nesting in Hurricane Sandy-impacted North Carolina barrier islands. The project comprises three components: 1) ground-based and airborne lidar analyses to examine site specific selection criteria of coastal birds; 2) NWI classification habitat mapping of DOI lands to examine habitat change associated with Hurricane Sandy, particularly in relation to coastal bird habitat; and 3) a GIS-based synthesis of how patterns of coastal bird distribution and abundance and their habitats have been shaped by storms such as Hurricane Sandy, coastal development, population density, and shoreline management over the past century. We will trace historic changes to shorebird populations and habitats in coastal North Carolina over the past century. Using historic maps and contemporary imagery, the study will quantify changes in shorebird populations and their habitats resulting from periodic storms such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012, to development projects such as the Intracoastal Waterway early in the last century, as well as more recent urban development. We will synthesize existing data on the distribution and abundance of shorebirds in North Carolina and changes in habitats related to storms, coastal development, inlet modifications, and shoreline erosion to give us a better understanding of historic trends for shorebirds and their coastal habitats. Historic data on the distribution and abundance of shorebirds are available from a variety of sources and include bird species identification, location

  1. Habitat goes green

    SciTech Connect

    Kriescher, P.; Smith, M.

    1999-12-01

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

  2. Does the habitat structure control the distribution and diversity of the Odonatofauna?

    PubMed

    Souza, A M; Fogaça, F N O; Cunico, A M; Higuti, J

    2015-08-01

    The statement that the habitat complexity and structure govern the abundance and diversity of biological communities has been widely investigated. In this context, we assumed the hypothesis of habitat heterogeneity, that is, the higher habitat complexity leads to greater diversity of Odonata. In addition, we analyzed the influence of habitat structure on the distribution of this community, and evaluated the effects of abiotic variables. Odonata larvae were collected with sieves and by electrofishing in ten neotropical streams belonging to the Pirapó River basin. Forty species of Odonata were registered, which were distributed in eight families, Libellulidae stood out with the highest richness. The high gamma diversity and distribution of Odonata were associated with habitat heterogeneity in these streams. However, the abiotic variables also seem to affect the distribution of Odonata species, in view of the impact of the land use in the vicinity of streams.

  3. Forest Loss and the Biodiversity Threshold: An Evaluation Considering Species Habitat Requirements and the Use of Matrix Habitats

    PubMed Central

    Estavillo, Candelaria; Pardini, Renata; da Rocha, Pedro Luís Bernardo

    2013-01-01

    Habitat loss is the main driver of the current biodiversity crisis, a landscape-scale process that affects the survival of spatially-structured populations. Although it is well-established that species responses to habitat loss can be abrupt, the existence of a biodiversity threshold is still the cause of much controversy in the literature and would require that most species respond similarly to the loss of native vegetation. Here we test the existence of a biodiversity threshold, i.e. an abrupt decline in species richness, with habitat loss. We draw on a spatially-replicated dataset on Atlantic forest small mammals, consisting of 16 sampling sites divided between forests and matrix habitats in each of five 3600-ha landscapes (varying from 5% to 45% forest cover), and on an a priori classification of species into habitat requirement categories (forest specialists, habitat generalists and open-area specialists). Forest specialists declined abruptly below 30% of forest cover, and spillover to the matrix occurred only in more forested landscapes. Generalists responded positively to landscape heterogeneity, peaking at intermediary levels of forest cover. Open area specialists dominated the matrix and did not spillover to forests. As a result of these distinct responses, we observed a biodiversity threshold for the small mammal community below 30% forest cover, and a peak in species richness just above this threshold. Our results highlight that cross habitat spillover may be asymmetrical and contingent on landscape context, occurring mainly from forests to the matrix and only in more forested landscapes. Moreover, they indicate the potential for biodiversity thresholds in human-modified landscapes, and the importance of landscape heterogeneity to biodiversity. Since forest loss affected not only the conservation value of forest patches, but also the potential for biodiversity-mediated services in anthropogenic habitats, our work indicates the importance of proactive

  4. Forest loss and the biodiversity threshold: an evaluation considering species habitat requirements and the use of matrix habitats.

    PubMed

    Estavillo, Candelaria; Pardini, Renata; da Rocha, Pedro Luís Bernardo

    2013-01-01

    Habitat loss is the main driver of the current biodiversity crisis, a landscape-scale process that affects the survival of spatially-structured populations. Although it is well-established that species responses to habitat loss can be abrupt, the existence of a biodiversity threshold is still the cause of much controversy in the literature and would require that most species respond similarly to the loss of native vegetation. Here we test the existence of a biodiversity threshold, i.e. an abrupt decline in species richness, with habitat loss. We draw on a spatially-replicated dataset on Atlantic forest small mammals, consisting of 16 sampling sites divided between forests and matrix habitats in each of five 3600-ha landscapes (varying from 5% to 45% forest cover), and on an a priori classification of species into habitat requirement categories (forest specialists, habitat generalists and open-area specialists). Forest specialists declined abruptly below 30% of forest cover, and spillover to the matrix occurred only in more forested landscapes. Generalists responded positively to landscape heterogeneity, peaking at intermediary levels of forest cover. Open area specialists dominated the matrix and did not spillover to forests. As a result of these distinct responses, we observed a biodiversity threshold for the small mammal community below 30% forest cover, and a peak in species richness just above this threshold. Our results highlight that cross habitat spillover may be asymmetrical and contingent on landscape context, occurring mainly from forests to the matrix and only in more forested landscapes. Moreover, they indicate the potential for biodiversity thresholds in human-modified landscapes, and the importance of landscape heterogeneity to biodiversity. Since forest loss affected not only the conservation value of forest patches, but also the potential for biodiversity-mediated services in anthropogenic habitats, our work indicates the importance of proactive

  5. Temporal overlaps of feral cats with prey and competitors in primary and human-altered habitats on Bohol Island, Philippines.

    PubMed

    Bogdan, Vlastimil; Jůnek, Tomáš; Jůnková Vymyslická, Pavla

    2016-01-01

    The vertebrate fauna of the Philippines, known for its diversity and high proportion of endemic species, comprises mainly small- to medium-sized forms with a few large exceptions. As with other tropical ecosystems, the major threats to wildlife are habitat loss, hunting and invasive species, of which the feral cat (Felis catus) is considered the most damaging. Our camera-trapping study focused on a terrestrial vertebrate species inventory on Bohol Island and tempo-spatial co-occurrences of feral cats with their prey and competitors. The survey took place in the Rajah Sikatuna Protected Landscape, and we examined the primary rainforest, its border with agricultural land, and rural areas in the vicinity of villages. Altogether, over 2,885 trap days we captured 30 species of vertebrates-10 mammals (including Sus philippensis), 19 birds and one reptile, Varanus cumingi. We trapped 81.8% of expected vertebrates. Based on the number of events, the most frequent native species was the barred rail (Gallirallus torquatus). The highest overlap in diel activity between cats and potential prey was recorded with rodents in rural areas (Δ = 0.62); the lowest was in the same habitat with ground-dwelling birds (Δ = 0.40). Cat activity was not recorded inside the rainforest; in other habitats their diel activity pattern differed. The cats' activity declined in daylight in the proximity of humans, while it peaked at the transition zone between rainforest and fields. Both rodents and ground-dwelling birds exhibited a shift in activity levels between sites where cats were present or absent. Rodents tend to become active by day in cat-free habitats. No cats' temporal response to co-occurrences of civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus and Viverra tangalunga) was found but cats in diel activity avoided domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris). Our first insight into the ecology of this invasive predator in the Philippines revealed an avoidance of homogeneous primary rainforest and a

  6. Temporal overlaps of feral cats with prey and competitors in primary and human-altered habitats on Bohol Island, Philippines

    PubMed Central

    Bogdan, Vlastimil; Jůnková Vymyslická, Pavla

    2016-01-01

    The vertebrate fauna of the Philippines, known for its diversity and high proportion of endemic species, comprises mainly small- to medium-sized forms with a few large exceptions. As with other tropical ecosystems, the major threats to wildlife are habitat loss, hunting and invasive species, of which the feral cat (Felis catus) is considered the most damaging. Our camera-trapping study focused on a terrestrial vertebrate species inventory on Bohol Island and tempo-spatial co-occurrences of feral cats with their prey and competitors. The survey took place in the Rajah Sikatuna Protected Landscape, and we examined the primary rainforest, its border with agricultural land, and rural areas in the vicinity of villages. Altogether, over 2,885 trap days we captured 30 species of vertebrates–10 mammals (including Sus philippensis), 19 birds and one reptile, Varanus cumingi. We trapped 81.8% of expected vertebrates. Based on the number of events, the most frequent native species was the barred rail (Gallirallus torquatus). The highest overlap in diel activity between cats and potential prey was recorded with rodents in rural areas (Δ = 0.62); the lowest was in the same habitat with ground-dwelling birds (Δ = 0.40). Cat activity was not recorded inside the rainforest; in other habitats their diel activity pattern differed. The cats’ activity declined in daylight in the proximity of humans, while it peaked at the transition zone between rainforest and fields. Both rodents and ground-dwelling birds exhibited a shift in activity levels between sites where cats were present or absent. Rodents tend to become active by day in cat-free habitats. No cats’ temporal response to co-occurrences of civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus and Viverra tangalunga) was found but cats in diel activity avoided domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris). Our first insight into the ecology of this invasive predator in the Philippines revealed an avoidance of homogeneous primary rainforest and a

  7. Terrrestrialization of isolated habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolodziejczyk, Agata; Harasymczuk, Matt; Foing, Bernard

    2017-04-01

    One of the most prominent issue for habitability of the solar system and beyond is to adjust a habitat for human life. Since the human life adapted to terrestrial environment during millions of years of evolution, terrestrialization of the base should be a natural trend strictly applied in habitat design. We discuss basic concerns about introducing biomimetic backup safety solutions such modularity, circularity, autonomy and plasticity into life support systems. Particularly we describe critical life processes such briefing, drinking, eating, homeostatic regulation, activity and sleep, in relation to symbiosis and competition with other species living together. Finally, we analyze ecological tolerance and transformation factors, which seem to be crucial in future habitability projects.

  8. Advanced Plant Habitat

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-11-17

    A test unit, or prototype, of NASA's Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) was delivered to the Space Station Processing Facility at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The APH is the largest plant chamber built for the agency. The unit is being prepared for engineering development tests to see how the science will integrate with the various systems of the plant habitat. It will have 180 sensors and four times the light output of Veggie. The APH will be delivered to the International Space Station in March 2017.

  9. Advanced Plant Habitat

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-11-17

    A test unit, or prototype, of NASA's Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) was delivered to the Space Station Processing Facility at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The APH is the largest plant chamber built for the agency. The base of the APH is being prepared for engineering development tests to see how the science will integrate with the various systems of the plant habitat. It will have 180 sensors and four times the light output of Veggie. The APH will be delivered to the International Space Station in March 2017.

  10. Advanced Plant Habitat

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-11-17

    A test unit, or prototype, of NASA's Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) was delivered to the Space Station Processing Facility at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The APH is the largest plant chamber built for the agency. Oscar Monje, a scientist on the Engineering Services Contract, prepares the base of the APH for engineering development tests to see how the science will integrate with the various systems of the plant habitat. The APH will have about 180 sensors and fourt times the light output of Veggie. The APH will be delivered to the International Space Station in March 2017.

  11. Spatial heterogeneity in distribution and ecology of Western Palearctic birds.

    PubMed

    Møller, A P; Soler, J J; Vivaldi, M Martín

    2010-09-01

    Species vary in abundance and heterogeneity of spatial distribution, and the ecological and evolutionary consequences of such variability are poorly known. Evolutionary adaptation to heterogeneously distributed resources may arise from local adaptation with individuals of such locally adapted populations rarely dispersing long distances and hence having small populations and small overall ranges. We quantified mean population density and spatial heterogeneity in population density of 197 bird species across 12 similarly sized regions in the Western Palearctic. Variance in population density among regions differed significantly from a Poisson distribution, suggesting that random processes cannot explain the observed patterns. National estimates of means and variances in population density were positively correlated with continental estimates, suggesting that means and variances were maintained across spatial scales. We used Morisita's index of population abundance as an estimate of heterogeneity in distribution among regions to test a number of predictions. Heterogeneously distributed passerine bird species as reflected by Morisita's index had small populations, low population densities, and small breeding ranges. Their breeding populations had been consistently maintained at low levels for considerable periods of time, because the degree of genetic variation in a subsample of non-passerines and passerines was significantly negatively related to heterogeneity in distribution. Heterogeneously distributed passerine species were not more often habitat specialists than homogeneously distributed species. Furthermore, heterogeneously distributed passerine species had high annual adult survival rates but did not differ in annual fecundity from homogeneously distributed species. Heterogeneously distributed passerine species rarely colonized urban habitats. Finally, homogeneously distributed bird species were hosts to a greater diversity of blood parasite species than

  12. Exploring the floristic diversity of tropical Africa.

    PubMed

    Sosef, Marc S M; Dauby, Gilles; Blach-Overgaard, Anne; van der Burgt, Xander; Catarino, Luís; Damen, Theo; Deblauwe, Vincent; Dessein, Steven; Dransfield, John; Droissart, Vincent; Duarte, Maria Cristina; Engledow, Henry; Fadeur, Geoffrey; Figueira, Rui; Gereau, Roy E; Hardy, Olivier J; Harris, David J; de Heij, Janneke; Janssens, Steven; Klomberg, Yannick; Ley, Alexandra C; Mackinder, Barbara A; Meerts, Pierre; van de Poel, Jeike L; Sonké, Bonaventure; Stévart, Tariq; Stoffelen, Piet; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Sepulchre, Pierre; Zaiss, Rainer; Wieringa, Jan J; Couvreur, Thomas L P

    2017-03-07

    Understanding the patterns of biodiversity distribution and what influences them is a fundamental pre-requisite for effective conservation and sustainable utilisation of biodiversity. Such knowledge is increasingly urgent as biodiversity responds to the ongoing effects of global climate change. Nowhere is this more acute than in species-rich tropical Africa, where so little is known about plant diversity and its distribution. In this paper, we use RAINBIO - one of the largest mega-databases of tropical African vascular plant species distributions ever compiled - to address questions about plant and growth form diversity across tropical Africa. The filtered RAINBIO dataset contains 609,776 georeferenced records representing 22,577 species. Growth form data are recorded for 97% of all species. Records are well distributed, but heterogeneous across the continent. Overall, tropical Africa remains poorly sampled. When using sampling units (SU) of 0.5°, just 21 reach appropriate collection density and sampling completeness, and the average number of records per species per SU is only 1.84. Species richness (observed and estimated) and endemism figures per country are provided. Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Ivory Coast and Liberia appear as the botanically best-explored countries, but none are optimally explored. Forests in the region contain 15,387 vascular plant species, of which 3013 are trees, representing 5-7% of the estimated world's tropical tree flora. The central African forests have the highest endemism rate across Africa, with approximately 30% of species being endemic. The botanical exploration of tropical Africa is far from complete, underlining the need for intensified inventories and digitization. We propose priority target areas for future sampling efforts, mainly focused on Tanzania, Atlantic Central Africa and West Africa. The observed number of tree species for African forests is smaller than those estimated from global tree data, suggesting that a

  13. Combining high biodiversity with high yields in tropical agroforests

    PubMed Central

    Clough, Yann; Barkmann, Jan; Juhrbandt, Jana; Kessler, Michael; Wanger, Thomas Cherico; Anshary, Alam; Buchori, Damayanti; Cicuzza, Daniele; Darras, Kevin; Putra, Dadang Dwi; Erasmi, Stefan; Pitopang, Ramadhanil; Schmidt, Carsten; Schulze, Christian H.; Seidel, Dominik; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stenchly, Kathrin; Vidal, Stefan; Weist, Maria; Wielgoss, Arno Christian; Tscharntke, Teja

    2011-01-01

    Local and landscape-scale agricultural intensification is a major driver of global biodiversity loss. Controversially discussed solutions include wildlife-friendly farming or combining high-intensity farming with land-sparing for nature. Here, we integrate biodiversity and crop productivity data for smallholder cacao in Indonesia to exemplify for tropical agroforests that there is little relationship between yield and biodiversity under current management, opening substantial opportunities for wildlife-friendly management. Species richness of trees, fungi, invertebrates, and vertebrates did not decrease with yield. Moderate shade, adequate labor, and input level can be combined with a complex habitat structure to provide high biodiversity as well as high yields. Although livelihood impacts are held up as a major obstacle for wildlife-friendly farming in the tropics, our results suggest that in some situations, agroforests can be designed to optimize both biodiversity and crop production benefits without adding pressure to convert natural habitat to farmland. PMID:21536873

  14. Combining high biodiversity with high yields in tropical agroforests.

    PubMed

    Clough, Yann; Barkmann, Jan; Juhrbandt, Jana; Kessler, Michael; Wanger, Thomas Cherico; Anshary, Alam; Buchori, Damayanti; Cicuzza, Daniele; Darras, Kevin; Putra, Dadang Dwi; Erasmi, Stefan; Pitopang, Ramadhanil; Schmidt, Carsten; Schulze, Christian H; Seidel, Dominik; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stenchly, Kathrin; Vidal, Stefan; Weist, Maria; Wielgoss, Arno Christian; Tscharntke, Teja

    2011-05-17

    Local and landscape-scale agricultural intensification is a major driver of global biodiversity loss. Controversially discussed solutions include wildlife-friendly farming or combining high-intensity farming with land-sparing for nature. Here, we integrate biodiversity and crop productivity data for smallholder cacao in Indonesia to exemplify for tropical agroforests that there is little relationship between yield and biodiversity under current management, opening substantial opportunities for wildlife-friendly management. Species richness of trees, fungi, invertebrates, and vertebrates did not decrease with yield. Moderate shade, adequate labor, and input level can be combined with a complex habitat structure to provide high biodiversity as well as high yields. Although livelihood impacts are held up as a major obstacle for wildlife-friendly farming in the tropics, our results suggest that in some situations, agroforests can be designed to optimize both biodiversity and crop production benefits without adding pressure to convert natural habitat to farmland.

  15. Forest-climate interactions in fragmented tropical landscapes.

    PubMed

    Laurance, William F

    2004-03-29

    In the tropics, habitat fragmentation alters forest-climate interactions in diverse ways. On a local scale (less than 1 km), elevated desiccation and wind disturbance near fragment margins lead to sharply increased tree mortality, thus altering canopy-gap dynamics, plant community composition, biomass dynamics and carbon storage. Fragmented forests are also highly vulnerable to edge-related fires, especially in regions with periodic droughts or strong dry seasons. At landscape to regional scales (10-1000 km), habitat fragmentation may have complex effects on forest-climate interactions, with important consequences for atmospheric circulation, water cycling and precipitation. Positive feedbacks among deforestation, regional climate change and fire could pose a serious threat for some tropical forests, but the details of such interactions are poorly understood.

  16. Forest-climate interactions in fragmented tropical landscapes.

    PubMed Central

    Laurance, William F

    2004-01-01

    In the tropics, habitat fragmentation alters forest-climate interactions in diverse ways. On a local scale (less than 1 km), elevated desiccation and wind disturbance near fragment margins lead to sharply increased tree mortality, thus altering canopy-gap dynamics, plant community composition, biomass dynamics and carbon storage. Fragmented forests are also highly vulnerable to edge-related fires, especially in regions with periodic droughts or strong dry seasons. At landscape to regional scales (10-1000 km), habitat fragmentation may have complex effects on forest-climate interactions, with important consequences for atmospheric circulation, water cycling and precipitation. Positive feedbacks among deforestation, regional climate change and fire could pose a serious threat for some tropical forests, but the details of such interactions are poorly understood. PMID:15212089

  17. Ability of crassulacean acid metabolism plants to overcome interacting stresses in tropical environments

    PubMed Central

    Lüttge, Ulrich

    2010-01-01

    Background and aims Single stressors such as scarcity of water and extreme temperatures dominate the struggle for life in severely dry desert ecosystems or cold polar regions and at high elevations. In contrast, stress in the tropics typically arises from a dynamic network of interacting stressors, such as availability of water, CO2, light and nutrients, temperature and salinity. This requires more plastic spatio-temporal responsiveness and versatility in the acquisition and defence of ecological niches. Crassulacean acid metabolism The mode of photosynthesis of crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is described and its flexible expression endows plants with powerful strategies for both acclimation and adaptation. Thus, CAM plants are able to inhabit many diverse habitats in the tropics and are not, as commonly thought, successful predominantly in dry, high-insolation habitats. Tropical CAM habitats Typical tropical CAM habitats or ecosystems include exposed lava fields, rock outcrops of inselbergs, salinas, savannas, restingas, high-altitude páramos, dry forests and moist forests. Morphotypical and physiotypical plasticity of CAM Morphotypical and physiotypical plasticity of CAM phenotypes allow a wide ecophysiological amplitude of niche occupation in the tropics. Physiological and biochemical plasticity appear more responsive by having more readily reversible variations in performance than do morphological adaptations. This makes CAM plants particularly fit for the multi-factor stressor networks of tropical forests. Thus, while the physiognomy of semi-deserts outside the tropics is often determined by tall succulent CAM plants, tropical forests house many more CAM plants in terms of quantity (biomass) and quality (species diversity). PMID:22476063

  18. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Beaver

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  19. Habitat Suitability Information: Blacknose dace

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Trial, Joan G.; Stanley, Jon G.; Batcheller, Mary; Gebhart, Gary; Maughan, O. Eugene; Nelson, Patrick C.

    1983-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop riverine and lacustrine habitat models for Blacknose dace, a freshwater species. The models are scaled to produce an index of habitat suitability between 0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1 (optimally suitable habitat) for freshwater, marine, and estuarine areas of the continental 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 Blacknose dace.

  20. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Marten

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allen, Arthur W.

    1982-01-01

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

  1. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Veery

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sousa, Patrick J.

    1982-01-01

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

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

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

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

  3. Coexistence through spatio-temporal heterogeneity and species sorting in grassland plant communities.

    PubMed

    Questad, Erin J; Foster, Bryan L

    2008-07-01

    The effect of spatial heterogeneity on species coexistence relies on the degree of niche heterogeneity in the habitat and the ability of species to exploit the available niche opportunities. We studied species coexistence in a perennial grassland, and tested whether small-scale disturbances create environmental heterogeneity that affects coexistence and whether the functional diversity of species in the species pool affects the ability of community composition to reflect heterogeneity through species sorting. We manipulated the spatio-temporal heterogeneity of disturbance and the functional diversity of species added as seed and measured their impact on the spatial turnover of species composition. Disturbance increased environmental heterogeneity and spatial turnover, and the effect of heterogeneity on turnover was greatest in the presence of a functionally diverse species pool, showing the importance of trait variation among species for exploiting environmental heterogeneity, and suggesting that coexistence occurred due to species sorting among heterogeneous niches.

  4. Temporally dynamic habitat suitability predicts genetic relatedness among caribou

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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